Saturday, August 31, 2013

Closings: Sneaker Warehouse No More

Sneaker Warehouse which has an interesting story behind it, is closing it's doors. Perhaps in a week or two. It's other older location on 58th street and 2nd Ave. has already closed it's doors. When Costco Warehouse Opened it's doors on 39th street and 2nd Avenue back in 1996 a guy showed up and sold high end sneakers out of a van at a lot across the street from the entrance. He was there every weekend and soon he picked up a following by word of mouth. A couple of years later Costco acquired the lot for extra parking and he had to find a new location. He found himself at 58th street near Lutheran Hospital. A couple of years later he opened another location at 39th street and 4th Avenue, the one pictured above. Like any success story this has kind of a happy ending. He is retiring and closing because business was good rather than the other way around. Looking for a deal on high end sneakers? If they have your size I would stop by and look before they close their doors for good. They will be missed. I still have a pair of Timberland shoes I got from them. At least they're not closing because the economy and business was bad. It's a success story of hard work and determination.  We all have to move  on at some point, I guess. 

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Photo of the day: Makeshift Memorial on 39th street

A makeshift memorial was put up at the spot on 39th street between 7th and 8th Ave. where Johnny Rosado aged 35 was murdered, gunned down in the early morning hours of Saturday August 24, 2013.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Closings; Wah Fung Mall Experiment Over

In what was the first of the Hong Kong style malls on 8th Avenue filled with small stalls and all kinds of services and fashion boutiques which opened four years ago. The mall has fallen victim to a combination of factors in the neighborhood. Though it catered mostly to Chinese it  was an interesting place to browse. It also got hefty competition from various other smaller malls that opened in the area. There is also the new larger and more elegant (complete with a food court) mall that opened at Fei Long Market on 63rd street. The only constant in Sunset Park these days is change..

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Closings: Podlasie Meat Market and Deli

The last store catering to the dwindling and disappearing Polish community on 8th Avenue has closed. The location will likely be taken over by a Chinese store as 8th Avenue is becoming almost exclusively Chinese from 65th street to 39th street. Last week I reported on the abrupt closing of  World Electronics another Polish owned store that catered to the Polish community and others. Many Poles have either returned back to Poland or moved elsewhere. If there is one constant in our neighborhood it is change. The demographics are changing. More and more Chinese are moving in and spreading towards 5th Avenue. A wave of gentrification is slowly making it's way south from the Greenwood Heights section of Sunset Park driving out the Hispanic population and others who can no longer afford to live in certain parts of Sunset Park.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Murder on 39th street

It is dark night at 1 AM or a little after and I hear pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop and instinctively I knew it was gunfire from a pistol. Less than a second later I hear a scream, a woman screaming and the sound of a car burning rubber. Someone got shot. I run downstairs and I see a commotion across the street. I approach the scene and there is someone on the sidewalk on the ground with massive bleeding to the head. Immediately I fear it's fatal.

This scene is being repeated in our neighborhood with more frequency and throughout the city more frequently and even across the nation. Another useless, senseless killing over nothing. Since the revocation of the "stop and frisk" policy murder has seen an uptick in South Brooklyn and particularly in our neighborhood. The politically correct opportunist cowards who represent us and live in guarded apartment buildings have just made the neighborhood a lot less safer and far more dangerous to live in when they over rode the Mayor's veto of two bills which essentially do away with policies that were responsible for the huge downturn in crime in our neighborhood. They don't have to live among us, they get to make social experiments, but we pay the price. In my conversations with some of the police officers at the scene, some of whom were also  Hispanics, they related to me that they will do as little as possible to effectively curtail crime because the bills put them personally at risk of being sued. from one of the articles on the recent votes in the city council  ""Opponents feared the bills would have a chilling effect on police. “It will send paralysis throughout the ranks of the NYPD,” said Councilman Vincent Ignizio (R-Staten Island). “That hands off approach nets what? Additional murders, additional crimes.”"

This morning a man is dead, one of my neighbors. Nothing can change what has occurred. But perhaps had these thugs been stopped and frisked or stopped for any reason I would not have to rant this morning. We have the toughest gun control laws in the nation. And yet, thugs still manage to obtain them. The tactics employed by the NYPD were working to keep crime low. Those of us who are long time residents remember what it was like here in the 70's. Sunset Park was THE "Needle Park". The DEA practically occupied 4th Avenue and we still had one of the highest crime and homicide rates in the city. I fear that we may be headed in that direction. We need to reverse course and put back into place what worked. Even if that riles the crap out of some people who are over sensitive. As a Hispanic I don't mind being stopped and frisked. It rarely happens though. I don't dress like a thug and I am at the age where I would not be thought of as a criminal. This is not the time for "progressive" social engineering or feel good policies because some idiot got dissed or thinks he got stopped for some imaginary reason. A man is dead this morning and I can't get my head around the fact that it was pointless, useless and because some young thug felt dissed and the cowardly piece of shit thought he had to pull out a gun and blast away to stroke his bruised animal ego. Both the victim and the perps were Hispanic, as it is with most crime these days in minority communities the criminal and the victim are of the same demographic. Let's stop the bullshit and stop playing politics with our safety and that of our neighbors and their children./ END RANT

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Popeyes is open and ready for business

Things move quickly in our Chinatown. Popeyes is now open on 61st street and 7th Avenue. If you are into fast food chicken and are looking for an alternative to KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken or Kennedy's, here it is. I reported a couple of weeks ago that they had moved from their location on 8th Avenue. When I passed by the location was busy with people coming in and out of the place. I think they will do very well at their new location. Anybody hungry for some chicken?

Sunset Park, Bay Ridge ferry extended till January 2014

The recently reopened ferry service to Manhattan due to disruptions on the R train has been extended until January of next year so reports the Daily News. A campaign has started in some of the other neighborhoods being served by the ferry to make this change permanent. Perhaps the residents of Bay Ridge and Sunset Park should start a similar effort. The flier below appeared in a Queens publication the Queens Gazette  also served by the ferry.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Photos of the day: Changes

If there is one constant in Sunset Park it's the changes going on around us. I noticed throughout the web they still refer to the old Hong Kong Supermarket which changed hands over a year ago and is now the New York Mart. So I took a shot from three years ago in 2010 and a shot I took yesterday to reflect the change. Sorry the quality is poor, but you get the idea..

Then 2010

Now 2013

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Photos of the day: Fei Long Food Court

If you haven't been to the Food Court in Fei Long Market on 8th Avenue and 63rd Street you definitely need to take a visit. Thee food court is located in the center of a Hong Kong style mall. An expansion of the huge Chinese supermarket the makes up the major part of the complex. The food court features Chinese style fast food of all types. It's a cheaper alternative to all the restaurants in the are in New York's largest Chinatown..

Video review of Sunset Park

In my meanderings on the web on Youtube I found this little video of our Park. I am thinking myself of doing a video addition to my website as well. I wanted to see what other videos were out there. Enjoy..

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Kings Construction Supplies has finally left it's location on 39th street between 8th and 9th Avenues. Kings was a fixture in the neighborhood and was at this location when I first moved here in 1970. The early years the company was owned by Greeks who sold it to Chinese investors about a decade ago. It since grew to be a fixture throughout the borough as they opened other locations. It remains to be seen who the new owners are. The site had been for sale for quite sometime. Currently the site is zoned as a commercial site but so was the lot across the street from it which later became The Kings Hotel. It remains to be seen what will become of the empty property now. The Hotel business in the nabe is booming due to it's close proximity to transit, cheaper rates than Manhattan and only a half hour by subway from midtown Manhattan. We will have to see if this location will materialize as another commercial site or a residential or perhaps another hotel. We shall have to see. We will keep you posted..

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Photo of the Day: Dangerous intersection.

Someone painted the silhouette on the intersection of 65th street and sixth Avenue where a cyclist was killed on June 28th by a Hit and Run driver. The stories were covered by both the NY Post and The Daily News


Popeyes reopening at new location

Popeyes fast food restaurant which used to be located on 64th street and 8th Avenue has almost finished construction of it's new location at 61st street and 7th Avenue. Why the move was initiated we have no clue. It probably has something to do with the skyrocketing rents in the commercial strips of the neighborhood as leases run out. We don't know when they will open at the new location but by the looks of things construction appears to be almost complete and we can assume it will be fairly soon. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

AM New York Does Sunset Park

AM New York did a writeup on the neighborhood at the end of May which I stumbled on. At least they comment on the borders and as old timers know the nabe begins at 17th street. In any case, it makes for interesting reading.

Closings: World Electronics on 8th Avenue

An institution in the nabe since 1986  abruptly closed it's doors as the end of July came. World Electronics which specialized in all types of electronics and FISHING TACKLE AND BAIT fell victim to the changing demoghraphics and economics of the neighborhood. The store catered to the East European community (mostly Polish) and old timers in the area. Just recently the New York Times had done a story on the place which included a slide show.  If you were a local area fishing afficionado  it was the only place you coulkd get bait and equipment. Located on the corner of 46th street and 8th Avenue it is just one of many non Chinese stores that is closing it's doors as our Chinatown spreads ever closer to completely dominating 8th Avenue from 65th street to 39th street. As buildings change hands the new owners raise the rents and make it imposssible for old establishments to stay afloat. That combined with a shrinking clientele that is moving out of the area makes for change which is a constant in this neighborhood. We are sorry to see them go. The owner told me he may open somewhere else. Now I will have to find out where else I can get fish bait in the area.

The Ferry is Back!

In a story tiled Rockaway Ferry To Make Additional Stop At Brooklyn's Sunset Park NY1 reports that the ferry will begin making stops at Sunset Park. Our nabe had ferry service right after 911 happened and then the subsidies ran out. You can see a video report at the site. According to the story..

"Beginning Monday, the Rockaway Ferry will be making a new stop at Brooklyn's Sunset Park.

It's part of a pilot program extending service to the 58th Street Pier, at least through Labor Day.

The announcement comes as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to disrupt R train service for more than a year so that post-storm repairs can be made to the Montague Street tunnel, which connects Brooklyn to Manhattan.

That work is scheduled to begin this Friday."

The 58th street pier for those new to the nabe has an entrance right by the front gate of the old Army Terminal. How long the service will last is anybody's guess though...

CORRECTION: The Daily News reports the return is only for one month while they repair the R subway line.