Freddy's Last Friday Ever

Episode #1: Donald, Part 1 of 2 from The Tavern on Vimeo.

Yes I know. I know. F.I.B seems to be very Freddy's centric lately but that is because it will not exist (in it's present location-thank you Bruce Ratner, Empire State Development Corporation, Mayor Bloomberg, Marty Markowitz,that shady Russian guy and the evil powers of EMINENT DOMAIN)after tonight.

This video is the first in the series called from a group called The Tavern called Bartender New York. Episodes 1 and 2 feature Freddy’s bartender and manager Donald O’finn.

Funny, F.I.B art directed a film called The Tavern back in the day, you may have seen it on HBO at 3am, many of my personal belongings were used as set decoration on this low budget flick..but i digress, check out other episodes here.

If you don't know where Freddy's is by now...there is no need to know, cause there needs to be room for the regulars.


Haven't they heard the news?

Found on Sackett Street, not the usual books or housewares buttop soil anyone? GOWANUS TOP SOIL?!!! HUH?!


Last Week To Go To Freddy's Bar & Backroom

The Backroom at Freddy's.
Yes it TOTALLY sucks that Freddy's is going to be knocked down for a hideously stupid basketball stadium, but at least they will continue on in a couple of months in a new location. As Manager Donald O'Finn says, "Freddy's is not merely a building on a street corner, it is a grand idea."

I had a grand time there last Saturday night, where Les sans Cullotes celebrated their, correct me if I'm wrong, their 12th anniversary! This video captured the energy and spirit of the show, who needs steady cam when you can shoot in the round?

P.S-Freddy's is throwing a Victory Party on Friday, April 30th to celebrate the little guys who've been fighting a land-grabbing billionaire and the corrupt New York government agencies that he greatly influences.

Check this schedule for all the info you need about happenings occurring during Freddy's last week.

*Video shot by F.I.B correspondent David Kaplan.


Good Morning Gowanus

Taken at the break of dawn today.


Parisian Erotica, Museum Monsters & Hart Island. Films & Lectures this week at the Observatory!

The Observatory has not stopped for a minute in their curation of truely unique films, talks and events. This is just THIS week! Go to the website to see what is planned for the next few.

Tuesday, April 20th

The Silken Web: The Erotic World of Paris 1920-1946
An illustrated lecture by Professor Mel Gordon, author of Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Wiemar Berlin

Date: Tuesday, April 20 Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $5
Presented by Morbid Anatomy

"In tonight’s illustrated lecture, Professor Mel Gordon–author of Voluptious Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin and Grand Guiginol: Theatre of Fear and Terror–will present a graphic look at the brothel worlds of interwar Paris. Each of the 221 registered maisons closes–French for “closed house”–had its own unique attractions for its specialized clientele: theatricalized sex, live music, pornographic entertainments, aphrodisiac restaurants, even American-style playrooms and wife-friendly lounges for the customers’ families and bored mistresses. Tonight, have some wine and partake in authentic French culture and their Greatest Generation, complements of Mel Gordon and Observatory. Mel Gordon is the author of Voluptious Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin, Grand Guiginol: Theatre of Fear and Terror, and many other books. Voluptuous Panic was the first in-depth and illustrated book on the topic of erotic Weimar; The lavish tome was praised by academics and inspired the establishment of eight neo-Weimar nightclubs as well as the Dresden Dolls and a Marilyn Manson album. Now, Mel Gordon is completing a companion volume for Feral House Press, entitled The Silken Web: The Erotic World of Paris, 1920-1946. He also teaches directing, acting, and history of theater at University of California at Berkeley."

Thursday, April 22nd

Museums, Monsters, and the Moral Imagination with Stephen Asma

Date: Thursday, April 22
Time: 8:00 PM Admission: $5
Presented by Morbid Anatomy

"In this illustrated lecture, professor Stephen Asma–author of the the definitive study of the natural history museum Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads: the Culture and History of Natural History Museums–will draw upon his studies of science museums and monsters to reflect on their often hidden moral aspects. Museums are saying more about values than many people notice, and the same can be said about our cultural fascinations with monsters. The urge to classify, set boundaries, and draw lines between the natural and the unnatural are age-old impulses.

In this lecture, Dr. Asma will try to excavate some of the moral uses and abuses of this impulse. Stephen T. Asma is the author of Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads: the Culture and History of Natural History Museums (Oxford) and more recently On Monsters: an Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears (Oxford). He is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia College Chicago and Fellow of the LAS Research Group in Mind, Science and Culture at Columbia. You can find out more about him at his website, www.stephenasma.com. Copies of his books will be available for sale and signing at the event."

Friday, April 23rd

Hart Island: An American Cemetery
Time: 7:30 PM
Admission: $5
Presented by Curious Expeditions / Atlas Obscura

"Only a few miles from Manhattan is Hart Island, America’s largest cemetery and the largest tax-funded cemetery in the world. Serving as New York Cities potter’s field for over a 100 years, more than 800,000 people are buried here. People unclaimed by relatives, who can not afford a private funeral, and all the John and Jane Doe’s of New York City are buried on Hart Island. In 2005 alone there were 1,419 burials, including “826 adults, 546 infants and stillborn babies, and 47 burials of dismembered body parts.” The graves are dug by Riker’s Island prisoners and the records are managed by the prison. For a very long time being buried on Hart Island was to be forgotten. Melinda Hunt is the director of the Hart Island Project. She is a current recipient of two consecutive (2008-2010) Canada Council for the Arts Awards for Artists and Community Collaboration in Integrated Arts. Melinda published a book Hart Island in 1998 in collaboration with Joel Sternfeld and co-produced a documentary Hart Island: An American Cemetery with Banff New Media Institute and composer Fred Hersch. The Hart Island Project: Buried in Bureaucracy is her current on-line initiative that seeks to make the largest cemetery in America visible and accessible. Toward that end, a digital database of burial records is being assembled by volunteers based on 65,000 records received through Freedom of Information. Currently over 30,000 names have been entered in the database which is free to registered users."

Join Melinda on Friday, April 23rd to hear her talk about Hart Island, her experience working on the Hart Island Project and for a screening of her documentary.

And don't forget to check out the current exhibit!

For more information, see observatoryroom.org

The Observatory is located at Nevins off of Union. Enter through the alley way at Proteus Gowanus.


Freddy's is MOVING not Closing. Last day is on April 30th.

OK here is the official scoop on just what is going to happen to Freddy's Bar & Backroom from Bar Manager, Donald O'Finn. They will be moving but will continue business as usual by not only providing what bars provide but a community space for art,music, diorama making, knitting, comedy etc. etc. AND we won't have to look at that depressing blight anymore. AND they are moving closer to F.I.B headquarters. See you there!

From the bar's official press release:


April 30th will be the last day of business for Freddy's Bar.

Freddy's Bar, 485 Dean Street (Corner of 6th Avenue) Brooklyn, NY

Freddy's Bar is not closing, it's moving.
We are presently in negotiations with a landlord who is not a billionaire at 4th Ave and Union Street.

We will be having a Victory party on April 30th to celebrate what the little guy has been able to do in fighting a billionaire and the corrupt government agency that he controls. We feel we have dealt fatal blows to Ratner's organization. The nets will not be sold to an international criminal, because the NBA can't afford to be associated with organized crime.

Freddy's Bar is not giving up the fight, we stand in solidarity with Prokhorov's sanctions-busting victims in Zimbabwe, and with the people of Yonkers who are paying the price for a Ratner bribery scandal. We will continuing to stand against the corruption that has dominated our lives for the last 7 years, and are looking forward to moving out from under this sword of Damocles.

Forest City Ratner will leave Brooklyn a thousand years before Freddy's Bar does. . . they have missed mortgage payments on their Metrotech Center, and the Yonkers and Zimbabwe sanctions busting scandals are criminal acts. The question is will they run out of money first, or face prosecution first. I am sure that both will happen.

The move is about the employees, and the business. We're little guys. We can't run our business into the ground as Ratner has and still survive. We have a lot of mouths to feed and we are not billionaires. The move is strategic. Very soon “Freddy’s Next Bar” will be standing tall, and Ratner will be in rubble, with no stadium, and hopefully with justice and karma finding him. This is a guy who closed a family homeless shelter in the dead of winter.

In order to assure our capacity to keep Freddy's alive in a another location, and keep people employed... we have to move the contents of the bar in a particular timely fashion to "Lock down' the next space, and thus we will not be facing an eviction situation in which a protest by chaining ourselves could happen. The Chains (“The Chains of Justice”) have served their purpose...to raise awareness of corruption, and they will move with us, forever installed on that bar as a symbol of a united community and that community’s power for affecting change.

The owner of Freddy's has had to consider those employed at Freddy's as well as his own situation, needing employment and food on the table. He made a difficult decision to pull out in such a way as to keep the contents of the bar and move it into another location. If we wait for condemnation we might sacrifice too much. I can't yet confirm the location since everything is moving very fast, and it is not locked down yet, but the area we are hoping to secure is on 4th Ave near Union Street.

We hope to open this new space as soon as possible, 2 or 3 months hopefully. The email address will not change... nor the web address.

Freddy’s has been the culmination of everything I am and everything I ever wanted in a bar.

I could not be prouder of Freddy's, it's community, and it’s accomplishments.

Freddy's is not an address, it is an idea.

I’ll See you at “FREDDY’S NEXT BAR”...the first one is on me!


Kevin Baker & Danijel Zezelj Talk About "Luna Park" on Tuesday

I loved Kevin Baker's historical novel "Dreamland" so I expect that this new graphic novel illustrated by Danijel Zezelj and published by D.C. Comics could be great. They will both be at the Lower Eastside Tenement Museum on Tuesday talking about it. This is a FREE event!
Luna Park: A Graphic Novel

With Kevin Baker and Danijel Zezelj

Moderated by Karen Berger, executive editor at DC Comics

"Our favorite historical novelist is back with this punchy and ghostly modern-day noir, set in the ruins of America ’s most famous amusement park. A former Russian soldier fights gangs and his memories of the war in Chechnya , all while traveling through alternative histories of his own life. Joining Baker is the book’s illustrator."

Kevin Baker is the author of Dreamland and Strivers Row, among other works of fiction and non-fiction. He is a longtime friend of the Tenement Museum who used the stories of 97 Orchard Street as inspiration two of his novels’ Lower East Side settings."

Tuesday, April 20 at 6:30 pm

Tenement Museum Shop, 108 Orchard Street (Delancey), Lower East Side

F to Delancey; J/M to Essex




Freddy's Brooklyn Roundhouse Film Screening Saturday

Freddy's Brooklyn Roundhouse (FBR) was conceived at Freddy’s bar as a BCAT and MNN public access TV show in March 2006. The show’s purpose has always been to provide a forum for the community’s voice, which had no say in the Atlantic Yards project in Prospect Heights , Brooklyn, and to win the fight to demand community input for the local Brooklyn neighborhood, businesses and residents, and to s to p dubious, wasteful, & unsustainable over-development and eminent domain abuse. For the past 5 years FBR has strived to turn the train of eminent domain around by focusing on community leaders, artists, musicians and activists from Brooklyn all against Atlantic Yards. Roundhouse refers to a circular building for housing and switching locomotives, and lent itself nicely to the community’s desire to turn things around. Since its conception FBR has grown to cover other local & national issues threatening everyone’s civil liberties. Issues range from the use of Special Administrative Measures (SAM’s) to incarcerate and to rture U.S. citizens here in NYC, to corporate industrial threats to our water supply; bridging borough, city-wide and national to pics that infringe upon everyone’s constitutional rights and threaten our communities placing these to pics in to local his to rical context and tunneling in to action.

We hope you will join us this Saturday as we say farewell to Freddy’s bar and give thanks to our media endeavors that sprang from Freddy's wondrous backroom."

The screening starts at 8:00 pm!

Freddy's is at the corner of 6th Avenue and Dean.


Congress for Curious People at Coney Island this Weekend

Calling all Coney Lovers and lovers of curious things, check out this fab event out at Coney Island USA this weekend! This event is partially put on by the people at the Observatory over here in Gowanus and also Morbid Anatomy.

Date: Saturday April 17th and Sunday April 18th

"The Congress for Curious People is a 2-day symposium exploring education and spectacle, collectors of curiosities, historical fairground displays and more, in conjunction with The Coney Island Museum. The symposium will feature panels of humanities scholars discussing with the audience the intricacies of collecting, the history of ethnographic display, the interface of spectacle and education, and the politics of bodily display in the amusement parks, museums, and fairs of the Western world. Also on view in the museum will be “The Collector’s Cabinet,” an installation of astounding artifacts held in private collections. In conjunction with the events at the Coney Island Museum, Observatory’s Gallery space will host “The Secret Museum,” an exhibition exploring the poetics of hidden, untouched and curious collections from around the world.

The Congress for Curious People will serve as an academic counterpoint to Coney Island’s Congress of Curious Peoples, which Coney Island USA has convened since 2007 at Sideshows by the Seashore. In the past, the Congress has included performances by artists like Joe Coleman and Harley Newman, feats of strength, and world-record breaking attempts, among others."

I'm bummed I will be out of town at another curious place. The place that spawned John Waters and Edith Massey. Baltimore!!! Can't wait!


The Brooklyn Botanical Isn't the Only Joint in Town for Cherry Blossoms y'know..

It seems overnight the cherry blossoms have popped open all over Brooklyn. These here are at a serene oasis on Brooklyn College's beautiful campus.
*No disrespect to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens! It's a lovely place!


Dasvidania to Atlantic Yards Investor Mikhail Prokhorov?

Another dark twist in the Atlantic Yards project. By way of the Develop Don't Destroy Newletter this bombshell has been dropped in the New York Post over the weekend about Russian high rolling business man Mikhail Prokhorov who "saved" Bruce Ratner's landgrabbing, illegal project in the Atlantic Yards by arriving on the scene in last fall and invested heavily in the project. Prokhorov is a 44 year old billionaire who is seeking a majority stake in the Nets and a 45 percent stake in the Barclays Center arena, which they want to be future home of the team and "centerpiece" of the Atlantic Yards plan.

Apparantly Democratic Representative, Bill Pascrell Jr., of the Ways and Means Committe has found out that Prokhorov owns several companies doing business in Zimbabwe, a country that violates human rights and forbids American citizens and companies from doing business there. If this is true, this goes way beyond any local corruption, this is big time international "international sanctions busting".

Will an investigation lead to Prokhorov leaving the Atlantic Yards project? We can only hope! The whole project has reeked of corruption from day one yet somehow is a project funded by the taxpayers who will end up with nothing but a sports complex instead of a neighborhood.

Read the whole article in the NY Post here.


Eminent Domain Standoffs in Brooklyn featuring the Fightin' Freddy's.

Cesse LaGuerre of Freddy's Brooklyn Roundhouse has put together this video covering protest actions which have happened in the last 5 months around the Atlantic Yards area. There is footage of the protests on the day of the "ground breaking" as well as all the events that happened at Freddy's Bar & Backroom.


Karen Gibbons Art Show Opens at 440 Gallery

Gowanus local and friend Karen Gibbons is having a solo show opening Thursday night at the 405 Gallery in Park Slope. All are welcome!

From the gallery's press release:

Brooklyn artist Karen Gibbons presents “Sweet Home”, her second solo exhibition at the 405 Gallery from April 8 through May 16, 2010. The work includes painting, sculpture, drawing and assemblage of mixed and varied media creating powerful physical and emotional surfaces. Sizes range from small drawings, mono-prints and wall sculptures to larger freestanding sculptures.

The work in this show is colorful, organic and seductive. “Split Second” is a free standing sculpture where three thin narrow strips of azure blue come together to support a green sphere. The piece is simultaneously delicate and stable. The color is bold, and the textural treatment of this piece makes it feel like a painting come to life. “Gowanus Time # 2” mixes oil, collage and chalk on fabric-covered wood. The result is a textured painting where lines are heavy and areas of color seem to float. The square format and rough-hewn feel of this piece reinforce a muscular quality where quirky composition contrasts sharply with a bold palate. Blue, ochre and warm peach tones depict an intriguing, dream-like landscape. Gibbons states, “This work explores passions and demons. My method is to play with these relationships, finding a way to be unafraid of insecurity.”

The gallery is located at 440 6th Avenue between 9&10th Streets.

Opening is from 6 to 9pm.