Wednesday, October 31, 2007
It's opening in November. For those keeping score, that's three new southern FoHi steakhouses in 2007 (PJ's and Uncle Joe's). Four if you count the new Sally Dee's Chophouse section within Sarabella.
And can any of them beat the hanger steak at Danny Brown's? We'll see, but what soup dumplings are to Flushing, it seems beef is to Forest Hills.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
We got the chicken cutlet with french fries and carrots. It was definitely freshly breaded as you could see the egg and bread crumbs bunched up at certain parts. It's hard to explain and I'm not a food writer. Anyway, it was right out of the skillet and very good. Also, the cheeseburger delux was solid at $7.95 (fries, cole slaw, pickle).
But the interesting part was I saw a lot of people eating alone. Over half the restaurant. And when you think about it, it makes sense. It's home cooking for people who don't want to cook at home.
I love eating alone. I never go to lunch with people at work and there's no better way to read the newspaper.
With that in mind comes the return of the poll of the week. What is Forest Hills best restaurant in which to eat alone? Obviously, we're not talking about anything festive like Cabana. But when your companion is the Post, where are you sitting down for a nice quiet hour?
Workshops to Address Neighborhood ParkingMeetings in 7 neighborhoods to help review possible congestion pricing impacts
The City Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced public workshops in seven neighborhoods to address residents' concerns about the possible impact of congestion pricing on neighborhood parking. The workshops will be the basis for DOT to potentially develop plans to address any “park and ride” activity if such impacts result from congestion pricing in areas near subway stations and transit hubs outside the charging zone.
The study areas, which display a range of parking-related conditions, were selected based on their representative characteristics and their ability to inform parking strategies that can be applied citywide.
Neighborhood Parking Workshop Schedule - First Round:
Upper East Side, Manhattan: November 19
Atlantic/4th/Flatbush Avenues Area, Brooklyn: November 27
Central Harlem, Manhattan: November 28
Forest Hills, Queens: November 29
Long Island City, Queens: November TBD
I'm psyched they included Forest Hills, realizing it's the only neighborhood on the list that has both express subway and LIRR. You bet I'm going to this, as should you. Hopefully we'll get residents-only parking permit out of it, as most cities already have.
Congestion Pricing will definitely increase the already-high number of park and riders. The plan doesn't make sense for anyone outside Manhattan and I'm curious to see how they'll sell it.
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 2007-10-29, 8:13PM EDT
This Prime AAA location is on market for first time in 20 years. This is one of best restaurant space in queens. This is AAA Franchise Location at well below market rent for the next 6 1/2 years. This location on the market today would be In the $20K per month range. Rent for this location with 6 1/2 years $14K per month with 4% increase yearly. This is a once in 20/30 year location. Any kind of top notch, well operated restaurant/bar would do $40K and up in sales per week. $325,000. gets you in with the existing lease. NO BROKERS PLEASE. YOU MUST HAVE RESTAURANT(s) IN OPERATION NOW. WHEN E-MAILING BACK PLEASE HAVE FULL NAME, PHONE, E-MAIL, BEST TIME OF CONTACT AND NAME OF RETSAURANT(S) AND LOCATION(S) OR THERE WILL BE NO REPLY ON OUR PART. THANK YOU AND DON'T OVER LOOK THIS OPPORTUNITY.
Location: Forest Hills
If this space is as good as the ad says and it last came up 20 years ago, you gotta figure Austin Street or 70th Road. So what opened twenty years ago? And what can we do to get that great neighborhood place we're all clammoring for?
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Much more to come regarding opening weekend.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
. . .that means you can bring your kid into that store and get some candy on Halloween. It also means that they participate with the Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce. So take note of all the signs you see and try to give them your business.
To find out more about the chamber and its members please visit www.shopforesthills.com
Friday, October 26, 2007
No parking problems down there, no looking for a space back home. Hell, I'd be into it and I have a car.
- The residents of Forest Hills. No question, this is a big day for the town - up there with the openings of Nick's Pizza and Barnes and Noble.
- 7-11 on Metropolitan. Looking surprisingly desolate since it opened early in summer, you gotta expect a lot of Big Gulp thirsty people on their way to/from TJ's.
- Danny Brown. Gutsy choice of location pays off. This Saturday night mainstay will definitely see an increased weekday crowd as people from all over make the trek for Thai-spiced cashews.
- Parkside Players. This little known theatre troupe is right in the heart of the Metropolitan Ave. rebirth and hopefully will work in some tie-ins with Trader Joe's - whose clientele will certainly be in the theatre's demographic.
- Trader Joe's. Place will be packed from 9 to 9, 7 days a week.
- Natural. I'll still go there, but probably not 3 times a week as I currently do. Still the best fruit in the city and gourmet items you can't get anywhere else (including TJ's). Location is superior to Trader Joe's so store will be fine. Hopefully prices will come down just a little, but there is a price to pay for fresh items so if it doesn't it doesn't.
- Stop and Shop. Trade Fair for necessities and TJ's when we feel like getting the car. Gotta imagine that thought process will be popular in Forest Hills. Large families from Central Queens will still flock here so store will be fine.
- Amish Market. Takes a huge hit with TJ's opening a few blocks away from Atlas Park. The $3 parking charge is already tough for a supermarket to overcome and now that TJ's is closer for a lot of people, don't know if this place can make it. For some reason, I never felt that they were that into it from the beginning and the staff was unusually disinterested from day one.
Welcome to Forest Hills Trader Joe's. See you Sunday morning!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
A.M that is. From today's Forest Hills Ledger:
The opening date of gourmet grocer Trader Joe's is no longer a mystery. The California-based firm announced last Thursday that it would fling open its doors and cut a ceremonial lei at 8:30 a.m. Friday to welcome customers into the store at 90-30 Metropolitan Ave. in Forest Hills.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Another 'You Heard It Here First' moment for Forest Hills 72 readers. Looking to give Johnny Rocket's a run for its money (money meaning about $14 for a burger/fries/drink/tip), Cheeburger is coming to Forest Hills (according to the real estate ad posted by Cord Meyer).
I've never heard of this place, but I remember the skit they stole the name from. Is it sit down service or fast food? Is it like In N Out burger (which is awesome)?
A lot of you wanted a notch-above fast food burger place in various 'what we need in Forest Hills' comments here and on Queens Central. I know Manhattan's Burgers and Cupcakes is always packed. As is 5 Brothers. Forest Hills is the first Cheeburger in NYC -if you don't count JFK terminal 6.
Since all the other neighboring tenants in the ad are within a block of the Windsor (the building being advertised) expect Cheeburger to be around there - probably on Queens Blvd, but that's a guess.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
As posted earlier, I had a sobering conversation with the Brooklyn agent about what we can and cannot afford, and we'll have the opportunity to see some things on Saturday. I'm really looking forward to it, since I think Matt and I might enjoy brooklyn more than queens.
But who needs 'em? http://goteamallen.blogspot.com/2007/10/nabe.html
here are all the things i love about forest hills:
1. strolling down austin street
1a. specifically, nick's pizza. apparently nick is part of the patsy grimaldi family. so, the pizza is just as good as grimaldis (yes, brooklyn doubters, trust me), BUT the interior has a classy decor and the people that work there are ridiculously nice. grimaldis - heavy mob influence & terrible service + bottled root beer & mets fans = nick's pizza. too good to be true.
2. giant trees. i told somebody the other day that our neighborhood reminded me of the avenues, with the clusters of huge trees sloping up the street. it took me a few hours to realize how asinine this statement is, considering our neighborhood is called forest hills. pretty much explains it all.
Yeah, screw 'em! http://nyc.metblogs.com/archives/2007/10/take_a_walk_in.phtml
I'm really sorry I will miss this Walking Tour of Forest Hills, that tries to look at that community as Jane might have. I lived a lot of years there and it's an interesting place in that it combines an organic, Apartment based area with good public transit with a more planned "garden suburb" in a way that works pretty well. The apartments and denser housing provide a backbone and diversity to the area that makes for a nice shopping area and great transit access, while the Garden's offer isolation and natural beauty. Transit access to 71st Ave is very good.
Of course, the report was pretty much dismissed out of hand because it didn't support the goal of the Congestion Pricing. No it's not reducing traffic. The Keep NYC proposal does do that focusing on double parked cars and taxis cruising/cutting off three lanes and stopping to pick up fares.
The real goal of Congestion Pricing is to give Bloomberg a watershed achievement - Watergate to Woodward/Bernstein. . .9/11 handling to Giuliani. . .Fireside Chats to FDR. . .you know something concrete. Trans fat ban just isn't going to cut it. Also, Manhattanites love CP because it keeps people out of their country club.
The open-minded Manhattan-based StreetsBlog.com said that NYC would only get the federal money if Congestion Pricing and only Congestion Pricing were enacted - and thus the Keep NYC report shouldn't even be considered:
Fact Remains: No Congestion Pricing = No Federal Funds. What are you, my Dad trying to get me to do my homework? "Fact Remains: No algebra, no wiffle ball."
And why are we grovelling for federal funds and ruining neighborhoods without so much as a legally-mandated Environmental Impact Study? Isn't our health worth more than $350 million (mysteriously down from $550 a few months ago)? What if the feds promised us a billion if we cleaned up our homeless problem by Friday - what would Streetsblog advocate doing?
Irony - Streetsblog is advertising the Forest Hills Jane Jacobs tour on its sidebar. Good thing it's before Congestion Pricing is enacted or you might as well tour the White Plains Metro North Parking Lot.
Read this Daily News piece on what people OUTSIDE of Manhattan think of this shitty idea called Congestion Pricing.
Brodsky echoed criticisms that surrounding boroughs would become parking lots for suburbanites seeking to avoid the toll, and that the plan unfairly targets the middle class.
"This is a tax directed at middle-income people in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens and it's not fair ... and it simply won't work," he said.
Wylde pointed to dips in congestion and pollution in London and Stockholm.
"Traffic congestion is destroying our economy," she said, citing a $13 billion-a-year cost.
The residents also weighed in, including Lori Copeland, of Kingsbridge, who said the plan would be cost-prohibitive for parents taking their children to Manhattan schools.
Olivia Koppell called congestion pricing "un-American in its philosophy."
"We should address congestion and pollution in all areas of the city, not just a special zone," she said. "If we do this, we might as well put up a fence [around Manhattan] and say, 'This is just for the rich and famous.'"
By the way that $13 billion cost for traffic Wylde keeps throwing out there was estimated at $4 billion by the same group in 1998 even though traffic has remained the same so don't trust those estimates. There is traffic EVERYWHERE in the city - as much going east on the Grand Central as there is going west every morning. Targeting a small (and by far richest) slice of it is downright asinine.
Congestion Pricing will result in even more people using Forest Hills as a Park n' Ride. Make it citywide or improve mass transit first. Don't tell me you don't have the money. Or that you need to ruin our neighborhoods to grovel for the Federal Funds. You just spent $45 MILLION dollars to spruce up the Central Park Police Precinct - which probably shouldn't even have one. I walk in both Central Park and Flushing Meadows often. Guess which one I feel safer in?
It's probably better for kids starting at about 4, but you can do a Mommy and Me class starting at 3. There are two kitchens and it's very colorful inside.
I'll give Baharstani credit for bringing this to Forest Hills. Though I wish he put just a little more thought into the design of the building and kept a little of the townhouse feel (it's like a medical clinic - no charm at all), the buisness he's recruited are kid-friendly (this place, the music school downstairs, and Gymboree next door) and kids/needing space is why a lot of people move to Forest Hills. And a NY Times article on NYC's only Young Chefs Academy in Forest Hills won't exactly bring the neighborhood down.
Young Chefs Academy, a chain of more than 150 franchised cooking schools for children in the United States and Canada, has opened its first branch in New York City, at 108-10 72nd Avenue (Austin Street) in Forest Hills, Queens. The school’s quarters are bright and well equipped. Classes, divided by age, are taught appropriate tasks by at least two instructors and often, an assistant. On a weekday afternoon last week the 7- to 11-year-olds made yeast-raised pretzels and a berry compote to go with them. More than a dozen 4- to 6-year-olds were busy decorating cookies and making punch.
You Tube commercial for Austin (TX) Convention Center featuring Young Chef's Academy
Other NY Locations:
Commack (Long Island), NY
Forest Hills, NY
Mt Sinai, NY
Smith Town, NY
OK…Now Here’s A Question For You All…
How many stores/businesses in Forest Hills contact you by e-mail to let you know about new merchandise, sales events, and special merchandise?
It is my goal for the future to get Forest Hills stores to take advantage of the powerful tool that is the internet. Please let the stores you do business with know that you’d like to hear from them online! How ‘bout it?
Send to: email@example.com or just leave in the comments - or obviously you can go directly to the store that you want to correspond with.
I'll start: Leslie, I don't get emails from various stores but would love the circulars from Trade Fair to be sent electronically, as it's more environmently friendly and it doesn't clutter up my building's vestibule. Also, I've heard a lot about Concrete Jungle, but had a misunderstanding about what it offered. I'd love a 'New Business Monthly' that highlights new businesses in our town and what they offer. Thanks!!!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
"There's something fishy. The little darlings might be trying to sneak something in," said Barbara Stuchinski, president of the Forest Hills Community and Civic Association, referring to the developer.
Well it turns out what Koptiev was trying to sneak past Barbara was a Starbucks. According to today's New York Daily News. . .
A developer has stirred up plans with Starbucks for a fifth shop in the zip code - and 19th in Queens - as part of a two-story complex opening next spring at 71st and Metropolitan Aves.
Barring a negotiation breakdown, the coffee giant would join a well-known bank and a real estate office on the 12,000-square-foot piece of land, formerly occupied by an auto repair shop, said developer David Koptiev.
Bonus: The Daily News article goes on to confirm that another Starbucks will be coming to the Queens Blvd/Union Turnpike area (the QU in AQUA) near Cobblestones. It was first reported on queenscentral.com. I guess that's what the Ibex construction is for.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Queens Central and Curbed seem to think it's a great day for Forest Hills. And what's not to love about seeing some one getting pierced while chowing on souvlaki.
Now let's have a post-game wrap up. Let's start with the news that Heskel has abandoned the New York Times-reported hotel idea on the Ann Taylor loft site, but "The developer is looking into other Forest Hills sites for a hotel."
Here's a press release dated 10/12/07 that I didn't think much of, but after Leslie's info that Heskel is scouting other locations might be interesting.
FOREST HILLS, NY-Federal Realty Investment Trust has sold two retail buildings here to a group of investors led by local owner Heskel Elias for $32 million. One of the Queens assets is a 17,000-sf building that houses Duane Reade and Staples; the other, 22,500-sf property is home to Gap, as well as additional stores.
Now I thought Heskel already owned these stores, but turns out he has a business interest in the Federal Realty Investment Trust that sold them to him. So I guess he just bought out the piece he didn't own.
That Duane Reade/Staples place would be absolutely perfect for the hotel. That block has so much unmet potential and the location is the most accessible in Forest Hills. And there are high rises all over that part of town (Lane Towers/Windsor/Cord Meyer Offices) so I don't think zoning would be a problem. And there's even a taxi stand on the corner.
Plus, the inside is already hotel-like with an escalator taking you to Staples - which would make a great lobby.
Here's the problem - Parking. Most hotels have a circular driveway to drop off luggage/passengers and a huge parking lot underground. You'd have to build that before the hotel and how would you close off Continental for six months to build that thing - if it could even get built at all.
As far as the Gap building - if Heskel wanted a hotel down there, he would have done the Ann Taylor Loft space so I don't think that's going to happen.
Actually, I don't think anything's going to happen and Heskel bought these properties just as a normal course of business. Which is fine, because I'm not sold on the hotel idea in the first place. I just don't want to risk a Marriott turning into a Fairfield Inn.
(photo from http://www.heskelgroup.com/)
Other news, Austin West welcomes Via Veneto which is next to Children's Place. It replaces 'Sparkle' and it upsets those of us dying to see the Sparkle vs GemStory cheap accessory steel cage death match. Via Veneto, which I think has stores in the uncool parts of Brooklyn, is welcome and actually looks like it has decent stuff.
But back to Laytner's. For those of us forever complaining about weekenders or trashy stores (including myself) you have to go and support this place. Don't go to Bed Bath and Beyond or Home Depot. Go here. Go to Spin City. Go to Emilio Ski Shop. Go to Nick's. Go to Cheese of the World. Go to Natural. Go to Sakura Ya. Go to the places that you want more of. We have more than you think.
Because for all the ridiculous bashing that Forest Hills gets on this board, Laytner's would never open a store on Steinway Street.
Monday, October 15, 2007
And to address another concern about membership dues, they have nothing to do with holiday lights. We have many members that are not on Austin Street/Continental Ave. The Holiday Lighting Program has always been funded by merchants and landlords located directly on Austin Street and Continental Ave.
In response to your question about marketing, the chamber is responsible for bringing well over 120,000 shoppers into Forest Hills from our special outdoor events. This month, members and non-members alike, can promote themselves at the Halloween Be Safe Trick-Or-Treat Here Program that attracts thousands of families to Austin Street and Continental Ave. We get lots of press and positive publicity and support for and from these events.
We are proud to have Forest Hills Hospital/North Shore LIJ, Sam Ash, HSBC Bank, Citibank, Sovereign Bank, Muss Development Co., Cord Meyer Development Co., Novo 64, Vital Dent, Verizon, restaurants such as PJ’S Steakhouse, 5 Burro Café, Sarabella Bistro and Grille to name some of our loyal supporters of our marketing opportunities. The shopforesthills website, and the Guide To Shop Forest Hills Booklet are two successful marketing tools we have developed. Look for the booklet this weekend at Culture Fest in Battery Park at the Queens Tourism table.
We work closely with Newsday Newspapers, The Times Ledger Newspapers, The Queens Economic Development Corp, Discover Queens Tourism, Discover Queens Restaurant Weeks to name some of the organizations we do marketing with. And although the chamber works with very limited funds for marketing, and often our members have limited budgets, we are out there working to keep the name Forest Hills on people’s lips.
I consider each and every business an important asset to the Forest Hills business community. I invite any past members to contact us directly to see all the things that we do for the community and to have an open dialogue about any of their suggestions.
Austin Street can use some additional trees, point well taken!
Q: Are you able to enforce or create architectural standards that would allow the Tudor look to permeate Austin St. as opposed to some of the abominations that are currently there?
Friday, October 12, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
To step from throbbing Continental Avenue with its McDonald's and Duane Reade and Staples ( operating from nicely designed commercial buildings meant to complement the Gardens' design), through the portal of the L.I.R.R. viaduct, thence via Station Square into the verdant wonderland of the Gardens proper has got to be as rich an architectural experience as New York offers.
I do wonder why Station Square's storefronts aren't more successful than they are, and why, for example, a first-rate restaurant can't be there, or a café that spills tables onto the plaza. It's true that mere steps away bustles greater Forest Hills with its intensity of commerce and high-rise buildings resembling parts of the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Still, the Station Square setting beguiles, and I'd be obliged if any reader could tell me why the space appears to have stagnated commercially.
Greater Forest Hills offers many dining options, but I always return to Nick's, a bright, sleekly designed, and altogether fabulous pizzeria on Ascan Avenue, just off Austin and just steps outside the Gardens.
Interesting questions about why Station Square businesses are ghost towns compared to Austin Street ones. I can give my answer. Dry cleaners? I have several much closer. Jade? Not with a two-year old, and in our rare nights out, my wife and I aren't going to chance mediocrity. We're going with Danny Brown's or La Tavernetta. Dirty Pierre's? Don't drink. Bartinis? My windows aren't tinted enough (how the hell did this place get in the Gardens anyway). Sarah Jones Realty? They're snobs. Did I miss anything?
Anyway, the story asks for comments so feel free to represent http://www.nysun.com/article/64366
Monday, October 8, 2007
These bags are the only information we have - we have a yet-unanswered email into Laytner's. If it's true and they're coming here - it's a home run.
The clammoring for upscale retail has been deafening on the comments board (something I'm sure Leslie Brown will address during our Ask Leslie segment) and this would hit the mark. It's definitely a store for Forest Hills residents - not weekenders - and would FINALLY give us a reason to go to Austin Street on a Saturday.
Much more to come once we get official word, but if it's true it's a great day for Forest Hills. A store opening on Austin Street that caters to its residents. Well, at least ones not in the market for leopard-print leather jackets.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Leslie is Leslie Brown, President and Executive Director of the Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce and she has been cool enough to agree to participate in a new Forest Hills 72 monthly segment called Ask Leslie - where YOU submit questions (which I will forward unedited) that she will answer.
We've all had suggestions/questions/complaints/praise for our Chamber of Commerce. Lord knows we all have opinions on incoming and outgoing tenants on Austin St. We've even had thoughts of how we'd do things differently. Well here's your chance to be heard by the top banana. Every month Leslie will pick between 3 and 5 questions and give you an inside look at how the Chamber operates.
Questions can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or just leave a comment - I will send to Ms. Brown on Tuesday morning. Learn more about the Chamber and its members at http://www.shopforesthills.com/. Well, what are you waiting for - go ahead and Ask Leslie!
Read the story here: Times Ledger Story
Read about the Program here: http://www.shopforesthills.com/
Ask Leslie questions here: email@example.com
Thursday, October 4, 2007
He's a great spokesman for FoHi - great job Steve!
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
- A short fight about the word 'zipperhead.' I thought it was about tinted-windowed, club music blaring, sunglasses wearing, cologne/hair-gelled Yankee fans. It's actually an Asian insult.
- There's an anonymous poster who'd rather be in Manhattan or San Francisco and he'll take every opportunity to tell us.
- I'm told that I'm getting killed on some nerd board because I confused Game Workshop with Game Stop.
- 29 more days till meatless chicken nuggets. . .
Monday, October 1, 2007
Anyone have any ideas on what that could be? It's a pretty big sign (75 square feet) so it looks like the main sign for the place (i.e. not a convenience store that sells ice). Could anyone be so lame in 2007 as to call their bar Ice? Might as well call it Jade. Oh it's taken. Then Diva. Oh, that's taken. Spectrym. Oh, right. Okay, I guess it's Ice.
Bail set at $75000 for alleged driver in fatal DUI hit-and-run
$75000 bail for man accused of fatal DWI hit-run
City girl dies New York hit-and-run
DRUNK KILLS WOMAN IN E. VILLAGE HIT-RUN: COPS
It's a great location about two doors down from 5 Burros.
10/2/07 Correction: It's not video games, it's tabletop fantasy games. Don't know how I could have made that mistake.