Tuesday, December 30, 2008
An NYPD unit that patrols the borough's trains at night is on the verge of closing, the Post has learned - a move critics fear will make Queens subway travel still more dangerous.
"Of course they say that it'll be the same manpower that way, but that's b.s.," one police source told the Post. "It's the equivalent of closing a station house."
"That's stupid, we need safety in the subways," said outraged Trisha Mondal, 18.
"I always feel more comfortable when police are around," the Jamaica resident said at the Forest Hills-71st Avenue station.
Thanks for reading. Dollar Chic is hideous, but every now and then a recent opening like Oko is a definite upgrade over the hair salon it replaced. Cheeburger is a chain, but it's clean and friendly and the new aged steakhouse has a great look to it so far. All is not lost - in fact, I think once the economy rebounds, we're in great shape.
Thought you might find this article interesting. It's not necessarily about Forest Hills in specific, but given your prior disdain on your blog for congestion pricing, it would be curious to see what you think of this. I'm thinking of writing a related blog post on my own blog.
New York state plans soft drink 'obesity tax'
Good luck with your blog - send me the link when you've gotten a few posts down. I think the obesity tax is silly. No one wants to be obese and taxing people into better behavior is a scary path to embark on. However, I would love to see a dog tax. These animals bite people, bark all night, and crap constantly on the sidewalk. And when their owners do clean it up (which they never get all of), they sometimes just throw the bag in the gutter. They offer absolutely no benefit to anyone but the owner and cause inconvenience to everyone else - especially those of us who wear decent shoes. Tax em. The bigger the dog, the bigger the tax.
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I'm sorry but I got a guy for my Canadian land deals.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
If you read between the lines, or the lines themselves, it looks like it was a disaster. Best line:
. . .when asked Saturday morning to describe the moment she decided to seek the Senate seat, Ms. Kennedy seemed irritated by the question and said she couldn’t recall.
“You guys ever think about writing for a woman’s magazine?” she asked the reporters. “I thought you were the crack political team.”
More concerning than her Bloombergian contempt of the press, she couldn't name one issue where she disagreed with the democratic party OR the Mayor. To me, that reeks of someone who really doesn't know the issues.
As I've said before, the press' role in this outdated process is more important than ever with no debates, voting record, or campaign speeches to learn about the candidate.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
At Circuit City the only criteria shoppers seem to have is how loud the bass output can go. That, and if there's a lot of lights on the display panel. I will shoot myself if I worked there.
Austin Street traffic in general in the very kid-friendly stretch is too fast and too heavy.
"The governor should make a decision reasonably quickly because this is just getting out of control," Bloomberg said. "Everybody's focusing on the wrong things."
Everybody's focusing on the wrong things? You know the man's getting cranky when people don't do exactly as he wants them to.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The ugly speedway which divides neighborhoods went through safety improvements in 2001, which consisted of putting metal gates between intersections to keep people from jaywalking. Steven Melnick's group was also at the forefront of planting intermittent small trees between Union Turnpike and Woodhaven Blvd.
The small trees and safety improvements are welcomed, but a complete redesign is necessary.
Word of advice to NYC - forget the High Line for now. It's a new public-funded $200 million dollar park overlooking a new public funded $500 million dollar park. Let the insanely wealthy property owners who stand to benefit immensely pay for the High Line (they already got the beautiful Hudson River Park for free).
It's time to put some of those hundreds of millions towards Queens Blvd which affects exponentially more citizens.
Grand Concourse Announcement: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot//html/pr2008/pr08_058.shtml
New York City Transit yesterday began rolling out new subway cars on the E line which feature automated announcements, digital information boards and a screen that scrolls upcoming station names.
Other subway lines, including the L and W, already have the cars.
The new subway cars, called R160s, have brighter interiors and a smoother ride. Most of the cars along the line date to the 1960s.
Sarah Kriek boutique - nice way to welcome yourselves into the neighborhood guys.
Vacant Beach Bum Tanning space being marketed by DAKOTA REALTY 4U!!!!
Added via email:
You gotta see what is going on by the 112th. Can't expect them to enforce the clean sidewalk law if they don't take care of their own walkway. Try walking on Yellowstone from the LIRR tracks to the 112th. You're better off wearing ice skates.
Keep them coming in to firstname.lastname@example.org. It's been five days since the snow fell, it takes five minutes to throw down some salt.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Could be that they just take the regular E's out of service on the weekend to clean and maintain them, but maybe it's some kind of test for the new R160 E trains which are rumored to come as early as Spring 2009. I'm not a train buff but common sense tells you the overcrowded Queens Blvd line deserve some kind of new train. But the MTA is not in the common sense business (Fulton Street Station).
The California logo is a chicken roasting other chickens. The Forest Hills one is of a chicken holding a cooked chicken on a platter. The colors of both are red and yellow.
Digital TV is coming - great for Forest Hills apartment dwellers who don't want cables running through their prewar walls. Pick up a free converter box here https://www.dtv2009.gov/
Yes, you'll just get the over the air channels, but for a bedroom tv, that's fine.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Queens schools are no strangers to large class sizes. At P.S. 101 in Forest Hills, two of the first-grade classes have 31 students and another has 30. A fourth, a gifted and talented class, is capped at 25. Some parents are fighting to get the cap removed from that class so the students can be equally distributed or have the designation removed altogether.
“To put 31 first-graders in a room is absolutely ridiculous,” said Deborah Dillingham, the president of the Parents’ Association.
Nice work, Caroline.
Quote: Maria Thompson of Woodhaven became attracted to the carousel almost 41 years ago, shortly after moving here from the Bronx and taking her young daughter to the park. “I never saw such happiness on children’s faces,” Thompson said.
“The music, the horses, the whole atmosphere. It’s like toyland.” She said the site’s condition has deteriorated over recent years and the hours of operation have been inconsistent, something both she and the Parks Department hope changes next year.
The city wants the new operator to update the carousel and its surrounding area to a degree — put in some new picnic tables, fix up some of the horses and maybe add some new lighting — but its primary goal is to get someone who knows how to advertise the location and get people into the park.
It's a great carousel, but like a lot of Queens parks, it is neglected. Burned out light bulbs remain unchanged, it's dark and somewhat depressing, and there is an inexplicable amount of broken equipment inside the carousel's tent for storage. Sometimes it looks more like a junkyard than a merry go round.
Here's hoping they find a vendor to clean it up - it really is a great carousel and the one in Flushing Meadows park is just too freaking fast.
But one man got up and moved to another car. The man was well dressed wearing a suede fedora - the kind middle aged men wear to look cool (I'm sure there was a bluetooth there somewhere). He was clearly moving to get away from our homeless looking friend.
And on our well dressed man's lapel? An 'Obama' pin.
Now, isn't part of Obama's message one of unity? 'Yes we can' and all that.If anything, I would expect an Obama supporter (especially one proud enough to wear a pin months after the election) offer this annoying but harmless person some kind of assistance, or at least a smile - not run away to another part of the train.
So how much of Obama's support is just phonies following the crowd (like Apple computer fans) and how many really believe he's going to change things?
I bought into it, but I wish he would make some kind of interesting cabinet pick. President-elect Obama - you can do whatever you want - let's mix it up already!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Quote: The goal this year for kindergarten through third grade was an average of 20.5 students per class, and the current average is 21.4.
21.4? Where was PS 101 at last check, 32? 33?
Most surprising? The elaborate nativity scene at Renegade Hair Salon. I knew after seeing the shop at Halloween that they'd do something good for the holidays, but did not expect them to go biblical.
Others worth mentioning:
First - the 18% tax on soda.
If taxing people into state-acceptable behavior is the goal, where is the sense in taxing sweet sodas and health club memberships?
Monday, December 15, 2008
"I cannot say that it takes 12 years to effectively run a city council district, but you can master the US Capitol in a year and a half. If Caroline Kennedy 'can do anything' like Mayor Bloomberg claims, she can run for the office like everyone else."
There are eight tables in the front of Katsuno (seven of which were full tonight), and two semi-private tables in back. Tonight, people around me were indulging in oshitashi, sea urchin sashimi, and chawan mushi.
The report, called PlaNYC 2030, is intended to be an important guidepost for the city’s future. Done right, it could become a global model and an important piece of Mr. Bloomberg’s legacy.
To get there, though, the mayor will have to deal aggressively with a vexing problem, traffic congestion. If that piece of the plan falls short, the rest of Mr. Bloomberg’s vision won’t much matter. In just a couple of decades, New York is expected to add nearly a million more people. To have any hope of keeping people moving, the city will need to take real and substantial action to unclog its roads — including some form of congestion fee and other disincentives to driving on the busiest streets.
What the editorial, in its self-obsessed hysteria, is saying is that Plan NYC - which calls for more parks, schools, and healthcare accessibility - is meaningless. Only Manhattan traffic matters.
On Monday the city releases a new traffic study The NY Times got a sneak peak, it reports:
The difference is even greater when the focus is on the core commercial district of Manhattan, south of 60th Street. From 2003 to 2007, the study found, traffic entering that area fell by 3 percent. During the same period, transit ridership into the same zone rose 12 percent.
Surprised? You shouldn't be - I've been saying here since the beginning that traffic is not getting worse in Manhattan and the problem of traffic congestion should have been looked at citywide - something an environmental review would have certainly done. Hopefully the Times and the Mayor will calm down a bit on their irresponsible crusade to relocate traffic to outer borough transit hubs now that it looks like we're going in the right direction.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
However, a house must is the Thai Chicken Skewers marinated in honey plum soy sauce dressing and served with peanut sauce, and the Grilled Duck Breast also glazed in a plum sauce and served with string beans and mashed potatoes. The home made sauces are a chef specialty that adds an extra punch to the already delightful dishes.
"We just want to bring good food, a good place to hang out, and good drinks to this neighborhood," commented New York native Chef Debbie Rose.
Grilled Duck Breast in a glazed plum sauce might be a bit ambitious for a place where even the chef just wants 'a good place to hang out'. But even though it overreaches sometimes, I think Bonfire Grill is one of the best looking restaurants on Austin Street and is great for the neighborhood. You have to imagine its popularity influenced the lame-ass Modus to flip to the much more useful Tap House.
Doormen know that residents are doing uncomfortable calculations this year. Martin Hidalgo, a doorman at a condominium building on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills, said some residents have hinted that they will not be as generous as in past years.
“They say, ‘Maybe this year you’re going to get less than last year,’ ” Mr. Hidalgo said. “They say it’s because of the stock market.”
He has done some uncomfortable calculations himself. He said he is expecting less — about $3,500, or roughly half of what his Christmas tips usually total. “If $20 comes my way, that’s fine,” he said. “The main thing is my salary and benefits.”
If he ususally gets $7 k at a condo on QB, it's got to be the Pinnacle. I don't think the Windsor has enough apartments to pay out $7000. Martin, if you're a reader, please email the blog after Christmas and let us know how you made out.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Reply to: mailto:email@example.com?subject=$3000%20+++++%20Vacant%20lot%20%20Queens%20Blvd%20(forest%20%20hills) [?]Date: 2008-12-08, 5:29PM EST
60.56 X 31.25 Lot. Used To A Car Dealership. 1890 Sqft great for paking of CAR LOTS
Location: forest hills
- Offer the West Side Tennis Club financial assistance to reopen the Tennis Stadium for classical music concerts. The ones at the bandshell at Forest Park are a joke with all the motorcycles and boom cars driving up Forest Park Lane.
- Provide a shuttle bus (as is provided from Manhattan to/from BAM) from Continental Ave. to Queens Museum/Botanic Gardens in Flushing Meadows. Gettng there is a bitch without a car.
- Provide assistance to expand Restaurant Row Jazz Thursdays, now currently three times a year (twice this year because of a rain storm), to every Thursday from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
- Provide assistance for a Halloween Parade and Christmas concert 71st Rd.
Without the cultural infrastructure already in place as in Brooklyn and Manhattan, we will have to get ours in the street.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Perfumania, America's leading perfumery chain, has retail management and retail sales openings for a Manager, Assistant Manager, other Management and Sales positions in our new Forest Hills location on Continential Ave (71st Ave) in NY.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The best locations are still all co-ops - but given this economy, these might be the only new constructions we see in a long time.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Laytners might need to rethink its strategy as it never looks busy in there. I like the store and have gotten lots of stuff there, but I guess people around here prefer Target.
Hopefully the toys will stay and Laytners will transform itself into a child-friendly toy shop/candy store or something. There is very little for kids to do around here in winter.
The address made news on the blog a few months ago when Shellie Parris was killed by a car close to the building.
Anyway, here are the highlights:
East River Tolls - this one will get the most publicity. If you make the tolls both ways and revisit parking permits, I can live with it. It's not fair to Brooklyn residents that livery cars routinely go across those crossings to save a few bucks. Plus, I think it would eliminate some traffic on Queens Blvd because there would no incentive to take the 59th St. bridge over the Midtown Tunnel. What always bothered me about congestion pricing was there was no charge to leave. It was a cover charge.
Corporation Tax - Awful idea. Layoffs are already piling up and this unbudgeted cost will be a disaster. The argument that companies benefit from a good transit system is stupid. Commercial landlords benefit from a good transit system and charge rents accordingly. Make it a property tax.
Raise the fares. Yes, absolutely. We're the ones using the transit so we should be paying for it. I don't get the charging cars for us using subways. I want people to drive cars, it's more room for me on the trains.
Some more of my own ideas:
Rush hour Subway pricing: This have this in other cities (and on LIRR/Metro North). With track space at a premium, you should have to pay more for high-demand times like every other business. Try getting a good deal on Yankee tix when the Sox are in town in September. Rush hour rides are 25% more.
15% Salary cut of all MTA employees: Overpaid as it is, except the ones who work on the subway and buses. If any other company pissed away a billion dollars on nothing, there would be at least a 15% layoff.
Toll dedicated bike lanes: This one will land me in some hot water, but these bike lanes are built at considerable expense (not to mention cause a lot of congestion where they begin). Having a dedicated lane is a "luxury" (to use their car argument) that even ambulances don't have. We all share the pain and I'm sure Forest Hills cyclists would gladly fork over a few dollars a day to ride in a dedicated lane away from cars.
Eliminate the Manhattan Parking Exemption: This backwards tax break excludes Manhattan residents of the 18% parking tax at local garages. You don't need a car in Manhattan and if you insist on having one, you shouldn't get a tax break. Make the tax 30% (believe me, they can afford it).
PROPERTY TAX EQUITY!!!! How many more $2 million brownstone sales do we have to hear about where the annual property tax bill is $1200? Go through the property rolls one by one and phase them up to a realistic tax bill. If they can afford 2.4 million on a house, they can afford to pay taxes on it.
Out of the the above, I would get hit with the fare increase, the dedicated bike lane toll (if they ever build one in Forest Hills) and rush hour pricing. So, like I said, we all share the pain.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
My church going is at best spotty, but Queen of Martyrs is where I do go the few times I do. I know Father Passanant, but not Greg. But after a few minutes on http://deacbench.blogspot.com/ I feel like I know him.
See you on the 25th!
Prime Retail/Professional Building For Sale
Austin Street, Forest Hills
21,000 square foot all brick mixed use property constructed in 1995. It includes retail stores on the first floor, one office unit occupying the entire second floor and professional offices occupying the lower level of the premises. Professional offices are serviced by an elevator.
Close proximity to Queens Boulevard and the Grand Central Parkway.
Additional air rights available.
Perfect opportunity for a owner/investor, retail, medical.
PRINCIPLES ONLY PLEASE – NO BROKERS.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
QUEENS (WABC) -- A New York City police officer has been charged with beating a pedestrian.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said that moments before the alleged assault, the officer almost struck the victim with his car as the man was crossing Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills.
. . .Investigators said Dennis was driving along Queens Boulevard on the afternoon of November 17, when he almost struck Geoffrey Hollinden, 41, who was crossing near 109th Street. .. .
. . .Hollinden allegedly hit the rear of the defendant's 2006 Infiniti as it passed him, according to Brown. At that point, Dennis is accused of getting out of his car and attacking Hollinden, allegedly slamming him to the pavement and knocking him out. . . .
. . .The case came to light when an eyewitness, who observed the alleged incident, jotted down the license plate of the defendant's car, Brown said. . . .
The incident happend a few weeks ago, the officer was just charged today. Full-length story here: http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local&id=6534940
From the NY Daily News on June 4th 1999:
Monday, December 1, 2008
Restaurant Row newcomer Aged Steak House looks great so far, even though it's just a brick storefront. I don't know why so many Forest Hills buisnesses insist on tacky awnings. Most of them cover up much cooler detail (like Natural or even Oko).
Johnny Rockets is offering $1.25 burgers after 5pm on weekends through Christmas.
Parkside Players' "Barefoot in Forest Park" concludes this weekend December 5th and 6th.
Kidz Care successfully shared Thanksgiving with 75 senior citizens. Look for complete coverage in the Queens weeklies.
The convenience store next to Bonelle (with the owner who smokes more than any man I've ever known) is selling Christmas trees again this year.
And the Trader Joe's shopping center finally got its left-turn arrow.
MIKE IS A MAYOR RUN AMOK
Excerpt: . . .the cupboards are bare because Bloomberg has emptied them for his own political ambitions. While the stock market was heading south, Bloomberg, one eye on a potential presidential run, raised his approval numbers by expanding the city payroll. Since 2004, he has hired at least 40,000 new city employees, while bringing his own mayoral staff to record levels.
This city has almost gotten too expensive to live in under the Mayor and as I've said all along, I just don't see the improvement in the outer boroughs to justify the costs.
I got a parking ticket this weekend for $35. There was a bag over the broken meter, I parked there and a few hours later the bag was gone and meter was working again . With it, was the orange envelope - the sight of which usually causes me to do more monetary damage than the ticket itself. I know the law and I was wrong to not go out after an hour.
I suppose I can ask the city to deduct it from my $400, but I'm going to pay this ticket immediately because it's morally right thing to do. I settle my debts.
The deadbeat Mayor says the city has no money to settle its debt - it's a financial issue not a legal one (wonder if Bloomberg's business clients can get away with that one when the annual bill is due). Deadbeat sounds harsh, but what would you call someone who doesn't pay up claiming they "just don't have it."
If the city can find the cash to hire famous Danish architects/urban planners to do huge studies to find out that Flushing Main Street is crowded, and give big raises to inept DOT officials who can't fix one freaking lane on the Whitestone Bridge in five years, it can cough up the 4 bills it owes me. Just like I'm paying it the $35 I owe it. A deal's a deal.