Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo asks Mayor Michael Bloomberg a question about road repair.

The Brighton Beach Business Improvement District hosted an unprecedented visit by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and top brass from nearly two dozen city agencies on Thursday, marking a stride forward in the relationship between the government and New York City’s Russian-American business owners.

Approximately 200 business owners, activists and local politicians packed into National Restaurant (273 Brighton Beach Avenue) during the evening powwow, as Mayor Bloomberg addressed the gathering and – along with commissioners from city agencies including the NYPD, Small Business Services, Department of Education and Department of Traffic – answered a broad range of questions and concerns.

“Small business owners have to jump from one hoop to another to get everything they need from city agencies,” said Brighton Beach BID’s executive director, Yelena Makhnin, who organized the event. “I believe this visit is part of the initiative to reach out to Russian-speaking business owners.”

Keep reading to find out what people thought of the event, and why Bloomberg may have chosen now to reach out to Brighton Beach’s business community.

Source: Darny via Flickr

If you’ve noticed a heap o’ work being done around the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, it’s because the one-time title-holder of longest suspension bridge in the world is getting a few new coats of paint.

According to Courier Life, the $19-million paint job will take two years. To start, they’re covering the stanchions before sandblasting rust and lead paint off of the structure. The covering will prevent the lead from hitting the water. Then they’ll fix any damage to the steel structure before covering it with three new coats of paint.

The contractor is bringing barges to station around the bridge’s towers, not far from where the U.S. Coast Guard has created a 110-yard safety zone after local diver Gene Ritter found a stash of more than 1,500 sunken munitions.

Are you a local boater? Will the work on the Verrazano, combined with the Coast Guard’s “safety zone” be an obstacle in your trips through the narrows?

A 2-year-old girl plummeted from a fourth floor window on Ocean Avenue yesterday evening, and survived the fall nearly unharmed.

It’s not yet clear how the child got out of the window, but at around 7:00 p.m. Monday she tumbled through the air, struck a fire escape, and landed in the courtyard.

Miraculously, the child didn’t break a single bone and is listed in stable condition at Kings County Hospital.

[via New York Post]

Not to be confused with “Always and Forever” by Heatwave. Photo by nolastname.

Photo by Lisanne

It ain’t just the Avenue Y underpass

From Lisanne and nolastname:

[nolastname] told me that they were dumping garbage in front of teold LIRR staircase now. The corner pavement, as you can see, has been paved, and a protective barrier put up. But that doesn’t stop people. I talked to two workers who told me it definitely would not have come from anyone involved with the end stages of the Neck Road station project.

Of course it wouldn’t have…

Oof, another Monday. Maybe Monday’s would be better if it had a silly name, like Boogieday or Hornswoggleday, or perhaps even Unitarday. That might cheer us all up.

Well, it’s still called Monday, so we’ll have to find something else to cheer us up. Oh, and I know just the thing: a reader contest!

Sheepshead Bites is offering one lucky reader the chance to throw the first pitch at Sheepshead Bites Night at MCU Park, when the Brooklyn Cyclones face off against the Jamestown Jammers!

If you’re chosen, you’ll get to come on the field with us and greet the players, then take to the mound and throw the first pitch of the game during the August 19 event.

What do you have to do? Well, you have to pitch us first. We want you to tell us why you think you deserve the honor of throwing the first pitch in the game. It doesn’t have to be a good reason, either. It could be funny and ridiculous, or memorably heart-touching, or a Faba-esque rant. It could be good, bad or disgusting – but it has got to make an impression with us. We’ll take all the submissions and pass ‘em around the office, deciding on the three best stories. Then we’ll post those three online, and let readers vote on who deserves the honor the most.

Here’s what you have to do:

  • Write why you believe you deserve to throw the first pitch. This could be one sentence or 800 words (please don’t go over 800 words. We have other things to do!), but it has to stick in our minds.
  • Send your submission to nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.
  • Put “PITCH TO PITCH” in the e-mail’s subject line.
  • Wait ’til you hear back from us.
  • Deadline for submission is Wednesday, August 10.
That’s all folks! And if you somehow haven’t heard about Sheepshead Bites Night at MCU Park, then you’ve got to check out all the details here. Buy your discounted tickets now, before they sell out!
Cherry Hill Gourmet Market at Lundys in Sheepshead Bay

Photo by Ray Johnson

New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Committee announced late last week that they’re going forward with a public hearing tomorrow, August 2, regarding violations at the landmarked Lundy’s building by Cherry Hill Gourmet Market, outraging local activists who say they’re being left out of the process.

The hearing will review Cherry Hill Gourmet Market’s (1901 Emmons Avenue) move to legalize alterations to the building currently in violation of the property’s landmark status. The alterations include several changes made during the property’s renovation two years ago to convert it from a restaurant space to a market, including signs in the windows, a large external air conditioning unit adjacent to the back wall, changes to the sidewalk and parts of the building removed for the installation of awnings. If the move fails to garner approval from the LPC, the business owner – David Isaev – could be required to pay to undo the changes and restore it to compliance.

But after waiting nearly two years to challenge the legalization attempt, at least one local group is saying the LPC’s short notice cuts out the community.

“This is an outrage. This is the first we hear of a hearing,” said Bay Improvement Group President Steve Barrison, whose civic group helped fight for Lundy’s landmark status in 1989 and has helped take care of the property during its neglected years. “Our members have called 311 to complain [about the violations] for over a year. I have called to LPC and never received a call back. I have emailed LPC and never received a response.”

Find out what’s at stake, and the entire Lundy’s-Cherry Hill back story.

Is this the American Airlines counter at JFK? Read on to find out. Photo by Allan Rosen

THE COMMUTE: Customer service — that should be a top priority for any company and it is for the most successful ones. Adequate signage and responding to customer complaints and taking appropriate action are key components to a good customer service plan. Although the MTA has made significant strides during the past generation in improving its signage and notifications of service changes, it still falls short in some areas. It often ignores customer complaints and suggestions or gives nonsensical or inappropriate form responses.

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Okay, so it wasn’t really a spy shop. I mean, you couldn’t buy spies there or anything, right? Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck.

Enough of that., which specializes in security system sales and installations – but also has a fun collection of spy gizmos and gadgets – has moved out of the area. Formerly at 1405 Avenue Z, they’ve picked up and gone off to Mill Basin. The owner tells us their new location gives them much more space. can now be found at 6167 Strickland Avenue. The phone number remains the same.

Terrific photo by Randy Contello. The water looks like the same color you’d find in a bottle of Rosé wine, the hue of which is achieved by a process called “bleeding the vats.