A baby seal made a splash at the New York Aquarium, an East New York senior became the third-oldest living person on the planet, and a marriage proposal was the surprise appetizer at the Independence Day hot-dog-eating contest in Coney Island. Month in Review recaps these and other top stories from July.
Living legend: Retired Hollywood housekeeper Susannah “Miss Susie” Mushatte Jones became a world icon when she celebrated her 115th birthday at the Vandalia Senior Center in East New York. Jones, the oldest person in New York and second-oldest in the nation, was born in Alabama on July 6, 1899 — when William McKinley was president, the Spanish-American war ended, and Carnation introduced its first can of evaporated milk.
Lover-wurst: Hot-dog king Joey “Jaws” Chestnut showed he was a red-hot in the romance department, proposing to his sweetheart Neslie Ricasa at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4. Fueled by her acceptance, Jaws scarfed his way to an eighth-straight win, gobbling 61 wieners and buns in 10 minutes. His bride-to-be — a fellow contestant — managed 10 dogs and trailed the women’s division won by Miki Sudo, who wolfed 34 dogs and buns to defending champ Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas’s 27 and three quarters.
iFlicks: A Williamsburg bar’s hunt for tech-land’s new Spike, Quentin, or Woody threatened to swipe the Academy Awards’ bragging rights faster than you could say “Oscar.” Videology launched its monthly showcase of short films made with amateur equipment, including cell phones, digital single-lens reflex cameras, webcams, and Google Glass, in a take on California’s Disposable Film Festival. “We are all filmmakers now,” said organizer Matthew Sullivan-Pond. “What we are looking for is something where people have been innovative and imaginative.” Talented techies can see their iWork screened at a festival in San Francisco.
Vive la France: Brownstone Brooklyn celebrated Bastille Day along French-flavored Smith Street with the game closest to Gaul hearts — petanque, a French game similar to bocce. The French holiday hails the storming of a medieval Parisian fortress on July 14, 1789, but the atmosphere was anything but somber in Boerum Hill, where businesses and patrons honored the folk who gave us liberty, fraternity, and bearnaise sauce, with a Brooklyn-worthy salute.
Ride on: Ridgites rejoiced over the return of the B37 bus, which the Metropolitan Transportation Authority screeched to a halt four years ago to curb costs. The Bay Ridge-to-Barclays run is a boon for disabled riders who find it tough to navigate subways, said straphangers, who want the service extended to Downtown.
Mourning meeting: Hope turned to despair for Brooklynites rallying at Sheepshead Bay’s Holocaust Memorial Park for the safe return of three abducted Israeli teens — one with family in Flatbush — only to learn they were murdered. Mourners decorated bricks with the first initials of Gil-Ad Shaer, 18, Eyal Yifrah, 19, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16, who held dual American citizenship. Israeli authorities nabbed the killers of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, who was slain in retaliation, but the Israeli teens’ killers remain at large.
Broke-lyn Bridge: Granite bricks rained down on pedestrians seeking shelter from a torrential downpour near a Brooklyn Bridge support wall that didn’t seem to be a part of the viaduct’s extensive, ongoing renovations. Three children and two adults were treated for minor injuries. The iconic bridge — one of the oldest suspension spans in the country — also made headlines later in the month when two white flags mysteriously replaced its Stars and Stripes atop the bridge towers. The rogue pennants waved over the city for several hours before cops scaled the cables and removed them. Authorities were examining video footage for the culprits.
Toddler tragedy: A family picnic in Prospect Park turned to horror when a toddler was found dead in the lake after disappearing with a cousin. Police scuba divers found the body of Ruhshona Kurbonova, 2, in a wooded area of Prospect Park Lake, ending an extensive search. The children strayed from a family gathering and headed toward the water, where a family strolling in the park found the little girl’s 3-year-old cousin, said cops.
‘Kin’ dobre: Two Greenwood Heights brothers squabbled over their mom-and-pop Polish grocery, with one sibling pushing to sell the 75-year-old delicatessen, and the other eager to save it from becoming yesterday’s kielbasa. We featured Eagle Provisions at Fifth Avenue and 18th Street in our “Old School” series two months ago, highlighting its home-smoked sausage, freshly baked babka, and 2,500 varieties of beer, many of them bearing labels of religious officials and busty women. John Zawisny put the store on the market for a reported $9 million, but his brother, Richard Zawisny, is seeking new investors to keep it open.
What sports: The championships rolled into Brooklyn again this year and we decided to announce our own top ten teams that made the borough proud. We selected squads for dominance in their sport, the level and difficulty of any title won, the historic nature of their season, and the quality of their overall year. Abraham Lincoln football (13–0), Poly Prep baseball (21–3), and Xaverian baseball (20–5) aced the top three, while Bishop Kearney girls’ basketball, Brooklyn Tech boys’ swimming, and Poly Prep football racked up top honorable mentions.
©2014 Community News Group
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