Friday, June 29, 2007
I just found this. It's an up-to-date map of all the stores/restaurants in FoHi's business district, with any blurbs about them from various sites and magazines.
Word of caution, it's really slow to load.
Inside NYC is advertising a huge "Final Days Sale" (written in English, Spanish and Russian).
Neck and neck down the block it's Shoe Bar whose giant window sign says "Liquidating Entire Stock!" and in the other window and in the other window "Everything Must Go".
No winners if either of these go under. The closest guess was Steve T's "one of those brown stores on Austin St. that sell hideous dresses". I have to assume he meant brown awning-attired Alexandra or Chez Moi. Can't give it to you.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
"The restriction would affect "the side streets along Austin Street, from 72nd Avenue to 68th Avenue on both sides of Continental Avenue," said James McClelland, a spokesman for City Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills)."
The issue has been the cause of heated debate here, with about half for and half against the vendors.
Personally, I like them. I don't buy the 'We should try to be more like Greenwich, CT' argument because Continental is right outside the express stop. Even 34th st. and 86th street in Manhattan is a lower class than the surrounding streets because of the express subways. Major express stop blocks are just not going to be as nice - the food carts have nothing to do with it. Not to mention, there are food carts all up Madison Ave in the 60's and 70's and they're not exactly low rent districts.
I don't like the weekenders any more than you do, but it's not like if we ban the vendors, they're all going to stay home. They'll still come to Value Depot and leave their empty Starbucks cups on the muni-meters, right next to a mother f'n trash can. But the more dining options, the more the neighborhood places will have to get their shit together. And the vendors (since they're owned and operated) are usually much more pleasant than the "I'm only doing this because my father won't let me have the Mercedes until I do" 19 year olds at the in-store places.
Lastly, these are not down-on-their-luck old women selling pound cake from a blanket. These are pretty high-end enclosed food carts. Let the vendors stay, I say.
The story: http://www.timesledger.com/site/news.asp?brd=2676&pag=460&dept_id=551069
Also, one of the commenters said that the new Metropolitan restaurant will be French. One of the other staffers said "Continental. It will probably be French/Continental like Mark's on the Upper East Side (Mark's menu).
First is Thai Austin. The Chowhound string about it is going again http://www.chowhound.com/topics/248808 and people seem to love it. I went and I didn't like as much as Bann Thai, but that was a while ago. I found it a little too heavy and I don't like that shopping center.
So if Thai Austin is any good, check out Chowhound and put in your two cents. It sounds like it's not getting the business it should be.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Chairman Robert Tierney (email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org),
Dir. of Research Mary Beth Betts (email@example.com)and carbon copy:•
Michael Perlman (firstname.lastname@example.org)•
Jeff Gottlieb (email@example.com)
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
While no stores have closed since the contest was announced, Broadway Bakery is now offering a "Buy 3 items get 1 free" promotion. Trouble in the land of loud poorly tuned Emerson boom boxes and pizza-flavored muffins?
Despite my pick being universally panned, I'm sticking with Radio Shack.
Stores still available to be picked: GNC, Austin Leather Goods, and the most underused mammoth space on Austin Street - Lucille Roberts.
You gotta be in it to win it!
There was no stage, they played on the sidewalk on the Continental side of Citibank. The two acts I saw were a steel drum player and a folk singer. Some people stopped and watched, others kept walking. I thought it lent a great urban feel to the increasingly urban Continental, with its nut cart and fruit stands.
The intervals of rain kinda screwed with the momentum the event was gaining throughout the evening. That and the fact that one of the acts (Mike Butler) either was very late or didn't show caused a long delay in the music. Note to the organizers, if the talent is to go on at 7pm, tell them 6. Musicians can't tell time.
I hope they do it next year. One suggestion, Continental is just too busy to have something like this. Would love to see a site at the Austin St. park in AQUA or closer to Station Square.
But definitely a success and try to make it next year.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
A few workers were painting the outside of it today. Outside are white French doors with a large glass window panes above them. The inside is very open white/green/black modern with tables to the left and a bar on the right. It looks like there might be seating in the back OUTSIDE, but that might have just been a back alley. The doors in the back of the restaurant opened to something outside. This restaurant definitely looks like a new hip space.
When asked (by my wife) what the type of restaurant it will be, the worker responded "Continental". Though I'm not sure what that means, the workers were polite and seemed like enthusiastic young Americans (just mentioning so we can guess it won't be ethnic food like a Jade or a Latina Cabana Express).
DB's I guess attracted this place since there have been reports of long wait times at Danny's excellent bistro and nowhere else to go except Dee's, which is a different dining experience (and is also impossible to get a table most of the time).
In any case, since a few months ago this was an office supply store, this has to be considered an absolute home run for Forest Hills. Granted, it's a little far, but Metropolitan and Ascan is a beautiful walk from AQUA and an even better bike ride from anywhere in Forest Hills.
No word on the name of the place or the chef. From the outside of it, they still look at least a month away from opening.
Friday, June 22, 2007
I received this letter from Michael Perlman. He tried unsucessfully to landmark the Trylon movie theatre, which is now the Education Center for Russian Jewry. QueensCentral - I'd love your help on this one.
Please just email the LPC and let them know you'd like the townhouses landmarked. Here's why:
- They look great and there's nothing like them left in the Forest Hills business district.
- There's already plenty of office space in Forest Hills. Why do you think the commercial space in the Windsor has been vacant for two years.
- If marketed correctly, they can become a very cool restaurant. bar, book store or other kind of funky place that we've all been calling for - but that's lost forever if they're torn down for sterile offices.
And here are Perlman's reasons why we need your help (I bolded the most important parts):
Letter Campaign To Preserve Oldest Forest Hills Rowhouses & Most Endangered (Please help)
June 22, 2007
I am Michael Perlman, Chairman of the "Rego-Forest Preservation Council," which advocates for the preservation of potential individual landmarks & potential historic districts, throughout Forest Hills & Rego Park, and proudly supports the efforts of other Queens neighborhoods. I would like to inform you of an effort that Jeff Gottlieb (Pres of Central Queens Historical Assoc.) & I are working on. We would appreciate your assistance by composing a letter of support to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC).
We are hoping to spare an extremely significant piece of Forest Hills history; the unique "Manhattan-style" rowhouses that are on the west side of 72nd Ave between Austin St & Queens Blvd (108-11, 15, 17, 19, 21 72nd Ave). They are Forest Hills' oldest buildings & the only remaining rowhouses of its type. They were erected in 1906 by Cord Meyer, on the first street to be cut through, Roman Ave (now 72nd Ave). They are also synonymous with the naming of Forest Hills by Cord Meyer. They were dedicated in 1991 by the Central Queens Historical Association, and re-dedicated in Aug 2006 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the rowhouses and Forest Hills' 100th. A plaque notes their significance.
Sadly, the rowhouses on the east side of the street have been completely demolished over the last few years. Out of the 5 remaining rowhouses on the west side, 2 are imminently endangered. They're presently for sale, and being pitched as "a perfect site for developers &/or investors."My proposal to the LPC is here: [Click here to view the text of the letter.]
Please feel free to reference any facts, and send your version of the letter to the following addresses:
• Chairman Robert Tierney (firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com), and
• Dir. of Research Mary Beth Betts (firstname.lastname@example.org)and carbon copy:
• Michael Perlman (email@example.com)
• Jeff Gottlieb (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Also, please encourage other potential supporters to take out a few moments, and do their share. It is important that we unite in solidarity for noteworthy causes in our neighborhood(s).
Thank you for your support!Michael Perlmanunlockthevault@hotmail.com
Get writing, please.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
The food vendor story:
Some people are complaining about the vendors on Continental between QB and Austin St. - saying they're illegal. It looks like the law is on the vendors' side however. I guess restaurants are complaining about them. Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce President Leslie Brown:
""I've heard they're spreading out to 70th Road," Brown said, referring to Forest Hills' restaurant row. She is putting her faith in Katz's office to suggest legislation outlawing the vendors in Forest Hills. "
Let them spread out all over Forest Hills, who cares? Maybe more food options for our annoying weekenders will result in area restaurants actually having to serve more discerning Forest Hills residents. If you're going to charge $20 (plus tax and tip) for a brunch, you gotta give me more than scrambled eggs and a shot glass of orange juice. Screw you and your flat mimosa.
Highlight: All of these subtle elements—curved streets, mixed housing, small parks, diversity, and a connection to a larger urban environment—amount to an ideal neighborhood.
Another unrelated Forest Hills overview from a few days ago .http://www.nydailynews.com/services/realestate/2007/06/06/2007-06-06_forest_hills.html
Highlight: It’s hard to imagine why any city banker or married couple looking for suburban utopia would consider Westchester or Long Island. At 16 minutes from midtown by train, Forest Hills, Queens, is the most countryfied place close to the grit-filled frenzy of Manhattan.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
We'll keep it to stores on QB and Austin and side streets from Yellowstone to Ascan. Judging by upkeep, store traffic, incoming competition, increased rent, and employee morale, can you guess the next "For Rent" location? The winner gets his house bulldozed by Frank Baharastani and replaces it with a bank that sells cell phones and pastries.
I'll get the betting going. My pick is Radio Shack - Continental Ave.
It looks like the old Parkside Press location (106-17 Metropolitan Ave) is going to become a restaurant. It's on the same block as the movie theatre and the outdoor Theater Cafe.
The new restaurant looks like it's going to be well-designed upscale with nice white French doors and cool looking lighting fixtures above them. The windows are all papered up, but the architecture plans are visible which call for an elaborate new kitchen system - which leads me to believe it's a restaurant.
With Dee's Brick Oven, DB's Bistro, Theater Cafe, Eddy's Sweet Shop, and this new upscale place, Metropolitan in the 72nd/Ascan area has really become a very cool couple of blocks.
While it seems far away, it's only 7/10ths of a mile from the Ascan/Austin intersection. A very nice walk away.
A little further west on Metropolitan Ave - the 7-11 is complete and I don't know why it's not open yet. Just dotting the i's at this point I guess. It's huge. It looks like a supermarket. The locals are still worried about kids hanging out there, but as the owner put it - it's either they hang out there or somewhere else - they're your kids not ours. But she said she'll take whatever steps she can to ensure they don't congregate. With no public transportation nearby, I'm sure any kids who hang out there will be the pretty much harmless Forest Hills type with skateboards and ipods, not bandanas and guns.
In other Metropolitan Ave news, the decrepit car repair place at the corner of Metropolitan and Continental has been purchased, fenced off, and torn down. A tear-down that even Queens Crap couldn't oppose. No word on what the new building will look like or be. But since the area was recently rezoned, don't expect condos or offices.
So big things for Austin St's cooler cousin to the south.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
SOUTHAMPTON, Long Island (1010 WINS) -- An early morning breakfast turned ugly at a Southampton diner after several patrons started a food fight that ended with a person needing medical treatment and two arrests.
The fight broke out about five this morning at the Hamptons Bays Diner. Police say several people started a food fight which escalated into throwing dishware and breaking tables.
A security guard attempting to intervene was punched and had to be treated for his injuries.
In the Spring of 1991, following years of working for multiple Chinese bakeries, young Han Chow set off to jump-start his own bakery. Fay Da Bakery’s first location opened on Center Street in downtown Manhattan. This location was considered off-Chinatown a decade ago, but the location still served many Chinese commuters from other boroughs coming off the Canal Street train station. Due to high demands, Mr. Chow decided to open a centrally located Fay Da Bakery within the Chinese community on Grand Street.
Our customers are fine tuned with their taste buds. They know what's a good piece of bread from the bad. We promise freshness to all our baked goods.
Quick analysis: Neighborhood neutral. Obviously, this place isn't going to draw gangbanger wannabees (they'll still go to the Midway), Rego Park taggin' teens (they'll still go to McDonald's) or zipperheads (they'll still go to Bartini's). It just sounds like another option to get bread and pastry, which is good. The only residual effect it may have is the closing of Broadway Bakery, which now has more than its share of competition. But what would we do without BB's mean service, poor quality, dirty floors, and loud poorly-tuned radio?
Keeping that tradition, from one of the comments on the Make Music Forest Hills event coming Thursday night to Continental Ave. on June 21st, Sparky invites:
"We still have room for anyone who wishes to lend their musical talent to Make Music NY in Forest Hills. If you play a banjo, violin, harmonica, or a flute... come on down and we'll try to squeeze you in."
More info: http://www.timeout.com/newyork/static_content/makemusic/
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Also discussed is neighbors' concerns that little bastards will hang out in the parking lot and tag everything in site. The 7-11 owners said they own another one on Eliot Ave and said they don't put up with that shit.
"We can take care of it at 7-Eleven, and we have," Phyllis Dumain said. "But that doesn't take the problem out of the community."
Good point Phyllis.
5:00pm: John Nazarini & Co.
6:00pm Lauren O'Brien
7:00pm Mike Butler
8:00pm Native Cubana
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Great idea from a great store. Check it out - Austin St. a few yards east of Ascan.
So the Tennis Club is everywhere. Awesome.
Also, check out this piece from NY1 a few years back that talks about wanting to host events. http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index.jsp?&aid=43961&search_result=1&stid=10
I know the stadium has hosted some more tennis events, but the last non-tennis event I think was the K-Rock Dysfunctional Family Picnic (radio concert) sometime in the 90's. It looks like they're ready to once again become part of our community and I think it's a great thing. Forest Hills and the Tennis Stadium go hand and hand.
Any interest in joining the club or getting involved in the charity event, check out www.foresthillstennis.com
Sunday, June 10, 2007
According to Queenscentral.com, there's going to be a bank where Cold Stone Creamery was, and a button place (a place that sells buttons) where some wireless crap store was in AQUA next to the bicycle store.
Quick analysis, no problem with the button place. If it were open for 80 years on Mulberry St., the NY Times would write columns about it and we'd all be saying that we need a quaint neighborhood place like that. And landlords are always going to go after banks, they're a sure thing (literally, money in the bank). It's quiet and closes early. I don't hate banks as much as everyone else seems to. I know it's disappointing we didn't get that American Bistro we're all waiting for, but both new places are neighborhood neutral and we don't get better or worse. Could have been check cashing and fried seafood.
Hope the parade was fun, sorry I missed it. I always love seeing the idiots circling the block looking for a way to drive to TGI Fridays.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Does it draw any of the little bastards that loiter (and litter) on the LIRR steps? We wait and we hope. . .
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Monday, June 4, 2007
Park Slope: 6
Brooklyn Heights: 8
Forest Hills: 57
Granted, some of that is repeat listings by those subtle realtors DAKOTA REALTY 4 U!!!!!!, but even with those taken out, we're still at least triple the others. And these are just the vacant ones.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
The cover band of eight-year olds (or at least that's what they looked like, they were actually probably high schoolers) played a lot of Green Day covers. And they threw in a couple of Guns and Roses in there too. Nice to see high school bands are still doing the Axl version of Knockin' On Heaven's Door.
But my favorite part of the day was the raffle. They announced the winners, not by number, but by last name (you had to fill out each ticket w/ your name & number). Once they started calling out the last names of the winners, you knew you were in the Gardens.
Nash. Riley. Hunter. Not a Rosenbaum or Ortiz in the bunch.