[continued: Forest Hills]
The main shopping area was and still is Austin Street and Continental Avenue. Don't look for too many fancy boutiques, though. And the Miles Shoe Store where Ed Marinaro used to work after school is long gone.
Station Square is one of the symbols of old Forest Hills whose main buildings were all done in a Tudor-style red brick. The brick roadway is still there connecting the LIRR station with the venerable Forest Hills Inn (which is now condos or co-ops). It is probably one of the most photographed places in Forest Hills. In 1910, the Long Island Rail Road built an electrified link through Forest Hills, an elegant $50,000 station with two staircases, arches and cobblestones. President Theodore Roosevelt made a famous speech from its stone steps in 1917. It was also meeting place for us kids.
The other key landmark in Forest Hills is the Tennis Stadium, part of the West Side Tennis Club, where the U.S. Open was held from the 1920s until 1978. Almost all the kids sold used tennis balls during the Matches, as we called them. And every kid tried at least once to sneak in. But mostly we saved our money to buy tickets to see tennis greats like Roy Emerson battle it out against Pancho Gonzales on Center Court. In those days of no tie-breakers, you really got your money's worth. Extra money also could be made parking cars in front of our family's garages. During the rest of the summer, the Stadium was a favored concert venue. Cynthia saw "Little" Stevie Wonder open for The Stones; Bonnie and now-husband John, saw the Beatles there.
Forest Park is one of the largest parks in the City, the Queens Central Park, if you will. There you can ride bikes, hike in the woods, listen to a concert in the bandshell. Nearby was the Forest Hills Swim Club as well as the horse stables and riding academy.
Also visit: FH Map | FH History | FH Celebs
By: Bonnie Fernald Fontayne & Cynthia Fontayne