Subscribe for FREE with:

Dyker Heights Library (Source: Google Maps)

Dyker Heights Library (Source: Google Maps)

Love your local library? Bensonhurst has plenty to choose from. Whether your favorite branch is New Utrecht (1743 86th St.), Ulmer Park (2602 Bath Ave), Highlawn (1664 W 13th St.), Ryder (5902 23rd Ave.), Mapleton (1702 60th St.), or Dyker Heights (8202 13th Ave.), now is your chance to nominate it for a $20,000 prize in the second annual NYC Neighborhood Library Awards.

To nominate a location, neighbors are asked to fill out a short survey about the branch’s services and strengths. Anyone can vote, including library staff, elected officials, and representatives of businesses or community groups (and, of course, locals not affiliated with any of those things)–just be sure to do so before December 12 at 11:59pm.

Out of 25 semifinalists and 10 finalists, five libraries across NYC will ultimately be selected as winners. Last year’s top five included Queens’ Corona Library, Staten Island’s New Dorp Library, the Lower East Side’s Seward Park Library, and Brooklyn’s Macon and, most notably, Sheepshead Bay libraries.

You can watch videos about the winners here:

And here:

For more information about the contest, you can visit its website and Facebook page.


The Brooklyn Chamber’s week-long wellness initiative is underway, and there’s still time to take advantage of a deal at a local gym.

Through November 16, you’ll have the chance to check out a number of fitness spaces across Brooklyn, and by mentioning “BK Fit” at participating venues, you can get a sweet discount to kick-start a healthy new you.

Here are some local spaces and what they’re offering:

Dolphin Fitness, 2402 86th Street

Free 1 week pass.

New York Sports Club 86th Street, 439 86th Street

Free 3 day pass.

Brooklyn Integrative Health Care, 430 79th Street

Free 3 day pass with personal trainer.

See the full list of participating gyms here.


Police are asking for help in locating two suspects wanted for a daytime armed robbery a Borough Park office last week.

The suspects entered Roth Roofing, located in the basement of an apartment building on 1163 50th Street, on November 3 at 4:20pm and robbed the business owner and his employee, cops said.

One of the thieves pulled out a silver handgun and ordered the two victims to get on the ground, according to police, who add the suspects then rummaged through the office and demanded money, collecting $2,030 in cash and two phones — a BlackBerry and an LG flip phone — before fleeing on foot. The victims were not injured.

The first suspect, who was holding the handgun, is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 30 years old, 5 feet 8 inches, 180 pounds, with a light complexion and short black hair. He was last seen wearing a white hooded jacket with black stripes on the sleeves and dark blue jeans.

The second suspect is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 5 feet 10 inches, 170 pounds, with a bald head. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a black face mask.

Police shared this video of the suspects:

Anyone with information in regards to this crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Police say all calls are confidential.

The location of the 2010 fire. (Source: Google Maps)

The location of the 2010 fire. (Source: Google Maps)

A Bensonhurst landlord pleaded guilty last month for his role in the deaths of five immigrants from Guatemala in a 2010 blaze.

Vasilios Gerazounis, whose building at 2033 86th Street was subdivided illegally when it caught fire, pleaded guilty on October 15 to criminally negligent homicide, prosecutors said.

He is expected to be sentenced to up to three years in prison in April, and Gerazounis’ real estate company will pay $1 million to the family of the 3-month-old girl dropped on her head from a third-story window during the blaze, resulting in lifelong seizures and developmental problems.

Last year, Daniel Ignacio, 31, was convicted of arson murder and other charges for starting the fire, and now the landlords of the building are being held responsible — a rare occurrence in New York City. Prosecutors said it took firefighters three times as long to put out the fire and tear down the walls to get to those inside than if the building had been up to code.

“For over 25 years the defendants have been renting what were essentially deathtraps for profit,” Kenneth P. Thompson, the Brooklyn district attorney told the New York Times.

The landlords, apparently, took great pains to skirt the law. The New York Times reports:

When Mr. Gerazounis and his wife and son, Frederiki and Argyrios Gerazounis, were charged with manslaughter in 2012, their lawyer noted that a building inspector had found no violations the year before the fire.

But a tenant told the grand jury that the day before the 2009 inspection, the Gerazounises warned tenants that inspectors were coming and directed them to unlock and open the doors to each room, prosecutors said.

Immediately after the fire, the Gerazounises were fined nearly $80,000 for illegally subdividing the building, but it was not considered enough in view of the horror that resulted.

Photo courtesy of Carmen Tamacas

Photo by Carmen M. Tamacas

Bouquets of fire at Puebla Market (86th Street & 19th Avenue).

Submitted by Bensonhurst Bean contributor Carmen Molina Tamacas.

Take any photos in Bensonhurst recently? Send them to, or tag them #Bensonhurst on Instagram, and we’ll post them here.

Also, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram, and subscribe to our daily newsletter!


Two weeks from now, the American Fine Craft Show will hit the Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway between Washington and Underhill Avenues) for the second year–and with it, handmade pieces from 90 US artists, including talented neighbors from Brighton Beach and beyond.

From 12-6pm on Saturday, November 22 and 11am-6pm on Sunday, November 23, attendees will be able to browse an enormous range of stunning jewelry, clothing and other fiber arts, furniture, sculpture, ceramics, and more in the museum’s two-level Beaux-Arts Court. There’s also an exclusive Brooklyn Museum members’ preview from 11am-12pm on Saturday for those who can’t wait to see the beautiful crafts available.

In addition to a selection of carefully curated items including glass vessels from neighbor Nick Leonoff and fiber art from Jean Lugrin Ferlish, archguitar player Peter Blanchette will provide a live score for the event.

Tickets for Saturday’s preview hour, regular admission for students, and regular admission for Brooklyn Museum members is $6; regular admission for adults is $12 (discounted to $10 if purchased before November 15); regular admission for seniors is $11, and kids under 10 get in free. While student and senior tickets are only available for purchase with cash and a valid ID at the show’s door, you have the option of reserving standard adult tickets ahead of time here. Tickets also include admission to the rest of the museum.

Images via the American Fine Craft Show.

Source: Flickr/59949757@N06

Source: Flickr/59949757@N06

Service on the F train will be wonky on the Lower East Side for FasTrack work, the D is making some local stops, plus some other late-night changes affecting local lines. Details via the MTA:


Norwood-bound D trains run local from 36 St, Brooklyn to DeKalb Av
Evenings, beginning 8:30pm, Monday to Thursday, until November 20
Allow additional travel time.

Coney Island-bound D trains run local from DeKalb Av to 36 St, Brooklyn
Late evenings, beginning 10:30pm, Monday to Thursday, November 10-13
Allow additional travel time.

Coney Island-bound D trains run via the N from 36 St to Stillwell Av
Days, 9:45am to 3pm, Wednesday to Friday, November 12-14
No Coney Island-bound service at 9 Av, Fort Hamilton Pkwy, 50, 55, 71, 79 Sts, 18, 20 Avs, Bay Pkwy, 25 Av, and Bay 50 St.


No F trains at B’way-Lafayette St, 2 Av, Delancey St, East Broadway, and York St
Late nights, 10pm to 5am, Monday to Friday, November 10-14
Trains run via the A in both directions between W 4 St and Jay St-MetroTech. Free shuttle buses and D an J trains provide alternate service. Shuttle buses operate along two routes: 1. Between B’way-Lafayette St and East Broadway, stopping at 2 Av and Delancey St; and 2. between York St and Jay St-MetroTech.

N Line

There are no service advisories scheduled at this time.

R Line

No R shuttle train between 59 St and 36 St
Late nights, 11:45pm to 5am, Monday to Friday, November 10-14
R service operates between 95 St and 59 St. Take the N instead. Transfer between trains at 59 St.

Additionally, look out for changes further along the D line.

These schedules will occasionally change, so check for the latest updates.

Source: Flickr/potisch

Source: Flickr/jpotisch

A study highlighting the exorbitant cost of a proposed waste transfer station on the Upper East Side may provide ammunition for activists, community members, and pols fighting the planned Gravesend Bay waste treatment facility.

The study, conducted by the Independent Budget Office [IBO], found that the proposed UES garbage station would triple Manhattan’s garbage disposal costs, reports the New York Post:

The IBO said trash that now costs $93 a ton to ship to New Jersey and Yonkers for incineration would cost $278 a ton via the transfer station, which is ­under construction.

Over the next 20 years, the city could expect to pay $632 million, instead of $253 million, to get rid of Manhattan’s garbage, the report continues. The largest expense is attributed to the cost of building the facility and hiring employees to operate it. In addition, the UES facility would transfer trash via waterways, rather than the current railway system, which accounts for a jump in export costs.

Whether these figures are relevant to the proposed Gravesend Bay Marine Waste Transfer Station (1824 Shore Parkway, between Bay 41st Street & 26th Avenue) depends on the contract bids the city gets for the it, said Justin Bland, a budget analyst at IBO.

“The only big increase that I could see, that is unexpected, is if the long-term 20 year contracts are much more expensive than the current short term contracts,” said Bland.

The actual Southwest Brooklyn waste station will be cheaper; it is projected to cost $176 million in capital funds, considerably less than the $217 million UES facility. In addition, the Gravesend plant would process much more trash, reducing the overall processing expense per ton of trash.

Earlier this year, UES and Gravesend community members teamed up to protest proposed waterfront waste stations in their respective neighborhoods, arguing that the most effective way to manage the city’s waste is to increase recycling.

Photo courtesy of Shampooch.

Photo courtesy of Shampooch.

Dena Kuehne is known around the neighborhood as something of a dog whisperer.

“They come in and they’re a little nervous and biting,” says Kuehne, 33, of her furry clients. “We try to hold them and cuddle them, so that by the next time they come in, they are excited to see us. Getting groomed is a treat.”

On November 1, the mother of two opened the pet grooming business Shampooch of Dahill at 1603 Dahill Road, right near the F train, specializing in anxious animals.

Kuehne’s daughters, Nicole, 13, and Isabella, 11, along with their very pink poodle, 5-year-old Skittlez (with a Z!), can often be spotted helping out at the Gravesend shop, which offers beauty treatments like pedicures, hand scissoring, haircuts, and show cuts.

Dena Kuehne and Skittlez.

Dena Kuehne and Skittlez.

But most eye catching, perhaps, are Shampooch’s snazzy doggie dyes. Pups leave the store sporting pink and purple fros, florescent pigtails, and panda bear coats, which, when using a semi permanent dye, can last up to several months.

Holidays are especially busy for Shampooch, with many clients requesting holiday-themed dye jobs for their pets, such as red and green for Christmas, and red, white, and blue for Independence Day.

Photo courtesy of Shampooch.

Photo courtesy of Shampooch.

Kuehne, who grew up in Gravesend, got her start 17 years ago when a pet grooming shop opened around the corner from where she lived.

“I loved dogs when I was a kid,” says Kuehne. “I always knew I would have a career working with animals, so I asked for a job.”

Five years later she bought the store.

Photo courtesy of Shampooch.

Courtesy of Shampooch.

Kuehne ran the shop, which she renamed Shampooch, on 65th and Bay Parkway for 11 years until the economic recession hit and she decided to downsize and focus on raising her daughters. For the next five years, Kuehne continued grooming pets out of the basement of the Animal Clinic of Bensonhurst (2249 65th St), just a block from her old location.

Courtesy of Shampooch.

Courtesy of Shampooch.

Despite the turbulent economy, Kuehne managed to retain a loyal customer base, many of whom have been bringing their pets in from their very first grooming. Others turned to Kuehne because their pets freak out easily with other groomers.

“I don’t know if it’s just my energy, but really we try to create a comfortable environment for them,” says Kuehne.

Courtesy of Shampooch.

Courtesy of Shampooch.

With her savings, Kuehne finally invested in a new storefront on Dahill Road. Her carpenter father, Jimmy Alveira, and her husband Shawn, a union plumber, helped her install plumbing and build frames to hold the tubs.

“When we first rented the store it was literally just four walls,” says Kuehne. “Everything you see there now, we made. Each day they both would go straight to Shampooch after work and build my store.”

Courtesy of Shampooch.

Courtesy of Shampooch.

Aside from poodles, Shampooch gets plenty of Yorkies, Shih Tzus, and even cats padding through its doors.

Is your pooch a princess? Check out Shampooch on Facebook and Instagram, or drop by the store to learn about their beauty packages.

Source: DOT

Source: DOT

Starting tonight, there will be several nighttime closures on eastbound and westbound lanes of the Belt Parkway to accommodate construction. The work is part of the Seven Bridges Project, a renovation of the highway’s seven bridges and overpasses that began in 2009, and will continue through March 2015.

Bay Ridge Avenue (Exit 1)

At 11pm, the westbound lanes of the Belt Parkway at Bay Ridge Avenue (Exit 1) will be shifted right, to the newly completed section of the Belt Parkway Bridge at Bay Ridge Avenue. The two lanes of the eastbound roadway will remain in their current configuration. This traffic shift will allow for a work zone in the center of the bridge in order to begin the second stage of the bridge rehabilitation.

Source: DOT

Source: DOT

Gerritsen Inlet Bridge

Beginning tonight at 10pm, and continuing for approximately three weeks, overnight roadway paving will take place on both the eastbound and westbound Belt Parkway at the Gerritsen Inlet Bridge (between Exit 9 and Exit 11).  Closures will begin in the first lane at 10pm, followed by the second lane at 11:30pm. During the paving operation, one lane will remain open to traffic at all times, however delays should be expected. All travel lanes will re-open at 5am each morning, and all work will be completed in one direction before the opposite direction begins.

Work will be suspended for the holidays, on Friday, November 21, from 6am to 11:59pm, and again from Monday, November 24, 6am through Thursday, January 2, 11:59pm.