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Coney Island

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It's Grass, Not Garbage, That Attracts Rats in Chelsea

Brooklyn Heights: If only the kids around here could reference MC Hammer correctly. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Bushwick: Gentrification is forcing frustrated superintendents to gussy up their own threatening signs. [Newyorkshitty] Chelsea: Blame the rat infestation in the park on Ninth Avenue on the plant liriope. It provides excellent cover for burrows. [Blog Chelsea] Cobble Hill: The home of the Independence Community Foundation is gone; look for six-story apartment building at 182 Atlantic, instead. [McBrooklyn] Coney Island: Want to work at a karaoke bar? One here is hiring. [Kinetic Carnival] Dumbo: Folks are moving into the J Condo and paying $300 to $350 a month for parking spaces. [DumboNYC] Park Slope: The Fifth Avenue dog run has too many overexcited dogs. [Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn] Prospect Heights: The Buildings Department blamed water damage and Forest City Ratner for the Ward Baking Co. collapse. [NYDN] West Bronx: Neighbors proved a point to gangs and drug dealers at last night's "National Night Out." [West Bronx News]

They Didn't Have Google Maps During the Last Tornado

Bay Ridge: How close were you to the tornado? Check this map to find out. [McBrooklyn] Coney Island: Astroland rides are off the market, for now. [Bloomberg via Kinetic Carnival] East Village: St. Mark's Hotel is still the best one in the city for a cheap quickie. Yikes. [Gridskipper] Forest Hills: There's photographic proof that Trader Joe's is really coming. [Forest Hills 72] Gowanus: Put down $15 million for a warehouse on Third Avenue now, and just wait for zoning laws to go your way. [Brownstoner] Riverdale: Will a Starbucks open here, too? [HuntGrunt] South Slope: The shoddy building at 18-20 Jackson Place finally collapsed! [Gowanus Lounge]

All the World's a Duane Reade

Bedford-Stuyvesant: With the real library closed (endlessly…) for renovations, a host for the "Free Children's Library of Bed-Stuy" is sought. [BedStuyBlog] Coney Island: While Coney's amusement-park future remains up in the air, live animals are thrown through the air at the nearby, sketchy Sea Rise housing projects. [Brooklyn Eagle via McBrooklyn] Dumbo: Four West Coast street artists are putting up a pretty cool graffiti on Water Street at Pearl. [DumboNYC] Flushing: There are big puddles all over Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which are leading to swarms of mosquitoes, which are terrorizing people. [Queens Tribune via Queens Crap] Greenpoint: There's no better way to undermine your attempt to build a period-looking brownstone than by sticking balconies on it. Real classy, Bridge Realty. [Newyorkshitty] Midtown West: God help us, it's finally happened: two Duane Reades, right across the street from each other. [East Village Idiot] Park Slope: Anyone know if Shaya Boymelgreen has cleaned up the scaffolding around his Novo condo on Fourth Avenue that collapsed into the street Saturday? [Brownstoner]

Off to Join the Circus

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The Cole Bros. Circus was at Coney Island last week, through yesterday, the first circus there since 1938. It had trapeze artists, animals, a human cannonball, the whole thing. What brought the big top back to Surf Avenue after a nearly 70-year hiatus? Thor Equities, natch, which now owns most of the historic amusement area. Thanks, soulless, history-destroying, neighborhood-changing major developers!

Hello, My Coney Island Baby

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Coney Island, yesterday, when the high reached 92 degrees, according to Weather.com. It's 89 degrees right now, with a forecast high of 92 again. Isn't it fun sitting at your desk, staring at the computer?

Cue the Violins in Park Slope and Kensington

Coney Island: The clowns have been sent. Cole Brothers Circus is on the old go-kart tracks through August 5. [Gowanus Lounge] East Village: Duane Reade finally has Harry Potter. There's no need to go without. [East Village Idiot] Jackson Heights: Mayor Bloomberg runs afoul of locals complaining about traffic, noise, and sanitation gripes. [FoxNews via QueensCrap] Kensington: Talk about a virtual inferiority complex: Locals here lament that their Wikipedia page is not as nice as Park Slope’s. Cue violins, please. [KensingtonBlog] Park Slope: Whine of the Day from the Slope set? “Why did they reduce driving hours in Central Park and not our park? Whaaa!” [Gowanus Lounge] Union Square: Beware the hordes of student filmmakers in the park today. [The Weblicist of Manhattan] Williamsburg: White middle-class preservationists faced off against nonwhite low-income affordable-housing proponents at a hearing over the future use of the Domino sugar factory. [Brownstoner]

Dumbo Gets All Historical

Brooklyn Heights: Neighbors are riled over rumors of the murder of a century-old elm tree. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Bushwick: If you press a buzzer and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? [Newyorkshitty] Carroll Gardens: Don't mess with the garden diva. Just don't. [McBrooklyn] Cobble Hill: Will chain stores make this place more like the LES than the West Village? [NYT via A Brooklyn Life] Coney Island: Thor Equities tries to get all groovy in promoting its new attractions that no one seems to like. [Kinetic Carnival] Dumbo: The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted 8-0 to consider the whole neighborhood for landmark status. [Dumbo NYC] Upper East Side: Sometimes a bookstore can make you forget what a giant expense hole we live in. [Around the Block on the Upper East Side]

Chelsea Turns Lost Property Into a Casual Encounter

Bushwick: Angry residents are not hesitant to make graffiti jokes about presidential anatomy. [Newyorkshitty] Carroll Gardens: Folks watching for the F train from the vantage point of Smith and Second look like some kind of strange human art installation. [McBrooklyn] Chelsea: Was your camera stolen? The one with the picture of the naked guy in the Mets hat? Yeah, someone found it. [Craigslist via Curbed] Coney Island: Area megadeveloper Joe Sitt has allegedly welshed on his promise to preserve some of the amusement site's most historic buildings. [amNY] Greenwood Heights: Price cuts suggest that the condo boom here was a little overenthusiastic. [Brownstoner] Upper West Side: Is the Time Warner Center really "the gateway" to this storied neighborhood? [The Weblicist of Manhattan] Williamsburg: It's official — the McCarren Park Pool has been landmarked, ensuring its status as hipster shrine for eons to come. [Gowanus Lounge]

Frank Gluska of Ruby’s Won’t Be Making You a Fuzzy Navel

Fourteen years ago, Frank Gluska was kicking back at Coney Island institution Ruby’s, our Best Throwback Bar of 2006, when the manager (whose sister Frank had been dating for twelve years) told him, “Can’t you see we’re busy? Get behind the bar.” “I got behind the bar,” says Gluska, “and that was the beginning of the end.” Since then, he has learned the truth of late owner Ruby Jacobs’s favorite saying, “Once you get the sand of Coney Island between your toes, you’ll never leave.” Because we’ll probably spend the Siren Festival at Ruby’s on Saturday, we asked Gluska to explain his self-described addiction to the place.

Good-bye, My Coney Island Baby

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We have no idea why Getty Images decided this was the right weekend to mark Astroland's final summer with a package of wistful photos of Coney Island. But we're not complaining: They're pretty. A few more after the jump.

Let's Go to Red Hook and Burn Cars!

Brooklyn Heights: The Henry Street bike lane has been painted solid green … and it looks kinda cool! Will other bike lanes citywide get the look? [McBrooklyn] Chelsea: Even as the Chelsea Hotel, under new corporate management, prepares to go sorta fancy, it's slashing nightly rates to as low as $99. What gives? [LivingWithLegends] Coney Island: The circus is coming here for a week starting July 30, complete with Pastel Poodles and the Human Cannonball! [KineticCarnival] Dumbo: The hood just wasn't complete without a full-service pet-supply store–slash–kung fu academy. And now it has one. [DumboNYC] Greenpoint: On Franklin Street, E.T. mounts a lemur from behind while simultaneously ruining your childhood. [Newyorkshitty] Red Hook: Ritual car-burnings on Beard Street continue here, even in the shadow of the in-progress Ikea. [GowanusLounge] West Village: Work is under way to bring some order to the chaotic (and a wee bit dangerous) meatpacking-district intersection of Ninth Avenue and 14th Street. [Streetsblog]

Oil and Water

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One advantage of that flooding that's bound to overtake New York? Deeper waters will presumably make it all the more difficult for oil tankers to run aground off Coney Island, as this one, the White Sea, did this morning. (Reportedly no oil was spilled.) See, a benefit to global warming: It'll make it easier to import oil. Perfect! Oil Tanker Runs Aground Off Coney Island [AP via Crain's]

Hookers Don't Bow to Brooklyn Gentrification

Boerum Hill: OMG, there are still hookers here? It seems so, but new euphemisms from the yups include "sex care workers." We love that. [Gowanus Lounge] Chelsea: A bank may occupy one of the first-floor biz units of the Chelsea Hotel, under new corporate management. What's next? The eviction of the age-old Dan's Chelsea Guitars store? [Living with Legends] Coney Island: Will the kiddie rides in Wonder Wheel Park be next to go? [Gowanus Lounge] Cypress Hills: The criminals-posing-as-cops vogue spread to this sketchy Brooklyn hood, where five thugs faking an NYPD drug bust tied up folks and picked their apartment clean. [Gothamist] East Village: Even in a holiday week with barely any passengers, the L train will still screw you. [East Village Idiot] Greenpoint: Word drifts back our way that an area bookseller was hurt that we tittered over her announcing an "adults only" Harry Potter party. Didn't she kind of set herself up for that? [Newyorkshitty] Prospect Heights: Residents are still waiting for that Atlantic Yards ombudsman who was promised to the community two months ago. [Atlantic Yards Report]

Latin Flavor to Bring Spice Back to the Porn Emporium in Clinton Hill

Clinton Hill: Residents glad to see Tamboril Latin restaurant replacing a porn emporium, assuming the space is properly sanitized. [Clinton Hill Blog] An Italian restaurant with an exposed-brick interior will open in the space next to Joseph Tyler Salon on Myrtle Avenue. [Clinton Hill Blog] Coney Island: Not all attendees of Nathan’s hot-dog binge yesterday were there to bask in the gluttony of the contest; costumed protesters encouraged meat eaters to “Give Peas a Chance.” [Gowanus Lounge] Flatiron: Pixar’s latest film got you hungry? Borough Food & Drink is among the city’s restaurants now serving ratatouille, and its version is topped with cheese from Joe’s Dairy. [NYDN] Gowanus: The 60-year-old Italian-foods market on President Street has closed and may make way for a café from the owners of neighboring Canal Bar. [Gowanus Lounge] Gramercy: Ian Schrager’s high-end Asian restaurant Wakiya in the Gramercy Park Hotel is now taking reservations from July 24 onward. [Eater] Harlem: From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, Uptown Vets will host this month’s man-and-beast coffee mingle at St. Nick’s Dog Park. [Uptown Flavor] Prospect Park: The Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket accepts credit cards. [NYT]

Rudy's in the Money (Sorta)

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• Rudy Giuliani came out on top in the second round of Republican fund-raising, becoming the only GOP candidate to raise more dough in the second quarter of 2007 ($17 million) than in the first ($16 million). For comparison’s sake, Barack Obama took in $31 million over the same period. [NYDN]

Tamica Gazson Serves Hot Dogs to Freaks at Nathan’s Famous

With the annual battle for the Mustard Belt (well, the fake Mustard Belt, anyway) set for tomorrow, our thoughts turn once again to Coney Island, which poet Federico García Lorca called “The Landscape of the Vomiting Multitudes.” We hope there will be no urges contrary to swallowing (as the Major League Eating rulebook puts it) tomorrow, and you’ll want to hit the original Nathan’s Famous stand on Surf and Stillwell — in which case nursing student and trusty counterperson Tamica Gazson will be there to dog you.

Because Coney Island–Goers Can’t Live on Corn Dogs Alone

Last time we went to Coney Island we got oysters from a clam shack right before it closed. And oh, we also got Hepatitis A. Now we’re immune, but nonetheless we’re grateful that the newly opened, spick-and-span Coney Island Surf & Turf Grill offers plenty of options that won’t destroy our liver — aside from the offerings at the tiki bar (our poison of choice: Shmaltz Brewing Company’s newly released Coney Island Lager). In the back of the garagelike space, decorated with pics of old and contemporary Coney-baloney (as our sword-swallower friend Heather Holliday likes to call it) is a custom-built brick oven dispensing thin-crust pizzas. Yes, there are oysters, and should the cheesy plastic crab decorations move you to order the real thing, you can hammer snow crabs, blue crabs, and angry crabs with a mallet. Meatheads, meanwhile, can indulge in ribs and chicken smoked in-house. And here we thought smoking only occurred under the boardwalk. Coney Island Surf & Turf Grill, 1315 Surf Ave., nr. Stillwell Ave., Coney Island, Brooklyn; 718-513-6491. Surf & Turf Grill menu

Hot-Dog-Eating Champ Struck With Jaw Arthritis Determined to Gulp On

The 2007 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest should have been one for the ages – the Ali-Foreman of competitive eating. After an uninterrupted six-year run, Japan’s Takeru Kobayashi was about to meet his match in American Joey Chestnut, who broke “The Tsunami”’s world record earlier this month in Phoenix. But as you may know, Kobayashi came down with jaw arthritis and can barely open his mouth — and, to make matters worse, the trophy the two nations are jousting for, the Mustard Yellow Belt, has been lost.

Times Square Gets Butt-Uglier

Bushwick: Finally, a place to share your memories of growing up around here. [BushwickBK] Chelsea: First Ethan Hawke, and now Joe Franklin. Who will be the next celeb to show his support of Stanley Bard and family? [Living With Legends] Clinton Hill: Don't bitch that Brownstoner posts a preponderance of items about this hood … even the score by sending in tips about your hood! [Brownstoner] Coney Island: Developer Joe Sitt hit a community meeting last night to drum up support for his embattled Coney plans, saying he'd go home and pray for good press. [Gowanus Lounge] Harlem: How is it that construction starts here a full 45 minutes earlier than anywhere else in the city? [Above the Doorframe] Highland Park: Who is poaching the beautiful wild American goldfinches in the Ridgewood Reservoir? For shame! [Queens Crap] Times Square: A huge billboard of smiling buttocks will go up here soon to promote a new, built-in bidet-type gadget. [AdAge via Gothamist] Woodside: More affordable housing will likely come to this part of Queens as well as to Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Corona. [NYDN via OuterB]