Back in December, William Wrigley and I made a documentary called "D.I.Y Publishing: Zines and Comics". It was a project for a class called "Visual Culture" at Brooklyn College (F.I.B starts the final leg of the Art Ed. graduate program there on Monday!) Basically we had to select a "sub-culture" and document it. F.I.B used be very much into zines during her punk rock youth and had one of her own called Rat Report. I suppose that's why blogging was a natural transition. And wouldn't you know it, we discuss the differences between zine culture and blogging when we visit the zine library at ABC No Rio on the lower east side! We also visited the King Con Comic Convention at the Brooklyn Lyceum and the House of 12 Comic Jam in Manhattan. It was a great experience and this film just scratchs the surface on the world of independent publishing.
Anyway it is just under 20 minutes long and we had to show it in two parts as youtube has time constraints. Enjoy!
If you can stand anymore here is part two.
I also received a missive from Fightin' Freddy stating that the call-a-thon and letter writing campaign has gotten to Judge Gerges and will continue thru Monday.
Info at the bottom on where to send and where to call.
Excerpts from the latest press release:
Subject: Surprisingly Great Day In Court Today! To WIN we need YOUR DIRECT ACTION: CALLS AND LETTER WRITING
"Today Judge Gerges DID NOT bang the gavel and give everything to Ratner. He read about the homeless shelter closing in the papers, he showed 85 letters to the court. These things are having an effect. The other side will write letters, too, and we need to have way more than them if we are going to save the Family Shelter, Freddy's Bar, and the neighborhood. so . . . . .
Calls: Ratner provided evidence used in an indictment by the feds that he bribed a city councilmember in Yonkers through a conspiracy. THE COUNCIL MEMBER HAS BEEN CHARGED AND IS STANDING TRIAL YET RATNER HAS NOT YET BEEN INDICTED. We need to make it clear to the Attorney General, the Westchester D.A. and the US Court that the delay in indictment is going to have an adverse affect on the NY State Supreme Court Eminent Domain Case that will tear down the Pacific Dean Family Homeless Shelter and much of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood. Call Today, and Monday. But start Today. We WILL save the shelter!
CALLS - Go here and here for info on writing a letter.
While "Open Your Eyes" has been fantastically beaming it's message to the masses, the addition of the word "girl' happened over a month ago and then around the corner of the building "stop shopping". It just seemed unfinished. Then after the words "stop shopping!" they added "it's sick!Barf!" It's been like that for a time, I was waiting a while to post this as I wanted no chance of whoever is bombing this building to get any extra attention and get caught. I don't know, while I love the "open your eyes girl" and "stop shopping", the "it's sick!Barf!" part doesn't resonate much power....how about "open your eyes girl! stop shopping! your'e avoiding something!". That ones not too good either, anyone got any ideas?
Also on the Whole Foods "construction" wall that is totally falling down ( I saw a boy of about 12 wandering around in there alone),someone, either the artist or a fan, has put up laminated photographs documenting the phases and stages of the building. Should you be interested that's on 3rd Street between 3rd Avenue and Bond. See F.I.B's past images of this building here and here.
"Your call will help provide the right pressure at the right time to give Judge Gerges a reason NOT to rubberstamp the state's eminent domain grab in his court tomorrow, Friday the 29th.
Call the Attorney General's Office at 212 416-8750 Office of Criminal Prosecution. Calls should be done today by 5pm.
Click here for the full on press release with cheat sheets on what should be said.
Coverage of yesterday's attempt to arrest Bruce Ratner in here.
From their press release:
"Citigrass, Piñataland, 2009 Fiddle Champion Rob Hecht, Animal Pharm, and Central Valley Wildfire will headline the bill at a special event that benefits the advocacy group “Save Coney Island”.
The event also features dance performances by the Prospect Cowgirls, country BBQ, raffle prizes and after-concert Burlesque. "
It wouldn't be a Coney event without burlesque!
When & Where: Saturday, January 30th at Galapagos Art Space, 16 Main Street (at Water Street) in Dumbo, Brooklyn.
The event begins at 3:00 p.m. and runs until 9:30 p.m.
Admission is $15 before 5 p.m. and $20 from 5 p.m. onward; a raffle ticket is given free with each admission.
The fight continues to keep the Pacific Dean family shelter (located in the footprint of the Atlantic Yards) open with a community groups, homeless advocates and political leaders going directly to Bruce Ratner's office on Wednesday at noon.
All are welcome to participate.
Excerpts from the official press release.
Subject: Homeless Family Advocates to Arrest Atlantic Yards/Barclays Center Developer Bruce Ratner. Will Bring Ratner to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's Office for Indictment on Bribery Charges, Coumo Will Also Be Asked to Return All Campaign Contributions From Ratner and Indict By Friday, January 29th.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
What: Homeless Family Advocates to Arrest Atlantic Yards/Barclays Center Developer Bruce Ratner. Will Bring Ratner to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's Office for Indictment on Bribery Charges, Coumo Will Also Be Asked to Return All Campaign Contributions From Ratner and Indict By Friday, January 29th.
When: Wednesday, January 27th 12:00 Noon, 2nd location at 1PM Where: Forest City Ratner Headquarters, 1 Metrotech Center, Brooklyn, NY
Who: Homeless Family Advocates as detailed in copy
"A number of community groups, homeless advocates and political leaders will go to Bruce Ratner's office on Wednesday, January 27th at high noon to perform a citizen's arrest of Mr. Ratner. While we would rather arrest Ratner for the moral crime of closing a desperately needed family homeless shelter on Martin Luther King's birthday, and during Haiti relief efforts, we will instead be arresting him to stand charges of bribing a public official in the State of New York, where such activity is against the law. Our aim is to get the Pacific Dean Family Homeless Shelter re-opened until Spring. To this end we intend to see Ratner charged before this coming Friday's hearing that could give Ratner control of the facility, which he plans to tear down to make a parking lot for the Barclays Center stadium. This is possible because of a loophole created in New York State's eminent domain law by the Supreme Court's Kelo Case that allows states to take property from one person and give it to another. 43 states have changed their laws to prevent person-to-person transfer by the state, which is a type of eminent domain employed by the Soviet Union and wartime Germany, and which was illegal in the U.S. until 2005. We believe it is important that Judge Gerges, the man who will make the decision whether or not Ratner gets the shelter and the neighborhood, know what kind of heartless and shady person he is dealing with. The lack of an indictment by Attorney General Cuomo will have a clear influence on Friday's hearing, and it must be corrected. Nobody is going to physically abduct Mr. Ratner. We are informing him that we expect him to surrender to a police officer, in our presence, and go with us to be charged by Attorney General Cuomo. We will also be asking the Attorney General, who is now running for Governor, to give back the campaign contributions he has received from Ratner so that there is no appearance of impropriety associated with the delay in bringing an indictment. Should Ratner elude us we will request that a warrant be issued immediately for his arrest, and that he be extradited from any place in the world that he may choose to run to. "
"We sleep, we eat, we dream the Gowanus Canal"
These words by the EPA's Remedial Project Manager, Christos Tsiamis perked me up at last nights informational community meeting with the EPA. It was not the most exciting thing to be doing on a Thursday night, for the most part it was a rundown by the EPA's very congenial Community Involvement Coordinator, Natalie Loney on the EPA's Technical Assistant Programs and how to apply for a TAG grant.
The EPA provides $50,000 to a community group so they can pay for technical advisor to interpret and explain technical reports, site conditions and the EPA's cleanup proposals and decisions. The EPA encourages groups in the community whose health, economic well being or enjoyment of the environment might be hurt by a Superfund site.
One of the criteria that makes one ineligible for a group to receive a TAG grant is if that group has accepted money from P.R.P's (potentially responsible parties i.e.: polluters) or political associations, which seemed to have some people who are in such groups asking questions about how to form new groups at the meeting.
Anyhow you can read all about who is eligible to apply for tag grants and how to apply here.
Things picked up during the last 20 minutes of the meeting when questions from the community were taken. I was surprised at the tone of antagonism that was directed toward Remedial Project Manager, Christos Tsiamis. Many kept asking about the city's alternative plan, which Christos answered for the most part that you'd have to ask the city for those answers. To which, a community member said that the city has been absent on this issue for months. Not the EPA's problem but Christos said he will work on these answers for the next meeting.
People in the community, including myself are getting tired of waiting for a decision. The comment period ended last July and we have been waiting ever since. It's tiring to go to meetings held by the EPA when we are still not sure who the heck is going to end up cleaning it. Is this all a waste of time?
I have never thought so, and have not doubted for a second that the canal will get the Superfunding. Tsiamis said that they have been "gaining a lot of momentum" and have been in discussion with a major PRP, National Grid. They will be meeting with them next week to discuss investing in work on the canal and what they think their role will be.
"We have a plan,a schedule and we will do it on time" said Christos.
If you have any questions about anything about this project, don't hesitate to contact
Community Involvement Coordinator
I have mentioned the Tabla Rasa Gallery back in December when they put up their About Face show. The show will be hanging for the last day during this fundraiser. Try and take the time on Saturday afternoon (1pm to 5pm) to checkout some great art and perhaps purchase something for a good cause. For 75 dollars you can select an original piece of art and your 100% donation will be used for Haiitian Relief.
From the gallery’s press release:
To Our Friends and Fellow Artists,
Tabla Rasa Gallery will be hosting a fundraiser for Haitian disaster relief. I am sure I am addressing a community that like Joseph and I, feel helpless beyond words. So many in Haiti are barely surviving without medical care, food, water, shelter as they desperately seek loved ones, or mourn their innumerable losses.
The generous artists of our area are donating artwork to the following event and the back room presentation space will be used to hang the work in a display which will be constantly "turning over" as donations are made and new art replaces work being taken.
Anyone writing a check of $75.00 DIRECTLY to one of the designated charities* below can select an artwork 11" x 14" or smaller. Anyone donating $150.00 can select from these or a larger works. In this way, 100% of the donations will go to the charities. Any and all contributions are welcome.
A special thank you to the artists are donating their fabulous work to benefit this desperate situation.
Please take the time to enjoy the collection they have so generously donated, read about their artwork, browse their websites, support them after the auction, and spread the word about their art. Unlike most vendors, they are only able to claim the cost of materials they use.
There will be contact information labeled on the back of each work, and we encourage donors to contact the artists directly.
We will be collecting checks made out directly to the following charities:
Tabla Rasa Gallery is free and open to the public.
I look forward to seeing you next Saturday. And by all means, spread the word to any and all who wish to contribute to Haitian disaster relief.
PS: Tabla Rasa appreciates any assistance from volunteers to help with various tasks.
Audrey Frank Anastasi
TABLA RASA Gallery
224 48 Street
Brooklyn, NY 11220
TWO "D" or "N" subway stops from Manhattan to 36th Street,
plus ONE "R" stop to 45th Street.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." (Aristotle)
Anyway, the EPA has been staying in touch with the community with these occasional meetings, and that makes me feel positive that it is going to happen.
From their press release:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites you to attend a public information meeting to discuss community involvement tools available for the Gowanus Canal site. Topics covered will include the formation of a Community Advisory Group (CAG), Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) and Technical Assistance Services for Communities (TASC).
When: Thursday, January 21,
Time:7:00PM - 9:00PM
Location:P.S. 32 - 317 Hoyt Street, Brooklyn, NY
I am not against grafitti, but I am against this crapola. Who in their right mind would change the beautiful lettering on this classic circa 1900 warehouse on Third Avenue which used to be the Daily News Garage? Were they high?
"Yo dude..wouldn't it be AWE-some if we like, crossed out the word garage and have like a dude rock climbing? Only the rocks will be dayglo paint blobs?!"
"That would be AWE-some dude let's do it up!"
And there you have it. Visual ca-ca.
What: MLK Night Family Shelter Vigil
Where: in front of 603 Dean St., Brooklyn, NY
Who: F.U.R.E.E, Councilmember Letitia James Office, Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, Fightin' Freddy's
When: 10pm till Midnight, January 18
Contact: Amyre Loomis, (646) 201-8183
"You don't have to be a homeowner to be a victim of Eminent Domain," said pop star Crystal Waters at a rehearsal for the Saturday, Jan. 16th rally at Freddy's Bar, just down the street from the Pacific Dean family homeless shelter that the State of New York wants to now tear down on behalf of Barclays Center and Forest City Ratner.
Groups associated with Councilmember Letitia James office are having a vigil to see if their request to Governor Paterson, to enact a moratorium on Eminent Domain in New York State until the legislature can revise the law that, since the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial Kelo decision has devastated the lives of many homeowners, renters, and now homeless children and their parents, will be honored.
Closing a family shelter that serves the African-american and Caribbean-american communities, in the winter, on Martin Luther King's birthday, with the crisis in Haiti going on has stunned and angered many in the surrounding community.
We will be waiting until midnight on Martin Luther King Day to see if the doors of this much needed shelter will re-open until the spring, when the weather is kinder to Brooklyn's homeless families with children.
F.I.B attended the press conference held at eminent domain central otherwise known as Freddy's Bar which has become the community gathering place to organize against the Atlantic Yards Project. Councilmember Letitia James gave a rousing speech denouncing the priorities of Michael Bloomberg, Govenor Patterson, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and "other elected officials" (Bill DiBlaso anyone?) who's work with real estate developers has cummulated to this...the eviction of 88 homeless families in the dead of winter for a parking lot. And for a project that will not start for several years.
Tish James was followed by Senator Velmanette Montgomery who also spoke eloquently against the project and made a point of saying that this housing is being built for people who don't even live in Brooklyn and noted that all the luxury condos that went up in the last few years are mostly vacant. That this project will not bring jobs to the community, it will just force the community out.
Montgomery was followed by Develop Don't Destroy founder, Daniel Goldstein, who asked "where's A.C.O.R.N today? Goldstein said that this shelter is being closed prematurely as the court date for the takeover of the 22 acres of land which includes the shelter, Freddy's Bar and his own home has been pushed back to March 17th rather than next week. He also noted that there has been warehoused housing sitting vacant OWNED by Ratner for the last 6 years.
Daniel was followed by a speaker from F.U.R.E.E (Families United for Racial and Economic Equality), a woman representing the homeless and then the events organisor Steve DeSeve and the messages were all united in the belief that we need to keep fighting even though it would seem all sign point to Ratner plowing it all down and destroying the neighborhood. Barclays Bank is involved and the world needs to know what their money is going towards, displacing a community for the worst basketball team in the country. (It was also noted that Barclay's gave money to the nazi's and contributed to the funding of the slave trade.)
It all cummulated in a spirited live performance by Crystal Waters. It was amazing and bless her for coming out and singing up about this.
There is going to be a vigil in front of the Pacific Dean Homeless Shelter on Monday at 10pm, the community is counting on Govenor Patterson to do right on this and reopen the shelter.
*Ratner to Evict Homeless on MLK Day (for a parking lot!)*Crystal Waters (She's Homeless) Performs at Freddy's this Saturday at 2pm* Please Come!
Remember this song? "She's homeless (la da di la di la"")or the proper name "Gypsy Woman"?
From City Councilmember Letitia James:
"I don't know which is colder, Brooklyn in January, or what the Barclays Center/Atlantic Yards project and the City and State of New York are doing to the homeless families on January 15. Keep this shelter open till it's warm out."
"The Barclays Center is having the city close the shelter, and having the state take it by eminent domain in the dead of winter, and on Martin Luther King's Birthday. This is wrong and unnecessary. Nothing will be built in place of the homeless shelter for decades…if ever. Replacing beds for our city’s most vulnerable -- with a parking lot-- is simply unconscionable,”
Yes it is unconscionable...
The Pacific Dean shelter has beds for 88 families ranging from couples to families with small children. It is scheduled to be shut down by the City of New York, and condemned by Eminent Domain by New York State at the request of Barclays Bank's Barclays Center basketball arena and its developer Bruce Ratner on January 15. Since Barclays is in England, and has no branches in New York, she is asking Barclays to have a heart and ask the City and State of New York to keep the shelter open, at least until spring so families that become homeless in New York's cold winter will have an indoor place to sleep. We need to think of all the homeless, and especially the kids out there in the cold this year.
Crystal Waters will perform her song, Gypsy Woman (She's homeless), with local homeless people to raise awareness of what the Barclays Center is doing, and to encourage the bank to ask the City and State to keep the shelter open till Spring, when the weather warms up.
Read more about the shelter here.
The press conference and performance will be at Freddy's Bar, this Saturday at 2pm.
Freddy's Bar is located at the corner of 6th Avenue and Dean Streets, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.
Please come and show your support.
I think I am still in shock that Fox News is sympathetic to Freddy's cause hence the delay on posting this from yesterday morning's Fox & Friends morning show where bar manager Donald O'Finn and film maker/Freddy's regular Steve DeSeve eloquently state the case. Eminent Domain is wrong!
Go to Eminent Domain Revolt to see videos of recent happenings at Freddy's.
P.S-Can't wait to hoist a few with Judge Neopolitano!
F.I.B attended the toast to George Will at Freddy's Sunday afternoon. Patron turnout was high in support for the boycott on Barclay's Bank and the belief that Bruce Ratner may end up behind bars for his involvement in a development project in Yonkers where bribery played a role. Click here to read coverage on that in the New York Observer.
Go to Eminent Domain Revolt to see lots of video coverage Sunday's event at Freddy's.
Also! Bar Manager Donald O'Finn and film maker Steve DeSeve will appear on Fox TV tomorrow morning (Monday)to let the world know about this land grab(amongst others) that should be made illegal. The duo will appear on Fox & Friends between 7 and 10 am. Strange times when a conservative writer such as George Will and a conservative television station such as Fox are taking an interest in our fair borough. (and why shouldn't they?)
I happened to be passing by when a woman was posting these fliers around the constuction project on Smith and 2nd Place (360 Smith Street). She told me that her friend got hit in the head by part of the construction wall on this corner. He now has a minor concussion and can not go to work. She said that workers at the site offered no help and said that he probably "just needed a band-aid". Also none of them said they saw it happen.The wall that fell is the one in front of the garbage can.
Transcription of the flier:
Did You See This Happen?
I was hit in the head by part of the consturction wall on this corner at Smith and 2nd Place. It fell on Friday the 8th of January between 3:45 and 4pm. If you witnessed this, please contact me. Thank you in advance.
email@example.com or call 917-776-1514
Freddy's Bar Responds to the ESDC's Threat of Physical Force on Patrons by Toasting George Will this Sunday at 2pm!
*ESDC stands for Empire State Development Corporation.
Bruce Ratner is already forcing a homeless shelter that houses 88 families out because the owner does not want to sell his building. They have to be out by January 15th so he can store his construction vehicles at that site, even though he has no plans to build for a few years. Click here to read the story and see how you can help.
Freddy's Bar is retaliating by attempting to start a boycott of Barclays Bank starting on Sunday. The staff and the patrons of Freddy's even got The Washington Post's attention! George Will wrote an angry column comparing the loss of a Brooklyn neighborhood liberties to the Battle of Brooklyn during the revolutionary war. Like the revolutionary war, Freddy's has declared a war on the British. No not the whole country silly! Just the British owned Barclay's Bank who is involved in this boondoggle. Click here for all the details and links you need.
Here is an excerpt from the extremely detailed press release sent to me by Eminent Domain Revolt:
"Eminent Domain Revolt has been declared in our neighborhood and we are overthrowing the rule of the Real Estate Royalty who keep outdated laws on the books and use the government to do their bidding. We are up against a real estate company that is the second biggest political donor and lobbyist spending force in the state. The law must be changed. Period."
Please come to Freddy's on Sunday at 2pm to toast George Will and drink in solidarity with Eminent Domain Revolt! Handcuffs will be on hand should a situation arises where handcuffing to the chain of justice is in order.
Click here for the details and please pass the word on!
When: Sunday, January 10, 2pm.
Where: Freddy’s Bar & Backroom
485 Dean Street (corner of 6Th Ave), Brooklyn, NY
P.S- The champagne toast is on the house.
As the New Year has me clearing lots of crap out of my apartment that I don't need and organizing what I do need. It also has me weeding through my blog list or what I call "blogorama" where I have eliminated many blogs which have been dormant for some time. My criteria for elimination? If there has been no blog post for 6 months, you get the ax. I am relentless that way!
A blog that has publicly called it quits right before the New Year is the fab Bed Stuy Banana. I will certainly miss the content and wonderful photographs on this blog. And what I really liked about this blog was that it was a human, warts and all type of blog and I love that. Check it out if you haven't already, with 502 posts there is plenty to sink your eyeballs into.
So as I was saying before, out with the old and in with the new......
There is a new Carroll Gardens area blog called guess what? The Carroll Gardens Diaries. This is how they describe themselves:
"From Charles Carroll's post to posts on the EPA, we cover all aspects of Carroll Gardens news, history, politics and fun facts. Original photographs are courtesy of Max Flatow. We are doing a continuing series on iconic local businesses."
Iconic businesses? Check out C.G.D's interview with the Caputo's of Caputo's bakery on Court Street here.
I'm not big on lists but if I were name my favorite new blog of 2009, the prize would have to go to Brokelyn. You can have your fancy schmancy lifestyle/fashion/design blogs! Just gimme Brokelyn ! Cause it's real baby! And by the way-they are having an "Ugliest building in Brooklyn" photography contest right now. Genius! There is sure to be some stiff competition.
Now,with that being said, I must to get back to categorizing my sock drawer....
I'm sorry I am going to rant a little here, after listening and reading about Bill DeBlasio's Public Advocate speech where he is sounding like such a great man of the people, a man who is there for the community, like a god d@mn Kennedy - I just have to blow off a little steam!
From the Daily News
"(W)e no longer have to make a false choice between a government that serves the people efficiently, or a government that intently listens to them. We can and must have both," De Blasio said.
"My office will be a place where the voice of the people speaks loudly. A place that helps organize communities to play a more meaningful role in our city government. A place that unlocks the mystery of government and refuses to stand by when a New Yorker could have been helped, but wasn't."
"And, in the instances where government fails, my office will be the place that demands accountability and change."
Oh just gag me right now!!!
I just want to remind people that this is the man who was rarely to be seen when his own constituents needed him in Carroll Gardens and the Gowanus. He would rarely show at community board meetings and when he did it was pretty much a drive by. This man actually sided with the smarmy Toll Brothers in the name of 'affordable housing" even though it is barely affordable and the project was going to be build on the shores of the toxic Gowanus with NO cleanup by the city of New York. It took the EPA nominating it as a Superfund site after the special spot-zoning of the Gowanus was granted which gave a go ahead to Toll to build.
This man also has left a legacy in Carroll Gardens by reneging on a promise to change the glitch in zoning laws which would allow developers to build tall buildings on historic narrow Carroll Gardens brownstone streets by factoring in the sidewalks and front yard as street space!
He is also all for the construction of the Atlantic Yards. A project which has forced long time residents to move and relocate, who certainly did not make the income which DeBlasio considers to be one of a low income family, which is....drum roll please..$100,000 a year!!!!
All I can say is, despite him coming on as a saviour to Bloomberg haters, he is not my public advocate and was not much of one as for the 39th district when he was a councilman! Beware of his sneaky ways!
Read details over about DeBlasio "sticking it to Carroll Gardeners on his way out" at Pardon Me For Asking.
Another year has gone by and thanks to everyone who has stopped by F.I.B. It's been a pretty good year personally for me, lots of changes going on which has prevented the frequency of blog posts in 2009 but I hope the blog inspires all to notice for themselves what is on and what is happening on the streets of your neighborhood a little bit more! Wishing you all a peaceful New Year!