Friday, November 30, 2007
I stopped by the forum last night and it's a real possibility. Residential parking permits are necessary if congestion pricing goes into effect. Don't base assumptions on the $8 charge, because it'll be a miracle if it stays at $8 by the afternoon commute home on the first day. It's going up and up until the cars stop coming. And then they'll come here.
Make sure you put your name and address in the letter or email and say why you think we need residential parking permits.
If you don't write and Brooklyn Heights/Astoria gets parking permits while we host commuters from around the borough and LI, you can't complain. The DOT put a lot of effort into last night's discussion and it was all about Forest Hills. They're obviously ready to give us something, but we have to show we want it.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Welcome to the first ever edition of the Seventy Deuces - representing the best of 2007 Forest Hills.
You vote on who went the extra mile in Forest Hills and deserves special recognition. Recognition in the form of a Seventy Deuce - the best of Forest Hills in 2007
Over the next few weeks, a series of categories will be posted in the polls. You will have 72 hours to vote. Each winner will get a print out of the poll and a certificate to either post in the window or throw away.
Our first 2007 Seventy Deuce is for BEST BAKERY. And the nominees are:
Martha's Country Bakery.
Why you should vote for it: It's well designed storefront and attractive interior was declared "great for the neighborhood" by Queens Central. Kicked off a series of exciting store openings including Laytner's and Trader Joe's.
Fay Da Bakery.
Why you should vote for it: Good, cheap, colorful, and fast. The brightest and cheeriest place in an otherwise lackluster corner. More exotic than other bakeries in town.
Why you should vote for it: Open 24 hours.
Why you should vote for it: Homemade everything, very carefully prepared. Great staff. Chocoloate crossaints.
Good luck to all nominees!
The family is requesting in lieu of flowers that donations be made to The Art Institute (formerly New York Restaurant School) where Mr. File taught.
From his faculty page (where is listed first among 15 culinary instructors):
Chef Instructor: Culinary Arts
Educational Background: Quinnipiac University, BA, Le Cordon Bleu, Grande Diplome
Areas of Expertise: French Bistro Cuisine Catering, Captain of The Art Institute of New York City Culinary Team
Brief Biography: Chef File, CHE, worked for Restaurant Associates through High School and College. After attending Le Cordon Bleu, he owned 3 restaurants. He is currently chef/owner of Dirty Pierre’s in Queens. Chef File is an avid rider of Harley-Davidsons, and was written up in NY Newsday for his interesting combination of interests. Two of his recipes appeared in “Hog Wild on a Harley,” a compilation of Biker recipe’s.
Well, another application was put into the department of buildings for some kind of work - though it's hard to decipher what. Could be installing a new gas meter for all we know. There's one item of interest on the application. That's the applicant - Design Forum Engineering of Dayton, OH.
Here's their site - some pretty big clients: http://www.designforum.com/HTML%20Alt%20Site/index_new.asp. Clients of note - Bed Bath and Beyond, Wild Oats Food Store, and Ann Taylor (though we might have reached saturation in the Ann Taylor market).
I don't know what the application is for - but would you hire a huge design firm from Dayton, OH to just to install a bathroom. Sounds big, maybe someone can read through the application and figure it out. http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/JobDetailsServlet?requestid=5&allisn=0001446238&allboroughname=&allnumbhous=&allstrt= Just one request - no mentions of the building behind Gerard Towers. Enough with that already.
Previous post regarding that row of stores: http://www.foresthills72.com/2007/09/denied-but-is-it-really-last-weve-heard.html
Monday, November 26, 2007
* Webster Hall, 119 E. 11th St., once home to Bohemian balls, labor rallies and a recording studio where Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra performed. It continues today as a dance club and live music venue.
* Eleventh Street Public Bath, 583 E. 11th St., built in 1903 as the city attempted to improve hygiene among the poor and lower classes. It was converted into a photo studio by Eddie Adams.
* Elizabeth Home for Girls, 307 E. 12th St., built in 1891 by the Children's Aid Society as a shelter for young women. It now has 13 co-op apartments.
* Beth Hamredash, 242 E. Seventh St., built in 1908 as a synagogue for Hungarian immigrants. Converted to residential use.
* The Public National Bank, 106 Avenue C, built in the early 1920s to serve primarily immigrant customers. Converted to apartments in the 1980s.
* Wheatsworth Factory, 444 E. 10th St., built in 1927 as a biscuit factory and the last remaining factory building in the neighborhood. Now a storage facility.
"These were important buildings," Tierney said of the structures that were selected in a block-by-block study of the neighborhood
Co-ops and storage facilities. It'd be easier to get a coffee cart landmarked in Manhattan than a historic row house in Queens.
The Ledger article says that residents (aka Michael Perlman) are fighting for a rezone rather than a landmark which was already rejected by storage-facility enthusiast Robert Tierny. A rezone says that any new structure will be in line with the rest of the block which is other historic townhouses. And it will be rejected too.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
11/29 Forest Hills, Queens
7:00-9:00 PM (Doors open at 6:30)
Forest Hills Jewish Center
106-06 Queens BoulevardForest Hills, NY 11375
If CP (Congestion Pricing) becomes law, we will see a lot more cars coming here polluting our air and congesting our streets instead of Manhattan's. The spirit of the law is to get people onto public transportation close to their homes - not move the traffic to anywhere but the richest sliver of land. To accomplish that we need resident parking permits otherwise we'll be a park and ride for Glendale, Kew Gardens Hills, and other nearby non-rail towns.
Forest Hills is the only area (besides inconvient-to-drive-to Woodside) with both an express subway and LIRR. Yes, Atlantic Ave and LIC have LIRR, but neither line goes into Penn Station. And there are TONS of parking garages here by the train (whose rates will no doubt skyrocket upon passage of the law). We need some kind of consideration for all we're giving up to solve someone else's problem. Traffic is everywhere in this city, CP will make it worse in Forest Hills.
See you on Tuesday. (11/26 correction - the 29th is Thursday).
Saturday, November 24, 2007
"Whoa" I said, but the cashier next to her became available and took my stuff. A few words were exchanged between me and the guy who took the spot - predictably from him "I didn't know that was one line" blah blah. I told him "I can't see how you could miss it" although in his defense I was the only one on the line. He was a white American for those who are wondering.
Maybe he really didn't know the line protocol at Natural, but still what he should have done was apologized and offered to get to the back of the line. But what bothered me was the cashiers seeming to take his side. I felt a little better when I purposely let the door slam on him on the way out (I had to hurry to get in front of him), but I should have gotten more backup from the cashier pit. I was in the right, I wanted at least acknowledgement of that. Instead he got the smile and I got nothing.
In fact, I never get a smile at Natural. At most, they give the boy a few dated crappy peaches that they were probably going to throw out anyway. Yes, I know it's something, but I go there a lot. A smile and hello would go a long way. My dry cleaner does it. Ming does it. Rita at Bonelle is practically my son's godmother. And I go to Natural more than any of those places.
I don't even know why I went there tonight. I got milk, chips, tofutti, and salsa - certainly a Trade Landable trip (I'm about equi-distant from each). Not only would I have saved a couple bucks, I would have gotten a smile. They're nice there, even if the surroundings aren't. But I don't want Natural to struggle. I've noticed the lines are a bit shorter since TJ's, but not enough to form a trend. They are one of the most important business on Austin Street and you have to show support. Plus, their stuff is superior to everywhere, including Trader Joe's.
So I'll keep going to Natural, but they can keep the peaches. I want a hello.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
For seniors, here's a nice alternative:
The Kidz Care Junior Civic Association of Forest Hills is planning a free turkey dinner for senior citizens in the area this Thanksgiving. The event will take place at the American Legion Hall, located on 107-15 Metropolitan Boulevard at noon on November 22
For Forest Hills non-seniors who are away from their families, here are some options where I've heard or experienced the waitstaff to be very friendly - which on Thanksgiving is probably your primary concern. Call ahead to make sure they're open.
Any other places that make you feel welcome? Quality of food not important in this one. . .
They went over the prints from the gun part against relatives of the wife and came up with the 1994 match and arrested him. Tokyo Teriyaki must have been rocking that night.
Here's the best recap of this interesting case: http://www.amny.com/news/local/am-queens1121,0,5511819.story
The bank was first established to serve Asian, Chinese, low-income, recent immigrants located in the five boroughs of the New York City, because these people lacks the necessary credit history, and thus would often likely to be turned down by other mainstream banks. Nearly 80% of First American National Bank's basic banking account services, consumer and business loans, and mortgages have been made in low-moderate income and distressed areas as defined by the United States Department of the Treasury.
Friday, November 16, 2007
The video is of a Broadway actress (Mama Mia), who gained success and is leaving Forest Hills to buy a place in. . .Forest Hills. http://lx.com/openhousenyc/2007/11/17/68-26-ingram-street-67-64-groton-street-forest-hills-ny/
But she'll have to share the town with this blogger/theater critic who just moved here. http://laurensgotmoxie.blogspot.com/ Drop her a comment and welcome her why don't you. Just be sure it has a strong theme, a compelling narrative, and doesn't lose its way in the second act.
Good news for those who are rooting for more creative types in da Hillz.
King Wok Restaurant
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
7:00-9:00 PM (Doors open at 6:30)
Forest Hills Jewish Center
106-06 Queens Boulevard
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Thanks to OuterB.com for the heads up. Here is that parking forum on how Congestion Pricing might affect Forest Hills.
Pretty appropriate that they have it at that Jewish Center since I'll lay 10:1 odds that someone almost gets hit at that corner by an asshole looking for parking on Austin St.
Much more to come on this one. It's a great chance to fight for residential parking permits which Forest Hills desperately needs.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
HOT Sushi Yasu: Per Sally Vates food blog: "We couldn't believe it when people started calling and asking for reservations," said Yuki as she poured our green tea. "We were just a fish market with three chairs!"
NOT Thai Austin: Per Chowhound: I just ordered food from Thai Austin and I doubt that anyone from Thailand would call it edible. The tom yum was bland with a hit of sweetness?!? The tilapia was strange...vinegar flavoured sauce on a tasteless piece of dry fish.
HOT 5 Burros: Per Citysearch: I can't even begin to tell you how amazing the food is here. I have been eating here for well over 10 years and can honestly say that I never had a bad meal. An added perk is the place itself. If you can handle a crowded place (on certain nights only), with great drinks and plenty to look at, go no further.
NOT 5 Burros: Per Citysearch: The place is very loud with a jukebox. The decor is haphazardly thrown together with a Mexican slant. The food is good, not great. Portions are hearty. Service is subpar. I always feel like vultures are staring at me. . . just waiting for me to stop eating so they can get me out the door and a fresh body in my seat!
NOT Trader Joe's: Per Project Me Blog: The paunchy, non-young employee here were most definitely not art students/candidates for American Apparel ads).
HOT Danny Brown's: Per Danny Brown via Avenue Food: Over the last two nights, I don't think I've ever seen that much calamari consumed.
Monday, November 12, 2007
. . .There is something wrong with the design of an accountability system that stigmatizes with low grades schools that have solid, established track records. . . .
. . .Parents and teachers are asking how exceptionally successful schools - such as PS 321 in Park Slope, PS 6 on the Upper East Side and PS 234 in TriBeCa - got Bs. . . .
. . .The focus on standardized test scores pushes schools to devote even more time to test preparation, to the exclusion of important enrichment activities such as class trips, school plays and foreign-language instruction. What other message can a school that got a B or C or D take from this, even when most - if not all - of its students are meeting state standards? . . .
Okay, so let's reassign grades for all schools. Ready? Everyone gets an A! Everyone's great at everything and no one needs improvement anywhere! Especially the schools where rich white parents paid $2 million for a first floor two bedroom!
For the record, 101 and 196 both have the established track records that the other schools have, but didn't seem to get too tripped up by the new system.
"This is a neighborhood where shoppers appreciate value and quality," Laytner said. "We believe our type of service oriented, personable store will appeal to our Forest Hills neighbors."
Besides linen, bath and gift items, Laytner's will also carry furniture geared to New York City living. "We've been selling to the space-challenged for 46 years and our furniture is scaled for urban spaces," Laytner said.
It's going to be more expensive than Ikea or Target, but please give this place first dibs when shopping for furniture. I can understand redoing a kitchen, which is a $10k job. But if it comes down to $300 for the Ikea breakfast table and $395 for Laytner's, don't drive to Hicksville and complain that there are no good Mom and Pop stores on Austin Street. This Upper East/West mainstay is a home run and we have to support it.
A few days late, but I just found this on some random website. I wish I'd know about these things. . .
The films being screened at the Greek Film Festival in New York, held in Manhattan at Cinema Village from November 2-8, and at CineMart Cinema in Forest Hills Queens, NY from November 9-15, reflect a new trend that began to emerge in Greek film after 2000, says Dan Georgakas, Festival Programmer.Greek films during the 1950-70-studio era were mainly comedies, melodramas, and musicals, with an emphasis on entertainment and performers, but after the 1974 fall of the junta, the director and his artistic vision were paramount. However, after 2000, when Safe Sex was released, although the focus still remains on the personal vision and style of the director, increasingly more attention is given to themes and formats that appeal to the popular imagination. “The directorʼs cinema is giving way to a hybrid cinema that seeks to combine the virtues of its predecessors,” says Georgakas.
The films in the festival reflect that new trend. They are Brides, Chariton's Choir; The Wake; Back Door; A Touch of Spice; Heart of the Beast, Kalipolis; Dust; Hostage; and Red Thursday, and four documentaries, Buzz, Who's On First?, Song of Life, and Cosmopolis.
I hopped back on the subway to check out a neighborhood everybody’s talking about: Red Hook.
When I got off the subway. . . There was a bus ready to pull away for Red Hook, but I decided to walk anyway. Big mistake. The walk was, well, kind of terrifying. I was accosted two minutes in by a guy named Marty.
The NY Mag article says that the maritime Red Hook's gentrification has turned into defecation and all the hip stores that Backburner was so jealous of have shipped out. It's midnight for Brooklyn's Cinderella. Guess bad schools, horrid commute, crime, and no housing isn't all it's cracked is whacked up to be. Moral of the story, be careful what you wish for - it's better in Forest Hills.
As far that guy who wrote the Backburner post, I heard he started some other website about Central Queens. Word is, despite Forest Hills superiority in almost every way, he's still pining away for that Brooklyn hipness validation.
The Curbed pick ups:
The New York Magazine article on Red Hook:
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I would like to take this opportunity to remind residents of our STOP Graffiti Program. Residents of our community are encouraged to call our graffiti hotline at (718) 263-5687. My office will coordinate free clean up of the site. Before the site is cleaned, each location will be photographed by my staff to assist in the prosecution of the vandals. Evidence collection is coordinated with the Queens County District Attorney’s Office and local Police Precincts.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
- (editor's note - the Non-Asian Zipperhead Expressway. I tried to think of another name for Zipperheads (boom-car, halogen light, Nissan/Hummer, club-music blaring, guido wannabe's) but I couldn't. I think everyone knows I don't mean Asians when I say it, so I'm using the term).
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
From today's NY Times:
The grades released yesterday contained many surprises, with some schools with top-notch reputations receiving B’s, C’s, D’s — and even F’s, to the astonishment of some parents.
Several esteemed elementary schools that middle-class parents often factor in to their real estate decisions — including Public School 6 on the Upper East Side, P.S. 87 on the Upper West Side, P.S. 234 in TriBeCa and P.S. 321 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, — received B’s. Other popular schools fared worse. P.S. 154 in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, received a D.
I'm not sure that many of us know a middle class family that's considering these places (hmm, TriBeCa or Levittown?), but that the world famous 321 got a 'B' is surprising.
And now the moment you've been waiting for. . .
PS 101: A
PS 196: A
It's good to be the king. See the report here: http://www.nytimes.com/ref/education/20071105_SCHOOLS_GRAPHIC.html
This Thursday, Nov 8th @ 7:00 pm
The Midway Theater
Queens Blvd/ 71st Rd, Forest Hills, 11375
$5.00 donation for the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island
E, F, R, G Trains to 71st -Continental Avenue
LIRR to Forest Hills Station
Q60 bus to 71st Av, Queens Blvd
For more info: 917-364-1176
Monday, November 5, 2007
Could that very prime piece of storefront be available soon? That guy had to be taking pictures for an ad or for research. Why else he would pull his car over, take pictures of that one closed store front, and drive away?
I know - but it's either this or another Halloween op-ed piece, as things are sllooowwww.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Burns St.: A -
More done up houses last year, but still the place to be on Halloween.
My building: F
Love the building, love the block, love the character. Hate the apathy - but I guess some people just want to be left alone.
PS 101: A
Nice party on Sunday.
Arbor Close/Forest Close: A
People who answered were genuinely happy to hand out candy, and I hope they know what an impact that makes on a two-year old. One particular group of teenage girls with their hair in huge beehives were the best, followed closely by either an Irishman or Scott, but who was entertaining all who came by.
Church in the Gardens: A
All the teachers dress up and they really do it up.
Austin St: D
Some shopkeepers did well, but too many including The Body Shop posted 'No Candy' signs in the morning, and others posted 'No More Candy' early afternoon. Uncool.
Micciche (spelling?) A
Always great to see the workers in full Halloween garb.
Asian family in Pinang who waved at us with huge smiles A+
It's little things like that make Forest Hills the greatest place in the city.
In a section of town that Queens Central Steve would call East AQUA, but I would call AQUA proper (now there's a debate that could go on for hours), the Brothers Coffee Shop is for sale. Buy it, put in a little work, and reopen as a higher-scale diner. The kind with cool music and great breakfasts - colored chalk on the specials board, you know what I'm talking about. You'll make a fortune on me and Steve alone.
However, being a few doors down from the new Starbucks, it's possible that another chain will take over the space. With a CVS and Kinko's, and the aforementioned Starbucks, what little (1120 sq ft) chain eatery might be next? My guess - Subway (sorry Steve, I know it's not what you were looking for).
Weather's going to be 50 degrees and perfect for this. Only drawback is you'll miss the marathon.
Speaking of which, any Forest Hills Marathon entrants we should look out for?
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Pedestrians & Sidewalks Public Plazas
PlaNYC, the City's long term sustainability plan, calls for increasing New Yorkers' access to public space. One initiative, which the DOT is leading, is to create public plazas in each community in New York City. There are approximately 31 public plaza projects in various stages of development across NYC. DOT has established a goal to have 20 of these projects under construction by 2009.
The agency will work with Community Boards, community groups and residents to inventory other locations and identify sites for new or enhanced plazas in every community wide by 2030. Each plaza will be located and planned to serve local needs and in accordance with the character of the community.
There are already three plazas built or in development.
Willoughby Street Plaza, Downtown Brooklyn
Pearl Street Plaza, DUMBO Brooklyn
9th Avenue and W. 14th Street, Manhattan
In the first three plazas (in, surprise, Brooklyn and Manhattan), they took high-pedestrian areas and turned a small parking lot or car lane into a plaza. So, it's time to put your Urban Planner hats on and suggest ideal spots for such a plaza for Forest Hills.
Station Square is obvious, but it's private land or something like that so it might get bogged down in red tape. So excluding the Gardens, where do you think we can take away a small parking area or unnecessary car lane and turn it into a public plaza?
I'll put the best suggestions in a Forest Hills 72 Poll and the top three vote getters will be sent to Melinda Katz. Or you could just bypass this silly process and write or call Katz yourself.
And your mark. . .get set. . .Plan!
Before/After pictures are of Willoughby St. courtesty of NYC.gov.
Quick note to all shopkeepers on Austin Street. Buy enough candy. I'm sick of "No More Candy" signs and I've heard reports that some stores were putting them up at 4pm. People flock to Forest Hills to trick or treat and there's absolutely NO downside to that. I consider it an honor that we're overrun with parents and kids coming here every October 31st. You can get 360 lollipops for $18. So invest $54 and get over 1000 pops. You're not getting 1000 kids.
I even noticed a 'No More Candy' at Viva Bimbi - that's a children's store. I saw the same thing last year at Children's Place. Can you imagine? That's Superbowl Sunday for kids stores.
Feel free to post in the comments any stores you saw run out of candy early. Also, post the ones that didn't. The stationary stores east of Continental were exceptional and Body and Sole was out front handing out candy which was nice to see. Also the firehouse on QB in AQUA is always welcoming. Lots of kids and cameras.
I don't mean to sound like an ingrate, but kids get sad when to come here to trick or treat and everyone has 'Sorry, No More Candy' signs posted. So next time they try to sell you something say "Sorry, No More Money."