Archive for the 'Bits & Pieces' Category

Bill Murray hanging out with some Avenue U fans (Photo courtesy of Dominick Arabia)

Bill Murray (center, back row) hanging out with some Avenue U fans (Photo courtesy of Dominick Arabia)

The odds of Bill Murray moving to Southern Brooklyn might be growing as long as people like Dominick Arabia and his family keep up the friendly community relations.

Previously, we reported on the exciting Murray activity near Avenue U as he is filming the movie St. Vincent with stars Naomi Watts, Melissa McCarthy, and Chris O’Dowd. Reader Dominick Arabia sent us the following message on his interaction with Murray that led to the photo presented above:

[Bill Murray] was shooting his new movie on Avenue U in Brooklyn yesterday 08/18/2013. It was great, as Bill and Niami Watts had their campers parked 10 feet from my home on East 16th . At the end of the day, Bill Murray was returning back to his camper and came directly over to my home where my family and some of my kids friends were sitting outside on our porch. Bill came over and said hello. He said to us that he really liked our house and was admiring the brick work. We said thank you, and asked if we can get a picture with him. He replied, how about if I sit with you guys on the stoop, and had his security person who was also great, take pictures of all of us sitting on our porch. Bill was wonderful, after a long day of work to take the time to sit with some fans like a regular guy. He spoke with my wife Carmela, and both my sons, Michael and Marcello along with my son’s girlfriend  Stephanie and all my son’s friends. It was a great 15 minutes or so with Bill and a memorable evening for all of us as fans.

I am a HUGE Bill Murray fan, like millions of others, and it pleases me to no end to learn how cool and down to earth the man is in real life. Thanks for the picture and the story, Dominick. I am officially pumped up to see St. Vincent now.

Photo Courtesy of John Landers

Photo Courtesy of John Landers

Reader John Landers sent us a picture of Jamaica Bay that might take you back in time. The image was taken in 1963 and is of the Columbia, part of a ferry/excursion fleet that used to sail from Sheepshead Bay to Breezy Point and the Rockaways. Landers noted that the shot of the Columbia was in front of an open Cross Bay Bridge. I’m guessing that this was before the bridge became ‘fixed in place’ by 1970.

Anyone remember riding this ferry or ones like it? Let us know.

Repinned via Joanne Mustacchio

Source: Joanne Mustacchio via Pinterest

Any grownups in the area remember running around Peter Pan Playland as kids? It was a kiddie park located at 2609 Emmons Avenue where the unforgettable antics of Johnny Jellybean were frequently on display. Johnny, as shown above, was performed by Bill Britten, who went on to be the world’s most famous clown when he became television’s Bozo the Clown.

Reader John Landers sent us this photo of a genuine Peter Pan Playland ticket that granted access to the Little Dipper.

Photo courtsy of John Landers

Photo courtesy of John Landers


There’s not much info available online about the mini amusement park. We did find this legal brief from when Peter Pan’s owners sought to establish some parking on the site, which reveals that the owner acquired a block-sized vacant lot in 1948, and “installed children’s amusement devices and refreshment facilities” in June of 1954. The lot had split zoning, with the Emmons Avenue portion zoned for retail and the remainder for residential. In 1960, the owner wanted to create a parking lot for visitors, a request that was denied by the Board of Standards and Appeals (today, the concept of the BSA denying anything seems quite quaint). Our guess is without parking or permission to add amusements to the residential section, Peter Pan struggled. A commenter on the Coney Island message board notes that the location moved from Emmons Avenue to Knapp Street at some point before vanishing completely.

How was this place? The next best thing to Never Never Land? Inform us younger folk who never knew of its splendor, and share photos if you’ve got them.

Delicious Money (Source: Tax Credits via Flickr)

Delicious Money (Source: Tax Credits via Flickr)

A million dollar lotto ticket was sold right here in Sheepshead Bay last week. Woohoo! Hooray! …sigh…

On the July 31 Powerball drawing results webpage, one second place ticket was sold at the Bayside Mini Mart (3119 Emmons Avenue). The lucky winner, not yet identified, represents the second millionaire from Southern Brooklyn minted in the past few weeks. The first lucky fellow was James Geoghan, a Midwood resident, who scratched his way to $5 million big ones after purchasing a golden ticket from the Krish Card Shop (1619 Avenue U).

In the article I wrote about Geoghan, I ‘expertly’ pontificated that Geoghan’s win made it unlikely that anyone from Southern Brooklyn was likely to win any kind of massive jackpot anytime soon. Clearly, Fortuna, the Roman Goddess of Luck and Fate, read my article and decided to mess with me. So, hopefully for the rest of you, my continued lack of respect for the Greco-Roman gods will make you rich and me increasingly bitter. You’re welcome.

By the way, the  Powerball jackpot has now reached $400 million, so if you win after reading this, do the right thing and send a few dollars to me Sheepshead Bites [Corrected by editor]. Please?

Avenue Z between E. 7 St and Coney Island Avenue (Source

Avenue Z between East 7 Street and Coney Island Avenue (Photo via Allan Shweky)

Sheepshead Bites reader and Friends of Ocean Parkway blogger Allan Shweky sent us this photo of Avenue Z between East 7 Street and Coney Island Avenue with the following message:

Here’s a pic that I shot using my new telephoto lens. Sign congestion.  There are over 30 signs of every type, shape and size on both sides of Avenue Z between E. 7 St and Coney Island Avenue. Feel safer crossing CIA?

Good question Allan.

Photo Courtesy Of Kathleen Higgins

Photo Courtesy Of Kathleen Higgins

Who sculpted this masterpiece of sand? Nobody knows, but loyal Sheepshead Bites reader Kathleen Higgins sent us this cool image of a sand castle assembled on the Kingsborough Community College beach.

Kathleen was told that this mighty empire of sand once had intricate steps, walls and other features before the forces of Mother Nature began to take their toll, exactly like Jimi Hendrix predicted all those years ago.

Thanks for the pictures, Kathleen!

Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Higgins

Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Higgins

'merica (courtesy of

‘merica (courtesy of

The staff of Sheepshead Bites and Bensonhurst Bean wishes all our readers a very happy and safe Fourth of July! Enjoy your hot dogs, fireworks and freedom!

We’ll see you tomorrow, because we’re taking the day off. Because… ‘merica!

Source: Peter Nijenhuis/Flickr

Seems we’ve been having an awful lot of rainy days lately, especially as Tropical Storm Andrea whipped up more wet weather, including some record-breaking rainfall in the northeast.

I, for one, prefer sitting at home with a fine glass of bourbon and a good movie or ten, rather than trying to drudge through mucky New York City streets. But, then, I don’t have kids nor do I get cage crazy. If I did, I’d probably have to put on my big-boy-britches and keep busy.

So that got me thinking: what are the top rainy day activities in Sheepshead Bay, for kids or adults?

Whether it’s hitting a favorite restaurant or bar, taking in a movie, or getting the kids over to the plaster-and-paint shop, we want to know how you handle rainy days. Let us know in the comments!

Oh, and of course, it’s an open thread. So feel free to stray from the topic.

Awww (Source: MTAPhotos via flickr)

Awww (Source: MTAPhotos via flickr)

In what invariably amounts to the MTA’s cutest press release ever, the Transit Authority has announced that six Peregine Falcon chicks have hatched this past month on top of both the Throngs Neck Bridge and the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge.

According to the MTA release, the hatching of the baby falcon’s marks the 30th anniversary of the MTA Bridge and Tunnels’ participation with the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s nesting program. The MTA described the chicks, their homes and how they help the birds.

The newest MTA peregrines include two males and a female at Marine Parkway Bridge and two females and a male at the Throgs Neck Bridge. The Marine Parkway peregrine chicks hatched 215-feet atop the bridge’s Rockaway tower and the Throgs Neck chicks hatched 360-feet on the bridge’s Bronx tower.

“Other than providing the nesting box, our primary goal during mating season and until the chicks leave the nest is to stay out of their way,” said Marine Parkway Maintenance Superintendent Carlton Cyrus. There are no other costs associated with housing the peregrines.

That’s all very nice, but who cares, lets just enjoy more ridiculously cute images of the baby falcons courtesy of the MTA.

Adorable (Source: MTAPhotos via flickr)

Adorable (Source: MTAPhotos via flickr)

Fuzzy Head (Source: MTAPhotos via flickr)

Fuzzy Head (Source: MTAPhotos via flickr)

The Proud Papa Falcon (Source: MTAPhotos via flickr)

The Proud Papa Falcon (Source: MTAPhotos via flickr)

Photo By Kathleen Higgins

Photo By Kathleen Higgins

Have you ever noticed water this shallow in Sheepshead Bay? Well, these swans found a sand bar to rest their feet. Reader Kathleen Higgins speculates that the sand bars formed due to Superstorm Sandy’s redistribution of resources in the water. She is hoping that sailors be wary of these newly shallow waters.

Just more evidence that Sheepshead Bay needs dredging immediately.

Thanks for the photos Kathleen!

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