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Archive for the 'Events' Category

Source: flickrized/Flickr

Is your kid the next Roger Federer or Anna Kournikova? They could be, and now there are free programs at local schools to help them get there.

The New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL) organization launched their free community tennis summer programs for kids earlier this month, and registration continues to be open.

The program provides free use of tennis racquets, qualified instructors and lessons to kids ages 5 to 18. Participants will learn the basics of tennis strokes and how to rally, and then be put to the test in competition with others of similar skill levels.

The summer season kicked off July 7, but there are no deadlines to register and no wait lists to slog through. Registration is done on-site, and parents or guardians must accompany the child during the registration process. It’s a six to eight week program which runs three to six hours a day, five days a week – although schedules vary from site to site.

Locally, kids can sign up and begin playing at the following area schools during the days and times indicated:

  • P.S. 229 – 1400 Benson Avenue - Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. - Site director: Colin Clarke
  • McDonald ParkMcDonald Avenue at Avenue S – Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Site director: Gennady Shuminov
  • P.S. 238 – 1633 East 8th Street - Wednesday and Thursday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. – Site director: Colin Clarke
  • Andries Hudde Junior High School Playground2500 Nostrand Avenue – Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Site director: Bob Spigner

More information can be found here. The full list of sites citywide can be found here.


The sediment-filled waste coming out of a covered sewer overflow pipe. (Source: Pete Castro)


Event flier. Click to enlarge.

We broke the story last week about neighbors’ concerns over potentially toxic runoff from a Department of Environmental Protection operation to clean out the sewers in Coney Island. Now Councilman Mark Treyger is keeping good to his word, organizing a public meeting with the agency to bring its representatives into the community to hear residents out and answer questions.

Treyger announced yesterday that the meeting will take place Tuesday, July 8, at 4:00 p.m. at the Coney Island YMCA (2980 West 29th Street). The topic isn’t just the spillage occurring on West 33rd Street, where black gunk is flowing from a sewer outfall pipe into Coney Island Creek. It’s also about the project behind it – a long-awaited effort by the agency to clear out blocked sewer lines peninsula-wide, which they say will reduce the amount of street flooding during storms.

The local pol will be at the meeting, joined by Deputy Commisioner for Water and Sewer Operations Jim Roberts, and they’ll be giving an overview of the project and answering questions from the public.

The meeting is open to everybody. For more information, contact Treyger’s office at (718) 307-7151.

The following is a press release from the offices of Council members Mark Treyger and David Greenfield:

Councilmembers David G. Greenfield and Mark Treyger invite all local residents and families to attend a free screening of the classic, “The Wizard of Oz” this Sunday, June 29th. The movie will begin promptly at 8:30 p.m. in Colonel Marcus Park at Avenue P & East 5th. Residents are invited to bring chairs and blankets to enjoy this great family event.

The 1939 Technicolor film, “The Wizard of Oz,” tells the tale of Dorothy Gale, a Kansas farm girl, whose farmhouse is swept into tornado and lands in the magical Land of Oz. She sets out on a mission to return home to Kansas with the help of the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. But when Dorothy’s house lands on the Wicked Witch of the East, her evil sister, the Wicked Witch of the West, schemes to thwart Dorothy’s plans and avenge her sister’s death.

Starring Judy Garland, the Wizard of Oz is one of the most beloved films in American pop culture. In 1956, it began airing annually, reintroducing the musical to a new generation and cementing its status as one of the most famous films ever made. It earned six Academy Award nominations, including one for best song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

“I am excited to bring our annual Family Movie in the Park to the Midwood and Gravesend neighborhoods this Sunday. I look forward to seeing many families and children at this event. Please be sure to bring a blanket or chair and join me great event on Sunday, June 29,” Councilman Greenfield said.

“This is a great chance for residents to come together and enjoy a classic film in a great setting at Colonel Marcus Park. My thanks to the New York City Parks Department and Council Member Greenfield for their help organizing this free event right in our neighborhood. The entire community is invited, so please spread the word and bring your family, friends, and neighbors with you on Sunday,” said Councilman Treyger.

“The Wizard of Oz” will be shown in the large asphalt area at Colonel Marcus Park, located at Avenue P between East 4th and East 5th Street. For more information, please contact Councilman Greenfield’s office at (718) 853-2704 or Councilman Tregyger’s at (718) 307-7151.

The Hendrick I. Lott House in Marine Park. Source: New Utrecht Reformed Church

The Hendrick I. Lott House in Marine Park. Source: New Utrecht Reformed Church

The following press release was sent to us by the Friends of Historic New Utrecht:

Brooklyn’s old Dutch farmhouses and their importance to our history will be the subject of an illustrated lecture by an urban archaeologist, Dr. Christopher Ricciardi, in the Parish House of the New Utrecht Reformed Church on Tuesday, June 17, at 7:30 p.m. The program, “Disappearing Dutch Brooklyn – Where Have All the Houses Gone?”, is being offered free of charge by the Friends of Historic New Utrecht.

Urban Archaeologist Dr. Christopher Ricciardi

Urban Archaeologist Dr. Christopher Ricciardi

At the end of World War II, there were still 70 Dutch farmhouses and barns in Brooklyn. Only 13 of these important reminders of Brooklyn’s Dutch settlers and its agricultural past now remain. In the program, Dr. Ricciardi will explain how such sites can add to our understanding of our community’s history.

Appropriately, he will be speaking on the landmarked campus of the New Utrecht Reformed Church, a congregation organized by the Dutch settlers of the area in 1677. The Parish House is at 18th Avenue and 84th Street In Bensonhurst with bus and subway lines nearby. The B8 stops in front of the church; the B1 two blocks away on 86th Street, The church is one block away from the D line’s 18th Avenue station.

Dr. Ricciardi, a principal of the Midwood-based firm, Chrysalis Archaeological Consultants, served from 1990 to 2001 as Assistant to the Director of the Brooklyn College Archaeological Research Center and from 2001 to 2009 as Chief Archaeologist for the Army Corps of Engineers, New York District.

The program is one in a series of free concerts and history-related events offered each year by the New Utrecht historic organization.

Persons interested in learning more about Dr. Ricciardi’s talk, New Utrecht landmarks and its history are invited to contact (718) 256-7173 or, visit or on Facebook at

The next meeting of the 62nd Precinct Community Council will be held tonight, June 10, 7:30 p.m. at Msgr. Scanlon Center at St. Finbar’s RC Church, 138 Bay 20th Street at Bath Avenue.

At the meeting, the Michael J. Ferraro Community Service Award will be presented to graduating students. Also, the George Brossard Memorial Award will be presented to Auxiliary Sgt. John Senia and Auxiliary Police Officer of the Year honors will be presented to Auxiliary P.O. David Lei.

For more info, call (718) 236-2501.

Community Board 11 with hold its monthly general meeting Thursday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m., at Bensonhurst Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare (1740 84th Street).

On the agenda is a zoning item for 2402 86th Street. Dolphin Fitness is seeking to make minor alterations to its property, as well as extend their existing special permit that allows them to use the space for an additional 10 years. The property owner is also seeking additional time to seek a Certificate of Occupancy.

The Board serves as a local conduit to the government of New York City, representing neighbors’ needs and concerns. If you have a problem with a city agency or quality of life issue, the Board exists to relay your concerns and spur action.

There will be time to hear residents’ concerns and discuss various committee reports, and elected officials may be in attendance.

For more information, call (718) 266-8800.


Kids got sticky with cotton candy at last year’s event. (Photo by Elle Spektor)

Bensonhurst’s 86th Street Festival is returning for yet another year this Sunday, June 8, 2014, for a day of fun, friends, food and entertainment.

More than 10,000 people flooded 86th Street between Bay Parkway and 19th Avenue for last year’s event. It’ll be on the same stretch this year as it has been for about a decade, kicking off at 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., offering a day of outdoor thrift-shopping with family and friends, as well as live music, booths representing a slew of local organizations and more.

Although the event draws a lot of outside vendors – like staple sausage trucks and tchotchke merchants – local businesses are also getting involved, said organizer Chip Cafiero.

“It’s really to bring the community out, and you will have a bunch of nonprofits out there besides the vendors,” said Cafiero. “And it’s also to rejuvenate the [local] merchants. We have a bunch participating.”

Proceeds from the event go to bettering the community. Although in past years it went to benefit a local merchant’s association, funds now go to the Southwest Brooklyn Parks Taskforce to bring concerts and other programming to local parks. Half of the proceeds also go to the 62nd Precinct Community Council, which uses it to fund graffiti removal and other quality of life improvements throughout the district.

Get there early to find parking on side streets. To get there by mass transit, take the D line to Bay Parkway or 20th Avenue, or the B1, B6 or B82 buses to Bay Parkway/86th Street.


History buffs will descend on the Historic New Utrecht Reformed Church this weekend to celebrate the 231st anniversary of the New Utrecht Liberty Pole with music, historical reenactments and the blasting of a Civil War cannon, among other activities.

It’s two days of events, hosted by Friends of Historic New Utrecht, kicking off on Saturday, June 1, on the grounds of the New Utrecht Reformed Church (18th Avenue and 84th Street). All events are free and open to everybody.

From the group’s announcement:

Events on the church grounds and in the Parish House from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. will be devoted to history. At 7:30 p.m. the Parish House will be the site of an all-American concert by the award-winning Symphonic Band from Susan E. Wagner High School in Staten Island, Paul Corn conducting.

Revolutionary War re-enactors will interact with the public on the church lawn and members of Winslow’s Battery D will explain and demonstrate by firing an authentic 1863 Civil War cannon.

In the Parish House at 12:30 p.m., National Park Service Ranger Michael Callahan will present a lecture on “The French and Indian War” while at 2:45 p.m. Dave Elligers, vice president of the New Utrecht Liberty Pole Association and president of the Friends organization, will talk about the history of the Liberty Pole. Throughout Saturday historical exhibits and displays will be open to visitors in the Parish House.

A ceremony honoring the 231st anniversary of the raising of the first Liberty Pole on the site at the end of the Revolutionary War will be conducted at 3:30 p.m.

Earlier in the day, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Mr. Elligers leads a tour of the Old New Utrecht Reformed Cemetery, on 85th Street with the entrance east of 16th Avenue. He gives a similar tour on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Liberty Weekend is the only time during the year that the cemetery, dating back to the 1600s, is opened to the public.

On the lawn from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the New Utrecht Reformed Church will conduct a sale of baked goods and costume jewelry with proceeds going toward the re-opening of the historic church sanctuary, which has been closed for restoration and repair. The sanctuary was built in 1828 with stones taken from the original church built in the Old Cemetery in 1700.

For more information, call (718) 256-7173, visit the group’s website, find them on Facebook, or e-mail

The following was sent to us by Councilman Mark Treyger’s office, one of the elected officials sponsoring a gun buyback event this Saturday, May 31, in Coney Island. Details below.


Community Board 11 with hold its monthly general meeting Thursday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m., at Bensonhurst Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare (1740 84th Street).

The Board serves as a local conduit to the government of New York City, representing neighbors’ needs and concerns. If you have a problem with a city agency or quality of life issue, the Board exists to relay your concerns and spur action.

There will be time to hear residents’ concerns and discuss various committee reports, and elected officials may be in attendance.

For more information, call (718) 266-8800.

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