Thursday, January 15, 2015

Out With the Old, In With the New?

It occurs to me that two recent developments in our neighborhood—both of which have resulted in more than the usual amount of media attention for the area—have a lot in common. I am referring to the fight by some residents to save the longtime bakery Bonelle on Ascan, and the new fight to save the Cinemart movie theater on Metropolitan Ave.

Both of these endangered institutions are much loved by residents who have lived here for quite a long time, and not as endeared to the newcomers to the neighborhood, many of whom are kind of apathetic about whether they stay or go.

It all points to the fact that the neighborhood is undergoing some dramatic changes, especially as younger residents move in from surrounding boroughs and are priced out of Manhattan altogether.

Certainly, not all of the changes are for the better. A Dunkin' Donuts taking over one of the most picturesque corners of our neighborhood (Ascan and Austin) comes to mind. So many other more interesting shops could have come into that rather unique corner. I have nothing against Dunkin' Donuts per se. But the fact is that it is just another fast-food chain with mass-produced food. Instead, that space could have become home to something truly interesting and unique to our neighborhood.

The result is a big missed opportunity and, at least to me, a big disappointment.

For the rest of 2015, I will be watching closely the fight by some Queens residents to create a much-needed park along the abandoned railway that passes through Forest Hills. The QueensWay is an awesome idea and would be a great connection to Forest Park, which is such a pain to get to nowadays if you don't have a car.

And, of course, there are plenty of other storefronts open—especially the former Santa Fe space on Restaurant Row. Should be a very interesting year ahead indeed!

15 comments:

  1. You know Santa Fe's is turning into an Applebee's, right? Hahahaaa

    I really can't bemoan the loss of some of these places; if the neighborhood doesn't support them, they get nuked -- that's it! Why the Hell is TGIF still here? How the Heck do we still have a Sizzlers? Maybe there's more bumpkins in this neighborhood who like that kinda stuff then there are 'cool' or 'affluent' or 'cultured' folks who will spend their capital on something more interesting.

    For instance, Cabanas is always super packed -- As far as Cuba food goes, that place is mediocre at best! And Aged, let's not go there...

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    1. there is only one sizzler left north of the mason dixon... it is the one in fh. it is privately owned and operated and only uses the sizzler name. the owner does not even use the same suppliers as the other sizzler chains.

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    2. Wow. I did not know this.

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  2. That corner is forever preserved in the Toby McGuire Spiderman.

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    1. Ha! I'd forgotten about that! Long live the Newtown Deli!

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  3. Fox 5 news at six did a piece on saving the Cinemart earlier today. I'm hoping it might help rally the masses!

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  4. The corner of Ascan and Austin has 3 out of 4 corners of commercial establishments - how picturesque was it, really? That Newtown Deli was just so beautiful...

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  5. The world is changing and the idea of mom and pop stores dominating the landscape is fading, not just here but all over the country, sad as it may be, it's the way it is. If we want Forest Hills to become a "cool" place where people want to live and spend time in then we need to embrace that change. I for one am excited to see the influx of younger residents (like myself) and am excited for the future of the neighborhood!

    People really need to get over Dunkin' Donuts, as I've said before, nothing could be worse than its predecessor.

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    1. What's so "cool" about an urban neighborhood that resembles a tacky Long Island strip mall?

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  6. I have no problem with DD at that corner because yes that deli was disgusting. But DD has covered up the lovely arched brickwork and that's a shame. What FHs needs is a set of guidelines and rules that businesses must follow in terms of what they can and cannot do with the appearance of their storefront...signage, awnings, etc.

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  7. Storefront guidelines and regulations is what we need in FHs. DD covered up the lovely arched brickwork and that's a shame.

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    1. I agree completely! I was just saying this to someone yesterday! Why cover up the beautiful brickwork with all of that shoddy looking stucco moulding, or whatever it is?

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  8. Cinemart update: it was packed last night, no discounts, just people who wanted to spend Friday night at the movies. It was awesome.

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    1. I'm very pleased to hear this.

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  9. If the Cinemart closes you can bet a developer will scoop up the property and build "luxury" apartments. If that happens that will be the nail in the coffin for me and a signal to leave Forest Hills completely.

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