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