Sunday, October 30, 2011

El Gaucho Offers Authentic Argentinean Cuisine

Shmuel David, owner and manager of El Gaucho in the Kensington section of Brooklyn, explains that it was a long-time dream of his to “offer the kosher community the exciting experience of eating an authentic Argentinean steak.”

One of El Gaucho’s specialties includes asado (barbecue) which is a fire made on the ground or in a fire pit. The fire is encircled by metal sticks which hold the entire opened up carcass of the animal which then cooks by the heat of the fire. Shmuel David replicates this traditional cooking method in his restaurant using cutting-edge radiant grill technology by which the meat never touches a flame, but is entirely cooked by the heat of the fire. The meat is then served individually on personal sized table grills called parillas which keep the meat hot and sizzling.

El Gaucho, which has the added advantage of being Glatt Kosher, is located at 4102 18th Avenue at the corner of East 4th Street. For more information or to make reservations call 718-438-3006.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rocky’s Pizza Best in Kensington

At 474 Coney Island Avenue, right off Church Avenue is a pizza place worth remembering: Rocky’s Pizzaria Restaurant.

The menu is huge, with a choice of appetizers such as mozzarella sticks, garlic knots or hot dogs in blankets; calzones of many kinds; pasta al horno; and much more.

You are welcome to come in to eat, but if you are just hanging out at home, they are happy to deliver to your door. Rocky suggests that you go to their web site, organize your order and then call 718-854-9270, and your order will arrive in practically no time at all.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween Decoration Stirs Controversy in Brooklyn

Councilman Charles Barron
Halloween is not a holiday known for its respectful, conforming flavor; but for many this year’s Kensington prank went just a little bit too far.

Someone hung an obviously black-skinned scarecrow from a tree in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Kensington this week, bringing to many people’s mind a vision of an old, southern-style lynching.

The tasteless Halloween decoration was brought to the attention of City Councilman Charles Barron. In response he released a statement which said, "The scarecrow is offensive and reprehensible not only to the Black Community, but to all those who have a history of persecution and, or have been victimized by lynch mobs. The perpetrators of this horrific display are only acting out what they conceal in their hearts."

Barron added that not only was the display ‘grotesque’ it was also definitely not ‘cool.’

Barron’s opinion was not shared by everyone, however. One woman, Nicole Clemente, expressed her own feelings about the Halloween prank, "I don't think that that portrays lynching. I mean, it's Halloween, that's part of the Halloween spirit. When I see a jack-o-lantern with a scary face on, I don't get scared and think monsters are going to come get me."

Whatever the consensus on the distinctly original Halloween display, the NYPD took down the scarecrow on the grounds that the tree is city property and the law disallows all forms of decorations or signage to be hung on public property.

The perpetrator of the misdemeanor has not yet been apprehended.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lander Calls For End to Helicoper Joy Rides

A group of Brooklyn officials are calling for a ban on low-flying tourist helicopters over the city, according to reports printed in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

The demand to halt tourist helicopter flights is in response to the tragic crash of a helicopter into the East River last week which killed one passenger and seriously hurt three out of a total of five on board.

Five political figures called for the ban, including Councilman Brad Lander, Democratic representative from Kensington/Park Slope. These five had previously asked for an end to low-flying helicopter flights due to the noise pollution they create, but now the issue is even more essential, as it involves safety and life and death issues.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Councilman Brad Lander Calling Citizens to Get Involved

Brad Lander and fellow councilmembers Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn), Eric Ulrich (R-Queens), and Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) are excited over an initiative which will give residents real power to say how they want their tax money spent in their districts.
Brad Lander

It is called “Participatory Budgeting,” and Lander explains why he is so enthusiastic about the initiative:

"This is a time when faith in government is weakened; but for those of us who believe democracy is at its best when we work together as a community to solve problems, this is an opportunity to take part," explained Lander. "

The plan was first announced in September. In the next few weeks Lander’s 39th district will hold assemblies to get people involved. The first such assembly will be held in Park Slope this coming Wednesday, October 5th, at the Old First Reformed Church at 729 Carroll Street. A second assembly is planned for October 20th, at PS 58 in Carroll Gardens, both for 6:30pm.

"The idea is so novel; it's something people won't want to miss. If this works, we'll be part of something as pioneers," said Maria Pagano, Carroll Gardens resident and the President of the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association.

Lander is hoping a large contingent from his district will participate, involving Brooklynites from Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Boro Park, and Kensington.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Kensington Youthmarket a Success

This spring and summer saw the opening of the Kensington-Windsor Terrace Youthmarket. The market was such a success that it was the largest revenue producing Youthmarket of all the GrowNYC markets in the network.

The good news was announced by Catherine Zinnel, the Kensington Liaison/District Director, who was appointed to her position by Councilman Brad Lander.

Due to the great success of the project here in Kensington, the initial trial period is now over and we can all expect to see the Youthmarket back next spring, perhaps in an expanded version with flowers, fresh meat and/or fish for sale.

The Youthmarket is scheduled to stay open every Saturday this season until closing day on October 29. Go see what all the excitement is about on East 5th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway from 9am to 3pm.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Summons Slowdown Eliciting Ire of Police Chief James Tuller

The NYPD ticket-writing slowdown is resulting in such a huge loss of income for the city that three-star chief James Tuller wants to see his cops writing at least 15 summonses each month.

This quota, which police officials would rather call a “productivity goal” has annoyed police in return.

Moving violations, like running a red light, using a cell phone or driving without a seatbelt, have dropped by 44% during the week ending on September 11th, as compared to the same time last year. For the 28 days previously the numbers of moving violation tickets were also down by 36.3% throughout the city, as compared to last year.

The 70th Precinct, which is in Kensington, was particularly hit hard. Here, as well as in Midtown Manhattan and the 122nd Precinct in Staten Island had a 79% reduction in summonses for the above named moving violations.
Due to the pressure coming from Chief Tuller, many commanders have been placed in an awkward position. As one policeman put it,

"Most precinct commanders don't care about summons 'productivity.' Their careers are based on crime reduction," he said. "The bosses can push a precinct C.O., but you still gotta get a cop to write them."