Click to enlarge

THE COMMUTE: I admit it. I was stuck for a story this week with no apparent transportation problems resulting from our little snowstorm this past weekend. Of course, it will take a major storm to know if any of the procedural changes put into effect after last winter’s fiasco will keep the subways and buses operating smoothly, or if the MTA will decide it will be more prudent to suspend service again as they did last year for Hurricane Irene that never materialized.

Continue Reading »

Another noir-ish weather shot dating back to my pre-existence. From the photographer:

Nighttime view of Nostrand Avenue looking south toward Voorhies Avenue, early 1975. Ice accumulated on the tree branches reflects the light from the streetlamp. From 35mm Kodachrome slide.

Just to give you some context of what was going on across the globe in the year this photo was shot:

  • Volkswagen first introduced the Volkswagen Rabbit (and here is a goofy 1979 B&W Rabbit commercial).
  • Wheel of Fortune premiered on NBC. Weirdly, Pat and Vanna still look the same now as they did 36 years ago.
  • Margaret Thatcher rises to power.
  • John Mitchell, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman are sent to jail for their roles in the Watergate scandal.
  • Bill Gates founded Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • The Fall of Saigon marks the end of the Vietnam War.
  • Teamsters Union President Jimmy Hoffa is reported missing.
  • Ranked as one of the greatest fights of the 20th century, Muhammad Ali (just barely) defeats “Smokin’” Joe Frazier during the “Thrilla in Manila.” Smokin’ Joe went on to his Eternal Reward just this past November at age 67.
  • NBC aired the first episode of “Saturday Night Live,” featuring George Carlin as the show’s first host.
  • Spanish dictator Francisco Franco dies. Soon after, Juan Carlos is declared King of Spain.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show hits the big screen.
  • New York City is approved for a bailout of 2.3 billion each year through to 1978 – 6.9 billion total. What? You thought Obama invented the bailout?
  • Heavy metal band Iron Maiden is formed by guitarist Steve Harris. Run to the hills!

Photo by Andy Baum

From Notify NYC:

Notification issued 01/20/12 at 4:10 PM. Due to impending snow, The New York City Department of Transportation has suspended Alternate Side Parking Regulations Citywide for Saturday, 01/21/12. Parking meters and all other posted parking restrictions will remain in effect. For more information visit:

Also, most planned subway service disruptions have been cancelled for the weekend, including disruptions on the Q line. Brooklyn service should be operating as usual.

The Office of Emergency Management also issued the following alert:

The NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has issued a Hazardous Travel Advisory for late Friday night through Saturday night as three to five inches of snow is expected in the city Saturday morning.

OEM strongly recommends those traveling use mass transit and avoid unnecessary driving during and immediately after the storm.

Visit the City’s Severe Weather Website or call 311 for information about the City’s response to the storm.

Photo by Yuriy Semenov

Like many legislators, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz mails a pamphlet with the New York City Parking Calendar to each of his constituents. The parking calendar is a useful resource that lists the days in which alternate side parking is suspended or when legal holiday rules apply.

Unfortunately, due to a postal snafu, many of the calendars got lost in the mail. He’s e-mailed a pdf of the calendar to constituents, but we’ve also got you covered with a list below.

2012 Alternate Side Parking Suspension Calendar

Date Holiday
Sunday, January 1 New Year’s Day*
Monday, January 2 New Year’s Day (Observed)*
Monday, January 16 Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday
Monday, January 23 Asian Lunar New Year
Monday, February 13 Lincoln’s Birthday (Observed)
Monday, February 20 Washington’s Birthday
Wednesday, February 22 Ash Wednesday
Thursday, March 8 Purim
Thursday, April 5 Holy Thursday
Friday, April 6 Good Friday
Saturday, April 7 Passover (First Day)
Thursday, April 12 Holy Thursday (Orthodox)
Friday, April 13 Good Friday (Orthodox)/Passover (Seventh Day)
Saturday, April 14 Passover (Eighth Day)
Thursday, May 17 Solemnity of the Ascension
Sunday, May 27 Shavuot
Monday, May 28 Memorial Day*/Shavuot
Wednesday, July 4 Independence Day*
Wednesday, August 15 Feast of the Assumption
Sunday, August 19 Idul-Fitr
Monday, August 20 Idul-Fitr
Tuesday, August 21 Idul-Fitr
Monday, September 3 Labor Day*
Monday, September 17 Rosh Hashanah
Tuesday, September 18 Rosh Hashanah
Wednesday, September 26 Yom Kippur
Monday, October 1 Succoth
Tuesday, October 2 Succoth
Monday, October 8 Columbus Day/Shemini Atzereth
Tuesday, October 9 Simchas Torah
Friday, October 26 Idul-Adha
Saturday, October 27 Idul-Adha
Sunday, October 28 Idul-Adha
Thursday, November 1 All Saints Day
Tuesday, November 6 Election Day
Monday, November 12 Veterans Day (Observed)
Tuesday, November 13 Diwali
Thursday, November 22 Thanksgiving Day*
Saturday, December 8 Immaculate Conception
Tuesday, December 25 Christmas*

* On major legal holidays, stopping, standing, and parking are permitted, except in areas where stopping, standing, and parking rules are in effect seven days a week (for example, “No Standing Anytime”). Parking meters are not in effect on major legal holidays.


The restaurant at 1705 Sheepshead Bay Road formerly known as Wheeler’s and then became Wheelers is now once again Wheeler’s!

Ah, Wheelers, we hardly knew ye. I mean, you only existed for three months. And, mom was probably afraid to tell you this, but you were totally an accident.

When Wheelers – er, Wheeler’s? – upgraded to a new sign and awning in November, a little snafu caused the apostrophe, which indicates this bar is the property of Wheeler and not just named Wheelers, got lost in the mix. After three months of looking for it – bam! Found it! – it was mounted yesterday, bringing us back to the name we’ve been familiar with since 1979.

A second roll-your-own-cigarette smoke shop, Green Leaf Smokes, has opened up at 1326 Sheepshead Bay Road, off the corner of East 14th Street. It’s the second such business to open in the area, following the November opening of City Smokes at 2695 Coney Island Avenue.

These shops allow customers to come in and pick a blend of “organic” tobacco that is mixed to emulate the flavors of big brands. Customers buy the tobacco loose, purchase papers and filters, and then use the store’s rolling machines to roll up their own cigarettes.

It’s a new type of business designed to get around the high taxes the city charges for pre-rolled cigarettes. However, two of the oldest stores in New York City – one in Chinatown and one in Manhattan – were the target of a city lawsuit claiming they’re illegally dodging the taxes, since customers still walk out of the store with rolled cigarrettes.

We asked an employee of Green Leaf if he was nervous that the city could come after him next, but he said he was unaware of the lawsuit. However, he acknowledged it’s a totally new business model that operates in a grey area, and that, regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, Green Leaf will follow all local laws. Besides, he said, his selling point isn’t the lower taxes, it’s the “organic” and “healthier” nature of his smokes.

Click to enlarge

CompStat reports are produced by the New York Police Department on a weekly basis. We summarize the week’s statistics for the 61st Precinct reports every Friday. The 61st Precinct is the police command responsible for Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Kings Highway, Homecrest, Madison, Manhattan Beach, and Gerritsen Beach.

Reader Alina T. sent in the above photo and filled us in on the incident, which occurred at around 9:00 p.m. Here’s what she says happened:

I was just on Sheepshead Bay Road and East 15th and there was a Russian guy – I believe he was either crazy or on drugs or something. He was standing in the middle of the street screaming, “People, people call 911! Call the police! Something is going to explode! Some house is going to explode! There’s a bomb”

He was begging in Russian and in English.

“People please call the police!”

Finally somebody called the police after like 10 or 15 minutes of him screaming and the police came and they took him away on stretchers.

It took 10 to 15 minutes for people to call police? Sheesh… that means it took at least the same for someone to call Sheepshead Bites. For shame!

“Our theories of the eternal are as valuable as are those which a chick which has not broken its way through its shell might form of the outside world.” – Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.

Empty shell (shot with a Samsung Stratosphere), found beneath the Belt Parkway trestle on Sheepshead Bay Road and Shore Parkway, Thursday morning, January 12.

Photo by Erica Sherman