Sheepshead Bites' Top 10 Stories Of 2010

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My favorite photo of 2010. In just 10 hours, the year is as over as this fish.

With 2011 just hours away, it’s time for Sheepshead Bites’ Top 10 list. It’s been a huge year, too. We had mosques, garbage, plows and concerts. Television shows and meeting videos and movie theater shutdowns (not to mention bed bugs!). It was the year of dead bodies found floating in the Bay, disastrous storms and douchebag eyeglass retailers.

It was also the year Sheepshead Bites was named Best Local Blog in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and was put on a list of most promising local news initiatives nationwide.

It’s been a good year.

We’ve gone through the site’s statistics for 2010 and discovered that these 10 stories snagged the most eyes from those in the neighborhood and beyond.

Asser-Levy Seaside Summer Concerts

Thousands of people from across the tri-state area turned to Sheepshead Bites, as it became the first outlet to publish the 2010 lineup for Marty Markowitz’s seaside bash. We uncovered the lineup in pieces, starting with Neil Sedaka and Brenda Lee, and eventually we were the first to announce headliners like John Legend, Belinda Carlisle and the B-52s.

Go To Hell Mayor Bloomberg (and other blizzard coverage)

Since this has been going on this week, it probably doesn’t need a recap. But our outrage at the storm resonated with residents across the city and was picked up by news media as far away as London. And my damn street still has not been plowed. What’s a guy gotta do?

‘Brighton Beach’ Reality Show, a.k.a. ‘Russian Jersey Shore’

Sheepshead Bites was the first to discover the casting call for the planned series, just five days old at the time. Since then, it has been picked up by Lifetime and has been shooting all over the neighborhood. Our coverage – which included the first interview with the show’s producers – was so good Perez Hilton sought fit to plagiarize a quote from us.

Gerritsen Beach Halloween Chaos

What can we say? Some people are just gaawbage. After local teens were busted wreaking havoc on their neighborhood by GerritsenBeach.net, their parents went ape-shit on… well… on the blogger for exposing them. That’s right, not the kids. The blogger. When Sheepshead Bites was the only one with a camera running at Gerritsen Beach Property Owners’ Association meeting, where blogger Danny Cavanagh came to answer questions from parents, we caught the barrage of insults, accusations and threats tossed his way by upset parents.

Songwriter Pays Homage to Brooklyn

Singer/songwriter Annika Vitolo, a native of Marine Park/Gerritsen Beach, composed this amazing homage to Brooklyn – with a heavy focus on its southern reaches – in a spin off of Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind.”  Though made in 2009, we came across it in April and it has remained a hit ever since. It continues to draw significant traffic through Facebook and Twitter sharing, proving once again – Brooklyn’s got heart.

Kings Plaza Movie Theaters to Close

We reported on the closing of Kings Plaza 6, the movie theaters at our infamous mall, back in January. The closure left the Sheepshead Bay United Artists as one of Southern Brooklyn’s only major movie theaters – and, with that – totally unpleasant to go see a movie in.

Royal Crown Day Care Opens… Then Closes

Parents were outraged to discover a slew of violations about Royal Crown Day Care, a new large facility that opened on Avenue Y near Coney Island Avenue. After a stunning 12 inspections, Health Department officials shut them down for unqualified teachers, improper maintenance of records, inadequate staff-to-child ratios and more. Sheepshead Bites later discovered that the center went seven months without a city-registered director, and many staffers had not had required background checks. Royal Crown’s owner recently commented on Sheepshead Bites that he will soon open a new “child profit center.”

Sheepshead Bay High School May Close

The city recently decided to keep Sheepshead Bay High School and nearby Dewey High School open for at least another year, though the principal of Sheepshead Bay H.S. is fighting to keep her job. But when we first reported that the school was at risk of closing, parents, students, faculty and alumni were beside themselves. We’ll see what 2011 has in store for the neighborhood institution, which faces major restructuring challenges.

Sheepshead Bay Mosque

We first brought to light opposition to the planned Voorhies Avenue Islamic Cultural Center – a.k.a. the Sheepshead Bay mosque – in January. But the story kept moving forward as opponents – and proponents – held rally after rally after rally. The plans were approved in October, then pulled for additional review the next day, and then approved again the day after that. Opponents vow a fight in 2011, and have submitted challenges to the zoning.

Hell House Once Belonged To Famed Cartoonist

The run down house at 1811 Voorhies Avenue has been a local curiosity for as long as I can remember. Its massive columns hinted at a previous magnificence locals could only imagine. Shortly after upset tenants vandalized the property, scrawling “Welcome to Hell” and “Bedbugs Paradise” in spray paint, we rediscovered the building’s lost history. It is the former home of Windsor McCay, one of America’s pioneering cartoonists and the grandfather of animation. A fire did some major damage to the property after our discovery, and it was recently gutted for renovation into a two-family home. The property owner promises to keep the columns and the aesthetic, and we hope some of the historical value is preserved.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=195100291 Randy Contello

    it was one hel lof a year for the area, and 2011 will be another

  • BayResident

    It’s been a good year indeed.

    I can honestly say that, although I may not post often, since discovering Sheepshead Bites in its early days it has become the first site I check every morning and has given me an indescribable new appreciation for our community.

    Ned – all I can say is thank you. I wish you the very best of luck with Sheepshead Bites and all of your other endeavors. I don’t know how often you hear this, but you sir have really had an impact on this community. I’m sure that I am not the only one that has had my eyes opened to the wonders of Sheepshead Bay through this site, and that, along with an increased incentive to get involved is what will continue to drive Sheepshead Bay to be one of the best neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

    Speaking of thank you’s, how about a Paypal donation button somewhere on the site. I’m sure there are at least a few people on here who would be willing to show their support and pay for a beer or two for you. Just saying.

    Happy New Year Ned, the Sheepshead Bites Community, and Sheepshead Bay as a whole!

    • nolastname

      I piggy back.
      Ned, (you have had an impact) many of the wrongs in this area need to be posted.
      You have changed attitudes and given us food for thought.
      An informed community at least has the option to participate in it’s change.
      Thank you for the opportunity to meet in person some very nice people.
      The comments, posts, and people that make them are all appreciated.
      And…I became a poet. LOL
      Please do go for the paypal (not paypaul) button, I think it’s a great suggestion.
      A button for Streets of Brooklyn would be nice too.
      All the best to you and yours. Happy, Healthy New Year to you and ALL.
      Mmmuuah.

    • nolastname

      I piggy back.
      Ned, (you have had an impact) many of the wrongs in this area need to be posted.
      You have changed attitudes and given us food for thought.
      An informed community at least has the option to participate in it’s change.
      Thank you for the opportunity to meet in person some very nice people.
      The comments, posts, and people that make them are all appreciated.
      And…I became a poet. LOL
      Please do go for the paypal (not paypaul) button, I think it’s a great suggestion.
      A button for Streets of Brooklyn would be nice too.
      All the best to you and yours. Happy, Healthy New Year to you and ALL.
      Mmmuuah.

  • Jal5503

    thank you for all your hard work keeping this going……..happy new year !

  • Julie K

    Happy New Year “Bites” !!! Hoping for more stories, comments in 2011 !!!

  • AuldLangSyne

    No Mas! STOP THE MOSQUE!
    No Quran is Sheepshead Bay!
    Remember the wise sayings of the holy Quran (http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/quran/005.qmt.html#005.065)

    “From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them, with enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the day of judgment. And soon will Allah show them what it is they have done. “

  • nolastname

    Back to the article, WTG Ned. LOL

  • Annika Vitolo

    Ooh I made it to #5?! I am so honored & grateful! Thanks Ned & staff! Go Brooklyn!