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Pre-Sandy seawall. Source: Retrofresh! via Flickr

Almost four months after Superstorm Sandy, the city will soon kick off repairs to the 2.5-mile Shore Parkway promenade, where waves battered sections of the seawall into rubble.

The Department of Parks and Recreation awarded a nearly $2 million contract to a Queens firm for repairs to the Shore Parkway Greenway – the seawall, bike path and pedestrian path that line the Belt Parkway from Ceasar’s Bay to Bay Ridge – according to a report on NY1. The repairs will include fixing seawall caps, pavement, benches and debris removal.

“We’re putting up a construction fence to allow the public basically a six-foot area to walk through, which is going to be covered with temporary asphalt and make it a lot safer for them,” project manager Bill Simpson told NY1. “They won’t be exposed to falling into the ocean over here, or they won’t be subject to trip hazards.”

In October, Superstorm Standy ripped open the bulkhead walls at about 10 locations, crumbling pavement and flooding the Belt Parkway. But leaders say more long-term fixes are necessary, as Sandy was only the latest storm to cause a problem for parkway commuters and the path’s cyclists and joggers.

“What we’re seeing now after every storm, we’re getting significant damage here, and the Belt Parkway is flooding out,” said Marnee Elias-Pavia, district manager of Community Board 11. “And basically, emergency services can’t use that area.”

It’s been nearly four months since the storm, but State Senator Marty Golden began calling for repairs almost immediately after Sandy’s waters receded. He sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers in November, and Congressman Michael Grim followed shortly after, with a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Andrew Cuomo. In January, it was finally announced that the project would be put out to bid, and repairs would begin in February.

The repairs are expected to be completed by Memorial Day weekend.

Source: Debbie Egan-Chin via the New York Daily News

I always try to make it to Coney Island’s annual Mermaid Parade in June. It’s usually a gorgeous day filled with happy people dressed in crazy costumes all getting into the summer spirit. Perhaps as a way to combat the winter blues and get our minds focused on warmer days, the New York Daily News presented a 34-photo slideshow of their favorite Mermaid Parade images from their archives.

I had fun strolling through the parade’s colorful history, starting in the more demure days of the early 40s, and ending in the modern sex fest that the parade has happily transformed into today. Check out all the pictures yourself and point us to your favorite one!

Source: Google Maps

We’re still trying to figure out what’s going on, but a neighbor tells us there’s major police activity on Highlawn Avenue between West 8th Street and West 9th Street.

The neighbor first stumbled across the action around 3:45 p.m., with streets taped off and police vehicles blocking traffic. There were also police blocking off West 9th Street toward Avenue S, she said.

Emergency Service Unites – the NYPD’s version of SWAT – were seen entering a house on Highlawn Avenue, and a canine unit is also on the scene.

Neighbors believe it’s a drug and weapon bust, be have yet to confirm this.

Here’s another photo from our tipster:

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to nberke (at) bensonhurstbean (dot) com.

On Monday, February 18, we celebrate the birthdays of – depending on your interpretation - George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson, all, would you know it, former presidents of these United States. I guess that’s why it’s called Presidents Day. And I guess these folks must have hated moving their cars early in the morning, riding express subways, and taking out the trash, because to commemorate them we’ve made sure none of these things happen on their observed birthdays.

On Monday, February 18, there are the following changes to city services:

  • Alternate side parking regulations will be suspended. All other Department of Transportation regulations, including parking meters, remain in effect (because presidents love meters).
  • There will be no garbage or recycling collection.
  • All buses and subways will operate on a Saturday schedule.

Source: Facebook

Gargiulo’s Restaurant (2911 w. 15 St.) suffered extensive damage to the tune of $4.3 million as a result of Superstorm Sandy. To help off set that enormous cost, National Grid donated $100,000 to the Coney Island institution, according to a report by News 12 New Jersey.

Gargiulo’s was one of the earliest businesses to reopen after Sandy shuttered its doors, coming back to life a month after the storm blew into town.

National Grid told News 12 that they wanted to help the restaurant because of Gargiulo’s place in the community, which has existed for over 100 years.

According to Wikipedia, Gargiulo’s opened in 1907, and has hosted many large and lavish parties throughout the years, including one attended by famed jazzed-aged singer Jimmy Durante.

Click to enlarge

CompStat reports are produced by the New York Police Department on a weekly basis. We publish the week’s statistics for the 62nd Precinct reports every Friday. The 62nd Precinct is the police command responsible for Bensonhurst and Bath Beach.


Last year we sent you back in time to 1988 with a classic retro commercial we found advertising “shopping the easy way” at the Caesar’s Bay Bazaar. Well, an evenolder Caesar’s Bay Bazaar commercial from 1980 has emerged on Retro Junk.

The 33-year-old commercial reminds us that “Christmas Time is Bargain Time when you shop Caesar’s Bay,” while showing busy shoppers devouring the unbeatable savings at the now closed outlet megaplex. Can anyone else remember this old ad?

Source: rose24 via flickr

There is a select group that is meeting in Brooklyn today that boasts one incredible criteria needed to gain entry: you have to be married to the same person for at least 50 years. Attending the meeting of long-committed lovers today are Fortuno and Maddalena Corso, a Bensonhurst couple that has been married for an astounding 72 years, according to a report by the AP via NBC4.

The inspiring love story of Fortuno, 89, and Maddalena, 88, traces back to Calabria, Italy, when they married on February 4, 1941, as teenagers.

“I liked her and so I got married,” Fortuno told the AP, proving how life’s journey can hinge on the simplest feelings.

Based on their daughter Madeline’s description of their marriage, it seems like Fortuno made out like a sly devil in their incredible love story:

Their daughter Madeline, one of the couple’s seven children, lives with her parents in their Bensonhurst home. She said for years her mother has done everything for her father – cooking dinner, maintaining the home and even washing his shoulders in the bath.

“My family, we tease them, we say, ‘Ma, you’re married 70 years, if you get divorced you get more than half,” said the daughter. “She tells everybody, ‘Listen, you make sure you love them and you respect them, that’s your best friend.’”

So it seems like the secret to long lasting romance is respect, friendship and love, not bad wisdom coming from some true Valentine experts.

Photo By Erica Sherman

Senatory Marty Golden’s goal to stiffen penalties for hit and run drivers came one step closer to reality this week, after the New York State Senate passed his legislation, according to a press release.

As we reported last month, Golden has been trying to get this legislation passed for a few years now, already once getting it passed in the Senate, but seeing it fail to gain traction in the Assembly.

The bill bumps up hit and run penalties from a Class A Misdemeanor to a Class E Felony. Repeat hit and run offenders will have penalties stiffened from a Class E Felony to a Class D Felony and hit and run drivers attempting to escape a scene where someone is killed will now face a Class C felony.

For Golden, the passage of this legislation is of great urgency considering the continued actions taken by reckless drivers on the road.

“Just last week, a hit and run accident in Manhattan took the life of a senior citizen. Two times in December we saw young women lose their lives at the hands of a motorist, in the Bronx and in Queens. And in November, a jogger was struck and killed in Brooklyn,” Golden said in the release.

Golden also pressed the Assembly not to drop the ball when it comes to pushing this legislation through.

“Each day that the State Assembly fails to act, it is another day that New Yorkers are walking, jogging, and riding their bikes in danger,” Golden said.

Sheepshead Bay’s Steven Cymbrowitz is the sponsor of the bill (A.1533) in the Assembly.

Dyker Heights, affectionately nicknamed Dyker Lights, is well-known for its spectacular decorations during the Christmas season. What is not as well known is that some houses decorate for other holidays as well. Here’s how one homeowner spruced the place up for some Valentine’s Day charm.

There were plenty of examples, unfortunately it was too dark to get any good photos. If you have photos of great Valentine’s Day decorations in Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst or elsewhere in the area, send them to nberke [at] bensonhurstbean [dot] com.