Source: MTA

THE COMMUTE: Hurting drivers will not help transit. But the Department of Transportation and the MTA believes it will.

Last week I gave 10 changes the MTA needs to implement to get back on track so that our mass transit system can better serve its users. However, the MTA and DOT have their own misguided ideas.

Years ago, the MTA realized there will never be enough capital money to build all the necessary subway expansions. So, in 2004, the MTA decided that, rather than building any more subway lines, they will turn to buses instead by making them faster. But as the agency continues to roll out BRT/SBS service, they mistakenly throttle automobile traffic, thinking this might bolster mass transit usage. Let me explain.

Continue Reading »

Photo by nolastname.

“I think an investigation is warranted,” wrote Lisanne, who took the above photo.

Source: eBay

Here we have a lovely multi-purpose ceramic ashtray for cigars, with the name Pappas written in flowery script, which just fetched a remarkable $52.57 on eBay by seller “antiquesart,” after an opening bid of $9.99. It was advertised as such: “SHENANGO Advertising Cigar Ashtray PAPPAS Matches OLD.” Two sets of matches, one of which contained the telephone number “938-6890” (I believe this is a Park Slope exchange), were sold with the ashtray.

A glimpse inside the now-defunct Pappas / Source: eBay

For those of you too young to remember — myself included — Pappas Restaurant & Chop House was a steak and seafood joint located at 1821 Emmons Avenue (where El Greco is now), previously owned by the Pappas Family and similar, in vein, to Tappan’s.

Steve Pappas, owner of the building behind Lundy’s, I am reasonably sure is related to the family who owned the steak and seafood house, although I am unsure if there is any relation to Sheepshead Bay resident (and Coney Island native), The Very Reverend Father Eugene Pappas, Protopresbyter of the Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church on Avenue P and East 17th Street.

On a message board, “Brooklyn Bill” writes: “Pappas Restaurant was a block west of Lundy’s. Their fish was almost as good and they served a very good complimentary tossed salad.”

Even if their fish was “almost as good,” Pappas Restaurant sure did have some damn fine looking cigar ashtrays (made by the Shenango China Company, which was incorporated in 1901 — old school). It holds not one, but two books of matches! Impressive as hell, don’t you think?

Antiques Roadshow, here I come, baby!


Here’s a joint statement regarding the special election for former-Congressman Anthony Weiner’s seat in the Ninth Congressional District, issued by Brennan Center for Justice, Common Cause, NY Citizens Union, League of Women Voters of New York City, League of Women Voters of New York State, New York Public Interest Research Group, and the Women’s City Club Of New York. For the record? We agree.


July 1, 2011

As New York’s leading civic reform organizations, we are disappointed in Governor Cuomo’s decision not to hold regular primaries and general elections this fall for six vacant State Assembly seats and instead issue proclamations to hold special elections for these seats on September 13th. We strongly disagree with this decision, which we believe will result in lower voter turnout, increased confusion at the polls and potentially higher costs to localities.

The governor’s action comes after a legislative session that saw no meaningful election reform legislation or administrative actions to increase voter participation. The governor has compounded the lack of action by scheduling special elections for these seats on Primary Day, when fewer voters turn out as compared to the General Election in November. By keeping with political tradition, this decision represents a lost opportunity to change business as usual and challenge the entrenched interests that dominate special elections.

The holding of special elections circumvents the democratic process by denying voters the opportunity to pick the candidates to represent their party as they would in a regular primary election. Special Elections typically empower the interests of party leaders, rather than presenting voters with a real choice of candidates at the polls. They unfairly give hand-picked candidates the advantage of incumbency at the next general election and essentially result in candidates being appointed to office rather than elected given the lack of competitive races.

Moreover, this decision will create confusion for voters and poll workers who will have to administer simultaneous primary elections and special elections where all voters in a district may cast ballots. Finally, this decision could force hard-pressed localities to pay for election operations on primary day even if only one candidate qualified for the ballot. The normal primary process would accommodate such races on General Election day at no additional expense to voters.

We urge the Governor to commit to a swift end of the current practice of filling vacancies for state offices, through legislative or executive action.

For more information contact:
Russ Haven, NYPIRG 518 436-0876
Dick Dadey, Citizens Union 917 709-2896
Ruth E. Acker, Women’s City Club of New York212 353-8070, x202

Photo by Erica Sherman

Anthony Weiner’s resignation as representative for the Ninth Congressional district struck off an insufferable back-and-forth among politicos about the implications of the now-vacant seat, fretting over who will jockey for power and how much it really matters, given that the district is likely to be carved up as state legislators begin gerrymandering drawing new lines based on census results. Of course, most of the discussion revolved around party lines and partisan “strategery,” not what it actually means for constituents or who will best represent their interests. But, hey, such minor details usually get lost in the fray, right?

Anyway, the future of the seat is going to get a little bit more certain, as Governor Andrew Cuomo has finally set the date for a special election: September 13.

Continue Reading »

Notice anything weird about this photo of Marmaris, at 3081 Emmons Avenue, taken on Wednesday afternoon? No? Let’s look at one of the other doors.

Hmm. Another tree in front a door. Very strange. What’s going on here? Perhaps we should take a peek behind one of the trees. Maybe there’s a hot wood nymph or something…

Believe me, you want to know what’s going on here. Click to continue…

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.

A bit of a play on an old Neil Diamond song. Actually, the photo kind of reminds me of this work of art. Photo by Laura Fernandez.

(Coney Island’s Seaside Summer Concert Series 2012 Full Schedule.)

So much for our earlier scoop! Just hours after Sheepshead Bites announced that Joan Jett would be the unnamed star of Marty Markowitz’s Seaside Summer Concert Series’ 2011 first show, the entire schedule hit the web. So here it is, the complete lineup for the 33rd year of the Seaside Summer Concert Series in Coney Island:

July 14: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

July 21: An evening with The Monkees, with special guest MC Jay Black

July 28: Mary Wilson of The Supremes, with The Spinners

August 4: Mystery Night, a night so mysterious they’re refusing to announce the performer until a week before the show.

August 11: Annual Latino Music By The Sea, with performers TBA and the Maria Torres Dancers

Augst 18: Cheap Trick, with The Rattlers

Seaside Summer Concert Series performances are held Thursdays, 7:30 p.m., at West 21st Street and Surf Avenue in Coney Island, next to the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones.

The public is encouraged to bring their own chairs. A limited number of $5 rental chairs in a specially designated area are available on a first-come first-served basis.

Performers are subject to change without notice. Call the concert hotline for updates at 718-222-0600.