Monday, December 24, 2012

McBroolyn Is Going Far Away From Brooklyn (for a Week)

McBrooklyn's going out of town for a week, and may not be near any Internet. Hope you have a relaxing holiday, everybody. See you in the New Year!


Dunk Island photo by Melalouise, Creative Commons license

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Let 'Em Laugh: Brooklyn's Food Scene Is Bringing In the Bucks

Smorgasburg in DUMBO. Photo: MK Metz
Haters love to scoff at Brooklyn's trendy food scene, but apparently Brooklyn is laughing, too -- all the way to the bank.

The Brooklyn Eagle reports that Brooklyn's burgeoning food sector is an engine of job growth for the borough, based on a study done for the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Brooklyn’s “food chain” -- supermarkets, restaurants, gourmet food shops and food makers— accounts for 16 percent of businesses in Brooklyn and 12.5 percent of Brooklyn’s private sector jobs.

Restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and grocery stores added one out of every five new jobs in Brooklyn since 2000. In 2011 alone, wages in the Brooklyn food sector came to $1.46 billion.

While not all food-related jobs rack in big bucks, many do -- and start-ups and "one-person specialty food manufacturing businesses" are adding tremendous vitality to the mix.

So ha ha yourself, haters. And pass the kimchi tacos.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

End of An Era at the Brooklyn Heights Press

We noticed a change in the local newspaper, the Brooklyn Heights Press last week and now we know why:

Henrik Krogius –- the Emmy-award winning TV news producer and editor of the Brooklyn Heights Press for 22 years -- has retired, the Brooklyn Eagle reports.

“My career has gone through many changes, from movie house newsreels to early-days black-and-white television, to color television and satellite transmissions, and back to the traditional weekly newspaper,” he wrote in his farewell editorial.

“I’ve sometimes felt I was a living anachronism, watching obsolescence take over everything I was involved in. Perhaps it’s time for something more restful, or, in any case, some project not bound to the insistent wheel of progress, or ‘progress.’”

Krogius' photos of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, taken since its beginning (and before its beginning) have been published in the definitive book on the subject -- "The Brooklyn Heights Promenade."

The book is comprised of his research done in the ’70s and ’80s — his interviews, correspondences and conclusions, and contains several dozen black-and-white photos.

“I wanted to write it to solidify my claim to be the historian of the Promenade,” Krogius told the Eagle.

The full story is here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Slight Disagreement Over the Exact Time the World Will End Friday, Dec. 21

In case you want to know exactly what time the world will end tomorrow, Dec. 21, 2012, we have consulted several experts in this area.

The first is International Business Times. They have fixed the exact moment as 6:12 a.m. EST (New York Time), which is 11:12 a.m. Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

Just to confirm, we logged in to Time and Date, experts in times and dates. With a full-page countdown clock, they predict the world will end one minute earlier -- at 11:11 a.m. Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) or 6:11 a.m. New York time.

Why the disparity? It turns out that 11:11 was originally determined to be the time of the winter solstice. But the US Naval Observatory changed their website to take account of the latest estimate for leap seconds and the solstice has now been determined to take place at 11:12 UT. (Thanks Bikenbeer2000)

But we're not done. claims the world will end at 23:11:11 a.m. (EST time) claims it will end at 11:11 UT as well. "There can only be one Official Countdown Timer and we have it," they say.

The Official Countdown
We thought it was cool -- even though it's a minute off -- so here it is. . Related: - NASA Tells the People of Earth: 'The World Will Not End Tomorrow' .  Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Now It's Called "The Brooklyn Malaise'

By In Pastel
"The Brooklyn Malaise" started out as the term for what is happening to the Nets: a month ago they were near the top of the world; today, according to Hangtime, they rank as "one of the three worst defensive teams in the month."

We like the term "The Brooklyn Malaise" so much we've decided to use it to describe a certain syndrome afflicting more and more of Brooklyn. You know what we're talking about:

People who live in Park Slope in an apartment that costs $300 a month because they have no bathroom and have to use chamber pots. This being Brooklyn, they don't use just any chamber pots. They use artisanal chamber pots.

They also give chamber pots as presents to their friends because they want to share the love. (Expect to find Brooklyn-branded chamber pots on sale everywhere within the next three months.)

That (parody or not) is The Brooklyn Malaise.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

NASA Tells the People of Earth: 'The World Will Not End Tomorrow'

Photo: Grapesofrad/Twitter
The people of Earth want answers -- and so they are flooding NASA with calls and emails about the end of the world — which, as everyone knows, is set to take place Friday, Dec. 21.

A NASA spokesperson told the LA Times that "200 to 300 people are contacting NASA per day to ask about the end of the world."

To be helpful, NASA has put together a web page entitled: "Beyond 2012: Why the World Won't End."

Amazingly, the scientists have concluded: "The world will not end in 2012."

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Men Hoist Car Off Girl; Admiral's Row; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- It took seven men and two tries to hoist a cab off a girl pinned underneath a three-car collision in Brooklyn. NY Post

- Admiral's Row supermarket takes a big step forward. Brooklyn Eagle

- Crab Spot restaurant plans to open this week at 833 Union Street in Park Slope. They’ll be serving pots of crab, lobster and other seafood. Here’s Park Slope via Brownstoner 

- A wrap-up of the uneven state of the recovery of Gerritsen Beach. Brooklyn Bureau

- Seedco, one of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s favorite non-profit contractors has agreed to pay a $1.725 million fine for falsely claiming to place 1,400 New Yorkers in jobs. NY Times

- Attack turns Android phones and devices into "spam-spewing botnet." Information Week

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

12-12-12 Sandy Concert Raised $50 Million; Much for Brooklyn

Photo: coldplay_beatlesfans
The Robin Hood Foundation has raised fifty million dollars from the 12-12-12 concert so far, and is starting to disburse the money to Superstorm Sandy victims, according to the show's producers.

The money came from ticket sales to the "the largest concert event to ever hit the stage at Madison Square Garden," sponsorships, telephone and web donations and merchandise. One hundred percent of the funds will go to Sandy relief, much of it in Brooklyn.

Some of the Brooklyn nonprofits receiving funding include Brooklyn Jubilee, which has set up a trailer in Coney Island to provide legal aid and help people apply for food stamps and Medicaid; Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, to help damaged businesses obtain emergency funding; and the Center for Court Innovation, which provides services to young adults and their families in Red Hook.

To learn more, visit

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

. .

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Three Brooklyn Development Stories

BBP's John Street site.  Photo: Google Maps
A lot's been happening in the real estate world. Just in case you missed these recent developments:

- Neighborhood entrepreneurs and residents are pushing the developer of Bushwick's planned shopping mall to rent only to local companies and keep large national chains out. DNAinfo

- Thor breaks ground on a new BJ’s store in Gravesend. Brooklyn Eagle

- Brooklyn Bridge Park issues RFP for John Street site development. Crain'sBrooklyn Eagle 

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We Have to Get One of These Nets T-Shirts

A T-shirt company has put out two versions of the same Nets/Knicks T-shirt, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

The black shirt has the word “Love” inside the Brooklyn Nets logo; and the blue shirt bears the word “Hate” inside the Nets logo.

We know which one we're going to buy.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

You Probably Don't Want to Park Here

Way to go, guy: An incoherent Brooklyn man in a car full of drugs parked right in the middle of Interstate 78 in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania on Thursday.

If the Google Map photo of I-78 shown above is any guide, this probably was not a good place to park.

An officer found a small bag with a white substance and a straw on the floor, according to Lehigh Valley Live. A large sum of cash, ecstasy, cocaine and methamphetamine were found in the glove compartment.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, December 17, 2012

You Need to Sign Up for Sandy Food Stamps by Tuesday

Many New Yorkers are unaware that they may be eligible for special disaster-related food stamps (actually a card) -- but the deadline to apply is Tuesday (tomorrow!).

Residents of the following neighborhoods are eligible:

Coney Island, Brooklyn (zip codes 11224 and 11235)
Red Hook, Brooklyn (zip code 11231)
Gerritsen Beach South of Allen Avenue, Brooklyn (partial area of zip code 11229)
Lower East Side, Manhattan (zip code 10002)
Staten Island: Southeast shore (zip code 10306), and North Midland Beach South of Seaview Avenue (partial area of zip code 10305)
The Rockaways, Queens (zip codes 11691, 11692, 11693, 11694, and 11697)

In Brooklyn, applicants must apply in person at 495 Clermont Avenue from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. In Staten Island, the application location is only open today (Monday!).  More information here.

Past article:
- How to Apply for Food Stamps in Brooklyn

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Join In On New Gowanus Canal Hurricane Flood Map

The Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 6 group has created a Google Collaborative map for the Gowanus Canal area and is gathering information about how properties were affected by Hurricane/ Superstorm Sandy.

You can access the map here:

Was your property affected? Add a pin and tell them:

· Your street address

· What you experienced (e.g.; flooding, damage to building, damage to property, loss of electricity, etc.)

· Photographs of damage (if available)

For more information about this initiative, please contact Melissa Umberger, FBCB6 Project Manager at (718) 643-3027, extension 203 or email

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Thor to Break Ground On New BJ's Wholesale Club in Bay Ridge's 'Zone B' Today

Rendering: Thor Equities
Thor Equities and representatives of BJ’s Wholesale Club will be joining officials and business leaders this morning to break ground on a new, 200,000 square foot BJ’s Wholesale Club at 1752 Shore Parkway in Bay Ridge.

1752 Shore Parkway is located next door to Caesar’s Bay Shopping Center, which currently has tenants such as Kohl’s, Best Buy, Modell’s and Toys R Us.

Thor says it has accelerated the time frame for the project to send a message that "Brooklyn is getting back to business" after Superstorm Sandy.

This particular location is in "Zone B" on the hurricane map, according to  Zone B has a "moderate likelihood of evacuation if a hurricane is expected to reach NYC."

The Gravesend Bay store will create over 300 Brooklyn planning, construction and personnel jobs, according to Thor.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny and Councilman Domenic Recchia are set to be among the officials at the groundbreaking.

Other community and business reps set to attend are Brooklyn COC President Carlo Scissura, Thor Equities CEO Joseph Sitt, and BJ’s Wholesale Club Regional Manager Dan Smith.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Another Santacon Bites the Dust

Heads up! Santa crossing! #nycsantacon   on Twitpic
By Tina Canali on Twitpix
By Nicole Miller via Twitter

And so another New York City Santacon fades into history. In case you missed it, here are links to scenes from this year's parade of the fat drunk jolly red men:

- Photos: Bizarre & Banal Scenes From SantaCon 2012 Gothamist

- Santas hit NYC for annual SantaCon pub crawl NY Daily News

- SOB's Flickr set

- Ennuipoet's Flickr set

- Drunk Santas Invade Manhattan Bars and Restaurants Eater

To help protect restaurant patrons and owners, Eater made these signs for restaurants trying to keep the drunk Santas away.

In their defense, NYC Santacon points out that as of right now, participants have already donated $20,000 (with a projected total of $45,000) to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, along with 6,850 lbs of canned food to City Harvest.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Now That It's Too Late, Queens Residents Mourn Eminent Loss of 'Fat Boy' Statue

Photo: Jim Henderson
Queens won't have Civic Virtue to kick around much longer. It's about to bid adieu to the statue, currently on display in Kew Gardens, derided by many as sexist and called "Fat Boy."

The deteriorating statue, which depicts a "muscle-bound young man (representing virtue) trampling upon two reclining young women (representing graft and corruption)" is being sent to Green-Wood Cemetery for repairs and renovation after being ignored for years in Queens.

While many Queens resident are are crying foul, "The fact is we don’t deserve to keep it," says an editorial in the Queens Chronicle.

"The main reason is that we let our officials allow it to all but fall apart over the years, and now it’s too late to do anything about it. Those who wanted it preserved should have demanded that funds be allocated for that years ago."

More details here and here

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Do You Know This Woman?

Do you know the name of this famous woman? She just became the the first woman to win the Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

Here's a hint: She was born in Brooklyn, was raised in Manhattan, and her last name used to be Klein -- though it's not that anymore.

Answer here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Pier 5's Sports Fields Open; Squibb Pedestrian Bridge Coming 'Within Weeks'

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.
Soccer fans are buzzing about the new sports fields at Pier 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, at the foot of Joralemon Street, which opened with an official ceremony Thursday.

Photo: Rachel Fletcher
The synthetic turf fields are home to three multi-purpose sports fields and an adjacent picnic peninsula, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

In addition, the pier includes picnic areas with tables, fishing areas and "shade sails," seen left.

Rendering: HTNB

The Squibb Park Bridge, which will connect northern Brooklyn Heights with Brooklyn Bridge Park, is expected to be completed within the next few weeks, Mayor Bloomberg told the crowd.

According to Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, the configuration of the fields is adaptable – two of the fields can be combined to create a regulation soccer field, or one field may be divided for youth soccer matches.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Santacon 2012 -- This Saturday, Dec. 15, They Are Coming

They were everywhere. MK Metz, Santacon 2011
We hesitate to mention this as it's been out of control for a number of years already, but Santacon 2012 is just around the corner.

This means you'll either get out of town on Saturday, or dress up like Santa, an elf or a reindeer and join the red swarm.

There have been some changes this year. The route used to be a big, fat secret until the night before, since the whole thing was basically illegal.

But last year's crowds -- roughly 20,00 Santas in various stages of dress and drunkenness -- "resulted in overcrowding, traffic problems, trash problems, and traumatized New Yorkers," according to Santa Central.

So this year the route is posted in advance. The rumble of the Santas starts at Pier 84 in Manhattan, then swings through vast swaths of midtown bars and strip joints -- the "green zone."

After that the red masses bring holiday cheer to tavern-owners in the East Village, before winding up in Williamsburg.

UPDATE: A Manhattan bartender told the Brooklyn Eagle yesterday, “It’s loads of fun. There’s going to be lots of candy canes and lots of costumes."  Oh oh.

The grownups-only New York City Santacon website will prepare you for the stroll.

And don't be a grinch: Bring at least 2 non-perishable food items for Santa's food drive.

The Brooklyn Cacophony Society was the original sponsor of Santacon in 1998.

- Santacon 2011
- You Better Watch Out: SantaCon Is Coming to Town
- SantaCon 2010

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Two Creepy Sex Traffickers Facing Charges in Brooklyn

Why is it that Brooklyn seems to get all the creepy molesters and sex traffickers?

Yesterday the ultra-creepy Nechemya Weberman, a religious counselor in Brooklyn's ultra-orthodox Jewish community was convicted of 60 counts of sexual abuse of a child. (More here.)

Last week, Emanuel Yegutkin, the principal of a private Jewish school, was convicted of sexually abusing three young boys over the course of 10 years. (More here.)

Now we see a pair of creeps -- Anastasio Romero-Perez and Benito Perez-Lopez -- two brothers from Mexico who enslave girls in their early teens, on trial here in Brooklyn. The Daily News has photos of the gruesome duo.

Photo by Giant Mice Kill Rabbits, Creative Commons

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Filming 'Winter's Tale' in DUMBO

Photos by MK Metz
The area around the Manhattan Bridge Arch in DUMBO was transformed into a 19th century set Friday night for "Winter's Tale," which has been filming around DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights these past few days and during last month as well.

Winter’s Tale is a fantasy set in the 19th Century and the present day and revolves around "a thief, a dying girl, and a flying white horse.”

The film stars Matt Bomer, Will Smith, Russell Crowe, Colin Farrell, and Jennifer Connelly.

Film crews spread fake snow around DUMBO for the shoot. According to the Brooklyn Heights Blog and  WYDNKBYANM, fake snow was also spread around Brooklyn Heights and on Prospect Park West when they filmed Winter's Tale there.

It is amazing that they were filming on Prospect Park West Friday morning and in DUMBO Friday night.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Santa Attends Christmas Tree Lighting at Brooklyn Borough Hall, Scares Kids

Have you seen the Christmas tree at Brooklyn Borough Hall? It's a 40-foot beauty. The official lighting was Thursday.

There was music and food, and Santa visited to hear the children's wish lists. 

Photo: MK Metz
Most of the kids, however, refused to go near the jolly bearded guy. Which reminded us that we, too, were once terrified of Santa.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Some Guy Is Letting the Whole World Control His Christmas Tree

If you visit this Ustream video page, you'll see a live video of a Christmas tree whose lights are blinking on and off in a bizarre barrage of colors and patterns.

Red, white, blue, white, white, red, red, blue -- WTF? (If you tend towards epilepsy you might want to avoid the whole thing.)

What's happening is the Internet is controlling the tree. You can join in by opening another page called "Control Our Tree" at "Patrick Easters Christmas Tree."

The site explains, "Christmas is a big deal here at The Broth. Enjoy it with us by controlling our Christmas tree. Change whatever you want, but don't get crazy." You can click on buttons to control the color, blink pattern and rate. Or you can turn it off.

The rest of the world will also be clicking on colors and rates, so it's not likely your color scheme will prevail. You can join the discussion running alongside the video where different groups try to get everybody to cooperate and make the tree lights blink just red, for example.

A large contingent visiting from the Reddit website got the tree to turn all red for a while.

The tree's owner placed a fire extinguisher right next to it Sunday night.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan Shut Down Saturday Night -- Multiple Accidents

NYPD has shut down the Manhattan-bound lanes of the Brooklyn Bridge (on Saturday night, Dec. 8) due to one or possibly two accidents.

Avoid the area -- traffic is jammed for blocks. The BQE is also jammed in the vicinity of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Brooklyn-bound lanes are moving OK.

At least one accident took place on the Manhattan side of the bridge. Rescue personnel were at the scene around 9:30 p.m. An ambulance apparently picked up one victim from the Brooklyn-bound side and took off along Adams Street, Brooklyn.

Police warned that a second accident may have occurred moments after the first and shut down the Manhattan side of the bridge to investigate.

UPDATE: An vehicle's operator is "in the roadway," according to NYPD at 9:45 p.m. Police vehicles appear to be trapped in the traffic jam.

UPDATE 2: A second ambulance has just left the bridge heading towards Brooklyn along Adams Street.

UPDATE 3: 10:13 p.m.: Traffic into Manhattan is not moving. Take the Manhattan or Williamsburgh Bridge, not the Brooklyn Bridge.

UPDATE: 10:20 p.m. Some cars have backed off the Brooklyn Bridge on the Manhattan-bound side.

UPDATE: 10:30 p.m. Traffic still at a standstill heading towards Manhattan.

UPDATE: 11 p.m.  Worse than ever! The police closed one entrance ramp but it appears they overlooked the BQE. Cars are jamming in and trying to back out at the same time. Avoid the BQE near the Brooklyn Bridge!

UPDATE: Final. Traffic cleared up hours later . . .

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Art Repair Center to Open in Brooklyn After Sandy

Photo by Calsidyrose
A cultural recovery center will be opening on Monday, December 10 in Williamsburg to provide volunteer assistance and work space to museums, libraries, archives, historic sites, galleries, collectors, and artists impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Hyperallergic reports on this project of the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (FAIC).

“Paintings seem to be the bulk of the work needed — mold can grow between the stretcher and the canvas, even though the surface feels dry,” Institutional Advancement Director Eric Pourchot told Hyperallergic. “But we also know of photograph, works on paper, fiber, and sculpture materials that need work.”

More here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Closes at 4:30 p.m. Since Sandy, and Residents Pissed

BBP after Sandy. MK Metz
Residents of DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill feel shut out of their park.

Brooklyn Bridge Park has been closing at dusk ever since Superstorm Sandy knocked out the electricity, says the Daily News.

Officials said the shorefront park might not return to its normal 1 a.m. closing time until spring when the lighting system is fixed.

“These people should have been prepared for this natural disaster,” a DUMBO resident told the News.

One person who commented about the article had an idea re the new pedestrian bridge from Squibb Park: "Instead of using that money to build a bridge they should get some portable lights with timers and set around the perimeter of the park. It's ridiculous to have to be expelled from the park so early."

According to BBP, the Main Street playground and Swing Valley at Pier 6 will remain closed until further notice, along with the lawn on the southeast corner of Pier 6 near the Governors Island Ferry dock.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Another Grimaldi's Pizza Fight Over Oven, Name, Reputation, What Have You

The famous Grimaldi line. MK Metz
Aaaaand -- another Grimaldi's food fight!

 Frank Ciolli -- who purchased the Grimaldi’s Pizza name for $500,000 in 1998 -- is charging that pizza legend Patsy Grimaldi, 81, has illegally installed a coal-burning brick oven at 19 Old Fulton St. in DUMBO, reports the NY Daily News.

Grimaldi, who started the business years ago, has been in retirement for a decade. But now he plans to open Juliana’s, a new pizza place in the same building where he had his old pizza business -- right next door to Ciolli’s pizzeria at 1 Front St.

Sources say he's just fixing up the old oven, not installing a new one.

Two years ago Ciolli was evicted from 19 Old Fulton St. after not paying $44,000 in rent on time. Ciolli illegally installed a coal brick oven into 1 Front St. when he moved in, and he's still mad someone ratted him out.

Ciolli sued the landlord at 19 Old Fulton St. for allegedly scheming to steal the  brick ovens.

Blood has been bad between the two pizza men for years. In October, Grimaldi said that Ciolli ran the restaurant's "good reputation into the ground," according to the NY Post.

Nona Brooklyn provides a great description of the the history of Grimaldi's pizza madness.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Brooklyn Bridge: NYPD Search for 'Suspicious' Person Over (Wed., Dec. 5)

Brooklyn Bridge traffic headed to Manhattan ground to a near stand-still tonight as police searched for a reported emotionally disturbed person. UPDATE: At 7 p.m. the police dispatcher was calling this a search for a "suspicious person."

An NYPD helicopter and a marine unit buzzed the area as well as NYPD vehicles.

Around 6:40 p.m. police reported they did not see anyone on the Manhattan-side tower.
At 6:53 an officer reported: "We did a complete search of the cables over the Brooklyn Bridge. I'm going going to close down traffic [in an unheard direction]."

UPDATE: By 7:45 p.m. traffic was flowing again in both directions. The situation appears to have resolved.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Maybe This year You Should Get to Dyker Heights for the Christmas Lights

Photo: idovermani
Every year thousands of gawkers from across the tri-state area trek to Dyker Heights for the over-the-top Christmas light display.

"We're talking life-size Dickensian carolers, lit-up bear-shaped topiaries and a 14-foot-tall, 800-pound animatronic Santa Claus,"says NYC & Co., New York City's official tourism marketing arm.

Maybe this is the year to take the trip: According to Bensonhurst Bean, Dyker Heights was recently named number one in the top five places in the nation to see Christmas lights.

If you're going this year, the area to visit to see "the best of the best," according to BB, is 11th Avenue to 13th Avenue and from 83rd to 86th Street.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Film Moratorium in the Heights? Hospitals Crammed; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn Heights fights movie-making takeovers with a demand for a moratorium. Brooklyn Eagle

- The former principal of a private school in Brooklyn was found guilty of sexually abusing three boys -- one who was 7 years old. NY Times

- Three days wait in the ER for a bed: Brooklyn hospitals crammed after Sandy. NY Daily News

- “Nuevo Mexican" fare and the 900-seat Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will soon be joining the new Armani Exchange on Fulton Street. Brooklyn Eagle

- President Obama held his ground on the "fiscal cliff" on Tuesday, insisting on higher tax rates for the wealthiest Americans, while Republicans showed increasing disarray over how far they should go to compromise. Reuters

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

To Speed Removal of PCBs from NYC Schools, Comptroller Liu Proposes Bonds

P.S. 8. Photo: MK Metz
City Comptroller John C. Liu recommends the city issue special bonds to speed up the removal of PCB-contaminated light fixtures from New York City public schools.

By issuing Green Apple Bonds, Liu hopes to rid city schools of the hazardous light fixtures by 2015, six years ahead of the city’s current schedule and at savings of $339 million. The Brooklyn Eagle reports the story.

Liu's plan has been applauded by the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, the Environmental Protection Agency, parents and representatives.

Photo: Seanmasn
More than 700 schools across the city have PCB-containing lighting fixtures and caulk. PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) have been linked to cancer, respiratory, endocrine, reproductive and immune disorders.

These schools include: P.S. 8 in Brooklyn Heights; P.S. 9 in Prospect Heights; P.S. 15 in Red Hook; Arts & Letters in Fort Greene; P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill; I.S. 98 Bay Academy in Bay Ridge; M.S. 51 in Park Slope; Brooklyn Secondary School for Collaborative Studies; Khalil Gibran International Academy and hundreds more.

- Liu proposes bonds to speed removal of toxic PCBs from NYC schools  Brooklyn Eagle

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

1,000+ Lose Power in Southern Brooklyn Tuesday Night

The transformer at Avenue T and Hendrickson Street in Brooklyn. Google Maps
From Notify NYC: At 7:40 p.m. tonight Con Edison responded to a power outage in Brooklyn zip codes 11226, 11203, 11210, 11229, 11234, and 11236.

According to Sheepshead Bites, more than 1,230 households were without power in Marine Park, Mill Basin and other areas, after a transformer (pictured above) exploded on Avenue T and Hendrickson Street.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Smith Street at Warren, Then and Now (Brooklyn)

Photo of photo by MK Metz
We saw this photo hanging in the new Potbelly Sandwich Shop at 345 Adams Street in Downtown Brooklyn. This shows Smith Street near Warren Street, looking north. Notice the trolley tracks.

We recognized the old J. Michaels furniture store at 182 Smith on the left. (We used to live on Warren near this corner, back when it was still J. Michaels.)

J. Michaels was founded in 1886, and ended in 1996.

Here's the same view today (courtesy Google Maps). The J. Michaels has been replaced by a Rite Aid. Sadly, the old street lamps have been removed (though they still exist on other blocks on Smith).

Still no trees.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn Principal Found Guilty of Sexual Abuse; Rabbi Describes Another Alleged Victim As a Whore
The former principal of a a private Jewish school for Russian-Americans in Bensonhurst, Emanuel Yegutkin, was found guilty in State Supreme Court on Monday of sexually abusing three young boys over the course of a decade, the New York Times reports.

The Times says the case is among "a wave of sexual abuse cases involving Orthodox Jews" that the Brooklyn D.A. Charles Hynes is prosecuting "after decades in which such prosecutions were rare."

A similar trial involving Williamsburg's Nechemya Weberman, accused of molesting for years a girl he was "treating" (without a license) continues Tuesday in the same courthouse.

Sadly, Rabbi Aharon Titelbaum, one of the two Brooklyn Satmar rebbes, on Saturday night categorized the the girl who has accused Weberman of raping her as a whore, reports the Failed Messiah blog.

"When they go down [into impurity, darkness and sin], they go down all the way," he told his fellow Satmar men.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Brooklyn's Interfaith Medical Center to Declare Bankruptcy?

Photo: MK Metz
Hospital officials said today that Interfaith Medical Center is planning to declare bankruptcy as soon as this week, according to the New York Times.

Interfaith, serving Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights, serves over 250,000 patients a year, mostly Caribbean-Americans and African- Americans.

The Medicaid cutbacks of 2010 played a role, the hospital said.

About a year ago, according to the Brooklyn Eagle, DOH’s Medicaid Redesign Team/ Brooklyn Work Group found that Wyckoff, Interfaith and four other hospitals “do not have a business model and sufficient margins to remain viable and provide high quality care to their communities as currently structured.”

The hospital hopes for millions in financing from the state, but officials told the Times that no money would be forthcoming unless Interfaith agreed to merge with Brooklyn Hospital -- something Interfaith officials say would be the end of the hospital.

In April, several groups -- including Occupy Wall Street's Healthcare for the 99%, the Granny Peace Brigade and Act Up -- marched over the Brooklyn Bridge for a rally about the Brooklyn hospital crisis.

OWS asked: Why did Gov. Cuomo appointed Stephen Berger, a Wall Street millionaire financier, to be in charge of restructuring health care in Brooklyn?

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Successful Winter Festival 2012 at Brooklyn Friends School

Saturday's Winter Festival and Artisan Craft Fair at Brooklyn Friends School in Downtown Brooklyn was a great success again this year and we got in some serious holiday shopping.  There were plenty of activities for kids, too -- crafts, carnival games and bouncy rides at the carnival.

Photos by MK Metz
The 40 vendors really did sell unique hand-made goods -- let's just say our purchases were one of a kind and involved monkeys --  and there were delicious eats, a book sale, hair feathering and more.

Proceeds benefited the Horizons program (for lower income kids) at Brooklyn Friends.

- The Brooklyn Friends Winter Festival in 2011.
- The Festival in 2010.
- The Festival in 2009.
- The Festival in 2008.

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Impressive Christmas Tree, Metrotech, Downtown Brooklyn

Photo: MK Metz
The MetroTech Christmas tree in Downtown Brooklyn, looking pretty darn impressive.

The 50-foot tree is a a Fraser fir from North Carolina.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

The [XXX] Has a Record of Every Email, Post, Phone Call, Purchase and Text You Made Over the Last 10 Years

Photo by Thomas Leuthard
Be careful what you post, text, email, Google, purchase or say: According to [XXX], a 32-year veteran of the [XXX] who helped design it, a top-secret program has been collecting all of Americans' personal data for years.

The Times says [XXX] is among a group of whistle-blowers "who have each risked everything — their freedom, livelihoods and personal relationships — to warn Americans about the dangers of [XXX] domestic spying." 

In articles and videos posted by the New York Times, Wired and other news sources, [XXX]  (winner of the Callaway Award for Civic Courage on November 13, 2012) explains how the [XXX] collects all data -- email, book purchases, searches, texts, calls, etc. -- of everyone in the country, including members of Congress and children.

If anyone is targeted (by someone in the [XXX] or their friends or your enemies) all data collected over the last 10 years is "retroactively analyzed"  to build a multilayer profile of everything that person has done or communicated this decade.

Since the amount of data has mushroomed, [XXX] is building a huge facility in [XXX] -- more than five times the size of the US Capitol -- where accelerated capturing, storing, and analyzing using supercomputers will take place.

This includes bank records and stock purchases, personal health records, private text messages to friends, and what you just bought at CVS.

For more links to articles and background information, see Reddit.

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