Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Small Town in the Big City?

How many other neighborhoods in New York City would act as if the nearby movie theater was the only one for miles around and be so attached to it they launch a campaign to actually save it? I can understand if we were talking about the mammoth, art-deco marvel that is the Ziegfeld in Manhattan. But, the Cinemart—a tiny, kinda multiplexish theater on Metropolitan that never has really impressed me each time I've seen a film there?

The goings-on down on Metropolitan to save the Cinemart movie theater are amazing to me from my perch here in the northern Queens Blvd.-centric part of Forest Hills. It really is something I'd expect to see occurring in the middle of maybe Iowa, not New York home as it is to so many theaters. But lo and behold, there's this story that was posted on the Blog's Facebook Page this evening: Cinemart Cinemas achieves record ticket sales     Take a look at that photo in the story. What a turnout!

Are there other parts of the city that have such an extreme contrast? The Metropolitan Ave. part of Forest Hills really does sometimes feel like a small town in the middle of a big city. It even looks like it's stuck somewhere in the 1950s (a great street for period films or TV shows, by the way, for all you big Hollywood producers who haven't discovered it yet). But then walk—what, half a mile?—and you find yourself smack dab in the hustle and bustle of Austin St. and go another block and you're face-to-face with the traffic and pedestrian mishmash of Queens Blvd.

And, as we've seen so many other times over recent years here in the Big Apple, those neighborhoods that are kind of stuck in time are the ones that eventually gentrify. And that is what's now happening to Metropolitan—or, as some seem to like to call it these days, "Michelin Road"—thanks to all the fine new restaurants opening there in the past year or two.

It's kind of ironic, isn't it, that Austin Street, with all of the shoppers it gets, is for the most part being passed over nowadays by cool, interesting new restaurants for other nearby areas like Metropolitan Ave., and other parts of Queens, that are much cheaper and rapidly becoming quite hip. It should be interesting to see how much the central Austin St. shopping district of Forest Hills shares in this emerging hipsterism or if it remains just on the cusp of it in 2015. God knows, interesting things are happening all over Queens these days...

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