Archive for the tag 'west 8th st'

The Trump (Source: Google Maps)

Luna Park Houses (Source: Google Maps)

A 93-year-old survivor of the Holocaust died Monday morning after a fire ripped through his 15th floor apartment.

Lipa Briks, who fled Poland in the 1930s, was pulled unconscious from his burning apartment at the Luna Park complex at 2954 West 8th Street shortly after 1:15 a.m.

He was taken to Coney Island Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

He lived alone inside the apartment.

Fire marshals said yesterday that the blaze was caused by faulty electrical wiring.

“He escaped the Nazis, he escaped the Soviet army, he escaped an anti-Semitic Polish regime, but he couldn’t escape the fire,” Briks’ friend and neighbor Michael Bar told the Daily News. “He was the only one in his very large family to survive the Holocaust.”

Clarification: The original version of this article said the victim was taken to Coney Island Hospital, where he died. To clarify, he was dead on arrival and was pronounced so at the hospital. The article has been amended to reflect this.

Soruce: Claudio Forquina

Soruce: Claudio Forquina

Every New Year’s Day, dozens of bold (crazy) people flock to the shore to join members of the Coney Polar Bear swim club and plunge into the frigid ocean, all for a chance to feel what it is like to have ice cold water lap against their private parts. What a lot of people don’t know is that the New Year’s Day swim, which anyone can participate in, is only one in a series of otherwise exclusive icy swim outings undertaken by the Polar Bears all winter. Amusing the Zillion is reporting that the Polar Bear’s are accepting new members and are employing a lottery system to divvy out the open spots.

While the media makes it seem that the Polar Bears are out only on January 1, the club has an active schedule all winter. Every Sunday at 1 p.m., from November 3 until April, enthused Coney Polar Bear members gather to brave the frosty waters of the Atlantic, refusing to deny themselves ocean splendor until the hot summer months.

If this sounds like your idea of a great time, you can join them by registering for a lottery that will select 10 lucky people. Amusing the Zillion broke down what is expected of selected new members:

To register for the lottery, you must sign up here and will be notified of the results by November 9th. Selected applicants are required to pay a $25 application fee (non-refundable), participate in 12 swims within a single season between November and April and be voted in by a majority of the membership. The club has approximately 150 full-time members with about 100 coming out for weekly swims…

You can also join the Coney Polar Bear Club for one guest swim. Just show up at the Bears “Clubhouse” at the Aquarium’s Education Hall on the Coney Island Boardwalk at West 8th Street by 12:30 pm with your bathing suit, a towel, surf boots or an extra pair of sneakers, and some warm clothing.

On the registration page, I found the last perk to be the most interesting one promised to members:

The privileges of membership:

  • Participation in our weekly swims and other Club activities
  • Use of our changing facilities
  • Full voting rights
  • The right to own and wear the official Club patch
  • Bragging rights to your wimp friends

Yes, your wimp friends will have no choice but to bow down to your official Polar Bear club patch all while you brag about the time you flung yourself into 12 degree water last February.

Anyway, their swims on New Year’s Eve, which are open to all, are done to raise money for Camp Sunshine and other charities for children with life threatening diseases. According to Amusing the Zillion, the Polar Bears pull down $20,000 annually for their causes, which is amazing and should be applauded.

Anyway, the Polar Bears are announcing their new members on Saturday, November 9, so if you want a shot to join them, you best register quickly. Good luck!

Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Higgins

Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Higgins

The 23rd annual Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest kicks off this Saturday, pitting amateur artists in a contest to create the most imaginative sculptures possible. The New York Daily News is reporting that the contest is drawing contestants from all over the area, including a team led by Gravesend resident Anthony Avellino.

In late July, we reported on some intricate sand castles constructed on the shores of Kingsborough Community College beach. Reader Kathleen Higgins, who spotted the castles, didn’t know who was responsible for them but perhaps they were competitors practicing before the big event kicks off on this Saturday on the 17th.

The Daily News highlighted a team that will be led by 30-year-old Gravesend resident Anythony Avellino, a three-time medalist:

With just a knife and their hands for tools, Anthony Avellino and his uncle William Petrosino began their sand sculpting days crafting the New York City skyline. Their tool belts have grown since, but the five-time competitors — and three-time medalists — stay grounded.

“It’s cool to win, but I just like competing and having a good time seeing everyone’s work,” says Avellino, who sculpts with clay on the side.

This year, he and Petrosino, a radio personality at WKRB 90.3 FM, may step away from skyscrapers. Avellino says the duo plan to sculpt a half-buried treasure chest.

But Petrosino, 43, has another idea — “the tremendous castle” — which came to him in a vision. “I feel like it’s in me and I have to get it out, and I won’t rest until I do,” he says.

He’s aware that castles are the domain of competitor Frank Russo, w ho Petrosino tries to avoid competing against despite distinct differences in their castle craft.

“My castles come out like a fortress,” says Petrosino. “Russo comes out with this fairyland, ‘Wizard of Oz’-type of thing. I come out with ‘300’-type stuff.”

Sounds really cool. If you would like to take a crack at competing against Avellino and other amateur artists, you can sign up for the contest at coneyislandfunguide.com by clicking here. The contest starts at noon and runs to 5 p.m. It is being held between West 12th Street and West 8th Street on Coney Island. Best of luck to all contestants!

Photo By Allan Shweky

Photo By Allan Shweky

The shark-painted walkway stretching over Surf Avenue at the corner of West 8th Street was torn down over the weekend, just like the city promised.

Last May, we reported that the rusted bridge was being dismantled for safety reasons. Originally, the bridge was put up 50 years ago to transfer people coming off of the Culver and Brighton lines into the then newly built aquarium.

Critics, including City Council candidate Todd Dobrin, charged that the removal of the overpass would make the intersection less safe, as pedestrians would have to contend with traffic. Allan Shweky, who runs Friends of Ocean Parkway, a blog focused on pedestrian safety, provided us with the images of the now removed overpass and lent his thoughts.

“As you know a traffic light will replace the bridge. There will be a new entrance to the Boardwalk on West 10 Street but the walk from the subway will force subway riders to cross a crowded Surf Avenue to get to the beach. Will be as safe as the Stillwell Avenue intersection which is not saying much,” Shweky told us.

coney island walkway 2

Photo By Allan Shweky

coney island walkway 3

Photo By Allan Shweky

Source: ragesoss/Flickr

Following the news of Wednesday’s $3.4 million prescription drug bust, the Drug Enforcement Agency and NYPD announced another area bust yesterday afternoon involving 11 members of a drug ring that trafficked in prescription painkillers and cocaine in Sheepshead Bay and Staten Island.

After picking up three suspects earlier this year, and aided by a nine-month wiretap investigation, authorities unraveled a multi-tier prescription drug and cocaine ring that tied together three separate conspiracies across the two boroughs. Among the 11 arrested, five were residents of the Sheepshead Bay area, and one was supplied by the same allegedly crooked doctor picked up in this week’s other big bust.

“This poly drug trafficking confederation operated like a variety store, selling any type of illicit drug they could get their hands on. The joint task force infiltrated their ranks in order to put them out of business,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian Crowell.

Keep reading to find out how the ring operated, and who was busted.

The NYPD issued a Silver Alert for Simona Ortiz, an 80-year-old Hispanic woman who was last seen leaving her residence near West 12th Street and Avenue W wearing a black jacket, black pants, and black shoes in Brooklyn.

Ortiz went missing yesterday at 6:00 p.m. She is described as being 4’6″ tall, 85 pounds, grey hair and brown eyes.

If seen, please call 911 immediately.

The aquarium, seen through the eyes of Korean animators for Futurama.

Despite the fact that water is one of the most central parts of our lives, children rarely hear about, let alone understand the concept and importance of water conservation.

The New York Aquarium in Coney Island has launched a new exhibit entitled “A-Maze-Ing Water,” in the hopes of correcting this problem by educating children about the water cycle, and the significance of conserving water, a vital, yet limited natural resource.

The exhibit is comprised of an outdoor maze meant for children to navigate as they learn about water. Upon entering, they are told that they are now a drop of water in the water cycle, and must find their way to the ocean. Throughout the maze, they are involved in several activities, including swinging on a zip line, spinning a water-themed wheel and putting together puzzles. After stopping at stations and learning interesting, new, and frightening facts about water, children are required to use the information they learned to answer questions in order to move forward.

Also, the aquarium has put together an art exhibit, which acknowledges the beauty and value of water. This exhibit is appropriately located in the aquarium’s Ocean View Room.

The maze and art gallery are open daily throughout the summer, yet there are additional special activities that are available only on weekends. Click here for a list of those activities.

The “A-Maze-Ing Water,” exhibit will remain opened until Sunday September 9 at the aquarium. The aquarium is located on Surf Avenue and West 8th Street. Admission is $14.95 for adults, $10.95 for children ages 3-12, and free for those under the age of  three. Visit the New York Aquarium website in order to receive a 10 percent discount throughout the summer.

Firefighters and transit workers teamed up to battle a blaze that consumed a signal room and stretch of tracks at West 8th Street – New York Aquarium F and Q station on Friday evening, taking about three hours to squash the flames.

Tipster Elina N. sent in the above video taken just minutes after the fire erupted onto the second level. The fire originated on the roof of the signal station at approximately 6:30 p.m. and was “under control” by around 9:20 p.m. No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Those hoping to visit Coney Island had their plans bungled, though, as transit workers spent all of Saturday repairing the extensive damage, including replacing track panels, wooden track ties and part of a walkway at the station. Q service was terminated between Brighton Beach and Stillwell Avenue for most of the weekend. The F train had no service between Avenue X and Stillwell Avenue.

All trains are now operating on their regular schedules, according to the MTA.

Were your weekend plans disrupted by the fire?

File:Dreamland Fighting-the-Flames2a.jpg

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Once upon a time, long before Thor Equities, the Coney Island Cyclone, and even before Rabbi Abraham Abraham came into the world, there was Dreamland, an aptly-named Coney Island amusement park, which served as one of the area’s purveyors of “(relatively) high-class entertainment, with elegant architecture, pristine white towers and some educational exhibits along with the rides and thrills.”

Keep reading about the upcoming tours of a new historic Dreamland exhibit in Coney Island.