Forest Hills is home to the country’s first planned community, a tennis club with grass courts that used to host the U.S. Open Grand Slam Tournament, beautiful parks, good public schools and countless restaurants, religious institutions and stores.
Then there are the people. Fashion designer extraordinaire Donna Karan, Hank Azaria, the voice behind many “Simpsons” characters, Geraldine Ferraro, a Democratic congresswoman who was the first woman to run for vice president of the United States for a major party in 1984, and even Spider-Man lived there.
Nick Hirshon, a former Daily News reporter, has captured the neighborhood in his book “Images of America: Forest Hills.” The paperback begins with a forward by native son Ray Romano, who waxes nostalgically about the tree-lined streets, sense of community and Eddie’s Sweet Shop.
Then readers learn about former President Theodore Roosevelt’s “100% American” speech at Station Square on July 4, 1917, before delving into such color as the public housing controversy that made national headlines in the 1970s and launched local lawyer Mario Cuomo’s political career and Topsy’s Cabin, a restaurant that opened on Queens Boulevard in the 1930s.
Hirshon will discuss “Images of America: Forest Hills” at the Barnes & Noble on Austin Street on Aug. 13 at 6:30 pm. He will also participate in a Q&A session and sign copies of his book.