Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

I just wanted to wish all my readers a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Here is information on local charity turkey meals being served today:

Free hot turkey sit-in-dinner. 

Meal menu: Bread, fresh beets and carrots salad with delicious vinaigrette, chickpea soup, turkey roasted with onions, pepper and celery, cranberry sauce, cinnamon and syrup mashed-potatoes, traditional cholent, pineapple chunks for dessert. 

Served by waiters and dozens of volunteers. Free groceries will be available to take home. No Reservations Needed.

When: Thursday, Thanksgiving, November 27th, 2014 3:00pm - 7:30pm (rain or shine snow or sleet)

Where: MASBIA of Queens, 98-08 Queens Blvd, Rego Park, NY 11374 (Between 65th Rd. and 65th Ave) Contact: Beau Heyen


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

La Boulangerie Events

And speaking of small businesses—or maybe the better term is independent businesses since La Boulangerie is always so packed with customers the word "small" just doesn't seem to fit—it was so nice to see how our finest French bakery is expanding its role in the neighborhood, hosting local events. The next one is on Tuesday, December 16:

This, my friends, is what is starting to make our neighborhood really great... I also noticed a similar poster in Red Pipe's window about some event coming up but didn't have time to stop and read it. If anyone knows what it is, please post below...

Small Business Saturday in Forest Hills

"Shop Small & Be Rewarded on Small Business Saturday"  by Michael Perlman of the Forest Hills Times/Queens Ledger: 
 Trylon Vet Care, Red Pipe Cafe, & Oliloli Studio are a few of many Forest Hills businesses that will have special offers on Saturday, November 29th. 

Now, For the Good News: Awesome NY Times Coverage of Forest Hills

Boy, all those pathetic crashes on Queens Blvd. can get a bit depressing, no? Well, here's some good news to brighten up your Thanksgivings tomorrow. This awesome coverage of Forest Hills and Queens in The Times from several days ago:

Affordable and Reliable, Queens Real Estate Ascends

And here is one of my favorite descriptions of Forest Hills to ever appear in The NY TImes. Or, at least since I've been living here anyway :)
A couple of blocks away on Austin Street, he found a mix of cafes, bars, chain stores and small businesses and began to picture a life there. Twenty minutes and four express stops later, he was back in Manhattan planning their move.
And, while we're on the topic, here's some photos I took recently of The Aston entrance on 71st Ave.:

And the Scene Tonight - Crash 2

Yup, same corner, another horrible crash. I assume they're parking an ambulance near the corner of Ascan and Queens Blvd.? Sorry to be so morbid, but it is a morbid situation and looks like nothing's being done about it? How many more accidents have to happen, and how many more people have to be injured or worse? And by the way, what an incredible nightmare for people, like myself, having to cross Queens Blvd. right after this crash happened this evening, as you can kind of make out by the chaos of the cars going every which way to get around the cars involved and the emergency vehicles...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Crash, Intersection of Ascan and Queens Blvd.

The scene tonight.

Pieces of I guess the other car were as far as the eye can see on Queens Blvd. You can see some of them on the pavement if you look closely (sorry for the blurry pic, but I was a bit distracted literally walking over the debris from the other car as I crossed this evening).

When are these drivers going to learn that this is not a highway?

When is the city going to learn that it needs to do more?

For example, when are we going to get rumble strips put down on these death-trap intersections here in Forest Hills like I've been calling for for years?

I hear they've finally started doing it in other places nearby.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It's Forest Hills Vs. Seattle for Pearl Jam

Who would've ever thunk it?

Pearl Jam fans clash over campaign to bring the band to the legendary Forest Hills Stadium in Queens
A crowdsourcing effort to bring Pearl Jam to Forest Hills is being thwarted by some fans who want the band to play in Seattle. “It has a lot of historical significance,” fan Dan Sheffer said of the venue, which hosted superstars like Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and the Beatles in the ’60s and ’70s.
By the way, I love this quote:
“The place is in some state of disrepair (and) the curfew is WAY too early for a band like Pearl Jam,” wrote one fan, PJ Soul, on, referring to the mandatory 10 p.m. shutdown at Forest Hills Stadium. “I wouodn’t (sic) go all the way out there unless it was MSG or Yankee Stadium or something.”

"State of disrepair"? Try newly renovated, and even before, it was as good as any other stadium...

"All the way out there"? What are we living in Nebraska? Try 20-25 minutes to midtown Manhattan on the subway, moron.  Oh, and that while living in apartments that aren't the size of walk-in closets with indents in the walls of your kitchens you make believe are showers and which you play a zillion dollars for. Now who's "out there"?

Oh, and curfew? The concerts begin and end a bit earlier than some other venues so as not to disturb nearby residents very late into the night. That hasn't negatively impacted any of the other shows there. People have loved them so far. 

From Lagging Behind, to a Great Leap Forward

Mayor de Blasio's second awesome idea, after the the Vision Zero initiative. But this one is simply spectacular: Pay Phones in New York City Will Become Free Wi-Fi Hot Spots
In a statement, Mr. de Blasio called expanded broadband access “essential for everything we need to do to be a fair and just city,” adding that the system would be “the fastest and largest municipal Wi-Fi network in the world.”

Friday, November 14, 2014

Bring Pearl Jam to Forest Hills Stadium

.... their idea, not mine.
But not a bad idea! And isn't it refreshing that we should be discussing the idea of bringing Pearl Jam to Forest Hills at all?  (yes, I still hold a grudge against those Stadium-haters. Can't help it!)

While we're at it, can someone please start one of these for Vampire Weekend?
Pearl Jam 25 Forest Hills
Bring Pearl Jam to Forest Hills Stadium!

Chalet Alpina Closes

The German restaurant Chalet Alpina on Metropolitan has closed after serving up many a schnitzel over the years.... (Did they actually? I never ate there myself but assuming...) Are there any fans out there that are sad to see it go? And more importantly, do restaurants usually close like this when their owners decide to retire, or does that only happen down there on Metropolitan? ;)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Remaking the Corner of Ascan and Austin

Corner of Ascan and Austin
So that quiet, beautiful part of Austin Street diagonally across from the church is in for some big changes, according to various guesses, reports and rumors that are circulating. Ever since the convenience store on the corner shut down a couple of months ago, there's been a lot of speculation as to what will replace it. The floor plans I've seen in fact, go way beyond just that store, carving a large chunk out of that entire corner which includes shops facing both Austin and Ascan. And one of those businesses impacted is Bonelle, a pastry shop that has been around for years and years and is extremely popular with FoHi'ers who have lived here for a long time.

Personally, I've never been a big fan. I've been to Bonelle and found the store very tired-looking and in need of a big-time renovation. Now, I'm a big meal guy and really don't have much of a sweet-tooth. So, I am really not anyone to judge pastries or deserts in general. And honestly I have no recollection whether I liked the pastries I had at Bonelle or didn't. But so many long-time residents absolutely love the place, that there must be something to it.

So.... if you are one of them, stop by Bonelle some time this holiday season and show them some love. I'm told they have a petition going to try to convince the landlord to not evict them which you can sign.

As for that corner, what's coming in there? I've heard everything from the Cafe Benne chain to Dunkin' Donuts. Personally, if it has to be a coffee shop like that (which I don't see the reason for since 1) We have the fabulous La Boulangerie a block away, and 2) it will in my opinion negatively impact what is one of the most charming corners on all of Austin St. and maybe in our neighborhood) my choice hands down is the more upscale Cafe Benne. But I am hearing more and more each week that it will probably be a DD... shame...lost potential of a really nice spot in our nabe.

The long-time Bonelle Pastry Shop is closing by next year, evicted by the landlord due to rising rents

New Look for OvoSodo

A reader noticed last week that OvoSodo has changed its awning. This got me all excited, thinking a menu change would follow, perhaps something that would live up to their awesome beginning here in Forest Hills over at Tuscan Hills. (See my previous post about them.) But, I asked, and they're sticking with the same 'diner-ish' menu—which is fine, but, personally, I think with the talent they've displayed at Tuscan Hills, which I consider to be one of the finest Italian restaurants I have ever been to, they can up their game at OvoSodo. (Notice how the new sign does play up their connection to Tuscan Hills, by the way.)