Despite earlier statements to the contrary, the MTA-owned lot on East 15th Street between Avenue Y and Avenue Z is now being used as a staging area for construction along the line.

The street was closed as workers prepped for this weekend's construction.

When the agency began clearing the lot of vegetation and illegally dumped garbage in early 2011, neighbors were outraged that the MTA was ripping out healthy trees and removing a natural sound barrier between the train line and their homes. The MTA shot back, saying that the removal was a response to years of requests from the same residents to keep the lot clean, and that all the trees removed were sick. When asked by Sheepshead Bites, an MTA representative adamantly denied rumors that the lot would be used as a staging area for construction equipment during the Brighton line rehabilitation.

But it turns out that the agency was not responding to years of community complaints about the lot, but may have instead used it as a cover to hide plans to do exactly what neighbors feared: fill it with noisy, unsightly construction equipment.

The lot was reopened earlier this week, and today construction crews were on scene bringing cranes, machinery and pallets of new tracks. A worker told Sheepshead Bites that they are prepping the area to use it during this weekend’s track replacement work, the cause of this week (and weekend’s) service disruption in which Coney Island-bound Q trains skip Avenue U and Gravesend Neck Road.

As for the work itself, the MTA contractor told Sheepshead Bites that they’ll spend the weekend at the site replacing tracks from the southern end of the Sheepshead Bay station to just north of Avenue Y with about 25 new segments of track. The new track uses concrete ties, which the worker noted is expected to last about 10 years longer than wooden.

After the work is completed, they’ll move northward on the line.

As of 1:00 p.m. today, East 15th Street between Avenue Y and Avenue Z was closed to traffic as construction crews prep the site. A section of the street has become a No Parking Zone to allow for MTA vehicles and machinery.

Kingsborough Community College students are involved in this nifty little partnership with NYC Media called Arts Alive!, producing high-quality video segments highlighting Brooklyn’s arts and cultural institutions.

Here’s the description from the program’s website:

Arts Alive! highlights arts and cultural organizations in Brooklyn as seen through the eyes of the students of the Kingsborough Community College media program. This project is a partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Councilman Dominic Recchia and Kingsborough Community College, in partnership with the Editors and Cinematographers Guilds.

The entire 25-minute program leans pretty heavily Southern Brooklyn, featuring a lot of artists and institutions this side of the Die Hipster Line – which makes it pretty damn cool right off the bat.

Above is one of the great features Arts Alive! produced, looking at the highly-regarded Brighton Ballet dance school and theater. If you like this segment, check out the rest of them here.

Multiple revenue streams – that’s what daddy always told me made a successful business.

So we’ve got to hand it to the folks at 2834 Coney Island Avenue, which just added a big ol’ Pawn Shop sign in place of Wireless Deal, as it used to be known. The new service adds to their existing lineup of cell phones, mobile internet, tchotchkes and gold and diamond buying/selling. Now that’s a business that knows how to diversify.

Oh, it’s also the second pawn shop to come to Sheepshead Bay in recent weeks. We told you about Pawnshop at 1727 Sheepshead Bay Road last month.

So… can you hock a website?

Photo by Boris Vestfrid

Source: Cymbrowitz's office

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz pounded pavement with Sanitation Department officials recently, introducing the agency’s Adopt-a-Basket program to local businesses in an effort to reduce litter.

Cymbrowitz announced that he and the department signed up three new local businesses on Sheepshead Bay Road - Liquor World (1709 Voorhies Avenue), ALFA Vision Center (1402 Sheepshead Bay Road) and Bay Quick Mart, under the Sheepshead Bay Road station. The three new participants join Munchinette (1738 Sheepshead Bay Road) in the program.

Adopt-a-Basket is a volunteer program in which a business, organization or individual agrees to help prevent public garbage cans from overflowing. The department supplies plastic bag liners, a collection schedule and a contact person at the local district operations office, and participants change the bags when the basket is three quarters full.

“Much of our litter problem is caused by pedestrians who just don’t care and drop their litter wherever they happen to be and residents living above the stores illegally dumping their household garbage in litter baskets,” Cymbrowitz said. “However, those of us meaning to dispose of litter the proper way are often confronted by an overflowing can, caused by fewer Sanitation Department pickups. With the warm weather coming, the Sanitation Department will be putting additional cans on our corners. The Adopt-A-Basket Program reduces litter on our streets by keeping the corner baskets from overflowing.”

Let’s give thanks to these businesses that are helping keep our commercial corridors clean!

 

Friends, it’s getting harder and harder to do The Bite each week. In my search for great food, I think I’ve hit everywhere in Sheepshead Bay that I can afford and some that I can’t. The Bite’s goal has always been to highlight an outstanding dish at our local eateries and not to retrace our steps. I don’t want to do the same joint twice. It may come to that. Help me avoid that. Send me some recommendations for your favorite Bites of Sheepshead Bay. – Robert

This week, the Bite takes on the Chicken Burrito ($5.75) from Top Soft Taco. Or is it Top China? Who knows. The restaurant sure doesn’t. Located at 1654 Sheepshead Bay Road, Top Soft Taco is another of those Chinese/Mexican restaurants that try to do everything, but seem to do nothing particularly well.

Continue Reading »

It’s really hard to keep track of what’s going on 2255 Emmons Avenue. In two years it has been home to three Turkish restaurants – and soon it’ll have a fourth.

Pera Cafe Lounge will soon open at the location, following the short-lived Deniz Restaurant (so short-lived that we’re not sure if they were ever even open). Before Deniz it was Lara Turkish Cuisine, which opened in April 2010, just months after the longer-lived Bay Shish Kebab closed.

We have not confirmed it yet, but we’ve heard that Pera will be operated by the owners of Deniz, and will be a hookah lounge – so there’s no change in ownership, just direction.

UPDATE (3/29/2012): The owner just chimed in in the comments section, noting that it will not be a hookah lounge. He wrote:

Hi you all my I am the owner of Pera cafe longe we will be open late of April and it just will be cafe lounnge with full bar we don’t do hookah thanks you all I look forward see soon with a taste of Rurkish culture at Pera cafe lounge

Source: NYBuff.org

A silver SUV took a turn for the worse yesterday evening, flipping over near the intersection of Bedford Avenue and Avenue T.

According to New York State Buff, emergency responders pulled a victim out of the vehicle and transported them to the hospital with injuries.

The incident occurred at approximately 8:30 p.m., quickly followed by a tip from Sheepshead Bites reader Taryn T., who described the scene.

“Not sure what, but I was driving by and the streets are blocked with huge crowds,” Taryn wrote. “What I can tell there is a fire truck and a few police cars.”

King's Chapel. Source: Google Maps

The Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association will hold its next general meeting at 7:30 p.m., March 15 at the King’s Chapel, 2702 Quentin Road, corner of Quentin and East 27th Street. From Ed Jaworski, president of the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic:

We’ve had many, long-time concerns about the condition of some of our neighborhood’s main avenues, including Ave. U, King’s Highway, Nostrand Ave., Ocean Ave.  So, we have invited Carlo Scissura, Special Advisor & former Chief of Staff to Brooklyn’s Boro. Pres. Marty Markowitz, as our main guest to discuss: “Envisioning More Attractive Avenues for Our Neighborhood.”

Also, with the March 20th special election taking place shortly after our meeting, we are inviting candidates to introduce themselves to attendees.   But, rather than looking for a debate or opponent discussion, we expect issues addressed.

The 61st Precinct’s Community Affairs Officer will also be on hand and, since the meeting takes place two days prior to St. Patrick’s Day, there will also be plenty of Irish soda bread and coffee.

The Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association usually meets on the third Thursday of the month, 7:30 p.m. at The King’s Chapel. There are no meetings in January, February, July, August and September.

To learn more, call (718) 375-9158, (347) 661-6960, or email coachedj@aol.com.

The forecast calls for a photo of a bicyclist on a bike lane on Sheepshead Bites followed by 100 MPH gusts of heated comment threads.

From the photographer:

A canopy of winter branches over the Ocean Parkway bike lane. Looking north from Avenue Y.

Photo by Allan Shweky