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Forest Hills

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I.M. Pei to Appear in Chinatown

The reclusive architect will show up at the reopening of the Museum of Chinese in America, the ‘pop-up park’ gets another month in Brooklyn Heights, and a pretty new footpath uptown on the High Bridge doesn’t mean you still can’t find drugs in the park! All in today's boroughs report.

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That Amazing House From ‘Moonstruck’ Is Still Up for Grabs, Only Now It's Cheaper!

Brooklyn Heights: The sale price of the Cranberry Street house where they filmed Moonstruck has dropped from $5 million to $3.95 million since early 2006. That's still très Cher! [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Coney Island: Astroland opens Sunday … possibly, for the second year in a row now, for its last season before major Coney development begins. [amNY] East New York: It's "the new Harlem," did you know that? So if you're bitter you didn't buy uptown twenty years ago, you'll want to buy here, where cribs are going for up to $300,000. [NYDN]

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Battle Over Randalls Island Playing Fields Wages On

Bedford-Stuyvesant: Here's an arty do-it-yourself interpretation of the glassy standard bus shelter that's taking over the city. No surprise this is for the bus that goes to Williamsburg, where all those arty DIY kids live! [Bed-Stuy Banana] East Harlem: Locals are still waging a legal battle against the city's plan to take $52 million over twenty years from top private schools like Dalton and Spence in exchange for the schools' use of most of the Randalls Island athletic fields during peak after-school hours. [Newsday] Forest Hills: Sure, that mini-mall on Austin Street is pretty hideous-looking, but it still has a Thai restaurant, a Greek restaurant, a creperie, a skater shop, and a comic-book emporium, so let's stop complaining about its ugliness and count our blessings! [Queens Central]

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It’s Raining Cristal! Oh, Wait

Bay Ridge: The congregation of a pretty 108-year-old stone church here wants it torn down to make room for condos and a smaller house of faith, but preservationists and bloggers are trying to stop them. [RightInBayRidge] East Village: There's a super-deluxe penthouse atop the Bowery Hotel for rent for $30,000 a month. And whoever wrote this e-mail pitch apparently thinks it's okay for would-be renters to "piss Cristal off the balcony." [Curbed] Forest Hills: If you want nice local businesses like Laytner's to survive over skeevy stores, you have to shop local, instead of paying slightly less at the big chains. And here's the receipt to prove it. [Forest Hills 72]

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Cipriani Downtown Having a Bit of Work Done; Cupcake Glut Still Centered in the West Village

Astoria: La Guli Bakery at 29-15 Ditmars Boulevard serves gelato throughout the winter if you get an irrational craving in this blistery weather. [Joey in Astoria] East Village: La Palapa is offering Super Bowl catering packages if you decide to pass on the Tostitos and Chi-Chi’s salsa this year. [Grub Street] Forest Hills: Rouge Bistro has closed. [Grub Street] Hell’s Kitchen: Newish restaurants like Cooper’s Tavern and Go!Go! Curry mean you can finally find something to eat in the garment district. [NYT] Midtown East: "I could live — and dine out nightly — for more than 100 years, and I still don’t think I’d come to understand restaurants like Il Nido," says Bruni about the expensive, hit-or-miss Italian. But over 1,000 words later, he’s explained the survival of old-school inconsistent restaurants quite well. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Soho: Cipriani Downtown will be closed most of this week for renovations to the floor and bar area. [Eater] West Village: A cupcake bar called Sweet Revenge is opening this spring at 62 Carmine Street near Bedford Street, and the owner’s goal is to sex up the revered city sweets. [Crain’s NY via Eater]

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Falafel Mecca Offers City Gluttons a Challenge Not Easily Refused

We love Forest Hills, and we love falafel, at least in the form in which it appears at On the Grill, our number one go-to shawarma-and-falafel place in the five boroughs. But are we, or you, man or woman enough to beat On the Grill’s falafel challenge? Gothamist’s Joe DiStefano reports that the restaurant has instituted the Great Falafel Eating Contest, which stipulates that anyone who eats five falafel sandwiches in 29 minutes gets them free, plus a $50 gift certificate – presumably, to be spent on more falafel sandwiches. If you’re thinking, “Pshaw! There’s no meat in falafel! I can eat all I want!,” be warned: Tzur Kalaf, On the Grill’s colorful owner, bakes huge, puffy pitas in-house, every one of which could paralyze an average person. And his sandwiches aren’t small. Which is maybe one more reason why you should go to On the Grill and make the effort. On the Grill, 98-102 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills; 718-897-4829. Competitive Eating Comes to Forest Hills, Well Sorta [Gothamist]

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