No longer determined to die. (Photo courtesy of nolastname, August 2010)
Last week, when they first published my story, I thought I was taking my last breath — but, somehow, my diaphragm just kept on going.
The next day, when someone started taking pictures of me, it was early morning and I really wasn’t in any mood. Then, the photographer told me that life is like that. Every day is a sunset. Some days it’s a lovely sunset, some days pretty dull — but, there’s always a sunrise. Even if the clouds obscure it, the sun rises.
I suddenly felt some hope, and taking my last breath wasn’t the only thing I could think about. This ain’t no kind of life for a shopping cart, but things could be worse, I suppose. I mean, I could have ended up in the Gowanus Canal, instead of near Caesar’s Bay or whatever place this is.
The restaurant formerly known as W – located at 2812 Ocean Avenue and Avenue X – has changed its name to Le Bouchon. It’s got new owners to boot.
We’re not quite sure why the old owners decided to bail, and calls to the restaurant went unanswered. But from what we can gather with a little online research, the new guys bought into the place at the end of 2009. They kept up with the W brand until just a few weeks ago, when the new sign went up.
Just as W did, they’re pushing French and steakhouse food at upscale prices. Though we haven’t tried the food there, our favorite thing on the new menu is the “Galamâ” – a gussied up spelling of the Brooklynese pronunciation of calamari. Cute.
Thanks to Arthur Borko and BrooklynQ for the tip.
Though the city says the bike path is complete, bikers now ride on the Belt Parkway because the path is unusable.
In addition to the statements Congressman Anthony Weiner gave, there were two things worth noting on Plumb Beach yesterday, both of which indicate the city is ignoring problems in the area and creating a dangerous situation.
First is that the Parks Department has declared reconstruction work on the Plumb Beach bike path complete. However, any visitor would agree that it’s hardly the case.
Keep reading to see current photos of Plumb Beach, which the city said is complete just days before a hurricane.
2812 Voorhies Avenue
The lot at 2812 Voorhies Avenue may have been the site of consternation and conflict during the last several months over plans to build a mosque. But this Sunday it’ll be a site of charity and generosity.
To celebrate Ramadan and usher in the new school year, local Muslims, the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) are teaming up to give out free school bags and school supplies to the Sheepshead Bay community this coming Sunday, September 5.
A total of 300 school bags containing notebooks, pens, pencils, sharpeners, erasers, rulers, crayons and more will be distributed. Organizers say hundreds of families are expected to attend this Sunday’s event.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims are urged to scale up charitable acts, hoping that a month of increased kindness would carry on throughout the year. Through the “Back to School Giveaway”, ICNA and MAS hope to both help struggling families provide for their children.
“This initiative hopes to cater to the needs of low-income families in the community – families under financial pressure, those who have lost jobs, and those finding difficulty in buying school supplies for their children,” organizers wrote in their press release.
When: Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Where: MAS Sheepshead Bay Center, 2812 Voorhies Avenue
So after we posted yesterday about Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s new watch-list of lousy landlords, and pointed out that Sheepshead Bay was in the clear, we got a call from his office. It turns out that those outer-outerborough neighborhoods aren’t as safe as it seems, and we may indeed have our own flat fuehrers.
According to the de Blasio staffer, the watchlist does not include every landlord or building that would qualify, just the ones that the office was made aware of. We still don’t know why the only ones they’re aware of came from a particular stretch of neighborhoods – but who cares? This is good news; it means Sheepshead Bay can join the party!
If you’ve got a cruddy landlord who may have violations from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, let the Public Advocate’s office know. They will add your building to the map, and try to spread the word and pressure the owner into better practices.
You can call the Public Advocate’s office at (212) 669-7200 or report a building on the website.
This aesthetically pleasing yet ethically enraging photo was captured by BrooklynQ. Can you guess the underpass? It should be a difficult one, since every underpass beneath the B/Q train in our area looks the same way.
Kathy Flynn, SBPB Civic President, with Rep. Anthony Weiner
The ocean is more than just a neighbor to residents of waterfront Brooklyn and Queens, it’s a threat. And one that needs to be taken seriously.
Congressman Anthony Weiner gathered local leaders and the press on what remains of the sands along the Belt Parkway this afternoon to deliver that message to city and state authorities, and urge preparedness in the face of Hurricane Earl. Currently a category 4 storm, Earl is positioned to sweep across the Eastern coast this week.
“We are here for the third time to call on the Army Corps of Engineers of the state to start to deal with this problem before it visits upon us,” Weiner said in his statement. “We understand that, living here in the beachfront path, we have certain risks – that the Atlantic Ocean and mother nature more or less goes wherever she wants. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need to take some smart steps.”
Keep reading, and see video of his remarks and a copy of a letter sent to the Army Corps of Engineers.
Screenshot of map of worst landlords, taken from Public Advocate's website
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s latest initiative, a compilation of New York City’s worst landlords, is burdened by one conspicuous yet unmentioned fact: the vast majority of slum lords operate along the Brooklyn-Queens and Bronx-Manhattan borders.
It was the first thing that caught my attention when I brought up the map of offending landlords created by his office. Manhattan and Staten Island remain, for the most part, clear. And so do the outer areas of the outerboroughs. But clusters of pink tabs congregate like a herpes outbreak around those sticky parts rubbing against their neighbors.
Sheepshead Bay, for its part, is totally in the clear. In fact, the only pin in all of Southern Brooklyn is in Coney Island, at 2766 West 15 Street. It’s a building owned by Henry Wright, a 70-infraction piker when compared to the city’s top slumlord, who has 1049 infractions.
Brooklyn is home to the most troubled buildings, though. We’ve got 96 out of 164 citywide. But, again, they’re almost universally located in the north of the borough.
So what’s with that? Why are they in such cruddy shape? And, in your experience, how do Sheepshead Bay’s landlords fare?
Source: Jaszek Photography via Flickr
City Councilman Lew Fidler is questioning the decision-making behind bike lane implementation in his district and across the boroughs, leading the city to re-evaluate proposed lanes in Canarsie and opening the door for challenges elsewhere.
In a letter to Department of Transportation Brooklyn Commissioner Joseph Palmieri, Fidler said it was “imperative that community feedback be factored into any proposed changes.”
The request came following months of outcry from Canarsie residents to the city’s plan to install bike lanes from Avenue D on East 95th Street to the Canarsie Pier, and from the pier to Ditmas Avenue on East 94th Street. The lanes would connect bicyclists to the Shore Parkway Greenway, which extends from Sheepshead Bay to Queens. Neighbors in Canarsie say the city is bike crazy and it doesn’t suit residents’ needs.
Fidler agrees that the plans, devised more than 10 years ago, are flawed and outdated.
Find out what’s wrong with the city’s bike plan, and what Fidler proposes to help.
Photo by BrooklynQ
Looks like our prediction about Walgreens and Duane Reade closings around Southern Brooklyn is coming true even faster than we thought it would. A Kings Highway Duane Reade store closed just two weeks ago, and a reader then told us that the Duane Reade location on Avenue J and East 16th Street also closed.
Now word is coming in from tipster extraordinaire BrooklynQ that the Walgreens at 1721 Avenue U (between East 17th Street and East 18th Street) is closed for business.
The closing shows that the chain is not at all timid in shuttering newly-constructed facilities. This particular location was previously the last bastion of our beloved local chain Morris Discount, which Walgreens purchased in June 2008. Since it took up the property, it seems work on it has been never-ending, with a storefront expansion a year ago, and finally a reconstructed facade just finished within the last few months.
And now… it’s closed. For good. A whole lot of work for nothing, and a storefront not so easily adjusted for non-Walgreens uses. What will happen to the newly-completed Bragg Street Walgreens, which sits in spitting distance from the high-traffic Duane Reade Nostrand Avenue location? We don’t know, but if they shut it down it means an entire new construction goes to waste…
But back to 1721 Avenue U – be advised that pharmacy records have been transferred to the Duane Reade at 1417 Avenue U.