Wednesday, December 31, 2014

NY Times Comes Out in Suport of The QueensWay

In very exciting news to close out the year, the NY Times in an editorial has carefully weighed the two options for the 3.5 mile stretch of abandoned railway that runs from Rego Park—and through a section of Forest Hills—to the Rockaways and come out in support of a High Line-like park which would be called The QueensWay.

I think this is the most important part of their analysis of the two options, the other of which is reviving the rail link to the Rockaways:

A Green Line Through Queens
....they may be understating the difficulty of reviving those rails for trains. Of the QueensWay’s 47 acres, seven are parkland. If the city, which owns the land, was to return it to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for transit, it would have to find replacement parkland somewhere else. Then there is the question of when the M.T.A. would get to this capital project, which would be one of many on its overflowing, underfunded to-do list.
The likeliest answer is never. The M.T.A.’s capital plan is only half-funded; the agency is strapped by debt and is hard-pressed to protect the infrastructure it has.

Many naysayers have dismissed the possibility that The QueensWay will ever come to fruition. They point to the hurdles that the High Line had, which were overcome with the help of big celebrity donors. It reminds me of the same dismissive tone I heard about the possibility of ever reviving Forest Hills Stadium for music concerts.

And we all know how that turned out:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Guess Who's Best in the U.S. 2015 ?

If you haven't already heard, Lonely Planet has ranked Queens: "Best in the US 2015"

Yes, it's true. Here's a brief excerpt:
1. Queens, New York
Queens, New York’s largest borough, is also quickly becoming its hippest, but most travelers haven't clued in… yet. With microbreweries springing up, new boutique hotels, a reinvented seaside at Rockaway, a world-class art scene, and a truly global food culture, 2015 is the year to try Queens.
And, since it's Christmas, here's my gift to ya'all, you can download the chapter about Queens for free.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Our City Mourns

I like this email I received from a reader yesterday:
I heard about the police shooting last night, but did not understand until early this morning the horrific circumstances. As I walked to breakfast, I felt a call to action. I wanted to do something to show appreciation and support for New York 's Finest. And I decided that at least until the end of the year, and likely longer I would hand out $5 gift cards from coffee establishments to every police officer whose path I crossed as a tangible gesture of that support. (I taped the receipt to the individual card showing the amount and to ensure no possibility of a glitch when using the card.)
Sometimes people want to do something but don't know what to do. It's easy. Like minded folks could follow suit, or interpret the gesture in their own way . . . shake the hand of a police officer and tell them you are sorry for their loss, send a condolence card to the local precinct . . . make a donation to the Silver Shield Foundation, or other appropriate gesture that feels comfortable and just do it . . . once or multiple times.
My own personal feelings are absolute disgust with the way the Mayor is being blamed for the act of a clearly insane person. I cannot recall being more disgusted by the words I heard someone spoke, or the actions of disrespect. The Mayor is in a very difficult position, trying to walk a fine line that represents all citizens of this very diverse city. I think he deserves a lot of credit for the way he has handled things so far. To turn this latest tragedy into something political is absolutely disgraceful. We should instead be honoring and remembering the bravery and dedication of the two fine officers who we lost this weekend.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Local Toys for Tots Drop Off Locations

As the holidays are upon us, Toys for Tots will be finishing up its collection of toys for children in need. They have created an interactive map showing the drop off locations in the area. Happy Holidays!

Click Here to view the map

Thai Boulevard Opening in New Location

The restaurant Thai Boulevard, which has a location further down Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens, is opening up where Fresco Tortillas used to be at Queens Blvd. and 73rd Road in Forest Hills.

Wine Tasting this Saturday

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Red Pipe Cafe Review from eateryROW

Fellow local blogger eateryROW's review of Red Pipe

I especially love the way it starts...
I've lived in Forest Hills for the better part of ten years. But I'm from Manhattan and I do miss it. That said, these days, it's sometimes easy to forget that I'm not there. In the past few years, Forest Hills has gotten wine bars, cocktails and craft beer, enough taxis to make midtown blush, concerts, expensive restaurants with pedigree chefs, brand-new luxury buildings, bakeries, hotter girls...

Monday, December 8, 2014

End of the Century Bar Opens on Metropolitan

From Time Out NY:

 Tiki bar–cum–cocktail club End of the Century Bar hits Forest Hills  
Pegu Club, PKNY and Maison Premiere alums expand cocktail culture in Queens
When searching for a home for their own drinking den—a tiki bar–cum–cocktail club, designed to feel like a living room—the trio decided to push beyond those well-trodden boroughs for, of all places, Queens. “Forest Hills feels both local and international—it’s one of the most diverse areas of the city,” Present says. “We want to be a microcosm of that.”
 104-08 Metropolitan Ave between 71st Dr and 72nd Ave, Forest Hills, Queens (718-544-1624)

Art Opening and Holiday Party at OvoSodo Restaurant

OvoSodo Restaurant in Forest Hills (owners, Roberto Lamorte and Marco del Peschio), is sponsoring local artists by offering art shows and receptions with refreshments free of charge to the public. The Grand Opening Art Show and Holiday Party will take place on Thursday, December 18 from 3-5pm. It will feature the beautiful and fascinating works of magic-realist photographer Katherine Liepe-Levinson.

Admission and refreshments free of charge.
Join them for great food, great art, and Holiday Cheer.

Time: 3-5pm.
Place: OvoSodo Restaurant
110-60 Queens Boulevard, Forest Hills NY 11375


Katherine Liepe-Levinson is an award-winning Photographer. Her works have been featured on the cover and in articles of books, magazines, and newspapers. Her client list has included museums, corporations, small businesses, and performing artists. Katherine’s Fine Art Photography continues to be exhibited in Long Island galleries, both invitational and juried shows, where she has won several awards for her work.

In addition to photography, Katherine has performed as a professional dancer, actor, and writer on and off Broadway. She has been a resident of Forest Hills for more than thirty years.

The exhibit at Ovo Gallery, OvoSodo Restaurant includes eleven large size works of Kathy's. Here, she describes what will be on display:

The works for this show come from a new series I have been working on for the past two years called, The Pond Series. All works were shot at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge on Long Island,  New York.  The subtle fresh water pond, with its changing water tables and interdependent flora and fauna, is a testament to the preciousness of our natural resources, which we too often take for granted or neglect. The unusual vibrant colors and patterns in my Pond Series photographs are natural results produced through: watching and working with the available light; the camera angles, the shifting wind patterns both on the water and in the trees; the reflections on the water surface coupled with life in the water; the use of cropping or zooming in for close ups; and very fast shutter speeds.
The images are captured with high-end digital cameras.  All images are single exposures with NO Photoshop additions, filters, or manipulations. I use the basic adjustments that darkroom photographers use, but through Lightroom, which is a digital processor. I processed and printed each image myself using Epson wide format printers, archival pigment ink, and Epson Velvet Fine Art paper.  Unlike working with the more traditional glossy or semi-glossy photographic papers, matte fine art papers also allow the ink to spread minutely, which adds to the painterly look of The Pond Series.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Live Stream of Tonight's Protests

Due to today's developments in the tragic case of Eric Garner, I am including below a link to a live stream of the protests going on throughout the City:

New Windows Going Up For Ascan Dunkin' Donuts

Thanks to Steve for sending in this photo today...

Wine Tasting This Weekend at The Wine Room of Forest Hills

Take a journey through the world of wine with The Wine Room of Forest Hills 96-09 69th Ave Forest Hills NY 11375 

 *****Wine Tasting Saturday December 6th 2014 1pm - 4pm & 6pm -9pm ***** 

This establishment is now under new ownership and a friend of mine who lives nearby tells me "The original Wine Room was a beloved institution...These new owners seem dedicated to restoring the place to its former glory."

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Performing at Red Pipe Cafe This Wednesday

The French jazz duo Gavroche, who happen to be Forest Hills residents, will perform at our new coffee place, Red Pipe, on Austin St. Wednesday night at 8:30 (they will also be performing at La Boulangerie on Dec. 16 at 5 p.m.):

Here's a clip of them from FĂȘte Paradiso, the Parisian festival of vintage carnival rides and carousels on Governors Island. Valentine Biollay on vocals and Coyote Anderson on guitar.

In Search of Christmas Trees in Forest Hills

Received this email from a reader, can anyone help her?

I was wondering if you could do a post about where to buy a live Christmas tree in the area. I've gotten mine from the guys who set up shop at the deli on the corner of Ascan and Austin for the past few years, but now that it's closed, I'm guessing they won't be there anymore. Any and all super-local suggestions would be greatly appreciated by someone who has to carry a tree home by herself!