For the first time in 35 years, the world-famous Cyclone rollercoaster is up for grabs.
And the Bloomberg administration is taking the opportunity to bring big improvements to the 83-year-old landmark on the Coney Island boardwalk, including longer hours, better lighting and other upgrades along its surrounding plaza.
The city today announced it’s planning to solicit proposals from amusement operators to potentially replace Carol Hill Albert, whose family has run the ride under a city lease since 1975.
Albert, who also operated fabled Astroland Park before closing its doors in 2008, said she still wants to remain operator of the Cyclone. But Albert said she agreed to let the city put the lease up for grabs on the open market because it is to only way to make necessary upgrades to keep her business afloat.
Albert, who said she plans to bid on the new lease, told the Post she “is losing” money under conditions of the existing lease that runs another five years.
This, she said, is despite the rollercoaster’s ridership dramatically increasing this summer after the new Luna Park opened next door on the old Astroland tract.
“For years, Astroland helped subsidize running the Cyclone, and without the park it became evident that we need to make changes like adding a food-and-drink stand to keep it afloat,” she said. “I was told by the Parks Department that the only way that could happen is through a new lease” that would be open to anyone to bid on.
And now she’s rolling the dice.
Zamperla USA, which operates Luna Park, could potentially offer Albert stiff competition.
Both Zamperla and the city declined to discuss such a possibility.
And then Avrahom Rosenberg stepped into the ring, running on the Conservative Party ticket. The young, first-time candidate has the backing of Ed Koch’s New York Uprising, a campaign to kick out the worst of the state legislators.
Rosenberg made his first appearance in Sheepshead Bay yesterday, during the Sheepshead Bay / Plumb Beach Civic Association meeting’s Candidate Night. Of all the politicians in the room, he was the only challenger present and spoke for the shortest amount of time – about three minutes. He spoke little about Kruger, instead depicting his run as an attempt to inspire more youths to be involved in politics. A glimpse of his political leanings came out when he briefly discussed the new healthcare bill and what he thought were unfair costs to be passed along to his generation. Rosenberg is from Midwood.
In a rare civic association appearance, the senator himself showed up. He spoke before Rosenberg and left immediately afterwards (In the video above, we chose to reverse the order in which they appeared). He never mentioned the elections, instead touting his flu shot program and launching into a 10-minute question-and-answer session.
Kruger discussed the KamaSutra sex shop, saying that city agencies would make sure they comply with local laws, and that resident’s efforts were best spent convincing friends and family not to visit. He also decried the MTA for cuts in bus service to the area. Regarding the Voorhies Avenue mosque, he said the government was constrained in the actions it could take because of laws protecting houses of worship. But he noted that the DOB, DEP and other agencies would ensure it is built and operated according to code.
One of the best Sheepshead Bay restaurants you’ve never been to has closed.
Chert Poberi Cafe, which occupied 1664 Sheepshead Bay Road for several years, is finished. The woman bringing down the gate, who did not own the business, said that it hadn’t gotten the popularity needed to keep it going.
I went to Chert Poberi once for lunch, and discovered one of the better meal deals in the neighborhood. For $8.00 you received three courses, plus a glass of compote. It was good food (I believe I had the schnitzel, with roasted, dill-slathered potatoes), and the only thing that stopped me from returning was the time investment involved in three courses. I regret that.
I also wanted to try the summer BBQ that they’ve been advertising, and I just checked their website, which advertises. “With guest speakers such as musicians, writers, artists and celebrities, Ch. P. Nights aims to expand the café’s appeal, by giving South Brooklyn what it needs: a place for recreation.”
I don’t think that was ever true – and if it was it was so poorly advertised that one can begin to understand why they closed.
If we had it all to do over again, we’d patronize Chert Poberi Cafe more often. Best of luck to the former owners.
Haven’t yet seen this angle of the Oriental Hotel, which faced Sheepshead Bay between Ocean Avenue and Girard Street was somewhere else entirely [Read comments]. The photo comes from SepiaTown.com. Cool, eh?
Repairs to the Plumb Beach bike path is one of the only local suggestions that made it into the waterfront planning document guiding the next 10 years of development.
The city’s new so-called “comprehensive waterfront plan” ignores the needs of Southern Brooklyn neighborhoods, said Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo, and she plans to tell the Department of City Planning that we demand more.
“What they’re pressing right now [in Brooklyn] is Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Red Hook and the Gowanus Canal,” Scavo told Sheepshead Bites. “Look at the things they’re pushing over there. The ‘up-and-coming waterfront’; but what about the one that’s been here for years?”
“Compared to other places, we didn’t get much of anything,” she added.
Leaders of the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association turned their attention once again to their local adversaries, the Manhattan Beach Community Group, blasting them from the podium for more than a quarter of an hour at last night’s meeting.
MBNA President Alan Ditchek seized on several issues, but seemed particularly irked by what he called “political plagiarism.” He said MBCG President Ira Zalcman took credit for achievements Ditchek himself scored at MBCG before the group split – specifically, getting local students into area schools.
He also bashed Zalcman for his harsh criticism of city authorities, who Zalcman said have been touting neighborhood division as the reason for stalling on solutions to community problems like traffic safety. Ditchek praised those officials for their efforts.
MBNA Vice President Al Smaldone also took to the podium – and eventually spoke directly to Sheepshead Bites’ camera – to invite MBCG leaders to discuss ways to move the community forward.
The Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Civic Association is holding its first meeting in many, many months tonight at the Baron DeKalb Knights of Columbus. The group has been on hiatus for quite a while; first for summer recess, and then a cancelled meeting in September because it coincided with a holiday.
SB/PB Civic is the only civic association serving the flagship neighborhood covered by Sheepshead Bites. We encourage all of our readers to attend and get involved, as the civic association’s (and the neighborhood’s) power grows only as the group swells in numbers and diversity. Take action now, and help your community take its rightful place as the premiere hub of Southern Brooklyn!
Date: Tuesday, October 5 Time: 7:30 p.m. Location: Baron DeKalb K of C; 3000 Emmons Avenue
Refreshments will be served
This is P.S. 254, because we didn't have one of P.S. 255 - Photo by Ray Johnson
It’s that time of year again – report cards! And, unlike their students, principals won’t be able to forge their parent’s signatures on their school report cards and return it to the powers that be.
Pity, because they may want to. The Department of Education released its annual school report cards, and 25 percent of schools scored A’s as opposed to 84 percent in 2009. But there’s plenty of debate about how meaningful school report cards are; especially with number skewing that pushes more schools towards the middle, and keeps the number of failing schools at 1 percent.
Locally, the numbers are looking pretty good. All of our elementary and middle schools passed (high school grades aren’t out until November). The best performing elementary and middle school in and around Sheepshead Bay are P.S. 255 Barbara Reing School and P.S. 206 Joseph F. Lamb respectively (the latter is a K-8 school; of 6-8 schools, I.S. 98 Bay Academy tops the list).
The lowest scoring school on the local list is J.H.S. 278 Marine Park, which nabbed a D – a grade dragged down by its performance score of an F (overall grades consider environment, performance and progress). One step above Marine Park J.H.S. was P.S. 194 Raoul Wallenberg, the worst performing elementary school in the area, receiving a C.
Tuesday Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future.
Many of the tax cuts that were put into effect by President Bush are scheduled to expire at the end of this year. Many of those tax cuts will not be extended. In this article, accountant Joseph Reisman compiles some of the things that will – and will not – change by the time tax season rolls around. He also offers a few tips so save money if Uncle Sam is digging a little deeper into your pockets this year.