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We received a call from a concerned citizen pointing us to a heap of what seems to be household trash dumped in Milestone Park at 18th Avenue between 81st Street and 82nd Street.

Local reporter, Elle Spektor, visited the site and had this to say:

I’m attaching a few pictures of the mess from the park. It wasn’t as bad as I would have imagined it to be. The park itself was entirely clean, it was just the grassy area behind the benches (blocked off by the black fence you’ll see in pictures) that was covered in trash. Ironically, most of the surrounding trash cans were entirely empty. The kids park across the street was spotless, except for a few ripped up water balloons.
Take a look at the photos and let us know, have you noticed a considerable amount of trash at Milestone Park, or other local parks for that matter?

Some Bensonhurst residents say that a statue of Saint Anthony is watching over the neighborhood.

Resident Cal Stansu placed the icon outside of his mother’s home after his father Anthony passed away 10 years ago. Now, neighbors say they can feel a heartbeat when they touch the statue.

Locals have been coming over to feel the statue and place flowers at its feet.

“Believe in miracles, and it will come true one way or another,” said Stansu.

This is certainly much more promising than an image of Jesus on a piece of toast.

Readers, if you happen to know where the miracle statue is exactly, check it out and tell us if you can feel St. Anthony’s heart beating.

Photo by DJ Nick Russo (

When the New York Daily News ran their “Best of New York” contest, Bensonhurst won the gold. Not one, but two local institutions took home the honors for best sandwich in New York.

John’s Deli at 2033 Stillwell Avenue and Panino Rustico at 8222 17th Avenue have proven they both know what to put in between two slices of bread better than anyone else.

Here’s what the Daily News wrote about John’s Deli:

Bensonhurst has changed a lot over the last two decades. ‘John’s Signature Hot Roast Beef with Mutz and Gravy’ sandwich has not. Since 1968, John’s Deli customers who order ‘the best hero in Brooklyn’ for $7.75 get a half-pound of thinly sliced pink roast beef, two hulking slices of mozzarella, caramelized Spanish onions and dark-as-oil gravy on a long, soft hero. To call this roast beef sandwich delectable would be an understatement. The combination of flavors and textures is downright supernatural. And while the slow-roasted beef, cooked every morning in the back of the deli, is juicy and tender, it is the rich and savory gravy that will knock your socks off. It’s so popular that John’s goes through 30 gallons a day. Want the recipe? Too bad. That’s a secret. But give the sandwich-makers a tip and you’ll get John’s traditional thank you yell, ‘Subway!’ Don’t ask, just enjoy the experience.

And about Panino Rustico:

Put what you want on a sandwich, but ultimately the defining trait is the bread. All 32 kinds of sandwiches served at Panino Rustico are served on ciabatta baked six blocks away at Il Fornaretto Bakery. The proximity of bakery and sandwich shop, which keeps the ciabatta soft and fresh, makes all the difference. Of course, the sheer variety of high-quality ingredients doesn’t hurt either. The grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella, roasted red pepper, arugula and basil pesto sandwich ($9.49) is popular, as is the smoked salmon with goat cheese, red onion, avocado and truffle oil ($8.99). But the highlight at this six-man operation in a quiet residential section of Bensonhurst is the porchetta, smoked mozzarella and sautéed broccoli rabe, which is made from owner Louie Venturelli’s mother’s recipe. The recipe might be old, but the ciabatta bread is certainly fresh.

Congrats to the best of the best.

Source: British Royal Engineers under Major James Moncrief via Wikimedia Commons

Okay, it’s not exactly local, but it’s still kind of neat. From our friends at Green-Wood Cemetery:


The Battle of Brooklyn, fought in August 1776 on land that is now a part of Green-Wood Cemetery, was the first battle of the American Revolution to be waged after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In memory of the brave patriots who battled for our country’s independence, The Green-Wood Historic Fund hosts a day of free commemoration ceremonies, re-enactments and demonstrations. This is a great event for kids and families!

Green-Wood is honored to host The Regimental Band of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, which will play during the Battle of Brooklyn Parade and also at the Commemorative Ceremony.

12:30 PM: REVOLUTIONARY WAR RE-ENACTORS: Takes place in Green-Wood’s Meadow at the Gothic Arch. FREE.

1:30 PM: BATTLE OF BROOKLYN PARADE: Meet at the main gate for a parade to Battle Hill. FREE.

2:00 PM: BATTLE OF BROOKLYN COMMEMORATIVE CEREMONY: The ceremony will take place on Battle Hill. FREE.

Brooklyn history buffs and the curious, be there or be British.

Source: Maxnashville via Wikimedia Commons/ Painter: Sir Anthony van Dyck

Of course, I know what it is. I’m referring to the history of the much celebrated, though sometimes slightly disliked, 18th Avenue Feast.

Tour guide for Made In Brooklyn tours and former Stoop Stories interviewee, Dom Gervasi, sent us a note pointing us to the ancient story of the “little saint.”

Here’s what it states:

Santa Rosalia, clearly holds a special place in the hearts of many Sicilians, who have affectionately nicknamed her La Santuzza, the little saint. During the first week of June every year in Santo Stefano Quisquina, there is a special celebration to commemorate her miraculous intervention that saved Palermo from the Black Plague. Rosalia was the daughter of Duke Sinibaldo, Lord of the Quisquina and the Roses, who was a cousin of King William II of Sicily. Like Saint Francis of Assisi, Rosalia turned her back on a life of ease and chose to devote herself to prayer and solitude. The legend says that in 1159 she retired to a hermetic existence in a remote cave on Monte Pellegrino, the rocky cliff high above the Bay of Palermo. Nothing was heard from her again until 1624, when the plague arrived in Sicily.

Salvation to Sicily came in the unexpected form of La Santuzza, who appeared in a vision to a hunter lost on Monte Pellegrino. “Don’t worry,” she said “I will protect you and I will protect the city”. She revealed to him the site of the cave in which she had lived as a hermit and told him to go back to Palermo and alert the archbishop and rulers of the city. The hunter did as he was instructed, and those leaders found her remains and displayed them through the streets of Palermo. Within three days, the plague ended, and she was proclaimed patron saint of the city.

There you have it, it’s more than just sausage and peppers. It’s zeppoles too. And something about the black plague.

Last Sunday’s fourth annual ice cream eating contest presented by Senator Martin Golden and Maria “The Ice Cream Girl” Campanella was a hit.

Locals gathered to watch competitors scarf down tubs full of L&B’s famous spumoni. There were a few complaints pertaining to the crowds (aren’t there always crowd complaints), but overall it looks like Southern Brooklyn has a growing competitive eating contest.

Eat your heart out (literally) Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi.

Check out a video of the event made by Lauren M. Guiliano, better known as Luge, a gamer, videographer, Guinness world record holder and more.

A young boy named Kelvin He is missing in Dyker Heights. The boy was last seen on Thursday morning in a white T-shirt, blue jeans and black shoes. He was leaving his Dyker Heights home on 73rd Street.

Police say he is 120 pounds. Click here for a photo of Kelvin.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Update (8/25/12 at 7:30 p.m.): According to Senator Martin Golden, who received a community notification from the 68th Precinct, Kelvin He has been found and returned home.

A sigh of relief for the Dyker Heights community.

Now that Brooklyn 11223 is off the air (it is, right?), there’s a gap in the Bensonhurst reality show market.  Enter a Bensonhurst-born female lawyer who is starring in a new reality show about settling disputes.

“Not Jerry Springer style, we actually want to disputes to get resolved,” said the show’s casting agent, Lucy.

Unfortunately, since the show is still in production, the  title and the name of the lawyer remain under wraps.

Though I can say that she “is capable of taking legalese and putting it into a more ‘human’ form of communication,” according to Lucy.

The lawyer will be paired up with another mediator to try and resolve conflicts.

For the show, they’re looking to cast cases and disputes for the show.

They’re looking for people with the following issues:

  • Breakup, separation or divorce (dispersal of property and pets)
  • Disagreements with neighbors
  • Starting a business with a partner OR splitting up from an old business partner
  • Estate and Will issues
  • Covering your roommates rent while they look for work
  • Arguing with family members over who gets to take over the family business
  • Loaning a valuable object to someone else and having it come back lost or damaged.

“We really want to find people in Bensonhurst that have an issue they want resolved,” adds Lucy.

Email them at sicasting [at] pictureshackentertainment [dot] com  or call 646-674-3054.

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.

Giuseppe Maffei, owner of Gino’s Foccaceria.

The 18th Avenue Feast has been coming to town for close to three decades, bringing this Brooklyn neighborhood a sprinkle of culture, a pinch of cuisine, and a wrinkle straight into that summer lovin’ state of mind. While last year’s Festa di Santa Rosalia was canceled at the last minute, this August it’s back – and tomorrow it’s show time.

But while many natives are ready to indulge in some funnel cake and perhaps brave a ride on the rickety Zipper, some 18th Avenue business owners are a little less enthused about the return of the Feast.

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