Monday, July 30, 2007
"Finally! As of yesterday, Jason and I are officially living in Forest Hills! The more time I spend in the neighborhood, the more I love it. I love every aspect of it. I love the neighborhood. I love our building. I love our apartment. I love my new roommate."
Just moved in to Forest Hills. Work at home on some days and don't have anything set up at my place yet. "Looking for a place that has free wifi. The closer to Ascan and QB, the better"
I haven't yet been to Metropolitan, but I've heard all about Eddie's and the other good stuff there. Can't wait to explore!
Friday, July 27, 2007
I was nervous about this place due to the gaudy signage, but it looks awesome inside. It's wide open and it looks like they ripped apart the ceiling between the first and second floor to and put in a sky light on the roof.
Whatever they did, it's completely airy and really inviting.
For a structure to qualify as a landmark, it must be at least 30 years old and possess “a special historical or aesthetic interest or value as part of the development, heritage, or cultural characteristics of the city.” And the Forest Hills houses “did not rise to the level of a historic district,” said Lisi de Bourbon, a spokeswoman for the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Perlman goes on to refute that claim and backs it up with data. Great job everyone, let's hope it's not too late.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Annette Aguilar and StringBeans were honored twice for selection as "Latin Ambassadors" by the U.S. State Department and the Kennedy Center. The ensembles CDs, Special Friends and No Cheap Dates have received extensive radio airplay and outstanding critical acclaim.
Thursday August 16thValery Ponomarev & Universal Language
http://www.valeryponomarev.com/ (sounds great)
Trumpet master Valery Ponomarev emerged on the international jazz scene when he defected from Russia to join the late great drummer Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers. Valery has gone on to record and perform with such top stars as drummer Max Roach, pianists Kenny Barron and Larry Willis, trombonist Curtis Fuller, saxophonists Benny Golson, Bobby Watson, Paquito D'Rivera and with the Lionel Hampton and Duke Ellington Orchestras.
As leader of his own group, Universal Language, Valery offers treasured Jazz classics from the "Great American Songbook". The ensemble features crowd-pleasing favorites by Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, George and Ira Gershwin, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, and McCoy Tyner. Universal Language audiences will enjoy Valery's own soulful original compositions as part of this great repertoire.
Valery Ponomarev has appeared on CNN, PBS, National Geographic Today and Japanese, Brazilian, and European television. He is also a top educator teaching at the New School in New York City, Long Island University and in master classes around the world.
Thursday August 23rdJack Jeffers and The New York Classics
Jack Jeffers, The New York Classics leader and a versatile tuba and bass trombone player has spent his career in big bands with some of the best including Count Basie, Maynard Ferguson, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles and Clark Terry. The trademark low brass punch of the New York Classics knocks out audiences all over the Big Apple.
As a composer and arranger he melds Ellington elegance and bayou-funk, John Phillip Sousa, Harlem and the samba. Stereophile reviews state "They just don't come any cooler�the arrangements are fabulous�unbelievably dynamic with layer upon layer of sound".
Jeffers doesn't call his band Classics for nothing. You will recognize pieces such as Ellington's "Mood Indigo", Mingus's "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat", and Jobim's "Corcovado". Jazz performed by The Classics on a hot summer night couldn't get any cooler.
“While everyone knows the Manhattan market continues to be strong, the boroughs outside Manhattan are bucking the trend in the rest of the country and seeing solid increases in home prices,” REBNY president Steven Spinola said in the report.
Now it's possible that he put a little of his own spinola into his quote, but the fact is co-ops and condos are up in Queens from this report. Average square foot in the borough is $357.
No one can time the real estate market. If you're thinking of buying, Forest Hills is as good an investment as any. But do the math.
Let's say a nice 1 br in AQUA rents for $1800. Let's say the same 1br sells for $285k + 650 maintenance with a 50% tax break.
285K - down payment = 228k. 228 x 6 - $1367 mortgage. + 650 = $2017. Minus the tax break - say conservatively $400/month.
That's $1617 per month to own an apartment that costs $1800 to rent. I'd say now's a good a time as any to buy - a claim I don't think you could make in many other nice areas of NYC.
The trick is the down payment, I know. I just wish some of the co-ops around here would accept the fact that 57k is an unreasonable amount for a 1br shopper to save. 28k would be so much easier to reach. It took me much longer than I care to admit and the whole policy keeps younger people from moving in.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
You'll learn that
- Martha's started in Hell's Kitchen in 1972 before later relocating to Astoria.
- The Forest Hills location is called a "huge success".
- They're planing five more locations.
From Gothamist on Danny Brown's:
ordered a special of homemade gnocchi with English peas topped with fresh ricotta and mint oil. We're usually skittish about ordering these potato dumplings, since we've had leaden versions on more than one occasion. Not only were Danny Brown's dumplings light, they were downright creamy. So much so that they almost had the same texture as the fresh ricotta.
From Food Mayhem on Peking Duck Forest:
The Peking Duck there is superb, from the flavor and texture of the duck skin to the house made wraps, to the friendly chef who carves your duck table side. Don't worry if you're a first timer, the chef also expertly makes each wrap for you with the right proportion of scallion, cucumber, duck and sauce. Just enjoy watching and then eating.
Gothamist takes the obligatory shots at Forest Hills, even though their creator is born and raised in New Jersey. And I haven't been to Peking Duck since East Ocean Palace opened, so maybe they got a new chef.
Anyway, good reviews. On a side note, I went to Portofino at the corner of Ascan and Queens Blvd last night. Just got a slice for my son. Why is that place so popular? Is the beer and wine free with dinner?
If you're in the area, walk the extra couple of blocks to The Family Restaurant. It's not perfect, but as boring Italian restaurants go, it's above the rest. And the service is excellent - and that counts for something.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Whoever was responsible for booking that act should lose their job. I'm not exaggerating. First, there was no band. It was karaoke. Second, the performers looked like OTB rejects. The guys you see looking in the coin slots outside the Continental Avenue station.
Their shirts were dirty. They sang off key. They had to read the words from a monitor. It was completely unfit for public viewing. I couldn't believe it. We wanted to dance but the music was slow country ballads (though was billed as Rock and Roll). Complete embarrasment.
A beautiful night in Forest Park, in a really great bandshell. Under lights. With an open food station nearby. On a Friday. What a waste.
So my question is, would you make it to Forest Park if there were a real rock band playing? Judging from Billy C and Friends who have 4 Friday nights booked there this summer- it's not that hard to get a gig. So if we put together something - even a modern cover band - would you come out?
It's a great facility, but I honestly believe that the Forest Park staff put about as much effort in booking the acts as they do maintaining Flushing Meadows - none. So maybe they need a little help.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Forest Park Concert Series
Friday, Jul 20, 2007 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Queens
Rock - n - Roll with Billy C. and Friends
Location: Woodhaven Blvd. @ Forest Park Drive
No word if Billy C. is Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins.
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.orgDate: 2007-07-19, 10:30PM EDTWine Bar & Kitchen on Metropolitan Ave in Forest Hills seeking experienced, outgoing servers. Must be available to work weekday & weekend afternoon/evening shifts. Please send resumes in the body of your email or attached as MS Word documents only.
So, shall we play a game? How would you get to - a game that highlights the many transportation options of Forest Hills. Post in the comments how you would get there.
Let's start with a biggie. The Empire State Building.
Conditions: Raining but not pouring, 8:30am weekend. 55 degrees. Starting point - Natural Market.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
So even though the majority of New York City residents are against it. Even though our legislators are against it, it's going to happen.
Oh, I'm sorry - a commission will study it first then they'll vote. That commission has about the same legitimacy as Satriale's Meat Market. It's a board of puppets that will do anything their leader (Bloomy) tells them to.
Katz, Hevesi, and Weiner - please do the right thing for Forest Hills and make the Congestion zone citywide. Or at least protect us from becoming a great big park n' ride. We don't want the cars any more than Manhattan does and we have just as much traffic. Most of us don't drive to work, why should we become a parking lot for those who do?
Want proof? The "Early Bird" rate at the garage next to the Midway is $12. The early bird rate next to my office in Manhattan is $15. A little more, but hardly worth all the bullshit we've been hearing for the last four months.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
If you can get by the annoying gimmicky substitution of the word 'heart' for 'love' in the title, there are some good comments (40 of them) about the move.
Haven't been to Martha's in a while but it I've heard the good food is being offset by the bitchy/confusing service. However, I have heard the cupcakes are good.
We went to visit Lissy's BFF from college Michelle. She lives in Forest Hills (in Queens). It's really cute where she lives. It's city-ish, but nice & clean.
Then we went to the boardwalk and Coney Island. The boardwalk is all decrepit...we felt like we were going to fall through the slats. We went into the city on Friday. On the subway. With broken air conditioning. Gross. So...we get into New York City & Lissy is like "Do you love it?" And I say "It's just like San Francisco...but dirty. With rude people. Yuck."
I’ve been against this from the beginning. Why?
- There is no more traffic in Manhattan than anywhere else in the city. The plan will only make things worse for the 7.2 million who live outside the zone while benefiting the 800k inside.
Forest Hills and other transit hubs would become parking lots.
If it works and people don’t drive into Manhattan, no money is raised. The only chance we have at raising money is if people drive, thus NOT reducing pollution.
The subways are at capacity.
If buses are so great, why are will building a 2nd Ave subway.
If Manhattan were serious about congestion, they would mandate cabs be spread out among the boroughs.
The estimated $13 billion in losses that traffic causes was estimated at $4 billion just a few years ago by the same group. Even though traffic has gone down in that period. How can you trust those numbers?
The money raised would just go to running the complex plan, just like London.
People who pay city taxes, should not be charged to enter parts of that city. Make the damn thing citywide or eliminate the city Personal Income Tax.
I don’t like bike riding 25 year olds from Michigan (who are never wrong about anything ever) telling me that forcing cars from their neighborhood into mine is actually good for my family.
As I said in my letters to my representatives when Bloomberg first hinted at the plan, I can’t imagine a more divisive and hostile program. And, I was right as the hostility towards everyone against the plan, WHO JUST WANT THE SAME CLEAN AIR FOR THIEIR KIDS AS MANHATTANITES, was vicious.
The best part was when they asked “Well what’s your plan?” My plan for fixing traffic in your area? I don’t know, what’s your plan for fixing my bathroom faucet?
The traffic in Manhattan is no worse than other parts of the city and this would just make it worse. Work on ticketing double parked cars before you ruin neighborhoods. Thank you legislators for showing the real courage and defeating this unfair proposal.
Monday, July 16, 2007
I'll say this - it seems like people's biggest problem with Forest Hills is with some of the people (zipperheads, weekenders, etc). Well, that's the most easily changeable aspect of a neighborhood. If you told me the schools were shit. If you told me it's impossible to get to Manhattan. If you told me there was a ton of crime. Then I'd be worried. But if it were already flooded with people like you, then you wouldn't be able to afford it.
Anyway, at Nick's on Saturday Night they were blasting "Gone Daddy Gone" by the Violent Femmes and it was packed with the very cool looking people. Then, during a walk after dinner, the Church in the Gardens played "Morning Has Broken" by Cat Stevens on its church bells. It sounded amazing.
Earlier, we had driven to Jones Beach, come home and took the 12-minute LIRR to the A to the Museum of Natural History. So overall it was a pretty good day and one I don't know you could replicate anywhere other than Forest Hills.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
A few stores east of Continental is "Pampas Argentina" an Argentina Steakhouse. Also "My Kitchen" at Ascan/Metropolitan looks to be finished. It does have an outside seating.
Also, the word came out that Trader Joe's is delayed again until close to the end of the year.
Friday, July 13, 2007
"Here is a preview of the Adidas Spring and Summer 2008 collection. The collection includes the Tobacco Vintage Lux, Training 72, Olympia, Advantage, Gazelle Vintage Lux, Marathon Vintage, Forest Hills Vintage, Grand Slam Vintage, SL76 Olympics, Munich/Munchen Olympics, and the ZX500 Olympics."
No word on a release date."
"The physicians at HealthMakers in Forest Hills have a singular goal for every person who walks through their clinic’s door: relieve pain so that their patients can lead the healthiest and happiest lives possible."
Actualy, it has a few goals. A) Relieve pain of their patients. B) Have patients drive their Escalades out of the parking lot and do an immediate u-turns blocking traffic only to double park and get a vanilla latte with six sugars. C) Have employees' boyfriends blast bad club music from Maxima's while waiting for their girlfriends to get off work. D) Make sure all patients park on the sidewalk. E) Make sure all patients have a good workman's comp plan, and have them practice their limps at home.
"This week in Forest Hills, Queens, witnesses observed the Parks Enforcement Patrol cutting chains and hauling off bikes illegally locked to city trees near Continental Ave. and Austin St."
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Perlman and others seek a historic district that would protect the row houses' red brick and limestone facades, gargoyles and stained glass windows.
Monday, July 9, 2007
I moved here for the Sesame Street feel: the romantic brownstones with swarms of children playing on stoops, and Prospect Park, verdant and peaceful, just up the road. It’s a neighborhood where old ladies go to “the beauty parlor” and restaurants have outdoor seating like cafes on the Champs-Élysées.
She met a Shaman along the way. . .
Her son was several months older than mine, and when I said goodbye, she knowingly told me: “They get to be so much more fun. Just you wait.”
I wanted to ask her for her number to hang out again, but I felt shy about it. But knowing Park Slope, I’ll probably see her again, and she’ll remember me.
And the clincher:
"Living here I do feel as if I won the lottery. Mostly, people are really friendly — the kind of friendliness you encounter only in a small country village, or in Australia.
In other words, I'm much better than you because A) I live in Park Slope and B) I've been to Australia and please ask me about it.
Reading through it, you'll be psyched you live in Forest Hills - land of just a bit of welcome self-deprecation.
This apartment is in one of the only rental buildings in AQUA. It's 110-20 73rd Rd - right in the middle of a great block. $1700 for a 1br and there's no fee.
Post in the comments if you go after it.
Friday, July 6, 2007
Whatever it will be, it will be better than that chopshop it's replacing.
Premises: 102-06 METROPOLITAN AVENUE QUEENS
BIN: 4095330 Block: 3900 Lot: 1
Job No: 402622649
Job Type: NB - NEW BUILDING
GMG GERARD MCGOVERN..QUE
Photo is from the Times.
Over on the QueensCentral.com boards, AJ023 makes this bold claim "The nicest section of Forest Hills is the section by Gerard and Parker Towers." True? You decide. Here's the catch, it can't be where you live.
My answer is 68th and Juno.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Anyway, the sayings are kind of hip looking and cryptic - and it's fun to see them change. It shows the store has a sense of hip style - much better than the typical "Everything Must Go" factory produced signs further down Austin.
I hope the store is doing okay.
The purchaser was a doctor who currently has an office on 108th and 70th Rd (the heart of the northside of FoHi). I feel funny giving the name out, but you can go to the NYC.gov site and look it up (that's where I got it).
The building was bought in April 2006 and has been vacant since. I have no idea if the good doctor bought it to put up his own medical building or as a real estate investment.
There have been no applications to the buildings department to alter the building, but it's basically a hardware shed so I imagine no matter what his plans are, he's tearing it down.
Choice quotes: "It just doesn't seem fair that for a small amount of money, a merchant can just park there and block the flow of their business," said Leslie Brown, president of the Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce.
Joe Ghafoori helps manage his cousin's halal meat stand near a Bank of America branch. He said shutting down the business, which specializes in grilled chicken and lamb gyros, would hurt his family. "If they lose this, they have nothing," he said. "That's it. That's their whole life."
Hard to believe that if the push cart - which opened a few weeks ago - has to move a few blocks, Joe Ghafoori's whole life is ruined as is his family's. But then again, last week we had a guy who wanted to expand his attached two-family house to accomodate a kindergarten/temple/water fall/day-care center for Bukharian Jews, but whose real purpose was to honor the 9/11 heroes because after the attack he went into a two-year deep depression - so I guess hyperbole is part of the American Dream.
You know how I feel - I have no problem with the vendors. But the comments from previous posts are skewing about 70-30 against, so it looks like they're gone. Hooray - Boston Chicken and stale danish from nasty cashiers for all!!!
But hey, we cannot disrespect the sidewalk that houses Value Depot and Game Stop.
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Opening for Aish, is Yitz the Great (not kidding). A magician specializing in balloon tricks.
Not sure when Forest Hills became the Catskills circa 1974, but the band's website does have American pop music clips (In the Mood) and they do sound good.
See you there.