Tuesday, January 12, 2016

5 Things I'm Looking Forward to in 2016

1) Shake Shack on Austin: I was just eating at the one on the Upper East Side yesterday. The place was packed even at 2 o'clock in the afternoon on a Monday in a mostly residential part of the city. The Oatmeal Cream Pie shake I had was to die for (available limited time only), to be replaced by Chocolate Banana next week, I think. May the Lord help my waistline.

2) Target Express: Yes, my toilet paper supply is running low again. And, no, I don't look forward to schlepping a supersized pack home on the subway again from Rego Park or wherever that mall is a few stops down on the R. I only hope the new Target isn't too much of an "Express" version and still has some supersizes...


3) A Nicer Queens Blvd.: The City apparently has been making faster progress on improving Queens Boulevard down near Jackson Heights than they originally thought, so there's a chance that new bike lane and some much-needed beautification may make it all the way down here this year. I'll pray that something—anything—good happens to our inappropriate neighborhood thoroughfare in 2016.

4) Austin St. Development Resumes: The construction site, first thought to be an H&M and then another—God knows why—urgent care center, next to Bareburger, has been stalled for a couple of years. Here's hoping they solve whatever fuck-up has been keeping it a grotesque, undeveloped eyesore and something nice is built there this year.

5) More Summer Concerts at the Stadium: I'll use this as an excuse for an inexcusably belated RIP Mr. Bowie...



47 comments:

  1. Is the B&N Starbuck's staying put, then? I wasn't sure if it would or not, even though it wasn't technically part of B&N and there's really no reason it SHOULDN'T stay. I didn't know who to ask, though!

    I really hope it sticks around! The one on Continental is just NOT good enough.

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  2. lol

    I couldn't help but laugh at number 4. So true.

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  3. The B&N space would have been great for H&M. Personally, I don't find a Target Express useful because of the lack of parking and I would still end of up at a regular target. On the important side, at least the space will not be empty.

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    1. As a non-driving city dweller, I find it VERY useful. Target sells items you simply can't get within walking distance at present, and that matters to a lot of us. I don't want to deal with the hassle of going to Rego Park or Elmhurst every time I need certain things. Plus I have a Target Mastercard that gives me 5% off anything I buy at Target, so I'm glad I don't have to make that trip anymore to use it, OR be limited to buying only as much as I can carry through the subway turnstiles/up and down subway stairs.

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  4. Please be careful of what you wish for when speaking about a "Nicer Queens Blvd." The bike lanes that have already been set up in Sunnyside are proving to be mostly a disaster for that community. Please read this article from the Sunnyside Post: http://sunnysidepost.com/2015/12/10/queens-blvd-bike-lanes-under-fire-from-locals/ Anyways, I live right on Queens Blvd and happen to see that at almost any given time the metered parking spots along the service road sides are almost all taken, I for one, need to use them from time to time when the neighborhood fills up as well. The bike lanes are going to eliminate most of this parking. Is FH really a neighborhood that can make do with LESS parking? I think we all know the answer is a big NO. The traffic conditions have been worsening in Sunnyside from the QB redesign and quite honestly, QB in FH is a much more active area as far as shopping and medical offices go, so we really do need that parking here. The last thing we need is more and more people aimlessly circling around looking for spots that no longer exist all for the sake of a bike lane that sits idly with nobody using it, again, read what is going on in Sunnyside. It is a big mess that we don't need in otherwise functioning FH for the sake of looking good.

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    1. I'm sorry, but anything that makes driving on Queens Blvd. more difficult gets a vote in my book. There is one thing that has held Forest Hills back from becoming a beautiful neighborhood that rivals some of the best in NYC, and that is this horribly inappropriate major thoroughfare that runs through this otherwise delightful residential neighborhood.

      I read the article you are referring to. I sympathize with the business owners who rely on the Blvd. for their deliveries and the overall health of their businesses.

      But this is New York City. We should not be relying on automobiles as our main means of transportation, not where there are so many excellent public transportation options available, especially here in Forest Hills. Public transportation is better for the environment, and also walking and using public transportation is a healthier way to live. Sitting in a car all the time is bad for your body in multiple ways, and the typical exhaust is terrible for our lungs and the planet.

      In the article you refer to:

      "He said thousands of motorists have been inconvenienced for a few hundred bicyclists at most. He complained that it now takes much longer taking a bus along Queens Boulevard.

      “This has made life miserable,” he said. “You have destroyed Queens Boulevard – you voted for it.”

      No, Queens Blvd. has made life miserable, and increasingly so, for years and years. And finally something is being done to curtail its overuse. A fantastic development in my eyes.

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    2. And one other thing, I am so sick of the Trumpist Dumbing-Down Age we live in in this society. Just because the bicycle lanes are not being used by thousands of riders immediately after their construction, is it really so very hard to envision that they will eventually catch on more with the public, like the bike sharing program has in Manhattan? It, too, was dismissed by some immediately. And now it is breaking records: http://www.bicycling.com/culture/bikeshare/citibike-smashes-bike-share-records-in-2015

      Use the old noggin!

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    3. "But this is New York City. We should not be relying on automobiles as our main means of transportation..." Please come to terms with the fact that although FH is part of NYC it is by no means Manhattan. FH like much of Queens is a cross between the suburbs and Manhattan. While there are many people here that work within subway range, there are equally as many that do not and need a car to get to other parts of Queens, LI, maybe Westchester, etc. While FH does have excellent public transit, it also has excellent highway access so it is actually very convenient for someone who uses a car to get to work, thus, the high amount of residents here with cars. You simply cannot ignore that fact. If someone does not live within subway range, you cannot expect them to turn let's say a 30 minute car commute into a 1.5-2 hour public transit route with a convoluted amount of train and bus transfers just to 'go green.' I love nothing more than when I return home to FH, park the car and do most of my shopping locally and walk all over the place, but I, like many in FH need my car to get to work and your idealistic vision of not relying on a car as the main mean of transportation, simply is not realistic. Sure, just the bike lanes, it sounds great, but, not practical. Please also stop with all the drama of hating Queens Blvd, if this major thoroughfare has "made life miserable" for you, then maybe you need to move, QB is needed and is not going anywhere. The neighborhood has plenty of beautiful blocks on both sides of QB. Maybe we should just shut the entire road down and turn it into one big pedestrian mall and sit around it singing Kumbaya all day too while we're at it.

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    4. ^ Sounds like you're out of touch -- why don't you move to LI ; it appears you prefer the burbs. Understand this; the neighborhood is changing -- young professionals will takeover soon enough. We're all getting pushed outta Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Western Queens (Astoria / LIC). We've come to close down your roads, increase your rent, and better your dining options. :)

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    5. New York City is in a constant state of flux - it is always changing. In the 60's and 70's it underwent a major crisis as many residents with wealth fled to the suburbs, like the ones you mentioned - Long Island, Westchester, etc. Now, since the nineties, the opposite trend is occurring. People have once again—aided by historically-low crime rates—found the value in living in a city, an urban area where everything they need they can get by walking out their door and not having to get into a cramped, uncomfortable, for-the-most-part pollution-spewing car.

      Just 15 years ago, if someone was to tell you that it would be more expensive to live in Brooklyn than Manhattan, you would have laughed at them. But that is the case today.

      So, just because something is, does not mean it will stay that way for ever.

      The automobile-centric lifestyle of Queens is not something that will always be just because it is today. That is what it has been, but as you can see by all the changes taking place in the city, such as the rise of Brooklyn, there is no evidence that what has been will stay the same. More of the evidence points to that it will change, and probably dramatically so.

      One of the major drawbacks to quality of life improvements in Queens has been the over reliance on automobiles - noisy, pollution-spewing, dangerous.

      Just because this particular borough has relied on cars, does not mean it will for much longer as people with a different vision of what it means to live in New York City continue to move into this borough.

      Borough, by the way, is another thing that I predict will change. There really is little cultural difference, or cost of living difference for that matter, between the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and now, increasingly Queens. I predict the reliance on boroughs as anything meaningful will be another thing that will slowly fade with time. The central part of Forest Hills, with its new high-rise condos, for example, is slowly starting to resemble anywhere in Manhattan. Get used to the change because it is only beginning.

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    6. Please read more carefully when responding. I did not say anything about residents fleeing to go live in the suburbs. I was pointing out that due to the central location of FH and the easy highway access that we have, there are many people here that do not work within subway range and need cars to get to Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, etc. The most expensive areas in Brooklyn are the more urban ones, closer to Manhattan, pretty much the way LIC or Astoria are becoming. FH on the other hand, is a bit more suburban, geographically it is right in between the Nassau Co. border and Manhattan so you have people living here who want a bit of both. They love the easy subway access into the city but they also love getting in the car to go visit family, go to the beach or dare I say, go to WORK everyday. Queens is not going to change as drastically as you predict. Things are more spread out here and you just can't dismiss those who own cars and expect everyone to walk to work or take hours getting to and from work. I am being a realist just as I am with the bike lanes. They were poorly designed, they are already causing extra chaos on QB in Sunnyside, they cost millions and to top it all off, are barely being used!

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    7. I tire of this obsession some people here have with the automobile. The trend is against you, sorry, as Queens becomes more and more densely urbanized. It's inevitable, and it's happening. All the more reason to protect the slivers of green we have here, and build that Queensway park already, by the way.

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    8. I believe we can find a balance, it does not have to go Manhattan Manhattan Manhattan or Long Island Long Island Long Island. The fact is cars are here to stay and bikes are here to stay, transportation will improve overtime and eventually some of the bike lanes may be shuffled around. The notion that cars should not be prime transport is not going to work in Queens. You to telling the family who went for grocery shopping to bring their bags on the bus, the bus operator may allow but the operator will be crossed, the train commuters will also be. Public transport is meant for a light shopping trip, not a panty restocker shopping trip. In addition, getting from Forest Hills to Great Neck is not the most convenient via bus, plus a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant in NorthEast Queens or Southern Bronx is not the easiest via bus and more people opt for car because they know how clean their cars are. On top of that, the Barnes & Noble closures results in more people opting for Nassau County's Barnes & Nobles from Central Queens, and the most convenient is via Car. To say that car is not Forest Hill's transport is silly, and to say that we should make ourselves look like Manhattan may not be the best interest of Forest Hills. Don't get me wrong, we should modernize Forest Hills but to force motorists onto bikes is not going to work and only will convert a minor percentage who use their cars lightly to begin with. Otherwise, I see plenty of car usage in Forest Hills and at least 50% utilize their cars daily, in observing Forest Hills Gardens, let alone I see frequent apartment garage doors open and close as well. So the Car Culture is not going away but the modifications will only cause more CO2 being emitted because we are closer to the city mileage on petrol cars rather than the highway. Hence I don't see any benefit for the 25MPH speed limit.

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  5. I am one the "young professionals" you speak of as I happen to live in a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 balcony apartment in one of the luxury hi-rise buildings and do not need to worry about rent increasing as I own my apartment and welcome any upswing in FH real estate values. I enjoy the many dining options here and welcome many more but I, like many in the community, drive and understand that FH just cannot afford to lose any more parking at the risk of becoming more congested all for the sake of a few bike riders so we can say we're going green.

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  6. Why with such a nice life do you want to go and ruin it with all the stress associated with owning a car when living in the city you don't need to? How much time do you spend on car-related matters?

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    1. For me, I only use public transport to go to Manhattan, I rarely if ever use public transport to Long Island and Inter-Outer Boroughs. I find 60% of the time, I see something at a store, I know I have no hands to get it back home nor will a bike work so I call my parents to pick me up with the item, that is not green at all. So car provides me with more freedom of shopping while cutting down the cost of transport because all I have to pay is gas, not a starting fee, idle fee or what have you on taxis or ubers.

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  7. I hope I am not coming across as rude since I believe that you are being courteous but I think you missed part of what I was saying. While many of us might love to give up our cars and work exclusively within subway range, it is just not possible. Car related matters for me are literally M-F as I absolutely need a car for work and there is nothing wrong with that, I used to live in Midtown and had a car then as well and managed just fine actually. There is no reason why we should all give up our cars because you think we should, one can still live in the city and have a car. I do feel that FH will definitely go up in value and more buildings will go up here and there such as the new one next to La Boulangerie and that is fine, but the majority of FH is already developed and lets face it, once you go a few blocks off QB in either direction, the area is mostly single family houses. I don't see the residents of Forest Hills Gardens giving up cars any time soon, nor should they have to.. and then the entire area between Metropolitan and QB, it is pretty much all single family row houses, and they all have cars.. Metropolitan Ave is on the rise with some good restaurants; a family that lives let's say, on the north side of QB should not have to walk all the way across town to get to Metropolitan or to go to Trader Joes, nor should they have to be at the mercy of the bus either, they can take a quick car ride over and make use of their neighborhood.. why should they be denied that right just because you don't think people in FH should have cars? I recently met someone who lives along QB and actually takes the subway to Trader Joes in the city since it is easier to get to without a car then the one on Metropolitan, if getting around town was so easy without a car, nobody would chose to make that trip instead. My point is that the layout and geographic location of the neighborhood lends itself to being a mix between city and somewhat suburban and as such, many people here drive. If you live here and are making do without a car, that's great, but please realize that just as many people here, if not more, have cars, enjoy the neighborhood and just don't want to see needless extra congestion because we need to eliminate a parking lane on both sides of QB for the sake of an oversized, dangerous, poorly planned bike lane that will hardly get used and while may be a nice idea, is better suited for a different roadway altogether. Thank you for the time, I think we will just have to agree to disagree here as life awaits and I cannot spend my entire evening posting things on here, goodnight!

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    1. Ok but when you say you "met someone who lives along QB and actually takes the subway to Trader Joes in the city", remember, you live in the city.

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    2. With all due respect any born and bred NY'er will know that "the city" will always be referring to Manhattan and not some other borough lol

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    3. With all due respect, according to who? you? lol

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    4. For you info, "The City" means Manhattan by a lot of Queens millennials, this can translate to Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten Island easily as well. While some think Long Islanders, people from Connecticut and the Hudson Valley and New Jersians refer to "the City" as the 5 boroughs, a percentage of them does but I am certain the majority is talking about Manhattan and Manhattan ONLY.

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    5. Not to long ago those coming from the boroughs other than Manhattan were referred to the bridge and tunnel crowd! I guess thats now reserved for those from Lawn-Guyland and Jersey LOL

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  8. An oatmeal cream pie shake sounds AMAZING!

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  9. The interesting thing about FH is that you have a real diversity of population and still wide-ranging real estate prices so inevitably you have people in the Gardens with sometimes 2 cars that drive everywhere and you have families renting apartments with no parking space that don't have cars. While I am one of the young families with a vehicle and a driveway in the area, I can totally appreciate the expansion of bike lanes. Two sets of parents in my son's school recently told me they don't have a car and either have biked or taken the bus to the Hall of Science. This trend is not that unusual and will probably be more common as more families move to the area. As a kid who grew up in the area, I rode my bike a lot of get to friends' houses in Rego Park and Kew Gardens, especially in my teens... I would have appreciated some bike lanes back then and I would love to see them around for when my kids get a bit older.

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  10. I like the idea of bike lanes, but I do not understand such vitriol against cars. I agree with the prior anonymous. Queens is widespread and much of it is not near a subway line. Even when areas are near bus lines, one often has to take two or more to get from one point to another within Queens. It can take as much as 45 minutes to an hour to get from Forest Hills to Fresh Meadows via the Q46 between the walking, the waiting and the bus ride itself. It takes 15 minutes by car. Heaven forbid you need to visit someone in any hospital other than the one off QB. Those convoluted trips can take 1 1/2 hours just one way. I also like to go to the beach often and have many friends who live in Long Island. Sure, you theoretically can take the rail road and then a bus or a taxi, but it is expensive, quite a pain and not at all enjoyable. I also like to shop for more than I can actually drag home on my weighted-down arms from the dinky local stores and even go to those nice large supermarkets outside FH (or even stop n Shop, within) that actually carry everything I want to buy all under one roof. I need a car to go to those and bring my items home. Dragging kids around on the subway and bus can, for many reasons, be a real chore. Riding a bike long distances through snow and ice and in the cold, whipping wind is less than ideal. Bringing elderly parents to doctor's appointments, etc. is not feasible via bus or subway. My mother can hardly make it half a block, let alone to the bus stop. Access-a-ride is poorly operated and never on time so that is not a real option and I certainly cannot have it pick my mother up, then me and then go off to the doctor. Cabs are too expensive for her to take on a regular basis. Your lifestyle clearly is different than that of a lot of people who grew up in Queens and are your neighbors. Why not rant for electric cars and charging stations in the neighb rather than against all autos and, inherently, those of us who own them. Finally, yes, technically FH is in the city but everyone I ever knew who grew up here calls Manhattan "the city."

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    1. This blog is focused on Forest Hills. I am concerned with the quality of life living here in Forest Hills. Most of Forest Hills is pretty close to the subway. If you live here and have a car for going to the beach every so often or going out of the city, that's one thing. But to use it if you are a local to drive to Austin Street and then complain about lack of parking is asinine. Walk the few blocks, you're not that far if you live in Forest Hills from whatever shopping you need to do locally.

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  11. DRAKE, I appreciate the obvious that we need to accept change, but what is happening now is a calculated targeting of neighborhoods once protected by zoning laws. Change used to happen gradually. We are now seeing displacement at a rapid rate and a colluding of developers with politicians to buy up property, over populate areas with insufficient resources/infrastructure. Oh yeah and they get tax breaks, so the burden is on everyone else. Spare me the old "NYC is about change" nonsense. We know. Historically, NYC is also about protest so that things are a little more FAIR. As for cars, I work on Long Island, but live in FH, so guess what, I NEED A CAR. I grew up in Queens and know the culture pretty well. Forest Hills is not next to the city if you hadn't noticed. By the way EOTC writer, this list sucks on so many levels. Target will ruin what's left of the small businesses on Austin St. I don't support chains as much as possible because NO they actually don't increase jobs and have no vested interest in local communities... and come one, toilet paper? At least be funny! This is the 3rd time I read conflicting entries on this blog and am thoroughly disappointed by the writing. Finally, done with it.

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    1. Anonymous commenters don't have the right to get super upset on my blog. If you are really angry and want to be heard, use a name.

      That being said, for too many years the drivers in this city have had the advantage over the pedestrians. And now that they are being challenged by some nice little bike lanes they throw a shit fit.

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    2. "Drake," have you seen what's been going on with the bike lanes? OK, so here's the thing. I have no problem with bike lanes. Never said I did. I have a problem with people claiming we don't need cars in an area they are clearly unfamiliar with. Also, bikers, according to many other blogs much bigger than yours, are reporting groups trying to fine UPS trucks, cabs, or anyone trying to drop anything off when the streets are narrow because bikers actually have to stop. I got yelled at once for parallel parking by biker. Yeah. That kind of sounds familiar, right?

      The beauty of the big city is a little semblance of anonymity... so me not offering a name shouldn't be a problem. I don't have a gmail account and "Anonymous" seemed cooler. If you really need one, let's say I'm Maria.

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  12. I think the widest road in all of NYC can handle a couple of bike lanes.

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  13. Hi everyone, all Anonymous people such as myself.. just checking in. I am the original one who was discussing this with Drake and I am not going to add much here since I think I covered everything a couple of days ago. I know Drake told me the other day "just remember, you live in the city too!" and of course that's true but it feels good to see others on here who understand what I meant when I said "Trader Joe's in the city." I am from here as well so yea, to me, 'the city' is Manhattan. Where else can we draw the line? I mean, yes, technically Bayside and Little Neck people live in "the city" too, but really, there is NO city vibe there at all. I lived in Midtown for several years, you can't get more city than that, and yea, the vibe is totally different. Everything literally is so walkable and there are numerous subway lines that can get you all around Manhattan very easily. FH as I said before, while it has excellent transit, its just not "the city", it is so much more family oriented, low rise, low key and unless you live right by Queens Blvd (which I do), you will be doing a lot of schlepping around... just think of the example I gave the other day of living on the north side of QB and trying to take advantage of some of the shops on Metropolitan Ave. Sure, I've done it, I've walked to the Home Depot area from QB but its quite a time commitment, and we just don't all have that luxury. Splitting my post in two…

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  14. Drake, I don't think you understood what some of us have been saying here. You state "If you live here and have a car for going to the beach every so often or going out of the city, that's one thing. But to use it if you are a local to drive to Austin Street and then complain about lack of parking is asinine." I don't think that ANY of us said that we use our cars to go to Austin St. I certainly didn't. I specifically said that I love coming home to FH, parking my car and then doing most of my shopping on foot at the local stores. But again, I live on QB, so that is a viable option. For someone who lives near the 108 St. area up by the Russian stores or near Metropolitan, just walking to Austin St. could be quite time consuming, FH is quite a large town, not everyone may be as close to Austin as you. Also, the parking I was referencing was the metered spots on QB that will be eliminated for the bike lane, and I again, I live on QB so I see that those spots are filled all day long, well into the night sometimes. Without the spots, all of those people are going to look for parking elsewhere, and the neighborhood is already saturated, or they may get fed up and stop patronizing those establishments altogether and keep in mind there are many medical offices along that strip and people are in and out of appointments all day long, if someone is driving a sick relative to a doctor or they are not well themselves, they don't care that there is a bike lane there, they care more about not having parking and having to circle around and around and then end up much further from the office anyways and have tons of added stress. Anyways.....On a side note, I completely agree with the other Anonymous poster re Target Express. I could not be more disappointed and I feel so sad for some of the already struggling mom and pop shops. The amount of Space Available signs on Austin is so very troubling and Target is another blow. I try to patronize the local shops as much as possible. When Party R Us opened up, I was a bit put off by the name but when I went in, I found some useful items (ie, a lemon press that I couldn't find in Rite Aid) and Party R Us actually had a few to choose from, who knew? This is the kind of store that is going to get crushed. Take supermarkets as well. I notice how hard the staff at C-Town is working to really make the store great and they are all so friendly. I place my order at the deli, go down some aisles to shop and the counter guy finds me and puts the order in my cart. I go to Natural and Orchard as well, but I start at C-Town because I think they are underappreciated and I don't want to lose them either. There's example after example. So no, I am not looking forward to the soulless Target, its not even going to be the size of the QB location anyways so you may very well still end up going to the bigger one also. Thanks for reading!

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    1. Thanks for your comments. You may want to break them up into paragraphs in the future since they'd be easier to read, just a suggestion.

      I appreciate the things you said and your point of view.

      But my point of view is that our neighborhood has been negatively impacted by Queens Blvd. for years - pedestrians have died, it's an ugly eyesore cutting through an otherwise very nice NYC neighborhood, it's simply a thoroughfare that should not have been expanded into what it is today in the midst of a neighborhood where people do a lot of walking all around it.

      Finally, and it's a long time in coming, the trend of this Boulevard running rampant through our lives, is being somewhat reversed with the addition of bike lanes and some other plans the City has for it. It's a much-needed counterbalance to what this roadway is today. When it was created decades and decades ago, no one could have foreseen what it would have become with all the traffic on it today. It needs to be better managed to keep it somewhat in perspective to the neighborhoods it traverses.

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  15. A few thoughts from a 3rd generation FH lifer. QB has always been here, always will be, i hate it but it's not going anywhere. I'm a big bike fan,wish we had citibikes here, but QB is scary enough to cross without having to watch out for the morons who don't think traffic laws apply to them. This happens on First Avenue on the UES all the time.

    I've always referred to Manhattan as the city, we natives know what it means. And even though I don't currently have a car, some people need them here, so lighten up. A lot of the parking spots are taken up be people from other parts of Queens coming here to work or shop.

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    1. Times are a changin' 3rd Gen Lifer! You, if anyone, should know that - though FoHi hasn't changed as much as other parts of the City — until now.

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    2. I agree with you're perspective Drake -- these folks are living in the past. I was born here, grew up elsewhere, was priced out of the city, and now I'm back. I tire of the perception of this area as a family-oriented and senior retirement center -- or a center for the faithful...

      Times are changing folks -- I can't wait until this neighborhood gentrifies more. If you want suburban, move to LI -- GTFO!!!

      This is NY -- everyone in the world wants to live here. We are young, with money.

      We want bike lanes, good bars and restaurants for our constant rotating dating schedule!! I'm inviting all the beardos and emo chicks to Forest Hills; Let's do it!!!

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    3. Nothing wrong with FH being perceived as family oriented . Our neighborhood will continue to attract families because of the excellent elementary schools.
      An area will only gentrify if it has suffered severe economic downturn . That has never been the case for FH. As for emos and beardos that "young " 20-something crowd might be more interested in " up and coming " areas like Bushwick where it's cool to say you live in Bushwick just for the street cred. Heck I heard
      Brownsville is up and coming too. Let's see who's brave enough to settle there first.

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  16. Just one little tree in Forest HillsJanuary 15, 2016 at 4:09 PM

    Why has this blog turned into a conversation with Drake?

    As the facilitator of this blog, I believe Drake should allow conversations to occur more naturally, without his constant retorts and commentary.

    By the way, Drake also seems to be very defensive. And while most commenters are very respectable and respectful, he appears to be the only one using course language like "fuck" and "shit".

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    1. That is true, and a big 'fuck you' to you.

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  17. Sigh...I think change is great, keeps things interesting, but do you really think people are going to be biking to Target and Shake Shack? You want these chains but don't want the traffic and parking problems? Can't have it both ways.

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    1. Sigh... You're wrong. I couldn't care less about the traffic and the parking problems since I -- thankfully -- don't drive. But yes, I do want -- some -- chains, that are good for the neighborhood, like the Shack and the Target Express.

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  18. Some of you folks are like someone who moved to China and is upset because no one speaks French. FH isn't perfect, always room for improvement, but maybe you should have looked more carefully before you moved here instead of whining about it not being to your liking.

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    1. No, some of us were already here and are "whining" about the negative (not ALL) changes that have occurred in the area. It wasn't like this when I moved here. I did "look carefully" when I moved here 20 years ago, and at the time it WAS to my liking. It was a convenient, yet quiet and safe place to live.

      That has slowly eroded over the years. Maybe you are the one who doesn't know the area that well, since you assume it was always like this. Change can be good, but not ALL change is necessarily good. Some things change for the worse, and unless you have something to compare it to, you won't be able to notice the change at all. You obviously only know today's Forest Hills, so it's understandable that you can't comprehend what we're referring to.

      When I moved here, there were no muggings, burglaries, rapists on the loose, arson, subway stabbings, etc. to speak of. There weren't people roaming the streets screaming in the middle of the night. The 112th pretty much had nothing to do besides ticket graffiti artists by the LIRR. Now? A bit different. But probably not to you, because you haven't witnessed the change. It was like this when you got here, so to you, it's "always" been like this and we should have known that when we decided to move here. Your timeline is slightly off, though.

      Yes, we've had lots of positive changes, but we've had some negative changes too (grownups recognize both), and just because you don't remember FH before and can't discern any differences doesn't mean that what others are saying isn't valid. It just means that you haven't experienced what they have.

      So perhaps it's the people who HAVEN'T experienced "before and after" who should stop "whining," because you're the ones with only half an argument to offer. We're not, as you accuse, coming into a neighborhood trying to change it. We were already here when it changed. Like the Mexicans say, "We didn't cross the border. The border crossed us." There's a difference.

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    2. Laurie, you might have had a legitimate point if you weren't eggagerating the "negative" changes to a ridiculous extent. You make it sound like Forest Hills is being overrun with crimes like rape, muggings and burglaries. That is totally untrue. If you go and look up the crime statistics for FH and compare them to the stats for the rest of the city, you would see that FH is still one of the safest neighborhoods is NYC.
      Sorry, but your statement about how much worse Forest Hills is now compared to 20 years ago is just not supported by the facts.

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  19. Regardless of the car vs bike argument, I'll still offer my opinion on each development.

    1) Not bad for that spot, always hoped to see some refreshment on that row, hoping to see updated architecture there.

    2) Of course I wish it was still Barnes & Noble but obviously it appears the landlord want some more exciting stuff. Target would do because it only directly competes with the Pharmacies, at least it doesn't screw with Natural Foods and most of the Mom & Pop shops.

    3) Note my replies above, keyword: Healthy Balance based on real time usage data.

    4) The stop order is only harming, not helping Austin St., whoever brought it up should withdraw kindly, it is too late to stop the demolition of the old building, and it's already gone so they should move on too. Hoping to see a non-medical tenant occupy it.

    5) Of course more concerts are awesome!

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  20. Can all the people who do own and operate their cars around Forest Hills please lay off the horns already?? Funny how you would never scream "MOVE" on a delayed subway train or to the slow person walking in front of you on the sidewalk. Only when you're safely ensconced in a 2 ton hunk of metal do you loudly exclaim your impatience. Interesting.

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    1. SERIOUSLY. The horn is there to warn of impending danger, not to announce your frustration and impatience. TO EVERYONE WITHIN A MILE OF YOU. I'm so sick of the honking. My street (72nd Ave. btwn 110/112) is the worst because people turn onto it thinking it's an artery to the Grand Central, then they drive a block and discover at 112th that it's actually a dead end. OOPS. So they sit there like "WTF DO I DO NOW??" while vehicles get backed up behind them and everyone's leaning on the horn. This goes on practically around the clock. It's worse than Manhattan. And I lived in Manhattan (Murray Hill) for 5 years.

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