Thursday, April 30, 2015

Queens Night Market Update & Photos

Organizers tell me that estimates are that around 20,000 people attended the first Queens Night Market, held this past Saturday. They also tell me it will be open every Saturday in May and then on select Saturdays for the rest of the season, and it will be bigger this Saturday both in terms of physical size and the number of vendors.
See my previous post for information on location and hours: Queens Night Market information

Here are some photos from the first one, held this past Saturday:











Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Local School News

Suddenly, there's a bunch of local school news to report.

First, a petition by some parents against what they are calling the kindergarten waiting list crisis. You can read more about it, and sign it, over at this link: Kindergarten petition

And then there is news on DNAinfo.com that the neighborhood is slated to get two new schools by 2019: 2 New Schools Planned for Forest Hills, DOE Says


Under Construction: Former Bonfire Grill Location

Something's going on there... Blog rumor: Italian restaurant. If anyone knows for sure, post below...

Spring in Forest Hills Gardens

Some more lovely Springtime photos from local photographer Yael Adas. Enjoy!







Saturday, April 25, 2015

Queens International Night Begins Tonight!

I am so happy they've made this happen...  If any of you go tonight, please email me your photos at edgeofthecity@gmail.com and I'll post them to the site. Unfortunately, I won't be able to make this first one.

Here are all the details:

QUEENS INTERNATIONAL NIGHT MARKET LAUNCHES TONIGHT!

Family-Friendly Outdoor Marketplace Will Showcase Diverse Food, Art,  Merchandise, and Performances from New York City’s Cultural Tapestry


The Queens International Night Market will debut at 6:00 PM on Saturday, April 25th in the parking lot of the New York Hall of Science (47-01 111th Street, Corona), part of Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Vendors will be on hand selling a diverse array of culturally authentic street foods, art, and merchandise. Small-scale performances of music and dance will also be part of the excitement. There’s no admission fee and the event goes on rain or shine. April 25th  is the first of many Saturdays this Spring and Summer that the Night Market will operate.

Night markets have long been a fixture in many parts of the world. In recent years, they’ve become tremendously popular in cities like Philadelphia, San Diego, LA, Toronto, and Vancouver. Queens, as one of the most diverse places in the world--and the Lonely Planet’s top US tourist destination for 2015--is an ideal place for an open air market with an international theme.

The Queens International Night Market aims to be uniquely affordable for both visitors and vendors. Organizers are charging relatively small fees to rent a stall at the market, and hoping to make up the difference through sponsorships. Food vendors are being encouraged to keep their prices low to encourage visitors to sample as many treats as possible.

Arepas,  Burmese street food, and  Chinese crepes,  are just a few of goodies that will be for sale.  “Opening night will be a little smaller than what the Night Market will eventually grow to become,” said John Wang, who’s been planning the project for over a year. “But we hope people will come out and support the vendors who’ve signed on to be part of our very first evening.”

The location is just a few blocks away from the 111th Street stop on the 7 train. Parking is limited and visitors are urged to use public transportation. The Night Market is still accepting applications from interested vendors and sponsors on its website: http://QueensNightMarket.com

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Meeting Planned for this Tuesday to Discuss Stadium Concerts


A meeting will be held this Tuesday evening about the concerts at the Forest Hills Stadium. Here is an email that is being sent to some residents by a group called "Concerned Citizens of Forest Hills" about the upcoming meeting:
The Forest Hills stadium just announced its full summer schedule – 8 concerts, possibly nine.  (See dates and details below).

A meeting about the concerts will be held this coming Tuesday  (April 21) at 7:00 pm at Our Lady of Mercy, 70-01 Kessel Street.  The meeting has been organized by the 112th Precinct, and the promoters, tennis club representatives, and local politicians will be there.

We urge everyone to attend.

Concerned Citizens of Forest Hills does not oppose the concerts.  But the number of concerts is growing significantly each year, and there are currently no clear limits of any kind.  We believe that the impact on the neighborhood should be minimized, the city's noise code obeyed, and people in the neighborhood who want to attend the concerts should be consistently offered advance access to tickets.

Here are some things you should know:

Three concerts in one weekend –  According to the schedule just announced, there will be concerts on  May 28th, 29th, and 30th

Two concerts on school nights --  Thursday May 28th and Sunday June 21st

Later start dates – Some of the scheduled concerts start at 7:30 p.m.  One  (The Who and Joan Jett) involves two different acts.  It is unclear how such events will end by  10 p.m. and whether that limit is still being enforced.

Noise Code violations  -  As a result of our efforts,  the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) took noise readings last year.  Copies of those readings obtained by attorney Doug Gilbert under the Freedom of Information Law show what we believe to be violations of the city’s noise code every single concert last season. But the promoters and the tennis club were cited only once for excessive decibel levels.

The promoters and tennis club have said they will install acoustical barriers to get the noise levels down this season.  We support that effort, but it is not clear how much work is actually being done and whether it will be effective.

Advance Ticket Purchase  Problems --  As a result of our efforts last year, the promoters agreed to an advance ticket purchase option for neighborhood residents.  But we have heard that some residents who registered last year did not receive emails offering them tickets for The Who and other concerts announced so far this season. If you have had such a problem, please let us know.

A Small Effort On Your Part Can Make a Big Difference

We believe the concert promoters have the financial and professional ability to do right by the neighborhood and still make a healthy profit. But they will only do so if you make your voice heard now.

So please -- come to the meeting.  It’s now clear that these events are going to have a profound effect on our neighborhood for many years to come. It is important that we get this right now, before it is too late.

If you would like to get involved and help us advocate on behalf of the neighborhood, please email us at this address: concernedcitizensofforesthills@gmail.com.   And please encourage your friends and neighbors to sign up for our mailing list by emailing us at this address.

Andy Court
Doug Gilbert
Ann Whyte
on behalf of Concerned Citizens of Forest Hills

List of concert dates:  (based on the Forest Hills stadium web site:)

05/28 ED SHEERAN
05/29 ED SHEERAN
05/30 THE WHO HITS 50!
06/19 VAN MORRISON WITH SPECIAL GUEST TAJ MAHAL
06/21 D'ANGELO AND THE VANGUARD
08/04   JAMES TAYLOR AND HIS ALL-STAR BAND
08/14 SANTANA
09/19 ALABAMA SHAKES WITH SPECIAL GUESTS DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS

A web site called jambands.com listed one additional concert not found on the forest hills stadium site:

August 6—New York Pops with Sutton Foster

Friday, April 17, 2015

Big New Names Added to Forest Hills Stadium 2015 Lineup!





 Forest Hills Stadium 2015 dates:

05/28 ED SHEERAN 
05/29 ED SHEERAN 
05/30 THE WHO HITS 50! 
06/19 VAN MORRISON WITH SPECIAL GUEST TAJ MAHAL 
06/21 D'ANGELO AND THE VANGUARD 
08/04 JAMES TAYLOR AND HIS ALL-STAR BAND 
08/14 SANTANA 
09/19 ALABAMA SHAKES WITH SPECIAL GUESTS DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS 


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

JFK TWA Terminal May Finally Become Hotel

This is kind of cool, for those of us who grew up in the area and used to go to JFK and actually use this TWA terminal. The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that Jet Blue has proposed turning it into a hotel.

JetBlue Wants to Turn Former TWA Terminal Into Hotel

New York-based airline would partner with developer to renovate jet age structure at JFK

 

JetBlue Airways Corp. is angling to get into the hotel business, joining the growing ranks of developers and investors looking for lodging opportunities inside major U.S. airports.
The low-cost airline and its partner, New York-based hotel developer MCR Development LLC, are in advanced negotiations with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for the rights to turn the iconic Trans World Airlines terminal at Kennedy Airport into a modern hotel, according to people familiar with the matter.





Monday, April 13, 2015

Forest Hills Jewish Center In Talks with Developers

Photo by Michael Perlman
I've been hearing for the past several weeks rumors about some development deal on the block where the Forest Hills Jewish Center is located. And I was made aware this morning that the FHJC is moving foward with a developer for its site which takes up the entire block along 69th Road from Queens Blvd. to Austin Street. I don't know any more than that at this point. If anyone has additional information, please email it to the blog at edgeofthecity@gmail.com

It's funny - I spent the afternoon in Williamsburg yesterday and as we walked around that amazing 'hood and experienced the miracle of urban renewal that it is, the conversation of course eventually turned to Forest Hills. And one of the things that came up was how the car dealer across from the Forest Hills Jewish Center location would make an awesome site for redevelopment for shopping, a condo, what have you. "What is a car dealership and garage doing in the middle of a prime New York City neighborhood?" we were pondering. And then I hear this news today...

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Voting for Participatory Budgeting Community Projects - April 11-19

Starting this Saturday, April 11th, residents of Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Rego Park, and Richmond Hill will finally get their chance to vote on their favorite participatory budgeting community projects that will benefit their neighborhood.

Our City Councilwoman, Karen Koslowitz, has allotted $1 million to spend on capital projects that have been proposed by dozens of residents throughout her district. These projects have been narrowed down to thirteen.

Everyone now has a chance to vote for their five favorite ones.

The following is the list of projects and a calendar showing when and were voting will take place.


Monday, April 6, 2015

A Busy Easter for Queens Boulevard

As one reader described it, a "horrendous" accident, smack dab in the middle of the busiest intersection in our neighborhood—71st Ave. and Queens Blvd.—early Easter Sunday morning; and then there was the motorcycle gang that swarmed the Boulevard later that day (it was so loud, even I heard it and I'm quite a distance away). Thanks to Amy for sending in the (narrated) video below:

video

As far as the accident is concerned, by the time Matthew, who reported it to the Blog, came upon the scene, this is what he saw: "Just traffic police left blocking everything off. And two severely damaged vehicles. Car and SUV. On the car whole driver side is gone. I would imagine very serious injuries. Couldn't get any photos and traffic police were quite busy so couldn't get any more info. Position of the cars doesn't lead to any obvious indications of what happened."

Nice way to start off your Easter Sunday, eh? Tragic and so sad that after all these years our public officials are still unable to improve the safety of what I view as the only remaining Big Negative about living in Forest Hills.

But wait! There is some hope after all, as this AM New York story explains: 
Queens Boulevard, the 'Boulevard of Death,' to make room for bicycles, pedestrians
Transportation officials want the "Boulevard of Death" to finally shed its ghastly name.
A protected bicycle lane and more pedestrian space will be added to a 1.3-mile stretch of Queens Boulevard in August as part of a three-year effort to overhaul street life on the highly trafficked corridor.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Queens Blvd. to be Replaced with Hyperloop

Amazing news to report today. I have always been a vocal critic of Queens Boulevard - its noise, its safety hazards, its ugliness. But even I couldn't imagine that it would actually be closed and paved over. And in my lifetime, no less! But yes, it was announced today that Queens Boulevard will be shuttered beginning July 1st of this year and replaced with Elon Musk's cutting edge mode of travel: the Hyperloop.


According to the company, the new "Queens Boulevard Hyperloop" will result in trips from Forest Hills to Manhattan taking -.06 seconds. And there will be a special Depot Station built near the taxi line in front of the 7-Eleven for trips to Asia and the Far East that will take a lot longer, about 30 seconds. 

What's more, the City is reportedly exploring replacing additional inappropriate thoroughfares that run through otherwise delightful neighborhoods with the Hyperloop technology as soon as possible.

New Restaurant: Munch

Here's the menu for this new casual / takeout place that opened in the 'Austin Street Mall.' Has anyone tried it yet?