Second Street


Zombies Walk to City Hall for Librarians!

From Save NYC Public Libraries.

Join us on October 31st for our Librarian Zombie Walk to City Hall!!!

"So it’s time for mid year budget adjustments. What’s that you say? I thought we were done until next year! Nope. The mid year budget adjustment will result in a further cut of 5.4%. These new cuts will result in even less service hours and more layoffs.

Our library budgets have already been cut to the bone, and these further reductions in funding will just degrade library service further. We’ve already lost Saturday Service in most of the city. It’s likely these cuts will be the end of what we have left. So those working parents taking their kids to the library on the weekend? Tough, not open. Can’t return your books during the week because you work 60 hours just to live? Tough, closed on the weekend.

What does any of this have to do with zombies? Well, without libraries there are simply no brains, and zombies need to eat brains to live. So New York’s zombie librarians will be walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall this Halloween to protest these drastic cuts to their food supply."

Meet us in the circle at the west end of Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn, next to the High Street A, C Station at 11am on October 31st.

Gowanus News: First C.A.G Meeting Recap.

I attended the first C.A.G (Community Advisory Group) meeting at the American Can Factory building at 3rd Street & 3rd Avenue last night. I never thought that I would see the day when the cast of characters seen for the last couple years at the many community board meetings and court hearings (it all began with the Toll Brothers) would now be sitting together discussing the future of the Gowanus. The large group of 57 C.A.G members represented all sides and opinions on the issue of the Gowanus Canal and it’s many stakeholders included avid anti-Super Fund/pro-development people such as Buddy Scotto, the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation, members of groups that avidly fought for Superfunding such as F.R.O.G.G, The Park Slope Neighbors Association, C.O.R.D as well as academic representatives such as C.U.P (Center for Urban Pedagogy), Pratt Center of Community Development, local residents and business owners.

The evening began with EPA spokesperson Walter Mugdan doing a rundown on the timeline of the Superfund process. He anticipated that the whole thing will take 10 to 12 years with time for problems and delays factored in his estimate. He said the mud at the bottom of the Gowanus Canal is what put the canal on the Superfund List. The water quality of the canal is effected by the quality of the mud, which is full of toxic sediment which was measured by parts per hundred instead of parts per trillion making the Gowanus one of the most toxic bodies of water in America.

At the moment the EPA in the “Remedial Investigation” phase and has found that the mud at the bottom is 5 feet high in some areas of the canal, so dredging will be the order of business. This brought up the issue of C.S.O’s (Combined Sewage Overflow) which is the city’s concern. The sewage will continue to flow into the canal, which will continue to dissolve into the toxic mud, so how long will dredging last before it piles up again? Maintenance will be needed and I believe think that is a whole separate issue.

Mugdan gave kudos to Project Manager, Christos Tsiamis, for finishing the first phase of the Remedial Investigation which would normally take about 2 years in 10 months. Mugdon said that they should be finished with the Remedial Investigation phase by the end of the year and a full report will be available when finished. They hope to have a proposed plan by early 2012 and this plan will have a 60 day public comment period, then they hope to have a remedial design plan in 2013.

After the rundown of the time line, C.A.G members were put into discussion groups, the stakeholders were given seating assignments which created diversity in opinions in each group. The main concerns of the groups at this point seemed to regard impartial communication between the C.A.G and also how to release information to the public.

The one thing I have to say though is that although the C.A.G is diverse in its’ viewpoints, it was not really diverse as it was about 98% white, which, the last time I looked around the neighborhood of the Gowanus does not really match up to the reality of who lives in the neighborhood.

Read more details about the meeting at
Pardon Me For Asking who also happens to be a C.A.G Stakeholder.




It's Official. Freddy's Bar & Backroom Is Rising Again!

This will most likely be where the performance area will be.
Bruce Ratner and his Atlantic Yards boondoggle may of physically squashed Freddy's Bar & Backroom in the end but they did not extinguish the will to keep Freddy's Bar going.

I was happy to hear about the new lease signing last week and to also visit the NEW location of Freddy's Bar this past Saturday. It is located in the old Ellis restaurant space at 627 Fifth Avenue between 17th and 18th Streets in the south slope.

Former Manager of the old Freddy's,Donald O'Finn, now part owner of the NEW Freddy's released this statement:

"The lease has been signed, We signed on the evening of Oct. 21, 2010. The opening of the doors is contingent on the speed and accuracy of both the State Liquor Authority and the Department of Buildings, as well as the embrace of Community Board 7.

The inmates now run the asylum."

The space is quite large and plans include a music/performance area with a stage and space for art exhibits. It also has a small backyard and a fully functioning kitchen. The former owner of the original Freddy's is out of the picture and the new Freddy's is a joint partnership between Donald O'Finn, Matt Khun and Matt Kimmett, the two former being previous Freddy’s bartenders.

As Donald O'Finn said before the closing of the old Freddy's, "Freddy's is not an address, it is an idea." And it was my impression on Saturday that the new Freddy's has every intention in continuing to present that idea with free live music and events every night of the week in the same uniquely open and collective manner as the old Freddys. Ideas were being thrown around about how to eradicate the quite hideous metalesque Ellis exterior, where to put the stage and where to have art exhibits. Hopefully the next steps will go quickly as the new owners are antsy to open up and get back behind the bar A.S.A.P!

Stay Tuned!


Smith Street "Festivale Des Soupes" Saturday

A Festivale Des Soupes. Yes PAY ONE PRICE to sample soups from many restaurants along Smith Street tomorrow. Only 5 dollars!! It is a benefit for the new Culinary Arts Program at the High School for International Studies (Baltic Street between Smith & Court) and the SBLDC which is the Community Partner in this great new High School Program in Brooklyn.

They will also be having a contest and award "Gold, Silver & Bronze" Soup Ladles in each category of clear/consomme, pureed/veloute, and peasant style soups.

The "celebrity" judges will include a Chris Schonberger -Associate Food Editor for Time Out NY Magazine , Ariane Daguin - the owner of D'Artagnan Charcuterie Products, Linda La Violette - a pioneer in Gourmet Foods in our neighborhood and others.

Don't worry there will be no Campbell's soup served! Some of the restaurants participating are Lunetta, Bar Tabac, Apartment 138, Raga, Cibao, Pane e Vino, Robin des Bois, Athena, El Nuevo Portal, Verde, Bombay Dream, Provence en Boite, Chestnut, Savoia, Zaytoon's, Sue Perette, Cubana Cafe, Bino, The Jakewalk, Union Smith Cafe, and Seersucker.

When: Saturday 10/23/10 from 1PM to 4PM.
Where: Along Smith Street from Atlantic Avenue to Carroll Street.
Cost: $5.00 per person, $10 for a family unit, people get wristbands that entitle them to samples of 20 soups from the participating Smith Street restaurants.

*Warhol Soup Can images photo from MOMA archives.


Jimmy McMillan for Governor

FINALLY someone that has cut all the bullshit. Although he has been around for a while and I have seen him at various NY political events, I was astounded to see that he made it into NY State Governor debate last night.

He has F.I.B's official endorsement. When was the last time there was ANYBODY fighting for the basic rights of the people or ants who help Bloomberg (and I know I am being a localist here) run his city? Yet cannot afford to live here anymore? Paladino? Cuomo? C'mon....the man is RIGHT. There IS nothing else to talk about.

Click here to learn more and listen to his brilliant music.


On the Outside Looking In.

Barney's Coop has arrived, get your hors d'oeuvres while they last!

Back in November of 2007 I predicted the opening of Barney's on Atlantic Avenue in a blog post where I praised the meditative qualities of the Salvation Army.
I said:

"How long will this one on Atlantic Avenue be here? How long before it turns into Barney's Brooklyn? How boring would that be? Very."

While the new Barney's co-op did not move into the Salvation Army space I wasn't too far off the mark. I have to say they always have great windows particularly at Christmas and it's has always been a dream of mine as an artist to work with the fabulous Simon Doonan. In fact I met him once at the John Bartlett fashion show I went to during the snowstorm last year and basically acted like a babbling idiot. I loooooooove his book, "Confession of a Window Dresser".

But Barney's is a place i would rather visit in what I like to call "money making Manhattan". You know, the thing I like about Brooklyn is that stuff like this isn't here. And now it is. Whatareyougonnado. Trader Joes is around the corner. When I go there, I feel like Margaret Meade. Women leaving their pocketbooks unattended in shopping carts,with Nannies in tow, being waited on by overly friendly un-Brooklyn like Trader Joe employees. I guess they get good wages and benefits to make them like that or perhaps they are given Ecstasy upon the start of their shifts. It's the new Brooklyn. Not bad, but sort of hollow.

Salvation Army Forever!!! Read that old post in it's entirety here.

******CREEPSHOW at the FREAKSHOW****** Begins This Weekend at Coney Island

I experienced Creepshow at the Freakshow two years ago and was so scared that I had to take a year off! If you like your Halloween scary, this is for YOU! Creepshow at the Freakshow in Coney Island really is creepy, especially the part when they take you down into basement, you get the feeling that there really are a lot of ghosts in the bowels of the Coney Island USA building. It's also alot of fun and like everything else that happens at Coney Island USA, completely unique. This years theme is "The Ride Inspector's Nightmare".

From the press release:

"THE RIDE INSPECTOR'S NIGHTMARE is an interactive show (allow 45 minutes for the complete experience) that tours various rooms at the Coney Island Sideshows by the Seashore building generally not available to the public such as the damp creepy basement, back stairs, etc.

Audience members will take a "tour" of several amusement park ride "NYPD Crime Scenes" including a deadly collapsed roller coaster and will meet living-dead performers along the way including drunken incompetent ride inspectors, creepy ticket sellers and lots of dead and decapitated bodies of innocent tourists. At the conclusion of the show, the audience will also get to partake in a courtroom trial of the negligent ride inspector and will be sworn in for horrific jury duty. "

CREEPSHOW AT THE FREAKSHOW is Coney Island’s original Halloween extravaganza and one of the best haunted tours in all of New York City. This year, the rides at new Luna Park will be open weekends during the October run of the show. Come see what the New York Press called "not only the best and wildest haunted house in town, but the smartest as well."

CREEPSHOW AT THE FREAKSHOW can be found at Coney Island USA,

1208 Surf Ave. Corner of Surf Avenue and West 12th Street

Dates and Times:
Friday, October 15, 7pm - Midnight
Saturday, October 16, 5pm - Midnight
Sunday, October 17, 5pm - 10pm
Friday, October 22, 7pm - Midnight
Saturday, October 23, 5pm - 9pm
Sunday, October 24, 5pm - 10pm
Monday, October 25, 7pm - 10pm
Tuesday, October 26, 7pm - 10pm
Wednesday, October 27, 7pm - 10pm
Thursday, October 28, 7pm - 10pm
Friday, October 29, 7pm - Midnight
Saturday, October 30, 5pm - Midnight
Sunday, October 31, Halloween!, 4pm - Midnight

All tickets $10 at the door. Parent or Guardian must accompany anyone 13 and under.

Go to the website here.

Read about F.I.B's visit to the Creepshow when the theme was Phantom of the Dead Presidential Wax Museum here.


"Portraits" Opens at Brooklynite Gallery featuring NYC artist Gaia plus Sten & Lex from Italy this Saturday

The Brooklynite Gallery has a new show called Portraits which will be featuring work from local NYC street artist Gaia and an Italian duo called Sten & Lex who do street art in Italy. You may of seen Gaia's stuff around the city, he likes to do animal imagery and he initially does them in woodcut but then paints in details with a brush. Anyway, I have always admired his work and I think it will be a good looking show. You are all invited to the opening which is happening on Saturday night.

Check out the Brooklynite Gallery's
website for more information on the artists and all that.

Brooklynite Gallery is located in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn at 334 Malcolm X Blvd.
Located 2 blocks from the A or C subway to Utica Ave. stop.
Hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 1pm to 7pm.


Fantastically Creative Obsessive Compulsive

Crocheted bike by Olek.
And speaking of bikes, many of you out there may have seen these crocheted bikes around town. I spotted this one Wooster Street near Canal in Manhattan, I found out via a photo someone posted on facebook that these are done by a Brooklyn based Polish born artist named Olek. It says on her website that "Olek can be found in her Brooklyn studio with a bottle of spiced Polish vodka and a hand rolled cigarette aggressively re-weaving the world as she sees fit." Love it. Her work is friggin' wild! These bikes ain't the half of her work and I am happy to see that she has an insane looking show going on that I am most definitely going to be checking out this week.

The show is at: Christopher Henry Gallery, 127 Elizabeth Street, NYC
Closes October 17th.

Click here for her website for details and to see all sorts of documentation of her work.


Boxed in on the Brooklyn Bridge

Corrugated metal walls along a portion of the pedestrian/bike path over the Brooklyn Bridge made me feel claustrophobic the other day. It probably feels worse during busy rush hour times. There are more tourists than ever on the bridge, most of them are completely oblivious to others around them and biking over is becoming a real drag. I think I will be taking the Manhattan Bridge for now on!


A moment at the Bell House

The fast fingers of Art Gody of the Vibrators on bass guitar.


Coney Island Eulogy?

After the end of a wonderful summer at Coney Island it is easy to forget the battles between the historic preservationists and the big buck developers. The dreary weather has suddenly brought it all back into play.

Faber's Fascination on Surf Avenue finished out the summer forever this year. Housed in one of the oldest, if not the oldest building in the Coney Island Amusement area, I have learned via the Coney Island watchdog blog
Amusing the Zillion that the building has had water pouring off the second floor of Henderson's Hotel which shares the structure since yesterday and owners Thor Equaities hadn't bothered to send someone over until about 36 hours later to look at it even though they had been notified. The situation is dangerous and the building could collapse. A.T.Z is calling this "neglect in progress" and has said 'The Henderson Building has already suffered so much damage from the “pre demolition,” it’s like watching an old person being slowly tortured to death. Save Coney Island, which has proposed re-purposing the building, might as well go ahead and start planning a New Orleans style funeral for the Henderson Music Hall right now. Read the whole story with a video of the situation here.

In the meantime, check out this video made by Coney Island native and friend Justin Wishnik, which features Faber's Fascination and is sadly called
Coney Island Eulogy.


Is the First Brooklyn Dodger Stadium Being Torn Down for a Parking Lot?

I was dismayed to see that a section of Washington Park, the original home of the Brooklyn Dodgers located at 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street has been demolished. This is the site of one of the oldest baseball stadiums in America, the Dodger's played there before moving to Ebbett's Field. It opened in 1890 and closed in 1914. George Washington camped out at that site during the Battle of Brooklyn and the stadium was named in his honor. The building is now owned by Con Edison and word on the street is that it is going to be turned into a parking lot. I blogged about this back in December and my "distraught friend" who alerted me to the goings on at the site has spoken to various NY preservation agencies. They say that they have spoken to the NYC landmarks commission and that they said that it "was really not worthy of saving" and that the NY Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation said it is "just a remnant". Aren't remnants things that need preserving? What's wrong with preserving a MAJOR remnant of baseball history? Why does it need to be turned into a PARKING LOT of all things?!This is what the now partially demolished side of the building looked like before the deed was done, along the Third Avenue side. You can see by the shape of the bricked in windows that it was a stadium at one time.This side of the stadium was the left field side.This is what it looks like now. Anyway just putting it out there. I would love it if there was a way to stop it from turning into another parking lot. Not for nothing but just who needs to park there anyway? Last time I checked there was (and always is) plenty of parking on 3rd Street between 3rd Avenue and the bridge.

A Rare Occurrence

Still not sure if this was a dream or not...this car gleamed!


The Vibrators & The Waldo's at Bell House Saturday

One of my favorite bands from the 70's british punk explosion are The Vibrators and I am please to find out that they are making a rare appearance at the Bell House this Saturday. Openers are New York's own The Waldos featuring Walter Lure formerly of The Heartbreakers. Also playing are The 45 Adaptors.

The fab Mr. Lee will be spinning the tunes starting at 9pm in the front lounge and in between all this fine live music all evening long.

Doors open at 10:30, I like that! Tickets are 12 bucks...a bargain!!!!!!

The Bell House
149 7th Street
Brooklyn, NY