Lloyd Lederman (right) of Jay & Lloyd’s Kosher Deli fame. Source: Jason Fulford for American Way

American Way — the official “award-winning” mag of American Airlines (who knew they had such a fancy website? Or that they even had a website at all?) — did a bang-up cover story on “The Disappearing Deli,” highlighting the sumptuous offerings of our very own Jay and Lloyd’s Kosher Deli (cue the comments war on whether they are kosher or “kosher-style”), alongside the likes of the Lower East Side’s famous Katz’s Delicatessen, and Mile End, the Montreal-style Jewish delicatessen in Downtown Brooklyn.

Opened in 1993, Jay & Lloyd’s is operated by third-generation deli owner Lloyd Lederman and Jay Stern, boyhood friends who grew up down the street from each other in Brooklyn. “We saw the old ways going,” Lederman says. “Most of the delis were becoming commercialized, and they didn’t have that traditional deli atmosphere and flavor. We are using Grandma and Grandpa’s recipes and holding true to form.”

[…]

Lederman says that although kosher meats and products are more expensive, they offer superior quality. “Sure, you can get a sandwich at the local bagel deli counter for $5,” he says. “But you are getting what you pay for.”

But beyond the quality of the beef, part of what the customer is paying for is the deli experience. “We kibitz with our customers,” Lederman says, referring to the Yiddish term for joking. “It’s almost like a Catskills Mountains, Borscht Belt routine around here. That’s what makes the New York deli unique.”

If you are a Jewish deli aficionado, it’s definitely worth a look see. As for myself, it’s been said that the most dangerous spot in New York City is the space between myself and a Katz’s pastrami on rye.

Fact.

If John Sloan illustrated the covers for the Aubrey-Maturin series of books, it might look something like this. Photo by Ned Berke.

Arthur Borko snagged this photo of New York City Department of Environment Protection (DEP) and New York State Department of Environment Conservation (DEC) authorities checking out the sewage lines on Harkness Avenue, just off of Knapp Street.

(This article has been updated. The update is after the original post.)

The location, between the United Artists movie theater and the row of shops that includes Coldstone Creamery, Jordan’s Lobster Dock and TGI Fridays, was the site of sewer lines that were being improperly maintained by the area’s landlords, causing raw sewage to spill into Shell Bank Creek. Back in December, authorities arrested eight individuals and charged four businesses – Regal Entertainment Group, TGI Friday’s, Knapp Street Bagel and the Deauville Marina – for illegal dumping, claiming that the businesses had ignored the problem since 2003 despite being notified by the city.

The dumping occurs through a stretch of leaky, poorly maintained pipes lining the waterfront. The businesses along Harkness Avenue and Knapp Street are not connected to the city’s sewer system, so the privately-owned wastewater lines lead directly to the nearby sewage treatment plant. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said the individuals charged face up to four years in prison, and the four businesses could be forced to pay up to $75,000 a day until problems with their sewage infrastructure are repaired.

The DEC officer on scene could not tell us if the testing had to do with the December case, only noting that it was a part of an “ongoing criminal investigation.” Calls to the DEP press office have not been returned.

UPDATE (4:28 p.m.): Minutes after posting, we received a call from the DEP saying that the testing was a part of the Industrial Pretreatment Program, an EPA-mandated monitoring of sewage lines around certain types of waterfront businesses. The DEP conducts more than 600 such tests a year around the city. When we pointed out that the DEC officer stated it was part of an ongoing criminal investigation, the DEP spokesperson said she was unaware of any connection.

There’s no shortage of faults to find in New York City’s disjointed online strategy. In sum? Too many agency websites, too much cluttered, unorganized data, too little cross-agency integration. Oh, and way – way - too many navigational menus. However, every now and then the city comes out with a great tool.

That’s what we’ve got with Change by Us NYC, a new website launched today by the Mayor’s office in partnership with a slew of non-profits and policy institutes. It’s being billed as a “social network for civic activity.” Here’s how the website describes itself:

Change by Us NYC is a new website created by Local Projects and run by the City of New York. It’s a place for New Yorkers to put their ideas into action by creating projects and building teams to make our city a better place to live.

The service provides a platform for city-dwellers to suggest their own ideas for improving neighborhoods across the five boroughs, and allows neighbors to organize and implement action independently of the city. They’ve also signed on several “influential New Yorkers” to follow the projects and communicate with Change by Us’ users. Those New Yorkers include Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith, Green City Force Corps Founder Lisbeth Shepherd and Cas Holloway, commissioner of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection.

Read our overview of the service, and what we think they need to do in order to ensure success.

Photo by Steve Barrison

Sure, we used to write a lot about the neighborhood’s ongoing garbage problems. But, last summer, after our posts and other media reports shamed the local Department of Sanitation garage into adding more pickups, the problem eased a bit, and we got off their backs. But, with summer here, and budget cuts presumably forcing reduced pickup schedules at corner litter baskets, the problem is back in full force. So we’re bringing back the Garbage Gazette, our (unfortunately) frequent chronicling of overflowing litter baskets, dumping grounds and local sore spots.

To kick off the first Garbage Gazette of Summer 2011, we’ve got a photo taken last night and a letter from Steve Barrison, president of Bay Improvement Group.

Read Barrison’s letter, and find out how you can help.

John Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776." Source: UShistory.org

Telling Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future… except for today. Today, Sheepshead Bites brings you the “Telling Tips Quiz – Independence Week Edition,” since, after all, the Declaration of Independence guarantees “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” and a person whose finances are in order is a happy person. Answers will be posted in the comments by the end of the day. And no Googling!

Do the quiz!

The Coney Island Hospital Farmer's Market. Photo by Tina Gray

You know what? We may not have a Pathmark anymore, nor do we have a congressman (for now) who vowed to fight to bring us a replacement for Pathmark, but… what we do have, for the second year in a row, is a farmer’s market.

Harvest Home Farmers’ Market of New York, which brings fresh, nutritious and affordable foods and produce to you, directly from local tri-state farms, will be set up every Friday in front of Coney Island Hospital, Ocean Parkway between Avenue Z and Shore Road, now through November 18, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

I hear the offerings are pretty terrific, too, if one is to go by the facebook status of Sheepshead Bay activist and occasional Sheepshead Bites contributor Tina Gray:

“Yesterday was the first day of the Farmer’s Market at Coney Island Hospital. Loved it! Bought all sorts of yummy stuff.”

She also wrote in an email to Sheepshead Bites:

“One lady is a baker that has quiches, brownies, cakes and cookies.  Then there’s the apple guy with fresh juices (the blueberry is awesome!!!!).  Then there are two farmers with your basic lettuces, tomatoes, cukes, etc.”

The four vendors at the Coney Island Hospital Market, which opened June 17, accept Food Stamp/EBT cards, Women Infant and Children Farmer’s Market Nutrition Coupons (FMNP), Senior Coupons and Health Bucks.

Go check it out — their stuff is a million times better than Stouffer’s microwavable macaroni and cheese, and coming from me, that’s saying something.

insanity later. Photo by Bryan E.

Hipsters, like the ones pictured above, will likely travel en masse to Southern Brooklyn for the Jelly Rock Beach music festival. Source: Flickr/♔ philea ♔

So much for “talentless, ironic, trend sucking, wanna-be urban, pseudo pioneers” not crossing south of the red line on Die Hipster’s map of Brooklyn. Beginning July 9, after a prematurely false non-start, or whatever that was, show promoters Jelly and Topman are teaming up to launch “Rock Beach,” a series of free music festivals at the Aviator Sports Complex at Floyd Bennett Field through September.

There will be performances on July 9 by Penguin Prison, Wild Yaks, Janka Nabay and The Bubu Gang, and Monogold. Brooklyn Vegan has all the deets:

The series of six free weekend events will deliver the hottest acts and new talent from its brand new home and will also — for the first time ever — offer festival camping for the last three events in the series at the Floyd Bennett Field — the setting of New York’s first ever airport.

[Ed – They’re camping here too? Oy. Hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife!]

“After 5 years of Pool Parties in Williamsburg, we are very excited to be moving out to the Aviator Sports Complex near one of our favorite summer destinations, Fort Tilden Beach. We are looking forward to leaving Bedford Ave behind offering an ultimate weekend destination and adventure for all ages.” – JELLY

The whole ROCKBEACH experience will deliver weekends of the coolest music and total fun to festival-goers with the likes of slip n slides, dodgeball, beach volleyball and most importantly — swimming pools filled with ice cold water and giant inflatables.

Entry to the festival is free — all festival-goers need to do is register online at WWW.ROCKBEACH.US In addition, there will be a ROCKBEACH festival shuttle bus with roundtrip rides costing $20 — but there are 100 lucky bus tickets up for grabs for each event which can be won by registering online at WWW.ROCKBEACH.US.

Hipsters camping in tents and sleeping bags, playing dodgeball, and flinging themselves across a Slip ’n Slide in Floyd Bennett Field. I wonder what my new hero, Rocco Perna (Note: NSFW due to salty language), thinks of all this.

Photo by Allan B.

We’ve been receiving a lot of complaints this year about the filth left behind by crowds on our public beaches. Cigarette butts and broken glass mingle in the sand, beer cans and fast food wrappers float along the waters, and the boardwalks – oh, the boardwalks! – have almost as much garbage as people.

That is a problem, and if the city can’t afford to clean it up, they should at least be pushing a proper public awareness campaign to leave with what you came with, as some of us classier folk were taught as children. But that’s not the problem we’re talking about today when we talk about dirty beaches. We’re talking about the water, and pollution from sewage and runoff.

A new report issued last week by the Natural Resources Defense Council suggests our beachwaters are contaminated with bacteria that can cause dysentery, hepatitis and pink eye, among other gross-out conditions. The report sparks off some alarmist coverage by our colleagues over at the Brooklyn Paper and Metro, who portrayed Brooklyn’s beaches as cesspools. But things may not be as bad as they appear.

Continue Reading »