Food & Lit Saturday on Staten Island!

One of the few things I know about Staten Island is that it the home of an old kitschy Polynesian/Tiki style Chinese restaurant called Jade Island in an old strip mall on Richmond Avenue. I made it to Jade Island one Sunday when an attempt to make it out to Englishtown, New Jersey was bamboozled by traffic jams of epic proportions, leaving us miles away from the Outer Bridge Crossing with our spirits deflated and our stomachs rumbling. An ideal moment to make the pilgramage to one of the few old school tiki style restaurants left in the tri-state area and just as exciting as going to Englishtown! The bland exterior is deceiving because once you enter the doors of Jade Island the only thing that reminds you that you are in a strip mall that also houses a K-Mart and not in an exotic local, is the fact that there is a very busy NY LOTTO machine in the bar area.

Check out this spot on review from Tiki Central.

In business since 1972, Jade Island is a restaurant and cocktail lounge located in a Staten Island strip mall. The locals all seem to agree that the restaurant has been well maintained over the years, and the Chinese food and tropical drinks are both excellent. The flaming pu pu platter and the jumbo shrimp with garlic sauce are expecially recommended for food, and the headunter is regarded as their best drink (seved in a Tiki mug), although you can’t pass up the recipes served in fresh coconut shells. That said, Manhattan reviewers seem to think that the food is greasy and the drinks are too syrupy and sweet.

You be the judge.

With backlit 3-D waterfall scenes, bamboo booths, a tiny waterfall flowing next to a fake volcano, and the requisite pufferfish lamps, Jade Island makes the grade for Tiki decor. Staten Island has some very groovy 1960’s architecture, take a drive around the neighborhood.

* Please note although F.I.B enjoyed the fab decor and food and drink immensely her dining companion was hospitalized the next day for gallblatter complications, we often wonder if Jade Island induced it!

Another interesting place on Satan I mean Staten Island is the "Every Thing Goes Book Store" where the latest leg of the "New York Calling:From Blackout to Bloomberg" five borough book reading tour is landing Saturday night at 8pm.I think this peacock must of escaped from Jade Island!

The folks over at "New York Calling" say........
"Meet the Shaolin warriors & challenge their Wu Tang sword styles:
Staten-native Steve Maluk, Village Voice food writer Robert Sietsema & WWIB air personality, The Wally Champ of South Brooklyn, Brian Berger, will all be present.

"Every Thing Goes Book Store" is located at 208 Bay Street, Staten Island

Check the Who Walk in Brooklyn for more information.

Peacock photo taken on Staten Island by Brian Berger.

Found in Brooklyn on October 30th

Halloween props anyone?


DeBlasio for Borough President?

Lots of news popping into my inbox today, first off an announcement from Councilman Bill De Blasio announcing that he is running for Brooklyn Borough President. This doesn’t surprise me as he alluded to this at a bloggers meeting I attended last month that he hosted at Park Slope’s groovy Tea Lounge (F.I.B. will go anywhere for a free pastry.)

One of DeBlasio’s main issues is to stop overdevelopment and please remember while reading this that he is a supporter of the Atlantic Yards project. Here is a quote from his announcement:

My first priority as Borough President will be to keep Brooklyn affordable by building and preserving affordable housing. On the City Council I've played a key role in winning legislative and land-use victories that have led to the construction of thousands of units of affordable housing throughout Brooklyn. As Borough President I will work to ensure that we aggressively leverage our zoning code and land-use laws to build more affordable housing and protect our neighborhoods from development that prices out working families.

I believe that preserving our neighborhoods means not only keeping them affordable, but also stopping out-of-control and out-of-character development, keeping neighborhoods clean and ensuring support for vital community based organizations. As Borough President I plan to crack down on illegal development, partner with community groups to keep neighborhoods beautiful, and support institutions that contribute to Brooklyn's richness and diversity.

The announcement has members C.O.R.D(carroll gardens COalition to Respectfully Develop) up in arms, as they are STILL WAITING FOR ANSWERS about the 360 Smith Street building. It seems that Bill has disappeared after becoming quite involved with the Carroll Gardens community’s grassroots quest for a moratorium on building out of scale buildings and has left them hanging.

Meanwhile, Katya over at Pardon Me For Asking reacts similarly by asking Where was Bill for the last 7 years?

To me, Bill DeBlasio is thoroughly likeable, and a master at public relations, he WAS Hilary Clintons campaign manager for christs sakes so he learned from the best. He seems like he cares but when you compare what he says to what he is actually doing as far as building and development there is a disconnect (that’s politics for you!) and the citizens of Carroll Gardens are seeing right through it.


Good News about Coney Island, for now....

This is old news but F.I.B loves Coney Island and just had to comment! A couple days ago Astroland was given the O.K to remain open next summer. Astroland paid $180,000 rent for the season last summer and Joe Sitt wanted to renew their lease for an extremely unreasonable 3 million! Oh! The drama! Well, obviously some sort of agreement was made and hopefully the extra time will allow more thought and planning into just how Coney Island should be developed. I guess it dawned on Joe Sitt that the bulldoze now, plan later idea wasn't such a good idea (or good public relations move!) after all.

So we can all look forward to another summer of "this the last time I see this.” "This is the last time I will go on this." That was soooooooo annoying!!! Unnecessary even!

Mayor Bloomberg with be out there next week at a luncheon at Gargiulo's to "discuss some of his latest economic development initiatives in Brooklyn." and there are rumors that he will announce the zoning changes that will clarify whether hotels, time shares or condos can be built on the site where Astroland stands right now.

Check the Kinetic Carnival blog for more information and also The Coney Island Message board for entertaining speculation on just what Bloomie is going to say.

Personally, like many, I idealistically would like to see it developed while having it retain its everyman flavor. I don't want it to turn into one of those amusement parks where you have to pay an admission fee. I don't want to see the family owned businesses ousted out for chain restaurants with corporate headquarters in Texas or the Midwest. I want the Coney vaudeville/carnie /escapist creative spirit to remain alive rather than have it being lost in potential overdevelopment that could turn Coney Island into a slick Vegas style "could be anywhere" destination. I do think this is possible. Coney definitely could be better but it needs to be planned with the community involved as it is a VERY public place and a cultural icon.


Psycho Beach Blowout! Surfrider N.Y.C Benefit * w/the Detroit Cobras on Saturday!

I just found out about this and would totally go if I weren't going to a fab "LOW LIFE" themed Halloween Party on this very same night, but I am contributing to this great cause in my own way by getting the word out, you heard?

Here's all you need to know.

SURFRIDER BENEFIT: Psycho Beach Blowout!

Friends... beware!! The dead will rise... and SURF! The creepy time of year is nigh: HALLOWEEN!!! This year get your ghoul on at Midnight Kitchen's PSYCHO BEACH BLOWOUT!!!

Saturday, October 27th Midnight Kitchen turns Southpaw into Brooklyn's premier zombie rock club with PSYCHO BEACH BLOWOUT! A demonic concoction of bloody B-movie horror and get-up-and-go-go Gidget-kitsch, a night of soul-searing surf rock so hot it will burn the beach blanket bingo right out of your brain! And we've got a KILLER lineup... Zounds!!!

Detroit Cobras
Sasquatch and the Sick-a-Billies
The Tarantinos NYC
Angie Pontani's World Famous Burlesque
DJ Rex Doane from WFMU 91.1FM
Event Produced by Midnight Kitchen Media

All proceeds from this event will go to the Surfrider Foundation NYC, protecting the water and beaches around the world.

Click here for advance tickets.

When: October 27, 2007 @ 8:00 PM
Where: Southpaw 125 5th Ave Brooklyn, NY 11217


"Bad Girl Blog" Joyce Hanson!

Introducing F.I.B's second guest blogger, Joyce "Bad Girl Blog" Hanson! Again the theme is "Found in Brooklyn". Joyce Hanson has a way of bringing history into the present in her writings. She is currently writing a book called "Chasing Bad Girls" which in her words is "my pursuit of wicked women in history who inspire me and teach me life lessons."

Gleaning Pebbles in Kensington

My Scottish mum-in-law gave me a packet of paperwhite flower bulbs on a recent visit to Brooklyn.

“Thanks, Irene.”

“You’re welcome, hen. The best way to plant these bulbs is in a bowlful of pebbles.” Well, here’s the trouble. As I recently mentioned in a post on my own Bad Girl Blog, I was recently laid off, and so economies must be made. I can’t go throwing my money around at the garden shops, buying sacks of fancy pebbles and such.

But on the same day that Irene gave me the paperwhites, and as I was worrying the issue of pebbles, we took a walk around my neighborhood of Kensington. And there, right on Church Avenue near East 4th Street, what did I spy but a good shovelful of gravel spilled along a stretch of pavement near the parking meters.

“Irene,” I said, “I think this gravel will do well enough as paperwhite pebbles.”

I went home for a dustpan and brush, then came back to the graveled spot on Church Avenue and started to sweep the pebbles into my basket, smiling cheerfully and ignoring the cars that came to park on the same spot and people’s comments of “What are you doing?” and “Where did that gravel come from? Is it yours? Is it going to ruin my tires?”

As I swept and brushed, I was put in mind of Francois Millet’s 1857 painting, “The Gleaners.”Oddly enough, I came across another Scottish connection while researching the painting, and the information I found resonated on a personal level. According to a “Timeline of Waste” created by the Arts & Humanities Research Council’s Centre for Environmental History at the University of St. Andrews, a six-century-old university in Scotland:

“In this depiction of the rural life of 19th-century France, we see three female figures gathering the leftovers after the harvest. This practice—known as gleaning—was traditionally part of the natural cycle of the agricultural calendar undertaken by the poor, and was regarded as a right to unwanted leftovers. Although the practice of agricultural gleaning has gradually died away due to a number of historical factors (including industrialisation and the organisation of social welfare for the poor), there are nonetheless still people in the present day that we might understand to be gleaners.”

Now that I’m collecting unemployment, you might say that I’m receiving a form of social welfare for the poor—and that I am one of the people in the present day who is indeed a gleaner.

Irene has gone back home to Scotland, but her memory lives on in the bowlful of paperwhites I’ve planted. They’re sitting in the fridge now, waiting for me to add water and force the bulbs in January. I can’t wait till the flowers bloom. They have the most gorgeous smell, and bring a hint of spring when you’re cooped up in a Kensington apartment in the middle of winter. Hooray for the rich abundance to be found in Brooklyn, where carelessly spilled roadside gravel transforms into garden pebbles.

Bad Girl Blog

Gowanus Artist: Melanie Fischer

Melanie Fischer’s installation in her Sackett Street studio was another really cool thing I stumbled into during last weekends AGHAST open studios around the Gowanus.

The old wooden steps leading up to her studio were lined with cartoonish blades of grass sculpted out of fabric. They led up to her sun filled space which was filled with more sculpted grass on the floor. On the walls were more delicate assembled artworks made out of fabrics, paper and sewing findings. It all came to togther to create a contemporary “Eden”.

I liked it because it reminded me of a combination H.R Puffinstuff, The Banana Splits and Pee Wee's Playhouse but done with a bit more sensitivity! Melanie’s artist statement says that this installation is a response to our times retreat from the reality of life (the war, global warming, Dafur, homelessness etc.) into our ipods and virtual experiences. Her response to our escapist culture is to create another type of escape. A natural retreat that uses materials that wouldn’t exist without technology such as Astroturf and to use the materials to create an actual experience.

Hence the swing! Melanie invited visitors to try the swing in the space. So I did! I want one! Check out my really short camera video.

Anyway, the experience of walking into Melanie's studio did take me to another reality. It wasn't just paintings on the wall. The combination and integration of the natural light,the psychedelic sculpture and finely made art pieces took you to another place without any USB ports involved.

P.S-Melanie told me the building her studio is in will most likely be torn down. Will the Aghast open studios tour lose artists due to condo development in the upcoming years? Seems like it but I hope not.


Laundromat on Court Street

Am I a freak because I actually like sitting in laundromats? Well, empty ones. Motivation to get there is hard but once I'm there, I am accomplishing something yet I am free to do nothing...


Shootin' the Sh*t about the Gowanus Canal

I went to the meeting regarding the Gowanus Canal Ecological Restoration Study attended by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and the US Army Corps of Engineers. They spoke about what their studies have shown and just what IS the plan for cleanup of our beloved sewage and industrial waste clogged canal.

Well, they didn’t have a lot to say about what will be done. Because most of it won’t happen until the year 2010. A couple years after the zoning changes and by then the condo’s will probably be built!

There was a lot of talk of about sewage. About “floatables” and lowering “C.S.O’s” which stands for “COMBINED STORM AND SANITARY OUTFALLS”. C.S.O’s are a combination of raw sewage and industrial waste mixed in with things like pesticides and bacteria. C.S.O’s don’t look good and don’t smell good either. Basically, they want to keep the C.S.O’s submerged rather than floating around on top as it is in the above photo which I took after a massive rain storm last month.

In 2010 a new pump MIGHT be installed, which comes at a cost of 125 million dollars to the city and dredging might begin sometime before that happens. Until then, reduction of floatables will be done manually by scooping it up somehow from boats that cruise the canal. Another frightening option to control the sewage runoff into the canal, is to store it in huge containers, but that would take several acres of land, so I don’t think that’s an option.

Many questions were asked and not many were answered. Questions like, “Does anybody monitor the dumping done by the cement companies and the scrap metal yard?’ or “What about storm barriers in case of a highly likely catastrophic storm surge?” or “What if the pump fails like it has in the past but now we have 1.000’s of new residents?”

The stock answer seemed to be “Well, I can’t really answer that.."


Gowanus/Carroll Garden News

Last week I attended a F.R.O.G.G (Friends and Residents of the Greater Gowanus) meeting and I apologize in the delay in mentioning it. Regarding the grim future of what may be built on the banks of the Gowanus I learned that the dry cleaning facility and FiberWave company on the property owned by the Toll brothers (2nd Street between Bond & the Canal) are operating on 6-month leases at this point. Also, Whole Foods still hasn’t completed the proper permits to even BEGIN cleanup. The site is a total mess and there are a lot of hoops to jump through. A major issue is that the FEMA act states that you can not build anything that impede flood waters in anyway. Once permits are completed, there is supposed to be a 30 day comment period for F.R.O.G.G who is expecting to be contacted for commentary.

Also TOMORROW NIGHT there will be a meeting concerning the cleanup of the canal and the Army Corp. of Engineers will be present.

When: MONDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2007 TIME: 6:30 PM PLACE:
A G E N D A - Presentation by representatives for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the New York City Department of Environmetal Protection on the Gowanas Canal Ecological Restoration Study, an ongoing collaborative partnership between the Federal and City governments to investigate and propose improvements to the water quality and habitat at the Gowanus.

Up the hill on the Carroll Gardens front it looks like preperation for Robert Scarano's latest opus is beginning with rat trap enabling on the 360 Smith Street site. See Pardon Me for Asking for more information. Also, please keep checking the C.O.R.D Blog for additional information regarding the moratorium on tall buildings and if you haven't signed the petition or written to our local pols, do it now!

"The Reanimation Library" in Gowanus.

F.I.B stumbled into a fantastic surprise while checking out the AGHAST Open Studios around the Gowanus on Sunday. You know how F.I.B is somewhat of a scavenger so it was my pleasure to discover a place with the D.I.Y asthetic that F.I.B loves....

The Reanimation Library!

It is a functioning collection of books that “Head Librarian” Andrew Beccone gathered from the streets, thrift stores, garage sales and the like. The books range in subject from technical manuals of all kinds to books on automotive subjects, electronics, nature, cosmetology, chemistry, film, etc. Most books are from the pre-digital age and are the type that have great illustrations,charts and logos.

All books are available as reference sources for artists, writers and “other cultural archeologists” to use. The Reanimation Library is comprised of three distinct yet interconnected collections, each of which supports and is driven by the mission of the Library: the Primary Collection, the Reference Collection, and the Copyright Collection. There is also a small gallery section at the library where works of art that used the libraries services are shown. You have got to check it out!

Andrew is an actual librarian and has catalogued the books using the Library of Congress system. Andrew is also an artist himself. He has made photocopy collage and appropriation work in limited edition books and for fliers for bands he's played in the Minneapolis area as well as for gallery shows. He claims (on the website) his work gets great response from prison inmates but I am sure he is just being modest.

Please note that you can’t take the books home but you can use the available scanner and photocopier to get the info you need. The library is free but a donations are much encouraged!

The Reanimation Library's website is chock full of detailed information about the collection and how Andrew came about making it become a reality.

The Reanimation Library is located in the Proteus Gowanus Complex at 543 Union Street near Nevins.
Hours are Thursday/Friday 3-6PM and Saturday/Sunday 12-6.


Found in Queens

We are still not done clearing out Oma's apartment in Flushing but we are getting closer. Look what I found in her medicine cabinet. Moist Spock or Captain Kirk towelette anyone? I had NO IDEA she was a trekkie!This is a picture I have known my entire life and my Mother has too, hence it's an oldie. My Mother doesn't like it because she has alway looked at it as the dog was missing a leg. The leg is there just very faint, no one else in my family wants it. I guess I'll be the one to take it. I think we are getting to the sad part now. We have been saving the pictures for last as it would be depressing being there with the bright spots on the walls that a picture leaves after being hung in the same place for years.What should I do? Take them because I know that she would probrably be pissed if we threw them out (guilt!) or not? By the way, this is another old picture she had hanging up forever.


Direct from Hollywood Cemetery * Saturday

Start your Halloween early! Rocky's Bar is still hangin' on so hang out there before it's gone along with everything else that made Williamsburg, well, Williamsburg. Here's what the folks at Fancy have to say about this ghouuuuulish scene:

The days grow shorter and the time draws near. The nights grow colder and the miserable take refuge in the darkness, searching the city's deep crevasses for lust to cure their despair and suffer by the time.

Dr. Fangs and his disciples' chilled breath will fan the fires of one's deepest Rock & Roll desires and ignites the cockles of the blackest hearts on Saturday, October 20.

Be there to witness Direct From Hollywood Cemetery return from the grave to reap souls and pass no judgment at their FANCY crypt, the creepy cavern known as Rocky's Rock Star Bar down under the Williamsburg bridge in Brooklyn.

Relatives from the Old Country, Vlad and Creighton, of Ghoul A Go Go fame, will host the night with their own brand of fire and brimstone. And if that's not enough, New York's unholy Hunchback will kick off the live music with a set that alone will prove to be worth the pittance charged at the door.

In addition, our favorite DJ's, Iron Mike & DJ SoulPunk, will be payin' the devil his dues as they fill ears with the nastiest of sounds.

"Holy Blood! Holy Blood!", it's gonna be FANCY!

Sat. Oct. 20th @ 10 pm
South 5th St. & Kent
under the Williamsburg Bridge

J, M, Z to Marcy, or L to Bedford,
B61 to South 5th st., B24 to Williamsburg Plaza
must be 21
more a lot more info. click here!




After an overwhelming response of well intentioned guesses of the local of "The Cozy Lunch Truck Stop" pictured in the post below, I am pleased and relieved (it was a lot of WORK reading ALL those emails!) that we have a winner.

Winning Contestant David says...

The Cozy Lunch truck stop used to exist at...Union St. between 6th and 7th Aves. Okay, where's my book???

Sir, you are correct and your book is on it's way! Thank you for your interest and for your participation!

Postscipt- David's acceptance comment is so amazing that I have to reprint it where it can be seen....

Well, it's an honor just to have my email read! Really, folks, let me tell ya, I get no respect. I tried to comment on my girlfriend's blog the other day. You know what she says to me? She says, "Hey! I got enough spam, okay? You got somethin' you want to say to me, you be a man and you text me, awright?" Of course, she never gave me her phone number. Ohhhhh!

Ahem. Sorry. I really am honored to win this contest and would like to thank all little people who refilled my dirty glasses with Coca-Cola all those years ago at the Cozy Lunch truck stop.

In all honesty, I actually did have many Cokes at the Cozy. Back around 1978 or so, my mom's friend had opened a store on Fifth Avenue around Union, a grubby, grungey, dingy dirty strip of urban pageantry. Of course, she thought her friend and her husband were nuts. ("They'll be murdered before the year is out," my mom predicted.)

Anyway, the ladies' dancewear store they owned is still on Fifth. But the Cozy is long since gone, along with its heavily mascared waitresses and the clouds of smoke composed of equal parts cigarettes and fried eggs.



FREE COPY OF "NEW YORK CALLING: "From Blackout to Bloomberg" to the first person who can name the location of this photo!

Good Luck Brooklynites!! Photo was taken by Robert Sietsema in the early 1980's

My email address is at the top upper right- F.I.B.

Go to Bluestockings Books * Friday 7pm.

This week I did NOT allow Brian Berger to guest blog but I DID allow him to guest photag!

Photos taken winter of 1997 around the Gowanus.

9th Street Nude.

This weeks stop on the "New York Calling" book reading tour is at Bluestockings Bookstore on the Lower East Side. If you've never been there, it's a bookstore specializing in underground and left leaning literature, as well as independent zines and whatnot. I keep pimping this book "New York Calling" because not only does editor Brian Berger live in the neighborhood and have his own iconic blog, Walks In Brooklyn but because the book is a must read. The book contains true stories about life in our fair city from every borough and subjects range from general life in NYC to gentrification to drugs to music and more from the 1960's to the Atlantic Yards. Checkitout! even Norman Oder liked it!.

French Blue Union

Friday nights representatives from the book are Margaret Morton, photographer who documents the homeless. Tom Robbins and Robert Sietsema from the Village Voice. Bian Berger will aslso be in attendance.

Bluestockings, 172 Allen St between Stanton & Rivington, Isle of Manhattan.
Starts at 7pm.

Tuesday Sky on Third Street


Found on Hoyt Street

Another giant plush toy lying in the gutter.....so sad.

More orphans....
Found in Crown Heights Postscript to this one, after the photographer took this shot, this doggie was hijacked by a gang of kids and ripped to shreds.
Abandoned Rugrat
St. John's Place, Crown Heights


"The Third Bridge" at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Has mutant plant life sprouted in Brooklyn Bridge Park?!

No! It’s a new installation by artist; Osman Akan called “The Third Bridge”.

F.I.B and friend R checked it out at around twilight last night and enjoyed watching the quickly changing sky contrast with this fiber optic field of grass. Our only complaint is that we wanted MORE. We wanted a whole trail of these between the two bridges, but I bet that would have been expensive! More funding please!

Here is a segment of the artist’s statement on this project:

“I use fiber optics for many reasons, but most importantly because of their ability to form networks,” Akan has said, by which he means all such networks, from “the flux of information from late night television to surveillance cameras, from chat lines to stock markets, as well as cultural networks such as artist networks.” However invisible, Akan’s “The Third Bridge” suggests, fiber optics constitute the pathways that traffic in our most important symbolic and material values — information, linkage, trade, among others — even to the degree that they help reshape what passes for human nature today and in the future.

The installation is located in Brooklyn Bridge Park near the base of the Manhattan Bridge. Best time to view begins at twilight.

Curated by the The Dumbo Arts Center.


Send Them Away!!!!!!

If you read F.I.B on a somewhat regular basis you are aware that I am in the midst of the never-ending task of attempting to empty out my dearly missed pack rat of a Grandmother’s small two bedroom apartment out in Queens. So, as a result I have been taking some mighty long subway journeys. One hour and 45 minutes each way. In case you are wondering, no, I didn’t find any other family members hair this time. Today it was sewing supplies, religious articles, miscellaneous doo dads, bagging what gets donated, thrown out, taken home or set aside for people. It’s A LOT of work and currently,after working on it for over a month, the apartment SORT of looks like what a normal person would have in their home if they lived there for maybe ten years. We found a music box and it’s song has become the theme song of our project. A song so stirring that it gives us the the momentum to continue. And what is the song? Of course it's the “The Impossible Dream” from the musical “The Man of La Mancha”.

So, on my trip home I want nothing more than to have an eventless journey. I planned on using the time to sleep so I would have the energy to go out tonight.


At 23rd Street a couple enters the train with THE BIGGEST STROLLER I HAVE EVER SEEN. I am NOT kidding, it was almost wider than the subway doors! I watched them attempt to find a place to park that mother while bumping into people without apologizing. I am praying, I mean PRAYING that they don’t come near me. Well, you know, of course they did. Why didn’t I move you say? I was bone tired, there were no other seats in the car and also because I became TRAPPED by a doublewide SUV baby stroller and two annoying parents. The father is sitting next to me, with his legs wide open (of course) playing with the baby. Question, why couldn’t they each just take a small stroller if they were taking the train or throw the kids in one of those sling things OR even better take a FRIGGIN' CAB?!

Self involved, self-important and couldn’t even acknowledge a forlorn looking kid of about 7 years of age in raggedy clothes who approached them to buy candy for a dollar. The stroller or rather CHARIOT that they were chauffering their kids in cost $729.00!

You know I have nothing against kids. I actually work with kids and also the elderly and most of the time we get along famously. It’s the parents I have a problem with. Just as a violent and stupid parent models behavior that makes their kids most likely the same, so do these self involved, affluent parents.

It would be great if they could be sent away like in that movie "Wild in the Streets", although sad to say I am now of the age to be sent away too! But they have to be in the SUV stoller parent section of the camp far away from me!

It’s little moments like these that really try my faith in humanity. I never thought I'd be a stroller basher. Why? Because it's just too easy as they totally set themselves up for it. I found that listening to Max Frost helped calm me down and reinstall a feeling of hope for the future. Enjoy and may you all have no run ins with the stroller squad tomorrow.

FREE SHOW @ Passout Records Saturday!

F.I.B is all about free..so,

Opening Party for a Photo Exhibit by...KHAKI BEDFORD

Appearing Live...
(Templars Side Project)

Starts at 3pm!

131 Grand Street Btwn Bedford & Berry


Brian Berger Allowed to "Guest Blog" Again!

Found in Brooklyn? From sea to wine dark sea, whether it's Colonial Road or Cypress Hills, Avenue C or Canarsie. Here it's a little more common, starting at the Union St drawbridge over the Gowanus Canal, in the years before propagandists & fools began making claims its ecology can't come close to supporting. Still, there was sand on these shores, with the mighty Crusader Candle around the corner on Nevins, where High John the Conqueror & many other guardians of Gowanus remain.From South Brooklyn to southern Brooklyn, Coney Island Creek, where everybody's heard about the bird. (Bird bird bird, the bird is the word.) This isn't my favorite spot for BK crustaceans-- Rencher's Crab Inn on Flatbush near Avenue O is-- but for a romantic waterfront dining experience, it's the best in the borough.Heading west across the burning sands lovers say goodbye Bensonhurst, farewell Fort Hamilton, adios Bay Ridge; wuzzup... Seagate! How we got in & how we got out isn't something to talk about now but soon after jumping the fence back onto the shores of Coney Island proper... Shy, he thought she'd never ask: bivalve curious??

At 7 pm this Saturday at Vox Pop, Brian Berger of whowalkinbrooklyn will appear with Marshall Berman, the great Tom Robbins and moderator Neil DeMause to discuss the recently published book: New York Calling: From Blackout to Bloomberg.

B.Y.O.A: Bring your own aphrodisiacs?

Vox Pop is located at 1022 Cortelyou Road at Coney Island Avenue, Flatbush! (Ditmas Park) (Kensington)

*All photographs taken by Mr. Berger.


WFMU Extravaganza @ Southpaw Saturday!

The best “Freeform Radio Station of the Nation” WFMU (91.1 FM) has put together a stupendous lineup at Southpaw this upcoming Saturday, October 13th.

Guess how much it costs? Nothing, Nada, Zilch, Zero, in other words, its FREE baby!

Alan Vega (one half of Suicide ), Oneida, Simply Saucer and Old Time Relijun will all be performing.

This event is also a book release party. Here’s what WFMU has to say about this:

….this event will be doubling as a book release party for Dave the Spazz's similarly blazin' new FMU-centric book entitled The Best of LCD: the Art and Writing of WFMU. For newcomers to the party, LCD was WFMU's fabled program guide which for years gave the station a much-lauded representation in the print realm and featured content from not just DJs and listeners, but also noted cultural icons like Nick Tosches, Daniel Clowes, Luc Sante, Chris Ware, Daniel Johnston, and more. The Best of LCD... collects the best of these contributions and offers a fluid portrait of WFMU's relevance in the age before everything went packing for the promised land of the internet. The book will be available for sale at the show, and Dave the Spazz might even step out of his monkey suit long enough to sign a few copies, so saddle up and get ready!

D.J Dave the Spazz will also be spinning the vinyl in the basement lounge.

No advance tickets are available so I advise you to get there early!

Southpaw is located at 125 5th Avenue between St. John's & Sterling Place.
Doors open at 8pm.

Check out the WFMU website to find out more about the bands, the book, their fabulous radio station and for lots of free MP3's!


Old News to many of us but "New York" Magazine is now on to Robert Scarano.

Everybody's favorite architect, Robert Scarano was written about in this week's issue of New York Magazine, in an article entitled; "He Built This Borough (Badly)".

Most of the information in the article was inspired by all the blogs but especially by Miss Heather of New York Shitty as far as I'm concerned. Miss. Heather has been doing an amazing job being on the case of this city's joke agency called the Department of Buildings.

I am shocked that Scarano ONLY got fined for $1,1180.00 for visually raping the Carroll Gardens horizon with his box sitting on top 333 Carroll Street! That box has been just sitting there for about a year, time to dismantle? Or is this a modernist sculpture for the neighborhood to remember his legacy by?! There is something so WRONG with a city agency that allows someone like him to remain in business. As long as he keeps shelling out the green - death, destruction and lies are apparantly not enough to shut him down.

Just an aside, but the article didn't mention the workers who have died on his building sites OR anything about the public outcry regarding 360 Smith Street (from Gowanus Lounge).

Check out these Carroll Garden blogs; C.O.R.D, a neighborhood blog devoted mostly to his 360 Smith Street project and Pardon Me for Asking for more on what's going on the South Brooklyn end with Robert Scarano.


F.I.B hangs out with East Village Hippies.

A friend of mine, who is an East Village resident of 20 plus years invited me the Corn Roasting Harvest Festival at the Avenue B and 6th Street Garden today. You know the place, with that crazy tall wooden sculpture that looks like a psychotic concentration camp security tower except it has stuffed animals and whatnot hanging all over it? I've heard that it is in the beginning segment of one of those NYC cop shows I never watch. Anyway, my friend CalmX has a gardening plot there. The event was old school East Village all the way and I’m not talking No Wave or punk. I’m talking hippies who have lived in the East Village for over 40 years. It was cool. You couldn’t get further away from the luxury condo crowd than you could with this bunch. I ate and ate for the entire day, they just kept throwing the corn and the sweet potatoes on the BBQ. People kept showing up with more food. They had a fundraising lottery with the weirdest prize ever being a gift certificate for $250.00 worth of psychotherapy. Me, I won the box of aromatic herbs from the garden but it also included many hippy like things that came from their hippy hearts with all sincerity, things like a purple kaleidoscope, a totally groovy Avenue B garden T-shirt that looked like it was designed in 1967 and a seedling for me to plant called the “Love in a Vine”. Anyway it was nice to be back in the East Village, a place I rarely go to anymore but have lots of non hippy memories of. My first apartment was a sublet at the age of 19 on St. Mark’s Place and 2nd Avenue and get this I paid $114.00 for my room A MONTH (rent stabilized and sublet to me honestly!) I could have had the whole place for $228.00 a month but when you are working at Orhbach’s on 34th Street for 50 cents above the minimum wage that is waaaaaaaay too expensive….


Found in Brooklyn: A TURNTABLE!!!!!

While my social and artistic life is nothing to complain about, F.I.B has been a bit underemployed lately, hence completely broke. Looking for work is one of my least favorite things to do in life. I was trudging home yesterday after making the rounds of some god awful self- esteem damaging Manhattan temporary agencies when I found THIS WORKING TURNTABLE on Union Street & Hoyt. Thank you God or whoever! It has a good needle in it too! I've been turntable-less for well over a year. You have to understand, F.I.B owns more vinyl than C.D's. My ex-husband left me with an Ipod loaded with like 5,000 songs but it just isn't the same. I don't do Ipod. I like to be AWARE.

So, for the past 24 hours I have been on a vinyl binge. The Buzzcocks, Bob Dylan, The Fleshtones, K-Tel, Ziggy Stardust (F.I.B's fave album of all time), George Jones, Disco Hits, K-Tel, Slade, The Church Keys (Rest in Peace, Bill Peitsch), R.L Burnside.... I feel whole again.

Now I just need to find me one of them DVD players that everybody else has.....


What would Edwin Litchfield think?

On the corner of Third Street and Third Avenue stands the building that Edwin Litchfield built to house "The Brooklyn Improvement Center" in 1882. Litchfield is the man who is responsible for transforming the then called Gowanus Creek into the Gowanus Canal just in time for the Industrial Age.

If he only knew that the canal would become a multi-hued sewage and disease ridden toxic stew and that his elegant building would be used for nothing more than a place for a demolition company to drape it's vinyl banner.

Karma or Pay Back Time?

Read more about this at ForgottenNY.


F.I.B's first "guest blogger" Brian Berger!

Found in Brooklyn? Definitely. In this apartment alone are two bookcases, two chairs (one brown leather, the other blue vinyl), a box of scratched up (alas) 1960s Ray Price lps, a single volume of collected Shakespeare & a superbly printed copy of R.H. Blyth's "Zen And Zen Classics Volume 5" (Hokuseido Press, Tokyo). Gone: a ridiculous orange lounge chair the cats finally tore up, a high-quality Olympus point & shoot camera sold on Ebay for $30 ten years later & a really nice dropleaf table I gave to friends on Powers Street in Williamsburg; since then, it's moved to Bushwick, Inwood & Las Cruces, New Mexico.Left on the streets, taken on film 1997-1999: hundreds of photos of South Brooklyn, Gowanus, Red Hook & so-called "Carroll Gardens" too. I used the last name myself a few times, although even then I wondered why I'd never seen it in the great works of South Brooklyn literature by Hubert Selby Jr., Gilbert Sorrentino or Emmett Grogan. These images seem very sad and lovely to me now, like my memory of the Spanish voices we always heard on Smith Street, the sight of mama dog & her three pups loping past the Jewish Press building on 3rd Avenue or sliding into the vinyl booths at Helen's Place on Court Street, excited for the sausage, escarole, garlic bread, linguini & clam sauce to come. They always had oldies, the Mets or the Knicks on the radio there & neither of the old-timers who ran the joint were named Helen.

Here is the detritus of Carroll Street, one winter morning between the Canal & Bond. As far as I know, Robert Doisneau never took pictures of Brooklyn--so who the fuck needs him?

Brian Berger is the co-editor, Brooklyn essayist & roving street photographer of the recently published anthology, New York Calling: From Blackout To Bloomberg .

He'll be discussing his work with co-editor, urbanist Marshall Berman, & crime writer, Tim "Brooklyn Noir" McLoughlin at Book Court this Thursday October 4th at 7 pm. Book Court is located at 163 Court Street.

For further information please see whowalkinbrooklyn.


Yeah, I was at the Atlantic Antic too.

Thank the Angels of Rock & Roll Norton Records for seeking and finding yet another great artist that still has it going on, Mary Weiss of the Shangri-La's made alot of people happy on Sunday, young and old. There was an older gentleman who looked like he was going to faint when he saw Mary walking on stage. He told me that he bought The Shangri-La's first record in the supermarket when he was a teen and never thought he would see this day. Anyway, someone told me she was working as a secretary somewhere. Don't know if THAT'S true, but I do know that the Shangri-La's deserve some recognition. I hope Aerosmith paid them well...and ALSO listening to Mary sing, you can hear just where the New York Dolls got their major influence from. A fantastic show.