Around Brooklyn: Mariano Rivera sends greetings to Brooklyn priest

January 30, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Mariano Rivera sends greetings to B’klyn priest

Father Michael Louis Gelfant, the outgoing pastor of St. Finbar Catholic Church in Bath Beach, is a fan of the New York Yankees, and Yankee legend Mariano Rivera is an admirer of Father Gelfant as well, according to the Home Reporter. The Brooklyn Catholic Diocese has reassigned Gelfant to serve at Blessed Trinity Church in Breezy Point, Queens. On the occasion of Gelfant serving his final Mass on Jan. 26, Rivera, a devout Christian, issued a 45-second video in which he thanks Gelfant for being a Yankee fan and wishes him well in his new assignment, the Brooklyn Reporter said.  “Hi Father Michael, this is Mariano Rivera, the Sandman,” he said, referring to his famous nickname. The pastor was an outspoken advocate for Bath Beach and Bensonhurst.

Suspect arrested in Ft. Greene philanthropist’s slaying

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Police on Tuesday arrested a man in last week’s killing of a Fort Greene philanthropist known as the Santa Claus of his block, according to the New York Post. Dondre Richardson, who lives in a homeless shelter on Ward’s Island, was arrested for slaying Antonio Litman at Litman’s Fort Greene brownstone, police said. Richardson was charged with murder and arson. Litman’s body, with dozens of puncture wounds to the neck and chest, was discovered in his brownstone after the house had been set on fire. Litman was the founder of Virginia’s House of Hope, a nonprofit that distributed food, clothing and school supplies, the Post said.

Corcoran, Citi Habitats merge; RE firms have strong B’klyn presence

After operating as sister companies for nearly two decades, the Corcoran Group and Citi Habitats real estate firms are merging under the Corcoran banner, according to The Real Deal. Corcoran has six locations in Brooklyn, stretching from Greenpoint to Clinton Hill to Park Slope, while Citi Habitat has three, stretching from Greenpoint to Brooklyn Heights. The deal will give the company a combined 2,420 agents, who were responsible for $7 billion in sales and 22,000 rental transactions last year, The Real Deal said.

Stretch of Pacific Street plagued with potholes

Pacific Street between Third and Fourth avenues in Boerum Hill has become ridden with potholes, according to the Brooklyn Paper. A neighborhood resident, Kenda Jackson, told the publication, “Our taxes are too high for our streets to be looking like this — that’s what you literally pay for.” In addition, the street has several construction sites that narrow the road, such as a sidewalk shed erected in 2015 that projects from a building under construction at the corner of Fourth Avenue. For that reason, the Brooklyn Paper said, the city finds it difficult to do all the necessary work. Neighborhood residents counter that in the meantime, the city could fill the potholes with asphalt.

`Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ actress to visit Cornell

Actress Stephanie Beatriz of NBC’s hit show “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” plans to visit Cornell University on Friday, Feb. 14 to discuss her career and the show, according to the Cornell Daily Sun. She is best known for her role as Det. Rosa Ruiz on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” but she began her career with a recurring role on “Modern Family” in 2009. In addition to TV, Beatriz has worked in many films, such as “Short Term 12” in 2013 and “Ice Age: Collision Course” in 2016. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” has won several awards, including two Creative Arts Emmy Awards in 2014 and 2015, and a Golden Globe Award in 2014. 

Brownsville, Boerum Hill: the most dangerous school zones

Brownsville and Boerum Hill are the most dangerous neighborhoods for schoolchildren who walk or ride bikes to school, according to BK Reader. Two high schools with the same address in Boerum Hill, Pacific High School and Brooklyn Frontiers High School, took the top two spots for the deadliest school zones in Brooklyn, with 61 and 55 crashes respectively. Ranking third was Brooklyn Ascend Lower School at 1501 Pitkin Ave., which saw 48 crashes leading to 51 injuries.

Workers injured in B’hurst manhole fire

Two workers were seriously injured in a manhole fire involving a gas leak in Bensonhurst on Tuesday morning, according to Gothamist. Firefighters responded to the fire at 1905 Bay Ridge Parkway, near the corner of 19th Avenue, around 10 a.m. that day, an FDNY spokesperson said. The two were taken to Staten Island University Hospital North in serious condition. National Grid was in the process of isolating and turning off the section of the gas main involved.

London restaurant inspired new Brooklyn eatery

London’s Famous Curry Bazaar has inspired a new Indian restaurant in Williamsburg, Masti Indian Grill and Chaat Bar, according to The New York Times. The chef, Abdul Jabber, once worked at the London restaurant and learned to make various curries there. In addition to the curries, the menu also includes tandoori specialties, street-food items and vegan dishes. The restaurant, at 184 Havermeyer St., is owned by Linda Mahkovec and Rubel Amin, whom the Times called “experienced New York restaurateurs.”

Malliotakis funnels $13K to Bay Ridge Library

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) recently announced the allocation of $13,000 in funding for the Bay Ridge Public Library. The library plans to use these funds for the improvement and creation of youth programs such as a photography workshop, robotics programming and a new teen center within the branch. “Not only do these libraries supplement what our youth are learning in school, but they also provide our children with a safe place to go within the community,” Malliotakis said.

Rose-backed bill seeks to overturn travel ban

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) and other Democrats in the House of Representatives are supporting the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination Act for Nonimmigrants, which is coming up a vote soon. In a column published on the American Independent website, Rose joined U.S. Reps. Judy Chu and Pramila Jaypal in writing, “It is time to end the arbitrary punishment of the Muslim American community.” The bill would overturn President Donald Trump’s existing executive order that bans immigration by some residents of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela and North Korea.

Carroll Gardens library to close temporarily

The Carroll Gardens branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, located at 395 Clinton St., will close for maintenance on Feb. 1, according to Pardon Me for Asking. The branch is set to reopen in mid-March. The BPL will make a Bookmobile available at the site during that period on Mondays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting on Monday, Feb. 3. Pardon Me for Asking also advises library users to patronize nearby branches, including the Park Slope Library at 431 Sixth Ave., the Pacific Library at 25 Fourth Ave. and the Red Hook Library at 7 Wolcott St.

New taqueria opens in Bushwick

A new Puebla-style taqueria, Taqueria Al Pastor, recently opened over the entrance to the DeKalb Avenue L train station in Bushwick, according to New York Eater. The new spot is owned by Pedro Ramales, who comes from Puebla and has operated several other taquerias in the neighborhood, including Taqueria Acatlan on Irving Avenue. Among the specialties are tacos al pastor, made with pork, and carne asada, a dish of sliced, grilled beef. The restaurant also has volcanes, which can be ordered with a cactus-plant filling, and chicken, New York Eater said.

Chef Plumer leaves Red Hook Tavern

Alison Plumer, who has been the chef of the Red Hook Tavern since it opened less than a year ago, announced on her Instagram account that this past week was her last at the neighborhood hangout, according to New York Eater. She did not share details about the reason, but wrote, “I am proud to have been a part of such an amazing team of people who will always have a huge place in my heart.” Red Hook Tavern is run by Billy Durney, who also owns Red Hook’s successful Hometown Bar-B-Que. Johann Cottler, who has been a chef at Red Hook Tavern since it opened, has taken over as executive chef. 

Compiled by Raanan Geberer


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