by Diana Bruk
White Island (Source: Google Maps)
A group of New Yorkers hailing from all five boroughs gathered early Saturday morning at the Marine Park salt marsh for a rare canoeing adventure to White Island. The three-hour, complimentary guided tour was the second and last trip of the season, and the island (which is wrapping up construction), is only accessible by water and currently closed to those unaccompanied by an Urban Park Ranger.
Our visit was one of the first opportunities to see the island in the final phases of a $15 million restoration that began in 2011. After years of erosion and naturally shifting wetland topography, White Island – also known as Mau Mau Island – was re-shored, cleaned up, purged of invasive phragmites, and replanted with native grasses to serve as a habitat for migratory birds.
Read about our trip to the wilds of White Island, and see the pretty photos.
Big ups to Brennan & Carr, featured this week in Eater NY’s roundup of New York City’s 21 most iconic meat dishes.
The 3424 Nostrand Avenue business has been serving up hot beef dipped in broth and slapped on a bun for 76 years, and remains a family institution. It’s a frequent competitor for best roast beef in the city and is locked in fierce competition for that title with Roll-N-Roaster. Undisputed, though, is that our area has the city’s best roast beef. Just which of the two locales dishes it up is an internecine battle we’ll watch from the sidelines, thank you very much.
Anyway, Eater, having to explain the quirky, exotic behaviors of native Southern Brooklynites to New York City’s army of transplanted foodies, goes into anthropologist mode:
[Brennan & Carr serves] a roast beef-filled Kaiser bun that’s liberally doused in a thin, salty liquid known as “the broth.” Many customers choose to get this sandwich double dipped, while others order this same sandwich with cheese whiz.
Mhm, yes. And some who order it can even use sign language to demand a banana.
Anyway, Brennan & Carr contends with Nathan’s Famous hot dogs as the cheapest items on the list, which also includes a $145 côte de boeuf and the Peter Luger porterhouse. That’s some fine company.
Now, a question nearly as eternal as which local roast beefery is the best: what neighborhood is Brennan & Carr in? At Nostrand Avenue and Avenue U, it’s solidly Homecrest in my book, which, for lack of any stature as an actual neighborhood, passes as Sheepshead Bay. But Marine Park residents have for years tried to claim it as their own. Eater refers to the restaurant as a “beloved Gravesend institution,” which makes me wonder if they’re using a mid-19th Century map, and others still have called it – gah – Midwood!
[Other Brennan & Carr shout-outs we've covered: Eater NY in 2011, Man v Food's Adam Richman gives some praise, Urban Spoon names it the top neighborhood restaurant in 2011]
The following is a press release from the offices of State Senator Marty Golden:
State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), in partnership with the Southwest Brooklyn Parks Task Force, today has announced the complete lineup of summer concerts set to take stage in our local parks this Summer. The concert series kicks off on Tuesday, July 8th when Head Over Heels and special guests play Shore Road Park at 79th Street.
The series of fourteen concerts will feature an array of musical acts, Alive N Kickin’, Carl Thomas, Frankie Marra and His Band, and a special “Irish Night on Shore Road” featuring the Canny Brothers.
Senator Marty Golden stated, “After a long, cold winter, I am sure the residents of Southwest Brooklyn are anxiously awaiting the start of the 2014 summer concerts which I will again be hosting in our local parks. We have a great lineup of entertainment, so mark your calendar, bring a chair, or a blanket, and make your way to our scheduled fourteen shows in our beautiful parks. I guarantee you will enjoy the entertainment that will feature classic rock, the greatest hits of all time, disco, blues and dance.”
2014 SUMMER CONCERT SCHEDULE
- July 8 Head Over Heels & Special Guests ……..….…..…………79th St & Shore Road
- July 9 Out Of The Blue (Classic Rock & Dance) ……….…Marine Park (Fillmore Ave.)
- July 15 Radio Daze (70’s & 80’s Party Music)…….…………………….79th St & Shore Road
- July 16 Yesterday & Today (Beatle Tribute Band)….……..Marine Park (Fillmore Ave.)
- July 22 Generation Gap (60’s through 90’s)……………Dyker Park (86th St. & 14th Ave.)
- July 23 Carl Thomas (Sinatra, Darin, Dean)……………………Avenue U & Van Sicklen St
- July 29 Blues Circus (Improvisational Blues Rock)….………………79th St & Shore Road
- July 30 Alive N Kickin’ (Hit song “Tighter & Tighter”)….Marine Park (Fillmore Ave.)
- Aug. 6 Brooklyn Keys (Oldies through 90’s)…………..….. Marine Park (Fillmore Ave.)
- Aug. 12 Disco Unlimited (Best of the 70’s Disco)……..………………79th St & Shore Road
- Aug. 13 Radio Daze (70’s & 80’s Party Music)…………..….. Marine Park (Fillmore Ave.)
- Aug. 19 Frankie Marra & His Band (Classic Rock)…………………79th St & Shore Road
- Aug. 20 On A Good Run (Classic Rock)…………………………Marine Park (Fillmore Ave.)
- Aug. 26 The Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Parade presents “Irish Night on Shore Road,” Featuring The Canny Brothers…..….…..79th St & Shore Road
All concerts are free and open to the public and all shows begin at 7pm. All events are subject to change. In case of poor weather or for more information please call 718 238-6044, or check Martin J. Golden on Facebook or follow @senmartygolden on Twitter.
The trailer for Bill Murray’s new flick, St. Vincent, was released last week and it’s chock full of shots of Marine Park.
Scenes for the movie were filmed across the neighborhood throughout most of the summer last year, especially around Batchelder Street, Avenue S, Avenue T, Avenue U, East 26th Street and East 27th Street (where they even set up a fake MTA bus stop). A lot of the film was also shot inside a local home, which they “fixed up” to look rundown.
Directed by Brooklyn-native Theodore Melfi, St. Vincent is about a grumpy old Marine Park man, played by Murray, and his relationship with recently divorced neighbor (Melissa McCarthy) and her young son (Jaeden Lieberher), to whom he plays reluctant mentor and role model. It also stars Naomi Watts and Chris O’Dowd. It’s due out in October, and is apparently already garnering Murray some award-season buzz.
Murray proved the consummate celebrity while in the neighborhood, graciously taking photos with fans and mingling with the natives.
Reader Janine Sav with Murray in front of Good Shepherd Catholic Church.
After one of the shoots, he wandered over to a neighbor’s home on East 16th Street, admired the house, and hung out with them on the porch.
Bill Murray (center, back row) hanging out with some Avenue U fans (Photo courtesy of Dominick Arabia)
Watch the preview above and see how many neighborhood spots you can identify!
Joe Gilette, organizer of the Bergen Beachh, Mill Basin and Marine Park chapter of Relay for Life, sent us a note and some photos of this year’s event, in which they raised approximately $100,000 for the American Cancer Society during their June 7 event.
We recently held our 3rd annual Relay for Life on June 7th. I am proud to say we expect our final tally this [year is] to total $100,000!! We owe a great deal of success to our FIGHT BACK WITH FITNESS program in which we brought volunteer fitness instructors into over 24 schools to hold fitness classes. This was all in furtherance of our agenda of spreading cancer awareness and prevention through the positive message of fitness and a healthy lifestyle.
By comparison, the 2012 Relay for Life event brought in $50,000.
Featuring live entertainment, food, raffles, and a variety of interactive and fun activities for the whole family, community members form teams and walk around Aviator Sports Center’s outdoor track for eight continuous hours, symbolically conveying their message that, until there is a cure, the fight against cancer never ends. It’s highlighted by the Luminaria Ceremony, in which paper bags decorated by neighborhood children are illuminated in memory of loved ones who have passed away from cancer.
The whopping $100,000 total is in addition to the $20,000 the group raised by putting together Brooklyn SINGS!, an inter-school SING! competition that pitted Murrow, Midwood and Madison high school students against each other for a good cause and bragging rights. The events Gilette organizes just keeps getting more diverse. Last year he also helped put together the world’s largest indoor zumba class, with more than 400 people participating.
Keep up the good work for a good cause!
To learn more about the Bergen Beach, Mill Basin & Marine Park Relay for Life, contact Nancy Colt of the American Cancer Society at (718) 622-2492 extension 5134 or visit their website.
After the Department of Transportation erroneously posted a sign on a residential stretch of Nostrand Avenue indicating two-hour metered parking, several nearby residents received wrongful summonses. Now Councilman Chaim Deutsch is leading the fight to get those tickets thrown out.
Deutsch announced the agency’s error at last night’s Sheepshead Bay – Plumb Beach Civic Association meeting. He told Sheepshead Bites that a constituent alerted him to the signage late last week, saying that he received a summons. The sign was between Avenue P and Quentin Road, in front of 3032 Nostrand Avenue, an apartment complex. Deutsch’s office contacted the Department of Transportation, which admitted the error and ripped down the sign within 24 hours, he said.
Still, several residents of the apartment building have reported receiving similar summonses, said Deutsch.
“There’s more than one. We’re going to be hanging up some fliers in front of the buildings,” said Deutsch. “But it’s not just [residents], it could be people who came in and went shopping in the area, but there’s several people from the building that I know of that have received summonses
The agency is sending his office a letter for constituents to use to appeal the tickets, and staffers will be sending out e-mail blasts saying that the violations can be fought and, if already paid, potentially reimbursed.
Anyone who received a parking violation can get a copy of the letter and help filing an appeal by calling Deutsch’s district office at (718) 368-9176.
Photo by Jean Henrique Wichinoski / Flickr
State Senator Martin J. Golden is partnering with yoga instructor Cathy Shroder to host two health and fitness events in Marine Park near the Carmine Carro Community Center, 3000 Fillmore Avenue.
The beginners’ yoga class, with opportunities for more advanced practice and featuring short yoga-nidra, will be held at 7:00 p.m., tomorrow, May 22 and Thursday, June 5. The events are free and open to the public. Participants are asked to bring their own yoga mat or towel.
“I look forward to joining residents of my district in embracing the warmer weather and hosting these events to provide an opportunity for exercise and relaxation,” said Golden. “It is important that in the midst of our busy lives that we never neglect our personal health, and so I encourage the community to join us.”
For more information, contact Golden’s office at (718) 238-6044 or via email at email@example.com.
The moment of impact was captured by surveillance video. (via Daily News)
Two people were killed in a devastating car accident outside of Kings Plaza Shopping Center on Monday, in which the deceased’s car was ripped nearly in half. The accident has spurred police to launch a 48-hour crackdown on speeding throughout the city.
Police issued the following information yesterday:
On May 19, 2014 at approximately 1840 hours [6:40 p.m.] police responded to a 911 call of a motor vehicle collision at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U in the confines of the 63 Pct. Upon arrival police determined that vehicle #1 a Nissan Maxima traveling southbound on Flatbush Avenue struck vehicle #2 a BMW which was turning onto Avenue U from northbound Flatbush Avenue. The driver of vehicle #1 a male 20 was taken to Coney Island Hospital where he was pronounced DOA. The passenger of vehicle #1 an unidentified female was pronounced DOA at the scene. The driver and passenger of vehicle #2 were taken to Kings County Hospital with minor injuries. Investigation is ongoing.
DNAinfo reports that the two killed were Philbert Martin Williams, 20, and his passenger, 18-year-old Christina Wipper.
Police believe Williams had been speeding when he hit the BMW, although no criminality is suspected and no summonses have been issued.
Security video from the 7-Eleven at that intersection captured the accident, which shows the Nissan darting down the street as the BMW made a turn. Police told the Daily News the BMW’s driver had a left-turn arrow.
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Marine Park. Source: vero222 / Flickr
There will be a variety of free activities for all ages during “It’s My Park Day,” this Saturday, May 17, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., inside and outside of the Carmine Carro Community Center in Marine Park, Fillmore Avenue at Marine Parkway.
Enjoy simulated cow milking, storytelling, a presentation about the neighborhood’s historic Lott House, and various exhibits — all scheduled, rain or shine.
You can learn more about “It’s My Park Day” in Marine Park by going here. For more information, call (212) 360-1310 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When moderators of “The History of Fort Tilden, Floyd Bennett Field, and Marine Park” Facebook page posted this photo a few weeks ago, it set me off on a long search of old newspaper archives and other databases for what they called the “Sea Monster of Gerritsen Beach.”
Nothing turned up, but Facebook readers did share photos of a Nessie lookalike that hung around the channel for a bit in 2007:
Source: Kevin Sr./Flickr
The story behind that one was a bit of an easier find than whatever was depicted in the undated postcard. According to GerritsenBeach.net:
Artist Cameron Gainer has staged a 12 1/2-foot replica of the mythical monster in the salt marsh off Marine Park.
… Nessie is one of 40 temporary art installation in “Art in the Parks” – the 40th anniversary celebration of the parks’ public arts programs.
Word is that this installation alarmed a bus driver on Avenue U so much so that he nearly flipped his bus.
But I’m still left wondering about the original postcard, and if there’s an older local legend I’m not aware of. Or maybe that’s just how Gerritsen Beach attracted tourism back in the day? Hey, it beats the whole “Come visit us on Halloween so we can throw hammers at you” shtick.