Archive for the 'News & Features' Category

Golden Hour at El Greco

As we mournfully bid “αντίο” — that’s Greek for “Auf Wiedersehen” — to our friends at El Greco Diner, and further lament the long bygone days of other legendary neighborhood dinerial establishments such as Ray & Shy’s Flame Restaurant (aka “The Flame,” where my parents went on their first date back in 1970), the Foursome, which made the finest U-bet’s egg creams on God’s green earth, and my personal favorite, New Clements, of blessed memory… let us remember the good times and turn toward the future.

With tomorrow’s pending closure of El Greco, our little corner of the world grows ever more bereft of places to get disco fries at 2 in the morning.

However, once the mourning period for El Greco concludes (and really, does it ever?), there is no reason, after a night out of marathon bar-crawling celebrating that much-deserved promotion, why you should deny your hypothalamus and grumbling belly the greasy, dopamine-skritching, artery-gorging deliciousness that is two eggs sunny side up, crispy home fries, sizzling bacon, and a piping hot black cuppa joe.

Well, I have great news for all you intrepid foodies: You can still have those things… just, after Friday, not at El Greco. If you’re a local diner fiend looking to get your greasy spoon on, do like Elizabeth Taylor once said and “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together… and check out Sheepshead Bites’ roundup of some neighborhood diners to help fill the gaping void that El Greco will leave in our broken hearts forever.”

Okay, she didn’t really say that last part, but still… check out our roundup of local diners and diner-style eateries below. I checked out the user comments for all these places on Yelp, some of which were profoundly bizarre. In lieu of my own opinions (because I haven’t actually been to a couple of these places), I chose the more illustrious comments on Yelp. They speak for themselves.

Read our full roundup of eight Sheepshead Bay-area diners to get your fill.

Rendering of CIH's new Ida G. Israel Medical Center.

Rendering of CIH’s new Ida G. Israel Community Health Center. Source: CIH

Coney Island Hospital (CIH) is all set to reopen its Ida G. Israel Community Health Center in Coney Island this spring.

The building, pictured above, will be constructed at a new address located at 2925 West 19th Street. The original clinic – which provided crucial healthcare access to residents on the West End of Coney Island – was wiped out by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

“The community on the West End of Coney Island has been without healthcare service for two years, and CIH is excited to provide healthcare service in an area where it is needed most,” said Malorie Ginsberg, a spokesperson for CIH.

Prior to Sandy, the Ida G. Israel clinic provided health, dental, and drug rehabilitation services to approximately 40,000 patients per year, many of them on medicaid or uninsured. For the last two years, West End residents have been trekking to CIH, which is difficult to access by mass transit and is separated from the West End by the Belt Parkway and a large bus depot.

As we reported last year, CIH was initially searching for higher ground on which to rebuild the clinic, to ensure that it would not be destroyed by floodwaters again, but instead the hospital has opted to build the new clinic with a raised floor foundation.

“When deciding where to rebuild the new Ida G. Israel Community Health Center, CIH attempted to find a vacant 2nd floor of an existing building in the West End, but was unable to find a vacant 2nd floor location. The best option was to build a new structure above the 100-year flood plain,” said Ginsberg. “The new Ida G. Israel location is the closest location to the West End community that was available.”

But don’t expect to see any construction at the new address for several months. The modular structure is being built by contractors in Pennsylvania, and when it is complete, the building will be delivered in parts and reassembled at the site, Ginsberg told us. Currently, the exterior brick phase is 60 percent complete, the interior walls are completely framed out, and the mechanical and electrical work is well underway.

Source: CIH

Construction on the new Ida G. Israel Community Health Center. Source: CIH

Source: Flickr/yourdon

Source: yourdon/Flickr

The city has approved a plan to replace a total of 7,600 outdated pay phone booths with sleek public WiFi kiosks in all five boroughs, including 586 in Brooklyn that will be completed by 2019.

The city’s Franchise and Concession Review Committee signed an updated version of their contract with LinkNYC Wednesday – which initially proposed a two-tier system for rich and poor neighborhoods – following a push from City Comptroller Scott Stringer to provide more equitable distribution of high-speed WiFi access throughout the city. (It was not the first time the city faced criticism for inequitable distribution of public WiFi locations.)

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports:

The LinkNYC system is funded by advertising revenue. As originally proposed, ad-supported kiosks in wealthy neighborhoods, mostly in Manhattan, would average super-fast Internet speeds of 1 gigabit — ten times faster than kiosks in most locations in the outer boroughs.

This disparity fed into concerns Stringer has expressed about unequal access to the Internet across New York City, as described in a Dec. 7 report.

The new contract increases the number of ad-supported hotspots throughout the city, and also requires more transparency and communication with communities about the locations of kiosks and performance issues.

Stringer expressed approval for the new plan yesterday.

“LinkNYC’s proposal to put high speed WiFi kiosks throughout the City will not by itself eliminate the digital divide, but marks an important step toward bridging that gap,” he said in a statement. “Just as the subways powered New York’s growth in the 20th century, high-speed broadband will drive our City’s economic competitiveness in the 21st century — and we need to make sure all our neighborhoods have the tools to meet that future.”

Here’s a map of the projected WiFi coverage, via I Quant NY:

Source: Hanukkah-gifts.com

Source: Hanukkah-gifts.com

This evening at sundown (4:13pm) will begin the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah — aka Chanukah, or חֲנֻכָּה — the joyous eight-day “Festival of Lights,” which recalls the miracle of the oil and ancient rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the revolt of the Maccabees. You can learn more about Hanukkah by going here or here.

A reminder to readers who mistakenly think that Hanukkah is the Jewish Christmas because there are presents involved: It’s not. But yay, presents! What does that mean for you? Well, all parking regulations, including metered parking and alternate side of the street parking, remain in effect; garbage collection continues as usual; the post office and other government offices will be open, and (drum roll): you still have work on Wednesday.

To all of our readers: Sheepshead Bites wishes you a warm and festive Hanukkah. And Erica, the author of this post who for some reason decided to break into third person, wants you to send her more Morning Mug photos to photos [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com!

Happy Hanukkah, everyone!

Loyal Friend Television
Beginning in 2015, New York will ban curbside disposal of certain electronic equipment, including computers, televisions, video game consoles, iPods, and more.

Part of the New York State Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act, which was enacted in 2010 with a goal of keeping potentially harmful electronics out of the waste stream and be recycled or reused instead. Rolled out in phases, manufacturers, retailers, and other large-scale operations were the first to comply, and now the ban will cover all individuals and households as well.

That means there’s no more leaving a TV (or many other items — see the full list here) out on the street with a clever note, because if none of your neighbors take it home, you could be subject to a fine of up to $100 for each item.

So here are your other options:

  • Your building can collect them: If you’ve got 10 or more apartments, there’s a free pick-up service.
  • Retail drop-off: Goodwill, Salvation Army, Best Buy, Staples, or the Gowanus E-Waste Warehouse. Check out the map for locations and more info:

elgreco

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI): Here are some of the big stories you may have missed this week. You can keep up with what’s going on in the neighborhood all week long. Just follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for our daily newsletter. If you have any news tips, story ideas, questions or anything else, e-mail us at editor [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

After a busy week, here’s a chance to catch up on some of the news happening outside of our neighborhood! We’ve pulled together some of our favorite recent stories from our site and our sister sites, as well as some other fascinating pieces that are worth a read this weekend:

Motown legend Diana Ross will perform the inaugural concert at the revitalized Kings Theatre. [Ditmas Park Corner]

Relax, the Pavilion theater is not becoming condos…just yet. [South Slope News]

A former PS 249 teacher was charged with sexually abusing nine elementary school students. [KensingtonBK]

Tea Lounge to close after 14 years in business. [Park Slope Stoop]

Classic Bath Beach luncheonette is ditching the booths and expanding its grocery to adapt to changing demographics. [Bensonhurst Bean]

Clinton Hill residents debate the city’s redesign of Putnam Triangle Plaza. [Fort Greene Focus]

As the city begins construction to replace Coney Island boardwalk with concrete, Councilman Mark Treyger moves to make it a scenic landmark. [BB]

With beers & cheers, neighbors fight for affordable housing in Ditmas Park. [DPC]

Barclays sports fans rejoice while neighbors complain about new bar coming to Flatbush Ave. [PSS]

Kitchenware and design store Knife and Spork opened on Myrtle Avenue. [FGF]

Parks takes the fun out of parks by welding spinning disks still. [SSN]

Hunger Pang is named one of Brooklyn’s hottest restaurants. [DPC]

A look at the digital divide in Brooklyn. [KensingtonBK]

Curling: It’s not just for the 1800s. [New York Times]

As those British royals were hanging out in Barclays, a huge protest was going on outside. [Gothamist]

Barclays has racked up a slew of federal and city building violations. [New York Post]

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for our daily newsletter. If you have any news tips, story ideas, questions or anything else, e-mail us at editor [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

Cherry Hill-Lundy's Grand Opening

Cherry Hill opened in 2009. Photo by Ray Johnson.

(UPDATE: 3:30pm): We were just informed that Cherry Hill has been removed from the agenda for Monday and will be pushed back until January.

Original post: 

Community Board 15 is meeting Monday, December 15, at 7:00 p.m. at Kingsborough Community College  (2001 Oriental Boulevard) in the faculty dining room. The meeting is more than a week earlier than their regularly scheduled meeting so that it will not conflict with the holidays.

Among other items, the Board will consider an application for a zoning text amendment from the City Planning Commission to permit food stores with no limitation within the landmarked Lundy’s building (1901 Emmons Avenue) – an alteration requested by Cherry Hill Gourmet Market. The business currently operates in violation of the Sheepshead Bay special zoning district, which dictates the kind of businesses that can operate along the Emmons Avenue waterfront.

Food markets are currently prohibited, and the business opened in 2009 with initial plans to have both a market and restaurant. Though there is a cafe, the restaurant – which was slated to take up 70 percent of the floor space, including the second flood – never materialized. According to owners, that’s because local groups and community leaders including former State Senator Carl Kruger opposed the market use, eventually earning a Stop Work Order that impeded construction.

After five years of operation in violation of zoning, the business is now asking that their food store be allowed. They say they remain one of the building’s only viable tenants and bring jobs to the area, and the change in use will allow them to move forward with plans of establishing a second-floor restaurant. Opponents say, nice as the market may be, legalizing the use would reward a business owner who disregarded the law, and also further weaken the Sheepshead Bay special zoning district intended to preserve the waterfront for recreational use.

Aside from the Cherry Hill Gourmet Market, other items on the Board’s zoning agenda include:

  • 2311 Quentin Road - An application for a special permit to allow the enlargement of a single family dwelling.
  • 1963 McDonald Avenue  – An application to legalize a variance for floor area, lot coverage, rear yard and open space regulations.
  • 1620 Shore Boulevard - An application for a special permit to allow the enlargement of a single family dwelling.
  • 2018 East 7th Street – An application filed for “Revocable Consent” due to the open steps and garden wall encroaching 5.1 ft beyond the lot line at the front of the property.

In addition to the zoning items, the board’s chairperson and district manager will deliver their monthly reports. There will also be time to hear residents’ concerns and discuss various committee reports, and elected officials may be in attendance.

You can view the full agenda here. Refreshments will be served.

Surveillance cameras caught the thieves in the middle of the burglary. (Source: NYPD) (Click to enlarge)

Surveillance cameras caught the thieves in the middle of the burglary. (Source: NYPD) (Click to enlarge)

Three men broke into a Kings Highway storefront, breaking a front gate, smashing a window and making off with several fur coats, according to police.

The early morning heist took place Monday, November 24 at 4:00am, when the men pried open the 1310 Kings Highway storefront rollup gate and shattered the front window. They went inside and swiped several fur coats. Police did not  provide the name of the business or the value of the coats.

The suspects are described as one white male and two black males.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Parking lot identified in BP Adams' affordable housing report.

Parking lot identified in BP Adams’ affordable housing report.

Several “underdeveloped areas” of Brooklyn can be used to build affordable housing – including municipal parking lots in Brighton Beach, Bensonhurst, and Midwood – according to a new report by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

The parking lots, like one facing the Riegelmann Boardwalk between Brighton 2nd Street and Brighton 4th Street, can be sold to create approximately 2,000 affordable housing units, with space leftover for shared public parking, states the report.

While praising Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 10-year plan to build 200,000 units of affordable housing citywide, Adams writes:

New York City, in general, and Brooklyn, in particular, can be models for government at its best: expanding opportunity and safeguarding community character, while being supportive, resilient and progressive. Brooklyn has the space to create entirely new neighborhoods by tapping underdeveloped land, exploring air rights and considering developing residential properties over existing rail yards and rail infrastructure. We have the capacity; all we need is tenacity!

Along with identifying sites to build the units, the report offers several ways to better connect New Yorkers with affordable housing, including partnering with the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to create multiple tiers of income eligibility, so that a wider portion of the population can have access. Adams also proposes the HPD give preference to locals, so that residents are not forced from their neighborhoods.

The report is restating a conversation from eight years ago, and it still needs to evolve, a spokesperson for the borough president told us. When fully fleshed out, the plan will include components like doing construction in phases to ensure parking for merchants at all times, as well as building height and affordability considerations.

This is not the beep’s first bold affordable housing proposal. As we previously reported, one of the first things Adams did as borough president was explore the possibility of selling air rights in one part of the borough and using the money to to create land banks near Coney Island for affordable housing.

Read the full report here.

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