Thursday, November 14, 2013

Track crime in Sunset Park or any other neighborhood.

There is a nifty website where you can track reported crime in your neighborhood and not just the major ones that don't make the news. It is interesting to see the patterns of reported crime in the neighborhood. My only objection is that they track the crimes in the Greenwood Heights section as a separate neighborhood even though it is technically still part of Sunset Park. To check out the latest crime statistics for the neighborhood simply click on the link to the SPOTCRIME.COM website. 


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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Green dot scam confidence game going around the nabe

The Sunset Park BID posted a Notice on their Facebook Page about a scam that is apparently going around Brooklyn. I assume similar scams are being perpetrated across the country. 

I am reposting it here so that it gets a wider audience..

Please be aware of a scam that is making a comeback.

NEW YORK – Con Edison is warning customers not to fall for a scam in which a caller says the customer must make a payment by purchasing a Green Dot Money Pak to avoid having utility service turned off.

These callers are not from Con Edison and Con Edison does not authorize payments of electric or gas bills by pre-paid debit cards such as the Green Dot Money Pak. While many retail stores accept the Green Dot Money Pak for payment, Con Edison does not.

The company has received reports from hundreds of customers who were contacted by the scammers. The scammer tells the customer the company will turn off service unless the customer makes a bill payment by purchasing a Green Dot pre-paid card.

The scammers sometimes even tell the customer about a store near the customer's home that sells Green Dot cards. The scammer instructs the customer to pay cash to put money on the card and to then provide the number on the card to the person who called.

Once the customer provides the Green Dot card number, the scammer steals the money on the card by transferring the money to a pre-paid card and cashing that card at an automated-teller machine.

There have even been reports of these scammers making a Con Edison phone number show up on the customer's caller ID.

Be alert if anyone asks you by telephone to arrange for pre-paid debit cards of any kind as payment for your bill, or to send money to an out-of-state address. Never arrange payment or divulge account or personal information, including debit or credit card information, over the telephone, unless you are certain you are speaking to a Con Edison representative.

In addition, Con Edison warns customers against imposters coming to their home and claiming to be from the company. Any Con Edison employee arriving at your home or business to read your meter will have a visible photo identification badge.

Feel free to ask or check for identification before allowing anyone into your home or business. If you feel the person at your door may be an imposter, you can call 1-800-75CONED (1-800-752-6633) to check.

Anyone who feels they may have been a target of an imposter or Green Dot scam should call their local police department. They may also call Con Edison.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Bar of the Day: Irish Haven

The Irish Haven Bar on the corner of 4th Avenue and 58th is one of the few bars left that date back to when the neighborhood area had an Irish population. How long that will last we don't know. As long as the bar makes money it will still be there. Gone are some bars that were part of the history and folklore of Sunset Park. The Tollgate bar which dated back to the depression on 39th street and 8th closed back in the mid 1990's. The Rainbow Cafe on 5th and 39th also closed a few years back. Still there are a few bars left from that bygone era and this is one of them. 


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Closings: Papa's Pizza & Grill

Papa's Pizza and Grill on 4th Avenue and 44th street fell victim to changing demographics and changes in food tastes in the neighborhood. The pizzeria had been struggling for sometime and it was only a matter of time before it closed. The increasing Mexican population around it is more in tune with their own ethnic food and don't frequent pizzerias as often. With more Mexican places and Delis opening all around offering more fast food choices the pickings were slim. It remains to be seen what will replace it. 4th Avenue is a difficult location to start an eatery. It doesn't get anywhere near the foot traffic that 5th Avenue does. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Openings: Guias Y Angeles

Guias Y Angeles is a new Botanica type store that opened on 4th Avenue between 34th and 35th streets. The place is different in the sense that the store got a complete renovation and the interior is clean and almost seems upscale in comparison to other Botanicas in the neighborhood. If you are one of the local residents that frequents these types of businesses the place is worth a visit. The store carries a wide array of statues, rosaries and other paraphernalia. Drop them a visit and tell them you saw it on the blog.. 

The same location in another time as a bodega. The opening of a newer bodega down the blog must have provided stiff competition and resulted in its' closing.


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Weekend: Farmer's Market in Sunset Park Last Day Next Week

Every neighborhood has a Farmers Market. Ours occurs on weekends on the corner of 60th street and 4th Avenue. It has been on for several years and it seems to still be going strong. Next Saturday November, 16  is the last day for this season that it will be open. The market is open from June until mid November every year. You can get more information at their website Here.


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Friday, November 8, 2013

Art in the Hood: Rite Aid Mural on 4th Becomes New Local Landmark

The mural on the Rite Aid store at 63rd street and 4th Avenue is well on it's way to becoming a new local landmark. The completed mural depicts scenes of Brooklyn but none of the neighborhood. The manager had told me that they were discussing doing a mural  on the Rite Aid on 5th and hopefully that will include scenes of the neighborhood such as the gate at Greenwood Cemetery or Battle Hill where an important engagement of the Battle of Brooklyn took place. Whatever turns out the mural on 4th is a nice piece of  mural art which has evolved from graffiti.  As time goes on and more people in the neighborhood become aware of it the more it will become known. Below are links to our previous postings on the mural since it's inception. Of note is also the fact that this Rite Aid becomes one of the few pharmacies in Brooklyn that is now open 24 hours..

Related Link: Changes on the wall...

More photos below..

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Chinese Funeral in Sunset Park

As I was walking down 8th Avenue this morning I stumbled upon a Chinese funeral. You don't often see them for some reason in Sunset Park. In front of what once was a Norwegian Funeral Home until recent times a band dressed in Chinese style military dress uniforms was playing in front. A priest apparently not Buddhist was in front making motions and it appeared they were about to exit the parlor. One is used to mostly Christian funerals in Sunset Park but this was a rare occasion. The Norwegian Funeral Home that used to be there closed when at some point it appears they ran out of customers. Now it is Chinese and since the changeover  I never saw a funeral taking place there. It looks as if business may pick up. After all, a lot of new potential customers have moved into the area and I suspect we will see more funerals coming out of that place.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

New Bar: Super Collider Bar

Located just inside our border at 4th Avenue and 17th street in what Realtors have dubbed the Greenwood Heights section of Sunset Park is the Bar Super Collider which opened a few months ago. At first I thought that it was named after the CERN Linear Accelerator in Europe but the owner of the bar Robert explained to me that the name stems from a meeting of coffee and beer drinkers and their colliding tastes. Robert is not new to the bar business. His previous bar was "RIFIFI" from 1998 to 2008 it was a popular watering hole in the East Village in Manhattan. The name I suppose was taken from the classic French film of the same name.  In any case, he sold that bar and moved into our area. I guess he missed the bar business because he decided to open this location. They do have music and at the moment it is acoustic open mike stuff on the weekends. Oh, and by the way, they also serve coffee. Drop in and check the place out and tell them we sent you.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunset Park Does The New York Marathon

The spire of Saint Michael's Church rises in the background in this shot of a sea of people running down 4th Avenue in today's marathon.

Wall to wall runners along 4th Avenue seen from 39th street in the direction of Park Slope..

Running past McDonald's, not time for a burger..

Entertainment was available all along the avenue for the runners. This band is named Platinum Mustache. You can find out more about them Supremacy Entertainment.

Another band entertaining the runners was The Love Button Band. It turns out that the bass player is also one of the owners of our renowned Tabla Rasa Gallery on 48th street.  Visit their websites to learn more about them..

The street is littered by 23rd street at a water station handing out Gatorade and Poland Spring water..

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Openings: Envios and Internet Services Hailey

There is a new cellphone and computer repair place on fourth Avenue and 42nd street that has opened up recently to serve the underserved western side of the nabe on the other side of 3rd Avenue. There are few places on the other side of 5th avenue serving the mostly Hispanic community as you go towards the western side of the nabe. It was started by a young guy who felt there was a need for someone who knew both the language and the culture of that part of the neighborhood which has a heavy concentration of Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Hondurans, Guatemalans, others from Central America as well as Colombians. The place does laptop and computer repairs as well as fixing cellphones. Things like broken screens which are quite common these days on the new smartphones we all carry. Soon the location will carry services by the major phone providers and will also offer wire money transfer services with many of the immigrants in that part of the neighborhood needing those services to send money back home to their families in their impoverished countries. If you're in that side of the neighborhood drop in and say hello to them and tell them we sent you. They can also be found on the cyber mall on our website here..

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Art in the Hood: Bansky strikes in Sunset Park

The celebrated UK street artist who has been playing a hide and seek game with the NYPD Graffiti squad has hit our neighborhood. A crew from the Gothamist went down to take pictures. But why a truck? Don't we have enough empty walls in the nabe? Should we consider it an insult that he painted a truck which could drive away rather than a wall which would be more permanent? In any case, which so much negative stuff happening in the nabe these last few days it makes for a bit more lighthearted happening. The question is. Is thee above art or vandalism? I rather opine for the latter. Nothing artistic about the above. A third grader could have painted that. Common Bansky! If you're going to invade our neighborhood paint something more "artistic".

Related links:

Crime: More Murder In The Hood

Police respond in Sunset Park (NBC New York)

Sunset Park was in the news again and not in a good way. It seems the stories coming out of the neighborhood involve violence or murder lately and no ethnic group in the nabe has been left untouched. This time both the perp and the victims were Chinese. Gothamist has the best story on the incident so far. Something is up in the neighborhood. Maybe it's my perception but after a period of relative low crime there seems to be an uptick of  murder and tragedy. It seems to be a citywide problem but you tend to pay attention when it's in your back yard in streets and parts you are very familiar with. Something is up and perhaps we should investigate what's happening and why. Let's hope for better days ahead free of violence and mayhem and hope that stories coming out of neighborhood in the news have a more positive note.

Related Links:

Openings: Tommy's Famous Cheesesteak and Pizza in Park Slope

Tommy's Cheesesteak and Pizza is a relatively new eatery just over the border in Park Slope and the newest addition to our cybermall in our website. Their page allows for ordering online and has links to their own website. The guy who owns the place is of course named Tommy and is originally from Philadelphia, thus the reason for the cheesesteaks. The place is set up more like an upscale pizzeria which fits the template for Park Slope. Tommy has a branch in Philadelphia and had another pizzeria in another part of Brooklyn before selling it and moving to his current location in Park Slope. It's located just off the corner of 9th street and 5th Avenue. Their specialty item is of course Cheesesteaks and they do good pizza too. It's an Italian owned and run place which may be bucking the trend with all these pizzerias run by non Italians that have proliferated in the city. Besides their regular pizzas and great cheesesteaks try their Grandma's pizza which is made with marinara sauce. It's worth the visit and nice to get out of Sunset Park every once in a while. You can see their full menu here. They do deliver so if you are in reasonable proximity you can order online or by phone. If you do stop in and try their stuff tell them you found out about it here and that I sent you....

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Art in The Hood: UPROSE mural 25th street and 4th Avenue

This mural on the corner of 25th street and 4th Avenue done last year by the same crew from Groundswell that did the mural on 7th Avenue takes the whole side of the C Town supermarket located on the same corner. It's on the section of Sunset Park which real estate agents for marketing reasons have dubbed Greenwood Heights. It's a rather impressive mural to see and rather than being done by a professional crew it is even more impressive for the fact that it was done by volunteer students..