Saturday, May 31, 2008

Don't Phone It In

I was going to let this go, but after seeing all the coverage of the Memorial Day Parade in the local weeklies, I wanted to share my experience.

Yes, it was a great day with firetrucks, horses, marching bands, and politicians waiving to the crowd. But one thing that stands out is a sky-blue Chrysler (pictured above) driving in the parade. The lady in the front passenger seat (the headline seat) for some reason wasn't waiving. And then we found out why. She was talking on her cell phone. No acknowledgment of the crowd, just yapping away.

Parades are symbiotic events - marchers are happy when a big crowd comes out, crowds are happy to see them. It's bad enough when they let cars drive slowly down the route, but I understand it's a long walk. But nobody, NOBODY, spends the day in the hot sun jockeying for position to see people on cell phones. Hang up the damn phone and acknowledge the people who came to see you.

Don't know who she was, but I hope the organizers recognize the car in the photo and ban her from marching next year. They don't let just anyone drive down the route so she must be somebody. But give her next year off. Maybe next time she'll give a shit about the somber event and the families who came to honor it.

Otherwise, it was a very nice parade. Looking forward to next year.


From the inbox:

Friends of Station Square,
Central Queens Historical Association,
& Community Board 6Q

is sponsoring...

FREE TOURS OF FOREST HILLS 2008 with Historian/Licensed Tour Guide Jeff Gottlieb

1. Sunday, June 1st: Tour of Forest Hills Gardens I
Meet at the Forest Hills LIRR Station at 11 AM, and end at 8 Markwood Rd.
Duration at least 2 hrs.

2. Sunday, June 8, 2008: Tour of Downtown Forest Hills
Meet at the corner of Austin St & Continental Ave at 10 AM, and end at same location.
At least 2 hrs.

3. Sunday, June 15, 2008: Tour of Forest Hills Gardens II
Meet at 8 Markwood Rd and end at Station Square.
At least 2 hrs.

No rain dates. All are welcome.

Any questions, please e-mail

Friday, May 30, 2008

Arrivederci, La Vigna

Restaurant For Sale, 20k sq. ft. Seats 40 (Forest Hills)

Reply to:
Date: 2008-05-29, 1:52PM EDT

20,000 sq. ft. restaurant. Seats 40. Bar. 2 bathrooms. Full kitchen. Full Basement. Located at 100-05 Metropolitan Avenue. Price negotiable. Reply or Call 718-268-4264

If you search the phone number, La Vigna comes up so I assume it's this place. People like it, but I wasn't crazy about it. Last time I went a few years ago, she didn't have the air conditioner on by choice. It had to be 85 outside and 90 in. We left.

I'm no foodie, but if you ask me, the difference between good Italian and average Italian is the biggest chasm besides only good seafood and average seafood (which is completely useless). All other cuisines you can get away with.

La Vigna - like all Forest Hills - was average Italian, But it was more popular than most.

It's Not a Cool Indie Record Store, But It'll Have To Do. . .

**** Church in the Gardens****

•Jun. 7-8, Saturday/Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Used book sale, magazines, records, videos, CDs, DVDs, lunch on Saturday, 50 Ascan Ave., Forest Hills; 718.268.6704.

Come for an original John Coltrane, leave with a "Now That's What I Call Music 9"

Grab a Spatula

Cheeburger Cheeburger Cooks Needed ASAP (108-50 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills NY)

Reply to: see below
Date: 2008-05-29, 12:19PM EDT

Cooks needed immediately come in to fill applications ASAP

Contact #718-997-8600

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Landlord Speaks

After reading your comments, a note in the inbox.

Ok. Very interesting input from your readers. Seem to be somewhat younger crowd. We don't want Austin street to look like a mall and that seems to be the consensus. Enough malls around, but those tenants do pay their rent on time..

I've asked to keep a dialogue with this person and he's open to it. He says he owns a "decent amount of space" and is interested in the demographics of the readers of the blog. We're working on a survey to help him with this and will have something on the site early next week.

So maybe nothing will come out of this, but it can't hurt.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bamboo Moves Working to Bring Farmer's Market to FoHi

A lot of you have wished for a Farmer's Market, but Bamboo Moves Yoga Studio (above Fay Da Bakery) takes it a step further. From the email inbox

. . .at this juncture we've recieved over 1,000 signatures of support from local Forest Hillsians who want to bring a Farmer's Market to town. Also we recently recieved support from Congressman Anthony Weiner who will write us a formal letter of support and assist in the permiting procedure with phone calls. Now we have picked a few locations, (although we are still accepting ideas) and we have asked GreenMarket Co. to inspect those locations and decide if they are elligible spots. After we pick our official spot we will have to apply with the Parks and Rec Department and begin the ardous process of getting approval. Realistically it will all begin NEXT summer, 2009. These things do take time. What would help move it along would be if other local business owners got behind it. Seeing as a large scale Market in a centralized location, (like MacDonal Park) would bring in many more people to the Austin Street/71st Continental shopping district we think it would definately benefit most businesses in the area.

Currently we are looking at MacDonal Park and The Park @ Russel Sage Junior High as our most likely locations.

Once we decide on our location we will also want to get support from the Forest Hills Community Board 6 and the Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce. Anyone who can help us get support from those groups or wants to sign our petition should stop by our studio or call: 718-263-0788. They can also email us @ or find out more about us @

Great idea and hard work from a local business. While I'm not crazy about the locations scouted (would prefer it right off Austin St.), I'll take what I can get. Ideally, I would love to see one on 71st Rd, right outside the Windsor. Very wide road, not busy at all as far as cars but there are plenty of pedestrians, and I'm sure Cord Meyer and the Windsor's new businesses would love to have the draw. Please contact Bamboo Moves to help.

Queens Is the New Long Island?

Newsday writes what was discussed at last week's Long Island Sustainability Conference:

Last week at Sustainable Long Island's Sustainability Conference, Long Islanders voiced their desire for alternatives to "moturbia," including revitalized downtowns, transit-oriented development and safe, walkable communities.

Hmm, a downtown, transit oriented, safe walkable community. . .man I wished I lived there.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Here's Your Chance To Be Heard. . .

From the inbox:

I am business owner/landlord on Austin and also live in FH. I would like to get the pulse from your subscribers as to the type of stores they might like.

Comment away! Just remember, you can catch a lot more bees with honey.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Woodhaven Summit

The DOT is holding a Woodhaven Blvd workshop today at 5:30pm at the Forest Hills library on the northside of 71st Ave/QB.

As most of you know, Woodhaven Blvd is the scariest roadway this side of the Jackie Robinson. Narrow roads, left-turn-only lanes that come out of nowhere, speeding zippaheads in pimped up Maximas, subway bridges right in the middle of major intersections, this road isn't poorly designed, it's treacherous.

Crossing it on foot is Russian Roulette, especially when you consider how many of the DWI's you read about were caught on Woodhaven. Plus, unlike the Boulevard of Death, there isn't a subway running underneath to cut through when you don't feel like playing the game.

Don't know why the start time is at 5;30pm, pretty much ensuring terrible turnout, but contact the DOT through their website to get a synopsis of what was discussed. I also don't know why the title of the meeting is "Congestion on Woodhaven Blvd." considering there's not much you can do about that. You want to feel good and say there should be a light rail or rapid bus, fine. But these meatheads who drive up and back from S. Conduit wouldn't give up their Escalades for the most rapid bus in the world.

My suggestion? The same suggestion I have for all roads in New York City - red-light traffic cameras. Why they don't have them installed at every intersection in the city still baffles me.

Just be thankful the parade of cars on that street heads up to LIE and doesn't make the right on Union Tkpe on up to Continental, which would happen should Congestion Pricing ever get passed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Brooklyn Ikea Opening June 18th

Thanks to Gothamist for some of the info.

Ikea in Red Hook (exactly 13 miles from Continental/Austin) is opening June 18th, ensuring headaches and curse words for all who visit. The store is offering free shuttle service from three nearby subway stops (hear that Trader Joe's?) and a ferry service from Manhattan which tens of people will take annually. There will also be increased bus service for those who weren't made nauseous enough from the crowds and lines inside the store.

Forest Hills 72 recommends the best way to get to the Brooklyn Ikea will be to drive to the New Haven Ikea. Don't have a car? Great - go to Laytner's.

Driving directions in the map above for those silly enough to go. It's exit 26 off the BQE. After exiting, follow the Subaru Forester.

Booze and School

Tomorrow's Community Board meeting should be a good one. There's going to be a few liquor license applications heard (could be new restaurants, could be renewals).

But the headliner will be a representative who will talk about the new Metropolitan schools. Show up and tell them that you want it locally zoned for all grades.

May 14 Community Board Meeting
80-02 Kew Gardens Road - Suite 202
7:45 PM

No Roger, No Rerun, No Budget Cuts

Today at 3:30pm, join the crowd at the Continental subway stop and show how you feel about the major budget cuts at our schools in the new budget. It's bad enough we have to fight the state for our promised share, but our city too? But at least we spent millions of secret slush fund money on the High Line park which overlooks the $500 million Hudson River Park, and what Queens five year old isn't going to appreciate that?
More information on the revolution here: A clip:
A Promise Kept: Last year, the City and State of New York made a historic commitment to reverse years of shortchanging city schools. The governor and state Legislature, despite falling revenues and daunting budget deficits, kept that promise. In April, the governor and Legislature actually exceeded their commitment with an increase more than $600 million for New York City public schools.

A Promise Broken: The City of New York also promised our students additional funding. However, the mayor, while sitting on a multi-billion-dollar budget surplus, put forth a school budget for the 2008-09 school year that is $450 million less than what was promised.
We will be picketing at 3:30 and 4:30 following extended day and the after school program. We will be stationed on the corner of Queens Blvd by the 71st street station and the Midway Theatre.

And They Said He'd Never Wok Again

King Wok has reopened following some kind of mysterious hiatus. Reasons behind it varied from a standard repair job to the owner trying to settle health violations right here. . in Brainerd.

In any case, the only change that I noticed was new chow mein pictures above the cashier. How that place sticks around while Baskin Robbins bit the dust is the real mystery.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Where's Our 15%?

Congratulations Forest Hills 72 readers - you've just signed your first lease.

You might remember our friend from Florida who was considering moving here or Astoria. Well, a few comments later and. . .

. . .Signed the lease today. Took grandma with me to check it out. She loved it, loved the neighborhood. Then I took her out to Portofino, the Italian restaurant down the block afterward for her 83rd birthday dinner. Goodbye money!

It proves one thing - FoHi's still got it with grandmas.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Monday, May 5, 2008

Relationship Month at Forest Hills Community Church

Come for the worship. Stay for the cell phone conversations during "Iron Man."


Another one bites the dust. This time it's Jubilee, a mostly Manhattan based small chain of shoe stores. Shelves are empty with a "Store Closing" sign in the window. It's next to New York and Company.

It's a pretty good sized space - perfect for It's Your Internet East.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Adios Daniella

Women's clothing store Daniella is closing. A few doors down from Cheeses of the World, this long time retailer is "going out of business" according to a sign in the window. It's a pretty big store.

Friday, May 2, 2008

A Tree Grows in AQUA

And from AQUA to the LIE along Queens Blvd thanks to Steven Melnick. What seems like a hundred of planted saplings are already in the ground. Feel freel to talk to a few of them while you cross.

Thanks Steve.


Summer Jobs - Perfect for Students (Forest Hills)

Looking for well-groomed, friendly individuals to fill several summer positions available immediately at The West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills. Seeking full time seasonal pool maintenance employees, $8 per hour. No experience necessary. Must be available weekends and holidays. Some part time seasonal wait and bus staff positions also available. Experience required, must be available weekends and holidays. All applicants should apply in person at the reception desk at: The West Side Tennis Club 1 Tennis Place Forest Hills, NY 11375 (718)268-2300

Who Doesn't Love Rostarr?

Muralist w/Street Art Style Needed for Experimental Film (Forest Hills)

Artist/Muralist needed to create original visuals for an experimental film shooting by May 14th. Mural will be drawn on the walls of an empty apartment and will later be painted over when the apartment's new owners move in (the filmmaker is one of the new owners). The visuals will likely be figurative (defined broadly) and will be inspired by text provided by the filmmaker, though the artist's ideas/opinions regarding the visuals are both expected and desired. In terms of style, we like the work of Herbert Baglione, Swoon, Logan Hicks, Rostarr, and Doze Green.

Translation - Paint my apartment for free.

Doors Open. . .

May 17th
(projected by the owners)