Friday, August 31, 2012

Celebrating Labor Day; Real Estate; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Is Brooklyn Democratic County Leader Vito Lopez selecting his own successor? Room 8

- Brokelyn has 12 ideas for you to celebrate your labors this weekend.

- The Department of Buildings just issued permits for the new five-story, five-unit building at 30 Henry Street. Brownstoner

- A rare Cobble Hill parcel made up of several storefronts and two multi-family properties has just hit the market, and is asking $4.5 million. TRD

- A new restaurant, Table 87, is opening at 87 Atlantic Avenue between Henry and Hicks. Brownstoner

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Republican Map of NYC Bears Eerie Resemblance to West Nile Virus Mosquito Map of NYC

You may have seen the map above showing where Republicans exist in New York City, presented by WNYC . The darker areas of the map show that in portions of Staten Island, southern Brooklyn and Queens, Republicans approach and, in some cases, surpass Democrats as the majority.

But you may not have noticed the imperfect but still somewhat disturbing similarity of the Republican map of New York City to the West Nile Virus mosquito map of New York City.

On this map, above, provided by the NYC Dept. of Health, the red areas show that in portions of Staten Island, southern Brooklyn and Queens, mosquitoes carrying deadly West Nile virus have recently been detected.

We are in no way suggesting any link between Republicans and West Nile Virus! A total of 1,590 cases of West Nile virus, including 66 deaths, were reported through late August in the U.S., according to Reuters.

All 48 contiguous states have reported cases of West Nile virus. But more than 70 percent of the human cases have been reported in just six states: Texas, South Dakota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Michigan. Oddly, these are all Republican -- or red -- states, except for Michigan, which is a mixed, or purple state.

No doubt the infected mosquitoes will eventually spread to every district and state in the country. There's no telling about Republicans, though some will say that they are spreading as well.

In either case, there is no treatment for infection, and no vaccine. The only preventive measure is to avoid being bitten.

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Smorgasburg Coming to DUMBO On Sundays = 'Smorgumbo?'

Smorgasburg —- the Brooklyn Flea's popular Williamsburg food festival -- will soon be operating in DUMBO on Sundays.

Starting September 9th and continuing through November 18th, food vendors will set up the roofless Tobacco Warehouse in Brooklyn Bridge Park, on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The event will continue to roll in Williamsburg on Saturdays. But that brings up the next question: Shouldn't the DUMBO branch of Smorgasburg be called "Smorgumbo?"

More details at Brooklyn Flea.

- Good Eatin' at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg
- MiMi and CoCo's Teriyaki Balls Crazy Hit at Smorgasburg

Photo by MK Metz

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Brooklynites Up All Night, Trolling for Dates

Brooklyn is ranked number five on a just-released list U.S. cities with sleepless singles, according to online dating site Apparently many of those sleep-starved folks are online during the wee hours looking for love.

Why up all night? Biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher said that “Brooklyn is packed with young people who either work too hard or party hard with friends (or maybe a little of both).”

Are you one of the sleepless ones? is hosting a free Up All Night online event starting tonight at 9 p.m.

More at the Brooklyn Eagle.

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Missing 15-Year-Old Mom and Baby; 'Negrohood'; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Police are trying to find a 15-year-old Brooklyn girl and her 7-month-old child who haven’t been seen since Monday. CBS

- An Assembly candidate whose campaign sent mailers using the word “negrohood” to residents in Sheepshead Bay apologized Wednesday — calling the racially tinged language a “typo.” NY Daily News 

- Last week to enjoy outdoor NYC public pools. About

- Crazy Brooklyn white dude with enormous neck charged with hate crime for stabbing black guy with a fork. Gothamist

- Brownstoner has the update on Tuesday night's Cobble Hill house fire.  

- Carroll Garden kids organize their own Funday fundraiser in the park. Photos. PMFA

- Not a typo: Fresh Direct plans bike deliveries. Brooklyn Magazine

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Times Does Fulton Mall: Things Are Looking Up

Photo: Downtown Brooklyn Partnership
Fulton Mall in transition again:
The New York Times has put together a wrap up of the national retail chains flocking to the Fulton Street Mall in Downtown Brooklyn.

The latest retailer to sign a lease is the furniture chain Raymour & Flanigan, which will occupy the second floor at 490 Fulton Street.

Century 21, H&M and T. J. Maxx also plan to open stores, and many other chain outlets have already opened their doors.

The Times points to the area's growing student population, thousands of new residential units, millions of dollars in infrastructure spending by the city and several new hotels, and says that rents are rising.

A far cry from April, 2009, when City Point was put on hold, retail rents were in a slump, and an Arby's fast food joint (instead of Amy Ruth's) moved into the landmarked building that housed Gage & Tollner for more than a century.

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Boerum Hill Recreated with LEGOs; Mexican Gangs; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn man stabs mother and brother as 8-year-old sister watches. NY Daily News

- The Walgreens slated to replace the only grocery store in Windsor Terrace says it will dedicate a “significant” amount of space to fresh produce and meat. Brooklyn Paper

- Thank goodness someone finally recreated a scale replica of Boerum Hill using nothing but LEGOs. Apartment Therapy

- Fashion student seeks good Samaritan straphangers who saved her life after she fainted on Brooklyn subway tracks. NY Daily News

- Even more new funky art installed outside BAM yesterday. Brokelyn

- Mexican gangs are on the rise in Brighton Beach. Sheepshead Bites

- Hilarious reviews of a Bic pen apparently designed just for women. Gawker

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Interview with Brooklyn Hero Who Rescued Hampton Plane Crash Victim: Video

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Here's ABC's interview with Craig Schum, the Brooklyn baker who ran barefoot into the woods towards a crashed plane (scaling a 12-foot fence) to pull a woman out of the wreckage before it exploded.

More at Huff Post and ABC

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

McBrooklyn Is On Vacation

McBrooklyn's going out of town for a while, and may not be near any Internet. Have a relaxing rest of August everybody -- we'll be in touch periodically.


Dunk Island photo by Melalouise, Creative Commons license

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Party Alert: 'DUMBO Summer Friday' this Friday, August 17

Cold Blood Club by MK Metz
Even if you missed the excellent Cold Blood Club this past last-beer Thursday under the Archway in DUMBO (wow that arch sure provides reverb), you haven't missed all the musical excitement taking place under the Manhattan Bridge.

O Music Awards Unboxed is putting on a big to-do this Friday, August 17 from 2 - 9 p.m.  called DUMBO Summer Friday, featuring music from Javelin, Prince Rama, Zambri and Bosco Delrey, as well as DJ sets by the band Silent Drape Runners.

This is the kind of party it is: Artist Laura Vitale will be showing off her sound installation (a work called “Plaster” having to do with the audio-visual qualities of plaster). MRI Lightpainting will let people play with their LightBomber app for iPhone via a special photobooth.

Paul Lamere will be demo-ing music hacks, and app developers will be unveiling other new music tools. Brooklyn Flea’s food vendors will be on hand.

DUMBO Summer Friday is sponsored by O Music Awards, DUMBO Improvement District, L Magazine and Northside with support from Councilman Stephen Levin.

The party will be livestreamed on the O Music Blog. (Hey O Music, that's not the Archway you have pictured on your blog, that's the Tobacco Warehouse

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

They'll Be Spraying Staten Island for Mosquitoes on Wednesday, August 15

By Joaquim Alves Gaspar
The New York City Department of Health is going to spray Staten Island with pesticide starting this Wednesday night, August 15 after 8 combat swarms of mosquitoes infected with the potentially deadly West Nile virus.

According to the latest mosquito map, infected mosquitoes have been found all over the island. A Staten Island man was hospitalized with West Nile-caused viral meningitis at the end of July, the first case in NYC. He survived and has been released from the hospital.

A small section of the island was sprayed earlier this summer. Neighborhoods involved in this Wednesday's spraying are: Parts of Dongan Hills, Grasmere, Grant City, Midland Beach, New Dorp, New Dorp Beach, Oakwood, Oakwood Beach, Old Town, South Beach, parts of Annadale, Bay Terrace, Eltingville, and Great Kills. (Zip codes 10304, 10305, 10306, 10308, and 10312)

West Nile virus has also been detected in mosquitoes in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Dyker Heights, Greenwood Heights, Starrett City and Windsor Terrace, but spraying has not been announced for these neighborhoods yet.

While the Health Department says the pesticide is safe when used properly, they urge people to stay indoors if possible, close your air conditioner vents, remove children's toys and playground equipment (and wash it and anything else sprayed with soap and water including clothing or skin). We would add keep your pets indoors, and don't take your kids to the playground until after a rain.

Also, pick your tomatoes today!

If it rains Wednesday night, the spraying will be put off until the next day. Mosquito tips here.

Aside: Dallas has launched a War on Mosquitoes, declaring a state of emergency and asking for five planes to drop pesticides onto the mosquitoes, says Gawker.

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Run for Cover: Amy Sohn's 'Motherland' Is Out

Amy Sohn's latest Brownstone bashing book Motherland came out today. Is it a “juicy, diverting look at the private lives of hip, urban parents,” as claimed by her publicist?

Or one of the most horrifying visions of turning 40 ever written, as hundreds of commenters posted in The Awl after reading an article based on the book?

The Brooklyn Eagle puts it this way: "Sohn may not be able to eat lunch in Brownstone Brooklyn for quite a while."

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Brooklyn's Free Wi-Fi Not Everywhere; Cheatin' Riders; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- How come only the cool parts of Brooklyn get free Wi-Fi? NY Post

- A crooked Brooklyn dentist pleaded guilty Monday to bilking the Medicaid program of a half million dollars by performing unnecessary treatment on the homeless and poor. NY Daily News

- The MTA says fare beaters rob them of $100 million a year. (That's 121,756 fares a day, or one out of every 62 bus and subway riders, by our count.) Brooklyn Eagle

- Here are the closing ceremony performances from The Who, Muse and Ray Davies that NBC didn’t broadcast. Gawker

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Brooklyn Heights Neighbors Protest Bossert's Bar Plans

Brooklyn Heights neighbors are protesting the Bossert Hotel’s plan to build a rooftop bar and restaurant, citing worries about noisy crowds partying late into the night.

The two new owners swear that won't happen.

One of them was once on the Public Advocate’s worst landlord list, and the other was forced by a judge to turn down the music on top of another one of his rooftop bars.

So it's all cool, right?

More at the NY Daily News.

Previous Posts:
- Post: 'Slumlord' Buys Bossert Hotel in Brooklyn Heights
- Watchtower Denies Brooklyn Heights' Bossert Sold, But Levine Pays a Little Visit
- Brooklyn's Bossert Hotel Reported Sold (2008)
- Watchtower's Hotel Bossert -- Brooklyn's 'Waldorf Astoria' -- Up For Sale
- Watchtower Continues to Sell Its Heights Property

Photo by MK Metz

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Brooklyn May Not Lose Team That Will Respond to Attacks from Weapons of Mass Destruction After All

Brooklyn’s 24th National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team (at Fort Hamilton) was recently put on the chopping block to save money, and the city was this close to losing it.

This is the team that trains specifically for terrorist attacks and emergencies in the five boroughs.

What genius thought of this one? According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the Department of Defense had recommended scrapping two of the 57 country's CSTs -- one in New York and one in Florida. (Why not the one in Rhode Island?)

Fortunately, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) had the funding inserted into a Defense Department appropriations bill that was approved by the House of Representatives last week.

But he also said the funding is contingent upon the approval of the U.S. Senate.

“New York City remains the number one terror target in the nation, and we simply cannot afford to make nonsensical and irresponsible cuts to such an essential asset to our security,” Grimm said.

Well, duh.

Shown above: Soldiers from the California National Guard 95th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team (similar to the one threatened in Brooklyn) and the 95th Chemical Company, 2d Engineer Brigade, conduct joint operations at the Arctic Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Site on JBER-Richardson July 17. Photo courtesy of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

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Brooklyn Man Falls From Palisades; Creamed By Watermelon; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A 26-year-old man from Brooklyn fell to his death at Rockefeller Lookout along the Palisades Interstate Parkway on Saturday night, the third casualty at the cliffs in just over two months. NorthJersey

- Brooklyn judge says roughly 90 percent of credit card lawsuits are flawed and can’t prove the person owes the debt. NY Times

- "Get drunk in Bushwick and inhabit the corpse of an Instagram Americana." And more. HTML Giant

- A Brooklyn woman is suing a neighborhood fruit stand because the workers allegedly threw watermelons at each other, hitting her in the head. The Post

- Now you can hail a cab with your smartphone. NY Magazine

- NASA tries to convince us that a large disappearing object on Mars was really just an "impact plume." Gizmodo 

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Martin Amis Reading at Brooklyn Bridge Park Tonight

Author Martin Amis will be reading from his book: "Lionel Asbo: State of England" at Brooklyn Bridge Park tonight, Monday, August 13 at 7 p.m.

This is the last of the park's outdoor literature series. The event will include a reading, Q&A, and book signing. Bookcourt is sponsoring tonight's reading.

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Uh Oh: Deadly West Nile Mosquitoes Have Spread to Brooklyn

By Joaquim Alves Gaspar
Now might be a good time to take that vacation, especially if you live in Brooklyn -- or Queens or Staten Island.

Potentially deadly West Nile virus has spread to mosquitoes in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Dyker Heights, Greenwood Heights, Starrett City and Windsor Terrace, the Brooklyn Eagle reports.

Several of the zip codes border the lake at Prospect Park, called by park activist Anne-Katrin Titze "stagnant lakeside pools of filthy water."

The Department of Health warns people over 50, youngsters and those with compromised immune systems to cover up and use spray, and to dump those stagnant pools of filthy water where mosquitoes can breed. More at the Eagle.

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Stuff-a-Sack Clearance at Underground Thrift Store in Brooklyn Heights

This Sunday, the Underground Thrift Store at Plymouth Church (65 Hicks Street) in Brooklyn Heights will hold their Semi-Annual Stuff-a-Sack summer clearance sale on adults' and children's clothing.

Purchase a $25 tote and stuff it with as much clothing as you want. You can also purchase individual items at 50% off.

More details at Racked.

Photo by Underground Thrift Store

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Students' Personal Info Piled Outside School; Crime Down in the 84th; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A large pile of student records was found on the curb outside a Brooklyn elementary school yesterday, including names, birthdates, addresses, phone numbers and Medicaid numbers. Gothamist

- Crime has dived 78 percent in the 84th Precinct over the last two decades, and it's down 10 percent this year alone. Brooklyn Eagle

- Fort Greene will get another farm-friendly spot when Prospect opens later this month. New York Magazine tells you what to eat when they open.

- A nonprofit is trying to raise $200,000 on Kickstarter to purchase the Slave Theater, the historic Afrocentric institution on Fulton Street in Bed Stuy. Brownstoner

- A South Williamsburg building crumbled to the ground yesterday, leaving behind a giant pile of rubble and a crowd of bewildered onlookers. Brooklyn Paper

- Brooklyn Magazine lists 8 compelling reasons why Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes has to go.

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You'll Never Hear Beasty Boys MCA's Music In an Ad

By Fabio Venni, 2007
Late Beastie Boys member MCA (Adam Yauch) instructed in his will that his image, music and any art he created could never be used for advertising, reports DNAinfo. Other deceased musicians' songs and pictures -- like Kurt Cobain's and Joey Ramone's -- have been used commercially in ways they may not have approved of when they were alive.

As Oh No They Didn't puts it: 'Fans of the Beastie Boys will never need to worry about hearing "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" in a DayQuil commercial.'

Yauch's will, filed Tuesday, says the Brooklyn native's entire fortune of $6.4 million should be placed in a trust for his wife, Dechen Yauch, and their 13-year-old daughter. Yauch died in May.

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Joan Rivers Threatens to Stage a One-Woman Show at Brooklyn Costco

By David Shankbone, 2010
Rivers In Aisle 5: On Tuesday Brooklyn-born Joan Rivers handcuffed herself to a shopping cart in Burbank, California to protest Costco's refusing to carry her raunchy bestselling book, "I Hate Everyone … Starting with Me."

Now she's warning that she may stage a one-woman show at the Costco in Sunset Park, Brooklyn -- perhaps dressed as Betsy Ross. "It's not about money. I'm considering myself now the Jewish Rosa Parks," she told the NY Daily News.

Rivers is a multi-talented personality, comedian and actress who's had a ton of plastic surgery. The photo above was taken in 2010, when she was 77.

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Olympic Gold Medalists Coming to Barclays; More Bodily Fluids at McCarren; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Olympic Gold Medalists Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and other members of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastic team will flip at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center this fall as part of a nationwide tour. NY Daily News

- Borough Park's Orthodox Jews want to block police from seeing security camera footage. Failed Messiah

- Couple sought for questioning in merchant murders in Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge. Brooklyn Eagle

- Another bodily fluid closes McCarren Park Pool. Gothamist

- A vandal scrawled graffiti on the Holocaust Memorial in Sheepshead Bay. Brooklyn Daily

- DUMBO’s Beacon Tower has been hit with a $150 million racketeering suit. TRD

- Nine things to do to keep your online identity secure. Gizmodo

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How Would Brooklyn Velodrome Fare If They Called It an 'Arena?'

Site of proposed Fieldhouse on Furman Street  Photo: BBPC
Changing the name of the "Velodrome" proposed for Brooklyn Bridge Park to the "Fieldhouse" changes the way we perceive the structure.

* A Velodrome is an arena used for racing specialized bikes on a steeply banked track.

* A Fieldhouse is an arena mostly used for college basketball, volleyball, or ice hockey. (Wikipedia)

What has been proposed for Brooklyn Bridge Park is not a Fieldhouse, it is a Velodrome. (You can do other stuff in the infield, but that is an afterthought.)

Now just for fun, picture the same structure named the "Arena."

According to Wikipedia:

* "An arena is an enclosed area, often circular or oval-shaped, designed to showcase theater, musical performances, or sporting events . . . It is composed of a large open space surrounded on most or all sides by tiered seating for spectators. The key feature of an arena is that the event space is the lowest point, allowing for maximum visibility. Usually, an arena is designed to accommodate a fairly large number of spectators."

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Arena would be small as arenas go. It would be nowhere as big as the huge Barclay's Center, plotzed like a giant aircraft carrier in the middle of Downtown Brooklyn.

Projected to seat 2,500 spectators, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Arena would be slightly more than half the size of the Four Seasons Arena in Montana (capacity 4,895), and roughly two-thirds the size of Nebraska's FirsTier Event Center (with a capacity of approx. 4,000). (Wikipedia)

But in comparison to the available land, the new arena would be honking huge. The proposal calls for a 200 meter track. Here are some photos of a 200-meter velodrome.

To sum: The Brooklyn Bridge Park board is considering siting an arena seating 2,500 spectators in the park.

Velodrome, Fieldhouse or Arena. Is it the right structure for Brooklyn Bridge Park?

Previous posts:
- Brooklyn Bridge Park Advisor Denies Velodrome Conflict of Interest Charges
- Brooklyn Bridge Park Fieldhouse: Is Velodrome Racing a 'Quaint, Obscure, Bizarre' Sport?
- Did You Miss the Fieldhouse Forum?
- Brooklyn Bridge Park Fieldhouse /Velodrome Forums
- Who IS This Guy Who Donated $40 Million To Brooklyn Bridge Park?

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Get Ready for Brooklyn's 4th Annual Soap Box Derby

Get ready, get set: Brooklyn's legendary Soap Box Derby takes place on August 18. Racers zoom their non-motorized handmade contraptions down 17th St.

The children's race takes place at 12 p.m. and the grownups race at 1 p.m. Check-in at 11 a.m.

Kids ages 7-15 can sign up for a workshop in Windsor Terrace to learn how to construct functional soap box racers out of recycled material. To sign up, or to register for the race contact the Open Source Gallery. (Camp is not free but racing is.)

Photo courtesy of BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn

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Lightstone Gowanus Briefing August 23

The Lightstone Group recently contacted Community Board 6 about taking over the development of properties at 363-365 Bond Street in Gowanus (commonly referred to as the Toll Brothers site).

Lightstone will brief the community at the CB6 Landmarks/Land Use Committee at 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 23rd.

CB6 says they no details about their plans at this time, though Lightstone Group indicated that they are expecting to bring a formal land use action for public review this fall.

According to The Real Deal, Toll Brothers had planned to build 460 condos and townhouses at the site, but abandoned the project when the Gowanus gained Superfund status last year. The EPA says cancer-causing poly-aromatic hydrocarbons and other potentially harmful chemicals are present in the ground.

Photo courtesy of Google Maps

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Tonight: 'Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol' On the Beach in Coney Island

Tonight's film (Monday, August 6) on the beach at Coney Island stars Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in the fourth of the 'Mission Impossible' series.

Hunt and his team, implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, must go rogue to clear the Impossible Missions Force's name.

Address: 3059 West 12th Street, Brooklyn, Take the D, F, N or Q train to Coney Island, walk to the beach and make a left.

7 p.m.: Music
8:30 p.m.: Film begins

Free screening by Rooftop Films

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Reward Offered in Murder of Isaac Kadare in Bensonhurst

Councilman David G. Greenfield and the Sephardic Federation have offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer of 59-year-old Isaac Kadare.

Kadare was murdered Thursday night in his Amazing 99 cents Deals shop on 86th Street near 19th Avenue. Relatives said he likely was robbed for the cash he had just collected from a tenant. “He was a great man and a family man,” his widow Nancy told the Daily News.

The bullet found in Kadore was linked to the same gun used in the killing of another store owner a month before, the Daily News reports.

"By all accounts, Mr. Kadare was a kind, caring and devoted family man who never hesitated to help those in need," said Greenfield, who urges anyone with any information about this crime to contact the NYPD's tip line at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Previous Post
- Body Found in Bensonhurst Thursday Night

Photo Google Maps

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Rally Saturday! Bizarre Plan to Run Gas Pipeline to Brooklyn Under Beaches and Only National Park

Brooklynites are burning about the scheme to allow National Grid and the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company (TRANSCO) to install a natural gas pipeline beneath the nation’s oldest – and one of its largest – urban national parks, including some of New York City's nicest beaches.

Companies and government have been developing the project clandestinely for years, reports Sheepshead Bites.

A coalition has just formed to fight the harebrained scheme and NYC Audubon has put up a call for citizens to come down to Jacob Riis Saturday (tomorrow, August 4) to rally from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The plan is to connect a primary natural gas artery in the Atlantic, just off the coast of the Rockaways, to a National Grid hub in Brooklyn. The pipe will go under the Rockaways, across the Rockaway inlet and underneath Floyd Bennett Field.

The bizarre plan flies in the face of a new management agreement between the federal government and New York City.

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Mini Golf Under the Manhattan Bridge Archway

Golfers competed for a free beer at Brooklyn Flea's food, beer and Loosecubes happening under the Manhattan Bridge Archway in DUMBO yesterday.

- Pop-Up Loosecubes Workspace Under the Manhattan Bridge Archway

Photo by MK Metz

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More Bay Ridge Sinkholes Coming? Convicted Pol Running Again; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The sinkhole that ate Bay Ridge? Watch out, there may be more coming. Brooklyn Eagle

- For real: This Saturday's Cyclones game is "Trash Your Ex" night. Fans are encouraged to bring their relationship relics -- photos, what have you -- to the Sanitation trucks waiting outside the stadium. Gothamist

- Ex-Brooklyn Assemblywoman Diane Gordon, who served two years for receiving bribes and official misconduct, is now running for district leader. The Board of Elections says 'no problem.' City & State

- Wrong stillborn baby buried by Brooklyn family in Poland; NYC Medical Examiner's Office takes blame. Huff Post

- Interfaith medical Center in Brooklyn is running out of cash and may not be able to make its payroll by September without a state bailout. NY Times

- “No Burning Headlight,” by Williamsburg band Teen Commandments was the runaway winner of the Brooklyn Brewery's G train song contest. Brooklyn Eagle

- Gizmodo says the new Hotmail is fantastic.

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Body Found in Bensonhurst Thursday Night -- UPDATE

A body was found at 86th Street and 19th Avenue in Bensonhurst Thursday evening about 9 - 9:30 p.m. Above is an image from Google Maps showing the intersection.

According to Bensonhurst Bean, NYPD have been there for at least an hour.

NY Scanner first reported the discovery.

UPDATE: Isaac Kadare, 59, was discovered DOA around 8:50 p.m. Thursday in his Amazing 99 cents Deals shop on 86th Street near 19th Avenue. More here.

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Pop-Up Loosecubes Workspace Under the Manhattan Bridge Archway Today

You've eaten lunch Under the Archway.

You've drunk beer Under the Archway.

Now you can work Under the Archway. 

Every Thursday in August, Loosecubes will be operating a reserved section of picnic tables under the Manhattan Bridge Archway in DUMBO for people who want a workspace and free Wi-Fi in the Brooklyn wilds. There will be a number of table spaces reserved from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

There aren't any power sources (though we're told there might be mini golf), so make sure to come with your devices fully charged.

Interested folks can register to work for free here:

Loosecubes finds a match between office spaces with an empty desk and independent workers looking for an alternative to the coffee shop.

The event is being put together by the DUMBO Improvement District.

Photo courtesy of Loosecubes

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Just Another Bay Ridge Senior, Part of Greatest Generation

At 88, she's a member of a senior center in Bay Ridge. She has 20 great-grandchildren, and she crochets baby blankets to donate to the Sunset Park Family Health Center.

But 68 years ago Ruth Soranno worked in a U.S. Navy office in Washington, D.C., helping the Allies decipher Japanese code.

“We knew we would destroy the enemy. And we did,” she told the Brooklyn Eagle in a profile Monday.

File under: You Never Know Who You'll Meet at a Senior Center

WAVES breaking codes. The Mariners' Museum at Free Republic

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A Pretty Darn Hartwarming Brooklyn Story: Honoring Owner of The Orchard

Today at 3 p.m., BP Marty Markowitz will present a proclamation to Daniel Spitz, owner of The Orchard at 1367 Coney Island Avenue, shown above left with his son Mitchell.

Brooklyn Borough Hall sent us Spitz's background, as written by his son, and it's a heartwarming Brooklyn success story:

"My Dad was born to immigrant Hungarian and Romanian Jews in 1928 just as the Depression was about to descend upon America. He was placed in the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphanage with his brother at 6 years of age when his parents could not afford to keep him.

"Over time, my Dad's father abandoned the family never to be heard from again while his mother eventually stopped visiting the boys at the Home. After many failed foster home experiences, the boys were placed in a loving foster home (with an Orthodox Jewish father and a devout Roman Catholic mother!) in their mid-teens and went off to the army in 1946 after graduating Lafayette High School.

"Upon his return, my Dad worked the streets of Midwood with various delivery jobs including a fresh egg route. He learned about produce while working at Smilen Brothers, a large chain of fruit stores in Brooklyn. He finally saved up the 500 dollars to open the Orchard in 1957. While there were four other fruit stores in the immediate area of Midwood, The Orchard outlasted them all and started to thrive by offering the highest quality fruit and vegetables my Dad could find at the Brooklyn Terminal Market in Canarsie.

"Eventually, the store reached iconic status over the subsequent 55 years, serving the best produce to the local Italians and Jews of Brooklyn as well as the likes of Jimmy Carter at his inauguration party in Washington D.C. and Gil Hodges on the day the Mets won the 1969 World Series.

"Along the way, my Dad was able to save enough money from selling pineapples and oranges to start investing in real estate on Avenue J and Coney Island Avenue. Today, he proudly owns and manages ten buildings in the area. He also was able to send his son to Princeton University and Columbia University Medical School. His other son was able to step right into the family business and under his stewardship has enabled The Orchard to continue to grow and prosper.

"Oh, and by the way, he just celebrated his 60 years of marriage (a truly amazing feat in its own right!)"

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Brooklyn Bridge Park Advisor Denies Velodrome Conflict of Interest Charges

Site of future Fieldhouse on Furman Street  Photo: BBPC
Was someone orchestrating the proposal to site Joshua Rechnitz's $40 million fieldhouse / velodrome into Brooklyn Bridge Park?

Kate Collignon, a connected former member of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Community Advisory Council (CAC) told the Brooklyn Eagle she did not exploit her position to steer the controversial indoor competitive cycling racetrack to the park, an accusation reported by the Brooklyn Paper.

Collignon resigned from the CAC two months ago -- and suddenly popped up working for HR&A Advisors, the consulting firm working for the velodrome's wealthy backer, Rechnitz.

Collognon has also worked for the city’s Economic Development Corporation in charge of planning and development at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Collignon and her supporters say she had no input into the velodrome while on the advisory council (the CAC never voted on the proposal), but some of her fellow CAC members think there is at least the appearance of back-scratching.

One insider told the Eagle, “There’s a big revolving door between certain private firms and the Mayor’s Office. Clearly the Mayor’s Office wanted her as a ringer. She doesn’t live anywhere near the park.”

Velodrome skeptics — including Peter Flemming, co-chair of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Community Council — told the Eagle last week that the proposed fieldhouse/ velodrome is a stadium for a marginal sport masquerading as a community recreation center.

He told the same thing to the New York Times when they picked up on the story yesterday.

Previous posts:
- Brooklyn Bridge Park Fieldhouse: Is Velodrome Racing a 'Quaint, Obscure, Bizarre' Sport?
- Did You Miss the Fieldhouse Forum?
- Brooklyn Bridge Park Fieldhouse /Velodrome Forums
- Who IS This Guy Who Donated $40 Million To Brooklyn Bridge Park?

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Helpful Black Widow Spider Facts for Brooklynites

Across the country the mild winter plus the hot, humid summer has resulted in an explosion of black widow spiders.

Now exterminators are saying we should "just be aware" that black widow spiders have invaded New York City. With that in mind, here are a few helpful black widow facts for Brooklynites:

- The toxin of a black widow bite is about 15 times more venomous than that of a rattlesnake. Children and the elderly are more seriously affected, up to and including death.

- If you see the red markings on their bellies you're too close.

- Anti-venom may be necessary. Call 9-1-1 and tell them in advance so they can rustle some up. (Warning, some people react to the anti-venom.)

- If you see a large white egg, a black widow spider is likely nearby.

- All that scrap wood you picked up off the street and dragged home? That's how you got black widow spiders.

- A guy known as "The Bug Man" in Pennsylvania says you can spray them with hairspray to stop them in their tracks.

- If you're bitten 19 times you will probably die.

Photo courtesy of

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Steeples Must Be Removed at Cobble Hill Church Hit by Lightening

Sadly, one entire steeple has been taken down and the three others will be removed in the coming days at Christ Church in Cobble Hill, hit by lightening last Thursday, reports the NY Times.

This coming Sunday, services will be held at nearby St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

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