Thursday, June 22, 2017

Queens Bully Update from DNAInfo

Lots of delicious news to enjoy in this article!

A new gastropub serving comfort and barbecue food will open in July on Queens Boulevard, with plans to open a rooftop garden in the future, reps for the eatery said.

Friday, June 16, 2017

While We Slept

The repaving of Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills overnight this week at times transformed the roadway we're all so familiar with into something a bit more out of a science fiction movie...

Friday, June 9, 2017

The New York Pops Returns to Forest Hills

As much fun as the previous Pops concerts have been at Forest Hills Stadium, I have to say my personal favorite was last night's sci-fi themed extravaganza as The Pops played a tribute to film score composer John Williams and his collaboration over the years with directors George Lucas (Star Wars) and Steven Spielberg (E.T., Jaws, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.)

Here are some pics I took from the concert, and a couple of clips from my favorite moments!

Cenovia Cummins plays the haunting theme from Schindler's List

video video

The venue has continued to improve each year since The Stadium concerts returned

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Meet Star Wars Characters at Forest Hills Stadium This Thursday!

The New York Pops Plays
June 8, 2017 - 7:30 PM
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, NY
On June 8, 2017The New York Pops will return to its summer home, Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NY, for a program of music by legendary film composer John Williams. The orchestra will be joined by members of the 501st Legion: Empire City Garrison, a worldwide Star Wars costuming organization comprised of and operated by Star Wars fans, wearing costumes from the Star Wars films!
The orchestra’s Kids in the Balcony program, which has expanded greatly since its offshoot Kids in the Stadium was introduced in 2015 thanks in part to the generosity of concert presenters Madison House Presents, will offer more than 1,500 Queens children and their families an opportunity to attend and learn about live music for free.
This concert is generously supported by Morgan StanleyAT&TWigdor LLPandCredit Suisse, with additional support from the City of New York and the New York City Council.
“Playing at Forest Hills Stadium has really been a dream come true” said Music Director Steven Reineke. “Get ready for an evening of music that will transport you from a galaxy far, far away to a park full of dinosaurs, from Civil War-era Washington to shark-infested waters off the coast of New England. It’s going to be a blast!”
The New York Pops concerts at Forest Hills Stadium are family-friendly events. Food and beverage is available for purchase on the stadium grounds. Family ticket packages available.
Tickets on sale  at 
from $22.50 to $102.50. 

A Neighbor Needs Help Finding Her Missing Cat

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Coming Soon: Forest Hills' Underdogs!

Watch this space to see who makes this year's list of excellent local businesses that may not be as flashy but deserve some recognition! 

Amazing Footage of the Piu Bello Fire

Thanks to Raymond for sending this in....

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Defend Democracy on June 11th at MacDonald Park

With Russian interference in our Democracy this past election now an undisputed fact, it is more important than ever that we pressure our public officials to conduct a thorough investigation to ensure the United States strengthens our defenses and, hopefully, exacts a fuller revenge against the oligarchy that despotically controls today's Russia.

Please join us at MacDonald Park in Forest Hills on June 11th from 2-5 p.m. as Queens Stands up for Democracy.

More details here: 

 Let us come together for liberty and our democracy in this uncertain time. Our Constitution, the rule of law, and the truth are too important to be taken for granted. No person is above the law. This is our opportunity to stand up for American values.

 "Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth."
 -- Abraham Lincoln

Piu Bello Fire

A huge fire at Piu Bello late this afternoon... Thanks to @sol5rac for tweeting me the pic

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pictures of the Day: Central Park in May

Is there anything nicer than Central Park in May?
Send in your own photos to Also, if anyone has photos of last weekend's concerts, please send those as well!

Monday, May 15, 2017

MacDonald Park in Springtime

Just some pics I shot the other day while hanging out in our increasingly pretty local park. As I tweeted at the time I took these, you can almost forget you're sitting right next to 12 lanes of traffic the park has become so beautiful. Thanks to all the dedicated people—including a large number of dedicated local volunteers, by the way—who continue to improve this small but vital piece of public parkland smack dab in the middle of Forest Hills.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Last Chance for New York & Company?

... apparently. I had seen somewhere online speculation that the Austin Street store was closing. A friend of mine sent in these photos and it sure looks like it. If so, that would open up quite a big prime space along Austin Street...

New Ramen Sign is Up

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

What's Happening on Austin Street: Jacklyn's—A Local Favorite for Nearly 40 Years

"What's Happening on Austin Street" is an ongoing series looking at the many different businesses along Forest Hills' major shopping strip. Have a business you'd like us to profile? Email

A Jacklyn’s of All Trades

By Rebecca Banchik

There's something missing from the shopping experience at a big box retailer. Don't get me wrong, it's convenient to run into Bloomingdales or Macy's and choose from all the brands and styles. But by shopping at these stores you’re not supporting a local business and you're certainly not going to get the experience of being in a small shop. 

When I first moved to Forest Hills I was happy {almost relieved} that some of the chain stores were around for me to shop in and were easily accessible. But without going into Manhattan or out to Long Island, there's really only one store in Forest Hills to get the brand name designers you find in bigger stores. It's particularly exciting for me, a sucker for expensive denim {with stretch - definitely need stretch}, to have Jacklyn's Boutique in our neighborhood. They carry my favorite brands like Seven For All Mankind, J Brand, Joie, and Eileen Fisher, just to name a few. 

I spoke with the owner of the store’s daughter, Nicole Soleimani, who explained to me that the store originally opened almost 40 years ago by Jack who was inspired to open the store by his sister Jacklyn {ring a bell?} who had a love for designing clothes. Jack eventually turned the store over to Robbin who now fully runs the boutique. 

Nicole described her experience growing up around Austin Street in Forest Hills as an upscale neighborhood that has changed drastically over the years. She mentioned that when the big boys came into town many small businesses suffered. Lucky for her as a shop owner, and for us as residents, Austin Street is thriving now and Jacklyn’s is perfectly located near the Shake Shack and Bare Burger. My advice to you though? Try on the clothes before you eat the burgers!

It was a pleasure recently stopping by the store and getting to know Robbin. The store was welcoming, door wide open, beckoning the Austin Street walkers-by to stop in for a look. 

Robbin is extremely knowledgeable and is ready to help you pick out a new outfit or accessorize you for your next event. She attributed much of her long lasting success to her faithful and steady clientele, some of whom have been shopping at Jacklyn's for 30 years. She even has some loyal customers that come from Manhattan to get dressed and buy head to toe outfits at our Forest Hills gem. 

Robbin explained that she is not running the store hoping to churn business in a revolving-door fashion and have fleeting customers only looking out for the next big sale. She's providing high quality, designer pieces to the women of Forest Hills with the assurance that the products she sells are good, tried, and true. She stands by the quality of the designers she carries. 

The store combines a small town hospitality vibe with the sought after city trendiness New Yorkers crave. While times have certainly changed, and Robbin no longer knows every person that walks through the door {she described a time when that was the case}, there's no doubt that Jacklyn's remains a neighborhood standard. 

Stop by the boutique and say hello to the friendly staff, try on a new blouse, peruse the racks, check out the shoe collection, and maybe pick up a little something for a gift {or treat yourself}. I certainly have my eyes on a pair of earrings and some jeans. Robbin will be seeing me soon for some retail therapy. Maybe I’ll see you there too, ready to look fabulous in Forest Hills.

Jacklyn’s Boutique
71-50 Austin St, Forest Hills

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ice Skating, Haunted House Coming to Forest Hills?

Tucked into yesterday's amazing news about AEG's deal with Forest Hills Stadium, was this exciting news about the hopes to bring off-season uses to the Stadium as well...

"AEG will also consider plans to operate the venue in the off-season, potentially as a haunted house during Halloween and an ice-rink during winter months."

Friday, April 21, 2017

Local Champions Inspire, Change Queens Neighborhoods for the Better

Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce President Leslie Brown
On April 6, Queens Community House (QCH) celebrated its Celebrating Local Champions Reception at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills. The evening proved to be a great success with more than $20,000 raised towards furthering QCH’s mission.

 According to Executive Director Ben Thomases, the goal of the annual event is to recognize the deep connection between QCH and the local community. “Forest Hills is where the organization was founded 40 years ago, so our connection to the neighborhood is very important to us,” he said. “This event is a way for us to thank the Forest Hills community as well as to introduce ourselves to neighbors who might not be aware of the range of services we offer.”

Leslie Brown, president of the Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce, was honored by QCH at the event. Brown, a Forest Hills native, ran a children’s clothing boutique on Austin Street for many years and was elected President in 2001. Under her tutelage, she has doubled the chamber’s membership and produced numerous free, family-friendly events for the community, including street fairs, the Forest Hills Festival of the Arts, and Celebrate Winter Under the Tent.

“Leslie’s been a great leader in the Forest Hills community, and we wanted to give her some recognition for all of the great work she’s done,” Thomases said.


During the event, QCH also presented the fifth annual Irma E. Rodriguez Queens Community Builder Award to Lester Lin, founder of the nonprofit City Mission.

Lester Lin
In 2014, the city administration opened a family shelter in what had been the Pan American Hotel in Elmhurst, setting off a series of angry protests from local residents. Moved by this controversy in his own community, and wanting to give a response that improved the situation for all, Lin reached out to the Department of Homeless Services to see how he could help.

He organized friends and neighbors to throw a welcome party at a neighboring church for the shelter families. The party was intended as a message of love and compassion to these troubled families and was for many their first non-confrontational contact with their new community. Lin continued his relationship with the Boulevard Family Residence, recruiting volunteers to organize family-friendly activities, donation drives to meet basic needs such as clothing and diapers, a fatherhood program, and a weekly care group providing tutoring for the shelter children. Later incorporating their activities as a nonprofit organization, City Mission, they have expanded their reach into the community through resume assistance workshops, health fairs, and projects with local high schools. 

For finding a way to reap positive change from conflict, and for inspiring his neighbors to do the same, Thomases said Queens Community House was proud to honor Lin.

Deputy BP Melva Miller & Executive Director Ben Thomases
“We ourselves were founded from a community conflict, with the intent of helping the neighborhood to heal and come together,” Thomases said. “We are so glad that Lester has echoed those values with his own actions. He is truly making Queens a better place to live for all residents.”

Queens Community House (QCH) is a multi-service settlement house serving more than 20,000 children, youth, adults and older adults every year. Its mission is to provide individuals and families with the tools to enrich their lives and build healthy, inclusive communities. Through a broad network of programs operating out of 25 sites in 11 neighborhoods, we offer Queens residents a needed support system at every stage of life, helping them to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to change their lives for the better and become active participants in their larger community.

The New York Pops Returning to Forest Hills Stadium in June - Tickets on Sale Starting Today!


On June 8, 2017The New York Pops will return to its summer home, Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NY, for a program of music by legendary film composer John Williams. After two successful seasons at the open-air venue, The New York Pops is proud to return to the stadium for an evening featuring the musicians of the orchestra in some of the most popular music ever written for the silver screen. The orchestra’s Kids in the Balcony program, which has expanded greatly since its offshootKids in the Stadium was introduced in 2015 thanks in part to the generosity of concert presenters Madison House Presents, will offer more than 1,500 Queens children and their families an opportunity to attend and learn about live music for free.

This concert is generously supported by Morgan StanleyAT&T, and Wigdor LLP, with additional support from the City of New York and the New York City Council.

Steven Reineke
“Playing at Forest Hills Stadium has really been a dream come true” said Music Director Steven Reineke. “With our third season at the stadium this summer, we are really cementing our status as a ‘must do’ summer event in NYC – and I can’t tell you how much we love being there! The orchestra sounds great in this beautiful venue, and watching the sun set over the top of the stadium while we’re looking out at a crowd of fans is one of our favorite summer traditions. Get ready for an evening of music that will transport you from a galaxy far, far away to a park full of dinosaurs, from Civil War-era Washington to shark-infested waters off the coast of New England. It’s going to be a blast!”

“There are few things more iconic and awe-inspiring than the New York Pops and the music of John Williams. AT&T is proud to support another exciting season at Forest Hills Stadium, and to help bring Williams’ incredible scores to life,” said Marissa Shorenstein, AT&T SVP for the East Region. “We are also thrilled to give back to the Queens community by once again offering free access to this one-of-a-kind experience right in their own borough.”

"As a fifteen year-resident of Forest Hills and dedicated member of the West Side Tennis Club, I know The New York Pops are both great performers and good citizens, supporting talented local musicians and giving 1,500 Queens children the opportunity to attend the series for free,” said Douglas H. Wigdor, Founding Partner Wigdor LLP. “It is a true honor and pleasure for Wigdor LLP to support the return of the New York Pops for a proud third season at Forest Hills Stadium."

The New York Pops concerts at Forest Hills Stadium are family-friendly events. Food and beverage is available for purchase on the stadium grounds. Family ticket packages available.
Forest Hills Stadium events have been made possible through a partnership with the local community, with a focus on making concerts a rewarding experience for all involved. Dedicated entrances and exits have been constructed to manage audience flow. The stadium is conveniently located feet from the E, M, F, and R subway trains as well as the LIRR, and concert-goers are strongly encouraged to utilize public transportation as there is no parking available at the stadium or in the surrounding community.

Tickets go on sale Friday, April 21, at 10 AM at and range from $22.50 to $102.50.


THE NEW YORK POPS is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. Under the leadership of dynamic Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke, The New York Pops continues to re-imagine orchestral pops music. The orchestra performs an annual subscription series and birthday gala at Carnegie Hall and a summer series at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NY. The New York Pops is dedicated to lifelong learning, and collaborates with public schools, community organizations, children’s hospitals and senior centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City. PopsEd allows thousands of New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds to participate in fully customizable music programs that blend traditional education with pure fun. Follow The New York Pops on Facebook (, Instagram (@thenewyorkpops), and Twitter (@newyorkpops).

STEVEN REINEKE is the Music Director of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Principal Pops Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Principal Pops Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Principal Pops Conductor Designate of the Houston Symphony. Mr. Reineke is a frequent guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra and has been on the podium with the Boston Pops, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia. His extensive North American conducting appearances include San Francisco, Seattle, Edmonton, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Ottawa (National Arts Centre), Detroit, Milwaukee and Calgary. As the creator of more than one hundred orchestral arrangements for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and the composer of symphonic and wind ensemble compositions, Mr. Reineke’s work has been performed worldwide.


From Billie Jean King to The Beatles, Jimmy Connors to Jimi Hendrix, Chris Evert to The Rolling Stones, for decades the stadium at the West Side Tennis Club was not only host of the U.S. Open, it was also a renowned music venue, tucked into a leafy neighborhood of stately homes in Queens' Forest Hills neighborhood. However, when the U.S. Open moved to larger space in Flushing, Queens in 1977, the architecturally stunning, horseshoe-shaped Forest Hills Stadium fell into disrepair and its days as a music venue faded. In 2013, concert promoters partnered with the West Side Tennis Club to rehabilitate the stadium and bring events back to this storied venue.
Forest Hills Stadium reopened in August 2013 with an inaugural performance by Mumford & Sons on their “Full English” tour. The concert, the first in the stadium in over 15 years, brought music fans from all over the world to Forest Hills, Queens to experience live music in a truly unique environment. The 2014 concert season featured performances by Zac Brown Band, Drake, Lil Wayne, Brand New, Modest Mouse, The Replacements and Phil Lesh. Following its reopening, the stadium underwent a restoration, including a number of renovations and improvements. These included ticketed seating in the upper bowl, improved ADA seating options, widened aisles and handrail installation as well as a new concourse plan featuring easier access to food, beverage and other facilities. Ticketing was improved through a new, fan-friendly reserved ticketing system provided by Ticketfly.


AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) helps millions around the globe connect with leading entertainment, mobile, high speed internet and voice services. We’re one of the world’s largest providers of pay TV. We have TV customers in the U.S. and 11 Latin American countries. We offer the best global coverage of any U.S. wireless provider.* And we help businesses worldwide serve their customers better with our mobility and highly secure cloud solutions. Between 2012 and 2016, AT&T invested nearly $135 billion in our U.S. wireless and wired networks, including capital investment and acquisitions of wireless spectrum and operations. And during the same period, AT&T invested more in the United States than any other public company.

Additional information about AT&T products and services is available at Follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at and YouTube at

*Global coverage claim based on offering discounted voice and data roaming; LTE roaming; and voice roaming in more countries than any other U.S. based carrier. International service required. Coverage not available in all areas. Coverage may vary per country and be limited/restricted in some countries.


Wigdor LLP is widely considered the preeminent employment litigation firm in the country.  Founded in 2003, Wigdor LLP specializes in litigating complex cases, representing individual executives as well as current and former employees in a variety of employment law matters.  With over $50 million in trial and arbitration verdicts, Wigdor LLP’s lawyers are experts in every aspect of employment law and are specialists within their respective practice areas.  Our reputation is bolstered by the fact that the Firm has recovered well over one billion in settlements on behalf of our clients, in all facets of employment law, including those who have been victimized by discrimination or harassment based on pregnancy, race, gender, age, sexual orientation or disability.

Wigdor LLP, and founding Partner Douglas H. Wigdor, have always been committed to giving back to our local and international communities.  Recently, Mr. Wigdor participated in a Lawyers Without Borders initiative to train Kenyan Wildlife Officers in crime scene management and evidence preservation.  The group spent five days training approximately forty-five Kenyan Wildlife Service officers on evidence collection and investigation best practices.

Mr. Wigdor is an active and philanthropic member of the Forest Hills community, where he has lived for over fifteen years.  Mr. Wigdor has served on the legal committee of the Forest Hills Garden Association, and has had the privilege of managing several basketball teams in the Forest Hills Little League, in addition to coaching a basketball team at the Forest Hills YMCA and Forest Hills Community House.  Mr. Wigdor is also an active member of the Westside Tennis Club at Forest Hills. 

Mr. Wigdor has attended the New York Pops summer concert series in Forest Hills for the past two summers, and on behalf of himself and Wigdor LLP, is honored to welcome the New York Pops return to Forest Hills stadium for their third series on June 8th, 2017

Follow Wigdor LLP news on our website at, on Twitter (@WigdorLaw), and on Facebook (

The New York Pops is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely through the generosity of individual donations, institutional grants, and concert income. Dates, artists, and programs are subject to change.

Photo credits: Steven Reineke – by Michael Tammaro; The New York Pops – Richard Termine
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