It’s time to hear the pitter patter of big feet. This Sunday, the up-and-coming nonprofit Queens Distance Runners (above) will host the Toy Drive 5 Miler at Forest Park. About 60 harriers are expected to participate in this fun run, which will go up and down a few hills and past some beautiful fields on the wide, tree-lined roads within the park. The event has a charitable aspect as well, as racers are asked to bring Christmas toy donations, which the Queens Centers for Progress will distribute to needy children. Plus, a portion of the event’s proceeds will go to the Queens Tourism Council.
Details: Forest Park 5 Miler, starting area at Forest Park Drive and Metropolitan Avenue, Forest Park, Forest Hills/Woodhaven, December 22nd, 10 am, $22/$17 students, register here.
How to get there: E/F train to Kew Gardens/Union Turnpike stop, walk down Union Turnpike to Forest Park Drive at Metropolitan Avenue . The starting area is roughly half a mile from the subway station. Or take LIRR to Kew Gardens station and walk down Audley Street to Metropolitan Avenue and Forest Park Drive.
The neighborhood will never be the same. On the first day of fall, Kew Gardens will be transformed into a total art experience with sidewalk chalk designers, portrait painters, glass makers, jewelers, potters and musicians. A comic book writer/illustrator will discuss his trade, while a master tailor will give lessons on sewing. There will also be Broadway tunes, multicultural demos/exhibits, kiddie workshops and an art show in Kew Gardens Cinemas Park. The chain-linked fence in front of the New Homestead Home for Adults will exhibit intergenerational art created by senior citizens and children. On display will be roughly 100 flags decorated by residents, adults and children with their wishes for the world as per a Tibetan belief that the breeze will blow through the flags and spread the wishes far and wide. The day, which is made possible by a Unity NYC grant to the Kew Gardens Improvement Association and Queens Art Express, will end with poetry, prose and short story excerpts by the REZ Reading Group at Odradek’s Coffee House at 82-60 Austin Street
Details: Kew Gardens Community Arts Day, vicinity of Austin Street, Lefferts Boulevard and Metropolitan Avenue in Kew Gardens, September 22nd, 11 am to 5 pm, free. Rain date: October 6th.
Both NY Daily News and DNAinfo have reports on the Department of Transportation’s plan to relocate a Q54 bus stop and install two left turn bays at the Metropolitan Avenue and 71st Avenue intersection in Forest Hills. At least 18 people have been injured at this intersection since 2007; the turning lane is expected to reduce the line of drivers who get backed up waiting to make that turn. Community Board Six isn’t thrilled with the plan considering the DOT will remove 14 parking spaces to make the safety improvements. City officials surveyed the area and felt like those spaces were underutilized, due to many businesses having their own parking lots. Residents still worry the loss of parking will hurt nearby businesses. As the CB6 Board Chairman argued, shoppers cannot use parking lots which belong to stores if they don’t shop there. Other residents believe a turn lane won’t make a big enough difference for the high level of traffic along Metropolitan anyway. The full community board will take a vote on the matter next month.
There will be no swaying palm trees or tiki bars stocked with fruity rum drinks, but attendees will definitely see their fair share of multi-colored Hawaiian shirts and maybe even a few straw hats. On Wednesday, Parrotbeach, arguably the world’s best Jimmy Buffet tribute band, will give a free concert in Forest Hills. Part of an annual series sponsored by Maspeth Federal Savings, this New Jersey-based group will play timeless classics such as “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Margaritaville” and “Tin Cup Chalice,” while the crowd gets nostalgic about past beach vacations. Concert-goers can also expect to hear other “island music” favorites, such as Harry Belafonte’s “Jamaica Farewell.”
The Real Deal published a piece about affordable rents on Metropolitan Avene, the other commercial strip in Forest Hills. Yes, Austin Street is the more prominent commercial area of that neighborhood, in part because of its close proximity to the 71st/Continental E/F/M/R subway station and its range of retail establishments, many of them upscale. But just about a mile south of that (a 15-20 minute walk from the subway) lies Metropolitan Avenue, home to some great restaurants and shops, and many of these business owners are saving quite a bit in rent by making it on Metropolitan. (more…)