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.

I really love the food scene in Sheepshead Bay. I don’t know of any other neighborhood that is as diverse as ours when it comes to food. Looking over the previous Bites, we’ve tasted food from almost every continent, from more than 20 different nations, and yet we’ve only traveled within two zip codes.

With so many delicious eats at our disposal, tell me, why is our food scene so overlooked by the “foodies” and the media? Ah, we’ll be doing something about that in the very near future.

This week, we head on over to The Brooklyn Bread House (1718 Jerome Avenue) for some khachapuri, or Georgian cheese bread. What’s khachapuri? Well, Charles Perry over at The LA Times calls it “the world’s most elaborate melted cheese sandwich.” I don’t know if I’d go that far, but it is a mighty fine cheese sandwich.

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Michael Levitis Marina Levitis Rasputin Brighton Beach Show

Michael and Marina Levitis (Source: James Edstrom)

Rasputin (2670 Coney Island Avenue) co-owner Michael Levitis was sentenced to three years probation and fined $15,000 for lying to FBI agents about a bribe intended for State Senator Carl Kruger.

Levitis was arrested last summer for his alleged role as an intermediary between business owners wanting help from the politician, and was recorded telling another restaurateur that he needed to throw a fundraiser in Kruger’s behalf in return for assistance on an official business inspection. The businessman agreed to give Levitis $3,000, with $2,000 going to pay off Jason Koppel, Kruger’s chief of staff and campaign treasurer. He plead guilty in February and faced a maximum of six months in prison.

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Photo by the amazing Adam Lerner of Adam Lerner | Photography

As an inexhaustibly enthusiastic photographer, a little more than a year ago I found myself on the website FroKnowsPhoto.com, described by its Philadelphia-based proprietor Jared Polin (from his LinkedIn bio) as being “dedicated to helping photographers of all skill levels to become better through fun and informative videos and content.”

It’s a great site, and Jared Polin, AKA “The Fro,” himself is an inexhaustibly enthusiastic photographer, and teacher (not in the academic sense) as well… but, what has any of this got to do with Sheepshead Bay?

Well, The Fro recently solicited Brooklyn-based photographer Adam Lerner of Adam Lerner | Photography to create an ongoing series of instructional videos for FKP and share some of his skills with the FroKnowsPhoto community. Liking what I saw, I decided to “like” Lerner’s facebook page, only to discover that he was recently in our neck of the woods, shooting some fabulous photos of Wheeler’s and Randazzo’s for Eater, among other things (other things being the image you see above).

All I could think after I saw the images was, “Ohhh, if only I could have been there to pick his brain.”

And not only that — the Randazzo’s piece was written by Brooks of Sheffield, he of Lost City fame, and it turns out ol’ Brooks did an entire practically weeklong series about Sheepshead Bay on his own site, including posts about Jimmy’s Famous Heros, Top Taco & Top China, the mysterious Soeller Building, Delmar Pizzeria, the Vince Lombardi plaque over at the POW/MIA Greenstreets triangle by Jerome Avenue, and Towne Café.

Sometimes I forget how unique and kind of special Sheepshead Bay really is until I see it through the eyes of those who don’t live here.

Emailed to us via iPhone, along with the text: “Sexy skies over Ave V.” I’ve never heard of the sky being called “sexy” before, and yet, it seems the most apt description. Photo by ShadowLock.

Careful driving out there. The rain and winds are apparently taking their toll on our already sick trees. The one above toppled over at Corbin Place and Brighton 12th Street.

The scaffolding around 1733 Sheepshead Bay Road, the former Bay News / Courier-Life headquarters, has been removed, giving us nosy neighbors a better idea of what the road’s newest monolith is going to look like at street level.

Read more details, see more photos, and weigh in on Sheepshead Bay Road’s newest commercial development.

Source: MYoga.com

Well, for one thing, MYoga — which says it is opening at 1002 Quentin Road, Suite 3020 — is donation-based. According to MyYoga’s Maksim Khasin, who emailed Sheepshead Bites:

The studio offers a tremendous service to the community by allowing people to enjoy yoga and get a great exercise. Classes are donation-based, so students can choose to donate as much as they can at the conclusion of class. The suggested donation is $10.

MYoga explains on its website that they will never prevent a student from participating in a class if they cannot give $10. Particularly fascinating, while proprietors stress that they offer “students of all levels the opportunity to connect with their body and practice yoga at their own pace,” they also “do not emphasize ‘snobby’ yoga, but rather welcome students of all levels to ease their minds and relax their souls.”

I’ve never heard of “snobby yoga” but I am sure that, should I ever be able to contort my remarkably un-malleable body into a pretzel again in this lifetime, I do not wish for it to be under the duress of a “snobby yoga” instructor.

Go check out MYoga — donation-based, and non-snobby. A perfectly winning combination.

From State Senator Marty Golden’s office:

Senator Marty Golden Invites You to the 3rd Annual Mid Summer Festival

Saturday, August 6th  & Sunday, August 7th 11am – 7pm

Alive N Kickin with the hit song “Tighter and Tighter” will perform Sunday, August 7, 2011 at 4 p.m.

There will be rides, games, food, merchandise and entertainment!

All proceeds will benefit the Marine Park Civic Association

For additional information call 718 238-6044 or 718 236-7547

Firefighters responded to a Sanitation Department truck that had burst into flames at around 7:00 a.m. today, on Avenue V and East 29th Street. As always, Sheepshead Bites had a reader there recording video in my most favorite video format: vertical. Anyway, the reader – ShadowLock – writes:

As i was driving by a really brutal smoke caught me and slapped me in the face!  it was a Sanitation Truck doing it’s daily Wednesday recycling collection, except this one caught on fire, i’m not 100% sure what could have caused this, only guess is he was smoking hit a bump lost control of his cig and dropped it and the darn thing caught fire… however it could be other things, i tried to ask but since i’m not a reporter of any kind all i got was the cold shoulder, and the cops telling me i need to move away.

Yep, because the police never give reporters the cold shoulder…

Stretch of Ocean Parkway facing Brighton Beach Avenue. Source: Google Maps (bottom image)

There’s a pretty cool new website in town.

Part Forgotten-NY, part Fading Ad BlogThe Faded Past — the brainchild and creation of Vlad Iorsh — was “created to serve the Brooklyn communities almost as a catalog to the past, and to those that are vanishing and fading into obscurity.  Having nostalgic memories are important and believe we can all learn from them.”

Amen to that, brother.

On his site, which I discovered via the Facebook page of Forgotten New York’s Kevin Walsh, Iorsh allocates images from Brooklyn’s history, both old and not as old — and from the looks of it, for now, it seems to have more of a Southern Brooklyn bend — into the categories of “Institutions,” “Store Fronts,” “Then and Now,” “Buildings,” “Signs,” and “Advertisements.” He also has a Flickr page.

I want this website not to be exclusive, but inclusive.  I want you, the viewer to interact with this site.  If you send scanned classic photos to me, that would be helpful in making this website great! We can only do this by sharing our pieces of history. I stongly believe with the fast moving society we live in; that we should take it slow and take in the beauty and history of what was here before us.

I particularly enjoyed the “Then and Now” category, as it also gave me the impetus to post one of my own, pictured above, created from an old, 1920s-era postcard of the Ocean Parkway section of Brighton Beach, which I found floating around the annals of the web, and its modern-day equivalent on Google Maps.

What a difference 90 years makes, right? And, yet, not so much.

There are plenty “Now and Then” shots — and more — on The Faded Past, so go check it out. I know I will.