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Photo by John Marra

Photo by John Marra

NBC’s upcoming spy thriller “Allegiance” will be filming in Bensonhurst tomorrow.

Actors and crew members will be milling around 17th Avenue between 78th Street and 81rst Street as early as 6am, a location manager told us. The show, which stars Gavin Stenhouse as a rookie CIA agent, looks pretty great.

Here’s the premise via NBC:

Alex O’Connor, a young idealistic CIA analyst specializing in Russian affairs, learns a shocking secret and his close-knit, affluent family is about to be split apart when it’s revealed that his parents, Mark (Scott Cohen) and Katya (Hope Davis), are covert Russian spies deactivated decades ago. But today the Kremlin has re-enlisted them into service as they plan a terrorist operation inside the U.S. border that will bring America to its knees.

Personally, I’m hoping to bump into Scott Cohen, or as I choose to think of him, Max Medina from “Gilmore Girls.” (Am I the only one who wishes Lorelei ended up with Max?) The pilot is expected to air sometime in January 2015.

Anyway, if you happen to see any film crews, trailers, or actors, snap a couple photos and send them to and we’ll post them up on the site.

Also, if you live on the aforementioned blocks, don’t forget to move your car! If you can’t move your vehicle before 10pm tonight, call 311 with your license plate number and it will be moved to another parking space, free of charge.

Community Board 11's offices at 2214 Bath Avenue (Source: Google Maps)

Community Board 11’s offices at 2214 Bath Avenue (Source: Google Maps)

By Kimberly Connor

Community Board 11’s meeting on November 20 focused heavily on the hot-button issue of illegal home conversions, the practice of subdividing one or two-family homes into single room occupancy dwellings. Also discussed were problematic parking laws on New Utrecht Avenue and the date of the annual Festa di Santa Rosalia.

Illegal Home Conversions

Bob Cassara of the Brooklyn Housing Preservation Alliance made a passionate plea for increased vigilance and swift action on the part of local residents and politicians regarding illegal conversions.

“It’s an extreme danger for the residents of these buildings and their neighbors,” said Cassara. “It also places a huge stress on our schools, police department, fire department, and other resources.”

Cassara mentioned a fire that destroyed an illegally converted building in Flatbush on Wednesday. One man died in the blaze and 15 people were injured. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

District manager Marnee Elias-Pavia said it’s important to make a distinction between single room occupancy (SRO) units and simple basement conversions. She added that prioritizing those conversions that present a clear safety issue could help alleviate the Department of Building’s backlog of complaints.

Councilman Vincent Gentile announced that he has already proposed two bills aimed at curbing illegal home conversions.

A representative for State Senator Marty Golden said that the senator is working on organizing a “multi-agency taskforce” to confront the growing problem.

In the meantime, Cassara encouraged community members to report suspected violators through 311 or by contacting the Brooklyn Housing Preservation Alliance.

Parking Dispute

Gabriel Ingrassia said his repeated requests for a compromise on an ongoing parking dispute have fallen on deaf ears.

Ingrassia represents residents who are unhappy about the alternate side parking rules along New Utrecht Avenue between 79th Street and 84th Street. As we reported last year, parking is prohibited six days a week between 6:30am and 7:00am along this stretch. This stipulation was put in place by the Department of Transportation to facilitate regular cleaning.

However, Ingrassia and other residents say the restrictions are an unreasonable burden that requires them to wake up early in order to comply. The group has written letters to the DOT, but is seeking the support of Community Board 11.

“We just want a reprieve of a couple of days a week,” said Ingrassia.

Fight Over the Feast

Community Board 11, along with the organizers of Festa di Santa Rosalia, continues to fight to change the date of the annual event so that it doesn’t fall just before Labor Day Weekend. The Department of Sanitation takes a hiatus during that time which leaves festival trash to rot on the curb. The board has submitted a letter to the Street Activity Permit Office (SAPO).

Other Announcements

On November 22, Assemblyman William Colton and the United Progressive Democratic Club will organize another cleanup. It will encompass 86th Street from 25th Avenue to 14th Avenue, plus parts of Bay Parkway and Bath Avenue.

Assemblyman Colton will hold a holiday toy drive for various charitable organizations and the Marine Corps League. New, unwrapped gifts can be dropped off at the assemblyman’s office at 155 Kings Highway.

National Grid is in the process of relocating gas lines – in preparation for the city’s project to replace neighborhood water mains – in the following locations:

  • 15th Avenue between Cropsey Avenue and 83rd Street
  • 84th Street between 14th Avenue and 16th Avenue
  • 86th Street between 14th Avenue and Bay 11th Street
  • Bath Avenue between Bay 8th Street and Bay 10th Street
  • Benson Avenue between Bay 8th Street and Bay 10th Street
  • 85th Street between Bay 14th Avenue and 16th Avenue


Four men were arrested and charged for robbing two Bensonhurst residences last week, and police believe they are responsible for a month-long burglary spree in the neighborhood.

Louis Desalvatore, 36, John Catullo, 46, Paul Debenedetto, 37, and Joseph DeBenedetto, 30, were charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of larceny, trespassing, criminal possession of stolen property and other charges on November 19, prosecutors said.

At last week’s Community Council meeting at the 62nd Precinct, Captain William Taylor described how police zeroed in on the suspects and arrested them on November 17.

“This was a great, great arrest,” Taylor said, describing the suspects “some of the biggest burglars that I have ever heard of.”

The 62nd Precinct observed a 30 percent spike in home burglaries last month, so they narrowed down the area in which the crimes were concentrated to a tight zone of several blocks, Taylor said.

While cops spent two weeks scoping out the area, another burglary occurred on November 17 at 12th Avenue near Bay Ridge Parkway. The female resident left her home in the morning and when she returned in the afternoon, she found the rear door forced open and $2,500 cash had been removed from her home. Her downstairs neighbor was missing jewelry.

That same day, an on-duty officer noticed one of the suspects – a known felon – lurking around the neighborhood, Taylor said. The suspect spotted the cop and immediately jumped in a Ford Explorer, leading to a car chase.

“It was a real game of cat and mouse,” Taylor said. “These are the guys we targeted from the first day and I’m convinced they were doing all of it.”

When police caught up to the men, they found $2,500 in one suspect’s pocket and a bag of jewelry, a crowbar, gloves, and a mask in the glove department.


A few service changes to keep in mind this week: Late night D and N lines runs express between 36 Street and Atlantic Avenue-Barlays stations, and F and R service are both partially suspended. Details via the MTA:


Late night, Manhattan-bound D runs express from 36 St to Atlantic Av

11:45pm to 5am, Mon to Wed, Nov 24 – 26
No Manhattan-bound service at 25 Street, Prospect Ave, 4 Av-9 St, or Union St.


No F trains between Avenue X and Stillwell Av

All times until 5am Monday, December 1
Free shuttle buses run between Avenue X and Stillwell Av, stopping at Neptune Av and West 8 St.
F service operates between 179 St and Avenue X.
• Transfer between buses and trains at Avenue X or Stillwell Av.
• For direct service between Stillwell Av and Manhattan/Downtown Brooklyn, take the D or N instead.

N Line

Late night, Ditmars Blvd-bound N trains run express from 36 St to Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center

Late nights, 11:45pm to 5am, Monday to Friday, November 24 – 26
No Manhattan-bound service at 25 Street, Prospect Ave, 4 Av-9 St, or Union St.

R Line

No R shuttle train between 59 St and 36 St
Late nights, 11:45pm to 5am, Monday to Friday, November 24 – 26
R service operates between 95 St and 59 St. Take the N instead. Transfer between trains at 59 St.

Additionally, look out for changes further along the D line.

These schedules will occasionally change, so check for the latest updates.


Source: DCPI

Police are looking for Gerald Kinnison, a 66-year-old suffering from dementia, who went missing Friday morning from his Coney Island home.

Kinnison was last seen leaving his assisted living center (2316 Surf Avenue) at 8am on November 21 wearing a black jacket, black shirt, black sneakers, and blue pants.

He is described as a black male, 6 feet tall, 180 pounds, with a thin build, dark complexion, brown eyes, black hair, and black and grey beard.

He has gone missing at least three times before, but was eventually found, police said.

Here’s another photo of Kinnison:


Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.

Guatemalan foods

Panaderia Guatemalteca on 1962 Bath Avenue.

Take any photos in Bensonhurst recently? Send them to, or tag them #Bensonhurst on Instagram, and we’ll post them here.

Also, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram, and subscribe to our daily newsletter!

Source: Roger Wollstadt/Flickr

Source: Roger Wollstadt/Flickr

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI): Here are some of the big stories you may have missed this week. You can keep up with what’s going on in the neighborhood all week long. Just follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for our daily newsletter. If you have any news tips, story ideas, questions or anything else, e-mail us at editor [at] bensonhurstbean[dot] com.

verrazano-narrows bridge

After a busy week, here’s a chance to catch up on some of the news happening outside of our neighborhood! We’ve pulled together some of our favorite recent stories from our site and our sister sites, as well as some other fascinating pieces that are worth a read this weekend:

A fire on Flatbush Avenue killed a 24-year-old man and injured 16 others. [Ditmas Park Corner]

A high school freshman from Kensington was killed by a hit-and-run driver. [KensingtonBK]

34-year-old Latchman Singh was killed by a hit-and-run driver at Flatbush and Dekalb Avenues. [Fort Greene Focus]

Jersey woman found dead in parked car in front of popular Bensonhurst bakery. [Bensonhurst Bean]

Car crashes following police chase, injuring two cops, two civilians. [Sheepshead Bites]

City Council has proposed three new types of zoning that could affect jobs, real estate values, and the use of neighborhoods in Brooklyn. [Brownstoner]

Aperitivo, a popular 5th Ave restaurant, closed after seven years. [Park Slope Stoop]

Reality TV star, restaurant owner sentenced to 9 years for $2.2 million fraud scheme. [SB]

A new cafe on 6th Ave brings cozy coffee and Scottish shortbread. [South Slope News]

From Ditmas Park, stories of fear and hope in a changing neighborhood. [DPC]

The masterminds behind Uncle Barry’s are gearing up to bring beer, trivia, and free hot dogs to the former Brooklyn Bird space on Myrtle Avenue with Moot Bar. [FGF]

A Q&A with Prospect-Lefferts Gardens blogger extraordinaire Tim Thomas. [BKLYNR]

Co-op board headed by former Council candidate is suing to silence a tenant. [SB]

Free pizza alert! Get to the Two Boots grand opening party on 5th Ave next week. [PSS]

Need a pie for Thanksgiving but baking isn’t your thing? Some places to order one. [SSN]

Police warn of Cantonese-speaking scam artists targeting elderly Asian women in Bensonhurst offering rid cash and valuables of “bad spirits.” [BB]

Don’t forget to follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram, and subscribe to our daily newsletter! Got tips or story ideas? Send them to

Source: Flickr/katerw

Source: Flickr/katerw

Bad news for F line commuters.  The F train will not run between Stillwell Avenue and Avenue X beginning tonight at 11pm until Monday, December 1 at 5am, while the MTA replaces a critical track switch at West 8th Street.

The good news is that for the first time, like, ever, the D, N, and R trains will be running smoothly all weekend (yay!).

Here are the details via the MTA:

No F trains between Stillwell Av and Avenue X.

All times beginning 11pm Fri, Nov 21- Monday, December 1, 5am
F service operates between 179 St and Avenue X.
Free shuttle buses operate between Stillwell Av and Avenue X, stopping at West 8 St and Neptune Av.

These schedules will occasionally change, so check for the latest updates.

(Source: Talk of the Town Realty)

Looking for a new place to call home? Bensonhurst Bean has got you covered. If you’re house hunting, our open house roundup is a new feature to help you plan your weekend. And if you know of a great place on the market or are a broker representing a property you want included, contact advertising [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

One Family in Brick Home in Gravesend
Price: $999,000
Viewing: November 23, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Location: 137 Van Sicklen Street
Description: Are you ready to take your life to the next level, where ceiling lights are a common feature in most of the rooms? While this nice – ahem kitschy – touch is pure glam, it doesn’t exactly strike one as being cozy. But who needs cozy when they’re partying it up in their club house?
Contact: Talk of the Town realty, (718) 627-7500

One Family in Dyker Heights
Price: $838,000
Viewing: All weekend, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Location: 7517 10th Avenue
Description: This house has two floors, three bedrooms, and a bathroom. The house also has a new boiler and a new roof. Why those two things are the only new things is completely up to your imagination to figure out.
Contact: Jayden Liang, E-house Realty, (646) 407-6668

Two Family Home in Bensonhurst
Price: $1,130,000
Viewing: November 23, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Location: 1921 79th Street
Description: The realtor describes this area as “prime Bensonhurst,” which is a really important trait when you’re trying to get a slice of the American Dream. Remember, always go for the prime slice.
Contact: Gloria Wong, Weichert Realtors, (800) 375-2613

Two Bedroom Condo in Bensonhurst
Price: $489,000
Viewing: November 23, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Location: 1449 67th Street
Description: This condo is on the third floor. Based on the pictures, it looks like one of the bedrooms has an air fan, but that’s not very helpful in this weather.
Contact: Michael Scicchitani, Weichert Realtors, (800) 375-2613

If you know of a great place on the market or are a broker representing a property you want included, contact advertising [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.