Archive for June, 2010

‘Cat Woman’ Thief on the Prowl

June 30, 2010 Leave a comment

First the Russian spies exchanging secrets at our LIRR station and now a woman wearing a cat mask making off with $500 from The Body Shop on Austin? As the saying goes, ‘You can’t make this stuff up.’

But yes, it’s true. The NYPD is asking if anyone recognizes the person in this video. She is accused of robbing The Body Shop here in Forest Hills and also an Arche shoe store in the East Village. She is reported to be in her 20s, 5’6″ and 115 lbs and may be of Middle Eastern descent. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).

Two Week Anniversary!

June 30, 2010 4 comments

Hooray! We’ve made it to two weeks! And they said it wouldn’t last. 🙂

Yes, it’s true, two weeks ago I launched this blog. I am pleased with the response so far – more and more people seem to be finding their way through the vastness of the Internet to the Edge of the City each and every day.  That’s good for my blog, but I really hope it’s good for Forest Hills. If you take a look around you will see that I am trying to make this a place that celebrates what our neighborhood has to offer. I hope it is evolving more and more every day into a little spot on the Web where you can turn for information that will make living here in Forest Hills that much more enjoyable. Or maybe just a place to relax for a few minutes during your hectic day (in the air conditioning, lots of air conditioning!).

As a special little anniversary gift to my readers I thought I would share with you a few factoids I have learned in the past two weeks from writing this blog.

  1. Many people are interested in that abandoned construction site next to the Bukharian Jewish Center on 70th Ave. that is now up for sale. That post has generated hits from near and very far. I figure it’s either people looking to possibly buy it, people in the neighborhood curious about where the spot is, or maybe some long lost Bukharians looking to find their brethren, or a place to worship?
  2. And one reader requested I update everyone on the results of the latest poll we did, about what kind of establishment you’d all like to see come to Forest Hills. The write-ins as of today remain unchanged from the last time: Prime Steakhouse; None of the Above – need lots of parking for Fairway; A live music venue of any size and A good Italian restaurant. And the winner as of now is an upscale supermarket like Whole Foods or Fairway with 42 percent of the vote. The poll is still open if you haven’t voted:

Thanks to all those who have already voted and to those who have been brave enough to write some of the first comments on the blog over the past weeks. Keep ’em coming!

Best, Drake

Queens Culture – Part 2

June 29, 2010 1 comment

Wow! I don’t know how many people saw it, but the June 25th edition of The Times had a great story about how hospitals in outer borough areas of the city are losing patients to hospitals in Manhattan. These patients are choosing to use the world-class Manhattan hospitals instead of the, ahem, rather less-than-world-class hospitals right where they live.

From the article: “This fertility flight, echoed in other gentrifying neighborhoods like Chelsea and the Lower East Side in Manhattan and Jackson Heights, Sunnyside and Astoria in Queens, shows how when it comes to picking hospitals, consumers are powerfully affected by intangible forces like reputation and marketing. It is also one more measure of New York’s transformation from a place where people are defined by their neighborhoods to one where people are more likely to be tied by culture, class, education, profession and like-mindedness.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of living in Brooklyn,” said Nicole Reece, who lives in Dumbo and is due to have her first baby in July at Roosevelt Hospital in Midtown Manhattan. But she added, “I do think of myself as living in New York City proper, and I don’t really make a distinction about certain life choices based on whether it’s in my borough or not. Manhattan has some of the best doctors in the country. I live 25 to 45 minutes away from them. Why would I not choose them?”

Need I say more? See my post on June 24th, “Queens Culture – Part 1”, to read more of my thoughts on this. Basically I said I am consistently baffled why many residents of Forest Hills, other parts of Queens, or any other outer borough view themselves exclusively as residents of Queens or that borough and not New York City. We are a quick 20 minute subway express train ride to midtown. Why not avail yourself of the best health care the world has to offer? I have had personal experiences with this and am not just talking out of thin air. There is an enormous difference when it comes to the quality of medical care between Queens and Manhattan. The great thing is, since we live in New York City, we can easily avail ourselves of that great care.

In other words, this apparently new phenomenon of newer and younger residents of Queens and Brooklyn viewing themselves as residents of “New York City” is a fantastic one, one that I have been eagerly anticipating, and one that I am not surprised at all is taking place as areas like Forest Hills continue to gentrify and the differences between outer and inner borough slowly disappear. Who knows, maybe some day soon the outer borough hospitals will rise to the challenge and we won’t have to be hopping on the subway to go into Manhattan. The way things are going, with all the great changes taking place throughout the city, I bet you that day isn’t very far off.

Read the entire NY Times article here:

Name Change

June 29, 2010 2 comments

Dear readers –

I decided to change the name of this blog to simplify things a bit. Let me know if you feel strongly one way or the other. The rest of the blog will stay exactly the same in terms of overall themes and the way I am covering Forest Hills.

Thanks, and as always, if you have any suggestions for my blog shoot me an email or just let me know in the comment section below. We are just starting on this journey together and I appreciate everyone’s input!



Moscow on Austin

June 28, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s always interesting living here in Forest Hills, ain’t it? So today we learn our LIRR station was the scene of secret Russian spy exchanges. The Hunt for Red October

From The NY Post: “Metzos turned over an orange bag of cash to a Russian government official in May 2004 when they passed one another on a stairway at the Forest Hills LIRR stop. Other hand-overs and meetings between spies occurred in coffee shops in midtown and Fort Greene, Brooklyn, a Sunnyside, Queens restaurant and a subway entrance at Columbus Circle.”

And I always thought those were local kids blocking my way as I tried to walk up the steps!

Read more:

More from today’s Times: “Secret exchanges were made at busy locations like the Long Island Railroad’s station in Forest Hills, Queens, where F.B.I. watchers in 2004 spotted one defendant who is still not in custody, Christopher R. Metzos, the charging papers say.”

By the way, didn’t the Cold War end a long time ago?

Facelift Progressing

June 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Is it just me, or did this look quite a bit different just a couple of days ago?

It seems the makeover of the Associated Supermarket on Queens Blvd. (formerly Trade Fair) is moving along quite nicely.

Open… and Aggressive!

June 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve noticed that the real estate agents around town are getting ever more aggressive with their open house beacons or signs, or whatever you call those little things that are popping up everywhere. I guess it’s just another sign of the cooled off real estate market in the city. Anyway, they are putting the little signs everywhere pointing potential buyers and renters to their open houses. I saw one left in front of the Key Food on Queens Blvd. all by its lonesome. Years ago someone would have made off with it. So if there’s good news here it’s that the crime is so low you can apparently leave little signs in Forest Hills wherever you want and they will remain there unmolested.

Happy Pride!

June 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Happy Pride to all my GLBT readers!

What’s Coming to the ‘Austin Mall’

June 26, 2010 Leave a comment

A few of shots of two new places opening up at the Austin St. Mall (what do you call that mammoth structure between 70th Avenue and 70th Road anyway?)

Construction Site on 70th Ave. For Sale

June 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Walked by that construction site next to the Bukharian Jewish Community Center at 106-16 70th Avenue this morning and noticed that it is up for sale. It’s that hulk of girders that’s been sitting there unfinished for the past couple of years.

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