3 Shots and Not a Word in the Press

There was a shooting in Forest Hills today, in front of Da Mikelle’s on Queens Blvd. and 68th Road. This happened at around midday–68th Rd. was taped off both at QB and Yellowstone. The details are murky. You can’t find anything about it on the Web, other than a mention on Gothamist’s news map and a multi-partied (sometimes heated) exchange on Queens Central Forum. Shouldn’t we be hearing more on this? God knows, there’s tons on possible Kate Winslet sightings, but nary a word on something a lot more germane to our well-being in Forest Hills.


May 27, 2010 at 10:29 pm 5 comments

Mildred Pierce Comes to FoHi

There’s a fleet of old-fashioned cars parked along Greenway South, near Station Square in the Gardens. They are part of the filming of the HBO remake of Mildred Pierce, which is taking advantage of our fair Gardens, in all their preserved glory, for some location shooting.

I’ve been told by an “insider” that there may be some major stars on hand. Could one of them be Kate Winslet?

This may top the time last year when Eric Bogosian was spotted having coffee at the Starbucks on Continental. You could hear him chatting about Armenian history with a local expert.

May 26, 2010 at 7:52 am Leave a comment

Experiental Learning in Queens

I’ve heard some good things about the forthcoming Outward Bound-run middle school on Metropolitan Ave. Several people who attended an open house there related that they were impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment of the people who are developing the school. These same people remain cautiously optimistic that the school will retain its can-do spirit, rather than succumb to burnout or the DOE, and that their kids might get in via the lottery.

If you have any information about this school, please post a comment to share what you know.

The other school in Queens offering experiental learning is the Queens Paideia School, which was formed by several Forest Hills residents and has been running in Long Island City since last September.

Nice to finally have some real educational choices in our borough.

May 24, 2010 at 1:15 pm 2 comments

A Weekend Marred

From preservationist/photographer Michael Perlman–

On Sun, May 23rd, around 8:15 PM, a 4-alarm fire began on 99th St between 66th Ave & 66th Rd in Forest Hills, NY, and firefighters also had to extinguish from the Queens Blvd frontage. I witnessed the bulk of the fire until 10:30 PM. I grew up in Forest Hills for the past 27 years, and have never seen such a potent local fire. There was way over 100 people at the scene. It felt as if a majority of the neighborhood came out to observe and mingle with their family and friends. Citizens united in solidarity. I observed tears and shock. A number of long-term mom & pop businesses which are dear to the neighborhood, such as a candy/convenience store, laundromat, a barber, a fruit store, and a dress shop amongst others were affected on the 99th Street side. Other shops that are rumored to have been affected on the Queens Blvd side are Trylon Liquors, Trylon Vet Care, and Danny’s Antiques. Rumor has it that the historic former Trylon Theater (ties to the 1939 World’s Fair) may have been affected. The famed Tower Diner (formerly Emigrant Saving Bank with the Colonial clock tower) had to be evacuated as well, and thick smoke poured out of its front doors. Thankfully, no one was killed, and at least 1 cat or other pets from the vet were rescued.

Perlman captured 129 photos from the early stages–examples below. More can be viewed by clicking here, and a fuller eyewitness account is on his blog. Wishing our affected neighbors a fast recovery during what can only be an awful time.

May 24, 2010 at 3:43 am Leave a comment

At the Fringe


Saw Octavia Cup last night and cannot recommend it highly enough. If you love dance or are curious about what makes dance an art, here in Queens for a brief moment is your answer. My words won’t do it justice, but Oberon Grove’s do. I can only hope I will see more of Laura Ward and her committed, brave, and talented dancers soon.

Original post

This weekend is Open Studios in LIC, during which the area’s arts-infested buildings open their doors so that viewers can meet the artists and see their work close up. As part of the weekend, there are also some performances, including this below, by Laura Ward/Octavia Cup. I saw a preview a few weeks ago and loved it. I don’t often enjoy dance performances, but the choreography is so beautiful and organic, and the mash-up music behind it intriguing. The dancers are gorgeous too, both in their movement and, more simply, their long, lithe, and muscular appearance.

If you see one dance performance this year…

Laura Ward/Octavia Cup Dance Theatre‘s Echoes and Dreams

If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time—Marcel Proust

Enter the Dream Machine with Octavia Cup. Fall into a shifting world where dance leads you into a dream so vivid your only escape is a pinch from a friend. Abandon the rational mind in a crazy labyrinth of images, words and patterns. Experience dreamscapes morphing, twisting and emerging through reflections of movement, sound and verse.

Let go… Let’s go…

Every great dream begins with a dreamer, Laura ward and Octavia Cup teams up with poet Alberto Zayden (whose poetry the New York Times calls “Visionary”) and installation artist Judy Thomas to bring a spectacle of free flowing expressionism to the stage. Original music from French composer Michel Ayello and Swiss-Italian Fa Ventilato add to the mix with loops, samples and curls fusing new sounds with echoes from the past.

  • Queens Fringe Festival at the Secret Theatre
  • 44-02 23rd St., Long Island City, 11101
  • May 20, 21, 22 Thursday- Saturday at 8pm; May 23 at 2 p.m.
  • Tickets are $20 pre-sale www.secrettheatre.com or call 718-392-0722
  • $15 for students/seniors (discount pre-sale only), $24 at the door; $40 for opening night wine gala at the theatre.

May 18, 2010 at 8:41 pm Leave a comment

The Choice Is Yours

It always is when you make a purchase, with the question being: Does this benefit me at a preventable cost to the environment? I include “preventable” because unfortunately, none of us can live impact-free. But in many instances, with just a little thought, we can make decisions to go lighter with our personal footprint. I think about this all the time–using my car less, avoiding plastic, composting, buying used/recycled clothing and goods, and generally trying to become more aware about the results that my actions have on the environment, other animals, and plants. My kids think I’m borderline ridiculous, but they are also inculcating this way of thinking as a value, which I believe will serve them and the world well when they get older.

Anyway, check out this on Trader Joe’s. I’m sure this is just the tip of a deep melting iceberg. I understand the appeal of TJ’s–the seemingly healthful food at lower prices–but food is one thing for which it does make sense to spend more. Yes, yes, I know, not a reality when talking about finite sources of money. But if you eat less, which we could all stand to do, and use less, there will likely be more money to invest in what you are putting into your body and how it affects the world around you.

May 17, 2010 at 10:05 am Leave a comment

Clothing Drop Box

People are always looking for places to unload clothing they no longer wear or, more often, that no longer fit them or their kids. All the better if you can see it go someplace where will do some good.

There is now a used clothing drop box in the parking lot of the Central Queens Y. This is on 108 Street, between 68th Road and Avenue, currently in a sea of dropped magnolia petals.

Note that USagain is a for-profit company that resells what is in the box. You can check their Web site, which looks okay, and I could not find anything negative about it online. I am trusting/hoping that the Y did its due diligence to make sure this is legit.

April 13, 2010 at 9:14 am Leave a comment

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