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68 Mei Mei Bakery on New Utrecht Ave (Source: Google Maps)

68 Mei Mei Bakery on New Utrecht Ave (Source: Google Maps)

68 Mei Mei Bakery at 7814 New Utrecht Ave sold a second-place winning ticket worth $1 million that has not yet been claimed.

According to News 12, the ticket purchased matched all five lottery numbers but was shy on the Mega Ball. The top prizes were won by two out-of-state residents who will split the $636 million jackpot.

So… what would you do with a million?

Source: Vincent La Marca

Back by popular demand, the “Living Nativity” will return to the New Utrecht Reformed Church’s front lawn, 1828 83rd Street, this Saturday, December 21 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Each year, hundreds come to the Bensonhurst house of worship to witness the manger scene featuring live animals, such as sheep, goats and a young cow, along with actors in biblical costumes.

According to Susan Hanyen, vice president of New Utrecht’s Consistory, “We start getting phone calls asking about the date as early as April. We began the popular tradition in 1956. It’s actually kind of a ‘Christmas card’ we offer to our neighborhood and beyond.”

The church lawn’s manger site dates back many years. Currently undergoing repairs and restoration, the nearby church sanctuary building, which now a part of the Reformed Church in America (RCA) denomination, was built in 1928. New Utrecht Reformed Church was founded by Dutch settlers in 1677.

File:Jacob Ostreicher in Santa Cruz.jpg

Ostreicher (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

A Borough Park man who has been at the center of tensions between the United States and Bolivia for more than two years is finally back on American soil after a mysterious spiriting out of the South American nation.

Jacob Ostreicher, 55, is a flooring contractor who went to Bolivia in 2011 to oversee a rice farming operation. Authorities, though, accused him of laundering drug money. Without pressing any formal charges, Bolivian authorities jailed him in June 2011 in a notoriously violent prison, where he said he was assaulted and humiliated.

After 18 months in prison, he was confined to house arrest following advocacy on his behalf from actor Sean Penn.

It’s not yet clear how Ostreicher managed to escape from Bolivia, but he’s back in the area according to Assemblyman Dov Hikind. Hikind announced the news on Monday, according to the New York Times.

The paper reports:

Mr. Hikind did not have any details, but a person familiar with some aspects of the escape who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the delicate nature of the matter said, “There was an operation to get him out by professionals, people who know how to carry out these operations.” The person said Mr. Ostreicher was taken to a neighboring country, made his way to Los Angeles and then to the New York area.

neighborhood-guys

Big Nick Cavalieri, the former owner of Nick’s Discount Store at 1669 Bath Avenue, got in touch to tell us that he’s opened a new business – Neighborhood Guys Bagels Deli & Grocery at 1656 Bath Avenue.

We wrote about Cavalieri back in late 2011, after the discount store was featured in the New York Times for Nick’s ability to connect with customers regardless of the changing demographics. Just a month later, in January 2012, he sold the discount store after 35 years, attributing it to… changing demographics.

But Big Nick is back, and now he’s slinging some chicken parm – and, quite frankly, wherever you may hail from, chicken parm is speaking your language.

Check out the new store and let us know how it is!

Quote the internet: ERMAHGUD! BEYONCE’S GOT A NEW MOOZAK VIDYA!

Beyonce’s new Coney Island-themed music video for her song “XO” dropped on Monday, causing my news alerts to go haywire with mentions of Coney Island. So, apparently, I can’t get back to bringing you the news until we give Beyonce some publicity that she didn’t pay us for, per our agreement with the Devil.

Beyonce spent a day in Coney Island this summer to shoot the video, riding the Cyclone and Wonder Wheel and bumping her gratuitous ass off at Eldorado.

She also made a woman cry.

I mention it because everyone seems to have stopped talking about it with the release of her new video, but she did. She scared a woman nearly to death, locked her in a cage and dangled her from great heights for half an hour while Beyonce’s team of slaves  professionals blotted more concealer and eyeliner on the star’s heavenly flesh.

Okay, so maybe that’s a little dramatic. When Beyonce went to shoot the Wonder Wheel portion of the video, operators thought they cleared the ride out. Apparently they forgot one couple who they left at the top for about 30 minutes. When they were let off, the woman had been crying. Apparently, Beyonce was unaware of this whole thing – although I find it hard to believe Beyonce is anything less than omniscient.

Anyway, about the music video. It’s actually pretty awesome how heavily it features Coney Island. It doesn’t quite feel like a music video though – really, it’s just more of a long, pretty commercial for Coney Island. I can live with that.

My favorite part is at the 0:47 mark, when one of the arcade carnies, apparently unaware of Beyonce’s divinity, attempts to stop the cameramen from recording and pushes the lens away. I’m glad they left that in. That is Coney Island.

French doors

Two bedrooms and a set of French doors? Just make sure your roommate is Mr. Tom. Peeping Tom, that is. Nyuck nyuck nyuck. (Source: P. Chang)

Looking for a new place to call home? Bensonhurst Bean has got you covered. Our rental roundup is a new feature showcasing some of the deals on the market now. If you know of a great place available for rent or are a broker representing a property you want included, contact nberke [at] bensonhurstbean [dot] com. And if you live in or near one the places below, let neighbors know what you think in the comments.

Four Bedrooms Near 86th Street
Price:
$1,800
Location: 2447 Benson Avenue
Description: The real brilliance of this Gravesend apartment is in the floors. All of the rooms, minus the bathroom, have the same exact pink-white tiled pattern. If you really wanted to play a prank on a friend, spike his drink and make all of the bedrooms furnished identically. All of which is really important, since there is only one very small bathroom and a small kitchen.
Contact: Amy Lam, (646) 479-8468

Bright Two Bedrooms
Price:
$1,600
Location: 2251 65th Street
Description: The pictures in this posting give the apartment a very open feel and the photos stray from the usual realty photos of tight shots on the corner of the room. The downside here is there are French doors so you won’t have much privacy. There is a deposit fee of $500.
Contact: P. Chang, (646) 778-2260

One Bedroom in Borough Park
Price:
$1,450
Location: 14th Avenue and 53rd Street
Description: For only a one bedroom, this price seems a little high and it probably is. But where else are you going to find a full kitchen with granite counter-tops? The bathroom has, like, a door for privacy or whatever. Heat and hot water are included. And the apartment has a few windows, all the better to see the renovated floors.
Contact: Ecallender, (347) 265-5938

Not-So-Cheap Cheap One Bedroom
Price:
$1,550
Location: 82nd Street and Bay Parkway
Description: This listing claims to be a cheap apartment but there are many cheaper one bedrooms in this neighborhood. Maybe there is something so extremely amazing about this place that makes it worth the price. At least there are no broker fees. If you end up taking a tour of this place, let us know what the secret is.
Contact: (646) 450-3665

If you know of a great place available for rent or are a broker representing a property you want included, contact nberke [at] bensonhurstbean [dot] com

Students celebrated a successful march to deliver their college applications.

Students celebrated a successful march to deliver their college applications.

More than 300 students from the Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders (2630 Benson Avenue), formerly Lafayette High School, signed, sealed and delivered their college applications to a United States Post Office truck in front of their school on Friday as part of a citywide display to encourage students to pursue higher education.

“Now we’re one step closer to going to college,” student Yesenia Lopez said. “We’re excited.”

Along with these students, more than 600 students in seven other schools throughout the city also delivered their college applications to the post office. The schools are all part of the NYC Outward Bound network, a national program that creates schools with an emphasis on non-traditional techniques, like having student-led conferences instead of parent teacher conferences. The schools, including the one in Bensonhurst, also put an emphasis on college preparation by fostering solidarity between the students through groups that function like a small family unit throughout the high school journey. They’re called crews.

“We want our students to know that college is accessible no matter what your zip code is,” said Paola Vita, a representative for NYC Outward Bound.

After sending their applications, students rallied on the school steps to celebrate.

After sending their applications, students rallied on the school steps to celebrate.

Adrianna Rivera came to the Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders when she was a freshman. During the first week of school she was paired together with other students who would later become part of her crew. The school took them on a camping trip, one of the school’s methods of creating strong social bonds.

“They make us feel important,” Rivera said about Outward Bound and her group of friends. “Because of them, we know that our opinions matter.”

Rivera delivered 16 college application letters to the mail truck. Her top three schools: Trinity, Franklin & Marshall and Colby College.

After delivering their letters, students went back inside to the school’s library to eat a meal specially prepared to celebrate the event.

While Rivera waited in line for the food, she explained that having a crew is “like your little family. They’re always there for you.”

As the students settled down and the library began to resemble and sound like a cafeteria, Vita noted how far the school had come along since it changed to its current name in 2007.

In 2007, the graduation rate was 35 percent. In 2012 the school had a graduation rate of 80 percent. All of those students went on to college.

“We’re trying to bring the graduation rate to 100 percent,” Vita said.

– Eric Jankiewicz

State Senator Marty Golden. Source: NYSenate.gov

State Senator Marty Golden. Source: NYSenate.gov

State Senator Martin J. Golden is initiating a series of new holiday events he calls “Holiday Senior Festivals,” which will feature the participation of numerous city and state agencies, free blood pressure screenings, entertainment and lunch, raffles, as well as a free shredding truck parked outside to shred old and sensitive documents, and a tree trimming.

Invited governmental agencies include Aging, Sanitation, Environmental Protection, Finance, the Fire Department, Parks and the Police Department. The events will also serve as collection sites to support the Toys for Tots campaign. Letters and cards can also be brought to the events, which will then be mailed to our American servicemen and women overseas.

The events, which are free and open to the public, are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday, December 18 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at St. Francis Cabrini, 16th Avenue (entrance) between 86th Street and Benson Avenue
  • Thursday, December 19 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Auditorium, 9511 Fourth Avenue
  • Friday, December 20 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at St. Edmund’s Preparatory High School, 2474 Ocean Avenue

For more, contact Senator Golden’s district office at (718) 238-6044 or email golden@nysenate.gov.

Padre Pio (Source: Mystics of the Church)

St. Finbar Parish (138 Bay 20th Street) will celebrate an extra special mass tomorrow, featuring the glove used by the beloved Padre Pio, a humble priest who entered sainthood after experiencing stigmata. The glove was used to cover his wounds, which remained with him for half a century.

After the mass, the glove will be made available for the public to touch.

Padre Pio was an Italian priest (whose father raised money for him to enter into seminary by moving to New York City) at the Capuchin Monastery at Morcone. In 1918, at age 31, Pio collapsed in the chapel, bleeding from five wounds in hands, feet and sides. After years of medical investigations, it was declared a miraculous stigmata.

He was also believed to have the rare gift of bilocation, meaning he could make his presence felt even when he wasn’t there, as well as mind reading and curing the ill and injured.

He passed away in 1968, and his funeral was attended by more than 100,000 people. Pope John Paul II canonized Padre Pio in 2002.

Check out this excellent article for more about Padre Pio.

For information about the mass, call (718) 236-3312.

 

 

Source: trams aux fils/Flickr

D LINE

From 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m., Tuesday to Friday, D service operates in two sections:

  1. Between Coney Island and Bedford Pk Blvd.
  2. Between Bedford Pk Blvd and 205 St.
    • To continue your trip, transfer at Bedford Pk Blvd.

From 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m., Tuesday to Friday, D trains run local in both directions between 59 St-Columbus Circle and 145 St.

N LINE

All times until October 2014: there are no N or R trains running between Court St, Brooklyn and Whitehall St, Manhattan. Late-night N (11:30 p.m. to 6 a.m.) and weekend R trains operate via the Manhattan Bridge. No service at Jay St-MetroTech, Court St, Whitehall St, Rector St, Cortlandt St, and City Hall. Use alternate service and stations on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, or C instead.

R LINE

All times until October 2014: there are no N or R trains running between Court St, Brooklyn and Whitehall St, Manhattan. Late-night N (11:30 p.m. to 6 a.m.) and weekend R trains operate via the Manhattan Bridge. No service at Jay St-MetroTech, Court St, Whitehall St, Rector St, Cortlandt St, and City Hall. Use alternate service and stations on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, or C instead.

F LINE

From 11:45 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday to Wednesday, Coney Island-bound F trains are rerouted via the A from W 4 St to Jay St-Metrotech.

From 11:45 p.m. to 5 a.m., Wednesday to Friday, 179 St-bound F trains are rerouted via the A from Jay St-MetroTech to W 4 St.

From 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday to Friday, Manhattan-bound F service skips Avenue U, and all F service operates in two sections:

  1. Between 179 St and Avenue X.
  2. Between Avenue X and Coney Island.
    • To continue your trip, transfer at Avenue X
    • F trains run every 20 minutes between Coney Island and Avenue X.