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Photo Courtesy of beforethetrailer.com

Look out webheads, the Amazing Spider-Man 2 is filming in Bensonhurst, according to a report by Before the Trailer.

The filming of the most famous Marvel super-hero kicked off at 10 a.m. and goes on ’til 2 a.m.

We’d love for any of our readers to head on down to the set somewhere around these areas.

  • at 82nd Street between 14th and 16th Avenue
  • at 83rd street between 14th and 16th Avenue
  • at 15th avenue between 81st and 84th street
  • at 16th avenue between 81st and 84th street

The film is being shot under the alias of “London Calling,” so don’t be fooled and keep your eyes peeled for Andrew Garfield springing around in some red and blue spandex and send us any pics you can sneak!

Best of luck!

The Brooklyn Philharmonic’s “Brighton Beach Series” — which will not be taking place in Brighton Beach — will feature the family workshop, “A Bad Workman Blames His Tools” at the Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, 7802 Bay Parkway, March 3 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

A description of the event from organizers:

Russian folk music was born in a rich peasant culture, centuries ago and 5,000 miles away, by artists who created music using whatever resources were at their disposal, from wood blocks to washboards to tablespoons. Lack of proper tools held no sway over creativity of the human spirit! The remarkable and distinctive folk music they created had an enormous impact beginning with orchestral music of the 19th century and expanding on into the music of today. The public is invited to join charismatic teaching artists and Brooklyn Phil musicians in a hands-on discovery of these creative traditions.

The event is free of charge, and you can RSVP by going here. For further information, call (718) 488-5700, e-mail info@bphil.org or go to www.bphil.org.

Jon Stewart took to the Daily Show stage Monday night to weigh in on the Dov Hikind blackface controversy, giving the story a national profile.

In the segment, which Stewart dubbed “Crazy, Stupid, Dov,” Hikind is characterized as the sort of politically correct politician who takes umbrage with every real and perceived slight against Jewish people and Israeli politics, running down a list of people and corporations Hikind has slammed over the years on charges of antisemitism.

Stewart is fair to note that many if not all of Hikind’s targets deserved criticism and defends the assemblyman for being passionate in his crusade against antisemitism.

“Some of those may seem like a bit of an overreaction, but the guy believes he is standing up for a group, whenever he feels like this group has been unfairly maligned or held up to ridicule,” Stewart said.

The Daily Show host was a bit more flabbergasted when confronted with Hikind’s blackface Purim costume, especially when Hikind tried to use the excuse that Purim allowed for outrageous costumes.

“Really, Purim?” Stewart deadpanned. “Everyone knows on Purim you get to be racist!”

Stewart then chided Hikind for a less than lackluster apology, especially in light of Hikind’s profile of being the sort of politician who regularly demands public apologies from various people and groups.

“I’m sorry to discover that some people are crybabies, but ah, in my defense, I’m an adult man in New York City and didn’t realize blackface was offensive.”

The debate over Hikind’s hypocrisy was then framed as a larger poke at how politicians and the media stir up false outrage over perceived slights towards religion and groups. Stewart turned to correspondent Jessica Williams who reported on the “War on Purim,” in a hilarious parody of the “War on Christmas” controversy. Check it out below.

Source: Kor!An via Wikimedia Commons

Good news for aquatic-life lovers, as the New York Aquarium on Coney Island will reopen sooner than expected, according to a report by the New York Daily News.

Like practically every other New York business and institution located close to the coast, the aquarium was damaged and closed after Superstorm Sandy swept through late last October. The early reopening signifies a positive step towards a fuller recovery, a sentiment echoed by the mayor.

“The partial reopening is a milestone for the community as it recovers from Hurricane Sandy,” the Daily News reported Mayor Bloomberg saying in a statement.

The first exhibits to reopen will be the outdoor Sea Cliffs tanks. Patrons will be able to see their favorite seals, otters, penguins and walruses flop and swim around this spring looking for fishy treats.

While the reopening of the aquarium is indeed good news, it didn’t come cheap. Luckily, though, few sea creatures were lost:

Officials with the Wildlife Conservation Society estimate it will cost $65 million to fully restore the aquarium, which opened in 1957 and attracts 750,000 visitors annually.

Few animals were lost during the storm, but floodwaters damaged exhibits and destroyed the facility’s heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems.

And about 150 koi, an exotic freshwater carp, could not be saved.

Source: FArepublicans via flickr

Gun rights activists who voted for Congressman Michael Grimm in high numbers are feeling betrayed by his recent support of measures that would ban assault weapons in light of the Newton tragedy, according to a report by the American Thinker.

Grimm, who promised conservative gun rights supporters that he wouldn’t support any limiting of gun rights, changed his mind following the devastating tragedy this past December in Newtown, Connecticut. The American Thinker cited comments made in a report by SI Live this past January:

“I had been leaning toward it,” said Grimm (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn). “This is a big move for me. I had not been there before. Truthfully, it was the devastation of the families. I think of mothers and fathers now sending their kids to school. If it gives them peace of mind, if it makes people feel better, as part of the healing process, I am comfortable with it. I really want to see a safer America.”

Supporters of Grimm, who voted for him under the premise that he would protect their gun rights, were stunned by their sense of “betrayal” on this issue:

“Politicians make promises. You can’t believe any of them. They make deals – packaged with amendments. The rest of the bill is what influenced him (Grimm), I assume,” Mrs. [Karen] Awad said.

Adding to the anger conservative activists feel at Grimm’s change of heart, the American Thinker cited that Grimm would have had no chance of winning his seat in his district without the vocal support of tea party voters:

Grimm won the 2010 general election for his district which covers both parts of New York City’s Staten Island and Brooklyn with 51 percent of the vote.  Grimm won the 2012 general election for the post-Census New York 11th District with 52.8 percent of the vote.  One doubts Michael Grimm could have gotten into office in this “purple” District without Tea Party members and other conservatives voting for him in high numbers.

Source: Google Maps

The New Utrecht branch of the Brooklyn Public Library reopened last Wednesday, February 20, after more than a month of being closed.

Self checkout machines at the New Utrecht library.

Located at 1743 86th Street, the branch has been temporarily closed for renovations and “customer service enhancements” since January 18.

A representative from the branch said that two self-check-out counters will now be located at the front of the library.

Star Ramella, 12, said that she will now be resuming her daily visits to the New Utrecht library. She added that she comes to the library after school to “read, hang out, and play on the computer” with her best friend, 13-year-old Iqna Velez.

“There’s not much else for us to do here in the winter,” Ramella said.

But Ramella said she had expected to see more noticeable renovations in the branch.

“I wish they had put more stuff in,” she said.  “But I’m happy to see it open again.”

Aleksandr Ganopolskiy agreed. A Bensonhurst local, he has been visiting the New Utrecht Branch approximately five times per week for the past 13 years.

During the renovation, Ganopolskiy said he had been frequenting the Dyker Library, located at 8202 13th Avenue. A “super optimist” he said he used the extra thirty minutes of walking time as exercise.

And, while he also hoped for more changes in the New Utrecht branch, he said that he has noticed some key changes. Personally, he has seen a greater variety of Russian books on bookshelves. He added that he’s most excited to be able to utilize the library computers again.

Officials from the Brooklyn Public Library did not respond to multiple requests for comment on this article.

As we reported earlier this week, the Ulmer Park library branch will soon close for similar renovations, and will reopen at the end of March.

Clarification: Our previous report about the reopening of this branch said that the renovation included a new learning space and 70 new computers. Those improvements were made at Brooklyn Public Library’s Central branch, not at the local branch. 

Source: NYPD via Daily News

The NYPD released surveillance camera photos of an alleged rapist they have been hunting since September, according to a report by the New York Daily News.

The alleged sleazeball is described as a 5’8 muscular man with a shaved bald head. He spoke with a Russian accent.

According to the NYPD, he lured a woman to Bensonhurst’s Harbor Motor Inn (1730 Shore Parkway) on September 2, 2012, with the promise of a job interview. After paying for the room, he attacked and raped the victim, a 39-year-old woman.

Anyone with information regarding this crime is urged to contact Crime Stoppers. All callers to Crime Stoppers remain anonymous. Crime Stoppers can be reached at 1-800-577-TIPS, via the website, or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577.

Source: Wally Gobetz via Wikimedia Commons

The Brooklyn Cyclones have announced that they will raising moneyfor various Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts, through a new program dubbed “Meaningful Mondays.”

The way it works is that $3 out of every ticket sold at MCU Park (1904 Surf Avenue) on Mondays will go to several charities involved in the recovery process. This will start in July.

According to the press release, each week the “Meaningful Monday” will focus on a different neighborhood affected by the storm. Here is a schedule the press release provided of which neighborhoods will go with which week:

•           Monday, July 1 –Coney Island Night to benefit ConeyRecovers.org.

•           Monday, July 8 – Gerritsen Beach Night to benefit Gerritsen Cares.

•           Monday, July 22 –Nassau County Night to benefit the Nassau Hurricane Recovery Fund.

•           Monday, July 29 – Red Hook Night to benefit the Red Hook Initiative.

•           Monday, August 19 –Staten Island Night to benefit The Stephen Siller Foundation.

•           Monday, August 26 – Breezy Point / Rockway Night to benefit The Graybeards.

Cyclones General Manager Steve Cohen states in the press release, “We hope that through our Meaningful Monday efforts, we can help the countless people still struggling to recover from the storm, recognize the heroes who were leaders in their communities during their time of need, and provide a night of fun and laughter at the ballpark as we all recover from Hurricane Sandy.”

The Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst (JCH) held their annual Purim Carnival this Sunday.

This year, the three-hour event was named after Comic-Con, a masquerade pop culture event that takes place every spring in New York. Appropriately dubbed “Purim Con,” the event drew in more than 450 locals that wanted to celebrate this festive Jewish holiday at the organization’s headquarters, at 7802 Bay Parkway.

Keep reading about the event, and view our photo gallery.

Source: eivey2 via flickr

Mayor Bloomberg’s controversial initiative to ban large sugary drinks sold at fast food joints, movie theaters and sporting events goes into effect March 12. Bloomberg is so certain that the ban will curb the epidemic of childhood obesity that he is calling for the state to enact the same measures he has set for the city, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

State officials like Governor Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and State Senate Republican Leader Dan Skelos have yet to comment on Bloomberg’s desire to extend the large sugary drink ban across the state.

Bloomberg’s remarks come a few weeks before restaurants, food carts, stadiums, movie theaters, delis and arenas are banned from selling sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces. Establishments that ignore the ban will be subject to heavy fines – though it’s worth noting that convenience stores and venues not overseen by the city Department of Health are exempt.

The mayor has taken a lot of heat after putting forward his plan to limit sugary drink sizes from lobbyists from the American Beverage Association (ABA) who don’t buy that city-sponsored portion-control will do anything to promote public health.

“The soda ban is exceedingly unpopular with New Yorkers. It increases the cost of doing business in the city and will have no impact on the mayor’s stated goal of reducing obesity. New Yorkers can decide for themselves what to eat and drink,” Chris Gindlesperger, a spokesman for ABA told the Journal.

Bloomberg has not backed down.

“Kids, once they get obese, they will be obese as adults. And this year, for the first time in the world, in the history of humanity, more people will die from overeating than from under-eating,” the mayor said. “So, we’re trying to do something here.”

We were wondering what our readers think of the looming large soda ban. Do you think it goes too far? Do you support it? Share your thoughts.