Photo by WallyG, via Flickr.

The 61st Precinct police officer responsible for forcing an Orthodox man to violate Jewish law has been transferred out of the borough; meanwhile, the Deputy Inspector continues outreach to prove his officers respect the area’s residents and their beliefs.

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Courtesy Google Maps

If architect Frank Gehry took a dump from the top of the ugly tree, then that dump hit every branch on the way down, and then a naked mole rat ate the dump, vomited it up, ate the vomit, got diarrhea from it – the condo above would be the architectural equivalent of the resulting putrid liquid expelled from that naked mole rat’s rear.

And though this is one of the worst new constructions in the area, it really does exemplify the limits of creative thinking in Sheepshead Bay’s condo architecture.

That’s why I burst into laughter when I received the following message in my inbox. I mean, this guy is looking for the “star architects” of Sheepshead Bay, the neighborhood of the fugliest of the fugly when it comes to condo architecture. In addition to the sack o’ crap above, on Nostrand Avenue and Emmons Avenue, we also have condos like The Breakers, the fanciest storage unit complex in the borough.

Here’s what our reader wrote:

Have a question- I’m looking for a nice/boutique/luxe’ property in the Brighton Beach/Sheepshead area. My lease is coming up in about six months, so I wanted to begin doing some research.

Any recommendations? Are there any local star architects? Are there any local really awesome (modern) clean, glassy buildings?

I particularly like the stuff of Meier, Gehry, etc… it’s probably out of my price league but still would be interesting to know if any great architects really touch our area?

Guh… faw…

Really? I’m being punk’d, right? The nicest condo architecture in Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach would be considered average at best by any other neighborhood’s standard.

But that’s my opinion, and obviously I can’t help this guy. Anyone care to add anything?

Look at how sad Winnie the Pooh is, so overcome with despair that he can’t raise his head. That’s because his buddy, Inflatable Santa Claus, has been inflata-napped.

Reader Lisanne Anderson sent us this photo of the display in front of Carvel on Coney Island Avenue and Avenue Y. The inflatable figures belong to the Christmas tree vendor who leases space in the parking lot. And, according to Lisanne, an employee said the item was stolen from in front of the store.

Was it the Grinch? Maybe Tigger got jealous? Or some union elves got tired of slaving away while bossman stood around ice cream parlors?  Some might say the 61st Precinct should get right on this. But that’s futile. There’s only one detective I know that can sniff out the criminals here.

We’re sending McGruff.

Washington Cemetery (Source: adamsofen via Flickr) - Mike Nelson (Source:

From Councilman Michael Nelson’s office:

Council Member Michael C. Nelson, Chairman of the City Council Jewish Caucus, is outraged over the apparent anti-Semitic vandalism that occurred at Washington Cemetery this past weekend.  The cemetery is Brooklyn’s largest Jewish cemetery, and has been the final resting place for the Brooklyn Jewish community for almost 150 years.  Between 100 and 200 gravestones of Jews, many of which memorialized recent Russian Jewish immigrants and Holocaust survivors, were knocked over and destroyed beyond repair.

Although the police have just begun their investigation, Councilman Nelson implores the NYPD to classify this incident as a hate crime.  “It is obvious that the targets were the deceased Jewish individuals buried in this cemetery and their families who now have to deal with more heartbreak after saying goodbye and burying their loved ones,” said Councilman Nelson.  “As an elected official representing a district with a large Russian and Jewish population, I strongly condemn this and will work with the police to bring the perpetrators who committed these unspeakable and unholy acts to justice and make it known that these actions are not tolerated.”

In an effort to aid the police in their investigation, Councilman Nelson is offering a $1000 reward for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of these criminals.  Moreover, Councilman Nelson is disturbed over the fact that the families are responsible for replacing the gravestones of their loved ones.  The councilman is calling upon Washington Cemetery to sit down with the families and discuss some form of financial compensation and will seek possible legislation if needed.

“Having chosen Washington Cemetery as the final resting place for their loved ones, the families of the deceased are entrusting the safety and security of the burial ground to the owners and caretakers of the cemetery,” explained Councilman Nelson.  “Therefore, area security should be provided and the cemetery should have insurance for incidents like this.  It is absurd to have the families bear the full cost of replacing the gravestones.”

Click to zoom

Reader Rich M. sent us this amazing aerial photo of Sheepshead Bay. He doesn’t know much about the photo; he moved away in the 60s, but while visiting his daughter in Park Slope, he found this in a local shop.

He guesses it was taken around 1940, and we can say for sure it was definitely no later than that. The Belt Parkway was completed in 1941, with the stretch between Sheepshead Bay and Marine Park being the last to be done. So, if we had to guess, we’d say this shot was in the early 30s, the same decade the Bay got its bulkheads and was widened.

So what you’re looking at is probably one of the first photos of Sheepshead Bay in the shape and form we’re familiar with. Some things to note? How totally rural Manhattan Beach is, as these were the first years of the community’s residential development; the wide, empty field on the site we currently know as Kingsborough Community College; vegetation on the Emmons Avenue median; Emmons Avenue fades away into a totally sandy, undeveloped Plumb Beach; and, of course, Lundy’s is still there, looking almost exactly as it does today.

Bryan Lee and Councilman Fidler are joined by staff, friends and families at the annual tally party (Source: Bryan Lee)

The Community First Toy Drive, organized by Councilman Lew Fidler, the 41st A.D. Democrats Club and Bryan Lee – took in a mindboggling 7,790 toys this year, rocketing past last year’s record by nearly 2,000 additional toys.

The number, which brings their overall tally of 30,000 toys over ten years, secured their place as the city’s highest-collecting Toys for Tots chapter for a fifth straight year.

“Just imagine all those kids whose lives we’re going to impact this holiday season, who are going to know we care,” said Fidler.

With Toys for Tots – a 63-year-old drive organized by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves – expecting to collect far fewer toys this year than in previous years, they’re estimating that the Community First Toy Drive will be responsible for approximately one of out every 32 toys delivered to underprivileged children throughout the city.

Byran Lee, a top-aide to Councilman Fidler, founded the local chapter of the toy drive. In writing to Sheepshead Bites, he thanked all of our readers who contributed, including one – Alex T. – who brought three large boxes brimming with gifts.

A number of users sent us photos from last night’s eclipse, so we thought we’d post them all in one place. All the photos were taken from the Sheepshead Bay area of the once in ten lifetimes lunar eclipse. If you’ve got photos, send them to us and we’ll add them to the post!

View the photos from our readers.

Vitos Bakery Ave U Sheepshead Bay Ave U

Photo by Laura Fernandez

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

Readers, it’s time we put some Italian honey balls in our mouths. And, of course, we’re talking about struffoli from Vito’s  Bakery & Grocery on Avenue U.

I was first introduced to struffoli by a little Italian grandmother soon after I moved to Sheepshead Bay over 20 years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Nona moved away years ago, taking her recipe with her, but I was lucky enough to discover Vito’s Bakery. Struffoli just like grandma used to make.

Keep reading about struffoli from Vito’s Bakery on Avenue U.

Arthur Borko wrote in with this photo and message:

A pipe broke under the EL on Brighton 5th, it rained down on the street and started flooding the intersection, took a few min before the water was shut off!

I guess the streets are a little cleaner now, eh? Probably not.