Sunday, March 23, 2008

Long May She Wave

Forest Hills 72 salutes the new Bonfire Grill flag that proudly waves above the East end of Austin Street. Towering above the women's boutiques and hair salons, the Bonfire Grill flag screams in bright red that there is a place in Forest Hills for Forest Hills. And the owners spared no expense in buying a ladder tall enough to raise it.

Look for that flag - that beacon in the night. Don't stop walking down Austin St. at Score! and say 'what's everyone talking about, this place sucks.' Just keep walking a little farther. You'll see that yes, there is a place in Forest Hills to eat a burger and watch the NCAA tourney. There is an Austin Street restaurant that you're actually looking forward to going to, not settling for because it's walkable and someone from the Daily News liked it in 1991.

So, break out your perfectly beat-up college baseball caps - even if you went to Oneonta. Actually, especially if you went to Oneonta. We've got ourselves a real Upper East Side hang out right here on Austin Street and I pledge allegiance to its flag.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Adios Theater Cafe

According to an email, the Theater Cafe has closed (and chained) its doors. There's a note on the door that says it's for sale. I haven't confirmed, but if true it would be a loss.

3/24/08 update: It's not true.

We're #1

According to REBNY's (Real Estate Board of New York) new website, the most searched neighborhood in Queens. . .Broad Channel! No, it's Forest Hills.

"The Web site tracks neighborhood searches in each of the five boroughs. Forest Hills ranks number one in popularity for Queens, based on more than seven million hits on since the Web site launched in September 2007. "

Monday, March 17, 2008

Cheeburger To Open in April 2008

Here's another piece of good news. That Cheeburger that we talked about is finally slated to open in April 2008. It's the eastern-most storefront in the Windsor on QB. Signage is in the window and they are advertising for jobs:

Brand NEW Cheeburger Cheeburger Restaurant in Forest Hills looking to staff entire restaurant. Opening around middle of April 2008. Open House March 23rd and March 30th. 10:00AM - 12:00PM Will train. Call for application or visit

Here's the main part of the menu:

And I'll bet this part of the menu does better than expected - the create your own salad part. Yes, it's sad that we have to resort to a retro diner for to get this service, and it's not exactly Tossed, but it's something.

The sign on the window also is promoting a kids menu, shakes and a bunch of other stuff. Burgers come in sizes ranging from 5.5 ounces to 20 ounces.

Both this place and Bonfire Grill will be big hits all summer long. Very nice.


Bonfire Grill opened up yesterday. While there was some griping about the wine selection and nacho chip girth, the consensus is that it's a good place and will get better.

The reaching out that the owners are doing to the local blogs is excellent and an obvious sign of community awareness. I think it paid off as the place was packed on a Sunday night with a limited menu.

Forest Hills needed a place like this. And even if it's not the most adventurous menu in New York, it looks like a cool hangout and there's nothing wrong with that. If nothing else, to replace those Wine Gallery velvet curtains with open windows is worth the price of admission.

Congrats Bonfire.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I said "My Park Sucks!"

"Speak Up" the NYC Open Space Issues Forum in coming to Queens - the Hall of Science on Saturday 3/8 from 12pm to 4pm.

Here's a bit more about the forum:

Around the City, the Parks Department is listening to communities "Speak Up" about their parks. Forums are being held in all five boroughs for park advocates and community groups to hear about Parks initiatives and discuss how to increase involvement.

The series is modeled after the successful Bronx Speak Up, which has been in existence for 14 years. Recognizing the importance of holding free forums to generate public discussion about open spaces, the program has been expanded citywide thanks to the support of Partnerships for Parks and countless community organizations.

To get to the Hall of Science, take 108th north, make a right on 52nd and follow to the end. You'll see it. Pick up a lemon ice on your way back.

Board Meeting

Community Board 6's next meeting details:

Board 6
Mar. 12,
7:45 p.m.,
Kew Gardens Community Center
80-02 Kew Gardens Rd., Suite 202.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How Much Better Can It Get?

Welcome Better Life Home Decoration to the old Christine's space on 71st rd bet. Austin/QB. While the storefront seems a little College Point to me, I can definitely see an advantage to having a local guy renovate the pad rather than a faceless mega-chain.

Get Your Pagliacci Here

The Church in the Gardens' popular Italian Opera Night is back this month. Tickets are cheap. Little opera, little Nick's, walk around - sounds like a great Forest Hills event. Order tickets here:

Blockbuster Italian Opera Arias

Sunday, March 30, 2008 at 5:00 pm
The Church-in-the-Gardens

50 Ascan Avenue, Forest Hills

The most beloved arias of Italian opera will fill the glorious stone church as you are captivated by the most evocative music sung by three stunning voices. Our most popular event, Brava Italia brings back Maestro David Close and a cast of opera’s finest young artists. Our special guests have sung major roles and concerts on major stages all over the world. You certainly don’t want to miss the thrill of hearing these voices and this music in an intimate setting.

Best (and only) Pizza In Queens

Congratulations to Nick's Pizza for being the borough's only food winner in the latest New York Magazine's best of NYC. It was voted best pizza in the neighborhood of Queens. An honor considering how many months the staff of New York Magazine spent trying pizza from L.I.C. to Floral Park.
Thanks to for the heads up. Thanks to Virtural for the photo.
Also, Atlas Park won Best Shopping Mall. Another feather in the hat of our Forest Hills 72 Man of the Year.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

If You Build It. . .

Some of the hardest intel to get about Forest Hills is who these Metropolitan Ave. schools will actually serve. Here's something I dug up from May 2007. It's a transportation study so it's not directly from the Dept/Education so who knows how accurate it is. However, it does have projections of how (and who) will be in attendance come September 2010.

The good news: The high school will be locally zoned.

The bad news: The junior high school won't be.

The 'How They Will Get There' breakdown:


25% of the students will be special ed. to arrive by van or bus.
44% will arrive by NYC Transit (subway or bus).
11% will be dropped off.
10% by school bus.
10% will walk (local residents).
100% of local parents will call Kew Forest School and ask about tuition, just out of curiosity.

65% will walk.
21 % subway or NYC bus.
14 % dropped off.
0% school bus.

Click on the above for screen shots, or download for yourself here:

Monday, March 3, 2008

School's In

Here's a first look at the Metropolitan High/Junior High school which is slated to be completed in June 2010. That's a little over two years from now. I've got the over/under at October 2012.
The sign is posted at the construction site on Metropolitan Ave. Whenever it's finished, it's going to be a pretty big building.

My Kitchen Is Growing

Took over the Judo place next door.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Vespa Town

Today was the first day in months that there was a slight hint of Spring in the air. Mabye it was psychological because I knew it was March 1st.

Anyway with Spring come the Vespas - and my jealously of them. They are the best way to get around Forest Hills and make a trip from AQUA to Trader Joe's as cool as a trip to a Queens supermarket can possibly be.

I don't know where they're kept in the offseason or how people keep them from being stolen, but people on them seem to get around faster than Forest Hills cars, and parking is not an issue. Perfect.

However I haven't seen one yet this season. Once I do, I'll know it's really Spring. but I hear you can get a knock-off for much cheaper.