Subscribe for FREE with:

According to Community Board 11 officials, One World, a medical group, may be opening a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in the neighborhood.

District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia and Chairman Bill Guarinello said they were blindsided by the news, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

The community leaders were invited to a meeting with the medical group in order to talk about the plan. The meeting would a preliminary discussion as the board members don’t have much information to go on yet.

“We don’t have a location,” Guarinello told board members during their monthly meeting.

The board members have decided to wait until they have all of the information before they make any decisions concerning the development. Questions remain as to whether or not this would be an-inpatient center, how many patients would be treated and so on.

Guarinello has stated that locals may not approve of a rehab center in their neighborhood.

“People are probably going to go crazy,” he said.

Further, the opinions of the board may not even affect the development if the rehab center obtains the right zoning permits.

“I don’t know of we have a legal right to fight it,” Elias-Pavia told the other board members.

What do you think, is a local rehab center an issue for the community?

Ben Barber is a company that has been around since 1988. They’ve designed custom-made dress shirts for men at their two locations for years.

The Bath location at 1904 Bath Avenue has, unfortunately, closed down. The second location at 4304 13th Avenue in Borough Park remains open.

There is something a bit sad about knowing that these men’s tailors are no longer servicing the Bath Beach area. The boys will just have to get their shirts in prepackaged plastic sleeves from now on.

Source: Whiskeygonebad via Flickr

An interesting proposition has come up: Sara Lee of ArkMedia Productions is looking for old photos of Italians areas in Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Dyker Heights and the surrounding areas. She’s especially interested in ones of day-to-day street scenes,  Italian social clubs, Salumerias and so on.

The production company is working on a four-part documentary for PBS titled “The Italians.” The material they’re looking for should be dated from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Unfortunately for Sara Lee and the rest of the team at ArkMedia, their search through the Brooklyn Museum or the Brooklyn Historical Society didn’t provide enough images, so this is our chance to shine. Dig out those family albums and submit photos of your uncles, fathers, mothers and whoever else just spending time in the old neighborhood.

If there’s one thing I learned living in Bensonhurst, it is that people around here are really proud of the way it was.

Send any photos to LVladimirova [@] BensonhurstBean [dot] com and I’ll get them over to ArkMedia.


The situation at John Dewey High School continues to spiral out of control, to the detriment of longtime staff and of course, the students.

The New York Post ran an article that highlights some of the frustrations students are facing since the failure of the proposed “turnaround” program.

High-achieving senior T’kari Fisher, who earned a coveted spot in Advanced Placement English last year, returned to school only to realize that the class was cancelled, along with other invaluable AP courses like psychology and calculus.

Gone also are Italian, Russian and French language classes, with only Spanish and Chinese as the remaining options.

“Now I’m just here for the credits. I’m not getting much out of it,” Fisher said to The Post.

“I asked for science — marine or space. They put me in stagecraft and dance,” said another senior Babken Mkrtchyan.

Resource rooms stand empty, musical equipment collects dust and the true victims of this screw-up are the students who are losing valuable education time and confidence that things will ever really get back to normal.

Mayor Bloomberg plans to appeal this summer’s legal decision that blocked the school’s name change and the rest of the turnaround program from taking root, but that didn’t stop teacher’s from receiving pink slips and parents taking their kids elsewhere.

In fact, Dewey’s 2012 enrollment dropped by 400-500 students, most likely due to the uncertain standing of the school. Then, their budget was cut, 13 teachers were let go and 10 retired. For sure, this makes for an unstable and confusing learning environment.

“It feels like a junior-high experience,” said senior Patricia Ansah. “It’s pretty mediocre.”

Source: Moberg via Wikimedia Commons

It’s clear that our readers and local residents are not happy with the announcement that Maple Lanes is set to close and in its place, condos and a synagogue will open.

An online petition has been started by Christina Squitieri, a young activist and lover of the written word, to save the iconic and last remaining bowling alley in our area.

Among other things, the petition states:

The bowling alley is key for local school teams and leagues in the area. It’s a fun, educational, empowering, and safe place for kids to be. In this economy especially, we need more places like Maple Lanes. Keeping Maple Lanes will keep kids off the street, allow families to still afford to spend a day together, build self-esteem, and channel anxiety or anger into something productive and fun. Please, please keep it around. It is so important in so many ways.

The 327 community members that have signed seem to agree. An especially impassioned plea comes from #279, Efrain Rodriguez, who says:

Maple Lanes means so much to so many people. For myself this place has special meaning to me. I proposed to my wife on lanes 35-36 in front of many friends and family. I have been bowling here for over 3 years with my wife and we just love this place. There aren’t places like this where the staff treats everyone like family and where people can come to bowl and not feel like they spent an arm and a leg. Maple Lanes is a Brooklyn staple and should not be torn down.

The fate of the bowling alley is unresolved. Developers, local politicians and the members of Community Board 12 have been considering this project for years now. Not to mention, the owners of the bowling alley are ready to sell.

As for the community, broken hearts can be heard all around, just read the comments on the petition site and below our previous article about the alley’s closing.

Source: Fir0002 via Wikimedia Commons

Source: Saperaud via Wikimedia Commons

Scrap metal thefts have been plaguing the neighborhood in recent months. The most recent is perhaps also the most brazen to date. On Sunday, September 9, a man was caught exiting a construction site in broad daylight with about $5,000 worth of copper pipes.

An employee of the construction company at 82nd Street near 19th Avenue was on his way to work in the morning when he spotted someone exiting the work site with pipes and construction materials.

The employee believes the thief entered through the basement, according to the Home Reporter News. The employee called the cops right away.

After fleeing the scene of the crime in his white Mercedez Benz, the crook hit a police car that was responding to the theft. Both officers sustained injuries from the crash.

(UPDATE 9/14/12 3:12 p.m.) Reader and tipster Kseniya Derevyankina has given us all some great news. Alex’s isn’t closing, but moving to a new location across the street. Let the boozing continue!

She writes, “Yes it is true, they are closing this location, but only because they are moving to a bigger place across the street(used to be Dolfin gym). So no reason to be sad! It’s only going to get bigger and have a better selection!!!”

Alex’s Discount Liquors and Wines is for rent. Alex’s Discount Liquor, I hardly… no, I won’t go there.

The spirits store at 1698 86th Street will be missed by its bevy of fans. According to Yelp reviews, most were excited that they delivered.

“This place delivers. Enough said,” writes Samantha S.

Sadly, looks like this place will close down. Enough said.

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.

Food Stuffs is a bi-weekly column examining the gastronomic landscape of Bensonhurst and the surrounding neighborhoods. Each entry will cover anything and everything even remotely related to food because here in Bensonhurst, food is always news.

My adventures in pickling continue through the bright buckets and barrels at the Cherry Hill Market on 86th Street. While circling the pickle bar, I stop and notice the vibrant red color of a baby tomato.

In the world of pickles – tomatoes are definitely the most delicate. They can be too firm or too soft. They can become mushy liked canned crushed tomatoes. They can absorb all the pickle brine and explode like a sour fruit.

Growing up in Southern Brooklyn, my mom used to grow tomatoes in our backyard and we always had too much of everything. She was not a pickler or a preserver and after years of gardening the abundance was too much for her. My dad installed a wooden deck over the garden patch. I only wonder if my mother had tried some of these more exotic pickles (and yes, pickled cherry tomatoes are exotic to my parents), would she still be gardening and growing wonderful things on East 31 Street.

Pickling tomatoes is a delicate process, and when you have a good one, you certainly feel appreciative.

To have a successful pickle we need to avoid the mush, avoid the toughness and avoid the vinegar bombs. It’s a delicate flower. One should also be prepared for the sweet side of this pickle. Like pickled beets or pickled carrots, the sugar in the tomato is going to change the flavor of your normally salty pickle expectations. Just roll with it, roll with that salty fruit sugar.

Cherry Hill Market’s pickled tomatoes are fine. They are not too mushy and not too firm. The bright red color makes you excited about the first bite, and they don’t explode with vinegar juice. The subtle sweetness is a great addition to pickle diversity. The baby tomato pickles are some of my favorites. They remind me of spring, of gardens, of new seasons. The other good thing about this tomato, totally off the record, is that it is small enough to sample. So while you are packing them up (and remember to re-use your containers or bring some Chinese soup containers from home) feel free to sample and see if this is your kind of snack.

Of course, 86th Street is also the place for food and pickle deals. At $2.25 and with tomato season nearly over, it’s an exciting time for pickles like these.

Biting into this pickle in the middle of Bensonhurst may wake up some of those thoughts for you as well. Even as the D train roars above the elevated tracks, the pickle gives you some kind of peace.

Until the next brine!

Cherry Hill Market, 2278 86th Street at 23rd Avenue, (718) 373-4900.

Is there a restaurant or specific dish you think we should check out? Let us know!