A Tale Of Two Hoods: Bensonhurst Is Really Two Neighborhoods

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 I recently read an announcement for the Bensonhurst Green Market and have to say, I was pissed.

I love farmers markets, and I (sort of) love living in Bensonhurst, so it would make sense that I would be psyched and not disappointed at the prospect of organic Hudson Valley kale coming to a market stall near me. The problem is that I live nowhere near this event – it probably would take me a similar amount of time on public transit to get to green markets at Grand Army Plaza and Borough Hall. The fact is it should be called the West Bensonhurst Green Market because Bensonhurst is really two neighborhoods. Continue reading

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Chance: Part 3

By takomabibelot via Flickr

After Sargent Le Fevre left, DeSantis went back to his bed and sat down. He went into himself and thought back to before the terrorist attacks, the divisions, the blame from all sides to all other sides. Continue reading

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Chance: Part 2

“Hell is other people.”

- Jean-Paul Sartre

Robert DeSantis woke up the next morning in a room that reminded him of his first apartment after dropping out of college. It had white plaster walls with cracks, some faint- some not so faint, here and there. An window air conditioning unit buzzed as it worked to keep the slightly weathered white chamber cool and dry. He had spent the night in a pillow top bed, watching old cable TV shows on DVD before finally giving in to the overtures of sleep. Continue reading

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Strange But True: The First Car Accident In U.S. Was In NYC… And It Involved A Bicycle

The first car accident in the United States happened in New York City on May 30, 1896. Henry Wells from Springfield, Massachusetts was driving his Duryea Motor Wagon when he collided with a bicycle rider. Her name was Evylyn Thomas and she was brought to Manhattan Hospital with a broken leg.

Source: The Epic of New York City by Edward Robb Ellis 1966 Old Town Books, pp-460-461 

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Chance: Part 1

Robert woke up feeling drops of water hitting his forehead. They were dripping down his face and had begun to dampen the front of his shirt. At first Robert had no idea where he was. He could see the drops were leaking from the ceiling of the room he was in, which might actually be described as part of a dungeon. He knew that he was in some sort of cell, that was all. He heard measured footsteps as a presumed guard of this presumed prison walked down the hallway outside. Mister DeSantis? He heard his name being formally called in a surprisingly polite tone by his apparent jailer. A knock, almost too gentle for the heavy steel door echoed slightly off the damp stone and brick walls of his 8 x 10 box of a room.

Come in, Robert answered. His voice hoarsely registered just loud enough to be heard by the man at the door. The door opened and there stood a short, dark man dressed in green military fatigues. Continue reading

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5 Borough Pizza Put Down Part 2: The Meanest Pie In Town

What Totonno's lacks in basil (and kindness) they make up for in pure pizza goodness

Patsy's service proved pleasing; their pie peculiarly premature

This is it. The culmination of countless afternoons spent devouring the best pizza we could find. This is the 5 Borough Pizza Put Down. In our never-ending quest to find the perfect pizza pie parlor, we’ll award points based on 5 categories: food, service, atmosphere, cost and value. In the short term we will be grouping pizza places together: either by geography, shared history or both, and comparing. In the long term, we will use the points system to decide on an overall city-wide winner. (I’ve decided that, in order to simplify any comparisons, I will only order the plain, or margherita pie at each pizzeria.)

Following up on last week’s Brooklyn versus Manhattan theme, we once again have a battle of the boroughs. This week we matched up Patsy’s Pizzeria in Murray Hill with Totonno’s Pizzeria Napolitano in Coney Island. Continue reading

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5 Borough Pizza Put Down Part 1: Conspicuous But Deadly

John’s pie is impressive…

...but so is Grimaldi's

This is it. The culmination of countless afternoons spent devouring the best pizza we could find. This is the 5 Borough Pizza Put Down. In our never-ending quest to find the perfect pizza pie parlor, we’ll award points based on 5 categories: food, service, atmosphere, cost and value. In the short term we will be grouping pizza places together: either by geography, shared history or both, and comparing. In the long term, we will use the points system to decide on an overall city-wide winner. (I’ve decided that, in order to simplify any comparisons, I will only order the plain, or margherita pie at each pizzeria.)

For the first part in this series we’ll tackle what are probably the most obvious choices. Along with Totonno’s in Coney Island and Patsy’s in Murray Hill, both are linked directly, indirectly or mythologically to New York’s first licensed pizza maker, Genaro Lombardi. Straight out of the guide books we have from Manhattan, John’s Pizzeria of Bleecker Street and from Brooklyn, Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria. Continue reading

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