A for-rent sign has gone up on the corner of the building under renovation at 247 Bedford Avenue, where Brooklyn’s first Apple store is supposed to be opening.

The sign went up yesterday, according to a tipster who passed by and saw it and sent us this photo.

There were no construction workers at the site and no work happening when he passed by at 8:45 am, he said.

“I wonder if this means that the Apple Store deal is dead?” he said.


      Time for another installment of Queens’ Best Week Ever! Where we go through the local papers, so you don’t have to.

      This week the Queens Gazette ran ahead of the pack with so many dazzling articles that it was hard to keep track. Whether it was the article about the Greek American Folklore Society performance organized by Chinese librarians or the 411 on all the members of the Vallone family, we were throughly entertained, so thanks.

      The Gazette tackled death not once, but twice, first with its article about the Brinckerhoff Cemetery:

      Numerous photographs made during the past several decades revealed that the original headstones began disappearing year by year. Some believe the markers fell victim to vandals who had easy access to the cemetery, which does not even feature a protective fence. Others believe the stones might have sunk into the ground.

      We think it was the ghosts.

      Another great article reminded people to love Mom before she dies, written by Walter Kanner, who passed away several years ago.

      What I wouldn’t give to have my mother back again. I would give up all I have if I could turn back the clock. If, just once more, I could take her out to dinner today. Or send her flowers. Or wish her a Happy Mother’s Day. But, I can’t. My Mom’s gone.

      Somehow these words have less meaning when the author is himself deceased.


      The inspired wizards at the Department of Education have done some hocus pocus magic and given our borough’s “failing” schools new and inspired names, according the the NYT. The names will take effect in July. Shazaam!

      August Martin High School in South Jamaica, Queens, where the name is carved into the building’s frieze, will open as the School of Opportunities at the August Martin Campus.

      And William Cullen Bryant High School in Astoria, Queens, will become the Academy of Humanities and Applied Science at the William Cullen Bryant Campus, a title that is far from the poetry that fell from the pen of the famous American writer.

      At Flushing High School in Queens, the principal decided to rename the school after Rupert B. Thomas, a member of the city’s Board of Education in the early 20th century who pushed for the city to build a new high school in Flushing.

      According to the Times, city officials said they “gave the schools the leeway to reinvent themselves.” If this is what they do with leeway, we can only imagine what they do with restrictions.


      Many of you have probably seen the sign war between two people fighting over Tony, a bus driver on the Q69 route in Astoria, but now CBS news is investigating. Tony is a married man, and an upset passenger thinks he led her on and she is not willing to forgive him. Another person has come to his defense.

      “I won’t forget your famous line, ‘Married men are lonely, too,” the initial jilted woman wrote on signs that showed up along the route. Why Leave Astoria? featured a photo of a sign responding to the first woman’s signs by insulting her. Our question is, who has time and glue enough to do this kind of thing? It’s been going on for TWO YEARS according to CBS.

      Colleagues at the La Guardia Depot — who are carefully guarding Tony’s identity — said he continues to work the route. They said he had admitted to swapping phone numbers with the woman, but said he did not have an affair.

      Moral of the story: 1) Don’t give crazy people your phone number, 2) Despite appearances, Q69 is not a mobile dating service and 3) If you want revenge, get some paste.

      UPDATE: This just in from Why Leave Astoria? Tony now has a fake Twitter account, and Pix11 went looking for him.

      [blackbirdpie url=”!/TONY_Q69/status/199505410326138880″]


          Welcome to another installment of Queens’ Best Week Ever! Where we sift through the local news so you don’t have to.

          This week, Heather Senison of the Queens Ledger captures a 114th Precinct community meeting with riveting detail. Police at the 114 have no manners, according to Laura DiFrenza, who (citizen’s arrest style) successfully pulled over a driver when he ran a red light. She proceeded to call 911, but when the cop came, her encounter was less than pleasant.

          I don’t know if they get training on respect, but this cop literally spoke to me like I was dirt on the street,” DiFrenza said…

          She said the driver [she stopped] had a license from the Czech Republic and told the officer that the sun was in his eyes so he didn’t see the red light …

          “When I told [the officer] I just wanted to make sure this guy is able to drive because he almost killed me and ran a red light, he goes, ‘well, you know you’re going to die eventually,’” DiFrenza said. “I’m 28 years old and I know I’m going to die eventually, but there’s no reason for a cop to speak to me like that.”

          Police at the 108th Precinct aren’t doing much better, according to the Sunnyside Post…or ARE they?

          “We don’t have a lot of cops, but we know who the bad guys are in this neighborhood [precinct],” [108 Precinct Commander Donald] Powers said, referring to felons who are out on probation or are known recidivists. “It’s like small town policing.”…

          One couple, whose house was almost broken into, said that the police wrote up the crime as “criminal mischief” despite there being evidence of an attempted burglary. “Our screen doors were slashed,” the couple said…
          One Sunnyside Gardens resident complained that when she called the community affairs office at the 108 precinct the phone rang 40 to 50 times without answer.
          She was calling to report stollen hubcaps.

          The Queens Gazette features helpful hints for parents who are trying to determine whether their children are gang members.

          “You have to look at colors your son doesn’t want to wear,” officials said. “If you come home with a red shirt and your son tells you, ‘I can’t wear that’, and you ask, ‘Why?’ and he just looks at you, well – you know why.”


          First, you take away boys, then, you take away sugar. What’s a girl to do?

          The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria is going on a crusade against sweets, The Daily News reports. The institution has done away with chocolate milk in favor of water and is using agave and honey to flavor dishes for its middle, elementary and high school students.

          This women’s temperance movement extends further. The paper reports “many of the school’s roughly 500 students have also pledged to eat better.”

          The resistance movement, led by Kathie (High Voltage) Dolgin will soon take a Carrie Nation-like hatchet to the school’s vending machines as well.  Dropping some knowledge, Dolgan told the Daily News: “Sugar is America’s No. 1 drug and it has no business in our schools.”

          No comment.


          You know things are serious when US Airways Capt. Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger weighs in and when mayoral spokesman, Marc La Vorgna uses the phrase “bird strike epidemic.”

          Birds at LaGuardia Airport could save neighbors from the stinky smell of trash if community groups and civic leaders have their way. According to the Daily News, opponents of the North Shore Marine Transfer Station in College Point, say the trash will attract birds — which could prove hazardous for planes flying in and out of nearby LaGuardia.

          US Airways Capt. Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger, who made an emergency landing on the Hudson River in 2009 after a bird strike, has also come out against the trash transfer station.

          The Mayor’s Office dismissed the concerns, noting a waste station operated safely at the same site from 1954 until 2001.

          “Was there a bird strike epidemic then? No,” mayoral spokesman Marc La Vorgna said in a statement. “And the new station will be even safer: a fully enclosed, state-of-the-art facility.”

          The issue came to fore again when a Delta Air Lines flight to Los Angeles made an emergency landing on April 19 at Kennedy Airport after birds were sucked into the plane’s engine. Five days later, a JetBlue flight returned to the Westchester County Airport after two geese hit the aircraft’s windshield.

          Planes carrying Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden were both struck by birds on April 19. No one was hurt.

          Image Source: Wikimedia Commons, by Alan D. Wilson


          Things could get even drunker at MoMA PS 1’s Warm Up parties this summer, according to Community Board 2 recently approved the museum’s plan to serve liquor and food in a collaboration with M. Wells Dinette. The restaurant (which once served the area but closed after a rent dispute) will be re-opening inside PS 1 in June to seat 55 people. The establishment, featuring Quebecois cuisine and run by married restauranteurs, Hugue Dufour and Sarah Obraitis, will be one of their two Long Island City establishments, according to the NYT. “M. Wells Steakhouse, with about 80 seats and outdoor seating, will occupy a vacant garage at 43-15 Crescent St.” the site reports. So what is Quebecois food? Apparently it’s french fries covered in cheese curds and gravy and meat pies. Blame Canada.

          Image Source: Jim Henderson- MoMA PS 1