Source: Lisanne!/Flickr

Apparently Sheepshead Bay is not the only place with a set of “Steps to Nowhere.” I was surprised to discover just how many “Steps to Nowhere” exist all over the place, but Web Urbanist — which “covers the collective life of our times through the lens of creative visual culture in the beating hearts of our cities” — saw fit to dedicate a comprehensive pictorial to the semi-obscure subject… checkit:

Like a carpenter who makes stairs, I’m always thinking one step ahead. Unfortunately the builders of these 12 strange staircases never arrived at a landing, leaving us to wonder where these spooky steps to nowhere were meant to lead.

And here’s what Web Urbanist wrote about Sheepshead Bay’s “Steps to Nowhere”:

If you’re in a hurry to catch the Long Island Railroad’s Q Train at the Neck Road station on Gravesend Neck Road and East 16th Street, be sure to keep your head up as you ascend the stairs – or your trip may come to a sudden, painful end. The flight of concrete steps appears to run straight into a wall of concrete blocks ala Harry Potter but it wasn’t always that way: these steps served foot traffic to and from the old Sheepshead Bay Race Track from 1893 to 1924.

In retrospect, I still think we have the coolest “Steps to Nowhere,” although props to David Johnson, the amazing “End of the Shoreline” photographer. Those photos almost made my brains fall out, they are so awesome.

Photo by nolastname.

Reader Janelle F. sent over these photos, snagged by Marc F., of the scene as it is right now (4:30 p.m.) at Avenue N and Schenectady Avenue near the Mill Basin – Flatlands border. Two gunmen allegedly took hostages at a wine shop at 4804 Avenue N, near East 48th Street, in the 63rd Precinct at approximately 1:30 p.m. today. The hostages have been released, but the latest reports suggest that one of the gunmen is threatening to take his own life.

Keep up-to-date with our ongoing coverage of the situation here.

July is just around the corner, and music’s in the air. Kingsborough Community College is set to kick off another year of “Hot Summer Nights,” their free summer concert series starting Saturday, July 2. With the Siren Music Festival shamelessly hightailing it from Coney Island to Manhattan, coupled with Marty Markowitz’s Seaside Concerts moving further away to the old Ringling Brothers Circus site, the KCC’s free series now becomes your most local option to get your summer music fix. Luckily, the venue is amazing as it features free parking, close seating, picnicking, indoor seating in case of rain, and best of all, a month jam packed with some glorious music options for the whole family. Below is the schedule of listed events guaranteed to fill your summer with those halcyon memories, which upon reflection, will make you more depressed when the winter comes.

View Kingsborough’s Free Summer Concert Series’ full 2011 schedule.

Source: Google Maps

UPDATE (5:56 p.m.): It appears both gunmen have surrendered to authorities. Flatbush Scoop is reporting that, contrary to earlier reports, no one was shot, though shots were fired.

UPDATE (3:55 p.m.): Looks like our reader was spot on. The New York Post is reporting:

The hostages were eventually freed unharmed.

Hostage negotiators and heavily-armed cops surrounded the store in the hopes of convincing the men to surrender.

UPDATE (3:45 p.m.): A Sheepshead Bites reader and employee of a business near the scene tells us that one hostage has been released, but that the situation is still ongoing. Meanwhile, the New York Times is reporting the following:

Two armed assailants are believed to have taken the owner of a Brooklyn wine shop hostage inside his store on Wednesday afternoon, the police said.

… “They are inside with who we believe to be the proprietor of the store,” Mr. Browne said.

Officers from the 63rd Precinct went to the store shortly before 2 p.m., after hearing that two people were attempting a robbery, the police said.

When officers arrived, “they heard a shot fired from inside the store,” Mr. Browne said.

UPDATE (3:21 p.m.): MSNBC is reporting the following:

Officials believe two armed suspects are inside holding the owner hostage.

The first officers on scene reported hearing a gunshot, then retreated and called for emergency service units to respond.

UPDATE (3:05 p.m.): Flatbush Scoop is reporting the following [3:27 - FS has removed their post - unclear why]:

Two armed men tried robbing a liquor store on Avenue N and East 46th Street, and have taken people hostage. Shots have been fired by the suspects, and sources tell that one person has been shot.

… has not been able to verify the condition of the person shot.

Original post (2:55 p.m.):

We’ve received word that a serious hostage situation has broken out in Mill Basin, at 4804 Avenue N, near East 48th Street, in the 63rd Precinct.

Hostage negotiation teams, along with a slew of other NYPD units, have converged on the area and formed a two-block perimeter. The situation broke out around 1:40 p.m. today.

One of our Facebook readers reports that the incident is in Arrow Wine & Liquor, the liquor store pictured above. Another reader says shots may have been fired, but this is still unconfirmed. Please avoid the area.

More details forthcoming.

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will provide more information as it becomes available.

This is the third in a three-part series by Allan Rosen, examining why cuts are bad, how ineffective planning hurts the system, and how the MTA can deliver better results.

THE COMMUTE: Today, in the final segment of this series, I give a rundown of the much-needed, common sense changes — from planning to priorities, and buses to bias-elimination — that the MTA needs to make in order to operate more efficiently and effectively.

1. The planning process needs to be transparent so decisions made by the planners can be questioned, and possible mistakes in analyses could be easily identified and corrected.

2. Before making any additional service cuts — and I am not speaking of routine service adjustments, only ones that result in an overall reduction of service — the MTA must first make sure that it has eliminated every inefficiency they can, as well as strive to revise union regulations to permit further efficiencies. They owe that much to the riding public.

Instead, when funding is scarce or when there is a downturn in the economy, the MTA first looks to cut service rather than eliminate waste such as by improving logistics so that track workers do not have to wait around two hours for materials to be delivered in order to begin work.

See the rest of the list.

On June 28, installation of the new steel superstructure for the East 8th Street / Guider Avenue Belt Parkway overpass will commence at the south end. Night time lane closures will begin on July 5 as the steel installation progresses northward over the South Service road and Belt Parkway. The nightly closures are expected to occur over a period of about three weeks. Night time lane closures on the Belt Parkway will continue, with up to two lanes being closed between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. in either or both directions.

Belt Parkway Lane Closures
Eastbound and/or Westbound between Knapp Street and Shell Road

Sunday night through Friday morning:
10 p.m. to 1 a.m. – 1 lane closed
1 a.m. to 5 a.m. – 2 lanes closed**

**On some nights, there will be an all-lane closure at 15-minute intervals. Queued traffic must dissipate completely before another all-lane closure is permitted.

Friday night to Saturday morning:
11 p.m. to 1 a.m. – 1 lane closed
1 a.m. to 6 a.m. – 2 lanes closed

Photo by Erica Sherman

Welcome back to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.

Welcome to the 25th edition of The Bite. It’s been great eating around the neighborhood, seeking out the new and unusual, stuffing my face with the great and not so great, all to edify you, our dear readers, about the wonders of eating in Sheepshead Bay. I hope I’ve expanded our culinary horizons as much as I’ve expanded my belly.

For the 25th edition of The Bite, I’m going to break tradition and throw out the one dish rule. I’m still going to tell you about a wonderful neighborhood gem, but in a whole new way. This week, The Bite explores the birth and, sadly, the demise of a restaurant.

Enter The Ocean Room, Kingsborough Community College’s Culinary Arts Program’s weekly, student-run restaurant. Oh, don’t worry, The Ocean Room will return in the fall. You’ll get your chance. Maybe. It is by invitation only, after all.

In The Ocean Room, students learn what it takes to run a restaurant. Every Friday, aspiring culinarians throw open the doors to roughly 100 guests for lunch, so that they can put the theoretical into action. Does all that shtick in the classroom translate to the real world? It’s time to put it to the test.

Continue Reading »

DJ Johnny Versache of OPM helps inscribe the Sefer Torah / Source: Alex Gorokhov of Glatt Photography for

What makes DJ Johnny Versache different from all other DJ’s?

Well, for one thing, the disc jockey over at OPM Restaurant and Ultra Lounge, 3202 Emmons Avenue, dedicated a new Sefer Torah during a gala dinner benefiting Camp F.R.E.E. – the Gan Israel Scholarship Fund.

The highlight of the event was the commencement of a new Sefer Torah, dedicated by the well-known New York DJ Johnny Versache (Zachariah).

Supporters of the camp in attendance were honored with the writing of the first letters.

Rabbi Dan Dashevsky, the camp’s administrator, told a beautiful story comparing a Jew to a living Torah Scroll and presented the dinner awards together with the camp director, Rabbi Mendel Okunov.

Rabbi Meir Okunov, the chairman of F.R.E.E. awarded Rabbi Shlomo Galperin for the 40 years of dedication to Jewish education. Young professionals and businessmen were entertained by popular comedian Modi.

Recently garnering not such glowing feedback from seniors at a nearby retirement home, hosting a benefit for youngsters to be able to attend Camp F.R.E.E. – Gan Israel is a cause worth making a little noise over.


Photo by Gus.