A still from "My Australia." Source: Film Society of Lincoln Center

A still from “My Australia.” Source: Film Society of Lincoln Center

As part of the Beth El Jewish Center of Flatbush’s fall movie series, the synagogue invites all to a showing of “My Australia,” a fascinating drama about Polish Holocaust survivors. The film will be screened this Saturday, December 6, 7:00pm inside the synagogue’s daily chapel, 1981 Homecrest Avenue at Avenue T.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center provides a synopsis of “My Australia”:

In a poor neighborhood in 1960s Łódź, Poland, 10-year-old Tadek and his brother are in a gang with a strong anti-Semitic bent. When they are arrested, their mother, a Holocaust survivor, has no choice but to reveal that though raised as Catholics, they are in fact Jews. Telling the younger boy they are going to Australia, the land of his fantasies, the family boards a ship to Israel. This tender and humorous drama is based on the filmmaker’s own experiences.

All are welcome. For further information, call (718) 375-0120.

Photo by Dmitri Kalinin

Photo by Dmitri Kalinin

With rain forecasted for the entire weekend, bird-watching and star-gazing are things that one will likely not do this weekend. Bummer.

Photo by Dmitri Kalinin

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

62nd Precinct tweets first tweet.

62nd Precinct tweets first tweet.

A hearty congratulations is in order. After attending a rigorous Twitter training seminar in September (following a series of missteps), the NYPD is finally ready to join the social media stage.

On December 2, the 61st, 62nd, 63rd, and 68th Precincts all tweeted their first tweets! Though the Twitter accounts have been open since the summer, it seems they are finally taking a cue from the 60th and 70th Precincts, who have proven to be quite adept at maneuvering the Twittersphere. Some are faring better than others though, and the 62nd, 63rd, and 68th precincts have yet to tweet a second time.

Leading the Twitter charge, of course, is NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who has posted dozens of photos of himself with kids, pets, and clowns, and doing New York-y things like taking the Staten Island Ferry. Bratton’s efforts have paid off and he now boasts over 17,000 Twitter followers.

But who is the top tweeter among our local police force? Hands down, the winner is the 60th Precinct, with 1,544 followers (though the 70th Precinct follows closely behind with 1,143). This week the 60th Precinct tweeted a photo that won us over with this heartwarming photo of two officers rescuing a lost boy.

Still, our prediction for the most promising NYPD social media account belongs to K-9 Timoshenko, whose account was launched on November 24.

Here he is with his buddy, K-9 Balze(!!), on Thanksgiving.

I mean, look at that face.

Let's avoid this, shall we? Photo by Tiffany Y.

Let’s avoid this, shall we? (Old) Photo by Tiffany Y.

Below you’ll find weekend subway service changes in Brooklyn for the B, Q, and F lines. Check back Monday to see what’s happening next week. Changes via MTA.info.

Through Friday:

F service operates in two sections

Late nights, 12:01am-5am through Friday, December 5

F trains run as follows:

1. Between 179 St and Jay St-MetroTech, and via the A to/from Hoyt-Schermerhorn
2. Between Stillwell Av and Bergen St, and via the G to/from Bedford-Nostrand Avs

Transfer at Hoyt-Schermerhorn to continue your trip.

F trains run every 20 minutes between Avenue X and Stillwell Av & Jamaica-bound trains skip Avenue U 
Days, 10:30am-3pm, December 3-December 5; December 10-December 12

F service operates in two sections: between 179 St and Avenue X, and between Avenue X and Stillwell Av.

Transfer at Avenue X to continue your trip. For service to Avenue U, take the F to Kings Hwy and transfer to an Avenue X-bound F. For service from this station, take the F to Avenue X where it will become a Jamaica-bound F. More info here.

Astoria-bound Q trains run express from Sheepshead Bay to Prospect Park 
Days, 9:45am-3pm, Wednesday, December 3 and Thursday, December 4; 9:45am-2pm on Friday, December 5

Trains stop at Kings Hwy, Newkirk Plaza and Church Av. For service to Neck Rd, Avenue U, Avenue M, Avenue J, Avenue H, Cortelyou, Beverley Rds and Parkside Av, take the Q to Kings Hwy, Newkirk Plaza, Church Av or Prospect Park and transfer to a Brighton Beach-bound B or Coney Island-bound Q.

For service from these stations, take the B or Q to Church Av, Newkirk Plaza, Kings Hwy or Sheepshead Bay and transfer to an Astoria-bound Q.

Brighton Beach-bound B trains run local from Prospect Park to Sheepshead Bay 
Days, 9:45am-3pm, Wednesday, December 3 and Thursday, December 4; 9:45am-2pm on Friday, December 5

Please allow additional travel time.

Through the weekend:

57 St/7 Av-bound Q trains run express from Kings Hwy to Prospect Park
Weekend, 10:45pm on Friday, December 5 to 5am on Monday, December 8

Trains stop at Newkirk Plaza and Church Av. For service to Avenue M, Avenue J, Avenue H, Cortelyou, Beverley Rds and Parkside Av, take the Q to Newkirk Plaza, Church Av or Prospect Park and transfer to a Coney Island-bound Q.

For service from these stations, take the Q to Church Av, Newkirk Plaza or Kings Hwy and transfer to a 57 St/7 Av-bound Q.

Also, keep an eye out for changes in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens. Schedules occasionally change, so check MTA.info for the latest updates.

1524-sheepshead-bay-rd

Contractors were seen installing scaffolding around the demolition site this morning.

Work to install scaffolding and fencing around 1524 Sheepshead Bay Road began this morning, as full demolition of the building is set to make way for a gated entryway to the 30-story luxury condominium tower at 1501 Voorhies Avenue.

Sheepshead Bites was the first to report on the planned demolition two months ago. An application for a demolition permit was filed in August, and the site passed its pre-demolition inspection just yesterday, according to Department of Buildings documents.

The storefront is part of a larger building, all owned by Muss Development, the company behind the Voorhies Avenue tower project, that spans four storefronts including Citibank. Only the one storefront is being demolished.

The building, once known as the Soeller Building, is nearly a century old, and we wrote about its interesting history previously.

The demolition makes way for a gated pedestrian entrance to the tentatively named Voorhies Tower, the 333-foot-tall development that will feature a mix of owned condos and rental units, with the former beginning at $700,000 for a one-bedroom. (See: video of the view from 333-feet above the development site.)

view-tower

The view from 333 feet above the development site.

Behind the gates will be a roundabout driveway leading in from Voorhies Avenue, a 52-space outdoor parking lot, and a 124-car garage that’s part of the building complex, according to local stakeholders that were invited to a closed-door briefing on the project who spoke to Sheepshead Bites in September on the condition of anonymity.

The stakeholders, after being briefed, maintained that they believe the 176 parking spots for 250 residential units plus office space will amplify parking problems in the area. There remain traffic concerns about the complex’s Voorhies Avenue driveway – which is just across the street from the Belt Parkway exit ramp, and which some believe will cause additional backups along the already congested route.

Muss commissioned an independent traffic analysis, which the Department of Transportation is currently reviewing to make potential adjustments to the plan.

The tower plans filed with the Department of Buildings for the tower are still pending review by the agency.

The approximately footprint of the combined properties now owned by Muss Development. (Source: Google Maps)

The approximately footprint of the combined properties now owned by Muss Development. (Source: Google Maps)

 

This is what robot-facilitated sex assault looks like.

This is what robot-facilitated sex assault looks like.

T.G.I. Fridays wants to make dinner a little hotter this holiday season, so they’re deploying drones equipped with dangling mistletoe to hover over diners’ heads and encourage a little heavy petting.

The Sheepshead Bay Fridays at 3181 Harkness Avenue will become the second location in the United States to feature the drones, with the weaponized make-out makers taking to the air inside the restaurant from 5pm to 9pm.

A fleet of the drones was released on U.K.-based T.G.I. Fridays last month, and made their first appearance earlier this week in Westbury, New York. If the gimmick proves popular with diners, it will continue in other Fridays across the United States.

The drones are equipped with cameras that point down towards their target. As they hover over a dining duo, the pair are broadcast onto large screen televisions throughout the restaurant, as well as on Fridays’ social media accounts – and those who hook-up get a gift card.

But Eater notes that even those who can’t make it into the restaurant can participate by posting a photo of you and your beau sucking face under the mistletoe on social media using #happyfridayholiday to have a chance to win a gift card.

The intrepid reporters over at the Daily News attended the Westbury event, where apparently most Fridays patrons are douchebags:

“I’m drinking Jack [DANIELS], so I was like, ‘Let’s go,’” said Joe, a Westbury customer who declined to give us his last name…

“He has a girlfriend – but she doesn’t live in New York so it doesn’t count,” said Hazel, 25, who not only declined to give her name, but asked the News to keep the randy recon off Facebook…

…”Some people might be on a date with their side chick and wouldn’t want their face up on the screen,” said Waterbury native Billy Casseus, 20. “I’m keeping it PG.”

Translation: If you’re having girl problems, I feel bad for you, son. I’ve got 99 problems and they’re all chain restaurant social media promotions.

All we know is with Fridays’ new look post-Sandy, all you can eat appetizers, and now this, our local Applebees better up its game. We recommend prophylactic-filled pinatas on Cinco de Mayo, or maybe for the Hannukah crowd, some LSD latkes.

Photo by Soo Koon Lee

Photo by Soo Koon Lee

Do you miss the days of heading down Emmons Avenue to Brown Street for some Chinese food at Hong Kong City? Well, the former owners are back with a new place in Bensonhurst.

Hong Kong City, the one of the only places to get Chinese fare on the waterfront, shut down some five or six years ago. The 3081 Emmons Avenue storefront has since served up Turkish food, Mexican-American food and, most recently, Italian food in the shape of Vittoria Seafood & Grill.

Owner Peter Wong is now in a new space at 2332 86th Street with a soon-to-be-opened Cantonese eatery named Shun Deck Restaurant.

Our sister site Bensonhurst Bean reports:

Long-time restauranteur Peter Wong told us he teamed up with chef Karmon Chan to build a restaurant that served the food of his hometown in the Chinese province of Guangdong. Wong had previously owned and managed the popular Hong Kong City in Sheepshead Bay (3081 Emmons) as well as a Chinese restaurant in Bay Ridge. His latest venture, Shun Deck, will be open for business on Monday, December 8.

Chan says the restaurant will serve “home-style” Cantonese recipes from Guangdong, China. The menu will include items like fresh seafood and fish, casseroles and soups, as well as rice congee for lunch.

Shun Deck Restaurant

Photo by Rachel “GimmeCredit” Silberstein

Best of luck to our former neighbors!

Photo by Elise Laura Feinstein

Photo by Elise Laura Feinstein

Gee, I wonder who took this photo. I can’t seem to find photo credit for it anywhere.

Photo by Elise Laura Feinstein

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

Signage for bus lane enforcement (Source: DOT)

Signage for bus lane enforcement (Source: DOT)

Councilman Chaim Deutsch is set to introduce legislation that will create a five-minute grace period in the hours of enforcement of the city’s dedicated bus lanes, which he said has created an onslaught of unfair violations for drivers caught in the lane just seconds after the cameras turn on.

Camera enforced bus lanes are the norm for the city’s Select Bus Service routes, including the B44 SBS traveling on Nostrand Avenue. Though some bus lanes are in effect all day, many are only in operation during peak commuting hours. The councilman said his office has received several complaints from constituents that they’re being ticketed just seconds after the enforcement rules begin, a “gotcha” practice that levies fines on drivers whose dashboard clocks are slightly out of sync.

“I always say ‘no two watches have the same time,’” said Deutsch. “That’s why I’m proposing a five-minute grace period, so that people wont get ticketed.”

Deutsch said one of his constituents showed him a $125 ticket for being in the Nostrand Avenue bus lane – just 10 seconds after cameras were set to turn off.

“It’s ludicrous because if someone’s watch is a minute or two off, or five minutes off … people should have a fair shot,” he said. “Same goes for if a cop pulls you over in a bus lane. On his watch, it should be at least 7:05 [if cameras turn on at 7:00].”

The bill is currently being drafted and should be introduced to the City Council in approximately 30 days. It will be sent to the Transportation Committe, which will hold a hearing on it before putting it to a vote.

Deutsch previously battled issues stemming from SBS bus lane enforcement, which first came into effect late last year. Over the summer, dozens of constituents complained that they were unaware of the new regulations and were busted driving in the lanes. But bureaucratic bungling at the Department of Transportation and Department of Finance caused a delay in mailing out the violations, so many received multiple fines before they were aware of the law. The city later agreed to waive all but the first fine during the backlogged period.

With additional reporting by Rachel Silberstein.

Source: Brooklyn Historical Society

Source: Brooklyn Historical Society

Almost 100 sites across the city — including our own Lady Deborah Moody’s House in Gravesend — could lose the chance of achieving landmark status in an effort by the Landmarks Preservation Commission to clear up a decades-old backlog of items, reports DNAinfo.

There are 94 sites and two historic districts that have been on the LPC’s calendar for consideration for decades — DNAinfo notes that 31 have been sitting there for 40 or more years — and the LPC hopes to push them aside to allow the commission to focus on new work.

“This is all about clearing out projects that are not active so we can focus on ones that are,” LPC chairwoman Meenakshi Srinivasan told the Times.

Preservationists are concerned about this action not only because it could potentially lead to historic buildings being torn down, but because the public hasn’t been given enough time to weigh in and testify.

“Previous landmark commissions voted that these sites should be considered as landmarks so they deserve their day in court,” Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the preservation organization Historic Districts Council, told DNAinfo.

State Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz echoed that sentiment today in a statement.

“The Lady Deborah Moody House is an irreplaceable piece of Brooklyn history dating back before the American Revolution and it therefore deserves to be protected from random demolition,” Cymbrowitz said. “Removing the house from landmarks consideration, and doing so without any formal public input, shows a lack of respect for Brooklyn’s past and deprives residents of the right to weigh in regarding the house’s fate.”

Gravesend historic sign
Lady Deborah Moody’s House (27 Gravesend Neck Road) — which has been awaiting approval for landmark status since 1966 — was never lived in by its namesake, who established Gravesend in the 1600s. The house was built on land owned by the Englishwoman some time around 1700, possibly by the Van Sicklen family, according to Brownstoner. Across the street from the home are historic Van Sicklen and Gravesend cemeteries, as well as a plaque commemorating the historic origins of Gravesend and Lady Moody herself.

In addition to Lady Moody’s House, the sites include several churches (like St. Augustine’s on 6th Avenue in Park Slope), Green-Wood Cemetery, the Snug Harbor Historic District in Staten Island, and more.

The commission is set to vote on the issue at an LPC meeting on December 9. Even if they’re removed, sites with a lot of public support could be reconsidered for landmark designation in the future — if they’re still around for that.

With additional reporting by Rachel Silberstein.