May 242010

With five days to go to the scheduled opening, we’re kinda wondering… it’s gonna be ready on time, riiiiight? Photo credit: Brian Hedden

Site news: Stephanie11229 is the newest member of the BK Southie writing team. You can probably expect Stephanie to write about the swath of land from Sheepshead Bay to Coney Island. She joins myself and Nick Silver as the current regulars here. Be sure to check out her first post and say hi!

I have a hunch that Luna Park will be dominating the South Brooklyn headlines this week, and into the next.

  • More on the hoisting of the Luna Park entrance sign. You know, it looks like it needs more than five days of work to me, but pretty much every we talk to that’s close to the situation says the park will be ready for this Saturday morning. I don’t seen any signs of doubt on the Coney Island Message Board (the usual prognosticator of doubt), and the company line is a Saturday opening, a brief closure next week for some extra finishing touches, and everything in place by mid-June. (Amusing The Zillion, Coney Island USA, Brooklyn Paper)
  • More on the return of the John Strong sideshow – the first north-of-Surf amusement in six years – and the two competing sideshows. (Amusing The Zillion)
  • The Mayor’s commitment to Coney Island has not diminished, even in the face of massive layoffs in other areas of City government, noticeably the Department of Education. Note – I’m not sure yet if the $130 million Coney budget cited in the article also includes the $64 million amphitheater planned at Asser-Levy Seaside Park, which may play host to heavy metal concerts. (NY Observer via Bay Ridge Journal, Brooklyn Paper)
  • I don’t imagine one slips in a Yamaha percussion set through a chain link fence on the sly, meaning Coney Island squatlord Horace Bullard granted actual permission to Metric to film the last 30 seconds of their latest music video in front of the Playland building on the old Thunderbolt site. Bullard, who has held the land (and done nothing with it) since the 1980s, put the site on the real estate market last month. (YouTube, Brownstoner)

Not all of the news is happening in Coney this week:

May 172010

The Kings County Fair is going on at the Aviator sports center for seven more days. Did anyone go this past weekend? If you have pictures you would like considered for publication here, please e-mail them to

It’s Sunday night at the time I’m writing this, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg that has been my very hectic weekend. Right now, I’m trying to squeeze in some blogging in between the rock show I just got back from and some work for my “day” job that has to be done before the start of the Frankfurt workday, which means I have literally five minutes to write the rest of this blog post. So instead of my regular charm and wit, I’m afraid you’ll have to settle for a link dump this week.

I promise to be funnier next week when I’m not high as a kite on 11:30pm Dunkin Donuts coffee.

Mar 222010

Hi! I’m back from vacation!

  • The Bay Ridge Avenue Key Food is open! Woo hoo! With freakin’ valet parking! (And apparently a bag check.) (Bay Ridge Journal, Bay Ridge Talk)
  • From the “If You Don’t Have Renter’s Insurance, Buy Some Now” file: A stalled construction site in Sheepshead Bay was knocked down by last weekend’s storm and fell into a neighboring house – which will now have to be demolished. By the way, what exactly will it take for the Bloomberg Administration to own up to oversight of the DOB? I would have thought that people getting killed and buildings getting demolished by collapsing cranes would have done the trick… doesn’t seem to have even been a blip on Mayor Oligarch’s radar. (Sheepshead Bites)
  • The Apple Dumpling Gang strikes again, this time at a Sovereign Bank in Gravesend. (NY Daily News)
  • Not only will John Strong’s version of the freak show be coming back to Coney Island – it will be coming back with a three-year lease. (Amusing The Zillion)
  • I never went to the Chip Shop in Bay Ridge while it was open. Does that make me a bad person? I was told over the weekend that their food was overrated anyway. Well, whatevs! Apparently the new-ish Welsh pub Long Bow is supposed to be all that and much more. (Brooklyn Paper, via Left In Bay Ridge)
  • In a multi-year lease of another kind, the Brighton Beach Post Office will be staying open for at least five more years. (Sheepshead Bites)
  • Around 40 rides at Coney Island are awakening from their slumber this coming weekend for Palm Sunday. Last night from the Q-train, I could see one of the kiddie rides in the Wonder Wheel park being tested out. And the boardwalk food stand Paul’s Daughter was seen earlier getting their cash registers ready. (Amusing The Zillion)

(Photo credit: Brian Hedden)

Jan 182010

Happy Martin Luther King III Day! Hopefully you’re lucky enough to be celebrating the way Chris Rock wants you to celebrate – by reading Ebony Magazine by watching Soul Train by not working. If so, enjoy this week’s blogwrap! If not… Hey! Why are you reading blogs at work???

  • Last year’s Coney Island rezoning, in addition to diminishing the allowable amusement park footprint and establishing the area where hotels may be built, will also allow the construction of 5,000 new residential units in 26 high-rise towers both north of and west of KeySpan Park. This was an idea Tricia touched on briefly in the comments here – now she has fleshed out some more of the details, including maps, the likely developer, and the identity of the organization that thinks Coney Island will look like Tron. (Amusing The Zillion)
  • Kevin Walsh visits The Big X – the intersection of Borough Park’s diagonal streets, New Utrecht Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway. Um, to be fair, he actually visited this place 2-1/2 years ago, but finally posted it as a “Forgotten Slice” last week. (Forgotten NY)
  • The John Strong sideshow is pitching a summer comeback to the winner of the Coney Island Sweepstakes. (Amusing The Zillion)
  • Missing no parking signs, and the resultant parking, are playing havoc with garbage pickup at three dead-end streets in Gerritsen Beach. (
  • What part of DOH’d didn’t this Emmons Avenue restaurant understand? (Sheepshead Bites)
  • Two Brooklyn communities lost Joe Rollino, aka “Kid Dundee,” a former Coney Island strongman and 104-year-old Dyker Heights resident. Rollino was struck by a car as he was crossing the street. (Kinetic Carnival, Bay Ridge Journal, Luna Park Gazette) (Can’t promise anything, but there may be a BK Southie follow up to this a little later on.)
  • There might also be a BK Southie follow-up to the opposition by some members of the Sheepshead Bay community to a planned mosque in their neighborhood. Just as soon as I stop foaming at the mouth about it. (Sheepshead Bites)
Sep 082009

judge jeanine pirroJudge Jeanine Pirro – remember Jeanine Pirro? She was the Republican candidate for NY Attorney General in 2006, in an election cycle that leaned so hard to the left that even known lawbreaker and impeachment trial-bait Alan Hevesi won in a landslide. Anyway, she lost (not to Hevesi – that would just be sad), and now she’s playing Judge Wapner on Channel 5.

Her show starts its second season today, and former Coney Island sideshow operator John Strong is first in the on-deck circle. (Strong ran the departed Strangest Show On Earth at the Joe Sitt rent-a-carnival, and was not associated with the Dick Zigun founded-Sideshows By The Seashore which remains on West 12th Street – y’know, just in case you were wondering.) This is the case of the nationally renown five-legged dog that was auctioned off to someone in North Carolina to keep it out of Strong’s freak show. The puppy has had its extra leg removed and will stay in its Tar Heel home, but Strong has sued for monetary damages for wrongful reneging or something.

You can watch it on Judge Jeanine Pirro today at 4pm on Fox 5. (Or you can read the spoiler from the Daily News here.)