Archive for the tag 'ave j'

Source: DiFara.com

Legendary Midwood establishment Di Fara Pizza (1424 Avenue J) took to Facebook late last week and over the weekend, vowing to fight a $1,600 fine from the Department of Health for having too many chairs in the notoriously seat-strapped storefront.

Maggie DeMarco, daughter of famed dough-tosser Dom DeMarco, took to the social media site to explain a recent health inspection that left them with a B rating, saying that they had extra folding chairs in the kitchen.

Maggie wrote on Thursday:

A few years ago we purchased extra seats as we do get very crowded most of the time. We were always kind and would bring out an extra chair if someone asked … Those folding chairs caused us to get a B grade. As someone who has been doing this a very long time, I want people to know not to panic when they read grades on food service businesses . It rarely ever means anything hazardous to the public … At this time, we will no longer have anymore than 19 seats at all times.

According to city regulations, restaurants with 20 or more seats must have a public, handicapped-accessible bathroom. Di Fara does not. Their bathroom is behind the counter, in the kitchen.

On Saturday, Maggie updated Facebook fans on the developments. The city sent the business a letter offering to settle the case for $1,600 or spend a day attending a hearing. DeMarco suggested it’s a racket, and one she won’t stand for.

A business tends to settle just to avoid the inconvenience of attending the hearing. I , however will attend the hearing as I want the 19 seat rule explained to me clearer as we can not continue to pay fines for unexpected violations.

She also expressed her wish that the Department of Health assign dedicated inspectors to each restaurant, allowing them to build relationships and be subject to uniform standards on each visit – the inconsistent interpretation of regulations being a common complaint from restaurant owners.

DeMarco returned to Facebook again late last night, noting that the inspector appears to be a little ignorant of the laws. After some research, she discovered that the bathroom requirement is only applicable to restaurants opened after 1977. Since Di Fara Pizza opened in 1965, the eatery should be grandfathered in.

The hearing for Di Fara’s appeal is scheduled for March 18.

Source: DiFara.com

The beloved dough-tossers at Midwood’s Di Fara Pizza were forced to defend themselves against allegations that they existed only to feed New York City’s elite, after mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio declared it his favorite pizza.

The issue surfaced after the Daily News, in yet another hard-hitting policy report (akin to the “So… would ya’ kill a kittie?” fiasco), asked Democratic contender Bill de Blasio and Republican Joe Lhota which pizzeria produced their favorite slice.

De Blasio, erring on the side of, well, every freakin’ top-10 list in the city, said his heart and stomach are with Di Fara’s (1424 Avenue J).

“To all the Manhattan foodies out there: it’s not even close. This is clearly the best,” he told the newspaper, fawning of Dom’s use of “buffalo milk mozzarella, which is beloved in my grandfather’s province in Italy.”

The Daily News, in the business of creating controversy where there is none, declared that the rundown, generation-spanning family business is just a front for upper-crust snobbery, citing their $5 slice and $28 pie, believed to be among the highest in the city. They claim it’s at odds with de Blasio’s self-anointed status as a champion of the downtrodden.

“Mr. Tale of Two Cities eats his pizza with the 1%,” the paper claims. “But the man who says he’ll make the city a better place for the downtrodden if elected mayor insists the Brooklyn slice joint is worth the price — and the famously long line that snakes out its door.”

New York Observer’s Politicker blog, of course, wouldn’t let sleeping dogs lie, and turned to the pizza king for a rebuttal.

“No, I feel like we have a very unique product,” an employee told The Observer. “Anyone who tries it is going to find it to be a quality product. We hear people all day saying it’s one of the best things they’ve ever eaten. No matter what percent you’re in, once you try it, you’ll love it.”

And, of course, the whole idea that any pizza not laden with diamonds and the squandered dreams of Detroit factory workers is for the one percent is ludicrous. Even at the high price tag – $28 – a family of four can eat a meal and not break the bank.

What the Daily News should really be focusing on is Lhota’s answer. Not only can he not name his favorite pizzeria, he claims that his favorite slice is – gasp! – buffalo chicken! From Queens!!!

Freakin’ savage.

(Source: 5301 Fishbowl via subchat.com)

East 16th Street and Avenue J. (Source: 5301 Fishbowl via subchat.com)

People looking for some cheap hot coffee while waiting in line for some Di Fara Pizza (1424 Avenue J) this winter have a new place to visit. A brand new 7-Eleven has opened at 1523 Avenue J at the corner of East 16th Street in Midwood.

Cafe 16 previously occupied the spot right next to the stairs that lead up to the Manhattan bound Q trains. Thanks to 5301 Fishbowl for posting the image on the subchat message boards.

Garbage

Garbage

You see it everywhere in Southern Brooklyn; bins overflowing with garbage, trash strewn across the streets and collecting over sewer gutters. It is getting so bad that it is hard to blame people for littering when the alternative consists of trying to balance your coffee cup on a trash pyramid. CBS is reporting that residents in Midwood and Borough Park are up to their ears in trash and are demanding the Department of Sanitation (DOS) to do something about it.

Marilyn Leiman, who has spent 50 years living in Midwood, told CBS that the garbage problem has never been worse:

“I never saw it such a mess. If you walk down Avenue J, it’s just awful. And the other thing that gets me is a lot of tourists come here. They come to eat in the kosher pizza store. They come from Israel; from Los Angeles. And I’m so ashamed that they come here and see what it looks like,” Leiman said.

At the junction of Avenue J and East 14th Street, the trash was spilling far out of its intended receptacle — and was piled up in bags and heaps next to it.

Councilman David Greenfield called out the DOS directly:

Greenfield fired a salvo at the Department of Sanitation, saying several commercial strips in Midwood, Borough Park and Bensonhurst are under-served.

“They’re allowing mounds of trash to pile up in our prime commercial areas,” he said.

Greenfield, who praised Sanitation efforts along residential streets, said commercial strips such as Avenue J, Avenue M and Kings Highway, don’t get the service they need. He provided photos taken over a three-day period. The owner of a bagel shop said he sees the trash mounds.

“All over the place, all over, and in the can for sure, but whatever doesn’t fit they have on the ground,” said the owner, Hershie Oberlander.

The merchants were unsure of the number of pick-ups, but the councilman said there’s only one pickup a week. He protested that Bay Ridge residents not far away get two pickups a week.

Greenfield’s reference to Bay Ridge might have something to do with the recent deal that Councilman Vincent Gentile worked out with the DOS for extra garbage pickups along the neighborhoods busiest streets. Gentile’s deal also covered parts of Bensonhurst.

CBS posted a response from DOS spokesperson Belinda Mager.

But a spokeswoman for the Sanitation Department said trash is actually picked up four times a week in the problem areas.

“Regular collection trucks service the area (Ave J + East 15th Street) on Tuesday and Fridays. In addition, there is a dedicated basket truck servicing the area on Sunday and Monday. Those baskets are serviced four days a week,” Mager said.

Something seems strange in Mager’s response as the deal Gentile struck increased pickups to four days a week. If Gentile’s deal was only for parts of Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst and if the deal maxed out at four days a week, how could the DOS be collecting four days a week in an area where no deal has been struck?

Either way, as a response to mounting garbage problem, Greenfield has floated the ideas of placing security cameras near bins to track the amount of pickups and to catch people who illegally dump residential trash in the baskets.

hate graffiti in midwood israel news

Photo via Israelnationalnews.com

A swastika was found in Midwood, scrawled on top of a Courier Life news box. Israel Nation News is reporting that they discovered the hate graffiti posted on Facebook by a concerned citizen but little action has been taken as of yet.

The swastika was discovered on the corner of Avenue J and East 14th Street. Israel National News was pretty annoyed at the lack of responses and outrage the image generated on Facebook:

A local Jewish resident, noticing the mark, snapped the photo and posted it on Facebook. But few people even bothered to comment.

One Facebook member wrote, “Those rascally Buddhists / Hindus. I hope.”  But a second writer responded, “Not in a Jewish neighborhood. More like Pakistani Muslims…” A commentator from Israel added, “What’s weird is the laid-back attitude that everyone is taking towards this.”

I personally am torn on this issue. I obviously believe that drawing swastikas anywhere, let alone a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, is wrong. Sometimes I feel that glorifying the hate crimes of bigoted punks does nothing but bring pleasure to the idiot who did it in the first place. On the other hand, bringing attention to the evil of the swastika is probably useful in educating young people who might not know better. Either way, it is bad and needs to stop – and someone ought to scrub that box clean.

Photo by Steven Volynets

Photo by Steven Volynets

A car crash in Midwood turned fatal when Zahurul Alam lost control of his Lexus and slammed into a tree early Sunday morning. The New York Daily News is reporting that Alam lost his life and injured his two friends who were along for the ride.

The accident happened at 2:45 a.m. Sunday, as Alam headed north on Ocean Parkway near Avenue J. Alam, who was 20 years old, died instantly, with witnesses saying that his body was barely visible in the wreckage.

“It was bad … You couldn’t even see the driver, he was killed right away … I don’t know if he was wearing a seatbelt,” witness Benny Uzilov told the Daily News.

Uzilov went on to describe the visible condition of the other passengers.

“The passenger in the back didn’t have a scratch. The guy in the front passenger seat was moving his legs a little but his head was back. (Responders) were talking to the guy in the back, but he was just looking around,” Uzilov said.

The friends of Alam were transferred to Lutheran Hospital in critical condition but have now been upgraded to stable.

Alam was believed to be speeding, according to reports.

Yoseph Robinson, Source: haaretz.com via facebook

Yoseph Robinson, Source: haaretz.com via facebook

Yoseph Robinson, the fallen Jamaican hip-hop artist turned Orthodox Jew, will be honored with a street conaming at the intersection of Avenue J and Nostrand Avenue. According to a press release issued by Councilman Jumaane Williams, the legislation to honor Robinson was passed unanimously by the City Council and signed into law by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

We’ve previously reported on Williams’s effort to honor Robinson, who was murdered on August 19, 2010, while working as a liquor store clerk in Midwood. As a teenager, Robinson was an aspiring hip-hop artist caught up in gang related activity like drug dealing. Looking to change his life, he converted to Orthodox Judaism at age 23. Robinson was murdered at MB Vineyards located at 2388 Nostrand Avenue while trying to protect his girlfriend from armed robber Eion Klass.

The Robinson legislation was passed alongside a bill to honor murdered teenager Christopher Rose, who was stabbed to death while being robbed. Rose is given the sad distinction as being the first person killed for their iPod. Williams recognized both Robinson and Rose at a press conference at City Hall.

“The legacies of Christopher Rose and Yoseph Robinson will live on in this community through these street co-namings,” said Council Member Williams. “Both of these individuals have had lasting impacts, and the fact that their names will be forever attached with our streets ensures that future New Yorkers will share in their history. I look forward to joining Yoseph and Christopher’s families and friends, along with the rest of our community, when we unveil their signs and celebrate their stories.”

Photo via ny.eater.com

I have to admit, I am a little wary of writing this article. The daily lines to get a slice of Di Fara’s incredibly perfect pizza are already so long that I am loath to spread the word of the new spinoff spot located just a few doors down (1012 East 15th Street) that features an expanded menu. Still, if the food is just as good as Di Fara’s, no amount of ink spilled will stop foodies from flocking to Avenue J in Midwood.

According to a report by NY Eater, MD Kitchen is officially open for business, offering an expanded menu of delicious Italian foods that Di Fara used to feature before pizza became the only menu item.

Opened by the children of pizza master Dominic DeMarco, MD Kitchen will be serving up everything from pasta dishes, salads, heroes, sandwiches, wings, fries and hot dogs. The name MD Kitchen was humorously explained by Dominic’s daughter Maggie DeMarco on a Facebook entry.

“Mama DeMarco’s for our mom, Mikey DeMarco for our nephew, Maggie DeMarco for me? What it does not mean is medical doctor.”

Personally I don’t care what it stands for, I will be heading over ASAP to see how the new menu stacks up to the incredible pizza experience just a few doors down.

A 26-year-old special needs man has gone missing in Midwood, and police are looking to reunite him with his family.

The man, photographed above, was last seen this afternoon at Coney Island Avenue and Avenue J, according to the NY Scanner Twitter account.

Police have responded with a Level 1 mobilization.

If you have seen this person, please call 911 immediately.

 

Posted this morning on Di Fara’s Facebook page:

[Di Fara] is happy to announce that several doors down we will be opening a tiny take out place offering all our old menu items that so many have been missing. We will have pasta, heros, salad and more.We expect to open mid April. All our products will use the finest and freshest ingredients as we always do at Difara….please, no questions at this time…Will update as we see fit ! Thank you….Happy April !

Eater, which was the first to report on this off-shoot of the current Di Fara’s location (1424 Avenue J), notes that it will be the first time in at least 10 years since Di Fara sold pasta dishes.

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