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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.

Source: The Offices Of Nicole Malliotakis

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis is rising fast in the world of conservative New York politics and as such, she has been chosen to speak at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), according to a press release.

Malliotakis’ youth has been a large factor in her gaining notice from conservative bigwigs in D.C., a fact Malliotakis credits as a feather in her cap:

“The face of politics is becoming younger by the day, and I am so excited to bring my passion and perspective as a representative of New York to CPAC…Our future is at stake, and it will take fresh, new ideas to put America back on a path to prosperity. I look forward to sharing my own knowledge and learning from my fellow panelists and attendees at this year’s conference.”


Source: Jaszek Photography via Flickr

According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), seniors account for 38 percent of pedestrian fatalities, yet represent only 12 percent of the population. The reasons for this discrepancy, they say, are the lack of “complete streets.”

What are complete streets, you ask? Well, according to the National Complete Streets Coalition, “complete streets are designed and operated so they work for all users—pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.”

Essentially, they are the sort of streets that are neatly organized with sensible traffic flow, clear traffic signs and wide walking spaces that compliment bike lanes so pedestrians and bikers aren’t getting in each other’s way.

An example of a “complete street.” Source:

New Yorkers can sense when they aren’t on a “complete street.” Incomplete streets are the sort of narrow sidewalks that barely accommodate two-way foot traffic, have winding twists and no clear intersections that promote safe crossing. According to the DOT, the lack of complete streets present a real issue for seniors:

A recent report by AARP showed that 40% of adults over 50 reported inadequate sidewalks in their neighborhoods, and 50% reported they cannot cross streets safety. The report also revealed that many people would walk, bicycle or ride the bus if these conditions were improved.  Challenges that frequently affect people’s mobility as they age include declining vision, reduced physical fitness and flexibility, decreased ability to focus attention and increased reaction time.

For the DOT, the need to proliferate the city with “complete streets” will become a pressing issue within the next decade as 2025 the population of older adults will double, likely leading to an increase of pedestrian accidents. Because of this, they are advocating community involvement and awareness in “complete street” policies and planning. Here is some relevant information:

Attend a DOT forum or workshop about transportation or neighborhood planning.  Visit our event calendar or view upcoming events on Facebook. Participate in your community board’s transportation committee. (Find your community board).

Check out resources like the National Complete Streets Coalition, the National Center for Safe Routes to School, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at NYU.

Source: Politicker

Ever since Councilman Domenic Recchia announced last month that he wouldn’t be seeking the borough president’s seat, the race to replace term-limited Marty Markowitz grew quiet. State Senator Eric Adams appeared to have it all locked up.

Enter Bensonhurst native and attorney John Gangemi, a former councilman-at-large who says he’s the right man for the beep’s office.

“I think Marty did a heck of a job, but there’s more to Brooklyn,” Gangemi told City & State, which broke the story. “Brooklyn needs a lot of work with the infrastructure, with the legislation, with projects, and that’s what I want to involve myself with, that type of activity. I have time, I do practice law, but I have time now to do my part for the community.”

When asked whether he would be able to match Markowitz’s relentless visibility, appearing at every event he possibly can make, Gangemi said that while he respects Markowitz, he would have a different style of leadership.

“There’s visibility and then there’s visibility,” he said. “I think Marty is great, but that was Marty’s thing. I have a different thing, I’m in the courts. I’m always trying to be creative in my presentation of the law, the arguing of the law, and I’m more of a law person, although I’m not adverse to cutting ribbons.”

Gangemi said he has looked at the credentials of his opponent Adams and finds him “formidable”, but that, “He doesn’t have the experience I have.”

In the 1970s, Gangemi served in another borough-wide office, that of councilman-at-large. The position represented the entire borough in the City Council until it was eliminated in the 1980s.

Gangemi, 73, also served as an assistant District Attorney and assistant Attorney General, and last year mulled a run to unseat Congressman Michael Grimm.