Walkin' in the Sand.....

One of the best beaches in the world despite the (non)lifeguards!

Brighton Beach Bay or NONwatch.

Notice the "beach closed" tape? Many people didn't!

Some of you Brooklyn beach bums may be aware that the waters were closed to swimmers over this past weekend due to extreme riptides. But not to worry because you could swim anyway! Most of the lifeguards along the strip of beach between Coney Island and Brighton were more concerned with how to style themselves (should I wear the designer sunglasses and the lip gloss?) or how fast they should twirl their whistles. The most shocking thing was that the group I was near spent most of their time BEHIND or on the SIDE of the lifeguard stand with their backs to the water! (I guess they never heard of the number one surfer rule of thumb. NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON YOUR MOTHER!) It was only when someone told them that someone was IN the water that they would self consciously saunter down to the shore, twirling their whistles and would ineffectively blow them. No hand signals, no authority, just non stop whistle blowing. It was infuriating to watch I have to say. I wouldn't trust these self involved Abercrombie & Fitch model wannabees with my life! I am sure there were beach goers on the shore that could be more trusted if there was a rescue situation. Rip tides are no joke but apparantly the joke is on the young children who are not being watched by paid so called "lifeguards".Check out this lifeguard on a cigarette break BEHIND the lifeguard chair. Which, by the way no one sat in the whole day. I am not one to whistle blow on lazy workers but these guys are PATHETIC!


Field Trip to Williamsburg

This week is F.I.B's summer vacation and while most people might go to Maine, I do not think I have been to Williamsburg for well over a year and decided to take a little fieldtrip there today. Upon exiting the G train at Metropolitan Avenue I was quickly made to feel like I was at home as the sister building to the "Open Your Eyes" building that I see from my house in South Brooklyn was the first thing I saw as I hit the street! Ironically F.I.B used to rent a space in this building on Keape Street about 5 years ago. It was owned by a company that made Murphy beds. Now it is vacant and window less and covered with grafitti. What's up with that?Then upon crossing under the BQE I saw this! Shout out to Miss Heather!Then I went to this park on Kent Avenue where the skyline was real but unreal.Cliche photo I know but I just couldn't help it!The view may be beautiful but if you want to picnic or sunbath you will be lulled by the sounds of cranes and earthmovers on one side. And this Toll Brothers monolith on the other side. Ewwwww. Can you imagine being one of the numbers living in there? This would fit in better in a business district of a city such as Phoenix or Miami but whatever it's here and they are not selling like hotcakes. Upon skeedaddling out of that park with the bad condo feng shui - where the water, the view and the people playing happy dominoes were the only pleasantries, as well as the sprinklers we ran through which were wasting water to keep the sod dayglow green, I happily came across a rare commidity and FIB's favorite. OPEN SKY! That place on the corner is the Rosenwach's Tank Group which has been making wooden water tanks for over a hundred years!

The day ended at the fab Rolewskie Jadlo restaurant on Nassau Avenue in Greenpoint (you can't miss it, it's got knights in armor outside) where the chef/owner used to work at Nobu and the seasonal blueberry perogies are out of this world and only $5.50!

F.I.B is going to bust out of Brooklyn and head to Long Island for a few days, see y'all on the flipside!


Hurricane Bill Breezes by Brighton Beach

In an attempt to beat the heat, F.I.B head out to Brighton Beach and was lucky enough to be there for this crazy epic tornado like storm that didn't seem to hit the rest of Brooklyn.

It was beautiful. If we weren't lucky enough to have shelter I probably wouldn't of enjoyed it so much....did anyone else experience this?!


Don't Forget About the Brooklyn Flea this Weekend!

The stultifying heat might make you - like me - forget that the stuff you usual do on the weekends during the rest of the year are still on, like the Brooklyn Flea! I went to the one under the Brooklyn Bridge last Sunday and there was tons of fab stuff for the picking!

It's a bit of a hidden jewel so just head down toward the water and it's next to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The one in Fort Greene is also still happening on Saturdays.

Click here for info and directions for both spots.


More Beauty...

The flowers are loving this weather! Found on Carroll Street.



Found in Sunset Park.

READ indeed and Councilmen Wannabee's Debate about Speed...

Third Street between Bond Street and Third Avenue. "READ" has impeccable brush skills....is this the same crew who did this?

Anyway, back to local politics (blah!) there is an informative article in today's Gotham Gazette about how the Gowanus is a hot topic in the elections for a wannabe Councilman to replace Bill DeBlasio. READ it here. F.I.B is undecided about who to vote for, I am skeptical of all but with a gun to my head I would go for Josh Skaller or Gary Reilly. To add more fuel to the fire of trying to make a decision there will be a debate amongst all the 39th district canditates tomorrow night in Park Slope where they will be discussing their views on transportation.

Here is the info from the folks at the Street Activist Network:

Join Transportation Alternatives as the candidates for City Council District 39 debate the bike network, congestion pricing, pedestrian safety, the MTA and livable streets issues of all stripes. The debate will be moderated by T.A. Executive Director Paul Steely White. Show the candidates how important these issues are to you by helping to pack the room!

When: Tuesday, August 18, 7-8:30pm
Where: PS 321, 180 7th Avenue (between 1st and 2nd Street)
Who: City Council candidates for District 39 whom are: John Heyer, Brad Lander, Joe Nardiello, David Pechefsky, Gary Reilly, Josh Skaller and Bob Zuckerman

Stay after the debate to meet the candidates in person and let them hear from you!



Blondie & Pat Benatar in Brighton

To follow up on last night's show which was thankfully not rained out I have to take back my comments about what I heard was an underwhelming tour. If you blinked you missed the Donna's who only played three songs but Pat Benatar and Blondie did not disappoint and I went in with absolutely no expectations. I was thrilled that Blondie did "Atomic" and Pat did "Hell is for Children" (one of the strangest songs ever written). We were as far back as you could possibly be but I did worm my way up during Blondie's last number, that blurry picture shows their "Parallel Lines" influenced stage set, it the show sounded great from the back I can only imagine the experience from the front. Any reports?Far from the maddening crowds - the view from the back, very relaxing under the trees....And of course nothing that is good now is safe from "development" in NYC in 2009. There are plans to rip this free outdoor space down to put up an amphitheater that the public would have to pay to see events.


Blondie * Pat Benatar* The Donnas Thursday Free in Brighton Beach

Yeah, everyone and their mother will be there but it might be good for the spectacle. The tour has been getting mixed reviews, apparently Pat has been acting bored and the Donnas have been cancelling. Maybe performing for a Brooklyn crowd in the Brighton Beach breezes will wake them up a little.


Asser Levy/Seaside Park at West 5th Street and Surf Avenue
Coney Island/Brighton Beach, across the street from the New York Aquarium.

How much?: FREE or 5 bucks for a seat (get there early for that!)

* Please note that you will be subjected to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz rambling on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on before the music starts, so you may want to tranquilize yourself for that (just like the old days!). There are plenty places nearby to get some vodka on the boardwalk and if you have the munchies, plenty of excellent food sources.

Last year I was lucky enough to catch what I think was a rare performance by Beach Boy, Brian Wilson. Read about it here.


Wax Buildup at the Candle Factory

I was passing by the Crusader Candle Factory the other day when my companion noticed the wax build up on the floor on the President Street side. For those who are unaware, Crusader Candles makes the candles with the Saints, Jesus or Mary printed on the glass that you see in supermarkets and bodegas. It is definitely one of the most unique niche businesses in the Gowanus area. Looks like they were working on red and pink candles that day ..
This is one serious truck with it's shields and crosses, they've got God on their side which definitely helps if you have ever driven on the BQE! Crusader Candles: "They burn better!".


Big Metal Frame in the Sky

Construction has been moving faster on 3rd and Bond Street these days..


F.I.B presents 4 bands for Free at Freddy's on Friday!

A reminder about this show I mentioned the other day.

9:00 The Puppetheads

Oh OK: Oh OK is an anti-folk trio. An unusual girl with a guitar armed with drums & cello for a sound as unique as the song-writing.

The Health Club: The Health Club are a three piece band from L.A. They are everything that is right with rock n' roll. Pretense, pompousness, and formulaic music arrangements are all banned substances in The Health Club. Garage Rock!

Manhattan Murder Mystery
A popular LA New Wave band not to be missed. Tearing up the coast regularly!
Recently made Groupee.com's "Emerging 30" list, a list of hot bands playing around Southern California.

*Featuring the bongo stylings of Don, of the former Don's Music Brooklyn (now known as Duck Dongo).

Hope to see you there!

The details:

Freddy's Backroom

485 Dean Street Brooklyn (corner of 6th Avenue)


Found in Brooklyn: Far away so close....

Upon seeing this photo, you might think this is an old train station in some European countryside. Sorry to deceive you but it's the Avenue H stop on the Q train in Flatbush!

Waiting for the bus....

A couple times a week I transfer from the subway to the bus at the corner of McDonald Avenue and Bay Parkway. Washington Cemetery is jammed packed and most of the newer burials have photo realistic etched portraits. At first I didn't like them but now seeing the face with the dates and places of birth leaves my mind wild with made up stories about their lives.

More of my musings about Washington Cemetery here and here.


The return of Don from Don's Music

A few years ago there was a very cool record store on Amity Street in Cobble Hill. A record store that did not fit in with the surrounding boutiques and real estate offices. This store was funky in a real unstylized way. It was a real record store with old and new vinyl, cd's, guitars, zines, old bikes and some other oddball items that had nothing to do with music. Some might recall the proprietor was a loquacious fellow named Don and the store bore his name as well - Don's Music. These places are rare. Although not a record store, I would put the antique store Yesterday's News on Court Street the only place with a similar friendly atmosphere and interesting stock. (Yesterday's News has a ton of dollar albums at the moment btw!)

What happened to Don's music?
Well, one thing that happened was that Don's rent went up astronomically so he packed it up an d headed west where the weather is better and the rents are cheaper. Two high priced booteries attempted to make it happen in Don's old space on Amity Street but now the space has been vacant for at least two years. Don's Music West is located in Eagle Rock, California which is a neighborhood in Los Angeles. Don is currently in a band called Manhattan Murder Mystery and they will be doing a tour of Brooklyn next weekend.

This is all a lead up to the fact that Manhattan Murder Mystery will be a part of another Found in Brooklyn presents event at Freddy's Backroom in Prospect Heights featuring two L.A bands and two Brooklyn bands. Music starts with a folky sound building up to garage rock and hits a crescendo with the warm new wave sounds of Manhattan Murder Mystery featuring Don on the bongos.

So come one come all!

9pm - Puppet Head
10pm - Oh O.K
11pm - The Health Club
Midnite - Manhattan Murder Mystery

Saturday Night night Manhattan Murder Mystery and the Health Club will be playing at Hank's Saloon for a birthday bash for Don. Sunday night they will be at Don Pedro's in Bushwick.

There shall be reminders, just giving you a heads up!

Leprechauns arrive in Brooklyn in July

You may or may not already know that the City won on the rezoning of Coney Island, too disheartening for me to even write anything about it. So click here to find out the details. Hopefully all the plans will fall through. Ya think it's possible? We still don't have a new World Trade Center right? Maybe they will RETHINK the idea of putting FOUR hotels or residential buildings smack DAB in the middle of where the amusement area as we know it. Maybe the realistic thought that Coney is still almost over an hour from LOWER part of Manhattan and what a pain in the ass to drive to from outlying areas. That it may be as DEAD as Atlantic City in the winter. One can only hope.

Anyway, the above leprechaun was spotted at Thursday night's Brooklyn Cyclones vs. Staten Island Yankees game at Keyspan Stadium in Coney Island. Twas' Irish night dontcha know....I was mesmerized by this leprechaun. He was an exact replica of a plastic pin I have since childhood but he was ALIVE. Alive and hanging out with the Cyclones cheerleaders, The Beach Bums whose wholesome uniforms were exactly what I wore in gym class in junior high school. One of the activities on Irish night was to bowl for prizes but the pins were beer bottles. There was also irish step dancing by the cutest little girls with wigs on - to some sort of metal ska jig music. A good time was had by all.I know this is blurry but this guy was hard to pin down. Wonder where he is spreading his magic tonight?

Upon leaving Coney, on my bike I might add (18 miles baby!), I heard the strains of familiar oldies music, upon closer arrival to Brighton Beach and the Asher Levy amphitheater, I said to my friend, "It sounds like Frankie Vali." and by god I was right! We rolled up when Frankie was crooning "You're a Native New Yorker". Too perfect.

P.S- Monday night is Darryl Strawberry bobble head night at Keyspan Stadium. Tickets still available.