Layover: New York

If you ever find yourself at La Guardia or John F. Kennedy International airport with a little sit time on your hands between flights, sit tight. Traffic in New York is terrible and you don’t want to miss your flight. But if you’ve got four hours or more to kill, how about doing what flight attendants do. Grab a cab and head on over to Forest Hills, New York, which is located right next to Kew Gardens, otherwise known as Crew Gardens, which is located in Queens – just a short fifteen minute taxi ride from La Guardia and twenty minutes from JFK.

TAXI! Tell the yellow cab driver to drop you off on Austin Street and 71st Avenue in Forest Hills (off of Queens Boulevard). That will put right smack in the middle of everything. Austin Street is where it’s at in terms of restaurants and shopping. There are even a few movie theaters if you’ve got the time. Approximately six blocks long, Austin Street has everything you could possible want within walking distance. When you’re ready to head back to the airport, give Kew Gardens Car Service a call and they’ll pick you up from wherever you are.

JUST WALK AROUND: After being cooped up in a germ infested flying tube for hours on end, there’s nothing better than fresh air. Forest Hills is a wonderful place to just walk around and relax. It was named best cottage community in 2007 by Cottage Living Magazine. The homes are a mixture of magnificent and charming.

Start by walking down 71st street, right past the Forest Hills train station and Forest Hills Inn, and then take a left on any street you prefer. Let the exploring begin. I’ve been living in the area for more than 14 years and the beauty of this place never ceases to amaze me. Don’t worry about getting lost, the streets are in alphabetical and numerical order.

GRAB A BITE TO EAT: Even if you’re sitting in first class, airplane food is airplane food. Here are a list of my favorite places to grab a bite on Austin street…

  • 5 Burro Cafe – A great place to grab a drink and eat Mexican Food, but go early because the place gets packed.
  • Latin Cubana Express – Short on time, grab the picadillo to go! Don’t forget the plantains
  • Martha’s Country Bakery – A nice place to relax over a cup of coffee and a carrot cupcake – mmm…heavenly!
  • Narita (Japanese) – A little on the pricey side, but the hibachi is totally worth it.
  • Nick’s Pizza – is practically famous for it’s thin crust pizza and vinyl booths.
  • Pahal Zan – A hole in the wall, but serves the most amazing Israeli falafel and kabobs.

“Or you could just tell them to go to the Jackson Hole Diner,” my husband said when I told him what I was writing about. “A cab would only cost about $8 from La Guardia and that’s where they’d find the biggest hamburgers they’ll ever see in their lives.”

Forest Hills, New York