Good bye Golden Touch Car Wash, Gulf gas station, KR & S Auto Service and the fruit and vegetable market around Avenue Y and East 16th Street. Construction crews demolished the structures of these four businesses – three of which have been around for decades – as they began work on the future site of a Sheepshead Bay Marshalls department store at 1611 Avenue Y.

That puts it right on track, as a source told us back in January that work would begin on the location this summer. We noted in May that the fences went up, and it was just last week that the structures were demolished. The gas tanks have also been successfully removed, and contractors are now prepping to excavate and begin work on the foundation.

What do you think? Will Marshalls be good for the area? Or add to traffic and parking concerns around an already congested intersection?

Sent to us with the following note: “A pic of the Verrazano on Sunday’s sunset during the wind gusts of what’s left of Irene.”

Photo by Knightmare6, whose amazing photography can be found here and here.

The adjacent MTA substation is still covered in graffiti.

The renovations of the train underpass at Avenue Y, between East 15th Street and East 16th Street, is just about complete. They even painted over the graffiti on the underpass walls.

Workers on scene said they would not be pulling the weeds or redoing the sidewalk, as that is not part of their contract.

Regardless, it’s looking much nicer. But it does show yet another eye-rolling inefficiency in the city’s contract process.

These guys were brought in to clean up all the underpasses from Avenue N down, they told me. But had the city checked each site beforehand, they could have saved taxpayers money by having them simultaneously clean graffiti off of adjacent MTA buildings, like the substation at this site. Afterall, they had all the manpower and equipment there, but I guess a whole new contract has to be issued for that…

Were you panicked by Hurricane Irene? Are your nerves still all aflutter after evacuation orders, transportation shutdowns, threats of power outages? Do you just need a moment to chill?

Well then, take in this video from YouTube poster noncomformistt. The video assembles a series of videos of Sheepshead Bay at sunrise, played alongside some very, uh, new-age music.

So grab some granola, layout your yoga mat, and enjoy this meditative bit of Sheepshead Bay imagery that should make you all zen after the photos and video of damage throughout the neighborhood.

Remember… everything’s going to be okay. Be at peace with stuff and crap. It’s good for you.

Bad weather can really bring out the worst in people. Especially nature lovers who love their parks. And when your local park, your tiny oasis is a vast metropolis, gets flooded you nature lovers really go on the prowl.

That was apparently the case in Marine Park. Rather than pull out a kayak and make the most of a large pool of water that formed in Brooklyn’s largest park, some nature lover decided to destroy something beautiful. So he or she got out his or her hunting knife and destroyed, well, something beautiful. And pink. And fuzzy.

Reader Daniel McGowan sent in these photos, with the message:

A large pool formed in the field in Marine Park. For some reason, someone murdered a stuffed monkey and dumped it’s decapitated body in the water. This hurricane is really stripping us of our humanity.

For realz, Daniel. This madness has got to stop.

Flooding at the Coney Island Train Yards after Hurricane Irene (Source:

THE COMMUTE: The MTA, in an unprecedented move, shut down the entire mass transit system beginning at 12 noon on Saturday in anticipation of Hurricane Irene. Some may wonder why it was necessary to shut down the system so early. That is because it takes approximately eight hours to entirely shut it down when you consider that the entire Coney Island Yard, the largest subway yard in the world, as well as other low lying yards such as the 148th Street terminal had to have their subway cars evacuated by placing them in areas of the subway not prone to flooding.

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Now that Hurricane Irene has moved up to Canada where there’s nothing of value to destroy, no one seems to care.*

But before it hit the Earth’s only valuable metropolis, New York City, everyone was all a panic.

“OMG the storm surgezzz!! We gonna DIE!!!” proved itself to be the battle call – via Twitter – of our generation.

Or something.

Okay, okay. So it came and went and there was a lot of wind and water, flooding and… bluster. For all the buildup, the storm wasn’t much of anything.

But perhaps that’s because of all the preparation the city took? They might have scared the bejesus out of us, but the city was also arguably on point. Shutting down the subway system and redeploying proved to be the right thing to do. Calling an early order of evacuation allowed those that chose to leave to do so in an orderly way – indeed, roads were nearly empty for many hours before the storm because people had already gotten out. And, had those calls not been made to evacuate, who knows how much worse things could’ve been? New York City’s most vulnerable citizens, afterall, were far out of the evacuation zone a day before the storm arrived – and considering there were power outages and delays in emergency response times, this hurricane could’ve had a lot more casualties.

Or maybe not? Some think the city overreacted, spurred panic throughout its residents, and bungled the response in a totally opposite way to that of the December 26 blizzard response.

What do you think? How’d the city handle the hurricane? Was the order to evacuate the right or wrong decision? And, judging from the response to this storm, how prepared are we for a massive disaster – natural or otherwise?

Also – how’d Sheepshead Bites do in covering it?

*Yes, I know there no longer is a Hurricane Irene. But, damnit, I wanted to make fun of Canada.


I gotta hand it to ol’ Ned Berke. While I was hunkered down in the heart of Zone B, preparing for the looming apocalypse, he, along with Sheepshead Bites Business Manager Robert Fernandez, cranked out some of the most primo Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene coverage out there, surpassing that, in my opinion, of every other news outlet. That’s how you do it, folks.

Photo by Erica Sherman

Sheepshead Bites team member Robert Fernandez risked life, limb and camera this morning by heading down to Plumb Beach for some footage while the winds and waters were still roaring.

Fernandez’s camera caught the water pummeling the shore, pouring over the sandbags and into the Belt Parkway and parking lot. Sections of the shoreline near the bathhouse seem to have moved back a foot or more, and the damaged bike path also further crumbled away.

We reported yesterday that the city claimed to have placed additional sandbags on the beach before the storm. However, Fernandez did not spot any new sandbags, though they might have been pulled back into the waters. Many of the remaining sandbags were partially ripped open and strewn about, while others simply were too low or sparsely packed to halt the tides from reaching the Belt Parkway.

Though waters did hit the highway, it doesn’t appear to have been enough to flood it, though it likely had an impact on the long term integrity of the roadway.

With the rains gone and the wind softened, some appear to believe it’s safe to go outside. Cars are on the road and pedestrians are in the streets. But the city is warning residents to stay indoors as tropical storm conditions return to the area.

Notify NYC just issued the following alert:

Notification issued 8/28/11 at 2:40 PM. The National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for New York City. As Hurricane IRENE departs, maximum winds are still forecast to be in the 30-40 MPH range, with gusts up to 55 MPH through late afternoon. For more information visit:

Stay safe, and please don’t drive.