Sunday, September 29, 2013

Reincarnation: Piramide Restaurant Becomes Camelia.

Piramide changed it's name and identity as well as their menu a few weeks ago. It is now Camelia.  The metamorphosis is still under the same management and owners. Located over the border in Park Slope it was host to a scene in the movie "Cop Out". The restaurant has been a successful Mexican cuisine venue since it opened and a popular hotspot. If you haven't been there it's worth a visit and a taste..

Motorcycles on 8th for St. Jude

Motorcycles were everywhere on 8th Avenue in front of Spartan Souvlaki Restaurant at 68th street for the 6th Annual St. Jude Children's Hospital fund raising drive.  It seems to be a yearly event attended to by motorcycle enthusiasts from all over Brooklyn. This year they picked the spot right on the border of Sunset Park and Dyker Heights. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tragedy on 5th Avenue

Makeshift memorial on the corner of 55th st. and 5th Ave. for little Kiko Shao.

There isn't much you can say about a senseless accident, especially when the victim is a 5 year old child. Life seems so tenuous at times and things like this bring back the reality that living is a risky thing. Everyday we all run the risk of being done in by the dangers around us. The girl had an entire life ahead of her and in an instant of carelessness she was taken away. Most of us survive these instants, she did not. I would rant about driving around with loud music that dulls our sense of hearing to what's around us. Or the fact some drivers step on the gas on the yellow light or race to the next red light. But that's for another day. It seems that most of the victims of these accidents lately have been children or elderly. Today we can only mourn. In a week or so it will be another accident in the back of our minds, except of course, to the parents and relatives of that little girl who will relive and remember for the rest of their lives. May God soften their pain...

Friday, September 27, 2013

Openings: Sunset Fried Chicken & Grill

A new eatery has opened on the corner of 45th street and 5th Avenue. Featuring all kinds of regular fare as well as Mideastern Kebab and Gyro on their menu. It is part of the expansion of Arab owned businesses on the Avenue who have joined the Chinese spillover from 8th Avenue onto 5th. The signs are very similar to what you would find at a Kennedy's chicken place. Arab owned stores have been slowly making their way northward along 5th Avenue from Bay Ridge and bringing some of their cuisine with them. Part of the changes that one observes as 5th Avenue opens it's doors to new kinds of businesses serving our community.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Happenings: 5th Avenue BID turns on free WIFI on 5th

The 5th Avenue BID has started since last May to install routers and repeaters all along 5th Avenue providing free WIFI service to all those along the stretch of 5th Avenue from 38th street to 65th street. The entire avenue from those two streets has become a giant Hot Spot. From the looks of it it seems all completed. The process is on to provide free WIFI in the park itself. You can read all about it HERE. Now if we could somehow get it all over the nabe that would be a wonderful thing. But I think Time Warner might get a little bit pissed.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

News Media Hits: Sunset Park's Brooklyn Army Terminal gets write up...

Recently the Brooklyn Army Terminal located at the southern edge of Sunset Park got a write up in the Daily News. Though the article was rather interesting with some great photos and factoids it left out a lot of stuff. But hey The Daily News was never known for scholarly journalistic tomes. It is however, good to see great write ups of the nabe that doesn't include sensationalist news of crime. Most of the troops that fought in the European theater during WW II passed through the terminal and embarked to Europe from this very spot. For some rather interesting pics and history you can visit the terminal's website..

Monday, September 23, 2013

Photo of the day: Last Bloom

Earlier this morning a white flower gives it the last shot on the first day of Autumn in Sunset Park. Can Halloween be far behind?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Happenings: The NYC Marathon is coming November 3rd.

The signs are up and many businesses are getting ready. The NYC Marathon has been a part of an annual event since it's early days. This year is no different. Sunset Parkers get some of the best views as the race winds up the "Strip" of three neighborhoods. Winding it's way up Bay Ridge and into fourth Avenue in Sunset Park and Park Slope. It's a great and colorful event to capture on camera. A month and a half to go. You can catch more details at their website. Mile 5 is designated as our nabe and you can read a brief description of our nabe there.. If you have running shoes and want to join in the agony of running it they have more information on registering there as well. As for me, I'll stick to riding a bike..

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Photo of the Day: Brooklyn Baptist Church

Brooklyn Baptist Church originally built in 1915 as the Evangelical Lutheran Free-Church in Sunset Park. Brooklyn is known as the borough of churches with at least one church on every block. The change in denomination reflects the changeover when one congregation moves out and another and another one moves in. Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York..

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Eatery Of The Day: Spartan Souvlaki Greek Food

Nestled in the southern end past the Sunset Park border in Dyker Heights on 8th Avenue and 68th Street is one of the best Greek restaurants in our area. A friend of mine once told me that if you wanted to know where the best food was in a neighborhood you watched where the local cops ate. The restaurant is of course run by a Spartan family. I am not quite sure if they number 300. Every Saturday weather permitting they have a tradition of roasting a couple of whole pigs out in the front. You can visit their page on our main website here and see more photographs and menu which I am told will change in a couple of weeks. If you haven't been there and like Greek food they are worth the visit. Of course, tell them I sent you...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Photo of the Day: Maracas

I couldn't resist the colors of these Maracas and other color laden objects on sale at the 5th Avenue Festival this last Sunday..

Photos of the day: 5th Avenue Festival Sept 15, 2013

Looking towards 60th street from 48th street. It was a nice sunny day and everyone was out. The Verrazano Bridge in the distance..

From 60th street towards 39th street.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Store of the Day: Arnold's Bicycle Shop

Arnold stands by the door of his shop.

Arnold's Bike shop has been a fixture on 8th Avenue in the neighborhood since he opened his shop in the early 70's. I've been a satisfied customer of his ever since. I don't know anyone with a love of bikes as he does. I don't think he does it for the money since he charges the lowest rates of any bike shop I know. I ride about 30 miles a day and the equipment takes a lot of wear. I see Arnold quite often and he fixes things for me. He also sells a full line of quality bikes at his shop. If you're in the market for a bike check him out. He knows more about bikes than anyone I know. He's near the corner of 43rd street. You can check out his page on my website. Pay him a visit and tell him I sent you. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Happenings: Sunset Park 5th Avenue Festival Sunday Sept. 15, 2013

The Annual 5th Avenue Festival  in Sunset Park is coming this sunday September 15, 2013. There will be vendors, food and hopefully sunshine to take in the day. Stole the above shot from the 5th Ave. BID. I hope they don't mind LOL!! Get ready for some fun..


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Store Of The Day: Royal Aqua World, Bait and Tackle

With the recent closing of World Electronics on 8th Avenue the only bait and tackle shop I knew of in the neighborhood. Sunset Park's fishing community has been left with few alternatives. I had forgotten about Aqua World on 65th street and 8th Avenue till I passed by it recently. The place also doubles as an Aquarium where you can purchase Koy fish and other exotics which are big in the Chinese community. Well, if you're into fishing the place has a full selection of tackle equipment as well and of course bait to entice those little fishies to bite that hook. They're located on 65th street just off 8th Avenue.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Openings: Tin Cup Cafe

With the closest Starbucks to Sunset Park being the one in Bay Ridge at 75th street and 3rd Avenue. It's always good news when an alternative opens in the neighborhood. A few years back Starbucks was going to open a location in our neighborhood but due to financial problems it instead closed a few Brooklyn locations and plans to expand here were scrapped. So when I stumbled on the Tin Cup Cafe and the fact they offered free Wi Fi it was rather welcome. On the downside is the fact they close rather early around 7 whereas most Starbucks are open till 10 or thereabouts. That being said the price is right and the location convenient if you need a spot to sit down with your laptop and you need to do some work. They have been open a relatively short time. Part of a wave of new cafes in the Greenwood Heights neck of the Sunset Park woods. They are located at 719 4th Avenue near 24th street. Go check them out and tell them I sent you.

I will be posting on some of the other cafes in the area as well.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Photo of the Day: 911

This was my block right after 911. The neighborhood was a sea of red, white and blue. There were no Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Chinese or flags of any of the other ethnic groups that abound the neighborhood. It was all red, white and blue. There were US flags everywhere and candle light vigils. It didn't last long. Did it......

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Outings: Owl's Head Park

Although technically located across the border in Bay Ridge the park is designated as part of the Sunset Park Greenway by the Dept. of Transportation so it kind of belongs in a way partly to Sunset Park. It is one of the hidden gems in our area. Originally it was an estate that was left to the city to turn into a park. The following is a brief description from the Parks Department website;

Owl’s Head Park, Brooklyn
The Canarsie Indians and early Dutch settlers once fished along the shore and farmed the fertile soil that is now Owl’s Head Park. Henry C. Murphy, an Irish–American who held many political positions, including Mayor of Brooklyn and United States Congressman, built a mansion on the glacial ridge overlooking the harbor. In 1866 Eliphalet W. Bliss, a wealthy manufacturer, bought the estate and renovated the mansion, adding a horse stable and observatory tower known as “the castle.” In his will Bliss, who died in 1903, offered his property to New York City for less than its true value stipulating that it only be used for parkland, and in 1928 the Bliss estate was officially designated a public park. Though impressive at the time the City it, the land and structures fell into neglect with the onset of the Depression. Between 1934 and 1937 Federal funding helped convert the estate into a scenic park, incorporating the extensive collection of established trees and adding paths, playgrounds and play fields, park houses, and a seating plaza that took advantage of the magnificent vista from its southwesterly perimeter. A 2002 renovation of the park restored the historic Bliss gate that had been salvaged decades before.
The park affords a magnificent view of New York Bay and a bit of countryside in the middle of Brooklyn. As most people in the city tend to gravitate a mere seven blocks from where they live they rarely explore the boundaries beyond that. So if you live in Sunset Park and want to explore the borders of the nabe you can visit the park before winter sets in. I highly recommend it. The park is located by 68th street and Colonial road. You can walk the four blocks from fourth Avenue to it. If you live on 8th Avenue, you can take the B70 bus which stops on the  corner of 69th street (AKA Bay Ridge Ave.)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Openings: Pho And Banhmi Inc. Vietnamese sandwitches

A new eatery has popped up on 63rd street and 8th Avenue catering for the Chinese fast food market. The place was doing brisk business on it's opening day which is a good sign that it will survive. Another addition to the culinary variety that has been a hallmark of Sunset Park's destination for ethnic cuisine.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Photo of of the Day: Greenwood Cemetery Entrance

The entrance gate to Sunset Park's Greenwood Cemetery on 5th Avenue and 25th street. Built in 1861 and a City Landmark it is described in Wikipedia's article on it as:

 "The gates were designed by Richard Upjohn in Gothic Revival style. The main entrance to the cemetery was built in 1861 of Belleville brownstone. The sculptured groups depicting biblical scenes from the New Testament including Lazarus, The Widow's Son, and Jesus' Resurrection over the gateways are the work of John M. Moffitt. A Designated Landmarks of New York plaque was erected on it in 1958 by the New York Community Trust."

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Photo of the Day: Minerva

The Statue of Minerva waves to her sister the Statue of Liberty from the highest natural point in Brooklyn in Sunset Park's Greenwood Cemetery. An important engagement in the Battle of Brooklyn took place here. Troops from Delaware fought a holding action and suffered heavy casualties. They were buried where they fell. The statue commemorates the event. About 50 yards from this spot on what is appropriately named Battle Hill is the grave of celebrated American composer Leonard Bernstein. There is also a monument dedicated to the Civil War near this spot.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Photo of the Day

Elderly Chinese woman sells her homegrown plants along 8th Avenue in Brooklyn's Chinatown (now the largest in NY).