The Dyker Heights Christmas and holiday light show is one of those defining things about our little corner of Brooklyn, drawing thousands from around the tri-state area looking to check out great holiday lights installed by our neighbors.
No one knows how or when the tradition began, but it has grown to swallow up the whole neighborhood in an unrivaled display of holiday spirit.
Bensonhurst Bean contributor Eric Jankiewicz put together this video, capturing the awe and splendor of the lights and decorations and the reaction from visitors.
Over the next few days, we’ll feature more photos and videos from this year’s Dyker Heights holiday celebrations. Stay tuned!
“The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth” (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe
We at Bensonhurst Bean wish our readers, our neighbors and our business partners a warm, happy and healthy Thanksgiving.
We’ll be back on Monday, December 2.
The MTA released this beautiful video this morning on YouTube, which shows the preparation and kick off for the New York City marathon on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which has hosted the event’s opening since 1976.
The video features awe inspiring shots and time-lapse video from various points around the bridge, including the top of one of its pillars looking down on to the roadway, Brooklyn spread out in the background.
Last year, the marathon was canceled at the last minute following outrage from city dwellers over the allocation of resources following the devastation of Superstorm Sandy. It was the first year the city went without a marathon.
When it returned this month, it was the largest marathon in world history, with 50,304 runners crossing the finish line.
The video is a salute to the runners and those involved in Sandy recovery.
Source: extrabox via Flickr
Sadly, too often we write about the latest suicide or suicide attempt committed on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Earlier this week, we told you about the latest incident involving a 39-year-old man who was heroically rescued after attempting a leap from the iconic bridge.
Obviously, committing suicide by jumping off the Verrazano Bridge is nothing new, evidenced by this incredible photograph posted by Flickr user “extrabox.” Extrabox described where the dynamic and harrowing photograph originated from:
A scan from my magazine collection showing the dark side of my beloved Verrazano Bridge. It’s from the July-August 1965 issue of SPRING 3100 which was a magazine for NYC cops (named after the telephone exchange number for the old Police headquarters building on Centre Street). The caption for this image: “Ptl. Erik A. Olsen, ESS 5, finds himself on edge of iron girder high up on Verrazano-Narrows Bridge grappling with a would-be jumper before pulling the man to safety. Olsen’s partner, Ptl. George Sica, ESS 5, secured other end of safety rope.” This was less than a year after the bridge opened in November 1964.
Unbelievable. The only prevention measures available on the bridge at this time include general surveillance and patrols, and signs that read “Life is worth living” with phones that link directly to suicide hotlines. With the rash of suicides and attempts in the last few years, some have argued that more has to be done to keep people from jumping.
I was beginning to feel a little sore that the much ballyhoo’d month-long residency of Banksy, perhaps the world’s most famous graffiti artist, did not include a single visit to Southern Brooklyn.
Then the son of a gun proved me wrong. On day 28 of his 31-day visit, he struck Coney Island, painting the above image on a wall at Stillwell Avenue and Neptune Avenue.
Color me happy.
The piece is the latest in a (short) string of internationally recognized street artists hitting Southern Brooklyn. Late last month, Zed1 and Phlegm, two European street artists, did a pair of fantastic murals on Avenue U in Sheepshead Bay.
Photos via BanksyNY.com.
It is appropriate with Halloween being around the corner that we have the pleasure to introduce more glorious footage of Coney Island’s yesteryear, highlighting the spooky freak shows that help make the boardwalk iconic.
Last month, we came across a 50-second clip uploaded by ChiTownView, which featured the freak shows of Coney Island dating back to the 1940s. Well, this historically minded YouTuber has found even more footage of vintage Coney Island, mashing newsreel bits from the 40s, 50s and 60s together into a glorious and trippy walk down memory lane.
This time, you can see men breathing fire, dancing freaks, creepy wax museum figures that nearly come to life, a racy little striptease and the whirling light show of Coney Island’s best rides set to a creepy laugh track of drunken carnies. Best of all, it ends like all the best nights on Coney Island do, with a fireworks show blasting in the sky.
Great stuff, ChiTown. We hope you can keep finding the lost gems and sharing them for all of us to appreciate.
Although mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio may have used the occasion to tout his Italian heritage and the contributions of New York City’s Italian community, Saturday’s Columbus Day parade on 18th Avenue brought together thousands of people from all different backgrounds for a colorful neighborhood celebration.
Organized by the Federation of Italian-American Organizations, the 32nd annual parade marched down 18th Avenue from 61st Street to 84th Street, ending near the historic New Utrecht church.
Thousands of people watched from the sidewalk, waving Italian flags regardless of their ethnicity, as hundreds more paraded by, representing various schools, ethnic and community organizations.
Next year, parade organizers hope to march a little further down 18th Avenue, passing Il Centro, a new Italian community center that FIAO aims to complete by that time.
Check out our parade photos!
Hep Cats (Source: 50sand60s via Twitter)
Dig the scene. A couple of cool daddios parade down the boardwalk on Coney Island, smoking cigs and flashing tattoos, grooving on all the squares terrified over their rock n’ roll attitudes.
Yes, that was an incredibly lame description but the picture above, provided on Twitter by the @50sand60s account, is a fascinating glimpse into how little changes in the world of cool. Yes, tattoos, Ray Ban sunglasses and hipster hairdos were also all the rage in 1957, proving that Coney Island is always a place to look cool and be cool… or something.
Navy Color Guard leads Columbus Day celebrations in Manhattan, 2008 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Today is Columbus Day, marking the 521st anniversary since Christopher Columbus landed on the shores of the New World, kicking off a succession of events the ultimately leads to the formation of the United States and nations throughout North and South America.
We hope you have a terrific day, and take a moment to reflect on the cultural heritage and diversity that has flourished in this land in the in the last half-millennium.
Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) putting aside their mutant differences to enjoy lunch at Nathan’s (Source: Twitter via Geeks Of Doom).
A pair of incredibly legendary and awesome actors paid a visit to Coney Island last week and chowed down on some Nathan’s Famous (1310 Surf Avenue). Sir Patrick Stewart posted the image seen above on his Twitter account, displaying his cool Coney Island tank top, his X-Men costar Sir Ian McKellen and his surprisingly muscular 73-year-old biceps.
Another thing gleaned from this picture, perhaps unsurprisingly, is that these two British knights also enjoy the comfort of black bowler derby caps. While we don’t know who took this picture of the famous duo, the Geeks of Doom hinted that it might have been Leonard Nimoy, aka Spock, who was also photographed with the pair in Coney Island.
Stewart, Nimoy and McKellen. (Source: Twitter via Geeks of Doom).
Only one question now remains. Who would win in a three-way fight? Professor X, Spock or Magento? Have at it, nerds!