Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays!




Monday, December 19, 2016

Best and Worst of 2016


Best of 2016:

1) Shake Shack - The best fast food burger chain in NYC opens right here on Austin. It was kind of surreal at first because it was such a step up from so many of the other fast food places we've had here. Shake Shack has set a new standard for fast food restaurants in Forest Hills and it's a real feather in our cap that they chose to open here.

2) NY Times Names Forest Hills One of NYC's Hottest Neighborhoods

3) The Bund - Finally, a really good Chinese restaurant sets up shop in The Hills!

4) Forest Hills Stadium Concerts - Summer 2016 saw an awesome lineup.  Disclosure, Bob Dylan. Dolly Parton, Paul Simon, Van Morrison, The New York Pops. Heck, even Mumford returned for an encore presentation. And with Tom Petty scheduled for this coming summer, things will continue to rock at our Stadium in 2017!

5) The QueensWay Moves Closer to Reality - The project says it has raised over $1 million to bring a much-needed, ambitious park attraction right here to Forest Hills. I love the idea because it would connect us directly to Forest Park, which right now requires you to risk life and limb to get to by foot. Trust me, I did just that for the first time this past summer and was left thinking - Geez, such an awesome park. Why should it be easier for me to get to Central Park from Forest Hills than this one when it's so close?

6) Target Opens - Finally, we don't have to hop onto the subway to get to Target. But this one was barely a 'Best of' for me. I have now joined so many others who buy bulk items online so I've barely visited our Target since it opened! But it's still good to have for those items - like printer paper?? - that were impossible to find at the last minute here before!

7) Empanadas Truck - Check off a fast and convenient place to get some delish empanadas from the VERY long list of foods we still need to see come to FoHi: A Fried chicken place, BBQ, A good Hot Dog place, a French restaurant, an Indian restaurant, A Make-Your-Own-Salad place for God's Sake!, an upscale, premium sandwich place, what else am I forgetting??

8) Snowdays - Hey, the millennials seem to like this ice creamery. I went to it once and need to go back and try some more of their offerings.



Epic Fails of 2016:

1) No Local Bookshop - How can we have a neighborhood without a place to buy books? This is a no-brainer in more ways than one!

2) Queens Blvd. - Just as unsightly, just as atrocious, just as dangerous and disgusting as it's always been. Thankfully, they have plans to improve it in 2017 — finally!

3) Subway Delays - Horrible in 2016. The only thing that makes it tolerable is the knowledge that they are working to upgrade our Queens Blvd. subway lines with the latest technology. Here's hoping it will make a difference.

4) Restaurant Row Development - To take away one of the major attractions of our neighborhood to build another condo is self-defeating. If you take away all of the nice things about our neighborhood, it will only serve to hurt property values and eventually deter people from living, shopping and eating here.

5) Haagen Dazs Closes - This was a sad and surprising development, probably brought on by the opening of all the new ice cream places on Austin, including Shake Shack, which is my personal fave for shakes and ice cream.

6) Arsonist freak still at large - What else can we say? At least the fires stopped in 2016, but this emotionally disturbed nutcase remains free.

7) Chipotle - Please, someone convince me I can go back. I did love it so. It was so convenient, but.. I ... just....can't....get....myself...to....return. A mix of anger, a desire for retribution, and plain old fear.

8) I - Still - Need a Salad - Please someone bring a Just Salad or Chopt to Austin Street or nearby. Please, for the love of all that is holy!

And Finally:

9) Election 2016 - It is looking even worse than I expected, an unmitigated disaster and he hasn't even taken office yet! May God Save Us All. And By Us I mean humanity. And I am not joking in the least.

It is genuinely terrifying and so, so sad for our country and the world at large.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Big Changes Coming to Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills


Finally, the long-awaited improvements are coming to our stretch of Queens Blvd.

Bike lanes, more space for pedestrians, hopefully some much-needed beautification, and a safer roadway in general for pedestrians.

Hey, anything will be an improvement for this inappropriate major thoroughfare that runs smack through a residential neighborhood.

Anything that makes it more pedestrian-friendly and slows down the nutty drivers as they race through our neighborhood is a long time in coming. This is New York City, after all. It's not Wichita. If you want to live the automobile lifestyle, I have a nice house in suburbia to sell you.

From DNA Info: Long-Awaited Queens Blvd. Revamp Coming to Forest Hills and Rego Park: City

And, while we're on the subject of Queens Blvd., there is an interesting proposal to revitalize the block near MacDonald Park. Just a proposal at this point, but boy would this be an improvement over what is at that location now.

8-Story Luxury Office Building Planned Near MacDonald Park in Forest Hills

Monday, December 12, 2016

First Snow

The first snow of the season provided a nice, festive frosting to Forest Hills last night...



Sunday, December 11, 2016

New Restaurant Review: The Bund

Forest Hills finally has a basic, go-to Chinese restaurant that's actually good. It's been a long time in coming. As I've posted earlier, we have a ton of other Asian places - Thai, Japanese, Asian fusion, sushi - but for some reason a simple Chinese restaurant that was actually really good had been beyond our reach. These other places are great, but sometimes—God damnit!—you just want a freakin' egg roll and pork freakin' fried rice and don't want to pay through the nose to get it!

We've ordered in from The Bund, the new Chinese restaurant that opened in the former Knish Nosh space along Queens Blvd., enroute to Rego Park, a few times and I find their food to remind me of the excellent Chinese food I grew up eating on Long Island: Reasonably-priced (actually dirt-cheap compared to the 'fancy' Asian places we're already brimming with), filling and delicious!

Now, Long Island Chinese food wasn't the more "authentic" Chinese you find in Chinatown here in the City or in Flushing, but for dishes that satisfy that American Chinese food craving - spare ribs, egg rolls, fried rice, Lo mein, Chicken and Broccoli, Kung Pao - you know what I'm talking about - the places on Long Island and other NYC suburbs, just couldn't be beat. Sure, they were devastating to the waist line, but sometimes you just gotta say what the hell!

Anyone looking for THAT kind of Chinese food, old-fashioned, authentic NY-style, should be pleased by the basics at The Bund. I found the choices mentioned above all excellent, and pretty much stuck to the flavors and style that I grew up with. The only difference I noticed was when it came to the egg rolls, which had an interesting slightly peppery flavor. I can't vouch for the more complicated offerings on their menu. But if you try them, let us all know.

The one drawback I found was in the Hot and Sour Soup. I find this issue with so many Chinese restaurants in the City today: these soups are always kinda hot (if not just plain salty) but there's barely any "sour," unless you go to a more pricey place. Why is that? The same thing at The Bund. Don't forget the sour in your Hot and Sour Soup!

Grade: A

The Bund is located at 100-30 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills. They are open Sunday - Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Friday - Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. And, they deliver to central Forest Hills!! (718) 275-8000

The Bund's Kung Pao Chicken, pork fried rice and egg rolls - full calorie, indulgent and delish! ENJOY!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

End of Story

Well, this probably won't come as much of a surprise. After all, how much ice cream can Austin St. have? I think this now leaves Shake Shack, Snowdays and the Baskin-Robbins inside Dunkin' Donuts as your Austin Street ice cream choices. Down for the count are Häagen-Dazs and now Snow Story.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Holiday Decorations

It's starting to look like the holidays around the City. Now all we need is a little bit of snow and things will be just perfect. Fingers crossed.

 Send your holiday photos to edgeofthecity@gmail.com and I'll post them...



Thursday, November 17, 2016

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

I absolutely love the holiday season! Sorry, can't help it. For me, it kicks off with Halloween. Anyway, I watched this documentary last year and I think PBS should show it each year on TV. But for some reason they're not. So, I'll show it here on my site. I found it absolutely captivating, enriching, and fascinating. Did I convince you yet? Trust me.  Gather the family around and enjoy! And a very happy (early) Thanksgiving!


Natural Gets a Facelift

The only thing about this that has me bummed is that it won't look quite like it did in Spiderman...





New Chinese Food Cart

This new food cart has popped up on 71st/Continental, in front of the AT&T store. I haven't tried it out myself, but the reader who sent in these pics tells me: "the food is legit, and the prices are only slightly higher than you'd find in Flushing." I can't wait to try it...






Thursday, November 10, 2016

Controversy Erupts Over Forest Hills Restaurant Owner's Tweet

I don't think I've ever been contacted by so many readers about a story before. Thanks to all who have written. This is a really sad story. I know this person has been a local business owner for quite a few years (I used to go to the Greek restaurant, by the way, but didn't love the food and moved on years ago...) Anyway, I hate to see a local business owner self-destruct. And I especially hate to post negative things about local businesses. This is one of the only times I think I have ever done so, as any long-time reader will affirm. As I've said before, if I don't like a local business, I just don't give them any coverage on the blog. Usually....

From Gothamist: Queens Restaurant Owner Outrages Neighbors With Call To Grope Women Trump-Style
Aspiotis seems to have touched the third rail of public opinion with a Facebook post on Election Day.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

TV Show Quantico Films in Forest Hills

Snapped this shot Friday evening. Most of the shoot seemed to take place in and around Station Square.


Hale and Hearty Soups Comes to Forest Hills

.... but not how you might think. There's no Hale and Hearty store—at least not yet. Instead, the C-Town on Austin Street, next to Natural, has set up a Hale and Hearty Soups kiosk inside its store.





Edge of the City Endorses Hillary Clinton For President

A no-brainer.

I was raised in segregated Long Island and as a result have tried to overcome my racist impulses since childhood. It's often a losing battle. Yes, growing up watching the horrifically racist imagery on the local news and living in a suburb where everyone else is white will make a racist out of anyone. 

I'm a recovering racist who most people would never think was a racist. I don't outwardly show it. I often don't consciously realize it. But it's there, deeply embedded in me. It will take a lifetime for me to overcome it.

It would be a big help, at the very least, that the leader of my country was better than me in this regard. Hillary is. Donald is not. And setting the tone for how we treat each other in this country is one of the most important things a President can do. I like the tone of tolerance and inclusion and hope, optimism and love that Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine stand for and I am thrilled to be able to say that I wholeheartedly endorse them for President and Vice President of the United States.

There are a zillion other reasons why I endorse them over the Republican trainwreck. Too many to cover even on a blog. And I'd probably bore the hell out of you, so I'll just leave it at that. Please remember to vote in what is perhaps the most important presidential election of our lifetimes. Stop the fascist!




Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Details Revealed About New Apartment Building on 72nd Road

A reader sent me this link to an article about the new building going up on 72nd Road, across from the church. I had earlier posted the building was on Restaurant Row (that's what the reader told me), but I should have trusted my initial instincts and considered it was the 72nd Road one since it does mention construction has already begun...

Knighthead Funding, a Greenwich, CT-based real estate finance company, has provided a $27 million first mortgage construction loan to the developer of a seven-story, mixed-use apartment building located in Forest Hills, NY.

November Surprise

So, I came home today to this magnificent creature on my fire escape. I assume it's a hawk of some kind. Does anyone know exactly what kind of bird it is? (And sorry for the graphic nature of the photo. Poor little squirrel.)


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween 2016 Pics

There were taken on Burns Street. The last one was in Natural, where it was amusing to see a pig at checkout and a few witches doing their shopping...







Monday, October 31, 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016

Local Halloween Festivities

Edge of the City Unfiltered has become an interesting addition to the blog. Here's a timely post from it. If anyone has any information about this, please comment below. And, if you know of any other local Halloween events taking place that are open to the public, please let us know below or by emailing edgeofthecity@gmail.com.

Stumbled upon the fabulous Burns Street Halloween festivities for the first time last year- what an amazing and fun celebration! Curious if anyone knows if they always do this on the actual day of, or if they go with nearest weekend day? Since it's on a Monday this year vs. Saturday last year, just want to be sure we get the correct date to go enjoy the production :)

Oh, and here's a spooky Halloween clip to get everyone in the mood...


November 6 Panel Discussion: Israel and American Jews

 Dov Waxman_Trouble in the Tribe copy
Professor Dov Waxman 
The 20th Author’s Cafe of the Central Queens Y in Forest Hills will feature a panel discussion on one of the most controversial issues within the American Jewish community.  For over a generation, solidarity with Israel was one of the bonds that brought American Jews together across their differences.  Now, in a fundamental shift in recent years, American Jews are sharply divided on the topic of support for Israel.  

On Sunday, November 6 panelists Professors Dov Waxman and Steven M. Cohen will discuss the complex reasons for this shift.  

The panel discussion, Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict Over Israel, will be held at 2 p.m. at the Forest Hills Jewish Center, at 106-06 Queens Boulevard, Forest Hills.  Advance tickets are $16 and can be purchased online at www.cqy.org/tickets or at (718) 268-5011, ext. 151 or pkurtz@cqy.org.  Group & student discounts are available.

In some communities, Prof. Waxman writes in his new book, the debate about support for Israel has become so heated, that a moratorium on these discussions has been put in place.  Professors Dov Waxman and Steven M. Cohen will discuss the underlying reasons for this divide, including important changes in the makeup of the American Jewish community itself and increasing disagreement over Israel’s policies, among other factors.  Professors Waxman and Cohen will discuss the impact this fractious debate is having on Jewish communities and organizations and what this means for the future of the American Jewish community.  

Author of several books on Israel, Prof. Waxman teaches Israel studies at Northeastern University. Prof. Steven M. Cohen is Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy at HUC-JIR and has participated in leading demographic studies of how the American Jewish community is being reshaped today.  The 20th Annual Author’s Cafe, which includes kosher dessert and coffeee, is a benefit for the Cultural Arts & Jewish Heritage Programs

This program is the headline event in the Fall Speaker Series of the Central Queens Y.  More information is available online at www.cqy.org or at  (718) 268-5011 ext. 151, or pkurtz@cqy.org

Send Me Your Local Listings!

As the local blog for Forest Hills and surrounding areas, I'm always happy to post free-of-charge any events that are taking place. It still amuses me how often I see signs posted on telephone poles, etc. for different events taking place in like The Gardens, at churches, etc. and no one thinks of contacting the local blog to bring more attention to it. Oh well. I can only try so hard. The rest is up to you guys... Anyway, here's an interesting idea I recently received. Happy to do it!

Hi
I really enjoy your site and have a suggestion that I think would be a great service.
Especially in the spring and fall, people like to hold yard sales but it is difficult to know where/when they are happening.  The signs on telephone poles do a bit of the job, but I personally often see the signs after the event.  It would be a real community service to list yard sales, even if you charged a small fee for a listing.  I’d love to see such listings.

Flight of the Conchords Concert Pics

Hey, better late than never! Thanks to Aubrey for answering my call to fill in some of the holes in the blog's missing Forest Hills Stadium Concert photo collection!

The Flight of the Conchords concert at our Stadium took place back on July 20th. Looks like it was a lot of fun judging by these pics.







Banana Republic Factory Store Opens

Just in case you weren't aware, this reopened as a Factory Outlet store, with lower-priced merchandise this week....

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Bund Chinese Restaurant Getting Ready to Open

Is it possible Forest Hills will finally have a decent Chinese restaurant to call its own? Since I've lived here for say 15 years or so I don't think there's been a single Chinese sit-down restaurant that I thought was really good, that made me want to go back to it. Sure, there are some decent take-outs, and there are excellent Asian fusion places like Jade. But the Chinese food places like I grew up eating in on Long Island—I'm talking effortlessly delicious Chinese food—have been sorely, sorely lacking here. Forest Hills is not alone. The lack of good Chinese restaurants has been a city-wide problem, except, of course for Chinatown and Flushing—and, my favorite, Ollie's.

I attribute it to the ridiculous high-fat scare we've all been terrified of for the past 20 years. Chinese restaurants have been a dying breed, replaced by Asian fusion serving up nice and healthy sushi and the like.

Well, Enough with the God-Damn Sushi Already! Make Chinese Food Great Again!

You get the picture.

I'm told the new restaurant The Bund will be opening in the former Knish Nosh space at 100-30 Queens Blvd. at the corner of 67th Road on October 25th. I have high hopes because they have a damn interesting authentic Chinese food story to tell that sounds unique and intriguing. Whether my hopes will be dashed, well, that's a different story. I guess we'll all find out together! (If they are good, I just pray to the Lord Above that they deliver to central FoHi where I reside, since they are kinda on the fringe out there enroute to RP.)

Thanks to Thomas for these photos of the storefront and the menu in the window!