Archive for October, 2010

Toys R Us on Austin

October 31, 2010 2 comments
Classic 1980s Toys 'R' Us logo. It is still in...

Image via Wikipedia

In case you haven’t heard – Toys R Us is opening up a temporary store on Austin St. where the Annie Sez/ Mandee was. It is part of a strategy by the retailer to greatly expand its storefronts for the holidays: Toys R Us Plans a Pop-Up Store Holiday Blitz

Happy Halloween

October 31, 2010 1 comment

Image via Wikipedia

A belated Happy Halloween to everyone from the Windy City. I’ve just arrived in Chicago for a couple of days. But before my plane took off this afternoon, I found myself swarmed with trick-or-treaters on Austin St. And I mean, swarmed! In case you missed it, there were tons of Harry Potters, Freddy Kreugers and a whole lot of characters I didn’t even recognize going from store to store today on Austin. I could barely move at one point there was such a crowd.

It seems this tradition of the retailers handing out candy to the kids keeps growing by leaps and bounds every year. It’s a really great event that is something to behold.

And now, with Halloween quickly fading into the past, the holiday season officially (or unofficially?) kicks off.

I find it kind of funny how these dates seem to keep moving earlier and earlier each year. Remember when the Christmas season didn’t begin until after Thanksgiving? That seems like ancient history.

One Take On The Economy

October 30, 2010 1 comment
dollar close UP

Image via Flickr

Here’s a chilling, but perhaps ultimately uplifting article from The Times on the current state of the economy—and where it might go from here. Unfortunately, you have to read through some rather depressing parts to get to what may be, and I stress may be, the good news 😦 Once again, all the more reason to vote next Tuesday. Read on and you’ll see what I mean…

Published: October 29, 2010
The confidence U.S. policy makers had that the country could avoid the economic fate of Japan is now waning.

Putting Things in Perspective…

October 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Now is probably a good time to review this list, once again…. If you can’t read it or open it, let me know and I will email you a copy:


Countdown Clock Madness

October 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I don’t know about those new countdown clocks the DOT has put at the corner of Queens Blvd. and 71st/Continental. It sounded like a good idea and it just might save lives. But there’s something about the way they are designed that really bothers me. I think it is the fact that the countdown almost immediately turns a menacing orangish-red making the Queens Blvd. crossing, for this pedestrian anyway, even more unpleasant than it used to be!

I mean, crossing Queens Blvd. used to just be about looking every which way so you didn’t get clipped by all those crazy drivers as they sped through the intersection ignoring your legal right of way to walk across. Now, it is not only about that, but it is also about trying to BEAT THE THREATENING COUNTDOWN CLOCK!!!

Blvd. of Death, Meet Clock of Death!

Once again, it seems in this automobile-dominated culture, we car-less cannot seem to catch a break. These new clocks are basically broadcasting in bright red numbers: “Hey! You Pedestrians! You Are the Problem! You Are Walking Too Slow! You Are Not Paying Attention When You Cross!! STAY ALERT AND HURRY THE HELL UP!”

All well and good, except it is not the pedestrians who are killing the drivers.

My suggestion – change the clocks so they are a soothing aqua-green as they countdown, subliminally affirming our right as pedestrians to walk across our city’s streets, and lengthen the time we have to cross while you’re at it. What’s the use of giving us a countdown to get across if you still have to be this guy to make it in time?

New Historic District in Queens

October 27, 2010 Leave a comment
Row houses are prominent in many Queens neighb...

A block in Ridgewood, Queens, showing the sort of brick tenement and three-family construction that occupies nearly every block close to the Brooklyn border.N.Y. / Region

From The NY Times:
Published: October 26, 2010
The commission created a 210-building district in Ridgewood and gave landmark status to four buildings in Jamaica.

I guess no decision on the Tennis Stadium yet. I would think these decisions can take a pretty long time.

Some Restaurant News

October 25, 2010 2 comments

Piu Bello's old location. A seafood restaurant is under construction there.

In case you haven’t heard, Piu Bello Gelato, the popular restaurant/ice cream/dessert place that used to be at the corner of Austin St. and 70th Avenue, is in the process of taking over the entire Positano italian restaurant, located just a hop, skip and a jump from Piu Bello’s old location, across from the Post Office at the corner of 70th Ave. and what I guess would be called a service road to Queens Blvd. Piu Bello had been tucked in the back of the Positano restaurant for the past several months. It should be interesting to see what PB does with its new digs.

In other restaurant news, I hear Wafas, the Mediterranean restaurant at 96-08 72nd Ave/Metropolitan is moving to a bigger space. What I heard is that it will be on Metropolitan somewhere but if you know differently, please let us all know by posting a comment. Wafas has a reputation for some of the best falafel in Forest Hills, though I have yet to try it so I can’t personally confirm! Here is their menu, a little hard to read, but I think you can just make it out:

Zombie Alert

October 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Zombies in the City

If you happen to see any zombies walking over the Brooklyn Bridge or elsewhere around town, don’t lose all hope!  Here’s the reason: ‘Walking Dead’ plans global zombie invasion stunt

A Sub-Par Situation

October 24, 2010 1 comment

The deteriorating conditions of the subways were really noticeable this weekend. For instance, I have never seen so many escalators out of commission in all the years I’ve been living in the City. These photos were taken Saturday night while switching from the E train at 53rd and Lexington to the 6 train—and there were even more broken escalators along the way which I didn’t have a chance to shoot!

I also have noticed an increasing number of homeless people in the subway cars. It’s gotten to the point where it has become the exception not to find a homeless person taking up at least one of the end-seats in the E and F train cars during non-Rush-hour times.

I am not one to usually gripe about the NYC subway system. For instance I’ve been really impressed by the roll-out of the great new subway cars on the E, F and M lines over the past couple of years. Nevertheless, these worsening conditions are so obvious it is hard to ignore them. From my cursory understanding of the deteriorating conditions, I blame today’s problems mostly on the way the MTA is set up more than anything else—we need much more local control over the system. In fact, NYC should have complete control over its subways. It’s ridiculous to me that it does not. But I am by no means an expert on the situation and could be quite wrong here. If you feel differently, or know a lot about what is ailing our subways, please comment, I’d love to hear it.

Why It’s So Important To Vote

October 22, 2010 Leave a comment

It amazes me to hear that a lot of people have absolutely no interest in voting next Tuesday, as if for some reason it’s just a waste of time because whoever wins, things stay the same.

It’s just not true. For instance, would John McCain have made this awesome video? It is enlightened, inspiring, and may very well end up saving a lot of young people’s lives:

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