Is Rocco’s Calamari Closure After 35 Years A Death Knell For Local Mom & Pops?

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Is the closure of beloved Dyker Heights restaurant Rocco’s Calamari yesterday, after 35 years at 6408 Fort Hamilton Parkway, a grim harbinger of what’s to come for Old School southern Brooklyn eateries?

The owners of the seafood joint, which celebrated its 35th anniversary in June, announced their plans to retire in an August 7 Facebook post.

“After 35 years of serving the community, we are ‘hanging up our hats!'” they wrote. “We would like to thank our wonderful staff and loyal customers for their patronage. It has been an honor and pleasure in serving you ALL!”

Rocco’s joins a slew of mom and pops in the our area that have closed up shop recently, including Del Rio Diner and Fiorentino’s Ristorante in Gravesend, Florence Food Center in Bensonhurst, and 86th Street’s Baku Bakery, prompting some to question if the old food business model is sustainable.

Photo by Rachel Silberstein/Bensonhurst Bean

Photo by Rachel Silberstein/Bensonhurst Bean

Some of these recent business closures have been attributed to demographic shifts in southern Brooklyn. Serving food that appealed the area’s once primarily Italian and Jewish residents, the businesses have struggled to adapt to new waves of immigrants coming from Russia, China, Central America, the Caucuses, and the Middle East.

The news that Waldbaum’s — a massive supermarket which had served Bensonhurst for 37 years — was auctioned off to gourmet Asian grocer Jmart in February, was seen as a death knell of sorts for food establishments of yesteryear mainly peddling American and Italian food products.

waldbaums is closing 2

Photo by Rachel Silberstein/Bensonhurst Bean

Others experts, like those who spoke to the New York Post, have speculated that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s soon-to-be-enforced minimum wage hike — which requires that cooks be paid $15 an hour and servers $10 an hour by 2018 — will prompt the quick demise of numerous small family-owned shops. Though the owners of Del Rio and Florence told us they were struggling with increased food costs and waning customer bases before the wage hike was proposed, the increased regulation may have been the final nail in the proverbial coffin.

“It’s something we should have done five years ago,” Florence’s Faythe Asaro told us last month of the closure.

Some local businesses have successfully managed to adapt to these economic and demographic shifts. Renown ravioli maker Pastosa, for example, was early in its embrace of e-commerce and started exporting its pasta products on a national scale. In Bath Beach, T&L Luncheonette — home of the “best Philly cheesesteak out of Philly” — disposed of most of its diner tables last summer and replaced them with refrigerators, as an attempt to focus more on grocery/deli items, which are more universally popular in the rapidly changing neighborhood.

Online food delivery companies offer a boon to some of the newer businesses, but the owner of New Ruan’s Restaurant, the classic American Chinese restaurant one 86th Street — a 25-year-old staple for Bensonhurst’s Jewish and Italian communities — told us Seamless and Grubhub do not appeal to his aging customer base. Donald Ruan estimates that at least 30 percent of his fiercely local customers have died or moved away.

“I can’t jack up the prices; all my customers are regular. I feel bad,” said Ruan. “I tell them to just call the restaurant directly.”  Instead, he says, he has added some modern touches to the dining room and a full bar to attract a younger demographic.

Meanwhile, in the void, some interesting ethnic restaurants are cropping up, but the closures also appear to be giving way to franchises. A December 2015 study found that Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge were quickly becoming the the neighborhoods with the highest density of chain stores like Starbucks and McDonalds.

While there are still a good number of mom and pop businesses in our neighborhood, it has been a particularly rough summer for the comfort food joints of our childhoods. What do you think? Are there sustainable ways for small businesses to adapt to these external pressures?

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  • Tina Bologna Apuzzo

    i’ll never stop patronizing ruan’s. the rest that were mentioned were not that great.

  • ROSALIE907

    If Pastosa ever closed I and many, many others will be so upset. It would kill the Holidays and we’d have to venture out to Staten Island, even spending the $16.00 for the toll to do so, or order our staples on line. FYI, try going there for the Holidays, when the line stretches around the block and you wait on it about 1/2 hour to get in.

  • joed

    I DID THE SAME …..CLOSE DOWN ,It is very sad . I left Brooklyn because of all the shit that is going on there . One by one they are all closing down . One by one .GOOD LUCK MY PEOPLE

  • Evan1407

    Did it ever occur to you that people retire or that the Asian explosion in Bensonhurst might be to blame? Didn’t think so. I live on Bay Parkway and 67th Street. Within 100 feet in any direction from my front door, there’s an Asian supermarket. That’s FOUR within a two block radius. You can’t get ANY American food products over here.

    • Dorothy Berman

      Evan, every Asian market in Bensonhurst has plenty American products. Just walk past the first two aisles. As immigrants the Chinese want to try the foods of their new adopted country. Just ask.

      • Evan1407

        No, Dorothy, NOT TRUE! Try shopping at their stores for ingredients for tomato sauce (a staple in Bensonhurst).

        • Dorothy Berman

          I have. They do have tomato sauce, in fact more than one brand. Try asking an employee of the store. It probably is not front and center, but with effort you will find it.

          • Dorothy Berman

            … and yes, they have the ingredients to make your own sauce.

          • Evan1407

            NO. THEY DO NOT! I’ve lived here for 13 years and have yet to find them. They don’t even have canned tomatoes. GIVE IT A REST!

          • Evan1407

            Jarred tomato sauce? Yeccch!!!

        • Sean F

          You can always get tomato, basil, oregano, garlic, onions, tomato paste, etc. in any Asian supermarket. They use it all in their cooking.

          • Evan1407

            I DARE you to come to Bay Parkway and find tomatoes, paste and fresh basil. You’re just stupid as Dorothy!

          • Sean F

            Evan. My wife and I shop in the Asian stores on Bay Parkway in the 60s all the time. The stuff is there. My credit card knows this for a fact.

          • Evan1407

            You are so full of what makes the grass grow green! NOBODY would go out of their own neighborhood to shop at ANY of the Chinese markets on Bay Parkway.

          • Sean F

            Evan. This is my neighborhood. We take the N train to and from Bay Parkway station every day, and stop in those stores regularly. I can’t explain why your experience differs from mine, but apparently it does.

          • Dorothy Berman

            I do. I live near Kings Highway and take the bus to Bay Parkway to shop in the Chinese markets. Their produce and everything else is very good.

          • Evan1407

            Nobody in their right mind would take a bus to shop at these markets. They are filthy and the produce is well past the “discard” stage. Why would you ever want to come over this way when you have so many grocery options on King’s Highway? You’re full of it.

          • Sean F

            Evan. Now you are just being an idiot. Who made you the arbiter of what shopping choices other people make? You’ve been told time and again in this thread that quite a few of us do shop in these stores, and that our experience of them is very different than yours. I’ve got half a dozen supermarkets in walking distance of my house, including a decent Key Food, but I still go to Stop & Shop on Cropsey, and ShopRite on Ave I, for items they have on sale that I need. Distance isn’t a barrier to where I shop. And your statements about the quality of the produce and the cleanliness of the Bay Parkway stores is simply laughable, since I’ve been there many times.

            If you don’t want to shop there, fine. But, leave the rest of us to make our own decisions.

          • Evan1407

            I never said you couldn’t shop there. I personally don’t give a damn where you shop. Just don’t be telling me that they have products that I KNOW they don’t have.

          • Sean F

            Then how do you explain my ability (and Dorothy’s) to find those products in these same stores? You aren’t making sense, but I’m going to leave off here. We’re obviously not going to agree on this one.

          • Evan1407

            You desperately need a hobby and I don’t mean the one you currently have. By the way, did you get the job on the N train? You’d be a natural for it. I mean, why just do it in front of your computer when you can get paid for it?

          • Dorothy Berman

            Evan, good morning. Yes, they do sell Italian pastas and tomato paste. As the majority of their customers are Asian they do not display these items prominently in the front of their stores, but yes, they do sell them. All you have to do is ask… and yes, they’ll be glad to show you. I’ve heard non-Asian customers in these stores comment how the their produce is very good. The Chinese, especially use lots of vegetables in their cooking and if you try their bakeries they bake fruit into their pastries.

          • Dorothy Berman

            Evan, almost every Asian market on Bay Parkway and throughout the neighborhood sells tomatoes, tomato paste and fresh basil. In fact the produce in Asian markets are usually very good. I am pretty smart.

          • Evan1407

            The produce is good? That PROVES you don’t shop there! The fruits and vegetables have rot spots, for God’s sake! All my neighbors go to 3 Guys.

          • DS

            They sell produce full of bugs that is relatively low quality. OTOH, 3 Guys from Brooklyn and Circus Fruits sell low quality produce, too, but not as low as some of the Asian markets. Councilman Mark Treyger telling Europeans that they need to change their taste buds and abandon their cultural and ethnic foods in favor of shifting demographics is inflammatory and insensitive. I’m all in favor of Chinese Americans opening markets, but when one nationality dominates, you no longer have a melting pot. Our problem is that our neighborhood is not as diverse as it once was. One can no longer really buy any kosher food in Bensonhurst, with the closing of Jewish stores over the past few years. I fear the same will happen with Italian-owned businesses. We should strive for all groups to be represented, including the Chinese, the Jews, and the Italians. Also, you need to honor those who made the neighborhood great. Sadly, we’re abandoning our history; undoubtedly, 50 years from now, the Chinese too will move on to Staten Island or NJ, and they too may become forgotten.

          • singer

            lol so i guess murica was never really a melting pot..

          • Sean F

            The problem with the melting pot analogy is that too many people think it means everyone has to melt into one homogeneous English-speaking Caucasian glob. A place is a melting pot, because the people — despite their
            differences — manage to coexist and live together as one nation. Not because they all start to act like one another. Just more evidence that our schools are failing us in how they teach America history and the Constitution.

          • Dorothy Berman

            Sean, you are correct.

          • Evan1407

            So true, DS. You can’t even find pastrami around here anymore (however, Dorothy Berman will tell you that the Asian markets carry it. All you have to do is ask.).

          • Dorothy Berman

            Some of the Asian markets carry packaged Hebrew National cold cuts.

          • Evan1407

            You never miss an opportunity to show everyone what a jerk you are, do you? Do you take the bus to Bay Parkway to buy prepackaged cold cuts too? I’ll bet you do. Idiot!!!!

          • Dorothy Berman

            Instead of spending time on this website calling people names why not use the time to walk into these Asian groceries. Yes, you will find a decent amount of non-Asian products and yes I saw Hebrew National products and other kosher items as well as the Italian foods.

          • Sean F

            Ace Market 6511 Bay Parkway – I just picked up cans of Hunts Tomato Paste (aisle 2, next to the pasta and jarred sauces – they carry two sizes). I wanted the Del Monte paste, but they were sold out. Also grabbed a bottle of Fillippo Berrio olive oil (aisle 1, right on the end as you turn into the back section of the store), some very nice plump tomatoes, a package of fresh garlic, several onions, and some nice ground beef (doing Bolognese style this time). I didn’t look for basil because we grew some ourselves this summer, and it just came in. Prices on the paste and olive oil were slightly higher than in ShopRite, but you can’t beat one-stop shopping.

          • Sean F

            Dorothy wasn’t stupid. Maybe a little naive, but was it her fault that twister picked up her house and left her and Toto in Oz? No. And one less wicked witch in the world is a good thing, isn’t it?

            (Oh, wait… did you mean Dorothy Berman? Nah. I’ve seen no evidence of stupidity on her part either.)

      • Seth Bogdanove

        I’ve lived in this neighborhood since it was Jewish/Italian. I saw the writing on the wall when The Empress Deli became 86th Street Wong. The problem I have with the influx of Chinese food stores in the Bay Parkway/86th Street area is that the signs advertising specials are almost exclusively in Chinese. It’s as if they didn’t want the English people in the neighborhood patronizing their stores and restaurants. On the other hand, if you don’t have a problem with going through the produce to find non-blemished/bruised fruits and veggies, the prices are pretty good. Seafood here has also become very affordable and fresh, as evidenced by the live fish deliveries every morning. I do wish the restaurants would stop throwing their slops into the street when they close, it brings rats and other vermin!

        • Sean F

          Re: refuse, call 311, file a sanitation complaint. Enforcement needs to be stepped up on a lot of street and road issues. The more formal complaints, the more likely we’ll get action.

        • Dorothy Berman

          Seth, after reading your posting I took a walk along 86th Street and most of Bay Parkway. The Chinese on the signs are larger, but almost every advertising sign had English below. Please take another look. I’m sorry to say but other restaurants throughout Brooklyn besides Chinese throw garbage into the street.

          • Seth Bogdanove

            Dorothy, I wish I could post photos here with my comments. If I could, I’d show you a minimum of twenty examples on 86th between Bay Parkway and 23rd Avenue.

          • Andy Z

            Seth, I believe there is a reason why some of the menu items are only in Chinese. It may be difficult to translate back to english or it wouldn’t appeal to the American crowd. That’s probably why they have Chinese take out with the majority of the customer base being non-Chinese and the restaurants you’re talking about are predominately Chinese.

      • MaryB

        Dorothy – I think you are misguided in your position on Asian Markets. They do not demonstrate the desire to maintain the cleanliness a shopper’s dollars should deserve. There are, most undoubtedly, more Chinese advertisements/product descriptions than needed. Certainly, the number of stores that pop up makes you question how these stores are financially supported in a struggling economy. I miss the Italian American grocer in Brooklyn.

        • Dorothy Berman

          Mary, no I am not misguided. I shop
          in the Chinese markets at least twice a week and find them to be just fine. As they are very busy, they will not be perfectly clean and neat, but I find them more than acceptable. As Bensonhurst has the largest Asian population in Brooklyn these business owners seem to know what they are doing. As I have noted before most carry Italian and kosher goods as well. They understand they are serving a diverse neighborhood.

          • DS

            Which Chinese stores carry prosciutto, parmigiano reggiano, and gaeta olives? Which ones sell rugelach, pastrami, and gefilte fish?

          • Dorothy Berman

            The ones on Bay Parkway do sell prosciutto and Italian cheeses. I don’t know about gefilte fish but packaged baked goods from a kosher bakery is sold. By the way how many kosher markets in Boro Park sell prosciutto ( pork, real traif) and Chinese items?

          • DS

            Pomegranate and Breadberry (where I shop) sell kosher prosciutto (made from lamb, duck, veal and beef) and kosher cheeses from Italy. Kosher stores also sell lots of Asian items, just like big box supermarkets. Soy sauce, daikon, bok choy, ginger, wonton wrappers, water chestnuts, noodles, tofu, etc. are ubiquitous in American stores. Some of the Russian stores sell many imports from Italy, too, which is very nice. If there are Chinese stores selling a variety of items from around the world, including Italy, that’s a good thing. In fact, wonton wrappers are really convenient for making ravioli.

          • Dorothy Berman

            Wonton wrappers can also be “kreplach” wrappers.

          • Sean F

            I’ve been meaning to check out Breadberry. The selection sounds great. How are the prices? I’ve never seen a sale flyer from them in my Marketeer.

        • Peter Ryreiz

          lol when you tell em one thing they’ll find another excuse as to why chinese americans gotta go…

          so typical baby boomers and their children not using logic to coherently argue their position.

    • Emerald5Forever

      Hm, no, people just retire.

  • ringranger1

    The smell and the huge mounds of trash are enough to make anyone not want to shop on Bay Parkway.

    • Sean F

      I see a lot less trash on Bay Parkway than I do on 86th between Bay Parkway and 23rd. I can really comment on smells, as I have nearly zero sense of smell.

      • Evan1407

        You just have to be contrary with everyone, don’t you? Get a life!

        • Sean F

          I’m only contrary with the people who say things that either (a) differ from my experience, so I can learn where they are coming from, (b) spout B.S., or (c) spout bigotry. Other than that, I get along with most people. Dorothy and I are on the same page. Emerald5Forever and I see eye-to-eye on most things. And there are plenty of people who post here with whom I have no complaints or disputes. I have a very fulfilling life – work, family, softball, bicycling, volunteer positions – but it’s all centered around this great neighborhood, so Bensonhurst is a large part of my life. I can’t help it if I’m a more observant and effective shopper than you are.

          • Evan1407

            If you had a full life, you wouldn’t have all the time you have to post idiotic remarks on this website. Nobody was even directing remarks to you but you just HAD to butt in. Bug off, jerk!

          • Dorothy Berman

            I grew up in Brooklyn and I am not used to your nastiness. The remarks posted by both Sean and I are not idiotic. They are correct.

          • Evan1407

            Excuse me, but NOBODY was talking to you.

          • Sean F

            I have a very full life, and it revolves in large part around my neighborhood. Plus, you know, mobile connectivity. Almost everyone is online all day. Plus, I’m a writer, and a very fast typist, so it doesn’t take long to state my opinion.

            A remark was made to which I felt like responding. Bay Pkwy isn’t as messy as 86th, and I really do have no sense of smell.

            This is a news and social media site. That means any conversation can be entered into by any participant at any time (sometimes people post responses to things that were posted months or years ago). This is a discussion site, and I enjoy the discussions.

            I really don’t know what’s gotten into you lately because we’ve sometimes been on the same side around here. I’m not trying to push your buttons. I’m just trying to understand why you are seeing something so totally opposed to what I’m seeing in the same shops. You started with the insults. Either way, I hold no grudges.

          • Evan1407

            No, Sean. You are DEFINITELY trying to push my buttons. You will also DIE if you can’t have the last word. Keep making excuses and sooner or later you’ll convince yourself that you’re right.

          • Dorothy Berman

            Sean is right in what he says.

          • Sean F

            Thanks, Dorothy, but it’s not worth our effort. He doesn’t seem to understand that this is a public discussion that anyone can enter or restart at any time. These aren’t private conversations where statements like “NOBODY was talking to you” matter. Every comment is a comment to everyone who reads here, and everyone who reads here is welcome to reply.

            In any event, maybe I’ll see you on Bay Parkway. I hope you are making sauce on Sunday. 🙂

          • Evan1407

            If she’s shopping on Bay Parkway, don’t count on sauce this Sunday.

          • Dorothy Berman

            Evan, I do my shopping in the morning and my cooking in the afternoon.

          • Evan1407

            DUH!!! What does that have to do with Bay Parkway?

          • Sean F

            What does Bay Parkway have to do with Dyker Heights and Rocco’s Calamari?

            (Full disclosure to everyone: yes, now I am pushing Evans buttons on purpose. I wasn’t before, but he’s made it so simple, and very entertaining, to do. I now return you to his latest non-sequitor, no doubt already in progress.)

          • Evan1407

            The discussion we were having revolved around the Chinese markets on Bay Parkway. You seem to have lost your short term memory. Smoking grass or crack again, no doubt? It wouldn’t surprise me at all given your inane comments.

          • Sean F

            Actually, no. The discussion was about Dyker and Rocco’s. You were the one who diverged to Bay Parkway and the Chinese in the fourth comment under this article. So, it’s rather hypocritical for you to ask anyone what one thing has to do with another.

          • Dorothy Berman

            I’ve been posting here while at my desk at my Midtown Manhattan office and it’s been entertaining. Evan, it all boils down to the fact that as a diverse neighborhood such as Bensonhurst if you just ask in any Asian market you will be able to purchase foods for an Italian meal. In fact, some even carry Kosher foods for the Jewish community as well. Are you afraid to ask so as to prevent being proven wrong?

          • Evan1407

            Actually, yes. The discussion that WE (not the article) were having was about the Chinese markets on Bay Parkway, which evolved because everything in this area is becoming Chinese (even Waldbaum’s). You call yourself a writer? You have a serious case of ADHD. You couldn’t possibly focus on anything for more than a few seconds. You can now post anything you want because this is my last post on the subject. You are far too stupid for me to have a rational conversation with. Have a nice life.

          • Dorothy Berman

            Evan, one last time. Go into any Chinese market on Bay Parkway and ask. They all do carry Italian products. They will be more than happy to show you. Again, are you afraid to be shown to be wrong.

          • Evan1407

            Imbecile, I have lived here 13 years. Do you think I haven’t asked before? You are incredibly stupid!

          • Dorothy Berman

            What’s most annoying about your remarks and some of the others is that the Chinese are probably the most tolerant people you will ever come across. You could learn from them.

          • Evan1407

            There you go being stupid again! Whenever did I say that I don’t tolerate the Chinese? I’d like the direct quote please. You are incredible! By the way, don’t you think you should be doing some work before your boss finds out what you REALLY do all day?

          • DS

            The Chinese are a very ethnocentric group. They call white folk
            gwei lo, white devil. They’re also racist against blacks, as that commercial attests to. I don’t know why you are bending backwards to advocate for a people that couldn’t care less about you. Do you do business with China?

          • Dorothy Berman

            I grew up here in Brooklyn and had many Chinese friends in school and as neighbors. I learned some of their language (mostly Mandarin). I found them to be tolerant decent people. Yes, there will always be a few nasty ones ( such is life) but the majority of Asians do not hold such views.

          • Emerald5Forever

            I agree with you, Dorothy. There are good and bad people in EVERY ethnic group, whether it’s Chinese or Italian.

          • Sean F

            DS every ethnic group has derogatory terms for other races and ethnicities. And there are evil bigots in every ethnic group, as this site proves time and time again. The task is to be better than the bigots, and reach out the hand of friendship. I happen to spend a great deal of time among Asians, and the majority are kind, decent people. It’s the vocal minority who give them a bad name, just as white, black and other complected bigots are embarassments to decent people their own color.

          • DS

            In any event, it’s nobody’s fault other than those that sold to the newcomers that we have these demographic shifts. Ideally, there would be coexistence, but the newcomers seem hellbent on domination, not harmony.

          • Sean F

            I’m with you on the first statement (though I don’t see it as “fault” since the change has been great for the neighborhood in terms of property value and revitalization of the local shopping areas).The Asians do dominate, so they do get to set the tone. But, it is the people who have stayed and are lashing out who are hellbent on there being no harmony.

          • Dorothy Berman

            The Chinese have made lots of effort to fit into the neighborhood. Buying homes and establishing businesses is not domination. They work hard. Selling to “newcomers” is not a fault. It is one immigrant group moving on and another moving in just as your immigrant ancestors did.

          • Emerald5Forever

            “Hellbent on domination, not harmony”? I think it is the non-Asian residents who are not willing to live in harmony.

          • Emerald5Forever

            There actually is coexistence, DS. I see Asians frequent pizzerias and white-owned supermarkets around here (e.g. L&B and Cherry Hill), and I also see whites frequent Asian bakeries and supermarkets. The situation is not as bad or dire as you make it to be here.

          • Emerald5Forever

            I admit the term “gwei lo” has derogatory origins historically, but it has become more of a casual and colloquial way to call white people, like the Spanish word “gringo.” To my knowledge it’s not used as a slur anymore (unless you actually add “sei” in front of “gwei lo,” which would make an expletive).

          • Evan1407

            Don’t bother trying to explain, DS. Dorothy is quite delusional and needs to be in a padded room. Also, she loses track of what she is trying to say all the time.

          • Sean F

            If Dorothy is in any way delusional, it’s because she thinks bigots can be reasoned with. It is a good delusion. But, on the plus side, Dorothy’s not as delusional as someone who can’t find products sitting in plain sight on a supermarket shelf.

          • Evan1407

            1. I am not a bigot so go eff yourself.
            2. I can’t find products on a supermarket shelf because THEY’RE NOT THERE!
            3. Get a life already!

          • Dorothy Berman

            Yes, they are there. Just ask any employee when you enter the store. It’s easy.

          • Evan1407

            Go choke on a matzoh.

          • Sean F

            So much for “I am not a bigot so go eff yourself.” You are clearly a bigot.

          • Evan1407

            Who cares what you think? Your posts and yourself mean NOTHING to me (and probably many, many others as well).

          • Evan1407

            GFY. I’ll bet even YOU can figure that one out.

          • Sean F

            Good for you? Government fiscal year?

            Actually, it’s the new “video moment” technology
            for animated images that bridges the gap between the old-school GIF and new-school video.
            It’s pronounced “jiffy,” as in, “a jiffier GIF,” and is short for “GIF
            Format Yoker.”

            I didn’t realize you were so cutting edge, Evan. Go you!

          • Dorothy Berman

            I hope everyone else on this board sees your remark. You can have differing opinions without being hateful. DS- I’d like to see you respond to Evan. I’m not the most religious person but I know for certain that G-D keeps records.

          • Evan1407

            I hope everybody sees it too, so they can read through the thread and see how stupid and what a troublemaker you are. G-D (I assume that means God) keeps records? Oh gee, I’m scared now.

          • lori

            you sound like a raging bigot, are you focking triggered?

          • Evan1407

            You sound like a raging busybody. Are you focking human?

          • lori

            what in the world is a busybody, 21st century lingo please

          • Sean F

            Wouldn’t a “busybody” be a very popular hooker? 🙂

          • Evan1407

            Google it.

          • Lori

            If you have a wife or daughter I hope they know what you think of women who disagree with you. Scum bag

          • Evan1407

            Aw! What’sa matter? You didn’t like the definition of busybody? Tough! If the shoe fits . . . If you have a husband or son, I hope they know that you call people scum bag when you don’t agree with them. Imbecile!

          • Dorothy Berman

            Dorothy is fine. I’ll say it again. I am Jewish, public school educated and grew up with persons of all backgrounds. The Chinese are fine, tolerant people. Your bigotry HAS ABSOLUTELY NO JUSTIFICATION.

          • Dorothy Berman

            As Jew, as I understand you are I am sensitive to good people being maligned. We have been victimized by that throughout history. I will speak up for all those dealing with the same thing.

          • DS

            Um, not at all. Our suffering over the years was the result of a variety of complex factors, some metaphysical (if you’re a Torah-believing Jew, you understand concepts such as Esav soneh et Yaakov, and so on; if secular, you’re mindset isn’t there). I don’t think we’re dealing with people that are victimized; they seem to be the victimizers. I have no tolerance for the intolerant.

          • Dorothy Berman

            Your Asian neighbors are indeed being victimized just for moving into a neighborhood, buying homes and opening businesses. Are you aware of the Shanghai ghetto during WWII where thousand of Jews including a neighbor of mine, were given sanctuary. About ten years ago the Yeshiva on Ocean Parkway and Avenue R ( I forget the name) honored the Chinese and invited members of the Chinese consulate to the UN.

          • DS

            The Mirrer Yeshiva.

          • Sigma

            It appears there are very little Chinese Americans on here speaking against the raging ignoramuses such as yourself.

            First of all, language is tricky. Gwei lo, means white devil. you are right. but it has nothing to do with Americans. In fact.. it goes way back to the opium war days.

            Brits would get Chinese addicted on opium and the sight of brits in your area would most likely means drug addiction is growing in the area. Over time, terms stick around and let me make it clear that gweilo has no bad connotations anymore.. its just a term.

            DS, you sound like youre some righteous person who cares about the social justice of jews, blacks and others.. but i see right through you. you just want to use something against the chinese. you dont care about blacks, jews or any other group you brought up.

            im happy i went diverse schools with mix friends and had great parents who taught me to respect all people.

          • Sean F

            Sigma, in case you don’t know, Emerald5Forever is Chinese American, and there are some others who aren’t obvious from their user names (I can’t actually tell if you are Asian or not, but either way, it’s good to have another rational voice here). For the record, I’m Irish-Italian-American, but my wife is Chinese. Although I don’t speak anything more in Chinese than hello, thank you and Happy New Year, it’s through her that I’ve come to know and appreciate all the great things the Asian influx has done for our community.

          • Timothy Lee

            I’m Chinese and have been living here for about 20 years … lol damn ya newcomers really love complaining

          • Sean F

            Nobody was talking to you, Evan. 😛

          • Seth Bogdanove

            She can get it at Vucciria on 86th off 23rd. Meat Supreme on 86th between Bay Parkway and 23rd has a good variety too.

          • wlcme to bhrst we got fun&gmes

            sir. you may have a life but it appears you dont enjoy it enough. you sound like a bitter “get off my lawn” grandpa type

          • Evan1407

            OK, and I care what you think because . . . ?

          • wlcme to bhrst we got fun&gmes

            i dont know home boy but you got a loud mouth, so i assume you care about all the opinion up in this joint

          • Evan1407

            Loud mouth? You mean, you can hear me?

          • TheTruth9990007

            These are italians and Jews who have married asians. For that reason they are biased.

          • Sean F

            No bias, just facts.

          • Evan1407

            Must be.

          • Sigma

            Sean F is right. Its not biased. *apologizing for grammatical issues ahead of time, im tired after a long day at college/work*

            Rather than being a “fly on the wall”, you should engage yourself into the community. Like others have said, the majority of the community is Chinese now, so immerse yourself into this new culture. To be fair, no majority should change for the minority.

            Try it and you will find yourself that these families arent much different than yours. I mean there will be your “bad eggs” but there will be with any community.

            BTW my family moved into this community about 18 years ago in 99. Lived in the 60s st on 16th ave when it was mostly white americans (cant assume they’re all Italians right?). The Asians, my family included shopped at places like keyfood, pathmark, and the market across the st from PS48 (it wasnt always an asian market, thats how long ive lived here).

            We do shop at American stores, and we do use American products. Shifting demographics and available retail spaces just made it easier for Asian Americans to buy produces from more convenient Asian stores. Lemme tell ya, these diners offered Chinese translators/menus, many new immigrants would go just bc it would stop the language barriers (Then again they don’t have to do that, but what will you do to keep your business alive….)

            anyway……….just wanted to tell you that just like how we shopped at the generic places when there was no Asian marts around, you can shop at the Asian places when your generic places fade into oblivion.

          • sigma

            if these diners*

          • Dorothy Berman

            They are not biased. They just know that prejudicial attitudes have no justification.

  • Donald Kaplan

    People just retired is nothing wrong with that