Masal Cafe is one of two establishments in Lundy’s to survive the building’s rebirth, and business appears to be good. It first expanded from a tiny cafe to a spacious restaurant several years ago (after the Lundy’s “mini-mall” idea flopped), and now they’re snatching up a second Emmons Avenue location.
Signs unfurled on the old Dunkin’ Donuts lot just a few short weeks ago, with Masal’s name all over it. The new “Masal Cafe Seaside” is not a move; a manager at Masal’s Lundy’s branch told me that they were staying put and this would be a secondary waterfront location. She said the plan was to open in two months, which is possible but not probable, given the amount of work that needs to be done on the site.
What do you think? Is a new Masal location going to be a watery haven, or dead-on-the-water?
I have to say, the St. Mark School “Night at the Races” event definitely has a place in my heart as one of the cooler community events in Sheepshead Bay. And no, it’s not just because I was drunk as a skunk.
The event took place this past Saturday in the school’s gymnasium, where more than 200 people sat at fold-out tables covered in food and drinks brought from home. Most people came in large parties – but I came with two friends and found a nice table right in the center of the room.
We were joined by three of the coolest little old ladies this side of Nevada. We gambled and lost – over and over – while the three little ladies won – over and over – and rubbed it in our faces. My friends and I wolfed down a couple of pitchers and roast beef sandwiches, and yelled exaggerated cheers and jeers for the galloping horses on the screen. I had a knack for giving up before the race ended, tearing up my ticket and tossing it in the air, just to watch my horse make a return (never actually winning, though. And thankfully so – that would’ve put a damper on my spirits.).
The event raised around $4,500 for the school and the sports program, but they’re still in need of a new scoreboard and equipment – so keep an ear out for the next fundraiser!
Sorry, no photos of the event. I think everyone was having too good of a time to remember to play shutterbug!
Since we live in a seaside community, most of the photos I see of our neighborhood are sunsets/rises over the water (or just photos of those freakin’ swans!). So, in an effort to diversify the midweek photo, I generally avoid selecting those kinds of shots too frequently. But sometimes they’re just stellar.
Look at the color in this one! How could I not choose it? This photo was actually taken last year by the Brooklyn Heights-based photoblogger at Ugliphoto.com. Go check out his site to see more great photos. He says he’s just a beginner – but that looks like a pro shot to me.
A reader spotted this mysterious message scrawled on a public utility closet on Bedford Avenue, just south of Avenue X. The scribbling says, “Starting with Weiner, Ending with Schumer.”
We’re not entirely sure what this means, but we’ve got to wonder if it has anything to do with the anthrax scare at Congressman Anthony Weiner’s office following his “yes” vote on healthcare reform. That incident left his Kew Gardens staff in decontamination for days (it turned out to be antacid), and the envelope it came in was sent from the 11235 zip code. That puts this graffiti at ground zero. Could it mean that Schumer is next?
Surely, the healthcare vote did stir up some heated sentiments around the neighborhood. If the discussion turns to national politics, many (not all, but many) neighbors that I speak to at meetings and events invariably turn to venomous rhetoric against Weiner and Schumer for their roles in reform. But no matter your political leanings, the threats, hate speech and fanaticism growing on the right, especially in the Tea Party, have no place in a community like Sheepshead Bay (or anywhere, for that matter). Political ideas are to be formed, implemented and reformed through debate – not through a most chilling fear wrought by malice and threats.
Assemblyman Cymbrowitz chats it up with a resident (Courtesy of the Assemblyman's office)
The Seventh Annual Lena Cymbrowitz Community Health Fair kicked off this past Sunday, connecting hundreds of attendees with medical providers.
We couldn’t make it down to the affair, which stretched along Emmons Avenue from west of Sheepshead Bay Road to the Ocean Avenue footbridge. But Cymbrowitz’s office says the event was a hit.
The fair included 45 tables providing health screenings, information and free giveaways. A functioning ambulance stood nearby to amuse adventurous children, and NYU’s Smiling Faces Dental Van privded free dental screenings.
“I am glad that so many people turned out. It was good to see our community come together to both enjoy the fair and receive important information – from both health screenings and printed materials – that could be lifesaving,” Cymbrowitz said.
To keep people entertained between discovering what new health problems they’re plagued by, Cymbrowitz’s office booked a DJ and featured performances from local schools, including P.S. 195. P.S. 255 and P.S. 206, as well as TKT Taekwondo USA, a caricaturist, face painters, jugglers and clowns.
Community Board 15 is meeting tonight at 7:00 p.m. in Kingsborough Community College’s faculty dining room. The meeting, the second to last before it breaks for summer, has on the agenda a number of issues recently discussed on Sheepshead Bites.
Board members will hear a presentation from the attorney representing the two Sheepshead Bay Road developments seeking variances for their parking. As we wrote last week, the developer that owns both properties – 1501 Sheepshead Bay Road and 1401 Sheepshead Bay Road – is seeking to build a nine-story building (and here), the parking from which will also supplement his other building, which is short nearly 70 spaces. In total, the buildings need 178 spaces, but the owner is asking it to be reduced to 101 spaces. The plans have been criticized by neighboring businesses and Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (who has also requested a DOT traffic study).
The issue will be put to a vote following the hearing. Two variances for Manhattan Beach homes (represented by the same attorney) are also on the agenda.
The board will also vote on two Department of Transportation projects that affect the area, following presentations last Monday. The first is the replacement of the B44 Limited with Select Bus Service / Bus Rapid Transit along Nostrand Avenue. The new bus configuration seeks to improve commute times and efficiency with off-board fare payment, dedicated bus lanes, traffic signal priority, and low-floor buses. Neighbors are criticizing it for taking away parking and travel lanes, and being an excessive expenditure in the face of massive service cuts.
The second DOT vote regards the Safe Streets for Seniors program, for which Sheepshead Bay is an early deployment site. Several intersections along Ocean Avenue and Coney Island Avenue will receive improvements such as extended curbs, longer walk signals and pedestrian refuges in the middle of the street.
As a reminder, the Community Board is an advisory panel to government agencies and elected officials. Its vote signals to these entities the general neighborhood sentiment, and it is not binding but does help coordination and increase community involvement. So make sure you turn out so that the community’s feeling can be accurately accounted for!
Well, then why don’t you know about the changes to New York City’s constitution (a.k.a. the charter)?
The Office of the Public Advocate is trying to pressure the city into democratizing a seemingly clandestine process – amending the documents that outline city functions. Though the New York City Charter Commission has held eight meetings since March, a lack of publicity about them has only drawn about 1,000 people in to comment.
And some of the things being considered have serious effects at the local level, including what some say are an attempt by the Bloomberg administration to eliminate community boards. These boards need to be strengthened with more official power in their neighborhoods (and also be elected, not appointed), so that communities can begin to regain control over their own character and future. But instead, the charter is considering stripping back their influence, including their land use powers, which means area residents will be blind to any possible projects in their community. Instead, all decisions made about our neighborhood will originate in Manhattan, far from our streets.
Tonight is another charter meeting at 6 p.m. in Brooklyn Borough Hall (209 Joralemon Street). If you can’t make it, the Commission will be webcasting the hearing live.
The body found floating in Sheepshead Bay may have been a murder victim, circumstances suggest. Authorities fished the 6-foot-2, 240-pound grey-haired white male out of the waters near Shore Boulevard and Exeter Street last Friday. Tied to his wrists and ankles were five-pound weights, but NYPD has not yet ruled the case a homicide. According to a Courier-Life report, the victim did not have any gunshot or stabbing wounds, and his identity continues to remain a mystery. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday, but results are inconclusive pending further tests.
We haven’t yet heard back from the 61st Precinct regarding the body that floated into Sheepshead Bay on Friday. However, a few sources around the neighborhood have confirmed our previous report and added that an autopsy was scheduled for today. Additionally, no identification was found on the body and police don’t yet know who it is.
UPDATE [6:24 p.m.]: Just got through to the precinct. The detective squad is investigating it and they are refusing to give out information at this time. We’ll let you know if we hear anything.