Not much time left @ Coney Island * So Go!

Get thyself out to Coney Island as Astroland will be no more pretty soon. It will close for good on Sunday, September 9th. No need for details why. The usual history erasing which is all the rage in our 21rst century. I think everybody knows by now. The fireworks are fantastic on Friday night and while you are out there (that is if you go out on Friday) night check out the Burlesque/Mexican Wrestling show going down at Sideshows at the Seashore on West 12th Street, go on some rides, drink at Ruby's and of course visit my friend Desree at "The Pina Colada Hut" on Jones Walk near Deno's Wonder Wheel.

I was there last Friday night and check out the scene on West 12th!


R.I.P - Hilly Kristal

I've mentioned in past posts that I spent a good chunk of my teenage years going to C.B.G.B's along with many other "hardcore kids" in the early to mid 1980's. The past 15 years the bookings were pretty bad at the club and it became more about the T-shirt empire than anything else but it remained an icon for the time when NYC was gritty and tough and spawned The Ramones. The club closed it's doors for good last October.

Contributions in Hilly's honor may be made in his name to the American Cancer Society or to the Hilly Kristal Foundation for
Musicians and Artists (168 Second Avenue, PMB 207, New York, NY 10003)

*I would like to thank Drew Caralon for sending me this picture of Hilly from 1985 when the Sunday matinees were all the rage.


"Eyes of New York" Wednesday * Red Hook.

I don't know about you but many times I find that a kid's point of view is way more eye opening than an a adult. I work with kids (and the elderly) myself doing art projects and they continue to inspire me with their fresh untainted points of view. That being said, check out this photography show in Red Hook on Wednesday night. Here is the info from instructor Alice Proujansky!

Here is an invitation to the final exhibition of a photography class I am teaching at the Justice Center. The students all participated in the What's the Hook? Project and they would be flattered and amazed if you could come. Hope you can!

Who: The Red Hook Community Justice Center Photography Project
What: The Eyes of New York Final Exhibition
When: Wednesday, August 29th 5:30 - 7:30PM
Where: Red Hook Community Justice Center
88 Visitation Place
Brooklyn, NY

Note to self: Do not be a pack rat.

The daunting task of clearing out my Grandmother’s packed to the gills apartment in Queens has begun recently.

My parents and I worked non-stop for hours and didn’t even make a dent. I think we all started having panic attacks at the seventh hour when we realized that this could take months. She kept every cancelled check, every receipt, every letter, every postcard, every birthday card and every Valentine. I learned that she had several male Valentine’s in her older years that all seemed to be nuts about her (very sweet). She actually remarried when she was in her 70’s to Francis, a U.S. W.W II veteran of the Normandy invasion whom was also an immigrant to NY from Europe. He was from Lyon, France.

I found drawings I did when I was two years old, maps of the 1964 World’s Fair, programs to every concert she ever went to, egg noodles in a suitcase, cereal boxes in the TV cabinet, newspaper clipping of the Pope, tons of issues of the “Queens Courier” and this!Merv Griffin passed away the same day as Oma so it was a bit ironic to find this mixed in with all the papers. “Gentlemen” were required to wear a jacket and tie and “Ladies” were to wear dresses in order to attend the show. I wonder why she didn't go?


Sabbra Cadabra * "War Pigs" at The Yard

Here is a short unedited camera video from the "Sabbra Cadabra" show at "The Yard" today.

I was a bit disappointed that the singer wasn't wearing a cape of some sort but I have to say they were pretty damn good. I was narrowly missed by a flying beer can and many water balloons but remained untouched.

I don't care what my girlfriends say, there are PLENTY of single men left in New York!

It's been a long time but I found....

It’s been a while but l@@k at what I found on the corner of 8th Avenue and 15th Street (in Brooklyn town) lying on top of an electrical box! Is this HOT or what?! I KNOW this is from the 1950’s and made in Japan but I love anything that looks like it could be airbrushed on the side of a 1970’s van. I LOVE kitschy sunsets (as well as real ones!)

Anyway. This made me happy because a few minutes before, I stopped at a stoop sale where the proprietresses forgot they were outside in the sweltering sun and thought they were working at a high end Manhattan vintage clothing store. My eye fell upon a red and white polka dot western style shirt. A simple question “How much is this?” received a long winded reply about how she got it in a vintage western clothing store in Sante Fe and she never wore it blah blah blah. My interjection “Would you take five dollars?” was received in shock. She would take no less than twenty dollars!

Good Luck with that sister!

You will be sure to be hauling that back up the stairs, along with everything else you got for sale. The people that drop that kind of money are all out of town at their summer houses (I love it! I’m enjoying their absence!)

I’m turning into one of those old cranky hagglers that are regulars at stoop sales! I’ve held plenty myself and I pride myself on my people friendly prices. I get rid of it CHEAP and you know what? At the end of the day, I’ve got nothing left! Partially the reason for that is if I like you I usually tell you to "just take it" (that's why I am poor). I‘m finding that more and more stoop sale holders think they are selling the crown jewels. Last week I stopped by one on Clinton Street in Carroll Gardens and this chick wanted fifty bucks for a beat up pair of shoes! Yes, they were Sigerson & Morrison but HELLO! It’s a stoop sale!

As I mentioned before I have held many a stoop sale myself. The record collectors are the WORST but those are “my people” so I am entertained by them. If you say it starts at 10 they are literally pounding on your door at 9 am. I find that they use the annoyance factor to the 10th power. You just want them to leave so you can set up!

There are these two guys in particular that I see all over Carroll Gardens. I call them “good cop, bad cop”. One is friendly and distracts the proprietor and the other is dead serious and has this certain coldness in his eye when he demands a better price on that coveted “Dusty Springfield” album in your bin.

It’s all a part of my movie you see. I am writing “Moonstruck 3” where Cher turns into a community activist when her boyfriend’s (Nicholas Cage) bakery is threatened by a condo developer who wants the new building to have a “Patisserie” instead of a bread bakery.

Everything is affected. The stoop sales go high end, the price of pizza slices go up and it becomes law that an “Area” emporium of some sort is on every street corner.

I am writing this movie with no irony or sarcasm what so ever.


Sabbra Cadabra Saturday at The Yard

I do believe this may be the first time Metal will be heard loudly around the Gowanus since my neighbor "Frog” moved out of the building about 5 years ago. Frog was a brooklyn boy who would crank the tunes and wax nostalgic about the old days when his hair was long, curly and flowing and he used to hang out at "Lamour’s” in Bay Ridge.

Anyway, if you are wandering around the canal on Saturday afternoon and hear “War Pigs” or “Fairies Wear Boots” tinkling through the breeze it’s not because Frog moved back in. It’s because “The Yard” is having a barbeque and Sabbra Cadabra “The World’s GREATEST Black Sabbath Cover Band” is providing the tunage!

The Rub which is a bunch of DJ's that spin hip hop, disco, funk and other dance oriented music are up the rest of the time.

It's Rock vs. Disco thirty years later in old Brooklyn town....I doubt blood will shed over it this time around though!

The Yard is located at 400 Carroll St. (between Nevins and Bond)
Doors open at 3pm
3 bucks.

BYOB AND your own BBQ!
What an incredible deal!


Town Hall Meeting Thursday with DeBlasio

I received an email from the people at C.O.R.D (Carroll Gardens Organization to Respectfully Develop) urging Carroll Garden residents to attend the much anticipated Town Hall Meeting with Councilman Bill DeBlasio.
Details listed on the sign above!
Do go to CORD Blog for more details.


Blogging is sort of punk rock.

I know I am late to discover this but I am happy I did. NYC Bloggers is a fab resource to find other blogs throughout the five boroughs. Brooklyn isn’t the only place on earth y’know! The best feature of this site is that you can click on any stop on any subway line and see who is blogging in that area.

I’ve been thinking lately about this whole blog phenomenon. As someone who didn’t even READ a blog until about a year ago and am still trying to figure out what a RSS feed is, I write “Found in Brooklyn” with a pound of naiveté. Many years ago I used to write and self publish a punk rock fanzine. Blogging to me has been a natural progression as in the zine culture, there are NO RULES and it is free. I don’t know why I stopped writing but I am back baby!

The first issue of my zine was called “Rat Report”. I had difficulty sticking to a plan as I do today as the second issue was called “Bat Report” ”. All illustrations were done by moi. It was in the days before computer so it was handwritten with a thin sharpie and photocopied at my job. At the time I was working as a textile designer (at the tender age of 20!)for a very mainstream design house in the garment district. People always used to comment to me that I always seemed so intensely involved in my work. Meanwhile I was doing my zine! It was a free zine, which I would hand out at CBGB’s and also leave it at the infamous East Village zine store See Hear. In return I would get free admission to shows and free demo tapes and records from bands for a mention. I was satisfied with that.

Check out this page where I (I know it’s hard to read!) where I compare and contrast the changes in the punk scene. I complain that all the good shows are now in the suburbs and “commercialism is ruining the scene.” I have not changed that much (although now I listen to The Hollies rather than The Cromags!) Whether it’s commercialism or the development of luxury condos, it still makes me mad!

Anyway check out . NYC Bloggers and also the great Chelsea Hotel Blog. The Chelsea Hotel is in the midst of a corporate takeover. This blog covers it all in dignified Chelsea Hotel style. They are fighting the good fight against our city’s current trend of destroying anything remotely bohemian so please read it.


The A-Bones at Magentic Field * Saturday!

Cats and Kittens! The A-Bones are playing Magnetic Field on Saturday night!. They never EVER disappoint. Not only are they one of the most honest rockinest bands in NYC, two members Billy Miller and Miriam Linna are the founders of Norton Records. Norton Records has done SO much to recognize the original soul, blues, rock artists who haven't gotten the recognition they deserve. They have a knack for seeking them out, rereleasing their records and rejuvenating careers. Check out their catalog and you will be AMAZED!

OK as far as this show is concerned, once again Magnetic Field hosts a good one. Ira from Yo Lo Tango will be joining in on the piano and it is Lars (sax) and "Marcus the Carcus"'s (bass) birthday celebration as well.

LiveFastDie also plays their last show before their European tour.

D.J Josh Styles of "Smashed Blocked" Fame provides vinyl interludes.

BBQ is included in the price of the $8.00 admission.

Doors open at 7pm.
Bands start at 9pm.

Magnetic Field is located at 97 Atlantic Avenue between Henry and Hicks.

PS - THIS IS "Found in Brooklyn's" 100th POST!!!!!!

Music & Short Films at "The Yard" Saturday

The Yard has been having a busy schedule lately...I personally CAN NOT wait until the premier Black Sabbath copy band "Sabbra Caddabra" performs there but here is what is going on Saturday which is also very cool. They will be showing "home movies". "The Yard" is an outdoor venue along the Gowanus Canal. The entrance is right before the Carroll Street Bridge on the Bond Street side.

8:30: Music by La Laque
9:00: Short Films Start

Here is the link for a complete description of what will be going on.

P.S.-Rain Date: Sunday, August 19. Check www.rooftopfilms.com or call
718-417-7362 for updates
Tickets- $8 at the door or online.
Presented in partnership with - IFC.com, New York magazine & Mean Red Productions


"New York Calling" is Required Reading!

Hey! You know that guy from that nutty blog Who Walk in Brooklyn who has a tendency to write about other areas of the boroughs that no one else touches like Midwood, Flatbush and my personal favorite "Rockapulco"?

Well, his name is Brian Berger and along with Marshall Berman he has put together homage to the NYC of the 1970’s and 1980’s called “New York Calling: From Blackout to Bloomberg”.

If you want to know or want to relive memories of NYC during this rougher and grittier time you will dig this book. It has been my top read of the summer. Contributors included in this fine tome are: Luc Sante, Jim Knipfel, Kevin Walsh, Armond White, Richard Meltzer just to name a few. Brian Berger also contributes and guess what his story is called? “ Who Walk in Brooklyn” of course! Hot topics are politics, music, crime, gentrification, the aids crisis, civil rights, it’s ALL here and written in the first person.

Personally it unearthed a lot of memories of people, places and things long forgotten which really shouldn’t have. Shame on me.

In bookstores everywhere.


Gone to that great opera in the sky.......

Maria Therese Weidinger
October 6, 1913 - August 12, 2007

As I mentioned in a previous post my grandmother or “Oma” as my family called her was nearing the end of her life, she passed away this past Sunday afternoon. They say you can’t pick your family but if I could I would have most definitely picked her. She was one of those groovy older women that you see in NYC at concerts and events. She took me on many adventures throughout my childhood and beyond and it was not an odd thing for a friend to tell me, “oh I was at that concert in Central Park and saw Oma” everybody called her “Oma”, related or not!

She arrived here alone at the age of 16 speaking no English, her first home was on Carroll St. in Park Slope at a school to train girls to become nannies (I think it might have been the Berkeley Carroll School) and then lived in every borough of NYC except Staten Island. She spent the last 55 years of her life in Flushing, Queens in her own apartment. More than a grandmother she was a friend to me and I will miss calling her up and talking about the news of the day both politically and culturally. She loved New York City and kept her subscription to "New York" magazine and her german accent until the end!

This is something my mother, Erna Cunningham has written about her. Oma was "Mama" to her.

My mother, Maria, was born in a hospital in Munich during turbulent times. War was brewing as European nations were building vast armies and setting up allies. The young couple settled in the nearby village of Planegg where two subsequent children were born at home but died in infancy. The loss saddened her since she would have enjoyed having a brother and sister.

The deprivation of the war years on 1914-1918 made a lasting impact on young Maria. As a 5 year old, Maria remembers walking 8 miles from Munich where her mother and she were visiting her aunt, where a political crisis caused the trains to stop running. When inflation being rampant, she remembers her father bringing home his pay in a shoebox. The Quakers from America supplied them with lunches of turnips and oatmeal when there was little food.

Nevertheless, Maria developed a cheerful nature, a deep faith in God plus an energetic personality, which gave her confidence to be capable of anything. She grabbed the opportunity to come to America when a cousin of my grandmother’s offered the sponsorship.

My mother was aboard ship, crossing the Atlantic on October 29, 1929 when the stock market crashed. She arrived at a time when jobs became scarce and immigrants were definitely not wanted. Undaunted, she conquered numerous obstacles and reached her goal of becoming a nurse, then helping my father in their chocolate business and eventually retired from a 30 year career from Chase Manhattan Bank at 1 Chase Plaza in Wall Street.

During that time she greatly enriched my life by taking advantage of the many wonderful places of New York City: parks, museums, historical sites plus attending plays and concerts. During the summer while I was a preteen, Maria worked as a nanny to suburban families while the parents took a vacation. She was able to get me out of the city in this way. Dedication to the USA was demonstrated as we rarely missed a New York City Parade – The grandest parades being a WAR Bond Drive with numerous celebrities participating and the Welcome to General Eisenhower at the end of WW II.

Pope John was a favorite of hers – she saw him coming to the 1965 World’s Fair. Our family shook hands with David Rockefeller when Chase had a 10th Anniversary Party at 1 Chase Plaza.

Since my father was a pastry chef working weekends and odd hours and we had no other relatives, my mother and I became a very close team. “Where there is a will, there is a way”, was her favorite dictum”. Maria’s social contacts developed into lifelong friends and she still corresponds with schoolmates in Germany and now even their children. She reveled in the progress of her 4 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, in-laws and extended family.

They all no doubt have their favorite story to tell about Maria or Oma.

In closing, I’m sure Maria would like to say “thank you” to each of you for the special pleasures you have given her. Her sharp interest in life never waned.

This is my Oma in my apartment on Bond Street this past Thanksgiving, yup at age 94 she climbed that long steep flight of stairs!


Dog Days of Summer on Bond Street

Once upon a time some dogs ran free down Bond Street now there are a few penned in at Robert Scarano’s building site at 340 Bond Street. I received a tip from Brian from Who Walk in Brooklyn (a Brooklyn blog definitely like no other!) about these watchdogs. I checked it out this morning. First I noticed the signs but no dogs. I whistled and sure enough two of these cuties came running. If they were guarding the property they were the friendliest attack dogs I ever met (unless that is their ruse) they started to bark AFTER I left them…”come back, come back Lisanne”! Perhaps they were hungry? I hope not. I really do not know much about the security dog business. Since I am new to this whole world of construction sites, is this common? Will Scarano have dogs up in the heart of brownstone Carroll Gardens on his 360 Smith Street project or is this a Bond Street thang?Also, the cement wall that I have been seeing for more than a year has finally gotten surfaced, what do you think? Sort of reminds me of a museum.


Latest Carroll Gardens "Developments"

Check out the CORD Blog (Carroll Gardens Organization to Respectfully Develop) to find out the latest on what is happening with the building plans for 360 Smith Street. The lot has been cleared (not that was hard-it was a parking lot!)and the brownstone next door vacated. Apparantly the city says that 2nd Place is a wide street, if you know 2nd Place you know that it is EXTREMELY narrow, I guess the "gardens" of Carroll Gardens are considered part of the street...it's such a joke that they say it is "wide", if you are in a car it is IMPOSSIBLE to pass another car on that street! In fact it is even difficult to WALK by a car on that block.I recall that they were planning to put the entrance to the underground parking garage there. Yeah just what we need at the subway station, cars exiting and entering where there is heavy foot traffic on a narrow sidewalk. Brilliant.

I guestimate once all the Scarano buildings are done along with the lowrise condos on Bond Street & Third there will be over 500 new residents...uh ya think we could get a supermarket we can WALK to? Or is it assumed we will all go to Whole Foods which will be built long after these buildings go up!

Some thoughts on what they want to build on my end of the hood at 3rd Street and Bond. They will be building low rise condominiums, this is an "as a right " property as well. I was wondering if they have tested the toxic waste dump that they will be sitting on. I heard through the grapevine that clean up will be "minimal". I guess being a block away from the Whole Foods site (which has been sitting unbuilt upon for almost four years) makes the ground at 3rd & Bond Street ALOT different! I'm SURE the levels of cyanide, mercury, benzene, pesticides, V.O.C's & PCB's are MUCH lower! Can the sewage pipes handle the approximate 300 new residents to the block (90 units, I'm just guestimating) probrably not. I am told that they can barely handle the few homes and businesses down here as it is.

Ah well Bond Street will no longer be my "Tobacco Road" nothing lasts for ever....if anyone reading this is part of that "Friends of Bond" group contact me with what is going on, the people that organize it seem to be M.I.A , I'm feeling like a one man army.

My work ethic is out of control.

Can I talk about my day? This day that there was a flood somewhere and the subways were not running (I still haven’t listened to the news about the WHY this happened).Can I vent?

I had to be at work fairly early at 8 am. I awoke to rain and it felt cool but I checked the weather and it said it would go up to 95 degrees! So I dress loose and comfortable, head up to the Carroll St. station and notice way more people waiting for the train than usual. I learn that here is no train. Not one to wait for a crowd I notice the bus coming up Smith Street and it’s pretty empty so I jump on it. I make it to Jay Street and still “no trains”. I decide rather than wait for the trains to run in Brooklyn to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. People are streaming in both directions. I get to the subway directly across from the bridge on the Manhattan side, still, no trains. I continue walking. I get to Canal Street. The trains are running. The trains are hot and packed. I get to work late, but I am there by 9:30 am. I had an early start. I am basically a slave to people from San Francisco who are just here for the week. I set up and manage their “home textiles” showroom, which is a large space with about twenty beds set up. The beds are piled high with comforters and decorative pillows that the "bed stylists" spent an entire week prepping to make them look this way. I want to lie down but can't. They have no concept of what my morning was like. They are all upset that they couldn’t get a cab 15 blocks from their hotels. Any person from NYC (i.e.: all the “service people”) that I tell I walked in the heat this morning from Brooklyn are like “your kidding, your crazy!” (they are working overtime from the nightshift because the day people haven't gotten in yet due to the transportation problem) The Californians don’t touch their catered lunch because there are too many carbs and I distribute it to all to all the maintenance people in the building, the UPS man, the Fed Ex guy and the to the people on the street when I leave. They have no idea. They are in their bubble of pampered fabulousness. After work I take a bus downtown dazed. I watch all the overheated people sweating on the street from this air conditioned box. Buses can be great for zoning out if you are not in a hurry. I had time to kill. I was meeting a friend in the east village I hadn’t seen in ages. I was supposed to do my “thing with the kids” tonight (I teach art to “at risk kids” in the east village) but it was cancelled due to the MTA madness.

SO I got a pedicure cause my feet were on fire, it was more about soaking them in hot water than anything else. They were still on fire afterwards but they look good and it’s still hot as hell outside. I had a drink at the Holiday Cocktail Lounge on St. Mark's and First Avenue.It was cool and dark in there and all the booths are empty. Exactly where I needed to be. The old Polish man is still there from when I was a teenager, God bless him, he doesn’t look good, but after my hellacious day it was great to see him.

Anyway I haven’t been posting lately because my “Oma” (aka Grandmother) is deathly ill. She is 94 years old and has been living alone in her apartment in Queens up until this point. She is in a hospice and is taking it day by day. She is still lucid but her body is shutting down. I find it hard to be interested in all the happenings in Brooklyn at the moment. The developments keep on developing but I am glad that the city has FINALLY questioned just what the hell Joe Sitt is planning for Coney Island. Relief.

I was visiting Oma the other day and my sister Eileen started telling her about what is happening in my neighborhood. 94 and all my Grandmother totally got what is wrong with the situation, “where will people live?” she said, meaning the REAL people, The people who made the neighborhoods the reason the condo people want to move here. Where are the "service workers" like me and like her before me going to go? I am getting weary of worrying about stuff like this. It's a very real situation that I can't seem to get away from.