With its reputation as one of Forest Hills' best places to get together with friends and family, Exo Cafe has become the place to go to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers or brunch. This trendy and casual hotspot located on Austin Street has three levels, an open-loft area, a wrap-around central bar with five flat screens, rooms and space for quiet rendezvous … [Read More...] about Forest Hills Go To Spot For All Occasions: Exo Cafe
Wellness and Beauty
What Olympic sport combines the beauty of a dancer, the agility of gymnast, and the creativity of an artist?
Using a rope, ball, ribbons, clubs, and choreographed routines, Rhythmic Gymnastics presents a delightful routine filled with grace and agility. Queens Gymnastics, a rhythmic gymnastics school in Forest Hills was established by Mila and Alex, a mother and son team from the Ukraine. Both are passionate about this sport and care deeply for their students.
Rhythmic Gymnastics is a wonderful way for girls to develop artistic sensitivity, poise, balance, creative expression, strength, and flexibility. But the benefits don’t stop there! Girls who engage in this form of dance also improve fitness, self-confidence, discipline, and coordination.
Interestingly, dancers also show increased cognitive skills which can lead to improved academic performance and other lifelong benefits!
The coaches at Queens Gymnastics have over 20 years of combined experience (including international) in the sport of Rhythmic Gymnastics. They enthusiastically embrace the opportunity to help students grow in skill and healthy personal habits. The instructor-student ratio is kept low to increase the individual attention for students.
Forest Hills Today asked Alex of Rhythmic Gymnastics to answer a few questions for us:
1. When did Forest Hills Rhythmic Gymnastics start and why did the founders choose Forest Hills?
We live in Forest Hills. We felt that our neighborhood was missing some after-school activities for children. That idea led to this school being established in 1991.
2. Could you please tell our readers what dance programs are available at Rhythmic Gymnastics?
Rhythmic Gymnastics opportunities include ballet, dance, choreography, acrobatics and performing arts.
Classes are available from Sundays through Thursdays. These classes are designed for recreational Rhythmic Gymnastics. (Competitive performers would be required to follow a special diet and train at least 5 hours per day.)
3. How is your dance school different from other dance schools in the area?
What makes us different than other dance schools is the incredible results we see in the children’s performance in a short period of time. Also, we focus on discipline, the sport, and believing that every child has a talent.
4. What age groups do you cater to? At what age would you recommend a child start dance lessons?
We enroll children from age 4 to 17. Though we officially enroll children from age 4, we have made exceptions for mature and independent 3 year olds. Most of our students are from the Forest Hills area but some travel from Roosevelt Island.
Students have an opportunity to perform the skills they are learning in a special yearly program on Father’s Day. We call it ‘Father’s Day Graduation Performance” and it’s usually attended by 600-700 guests.
5. How has the Forest Hills neighborhood changed since you’ve been here?
Over the years, we’ve seen more professional working couples moving to Forest Hills from Manhattan. As these families have children, they look for the amazing activities Forest Hills has to offer them.
Rhythmic Gymnastics will provide your child with a creative and healthy way to express themselves! Learn more about this opportunity at: QueensGymnastics.com
If you are a parent, grandparent, or educator, you may know the frustration of loving a child deeply yet struggling to manage behavior that is defiant, impulsive, compulsive, or destructive. Additionally, children may be successful behaviorally but struggle academically regardless of effort. As we care for children, it is the loving adults’ responsibility to find ways to set all children up for success to the best of our ability. Dr. Sanam Hafeez of the Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services shares that desire.
Dr. Sanam Hafeez is a sought-after television, media, and print personality, often appearing on the Dr. Oz Show, CNN, CBS, NBC, FOX, and WPIX new shows, as well as contributing to newspapers, journals, and magazines (print and online), such as Fortune magazine, WebMD, Yahoo! Health, MSN Health and Lifestyle, Business Insider, and US News and World Report.
We asked Dr. Hafeez some questions to better understand the need for Psychological support to help children be successful in managing the pressures of childhood today. Those responses are included below. To find out more about the diverse services and extensive experience of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, please read more at: ComprehendtheMind.com.
1. Why did Dr. Hafeez choose Forest Hills for her practice?
I grew up in Kew Gardens, a sister neighborhood to Forest Hills. Forest Hills is where I shopped, ate, and saw many of my own doctors. I still do! It is a large yet small neighborhood. It’s one that is old-fashioned, gentrified even, maintaining its quaintness while welcoming new additions, both businesses and residents.
2. What distinguishes Forest Hills from other neighborhoods?
Like my native Kew Gardens, it is beautiful with its Tudor homes and its tree lined streets that speak of another era altogether, allowing us New Yorkers, to enjoy New York in a tranquil and scenic time-out. Its accessible by subway, the LIRR, buses and the Grand Central Parkway, not to mention the great Queens Boulevard. It’s nice to be 20-30 minutes from midtown Manhattan both by car and train, but I often find that you don’t need to go there because Forest Hills offers it all!
3. A report by Fox News Health states:
The World Health Organization (WHO) has taken note of just how much time people are spending playing video games and is now considering adding “Gaming Disorder” to its official list of diagnosable diseases.
What is your opinion on the “Gaming Disorder”?
As a neuropsychologist, and a specialist in child development, I see an alarming increase in use of cell phones, tablets, and excessive playing of video games, both in young children and teenagers. The threat and risks to their mental health, development, and future prospects, are very real. There is a significant amount of data and empirical evidence that points to tangible damage from excessive gaming. Classifying it as a disorder is not a stretch at all. I think we are looking at an epidemic.
4. As parents, we’re facing extensive amounts of “disorders” in our world today, ones that our own parents had never even heard of in the past. What do you think are the contributing factors to these disorders, namely ADD, ADHD, and learning disabilities?
Multiple items can be identified as contributing factors. Today, there is more awareness of developmental risks, changes, and consequences. Adding to those factors is the decreased ability of even busier parents to meet the needs and challenges of their own lives as well as the demands of the children. Children are inundated with the ever present media (TV, streaming movies, and shows, cell phones, tablets, video games and social media) which play critical roles in the rise of the ‘disorders’ we see around us. The pressure on children to perform in school has created an increased focus on the use of drugs to treat everything from poor attention to declining grades to a rowdiness.
5. What are your hours of operation?
We are open Monday through Friday 9:30 am to 6:30 p.m. We have a location on the Upper East Side on East 79th street as well with some weekend hours.
6. Are your services covered by health insurance?
Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services is unique in several ways. One of the most obvious is that unlike other neuropsychological assessment practices, we accept almost ALL commercial insurances. We also accept credit cards. Our fees for uninsured patients are very reasonable.
As an educator for nearly thirty years, I’ve had a steady flow of challenging students mixed into each class. My ultimate goal is to help each and every child be successful by determining their needs and working with the school and family to meet those needs. Sometimes, in order to find that success, outside support is needed in the form of counseling, behavioral interventions, and yes, even medication. One of my favorite success stories involves a student who entered my third grade class absolutely refusing to read. This was one symptom among others indicating that something was amiss.
After observing various facets of this child’s behavior over the next 4 months, I recommended that the parents discuss the situation with the pediatrician. They were referred to a psychologist who was able to provide a diagnosis with a treatment plan.
Over the next several months, this young man grew in his confidence and enjoyed a new sense of “rest” in his body that enabled him to engage in learning like he hadn’t in the past. I was also able to provide him with needed accommodations. End of the year assessment results resoundingly confirmed that the parents had made a wise choice in seeking outside help.
Not every story has such a positive ending. Too many parents refuse to seek help because they are concerned about labels or stigma being associated with their child. However, when a child’s success is a priority, then their loving adults need to set aside such concerns in pursuit of enabling children to be all they are designed to be.
Please visit www.ComprehendtheMind.com to learn more about their practice, services, and fees.
Located in the heart of the shopping district of Forest Hills, is the MK Vision Center. MK Vision bears the tagline “Clarity Today, Vision Tomorrow” highlighting their focus on providing you with prompt service for all of your eye care needs as well as a commitment to continued service for ongoing concerns. Their frame selection offers something for everyone from child through adult. This one-stop shop provides eye exams, medical optometry, glasses, and contact lenses.
Kaleena Ma, owner and option at MK Vision Center offered some clarity on MK Vision’s commitment and customer service by answering the following questions:
1. Why did MK Vision Center start a business in Forest Hills and what distinguishes Forest Hills from other neighborhoods in Queens?
MK Vision Center has been in Forest Hills for 7 years.
We are part of the Mott Optical Group which has stores in Flushing, Downtown Manhattan, and Brooklyn. We are the optical company that focuses on the customer and the community.
2. Could you please tell our readers what services are available at MK Vision Center?
We have an optometrist, Dr. Jet Ruttanasee, ready and able to check your eyes Monday through Saturday with a focus on the comprehensive eye exam. We recently started to do medical optometry, so we welcome patients who want to do more comprehensie eye exam. We also take time to speak at senior centers about the importance of the annual eye exam and also eye conditions that are more prevalent in the aging population.
We have full lines of frame brands like Chanel, RayBan, Prada, Tom Ford, Gucci as well as independent retailers like IC Berlin, Lindberg, and Oliver Peoples. We also carry a full line of exclusive brand Mott and Bayard which are tailored to the Asian clientele or anyone who has a low bridge. Suki is also a great brand that includes titanium two-tone frames that are light-weight and fashionable.
Our optical is the best because of its service, professionalism, quality, selection and pricing.
3. What type of health insurance do you take? If someone doesn’t have insurance, could they still go to MK Vision Center for one of your services?
We take many insurances, medical and vision, such as Eyemed, Davisvision, Spectera, March Vision, VSP, Medicaid, UFT, Superior Vision, and others. Additionally, we accept flex spending cards. We encourage the patients to come in so we can check their insurance for them and help them save money and look good too!
MK Vision is different than the competition because of its focus on the customer. We never hard push to make the sale. We really care about the individual and will focus on making our customers completely satisfied.
We care about the community! MK Vision provides vision screenings at schools. We also make time to speak at senior centers about the importance of the annual eye exam.
Additionally, we donate old frames to New Eyes for Needy, so if you have frames you no longer need, we would be happy to take it for you and give it to someone who needs it.
4. At what age can a child start wearing contact lens?
The age a child can start wearing contact lenses varies depending on the individual and the parent. We have had patients as young as 8 try to wear contact lenses. At our other location, Mott Street Optical, we do Orthokeratology, which helps kids with progressive myopia.
In Orthokeratology, contact lenses are inserted at nighttime to temporarily reshape the cornea, thus reducing the myopia. This is only for a select patients, so please plan on discussing this with the doctor to see if it is an option for you. In regard to regular soft contact lenses, we can fit the patient, regardless of age, as long as he/she is willing and responsible. Every child is different, so please consult with our doctor before getting prescribed.
5. What is the secret to getting a pair of eyeglasses that look great on a customer?
The secrets of getting the right pair of eyeglasses for the customer includes consideration of complexion, hair color, eye color, face shape as well as prescription, lifestyle and personal preferences. Many frames could be considered for a light prescription. But for higher prescriptions, we have to be quite careful with the shape of the frame.
6. What’s the latest eyewear fashion for men and women?
The latest fashion is to go with round frames! Plastic frames are also popular nowadays.
7. Besides a routine eye exam for glasses and contact lens fitting, can customers make an appointment for glaucoma tests?
Glaucoma testing is part of a routine eye exam.
Stop in and “see” what MK Vision can do for you and your family!
Learn more about MK Vision Center and how to easily book an online appointment at: MKVisionCenter.com
Store Location: 107-29 71st Ave, Forest Hills, NY 11375
Store Hours: Monday – Saturday 10:00 am – 7:00 pm; Sunday 11:00 am – 6:30 pm