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Archive for the ‘New York City’ Category

Retailing on the Edge

November 12, 2010 Leave a comment
From The NY Times:
N.Y. / Region
By CHARLES V. BAGLI
Published: November 12, 2010
Some residents lament the arrival of Duane Reade and Starbucks in Williamsburg’s main shopping district.

Homefront on Austin

Sounds to me like the Williamsburg folks are getting a bit ahead of themselves. If they want to see a good example of how chains came into a charming neighborhood loaded with independent stores and the two have learned to live nicely side-by-side they should journey on down to Park Slope.

Here in FoHi? Not so much. I think Austin is heavily outweighed by retail chains. And the independents we do have tend to be cell phone stores, hair salons, women’s clothing boutiques and optical stores. We can use some more quaint, creative independent shops in town. I always point to Homefront as an example of a charming little independent that gives Forest Hills that little special something.

New York Makes Safest Cities List

October 12, 2010 1 comment

 

The eastern part of Midtown Manhattan as seen ...

One of the safest cities in the US, again.

 

Amazing! For a city this size to be up there in the top ten with these other places around the country, according to Forbes’ latest list:  America’s Safest Cities

Truly a fantastic accomplishment. The crime rate in New York is at 1950’s levels I believe. I guess we have more of a chance of being ht by a tornado (or hail) then being mugged anymore. Boy, how times have changed:

Pizza Habits of New Yorkers

October 4, 2010 Leave a comment
NYC - Greenwich Village: The Famous Ray's Pizz...

Image by wallyg via Flickr

Now this is an important news item that needs to be thoroughly digested if I ever saw one: Thursday night and the living is cheesy

Dissed Again ?

September 23, 2010 1 comment
Jackson Heights 1

Jackson Heights. Image via Wikipedia

Well, “The Bible” of New York City hip is out again with one of its neighborhood issues, and our little nabe has been left out of the mix. Well, at least we’ve gotten some occasional mentions over the past year.

Here’s the Time Out New York coverage I’m referring to: Why I love NYC — The best of each neighborhood: restaurants, bars, shops clubs and more.

The neighborhoods that are included in Queens are Sunnyside, Astoria, Long Island City and Jackson Heights.

Goings-On In The Big City

September 5, 2010 Leave a comment
Eataly Common Tables & Wine Bars

Image by feministjulie via Flickr

As we wait for things to finish being built here in Forest Hills (the new seafood restaurant on Austin, the new Mexican place (pray for the return of Cactus Fresh!) on 71st Continental, etc., etc.) , here is a little update on some stuff that is either being built in Manhattan or has recently opened there and is ready for you to visit:

  • I paid a visit to the new Italian food mecca Eataly a few days ago at Fifth Avenue and 23rd St. It is incredible! It is a world of food and absolutely stunning. A real experience. Here is the website if you are not yet aware of it: http://www.newyork.eataly.it/index.php. The photo is of one of the cafes there. Imagine a mixture of sit-down cafes, housewares shopping, upscale sodas, beers, coffees, desserts, gourmet meats, pastas, fish, and you are just scratching the surface of this place.
  • I also went to the new Limelight Marketplace in Chelsea. This is a very upscale indoor mall in the church where the Limelight nightclub used to be. It would be very easy to burn through all of your cash extremely quickly in this place. I see it as a nice place to maybe shop for that special, unique holiday gift for someone. Otherwise, I’m waiting for them to open the Grimaldi’s pizza there. But if you want to see an architecturally-stunning venue, the likes of which reinforce New York City’s place on the map as a unique shopping mecca, then there is no better place to visit these days.
  • And lastly, there is this great article in The Times about the progress being made at Ground Zero. Finally, finally, they are making real progress building 1 World Trade Center (formerly referred to as the Freedom Tower), and the September 11th Memorial.

Cool!

August 25, 2010 Leave a comment

The City Council has just given its final ok for the new 15 Penn Plaza skyscraper. I’m sorry, but this brings out the little boy in me. Another skyscraper to rival the Empire State Building. I think that is really neat, especially with all the dreary news these days. I can understand people’s concerns about it blocking the view of the Empire State Building from some parts of Jersey, but to tell you the truth, I always thought the Empire State Building looked a little lonely from New Jersey standing up there all by itself!

More to read in The Times here:

By CHARLES V. BAGLI
Published: August 25, 2010
A City Council vote clears the way for another 1,200-foot edifice at the doorstep of the city’s revered landmark.

Empire State Building Rival Gets Key OK

August 25, 2010 Leave a comment

From The Daily News: A new skyline rival to the Empire State Building won key approvals from City Council committees Wednesday morning after the builder pledged to give construction work to minorities.

Read more: City Council committees approve proposed skyscraper at 15 Penn Plaza near Empire State Building

What Makes Us Unique

August 24, 2010 4 comments

I recently ran across this very interesting article in New York magazine which revealed how the City has been changing over the past couple of decades. We all probably know it already, but it was still interesting to sift through the data in the article about the changing demographics.

Basically, it says that the “white flight” of the 70’s and 80’s, which saw the city’s white population flee the city to the suburbs, has begun to reverse itself. For the first time since those years, whites comprise the majority of the population of Manhattan.

As a child of the suburbs, who moved to Manhattan in my early 20’s, and then out to Brooklyn, and then Queens, my reaction to this is “What took them so long to figure out that the City is a better place to live than the suburbs?” The suburbia where I grew up was a cultural wasteland. The city was just a short LIRR ride away, but it might as well have been a world away. There was so much more to see and do, and so much more energy. The City was alive.  The suburbs, where I grew up anyway, were pretty dead.

What does Manhattan’s changing demographics mean for Forest Hills and our part of Queens? Well, it’s already happening — with Manhattan and other areas of the City already gentrified, more and more people priced out of these areas are looking for the few affordable areas left, and Forest Hills is one of them.

But while Manhattan is now becoming increasingly homogeneous — it’s amazing to think that is possible, but it is — we here in Forest Hills and the rest of Queens have a great, special advantage: our diversity.

As many have been forced out of the Manhattan market because of the high rents, we have begun to benefit. It’s no coincidence that Forest Hills has suddenly begun to see some great new restaurants and shops open in the past couple of years, and with the current trends this will only continue, and yes, I think so even despite the economy. New York City is a unique place and its resurgence continues unabated. Forest Hills is feeling the effects of that.

We are also lucky in another way — there are entire swaths of the area that await redevelopment, or at least improvement. Both sides of Queens Blvd. east towards Kew Gardens is one example. It’s not surprising that one of the best new restaurants to open in the past couple of years, Tuscan Hills, chose a location there to do so. I don’t know for sure, but I would guess the proprietors got a pretty sweet deal. And other fine restaurants have begun to open near it.

As Forest Hills, like Manhattan, continues to change, I only hope we are able to harness the one thing that really makes us special — our diversity. If Manhattan’s fate is to be an urbanized, upper class Disney World, then hopefully we can corner the market on what makes New York City really special: its amazing mix of cultures.

Thanks Tom

August 4, 2010 Leave a comment

“That resistance to diversity, though, is not something we want to emulate, which is why I’m glad the mosque was approved on Tuesday. Countries that choke themselves off from exposure to different cultures, faiths and ideas will never invent the next Google or a cancer cure, let alone export a musical or body of literature that would bring enjoyment to children everywhere.”

Thomas Friedman, The New York Times, August 4, 2010

Willow Lake Work Progressing

July 29, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve always wondered about this pedestrian bridge I’ve seen in Google maps over Grand Central Parkway. I once went looking for it and found nothing. Now, an observant reader reports that real progress is being made to bring this bridge back as an active walkway from Forest Hills to Willow Lake, a wetlands area of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which is in the process of being restored:

“For the past few months, when I drive to work, I’ve noticed work being done to what I thought was a restored entrance to Flushing Meadows Park over the Grand Central Parkway (end of 72nd Rd & the Grand Central Parkway service road – caddy corner to the Nathan Hale Coop).  I assumed this entrance would open soon, but after doing some research, I found this article and it appears this new entrance is only the first step in a long process.”

Here is the article the reader is referring to, from the Queens Tribune: Seed Planted For Willow Lake’s Return

And here is more information from the NYC Parks Department on its plans for the area’s restoration.

This will be a terrific thing for Forest Hills when completed. Imagine taking a short walk to a lake and nature trail.

I will check it out when I have some time and post some photos of the restoration. If you have any more information about it, please post below. Thanks.

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