A reader sent in these photos, with the following note:

These are pix of the melted Courier Life box on the corner of East 36 Street and Quentin Road in Marine Park.  It was a double-decker news box – Kings Courier on the top and Brooklyn Family on the bottom (you can see the Courier name on the back of the box).  This fire seemed to have happened a few days ago, but no one from Courier Life has collected the now useless box.  I always pass by this corner on my way to the bus so I can tell you that before the fire, the box was generally filled with people’s trash (empty soda bottles and fast food wrappers) and not actual newspapers.  As you can see in one photo, people are still using the burned box as a trash can.

Keep reading for our take on it.

Don’t you just love those streets with no Alternate Side Parking regulations? Theoretically, you could leave your car there for months – maybe even years – and so long as no one complains you won’t get a ticket, right?

Well, sort of. It’s technically illegal. But even complaining to the city won’t help you, as one reader discovered.

The reader noticed a van on Avenue W between East 21st Street and East 22nd Street as far back as six months ago. It may also be involved in some illegal activity, he notes. In what appears to be yet another 311 blunder, the system of the future is the newest venue for city authorities to give residents the runaround.

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Source: News12

A 98-year-old woman was killed and her son left in critical condition by an apartment fire on Friday night.

The fire broke out at around 10:00 p.m. on December 10, raging for 40 minutes as firefighters doused the apartment unit with water. Four firefighters also suffered minor injuries.

Fire officials believe the blaze was caused by spaceheaters.

The fire is a tragic reminder that, though found in many houses and apartments, spaceheaters can be quite dangerous. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has put together a list of Do’s and Don’ts for buying and using spaceheaters:

Do’s:

  • Use a space heater that has been tested to the latest safety standards and has been certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. These heaters have the most up-to-date safety features. Older space heaters may not meet newer safety standards. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for proper use.
  • Place the heater on a level, hard, nonflammable surface, such as a ceramic tile floor.
  • Keep the heater at least three feet away from bedding, drapes, furniture, and other flammable materials.
  • Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
  • Turn the heater off if you leave the area.

Don’ts:

  • Never leave a space heater on when you go to sleep.
  • Don’t place a space heater close to any sleeping person.
  • Never use gasoline in a kerosene space heater, as even small amounts of gasoline mixed with kerosene can increase the risk of fire.
  • Don’t use portable propane space heaters indoors or in any confined space unless they are specifically designed for indoor use.

Anyone have any good suggestions for local holiday shopping? Share it here!

1001 Nights Restaurant Sheepshead Bay

We’re a little late on this one, as the business has actually been open for at least a month. 1001 Nights is a restaurant in, what would seem to me, the least desired location in Sheepshead Bay. It’s at 35 Neptune Avenue, wedged between Oakley’s Car Wash and Laundry King, spitting distance of the Q train overpass, and facing a car dealership.

Not exactly a romantic location; perhaps that’s why they built the exterior almost like a fortress, to keep the grungy external environment from imposing on the internal atmosphere.

Despite all that jazz, though, we’ve only been hearing great things about this place. They specialize in cuisine from Uzbekistan, a Central Asian nation that was once a stopping point along the Silk Road. Why the history lesson? Well, that means the food shares influences from Asian, Middle Eastern and European cultures. And that sounds pretty damn awesome to me.

We’ll be checking this place out. If you’ve already been, then, by all means, give us a recommendation.

Nearly 2,000 people turned out for this year’s Chanukah Extravaganza at the Kings Bay YM-YWHA (3495 Nostrand Avenue), celebrating the holiday with food, performances, crafts and good company.

Kids made menorah mosaics, Chanukah sand art, jewelry and greeting cards to share with friends and family. Even the littlest had a space to revel in: there was a toddler area complete with a “pin the flame on the Menorah” game. That’s all in addition to two inflatable rides – a Chanukah slide and a dreidel castle – plus face painting and a magician.

The performances included a song by the Y’s Jewish Sunday Children’s program, a dance, and a juggling show and Chanukah story by Budapest Jugglers.

Local politicians turned out for the Menorah candle lighting ceremony.

View the photo gallery.

In the back of my head, I keep an ever-growing list of marketing terms that appears to work on Eastern Europeans. These are terms you’ve seen proliferating on signs, billboards, newspaper ads and just about everywhere else since the neighborhood’s demographics shifted over the past two decades.

They’re words like luxury, gourmet, royal and premium. And, in our neighborhood, they’re more often slapped onto things that are so obviously… not luxurious.

Well, I saw this ad on Avenue Z and East 13th Street for Transaero Airlines, which offers “Imperial” class service to Moscow. But there’s nothing particularly imperial about it. In fact, it looks like an example of Soviet utilitarian marketing, designed by the most talentless 4th grader they could afford.

But back to the terminology.

This kind of marketing – to the outside observer – suggests that every Russian in our neighborhood is obsessed with the appearance of luxury and elitism. Now, I know well-enough that that ain’t true.

But the marketing continues, so Royal Sheepshead Bites – the most luxurious news blog of gourmet information served at a premium to only the most imperial-class of readers – is asking if our Russian readers would like to give some insight into this phenomenon.

Marine Park Junior High School IS 278

Source: schools.nyc.gov

by Michèle De Meglio

City Councilman Lew Fidler has joined parents in criticizing the Department of Education for considering opening a 300-seat high school in I.S. 278′s building, slamming it as bad policy.

Members of the school’s PTA believe that having two separate principals and teaching staffs would create a level of chaos, thereby making it difficult to resolve problems. They also fear that the older high school students would bully the middle grade kids.

“This is a new Department of Education phenomenon, putting older high school kids in with younger children. New and bad,” Fidler said.

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Click to enlarge

CompStat reports are produced by the New York Police Department on a weekly basis. We summarize the week’s statistics for the 61st Precinct reports every Friday. The 61st Precinct is the police command responsible for Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Kings Highway, Homecrest, Madison, Manhattan Beach, and Gerritsen Beach.

The Brooklyn Streetcar Artists Group, a coalition of artists from Southern Brooklyn, is unveiling a new art installation tonight at Coney Island Hospital.

The exhibition features more than 40 pieces from 22 artists in the second floor hallway-gallery.

There will also be a presentation and Q & A session with Arthur Nash, the author of New York City Gangland. The photo-driven book follows Gotham’s gangs from bootlegging days to their heyday in the second half of the 1900s.

Amos Wengler, the folk singer known as the Bard of Coney Island, will also be on hand to perform.

And if you can’t make it tonight, the artwork will be up until January 31. It’s open to the public from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Tonight’s event is at 6:30 p.m. on Coney Island Hospital’s second floor (2601 Ocean Parkway).