By Courier Staff
We give Brooklyn news its dues: The Beatles reincarnated as three fab gals from the Land of the Rising Sun, a junkie blogger reviewing lethal smack, and the leggiest gal in the universe, were among our bold, brow-raising reports that gave readers their news fix last month. Read on, as Month In Review recaps these and other top stories from February.
Hey, girl: The Clover might not have the same ring as the Fab Four, but that didn’t stop a Japanese, all-female Beatles cover band from zooming across the Pacific to the Branded Saloon in Park Slope for its U.S. debut. The Fab Three — a George Harrison stand-in was a no-show — made the guest gig to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their mop-topped mentors’ appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show back on Feb. 9, 1964.
Crack report: Philip Seymour Hoffman had a monkey on his back when he died from a heroin overdose last month, but readers of a dope-sharing website went ape over the “Ace of Hearts” junk that killed the Oscar-winner, giving it a 7.5 rating for overall quality. The pseudonymous blog Jynxie’s Natural Habitat claims to keep heroin users safe by sharing information about drug potency and delivering the lowdown on smack stamped with logos, such as the “Ace of Hearts” and “Ace of Spades” envelopes found in Hoffman’s Manhattan pad.
Wham gams: Marine Park beauty Brooke Banker’s 47-inch pins gave Brooklyn a leg up on the world’s long-limbed lasses. The New York Post reported 5-foot-11 Banker was head and shoulders above 6-foot-1 British model Alexandra Robertson, whose pulchritudinous poles also stack up to 47 inches. The reason? The Brooklynkite is proportionally 66 percent leg, while the Brit is just 64 percent, giving her a toe-hold on the lofty claim.
Snow tragedy: The Polar Vortex wrought death in Brighton Beach when an elderly man was struck and killed by a backhoe that was clearing snow at the Oceana condominium. Stanislav Chernyshov, 73, was crossing Oceana Terrace near his home around noon when the snow-removal vehicle backed up between Oceana Drive West and Brighton Beach Avenue and fatally struck him. Chernyshov was pronounced dead on arrival at Coney Island Hospital. The driver of the privately-operated snowplow was not charged.
Emotionally strung: Innovative Vermont puppeteers proved their show was no child’s play when they took to the stage at Irondale Ensemble Project in Fort Greene, using marionettes to highlight the creative abilities of elderly people with late-stage dementia. Sandglass Theater’s “D-Generation: An Exaltation of Larks” depicted puppeteers performing the roles of caregivers while controlling realistic-looking, wheelchair-bound marionettes as patients. The story moved between conversations among the group and the characters’ inner thoughts.
Fowl play: Albany’s plan to eradicate New York’s mute swan population by 2030 ruffled the feathers of Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D–Sheepshead Bay), who promised to dissuade the state Department of Environmental Conservation from shooting or gassing the state’s 2,200 mute swans, while exploring alternatives for a non-lethal solution. State killjoys claim the swans are aggressive, displace other bird species, and pose an aviation hazard, irking animal activists who mounted an online petition.
Kinky hoots: Lovebirds, lovelorn singles, and thrillseekers courting a memorable time celebrated Valentine’s Day with a smorgasbord of Cupidesqepades around town. Our favorites included the Shibari rope bondage workshop at Williamsburg sex shop Shag — we’re knot faint-hearted — and the couples welding workshop with artist Susan Woods at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where sweethearts forged hearts fused from metal and bonded with love.
Karate kids: The terrible twos are the perfect age for tempestuous tots to hone their self-defense and discipline skills, claimed self-defense experts at the Williamsburg Mixed Martial Arts school. They prepped the just-out-of-Pampers set on roundhouse kicks, jabs, and foot sweeps, while harnessing their focus and concentration skills, with classes aimed at fun and functionality — with emphasis on respect, responsibility, and friendship. For now, the kids remain blissfully ignorant of the brutal, grown-up world of pro fighting — and champs, such as Georges “Rush” Saint-Pierre and Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks, and their parents claimed they intend to keep it that way.
Suds salute: Cheers! Brooklyn is officially the craft beer capital of the world, overflowing with new breweries — the likes of which haven’t been seen in these parts since Prohibition — claim New York City Beer Week organizers, who got their froth on by tapping the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg for their signature Brewer’s Choice night. At least four new breweries opened in Kings County in the past year, with several more set to launch soon. As Brooklyn’s premier weeklies, we’re proud to say, “Here’s mud in yer eye.”
Ferry troubling: The city let the company that runs the East River ferry pier in Greenpoint — where a ramp collapsed during a snowstorm — perform its own inspections on the structure, and the operator never bothered to peek under the waterline. Inspectors found the India Street pier, gangway, and barge to be safe just 10 days before the ramp fell into the icy waters, the city said, but the assessment was not based on any underwater examination by the ferry corporation Billybey, according to our source. Billybey eyeballs the pier weekly, but did not send a diver to look under the waterline because it is apparently unheard of for such equipment to fall apart two and a half years after being built. A spokeswoman for the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which oversees the boat-commuting service, said that the city was committed to ensuring riders a safe and reliable ferry, but refused to provide a copy of the latest inspection. Stay tuned.