Forest Hills is literally the hub of Queens, New York. I suppose most cities are like New York, made up of small communities binding together to form a city with a central government, yet each one of them keeping their own identity, their own character. I Know Forest Hills well I grew up there and lived there for over 50 years.
Forest Hills is a good sized neighborhood, with one family houses running from about $400,000 to the mansions of Forest Hills Gardens that go for millions. There is not an ethnic group around that is not represented in Forest Hills. And they all get along. The crime rate is one of the lowest in the city. Getting to and from Manhattan is easy either by subway, bus or express bus. It usually take one 20 minutes to a half hour. There are three main streets in Forest Hills. If you like antiques, take a walk along Metropolitan Avenue from Cooper Avenue on the west to Union Turnpike on the east( seven blocks) Start out early enough and you can have breakfast in one of the coffee shops along the way. If ice cream is what you want, stop in at Eddie’s Sweet Shop at the other end of Metropolitan Avenue. It has been unchanged, except for owners, for the last 70+ years and the homemade ice cream is to die for. Look closely on your left as you begin your walk and you might be able to spot the house used in the opening sequence of “All in the Family” A few block down on the right, just off Metropolitan Ave, is the house used as Peter Parker’s home in the first two “Spiderman” movies. So you have already seen some of Forest Hills without really knowing it. You can join the locals for lunch at the Forest Hills Sizzler or go “up-Town” to Austin Street and Queens Blvd ( it as about a mile and a very pleasant walk through the tree lined streets or take a break and take the Q23 bus) for lunch at one of the many different restaurants and an afternoon of browsing the small shops and boutiques that line both streets. Don’t feel like more shopping? Take in a movie or walk through the Forest Hills Gardens Area. Forest Hills Gardens is a re- created English Tudor Village with many beautiful homes. I remember watching Betty Davis film a movie here because of the resemblance to England. At 69th Avenue and Booth St. You can see the Forest Hills West Side Tennis Club, the original site of the US Open Tennis Tournament, before it was moved to Flushing Meadows park.
If you plan to be in New York over Memorial Day Weekend, be sure to see the Forest Hills Memorial Day parade, one of the largest in the City, It is usually held on the Sunday of the weekend and ends with a ceremony at the local historical preservation area, a cemetery that dates back to the Revolutionary War. Part of the battle of Long Island was fought here.
If you are not in the mood for shopping and would like to do something with the family, there is Forest Park, which at more than 500 acres is the third largest park in New York City. You can take it easy and spend the day relaxing under th trees while the kids enjoy the turn of the century carousel and playgrounds while having a burger and fries from the snack stand, or you can play on the 18 hole golf course, or use one of the tennis or hand ball courts. Maybe you would like to take a horse back ride over the 7 miles of bridal paths, or take a hike over one of the three hiking trails. There are Sunday afternoon and/or evening concerts at the bandshell. There is also a picnic area where you can setup your grill
If you are planing a trip to New York, make sure to put Forest Hills on your list or if you live in New York and have never taken th time to visit, well what are you waiting for?