Author Archive

“Sustenance for the Inner Man.” Source: U.S. National Archives

This guy is the man.

Before the days of diet fads and any invasive food control by governments (we’re lookin’ at you, soda ban), you could get ice-cream floats the size of your head. Those were the days.

This is by Arthur Tress, who is better known for his iconic photos of polluted beaches and waterways for the federal Environmental Protection Agency. This is part of the EPA series, but it appears Tress took a break to enjoy the Sheepshead Bay art show on Emmons Avenue.

Say, anyone recognize the guy?

Sandy relief at Shorefront Y. Source: Shorefront Y

The Shorefont YM-YWHA (3300 Coney Island Avenue) is a neighborhood organization that’s rising to the challenge of continuous local disaster recovery in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. Currently, they’re responsible for everything from assigning volunteer contractors, to repairing homes and giving out food, to translating complicated government forms.

Shorefront Y Director Sue Fox has been busy not just with addressing the needs of Sandy victims, but with taking a “peek ahead” at future disasters and positioning the organization to be a major preparedness and relief hub for Southern Brooklyn.

Find out what the non-profit is planning.

Mosque construction in February. Photo by nolastname.

Voices of NY article reveals a major change in local demographics within the next 30 years.

It states:

According to the Faiths and Freedom Project for Religious Diversity of CUNY’s Macaulay Honors College, ‘Within 20 to 30 years the Russian Jewish – or WWII generation – will have lost its dominant status as a majority in Brighton Beach.’

The article goes on to highlight the demographic change from the Russian-Jewish population to a Pakistani-Muslim majority.

The influx that started in the 90′s is poised to grow. A 2000 U.S. Census counted 960 Pakistanis in the neighborhood. Ten years later, the population increased to 1,901, which is a 98 percent increase.

“When I came here 23 years [ago], there were very few Pakistani people and no mosques,” said Abdul R. Bhatti, in the article. “Now there are three mosques – a Pakistani one, a Lebanese and a Turkic.”

Local leaders state that they are working hard to build bridges between the two communities.

“We have worked hard to develop stronger relations with the other communities of Brighton Beach,” said Susan Fox, executive director of the Shorefront YM-YWHA.

Fox said the Shorefront YM-YWHA had a lot of connection to the Russian-speaking community and knew how to reach out to the Latino population, but had little experience with the Pakistani community, which is concentrated around Neptune Avenue. Thus one of the organization’s main priorities is to establish relations with the Muslim population and help as many people as possible.

“We have no problems with the other people here,” said Rasid Tauquir, a Pakistani resident. “We all live here – together.”

Now would someone tell these people?

Source: Helena F. via Yelp

Maple Lanes, the beloved Bensonhurst bowling alley that has stood at 1570 60th Street for over four decades is due to close.

At the public hearing to discuss the status of the bowling alley and the proposed construction projects to be erected in its place, Borough President Marty Markowitz put forth several suggestions that would either keep the bowling alley open for a longer period of time or create a new bowling alley in a different location to take its place.

One such suggestion on the table deals with potential overcrowding of Shell Lanes at 1 Bouck Court in Gravesend, the only bowling alley left in the nearby area.

According to the notes from the hearing, Markowitz believes that when Maple Lanes closes, patrons may come to Shell Lanes to continue league tournaments and recreational bowling. However, Shell Lanes does not have any off-street parking to accommodate an influx of people.

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With the motto, “No Neighbor Left Behind,” the Bay Improvement Group, along with Sheepshead Bay Plumb Beach Civic Association, Occupy Sandy and volunteers, has called another 7 p.m. Block Captains meeting for this Wednesday, December 5, at Roll ‘n’ Roaster (2901 Emmons Avenue).

The purpose of the meeting is to bring the “needs of Sheepshead Bay residents affected by Hurricane Sandy to the attention of public and private sources of support, and accelerate the pace of relief and recovery.”

They write on their announcement, “Please come if you would like to represent your block, relay the needs of your neighbors, and bring info back to them.”

Those who cannot attend but wish to make their situations known are asked to complete a survey that assesses the status of homes and any immediate needs for demolition, trash removal and any other services. The form can be found here:

A nurse at work at the Coney Island Hospital Urgent Care Center.

Though the staff and administration at Coney Island Hospital (2601 Ocean Parkway) continue on the arduous road of repairing the hospital after Superstorm Sandy, they have announced the opening of their Urgent Care Center.

An important note is that the Urgent Care Center is not an emergency room. The center cannot treat true emergencies and no patients will be admitted. They do not have functioning X-ray machines, MRIs or food services.

Thus, the staff requests that you call 9-1-1 if an individual is severely injured or suffering serious or life-threatening issues. The Urgent Care Center is for less serious injuries and will send true emergency cases to another hospital, which could cost valuable care time.

The Urgent Care Center can be accessed through the East 6th Street entrance.

Here is what the hospital currently offers:

  • Available for adult and pediatric patients 24/7
  • Available for obstetric patients from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. (prior to 8 p.m., patients can visit the OB/GYN clinic in Tower 107)
  • Pediatric clinic services are available in Tower 105 24/7
  • OB/GYN clinic services are available in Tower 107 24/7
  • Limited Medical Clinic Services are being offered on Tower 2 West, Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please call (718) 794-5912 for further information regarding Medical Clinic Services.
  • Limited Medical Specialty Services are being offered on Tower 2 East, Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please call (718) 794 – 5911 for further information regarding Medical Specialty Services.

Patients already receiving Mental Health Services at Coney Island Hospital are presently being seen in Hammett Building as follows:

  • Chemical Dependency (4th floor in the Hammett) from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Adult and Children Outpatient Services (2nd and 4th floor Hammett) on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday: 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call Mental Health Services at (718) 319-2994.

Rehab Services are being offered on Tower T8E, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (by appointment only).

Further contacts for the various services are:

  • Physical Therapy contact: (718) 616-3922
  • Occupational Therapy contact: (718) 616 – 3961
  • Rehab Consultation contact: (718) 616 – 4052

If you have an urgent need to renew a prescription, please come to the Coney Island Hospital Tower Building, 1st floor with your medication bottles. The phone numbers for prescription refills are (718) 794-6712 and (718) 794-6641.

UPDATE (12/6/2012): Coney Island Hospital has just expanded its offerings at the Urgent Care Center. They write:

A separate radiology location will have the capability to perform portable X-rays and sonograms.   A mobile CT scan has been installed adjacent to the Urgent Care Center. For radiology orders, escorts will transport the patient from their bed to the radiology suite. Results will be promptly read by an on-site radiologist.

Stella Angel with her daughter (center) and neighborhood girls in front of their Sheepshead Bay Road storefront.

Click to enlarge.

When Arielle Angel’s grandmother, Stella, passed away, she wrote the obituary. Angel, a Brooklyn-based writer, didn’t plan for a home for the obituary. It was written for family and close friends. When the obituary landed in our inbox, it found a home.

Stella Angel lived in Sheepshead Bay. She owned and operated a local grocery with her husband, David Angel here. She raised a family at East 6th Street and Avenue Z because her own extended family, the Rosas, all lived within walking distance.

Their store, Bay Food Market, was bought from a guy named Mario. No one seems to recall his last name now.

It stood across the street from Dan’s Supreme, a larger supermarket that could have put the mom-and-pop bodega out of business. Instead, the two groceries competed for customers. For years, the Angels engaged in price wars and forewent but little profit. They almost always set their closing time an hour later than Dan’s.

My grandmother, Stella Angel, who lived and worked in Sheepshead Bay from the time of her immigration to the United States in 1952 until her retirement in the early 1980s, died in her sleep last Saturday morning. She was 93-years-old.

She was born Stella Rosa in Salonika, Greece, in 1920, the middle child of five in a middle-class family. Like all of the Rosa men, her father was a butcher. Salonika was a unique Jewish community; its members were descendants of those who had fled the Spanish Inquisition, and they still kept a medieval dialect of Spanish called Ladino as their language.

Keep reading Arielle’s touching obituary

Source: Anne F.

This photo was snapped by a reader who writes:

I snapped this photo on Friday. I’m standing on the cement path leading up to the beach and I’m looking back at the Riis Park paring lot filled with debris from homes destroyed by Sandy.
The mountain of waste stands as an ominous reminder of everything that people lost. In many cases, it was everything. No plans have been revealed as to where the city plans to dispose of the excess garbage, which was once prized by its owners.

Leave it to local puppeteers, media makers and general creatives behind Glove and Boots and We Lost Our Gold to come up with a treasure map too outlandish for their fans to decipher and too good not to eventually dig up themselves. Only, they didn’t keep the money they buried, they donated it to Hurricane Sandy victims.

Vincent Bova and Damien Eckhardt-Jacobi buried $10,000 in one-dollar coins from their own savings in a treasure chest as a promotional stunt for their puppeteering projects in 2009. They released videos with puppet pirates and a ninja revealing details of the hiding place. After no one claimed the treasure, Bova and Eckhardt-Jacobi decided to donate it to Sandy victims in the Rockaways.

On their We Lost Our Gold site, the duo proclaim their love for the city. It’s no wonder they wanted to give their booty away. They write:

Oh, and PLEASE don’t just start digging all over NYC. We love this city, and don’t want unnecessary holes popping up everywhere. When you’ve found the treasure, you’ll know it.

The site gained thousands of eager visitors, but no one was able to figure out the location of the goods. The too-complicated clues included mentions of a “flying birdie,” which in puppet-pirate speak is actually a reference to the planes flying overhead from John F. Kennedy International Airport.

“We definitely didn’t make it easy,” Bova said to the New York Times. “I had the feeling it would take time for somebody to find it, and from what I’ve seen on the internet, people got close.”

Bova and Eckhardt-Jacobi called in their friend, music man for the videos and voice of the pirate parrot, Jim Trewell, to help them dig. Turns out, the treasure was buried near Floyd Bennett Field, just across the bridge from the some of the hardest hit areas in the Rockaways.

When the three arrived at the spot the treasure was last seen, they realized that the hurricane had changed the landscape. The trees that led the way to the treasure were gone and the trails had washed away. The treasure that so many others had failed to find could have been lost forever.

Eventually, the group found the skull and crossbones they had nailed to a tree three years ago. They took the coins in their backpacks and brought them to Lava Girl Surf, a surf school located in the Rockaways that became a makeshift disaster relief center after the storm.

Davina Greene, a staffer at the school, was overjoyed to hear of the donation. Then, according to Bova, after he told her what the donation was really, “She started laughing hysterically.”

The work of the puppeteers has not gone unnoticed. Their Glove and Boots site has been nominated for a Webby Award, they’ve been covered in numerous publications and their fans have grown significantly. Maybe, they’ll have to have another, even more extravagant promotional stunt, but maybe something with easier to understand clues.

Source: P.S. 254

The teachers and students at P.S. 254 Dag Hammarskjold School really really want music class. They want it so bad that they’ve decided to enter to win the “Power A Bright Future” grant from Clorox.

The money would be spent on a music class for all of the students once a week. So far, the school ranks at number 61 in the votes.

Here’s what the school writes in their grant entry:

Our school is located in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn, New York. We serve approximately 700 children in Pre-K to Grade 5. We have a very diverse student population with many being English-Language Learners. Due to an ever shrinking budget, our school has a severely limited music program. The music teacher is here only 2 days a week and a majority of the students are left without music.

The Clorox Grant will enable all of our students to have music at least once a week. We can promote respect and celebrate each other’s traditions and customs through a comprehensive music program. Young children are especially sensitive to music that communicates feelings, emotions, and pleasant imagery. This grant will greatly impact our students by promoting self-esteem, and developing a deeper cognitive awareness through exploring, sharing, and identifying cultural similarities and differences. Musical instruction has proven to positively influence student achievement in all curriculum areas. It has also proven to be a very effective incentive for children to work hard. Music is a universal language that fosters self expression. Without the children knowing it, they will be learning while having fun. It is a win-win situation.

Visit the website to vote for P.S. 254 or text 1164pbf to 95248. Remember, it’s for the children.

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