Tag Archives: Forest Hills

Tractor-trailer fatally hits man in Forest Hills Key Food parking lot


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo


A 67-year-old man was killed in Forest Hills Wednesday morning after a tractor-trailer struck him as it was backing up in a Key Food parking lot, police said.

The victim, identified as Elliot Mintzer of Forest Hills, was walking in the back parking lot of the supermarket, on 64th Road near Yellowstone Boulevard, about 9:15 a.m. when he was struck by the trailer’s rear tires, cops said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver, who was making deliveries at the time, remained at the scene, according to officials.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

 

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EXCLUSIVE: Forest Hills woman to head top men’s tailoring company


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre


Famed tailor Mohan Ramchandani overcame the odds to become a success in the men’s custom tailoring business.

Today his 42-year-old Mohan’s Custom Tailors sits in One Grand Central across from the century-old train terminal, and he is recognized for making suits for former mayors Rudy Giuliani and Ed Koch, and for various basketball stars, including former Knicks star center Patrick Ewing.

It’s an American Dream come true story that involves learning the trade in Hong Kong and emigrating from India to America with just $200 in his pocket.

Ramchandani will step down as president soon after some recent trouble with the law, and the company will announce that his 26-year-old daughter — a Queens native and Forest Hills resident — Roma Ramchandani will take his place, bringing its own set of challenges. She will become a woman at the forefront of the male tailoring industry, which is still largely dominated by men.

“I’m pretty confident, I’ve been part of this business for so long and I think I’ve overcome a lot of adversity already and I just keep charging forward,” Roma told The Courier in an exclusive interview. “Yeah, I’m nervous but at the same time I’m just really super excited. While this company is up and growing and successful there is just so much more I can still do with it.”

When Roma was a young girl, she often used to go to her father’s tailoring business and watch the employees mend men’s clothes.

It lit a fire in her. For as long as she could remember, she has had a passion for fashion — and making clothes. Overall, she is an art person. In her late teens, Roma, an alum of St. Francis Preparatory School, started working part-time in the shop.

Roma is a 2009 Adelphi University graduate with a communications degree and a focus on filmmaking. Her hobbies include making documentaries and collecting over-the-head headphones, which she sometimes uses to match with her suits.

Her extensive knowledge of tailoring is a result of tutelage under her father, but her main conflict will be leading the company as a female in a largely male industry.

Working at Mohan’s in the past, she has encountered some men — especially older ones — who are skeptical of her knowledge of male fashion and tailoring. But she feels she can use that as an advantage over competitors.

“I kind of like to think that I have some kind of special ingredient as a woman with a women’s perspective on fashion,” Roma said. “If they are not here with their wives or girlfriends and they are on their own, I have that perspective and I can steer them in the right direction.”

Mohan was sentenced in March to one year and one day in prison for tax evasion, but the company is still popular.

Hall of Fame basketball player and Knicks broadcaster Walt “Clyde” Frazier orders his famed flashy suits from Mohan’s.

And with a fabric selection of about 10,000 and numerous colors and accessories, Mohan’s can make just about any suit for anyone. Roma wants continue advancing the growth and clientele of the store, and she sees primetime commercials in Mohan’s future.

“I would love to see our billboard in Times Square,” Roma said. “I think it’s really important to dream big.”


STEPS FOR FIRST-TIME TAILORED SUIT BUYERS

Step 1: Talk with tailor about the uses for the suit and where you would wear it. With Mohan’s you can even bring in a picture of a celebrity’s suit for them to remake. However, first-time customers should come with an open mind.
Step 2: Style selection. View different fabrics, collars, cuffs and colors. First-timers should start with a solid blue or gray.
Step 3: In this step customers would have their measurements taken. Today a fitted, tapered English style is hot.
Step 4: Then there is customization. Mohan’s can add extra pockets, special monograms and buttons, just about anything.
Step 5: The final step is, of course, to wait for Mohan’s to make the suit. The company has a two-week turnaround.


ROMA’S RECOMMENDATIONS

In the evolution of fashion trends come and go. Here are two of Roma’s picks for those looking to stay up-to-date.

Spread collars, such as what singer and actor Justin Timberlake has been recently seen with, are trending now.

Alligator skin belts are also in style.

 

 

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MTA to increase M train service in the fall


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File Photo

Some of the growing neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens are getting a much needed service boost.

The MTA just announced it plans to increases service to the L and M subway lines this fall, based on analysis of schedules and increased ridership demand.

The service increase will be as follows:

  • On Saturday L train service will be increased a total of 33 round trips between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
  • On Sunday L train services will be increased a total of 23 round trips between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Weekday evening L service will be increased a total of 3 round trips
  • Weekday M service will increase one round trip – one northbound trip in the morning and one southbound trip in the late afternoon

In order to lower wait times during peak periods, there will also be increased M line service on Forest Hills-bound weekday morning and Metropolitan Ave- bound weekday afternoon trains.

The service changes, which are scheduled for the fall of this year, will cost about $1.7 million annually. M line service changes will be simultaneous with the Superstorm Sandy-related restoration of R line service.

For up-to-date information, visit www.mta.info.

 

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Cops looking for suspect in Forest Hills pizzeria burglary


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are searching for a burglar who they say stole cash from a Forest Hills pizzeria last week by breaking into the business through a rooftop window.

The burglary took place about 2 a.m.  on May 6 at 71-37 Austin St.,  cops said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Former Parkway Hospital will be converted to condos


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Jasper Venture Group

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

After being shuttered for six years, the site of the former Parkway Hospital in Forest Hills will be converted to a residential building.

Jasper Venture Group, a real estate investment firm, announced on May 7 that it plans to demolish the former hospital at 70-35 113th St. and construct a bigger building than the 70,000-square-feet property.

Including a parking lot, the site is more than 107,000 square feet.

The company did not release how many units the new building will have or when it is set to be complete, but said the new residential space will “breathe new life into the idle site.”

“The additional housing this project will provide when complete will be a relief to those seeking a more spacious option to the compact living New York City provides,” the company said in a release. “[T]he former Parkway Hospital will be luxurious, offering its residents a view of the lakes and their own slice of serenity.”

Parkway Hospital overlooks Grand Central Parkway and rests just outside of both Willow Lake and Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The state closed the hospital in 2008 and it has been vacant since. The hospital filed for bankruptcy in 2005.

Former Parkway CEO Robert Aquino was sentenced to four months in jail in May of 2012 after he pleaded guilty to bribing former State Senator Carl Kruger to try to keep the medical facility open.

 

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Pedestrian killed while crossing Queens Boulevard


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A woman was fatally struck on Queens Boulevard as she was crossing the roadway in Forest Hills Saturday night, cops said.

The victim, who was in her 60s, was near 71st Avenue about 10:30 p.m. when she was hit by a Chevrolet Malibu, police said. She was taken to Jamaica Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

According to an initial investigation, the accident happened while the victim was crossing in the marked crosswalk against the traffic light, officials said.

The driver remained on the scene and there were no arrests made. The investigation is ongoing.

 

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Police seek suspect in Forest Hills slashing of teen


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Sketch courtesy of NYPD

An 18-year-old was attacked last week in Forest Hills when a man slashed him before fleeing, cops said.

The assault happened about 4 p.m. on April 9 near 62nd Avenue and Yellowstone Boulevard, according to police.

The teen, who was injured above his right ear and required stitches, was treated at a local hospital and released, officials said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Sunny. High near 50. Winds N at 15 to 25 mph. Wednesday night: Clear skies. Low 36. Winds NE at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Master Builder Lego Animation Workshops

In this 60-minute workshop, children work in production teams to plan and create a stop-motion animated movie using LEGOs. Ages 8+. $5 materials fee. 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. daily at the Museum of the Moving Image through April 22. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Man makes anti-Muslim statements, spits on teen girl aboard Queens bus: cops

A 15-year-old girl was harassed while riding a Queens bus last week when a man made anti-Muslim remarks toward her, spat at the teen and threatened her, police said. Read more: The Queens Courier

Police seek suspect in Forest Hills slashing of 18-year-old

A teen was attacked last week in Forest Hills when a man slashed him before fleeing, cops said. Read more: The Queens Courier

NYPD to end Muslim surveillance program

The New York Police Department said Tuesday it has disbanded a special unit whose efforts to try to detect terror threats in Muslim communities through secret surveillance sparked outrage. Read more: AP

De Blasio signs law protecting interns from discrimination, sexual harassment

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation Tuesday that ensures the city’s law against discrimination applies to interns, whether they’re paid or not. Read more: CBS New York/AP

NY claws back $3.9B in evaded taxes

New York officials report collecting $3.9 billion in evaded taxes over the past year, an increase of about $200 million or five percent over the prior year. Read more: New York Post 

Woman throws coffee, punch at F train rider: cops


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A 53-year-old woman received quite a jolt on a Queens subway train last week when a fellow rider threw coffee in her face before punching her, according to police.

The assault happened aboard an F train as it was traveling through the Rego Park/Forest Hills area on April 2, cops said.

The victim received minor injuries as a result of the attack, officials said.

Police have released a photo of the woman wanted in the assault and describe her as about 5 feet 1 inch tall.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Global lime shortage squeezes Queens bars, restaurants


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Sophia Rosenbaum

SOPHIA ROSENBAUM

Brother, can you spare a lime?

Frequent customers at El Rey Del Taco truck may be confused when they open the Styrofoam container with their tacos to find a wedge of lemon, instead of lime, in their trays.

Limes are too expensive for the taco truck to afford right now, as a global lime shortage is affecting restaurants and bars throughout Queens. Most of the limes used in the U.S. come from Mexico, where heavy rains and an infectious tree disease affecting the lime crop have forced lime prices to quadruple over the past few months.

“Unfortunately, Mexico received some heavy rains that destroyed a large amount of the lime crop, so with limited supplies, we are seeing lime prices skyrocket,” said Lindsey Pope, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Agriculture.

At local supermarkets like Key Food and Trade Fair, three limes cost $3. Three months ago, customers could buy a dozen limes for the same price. In the past few months, prices for 10-pound cases of limes have gone from about $30 to about $120.

While the taco truck can get away with replacing limes with lemons, some businesses are not afforded that option.

“We do a lot of custom cocktails, so not using fresh juice just isn’t an option for us,” said Vincent Vee, the beer and event manager at Station House in Forest Hills.

Vee said it’s common for prices of fresh fruit to fluctuate, especially when natural disasters like droughts affect Mexico, but that this lime shortage has been especially long.

“[The prices are] staying up a little longer than normal this time,” he said. “We’re hoping they come down soon.”

Like other restaurants and bars, Station House is limiting its lime garnishes and ensuring that its employees use the limes in the most efficient way possible.

Limes are an integral part of many Mexican dishes. Fresh lime juice makes up a third of most traditional margarita recipes.

Mojave, a Mexican restaurant in Astoria, is trying to limit its use of limes to the bare minimum.

“We’re just trying to compensate,” said Maya Stephanov, a bartender at Mojave.

Stephanov said that limes are a staple at almost every bar in the city, as a slice of lime is often paired with vodka cranberries, gin and tonics and other specialty drinks.

 

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Super-sized chocolate bunny raises money for Alzheimer research


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

bunny

SOPHIA ROSENBAUM

Aigner Chocolates is serving up something extra sweet this year for Easter.

The chocolate company based in Forest Hills has been making chocolate bunnies of all sizes for decades, but this year, its three-foot-tall, 17-pound milk chocolate bunny named Harvey will satisfy more than a few chocolate cravings.

Customers can buy raffle tickets for $1 to have a chance to win Harvey, which has a retail value of $400. All proceeds for the raffle are going to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer Research, a regional charity that puts more than 80 percent of its money toward research.

The original owners of Aigner Chocolates — John Aigner and Ester Tarp — were both diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

“It’s very close to our hearts,” said Christopher Aigner, the original owners’ grandson and current vice president. “We thought this would be a fun and festive way to raise funds and awareness for fighting this terrible disease.”

Harvey’s name plays homage to James Stewart’s invisible best friend in the 1950s classic “Harvey,” one of the Aigner family’s favorite films.

Smaller two-foot-tall chocolate bunnies named Easter Ester after Aigner’s grandmother are available in dark, milk and white chocolate. Aigner Chocolates also sells an array of other chocolatey treats including chocolate-covered marshmallow peeps, German papier-mâché eggs and marshmallow eggs.

 

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Pair sought in Forest Hills bank robbery


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Two men robbed a Forest Hills bank Friday, taking more than $1,000 before fleeing, cops said.

The theft took place about 3 p.m. at a TD Bank on 108th Street, according to police.

After the suspects walked into the branch, they allegedly approached the teller and demanded money.  One of the suspects jumped over the counter and removed money from the drawer, then both men escaped in an unknown direction with about $1,700, officials said.

Police describe the first suspect as 25 to 30 years old and about 5 feet 11 inches tall with a slim build. He was wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses, and has a beard. The second suspect is about 24 to 25 years old and 6 feet 1 inch tall with a slim build.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Car share service comes to Forest Hills


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Carpingo

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

A Brooklyn-based car share company is rolling into Queens.

Carpingo, a subset of All Car Rent-a-Car, opened its second location in Queens in Forest Hills Friday, part of a plan to accelerate their business into the second most populous borough.

The company, which opened in Brooklyn in 2012, has more than 40 locations in its home borough, but officials said they’ve had their eyes on Queens for a while and are thinking of expanding here because of the wide potential for more users.

“Shared mobility is a big, big deal,” said Gladstone McFarlane, director of business development for Carpingo. “It’s something that is catching on. I know people who have owned cars, but are moving on, because they see a financial benefit or an environmental benefit.”

Registered Carpingo members can reserve cars online or from their mobile devices at any time during the day. Then they can pick up the cars from local parking garages and use membership cards to access the vehicles.

Carpingo’s Long Island City location opened last year, but since then the company has had trouble expanding in Queens while fighting rivals such as Zipcar. Now it’s moving forward cautiously with its new location.

The Forest Hills site has just two cars in the Central Parking garage on Queens Boulevard, but McFarlane said based on its performance they’ll add more cars and different makes and models.

“We’re a small company and we are trying to be the little engine that could,” McFarlane said. “Once we gauge activity then we will proceed.”

 

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Suspect swiping checks from Queens mailboxes


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A suspect has been raiding Queens mailboxes for checks, then cashing them in for larger amounts of money, according to police.

Cops said eight thefts have taken place around Yellowstone Boulevard or 108th Street between Dec. 29 and March 22.

After the checks were removed from the mailboxes, they were each altered to a larger sum of money and deposited into ATMs, officials said. The suspect or suspects then take the cash from the accounts.

Police have released a photo of a suspect taken from a Bank of America ATM taken at 248 East Fordham Rd.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Katz names Queens representative on Panel for Educational Policy


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Borough President Melinda Katz

Borough President Melinda Katz has picked Deborah Dillingham of Forest Hills to serve on the city’s Panel for Educational Policy (PEP).

The 13-member board, with representatives from each borough, votes to approve school policies, many which are controversial. Each borough president appoints one member to the PEP and the mayor appoints eight.

“Through her extensive work with our city’s school system, Deborah has shown she has the knowledge, savvy and commitment necessary to be an outstanding member of the Panel for Educational Policy,” Katz said.

Dillingham was president of District 28’s Community Education Council and served on the Queens Borough President’s Parent Advisory Committee, the District 28 Leadership Team and the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Committee.

The mom of three was also president of the Parent’s Association of P.S. 101.

“She cares deeply about our children and the schooling they receive and has a track record of making sure our kids get the best education possible,” Katz said. “I know she will be a great asset to the PEP.”

Dillingham replaces Queens Borough President Helen Marshall’s appointee, Dmytro Fedkowskyj, who battled against school closures and co-location plans under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration.

Fedkowskyj, of Middle Village, is mulling a run against incumbent State Senator Marge Markey.

 

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