Saturday, January 31, 2009

Abe Brown, Chasidic J&R manager talks about Super Bowl big-screen TV sales spike 

Steelers-Cardinals may not be the hottest Super Bowl matchup, but it isn't chilling the traditional late-January sale of big-screen TVs.

"Every year during this time, we have a spike, and the spike is continuing," said Abe Brown, of J&R Electronics, where a 46-inch Sony Bravia Z-series, which sold for $2,200 last year, is now $1,499.

John Laubenthao, manager of B. Smith's restaurant and bar on 46th Street and Eighth Avenue, got two Samsung 32-inch LCD HDTVs at a Midtown Best Buy.

"We needed these for the Super Bowl," he said. "There are going to be 150 people."



Friday, January 30, 2009

Read the new Chaptzem article in the Country Yossi Family Magazine 

Make sure to pick up your free copy of the Country Yossi Family Magazine and read the brand new original article 'Offensive Driving' written by Chaptzem, the only Heimishe blogger to make the transition from cyberspace to print.


'Racheim' Like You've Never Heard - Or Seen - It 

Sent in by a Chaptzem reader


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Yiddishe No Parking Hayoim sign 


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fire damages main yeshiva at Kiryas Joel 

Fire destroyed two rooms on the first floor of a large dormitory building affiliated with the main yeshiva in the Village of Kiryas Joel.

The blaze broke out around 4 p.m. Tuesday and brought out a half dozen fire companies to assist.

Most of the boys who live there were out of the large 200 foot by 75 foot building, said Fire Chief Yitzi Bernath. There were no injuries and the cause is under investigation, he said.

The chief said the cleanup operation took an extended period of time as there was much smoke in the building at 17 Berdichev Drive.

Firefighters spent a considerable amount of time once the fire was out searching the building to be sure no one was inside.



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chaptzem Exclusive - Behind the scenes of the Yona Weinberg child molestation case 

In order to help keep the transparency in the Heimishe news cycle we are publishing this post about an ongoing correspondence that we are having with a source who claims to have publicly available information that will show accused child molester Yona Weinberg in a better light.

After much back and forth, and many attempts to try to clarify things, this source has not been able to give us one solid piece of information or any logical argument.

The source wrote us many lengthy e-mails filled with speculations, contradictions, character assassinations, accusations and even allegations against some of the accusers' family members.

Each time we would ask the source to back up his statements he would avoid doing so. Instead he would go into long unfounded illogical rants devoid of any true substance. Instead of having any real solid information to help Mr. Weinberg, as he said he did, all he had was confusion, speculation and plain out unfounded bad-mouthing.

We truly hope, for Weinberg's sake, that the source that we have been in contact with is not giving him legal advice, because if he is Weinberg does not stand a chance in court.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Surprise! Mommy had a baby. 

It was Monday night, all the kids went to sleep their usual time. Mommy tucked them in and kissed them goodnight. Everything was the same as usual that night, only one thing changed, the family had grown by one member. A sweet little 7lb. 2oz. girl.

Mommy and Totty went to the hospital and Bobby came over to watch the children while they slept. The children woke up the next morning to hear Bobby banging away at the pots and pans in the kitchen preparing breakfast, but Mommy and Totty were nowhere to be found.

"Where's Mommy?", asked the children. "And what are you doing here Bobby?" "Well", Bobby answers, Mommy had a baby last night and I'll be watching you until you go off to school and then you'll be going from there to your Tantes' homes. I'll tell you soon to whom each of you are going."

The children are confused. They're excited, but they had no idea. Nobody told them they were going to have another little sister. Nobody told them that Mommy was going to be away for two weeks. Nobody told them they won't be seeing their Totty every night for the next few weeks. Nobody told them that Bobby would be at their house when they woke up. Nobody told them that they would be away from their home for so many weeks. Nobody told them that they would be separated from each other for so long.

They had no idea what was happening at that moment. All they knew was that everyone around them was expecting them to be happy about their new sibling while their world was simultaneously crashing down all around them.

The children get dressed and go to their respective Yeshivahs, knowing that the bus has already been instructed to drop them off at an alternate location. They tell their teachers and Rebbes that their mother had a baby. "Really?", the teacher asks. "When?" "I don't really know", the child answers, "we went to sleep and then when we woke up Bobby told us that Mommy had a baby."

Everyone at home, at school and in the neighborhood is so excited about the brand new baby and all these poor kids can feel is that they never saw all this coming. They were never prepared about the coming of the new baby. Nobody ever told them what to expect. They were just moved around like living, eating, breathing pieces of furniture, left to deal with this overwhelming situation all by themselves.

Something is really wrong here with our system of dealing with children and childbirth. Is this Frumkeit? Is this ehrlichkeit? Is this mentchlichkeit? Is this how Hashem wants little defenseless children to be handled? Does Hashem really want parents to hide an entire pregnancy from their children because of the topic? It is just plain amazing to see how much trauma people will willingly inflict on their own children in order to perpetuate a newfangled unfounded neurosis of not letting them know that their own mother will soon be having a baby. Something is definitely really wrong here.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Actor lives amidst Hasidic women to research role 

To prep for her role as a widowed member of a Hasidic community in CBS' movie "Loving Leah," former "Six Feet Under" star Lauren Ambrose spent time with women of the devout faith.

"I didn't know a lot about the Hasidic community at all," Ambrose told the Daily News. "They let me hang out and talk with them and were really open about their lives."

"Loving Leah," which premieres tomorrow night at 9, explores the ancient Levirate marriage law that says a deceased husband's brother, if single, must marry his widow, in this case is Leah, played by Ambrose.

"I thought it was a very sweet story about a regular girl who lives in this very sheltered community," Ambrose said. "But she needs to see a bigger world and finds a way to do it."

Ultimately, Leah and her brother-in-law, Jake, played by Adam Kaufman, devise a plan that satisfies both the tradition and allows Leah to pursue her dreams.

"This character does leave the community, but the people that I met were so joyful in their faith and so believing that it wasn't out of obligation that they lived the way they do, it was out of a deep faith," said Ambrose. "But they felt that if someone has a different calling or a different passion in life, then they should explore it."

Ambrose, who just wrapped voicing a character for Spike Jonze's upcoming "Where the Wild Things Are" and is rehearsing for the Broadway play "Exit the King," says what audiences should take away from "Loving Leah" is that her character isn't running away but rather trying to find her own way.

"This wasn't a harsh, strict religious place that was hard to be in. She's leaving a supportive community of people that love her," said Ambrose.



Saturday, January 24, 2009

Help! Save us! 


Friday, January 23, 2009

Caption This! 


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vote for... Moshiach 


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Heimishe eggs available in Williamsburg 



Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Overheard... at a childrens' shoe store in Boro-Park 

A woman with a couple of children walks into a Boro-Park shoe store. She sits her three-year-old child down and has him fitted for shoes by the non-Jewish worker in the store. The worker brings her out one pair of shoes after another. After trying and inspecting many pairs, the woman is down to two pairs that she likes, but she cannot decide which one to buy. The woman takes out her phone talks to someone for about half a minute and hangs up. The woman then tells the worker to put both pairs aside for her because her mother will soon come down to the store to look at them and help her decide which pair to buy. The woman then packs up her kids and leaves the store. The non-Jewish workers says to himself, "I wouldn't have believed if I didn't hear it myself."


Monday, January 19, 2009

Hello, Chaveirim... 


Future Chasunah entertainment superstar 


Rachmestrivka Chasidus victim of Madoff scheme 

Rachmestrivka charity is also among victims of Madoff. In recent weeks, it is hard to trust people from the world of business, and this is mainly as a result of Bernard Madoff, a Jew from the United States aged 70 a rebel businessmen, who fooled organizations and companies.

Today we reveal that not only Israeli Yad Sarah and organizations such as universities hit, that even charity Rachmestrivka Jerusalem. Information indicates that a large ceremonial dinner was supposed to exist in the United States two weeks ago was canceled at the last moment because of the scandal.

It turns out that the Jewish millionaire, also caught the Hasidic Rachmestrivka institution. The dinner which the Chasidus was supposed to prepare in the United States with Madoff as the guest of honor was canceled. The Rachmestrivka Rebbe decided to cancel his trip to the United States due to the cancellation of the dinner. The Rebbe is currently staying in the city Tiberias.



Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hey taxi 


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Developers allege discrimination in building moratorium 

A group of Jewish developers has filed a federal lawsuit against the Village of South Blooming Grove, which was created through public referendum in the summer 2006.

In their suit, which has been assigned to Senior United States District Judge William Connor in White Plains, they contend that the village has acted in a manner calculated to thwart its own development by unreasonably extending a building moratorium for more than two and one-half years and by signaling its intent to adopt a restrictive zoning ordinance which is at variance with the existing character of the village.

The village currently is primarily comprised of one-half and one acre lots and multi-family housing, along with large tracts of vacant land, owned primarily by the plaintiffs.

The developers contend that the village’s “dilatory conduct is motivated by the same desire which led to the formation of the village in the first instance – to keep Orthodox Jews out of the area now comprising the village.”

The Complaint alleges that the village was formed in response to fears that Orthodox land owners would create another community of Kiryas Joel in that area, which is located about a mile from that community. Since its creation, the village has responded to the same sentiment and prevented the developers from productively using their property, the lawsuit alleges.

Michael Sussman, counsel for the developers, commented, “The suit makes serious allegations – that those behind this village want to block development by people they believed would bring a large Jewish population into their community. The existence of Kiryas Joel cannot be an excuse for anti-Semitism in this county.”

As relief, the developers seek a zoning ordinance consistent with the current character of the village and money damages caused by the delay in implementing such an ordinance in the village.



Friday, January 16, 2009

Lipa - he's my singer 

Only one short year ago a bunch of zealots successfully fooled over thirty Rabbanim into condemning Lipa Schmeltzer and causing him great heartache and monetary loss. Now it is a year later and Lipa is bigger than ever. Some Rabbanim did come clean and admit that they were duped. However, none of them signed Kol Korehs condemning the zealots that perpetrated one of the biggest Chillul HaShems today, nor did they ever publicly acknowledge their mistake or apologize to the parties damaged by the fiasco.

There were however some people in the Yeshivishe Velt that did not get caught up in the hype and did use their common sense even when faced with a wave of opposition.
Below is a quote that a Mashgiach from an established Yeshivah answered when one of his talmidim questioned him about Lipa Schmeltzer, the controversy, and his music.

איך האב עם נישט גענימען צו זיין מיין מורה דרך, נאר צו זיין מיין זינגער

Translation - "I did not take him to be my spiritual leader, only to be my singer."


Thursday, January 15, 2009

German coffee ad campaign uses Nazi slogan 

Coffee company Tchibo and petrol station chain Esso have ended a joint advertising campaign across Germany that used a slogan similar to one which hung above the entrance to a Nazi concentration camp.

The campaign, which began in early January, used the expression "Jedem den Seinen", which can be translated as "to each his own" or "to each what he deserves", and is close to the slogan "Jedem das Seine" which hung at the entrance to the Buchenwald concentration camp.

About 56,000 people are estimated to have died in the Nazi-run camp and the campaign was denounced by Germany's leading Jewish organisation.

"Tchibo never meant to hurt anyone's feelings," company spokeswoman Angelika Scholz said. Both Tchibo and Esso said they had been unaware of the expression's historical significance.

The expression appeared on signs advertising coffee that were displayed at German petrol stations. The signs were taken down on Wednesday.

Salomon Korn, the vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany told the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper that the campaign reflected either "unsurpassed tastelessness" or "total historical ignorance".



Schmelvis may be the answer to peace in the Middle East 

Henry Kissinger tried and failed.
So did Sadat and Begin, Carter, Reagan and Clinton. The UN has taken umpteen cracks at it. Pope John Paul II made a poignant pitch.
Who could say no to Condoleezza Rice? Only those happy-go-lucky folks in the Middle East.
Me, I'd cut off all trade, all air travel, all transmissions of American Idol (false idols, anyway) until they get their acts together. The whole lot of them.
Since nobody has asked me, let's turn to a more credible saviour for the Middle East.
Yes, Schmelvis. The only Hasidic Jewish Elvis impersonator in the world, far as I know. A sort of King of the Jews.
And he's on a mission of peace.
"What's going on over there has me all shook up," says Schmelvis.
Aw, jeez, here we go with the Elvis puns. Don't be cruel.
I've reached Schmelvis at home in Montreal, where he's also Dan Hartal, 45.
Toronto Film Festival-goers may remember his 2002 documentary, Schmelvis: Searching for the King's Jewish Roots.
"He's a pretty strange guy," reported the film's producer.
Strange, but true to the principles of peace.
So Schmelvis is trying to get to the Holy Land post haste, to bring some loving to those Jews and Palestinians.
I'm just a hunk, a hunk of burning love.
Yep, that oughtta do the trick.
You giggle, but nothing else has worked.



Hasidim no-show at CB1 meeting on Kent Ave bike lane 

Supporters of the besieged Kent Avenue bike lane made a strong showing at last night's meeting of Brooklyn Community Board 1. About 150 people showed up, says Transportation Alternatives' Elena Santogade, and of the 60 or so speakers, only three opposed the current configuration.

"It was a really great showing of community support," Santogade told Streetsblog. "The board didn't indicate that there were any changes being discussed about the bike lane." No vote was held on the matter, which has already passed through the CB1 wringer. After the public feedback, some board members also reiterated their support for the bike lane.

Members of the Hasidic community, widely viewed as the epicenter of bike lane opposition, did not make their presence felt at the forum. Only one representative from the community spoke against the lanes.



Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pictures from Shaare Torah anti-Semitic graffiti 

Pictures of the Shaare Torah Girls Elementary School vandalized by anti-Semites



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Con Ed worker assaults man who stole his tools 

A Consolidated Edison worker assaulted a man who he caught with his tools. The Con Ed worker was on a big job on the street and had taken out his large tool bag from the truck and placed it on the sidewalk. He turned his back for a moment towards the truck to take out some materials. When he turned back he realized that someone had swiped his tools. It happened so quick that he could not believe that someone had actually taken them. He looked all around but could not see any sign of them. The worker began to walk down the street hoping someone had seen the thief. He then noticed that a man in a nearby store was going through his tool bag and handling his tools. He rushed into the store grabbed his tool bag, screamed his guts out at the thief and left. The thief, unfazed, yelled back at him saying that the tools were his and that he wanted them back. The thief chased the Con Ed worker all the way down the street demanding the tools back. At this point the Con Ed worker pushed the thief and told him that he better get lost if he knew what was good for him. Another Con Ed worker at the job site came over and split up the two, chasing away the thief who finally gave up and left.


Vandals spray anti-Semitic graffiti on Shaare Torah Girls Elementary School 

Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) was just informed by police that Shaare Torah Girls Elementary School located at 222 Ocean Parkway and the corner of Church Avenue was vandalized earlier today with anti-Semitic graffiti. “Kill the Jews” and “Nazis live here” was prominently scrawled across the yeshiva building, along with a sizeable swastika. This matter has since been referred to the Hate Crimes Unit of the New York Police Department.

“Even with an increased police presence in our communities, these vandals persist in their vile ways,” Hikind said. “Every hateful act they get away with only serves to embolden them, and makes them that much more likely to continue committing these kinds of crimes. They must be caught and brought to justice.”

Hikind encourages anyone with information to please contact the 66th police precinct at (718) 851-5611.


Some possible Mishpacha Laura Bush cropping Hava-Aminas 

Below are two versions of what may have been original drafts of the photoshopped picture featured in the Mishpacha Magazine.



Monday, January 12, 2009

Neturei Karta protest against Israel on Shabbos 

New York City, January 3, 2009

A mass demonstration including a group of Anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews, in New York City demonstrated to protest the Israeli government's bombings in Gaza. Due to the restrictions of the Jewish Sabbath, the banners were only displayed in one location and held by non-Jews.

From the Neturei Karta website


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hasidic Hip Hop star Lipa Schmeltzer gives interview after Soul II Soul concert 



Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mishpacha Magazine prints clarification on PhotoShopping Laura Bush from White House Chanukah party photo 

Above photo from Mishpacha Magazine with Laura Bush PhotoShopped out

Above photo from White House website with Laura Bush in the photo


Friday, January 09, 2009

Hasidic Singing Sensation, Subject of Rabbinic Ban, Tries Again 

Hasidic singing sensation Lipa Schmeltzer was set to perform last March before a crowd of thousands at Madison Square Garden’s WaMu Theater in New York. The concert, a charity fundraiser, was billed as “The Big Event.”

Then, less than three weeks before the concert date, 33 ultra-Orthodox rabbis — including some of the community’s most prominent figures — issued an edict banning attendance. The event, they warned, was likely to cause “ribaldry and lightheadedness.”

Deferring to the rabbis, organizers promptly canceled the concert. The ban, however, roiled the ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi, world, sparking an unusual public outcry in a community known for its scrupulous obedience to rabbinic authority.

“Last year was going to be a big event,” said Sheya Mendlowitz, the producer behind the concert. “It really did turn out to be a big event, but not the one that I intended.”

This year, Schmeltzer is once again set to perform before a crowd of thousands at Madison Square Garden’s WaMu Theater. The March 1 concert, again a charity fundraiser, is being billed simply as “The Event.”

This time around though, there have been no edicts or rabbinic outcries. Concert organizers are pulling out all the stops and express optimism that “The Event” will go off without a hitch.

“We’ve had responses from all over the world,” said Mendlowitz. “We have people flying in from England. There’s going to be I don’t know how large a contingent that will be coming in from Israel — let’s hope. Because it was so publicized last year, people are looking forward to it.”



Thursday, January 08, 2009

Hikind to Pope; Don't be a dope! 

Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) today condemned Cardinal Renato Martino, the Vatican’s justice and peace minister, for his inflammatory and outrageous remarks likening Gaza to
a “big concentration camp.” In an interview with II Sussidiario.net, the Cardinal was quoted as saying, “Defenseless populations are always the ones who pay. Look at the conditions in Gaza: more and more, it resembles a big concentration camp.”

Hikind, a child of Holocaust survivors, was outraged by Cardinal Martino’s statement, and is calling upon Pope Benedict to take responsibility for his aide’s comments by issuing an immediate apology to Israel.

“I cannot recall a single instance in the last four years where Martino voiced any concern about the daily barrage of rocket and missile attacks against Israelis, or the suffering they have endured at the hands of these terrorists,” Hikind said. “The comparison of Gaza to a concentration camp is not only disingenuous, but extremely offensive to the memories of the millions who were slaughtered, and to the survivors who remain. His comments do nothing but hearten Hamas terrorists and their counterparts worldwide.”

Cardinal Martino has thus far resisted calls for an apology, while the Pope has only reiterated his desire to see an end to the use of violence by both Hamas and Israel in Gaza. “Martino must be a disciple of the World War II Pope, Pius XII,” Hikind said. “There’s no other way to make sense of his hateful remarks.”


The Changing Face Of Boro Park 

On a windy day in Boro Park, if you listen closely you will hear the trees ( the few that survived the timberman's axe) rustling praises to their Creator - some in nusach Ashkenaz, others in nusach Sfard - but all rising to the heavens in unison with their human co-daveners.

And when they shmooze, the sapient, centuries-old maples swap memories of huddled masses yearning to be free, longing for a new lease on life in an alien land and finding themselves in this South Brooklyn neighborhood.

For those not attuned to the trills of the trees or the tides of transformation but who wish to uncover the mysteries of Boro Park, there is another source: the venerable researcher and historian Dr. Philip J. Kipust, author of the longstanding Boro Park Community News column "I Remember Boro Park" and founding president of the Boro Park Historical Society.

Click on link below for full article


Wednesday, January 07, 2009


In a heist straight out of Guy Ritchie's film "Snatch," a pair of armed robbers disguised themselves as Hasidic Jews to steal $4 million worth of jewels from a Diamond District wholesaler in broad daylight, law-enforcement sources told The Post.

Dressed in Orthodox garb of black coats and hats - and phony beards - the robbers showed fake IDs to a lobby security guard on New Year's Eve and took the elevator to the fifth floor of 2 W. 46th St., all while under video surveillance.

The brazen New Year's bandits then strolled past several additional banks of cameras, and were buzzed through two doors into Dialite Imports before drawing their weapons, police said.

Just before getting buzzed into the second door, the men spray-painted the lens of one surveillance camera, sources said.

The robbers then held up owner Atul Shah and another employee at gunpoint.

Shah was forced to empty the safe of all diamonds and jewels. Then, the invaders tied the two men up with duct tape before slipping out the door unnoticed.

They were in and out in less than five minutes, sources said.

A week later, the crooks are still at large and their identity is unknown, police said.

Aside from the $4 million in diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rings, pendants and necklaces, the thieves also stole the opening scene from 2001's "Snatch," in which Benicio Del Toro and a slew of diamond thieves disguise themselves as Hasidic Jews.

There have been other imitators as well.



A Lubavitcher man in the IDF practicing to fight Hamas terrorists 



Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Bike opponents seek ‘Detour’ on Kent Ave 

Opponents of a pair of controversial bike lanes on Kent Avenue have been using school buses to block the street in an act of automotive disobedience — and now they’re publicizing their plans with a billboard blaming the resulting traffic jams on cyclists.

Last week, anti-bike lane activists put up a possibly illegal orange-and-black billboard on private property near the corner of Broadway and Kent Avenue suggesting that motorists take Wythe Avenue to avoid delays caused by buses intentionally obstructing the thoroughfare to protest the cycling paths.

“DETOUR,” the sign reads. “Due to the bike lane and parking problem created by NYC Department of Transportation, we urge all drivers to use Wythe Ave. as your alternate route so you have no delays when the buses are picking-up and dropping off kids. The buses will be in an angle blocking the road and the bike lane for safety during the hours of 8–10 am and 4–6:30 pm.”

No one has claimed responsibility for the sign, which alludes to a November announcement by Council candidate Isaac Abraham that buses would be used to block the lanes if the city did not remove them.

This week, Abraham, the de facto spokesman for the Satmar Hasidic community in South Williamsburg, defended the sign. “This is for safety — the bikers are totally ignoring the flashing lights of the buses. There is no reason this community has to accommodate bikers driving by on both sides of the street when there are already bike lanes on Wythe and Bedford.”



Monday, January 05, 2009

Work on Chester yeshiva just a permit away 

With a building permit almost in hand, Yeshiva Toras Chemed is set to begin work on a 24,000-square-foot building and a 9,000-square-foot dormitory that will become the largest non-Satmar Orthodox Jewish school for boys in Orange County.

The project, which took nearly three years to get approval, will usher in a tradition of non-denominational Jewish orthodox scholarship that traces its roots to a great hero of the Holocaust. According to officials of the Yeshiva of Nitra in Mount Kisco, the yeshiva to be built at the former Inn at Chester on Route 17M will be the first American offshoot of the Mount Kisco school founded in 1947 by Rabbi Michael Ber Weissmandl and his brother-in-law Rabbi Sholom Moshe Ungar.

Weissmandl played a pivotal role in bringing awareness to Hitler's concentration camps. He helped free many high-profile Jews, including the Grand Rebbe Joel Teitelbaum, the founder of today's Satmar Jews, many of whom live in the Village of Kiryas Joel in Monroe. After the war, he came to the United States, where he and Ungar re-established the yeshiva that existed in the city of Nitra, then a part of Czechoslovakia. Weissmandl studied and taught there.

Descendants of Weissmandl will continue to run operations at Mount Kisco, while the family of Rabbi Ungar will be running the school at Chester, said Herschel Reich, the administrator of the Mount Kisco school.

The site plan for the Chester school has been approved but a building permit has yet to be issued, said Joe Mlcoch, building inspector for the Town of Chester. The school, on 17 acres, will have two dormitories, including a renovated existing building that served as the former motel.



Sunday, January 04, 2009

Google maps obviously photographs Boro-Park on Shabbos 

Below is the street view of 13th Avenue and 50th Street in Boro-Park from Google Maps. The empty scene at this otherwise congested intersection is an occurrence that takes place only during Shabbos.


Saturday, January 03, 2009

Taking his pride for a ride 

Someone is proudly displaying their 'Lipa HaAm Itcha' bumper sticker.



Friday, January 02, 2009

Williamsburg bike lane and Isaac Abraham make it to Brooklyn Paper's Top 90 

Kent Avenue bike lanes: The biking story of 2009 won’t be Lance Armstrong’s return to the Tour de France — it’ll be the fate of a pair of controversial bike lanes on Kent Avenue in South Williamsburg that have sparked protests from residents and business owners irate about lost parking spaces and cycling activists fighting to protect their right to the road (even once dressed as clowns!).

Far back is Williamsburg activist Isaac Abraham, who is trying to become the first Hasidic councilman. Abraham is the garrulous public link to that often inaccessible community in South Williamsburg. But there’s no evidence that he can secure the group’s vote, let alone others in the district.



Thursday, January 01, 2009

Pork bellies and Yarmulkas at the Dovetail Restaurant 

NOTICE: This was only posted for irony value. No assumption should be made that the Yarmulka-clad gentleman actually had anything non-Kosher to eat at the restaurant.

Photo by: The New York Times

NO DISTRACTIONS The décor at Dovetail on the Upper West Side is plain, in contrast to its menu.

A WINTER that hadn’t slapped us around too much was suddenly in a hostile mood, gusting with snow as I trudged — skidded, really — five blocks from the subway to Dovetail, where hunched employees shoveled and shoveled some more in a doomed effort to keep the entrance clear.

I expected an empty restaurant. That’s what happens when the going gets wet: diners trash their reservations, take out their delivery menus and hunker down for the duration with General Tso’s chicken. It’s the only practical response.

There’s an appetizer that combines two of the most fashionable ingredients in upscale restaurants these days, seared pork belly and a slowly poached egg, and as soon as you taste them together, you smile at what’s afoot. It’s breakfast for dinner, only at breakfast the belly is smoked and called bacon.



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