Queens named best travel location in the US

The Lonely Planet, a website that compiles and reviews information about travel destinations, has named Queens the number one travel destination in their Best in the US 2015 list.

Along with the article, Lonely Planet made a video Uncovering Queens, New York. In the video, Regis St. Louis, a Lonely Planet contributor, explores Queens, praising spots that locals have appreciated for years.

Among the reasons it was chosen, Queens proved to be a worthy travel destination because of its history, growing art scene, ethnic diversity and authentic cultural food offerings.


Local pre-K teacher wins DOE’s Big Apple Award



Rhonda Corin, a Forest Hills pre-K teacher, has become the latest recipient for the Department of Education’s Big Apple Award.

Now in its third year, the award honors the best educators in the city who enrich their school communities, inspire students and model great teaching. She is one of 12 teachers who received the award out of 4,500 nominees. Corin, who works at P.S. 101 “The School in the Gardens,” said working with four-year-olds is a dream come true because “they are pure, they are untainted and they laugh probably 27 times a day.”

She earned a master’s degree from Mercy College and believes that learning has to be hands-on. For example, when the class learned about apples, the classroom transformed into an orchard and the kids made applesauce. When they discussed snowmen, Corin brought in snow to show them and then they analyzed why snow melted.

A teacher who is so invested in their students’ education should be honored all the time. Not only are they learning about aspects of the world, but they are learning about critical thinking as well.

Nominated by parents, Corin went through a rigorous process that included DOE representatives attending her classes, interviewing her and analyzing her methods to build trust between children and parents.

As part of the award, Corin received a $3,500 classroom grant. She also gets to serve as a fellow to Chancellor Carmen Fariña next year.


The New York Pops find a home in Forest Hills

The third concert season at Forest Hills Stadium has attracted big names like Ed Sheeran, The Who, Joan Jett and Van Morrison. The shows have been energetic and even nostalgic for nearly 16,000 fans each evening.

Popular music has dominated the shows since the stadium’s rebirth in 2013. Now, two upcoming engagements will make history with the arrival of the stadium’s resident orchestra, The New York Pops.

The New York Pops with Sutton Foster will take the stage on August 6, followed by The New York Pops with Pink Martini on August 7. Founded in 1983, The New York Pops has toured internationally and is the sole professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music.

Tony Award-winning artist Sutton Foster has performed in 11 Broadway shows including Anything Goes and Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Embracing versatility, audiences can anticipate everything from Broadway to jazz to pop songs.

Read more here


Forest Hills residents petition to Keep Barnes & Noble

The Forest Hills community has learned that Barnes & Noble at 70-00 Austin St. is rumored to close its doors in January 2016, as first covered in the New York Daily News on May 14, 2015. Forest Hills resident and Forest Hills Times Columnist Michael Perlman has started a petition to keep the iconic store open. So far, the petition has around 5,500 signatures and only needs 2,000 more to reach the goal.

rTWpiJzfdSemtow-800x450-noPadIts closure would signify the loss of Forest Hills’ only book store and a community cornerstone which also attracts patrons from beyond the immediate neighborhood. Barnes & Noble occupied this site since 1995, and significantly expanded from a small storefront on Continental Ave. to 2 floors of retail (22,000 square feet). Barnes & Noble represents personalization, which contributes to the historic character of the charming, diverse, and vibrant Austin Street that dates to 1906.

This is a store where multi-generational patrons have the opportunity to explore various genres under one roof, feel as if they are traveling around the world and through time, and interact with the physical nature of books (touching the pages, smelling the print, appreciating the illustrations) in a welcoming and friendly environment. This is also the site of events including book signings for patrons of all ages. The community needs this educational, cultural, social, and recreational establishment on Austin Street, as opposed to only reading a book independently on a Nook or computer, or by resorting to an online retailer.


Forest Hills Chef ranks #2 on top 5 Queens chefs list

Forest Hills Chef, Danny Brown, has just been ranked #2 on It’s Queens the Magazine’s Top 5 Chefs in Queens List.

Danny Brown’s Wine Bar & Kitchen is located at 104-02 Metropolitan Ave. in Forest Hills.


“I worked in restaurants in places like France and Italy, and when you work in a restaurant that’s more formal, you go out and see a difference in nightlife and wine bars,” Brown said. “It was fun, exciting and they were very casual atmospheres.”

He’s also quite pleased with the new dining options that have popped up around the neighborhood. When he opened nearly 10 years ago, there weren’t many out-of-the-box establishments. But now, there are gastro pubs, places selling craft beers and more wine bars.
“It shows some thought,” Brown said “There is definitely something here in Queens and especially in Forest Hills.”

Full story here



Forest Hills’ Pride gay bar is changing gears


Pride Lounge NYC

Forest Hills’ only gay bar, Pride Lounge NYC, on 70-15 Austin Street will be turning into a “neighborhood bar.”

Owner Georgios Aspiotis opened the bar in October 2013, but the space hasn’t fared well on the popular stretch of boutiques and restaurants. In order to attract more business, the bar will become more generalized. For patrons who adored visiting Pride, the bar will still remain gay-friendly, Aspiotis said.

The bar will also change names, going from Pride to Sorry Not Sorry. The drinks and hookah will remain the same. The Greek food will also remain the same, served from Corfu Grill, a next-door business which is also owned by Aspiotis.

On a recent Facebook post, Aspiotis thanked the LGBT community for their support.

“I have really had a great experience and crazy parties, the LBGT community has been so great, thank you for supporting me as a straight business man but unfortunately the spending and the register doesn’t reach my goals,” he wrote.

Starting July 1, the bar will take on its new identity. Until then, Pride will be celebrating its last days in style.


Views of Forest Hills Gardens Exhibit at La Boulangerie

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Artist Rosalie Frost is currently displaying her Forest Hills Gardens inspired art in Forest Hills. The ongoing exhibit will be presented inside of La Boulangerie at 109-01 72nd Road.

From the artist: “I am glad to have this opportunity to share my impression of the Gardens. As a Forest Hills resident and fine art photographer for many years, I have always been inspired by the Gardens. These landscape photographs were made in the attempt to capture some of its essence — the sense of place.”

For more information, including availability of prints for purchase, contact Rosalie Frost at RFrostPhoto@gmail.com.