Monday, August 31, 2015

Value Depot Repairs

Following the weekend's bizarre collision by an apparently completely out-of-control driver, construction workers were repairing Value Depot on this sweltering August day. Also notice the damage to the nearby telephone booths that the car also knocked about.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Unbelievable Accident on 71st Continental

It looks like a car smashed overnight right into the front of Value Depot on 71st Continental Ave. I have no idea how an accident like this could possibly occur given the location of this store. Anyway, if anyone knows what exactly happened, comment below or email it to
Thanks to Dawn,  Angela and Veronica for emailing and tweeting me about it and for their pics!

Updated: Here's an eyewitness account that was emailed to me:

I was actually walking west on the south side of Queens Boulevard when it happened around 1:30 am last night. I was crossing 108th towards Ridgewood Bank when I heard the squealing of tires, and finished crossing/safe on sidewalk when I turned my head towards where Fay Day/that health store on the corner is and saw a sedan/compact? (it was a car, not an SUV or other) out of control taking that turn way too fast. It fishtailed and then went at a weird angle straight into the store front (it sort of looked like it went through the bus shelter but from your pics it doesn't seem like that's the case). I saw an explosion of glass/dust/debris and people screaming. The people waiting for the bus on my side started running towards the accident, I was really freaked out and more than a little tipsy so I decided there was nothing I could do if I went over to see what happened and kept walking home.
I'm disappointed it wasn't on NY1 or any news outlet though. It's hard to tell if there were any injuries or if everyone's OK. It didn't seem like it hit any pedestrians/people on the sidewalk; from my angle it looked like they were closer to QB than where he crashed into the store. Very scary stuff though, I was a little shaken up.
The Feisty Foodie

Former Bonfire Grill Location

Thanks to Stacey for tweeting this photo. Carved in concrete outside the door of where Bonfire Grill used to be:

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Here's an Idea

Since I own this blog I can do an incredible thing: take one of my recent comments and blow it up into an all-out post on its own to achieve maximum effect.  So, I am exercising that right and ability below. You, as readers, cannot do that, but you can still enjoy my incredible wisdom. My God. I must be watching too many Trump press conferences...

By the way, I'm pretty sure the last time I was in the Target on Queens Blvd. that they sold books. And DVDs for that matter. So, for everyone crying about the loss of B&N, you most likely will still be able to buy books at that location—and if the Target execs are checking out this blog, I would assume they would be sensitive to the desire for books at their new location here.

Also, as I Tweeted yesterday, now is the time for all of you book-lovers with an entrepreneurial spirit to start checking out all those empty cute little storefronts on Austin Street for the future home of your indy book shop. Everyone complains about the loss of indies and quaintness and charm on Austin. Well, I can think of no better way to bring some of that back then a couple of small bookshops, which, by the way, happen to be popping up all over the city once again given the demise of the book superstore.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

More About the Planned Forest Hills Target Store

New Store, Big City: Target to Open in Queens, N.Y., in 2016 

The bright lights, the crowds, the hustle and bustle. When you make your home in the big city, convenience is key. So driving long distances to do your shopping, and loading up on economy-size packs that won’t fit through your apartment door? Not always an option. Target is all about bringing convenience, value and great design closer to home—and since we go where our guests go, we’re customizing each new store to ensure a locally-relevant experience, complete with assortments and shopping solutions that best fit the surrounding neighborhood’s needs. We’re excited to announce our newest flexible format store opening in Forest Hills, Queens, N.Y., in July 2016.

A two-level, 21,000-square-foot space, the Queens Target store will be located near a Long Island Railroad transit stop, easily accessible on foot or by car. It’ll be a quick stop for locals to find pharmacy, fresh grocery with grab-and-go food options, basic apparel (think tees, tanks and C9 active wear for men and women), health and beauty necessities, tech accessories, tablets, mobile phones and more. We’ll stock it with a tailored assortment that caters to city dwellers, including home products perfect for single family homes and condos. And to make each shopping trip as quick and easy as possible, we’ll offer easy fulfillment options like Store Pickup, so guests can place an order online and pick it up at the store for free.

The Queens location is one of two Target stores coming to the Big Apple in 2016. Across the city, we’re designing our 100,000+-square-foot Fulton Street store to cater to residents and students in downtown Brooklyn’s Albee Square, and visitors coming from the nearby DeKalb Avenue subway station. It’ll be stocked with grab-and-go food options, innovative mobile solutions and lots more based on what local guests told us they want most.

It’s all part of our urban growth strategy to reach guests in new places with the right mix of products and shopping experiences—creating more opportunities for guests to shop how, where and when they want. How’s that for convenience?

Huge News! Target to Replace Barnes & Noble in Forest Hills!

The Daily News broke the story today:

Express Target will replace Barnes & Noble in Forest Hills

Barnes & Noble out. Target in.
A new Target store is slated to take over the space formerly occupied by Barnes & Noble at 7000 Austin St., in Forest Hills, the Daily News has learned. The store will be the first flexible-sized location in Queens for Target, which has recently been offering more compact shopping experiences for city-dwellers.
Target inked a deal for a 15-year, 20,795-square-foot lease and is slated to open at the propery in mid-2016.

Tourists Have Landed in Queens. They're Staying.

An interesting story in today's Times about more and more tourists checking out our Borough:

“Queens, New York’s largest borough, is also quickly becoming its hippest, but most travelers haven’t clued in ...yet,” the travel guide company wrote in its endorsement of the borough as the top destination for 2015. “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.”

José Barreiro, the Lonely Planet advertising executive who participated in the tourism panel in Long Island City, told the audience that the company is “trying to get ahead of those places that are hip and cool” and identify destinations that “are untouched by tourists.” (Brooklyn received a similar imprimatur from the guidebook company in 2007.)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Crazy Crash in Rego Park

One of those big red casino buses sheared off the corner of an apartment building in Rego Park today! Various reports said several people were injured... Casino Bus Crashes Into Queens Apartment Building

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

James Taylor Concert Pics

Finally, some good James Taylor concert photos for my readers! Thanks to Glenn for sending them in. And still looking for some good shots of Santana from Friday night. Email 'em to

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Free Outdoor Jazz This Thursday

Missed the concerts at the Stadium so far this summer? Don't fret. Free Jazz Thursdays returns to 70th Road between Austin St. and Queens Blvd. this Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. It's the second of two Jazz Thursdays this summer...

Santana Coverage

From The Daily News:

Carlos Santana performs career-spanning hits at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens

 If you have any cool photos of some of the recent concerts at the Stadium—especially James Taylor and Santana—please email them to and I'll post them.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Expect New Subway Delays... Wait, What?

From DNAInfo: Queens Riders: Expect Delays on the E, F, M and R Trains for Next 3 Weeks

A curious announcement, considering the Queens subways have had really bad delays (cancelled or non-existent express train service, slower trains, skipped stations), oh, since I think about February—I kind of lost track (no pun intended) because the situation has been going on so long. Only the difference is, these disruptions have been kept to late evenings and weekends.

I think there's a larger story here, and I think it reflects the way Forest Hills and the rest of the city is changing—and how the MTA has been slow to catch on.

If you take the subways into Manhattan during the late evenings and on the weekends, then you know what I am talking about. I think maybe one week since February the service has been normal during the weekends and during the late evenings. And yet, I may be wrong, but I don't recall the MTA ever announcing any big ongoing construction project to the press like they have done with this new one that impacts rush hour service.

And that's just unfair and reflects old thinking.

The subway isn't just a commuting option for an increasing number of those of us who view ourselves as living in a city where boroughs matter less and less, and we forego owning a car as a choice—because this is one of the great cities of the world where you simply do not need one.

For me, the subway is a critical part of my life, a way to enjoy the other parts of the city that I frequent every week. And not just to work. I spend a ton of my free time in these other parts of the city—I consider it as much my home as Forest Hills. I live in New York City and avail myself of every part of it.

It would just be nice to know that the MTA is aware how vital the subway is as a link for those of us living here to other parts of the city—and not just for rush hour commuting. If they are going to start a construction project impacting late evenings and weekends for 7 months and counting, shouldn't we all be told about it?

I think this is where the larger story comes in. This is who currently controls our subway system:
  • The Governor recommends six board members, including the Board Chair,
  • New York City's Mayor recommends another four members,
  • The county executives of Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties recommend one board member each,
  • And the county executives of Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Dutchess Counties recommend one board member each (those four board members cast one collective vote). 
So, the pathetic and simply wrong reality is that out of 14 potential MTA votes, New York City residents have a say through their Mayor in only 4 of those MTA Board votes. And our Mayor doesn't even get to select the MTA board chair.

Now, I ask you, who really depends on the MTA more and should have more of a say in how it's run? Those of us who use it every day of the week as a vital connection to our city since we don't own cars? Or suburbanites who mostly own cars, and use it mostly as a choice for commuting?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Forest Hills Book Signing Thursday

Forest Hills grew out of an experiment--the transformation of 142 undeveloped acres into America's first garden city. From the early renderings of 1909 came a "fairy-book suburb," as Sinclair Lewis wrote, with architecture that was inspired by medieval villages. The success of the community bred development of homes, churches, and businesses on nearby plots. Forest Hills landed the most prestigious tennis tournament in the country. Theodore Roosevelt visited. Helen Keller moved in. Only generations later would the peace shatter when residents viciously protested a historic proposal for public housing.

Local author Nicholas Hirshon was a reporter for the New York Daily News from 2005 to 2011, covering community news, breaking stories, and features. This is his second book. His first, Images of America: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (2010), is the only book on the Long Island arena known for hosting the NHL's New York Islanders.

Benneton No More

For the headline to this post, I was trying to think of one of those odd, erroneous phrases Benneton used to put on its t-shirts back in the eighties/nineties, like "Benneton: Yes, Why?" and such. Do they still do that? Anyway, I guess I have even less of a chance of finding out considering one of its few remaining stores—located where else, but here in time-warped Forest Hills—recently closed on Austin, or transitioned to become something called "Original Marines."
Thanks to Gladys for sending in the pic!
You can just make out the new name and logo if you look closely...

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Stadium Souvenirs

One of the blog's readers, David, sent in these pics of the Forest Hills Stadium t-shirt he scored at Friday's NY Pops concert. I myself left Thursday night's concert with a nifty Pops poster.

"Went to see the Friday Pops' performance with a last minute $10 ticket.  Can't beat the location, or the price!  Weather was perfect.  They've been incredibly lucky with all the concerts in that regard. .... Going to see Zac Brown at Citi Field August 21st.  Discovered him last summer at his Forest Hills concert."

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Everybody Dancing at Forest Hills Stadium

Music courtesy of The New York Pops and their special guests Pink Martini.  A fitting end to last night's awesome concert!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Photos from The New York Pops Inaugural Concert at Forest Hills Stadium

Here are some photos from last night's wonderful concert at The Stadium, with special guest star Sutton Foster. The weather really cooperated for the Pops' first concert here at their new summer home. The show was just terrific, a blend of classic Broadway music with pop entertainment (everyone really got into the TV theme montage!), and even a good dose of tap dancing!

After seeing the concert last night, I feel like we are so very lucky to have had this modern cultural treasure choose our neighborhood for its new summer home, to bring this kind of wonderful entertainment to within walking distance of where we live.

If you weren't able to make last night's show, well, the Pops are back for an encore performance tonight. I think there are some tickets still available at the Stadium's website. Trust me, you'll have a great time!

And more coverage of this and other concerts to come!

In fact, if you were at the James Taylor concert Tuesday night, please send in your photos to I have some that I took, but they weren't the greatest shots I assure you.

(Photo by Richard Termine)
The New York Pops Conductor Steven Reineke and Sutton Foster  (Photo by Richard Termine)
The incomparable Sutton Foster  (Photo by Damien Bosco)
The New York Pops Conductor Steven Reineke (Photo by Richard Termine)
The crowd had an amazing time. (Photo by Damien Bosco)
Sutton Foster dancing with special guest Colin Donnell. (Photo by Damien Bosco)
Sutton Foster dancing with special guest Colin Donnell. (Photo by Damien Bosco)
Special guest Megan McGinnis  (Photo by Damien Bosco)
The New York Pops' awesome Conductor Steven Reineke (Photo by Damien Bosco)