Showing posts with label 11220. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 11220. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Really Want a Stop Sign on My Block - full circle

Almost a year and nine months ago, I started Best View in Brooklyn with this post about wanting a stop sign on my block.  That post came about eight months after I helped collect signatures for the Friends of Sunset Park's petition to have traffic calming measures installed on 41st and 44th Streets at 6th Avenue, two heavily used entrances to Sunset Park itself.  An on-line petition was also created to collect signatures for a stop sign and/or other traffic calming.   Now, two and a half years after those initial (at least to me) petitions, there's still nothing but speeding cars, fearful street crossers, and disgruntled residents - some of whom have been hit or come too close to being hit by cars at that intersection.

Monday, November 30, 2009

McBrooklyn Supplies the Lowdown on Getting Food Stamps

These days, a lot of people who thought they'd never need assistance, do.  McBrooklyn has the information and links on how to apply for food stamps here

And if you're fortunate enough to not worry about your next meal, consider donating cash or food to one of Sunset Park's food pantries.  They're doing a great job, but they really need some support.

United Methodist (47th and 4th) provided a Thanksgiving meal to many people, and their pantry line is always very long on Thursdays.  I met the pastor there last week, and he's a really great guy.  Check out this link from May for more information.

Only Two Truck Routes in Sunset Park - 39th and 65th

Bet you didn't know there were only two side streets that trucks are supposed to take if they don't have a local delivery.  Here on 44th Street, it sure seems like we've got one of the truck routes based on the number of trucks that go barreling up the hill.  (I know, how do they barrel UP the hill?  But they do!)

Don't believe me about the 39th and 65th Street (and a little of 60th Street) deal?  Here, look

The blue lines are LOCAL truck routes, and the red are THROUGH truck routes.  

Friday, November 27, 2009

Very Free Market Goes Seasonal - Got Stuff to Bring?

On this Black Friday, here's an antidote to some of the craziness. (Of course, I also strongly encourage frequenting the retail stores in Sunset Park!)

The monthly Very Very Free Market that recently moved to United Methodist, is going daily. Of course anyone is welcome to participate, but the focus for those who "buy" from the store is those who truly need items. The way the store works is people bring items they no longer want or need, and they take items that are new to them.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Shop Brooklyn has Sunset Park Action

Marty Markowitz's Shop Brooklyn campaign includes some Sunset Park stores this holiday season.  Okay, so it's only three stores (so far), but that's three better than when I checked last week. 

Keep your cash local, or at least give the stores a chance to impress you.  Stop in, check them out, and buy if you like what you see.  The holiday lights are already on, and the holiday music (this year some songs will be sung by talented school children from around the area) will begin on Friday.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hurts So Good (Reflexology at Ocean Spa)

My foot-rub room with music, good smells, sanitized and HOT towels, and a little friend on the wall. *

Hoof it on down to Ocean Spa on 8th Avenue and 49th Street for a pretty darn excellent foot rub.  I was torn between a Swedish massage and a reflexology treatment, and ultimately I chose my feet over my back because I didn't feel like stripping and I had a finite amount of time and money to spend.

I had a two-year-old SpaFinder gift certificate for $50 that I wanted to spend in the neighborhood.  I know Home Spa in Carroll Gardens takes them, and O Spa in Bay Ridge takes them, but I wanted to stay close and I wanted to keep the funds in Sunset Park.  After a quick search on the internet, I found that Ocean Spa is the only Sunset Park spa that takes SpaFinder gift certificates!  Decision made.

What $100 Gets You in Sunset Park

At least, I think that's what it says across this bespectacled Tweety's forehead.  He was hanging (maybe still is) by the 5th Avenue side of the park.  Poor guy.  Reminds me of when I found this.

Monday, November 23, 2009

8th Avenue Provides Affordable Cuts and Rubs

The last time I got my hair cut, with a guy named Sam who works out of a nail salon on 8th and 41st, we were in the throes of winter.  Last week, I figured it was about time I neatened up the 'do, and since Sam's price is right ($20), I headed over to the salon hoping he'd be able to take me right away.  No go, so I decided to walk along 8th until I found a place that was relatively empty (not too difficult at 10:20 AM on a weekday).  The first place I found seemed appropriate for someone about to turn 40.

C'mon. Venus and Cool in the same place?  You know I had to go here to live the fantasy, if only for an hour.  Besides, it said women's hair was $15 and up, so I knew it was for me.   (That price is pretty standard for 8th Avenue, but I can only vouch for this place as not being a "bait and switch" for longer/thicker hair.)

Anyway, they whisked me in and settled in to one of those amazing hair-wash-scalp-massages that Chinese run salons do.  This one was amazing.  Not only did I get my scalp scrubbed, but she also massaged my shoulders and arms and back for a minute or so.  That alone was worth the $18 I shelled out for the cut.  Really.

The stylist didn't speak much English, so the receptionist/head scrubber translated.  He was shocked when I showed him how much I wanted chopped off (I mean, if I only go once a year...), so he wanted to double-check.  It was a basic, quick, clean cut.  He seemed to know what he was doing, but I never get anything that you could call a style, so I guess I'm a bad judge/test case. 

He was also shocked (and double-checked with the translator) that I didn't want my hair blown straight.  It just looks foolish on me; it's even more foolish than the Rosanne Roseannadanna look I get when a hair dryer comes near me.  I reassured him that five minutes in the wind and damp weather would calm  the wild, poofy look he so feared.  I was charged $18 plus tips for him and the head scrubber.  It may have ended up being a $20 charge had he needed the time to blow it straight.  (It took 45 minutes on my hair last time I allowed it.)

An aside to parents:  A woman came in with her one year old, and she held him on her lap while they cut and colored her hair.  She explained to me that a babysitter is too expensive, so she had to bring him.  I guess their color must be pretty cheap, too.  Anyway, the salon was totally fine with it, and if your kid can sit in a stroller while you get your hair done, it's a way to save on the babysitting.  Of course, this was on a weekday in the AM.  I wouldn't suggest it for afternoons or weekends.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Work Back on at 713 43rd

After a Stop Work Order was issued on October 5th, 2009 for working without a permit, we had about six weeks of a lonely crane sitting on top of the building.  Now that the SWO has been rescinded, it seems that everyone is ready to get going.  Or, at least, the gates are open and materials are waiting.

 During the six week no-work period, the graffiti on the neighboring structure has been building up.  Farther down the street, another house is for sale and the demo/construction of the oversized lot at 765 has been in-process since their SWO was rescinded.  It will be an 8-unit dwelling.  A nice balance to this 10-unit dwelling.  Bookends, really. 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

CB 7's Thanksgiving Food Drive Ends Tomorrow!

Check out your cupboards or buy something on the way over or bring a five-dollar bill to the office. 

from The Brooklyn Eagle's reminders of various opportunities/needs:

Community Board 7’s Thanksgiving Food Drive
CB 7 is accepting donations of canned goods and non-perishable items, such as boxed cereals, cookies, cake mix, canned/bagged coffee, rice, pasta, baby food, juices, water, sweets, etc. Donations will benefit the food pantries serving the CB 7 District. Bring your donations to the office at 4201 Fourth Ave. no later than Friday, Nov. 20. If you wish to make a monetary donation, please call the office at (718) 854-0003 or e-mail communityboard7@ for further information. Board 7 is also holding a holiday gift drive, accepting donations of unwrapped new toys and clothing for girls and boys (infant to age 12) through December 18.

Sunset Park Gang Activity Gets Brooklyn Eagle Treatment

The Brooklyn Eagle has an article about the anti-gang efforts of the 72nd Precinct, led by Deputy Inspector Pintos.  The article mentions specifics from the gang awareness forum as well as tips for parents in recognizing signs that your child may be flirting with (or embracing) gang membership. 

from the article:

One front is using increased enforcement in targeted areas with proactive arrests. The second front enrolls the entire community in the "Gangs 101 Course" taught by NYPD Gang Division cops to other cops. Pintos said that without that, parents would lose their children to the gangs.

How's The Air Up There?

Walking in the park last night, I noticed these strange boxes hanging on a lamppost.  They add a lot to the sunset and torn banner, don't you think?  

 Upon closer inspection, my friend and I ruled out security cameras, sirens, and solar panels to help light the lamps.  All we had to do was check the bottom of the locked suitcases, of course.

Air pollution  monitors!  It says to call 311 with any questions.  When I exclaimed (in my eternal optimism), "Hey!  It's monitoring our air!  That's great!"  A passerby commented, "Yeah, but we can't find out the results."  Well, I say take this to 311 over and over:  5835.  That's the number on the boxes.  And according to the other markings, they will monitor the air until 12/2/09.

Call 311 for the results.  And if you are told the results aren't yet available, set up an alert for a week later and call again.

What You See in Sunset Park: Secret Messages

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Free Market at 4th Avenue Methodist this Saturday

If you are considering donating to or receiving from the Free Market, keep in mind that to continue a valuable event like this we need to be respectful of all participants.  I suggest that if you are dropping off many items (more than you can carry in one bag or armload) that you bring a friend to assist.  I know I will need some help to carry stuff.  Any takers? 

One woman who went to drop off items was practically surrounded when she arrived and some of her personal items were almost taken by overly enthusiastic participants - including her car seats!   Her impression was that these aggressive people were not there for themselves but for business or re-sale purposes.   I've heard from one of the organizers that some people have actually been banned.  Even a tiny minority of people who behave like this can affect the entire event by keeping people who want to bring/donate items away.  At the last event, many people were able to find items that they truly needed for their families or friends.  Let's hope that this worthwhile event will continue to help members of our community for a long time.

from the informational email:


FROM 2 TO 6 PM SATURDAY NOV 21 (in time for the Holidays!)

Indoors in the Social Hall of Fourth Ave Methodist Church at 379 47th St

R train to 45 St; Walk 2 Blocks; Right on 47th St; (enter between 3rd & 4th Ave)



(* Expeditionary Grocery Trash Rescue Mission Task Force Meets @ TD Bank, corner of Court & Montague in Brooklyn Heights, Fri 20th @ 9 pm)




Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bibliobus Returns to Sunset Park

Starting up again on November 18th, the Bibliobus will return to Sunset Park every Wednesday afternoon to share library services and Spanish language books with our community.

The location for the winter months will be in front of the Recreation Center at 7th Avenue and 43rd Street. It will be there from 1:30 PM to 4 PM.

You can sign up for a library card, return books from the Bibliobus or any Brooklyn Library branch, take out books, and even take out videos and CDs.

What You See in Sunset Park: Holiday Carts

These three shopping carts have been chained to a street sign for almost a week. Could it be street art?

Or just a sad, deserted form of transportation for a couple of stuffed animals?

The teddy bear looks more forlorn than the snowman despite his more comfortable placement.

There's a nice shiny chain holding them onto the sign.

What's your guess? Deserted? Lost? Stolen? Waiting for a pick-up?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Contest Winner: OLPH

Thank you to everyone who sent in contest entries (serious or silly) to vie for a copy of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Some of the other suggestions for the contest from last week included St. Michael's spire, Maria's Bistro Mexicano, Polish Delis, and the guy who wanders around pushing a shopping cart and wearing a Lady Liberty foam hat on his head. However, the clear stand-out was an entry that seems strange considering its subject has been such a fixture in Sunset Park.

Thanks to Tony Giordano for sending in this photo and explanation about Our Lady of Perpetual Help on 5th Avenue. He explains why such a long-time piece of Sunset Park could still seem "out of place." Naturally, OLPH doesn't need much explanation as to how it adds to the community.

See Tony's explanation for his choice below:

My nomination is OLPH - Our Lady of Perpetual Help

The scale of the building is far beyond that of any other building in the community (well, I would have to leave out the Brooklyn Army Terminal and the public housing unit on 4th Avenue & 24th Street) is monumental in size and architecture. It is surrounded by extra wide sidewalks on two sides, setting it apart from the two and three story buildings that are nearby. It is designated as not just a church, but a basilica - making it a special structure in the Roman Catholic religion. I believe it may be the largest church structure on all of Long Island - installation of Bishops take place there. While there are over 150 cathedrals in the U.S. there are only 15 basilicas. There are over 20 organizations associated with the building - including a school, youth groups and ethnic groups meeting to support their mutual faith in their native languages.

OLPH certainly is unusual for any community and is certainly an important, crucial element of the community.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What You See in Sunset Park: Pre-Holiday Recycling

This mini-tree was on 5th Avenue, and it came with its own plug and star top. I wonder if someone picked it up for the coming holiday season?

Sunset Park's Chinatown Has the Best Chinese Food Outside of China

Seriously. It's not my amateurish, naive opinion. It was printed in The Brooklyn Eagle, and it's Andrew Coe, a full-fledged, published author, who said it:

from the article:

So where can one go for the real stuff? Coe fully contends that the best Chinese food he’s had outside of China can be found in Brooklyn’s own Sunset Park. He particularly recommends the dim sum at Pacificana (813 55th St. at 8th Ave.), soups at Lanzhou Hand Pulled Noodles (5924 8th Ave.), Cantonese dinner at Lucky Eight (5204 8th Ave.), and spicy cold rice noodles at Yun Nan Snacks (775 49th St.)

I'm currently reading Andrew Coe's Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese food in the United States (thanks to Eat It: The Brooklyn Food Blog), and so far it's very informative and entertaining. As any parent of young children knows, a book that can be read in a months-long string of ten minute chunklets is a gift. This one manages to be that book without feeling too fluffy or simple.

So anyway, this Andrew Coe thinks that Sunset's Chinese food is the best anywhere outside of China. Yay! Click on the Brooklyn Eagle link above to find out what his favorite meal in Sunset Park's Chinatown is.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Maria's Will Warm You Up

Jalapeno infused tequila shot

Until last night, I'd never stopped in to Maria's just for drinks; it was always the lunch special, brunch special, or guacamole (yum!) that brought me there. Now I've been introduced to the nightlife - Maria's Bistro Mexicano style. And it was good.

We (five Sunset Park moms sans strollers, partners, kids) sat at the bar and had a grand old time. Troy (manager/barkeep) let us know that there was a seasonal margarita available: Pumpkin. None of us were too excited about that idea. Pumpkin? He said that it's made with real pumpkin puree. It didn't sound particularly appetizing, but a woman in the dining area ordered one - perhaps as a dessert drink? - and it came with some whipped cream. She seemed quite pleased with the result.

After we got our order of sangrias, beer, and wine, Troy gave us a shot of the pumpkin margarita to taste. And you know, it was really, really good. It wasn't super sweet, and it still tasted like a margarita - just with pumpkin. Somehow it went well together. One of our group got it as her second drink, and she said it was very tasty (she didn't have whipped cream). So, I suggest that if it sounds good to you, try it...perhaps as an after dinner drink.

The sangria is always a solid go-to choice, but if you're looking for something a little different, don't overlook the shelves behind the bar. There are three bottles with various tequila infusions. Blueberry, strawberry, and jalapeno tequila. Two of us got the jalapeno, and while the bite was slight, there was a nice flavor that followed the tequila. Troy said that when it was first made, the jalapeno flavor really screamed for attention. Maybe he'll make a new bottle soon for those who want some pain with their drinks.

With karaoke on Saturday nights (10 PM), excellent bar food (I saw fried avocado on the menu, but didn't try it), and lots of light and more serious drinks to choose from, Maria's will definitely help to keep Sunset Park warm this winter.