Brooklyn Today December 11: Former Altar Girl Accuses Flatbush Church Custodian of Abuse

The Lede

Happy Tuesday! Two children die in a Bushwick fire, not everyone is happy about the Dyker Heights Christmas lights, and Brooklyn artists show off their work in Queens. Plus, an altar girl accuses a Flatbush church custodian of abuse, actress Amy Poehler opens a wine store in Park Slope, and a public squash court is coming to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Finally, Andy Byford wants to make the subway faster, and Boqueria in Fort Greene is set to close.

The Imprint

Actress Felicity Jones strikes a pose in a stairwell on the most recent cover of Porter Edit.

The Rundown

TWO CHILDREN DEAD IN BUSHWICK FIRE

Fire officials are investigating the cause of a fire in Bushwick that left two small girls dead and put an older man in the hospital. On Saturday, police officers and firefighters responded to 165 Schaefer St., where a second-floor apartment was ablaze. Inside the engulfed apartment were 7-year-old Payton Gomez and 9-year-old Haley Harris, along with 53-year-old Vincente Gomez Jr. The three were taken to Wyckoff Hospital. After arrival, the two children were pronounced dead and Gomez Sr. was in stable condition. (via Brooklyn Eagle)

NOT EVERYONE IS MERRY ABOUT DYKER HEIGHTS CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Behind the twinkling lights, there is tension. Longtime residents of Dyker Heights have expressed concern over the size and scope of the Dyker Heights Christmas lights display and are questioning whether the city can adequately handle the crush of tourists who descend on the residential neighborhood every December. No one is trying to spoil the holiday merriment, but residents said they are also growing weary of what they called a proliferation of food vendors setting up shop on streets, on sidewalks, and in some cases, in homeowners’ driveways. (via Brooklyn Eagle)

COME SEE BROOKLYN ARTISTS AT SOCRATES SCULPTURE PARK

Thank you, Mark di Suvero. Because of you, Queens residents have a free outdoor museum on the East River’s shoreline instead of a landfill. The distinguished sculptor led a coalition of artists and community members that created Socrates Sculpture Park in 1986 on 4.5 acres of wasteland. The Long Island City park is open every day of the year. Brooklynites, if you want to show your support for our borough’s artists, several of them are 2018 Socrates Sculpture Park fellows. (via Brooklyn Eagle)

FORMER ALTAR GIRL ACCUSES CHURCH CUSTODIAN OF ABUSE

The church’s name is Holy Innocents, but some of the things that happened there might not have been so innocent. A former altar girl at Holy Innocents Church in Flatbush told police on Saturday that a custodian there groped her between 2013 and 2015, when she was between 12 and 15 years old. The Brooklyn Catholic Diocese said in a statement, “We take every allegation of this nature seriously. The case is now in the hands of the authorities. We await the conclusion of their investigation.”  (New York Post via Brooklyn Eagle)

ACTRESS AMY POEHLER OPENS PARK SLOPE WINE STORE

Comedian-actress Amy Poehler, a former “Saturday Night Live” regular who is best known for her role on NBC’s sitcom “Parks and Recreation,” is one of the owners of a new Park Slope wine store called Zula Wines and Spirits. Zula opened several weeks ago at 487 Fifth Ave. between 11th and 12th streets. It offers free wine tastings every evening and has a big collection of wines for less than $13, as well as higher-end options. Zula sells red and white wines from several European countries as well as South Africa, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and America. (Eater via Brooklyn Eagle)

PUBLIC SQUASH COURT COMING TO BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK

Brooklyn Bridge Park, in partnership with local nonprofit Publish Squash NYC, plans to open a public squash court on the site of one of six handball courts on Pier 2. Park administrators have wanted to bring squash to the park since they visited another public squash court that opened in April in Manhattan. “It’s to provide yet another amenity in the park,” BBP President Eric Landau said. “There is only one other place we know of in the country where there is a free public outdoor squash court, we are working to do the same thing here.”(Brooklyn Paper via Brooklyn Eagle)

Staff Picks

LONG READ

Did you know that you could be defecating all wrong? For example, there’s a correct way to sit on the toilet. Here are some tips on how to properly move your bowels. (via The Guardian)

PROFILE

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Acts Out” (via The New Yorker)

TRANSIT

Andy Byford, the head of the MTA, wants the subway to move faster. How’s he going to do it? By raising the speed limit and fixing faulty signals. (via NYT)

EAT

Hasta luego! Gotham Market staple Boqueria, which was known for its tapas and paella, will be closing on Dec. 20. (via Eater)

NATIONAL BULLETIN

The “Fearless Girl” statue gets a new location in front of the New York Stock Exchange…Apple’s squid emoji is not an accurate depiction of the animal…And a “mythical” salamander is discovered in Florida.(via AP, Quartz and WTSP) 

FOREIGN FLASH

Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad receive the Nobel Prize…Berlin installs Elvis Presley pedestrian lights…And tens of thousands of new species are being discovered every year. (via WaPo, AP and Quartz)    

ROYAL WATCH

Here’s what Queen Elizabeth II gave her employees for Christmas. (via AOL)

EAGLE SPORTS

“How the Nets responded to criticism of players, Kenny Atkinson and cries for tanking in 48 hours” (via The Athletic)

MILESTONES

Happy birthday to Jay Bell, Mos Def, Gary Dourdan, Teri Garr, David Gates, Jermaine Jackson, John Kerry, Brenda Lee, Donna Mills, Mo’Nique, Rita Moreno, Susan Seidelman, Hailee Steinfeld, Mark Streit, Rider Strong, Ken Wahl and Curtis Williams!