Archive for June, 2008

Pure Camp

This morning, throughout Forest Hills, you could see families along the sidewalks waiting on buses to take children to their first day of camp. Excitement and nervousness were palpable, along with the occasional kid-to-parent rudeness that comes with any transition (parents always make great punching bags when kids don’t know what to expect).

There are several large-draw camps for our neighborhood. A lot of kids head out to Beth Shalom in Roslyn in Long Island, a giant synagogue that transforms its parking lot into a play and sports area. There’s also a pool and indoor facilities, so the whole package is not unlike many other NYC “camp” experiences. (I grew up north of the city, where camp means camp in a fuller sense, so I’m still adjusting to the term being used in a more urban environment.) I hear good things about Beth Shalom, but it isn’t a possibility for my kids because they’re prone to motion sickness and the bus ride is easily a half hour without traffic. That’s also the reason why we can’t consider the Y’s camp, where kids are bused out to another part of Long Island for fresh air, swimming, and a daily dose of ice pops or other processed ice cream products.

Instead, we went with the other big game in town, Queens College. This is my son’s first summer there, and so far, I think it’s going to work out okay for everyone involved. Without traffic, it’s an 8-minute car ride away—there’s also bus service, but then the trip becomes more like 40 minutes, which would pretty much guarantee my kid throwing up a few times a week. Anyway, he’ll spend mornings in an indoor class (we chose a more academic theme so he doesn’t get rusty over the summer) and play sports and swim in the afternoon.

I was up at 6, thinking, “How organized am I,” because I went out for a walk, picked up some eggs and milk, and had breakfast on the table by 7:15. Got the kid up and asked-cajoled-ordered him to eat, get dressed, and do all the other things kids need to do before starting a long day away from home. We arrived at the Queens College campus at 8:30, which I thought was pretty good for perpetually late me, because camp starts at 9.

Wrong, as usual. It started at 8, which really took me aback. I mean, he starts school for 10 months of the year at 8:15, so I was looking forward to a few weeks of our taking things a bit slower, later. Poor thing missed softball, 8 o’clock on the field. I can’t even imagine it, but there they were, kids swatting that ball bright and early. I brought my son to his second-period activity, the start of the academic segment of the day, and then proceeded to have a series of what-if conversations: What if we are late and arrive at 9? What if we are late every day and arrive at 9?

The staff I encountered today at QC’s camp was great. They totally got that I wasn’t keen on the idea of getting him there at 8 (though I will if that’s what he wants) and worked with me on a plan for bringing him to his “classroom” every day at 9. No small feat, mind you, because Queens College is huge and just orienting yourself should earn you a camper of the year award.

June 30, 2008 at 11:11 am 2 comments

Last Day on Stockpiled Metro Cards

From Second Ave. Sagas:

I wanted to remind you all of the importance of June 30. After Monday, all One-Day Unlimited Ride Metrocards purchased prior to the fare hike will expire.

For those who stockpiled MetroCards, this month was the drop-dead point. Thirty-day cards had to be activated by June 1; seven-day cards had to be swiped by June 24; and the one-day Fun Passes must be used by the end of the day on Monday. So if you have one-day passes lying around the house, take a few subway rides this weekend.

But worry not if your cards go unused. Refunds will be available to those customers who have unused pre-fare hike Unlimited Ride MetroCards. Ask your nearest friendly station booth worker for an envelope, mail it off to the MTA and wait a few weeks. You will get a refund. I’ve done it before; it actually works.

June 30, 2008 at 11:02 am Leave a comment

Loss of a Notable

Ed Arno, Cartoonist of New Yorker Whimsy, Is Dead at 92

NY Times obit here.

More on Arno here.

June 27, 2008 at 6:25 am 1 comment

Landmark $

From Michael Perlman, Rego-Forest Preservation Council, who requests that others who know and care about this issue send a similar letter to the City Council. Queens gets short shrift when it comes to landmarking, be it art-deco movie theaters, townhouses, or probably bowling alleys too.

Dear City Council:

I understand that the end of the City’s budget season is approaching, and the restoration of $300,000 in cuts to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission’s budget is on the table.

I am writing on behalf of Rego-Forest Preservation Council serving Rego Park and Forest Hills, and as a Director on the board of Queens Preservation Council, and a devoted NYC citizen. We strongly urge the NYC Council Budget Negotiation Committee to fully restore the budget of the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

These funds are integral for the LPC to be able to respond to the intense public need for better protection of our city’s historic neighborhoods and buildings. New York’s historic buildings and neighborhoods are the cornerstones of our city, and their survival and enhancement are crucial to continued growth and sensible development of the city. Without adding these resources to the only agency whose mission is to safeguard our architectural and cultural history, numerous historic properties throughout the five boroughs will continue to vanish, and the soul of our diverse city will be forever diminished.

Fulfilling our respectful request is a bold and necessary first step to ensure the above does not happen. Please support this initiative and send the message to Mayor Bloomberg and your constituents, that New York’s future will be as bright as the shining moments of our city’s past, reflected in its historic fabric. Thank you for your consideration!

Sincerely,
Michael Perlman

June 27, 2008 at 5:10 am Leave a comment

The Saga Continues

This just in:

Borukhova wins child visitation rights
By Ivan Pereira
Thursday, June 26, 2008 2:29 PM EDT

Although she was granted the right to see her daughter in jail, the incarcerated doctor who is accused of having her estranged husband killed in a Forest Hills playground lashed out against her in-laws in Family Court last week for having custody of the girl.

Family Court Judge Linda Tally approved a motion June 18 that gives Mazoltuv Borukhova the right to see her 5-year-old daughter, Michelle Malakov at Rikers Island.

Borukhova, 34, had not seen the girl since she was arrested in February on charges that she allegedly planned the murder of Michelle’s dentist father, Dr. Daniel Malakov, following a bitter custody dispute.

“The point of this proceeding is do what is best for Michelle, not what is best for the mother or the paternal relatives or anyone else,” Tally told the court room, which included Borukhova, her sister and mother and Malakov’s parents and brother Gavriel Malakov, all of whom are Uzbek immigrants.

Read the rest by clicking here.

June 26, 2008 at 10:00 pm Leave a comment

Grand Opening Indeed

What a scene tonight’s bash at Tierra Sana was. The place looked gorgeous, the wine and food were flowing, and every chair was filled with people enjoying what could only be considered a high moment on the Forest Hills social scene. And not just because Tierra Sana is located at the top of the hill (Queens Blvd. and 67th Ave.). Rather, it’s the high standards and emphasis on quality that come through in all the details at Tierra Sana. Also, when was the last time a new restaurant opened up in Forest Hills and invited everyone in for food and drinks on the house?

Unfortunately I could only stop by for a few minutes, but that was enough time to run into Joseph Lara of Forest Hills Celebrity and FoHi-Rego Park preservation activist Michael Perlman, both great people for the neighborhood and in and of themselves. I also got to finally meet Stephanie Fiallo, one of the owners, whose warmth and generosity (along with her husband’s and the other owners’) spilled out of the French doors tonight.

June 26, 2008 at 9:47 pm Leave a comment

Top Draw

There’s no getting around it: Forest Hills Gardens is a big attraction and often the thing that comes to mind when people think “Forest Hills.” (Right after, “Isn’t that where they play the U.S. Open?”).

That said, it’s our turn to be the focus of a tour through the Municipal Art Society of New York:

Forest Hills: Garden City in the City

Sunday, June 29, 2:00 p.m.
Recently ranked the no. 1 “cottage community” in the U.S. by Cottage Living magazine, Forest Hills Gardens exemplifies the “garden city” planning that Jane Jacobs criticized. But are there also Jacobsean virtues to greater Forest Hills? Leader: Francis Morrone, architectural historian. Meet at the underpass for the LIRR station, two blocks north of 71st St./Continental subway station. (Transit: LIRR from Penn Station or E, F, R, or G train to Forest Hills.)

Event Details

6-29-2008
Starts at 2 p.m.
$15 fee; $12 for MAS members
RSVP: none required

212-935-3960 for more info.

Image Prudential Elliman.

June 26, 2008 at 11:13 am Leave a comment

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