Archive for February, 2008

Queens Not-Crap


“Modern Pool for Public is Opening in Flushing”–i.e., 5 minutes by car from Forest Hills. Now we know what that building is, the one we always see on our left when we’re on the Van Wyck heading for Target.

Read all about it.


February 29, 2008 at 9:18 am Leave a comment

Endless February

images5.jpegLast night I lay awake pondering leap day. Yes, FoHi friends, we are now on Day 29 of February, which really isn’t something to celebrate. With its blasts of cold and otherwise depression-inducing weather, February is not exactly a month many of us are looking to prolong.

There’s one well-known custom for leap day: women can propose marriage to their beaus. Clearly this is a nonstarter for our purposes if you consider how many women already take the initiative (do they give him a ring?); same-sex couples; and that marriage itself is so last generation (regardless of the regrettable piece in this month’s Atlantic) .

So let’s forget about custom and instead focus on understanding how adding 1 day every 4 years keeps the world in order. (Note that I’m pulling from Wikipedia’s entry on this because this is not particularly subjective or hidden information.)

In the Gregorian calendar, the current standard calendar in most of the world, most years whose division by 4 equals an integer are leap years. In a leap year, the month of February has 29 days instead of 28. Adding an extra day to the calendar every four years compensates for the fact that a solar year is almost 6 hours longer than 365 days.

Easy enough, right? But the universe could never be as simple as shtupping 1 extra day into the calendar every 4 years—“almost 6 hours longer”—so here’s where Rule 2 comes in:

However, some exceptions to this rule are required since the duration of a solar year is slightly less than 365.25 days. Years which are evenly divisible by 100 are not leap years, unless they are also evenly divisible by 400, in which case they are leap years. For example, 1600 and 2000 were leap years, but 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not. Going forward, 2100, 2200, 2300, 2500, 2600, 2700, 2900, and 3000 will not be leap years, but 2400 and 2800 will be. By this rule, the average number of days per year will be 365 + 1/4 − 1/100 + 1/400 = 365.2425, which is 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 12 seconds.

And here’s where the whole thing breaks down:

The Gregorian calendar was designed to keep the vernal equinox on or close to March 21, so that the date of Easter (celebrated on the Sunday after the 14th day of the Moon that falls on or after 21 March) remains correct with respect to the vernal equinox. The vernal equinox year is about 365.242374 days long (and increasing), whereas the average year length of the Gregorian calendar is 365.2425.

The marginal difference of 0.000125 days means that in around 8,000 years, the calendar will be about one day behind where it is now. But in 8,000 years, the length of the vernal equinox year will have changed by an amount which cannot be accurately predicted. Therefore, the current Gregorian calendar suffices for practical purposes, and Herschel‘s correction (making 4000 AD not a leap year) will probably not be necessary.

The earth and my head are spinning. I’m just glad I won’t be around to see it. In February 8008, let’s face it: no one will want to marry me, regardless of how much I beg and plead and how much Botox I use.

February 29, 2008 at 7:53 am Leave a comment

Tierra Sana Is Cooking

This was recently posted on Craigslist. I thought TS had a cook… whatever, more power to them. And apparently their customers! It’s all about me, Me, ME! The only word that’s missing is “noninvasive.”

Seriously though, if their philosophy really plays out, this is going to be such an added value to the neighborhood.

Reply to:
Date: 2008-02-27, 12:16PM EST

We are looking for a cook that is a positive, well organized, high energy individual with a magnetic personality. Must be passionate about creating and serving the best in natural foods. We wish to engage our customers wherever they are in their journey to a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, our model engages our customers in a nutritional education process through the medium of great food and knowledgeable interaction with our team, in an atmosphere that is rich with supportive information about the benefits of our cuisine.

Tierra Sana is neighborhood café and juice lounge Queens. We are committed to making healthy eating easy for people: supporting them in living long, youthful, energetic and fulfilling liveswe believe that healthy, happy people make for a healthy, happy planet.

We are also looking for a bookeeper-clerk that speak Spanish and English.
Please write or call Stephanie Fiallo:
917 319 3214

February 28, 2008 at 11:11 pm Leave a comment

Is Croatia the Next Chile?

One of the few local events in Forest Hills that has a Balkan edge. Apparently from out of the rubble comes wine worth discussing and tasting.


Friday, February 29th
“Introducing wines from Croatia”
5:00-8:00 p.m.

The Wine Room of Forest Hills / 96-09 69 Avenue
Between Groton & Harrow Streets


in Rovigno, Istria, Croatia

February 28, 2008 at 10:58 pm Leave a comment

Y Hosts Speaker/Writer on Breast Cancer

images4.jpegThis Sunday, Ruth Peltason will speak on her new book, I Am Not My Breast Cancer. Cosponsored by SHARE and Cancercare, The Y has planned this event with cancer patients and their friends and family in mind. Information will be available about local SHARE and Cancercare support groups.

Ruth Peltason was thirty-five when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer and in her late 40s when it returned. With a diagnosis that can be devastating, Peltason created an online community where women could talk about their deepest fears and share their feelings.

In her new book, Peltason weaves together women’s voices to create a guide for others, written with by ordinary women who have been there before. They talk about love & sex, hair loss & weight gain, being a mother and a daughter with cancer, and their voices are honest, spirited, and sometimes funny. Ruth Peltason is also co-author of Breast Cancer: The Complete Guide.

Central Queens YM & YWHA in Forest Hills
Sunday, March 2, at 10 a.m
$4 in advance and $6 at the door (includes a light breakfast)
718-268-5011, ext. 151, or email

February 27, 2008 at 9:31 pm Leave a comment

Get It While It Lasts

Ethan Allen will close on/around March 15. Their last delivery came in today, so they’ve actually got merchandise if you need it. No word yet on who/what will be in its stead.

February 27, 2008 at 4:13 pm Leave a comment

Chi-chi Tofu


Who knew? Sakura-ya, the tiny Japanese market on Austin-by-Ascan, carries the Cadillac of tofu, a product called Kaze ni Fukarete Tofu-ya Johnny, which translates as “Johnny the tofu maker blown by the wind.”

You can read all about it, including its intriguing name and why it costs $4.99 for 8.5 ounces, on Gothamist’s At the Ethnic Market post today. Have I told you lately how much I love the Gothamist, all the more so because they give our ethnic markets the time of day they so deserve?

And Sakura-ya…well, even though there isn’t a label in the entire store that I can read, let alone understand, I love the place for its mystery factor. Last week I bought something off-white and gelatinous there that tasted good but I’ll be damned if I know what it is. And in response to my question about how a store like this can thrive in a neighborhood like Forest Hills, which doesn’t seem to have a huge Japanese community, the owner told me that there are indeed many Japanese families in the area, and that Sakura-ya also attracts people from all over Queens—an ethnic market and a niche market all in one.

February 27, 2008 at 4:08 pm Leave a comment

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