Sheepshead Bay Road Holiday Season December 2009

Sheepshead Bay Road Holiday Season December 2009

If your answer was “light” you were only partially right. If you said, “There are no holiday decorations hanging above”, you get first prize.

The picture was taken during the height of the Christmas and Hannukah season (yesterday), but you would never know it based on the lack of festive decor.

This year, the Bay Improvement Group was unable to drum up enough support for the festive hangings. There were not enough business owners in Sheepshead Bay who wanted to participate, so the decorations could not be hung. It’s not known if the reasons for opting out involved prohibitive costs, cultural differences, or just general bah-humbugness.

One city bus driver, who has routes in North Brooklyn and Southern Brooklyn, told us that he drives through many shopping districts, and he noticed that nearly all of them have festive decorations hanging above the main thoroughfare. Kings Highway has hanging decorations with a lit menorah. Church Avenue has snowflake decor (see below). Even Brighton Beach, with the subway lumbering overhead, managed to look festive with seasonal decor. He was curious to know why Sheepshead Bay and Avenue U business owners decided to opt out.

So, why did Sheepshead Bay Road and Ave U business owners choose to keep the streets so dark this holiday season? (And don’t say it’s dark, because I’m a bad photographer.)

Church Avenue & Coney Island Avenue - Holiday Decor

Church Avenue & Coney Island Avenue - Holiday Decor

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  • cncx

    forget about the commercial streets, just drive down residential streets and you will see very few decorations as well. i’ll be more than happy when the business districts manage to just keep the sidewalks clean. i normally goto 5th ave in manhattan to feel festive.

    • Wanderinglioness

      I saw quite a few houses decorated in Sheepshead Bay. Some of the decorations are still up!

  • cncx

    forget about the commercial streets, just drive down residential streets and you will see very few decorations as well. i’ll be more than happy when the business districts manage to just keep the sidewalks clean. i normally goto 5th ave in manhattan to feel festive.

  • Hank

    That’s because the businesses on Ave U do not celebrate Christmas or Chanukah.

  • Hank

    That’s because the businesses on Ave U do not celebrate Christmas or Chanukah.

  • Theresa Scavo

    The reason Kings Highway and Brighton have overhead lights is because they have a BID (Business Improvement District). All the property owners are responsible for the costs of operating along a BID. Several years ago, I personally contacted every property owner from Avenue Z and East 13th Street to Emmons and Bedford Avenue trying to establish a BID. We held several meetings with City Agencies and we could not get one owner to agree to sign on. A BID has a Director who oversees the day to day management and is responsible for the Holiday decorations.

  • Theresa Scavo

    The reason Kings Highway and Brighton have overhead lights is because they have a BID (Business Improvement District). All the property owners are responsible for the costs of operating along a BID. Several years ago, I personally contacted every property owner from Avenue Z and East 13th Street to Emmons and Bedford Avenue trying to establish a BID. We held several meetings with City Agencies and we could not get one owner to agree to sign on. A BID has a Director who oversees the day to day management and is responsible for the Holiday decorations.

  • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur Borko

    Why weren’t they intrested ?

  • http://Www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur B

    Why weren’t they intrested ?

  • Theresa Scavo

    The property owner is not necessarily the retailer. The owners felt they would not be able to put the full cost of the BID off on the renters. The cost is added to the property owners tax bill so they are the one responsible. Also, many felt there was no need.

  • Theresa Scavo

    The property owner is not necessarily the retailer. The owners felt they would not be able to put the full cost of the BID off on the renters. The cost is added to the property owners tax bill so they are the one responsible. Also, many felt there was no need.

  • Anonymous

    That’s depressing. Used to remember getting off the subway and seeing the lights up. Just assumed it was up this year, but I guess I was focused more on the onslaught of meter maids on Sheepshead Bay Road to notice.

  • Al Knowles

    That’s depressing. Used to remember getting off the subway and seeing the lights up. Just assumed it was up this year, but I guess I was focused more on the onslaught of meter maids on Sheepshead Bay Road to notice.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    I thought that was what Chamber of Commerces were for. Don’t we have one here in Sheepshead Bay anymore?

    • Barkingspider7

      Who is on our Chamber of Commerce now? It used to be John Terrente, Warren Samuels and other useless members. Is John still alive or involved? Warren, the big bone smuggler is dead, who is involved?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001/ Lisanne!

    I thought that was what Chamber of Commerces were for. Don’t we have one here in Sheepshead Bay anymore?

  • http://www.jesusveg.com/index2.html Jesus

    “So, why did Sheepshead Bay Road and Ave U business owners choose to keep the streets so dark this holiday season?”

    A better question is why do you care? If you want decorations, put them up at your home/business. If they don’t want to spend money and civic energy on celebrating the holidays you want celebrated in the way you want them celebrated, more power to them. If someone was to start making noise about me not putting decorations up for some holiday I’d tell them to shove it. What are you, the Sheepshead Bay version of the Taliban?

  • http://www.jesusveg.com/index2.html Jesus

    “So, why did Sheepshead Bay Road and Ave U business owners choose to keep the streets so dark this holiday season?”

    A better question is why do you care? If you want decorations, put them up at your home/business. If they don’t want to spend money and civic energy on celebrating the holidays you want celebrated in the way you want them celebrated, more power to them. If someone was to start making noise about me not putting decorations up for some holiday I’d tell them to shove it. What are you, the Sheepshead Bay version of the Taliban?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    It’s called community spirit. There was a time where these things were done without a second thought. It’s good for local businesses and it’s good for the community at large. As a number of other shopping streets still do this it apparent that they get that point.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001/ Lisanne!

    It’s called community spirit. There was a time where these things were done without a second thought. It’s good for local businesses and it’s good for the community at large. As a number of other shopping streets still do this it apparent that they get that point.

  • S C

    I can’t think of a worse waste of electricity than holiday decorations. Money would be much better spent on something truly meaningful to the community, e.g.: feeding, clothing and housing those without such things. When weighing the two ideas (cheerful lights vs. basic human needs), ask yourself, What Should a Decent Person Do?

  • S C

    I can’t think of a worse waste of electricity than holiday decorations. Money would be much better spent on something truly meaningful to the community, e.g.: feeding, clothing and housing those without such things. When weighing the two ideas (cheerful lights vs. basic human needs), ask yourself, What Should a Decent Person Do?

  • bagels

    I think a decent person, such as myself, wants to enjoy the holiday season with lights and parties and family gatherings. When people are in the holiday spirit they tend to spend more money and are more likely to participate in fund raisers and food/coat drives. That sounds like a good thing.

  • bagels

    I think a decent person, such as myself, wants to enjoy the holiday season with lights and parties and family gatherings. When people are in the holiday spirit they tend to spend more money and are more likely to participate in fund raisers and food/coat drives. That sounds like a good thing.

  • A long time resident of SB

    I think that most of the people that commented on this topic are WRONG. The decorations on Sheepshead Bay road represent many things: the joy of the season; a group of retailers creating a strip mall atmosphere that enticed shoppers to the road; and a community of people that celebrated the season. We can say that any group of us should get together and bring back that spirit – but our retailers have long been the backbone of the bay – do today’s group of retailers even know what Christmas is?

  • A long time resident of SB

    I think that most of the people that commented on this topic are WRONG. The decorations on Sheepshead Bay road represent many things: the joy of the season; a group of retailers creating a strip mall atmosphere that enticed shoppers to the road; and a community of people that celebrated the season. We can say that any group of us should get together and bring back that spirit – but our retailers have long been the backbone of the bay – do today’s group of retailers even know what Christmas is?

  • santa’s hoe

    Most of the stores here in SB are crap anyway.

    • Barkingspider7

      AGREED!!!!

  • santa’s hoe

    Most of the stores here in SB are crap anyway.

  • Susan

    Hank: Plenty of the Russians who own businesses on Avenue U celebrate Chanukah.

  • Susan

    Hank: Plenty of the Russians who own businesses on Avenue U celebrate Chanukah.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    and many of the Chinese businesspeople on Avenue U celebrate Christmas. As do some members of the Russian community.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001/ Lisanne!

    and many of the Chinese businesspeople on Avenue U celebrate Christmas. As do some members of the Russian community.

  • http://www.jesusveg.com/index2.html Jesus

    I don’t think it’s appropriate to tell people what to “celebrate” and how to “celebrate” it.

  • http://www.jesusveg.com/index2.html Jesus

    I don’t think it’s appropriate to tell people what to “celebrate” and how to “celebrate” it.

  • Hank

    We will see how many businesses “celebrate” Christmas. Just walk down Ave U from Coney Island Ave to East 16th St on Christmas Day and see how many stores are celebrating by closing. I don’t there will be even one.

  • Hank

    We will see how many businesses “celebrate” Christmas. Just walk down Ave U from Coney Island Ave to East 16th St on Christmas Day and see how many stores are celebrating by closing. I don’t there will be even one.

  • Ray Johnson

    The overhead decorations on Kings Highway include a menorah. I am absolutely neutral about decorations. I was just stating an observation. That’s all.

  • Ray Johnson

    The overhead decorations on Kings Highway include a menorah. I am absolutely neutral about decorations. I was just stating an observation. That’s all.

  • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

    I may be wrong, as I didn’t write the article, but I think people are missing the point by arguing about which decorations should be up, or if they should be up at all.

    The lack of decorations, as Scavo and others pointed out, illustrates the lack of cooperation/organization between business owners in the area. They don’t seem to see a benefit in it.

    But working together to make a better business district helps in more ways than just holiday lights. It gives them more political clout, for starters, as well as allows them to band together and negotiate better prices for any service they all need (garbage pickup? Insurance? Plastic bags? Lots o’ possibilities…). So the benefits can be direct and obvious.

    But there are also benefits to us. They’d be more likely to work together to hire street sweepers, for example, so we wouldn’t have to live in filth.

    Sheepshead Bay has room for at least 3 BIDs – Ave U, Nostrand Ave, and Sheepshead Bay Rd/Emmons Ave. Neighborhoods around us already have them (Kings Highway, Brighton Beach Ave) – why shouldn’t we?

  • http://www.NedBerke.com Ned Berke

    I may be wrong, as I didn’t write the article, but I think people are missing the point by arguing about which decorations should be up, or if they should be up at all.

    The lack of decorations, as Scavo and others pointed out, illustrates the lack of cooperation/organization between business owners in the area. They don’t seem to see a benefit in it.

    But working together to make a better business district helps in more ways than just holiday lights. It gives them more political clout, for starters, as well as allows them to band together and negotiate better prices for any service they all need (garbage pickup? Insurance? Plastic bags? Lots o’ possibilities…). So the benefits can be direct and obvious.

    But there are also benefits to us. They’d be more likely to work together to hire street sweepers, for example, so we wouldn’t have to live in filth.

    Sheepshead Bay has room for at least 3 BIDs – Ave U, Nostrand Ave, and Sheepshead Bay Rd/Emmons Ave. Neighborhoods around us already have them (Kings Highway, Brighton Beach Ave) – why shouldn’t we?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1643980010 Marie Friedman

    haha
    it is the same at Kings Plaza at Christmastime
    I think they are afraid of “offending” someone
    I solve that issue myself – I will only shop at places that are festive – if you cannot respect that people celebrate Christmas and Chanukah, then I cannot respect your business. PERIOD

  • Soupy

    Sheepshead Bay Road businesses are owned mostly by the Russian Jewish. For some reason, they don’t want to spend money. It would kill them to put up lights for Hanukah and Christmas. These business owners just don’t care about anything if it doesn’t put money in their pockets.