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Source: jariko5150/Instagram (Click to follow)

Source: jariko5150/Instagram (Click to follow)

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 sister sites, as well as some other fascinating pieces that are worth a read this weekend:

Historic Kings Theatre set to reopen soon [Ditmas Park Corner]

NY1 reporter on journalism and raising a family in Brooklyn [Park Slope Stoop]

Preet Bharara is a real life superhero and you need to know who he is [NY Times]

Sausage lover? Get to Der Kommissar! [South Slope News]

The 8 most popular street names in NYC [Untapped Cities]

Burglar trapped overnight in restaurant’s air vent [Sheepshead Bites]

Broken muni-meters on the rise [AMNY]

9 of 10 buildings fail basic energy code requirements [Crain's]

Preservation laws keeping Ditmas family out of home after 2012 fire [DPC]

Photos: Coney Island sand sculpting contest [SB]

De Blasio first mayor to celebrate Pakistan’s independence at Brooklyn Mela [KensingtonBK]

Catcalling (and worse) is why one woman stopped running in Bushwick [Bushwick Daily]

Does your 6-year-old need pampering? There’s a new salon for that [Fort Greene Focus]

Politics and corruption in governor’s race [The New Yorker]

Saturday is the 10th anniversary of Fort Greene Park Literary Festival [FGF]

What the mayor’s rhetoric says about his values [Crain's]


Looking for a new place to call home? Bensonhurst Bean has got you covered. Our rental roundup is a new feature showcasing some of the deals on the market now. If you know of a great place available for rent or are a broker representing a property you want included, contact nberke [at] bensonhurstbean [dot] com. And if you live in or near one the places below, let neighbors know what you think in the comments.

Two Bedrooms on Bay Ridge Avenue
Price: $1,850
Location: Bay Ridge Avenue
Description:  Holy cow, what is that in the photo? I want that. Sign me up for a half dozen. Wait, two months security required? Is one month for the apartment, and the other for that AMAZING thing in the breeding room?
Contact: Svetlana Aksman, DSA Realty, (718) 629-8722.

There’s Nothing Creepy About The Name Gravesend
Price: $1,500
Location: West 3rd Street
Description: Sure, when you tell Brooklyn transplants you’ve got a one bedroom in Gravesend, they may think that’s some sort of colloquialism for a funeral plot. But really you could be speaking abut this place, which has high ceilings and tons of light and no known corpses.
Contact: Chris Shiamilis, Ardor New York, (212) 588-3000.

One Bedroom Near the N Train
Price: $1,395
Location: 74th Street and Bay Parkway
Description: It’s very pleasant, and there’s a park across the street. It’s also modern, so you won’t have to go outside to use the bathroom. Though, I suppose you could if you wanted. Just make sure to bag it when you’re done and, you know, throw it under a car or something like everybody else ’round here does.
Contact: Frankel Desdunes, Oxford Property Group, (212) 300-6412 ext. 53

If you know of a great place available for rent or are a broker representing a property you want included, contact nberke [at] bensonhurstbean [dot] com.

New Utrecht Avenue, 1978 (Source: Whiskeygonebad/Flickr)


From 11:45 p.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Monday, Coney Island-bound D trains are rerouted via the N from 36 St to Stillwell Av.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, there are no N trains between Lexington Av/59 St and Queensboro Plaza – take the 7 instead. N service operates in two sections:

  1. Between Stillwell Av and Lexington Av/59 St.
  2. Between Queensboro Plaza and Ditmars Blvd.
    • For service between Queens and Manhattan, take the 7. Transfer between trains at Times Sq-42 St and/or Queensboro Plaza.

All times until October 2014: No trains running between Court St, Brooklyn and Whitehall St, Manhattan. Late night N and weekend R trains are rerouted via the Manhattan Bridge. Use alternate service and stations on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, or C instead.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, R service is extended to the 179 St F station.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, R trains are rerouted via the F in both directions between Manhattan and Queens.

  • Trains skip 5 Av/59 St, Lexington Av/59 St, and Queens Plaza in both directions.
  • To/from 5 Av/59 St and Lexington Av/59 St, use the N instead. Transfer between trains at Times Sq-42 St.
  • To/from Queens Plaza, use the E instead. Transfer between trains at Times Sq-42 St/Port Authority. Note: E trains run local in Queens.

All times until October 2014: No trains running between Court St, Brooklyn and Whitehall St, Manhattan. Late night N and weekend R trains are rerouted via the Manhattan Bridge. Use alternate service and stations on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, or C instead.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Monday, F trains run local in Queens.

Source: Whiskeygonebad/Flickr

Enough of the hand-wringing: the Festa di Santa Rosalia is here!

Affectionately known as the 18th Avenue Feast, the 10-day event kicks off today at 5:00 p.m. It begins with a procession at 18th Avenue and 72nd Street, following mass at Santa Rosalia Church (6301 14th Avenue).

The 10-day festival, now in its 37th year, packs 18th Avenue from 67th Street to 75th Street with food, music, vendors and amusement. On weekdays, it runs from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Weekends get an earlier start, running from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

The event honors the patron saint of Palermo, Sicily, where their own Festa has been celebrated continuously since 1624. Organizers of the Bensonhurst event say it’s the larges Italian-American festival in Brooklyn.

For the first time in its nearly four decade history, the 18th Avenue Feast organizers sought a change in date. Always kicking off on the third Thursday in August, organizers hoped to bump it up one week to help address neighbors’ concerns about trash. The mayor’s office, however, issued a last minute denial to their application, forcing organizers to keep to their traditional date.

2940 West 21st Street, where police responded to the shooting. (Source: Google Maps)

2940 West 21st Street, where police responded to the shooting. (Source: Google Maps)

Cops were called to 2940 West 21st Street last night, where they found 22-year-old Victor Rosado shot dead.

Rosado lived around the corner from where police found him crumpled on the sidewalk just after 11:30 p.m., at 2007 Surf Avenue. He was taken to Lutheran Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

According to News 12, Rosado was an active member of the Coney Island community and was an expectant father.

Witnesses told the Daily News that there was no provocation for the shooting, with Rosado just hanging out with friends and playing a game of chess when an unknown gunman opened fire on the group.

“They killed my little man,” one man, who didn’t want to be identified, said as he choked back tears.

“We was just hanging out, listening to music, playing chess, and they just started shooting. God, that was my little man.”

The man said he ran for safety when the gunshots rained down on them and couldn’t see who the shooter or shooters were.

No arrests have been made.

As of August 10, that latest date for which there are statistics, there have been 13 shootings, with 15 victims, in 2014 in the 60th Precinct, which patrols Coney Island, Brighton Beach and Gravesend. That’s a decrease from the same time period in 2013, which saw 16 shootings and 21 victims. Though shootings are down in the 60th Precinct, citywide gun violence is surging, with a 13 percent increase in incidents.

Dashawn Richard (Source: NYPD)

Dashawn Richard (Source: NYPD)

Police are looking for missing 12-year-old Dashawn Richard, a resident of the Marlboro Houses at 30 Avenue V.

Richard was last seen on Tuesday, August 19, as he left his home at approximately 10:40 p.m.

He is described as a black male, approximately 5’11″ and 110lbs. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans and purple sneakers.

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.

All calls are confidential.

Former Councilman Domenic Recchia, who is challenging embattled Congressman Michael Grimm, released his campaign’s first television ad this week. The message appears to be an attempt to boost his Staten Island credentials.

The ad, called “Saturday,” follows the Democratic candidate on what it claims is a “typical Saturday.” He heads to Staten Island to take care of mom, back to Brooklyn to shuttle his daughters around, returns to the Island for a nephew’s ballgame, then Brooklyn again, then the Island, then… you get the idea.

If you were hoping the ad might have something about his stance on federal issues like, say, military spending or corporate tax incentives or a federal marriage equality proposal – well, keep hoping. It ain’t in this ad. Instead it says he’ll fight for lower tolls on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge – a state issue – because he doesn’t want to go broke spending all that time in Staten Island.

But, hey, there’s a lot of Staten Island in there. That’s probably a response to the often-touted political wisdom that a Brooklyn candidate can’t represent the Island, which has made us wonder whether an Island rep can represent Brooklyn.

It’s not the only campaign advertising going around. Grimm, a Republican, seems to be short on the ad front, which probably has something to do with his mounting debt and fundraising issues. But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is piling on with a video ad that’s been bombarding my Pandora account, called “Charges.” It looks like a pretty good flick.


The anniversary of Yusef Hawkins’ death will fall on Saturday, August 23, marking 25 years since the tragic incident nearly set the city on ablaze in racial tensions, and became enmeshed with Bensonhurst’s reputation to this day.

The Daily News ran a series of articles revisiting the incident this week, speaking to the reputed ringleader of the mob who killed the 16-year-old, the man convicted of firing the bullets that took his life, and Hawkins’ mother.

Circumstances around the incident remain muddled, but on August 23, 1986, four shots were fired from a crowd of teenagers who confronted Hawkins’ and two friends. Two bullets landed in Hawkins’ chest and he died.

The crowd had gathered at 9:00 p.m. on 20th Avenue at the behest of Keith Mondello, who earlier in the evening was threatened by a “local girl with a crack habit named Gina Feliciano,” according to the News. Feliciano told Mondello she would gather a group of black and Hispanic teens to settle a score with Mondello.

Hawkins and his friend had gotten off the N train and were headed to a Bensonhurst home to buy a used car when they passed the mob. They were followed by the bat-wielding mob, which reportedly shouted racial epithets at them. Someone opened fire.

Twenty-five years later, Mondello said he’s still haunted by that day.

“That kid was shot for no reason at all. It was completely senseless,” Mondello said. “Did I know that then? Yes. I know it even more now.”

“I would do anything to give Yusuf Hawkins his life back,” he added. “This is not something for you to report to make people think that, ‘Oh, I’m some kind of good person.’ I mean it honestly from my heart.”

He also had some words of wisdom for would-be tough guys.

“I wish somebody could have grabbed my shoulders and shook me and said, ‘Keith, what are you doing? What are you, crazy? This is not the right thing to do even if you’re just gonna get into a fight and you have golf clubs and bats and whatever.’

“’For what? Because you’re gonna protect your block, or protect your schoolyard? This macho bravado thing,’ ” he added. “That’s really what the night was about.”

Mondello was paroled from prison in 1998 after serving eight years. He lives in Staten Island.

The same can’t be said for Joey Fama, the reputed gunman who fired the shots that killed Hawkins. In a separate article, he told the News that he was there, but he didn’t fire the weapon – and that prosecutors railroaded him to ease racial tensions.

“The charge didn’t fit the crime,” said Fama, wearing a dark green polo shirt and glasses. “I was there but I didn’t shoot the guy.

“I lost 25 years of my life,” added Fama, who’s imprisoned at the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate Dannemora. “Mere presence is not guilt. There were 20 to 40 people there. Nobody else is doing 32 years to life.”

… Days after testifying that he saw Fama pull the trigger, the state’s key witness, Franklin Tighe, admitted he wasn’t even at the scene. The judge barred the new testimony. Still, the jury deliberated for 10 days before convicting Fama.

“They didn’t care who they convicted,” Fama said, referring to prosecutors. “They just wanted a conviction.”

Fama won’t be up for parole until 2020, and said he constantly thinks about the events of that night.

On that, he wouldn’t be alone. Two and a half decades later, Hawkins’ mother Diane still sheds tears on her son’s days of birth and death.

“I look at his picture every day,” said Hawkins, 60.

“Even though it has been 25 years, it feels like it just happened. It’s like it’s never gonna go away. It just can’t go away for me.”

“I feel like there’s an empty space in my heart,” she added.

… Told that the suspected shooter Joey Fama and the accused ringleader Keith Mondello have expressed remorse, Hawkins shook her head.

“I can’t forgive anybody,” she said. “I can’t do it.”

When Hawkins goes to sleep at night, she said, she still finds herself wrestling with a series of heart-wrenching questions.

“I ask myself, ‘Why? Why did this guy have to do this? For what?’ ” she said. “My son didn’t bother anyone.”

The incident, which for months spurred marches by Al Sharpton and others through the neighborhood and garnered national headlines, remains one of the most prominent episodes of racial violence in post-Civil Rights era America. It’s been invoked in the recent deaths of Eric Garner in Staten Island and Michael Brown in Ferguson, as well as that of Treyvon Martin.

And while the neighborhood has long since changed, it remains one of the most enduring marks on Bensonhurst’s reputation, though it’s a neighborhood increasingly populated by various peoples of color. Gothamist, for example, brought it up as context in an article about anti-Muslim fliers appearing in Bath Beach, suggesting Bensonhurst residents still have a long way to go before it can put the incident behind it.

Photo courtesy of Priscilla Consolo

From a previous clean-up. Photo courtesy of Priscilla Consolo

Assemblyman Bill Colton and Councilman Mark Treyger are teaming up to sponsor their second “Speak-Up & Clean-Up” event of 2014, and they’re looking for volunteers to join them in keeping the streets clean.

The event kicks off Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. and lasts until 2:00 p.m. Volunteers will meet up at 29 Bay 25th Street, between 86th Street and Benson Avenue. They’ll head to 86th Street, tidying up from 25th Avenue to 16th Avenue, and then move on to 18th Avenue from Benson Avenue to 82nd Street. They’ll also clean the area surrounding Bensonhurst Park.

If you’d like to volunteer, just show up at the meeting time and location, or contact Colton’s district office at (718) 236-1598.

Here’s more information about the event from Colton’s press release:

Volunteers, who are local youth from neighborhood schools and organizations, have signed up to clean a large stretch of 86th Street from 25th Avenue to 16th Avenue, and 18th Avenue from Benson Avenue to 82nd Street, as well as the streets surrounding Bensonhurst Park. In addition to cleaning up, participants will also pass out flyers, in different languages, and speak to residents and businesses about sanitation rules and guidelines to encourage them to “do their part” and help keep the neighborhood clean.

This clean -up event will mark the second effort of the year for the ongoing “Speak-Up & Clean -Up” campaign, after the last event was held on May 17, 2014, also with Councilman Mark Treyger. Previously, Colton has hosted clean-up events in 2011, 2012, and 2013. In addition, this Saturday’s clean-up event will also be the fourteenth initiative for the campaign since it began three years ago.

… The list of volunteers include: members of District 9 High School Key Club, students from New Utrecht High School, members from Our Lady of Grace Teen Group, students from Midwood High School’s Key Club, students from Brooklyn Technical High School’s Red Cross Club and Key Club, students from Edward R. Murrow’s Key Club, members from Bensonhurst Cluster Youth Ministry, students from Madison High School’s Key Club, members from Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School’s Key Club, members from John Dewey High School’s Key Club, among others.

Additionally, the Department of Sanitation will supply the groups with tools, gloves, and trash bags to assist them in the clean –up effort. All volunteers will receive community service hours and be treated with free refreshments in appreciation of their hard work.

Source: FreeVerse Photography/Flickr

Improv Everywhere, the group behind the no pants subway ride and Frozen Grand Central gags, returned to Coney Island for the 5th Annual Black Tie Beach event on Saturday.

Source: FreeVerse Photography/Flickr

Hundreds of the group’s acolytes gathered on the shoreline in their best formal wear – gowns, tuxedos, top hats, monocles – before plunging into the water fully clothed.

Source: FreeVerse Photography/Flickr

Meanwhile, those not in on the gag, which would be just about anyone else hanging around Coney Island or Brighton Beach, let loose a series of guffaws as they tried to figure out what was going on.

Source: FreeVerse Photography/Flickr

The group’s website has several photo collections from the event posted already, and they’re working on a video. In the meantime, here’s last year‘s video:

Did you catch the black tie crew? What was your reaction?

All of the photos for this post were taken by Dave Bledsoe/FreeVerse Photography, who generously posted them with a Creative Commons license on Flickr. Check out his photostream for more.

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