Even after solving this puzzle, you may not immediately recognize the subject of the photo. That’s because photographer Richard Resnick added some colorful effects to it. Two points to anyone who identifies the object photographed, which we assure you is definitely in our coverage area.

Photo by Arthur Borko

Residents living around the Joe Galapo Playground on Bedford Avenue and Gravesend Neck Road have probably noticed the sudden construction going on in the park. Just about everything has been, or will soon be, torn out to make way for a massive renovation.

Keep reading to find out what they’re doing, and why the park is named Joe Galapo Playground.

Construction workers kicked off the East 19th Street repaving this week, in which the street is being ripped up and new asphalt poured. Work is being done from Emmons Avenue all the way up to… wherever the heck East 19th Street goes.

One resident of East 19th Street snapped the above photo of the crews at work, and shared some kind words about their progress:

It looks like a bunch of people doing nothing. They in actuality are a few teams (each with their own obligations) that work together systematically to get the job done. A nicer bunch is hard to come by.

News you can use, people. News you can use.

Last year's concert (Photo by Clare)

The Bay Improvement Group is holding its 20th Annual Holiday Toy Drive and Celebrity Concert this Sunday, December 19.

The group is inviting all members of the community down to St. Mark Catholic School auditorium to contribute unwrapped new toys for needy kids throughout the area, and enjoy a free musical performance.

Enough toys were gathered last year to cheer up approximately 180 children in local shelters, and they’re looking to help out even more this year.

Vince Martell of Vanilla Fudge will be on hand, along with Peg Pearl and Greg Bravo, to bring some holiday merriment and sing some old-school hits.

When: December 19, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Where: St. Mark’s auditorium on Jerome Avenue and East 19th Street
Cost: Free, but please bring a new, unwrapped gift for the kids!

Fortunately, the NY Aquarium will NOT have flying sharks. (Source: wowfailblog.com)

A new housing complex is coming to Coney Island, with what will be the neighborhood’s most dangerous residents: sharks!

The NYC Public Design Commission approved a new structure at the New York Aquarium (Surf Avenue and West 8th Street). The 50,000-square-foot facility, called “Ocean Wonders: Shark,” will feature 115 species of marine animals, including 40 sharks.

Keep reading. Trust me, you’ll like this one.

The Department of Transportation sent out this year-end update, summing up what work has been completed on the project and what’s to come in 2011. Here’s what they had to say:

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Lisanne spotted this outside of Carvel at Coney Island Avenue and Avenue Y. Got any photos of awesome holiday decorations? Send it to nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

Coney Island Hospital Emergency Room expansion

The emergency room at Coney Island Hospital (2601 Ocean Parkway) is undergoing a $10 million, 7,500-square-foot expansion that aims to reduce crowding, increase the number of treatment spaces and cut waiting times in the bustling facility.

Hospital officials and local politicians braved the frigid temperatures on Friday morning to hold a groundbreaking ceremony, where they praised Coney Island Hospital’s plans to better serve the community.

“This project is an important component of the Coney Island revitalization plan,” said City Councilman Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. “As we build more housing and attractions, we need to ensure Coney Island Hospital can handle a greater influx of people. This institution has been a great partner in the Coney Island community, and I’m proud to work with them as we move toward a new day in Coney Island.”

Keep reading to find out what will be in the expanded space, as well as view photos from the ceremony.

NYC Councilman Lewis A. Fidler, the 41 Assembly District Democrats Club & Bryan A. Lee – Club Exec. Dir. & Toy Drive Founder present the 10th Annual Toy Drive by the “Community First Chapter of Toys for Tots.”

The Grand Finale Party is being held on Thursday Night, December 16, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. at the 41st Assembly District Democrats Club (2952 Avenue R).

It’s not too late to contribute a toy to this ever-growing cause that has so far provided 22,212 toys to needy children, delivering a bit of warmth and happiness to those that need it the most.

Just bring your toys to the finale party on Thursday night, and join the celebration with kosher food and drinks. Pal around with U.S. Marines and check out the only 7-ton, 18-wheeler Marine cargo truck in NYC!

Mr. Met of the New York Mets and Sandy the Seagull of the Brooklyn Cyclones will be on hand for photos.

So bring a new, unwrapped toy or send a check to purchase toys (made payable to “Community First Toy Drive” and mailed to “Community First Toy Drive – 41st A.D. Dems Club; c/o Bryan Lee, Executive Director; 585 Mayfair Drive South; Brooklyn, NY 11234″)

For any other questions, please call Bryan at (917) 846-1944.

Ten dollars out of your gift buying budget this holiday season can’t change the whole world. But it can mean the whole world to just one child.

Carl Kruger

Source: NYS Senate

If a man is known by the company he keeps, we all ought to be mighty worried about State Senator Carl Kruger. He’s got a cast of characters around him shady enough to rival any comic book’s arch-typical corrupt politician – not that we’re saying he’s corrupt or anything. Honest.

First there was Michael Levitis, the Rasputin Restaurant-owner who was allegedly peddling access to Kruger to fellow business owners. Kruger claimed he knew nothing of it, but the FBI said they’re still looking into the politician. Then there was the mysterious Reliable Repair company he gave $10,500 in payments to, but which may not actually exist.

Now there’s Nikolai Dozortsev, a Brighton Beach-connected international money launderer. Kruger, along with Brighton Beach State Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny and Borough President Marty Markowitz all stood up for the exemplary Dozortsev, who will be sentenced in federal court later this week. All three of the local pols sent the judge presiding over the case letters attesting to Dozortsev’s personal character.

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