Archive for the tag ‘lists’

Source: City & State

Well, well, well… look who will be feted with an elegant dinner and accolades during City & State’s coveted elite exclusive Rising Stars “Forty Under Forty” award ceremony next week. The vehicle, showcasing New York State’s “most promising young talent,” has selected Sheepshead Bites’ very own venerable editor and publisher, Ned Berke, who is sitting mere feet from me at I write this, threatening to fire me if I don’t meet today’s deadline in — surprise! — “under 40” minutes from now.

Sponsored by the online government and politics website City & State, best known for “First Read,” the addictive early morning roundup of government news, gossip and goings on throughout New York’s political world, “Forty Under Forty” honorees are comprised of politicians, staffers, as well as “muckraking bloggers and intrepid reporters [Ed. – that’s where our guy comes in], and well-connected lobbyists and union reps.”

Ned, a lifelong Sheepshead Bay resident (he frequently loves to remind us of the time he has spent in Peru), had always dreamed of pursuing a career in journalism. The young journalist turned enterprising businessman revealed to City & State’s Aaron Short that he was finally inspired to dip his toe into the choppy waters of hyper-local blogging after being given a nudge by the late “Gowanus Lounge” blogger, Robert Guskind during 2008’s Brooklyn Blogfest.

With mostly Downtown Brooklyncentric blogs, such as “Gowanus Lounge,” “New York Shitty” and “Pardon Me For Asking,” dominating the Brooklyn blogging landscape during the mid-aughts, Ned felt it was high time Southern Brooklyn — particularly his home ’hood of Sheepshead Bay— got some respect.

Since that time, his massive undertaking and hyper-local news coverage has gotten him profiled, interviewed or otherwise recognized by such media giants as The New York Times, The Daily News, Washington Post and Boing-Boing, among others.

After three years of developing a steady following throughout the shorefront area, the 28-year-old entrepreneur’s empire branched out to other parts of Southern Brooklyn with the successful June 2011 launch of Bensonhurst Bean.

But blah, blah, blah… we know all of this, right? What we really want to know is, what makes Ned Berke tick? I mean, do any of us really care that, if he could have dinner with anyone, it would be Mark Twain or Ralph Waldo Emerson?

No, of course not.

So fess up, Ned, and tell us what we really want to know: boxers or briefs?

Source: Null Value/Flickr

Sure, crime rates have been dropping in Sheepshead Bay for several decades, but the nature of crime has changed as well. These days, we mostly deal with bank robberies, burglaries and… well, wheel and rim theft. But can you imagine trying to pull the rims off a horse-drawn wagon? No, I bet you can’t.

Well, to get an idea of the variety of crimes committed in our neighborhood through history, we sent Samantha LoSapio back in time – or at least into the New York Times archives – to dig up a few crimes, large and small, over the past 150 years or so. Here’s what she found.

View the list.

Source: Ferrari + caballos + fuerza = cerebro Humano/Flickr

There are tons of songs about New York, and plenty about Brooklyn. While we’re part of the 718 crew for life, if you hadn’t noticed, Sheepshead Bay fails to get much play on the airwaves. That’s not to say we’ve been totally forgotten about. Here are the top five (who are we kidding, it’s the only five) songs that mention Sheepshead Bay:

Read the list.

Funtime USA sheepshead bay

From the "I Still Have Fun Time USA Game Tokens" Facebook group – one of many Facebook groups established in memory of the institution

Nothing lasts forever except roaches and Twinkies. Sheepshead Bay, all cursed corners aside, has seen more than its fair share of businesses come and go. Some of them have been less than stellar, like the weird haircutting/mixtape/tattoo parlor that briefly operated on Nostrand Avenue. But beyond the hit-and-runs we’ve encountered, we’ve lost a lot of neighborhood staples, and others that could have easily grown into that status. Here are five that I really miss.

Read Sam’s list of Sheepshead staples that she misses.

Budget cuts will cause major Sanitation problems in 2011. (Photo by Paypaul)

Heading into 2011, there are already some hints to which issues will drive local news coverage throughout the year. Here’s what we think will be the major focus for the next 365 days.

Read our list of stories to expect in 2011.

As the third and final part of our year-end package, we’ve created a wishlist of things we’d like to see in 2010. This list could be a lot longer than five items, but we thought it best to stop there and let you add your own in the comments.

  • More business diversity – 2009 was a good year for shopping and eating in Sheepshead Bay. The number of cell phone and sushi shops didn’t increase as sharply in previous years, and we got a few cool new businesses and discovered some older ones. Healthalicious, Arbuz, Coney Island Taste, Bim Bom Toys, and a handful of others added some diversity to the area’s offerings. We hope this trend continues in 2010.
  • Used book store – Since we’re on the topic of businesses, we might as well single out one we really want above all others: a used book store. We’ve written about this before in our 5 Businesses Sheepshead Bay Needs list back in September.
  • Stronger leadership from Sheepshead Bay orgs – They probably don’t want to hear it, but Sheepshead Bay’s two community groups – Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Civic Association and Bay Improvement Group – need to step up and start doing a better job in the neighborhood. While they’re volunteers and we appreciate the effort they put into our ‘hood, both groups lack organization and strength, and have not accomplished enough in the past year to bring residents together or address our needs. We hope to work with them to be stronger, but the initiative and drive needs to come from its current members.
  • Long term solutions at Plumb Beach – After Hurricane Ida swept through Plumb Beach in November, leaders including Congressman Anthony Weiner began prodding city, state, and federal agencies for long term solutions to erosion and flooding issues. Weiner requested $35 million in 2010 federal funding for related projects, and we hope work starts before it’s too late.
  • ADVERTISING – Okay, this one’s totally self-serving, but it’s honest. In 2010 we hope to see Sheepshead Bites become a totally ad-supported media outlet. For that to happen, we need your help. Own a business in the area? Contact us to find out about advertising packages and readership. Even if you don’t own a business, let your favorite shops know there’s an awesome new venue that can help them get the word out to neighbors!

Now that we’ve got our Top Ten Stories of 2009 list out of the way, we thought we’d ponder what big stories you can expect in 2010.

Here’s the shortlist:

  • Subway construction delays – The Avenue U and Gravesend Neck Road stations have already seen delays, with completion pushed back several months. We’re betting that when December 2010 rolls around we’ll hear the same ol’ tune from the MTA. As of this moment, plans say the ongoing construction on the Coney Island-bound side local stations above Kings Highway should be completed by December 2010. At that time, they’ll switch to the other side – so they say. As with the Ave U/Neck Rd. stations, expect a few months extra with a first-phase completion date of early 2011.
  • Elections! Elections! Elections! – New Yorkers are facing a huge election year in 2010, with either all terms completed or special elections for all of the following positions: U.S. Senate, U.S. House, governor, comptroller, attorney general, State Senate, and State Assembly. That means our area of coverage will have 14(!) races this year. We’re hoping to host debates again this year, but other than that we haven’t yet decided how we’ll cover this year’s election. How would you like to see it done?
  • Station Plaza – We haven’t heard a peep lately from Acadia Realty and P/A Associates about Station Plaza, the new mega-retail (and possibly residential) development going up next to the Sheepshead Bay train station. But as the economy begins to recover (or at least stops sinking), they may get the capital together to finally break ground – a long delayed accomplishment. We’ll be checking in to see what’s going on.
  • Coney Island Avenue Gets Funky – Earlier this month we told you about proposed changes to Coney Island Avenue near Neptune Avenue that could have major effects on traffic flow, pedestrian safety, and the local economy. Area leaders are battling the plans, but opposition didn’t stop similar changes elsewhere in Southern Brooklyn. With the DOT attempting to move forward soon, we’ll see if this will go through – and if it does, Sheepshead Bites will follow its effects.
  • Battle For Manhattan Beach – This two-year-old saga has residents of the beachfront community tired of its own story. Members of the two civic associations, Manhattan Beach Community Group and Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association, continue to pay lip service to community harmony and deny there’s an ongoing turf war. But behind the scenes, it’s apparent there’s bad blood brewing, and the groups are struggling to reconcile their differences. Private security force Beachside Patrol may be discontinuing service – some say because of the struggle. We’ll see how it shapes up in 2010, and how politicians vying for votes play off the battle.

Continue Reading »

This year's biggest story on Sheepshead Bites was a rumored hostage situation in Brighton Beach

It’s that time of year when media folks of all walks are publishing their look back at 2009, full of airy prose and wistful reminiscing. Sheepshead Bites is no different, and for us and our readers, this year was an explosive year.

The big national stories we all know. Nobody shuts up about them. The city, state, and national governments worked to reawaken a defeated economy. The first term of the country’s first black president was met with hardship, with two wars that questioned our national security, our military efficiency, and our moral resolve. Swine flu pandemic gripped the world. Oh, and Michael Jackson died.

But here at Sheepshead Bites, our 10 biggest stories – determined by the number of times they’ve been viewed and not by importance or influence – were largely centered around violence, sex, and rising influence of Eastern Europeans in Sheepshead Bay.

In hindsight they tell us a few things about the neighborhood and ourselves. Without question, they confirm the old media maxim that “If it bleeds, it leads,” with scandalous stories of shootings and crime, and sexy teachers allegedly getting it on, topping the list. It also tells us that, despite two decades of rising tides of Russian influence, the community is still grappling with challenges to its identity. Other stories, and their comments, show that there’s still strong interest in the goings-on of area businesses, and that a faltering transit system is raising alarm within our commuter community.

Without further ado, here’s our top 10 list for biggest Sheepshead Bites stories of 2009:

Continue Reading »

There is a wide variety of businesses in Sheepshead Bay. We’ve got great restaurants, boutique clothing and shoe stores, pharmacies, cell phone stores, salons, knick-knackeries, cafes and so forth. But we’re lacking a few establishments that will add flavor to Sheepshead Bay while keeping many from leaving the ‘hood to fulfill their wants. Here’s my top five of what businesses Sheepshead Bay needs. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section.

  1. A used book store. Sure, we’ve got a library, but it’s a pitiful one. A used book store would give us more options, especially one that sells both English- and Russian-language literature. It would also be a great cultural point for the bay, where people can meet to discuss books, have book readings, etc.
  2. An outdoor place to eat and drink on the waterfront. From Stella Maris down to the Brigham Street Park, we’ve got a nice swath of waterside property that fails to satisfy my desire to have an evening drink or a nice lunch sitting directly on the water. A few of the restaurants have enclosed areas with windows looking out onto the bay, but I’d prefer to be outdoors enjoying a salty breeze. We’ve got the property, we should maximize it, even if it means a seasonal business.
  3. A music venue. For the love of god, a music venue! Having to go to Bay Ridge, Williamsburg, or the city to satisfy my desire to hear live bands kicking out tunes is a real pity. I should be able to plan a weekend that involves seeing a band without leaving the neighborhood. This is New York City for chrissakes!
  4. An art gallery. Before starting Sheepshead Bites, I thought this neighborhood was dead in terms of art. I figured Sheepshead just didn’t raise artists, and artists sure as hell didn’t move here. Well, I’ve been proven wrong a number of time. This site has introduced me to dozens of artists born, raised, and/or living here. Photographers, graphic designers, sketch artists, sculptors… they’re here! Unfortunately, you’d never know it because there’s no place for them to connect to each other or the community. Instead they showcase their art elsewhere. But having an art gallery in Sheepshead Bay would provide a launching pad for many of these local artists, and attract others to the area. And, of course, it would bring our neighborhood together.
  5. Good Latin food. Please, no more soggy tacos made by Chinese/Mexican fusion places. I want real, authentic Latin food. Good guacamole, hearty burritos, and maybe even a juicy empanada. And dare I suggest that Sheepshead Bay – a seafood haven – ought to have a good place to buy ceviche?