A man drowned in Gravesend Bay on Sunday, after a freak accident left him helpless in the waters.

Police believe Florijan Kasumovic, 73, of New Jersey, may have fallen overboard just before 1:00 p.m., getting his leg caught in the railing. He dangled over the side of the 21-foot-vessel with his head submerged in the waters, unable to pull himself back up.

Kasumovic was dead when police arrived, and authorities towed the boat back to a Sanitation Department pier in Bath Beach.

[Daily News via Bensonhurst Bean]

I shot the above photo with my first digital camera on February 13, 2005, at 1/128 of a second, ISO-100, and f/3.2, before I knew what shutter speed, ISO and an f-stop even meant.

Since I used Google Translate, it is probably a literal translation. Apologies to the native Spanish speakers who are appalled by my ignorance. Photo by nolastname. Or, in españolsin apellido.

Diane Keaton, Woody Allen and Tony Roberts in a scene from Woody's 1977 masterpiece, "Annie Hall." Source: http://pakbote.blogspot.com/

I have never made a secret of my deep, abiding love for, admiration of, and decades-long crush on Woody Allen (who I, incidentally, also share a birthday with) — I think he is just the greatest! So I may just pop on over to Coney Island, Monday night, August 8 to see the EPIX Free-For-All screening of Woody’s pièce de résistance, Annie Hall, the 1977 masterpiece, written and directed by Woody Allen, which won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

According to EPIX and Rooftop Films, which are partnering to present the screening:

Annie Hall struck a chord with audiences outside of erudite Manhattan film houses-and with good reason. Sure, we get the standard dose of neurotic Woody-isms, but we also get a sweet, sad, hopeful tale that reminds us love is sweet, love is sad, and if we’re lucky, love is downright funny.

Even though I’ve seen “Annie Hall” more than 100 times, one more time will not make it any less wonderful. And it won’t be just any old, ordinary film screening, either. EPIX tells us that The Coney Island History Project will be on hand to discuss the history of Coney Island and the role it played in the filming of Annie Hall.

Well, doesn’t that sound like fun? And, we are told, the evening will also feature a Woody Allen Impression contest [RELATED: “The 8 Best Woody Allen Impressions We Found On The Internet”] with prizes. To enter, email woody@rooftopfilms.com or go to http://freeforall.epixhd.com/.

Really can’t wait to see that. The schedule for the evening is as follows:

  • 7:00 PM Live DJ
  • 8:30 PM Rooftop Films presents Kristen Lepore’s short film Bottle
  • 8:40 PM Annie Hall

All the excitement happens on Coney Island’s beach at West 12th Street. EPIX will be giving away prizes and swag at the event and also via Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and online. Learn more at http://freeforall.epixhd.com.

And Woody, if you’re reading this — I love you, man!

Jason Koppel

Jason Koppel (Source: NYPost.com)

Who knows, maybe crime does pay? After all, the chief of staff for State Senator Carl Kruger that allegedly organized bribes from Russian-American nightclubs and restaurants is pulling in the highest salary of any state legislature staffer.

WNYC’s The Empire blog got the scoop:

The state senate released its twice-a-year report on expenditures today. One of the most interesting things that popped out? Embattled Senator Carl Kruger’s chief of staff, Jason Koppel, was by far the highest-paid staffer for any individual member, raking in just over (like, literally, by one cent) $81,000 for his services.

Wowzer; $81,000 despite getting caught for setting up the alleged bribes. I wish I got paid that much for screwing up.

Of course, that’s actually a pay cut. The New York Post found in April that Koppel was pulling in $162,442 a year, after a slew of raises gave him a 40 percent salary hike in 16 months – the same 16 months as feds were stepping up their investigation into Kruger and Koppel. After the Post’s report, Kruger’s office told the paper that they’d be slashing Koppel’s salary down to size. Still, he remains the highest paid staffer in the state legislature.

Just to refresh your memory, Jason Koppel – who also serves as Kruger’s campaign treasurer – was the supposed go-to person in the first (recent) bribery case involving Kruger and Rasputin-owner Michael Levitis. That probe, dating back to 2007 but first came to light in June 2010, explored an alleged influence peddling scheme in which Levitis was recorded telling another restaurateur that the state senator would help him with state matters if he organized a fundraiser for his political campaign. The FBI set up a sting, recording Levitis requesting $3,000 from the restaurateur, saying $2,000 would go to Koppel (as Levitis’ contact for the state senator) and $1,000 to Levitis for arranging the deal.

Levitis was arrested last summer for his alleged role. He plead guilty in February and earlier this week was sentenced to three years probation and a $15,000 fine. (Money he’ll likely be able to pay off with proceeds from his role in Russian Dolls, the Brighton Beach reality show.)

Kruger, meanwhile, appears to have escaped unscathed. Until, that is, another FBI probe alleged an even broader bribery-racket involving millions of dollars, gay lovers, profiting off of death (okay, only kinda-sorta), and all that jazz.

But, hey, Koppel is making some nice coin for his public service…

This ditch at Voorhies Avenue and Sheepshead Bay Road is a danger to motorists and pedestrians, but the city's independent contractors are in no rush to repair it.

Attention drivers! Nevermind those iPod-wearing pedestrians, law-skirting bikers and cellphone-wielding motorists – you’ve got another thing to worry about when driving around Sheepshead Bay: shoddy workmanship.

The neighborhood’s streets are pocked with open holes and faulty repair work done by city contractors, sometimes left unchecked for months or longer.

Continue Reading »

Source: GerritsenBeach.net

The property at 3070 Avenue U, at the corner of Bragg Street, has been sold to a real estate investment trust for $11 million – but, local druggies, don’t fret; it’s likely to remain a Walgreens.

According to PropertyShark, the sale went through on June 30 for $11,015,385 to American Realty Capital, previously owned by “W 8 BROOKLYN AVENUE U, LLC” – a company believed to be owned by John Genovese (primarily since his name is on a few of the building permits). Genovese is the developer behind several of the area’s Walgreens, including the one on Coney Island Avenue and Avenue W.

And, boy, is business good for a Walgreens developer. Genovese bought the property in 2007 for a paltry $2.8 million, meaning this flip had quite a nice return.

Thanks to localbroker for the tip.

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.

Fishing rods in hand, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth flank ELMAR II's Captain Gus Rau. Source: "You know you're from Sheepshead Bay when........" (facebook group) / Howard Glatter

Robert Fernandez of “The Bite” recently got me interested in perusing through some of the local groups on facebook, such as “11229” and “You know you’re from Sheepshead Bay when……” in which members often write posts such as (for example) “Anyone remember ‘The Flame’ on Gerritsen and U” or post photos of long-gone neighborhood hotspots such as Beefsteak Charlie’s (yes, we know Ned… it was your favorite) or, my two favorites, Seniors and The Sizzler.

In the aforementioned group, “You know you’re from Sheepshead Bay when……,” I stumbled upon the above gem of a photo, posted on August 3, 2010 (one year and two days ago) by Lincoln High School graduate Howard Glatter, with the following caption:

Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth codfishing out of The Bay – 1927. Check out the “knuckle-buster” sidewinder reel on the Babes rod.

Me being ever the skeptic, I wondered how on earth Mr. Glatter knew that the image was captured in Sheepshead Bay, but a little intar-webby research proved he was correct. From Mels-Place.com on “Mike’s Maritime Memorabilia” page comes the following description of the above photograph:

After the historic [1927] baseball season concluded, both Gehrig and Ruth took advantage of the off-season to enjoy some of the fine codfishing offered by the Sheepshead Bay party boat fleet. This incredible and rare photo was taken on November 10, 1927 aboard the Sheepshead Bay party boat “ELMAR II”. Standing from right to left are Lou Gherig, Captain Gus Rau of the “ELMAR II” and Babe Ruth. They spent the day fishing for cod at the Cholera Bank, and we are sure these two members of the Yankee’s ‘Murderer’s Row’ were true to their nickname and dropped a few fish on the deck.

Well, butter my buns and call me a biscuit — I am no Yankees fan, but seeing old Babe and the “Iron Horse” hanging out in the waters off Emmons in Brooklyn Dodgers territory, well…it brings a tear to this Mets fan’s eye.

Yesterday we had sexy skies, today we have “SOME SEXY 50mm macro for you. 1.8 with the set up i used – it acts like a 0.4.” Photo by Randy Contello, who got up close and personal with a sexy leaf using his new 50mm prime lens that I’ve been hearing about for weeks (j/k Randy).