Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Forest Hills is Just a State of Mind

My friend from Fordham University, Linza Mostert, passed this video on to me, and I just had to share it here on Blog Time Passing.

I grew up in Kew Gardens, and spent a lot of time in Forest Hills over the course of many, many years, so this video really makes me feel like a home boy (did I get that right?).  I didn't attend the Forest Hills Jewish Center, which was a Conservative synagogue, I went to Temple Isaiah, a Reform congregation that has since disappeared in a merger, but many of my friends were members of the Forest Hills Jewish Center, and one or two even belonged to the Rego Park Jewish Center.

Of course, this video is a bit past my time, but the background setting is authentic, and quite familiar to me.  I'm not thrilled with some of what's said here, but I do understand that Billy Eichner is a comedian, and doing this for the laughs.  The write up on YouTube says, "This is comedian Billy Eichner's version of Jay Z's hit song Empire State of Mind."  I have to admit that I'm not familiar with the song or Jay Z, but what can I say, I'm an old fuddy duddy.  Anyway, the text goes on to say, "Featuring the hilarious Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live) as Alicia Keys!!!"

Anyway, here's a Forest Hills State of Mind:

And over on YouTube, Billy is kind enough to supply the lyrics:

I was born in Forest Hills
To a Jewish yenta
Had my circumsicion
Forest hills jewish center

Dad got a discount
Taught me to finagle
They cut the skin off my penis
While they ate bagels

and when I grew up
I learned to play the tuba
And baby you can tell by penis
Im not from cuba

Forced to play little league
Even though I hated it
And when I watched spice on pay per view
I masterbated it

Hated playing sports
I preferred the mall
Youre not good at basketball
Just because youre tall!

Strutting down
71st and continental
they made me get bar mitzvahd
as if I was yentl

loved playing clue
hated playing yahtzee
ironically my rabbi
was a bar mitzvah nazi

so I got bar mitzvahd
and though I didnt wanna
the theme of my bar mitzvah party
was Madonna!

in forest hills
concrete jungle where dreams are made of
theres nothing you cant do
when youre in forest hills
the city lights will inspire you
upper middle class jews
walk around forest hills, forest hills, forest hills
rosh Hashanah

I went to museums
And the planetarium
I was the toughest motherfucker
At the aquarium

Walking down queens blvd
Scared of the traffic ah
Only 8 year old sneaking in to out of Africa

hung out with my aunt joyce
she was like my art coach
we would go see foreign movies
starring julliette binoche

we saw my left foot
starring Daniel day lewis
to me, my aunt joyce
was such an influential jewess

fed me prune hamentashen
fed me prune danish
why the fuck did everything
have to have a prune in it?

little kosher hot dogs
nothing nutricious
and you know theres nothing as delicious
as knishes

I would go to broadway shows
I was all around town
and sometimes I stayed at home
watched Murphy brown

in forest hills
concrete jungle where dreams are made of
you can watch Murphy brown
when youre in forest hills, forest hills
(give it up for Murphy brown, yo)
you know theres nothing you cant do
upper middle class jews
walk around forest hills, forest hills forest hills
(sometimes I would make a poop in Barnes and Noble)

then I went to Stuyvesant
felt so much pressure
to become a big success
like fran drescher

standin on the e train
listening to vocals
but if I wanted to sit
Id stay on the local

yeah I studied real hard
learned self reliance
and I shot a bunch of geeks
down at Bronx Science

the kids at Stuyvesant
were nerdy and zitty
they make the kids on glee
look like the cast of new jack city

I moved out of forest hills
Goodbye shlomos
I live in manhattan
with all the other homos

but I go back to forest hills
and think about the childhood I had
now look at me as a baby with my dad!

In forest hills -
concrete jungle where dreams are made of
theres nothing you cant do
when youre from forest hills
the city lights will inspire you
Upper middle class jews
Over in forest hills, forest hills, forest hills

One hand in the air for forest hills
Lots of women with furs and diet pills
No place in the world that can compare
Lots of old Russian ladies that are shaped like a pear, like a pear
Like a pear, Like a pear!

In forest hills
Concrete jungles where dreams are made of
People shaped like pears
When youre from forest hills, forest
The streets will make you feel brand new
Upper middle class Jews
Walk around Forest Hills, Forest Hills, Forest Hills

 So, there you have it.  My thanks to Linza, with whom I've shared a few conversations about the old neighborhood.  And this goes out to all of my old peeps (did I get that right?) from Queens.   But all in all, I'd rather associate Forest Hills with another famous resident:

Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can, now that's a rap!


Abby said...

That's funny you posted this--I had never heard of Forest Hills until a couple weeks ago. My boyfriend came for the weekend and we decided to go to all five boroughs just to see if we could in a day. I had never been to Staten Island or Queens before. We decided to pick a random area and just went to Forest Hills on a whim and got lunch there--it was nice!

I'm also a huge Jay-Z fan, so I can appreciate the parody.

robbwindow said...

Happy Shabbat guys n gals.