The exterior view of a 1932 R9 subway train. Source: NY Daily News

The MTA has brought back the Nostalgia Shoppers’ Special Train for the holidays. You can ride the classic R1/9 subway, which was the city’s first subway car, every Saturday until December 24.

What’s so special about this train? Well, our transit columnist Allan Rosen said it all last year:

Who wants to ride an old train?  You do, even if you are not a rail fanatic. It has become sort of a tourist attraction and some people ride the train back and forth just for the hell of it. I had quite an enjoyable time this year and last.

Bring your camera but don’t stop to take pictures at Queens Plaza because the train does not wait there.  It sits at Second Avenue for 20 to 30 minutes so there is plenty of time to wander between the cars and take pictures there. I particularly like that the train has been outfitted with very old ads.  Some of the passengers even dress up in 1920s style garb.  The best part is that there is no additional charge beyond the cost of your subway fare. It is the MTA’s holiday gift to you for enduring this year’s service cuts.

Check out the Nostalgia Train’s 2011 schedule.

It’s hard to see this and not think of Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

Of course, when I think of “Moon River,” this is what leaps to my mind:

Photo by Yuriy Semenov

We’ve received word that a car accident has occurred on Avenue U and Nostrand Avenue just minutes ago (~10:00 p.m.).

Police are currently responding to the scene, and an ambulance has been called for a person who sustained “serious injuries.”

We have no further information at this time.

UPDATE (10:17 p.m.): The injured person is an off-duty corrections officer.

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional  photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.

Finally, a commercial tenant in the perennially plagued building at 1702 Avenue Z!

Studio 21 has opened on the second floor of the mixed-use structure, and the sign was placed last week, adding some much needed color to its otherwise cold facade.

Wondering what Studio 21 is? We were, too. We thought maybe it was the new name for the building, which would’ve been pretty damn funny because of how tacky – and how Sheepshead Bay – that would’ve been.

But, no, instead it’s an interior design and imported furniture business. They’ve been around for 17 years, according to their website, and Google lists their old address in Sunset Park.

Welcome to the neighborhood, guys, and best of luck. You’ll need it, considering your new home is managed by the same people selling “professional suits,” forgetting to install garages, locking people in during their open houses, and, generally, just scaring off other potential commercial tenants.


File:171879main LimbFlareJan12 lg.jpg

Oh, yeah, 'das hot, yo. (Source: Wikipedia)

If your family is worried about your ability to pay your heating bills as temperatures drop, you may be eligible for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), a federally-funded program that issues heating benefits to supplement a household’s annual energy cost.

HEAP offers two tiers of benefits to New York’s working families: a regular stipend for lower-income folks in need of assistance, or an emergency benefit for those stuck in specific, short-term circumstances.

Check out the types of benefits and the eligibility requirements.

This sign has been laying on the Avenue Z sidewalk – between East 14th Street and East 15th Street – for more than two weeks. We don’t know what caused it to fall, but we are trying to figure out what the hold-up in repairing it is. Any ideas? Know of any other signs in need of repair?

An 80-year-old man died on Tuesday, after being struck by a car while crossing the street.

The incident occurred on East 7th Street at Avenue T at 6:45 a.m. A 21-year-old driver struck Aron Dudkin with his Nissan. Dudkin was taken to Coney Island Hospital, where he died from his injuries. The motorist remained on scene, and no charges have been made against him.

Streetsblog takes issue with the amount of information available from the NYPD about such incidents:

The crossing where Dudkin was hit is a signalized intersection. Was he crossing with the light? Was the driver proceeding through the intersection on Avenue T, or turning from East 7th? Judging by video from the scene, it looks as if the victim was knocked out of his shoes. Was speed a factor? Unfortunately, these crucial details are kept off-limits by NYPD. As far the general public is concerned, in all likelihood this case is closed.

The story was first reported by Flatbush Scoop, who also provided the video.

Every year, as the weather wanes and the air gets chilly, the scamming heats up.

It’s usually around this time of year that we get a slew of tips from residents about scam artists on the prowl. That’s because one of the most popular scams is when the con artist poses as a representative of a heating company, telling you that you can save money if you give him or her your personal information and/or access to your home.

Just today, we received a tip from reader James F., who lives in a building on Ocean Avenue.

“Three guys came to my door and wanted to go over a utility bill of mine—I don’t know which one because I didn’t want to pursue the conversation,” the very wise James wrote. “Just told them to leave the building. Was going out a few minutes later and saw a number of them going through the building with one guy stationed in the vestibule with a phone.”

The police reported at a recent civic association meeting that they’re also seeing an uptick of such reports. They reminded residents that if a person comes to your door unexpectedly and requests personal information of any kind, do not give it to them. Ask for their ID, make them wait outside while you call the company, and – if things don’t check out or they refuse to comply – call 911 immediately.


Source: Department of Sanitation

Garbage Gazette: Following our report of garbage being left along Sheepshead Bay Road by Sanitation Department workers – who emptied some trash bins, left others, and failed to clean any of the areas around the cans – a second cleaning was done yesterday.

The Sanitation Department responded to one of our readers’ concerns by notifying them of the follow-up cleaning yesterday morning, even sending photos to prove the deed was done. The department’s customer service team also noted that the Borough Chief is reviewing the servicing of baskets in our area.

We’ve also heard whispers that the local garage – which no longer has a basket pickup truck or a power washer of its own – will be borrowing a power washer to scrub the sidewalks along the commercial strip. We are awaiting confirmation from the Sanitation Department.

Bart, a longtime Sheepshead Bites reader, tells us that the Family Dollar at 3710 Nostrand Avenue – between Avenue X and Avenue Y – is celebrating its grand opening today.

Family Dollar replaces Dee & Dee, which closed in February. We first reported in August that the space was being renovated and would become a Family Dollar.