Archive for the tag 'cars'

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More than 300 antique automobiles rumbled over the asphalt of Floyd Bennett Field and took up their positions in front of the appropriately retro Ryan Visitor Center on Sunday, June 8, for the Antique Automobile Association of Brooklyn’s annual spring show.

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Reader Vladimir Korostyshevskiy, who has sent us photos of the event in previous years, was again on hand to capture the event. 

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The annual spring show brings auto collectors from around New York City, New Jersey, Long Island and Connecticut for a “friendship meet,” free to car owners and spectators alike. It’s organized by the group’s president, Leonard Shiller, who owns a fleet of  58 automobiles dating from 1924 to 1968. Most of his cars are kept in a warehouse near his Park Slope home. He recently opened up the warehouse to the public as part of a fundraiser to fight Methodist Hospital’s expansion plans.

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Thanks to Korostyshevskiy for sending over these great photos!

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Photo courtesy of Raffi Greenstein

Photo courtesy of Raffi Greenstein

Parking is one of the more horrible pastimes that New Yorkers have dealt with in the past century. There are a million rules, fines and, what is worse, so few precious spots to cram your car into. Sheepshead Bites reader Rafi Greenstein sent us this message along with the two photographs:

Reason number #50058 to hate NYC. I spend up to 20 minutes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday looking for a parking space on the correct side of the street sometimes I get lucky but sometimes I have no choice but to park on the side where I will have to move at 12 p.m. At 12 p.m. I have no choice like many other drivers to double park I leave a big note with my phone number in case somebody needs to move. Now alternate side ends at 1:30 p.m. If I do not move at exactly that moment or sit in my car for 5 minutes before I get $150 ticket. If I had decided to stay on the wrong side of the street I would have gotten a $65 ticket and 5 minutes leeway both before and after alternate side.

Now, this is something I’m on the fence about. While the standard is obviously screwed up – Rafi should not have been penalized more than if had more blatantly broken rules by refusing to move for street cleaning – I’m also continually irked by those that think it’s okay to double park on street cleaning days. What do you think?

Photo courtesy of Raffi Greenstein

Photo courtesy of Raffi Greenstein

Vandals broke in to at least seven cars on Hampton Avenue in Manhattan Beach last night, leaving shattered glass and debris scattered across the sidewalks.

The incidents occurred in the middle of the night, with seven cars hit on Hampton Avenue between Coleridge Street and Brighton 14th Street, reports resident Zvi G., who sent in these photos of the leftovers.

Police were seen on-scene with car owners this morning. Zvi was not a victim and could not say if any items were taken from the cars.

Car break-ins have plagued the neighborhood for some time, and remains one of the toughest challenges for the 61st Precinct according to its commander, Captain John Chell.

The incident follows on the heels of a previous rash of break-ins in the neighborhood just two weeks ago, when several cars on Shore Boulevard, Hampton Avenue and Emmons Avenue were hit. Earlier this year, several cars were broken into in Homecrest, and last year and in 2010, large sprees occurred on the poorly-lit Shore Parkway streets.

Chell discussed the issue at the most recent 61st Precinct Community Council meeting, reminding residents that the police will continue to do their best, but residents also need to step it up by not leaving items – no matter how small – inside the car, and especially not in open view.

“We, collectively, I think we’re all guilty. We run to the store, running late to be home, we leave our bag in the car and we make mistakes. And it kind of hurts us,” Chell said at the meeting.

View more photos of last night’s break-ins.

Forget bandits; the New York City government may be taking your legally-parked car off the street without your permission.

Cliff Bruckenstein returned from a funeral this morning and found a tow truck operator hooking up his car – even though it was parked perfectly legally. When he stopped the tow truck operator for an explanation, a City Marshal appeared, and told Bruckenstein they’re under orders to remove cars damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

Bruckenstein’s car did have damage, but it still had plates and a valid registration, and, at Emmons Avenue and Weber Court, was not in an Alternate Side Street Parking spot. Rather than scrap the car, Bruckenstein had planned to save some money and repair it himself, and the tow truck operator unhooked his vehicle.

Bruckenstein is luckier than some others.

“They must have taken 100 cars off Emmons Avenue today. Over 100 cars. There’s a million tow trucks parked in this neighborhood now,” he said. “I want to know how they determine which cars to take. Some cars look very flooded, others aren’t very obvious. From what I heard, it’s the tow truck driver’s determination.”

The process for determining cars to remove remains unclear. As is who ordered the cars removed.

Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo said she received no notice that a major operation to clear the street would kick off this week, but noted that hundreds of cars have been towed to Shore Boulevard in Manhattan Beach since Monday. There, they’re put on a multi-car transport and taken out of the neighborhood.

“I heard not a word about it. As far as I’m concerned, if my car has plates, a valid registration, and is parked legally, who the hell is the city to come and tow my car away? That’s my private property,” Scavo said.

Scavo said a police rep told her that it was a mayoral initiative to get the streets clear so that Alternate Side Parking and meter rules can be restored.

Police at the 61st Precinct said they were unaware of where the orders came from, and were not involved in the operation. However, they say they’ve received several complaints from residents, and are informing them that the cars have been relocated to a Red Hook lot and there is no cost to car owners.

Sheepshead Bites has contacted the Mayor’s Office and is awaiting a response.

UPDATE (3:46 p.m.): We just received the following response via e-mail from a spokesperson for the mayor:

Vehicles damaged during the storm and left on public roadways are being moved to lots where they will not interfere with use of the streets, response operations, street cleaning and debris removal by the Sanitation Department. Owners can call their local police precinct or 1-800-244-5094 to get information about where their vehicle is being stored. A notice -including the lot location and phone number – is left on the car 24 hours before it is moved.

UPDATE (4:00 p.m.): We checked with Bruckenstein, who said that no notice was left on his car.

When we spoke to the mayor’s office a second time, they added that cars are being moved as part of the state’s emergency order for debris removal, but that no city marshals are involved in the removal. In New York City, the contractor is Ashbritt Environmental, a disaster recovery firm, and car removals are being overseen by the Office of Emergency Management and the Sanitation Department. The mayor’s rep noted that the attempted removal of Bruckenstein’s car may have been unrelated, but they’re looking into the matter to investigate any inappropriate actions.

Thieves stole Mariya's airbag and shattered at least one of her windows.

Tipster Mariya Y. sent us a note about a recent rash of car break-ins in the neighborhood.

Her Nissan Sentra, a neighbor’s Nissan Maxima and another neighbor’s Nissan Rouge were all broken into over the weekend. They were parked under the B/Q line at Ave S and East 15th Street and around the corner on East 16th Street.

Another car, an ambulette, was also a target. The ambulette was parked under the elevated tracks at Ave T.

The thieves seem to be targeting Nissans. They stole Mariya’s airbag. It is not known what was taken from the other cars.

This is not the first incident of its kind around the area. In the last two years, there have been strings of major break-ins. In 2010, over 19 cars were broken into on Shore Parkway and in 2011, several more cars on Shore Parkway received the same treatment.

Remember to park only in well-lighted places whenever possible, and don’t leave any valuables in view (not even pennies in the cupholder). A surprising number of people continue to leave their doors unlocked, police have repeatedly stressed, enabling additional thefts.

Residents are encouraged to report any suspicious activity to authorities and this time around, if you are driving a Nissan, don’t park it under the train tracks!

Floyd Bennett Field was filled with 350 antique cars this past Sunday in honor of the 34th Annual Antique Car Show of the Antique Automobile Association of Brooklyn.

Classic auto owners from Staten Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut displayed vehicles dating back to the early and mid-1900s. Among these automobiles were a 1922 Star belonging to the president of the association, Lenny Schiller, club member Evans Georgopulos’s 1931 Ford Model, A Super Deluxe Roadster, Vince Massucci’s 1932 Studebaker, and Frank Naccarato’s 1964 Corvette. Some also came to exhibit cars from the modern day.

Check out these great photos sent in by reader Vladimir Korostyshevskiy.

Strauss Discount Auto at 2570 Coney Island Avenue.

SHEEPSHEAD BITES SCOOP: Venerable metro-area auto repair and supply store Strauss Discount Auto declared Chapter 11 Bankruptcy last night, spurring the surprise closure of more than 50 45 locations and laying off approximately 700 workers.

The sign in the window (click to enlarge)

Employees and customers of the chain were equally surprised this morning to arrive at locations in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to find gates down and signs in the windows declaring stores closed, and directing customers to call 800-787-4554, and employees to call supervisors. The chain’s website has been taken down and replaced with the same number for customer service.

Sheepshead Bites’ phone call to the company was answered by a merchandising rep taking calls on behalf of customer service. She informed us that the company had declared bankruptcy overnight, and that all branches were closed. She did not have specifics about the number of employees, but estimated it as more than 700 chain wide.

The company had nine stores in Brooklyn, 22 19 stores citywide and 53 45 stores in the entire metro area, according to a list of stores on an archived version of its webpage.

“That’s horrible,” said a frequent patron of the 2570 Coney Island location, who said he was friendly with the staff. “I pass by them everyday. They were just open yesterday. No one knew nothing.”

Keep reading about what happened to the business, and what you can do if your car is still in Strauss Auto’s possession.

Reader Michael S. wrote in to tell us about a number of car break-ins that occurred overnight, around Shore Parkway and Bedford Avenue. The scene sounds similar to that of April 2010, when dozens of cars were broken into in one night by a team of thieves. Here’s what Michael writes:

My car and a few other cars in the area got broken into overnight i was parked on Bedford and shore parkway the broke the rear passenger window and thats how they got into the trunk. The took everything xbox360, macbook pro, dslr camera, remote control gas car.. Hit the jackpot. Another car on the street was broken into as well. At the glass shop now and there a few people that had there cars broken into overnight seems to be a trend all cars with tints.

Not to rub salt into your wounds, Michael, but why on earth would you keep an Xbox 360, Macbook Pro, DSLR and other high-value stuff in your car? We write all the time about how even pennies in your cup holder or GPS suction cup rings on your windshield can be enough of a justification for a thief to break your window. It’s not a joke; we hear these incidents from the police all the time.

Please, readers, the 61st Precinct’s Midnight Conditions Unit may be doing a good job reducing incidents like this, but they can’t eliminate it. Don’t leave anything of value in your car. Especially when you’re parking on a dark street like Shore Parkway.

Tipster Vitaly sent us this photo of a new car leasing place – Kings Leasing – opening at 4173 Bedford Avenue, just off of Avenue U.

The property was previously a private residential garage.

An example of a speed camera (Source: DaveBleasdale/Flickr)

Community Board 15 overwhelmingly voted down a proposal to place cameras automating speed limit enforcement along the city’s most dangerous roadways, citing Big Brother and revenue manipulation concerns.

A five-year trial program is being pushed by Transportation Alternatives, a non-profit advocacy group for mass transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. The plan would place a maximum of 40 cameras, similar to the currently installed red-light cameras, throughout the five boroughs in locations where speeding and speed-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities are prevalent. Owners of vehicles found to be driving in excess of the posted speed limit would receive fines, and the violations will be administered under the Parking Violations Bureau. The penalty will not include points against the violator’s insurance.

But the idea of more cameras keeping tabs on residents has some leaders feeling uncomfortable.

“It’s becoming a little too many cameras watching what individuals are doing, and on top of that you’ve already got red light cameras, you’ve got the police with license plate readers,” said Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo, “How many more cameras do you need?”

Keep reading for the pros and cons of this program.

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