It’s been a long time since I’ve hauled in some treasures from the street. That was my original idea for this whole blog and then I got attention deficit disorder and it turned to into something else. Maybe it is because I have been actually employed with one and a half jobs for the past 4 months and did not have the leisure time to roam the streets. I have been jobless for the past two weeks and I am finding stuff again.
This week I found a lot of books and there seems to be a common theme. SEX. Who knew that Carroll Gardens had it’s mind in the gutter and put it’s books there too?
Here is some of my haul (which were not found all at the same locations).
“Man’s Search for Himself” by Rollo May. This is my second copy found in the streets of Brooklyn!
The Victorians had all the answers even about sex. They repressed it. We have no answers anymore but we do have a sexual revolution that’s going full blast…., the hydrogen bomb, the death of God, the military draft, and the Organization Man. We’re the hollow people in a brave new world-out of touch with our times…and with our selves.
Rollo May is also the author of “The Meaning of Anxiety.” Maybe I will find that next, but I am going to try and not get too anxious about that.
I also found the classic existentialist book “The Stranger” by Albert Camus.
“The Puttermesser Papers” by Cynthia Ozick.
“The Bermuda Triangle” by Charles Berlitz.
“101 Nights of Grrreat Sex” by Laura Corn, a book which is all about rekindling your sex life with chapters entitled:
“Leave it to Beaver”
” Where Nobody Knows Your Name”
”Taken by Surprise”
” The Gee! Stroke!”
"Somebody Stop Me”
”Under the hood, Cowboy”
and about 90 more, it IS 101 nights of Grrreat Sex after all!
I must mention that whoever owned this book, bookmarked the chapter called “Morning Glory”.
The prize book is a paperback from the 60’s called “A Hot Property” by Judy Feiffer.
The description of the story on the cover goes like this: A mother and daughter claw their way in to the sex lives of the literary lions!”
Russell Baker reviewed it and he said:"A very dirty book, also wicked and funny, and I read it through in one sitting.”
O.K enough with the nostalgia let's get back to the here and now!
I received this very cryptic email late last night.
The Limb Took a Walk!
It was seen limping down Smith Street on its one leg until it collapsed with a sigh and a sprained ankle somewhere on the sidewalk. This reliable source asked the limb, "Where are you going, sir?" The limb answered, "To Public Place, where I heard the grass was always greener." :)
End of this story for now....
It’s true. The subway plaza at Smith Street is now limbless.
This video is the start of a possible film by Drew Carolan about a time in NYC that is quite undocumentated. The time period AFTER all the known CBGB'S punk bands like The Ramones, Blondie, Patti Smith, The Talking Heads moved upwards and onwards and CBGB'S became the hangout for hoodlum teenagers like myself (I am really loving that word "hoodlum" these days!) from the 5 boroughs and the tri-state area. Popular local bands at the time were Reagan Youth, The Mob, The Abused and Cause for Alarm to name just a few.
Here is a description from the photographer Drew Carolan.
THE MATINEE PHOTOGRAPHS
The MATINEE Photographs were made between 1983 and 1985 against a white wall on Bleeker Street on the Bowery in New York City. It was there that I intercepted kids on their way to the legendary shit hole and underground music mecca, CBGB to listen to and participate in hardcore punk music on Saturday afternoons.
Hundreds of patrons were momentarily frozen in time by a twin lens rollieflex camera using black and white film. Some of them were photographed periodically over the two-year period of the matinees and others were never seen again.
During this time I was working as a photographic assistant to Richard Avedon and traveling the blue highways of the western United States to complete the book IN THE AMERICAN WEST. At the time, we were traveling all over the back roads of America, from towns like Wild Horse, Colorado, population 12 to Harlowton, Montana and Hermiston, Oregon. I had never really left the city before. As the joke went, the furthest west I had been was 4th street. After weeks on the road I would spend my weekends hanging around CBGB photographing the matinee patrons.
Before GAP ads, the Internet and the subsequent exploitation of the youth market came a fast, furious and rebellious youth who lashed out against the Reagan era and all that was upon them in 1984. These photographs serve as a documentation of a time and place; a subculture within the chaos and confusion that is synonymous with growing up uncertain about the future.
Los Angeles, CA 2006
The limb that fell from a tree on William Stern’s property (360 Smith Street) onto the Carroll Street subway plaza is STILL lying there. How long has it been now? Two weeks?! Rumor has it that it is either going to be dressed up and put in Carroll Park to scare “the hooligans” away or put on a leash and brought to the pending C.O.R.D meeting with Bill De Blasio!
Since THAT meeting which was originally thought to be this week might not happen until around Labor Day it will be interesting to see if the limb will still be lying there. Bets anyone?
No one seems to know whose responsiblility it is to maintain that subway plaza. I know that when it snows no one shovels it and when the gentleman in the wheelchair (a Carroll St. fixture) was able to walk, he used to sweep it.
Anyway, some members of CORD (Carroll Gardens Organization to Respectfully Develop) went to Bill De Blasio's barbeque yesterday. Read more about what’s going on here, here and here.
The weather could not have been better as we showed up late Saturday afternoon just in time to catch “The Black Lips” (photo above) at the Siren Festival. They sounded pretty durn good. My friend and I got sort of barricaded and penned into a side area (the downfall of this festival) so we didn’t get too close to the stage. Behind us amongst the throng of heated up humanity was a most ridiculous and sort of scary sight......
A hipster couple with an infant, in the hot sun, jammed in the crowd and to protect their baby? A huge set of adult size headphones of course! I think they weighed more than the baby’s head! It was like watching child abuse in another form. Bizarre and selfish behavior on the parent’s part, poor kid. He will grow up to hate rock and roll (OR MAYBE JUST HIS PARENTS!)
O.K! Back to the show! I got pretty close up for the NY Dolls who closed the show. Check out my cheap camera video with the excellent sound as they sing the tender love song, “Trash” and segue into “Jet Boy". David Jo’s voice is really like no one else’s, so classic.
In between the bands, (those were the only two I could brave the penning and barricading for) we enjoyed the day, such fab weather! We observed the pale skinny hipsters with the headbands frolic amongst the usual Saturday Coney crowds, the men with cameras with the huge telephoto lenses taking stalkerish pictures of woman on the beach (SO creepy!), ate tacos, won prizes etc. etc. It was a great day for people watching and a busy day for all the vendors. I wish that it could just STAY like this! Oh and next time you are there and are craving a tropical elixir, go to “The Pina Colada Hut” on Jones Walk near Deno’s Wonder Wheel. There you will meet “Found in Brooklyn” reader and new friend, Desree. She makes a mean Pina Colada! Go there and tell her “Found in Brooklyn” sent you!
I went myself last night when a musical happening was in session, The Dirty Projectors were performing. They were a trippy experimental band with a male lead vocalist and two females doing some Laurie Anderson/Frank Zappaesque background ambient vocals naturally. They had a pretty heavy sound, which is what saved them from being pretentious. The kids were going for them like they were at a Black Sabbath concert circa 1974, pretty funny to see at a venue like the Whitney!
Opening up for them was Luke Fischbeck who performed as "Lucky Dragons". His thing was described as “an electronic music project with a handmade aesthetic” My description would be: a blonde Emo Phillips rolls around on the ground doing stuff with feedback while low- fi films of the California Desert play in the background.
This was after after all in a museum!
So much fab stuff at this fun summer show. Psychedelic paintings, posters, movies, all types of ephemera, there is even a very dark watercolor painting by Mr. Jimi Hendrix himself …..check it out before September 12th. Museum admission is “pay what you want” Friday nights from 6 to 9pm. Worth the trip outta Brooklyn.
Friends & neighbors, hipster & flipster lend me your lobes!
Cool daddy-0 Domenic Priore (author of Dumb Angel Gazette) reads from his rollicking new non-fiction book Riot on Sunset Strip: Rock 'n' Roll's Last Stand in Hollywood.
Make the scene 7 p.m., Thursday night, Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers, 218 Bedford Ave., Williamsburg.
He'll have artist Gary Panter in tow! Good vibes, signed books, lots of smiles.
Close to the Bedford Ave. L, B61 bus zips right by.
I came home tonight and that damn tree branch was STILL lying there (despite NY Times AND Gothamist coverage I might add!) If it stays there any longer I will drag it myself to "Public Place" and let them deal with it during their 700 million dollar clean up job!
Here's the latest from CORD :By the way CORD stands for "Carroll Gardens Coalition to Respectfully Develop".
On Monday we will be finding out from Mr. Tom Gray, Mr. deBlasio's assistant, WHERE and WHEN the TOWN HALL MEETING with Mr. Bill deBlasio will take place devoted to: The proposed development of 360 Smith Street,the CORD petition and the current and future zoning and landmarking status of Carroll Gardens.
This meeting was requested by CORD to Mr. deBlasio immediately after CORD hand-delivered our petition to Mr. deBlasio's office with our first fifteen hundred signatures.
CORD has been told by Mr. Gray that this town hall event will be next week sometime and we assume the notice might be short. Please be ready to attend this TOWN HALL MEETING and support our petition.! We need as many people as possible to come to this town hall meeting!
This TOWN HALL EVENT is NOT to be confused with Mr. deBlasio's open house this coming tues, July 24 bet 3 and 7 pm at his office. The TOWN HALL MEETING TIME AND PLACE IS STILL TBA! (to be announced this Monday, as we said).
From CORD :
Today we are recommending that all of our readers and petition signers please do the following:
Please contact Ms. Amanda Burden, Chair, City Planning Commission! Please remind her that last week, we sent her our petition with our first 1500 hundred signatures and that WE NEED HER HELP!
Please copy/paste the following letter and deliver it to this link: City Planning
Dear Ms Burden,
Our organization,CORD, mailed a packet to you last week. It contained a petition that was born out of frustration over a development located at 360 Smith St/127-131 2 Place in Carroll Gardens, Bklyn. The list of signatures continues to grow. We would like to know where the city "planning" is in this project? This proposed residence may be "as of right", but how can city planning allow a building of this size/bulk to be built on a small street like 2nd place? How can this be plopped here with no consideration or improvements to our ancient infrastructure? There will be more and more projects just like this one. We are being invaded.Yet the schools,roads, sewage system,etc all remain the same. Community Board 6 says-nothing we can do-local officials-same story.Down/re-zone? Takes time--any permits requested beforehand are grandfathered in. You represent planning. What do you plan to do for us?
(your name here)
The other night I was waiting for the F train at 42nd Street to return home to Brooklyn. I was leaning against a pole thinking, "damn it's hot as hell down here.." when this girl pops around the other side of the pole and says, “Excuse me, I hope I am not bothering you but I was wondering if I could ask you a question to help me do some research on an article I am writing.”
This girl or shall I say woman was in her early 20’s at the most, dressed in retro 80’s fashion, you know when they wear those uncomfortable 80’s secretary pumps with the ironic polyester business lady dresses? She had that look. I decided to kill some time and indulge her anyway.
It ends up that she worked for Conde Naste in the advertising department but really wanted to be a writer. Her “research” was regarding whether I was “for” or “against” cel phone usage in the subway. Of course I am against because people need a break from listening to other’s personal conversations SOMETIMES! The subway is too close for comfort as it is. Who needs to hear an entire train asking, “What’s for dinner?” or listen to ridiculous lover’s quarrels like I have the few times I’ve been on the Long Island Rail Road.
Well, she started in about how she can not live without her PDA device, how she freaks out if she is unable to be reached in case she has an important meeting and can’t make it because she is stuck on the train. She went on for a while, I started to think, “this girl is no writer, she just using me as a confessional for some reason. Do I look like a bartender or something?"
The train arrives. I thought we were going to end this conversation but she sits next to me like we are the best of friends. I learn that she lives between Avenues C & D on the lower east side. She lives with 5 roommates with one bathroom and that she pays $750 to live in 8x10 room with no window. She thought it was a really good deal but would really like some privacy sometimes.
Her next topic was “well the neighborhood is really changing, it's terrible.”
I’m thinking, that neighborhood changed long ago, how could it be possibly changing more? If this girl is living down on Avenue D (Avenue Death as it was called in thee olden days) and saying how good it is, what is making it change for the worse? Why is it changing?
No matter where you go, you can’t escape them. Even nutty girls on the train (yeah I know I was there too...) are noticing that they are sucking the soul out of our fair city.
This conversation took between 42nd Street and Broadway/Lafayette.
I am very excited that the New York Dolls are headlining the Siren Festival this Saturday. Very fitting to have a quintessential band from NYC (often emulated never duplicated!) do that job and play Coney Island this last summer as we know it. I saw the revived NY Dolls twice last year and I have to say the concert at the South Street Seaport was hands down my favorite show of the summer. Even though they old, they still ROCK THE PANTS OFF the kids more than HALF their age! Speaking of kids,The Black Lips are playing too...yeah!
Other bands performing on the two stages from noon till 9pm are : M.I.A., We Are Scientists, Noisettes, Dr. Dog, The Twilight Sad, Cursive, Voxtroot, Matt & Kim, Lavender Diamond, Detroit Cobras and a few others....this festival is FREE!
P.S- David Jo was THE BEST "King Neptune" (2006) that The Mermaid Parade ever had! ( I mean who WAS that guy they had this year? From "The DIscovery Channel"? Puh-LEE-as!!!!)
Today someone stopped me from the Smith Street laundry mat (at First Place) where he was folding his clothes. (He knows me now as someone from"CORD") He was very agitated with the following story: Last Thursday night after the rain storm he and some friends were exiting the subway at the now infamous "Plaza" at 360 Smith Street. (Carroll Street/Ftrain)
An enormous tree branch/limb fell from overhead (from Mr. Stein's property/parking lot) and barely missed him when he exited! He and his friends were really startled by the incident. The next day and for several days afterwards, the limb just lay there on the ground until so someone finally dragged it over to the news stands where I found it still tonite.No one has removed it since then or has made sure the public did not trip over it. (Someone finally dragged it away from the steps). This man (who signed the petition and wants us at CORD to DO! something) said to me. "How can we believe this developer Mr. Stein will take care us (the public) that uses the subway plaza when this giant tree branch/limb that nearly hit me last Thursday has been out here ever since? A tree fell from his own property and he does nothing! So look at it this way: The developer is doing nothing to ensure anyone's safety on this plaza now in the present moment! Why should anyone believe anything he has to say about the future safety of the public? "The man said he ws "very surprised" the local newspapers had not picked up the story so I told him I would tell it to you and photograph it. "So much for his (Mr. Stein's) watching out for the public!" said the man.
>Tonite I went out and there was the city subway cleaning crew with the hoses hosing down the interior of the subway. (That's the part they are responsible for, not the exterior.) The tree limb? They just sort of hopped over it with their hoses...... finally dragged it over to the news stands where I found it still tonite. No one removed it since then or made sure the public did not trip over it. (Someone finally dragged it away from the steps).
Here is the latest on what is happening with the petition that CORD (Carroll Gardens Organization to Respectfully Develop), started against the building of a too tall and out of Carroll Gardens character building at 360 Smith Street. They just dropped off the petition with 1500 signatures and urge you to sign if you haven't already. You can still sign at their website. Here is what their email said:
CORD has dropped off the "first" fifteen hundred signatures (we at CORD are only "beginning" to collect the signatures), and the written petition, and a personal letter to all the following public officials and appointees: (All the petitions going to Brooklyn offices as well as Mayor Bloomberg's copy were hand-delivered)
Boro President Marty Markowitz
State Senator Marty Connor
Assemblywoman Joan Millman
Councilman Bill deBlasio
New York City Public Advocate Besty Gotbaum
Amanda Burden Chair, New York City Department of Planning
New York City and Brooklyn Commissioners of Department of Buildings
Peter Kalilkow, MTA Chair and President
Mr. Howard Roberts NYC Transit President
If you care to do so, you might mention that we want MORE!! signatures!
People can sign online at www.carrollgardenspetition.blogspot.com where they can also read our posts and keep up with some of the aspects of the story.
Or people can sign in person at the subway plaza (F train/Carroll Street) as there is a petition left there at all times and sometimes we are out there getting signatures ourselves in person OR! Sunday we will be at the new outodoor farmer's market in front of PS 58 (where we were last week) getting signatures meeting people etc
backed by The Dansettes
followed by R&B Soul Dance Party
Dave the Spazz (WFMU "Music to Spazz By)
Mr. Fine Wine,
El Guapo and from yee old "EMPIRE STATE SOUL CLUB"
D.J. W. Lee.
BBQ happening on the patio.
9 till 4am.
Tickets $24 @ the door, $20 in advance.
The Hook is located at 18 Commerce Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
I went to see "The Mighty Hannibal" when he played with "Archie Bell & the Drells" last August at the McCarren Park Pool. A great show. I took this camera video. Mind you it's just a short panorama but you get a little taste of what the Mighty H sounds like....You can't tell if it's 1967 or 2007!
Man, am I glad I didn’t go to that drumming thing over at Brooklyn Bridge Park yesterday! Sounded like it turned out to be an over crowded nightmare. It was sort of fascinating to me that the Boredoms had managed to attract such a crowd. Was it the Boredoms or the hype of the importance of the date 7/7/07? OK I just answered my own question, clearly it was the latter….What did we do on 6/6/06? Does anybody remember?! On 7/7/07 I could NOT get out of bed or out of my house, it must have been the centrifugal force of the sun telling me to stay home and meditate or simply exhaustion. So, after the sun set I ventured out and it was quite a lovely evening.
A friend was in town from LA and wanted to meet at the Motor City Bar on Ludlow Street in Manhattan. I ventured out into the 7/7/07 night to join Margie aka Vena Virago and CalmX (long time East Village resident and artist).Well, we lasted about 10 minutes before fleeing. The saturday night bar scene on Ludlow Street is pretty soulless. The music at Motor City was loud yet you still couldn’t hear it. SO the three of us old timers ended up at the Mars Bar, one of the or shall I say THE ONLY old school cheap punk rock NYC bar left. It is now surrounded by what else? Luxury condos! The ugliest tall tower glass and metal kind with Whole Foods just a hop skip and a jump away. The Marz is still doling out the cheap drinks (2 really strong vodka drinks and one beer = $11.00)has ranting bartenders, (this evenings hostess started complaining at the top of her lungs when someone put some jazz type music on…’WHO PUT THIS SH*T! ON!!” Of course she intercepted it and put on what SHE wanted to hear, “Too many creeps’ by the Bush Tetras) and a cast of regulars right out of “Midnight Cowboy” mixed in with an eclectic bunch of others. There is a lot of coming and going at the Marz Bar (it is a total “I’m waiting for my man’ bar, IF you know what I mean) but it's sort of a punk rock "Cheers" for all the "black sheeps" of the family to feel at home. I salute you Marz Bar, long may you continue to be a zit on the airbrushed cityscape that our town has become. You are REAL.
It’s the 4th of July and as friends are clamoring to make plans, I am reflecting on why is it even important to celebrate the 231rst year of our country. We continue to lose civil liberties that were written into our constitution every day. We are in a war that is barely televised or covered in the news. Paris Hilton gets more coverage than peers that are getting their limbs blown off as we speak. Immigrants are vilified, poor healthcare, full jails and affordable housing is not a right. Locally, in Brooklyn despite neighborhood groups voicing opposition to big money development from the Atlantic Yards, Coney Island, Greenpoint, Williamsburg to Carroll Gardens the voices of the people mean nothing and if you live in Bushwick ,Bed Stuy or Crown Heights your voice really means nothing. Money talks. SO that being said despite that fact the Reverend Billy from “The Church of Stop Shopping” got arrested for reciting the First Amendment in Union Square Park last week sometimes we can go under the radar and go to performance pieces such as the one at Issue Project Room as I did last night and not get pulled out in handcuffs.
Joe Wenderoth & Gibby Haynes. I review this as someone who does not usually go to poetry readings or performance art events. Never has been my cup of tea, too pretentious. I went to this one to see if I have “matured”. The first part of the reading Joe spoke of blowjobs and Jesus with images of both projected on the wall behind him. The second part of the reading Gibby Haynes joined in and generated some great soundscapes from his laptop computer. Images projected children making their First Holy Communion, swimming in pools or at the beach were intercepted with more shocking images such as pornography, the elephant that Edison electrocuted and more pornography as Joe spoke on. The most entertaining part to me was the Q&A afterwards when people asked some very earnest questions about how they picked their images and the answers were basically “we just picked the most shocking”. Gibby looked great for a 50 year old, looked early 30’s and he was a bit antagonistic to the questions but in a fun way, apparently this was the first time Joe and Gibby had met and they arranged this whole thing long distance. Never would of known it!
Anyway as someone that has been exposed to performance art through going to clubs in NYC for the past 20 odd years, not much was new here, it was “classic performance art”. Even though it’s not my thing it is important that I can still go see it, it’s keeping the First Amendment alive. Free Speech baby yeah!
Many residents here were totally blown away after seeing a rough sketch of the proposed building for 360 Smith that developer Mr. William Stein plans on building. With or without the trademark Scarano elements the building is clearly massive. On the southern-most corner of the Smith Street side, where the building facade will be "commercial" not residential is a seventy foot tower. This rectangular prism juts vertically into space sure to cast an enormous shadow and act as a light barrier for all the buildings on Smith Street. The rest of the commercial facade is very tall and goes along the Smith street sidewalk with no set back and joins the Hannah Senesh School known for its VERY! eclectic mix and match materials and colored architecture. The new facade in turn, will cast an enormous shadow on Second Street.
On the Second Place side the wall height is a bit lower but then after a set-back, it too ascends higher, not once, but twice. On this side the wall has a residential style unlike the one on Smith Street. There is an above ground parking lot with an entrance to the garage from Second Place, an until now, gorgeous brownstone block with four story buildings trees and front gardens.
(The sketch, btw, is reliable and emanates from a politician's office) Residents were angry and demanding answers from politicians. "How can they let this happen to us?" was heard again and again. And, "How dare Mr. Stein do this, when he supposedly says he "loves" Carroll Gardens?" And, "No one who loves Carroll Gardens would ever build this size and scale on this corner, where it completely dwarfs everything else......" lastly, as for the idea of Mr. Stein living in the penthouse? Some residents said, "yeah right" and "he said that to get more square footage to make more money". and others said many curse words. And many said what do we do now?
CORD is recommending people contact Patricia Lancaster at the DOB to call into question last week's approvals. There is also the "squirrel" letter and link on the CORD website for Amanda Burden. . And of course the petition! And calling the POLS for these two weeks! (That should be plenty of "homework" for everyone....)
The only definitive info the public has gotten until now from any source re: actual details/finished sketches/etc. is where the garbage will go for the 46 families, Answer: Second Place.
The rest???? Only the "little birdies" know for sure as this project is "as of right".
CORD + the new Coalition for Respectful Development
CORD is totally independent from any other local organization and has no "leader" is only a "group of concerned citizens."
CORD is NOT part of the CGNA
People at CORD can belong to any other neighborhood association they want to
To contact CORD write to firstname.lastname@example.org
To read all about various things and also to sign the petition go to the CORD website to find out more and to sign the petition if you haven't already.
French band "Babylon CIrcus" played a rousing set of music that was equal parts ska and danchall reggae with some eastern european gypsy thrown into the mix. Refreshing to see performers with style AND energy! Check out my little unedited camera video, you will see what I mean.
This was the first show at new spot "The Park" on Carroll St. by the bridge. I'm sure it will become a popular spot as the summer goes on, let's hope it stays as friendly and unpretentious as it was today.
On the blog there is also a link to Ms. Patricia Lancaster, Chair of the Department Of Buildings (DOB). CORD is asking people to contact her via a provided link and are asking her to look into some discrepancies with the approvals granted last week on 360 Smith St. Much more information is available at the CORD website.
There are a lot of plainly and passionately stated opinions on the blog that are definitely worth reading.