Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

First Impressions - OBA

So I stopped by OBA today to take something out for lunch. The first thing I was struck by was how incredibly crowded it was! The second, how friendly and professional the staff was - from greeting me at the door to keeping track of my order despite how busy it was and making sure I got my food as quickly as possible. And the third thing? How delicious the food was! I am happy to report that OBA seems to be the real deal. I ordered a chicken shish kebab in a pita and it was awesome. The sandwich comes with two sauces, one of which gave it the perfect spicy kick. And the chicken was grilled to perfection with a nice charcoal-broiled flavor. I cannot wait to go back for more.

This place already seems to be a big hit, and I predict it will be a huge success. I am not only basing that on how great this first sampling of their food was, but just by how professional the staff is, how organized it is considering it just opened, and how much work they put into building out a workable restaurant -- their kitchen space is enormous given the cozy size of the restaurant.

This space, at the corner of Austin Street and Restaurant Row in Forest Hills, used to be a frozen yogurt shop. It's obvious the owners made the right business decision by converting the space into a Mediterranean grill. Judging by the crowds, there is a huge demand for this type of food in our neighborhood. I know there are one or two other places that offer similar food right nearby. But my first impressions of OBA leads me to believe that they will have to step up their game.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

OBA Opening Soon

I was told the new Mediterranean grill on the corner of Austin and Restaurant Row will be opening by this weekend. I like what they've done with the place. Fingers crossed the food is as nice.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Picture of the Day

Writes the contributor of this Picture of the Day: "Love the tree with tie-dye effect on Austin St."
It really is a perfect diversion from today's miserable weather.

Don't forget to email in your Pictures of the Day to They don't have to just be from Forest Hills!

Far-Reaching Effects of Recent Storm

I snapped this photo a week or so ago. Sad to see that this old tree that stood for so long at the corner of Queens Blvd. and Ascan, in front of the church, was one of the casualties of the recent early-season snow storm. She will be missed!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Picture of the Day

Thanks to Carol for sending this scene of MacDonald Park in Forest Hills during last week's historic snow. Please send your Pictures of the Day to They can be from anywhere in the city. Heck, even anywhere in the world, why not?

Sunday, November 18, 2018

OBA On the Way

The OBA Mediteranean Gyro & Grill construction appears to be well underway.  Hopefully it opens soon with great food for all.

Welcome Pandora

The Pandora jewelry store quietly opened on Austin Street a few weeks ago and appears to be doing well.  The store is certainly well lit to show off the merchandise.  Planes in the area may start making wrong turns!
Pandora at night

Friday, November 16, 2018

Concert at The Church-in-the-Gardens

Internationally acclaimed marimbist and Forest Hills resident Makoto Nakura returns by popular demand to perform an evening of uplifting, sonorous tones all while wowing the audience with his signature lightning-fast dexterity and sensitive interpretations.
Works include Leonard Bernstein’s Suite from West Side Story, David Schober’s The Pillow
Book: Four Seasons of Ancient Japan for vibraphone, flute and spoken word, Philip Lasser’s Bach Echoes for marimba, and a touch of Bach meets the 21st Century as Makoto performs works of Bach he transcribed for marimba. Joined by artists Tara Helen O’Connor (flute), Chie Kitamura (narrator) and Barbara Podgurski (piano). 
You will certainly not want to miss this exciting display of musical pyrotechnics!
Date: Saturday, December 1, 2018
Time: 7 PM
Location: The Church-in-the-Gardens
Address: 50 Ascan Avenue, Forest Hills
Length: 1 hour
Price: $20 Adult ticket / $10 Student ticket


Makoto Nakura is a musician whose artistry and astonishing virtuosity have been mesmerizing audiences over a quarter century. He creates innovative programs of new music as well as traditional classical repertoire, revealing the versatility and expressive range of the marimba while enlightening and entertaining the listener. His recent premieres include Toshio Mashima's marimba concerto at the famed Philharmonie Hall in Berlin as well as Benjamin C. S. Boyle's marimba concerto with the Montreal Chamber Orchestra. 
In 1994, Makoto moved from his native Japan to New York City, becoming the first marimbist to win First Prize in the prestigious Young Concert Artists International Auditions. His critically acclaimed performances around the world have included venues in London, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul, Montreal, Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires. In the U.S., he has performed for audiences in 41 of the 50 states with orchestras such as the New York Chamber Symphony, the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. As a recital soloist, his long list of appearances includes Carnegie'sWeill Recital Hall, New York's 92nd Street Y and Washington's Kennedy Center.

In addition, Mr. Nakura has been a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and appeared in the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Spoleto USA Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival and River to River Festival. 
He has also been developing collaborative works with other art forms. With the American Ballet Theatre, he has performed on numerous occasions in New York City, including appearances at the Metropolitan Opera House and at City Center, where he was soloist in a production of "Marimba". With the spoken word, he premiered "The Ocean Calls" based on poems by Pablo Neruda. With story-telling image projection, he created "The Story of Aoyagi" which is a Japanese ghost story. He produced a concert called "The Encounter of Art and Music" with the Hyogo Prefectural Art Museum in Japan; he played pieces inspired by Paul Klee, Jackson Pollock, and Wilem De Kooning with projections of their paintings. Since he launched "Forest Trilogy" , a project with choir, he has performed it in New York City, the U.K. and Japan. Based on a Japanese venerable essay, he most recently produced "The Pillow Book Project" with a narrator. 
Mr. Nakura has established himself as a dedicated champion of the music of our time.
Many leading composers such as Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Pierre Jalbert, Kevin Puts, Kenji Bunch, Lane Harder, David Schober, Jason Eckardt and Benjamin C.S. Boyle have written pieces especially for him. This marimbist's mission is to explore and expand the possibilities of the instrument, demonstrate what an exciting and provocative vehicle it offers to composers and provide a thrilling experience for audiences. 
Born in Kobe, Japan, Mr. Nakura began to play the marimba at the age of eight. He earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Musashino College in Tokyo. He continued his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London from which he was named an Asscociate. Indeed, because of his strong commitment to reaching younger audiences, he conducts many master classes and workshops at schools such as the Eastman School of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, and the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts, among many others. He is an adjunct professor at Kyoto City University of Arts. 
His recent honors include a National Arts Festival New Artist Award from the Japanese
Agency of Cultural Affairs and the BMI/Carlos Surinach Fund Marimba Commission. His
CDs "Ritual Protocol" , "Triple Jump" , "Tsuneya Tanabe Marimba Works" , and "Wood and Forest" are devoted to works written for him. He also recorded his own transcription of works by Bach called "Bach Beat" and most recently "Bach Beat II" , which was released by Naxos in April, 2016 to critical acclaim. These recordings have become the inspiration for artists in different disciplines; notably it was featured in the fashion show of Rei Kawakubo's COMME des GARCONS 2017 spring/summer collection. 
A network television portrait of Mr. Nakura was broadcast across the U.S. on CBS Sunday Morning. His recitals have been widely televised and played on many radio stations. 


Tara Helen O'Connor is a charismatic performer noted for her artistic depth, brilliant technique and colorful tone spanning every musical era. Recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a two-time Grammy nominee, she was the first wind player chosen to participate in The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two) and is now a Season Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. A Wm. S. Haynes flute artist, Tara is a regular participant in the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass, Spoleto Festival USA, Chamber Music Northwest, Mainly Mozart Festival, Music from Angel Fire, Rockport Music, Bay Chamber Concerts, Manchester Music Festival, the Banff Centre, the Great Mountains Music Festival, Chesapeake Music Festival and the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival.
A much sought-after chamber musician and soloist, she has premiered hundreds of new works and has collaborated with the Orion String Quartet, St. Lawrence Quartet, Emerson String Quartet, Jaime Laredo, Dawn Upshaw, Eliot Fisk, Jeremy Denk, Ida Kavafian, Peter Serkin and David Shifrin. Tara is a member of the woodwind quintet Windscape, the legendary Bach Aria Group and is a founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning New Millennium Ensemble. A passionate advocate of new music, she is a member of the Talea and Cygnus Ensembles. Tara has appeared on A&E's Breakfast with the Arts and PBS' Live from Lincoln Center. She has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, EMI Classics, Koch International, CMS Studio Recordings with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Bridge Records. She has just released a solo CD of American flute works entitled The Way Things Go on Bridge Records with pianist Margaret Kampmeier.
Tara holds a DMA from Stony Brook University where she studied with the late Samuel
Baron. Her other teachers include Julius Levine, Thomas Nyfenger, Robert Dick and Keith Underwood. Her yearly summer flute master class at the Banff Centre in Canada was legendary.  She is Associate Professor of Flute, Head of the Woodwinds Department and the Coordinator of Classical Music Studies at Purchase College School of the Arts Conservatory of Music. Additionally, Tara is on the faculty of Bard College Conservatory of Music, the Contemporary Performance Program at Manhattan School of Music and is a visiting artist, teacher and coach at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.  She lives with her husband, violinist Daniel Phillips on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  


A native of New York, pianist Barbara Podgurski holds a DMA in piano performance from The Graduate Center (CUNY) as well as a BM in piano performance and an MM in both piano performance and music theory from the Mannes College of Music. 

Dr. Podgurski has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean and Europe and has performed at many of the world’s finest venues including a number of performances at Carnegie Hall. 

She has been featured in numerous television and radio broadcasts, including appearances on WQXR’s Young Artists Showcase, WNYC’s “Soundcheck”, NPR, WPLN Nashville’s “Live from Studio C”, WQED and numerous others. Ms. Podgurski was recently featured on a television documentary for NHK in Japan with her touring partner violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn and the famed “Red” Mendelssohn Stradivarius. 

Ms. Podgurski was a special guest in March 2015 performing for the National Association of Broadcasters at the 2015 Golden Mike Awards with Grammy-nominated violinist Jenny Oaks Baker. Past collaborations with renowned artists including violinists Philippe Graffin and the late Lorand Fenyves, flutist Harold Jones, clarinetist Charles Neidich, pianists Diane Walsh and Seymour Lipkin, and cellists Manfred Stilz, Marcy Rosen and the late Paul Tobias. 

Dr. Podgurski has premiered numerous new works including a commission of a concerto by Pulitzer-Prize winning composer George Walker which she premiered with the Queens Symphony Orchestra. She is a dedicated proponent of new music, focusing on premiering works of NYC based composers and programming such works on her concert series based in New York. 

Barbara has been working for a number of years with the Department of Cultural Affairs as a main contact for organizing and contracting musicians for the 9-11 Commemoration Memorial (live televised broadcast from Ground Zero in NYC) and most recently was invited with her colleagues to perform at a private ceremony for Pope Francis and members of the United Nations in an interfaith prayer service during the 2015 Papal visit to NYC. 

Dr. Podgurski is currently the Executive and Artistic Director of Musica Reginae Productions in Queens, NY.  She is also a past Music Director of NIAM (Nantucket Island Arts and Music Summer Festival). She is a member of the Lexington Piano Trio (with violinist Cyrus Beroukhim and cellist Arash Amini) as well as the Barbad Chamber Orchestra and Ensemble based in Astoria, Queens. A former faculty member at The Mannes College of Music and Hunter College, she is currently on the faculty of Mercy College, the RiverArts Music Program in Hudson Valley, and is a consultant for the Board of Education for both New York City and New York State. By invitation in 2014, Dr. Podgurski became a Steinway Teaching Artist. She performed once again this past spring at Carnegie Hall (NY), toured this past summer with performances on Nantucket, at the Luzerne Summer Music Festival and at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, and has just returned from a tour including concerts in St. Croix (USVI) and Palm Beach (FL). She also performed this November with the rock band Evanescence on their Synthesis Tour.

Barbara is currently a contributing writer to Cambridge’s Nineteenth Century Music Review.

ABOUT MUSICA REGINAE PRODUCTIONS Musica Reginae Productions (MRP) was formed in 2000 in order to expand the availability of classical music for the residents of Queens in their home borough, to build community and the audience for classical and other fine music in Queens. MRP is committed to bringing the highest caliber of artists to its concert series, and in addition to its evening concert series MRP hosts a series of interactive, educational programs for children both in the classroom and in everyday recreational settings within the community, in the company of family members and friends. MRP is dedicated to serving the citizens of Queens, the most ethnically diverse county in the United States. Each year MRP continues to build its community audience base through programming a variety of musical genres including traditional classical, modern (classical), Jazz, experimental and World-music genres. Providing the community with a series of hosted, informative concert events with a great variety of musical genres and styles has been the central focal point of MRP, now in its 18th concert season. Please visit for more information.

Pictures of the Day

Don't forget to send in your photos. We run them in our ongoing series "Picture of the Day." Email them to (The one below was taken before yesterday's snow)

Monday, November 5, 2018

Amazon Said To Choose Queens for Second Headquarters

From The NY Times:

Amazon’s HQ2? Make That Q for Queens
New York City last week announced $180 million in new spending on Long Island City to bolster transit, fix the sewer system and attract new, good-paying jobs. Now it appears that spending was, in part, deliberately timed. Amazon is nearing a deal to name Long Island City, a fast-growing neighborhood on the western edge of Queens, as one of two locations that would together house as many as 50,000 employees in its ever-expanding work force, according to two people briefed on the negotiations.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Scenes from Halloween 2018 in Forest Hills

The crowds stretched as far as the eye could see as trick-or-treaters headed towards Burns Street to check out the annual decorations. And this year, as usual, they did not disappoint!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Please Consider Donating

This is the organization so hated by that murderous freak on Saturday: HIAS

Please consider making a donation.

And, of course, vote out the Republican haters next Tuesday.

Scapegoating was a tactic of the Nazis in Germany. It is a tired, old, tactic judged a failure by history (just look at the smoldering ruins of Germany after World War 2). Why would the Republican Party in this day and age choose to use it? Is it really too hard for them to come up with even just a few ideas to improve our society and our world?

Friday, October 26, 2018

Don't Forget...

To visit Edge of the City Unfiltered, where  you can post whatever you'd like.

And To Get more Edge of the City on:




What's Up With the Former New York & Company Site?

I walked by this space the other day and noticed the For Rent signs are down. I haven't checked in the past day or two but I assume that hasn't changed. Does anyone know what might be going in there eventually? I wouldn't mind a Panera Bread, Pret a Manger, or something along those lines. Perfect location and the space seems big enough for that kind of restaurant.
What would you like to see in that space?

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Housing Works Opens on Austin Street in Forest Hills

FINALLY.... there's now a convenient place to donate all that stuff that's been taking up space in our closets. The new Housing Works Thrift Shop is now open at 71-54 Austin Street in Forest Hills. This will come as a welcomed relief to residents -- like myself  -- who don't own a car and yet have bags and bags of old things we've been looking to donate for years.

For those not familiar with this excellent organization, here is some information off their website:

"Housing Works is a healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Our mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain our efforts.
Housing Works pioneered the concept of social enterprise businesses whose profits assist in funding the mission of its parent not-for-profit organization. Housing Works operates several enterprise businesses including acclaimed Housing Works Thrift Shops and the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. Together these businesses help provide crucial funding towards Housing Works mission in addition to providing employment opportunities to the community."

I snapped this photo of what you can bring over to donate, and below are photos from inside their new shop on Austin Street.

EatsCon 2018 Brings Celebrities, Tons of Food, and Huge Crowds

Forest Hills Stadium held its first food festival last weekend. EatsCon attracted huge crowds, celebrity guests, musicians and, of course, tons of food from restaurants throughout Queens, the rest of New York City, and surrounding areas. There were also food panels with celebrities like Olympic athlete Adam Rippon and Nina and Tim Zaggat.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Film Festival Returning to Midway Theater Next Year

Kew Gardens Festival Of Cinema Rebranded As FESTIVAL OF CINEMA NYC,
Returns To Regal UA Midway In Forest Hills And Queens Museum
Aug. 2-11, 2019

Ranked By FilmFreeway In The Top 2% Of Film Festivals And Creative Contests Around The World, FESTIVAL OF CINEMA NYC Call for Submissions For 2019 Edition Now Open

Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema has big changes in store for its third annual event taking place August 2-11, 2019, and submissions for the festival are now open. With its new home and location at the Regal UA Midway in Forest Hills, Queens, this past 2018 festival, Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema is rebranding itself as FESTIVAL OF CINEMA NYC going forward. This rebranding will allow the festival to expand its appeal, helping attract attendees and filmmakers from around the world, to the city’s most ethnically diverse borough.
In just two years, FESTIVAL OF CINEMA NYC has been ranked as one of the ‘Top 100 Best Reviewed Festivals” on FilmFreeway. According to reviews from real FilmFreeway users, the festival ranks in the top 2% of more than 6,000 film festivals and creative contests around the world.
FESTIVAL OF CINEMA NYC is sponsored by the Queens Museum and Regal Entertainment Group —the second largest theater chain in the United States. Screenings will take place at the Regal UA Midway in Forest Hills on grand screens with state of the art sound and projection. Attendees experience each screening in the comfort of the theater's recliner seats.
At the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, filmmakers and festival guests can take advantage of free programming, industry panels, workshops and additional screenings.
The support of these established organizations allows FESTIVAL OF CINEMA NYC to bring truly independent cinema to mainstream audiences, breaking the stereotypes that are often associated with lower budget independent films.
Hailed by The Wall Street Journal as an event that New Yorkers are “taking note of,” and with coverage in major media including The New York Times, The Huffington Post and Time Out New York, FESTIVAL OF CINEMA NYC aims to put independent filmmakers in the spotlight by offering opportunities like no other independent film festival.
The Festival's publicity team works to get the most news and media coverage for as many of the films as possible. In the past, the Festival's filmmakers have been spotlighted on such news media as Page Six and NY1 News on Spectrum Time Warner Cable. Further promotional opportunities available to our filmmakers include participation on the Festival Talks Daily Podcasts, Red Carpet interviews, as well as opportunities for filmmakers to participate on filmmaker panels to discuss the challenges faced in the independent film industry.
This year, the Festival will partner with a variety of local and international sponsors who will be presenting panels and workshops. Sponsors include The New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, SAG-AFTRA, Moviemaker Magazine, Variety 411, Final Draft, Simple DCP, Soundview Media Partners, Synimatica, The Acting Studio NYC, Seed & Spark, Yelp and Big City Graphics. Plus, every filmmaker that submits their film(s) will automatically receive a one-year subscription to Videomaker Magazine, a leading subscription service that focuses on guiding independent filmmakers with online tutorials and publications (a $20 value). In addition, all selected filmmakers will receive Full Access film badges that allow entry to all screenings and networking events, as well as the latest edition of Variety 411 (choice of NY or LA edition.)
FESTIVAL OF CINEMA NYC is a competitive festival that accepts films and media of all lengths, genres and subjects. Awards in over 15 categories include Best Feature and Short Narrative, Best Documentary, Best Animation, Music Video & Experimental, and Best Web Series. Audience choice for Feature and Short film are also awarded. Winners can expect to walk away with a custom statuette as well as over $15,000 in prizes being offered from sponsors.  
Organizers says FESTIVAL OF CINEMA NYC will be an amazing experience for everyone that attends - so filmmakers and guests can expect networking events that include Karaoke, Trivia night, Comedy Night, Billiards Night and After Parties taking place throughout the area, hosted by local sponsors.
In the past, the Festival has hosted panels and workshops that strongly appeal to filmmakers. Subjects including diversity, women in film, distribution and production resources, as well as workshops by industry leaders such as SAG-AFTRA and Seed & Spark have been very popular amongst filmmakers and attendees.
Past panelists and Jury Board members have included Anna Garduno, Executive Producer at Netflix; Charles E. Williams, two-time Emmy award winner at CBS; and Doug LeClaire, founder of Asbury Shorts USA.
To submit your film(s) to the 2019 FESTIVAL OF CINEMA NYC, visit FilmFreeway, Withoutabox, or

New Apartment Building Planned for 72nd Avenue

Permits have been filed for a new 7-story residential building at 108-15 72nd Ave., between Queens Blvd. and Austin Street in Forest Hills, according to the website New York Yimby. Here is a photo of the location:

The 70-foot tall structure will yield 27,670 square feet, with 19,700 square feet dedicated to residential use. 26 apartments will be created, averaging 760 square feet apiece, indicating rentals. Despite the close proximity to rapid transit, the building will include 13 parking spaces.
More information:  Permits Filed For 108-15 72nd Avenue, Forest Hills, Queens

Call for Volunteers for Mulch and Plant Event This Saturday!

Friends of MacDonald Park is sponsoring a Mulch and Plant Day on Saturday, October 13th, 9:30-12:00. We need more volunteers to help apply mulch around nearly 100 of the trees that were planted in 2011. These trees replaced those that were destroyed by the 2010 Macroburst.

We will also be planting seasonal plants throughout the park.

If you can spare an hour or two, it would be greatly appreciated.

As always, we provide gloves, tools, and refreshments.

Students receive Community Service Credit too!

Email with any questions. Those interested can just show up at the park tomorrow at 9:30.