Tonight is one of nature’s most wondrous events, a lunar eclipse. The fact that it’s happening on the Winter Equinox, the longest night of the year, makes it exceptionally rare and special.
The eclipse begins shortly after midnight at approx 12:30 a.m. The eclipse will reach it’s greatest point at 3:17 a.m., at which point the entire moon will be behind Earth’s shadow and will appear from pale pink to blood red in the sky. This happens because the only light from the sun to reach the moon has passed through Earth’s atmosphere, changing it’s wavelength. The eclipse finally ends just in time for work around 7:00 a.m. You can learn more about this eclipse and others at Wikipedia or from this NASA PDF.
The best place to view an eclipse, or any celestial event for that matter, is someplace away from the glare of city lights. Thankfully Sheepshead Bay doesn’t have as many lights as other neighborhoods in the city. If you want to view the eclipse tonight the best places will be the roof of a building (make sure the get permission!), Emmons Avenue, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach (any point along the boardwalk) and the roof of the UA parking lot.
Bundle up warm and head out around 3 a.m. and catch one of the most amazing and beautiful events you can see in a lifetime, and to think you can see it from right here in Sheepshead!
An ad on the nostalgia train
by Allan Rosen
If you think you saw an ancient bus this month along Brighton Beach Avenue or Ocean Parkway, the good news is that you were not hallucinating. The MTA is running a few retired buses from its fleet along select routes as a special treat for the holidays, and the B1 is one of them. But catching one of these buses is a hit or miss situation.
A seat on the nostalgia train
They are also operating an antique train along Sixth Avenue between Queens Plaza an Second Avenue on Sundays during the month of December and the schedule is available on their website, although it is not easy to find.
Who wants to ride an old train? You do, even if you are not a rail fanatic. It has become sort of a tourist attraction and some people ride the train back and forth just for the hell of it. I had quite an enjoyable time this year and last.
Bring your camera but don’t stop to take pictures at Queens Plaza because the train does not wait there. It sits at Second Avenue for 20 to 30 minutes so there is plenty of time to wander between the cars and take pictures there. I particularly like that the train has been outfitted with very old ads. Some of the passengers even dress up in 1920s style garb. The best part is that there is no additional charge beyond the cost of your subway fare. It is the MTA’s holiday gift to you for enduring this year’s service cuts.
Better hurry though because this Sunday is the last run of the season and if it snows you will probably be out of luck until next year.
A reader spotted this on East 19th Street near Avenue W. The reader heard a large bang outside at around 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning. When she checked it out after the sun came up, this is what she saw. She commented to us, “And it has a steering wheel lock!! Club my A–.”
As we’ve told you many… many times, wheel and rim theft is one of the most common crimes plaguing Sheepshead Bay and the 61st Precinct. Deputy Inspector Mastrokostas brings it up at every community council meeting, running through a shopping list of cars targeted for tire theft (bonus: he also has a shopping list for car theft).
So if you’ve got one of the cars on this list, be sure to park on well-lighted streets at night. Or better yet, call up the precinct’s Community Affairs unit at (718) 627-6847 and enroll in one of their anti-theft programs, like free rim etching.
UPDATE: The car was dusted for prints this morning.
We spotted the following note on Noreast.com, a forum for the region’s fishermen, about Chuck Geller, a frequent character aboard the Brooklyn VI and other vessels:
Received news this morning, a good friend by the name Chuckie Geller had passed away this morning. Chuckie had been a fixture in the bay for many years. For those who knew him, he sailed on many boats, the Tampa’s, Pasttime, the Big M, the Brooklyn’s and countless others before my time.
A great fisherman, card player, a B-17 fighter pilot and a true gentleman. I learned alot from this guy, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who will miss him dearly. My deepest condolences to his family. Rest in peace my friend.
Captain Mike from the Brooklyn VI posted this to the board:
CHUCK WAS A AWESOME GUY!!!I NEW CHUCK SINCE I WAS A LITTLE BOY HE WAS A GREAT FLUKER HE SPENT THE LAST FEW YEARS WITH US ON THE BROOKLYN HANGING IN THE PILOT HOUSE KEEPING ME COMPANY AND TELLING ME OLD STORYS OF THE BAY
CHUCK WILL BE MISSED BY ALL ESPECIALLY THE CREW FROM THE BROOKLYN VI
YOU WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYS WE WILL ALWAYS MISS YOU CHUCK
If you knew Geller and would like to share your memories, feel free to do so in the comments.
Photo by PayPaul
A number of new dollar stores have popped up around Sheepshead Bay, but they’re also raising prices as the economic downturn expands their customer base.
99 Cents The Limit? Not anymore. Keep reading.
An elderly Brooklyn woman is dead and her son behind bars after a disturbing ordeal some are calling a mercy killing.
Coney Island resident Frida Tsirinsksy, 86, was strangled by her son on Friday.
Yefim Tsirinsky, who is unemployed and lived with his mother, called authorities after placing a pillow over her face in their home at 2819 West 12th Street. He told an officer, “I just smothered my mother; I just suffocated my mother.” According to police, there is no record of any prior incidents and there did not appear to be a struggle.
The elder Tsirinsky survived for 24 hours after the incident, dying on Saturday in Coney Island Hospital.
Yefim has been charged with second-degree murder and first- and second-degree strangulation today, but neighbors are shocked by that actions of a man they describe as a dutiful son by neighbors.
“He looked like he was so dedicated,” neighbor Donald Solomon told the NY Times. “He just went off.”
Yefim claims his mother indicated that she did not want to live anymore. Euthanasia, however, is illegal in all of the United States.
Washington Cemetery (Source: adamsofen via Flickr)
Nearly 200 gravestones were smashed or knocked over at Washington Cemetery on Bay Parkway over the weekend, including some belonging to Holocaust survivors.
They mayhem occurred Saturday night, officials believe, since Washington Cemetery is usually closed for the sabbath.
“I couldn’t believe it happened,” said Semyon Bershteyn, who has family buried in the cemetery. ”For so many years I’m visiting this cemetery, and for twenty-plus years I’ve never seen anything close to that.”
Some of the tombstones in the Jewish cemetery were hundreds of years old.
Police are investigating the crime as a potential hate crime.
Thanks to Julie K. for the tip.
It’s holiday season, and since I didn’t get any gifts from you for Chanukah, I assume you’re waiting for Christmas?
So what’d you buy me?
Oh yeah, and have a Merry Christmas.
Updated: Good news! As Jeff points out in the comments, we were a bit late on this post and the girls were already found. Apparently, they came home safe and sound on their own. One Ditmas Park Blog commenter writes, “teens. what-ya-gonna-do?”
We’ve removed the names and photos of the teens since it’s no longer relevant, and we figure the family deserves some privacy with things being back to normal.
Twelve-year-old [name redacted] and 15-year-old [name redacted] went missing Thursday night, and the police are asking the community to help in their search.
The two sisters were last seen at the Cortelyou Road Q train station at 11:30 p.m. on December 16. [name redacted] is 5’1″ and 180 pounds with brown eyes and hair. She was last seen wearing blue jeans and a black jacket. [name redacted] is 5’6″ and 180 pounds with brown hair and eyes.
If you have information, please call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. or text TIP577 to 274637 (CRIMES). You can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website.
The van that doubled as a storage unit for children’s bicycles is now out of the parking spot it occupied for six months, and several other vehicles have already made use of the space. Apparently, police needed to observe the vehicle taking up a spot for 72 hours before issuing a ticket, so they must have checked it out after our initial post on Monday, leading to a ticket yesterday.
We’re not sure if the ticket prompted the owner to remove it – as the presumed owner was seen changing the battery yesterday – or if police towed it.
Regardless, we’ll shut up about the van now.