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A Jewish Magnet In Central Queens

July 18, 2010 Leave a comment

An interesting article discussing the changing Jewish community in Queens.

A Jewish Magnet In Central Queens.

Moving Out

July 3, 2010 Leave a comment

July Fourth weekends, I guess, can be spent doing more than grilling and watching fireworks. For these guys, it’s about moving.

How Depressing!

July 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Great Depressions can be so depressing. I don’t know how many people saw Paul Krugman’s NY Times blog the other day, but basically he wrote that he believes we are just at the beginning of the nation’s third economic Depression.

I happen to read his column as often as I can and from what I can tell he has been a sober analyst of the economic crisis over the past few years. So, this column of his was rather unsettling to say the least. But he has been warning for quite a while now that a Depression was a distinct possibility if the right public policies were not put in place real fast to prevent it from happening.

I was just sitting here thinking about all the empty storefronts lining the Austin St. area these days, some of which have been sitting empty for a very long time. Will they remain empty for many more months or possibly even years to come? I plan on running a reconnaissance mission soon about this – which in un-geek speak means taking a walk down Austin from one end to the other and counting how many empty storefronts there are. Just because walking is good for me, and because I think it might be interesting to know and post here on this blog.

I know this post is pretty depressing. But it goes to the core of what this blog is about, basically our quality of life here. This blog is all for seeing us continue to move forward as a vibrant part of New York City with new development of all kinds — great restaurants, stores, new residential construction — continuing at a fast pace.  Let’s hope Krugman is wrong. But if he is right, then let’s hope we see some innovative plans soon to get this economy moving again.

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.

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.

The ‘Great Recession’ and Forest Hills

June 18, 2010 Leave a comment

There’s been some discussion on the blogs about the end of the recession and the resumption of new development in Forest Hills.
My prediction is (and this is based on my background as a news/business journalist and some personal observation thrown in) that we will be very slow to emerge from this Great Recession and new projects in Forest Hills will be few and far between over the next couple of years. This is depressing for me to even write because I love the fact that so many new restaurants and stores have been opening around the neighborhood over the past few years. What we have to enjoy locally has really improved since I moved here more than a decade ago.
That said, I think the trend of older businesses renovating their spaces – such as the supermarkets on Queens Blvd. – is a welcome development.
I still get frustrated over Trade Joe’s decision to place their shop out of the reach of the car-less population of the neighborhood though, especially with all these empty storefronts now. But I guess I can understand they want people to buy trunk-loads of groceries, not just one or two bagfuls, so parking was a major factor for where they went.
The American economy is truly remarkable, and incredibly resilient, so I may be pleasantly surprised about all this and we may see some strong rejuvenation within the next year or so.
But for now, enjoy the new EuroPan cafe, the Green Market coming to Metropolitan, the new NY Falafel on Austin – all these things are great for the neighborhood and will continue to make Forest Hills a desirable location for other new businesses.

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