Monday, August 31, 2009

Photos from Battle of Brooklyn in Green-Wood

IMG_4282, originally uploaded by lostinbrooklyn.

Thanks to lostinbrooklyn for uploading this to the BViB photo pool. Also, on his twitter stream (is that what it's called?), this showed up:

@lostinbrooklyn Battle of Brooklyn @ Green-Wood pix online

Check out the photos.

Fall Classes at El Pequeno Artista (discounts mentioned!)

El Pequeno Artista, on 20th Street and 5th Avenue, has some excellent opportunities for the little ones this Fall.

The most exciting thing (in my decidedly biased opinion) is the Spanish Immersion Montessori Pre-School offered from 9-Noon Monday through Friday. Part-time is also available. I happen to know that the teacher is pretty darn amazing. She is from Mexico and is trained and certified in Montessori style and techniques.

There are also lots of other classes available for children ages 2 1/2 to 7 including cooking, ballet, movement, Spanish immersion, percussion, and music. Check it out: El Pequeno Artista.

from the EPA email:

Hello all!

I hope you and the little ones have had a lovely summer!

Below you'll find the Fall Schedule. To register, you MUST contact us first to reserve/keep your spot. We take cash, checks and credit cards and we'll guide you through payment once you have confirmed availability with us.

For new families who've never tried our programs, we'll be offering a week of free trial classes between Sept. 14th through 19th, and will send an announcement with that schedule (not necessarily the same as the one below) in a week or so. Please wait until you receive the announcement to reserve a spot (reservations are required).

If you pay by Sept. 4 you get $15 off the regular price. After that you pay the regular price, unless you really put it off, and then there are late fees (the horror!). Either way, you MUST pay in advance to keep your spot!


Pick up from local schools: PS 10, PS 107, PS 295 at 3pm.
AND... if your child attends one of these schools and registers in any El Pequeno Artista workshop,
you'll get a 20% off your fall tuition!!!


Monday to Friday 9 to 12 pm

MUSICA PARA MI (associate program - please contact directly)
Monday 2 pm

4 to 6 yrs.
Monday 3:30 pm

5 1/2 to 7 yrs.
Monday 4:30 pm

4 yrs. and up
Tuesday 4 pm

3 1/2 to 6 yrs.
Wednesday 4 pm

3 to 5 yrs.
Thursday 3:30 pm

2 to 4 yrs.
Saturday 11:20 am

4 1/2 to 7 yrs.
Saturday 12:30 pm

Sunday, August 30, 2009

What You (might) See in Sunset Park: Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy 07-60, originally uploaded by mnwpng.

Forget about Swine Flu and that nasty summer cold; Poison Ivy is on 7th Avenue!

Check out the ponderings in the comments of this photo and weigh in on whether you think this is PI. Anyone willing to go and rub up against the tree to let us know if this is Poison Ivy?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Open House on the Park

Brownstoner's loving Sunset Park recently. This house, on BS's Open House list, has dropped in price since its For Sale By Owner days. Word on the block was that they had just added $1 million to the purchase price years ago. Now it's still trying to be the most expensive house on the block at just $925,000, but you can't blame them for trying. (However, considering this and this - neither of which will probably reach asking - I'd say the price needs to get into the 700's.)

The location is fantastic in many ways, but it's also horrible in many ways.

Open House on Sunday from 1 PM to 3 PM.

Here's the craigslist link.

Here's the zillow link.

Here's the older zillow link.

Battle of Brooklyn Re-enactment at Green-Wood Cemetery

If you want to avoid the partying birthday crowds at Prospect's re-enactment...

Thanks to lostingreenwoodheights for always keeping us informed about GWC's events:

In memory of the brave patriots who fought for our country's
independence in this first battle after the signing of the Declaration
of Independence, The Green-Wood Historic Fund hosts a day of free
commemoration ceremonies and trolley tours.

Sunday, August 30th, 2009.

Admission to this event is free.
Events will begin at 10:00 AM and
continue all day with the final commemoration on Battle Hill at 2:00

11:30 AM Tributes - Tribute to George Washington's Irish Generals, The
Bold Fenian Men/The Civil War, Irish Korean War Memorial, Matilda
Tone, John Gallagher & Charles Higgins.

12:00PM Reenactment - Revolutionary War Reenactors will relive a
portion of the Battle of Brooklyn in Green-Wood's Meadow and the
surrounding area near Green- Wood's main entrance.

1:30 PM Parade - The Green-Wood Historic Fund and United States
Merchant Marine Academy sponsor the Annual Battle of Brooklyn Parade.
Meet at the main gate for a parade to Battle Hill led by George M.
Cohan's own, The Regimental Band of the United States Merchant Marine

2:00 PM Commemorative Ceremony - Battle of Brooklyn Commemorative
Ceremony honoring the Patriots who fought the first battle of our new
nation on this sacred ground 233+ years ago.

For more information,

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What You See in Sunset Park: A Billboard I Could Do Without

This is pasted on a billboard for the entire Gowanus/BQE crowd to ogle, but a mom nursing her baby in IKEA has to be escorted to the bathroom?* I don't get it.

* It's an old-ish story, and I'm sure some sort of response will come from Sweden to vindicate the BFing mom. But this billboard is a lot more in-your-face than a mother and child sitting in IKEA or on a park bench or in a booth at a diner.

Back to School Celebration at Martin Luther Park

And yes, it really is Martin Luther Park. Nothing is missing.

Lutheran Health Center and Health Plus are co-sponsoring a "Back to School Blast" on Friday from Noon to 4 PM at 55th and 2nd (ML Park). That means there will be some freebies, some activities, and some fun. Go check it out if you're nearby.

According to the LHC Twitter feed, Sly from the NETS will be there. I have no idea who that is. Any relation to the Family Stone?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sunset Park Gets 'Stoner's House of the Day (even though it's called Bay Ridge)

Photos courtesy of Brownstoner

Someone is REALLY on vacation over at Brownstoner.

First, a Sunset Park house gets house of the day.
Second, a house less than a million gets house of the day.
Third, since when is 47th Street Bay Ridge? I mean, okay, a long time ago it WAS called Bay Ridge. But that was many decades ago!

It's a great block, a very pretty house, and if it's empty there is probably room to negotiate. Anyone want to go half-way? I might be able to convince my hubby it's worth the TLC needed. Might.

What You See in Sunset Park: 39th Street

in the storm, originally uploaded by petit hiboux.

The lighting is more muted than the usual "storm" photos. I like it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The "Monstrosity" on 42nd and 8th

A few days ago one of the SPAN-mailing list members posted a question asking what was going on at 7th Avenue and 42nd - actually, the questioner called it a monstrosity.. The reference was actually to a building on the corner of 8th Avenue and 42nd - 4202 8th Avenue, to be exact. It also takes up two house addresses on 42nd, but the 8th Avenue address probably allowed for the 7 level building plans to be approved. You can see this building from the back here.

This building site has had many complaints, several which specifically mention neighbors' buildings having wall and flooding issues due to demolition and construction. There have also been a couple of SWOs issues over the last year. But now construction seems to be humming along on this 7 level apartment building.

Sorry about the bad photos. Between my camera and the lighting, they pretty much stink. You can read and see more about this site on Sunset Park Matters, a blog specifically about the irresponsible development going on around 11220 and 11232.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What You See in Sunset Park: Shades

Umbrellas, originally uploaded by veesvision.

Many people in the park were caught in the rain yesterday. We missed the deluge by about ten seconds. In this photo, umbrellas are used to protect from the rays not the rain.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What You See in Sunset Park: After the Storm

What You See in Sunset Park: Sad Kitty

Sad Kitty, originally uploaded by Atomische • Tom Giebel.

According to Atomische, who uploaded this into the BViB photo pool, this kitten was found in the 30's between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. Click on the photo to see another photo of a lost kitten in his photostream.

Friday, August 21, 2009

What You See in Sunset Park: Building Boom

A lovely walk down 43rd Street to get a papaya drink (I wanted avocado, but it was too early) at Ba Xuyen revealed some activity at 765 43rd Street after their stop work order was rescinded. It's going to be an eight unit building. Add that to the ten units at 713-715 43rd, and I think we're in for one heck of a big block party next year! Let's hear it for development that forces irresponsible population explosions! Go trash pick-up! Go school overcrowding! Go water! Go Park use!

These photos were taken on Wednesday morning (8/19/09).

A front-loader was very actively and quickly digging up dirt from the site. Considering the nine complaints lodged against this site in less than a year, perhaps the sooner the better for the next door neighbors. I mean, since the developers around here just do whatever they want with as few permits as they can get away with, it may as well be over as soon as possible.

One of the elderly residents of the next door building was taking a look at the work. This is the same building that has a front lawn memorial. The two residents I've seen and said hello to are both very friendly and sweet. I feel terrible that they have had to deal with the demolition and now digging and soon construction that they've endured for over a year already. If you happen to walk by and see anything that seems odd, please call 311. The adjacent building has already had to be repaired more than once due to the demo and foundation at 765 43rd Street. And we all know how well a "repair" holds up. How much shall we bet that 763 gets sold to another (or the same) developer to make another apartment building?

This block of 43rd will soon be all apartment buildings.

Hey! What's that I see through the backyard? Another apartment building going up on the next street over! Nice.

A Tree Gets Cut in Brooklyn

I don't know if it was damage from this week's storm, the sad case of the Central Park pedestrian who was hit by a tree branch, or the health of the tree. Either way, yesterday a large truck and chipper spent the better part of the day cutting off all the branches of this large tree on the 5th Avenue Slope in the park. It used to be one of the trees that provided shade to those playing, enjoying the view, and picnicking on the slope. Now it provides curious children with an opportunity to poke and prod its crevices.

Was anyone there yesterday to talk to the people who did the deed? Anyone know what the reason was for the de-branching?

Marked for destruction by a green dot.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Press Conference Announces Lawsuit about Rezoning

Update: NY1 reports on the press conference and suit.

My one question is: has development of large residential buildings (often touted as luxury) along 39th Street, 6th, 7th, 8th Avenues, and up and down several side streets (like 42nd and 43rd) has displaced anyone. Or does it depend on the developers and who they know?

The suit attempts to address this by pointing out the numerous less-than-5000 sq foot lots that have been developed. If that item can be adjusted, I'd be more satisfied. It also addresses the commercial zoning along 5th Avenue and the encouragement the rezoning would give to chains over local business. Hope for the best, I suppose.

from the press release:

Brooklyn, NY—Two long-time Sunset Park residents, five local churches and a community group, Chinese Staff and Workers' Association (CSWA), have filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court challenging the Department of City Planning’s (DCP) proposed rezoning of 128 blocks in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. They claim that the rezoning plan will encourage more luxury development and large chain stores, resulting in widespread residential and commercial displacement and gentrification among Sunset Park's low-income Asian and Latino communities.

Links for a Lazy Thursday

First the fun stuff: Eating in Translation has licuados from Tonny's.

Then the weird stuff: Our Velazquez is giving money to Brooklyn Heights for lamps? (They are really pretty lamps.)

Now the disgruntled (on my part) stuff: Lutheran provides authentic Chinese meals for patients in the Chinese unit. Why disgruntled? Because when I was there, I had to send my husband out to supplement the bread I got for breakfast. Apparently a vegetarian breakfast is very tough. I wasn't asking for vegan. Yoghurt? Eggs? A PB & J? Something PROTEIN that never had a face to help recover from surgery. Hello? And never mind about the lunch or dinner. I mean, it's not big deal, but I'm still a tad disgruntled. (That, and I like the word disgruntled.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Coalition to Protect Sunset Park to File Suit about the proposed ReZoning of SP

Maybe this tactic will stall long enough to allow the group to opt for changes to the rezoning proposal. Meanwhile, houses like this still get bought up for strange sums...who wants to bet what it will look like within a year. Perhaps like this?

from the SPAN mailing list:

WHEN: Thursday, August 20th at 11:30am

WHERE: United Methodist Church on the corner of 47th Street & 4th AVE

WHAT: the Coalition to Protect Sunset Park is going to have a press
conference to announce their filing of a lawsuit against the City of New
York regarding the proposed Rezoning of Sunset Park.

How: People Power!

*More details an official Press Release to be available soon*

Coalition to Protect Sunset Park

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What You See in Sunset Park: Cenicienta/Cinderella

Cenicienta - the cast, originally uploaded by veesvision.

Click on this photo to see the veesvision collection of last Saturday's show in Sunset Park. Lots of fantastic shots!

Lutheran Hosts a New Green Market on Thursdays

Excellent! If you stop by 55th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues (right outside Lutheran Medical Center) on any Thursday through Thanksgiving, you'll get a chance to buy bread, fruit, veggies, and other goodies from local farmers.

Of course, since it's co-hosted by LMC, there will be health screenings and information available as well. All the usual methods of payment are accepted (WIC, Cash, EBT, and Health Bucks). See the Brooklyn Eagle article for more details.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Friends of Sunset Park Respond to Sunday's Vendor Raid

I wasn't around on Sunday to see the vendors getting cited or to hear about the aftermath. I can only hope that no one was hurt. The Friends of Sunset Park have posted a response to some questions that arose following Sunday's enforcement. Please see the response by clicking on this link.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Occasional "Clampdown" on Vendors In and Near the Park

Jesswis posted this photo on Twitter and asked if I see vendors getting cited often. I don't. It seems that there is a round-up every so often. I have seen the toy and silly string (argh!) vendors in the playground wrap their wares up lickety-split, and I have seen vendors literally pushing their carts ahead of police cars to keep distance between them. However, I always thought there was some kind of agreement that most of the time no-one would hassle the vendors.

Is this a victimless crime that encourages enjoyment of our park? Or does the threat of unlicensed vendors seem reasonable considering that they are serving food, encouraging litter, and selling playthings that create a mess?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Prosperity is in Sight

First Duane Reade and now this! Prosperity Dumpling is opening up a Brooklyn shop down the street from the park. 43rd and 8th will now have cheap, fresh, carry-it-with-you-to-watch-the-sunset food. According to Eating in Translation, it should be open by the end of August.

Thanks to Leah for sending this my way!

Free Weekend Event: Bi-Lingual Cinderella from the Puerto Rican Travelling Theatre

On Saturday, August 16th at 6 PM, join the Friends of Sunset Park in welcoming the Puerto Rican Travelling Theatre's presentation of Cenicienta/Cinderella. It is a bi-lingual show aimed at children, but it will be enjoyed by all ages, I'm sure. Last year's show was a lot of fun, and this year's looks even better.

Sunset Park Singer/Songwriter to Release "Taking Back Brooklyn"

photo from

She goes by Krista, and she grew up in Sunset Park. She is finishing up a stint as the opener for Kelly Clarkson, and you can check out a video and a description of the album (is it still called an album?) to be released next month. The song in the video is pretty good (my toddler asked to hear the song Again?), and I'd agree with the Pitch Engine description of her influences. Worth a listen.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What You See in Sunset Park: Penguin in a Basket

Thanks to mer for uploading this to the BViB photo pool. She always has great photos from around the neighborhood.

This is an emperor penguin, right? Poor guy looks like he's in decent condition, but maybe he's infested with bed bugs. Or maybe he's just relaxing in the sun?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Whole Foods in Sunset Park?

Thursday AM Update: Thanks to a little early morning searching on the DOB site, we can see that it is indeed a Duane Reade that will be housed in the old Dee & Dee space. (Or a Whole Foods in disguise under a Duane Reade illuminated sign.) That's one huge Duane Reade...

For more proof, a commenter also posted up this link in the comments section.

I wonder how Health Max (on 5th and 53rd) feels about that. The Rite Aid on 51st is cramped and crowded, and the more-pharmacy-less-convenience-store of that strip, 5th Avenue Pharmacy, on 48th has a super loyal following. Hopefully it will affect the stores in positive ways, but I worry about 5th Avenue Pharmacy.

Today my name is Thomas; I find it hard to believe that Whole Foods would open up a 6,000 square foot (or is it 9000?) store on 5th Avenue in Sunset Park.

Wait, what?

According to a neighbor who was walking by the Dee & Dee space (and I still don't know where I can get a shower curtain liner for $2.99 now that they're gone), the space was going to be either a PetCo or a Whole Foods. Whole Foods won. Is this the consolation prize for the stalled Gowanus site?

Wait, what?

There is a lot of busy building going on at the site, and one of the head contractors at the site gave up this tidbit of information.

I have serious reservations and doubts, but I believe it a little bit. Whole Foods is over my budget, and my guess is I'm in with a whole heck of a lot of company. Could this possibly be true? Sunset is not on the "stores in development" list, but stranger things have happened. Haven't they?

Need a Job? Weary of Litter?

A couple of quick links for your perusal:

Be a prison warden in the neighborhood.
Easy commute, terrorists, mobsters, scandal. Want to live in an HBO series? Here's your chance. From the Brooklyn Eagle.

A reader wrote in to ask that I post the on-line form to request litter baskets. If you find that you go blocks and blocks without having anywhere to drop your trash (It's not nice to drop your trash into a neighbor's bin - especially if they haven't put a liner in.), here's your chance to add a basket to the neighborhood. This can also be used to report damaged or stolen baskets.

In that same vein, there is a new blog called Let's Clean Sunset Park! It's pretty self-explanatory, and it's definitely a personal response to poop, litter, and what residents can do to make the parks in Sunset Park cleaner.

Insider's View of Sunset's Pool and Lifeguards

The Daily News has a piece by a freelance journalist who is day-lighting as a lifeguard at our pool. His rendition of time at the pool is a lot more pleasant than last year's responses (pool review here).

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

SPAN wants Astoria Generating Company to Listen

Sign the petition TODAY! (The filing goes in tomorrow.)

The issue concerning Astoria Generating Company's power plant(s) has a history of trying to get the word out, and now SPAN members would like a chance for Sunset Park residents to voice their opinions about the Astoria Generating Company's power plant in Sunset Park. Take a look at the email sent out by SPAN members, and at the very least, consider signing the petition (link below) to allow for residents to have a voice. Perhaps residents will be pro, perhaps they'll be con, but this has been in the works for a long time; giving those who will be most affected (I don't think the execs at AGC live around here) a chance to be heard is worth some time, isn't it?

from the SPAN email:

Hello Everyone,

We are writing today for your support and action! The Astoria Generating Company, the corporation looking to site another power plant in Sunset Park, has filed a Motion for Expedited Processing Without Oral Testimony to the Public Service Commission. If this Motion passes, the power plant company has the ability to decide on power plant placement without public hearings! This is a clear violation of democracy where the community has no say on decisions that will affect us, our children and our way of life.

On Wednesday, SPAN will be filing a legal request to block this motion. Please see it attached.

Please support us by signing a petition in support:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Young Dancers in Repertory Perform on Wednesday

photo from the YDR website

As usual, the Friends of Sunset Park bring us something to fill our Wednesday mornings in the summer. This week the Young Dancers in Repertory, who have been giving dance and movement lessons on Thursdays, will be performing at 10:30 AM by the chess tables.

Don't miss their moves; they always give a wonderful performance!

The lessons and performances are best aimed at the pre-school to elementary set. Very young children might be too distracted to enjoy/take advantage.*

*See first comment for more info - apparently this Wednesday's performance is good for all ages!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

HOT weather recommendation: Fabio's

IMG_6268, originally uploaded by roraa.

The weather for Monday is supposed to be frightfully hot and humid. Visit the sprinklers and pool, drink lots of water, and visit Fabio's Helado de Coco if you can. Mmmmmmmm.

Thanks to roraa for uploading this photo to the BViB photo pool.

What You See in Sunset Park: Nostradamus en Espanol

Park Predictions, originally uploaded by veesvision.

I love way this photo came out. This reader of Nostradamus was watching the Corduroy show in the park. I guess the show distracted him from the prophecies.

Click on the photo for veesvision's photostream.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Fresh Air Fund Still Looking for Host Families for August

If you didn't cancel your summer vacation plans (Sorry, Maine, hope to catch you next year!), consider inviting a Fresh Air Fund kid along for the ride. There's still time!

Read up on it here:

This is a fantastic program that allows kids from all over the City experience a different place for a week or two. If you cut back on charitable giving and want to earn back some Karma points, this will make up for all the pledge drives that didn't entice you this year.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Irish Tenor to Perform at St. Michael's in November

Plan ahead! If you need a super-special gift for someone who likes the Irish Tenors, here's your chance to REALLY impress. According to The Examiner:

It has just been announced that Irish tenor Karl Scully, the newest member of the famed Irish Tenors, will be performing at St. Michael's Church in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 8.

Ticket sales will support St. Michael's, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Our Lady of Angels (Bay Ridge). And Irish Soprano, Deirdre Masterson, will also be performing. You can buy tickets at $35 by calling 718 768-6065. Check out the link to the article for more information.

Corduroy Ruled Sunset Park

Anything that can keep a bunch of toddlers and slightly older youngsters (and the adults who accompany them) sitting still for an hour or more is pretty darn impressive, if you ask me. And that's exactly what happened on Wednesday when the Life Lines Players came to Sunset Park to share the Adventures of Corduroy with a bunch of eager kids. The Center for Family Life and the Friends of Sunset Park brought us this performance.

With a disco number (see the BViB flickr pool, VeesVision got some shots of that), familiar tales of Corduroy's adventures in laundromats and looking for the perfect birthday gift for very best friend Lisa, and group dances, the Lifelines group entertained a tough audience for over an hour. It was a low-tech and low-key costumed affair, but the young actors and singers carried the show to a rapt audience. Who needs fancy wigs and hoop skirts to put on a play like our neighbors to the north? We'll take matching t-shirts, enthusiasm, and bear-ears any day. Just keep my kid entertained! Kudos to the entertainers and their coaches.

Corduroy and friend address the audience.

Despite the coordinated dance moves, most of the kids in the audience were checking out the moon.

March of the toy animals.

These guys were really great, and managed to pull off this particular performance and its moves
to the delight of the kids watching.
High kicking with canes.

A job well done, and another successful project for the Center for Family Life and Friends of Sunset Park.

Still Waiting for My 25K! Please!

Last year, right about this time, there was another sign exactly like this one (minus the photo) gracing a lamppost on 8th Avenue. It seems someone is still waiting. Nice that there isn't interest tacked on.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Another Missing Dog

What's up with all the lost/missing dogs lately? Is someone holding them for ransom, or are people just getting careless? This dog, missing from 20th Street since August 3rd, is named Maya and needs medication. The dog's humans are reaching far and wide; this sign was on 8th Avenue in the 50's.

What You See in Sunset Park: Bargain DVDs

It caught my eye, what can I say? And for $1 (the sticker says $2.99), you just might get your money's worth. 8th Avenue has lots of deals.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What You Eat in Sunset Park: Dac Biet Pho

Dac Biet Pho, originally uploaded by wEnDaLicious.

Well, I don't, but I would if I ate meat.

This is a great choice for a cheap dinner. Hot soups are actually cooling during hot weather. Really!

This dish is from Nha Trang on 8th Avenue at 59th Street.

What You See in Sunset Park: Brownstones

43rd Street, originally uploaded by emilioguerra.

This is 43rd Street, according to emilioguerra. He kindly added this photo to the BViB photo pool on flickr.

Another 25 cent Kiddie Ride on 8th Avenue

This ride ends quite suddenly, but it's well worth the 25 cents. Be warned, the burro jerks a bit, so younger toddlers may need some support.

It's on 8th Avenue and 47th (or 46th?) - just outside the old Galaxy Video that is now a new-ish electronics store.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What You See in Sunset Park: Air Conditioned Option

IMG_0900, originally uploaded by lostinbrooklyn.

For those of us who live in the upper floors of buildings, humidity and heat are especially painful to both sweat glands and wallet. If the sprinklers and pool aren't an option, if Target's air conditioning is too far of a bus ride, and if the library's joy has been worn away, consider buying a game at Melody Lanes and hanging out there for a bit.

Great people watching, lots of space, kid-friendly.

Wednesday: Corduroy to Appear in Sunset Park

Now that the CityKids and Friends of Sunset Park music events have ended, whatever will camps and caretakers of children do on Wednesday mornings?? Not to fear, FoSP is still looking out for us. This Wednesday will feature Life Lines performers giving us Corduroy - the bear with a lost button. This has recently become one of my son's favorite books, so I'm hoping he lasts through this performance.

The Center for Family Life is the co-sponsor of this event.

Monday, August 3, 2009

When the Park was Won - Excellent Photos and Information about the Park

The Then and Now series and the last few photos of Sunset Park in decades past have been some of the most popular posts on this site. They've also brought out some other history buffs around the neighborhood (and in farther flung places).

I received a lovely PDF link in my inbox from a neighbor. The PDF is the 1902 Annual Report for the Parks Department. It details work done on Sunset Park, as well as the acquisition of the space from 43rd to 44th Street - which completed the square footage of the Sunset Park we know today.

And here's the "rustic stairway" leading up to the park from 5th Avenue.

So cool.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

National Night Out Against Crime is in Sunset Park

It's usually been in Windsor Terrace at the Greenwood Playground, but this year the 72nd Precinct's National Night Out Against Crime will be in Sunset Park on August 4th from . Even though the article on YourNabe says it's 46th and 6th Avenue, I'm guessing they meant 44th and 6th Avenue. It's scheduled to occur from 4 PM to 8 PM.

Considering that the events are free of charge and that there are often giveaways and food available, I hope that it doesn't become a free-for-all of people who just take and don't participate. Judging from the photos from last year, the amount of people will be much larger in Sunset Park simply due to a higher level of park-goers. And UPROSE saw what happened when free food shows up.

from the article:

Every National Night Out Against Crime – there are 26 of them throughout the borough −− is free of charge, explained Matt Peskin, National Project Coordinator for the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), the sponsoring organization of National Night Out events throughout the country.

“There are no financial barriers to participating in National Night Out. That has always been our commitment, but in today’s difficult economy, it’s worth highlighting,” Peskin said. “We know communities and local law enforcement agencies are being asked to justify every expense.”

National Night Out Against Crime events are funded by their local precinct councils, as well as generous donations from local merchants and businesses.

Each National Night Out Against Crime event promises a healthy share of parades, food, treats, rides and games – just what a youngster needs for a night of crime−fighting.

This year the programs, which include cell phone and iPod etching, are going to be offered to area youngsters to stem the growing tide of teen−on−teen crime that’s surfaced in the borough.

Dog Training Opportunity in the Park

I received an email about a very interesting opportunity for Sunset Park dog owners. Apparently, some of the off-leash dog owners have already been taking advantage of this, and there is room for more.

If you're worried about your pup not returning when you call or not heeling when bikers (and police cars - more later) rush by you in the park, here's your chance to improve your doggie's disposition. I don't know if there's a behavioral guarantee, but it couldn't hurt. Check out her links at the bottom of the page.

from the informational email:

After being approached by a group of dog owners in Sunset Park, Sarah Westcott, owner/trainer of Doggie Academy, began teaching Dog Training Seminars in the park. Her seminars have been very successful and are now open to any local dog owner. They take place during off leash hours from 8am to 9am on a rotating weekday every week and meet in the fenced in area at the corner of 5th Avenue and 41st Street. The cost is $30 per dog (minimum four dogs per seminar) and Sarah accepts cash, check and Paypal payments. Contact Sarah directly if you are considering bringing multiple dogs.

Most of the behaviors that are covered in the seminars are related to off-leash park behaviors such as recall (coming when called) and leave it (for all that yummy garbage every dog manages to find). However, Sarah is open to requests from participants and will do her best to adjust lessons and exercises for those in attendance.

If you are interested in joining a Dog Training Seminar in Sunset Park, contact Sarah at or 718-812-3890. You can also join the Sunset Park Dog Training Yahoo Group to stay up to date on scheduling and to download instructions and lesson notes: To learn more about Sarah, visit her website at

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Cable and Internet Service Reviews for Sunset Park?

Update: I just found this article. Too funny.

A question from a reader:

I am tired of such unreliable internet/cable service from Time Warner (with Earthlink). I'm wondering if you have heard good reviews of (or had good experiences with) any providers? It would be good to hear from others as well.

I've already posted about my experiences with Time Warner, but what do other people think? For internet, we have Verizon (I think!) DSL - Verizon for my cell phone as well. My cell service is very spotty in the apartment; there's definitely a black hole of service on this hill. The DSL is pretty good, but it gets very slow, very often.

What are your experiences with staying connected to the world of information and communication?

Sunset Park Salads - local, easy, yummy

One month of summer down, one to go. Cooking in heat and humidity has GOT to be one of the deeper levels of Hell, don't you think? Luckily, The New York Times recently had "101 Simple Salads for the Season" from The Minimalist. It appealed to me on many levels: little heating up my steambox of an apartment, buying greens at the up the block Chinese market (baby bok choy for two at 68 cents), it makes me feel healthy, and it utilizes my greatest culinary skill - easy assembling of food.

So, I took a few minutes and gleaned the recipes that I thought were most appropriate to what we can purchase from the local Chinese and Mexican/Latin American food stores around Sunset Park. From pre-fried tofu cubes to chipotle and jicama, we have it here. I only included the numbers of many recipes, so take the time to click through and check them out. (Numbers 9, 15, 17, 41, 69, 86. 87, 89)

See the complete list for the more meat-centric salads; I didn't choose any because I wouldn't eat them. I left the numbers on the salads to help you navigate the entire article. Enjoy, and let me know how they came out!

from the article:

6. Sichuan slaw: Toss bean sprouts, shredded carrots and celery, minced fresh chili, soy sauce, sesame oil and a bit of sugar. Top with chopped peanuts and chopped basil, mint and/or cilantro. (The full trio is best.)

8. Chop or slice radishes (or jicama, or the ever-surprising kohlrabi) and combine with chopped or sliced unripe (i.e., still crunchy) mango, lime juice and mint or cilantro.

11. Chop and steam baby or grown-up bok choy until crisp-tender, then shock it in ice water. Drain, then toss with halved cherry tomatoes, capers, olive oil and lemon juice.

39. Yucatecan street food as salad: Roast fresh corn kernels in a pan with a little oil; toss with cayenne or minced chilis, lime juice and a little queso fresco. Cherry tomatoes are optional.

84. Spring rolls, unrolled: One at a time, soften a few sheets of rice paper in warm water. Drain, pat dry, cut into strips and toss with chopped cucumber, grated carrots, chopped cilantro, bean sprouts, chili flakes and chopped roasted peanuts. Dress with toasted sesame oil, fish sauce or soy sauce, and rice vinegar or lime juice. A few shrimp are a nice addition.

100. Mash a canned chipotle with some of its adobo and stir with olive oil and lime juice. Toss with drained canned hominy, fresh corn cut from the cob (or drained pinto beans), cilantro and green onions.