Remember way, way back in the halcyon days of November 2009, when we first (and last) wrote about Cafe L’Azur (2612 East 14th Street)? The little Eastern European restaurant was just a year old around that time, and we found they had been prodding around Craigslist trying to find a buyer for the business. Of course, they denied the whole thing

And so they stayed open for another year and a half or so. Then, earlier this week, the signs were pulled down, the exterior redone, and it looks like the place is empty.

Still, we can’t say for sure if they’re closed for good or not. The only thing that remains is a neon “Open” sign that is unlit, but it could simply be for renovations. We’ll keep an eye on it to see if it ever lights up again.

A tree came tumbling down at around 9:15 a.m. on the eastbound of Shore Parkway, between East 16th Street and Sheepshead Bay Road. Luckily no one was injured, and no cars seemed to be damaged, but some drivers did get a bit of a scare.

Our tipster, Gene, had this to say:

I was standing in the long line on shore, waiting for cars to move, as soon as the light changed at the intersection of shore and sheepshead bay rd we started moving, I moved 2 feet or so and this tree came down blocking entire street.

At approximately 35 feet, the tree came down from the Belt Parkway embankment, destroying a section of the fencing and just missing two parked cars. One of the car owners was on the scene clearing off his vehicle, elated that it survived without a scratch.

Yellow caution tape has gone up on East 16th Street, detouring people around a small greenspace. But drivers beware: Shore Parkway, with its many blind curves, still invites speeding. We watched several accidents nearly happen, as speeders slammed on the brakes as they came around the curve and found the caution tape. Drive carefully!


Telling Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future.

Client Question: I contributed $5,000 to my IRA last year, and through a hot tip, bought stock in a really great company. Recently, this company’s stock’s stock fell to $0, and ceased trading. Can I deduct this on my tax return?

Answer: If your contribution was to a Traditional deductible IRA, meaning that you took a tax deduction for your contribution, then no. This is because you cannot write off the same amount twice — as a tax deduction, now, and as a tax loss, later. If the investment had done well, you would pay taxes on the distribution later.

If your contribution was to a Traditional Non-deductible IRA, or to a Roth IRA, meaning that you did not take a tax deduction for your contribution, then yes. You have a tax loss if you receive less than your investment. However, the loss can only be taken if you close ALL of your Traditional (Non-deductible or Deductible) IRA accounts, if that is where your loss occurred; or if you close ALL of your Roth IRA accounts, if that is where your loss occurred. This means that if you have four Traditional IRA accounts, for example, then all four would have to be closed, even if only one has a loss.

The loss is taken on 1040 Schedule A, as a miscellaneous itemized deduction, and along with your other deductions in this area, subject to the two percent of AGI limitation.

Did you even wonder how the IRA deduction came about? I’m going to tell you anyway.

Continue Reading »

If the benches aren’t congested and the weather is nice, I cannot think of a more pleasant way to pass the time than a midday nap under the trees, alongside the bay. In fact, I think I’ll tell Ned that that’s where I’ll be, and to not disturb me while I dreamily ponder some fun things to post on his site. Photo by Boris Shekhman. Shot with his new Olympus E-P3.


We’re getting to this a bit late, since there’s only a few hours left to purchase, but Bagel Boy (1602 Avenue Z) has a deal on Groupon for $15 worth of bagels, deli sandwiches and drinks for only $7.

More than 1,000 have already been bought, and the deal is good at either the Sheepshead Bay or Bay Ridge locations.

Sheepshead Bites is testing out an affiliate relationship with Groupon, so make the purchase using this link and a portion of the sale goes to supporting the site.


Manhattan Lights (1941 Coney Island Avenue) is offering $100 Worth of Lighting, Home Accents, and Furniture for only $50. Here’s the Sheepshead Bites affiliate link for the deal.

The results of the first poll to take a look at the race for the 9th Congressional District – recently vacated by Anthony Weiner – are out, and it looks like our neck of the woods is going to see a much closer race than Democratic operatives would like.

The results of the poll – conducted by Sienna College – show that in the overall district, Democrat David Weprin is winning by a mere six points. But, perhaps more notably to Sheepshead Bay residents, it appears the Brooklyn segment of the district is swinging right-ward, with Republican Bob Turner leading by six percent.

Here’s a graph of the results, plucked by our friends over at The Brooklyn Politics:

Here’s a bit of a demographic breakdown by Sienna pollster Steven Greenberg:

Men are currently evenly divided, and women give Weprin an 11-point advantage.  While voters under 55-years-of-age give Weprin a big lead, voters 55 and older – a crucial voting bloc, particularly in a special election – are virtually evenly divided.  Catholic voters give a big edge to Turner, while Jewish voters give an equally big edge to Weprin.  At the moment, Turner voters appear to be more committed to their candidate, with 60 percent saying they are absolutely certain to support him. Only 47 percent of Weprin voters say there is no chance they will change their mind.

Interestingly, the results of this poll illustrate just how much more conservative the Brooklyn portion of the Ninth district has become than its Queens counterpart. Why do you think that is?


Above is a photo of Voorhies Avenue and Shore Parkway, where neighbors complained that city contractors had made a dangerous situation by not moving quickly enough to complete the installation of a sewer grating.

Below is a photo of the same spot, days after we broke the story. Contractors completed repairs last night.

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz will be holding a daylong twofer event at his office tomorrow, August 11 between noon and 6:00 p.m.

The Sheepshead pol is sponsoring a blood drive, in conjunction with the New York Blood Center, outside his community office, 1800 Sheepshead Bay Road between Emmons Avenue and Shore Parkway, and a representative from Comptroller DiNapoli’s office will also be on hand to help individuals search for unclaimed funds.

The assemblyman’s office noted that “a blood donation is not required to search for funds.”

If you are not aware of the crucial need for blood in area hospitals, take heed of these alarming facts, shared by the New York Blood Center.

Continue Reading »

Cherry Hill Gourmet Market at Lundys in Sheepshead Bay

Photo by Ray Johnson

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Committee approved an application by the owners of Cherry Hill Gourmet Market to legalize a series of alterations they made to the landmarked Lundy’s building during an August 2 hearing, tying no strings to the landlord despite outrage from community leaders.

The hearing reviewed Cherry Hill Gourmet Market’s (1901 Emmons Avenue) alterations, which include several changes made during the property’s renovation two years ago to convert it from a restaurant space to a market. Preservationists hoped that the owner, David Isaev, would be forced to pay to undo changes and restore it into compliance, but the committee gave the greenlight to all the changes, including the most contentious ones – the installation of a large external air conditioning unit adjacent to the back wall, and changes to the sidewalk.

Now Bay Improvement Group President Steve Barrison is slamming the decision, calling it a disgrace and saying it weakens landmark preservation laws citywide.

Read Barrison’s strongly-worded letter regarding the LPC decision.

bassetts deli sheepshead bay brooklyn

Welcome back to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.

It’s time to visit another old standby – Bassett Deli & Caterers (1404 Avenue X) and try something new. New, to me at least. This week’s “Bite” is Bassett’s roast beef hero.

It’s hard to believe, but I’ve never had the roast beef sandwich at Bassett’s. I’ve been a customer for years enjoying just about everything else on the menu, but not the roast beef. Bassett’s offerings are so diverse and plentiful that eating  a roast beef sandwich, which I can get in just about every deli and bodega in the neighborhood, never entered my mind.  But, after my visit to John’s Meat Market back in May, a roast beef sandwich has been on my lunch plate fairly often. How does Bassett’s stack up?

Continue Reading »