Wednesday, April 30, 2014

OvoSodo Menu

They didn't have take-out menus yet, so had to shoot the one on the front of the restaurant. But I think you can mostly make out what they have. Click on the image for much bigger version!

And, yes, that is a make-your-own salad option. So Forest Hills finally has a place where you can get a nice, healthy custom-made salad (like pretty much every other nabe in NYC has had for years already). 

Also, they told me they will be rolling out delivery service in the coming weeks...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Putting Lipstick on a Pig

That headline was contributed by a friend of mine....And it is kinda lipsticky isn't it?

And the photo below was contributed by a reader. Where would this blog be without all of you? It is indeed a community effort. Anyway, the soon-to-be Austin Public, former Flying Pig's makeover continues...

More OvoSodo

Yes, it lights up. More tomorrow... Oh, here's a hint... M-Y-O Salads :)

August 9th at Forest Hills Stadium: Modest Mouse & Brand New

The next show in the Forest Hills Stadium Summer Concert series was announced this morning.

Performing on August 9th will be Modest Mouse & Brand New

Presale tix avail via Citi Private Pass starting Wed at 12PM via

And starting Thursday at Noon at

Billboard's great article on the concert: Modest Mouse, Brand New to Play Rare Forest Hills Stadium Show

Modest Mouse
Brand New

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Hello, Stranger

Thought y'all might find this interesting, especially since many of us Forest Hillers do spend our share of time on buses, trains and subways. What do you think? Will you take this article's advice next time you're on the train?
If you’ve ever been on a subway or public bus, you know the rules. Don’t make eye contact, stay as far away from other people as the space allows, and for the love of God, don’t talk to anyone. But what if the rules are wrong? From The NY Times: Hello, Stranger

Saturday, April 26, 2014

OvoSodo's Sign

Openings and Closings

Just some news from the past week while I was away:

- A reader spoke with the owner of the El Coyote Mexican restaurant, who says his new place in the Austin St. mall will be opening in about a month.

- @foresthills72 tweeted that Tuscan Hills' new place on Queens Blvd. will be called Ovosodo. I can't think of anything else in Forest Hills I am looking forward to more than the opening of this place (except to find out what the other concerts are at the Stadium this summer). Ovosodo will be going into the former Just Like Mother's space and is the place that will have Tuscan Hills' spectacular pizza and a variety of other foods.

Here's some details from the craigslist posting:
New restaurant in Forest hills looking for part time and full time employee.
Here are the position that we are looking for:
Line cook, Pizza man, dishwashers
Waiter, Waitress, busboy, Barista
Interview will be held Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 1:00 to 4:00 pm at 
110-60 queens boulevard(between Ascan Ave and 73rd road)
Subway take the F train and use the 75th avenue stop
Bring your resume, No Phone Calls 
Ask for Marco or Roberto
The name of the Restaurant is Ovosodo, but we still have no Awning

- We lost what could have been an amazing cultural gem as a movie theater showing indie films like Kew Gardens Cinema does when Brandon Cinemas on Austin finally closed its doors, to be replaced by, joy, some type of medical clinic.

- And work began on turning the former Bike Shop on Queens Blvd. into what one reader says is going to be a sneaker and sportswear store.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Meeting About the Stadium Concerts

.... and God forbid anyone should tell the neighborhood blog. Whatevs, I'm telling all of you guys....

Queens Beer Week

Summer Movie Trailer Time

Very eagerly looking forward to this one...

The Pig's Makeover

DNAInfo reports that The Flying Pig on Austin will be changing just about everything but its live music performances in an effort to be more neighborhood-friendly. Should be interesting to see what they have in mind when it reopens after its brief makeover:

Popular Austin Street Gastropub To Change Name and Decor, Owners Say

I've really liked The Pig, even moreson the most recent time I went a few weeks ago. They were already in the process of shifting their menu to something that made more sense for Forest Hills. When they first opened, they kind of had this odd doughnut-hole - they had a lot of small plates, appetizers and such, and then pretty pricey entries, but nothing in between for a light meal, like a sandwich. It sounds like their new format will be more like Banter or Jack & Nellie's, offering a broad range of fare that's more in line with what Forest Hills needs. But I guess we'll find out soon.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Restaurant Review: Reef

Growing up on Long Island, I had some of the best seafood anywhere. I eventually came to just take it for granted, I guess. I eventually assumed they had great fish and seafood everywhere. And, of course, I couldn't have been more wrong.

So priding myself on knowing good seafood and fish, I recently visited our newest restaurant, Reef. Reef recently opened in the space formerly occupied by the Network Cafe, just across from the much-loved Irish Cottage on 72nd Ave., off of Austin.

I'll cut right to the chase here, since I know that many readers are probably juggling holiday plans and work during this busy week: my first experience at Reef could not have been better. I thoroughly enjoyed it, from the modern rustic decor (heavy use of wood all around), to the unbelievable attentiveness and friendliness of the staff, to the simple yet succulent dishes, and to the overall feel of the space - somehow it's both cozy and roomy at the same time. I especially loved eating in the lower level of Reef, there's something extra cozy about it. I look forward to dining down there on a cold winter evening when it's snowing out. (Next year, please no more snow this year Snow Gods.)

Our meal began with warm rolls with a humus spread which came with the meal, and were both great. Then we ordered the baked clams. These were very nicely flavored and reminded me of the types of clams I had in many of the fine seafood restaurants on Long Island. The main courses were the Grilled Shrimp (halved, grilled in shell $21.00) and the Salmon Steak ($20). We both had rice as sides, from a choice that included a variety of potatoes and vegetables.

I absolutely loved my salmon, and salmon has never been one of my favorite dishes. I actually said this was quite possibly the best grilled salmon I had ever tasted. The rice, simple with the subtle flavors of olive oil and lemon, had my taste buds dancing for joy. The Grilled Shrimp was a bit of a learning experience. It tasted great, but I had never had shrimp served in the shell like that (see photo below) in all my years of eating and devouring every kind of shrimp imaginable. My personal feeling is, I'd rather not have my food resemble how it looked while alive :) This was too close for comfort. It's one of the reasons I have even drifted away from eating whole lobsters these days. Maybe it's just a phase. But whatever it is, that's just me. If that kind of thing doesn't bother you, you'll love their Grilled Shrimp dish.

Speaking of lobsters, you may notice they are missing from the menu. I was able to chat with one of the managers and she said they are definitely planning to expand their menu big-time, taking suggestions from customers, and lobsters are in the planning.

The one disappointment in my Reef experience came at the very, very end when I got a cup of coffee. It came luke-warm. But hey, I'm willing to forgive since they've only been open a little more than a week and I could tell were all so dedicated to working out every little kink in this fine restaurant.

What happened to Forest Hills? From a sad, even pathetic restaurant scene, there are suddenly too many excellent places to choose from! My brother, who lives on the Upper East Side, was lamenting to me the other day that he doesn't have any good restaurants nearby. I could only reply, "That's weird." I thought about it, and I realized he was right - I couldn't think of any good restaurants near him, in one of the toniest parts of Manhattan. Well, at least he has Central Park.

My grade for Reef: A+ (I think the highest I have ever given to a new restaurant in Forest Hills, at least that I can remember).

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Forest Hills Stadium News

The DNAInfo website has an article today about plans for the Forest Hills Stadium, including that The New York Pops may play the Stadium  (I had heard back in December this was in discussion, so there must be something to it). But the article also says this has not been confirmed yet.

And I don't know what to make of the Idina Menzel part - why the West Side Tennis Club president would say she was going to perform and then it is being denied by her team...

Forest Hills Concert Organizers to Address Residents' Concerns at Meeting

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Has Sprung!

Happy to say I got the Spring Fever today. And Bryant Park was hopping and looking quite Springy.... Oh, and that last pic is just to remind us that Summer Movie Season officially kicks off in a couple of weeks -- though I have my money on Godzilla. Tired of the Spiderman.

Yes, this is indeed my favorite time of year. A great time to be in The Big Apple.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Reef Revealed

The new restaurant Reef opened this past weekend in Forest Hills at 98-2 72nd Avenue, the former Network Cafe location, and just across the street from The Irish Cottage. Here's some photos of the inside, along with their menu. I will post a review in a few weeks.  (I always like to give a new place a few weeks before I try it.)
Reef has two levels. Shown is the ground level, when you walk in. A bar, not shown here, is to the left.

The lower level.

NPR's Coverage of the Kitty Genovese Story

Picking up on my previous post....

This report focuses on how the crime helped create the 911 emergency system and also discusses how the multiple inaccuracies in The NY Times articles about the murder led to a widely believed account that was extremely different from what really happened. The Times coverage wrongly described the neighbors as apathetic to a horrific murder taking place right outside their doors, when, in fact, many of these neighbors did respond to the victim's pleas for help and did what they could to help her.

An Iconic Murder Helped Create the 911 System

So That's What it Was

I was walking down Austin late yesterday trying to follow the smell of smoke and the sirens to where the fire was... turns out it was in New Jersey: Smell From New Jersey Brush Fire Settles in New York

Friday, April 4, 2014

Join the Queens Blvd. Restoration Group of Forest Hills & Rego Park!

Click here for more information:


Open, Accepting Volunteers
The project will promote attention to our environment while at the same time enhance the appearance of our community and protect our trees. We will create a more uniform and dynamic look to our urban streetscape.

The Project

In an effort to enhance the streetscape of Continental Avenue and complement the tree beds maintained by local volunteers, our project aims to repair and replace several damaged tree guards. Continental Avenue is located in the heart of Forest Hills, home of America's first planned community and the birth of the U.S. Open.
We hope to improve the appearance of the area where thousands of commuters, shoppers, and diners pass through every day and at the same time continue to protect our cherished street trees.  

The Steps

Tree guards will be professionally replaced while volunteers enhance the tree pits along Continental Avenue.
Volunteers will be assigned jobs that include digging, planting, and mulching. This project will ultimately create an aesthetically pleasing look for the community while more importantly protecting our street trees.  

Why We're Doing It

The protection of street trees in an urban environment is of the utmost importance.  Trees help purify the air, absorb excess rain water and provide shade. They are an essential part of our urban environment. We hope to highlight this through our community project.

GARAGE SALE! April 5th 9am-3pm

At 9301 69th ave, corner of Kessel St.
Across from PS 144 elementary school
Kids' clothes, toys, housewares, Phil and Ted stroller, furniture, books, women's clothes, CDs, DVDs, side rail of a child's bed & much more.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What Really Happened to Kitty Genovese That Night In Kew Gardens

I have been wanting to post about the recent story in The New Yorker, A Call for Help, for quite some time. I remember learning about the "Kitty Genovese story" as a kid growing up in suburbia and it had a great impact on me—it really colored my view for quite some time about what it is like to live in the "Big City," where people don't care about each other, where they even turn a deaf ear to the pleas for help from their neighbors in the dark of night when they are fighting for their lives.

Except, it was all a lie. The New York Times got the story completely wrong. According to new accounts of what happened that night, as detailed in The New Yorker article:
The Times story was inaccurate in a number of significant ways. There were two attacks, not three. Only a handful of people saw the first clearly and only one saw the second, because it took place indoors, within the vestibule. The reason there were two attacks was that Robert Mozer, far from being a “silent witness,” yelled at Moseley when he heard Genovese’s screams and drove him away. Two people called the police. When the ambulance arrived at the scene—precisely because neighbors had called for help—Genovese, still alive, lay in the arms of a neighbor named Sophia Farrar, who had courageously left her apartment to go to the crime scene, even though she had no way of knowing that the murderer had fled.
And the story goes on and on. Excellent reading and by God a long time in coming. What a travesty to disparage the reputation of an entire neighborhood—our neighbor to the east, Kew Gardens—and our entire City, and just because of the incompetence of one newspaper editor.

Some Thoughts on Online Business Reviews

An interesting legal case about online reviews is discussed in this Wall Street Journal article:
 Yelp Reviews Brew a Fight Over Free Speech vs. Fairness 

As someone who runs a neighborhood blog, I have found that there's a pretty simple solution to this controversy: Run the comments section and business reviews the same way you would do it in person. I think too many people involved in online ventures mistakenly think that just because there's some digital distance between you and the people or business you are discussing that means you can deal with them differently than if you were in the same room together. Not in my opinion. I think people and businesses deserve respect in every case. That's why on this blog, when I review a new restaurant, for example, I highlight the positives and may throw in some recommendations for ways they could improve. I am, after all, a resident of Forest Hills and want great new businesses to improve.

Notice how I say "great new businesses." If you're coming into this neighborhood with a business that I believe will reverse the great improvements we have seen in Forest Hills over the past few years, I won't tear you down with some scathing post. I just turn my attention elsewhere.

I think some of the controversy discussed in the WSJ article is the result of laziness. If you put your mind to it, there is always a way for a website to be both respectful and informative at the same time.