For a while there, Sheepshead Bites was known for two things (aside from excellent community reporting!): photos of shopping carts and photos of garbage.

We killed the shopping cart series several months ago. As for the garbage, our whining got a lot of attention from the city, and daily pickups were restored and additional baskets added around problem areas like the Sheepshead Bay subway station. It wasn’t perfect, but the situation got better, and so we settled down a bit.

But the snow and a new round of Sanitation cuts has caused garbage to once again start piling up. There’s almost no block without gutters crammed with garbage that either fell out of residential cans or were just tossed aside because, hey, the city’s not picking it up anyway, right?

Well, Maria D. sent us the above photo with the note, “I couldn’t help but snap this pic of the disgusting garbage situation by ave z and e 1st. Actually it’s like this all over this neighborhood with the garbage piling up every where.”

Maria is quite right – it’s like this all over the neighborhood. And with “limited garbage collection” still in effect, it’s not getting any better. How does your block look? Send photos to nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

The Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association has had a sit down with the Department of Transportation, claiming to have won new traffic controls within the community.

The plans will be unveiled at tonight’s MBNA meeting at 8:0o p.m. in the auditorium of P.S. 195 (131 Irwin Street).

The group will also have a special presentation by the NYC Fire Department on fire safety in the home. The meeting is open to the public.

As you already know, the open thread used to run at 7 a.m. every Monday. Now we have the Morning Mug, which is the first post of every day. I’m reluctant to follow that up with a non-news post like the open thread, so I usually make the open thread mid-day, around noon.

I find mid-day open threads weird, don’t you? Any suggestions on altering our publishing schedule?

THE COMMUTE: Like David Gunn, remembered for eliminating graffiti in the New York subways over 20 years ago, Jay Walder wants to be remembered for revolutionizing the MTA by bringing 21st century technology to the system – not the one who devastated it by instituting massive service cuts. He might get that chance, since Governor Cuomo’s does not intend to replace him. It will not be easy, though, with the governor’s decision to move $100 million from the Operating to Capital Budget this year.

Walder is moving forward on replacing the MetroCard with a swipeless card. Last week he also announced plans to study placing gates at subway stations to prevent passengers from falling onto the tracks. The Daily News was very skeptical.

This week the MTA also went live with Bustime, a pilot program now in use on the B63 on Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn, which alerts passengers of the time the next bus will arrive at your stop before you get on the bus by using your smartphone or by sending a text message to your mobile phone.

Keep reading about the MTA’s new tech proposals, and why their focus may be wrong.

I always wondered about this house. Now I don’t need to wonder so much, thanks to Lisanne, who shot the above photograph and wrote, “This house on East 13th Street north of Avenue Y used to be a shoe repair shop. Over the years it was opened less and less until finally it was just shuttered.”

The New York City Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the Department of Sanitation, announced yesterday that Alternate Side Parking Regulations will resume citywide Monday, February 7, 2011, to facilitate street cleaning and snow clearing operations.

Fantastic, right? I bet you all couldn’t wait for the return of Alternate Side Parking on our already un-parkable streets. Thanks, New York City!

Wow. Why so phallic?

It’s February, the groundhogs are out, the snow is on the ground, and that can only mean one thing: Super Bowl Sunday is here.

Sure, neither the Jets, Giants, nor even the Saints (who?) made it this year. But drown away the tears and have some fun this weekend. You won’t need to travel far, either, because a whole bunch o’ neighborhood joints are offering some great Super Bowl specials while showing the game. Bring your friends, family, and everyone in your fantasy football league to Sheepshead Bay and root, root, root for… uh… someone else’s team.

Check out the list of Sheepshead Bay bars and restaurants playing the game and offering specials.

Source: BP's office

Borough President Marty Markowitz wowed the borough yesterday with his annual State of the Borough Address. Okay, maybe “wowed” isn’t the right word. He did, however, garner a lot of media attention for riding into the event on a bike. Hah! That Marty. He kills me. Anyway, here’s the full text of his speech. I’ve bolded the parts that I thought would be most relevant to Sheepshead Bay residents.

Continue Reading »

Photo by Lenny M.

That guy is way too happy to be working on cervices.

I mean, sure, most men find a cervix to be a wonderful thing. All us guys hang out at the bar and talk about how great the cervices in our lives are… but… Christ. I wouldn’t want this guy touching my lady’s cervix. Shoot, I’m not even sure I want him touching my pussy cat!

You know what it is? I just don’t trust guys in bow ties. That must be it.

By the way, Lenny M. and I spotted this last night on some scaffolding at Brighton Beach Avenue and Brighton 13th Street. Then we got the hell out of Brighton.

UPDATE: Yeah, we actually have an update for this story. Miss Heather of NYShitty got in touch. The guy had done some advertising up in those parts a solid 2.5 years ago.

Tropp's home (Source:

A Manhattan Beach neighbor owes more than $100,000 to the city for construction violations on his sprawling home, and now members of Manhattan Beach Community Group are saying the culprit is the former zoning chair of rival civic, Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association.

From the Brooklyn Paper:

Michael Tropp, who lives on Norfolk Street between Shore and Oriental boulevards, didn’t bother to apply for a permit nine years ago when he connected two neighboring houses to make one huge home. He has since improved the house in numerous ways — all the while racking up fines for illegal work and ticking off his neighbors.

“His house is illegal and he’s out of his mind,” said Oriental Boulevard resident Flori Kostoff of the contentious property owner. “He’s building on other people’s property.”

On top of that, he hasn’t even paid most of his fines.

Most recently, Tropp was fined $25,000 in November for building a brick walkway between the two formerly separate homes. The city scheduled a hearing for Jan. 3, but Tropp didn’t show up, according to city records.

The city has also taken issue with his illegal raised wooden deck and above-ground pool, for which he was fined $4,000 last January.

“His back deck is sitting right above my fence,” said Susan Yellin, who lives behind Tropp on Oxford Street. Yellin added that Tropp even tore down her backyard’s fence to put up his own without permission.

Another Oxford Street dweller, Cy Schoenfeld also claims that Tropp’s two-story-high deck stretches eight inches into his backyard.

“It’s as if no one can stop him,” said Schoenfeld, whose backyard now faces Tropp’s construction site and a sign warning that he has the lot under 24-hour surveillance.

Meanwhile, the Manhattan Beach Community Group is pointing out that Brooklyn Paper missed one important detail: Tropp was the original zoning chair of MBNA when the groups first split.

They write on their website:

Read about the first zoning chairman of our rival group (MBNA). If he pays his 6 figure fines, PS 195 can rehire the 2 excessed teachers or Sanitation can buy over a hundred grand of salt for the next storm or…you get the point.

The story below is true. Will the honorable Mayor make him pay his fines or continue to raise our property taxes and water bills? Read in amazement about this man who was in charge of zoning for MBNA. Unbelievable!

Unbelievable indeed.