Photo by Bona Weiss
Courtesy of Svetlana Negrimovskaya,, the supervisor at the Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn Public Library (2636 East 14th Street), here are March’s events at the local branch. Personally, I can’t wait for Intellectual Club “What? Where? When?”
All times until early summer 2014: Coney Island-bound Q trains skip Parkside Av, Beverley Rd, and Cortelyou Rd.
From 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday, Q service is extended to Ditmars Blvd.
From 10:30 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, there are no Q trains between Stillwell Av and Prospect Park – Take free shuttle buses. Q service operates between Ditmars Blvd/57 St-7 Av and Prospect Park. Free shuttle buses operate in two segments:
- Express between Stillwell Av and Prospect Park, stopping at Stillwell Av, West 8 St, Ocean Pkwy, Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Neck Rd, Avenue U, Kings Hwy, Flatbush Av 2, and Prospect Park.
- Local between Prospect Park and Kings Hwy, stopping at Prospect Park, Parkside Av, Church Av, Beverley Rd, Cortelyou Rd, Newkirk Plaza, Avenue H, Avenue J, Avenue M, and Kings Hwy.
- To Manhattan, take the D, F, or N from Stillwell Av.
- To Coney Island, take the D, F, or N at 34 St-Herald Sq or the D or N at Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, Queens-bound F trains run express from Church Av to Smith-9 Sts.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, Coney Island-bound F trains are rerouted via the A from W 4 St to Jay St-MetroTech.
From 12:30 a.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Monday, F trains run local in both directions between Roosevelt Av and 71 Av.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would scale down scheduled hikes in flood insurance rates that could have seen some homeowners paying 10 times the amount they do now. The bill, the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, will now go to the Senate, where it’s expected to pass.
With homeowners and businesses facing premiums hikes of up to 10-fold or more as result of a 2-year-old law, the bill would limit annual increases of any individual policy under the National Flood Insurance Program to no more than 18 percent.
The legislation also instructs the Federal Emergency Management Agency to have “an affordability target” that would seek to limit the cost of a flood insurance policy to 1 percent of a home’s total coverage amount.
… The legislation was drafted in response to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, which was designed to allow premiums to rise to reflect the true risk of living in high-flood areas.
The law was passed to address a $24 billion deficit in the NFIP, which serves about 5 million people and had mounting losses, largely from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.
… That law did not stipulate that rates would soar by more than 10 times, but that is what happened to the surprise of lawmakers and consternation of homeowners and small businesses.
CompStat reports are produced by the New York Police Department on a weekly basis. We summarize the week’s statistics for the 61st Precinct reports every Friday. The 61st Precinct is the police command responsible for Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Kings Highway, Homecrest, Madison, Manhattan Beach, and Gerritsen Beach.
The New York City Community Garden Coalition is suing the city on behalf of the Boardwalk Community Garden in Coney Island, which lost its city-owned land to make way for a seaside amphitheater.
Just days after the City Council approved a plan to make a 5,099-seat concert venue at the landmarked Childs Restaurant in December, bulldozers rolled onto the adjacent property and demolished the garden in a midnight raid.
But the outraged gardeners say that the city failed to do its due diligence, and that the West 22nd Street greenspace was legally a New York City park and the group had an agreement with the city to operate the garden, which should have at least delayed the demolition.
The city, though, previously claimed that the garden was decommissioned as a park in 2004, Brownstoner points out. The group says the city never told them that and let them continue to operate for years, according to NY1.
The gardeners are also suing over what they believe has been an insufficient environmental review, particularly when it comes to the requirements of their sewer system and flood protection. Brooklyn Daily reports:
“The city did not follow its own regulations,” said attorney Joel Kupferman of the New York Environmental Law and Justice Project, which is spearheading the suit. “You’re going to have thousands of people coming to a concert, and the sewers in Coney West cannot take that.”
Kupferman further alleged that iStar Financial, the company that will construct and operate the new hall as a permanent home for Markowitz’s summer concert series, did not do the proper studies when they designed the underground reservoirs that the company claims will combat flooding at the waterfront venue.
Attorneys for iStar say that the blueprints are perfectly in line with regulations.
The amphitheater is set to be the new, permanent home of the former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s free summer concert series. It has been opposed by Community Board 13, but given the green light by the Department of City Planning and the City Council.
Every self-respecting native Sheepshead Bay-ite surely knows what the F.W.I.L. stands for.
Photo by Lizi, who also goes by Anne
You can see more of her work here.
Morning Mug is our daily showcase of photographs from our readers. If you have a photograph that you’d like to see featured, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet Barbara Mensch, a photographer and writer, reminiscing about her Sheepshead Bay upbringing in If These Knishes Could Talk, a recent documentary about the New York accent, directed by filmmaker Heather Quinlan.
“Everyone in my family was loud. It was just normal to speak loud… Loud-ly,” Mensch says, correcting herself. “It was just this experience of being in Brooklyn that was just so intense.”
“I met Barbara in the Seaport when she had just published a book of photography, ‘South Street,’ about the Fish Market in the ’80s,” Quinlan told Sheepshead Bites. “I met her at a signing at Jack’s Stir Brew on Front Street, which is also where I ended up filming the dinner scene.”
At that dinner scene, Mensch talked accents with three New York City “wise guys,” one of whom recalled his often violent childhood in Little Italy and an observant neighborhood kid name Marty Scorsese.
With most of her “Rs” and “THs” intact, Mensch’s accent may not sound like signature Brooklyn. But, as it turns out, genuine New York accent has less to do with specific parts of the city and more with ethnic influences and local culture. That’s how a kid named Ben, also in the film, born in Korea and raised in Staten Island, grew up to sound like Joe Pesci in Goodfellas.
If These Knishes Could Talk is also a story of change and gentrification. Always in demographic flux, New York could soon end up without its trademark accent as those who speak with it age or get priced out of the city.
“Word on the street is the New York accent is disappearing,” Quinlan says. “A casualty of a city that’s evolved into a vast expanse of banks, H&Ms and glass-blown high-rises.”
In the film, Quinlan discusses this with an illustrious cast of New Yorkers, among them actors Pat Cooper, Penny Marshall, and Joe Franklin, fimmaker Amy Heckerling, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, writers Pete Hamil and James McBride, and many others.
– Steven Volynets
With the thrill of victory still fresh, Miss New York City 2014 Kira Kazantsev has been going around the city using her new title to bring attention to things like child abuse and domestic violence prevention. But tomorrow, Kazantsev, the first Russian-speaking Miss New York City, will visit the neighborhood to celebrate her fellow women around the globe.
Kazantsev will visit Cherry Hill food market at 1901 Emmons Avenue for a noon celebration organized by the Be Proud Foundation. The first Russian-speaking Miss New York City will be presented by the first Russian-speaking assemblyman in New York State, Alec Brook-Krasny.
Kazantsev is 23 and she won the crown on February 2. Her talent for the event was vocals. She’s a recent graduate of Hofstra University’s Honors College and works as a waitress to pay her way through law school.
THE BITE: Kung Fu Tea is a bubble tea chain that has been spreading, with several locations in Queens, a few around Manhattan and Brooklyn, and locations in four other states. Sheepshead Bay’s own Kung Fu Tea is at 1422 Avenue U, just off East 15th Street.
Bubble tea originated in Taichung, Taiwan, in the 1980s. The “bubble” part of the name is an Anglicized form of “boba” which refers to tapioca pearls in the tea, and is Chinese slang for “large breasts.” Finding this out creeped me out a little. Bubble tea comes with a handful of boba at the bottom of the cup, which are not very large, but slimy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside balls of starch. Also, bubble tea has primarily been fashionable with young people, including kids.
In any case, it’s up for debate which tea house in particular came up with it, but bubble tea was first made with hot tea and tapioca pearls, mixed with milk and sweet syrup. The trend spread through East and Southeast Asia during the 1990s, becoming popular in Western culture as well during the past decade. Menus now include options of fruit flavors added as syrups or blended fresh fruits, powdered or fresh milk, powdered or brewed green, black or white tea, or no tea at all, or coffee, a variety of additional toppings such as red or mung beans, jelly cubes in different flavors and shapes, pudding in the bottom of your cup, not to mention different sizes and flavors of tapioca pearls. Your options will depend on which tea shop you’re at, but basically, the choices have become endless. At Kung Fu Tea you can specify if you want less, little, or no ice, and less, little, or no sugar. Freedom like this can be exhilarating and exhausting.