15 Sep 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by tinynewyorkkitchen
Patch Instagram photo by tinynewyorkkitchen
Patch Instagram photo by tinynewyorkkitchen
Patch Instagram photo by tinynewyorkkitchen
Patch Instagram photo by randsthekeebler

Weirdest Stories from Brooklyn Patch 2012

Take a look, take a laugh, or gasp at the strangest stories our reporters at Brooklyn Patch wrote this year.

People do some strange things, especially in Brooklyn.

This round up consists of the weirdest news stories from our Brooklyn Patch sites throughout the borough this year.

Park Slope

Dog Bites Park Slope Woman on Fourth Ave.

Despite what you may think, this is a true story. It’s one of those stories that hyper-local newsmen die to report.

On the afternoon of Saturday, Dec. 9, as a Park Slope woman ran to the Union Street subway station to catch the R train on Fourth Avenue, two people were trying to control a small, white dog that was barking and lunging on the sidewalk.

Irin Carmon, who a staff writer for Salon, tried to keep her distance from the excited pooch. However, Carmon was not able to avoid the confrontation before she took the descent into the subway, which ended in the small white dog biting her, leaving a small puncture wound behind her knee. To read the rest of this story and how Carmon tried to find the owner using social media, click here.

The Schwinn-Mobile of Park Slope

Meet the coolest bike rider of Park Slope: Ali Roman. He has been riding around the neighborhood on his vintage Schwinn for 20 years, he says.

But it is no regular Schwinn, it is the 1960 Panther, a cruiser model that is he has spent over $1,000 to make it unique. He installed speakers on the frame, which connect to an iPod on his handlebars. He cruises past pedestrians on Seventh Avenue blasting Tito Puente while his Puerto Rican flags on his handlebars wave in the wind. His low rider-like ride has a hand-pump air horn, which has a chrome skull on top, a pair of headlights, side view mirrors and fake raccoon tails flailing in the wind. To read the full profile on Roman, click here.

The Homemade Bike-Go-Cart Rolls Through Park Slope

Park Slope has a lot of bikes and a lot of bike lanes, but it has only one “bike-go-cart.” 

Henry Powell, 56, can be seen most days rolling through Park Slope on his homemade contraption that he calls a bike-go-cart, with his son lounging on a lawn chair attached to the back.

He attached a hand truck to the back of his Schwinn Bayside, a trike cruiser, and screwed on two lawn chairs so he can take his kids along for the ride. To read more about Powell and his contraption, click here.

The Slacker of Prospect Park

We all slack off from time to time, but this year’s slacker-of-the-year award goes Will Raphaelson of Park Slope.

That's not to say Will Raphaelson takes it easy. The 20-year-old college student spends his free time doing something quite difficult—slackling, which involves balancing on a two-inch wide nylon web in Prospect Park.

A “slacker” is someone who practices slacklining. “Slacking” is an activity that is usually done on a thin, but strong line of nylon webbing and is usually anchored between two trees. To read more on this “slacker,” click here.

Ditmas Park

Chicken Keeping Takes Hold in Ditmas Park
Finding a stray chicken in Brooklyn is more common than one might think, especially in Ditmas Park.

Check out this story about how Ditmas Park resident Jennifer Wilenta, who already owns five chickens and keeps them in a coop in her yard, took in a hen after finding is roaming around in the yard of a nearby church.

Wilenta is not the only chicken coop keeper in the neighborhood:

"I know there are two others on Marlborough [Road] who have coops," she said. "There are at least six [households] in Ditmas Park with chicken coops."

Carroll Gardens

Carroll Street Brownstone Collapses in the Middle of the Night

In this old city, where most brownstones are pre-war construction, sometimes things come to a crumbling end.

On July 2, portions of a four-story brownstone at 241 Carroll Street, between Court and Smith streets, collapsed early in the morning, but luckily no one was injured, said police.

According to an officer, a wall on the East side became compromised at 1:30 a.m. Monday, July 2. Though the brownstone contains three floor-through apartments, only one family was home at the time of the evacuation, said a witness familiar with the events.

Meat Vandal Strikes Teddy in Cobble Hill

While many neighbors often purchase gifts at Teddy, located at 216 Court Street between Baltic and Warren Streets, the retail shop was the unfortunate recipient of "a nasty little present" itself on Thursday, March 29.

A passerby wrote in to Pardon Me For Asking stating that while walking by the closed storefront yesterday morning, she observed something hanging from the pull-down metal grate.

"At first I thought it was a piece of meat or an octopus," the reader told PMFA. "But when I looked more closely, all I could think was that it was some sort of internal organ."

The bizarre, stomach-turning item [a photo can be viewed by clicking through the gallery] was approximately the size of a shoe, red and yellow in color, and had been hung at eye level. 

Prospect Heights

Man Arrested After School Bus Joy Ride Goes Awry

On June 7, a 22-year-old man was charged with stealing a school bus after driving it off a Dean Street parking lot and leading the driver and cops on a chase through Fort Greene.

The bus driver told cops he was preparing the buses at a parking lot on Dean Street between Classon and Franklin on May 21 when he saw someone start to drive off with one of the vehicles at about 10:20 a.m. The keys were in the ignition, and apparently someone saw an opportunity, according to a police report. To read about the police chase than ensued, click here.

Prospect Heights Poop Vandal is Back

On April 11, once again, someone has smeared feces on the front door of a Prospect Heights home. 

A 36-year-old woman woke up to find feces on the front door of her apartment building, located on Washington Avenue between Bergen and St. Marks, on April 11, according to a police report.  

Last month Prospect Heights Patch reported that a 37-year-old found feces smeared on the two doors of his Washington Avenue home on Feb. 28.

Artisanal Mayo Shop Opens on Vanderbilt Avenue

In Brooklyn, it seems that almost everything is artisanal, handmade or organic.

But instead of making some artisanal cheese, made from goat’s milk from an Upstate New York farm, one Brooklyn-based company took the artisanal movement to a substance that is synonymous to fat and clogged arteries and opened their own shop in prospect Heights.

Empire Mayonnaise Co., a small-batch artisanal mayo company that had been selling their flavors at Smorgasburg and the Brooklyn Flea, opened their first brick-and-mortar shop at 564 Vanderbilt Avenue on Sunday, April 8.

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