Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Bike Lane on QB?

Here's a story about a young man who was killed while riding his bike on Queens Blvd. His family is calling for bike lanes on Queens Blvd. It's long overdue.

Anyone who's almost been run over on a sidewalk or forced to ride with 50mph traffic on that horrendous road knows it's desperately needed. There's obviously a ton of room for one, or six, and maybe would add some aesthetic benefit. Every day I hear about a different bike lane in the white parts of Brooklyn or in Manhattan. It's time to get ours.

The DOT's two most recent solutions to slowing QB traffic and improving safety have been allowing more parking on the service roads and installing metal fences to coral people to cross at the intersections. It's time to take it past those half-assed stop gaps.

Remove the parking spaces they installed a few years ago on the service roads and put in bike lanes.

The Queens Chronicle is asking for opinions.

The Queens Chronicle is interested in hearing readers’ views on the question: Should the city build a bicycle lane on Queens Boulevard?
Send your answers to

Time Out

With the anonymous commenters getting a little too unruly, creepy, abusive, and racist these last few days, it's time to cool off.

We'll ban them for four weeks and see if we can't shed some of them to Splitting Hairs and Queens Central.

Sorry anonymousers, but it got to the point where you viciously attacked anyone who made a point slightly different from yours and if you feel that strongly about it - whether that be the south side being better, the view from the telescope on your balcony, the threat black people pose to Forest Hills, or whose mother is a whore, you'll register and say it.

So cool off for a few weeks and we'll see you in late July. Registered users, you're in adult swim for the next 28 days.

Foul Play?

Be careful out there. From the Queens Gazette:

Police in Forest Hills are awaiting the results of testing by the Medical Examiner's Office to determine the cause of death of a woman whose body was found near the 112th Police Precinct on June 11th.

Police responding to a 911 call made the grisly discovery and alerted city paramedics, who declared the woman dead at the scene a short while later.

Anyone with information on the woman is urged to call the Crimestoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Feels Like the First Time

As reported on QueensCentral and the blog Splitting Hairs in Forest Hills, Tierra Sana is having another Grand Opening. Enjoy salads, wraps, vegan treats, and hit Cheeburger on the way home.


Grand Opening

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tierra Sana Café & Lounge

100-17 Queens Blvd & 67th Road / 718-830-0544

7:45 PM: Open for dinner & bar to the public and friends.

If I lived over there, I would go to this place daily to show my support. What a coup for the far West side.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Obamaniacs Showing Hubris in Forest Hills

Want to help Obama? The local chapter of Obama volunteers are getting together in a few weeks. And the location might come as a surprise:

Kickoff Meeting - Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Rego Park Volunteers (Meeting)
Calling all Forest Hills, Kew Gardens and Rego Park, NY volunteers. Come to our neighborhood kick-off meeting. Share your passion for Obama 2008, discuss upcoming events for registration and community outreach, bring your ideas. Great people, great fun!

Time: Wednesday, July 9 at 7:30 PM
Duration: 1 hour

The Irish Cottage (718.268.1329) (Forest Hills, NY)
108-07 72nd Ave
(btw Queens Blvd. and Austin St.)
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Associated Groups: Forest Hills for Obama (Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Rego Park), Queens County for Obama, St. Johns University

The Irish Cottage? Ballsy. You are running against a guy named McCain you know. To attend, rsvp on the site itself.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Goodbye Daniella

As reported here a few weeks ago, but disputed by a commenter, this Craiglist ad does not bode well for those betting on Anonymous.

It's a big space in a great location - let's hope they can build upon the yogomonster momentum.

Garment Racks from a Boutique (Forest Hills)

Reply to: see below

Date: 2008-06-23, 12:25PM EDT

Garment Racks, antitheft alarm system (for clothes), airconditioning, light fixtures all for sale.
Garment Racks standing four arm and two arm racks with various adjustable arms (face out, hanging, L shaped) 10 four arm floor stands, 7 2 arm floor stands, 22 ladder tower wall mounts, with 26 face out (straight)arms and 21 hanging (waterfall) arms, 32 L shaped arms, 7 short shelves, 26 standard shelves.
Call at 718-268-7080
Or visit at 71-62 Austin Street Forest Hills, NY 11374


I can confirm that there is a sign in the window of that Austin St. mini mall there there is a Yogomonster coming soon.

That's two nice shots in the arm in that hideous structure, with Ripe and Yogomonster.

Don't know much about this mini chain, but the Brooklyn blogs had nice things to say about it when it opened earlier in the year in Park Slope. And what's not to like about a dessert place from Park Slope, with a lower case logo and those weird dots over the "o"? Can't get much more yuppie than that.

Welcome Yogomonster. Sorry Piu Bello.

Fighting All Night Long

Excellent event was just emailed to me. Please try to make it out. . .


Forest Hills community and surrounding residents come together to fight cancer at American Cancer Society Relay For Life

Forest Hills residents will come together to honor cancer survivors and their caregivers. Tributes will also be paid to those who have lost their battle to cancer at the American Cancer Society’s Forest Hills Relay For Life event to support cancer research, education, advocacy and patient & family services in the community. There will be entertainment ALL NIGHT until 7am.

WHO: The American Cancer Society, hundreds of volunteers, students, walkers, families, caregivers, cancer survivors, individuals and teams.

WHAT: The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is an overnight community celebration where people camp out, sing, dance, and take turns walking, running or otherwise moving around a track “relay” style to raise funds to fight cancer. At nightfall, participants will light hundreds of luminaria candles around the track in a moving ceremony to honor cancer survivors as well as friends and family members lost to the disease.

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life represents hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day, cancer will be eliminated. Since 1985, Relay For Life has spread to over 4,700 communities in the U.S. and has become a worldwide movement, taking place in nine countries.

WHERE: West Side Tennis Club, 1 Tennis Place, Forest Hills, NY 11375

WHEN: Saturday June 28 to Sunday June 29

5:00 PM- Registration (Sat.)

6:15 PM- Opening Ceremony/ Survivor's Lap

9:00 PM- Luminaria Ceremony

Sunday, June 22, 2008

From the Inbox:

I'm a reader of your blog and thought your readers might be interested in the following:

* Claire's on Continental is closing July 25 (their other nearby stores are in the Queens Center Mall and at Atlas Park);
* Tasti-D-Lite is back open in the mini-mall right next to Claire's, and the new store looks a lot cleaner than their old location next to Sorisi;
* and most exciting of all, in the upstairs of the mini mall on Austin Street past Continental (where Ripe just opened), in the location that used to be occupied by a fortune teller/psychic, there is a "Coming Soon" sign for a new frozen yogurt place!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hey, It's Summer in Forest Hills Too, You Know

Some of you might have read that the Mayor is closing down Park Avenue three consecutive Saturdays for "Summer Streets", where they close the street off from traffic for people just to stroll, bike, or run around. It's not a street fair - but existing restaurants are encouraged to set up tables on the sidwalk. No cars, no vendors, no bootlegged Reggaeton CD's. Just Forest Hills residents and visitors enjoying a weekend day.

Turns out Brooklyn Heights and Williamsburg are doing it too. I think it's a great idea.

Using Community Board 72 on your right, I've emailed Melinda Kata and Community Board 6 requesting they look into this. Feel free to shoot them a note as well and I think it would help. I suggested the obvious - Austin Street or one of the side streets.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Speaking of the LIRR

The Caribbean lady was particularly crazy this morning as she was standing and shouting obscenities on the eastbound platform.

A bunch of people alerted the LIRR worker in the ticket booth, but don't know if any action was taken. The word on the westbound platform was that she was off her medication. In any case, it's not a good recipe - mentally disturbed person on a public platform with commuter trains whizzing by at 65mph. Let's hope she gets some help.

AJ's Open, Delicious

In honor of AJ's still being open, I took a pie home yesterday on my way home from the LIRR. And by the way, I took the F train in. Is it like that every day? Took 45 minutes to go four stops, we had nice little fight between a Hispanic lady and Asian man regarding space by the doors and F trains whizzing by on the LOCAL track. No wonder the commenters have been so cranky lately. Guys, I'm begging you, take the LIRR. I don't care that you work at 53rd and 3rd, I dont' care that your wage works is preset to metrocards, just make the change. Back to AJ's. . .

While I didn't recognize anyone behind the counter, the pizza was better than it's been the last few times I went. In the interim, I went to Portofino where they put ketchup on a pancake and call it pizza - so it's nice to have a real pizza place to go to again. Yeah, I know, AJ's sucks, Michaelango's rocks, Lillian's, Capeolina, blah blah blah. Everyone has a better pizza place on their corner.

Anyway, no signs of impending doom except for one. The pizza box was generic "Fresh Hot Pizza", no longer the ironic "You've Tried the Rest, Now Try AJ's for a Change."

Cost cutting move, or running out the clock?

Help Lazy Couple Today!

Help Pack Up Our Two-Bedroom Apartment (Forest Hills)

Reply to:
Date: 2008-06-19, 11:40AM EDT

Sunday - June 22 ONLY!

We are packing up our two-bedroom apartment in Forest Hills in anticipation of getting the walls painted. We will pay $12/hour - minimum four hours work. We have all the supplies needed.

We are located in easy walking distance from E/F line and LIRR.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mama Mia! Whazza Upa at Pasta DelGiorno?

This is our first Rumor alert in a while. Department of Buildings has an application on file for a estimated $80K (always estimated on the extreme low end) renovation on the Pasta DelGiorno site. Also, in the application, it calls for "EATING AND DRINKING ESTABLISHMENT WITH MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT BUTNOT DANCING WITH CAPACITY OF 200 PERSONS OR LESS" (their caps, not mine).

So, maybe it's a new 80,000 toilet seat. Or maybe there are major changes in store.

The bad news? No changes requested for the pool hall upstairs.

FoHi in Blogs

A Manhattan blogger visits a Russian restaurant and later Martha's Bakery:

Now that I've had two experiences eating cupcakes from Martha's, I'm pretty sure that it's my favorite cupcake in the city. Not that I would tell people to trek out to Queens to get it, nor would I;

We welcome a couple who will no longer have to trek to Queens. They sold their UWS condo to live the good life.

The Knudsens, who are moving to Forest Hills in Queens, are hardly taking a bath on their investment.

And everyone should be headed down to the two new Latin restaurants on Metropolitan according to

Things are heating up on Metropolitan Avenue, where a new Mexican place called Casa de Elian is serving “taco truck quality food (and as Chowhounds know, that is a compliment). . .

. . .Just up the street, there’s a newish Latin steakhouse called Pampas Argentinas, and early word is mostly good. kenito799 says Pampas stacks up well against hound favorite La Porteña in Jackson Heights

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Whole Lotta Tour Goin' On

Reminder: Today at 11am.

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

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Guide To What You Already Know

The Mommy Poppins website (for NYC parents) was compiling a New York City neighborhood guide and they asked bloggers from all over the city to write something about their neighborhoods. They asked me to do Forest Hills.

The guide is out and can be viewed here:

The other bloggers made theirs more child-centric. I decided to keep mine brief. If it looks familiar to hardcore 72 fans, it's because I borrowed a lot of it from my maiden post about life in Forest Hills.

AJ's Update

Here's what we know. The building that houses AJ's Pizza was for sale. It's been reported on other blogs and above is the listing. The side street business the ad refers to is Piccolo Mundo a children's clothing store that is in fact moving a few doors down as per a sign in its window.

The building for some reason has been taken off the market. Was a deal struck as some of the commenters claim, or did Sal change his mind and keep on truckin' because his son is one slice short of a full pie? Time will tell.

If it goes, I'll miss it. Not because I thought Sal was so great - I couldn't pick him out of the line up and I've never found the staff there to be very nice. But I agree with a lot of people here when they say while it wasn't the best pizza in the city, it was above average - and in Forest Hills, that's five star cuisine.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

AJ's on Vacation

Per a new sign posted on the closed metal grate, AJ's is on vacation Tuesday June 10 through Sunday June 16th. Why they didn't post this yesterday, or alert people attempting to phone-in orders via this new technology called an answering machine, only AJ's knows. Certainly the stationary owners next door don't, as they thought AJ's was gone for good.

Seems an odd time for a popular pizza place to close down for a vacation however. Lots of parties for graduation, proms, sporting events, oh well.

FoHi in Blogs

An open mic participant at Theater Cafe:

The audience (a fair number of people, all things considered) was responsive (they sang along on "Generic Love Song" and "Don't Quit Your Day Job," which is great considering this was the first time they heard either song).After that the host of the evening (Vinnie!) got some of his buddies up to jam and eventually invited me back up to join them. I had already put away my guitar by then, so for a few songs I just sang backup. Then I noticed there was an electric piano nearby--seriously, it went unnoticed before because of all the soft guitar cases and such strewn over it--so I started adding some things from the keys. After it was all over Vinnie asked me if I'll be back next Thursday. I guess I will. It was fun.

A shopper on Austin St.

My Forest Hills expedition was a smashing success. Austin St. shopping might become a semi-regular thing. It's like Soho without the crowds. (Of course, it might have only been that way yesterday because sane people with air conditioners all stayed home.)

A potential neighbor:

Hi all... I'll be moving to the New York area late summer, and am looking at living in either Brooklyn (probably Prospect Heights, Park Slope, South Slope, but I'm open) or Queens (Astoria or Forest Hills). An important part of my decision about which neighborhood to live in will be food.

A 72 Review


Cheeburger should fit right into Forest Hills gallery of chain businesses, with a similar staff and clientele of Pizzeria Uno’s, Blockbuster, Verizon Wireless, etc. It’s clean and bright. The staff looks straight out of high school and could have been a bit more attentive. The bathrooms are big with only one tag so far. I still advocate the death penalty for taggers and hopefully our new council member will sign it into the city charter.

So how was the food? I got the semi-serious cheeseburger which is 7 ounces. It’s a very big piece of meat, yet there are two bigger sized (12 and 20 oz). It was pretty good, but surprisingly Tower Diner makes a better one called The Classic (get it without the onions). The Cheeburger one is fried, while the Tower one is over a flame which makes a big difference.

A few observations:

When somebody finishes the 20 oz, the waitstaff comes around and announces it. It’s an annoying interruption and I hope they end the practice.

The child meal comes in a little cardboard car which is a nice touch. And at $4.50 it’s a good deal.

Free refills on the sodas.

No booths, only tables/chairs.

They were doing a large take-out business, which given the location makes sense.

Burgers do not come with fries, but are so big you don’t need them.

Shakes are expensive (5.75), but come with the glass and metal shaker like all shakes should. Made with Edy’s ice cream.

Every table gets an entire roll of paper towels for napkins, an excellent (if not exactly green) idea.

As far as Johnny Rocket’s comparisons, I’d call it even. Johnny Rocket’s is more of a restaurant with booths and a more professional staff – I just wish it didn’t cost $40+ for lunch for two and a child. Cheeburger is cheaper and quicker. But for delivery, you gotta give it to Tower hands down.

Bottom Line: If you’re really hungry or hungover and don’t want pizza, you’ve got another place to go.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

72 News Alert!!! Sources: AJ's Closed For Good

According to eyewitnesses, AJ's Pizza has indeed closed for good. No answer at speed dial mainstay 718-520-9018 and doors are locked this Tuesday evening. But no sign acknowledging anything. Employees at the card store next door confirm closing and say they heard it was going to be a Chinese restaurant. Much more to come. . .

6/11 Update: Metal gates are indeed down, but some commenters are saying that they're taking a vacation. You would think they would have someone able to run the joint or post something on the gate itself - or at the very least spring for an answering machine to tell people when they are reopening. So maybe AJ's will live to serve another slice.


Is the Staubach Center going the way of the Heskel Hotel?

All sales material posted on the former Cowboy great's website has scaled down the available space by exactly half. The site plans no longer even mention a second floor (they had the blueprint of both floors up until a few weeks ago) and all renderings of the new center have been removed from the site.

Also, the available date has been changed from January 2009 to "available immediately". So unless they built the thing while I was out of town this weekend, it looks like Staubach might have thrown a bomb. Fine with me, the thing was ugly anyway. Store fronts are one of the best things about urban downtowns. Mini malls are awful.

From the Staubach Retail site:

70-35/39 Austin Street
10,500 SF
  • Existing Retail Space Available Immediately - will subdivide
  • 10,500 SF with 105 feet of frontage on Austin Street
  • Located on the prime corner of 70th Road and Austin Street
  • High car and pedestrian traffic in a unique shopping district
  • Neighboring tenants include: Barnes & Noble, Ann Taylor Loft, Gap, Eddie Bauer, Children’s Place, Banana Republic, Benetton, Sephora, Victoria’s Secret, Nine West, Staples, Duane Reade
  • Transportation, one block from site: 71st Ave/Forest Hills, Subway – E, R, F, V, LIRR – 7,872,552 Annual Ridership
  • Approximately 800 paid parking spaces within two blocks of the site plus on-street parking

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sunday is Funday

Big day around here on Sunday. We've got the Austin street fair at 11am. We've got the free tour of downtown Forest Hills, also at 11am. And we've got the bicycle event Tour de Queens (great name), which goes through Forest Hills, but I'm not sure where.


Cheebuger Gets Some Ink

Lots of pick-ups of our Cheeburger opening. It was mentioned on the New York Magazine blog,, and Metromix Here at home, fellow Forest Hills blogger Splitting Hairs gave this welcome:

The presence of this restaurant at the base of the Windsor makes me positively ecstatic that I don’t own there. I’m not just mouthing sour grapes; truly, can you not readily conjure in your minds the Windsor condo crowd cringing at the thought of the smell and the summer-sweaty large crowds a place like this inevitably attracts? Midway movie patrons, fresh from their summer blockbusters and 2-gallon-sized popcorns, downed with a Coke, now have a place to go one more round with food that is generally acknowledged as less-than-life-enhancing. Yum.

Read for yourself. You can't miss the post, it's just above the one "Acknowledgment for All" in which she bemones a society that deems others as "less worthy" based on lifestyle choices. Acknowledgment for all. . .except those who eat popcorn I guess.

72 Gets You 71

You might have heard about the election going on in City Council District 30. It's on the other side of Woodhaven.

The difference between the two leaders, Anthony Como (R) and Elizabeth Crowley (D) is 70 votes. 2,352 votes to 2,282 according to the Daily News and unless Crowley pulls out an absentee ballot miracle, Como down and meet your new Councilman.

Just want to remind all candidates in district 29 (our district) that this blog is your blog - and might put it 71 votes the other way. Feel freel to email me any campaign agendas you might have, questions you would be willing to field from our lunatic commenters, and reasons you feel you're better than the other guy.

So far, I have Mike Cohen, Lynn Shulman, Bob DeLay, running per the Campaign Finance website. Some news accounts have Karen Koslowitz running too. Not exactly new blood, but it's still early.

And if you're thinking of running yourself, great! All you need a lot of time and money. Here's a PDF form to get you started financially:

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Street Fair on Sunday

Remember to check out the Austin Steet Fair on Sunday from 11am - 6pm. I could take or leave the tables (how many refrigerator magnets do I really need), but I love having that street closed to traffic.

Also, if I remember correctly, the June one (Forest Hills Festival of the Arts) has live music, the October one (Forest Hills Arts Festival) does not.

Straight Outta Suburban Dallas

In other chain restaurant news, Atlas Park will soon welcome its newest addition - Simply Fondue. With locations in California, Texas, and Missouri, the chain is going east with two new locations, Atlas Park and Great Neck, LI.

It will be next to the Amish Market.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Ripe For Expansion

Cashier/Counter Person & Wait Staff Wanted (Forest Hills, Queens 11375)
Reply to:
Date: 2008-06-03, 2:20PM EDT

Ripe Juice Bar & Grill is looking to fill full-time and part-time positions for the morning and evening shifts. We are looking for people with knowledge and experience in the food and beverage industry with a commitment to providing excellent customer service. Restaurant experience required. For consideration, please submit resume pasted into the body of an e-mail. Attachments will not be opened.

* Location: Forest Hills, Queens 11375

Nice to see this place is hiring - people are digging it. It's also nice to see a Forest Hills listing on Craigslist with perfect spelling and NO CAPS.

Strike One

I couldn't make it through this, but maybe you'll have better luck. It was filmed at the Plainview, Long Island location. Just keep telling yourself - there's always takeout, there's always takeout.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cheeburger Eve

Tomorrow, Cheeburger clogs its first artery in Forest Hills as it opens after a long delay. The paper is off the window and it looks great inside. I'm guilty of liking chain restaurants more than most. Not for dinner (that's lame), but for lunch - and Cheeburger is a lunch place. Let's take a look at the winners and losers:


Northsiders. A quick jaunt under the 71st subway underpass and you're there. You can argue this part of Queens Blvd. is closer to Northsiders than the residential parts of the South side. And no Austin riff raff to deal with.

Parents in the AQUA section. Yes, you could walk to Johnny Rocket's which is pretty much a carbon copy of this place, but walking down Austin Street on a Saturday is a noise-filled downer. Bring the kiddies to Cheeburger and then back to the Austin St. park. Plus, it's got an interesting kids menu.

Commuters. Grab a salad on the way home, what a concept.


Johnny Rocket's. I really liked this place when it first opened, but it got expensive fast. The clientele was always a bit weekender-ish, and eventually I stopped going. The opening of another retro-diner won't help.

Nick's Pizza. A staple of the weekend lunch with small children now (finally) got some competition. Expect them to counter by not giving a rat's ass.

Austin House. This lazy coffee shop with the perfect location just moved another notch down on the "grab a quick bite" chart behind Cheeburger, AJ's, and Nick's.

So, welcome Cheeburger. See the menu here:

Let's Dance

Dancing Under the Stars - Summer Mondays in Forest Park.

Monday, Jun 02, 2008 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.Queens

Ballroom Dance lessons for all ages taught by professional ballrooms dance instructors. Partners not needed. FREE

Location: Corner of Park Lane and Metropolitan Avenue, Kew Gardens, Queens
More Information: Phone number: (718) 235-4100

This sounds like fun and it's a great night for it. If you can get to Metropolitan and Park Lane South by 6pm on Mondays, you'll have a good time.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Everything You Wanted To Know About Bukharians, But Were Very Afraid to Ask

This is a very interesting piece on Bukharian life in Forest Hills, and the role technology is playing in the second generation. It pulls no punches and presents a view from the Bukharians and a Q and A with a long-time Forest Hills resident. An excerpt:

Q. We’ve heard that there are some tensions between the Russian Jews and some other groups in Forest Hills.

A. There’s a big cultural difference. And there’s a big adjustment. The Russians who move here basically are pretty well off, and they build these big ugly houses, and they’re awful. Every time I see the houses I cringe.

Read it all here.

Wear Your Best Suit, Boyo's!

Experienced Bartender Needed... (Forest Hills, NY)

Reply to:
Date: 2008-06-01, 12:55PM EDT

Do you have the Irish gift-of-the-gab?...The Irish Cottage is looking for an experienced bartender that is availiable 5 nights a week. Knowledge of Ireland A+++

Visit our website: (718) 268- 1329 or (718)520-8530 to speak with Kathleen to schedule an interview.Please bring resume.Cheers.

Location: Forest Hills, NY

Welcome Guest Blogger - Carrie Bradshaw!

Dear Computer:

As I walked to the low-key Metropolitian Ave for the Friday night premiere of my new movie Sex And The City, I was filled not with anticipation, but dread. Cinemart and the four of us? Talk about slumming.

But as I saunted in my Manolo's past the funeral home and American Legion, I saw something strange. A line of girls - some very dressed up - for the show, just like Manhattan. Where were all the Archie Bunkers I heard about? Later at Cinema Cafe, it was packed with people talking about the show, gay and straight. Where was I, South Forest Hills or the West Village?

So dear computer, I wondered, is Metropolitan ready for a Cosmopolitan?