We cover so many great stories every week that it is hard for us pick the best of the bunch. Help us figure out which was our best story of 2013 by voting for you favorite in this round-up of some of our best work from the last revolution of the Earth around the sun.
In April we introduced you to Shane McGarvey, who launched an artisanal soup business out of his Williamsburg apartment — hand-delivering such delicacies as his signature bacon soup in reusable Mason jars. The article went viral and drew some strong responses from our readers, but McGarvey took his brush with internet fame in stride, linking to the story in his promotional materials and scoring a deal with an online distributor the next month.
Our reporting on an abandoned tractor trailer that had been left to rust on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn’s backyard for months prompted the city to stop passing the buck and tow the truck away.
In June we reported on neighbors’ complaints about sketchy massage parlors in Bay Ridge, prompting a massive bust a month later that shuttered 12 Southern Brooklyn spas and led to 19 arrests for an array of charges, including prostitution.
We sent our intrepid and, on this particular day, slightly hungover reporter Jaime Lutz to the open audition for the Barclays Center’s Booklynettes dancers. Sadly for Nets fans but luckily for our readers, she did not make the cut.
In July we broke the story of the Brighton Beach woman who created an outdoor living room — complete with sofa, table, carpet, and even a flowerpot — for the local homeless population by raiding her neighbors’ garbage for furniture and amenities.
We live-blogged the MTV Video Music Awards when the moonman landed at the Barclays Center in August, with full team coverage inside and out. Where else could you have gotten an exclusive Richard Simmons Citibike interview, expert analysis of MTV’s Brooklyn references, and real-time reporting on the road closures and sidewalk sellers outside the arena? That is right, nowhere.
In October, we broke the story of an illegal Park Slope CrossFit gym that was making life hell for neighbors by dropping 300-pound weights during 6 am training sessions that shook the entire building. At first glance, the photo of Jena Battaglia holding a pillow of her head says it all, but then the story unfolds, revealing whole new dimensions of outrage.
In November, we broke the story that the iconic Astroland Rocket would be restored and returned to Coney Island in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. The Coney Island History Project rescued the 51-year-old ride from where it has been rotting on the Rock since the city removed it from the Boardwalk in 2009. Editor-in-Chief Vince Dimiceli doubled the exclusivity factor with some fearless Staten Island reconnaissance that netted us a special-to-the-paper photo of the out-of-this-world amusement in storage.
We have been keeping the pressure on the NYPD since new orders handed down from police headquarters caused local precincts to block our reporters from gathering the crime information we need to produce our weekly police blotter. In this hard-hitting story, we presented each and every response from the precincts and headquarters in all of their contradictory glory.
Which was our best story of the year? (If we didn't include your favorites, let us know in the comments.)