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Topics - ljr

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Restaurants & Food / El Toum
« on: May 01, 2021, 02:17:28 PM »
We've been ordering from there more and more--the food is delicious! Last night we had the appetizer plate (hummus, falafel, etc), the Cornish hen, and the salmon platter. Really excellent and reasonably priced!

Restaurants & Food / Luna Kitchen and Bar
« on: April 03, 2021, 08:33:41 PM »
Just wanted to give them a shout-out--very good food! We order from them--the sauteed salmon and veggie dish is delicious, and so are the salads, so I assume the rest of the food is good, too.

Neighborhood Chat / Pre-pandemic empty storefronts—reasons why
« on: June 01, 2020, 02:05:04 PM »
This piece is illuminating regarding the reasons so many landlords leave commercial spaces empty rather than lowering the rent.

Neighborhood Chat / What is going into the former El Rico Tinto space?
« on: March 02, 2020, 10:44:18 PM »
There is work being done in there--I peeked in tonight around 9 and workers were in there.

Neighborhood Chat / Retail strip mystery
« on: February 23, 2020, 10:36:25 AM »
What is with that medical clinic that replaced the former women's clothing store on the south side of 37th Avenue between 79th and 80th Sts? I think the name is Centro Medico? They advertise opening hours every day of the week and all medical specialties available. There is a waiting room and reception desk. There is even a coffeemaker, I believe with a container of Coffee Mate next to it, a thoughtful touch. I have never seen a soul inside, and it's been there quite a long time.

It occurs to me that an interesting idea for a podcast series would be "37th Avenue." Each episode would center on one business along 37th Ave, recounting the stories of the owners, the history of the business—whatever interesting story emerges from interviewing the owners, and I am sure there are many interesting stories—and in the case of mystery storefronts: what gives?

Episode 1: Swim Two Birds! (Any podcast producers out there? I actually think this is a viable idea, as it relates to the big box/corporate vs disappearing mom-and-pop stores controversy, inspiring immigrant success stories, rapacious landlords pillaging the NYC retail landscape, etc.)

Restaurants & Food / Due Fratelli
« on: October 12, 2019, 02:12:05 PM »
The sign had said closed for repairs, but now the signage with the name is gone. I wonder if something else is going in that space.

...and this is its kitchen:

Is this not unbelievable? This is a studio apartment sized kitchen. Who would design an apartment like this?

Neighborhood Chat / Inner Peace is being replaced by....
« on: May 22, 2019, 07:47:21 PM »
...a cell phone store! This is so depressing. And the former clothing store on that block is going to be some sort of medical office. Maybe another oddball weight loss clinic? I find those places so...dubious. Really???? Does anyone ever see any clients in those places? People go in and pay them enough money to fund a business rent for some sort of weight loss program? I have a lot of trouble believing this. I am also astonished at the number of hair/facial/nail/beauty establishments that seem to somehow survive along (and just off of) 37th Avenue. How do they all have sufficient business? There are almost as many of them as there are pharmacies and banks and cell phone stores. And that cannot be a high-margin business. I just don't get it.

Neighborhood Chat / Why signs on 37th between 76 and 77 were taken down?
« on: December 12, 2018, 02:40:56 PM »

Could this be the reason why the stores on 37th Ave near 76th St now have printed banners instead of their former signs?

Restaurants & Food / Bistro Eloise
« on: September 12, 2018, 03:24:31 PM »
I just searched this board and cannot find the posting, but I recall that there was going to be a branch of a little French bistro, based maybe in LIC, that was planning to open in the mall where Cannelle is located.  I was just over there (I hardly ever go there) and see no sign of anything under construction. Does anyone know what happened? Wish I could recall the name of the place, but it looked like an exciting addition to the neighborhood.

Restaurants & Food / Al-Araf at 76th and 37th Ave closed?
« on: July 26, 2018, 11:18:27 PM »
There is paper obscuring the windows and no explanatory sign.

Neighborhood Chat / JH Book Club notice
« on: July 18, 2018, 03:47:48 PM »
For complicated reasons--having to do with MailChimp and a change of address/phone by our organizer--we don't have access to our mailing list anymore, and wanted to let anyone who has been receiving our emails and wants to continue to receive notices of upcoming meetings to send a request to Arnaud at

We will put you back on the list as we re-construct it. We've been meeting for two years now, and it's been great. We meet about once a month at members' homes and usually choose two books each month.  Members can read both books or just one, so nobody has to feel pressured to finish a book they are not enjoying. This month's meeting is this Sunday, July 22, and the books are: The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth and Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann. It's a bit late for this month, but please send an email if you'd like to join us to:

Real Estate & Home Improvement / Separate bathtub and shower stall?
« on: April 15, 2018, 09:56:45 AM »
I've seen a few apartments in JH that had the tub and shower separated. What I am wondering is: has anyone renovated a bathroom in Hawthorne Ct or Elm Ct or Greystones (I think layout is same or similar?) and separated the tub and shower? The bathroom is long and narrow and the shower would have to be 32X28, because any deeper and it would hit the doorway. The tub would have to be a short one at the end of the room under the window. Nice to have them separated, because a shower stall is just an easier way to take a shower than climbing in and out of a tub.

We bought an un-renovated Hawthorne Ct apartment in 2011 that was in pretty good, fairly original shape, and we only made a few, mostly cosmetic improvements (paint, new kitchen appliances, backsplash, kitchen floor, new light fixtures, new window coverings, new showerheads and bathroom cabinets).

Since then, our kitchen and big bathroom have aged even more, of course, and now we are thinking of doing a real renovation on those two rooms. However, we are not sure we will be staying here long-term, and we are wondering if we should spend the money renovating. If we do move, it likely won't be for a few more years at least.

The question is: do you really get the money back when you sell? How many potential buyers want an apartment that needs very little updating vs how many would rather buy an apartment that has not been recently renovated, so they can renovate to their own taste? I know I have spoken to people who had the latter preference and said they did not want to buy someone else's renovation and did not want to rip out a recent renovation because they didn't like it.

Basically, we are wondering if it would be worth it, on the resale, or if we'd be better off just living with the present condition of the rooms till we have a better idea if we will move in the next few years or stay. We'd love a new kitchen and bath--but it's a lot of money. In our former building, though, we recall that some people were unable to sell until they renovated their very old kitchens. But that was in a worse market....

Anyone have thoughts on this?

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