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Update (2:13 p.m.): We just spoke to outgoing owner Edwin Grichanik, who said the businesses wasn’t struggling at all, but that he “just got a big offer I couldn’t refuse.” The business has been sold to an employee of Delmar Pizzeria further up Sheepshead Bay Road. For Grichanik, this is business as usual. “I’m a serial entrepreneur. I buy businesses, I build them up, and then I sell them for a profit.”

Original post:

It’s getting hard to keep track of how many incarnations and owners the bagel place next to Sheepshead Bay train station has had over the years, but we can add one more.

Bagels R Us at 1424 Sheepshead Bay Road closed down about three weeks ago and was snatched up by new owners. A person connected to the business said it will reopen in a few days.

The location certainly has struggled since it was known as Bagel Stop & Deli, which closed in 2009 after many years of business.

Approximately a year later, it reopened under new ownership as Dish D’lish. After just a few months under that name, it rebranded as Jonathan’s Bakery, but still had the same ownership. That was part of an attempt to expand on their baked goods offerings.

That lasted about two years, when Jonathan’s owner decided to move on. It was scooped up by another buyer, who renamed it Bagels R Us in 2012.

That wasn’t the end of the ownership musical chairs. About a year went by and it was sold again in 2013. The latest owner kept the name but renovated the interior and changed up the menu. After a year, that owner has moved on, too.

That’s five owners and or rebrands in as many years. You’d think a coffee and bagel joint next to the busy Sheepshead Bay train station and abutting several bus stops would be a gold mine, no? What do you think the struggle is about?

Source: .v1ctor Casale/Flickr

A tattoo declaring his innocence did little to stop a Brooklyn jury from convicting a man for a 2012 sexual assault in Brighton Beach.

Giorgi Shevardenidze, 27, was found guilty of attacking a woman at the Brighton Beach subway station on July 28, 2012, with prosecutors alleging he grabbed his victim around the neck and mouth from behind, and choked, smothered and groped her.

Before his trial, though, he sought to clear his name with some permanent ink. He appeared in court with a tattoo of a bell on his right hand, with the word’s “I am not guilty” beneath it.

Jurors didn’t take the hint, finding him guilty of aggravated sexual assault after approximately four hours of deliberations. The crime carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Shevardenidze targeted his 22-year-old victim, riding eight stops past his destination to follow her. But Shevardenidze’s lawyers said it was all just a big misunderstanding. Shevardenidze was drunk, took a stumble, and landed on a butt, they argued.

The Daily News reports:

“He targeted this young lady,” prosecutor Olatokunbo Olaniyan told jurors during closing arguments. “He saw that blond hair, he saw that dress and he saw a crime of opportunity.”

Taking the stand Monday, the defendant contended he was bombed after a night of heavy drinking and that he “lost my balance and… accidentally put a hand on her butt.”

He said he got off at that stop to buy weed.

His lawyers argued the woman suffered no injuries and “overreacted” to an innocent encounter.

The New York Post adds that Shevardenidze was arrested on May 19, charged with misdemeanor assault for punching and biting a man in Midwood.

Photo by Erica Sherman

Photo by Erica Sherman

It was just last week that Brennan & Carr was named one of New York City’s most iconic meat dishes by Eater NY. Was rival roast beef peddler Roll-N-Roaster (2901 Emmons Avenue) going to be ignored?

C’mon. Nobody puts Roll-N-Roaster in a corner. They put them on “Best of” lists. Specifically, CBS News “Best of” lists, which has to be among the best “Best of” lists because they once named us Best Local Affairs Website and obviously have good taste.

The news outlet calls Roll-N-Roaster one of eight best sandwiches in Brooklyn, describing it thusly:

While “You can have CHEEZ on anything you PLEEZ” would be enough to entice even the strongest will-powered man into Roll-n-Roaster, there are reasons galore to visit – though most do include said CHEEZ. First and foremost is the wonderful roast beef sandwich; thin slices of beef with a pink center arrive piled high on a soft bun, a sandwich that would put to shame that fast food sandwich chain that claims to make these.

One week, two local roast beef sandwiches on “Best of” lists, and never a consensus on which is better.

Congratulations to both of our meateries!

The Cyclone looks like a whole bunch of toothpicks here. My advancing years and weakening constitution tell me I am a little bit coocoo for having gone on this rickety beast as many times as I have (somewhere in the area of 30). I love the drops, but I cannot deal with those sharp turns anymore. Perhaps it’s time to give the Thunderbolt a try.

Photo by Mary Bakija

Morning Mug is our daily showcase of photographs from our readers. If you have a photograph that you’d like to see featured, send them to photos@sheepsheadbites.com.

Menorah Home in Manhattan Beach (Source: Landow & Landow)

A new, 16-suite building opened in Manhattan Beach on June 30, providing hospice care for terminally ill children.

The site, called Sixteen Lights and operated by MJHS, is located on the Menorah campus at 1516 Oriental Boulevard, wedged between Kingsborough Community College and Manhattan Beach Park.

Wall Street Journal reports:

The 16-suite building will cater to younger patients, offering a playroom, a playground and a homelike atmosphere with kitchens where parents who live there with their children can cook.

“The sad part is that today in our community, other than using a hospital-bed setting there really is no extended-stay place that a family can go to be with a child,” said Eli Feldman, MJHS’s chief executive. “It’s just not natural that a child dies before their parents.”

… MJHS was started by four Brooklyn women in 1907 to take care of the elderly. Its budget has grown to $1.1 billion from $45 million in the past four decades.

Dying adults also will be able to stay there. Their foundation paid the $7 million cost of the new hospice and so far they have raised $2 million to offset it.

Families can use the hospice as a respite, staying for up to five days, to relieve some of the pressure of constantly caring for a terminally ill child.

An artist’s rendition of the interior of a hospice unit, used in the planning stages. (Source: MJHS)

It appears to have been a long road to the site’s creation. After years of fundraising – which still continues – they broke ground in September 2012.

Here’s how the foundation describes the facility and its purpose:

When asked, people overwhelmingly choose to spend their last days at home, surrounded by family. Unfortunately, in the New York City area, too many people with advanced illness, especially children, must spend their final days in the sterile, impersonal environment of a hospital.

This 16-suite hospice inpatient residence will be a private home-like setting and it will be the first in New York City, and one of the few in the region, to serve children as well as adults. It will redefine hospice care by offering patients and their families a home away from home without sacrificing the best in medical care.

There are volunteer opportunities offered at the hospice. Learn more by clicking here.

swastika

Photo by Jane Roitman

A Queens assemblyman has asked the Department of Consumer Affairs to look into regulating swastikas and other offensive ads from taking to the skies after beachgoers were shocked this weekend by the appearance of a swastika-towing plane flying over the sands.

The banner, shown above, was flown on Saturday by the International Raelian Movement, a quasi-religious organization that says they’ve cloned humans and they believe extraterrestrial scientists made life on Earth. The group flies the banner over New York City beaches annually to “rehabilitate” the image as a sign of peace and unity. Although it wasn’t intended to be anti-Semitic, locals were outraged that the passion-stirring icon would fly over one of the world’s largest communities of Holocaust survivors.

In addition to Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach and Coney Island, the banner toured over the Rockaway and Long Island beaches.

CBS reports on the effort to make sure the Raelians won’t be back next year:

Assemblyman Phil Goldfelder, D-Queens, told [reporter Alex] Silverman he is asking the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs to look at regulating swastikas in the sky and other offensive ads, which he thinks can be done without opening a constitutional can of worms. He’s also considering introducing legislation.

“There’s been a lot of precedent about regulation on signage in public places, and I think that we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect our families,” Goldfelder said.

women-race

Twitter user @RealTimeWWI alerted us to the photo above this morning, showing the “Start of women’s race” here in Sheepshead Bay exactly one hundred years ago today.

The photo itself comes from the Library of Congress Bain Collection, an enormous set of photographs from “one of America’s earliest news picture agencies.” Although it was a global agency, they emphasized capturing life in New York City from the 1860s to 1930s.

The collection has a number of other photos from the event, like this one, showing the crowd greeting the winner:

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Unfortunately, we couldn’t dig up much about the Sheepshead Bay women’s race, so we can’t identify the winner or give much context. But this abstract from a New York Times report on it gives some detail:

Forty girl swimmers competed for aquatic honors yesterday afternon at Thall’s Pier, Sheepshead Bay, in a special carnival under the auspices of the Women’s National Life Saving Society. Close finishes featured a majority of the events, and unusually skilful work was shown in the fancy diving contest, the feature event of the programme.

We’ll have to do more digging into Thall’s in the future, but for now Brooklyn Eagle gives us this nugget:

Even Sheepshead Bay had a beach in the 19th century before it was dredged for yachts. Thall’s Bathing Pavilion on the west side of the bay provided a private pool and diving platform for swimmers. On the shore stood Dominick’s Hotel for longer staying guests.

That’s probably the structure in the background of the photo above.

The most information regarding the actual contestants comes from the data for the photo below, of Mrs. Lillian Howard, who appears to be one of the organizers of the event:

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Here’s what the collection’s notes had to say about her: “Photograph shows Mrs. Lillian Howard, an officer in the Women’s National Life Saving Society/League from 1913-1914 at a women’s swimming contest at Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, New York City, July 16, 1914. “

She’s in this shot, too:

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Anybody recognize the names? I’m sure there are some descendants of these folks living in Sheepshead Bay, and we’d love to know more.

Here are some more names for you:

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Can we presume these three were the winners?

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Action shot!

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Source: NYCIBO

Source: NYCIBO

While the news that New York City will expand speed camera enforcement across the five boroughs was met with conspiratorial sneering from local drivers, revenue data suggests that the overall amount of funds collected for traffic fines has declined every year for the past four years despite the expansion of camera-enforcement programs.

That’s not to say there’s not money being made: the city pulled in more than $55 million in fiscal year 2014 (which ended on June 30), and 75 percent of that was from camera-based enforcement. The city budget for 2015 already presumes a jump to $62 million in revenue, with an even larger percentage coming from camera enforcement.

The New York City Independent Budget Office released a new infographic yesterday that charts the amount of revenue collected from traffic fines from 1999 to the present, and also shows the share of those collections that came via police-issued violations, red-light cameras, bus-lane cameras and the newest enforcement tool: speed cameras.

Some of the takeaways?

  • The proportion of revenue generated by cameras has grown from just 38 percent in 1999 to 75 percent in 2014.
  • The amount of revenue in 2014 is nearly double that collected in 1999. (Adjusted for inflation, the jump is less stark; the increase is just under $13 million.)
  • Since 2004, actual revenue from police-issued traffic violations has been on a steady decline, marginally offsetting some of the increases from camera enforcement.
  • Red-light camera revenues are the lowest they’ve been since 2007, the year before a massive expansion of the program, suggesting that camera enforcement won’t drive revenues forever.

There are two big spikes in the graph, one in 2008 and another in 2011.

The first coincided with an increase in the number of red light cameras installed around the city. After the increase, there’s a drop again. That’s probably because once drivers figure out where the cameras are, they make sure to abide by the law.

The 2011 spike came as a result of a ruling that unpaid red light summonses can count towards the threshold needed for the city to tow your car for unpaid tickets. Delinquent motorists who saw their cars impounded had to pay back those fines that year to reclaim their vehicles.

The two newest forms of camera revenue are also seeing pretty rapid growth as drivers have yet to adjust to them. Bus-lane cameras were introduced in 2011 as part of the Select Bus Service program. As that program has steadily expanded across the five boroughs, so has the number of cameras, and thus the number of violations.

Speed cameras were introduced in early 2014, with just 20 in school zones around the city. That led to $2.1 million in fines collected. But the program has been approved for massive expansion, with 120 new cameras on the way.

The city is projecting it will put $7.6 million in city coffers, but if the historical spikes from the expansion of red light cameras are any indication, it’ll probably rake in more than that before falling off over a few years.

So is it about money? It’s anybody’s guess. There’s definitely a historical increase in revenues collected but it’s not as staggering as one would think, given the massive expansion of these programs. And the data here suggests the gains appear short-lived as drivers learn to follow the rules of the road.

Here’s the above chart in an interactive format. Hover over each of the bars to see how much actual revenue was received for each method:

So peaceful, so serene, and then, oh yeah, there’s that thing that passes for the Sun that looks like 20 kilotons of TNT going off over yonder.

Photo by George Burshteyn

Morning Mug is our daily showcase of photographs from our readers. If you have a photograph that you’d like to see featured, send them to photos@sheepsheadbites.com.

mta-fauxart

Sheepshead Bites reader Tamika J. sent us this photo of a sticker she spotted on a local Q train.

Designed to look like one of the MTA’s official notices making riders aware of the penalties faced for various violations, like assaulting a subway conductor, the sticker tells riders that “Not following your dreams is a felony against the soul punishable by up to 7 years of bad karma.”

Although it’s a pretty uplifting message to a successful bad-ass like yours truly, it probably makes most of you shlubs commuting to the job you hate a little more depressed than taking the subway normally would. And, at that, I laugh.

Wait, that’s probably bad karma, too. Damnit.