Photos by Erica Sherman

Now bereft of my local Pathmark supermarket since April 15, and having to travel a mile on public transportation to get to Waldbaum’s, or be a lazybutt and order groceries from the wildly expensive Fresh Direct, this photo I shot last week reminds me of the almost prophetic words of Councilman Lew Fidler who, in February, after it was announced that the store at 3785 Nostrand Avenue would shutter, remarked: “I want you to picture for a second what Nostrand Avenue would look like if that Pathmark was gone.”

Let us pause as we take it all in.

While Nostrand Avenue between Avenue Y and Avenue Z pretty much looks as it always does, it is impossible to ignore the elephant in the room — the vacant, decaying monstrosity from where I used to purchase my food, whose windows across the street I now feel boring holes into my conscience, like the desperate, longing eyes of a Somalian child, whenever I pass by. There were days when I went shopping that that Pathmark’s aisles were so bustling, lines at the cashier so jammed, that a flash mob could have easily coalesced to recreate Cecille B. DeMille’s Battle of Actium scene in Cleopatra. And now this big, empty place is nothing more than a shell, whose entryway is pathetically littered with discarded trash and errant piles of circulars.

Keep reading Erica’s homage to Pathmark, and view more of her stunning photos of the vacant storefront.

Rabbi Abraham Abraham. Source: The Village Voice

Southern Brooklyn has a lot less spirit this morning, as a kindly Herculean rabbi — infamous for donning bright orange Speedos while plunging every New Year’s Day into the freezing Atlantic waters off Brighton Beach, and who once froze himself for 54 hours and 54 minutes in an ice shack in a bid to outdo magician David Blaine — has died.

The silver-haired Rabbi Abraham Abraham, a fabled member of the Coney Island Ice-Breakers and local legend known throughout Brighton Beach, Coney Island and Sheepshead Bay, whose uniquely molded facial hair earned him top honors one year in Coney Island’s beard competition, was beloved for his inexorably adventurous nature and uncanny ability to bring a smile to the face of young and old alike, with his trademark aphorism: “Thank you for being you.”

Keep reading about the extraordinary life of Rabbi Abraham Abraham.

Photo by Allan Rosen

Last month, I discussed several bus routes that were either restored or modified after last year’s service cuts as a result of community pressure.  I also asked the question, where is the pressure to restore the B4, which now only serves Sheepshead Bay part-time?

At least one person, Garibaldi 8 who posts on NYCTransitForums.com, has written to several elected officials requesting reinstitution of the B4 as well as other bus routes that were discontinued. Senator Golden’s office was the only one to respond.  The senator has been very active in getting weekday express service in Bay Ridge returned to the way the routes ran before last June’s service cutbacks, and is now attempting to get weekend service restored as well by circulating a petition.

Part of the problem is who to complain to. Due to gerrymandering (which I was taught in school was illegal), the B4 runs in Senator Golden’s district in Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst, but then it leaves his district for a few blocks along 86th Street, returns, leaves it again, returns to his district along Avenue Z, leaves it again along Emmons Avenue and has its terminus in his district. So who is responsible?

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Photo by PayPaul, who writes that the photo “highlights a new program by the MTA to provide convenient lodging across from the Avenue U station as a test program.” He calls it the Bed ‘n’ Ride. I don’t know about you, but if bed begs were not a reality, or homeless people, or commuters who don’t bathe… I’d actually wish this existed.

Normally we’d write our own little thing about it, but Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association sent me this amusing little letter I thought I’d leave untouched:

Today’s “To Do” list: (1). Write a check for $25 (payable to Madison-Marine Civic Assn.). (2). Bring the check to the civic’s meeting this Thursday, May 19th, 7:30 p.m. at the King’s Chapel on Quentin Rd. & East 27 St. (3). During the next 2 weeks, go through your basement, garage, attic, look under the bed, inside that box in the corner of the closet, even check your car’s trunk. Search for odds and ends you forgot existed, clothing you haven’t worn in years, books, records, baseball cards, pieces of furniture collecting dust…you know, things that fit the saying: “one person’s junk is another’s treasure.” (4). Prepare to sell all this “stuff” and keep whatever money you make on the sales!

Clearly, it’s time to sign up for a seller’s table at the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association’s “Neighborhood Yard Sale.” While the event doesn’t take place until Saturday, June 4th, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., on the ground’s of the country-like King’s Chapel, the deadline for reserving a table is May 28th. So, do it now.

The alternative to hand delivering your $25 table fee is mailing it to:
MMHCA, PO Box 432, Brooklyn, NY 11229. It’s all for a good cause. Money collected from table reservations goes to the “Mary Powell Awards” for civic minded students at Marine Park JHS and Cunningham JHS. The awards are in memory of the late, long-time president of the association.

For more information or to let the civic know you are interested, call asap either Pat at 718-627-3335, or Joe at 718-382-0812.

And, for prospective buyers: good luck in finding something that might land you on “Antiques Road Show.”

PS The raindate for the yard sale is Sat., June 11.

Carl Kruger

Source: NYS Senate

Well, so much for our little speculative piece earlier this week about what candidates might step up if Carl Kruger resigns. The state senator, embroiled in a corruption case that alleges he took about $1 million in bribes, had a proxy write to the Daily News to tell them to quit spreading rumors.

Kruger employee Adrienne Knoll wrote to the Daily News, saying:

“My boss has been catching up on your blogs and has the following statement in response: ‘I’m not resigning or retiring. I’m positioning myself to run for re-election, and I’m concentrating on reapportionment so we know what the lines will look like in 2012.’

Well, I guess that settles that. He’s certainly not resigning before the deadline that would trigger a special election, putting the general election candidates back in the hands of primary voters. So from here on out, it’s about who wants to challenge the incumbent Kruger. And with his previous $2.1 million campaign war chest – a massive amount for a local politician – being chewed away by legal fees, the playing field is looking a little more level.

And, slightly off-topic, what about Ari Kagan, who we mentioned in our previous article as a possible contender, based on sources that said he’s interested in office? Well, we finally got in touch with him, and he said that he might be a little too busy for the State Senate.

Read Kagan’s e-mail to Sheepshead Bites.

BNA Founder Pat Singer, left, continues to assess the damage from the flood.

An old photo showing a small fraction of the photos and memorabilia on the walls, now taken down or thrown out. Source: BNA (Click to enlarge)

The water seeped through a hole in the roof, flooding the 1121 Brighton Beach Avenue storefront overnight. It was gushing through ceiling tiles and dripping down walls when the Brighton Neighborhood Association’s Russian liaison opened the office Tuesday morning, finding what she described as a “rainstorm.” The group’s office is well-known in the community for its colorful office, crowded with historic photos and memorabilia collected during its 34-year-old history.

Now it all lays in ruins.

There were the photos of Mayor Beame, State Senator Chuck Schumer – “when he had hair” – and other assorted tchotchke’s of the group’s history. Office workers, led by BNA Founder Pat Singer, pulled things off walls and shelves, wrapping in garbage bags what could be saved, and taking to the curb what couldn’t. They also worried about asbestos, mold and other contaminates that could put them in harm’s way.

“We were just trying to salvage what we could,” said Singer.

But the organization – a tenants advocacy group – said this flood is no accident. They’re pointing fingers at the landlord.

(The BNA, a 510(c)3 is seeking tax-deductible donations to replace equipment and aid in the cleanup. More information is at the end of this article.)

Read why Singer thinks the landlord might be out to get them, and what you can do to help in the group’s recovery.

Store-roasted roast beef, provolone, and roasted peppers

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.

Today we visit a rare breed: a true butcher shop. Yes, over on Avenue X just off Coney Island Avenue there is a real butcher where you can find meat cut to order, sandwiches made by request and a small smattering of groceries.

Now The Bite hasn’t gotten into cooking yet, so I was looking for something I could eat right there in the store. Frankly, there weren’t too many options. This is a butcher shop, not a restaurant, after all, so I decided to check out the deli counter.

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Calcified caveman poop? Or a prehistoric meteorite containing the mineral Krotite? Source: MSNBC.com

The next time you hear someone coolly drop the old maxim, “Those who can’t do, teach,” remind them of Kingsborough Community College Physical Sciences Professor Dr. Harold C. Connolly, Jr. and his research partner, CUNY undergraduate intern Stuart A. Sweeney Smith.

The two ‘rock’ stars from Southern Brooklyn’s world of academia by the sea were part of the prestigious group of scientists who discovered the new mineral “Krotite,” described as “one of the earliest minerals formed in our solar system,” as revealed in a paper titled “Krotite, CaAl204, a new refractory mineral from the NWA 1934 meteorite,” which appeared in the May-June issue of the “American Mineralogist.”

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I love this shot by Randy Contello.