Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dunkin' Donuts Backlash

What is going on in Forest Hills? I personally have had my experience with snarky, bigoted checkout people at stores like Key Food (years ago), and, much to my disappointment more recently, even our new Shake Shack. After the Dolly Parton concert some of the Shake Shack staff at checkout were whispering and smirking to one another about the appearance of some of the customers waiting on line who seemed to be celebrating Dolly and the upcoming Gay Pride Day. I came very close to telling them off.

And then, there's this:

Dunkin’ Donuts Facing Backlash After Worker Ridiculed Chinese Customer’s Accent


There have been other incidents, such as the infamous Lesbian Sizzler Takedown on Metropolitan Avenue which cemented that area's reputation for being stuck in 1955—for a while at least.

Queens has a reputation for being one of the boroughs that's more conservative than its big brother borough to the west. I blame these incidents on very provincial pockets with some folks who barely ever get out of their neighborhoods in this part of the city to meet people who are different from them. Sad. They're only cheating themselves and missing out on making friends with some truly wonderful people.

34 comments:

  1. Which is really surprising because there are plenty of gay people in FH, this commenter included, but I think we tend to keep a low profile. Frankly FH could use a lot more flair that a gay community brings with it. Sad that people who work on Austin Street, who probably live somewhere else, are horrible to other guests of the neighborhood. Ain't nobody got time for that.

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  2. I find this appalling as well. NYC really does have quite a diverse ethnic make up and anyone working here needs to be respectful of that. Another gay commenter here and I agree with Countervail on needing a bit more flair. Is there a sizable gay population here? I can't tell! I feel like there could be but all I seem to come across are young couples pushing baby strollers. Is there a certain part of town that has a higher gay population? I'm in one of the luxury high rises - lots of straight couples with little kids or elderly and wealthy. Please don't take my questions or comments the wrong way, very sincere here!

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    1. Well, I'm bi and I live down the hall from two lovely recently married men, but other than the three of us...I'm not sure if I can name any other local LGBT+ folks off the top of my head.

      Didn't there used to be a gay bar on Austin? I never went, but I'm almost positive it existed for a little while at least!

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    2. Statistically 1 in 10 are LGBT...anywhere.
      In NYC I believe it's closer to 1 in 4.
      Not all LGBT are "visible."

      Albeit under the radar,
      Forest Hills definitely has it's share of LGBT people...including this "attractive" reader...wink.

      I occasionally check this blog for neighborhood news.

      btw...Thank you Drake for maintaining this blog.

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    3. we have several LBGT families in our school so they are definitely here!

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    4. The gay bar on Austin was called Pride but it has transitioned to a straight bar called Sorry Not Sorry.

      Yes, there are a number of LGBTQ persons in the neighborhood but they're under the radar myself included lol. However there is a Facebook group called "Out FoHi" and a gay forest hills meetup group.

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    5. Omg, are you serious? That is the worst bar name I've ever heard. Lol.

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    6. Just looked at the gay meetup group for Forest Hills- it didn't look that promising. They last had a dinner at Tuscan Hills in February. No future events scheduled. :-( Yes, we're all a bit under the radar yet we probably pass each other countless times on Austin!

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    7. This whole time I thought it was just me and my wife over here! We will definitely check out that Facebook group.

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    8. Under the radar? Are you kidding me? Astoria, Jackson Heights and Forest Hills (mostly Kew Gardens) have been know to have a fair percentage of the LGBT community. Kew Gardens is like the Queens equivalent of Park Slope. A certain percentage of the LGBT community works for the airliners, and Kew is a nice halfway point between JFK and Laguardia...

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    9. Unfortunately, I'm not able to come out at the moment, but I just want you to know that I'm a real person and I live in FoHi. You're not alone!

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  3. Isn't Queens supposed to be the most diverse place in all of America? I'm pretty sure it's a documented fact. Which is why I don't understand this one bit.

    Even if you didn't say anything to those Shake Shack workers' faces, Drake, thank you for calling them out like this. I hope you'll continue to do so the next time you witness something similar.

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  4. I know it's not quite the same thing, but today a worker at one of the grocery stores over on Lefferts told my cousin that she shouldn't be buying soda cause she's "too fat" to be drinking it. He made her cry. I was furious when I found out.

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  5. That Dunkin' Donuts is right on the Forest Hills/Rego Park line. Let's toss this incident to Rego Park!

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  6. Just read the article and all I can is 'wow'! I am not racist in any way whatsoever and I do not condone this at all, but the employee 'Yaibur' is most likely a first or second generation immigrant and for a guy who has an unusual name to pronounce, how dare he mock this woman, total irony! Anyways, I agree with tossing this one to Rego Park. That whole strip around 67 is where the quality of the stores in general starts to look a bit questionable. I only go over there for the Knish Nosh, totally worth it!

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    1. The Hungarian bakery down that block is also well worth the trip. Best cookies in Queens! I treat myself to a pound of them every year at Christmas.

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    2. heard about this incident when it first happened and totally agree the irony of it ...immigrant that speaks with accent himself making fun of someone elses english ! what a jerk!

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    3. I've been to the Hungarian bakery (Andre's) a couple of times. They're not bad, I wouldn't make the trip just for them but I'd combine it with a Knish Nosh visit! I notice they took down the sign advertising hot Hungarian meals to go- never ended up getting one, too bad. I think a format like Andre's Hungarian cafe & restaurant (on the UES) would work well here. I'd love an authentic Hungarian eatery in the neighborhood.

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    4. Same owner, Andre lives in Forest Hills

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    5. Years ago, Andre had a restaurant just as the 7:38 PM post describes. I still miss the schnitzel!

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    6. 7:38 poster here. Love Andre's! I believe it's the only Hungarian restaurant in NYC. I'm surprised they didn't last over this way. Plenty of Eastern European around here who I'd think would appreciate that style of cuisine. The bakery that's there to me just seems ok. We seem to have plenty of good bake shops around. If I'm at the Knish Nosh I usually buy something at Andre's too but it's more out of my desire to support the local shops. On a side note, I just love this blog and I see more and more comments and interesting dialogue. Good job Drake!

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    7. I believe Andre cut his restaurant teeth on the border of Forest Hills and Rego Park before he moved into Manhattan. It was a simple diner structured building, memory is fuzzy, but I think it was on the property where Weight Watchers is now.

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  7. My partner and I both own a house in Forest Hills. On my street there is a Lesbian Family with kids. On the immediate side street there are four gay households; all owners. Yes, I think it would be fair to say by extrapolation, there is probably a sizeable gay population. Since the weather turned this spring, I have noticed more and more couples walking the neighborhood stopping & looking, taking notice of things; not just passing through. These are the tell-tale signs of people looking to buy/move into a community.

    Furthermore, over the years we have all made significant capital improvements to our homes, pay people to help maintain them, hire landscapers, have Fresh Direct deliver our groceries and eat out a lot. But more importantly, we refer service people and vendors to each other that have done quality work and who respect us for who we are. We will flourish and those that we choose to do business with will flourish.

    As to the Austin/Continental shopping district; chalk it up as the bad side of town. Don't patronize these businesses; if you have to go out of your way, so be it. You deserve better.

    As to Dunkin Donuts; these franchises are typically multi location agreements. Franchise business models rely on a steady supply of low paid workers that often lack practical skills. Therefore, when the owner can tap into a community (ethnic group) for workers, it solves a major problem(labor). Friends get referred into the business for jobs and they refer other friends. If the owner was unconcerned about offending Yaibur's friends and possible labor unrest and fired him, great! But I would be willing to bet Yaibur is still on the payroll, but at another location.

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    1. Shake Shack managers and their headquarters should also be informed and made aware of the rude insensitive and homophobic actions taken by their staff...
      and of all days post Orlando and Pride Week!

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    2. Hello, I am an LGBT member and a real estate broker in the area. I felt like there is real disconnect in the local gay community here. We haven't had a real community based meeting place in years (I'm including the former Pride Bar in this) I have started a Forest Hills/ Central Queens LGBT Meet-up in the area. I have taken a hiatus because business has been robust, with straight and LGBT community members as well. I would say there is an increase in LGBT couples looking to in the area as well.

      If you would like to join the Meetup go to their website and
      search Forest Hills LGBT and it will show up.

      (Again I am planning something soon so the meetings will resume)

      If your looking for an apartment and want to work with an LGBT member I am happy to offer my services to you google Silverstein Collection

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  8. I sense a lot of resentment over the growing Asian presence in Forest Hills. As a native New Yorker of Asian heritage, I lived in Astoria for a decade years without incident. I moved here recently and an old white woman told me to "go back to Flushing" when I dared get on the bus before her. Another woman chided her, "don't be racist" but the other woman said, "I don't care, that's how I feel about them invading my neighborhood." That was my welcome to FoHi.

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    1. I'm so sorry. That's completely disgusting.

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    2. The old whites around here, some of them no different than the ones you find in say, Nebraska. Uninformed, ignorant, generally middle-lower class, never left their little neighborhood therefore provincial. Hopefully this person won't be a problem for long.

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  9. Peace and Love for Ringo's birthday!

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  10. We pride ourselves on hospitality at Shake Shack, so this is incredibly disappointing to read, and certainly not in line with our company ideals. Please share your feedback and experiences with us at share@shakeshack.com.

    Thank you so much to anyone who takes the time to reach out to us. It means a lot to us to hear from you!

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  11. Wait, what happened at Sizzler?

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    1. I'll dig up some info about it and post it for you. A not-to-be-missed tale of intolerance and time travel that can only occur in a Sizzler on Metropolitan Avenue in Queens. Enjoy!

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    2. Oh my God. I...can't wait? :)

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  12. The picture says it all. Is it a surprise the guy looks like a total loser? We can not condone prejudice in this diverse community. Growing up in the area I have seen a lot DD stores run by Indians which was never an issue, but now it's the store lashing at customers??? Taking my business elsewhere.

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