These open threads are funny things. I mostly keep them short, due to either laziness or deadlines, and hope I have the time and inspiration next week to make one how I’d really like it to be.

In an ideal world, they would all be perfectly crafted essays, my one consistent opportunity to write creatively about anything I choose, Sheepshead Bay-related or not. In an ideal world, it would more often fall on the side of “or not.”

In an ideal world, they would also be funny. But the last few times I’ve sat down to hammer out a more profound scribble I begin with morbid lines like this:

We all have those days in which every fiber of our body fills with frustration, as we, or those around us, fail to achieve as anticipated. It could be personal or professional. It could be practical of philosophical. So long as an expectation can be held, a disappointment can be met.

Barf. Sorry if you like it, but I’ve always felt that angsty Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul nonsense made better tinder than reading material.

And so, I read that, barfed – as you saw – and returned to square one: the blank open thread. And no ideas. And a dwindling deadline.

I suppose, you know, I could just make it short. I could just create the thread and hope you talk. I could just meet the deadline.

And next week, I’ll have more time and more inspiration and I’ll make that perfectly crafted essay that’s funny and touching and profound. Next week. Right.

Written between 11:48 and 11:53 a.m., February 28.

Published 11:54 a.m., February 28.

A car crash on Shore Parkway and Knapp Street early Sunday morning has left a 23-year-old man dead and three others injured.

Devon Burgess, 23, a Brooklyn resident died at Coney Island Hospital, and the 19-year-old driver and two women in the car were taken to Staten Island University Hospital North in stable condition, according to ABC News.

The westbound 2007 Chrysler Sebring lost control on the Belt Parkway exit ramp at Knapp Street, crashing into a utility pole at high speed at approximately 1:20 a.m., police told Fox 5.

Photo by Flatbush Scoop.

Here’s a shot of the new Coney Island roller coaster, which we assume is the Soaring Eagle, at the upcoming Zamperla “Scream Zone” park.

The Soaring Eagle is one of two new coasters to sit on Zamperla’s newest digs. It’s described by the company as a flying coaster on which riders navigate the track in a nearly prone “superhero” flying position. Soaring Eagle uses a spiral lift system to climb 50 feet and reaches a top speed of 26 mph.

Your thoughts?

Photo by Phil/Knightmare6.

Source: mikealex/Flickr

The Taxi and Limousine Commission wants your opinion on allowing livery cab drivers new privileges to pick you up. Yes, legally.

The TLC has launched an online survey following up on Mayor Bloomberg’s State of the City proposal to allow some livery cab drivers to pick up would-be passengers off the street to grasp how the public uses taxis and car services.

The TLC says that these select livery cabs are “yellow taxi-like” in that they will include metered fares and the option of credit card payment, but they won’t have the same yellow-cab medallions and will only be allowed to pick up street hails in the outerboroughs. They won’t be the same as the existing livery cabs, which are only allowed to pick up fares by phone; it’ll be a new class of taxi with a distinct uniform color and look, as well as rooftop lights.

TLC Commissioner David Yassky was quoted as saying the agency knows “for sure that New York City residents in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island need better street hail service.”

Living in Sheepshead Bay, I am sure everyone has seen livery cabs lined up in front of the Sheepshead Bay Q/B station. What do you have to say about this?

Take the TLC’s brief survey and let them know what you think of the idea.

Photo by nolastname.

Source: Marcos Vasconcelos Photography/Flickr

We all know finding and holding a job in his economy is rough, but commuting to work these days can be just as tough.

Daily News reported that the number of Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island residents traveling to jobs in their own boroughs or neighboring counties has jumped 23 percent since 1990 – compared with an 11 percent increase in people going to the city, according to the report from the Center for an Urban Future.

Keep reading why this could be a problem for commuters.

Courtesy of Miramar Yacht Club

We began getting e-mails Wednesday night about a great big seal lazily basking in the sun on the docks of the Miramar Yacht Club. The seal, about five feet long, had been there all day, and didn’t seem the slightest bit perturbed by the presence of papparazi-like club members. The next morning, the seal was still there, but, unfortunately, he returned to the waters and made his way out to sea just minutes before Sheepshead Bites arrived with cameras.

Perhaps he worried that if he lingered too long on the Miramar docks, he’d be asked to pay membership dues.

Anthony, a long time clubmember, said he’d never seen a seal in the waters of Sheepshead Bay. But apparently boaters were reporting back to the club that a pod of the pinnipeds have been playing around the mouth of the bay for the past two days.

Keep reading and see more photos.

Source: alancleaver_2000 via Flickr

Now there’s a way to bleed less when filing taxes this tax season. Whether you are getting back a lot, nothing, or owe the IRS money, the good news is the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance is offering free tax preparation on-line software to about half of all New York filers.

According to the department, New York State taxpayers earning $58,000 or less in 2010 or who served in the military in 2010, may be able to file taxes at no cost. The agency estimates that half of New York tax filers are eligible for this under a program called “FreeFile,” which helps aid lower income and moderate income tax filers.

Check out their website to find out if you’re eligible and begin filing free taxes.

Click to enlarge

You’ll note Maksim Gelman’s four murders figure into this week’s stat sheet.

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 photo of the Ocean Avenue Bridge during the overnight snows Monday morning. Photo by Phil/Knightmare6.