Thursday, February 28, 2008
The bad news - it's the bassist (but he sings backups).
Check out the interview here: http://astorianyc.blogspot.com/2008/02/neurotics-5-questions.html
Best passive aggresssive shot at Astoria:
Question #5 What would you like see happen in/for Astoria in 2008?
M: I wouldn't mind seeing a bookstore in Astoria – independently owned or even a Barnes and Noble.
You mean like the in one in, I don't know, Forest Hills?
Check out the band here http://www.myspace.com/nuerotics
See them live here
256 Grand St.
(between Driggs & Roebling)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY 11211
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
A new facet of the city’s congestion-pricing plan would add a fee for Brooklyn drivers looking to park their cars on their own blocks — and if Monday night’s meeting on the proposal is any indication, many residents would line up to pay it.
“Free parking is not a divine right,” said Jo Anne Simon, a Boerum Hill activist. “This is about residents having the ability to park in their own neighborhoods without being crowded and having non-residents use their neighborhoods as a commuter parking lot.”
A round up of what the Brooklyn Pols think (hint, they love the idea):
(Brooklyn Heights Councilmember) David Yassky kept his speech short, pretty much sticking to the sentiment that RPP (residential parking permits) is good because it will "give neighborhood residents first crack at the parking spots on residential streets."
(Park Slope Councilmember) Bill de Blasio opened by saying, "I need to see complete, tangible, absolute progress on RPP before I can think of supporting congestion pricing." He then proposed that RPP zones should be allowed to sprout all over the city in neighborhoods near subway lines, to deter park-and-ride behavior.
DOT Deputy Commissioner Bruce Schaller. . .took pains say that RPP would be available to many neighborhoods on an opt-in basis.
Forest Hills is one of those neighborhoods, but our politicians don't want it. And I just can't understand why - I'm the guy who voted them in office, not the SUV driver from Jericho. Here are the neighborhoods that the DOT says can have residential parking permits if they want them (based on the workshop locations).
Upper East Side
Long Island City
And my guess is we'd be the only ones not to opt in. And if we don't opt in, we should vote them out.
Thanks, but we'll stay here. However, you have to admire DUMBO's effort in getting this program instituted. . .
On Monday, the (DOT) unveiled the first installation in their Temporary Art Program, an initiative to spruce up otherwise drab and utilitarian streetscapes throughout the five boroughs.
The first piece of art was unveiled in DUMBO, and is an eight-foot-high and 70-foot-long mural on a corrugated metal fence alongside a DOT storage yard. "The streets are the living room of New York City, and starting here in DUMBO - and coming soon to neighborhoods citywide - we are transforming these rooms into galleries," said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.
DOT worked with the DUMBO Improvement District, the DUMBO Neighborhood Association, the DUMBO Parents organization and the d.u.m.b.o. Arts Center to bring Tan's work to the fence underneath the Manhattan Bridge.
"It is vitally important to us that our neighborhood remains a home for the arts for years to come," said Tucker Reed, executive director of the DUMBO Improvement District.
The program will create temporary art installation on city spaces that are in need of aesthetic enhancement. The agency intends to add five projects each year, working with local artists as well as business improvement districts and community organizations.
For those keeping score, Forest Hills, by choice, doesn't have an Improvment District. That okay, the last thing we need is free artwork on the decaying, unused railway tressles that our Community Civics refuse to make accessible.
By the way, we came up with this idea last August. http://www.foresthills72.com/2007/08/that-thing.html
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The first reviews of the new vegetarian restaurant by the 67th Ave. subway stop are coming in.
TIERRA SANA On Forest Hills/Rego Park Border
Just tried the newly opened Tierra Sana on 67th and Queens Blvd. I left happy. Nothing like it in the neighborhood. Creative food - specific - very healthy - which for me is great. . . The falafel and veggies were nice however the best part was the hemp seed sprouted grain bread which - call me crazy - was terrific
1200 SQFT BRAND NEW CONSTRUCTION HANDICAPPED MEDICAL OFFICE. CAN BE EXPANDED TO 2000 OR 3OOO SQFT. 25 CAR PARKING LOT. RENT INCLUDES TAX, HEAT, WATER, PARKING. PLEASE CALL OWNER.... FRANK BAHAR
73-14 YELLOWSTONE BLVD AT JUNO STREET at NEAR METROPOLITAN AVE AND WOODHAVEN BLVD
Monday, February 25, 2008
From last week's Avenue Food: we came close to throwing up our hands and trying our luck with one of the reliably mediocre restaurants that seem to thrive in Forest Hills. But there is one thing I hate more than eating food that sucks: spending lots of money to eat food that sucks. So I considered the meager holdings of our pantry. . .PASTA WITH PANCETTA, PEPPER, AND WHITE WINE
And from this week's Wednesday Chef:: We love Forest Hills, we really do. But . . .we've ordered mediocre Thai from the same little place so often that Ben finally told me this weekend that he is officially putting it on the No-Order list, along with the sub-par, yet expensive, Indian down the road, and the creepy Chinese that definitely resembles no other Chinese food I've ever come into contact with. And that's it. That's all we've got. So we're in a bit of a pickle, I'd say. . .One that requires taking matters into our own hands. . .PANTHAY NOODLES.
What's next, a Forest Hills 73?
In any case, feel free to register, comment, and disagree, but try not to get personal or insult just to insult. I'll try to do the same with the posts.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
It's early, but we're going to have a new Councilmember running the show in District 29 come November 2009. Melinda Katz's term is up. The early handicap from Queens Tribune:
In the 29th CD (Melinda Katz’s seat), former Councilwoman and Deputy Beep Karen Koslowitz will be the favorite but expect former Assemblyman Mike Cohen with the rumored support of Melinda Katz’s club to be in the fray. Lynn Shulman who ran previously has also thrown her hat into the ring.
This site will be very active in this election and we'll welcome comments from the candidates. Six years ago, Melinda Katz won by 8800 votes - and that was a landslide. That means if the readership is what I hope it will be come November 2009, we will have a say who takes office.
Over the next 20 months, we will know exactly what each candidate will do for Forest Hills and vote and campaign for our favorite accordingly. Many of us moved here during the Katz term (and you can't beat an incumbent in NYC - trust me I voted for Ognibene for Mayor in 2005), so this is our first real election.
We'll also give a voice to any of you who want to take a shot at the District 29 seat. Right now the three announced contenders are all Forest Hills veterans and personally, I'd love to see someone new shake things up. Potential candidates just need two things to make a successful run - time and money, which knocks out about 99 percent of us.
However, whoever leads District 29 come November 2009 will definitely not run unopposed.
The Historic Districts Council (HDC) has a relatively new free series called "Monday Morning Coffee Talks." On Monday, March 3rd (8:30 AM - 10:00 AM) Ann Friedman, Director of the NY Landmark Conservancy's Sacred Sites Program, will explain how places of worship can utilize the program to their benefit, and acquire funding to potentially restore and rehabilitate their institutions (i.e. interior, exterior, roof, etc), while being sympathetic toward history. The properties do not have to be landmarked to be eligible for the program. Some most recent remarkable examples of the NY Landmark Conservancy's success for Queens sacred sites include, the in-progress restoration and rehabilitation of St. James Episcopal Church in Elmhurst & that of Congregation Tifereth Israel in Corona.
A recent HDC gathering which consisted of preservation professionals & interested parties in an informal setting, proved very successful. Rego-Forest Preservation Council encourages religious leaders, historians, & local community residents to attend. Some representatives who we have convinced, and will be in attendance on March 3rd are from: Our Lady of Mercy in Forest Hills, the Church-In-The-Gardens, & First Presbyterian Church of Newtown, amongst others.
Please let me know if you will be available ASAP, since space is limited. Then I will contact HDC's Preservation Associate Lauren Belfer to fill the tentative reservations. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please read the following links for more information:
For more information on this new & noteworthy HDC series:
For information on the NY Landmark Conservancy's Sacred Sites Program:
The NY Landmark Conservancy religious properties survey effort that we are voluntarily contributing to:
From Queens Ledger"
"Although Community Board 6 has already denied their recommendation to congestion pricing, Assemblyman Hevesi, Councilwoman Melinda Katz, and former Assemblyman Michael Cohen spoke out against congestion pricing and residential parking permits."
I got a parking ticket yesterday for not feeding the meter in a snowstorm. They want me to walk a mile from the nearest spot with my son on icy sidewalks and snowy roads. Screw them, they can have the $35. But we need parking permits - we cannot be a park and ride for Manhattan commuters. Street space should go to residents first, not commuters or visitors. We have plenty - PLENTY - of garages and metered spots for them.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Couple of things:
The delivery list at Trade Fair was on the belt where you put your food. It would have been hard not to notice. It has nothing to do with privacy, it's a supermarket delivery list, you idiots.
Second, if you don't like the blog, don't read it.
Third, according to the comments, a photo of me, my wife, and son appeared in a local publication. I have no idea how it got in there, or more scarily, how someone knew I was the blogger (unless I was wearing my 72's). This is a hobby and the last thing I want you nutcases to know is my family's identity. That anonymous comment was so uncool, and I removed it. I don't know how to check IP addresses, and wouldn't anyway if did. Privacy, both yours and mine, means everything to me. Now, someone (anonymous of course) has fucked it up.
So, now, not only am I going to have to water down the posts for fear of real backlash (how 'bout this snow, crazy right?), I have to change the settings to make you register. Allowing these anonymous comments was probably a mistake - I just wanted maximum interaction. I don't mind people disagreeing with me, in fact, of all the Queens blogs, I think you'll find I practice the most restraint in the comments section when someone takes a shot.
But now you all can register and fight amongst yourselves with an identity. Or better yet, you can click on one of the billions of other urls on the world wide web.
So, have at it registered users. The rest of you, I hope you like two comments per post. One from Drake, the other from Who Don't Like Pizza.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Boston Chicken - Always a long line, despite greasy food, inept staff, horrible layout.
The Midway Theater - Has anyone ever had a good experience here? Wait for the DVD.
Value Depot - Just pay the extra $2 and get it at Duane Reade. Have some self respect for Christ's sake.
Starbucks - Produces more Austin St. litter than McD's, Subway, and Tasti D-lite combined. Is the coffee that much better than a deli's?
Trade Fair - I peeked at the delivery list yesterday- there are people as far away as Briarwood getting deliveries. What is the supermarket like in their towns?
Portofino - Yes the owner is nice, but college dorm food halls make comparable pasta. Packed every night.
Did I miss anything?
Atlas Park owner and Forest Hills 72 Man of the Year Damon Hemmerdinger was spotted on Continental Avenue last week, joined by Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty, handing out money. It's part of his own economic stimulus program. He plans to hand out 20K after hitting many Queens business districts. There will also be free parking through June at Atlas Park.
It's a good idea from the creative Hemmerdinger, though I don't know how the Forest Hills merchants feel about a competitve mall campaigning on their turf. But it serves them right with Continental looking like it does in the video. Payless Shoes, that dump of a pizza place, the gross newspaper shop and Broadway Bakery. It's a sad day when the cleanest store front on a block is a cell phone store (AT&T). That's the block we need to upzone and get some real development $$$ up in here.
Otherwise, welcome Hemmerdinger and your money, your free parking, and your constant effort to make our shopping experience a better one. Someday, hopefully, more people will take you up on it.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
What you might not remember is that we had some of that a little over a year ago (November 2006) right here in Queens.
Alexander Juwah also had a seizure while driving a minivan, but our guy killed THREE people when he blacked out. On Springfield Blvd that day, he ended the lives of Jesse Rutledge Sr., 80; Jesse Rutledge Jr., 47; and Zetteleen Smith, 24, all of Laurelton. Mr. Rutledge Sr. was a Korean War veteran, father of four, and grandfather of four. Junior was a school teacher before going to law school. Ms. Smith was an artist.
BUT although they fought for our country and taught our kids, they weren't British tourists, so their lives weren't as valuable.
Their killer, Mr. Juwah orginally wasn't charged for months. From the NY Post: Initially, police said Juwah would not be charged in the horrific accident because he had suffered a seizure.
After some pressure (or whatever passes for public pressure in an outer borough) - Mr. Juwah was charged in August of 2007 for "false statements to the Department of Motor Vehicles on a license-renewal form".
It is a misdemeanor and Mr. Juwah was released on $1500 bail. He faces up to four years, which means he probably won't do any time if the case is even still open. So let's do the math. For the crime of driving with a medical condition of having seizures and killing someone:
British Tourist in Manhattan: 15 years per dead.
United States Korean War Veteran in Queens: 1.33 years per dead.
Read more about the lives of the Rutledges' and Ms. Smith here.
So I was obviously intrigued by this sign and chose to inquire. I spoke to Ernesto, who works there, and when I asked about the sign he got slightly flustered. “Someone started a rumor that we were closing, but we’re really not,” he said a bit angrily.
I asked a few more questions, but all I got from him was that they didn’t know the identity of the person who started the rumor. “If we knew, we’d crush him.”
Welcome news for the stroller pushing crowd that seem to be taking over East Austin. Austin House only has itself to blame for not seizing on the opportunity.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Mr. Oats always challenged City Hall and its hypocrisy of banning cars from Central Park while allowing them on FMCP fields during the US Open. That, and about a thousand other causes that benefited you and me, are just a small legacy of what Mr. Oats leaves behind. On a selfish note, I really wanted him to succeed Helen Marshall as borough president so this is particularly sad.
Rest in peace, David. Thank you for everything.
More here. http://www.newsday.com/news/local/newyork/ny-nyoats095571816feb10,0,3096404.story
To learn how to carry the torch, see here http://www.theparkwatchdog.org/
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Money Quote: "I could not ever imagine myself buying something, and certainly not in Queens. I think I am in on some secret.”
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I urge all residents to support residential parking permits. A recent study done by the DOT (and presented at the workshop last week) revealed that 30% of weekday parkers in FoHi drive cars with license plates registered outside NYC. That's higher than even Park Slope (27%) which is famous for having no parking. It also doesn't take into account city residents from Glendale and Middle Village who park here and take the trains because they have no other option. Congestion Pricing will only make this much worse.
Write your community board and the DOT and tell them you want residential parking permits. We need to cut down the traffic and pollution. We cannot be a park and ride for Manhattan.
Q: When will there be a pilot program? A: If congestion pricing goes according to plan, a test RPP program would go into effect prior to spring 2009.
Q: What political authorization is necessary to proceed with RPP? A: The city can implement a temporary pilot on its own, but it needs state approval for a permanent RPP program.
Q: Will DOT hold forums in Sunset Park, Windsor Terrace, and other neighborhoods? A: DOT wants to be in touch with neighborhoods and anticipates talking to different Community Boards about RPP.
Q: How will boundaries be determined? A: DOT will look to community boards to help decide. The size of a zone should be reasonably compact, conforming to notions of what a neighborhood is (i.e. not just a few square blocks, but not half the borough either).
Q: Why give local employees permits at all? A: One view is that they contribute to the local economy and should be accommodated, another is that they should take transit or park off-street like other non-residents. Some sort of balance based on the context of the neighborhood is probably desirable.
Q: Won't the only stores that can withstand RPP be big boxes and those with big parking lots? A: No, most people who shop at local merchants are already parking at meters, so RPP wouldn't affect them. (That was the answer given; no one said anything about all the people who walk, bike, or take transit to shop and eat out.)
Q: What about people whose cars are registered outside the neighborhood in order to get cheaper car insurance -- will they be eligible for permits? A: There was no firm answer to this at first, then a consensus seemed to emerge that RPP permits should be based on where cars are registered, which would bring insurance cheats in line.
Q: What steps will be taken to ensure that permits are not loaned, stolen, or sold? A: They will
have the license plate or vehicle registration number on them.
Good to see Forest Hills politically active. I'm sure there were some pretty heated exchanges at Gotta Getta Bagel - and not just at people hogging tables.
Monday, February 4, 2008
I'm not sure who owns the properties in question. I do know that many of the documents on two of the properties are signed by Mr. Aron Borukhov. An internet search shows there is an Aron Borukhov involved in real estate in Rego Park, but I'm not sure it it's the same.
There also seems to be some kind of affliation with Bindi Skin Care, who shares an office as the 72ND Forest Hills Associates who Mr. Morsellino reports to.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
MoCA Asian Bistro hits Hewlett like that proverbial oasis-in-the-desert. To judge by the crowds during its opening week, the stylish and ambitious place immediately is feeding on pent-up demand. The look is contemporary and the food a tasty mix of the familiar and the new. The menu ranges from a tuna-topped pizza and Vietnamese summer roll to curried seafood soup and Beijing duck. The quality at this early stage is consistent, too. You can have a basic wonton or miso soup, but instead consider the coconut-seafood chowder, a lush and tropical update on the New England approach. Special sushi rolls also are very good, including "triple toro," made with tuna, yellowtail and salmon atop spicy avocado; Peninsula maki, with lobster and avocado capped with fresh kiwi and mango sauce; a tempura roll with salmon, asparagus, scallion and tomato. Nigirizushi and sashimi are available, as are the standard sushi rolls. Red snapper with pineapple sauce, Thai-style mango chicken, coconut-green curry tofu and vegetables, and that flavorful Beijing duck are among the colorful main courses. You'll need more than one visit to take it all in.
Lunch, noon to 3 p.m.; dinner, 5 pm. to 9:30 p.m. seven days.
Ambitious and very good.
So now that's it's official, let's break it down. . .
Pizzeria Uno - New popular restaurant should bring lots of spill over that UJ's never provided.
Cabana - see above
Blockbuster - Though it looks on its last legs, should see a bump of people hitting it after dinner.
Piu Bello - Better post-dinner date clientele than Mardi Gras.
Staubach Center - Area needed one more big draw to woo large scale retailers, and MoCA should deliever.
Forest Hills Residents Within Walking Distance - Parking will be a nightmare, but pedestrians have a non-schlocky large-scale place that seems like it will be very lively.
Bangkok Cuisine - Has a hell of a fight on its hands.
Jade - Is there room in this town for two large-scale Asian fusion restaurants? Awesome location and design so if Asian fusion doesn't prove economically viable anymore, hopefully will flip menus to something the market needs.
Peking Duck Forest - Should still get the old-timers, but how long will that last?
Santa Fe Steakhouse - Bar raised on these big places, can SF Steak answer bell? Huge sodas might not cut it anymore. Initial spill over will be nice, but now there is destination place on the row that very well has superior food.
No word on opening date, but expect big crowds and lots of hair gel the first few weeks.