Democracy in Brooklyn, USA.

Democracy was in action in more places than Denver this evening as Carroll Gardens residents voiced their opinions before Community Board 6 regarding “out of scale development” which they have been continuously fighting against for over a year at 360 Smith Street. Residents spoke once again about maintaining the current quality of life (which is what makes CG so desirable) and asking that the scale of the new buildings be sensitive to the historic architectural character of the 19th century brownstones in Carroll Gardens.

Favorite quotes from commenters:

“The engineers of the Titanic thought the ship would sail, but THEY WERE WRONG!” from a passionate C.G resident who also worked for the MTA regarding Stein’s trust that a 7 story building with a parking garage is perfectly fine to build on top of a subway station.

And some Oscar Wilde..

“People know the price of everything and the VALUE of NOTHING” regarding the quality of life issues. (At least that was my interpretation.)

Also! C.O.R.D member Triada Samaras spoke and dropped off 500 signed letters against building this structure called “The Oliver” out of scale. The majority of the speakers were against Stein ignoring the recently passed text amendment and building under his previous “AS OF RIGHT” (so obnoxious!) position pre-text amendment change. About 4 people were all for Stein, at least half’s last name was Scotto, go figure! One very pompous, confident fellow dressed in shades of white named Peter Piper or Pauper or something was particularly repulsive in his “AS OF RIGHT” stance. Read fab blog Lost City’s take on this scene!

In the end CB 6 rationally decided that developer Billy Stein shouldn’t continue with his current plan until another hearing takes place in mid-September. Until then…

Yes We Can!!!


A Dying Art.

Another photo from my Greenpoint/Williamsburg collection.

Click here for some more.


Park Slope's Punk Rock Past

I believe the reason this blog has been focusing on the past more than usual is because F.I.B is moving out of it's headquarters. After months of fighting my landlord against a "temporary relocation" (we all know where that leads these days - permanently relocated!) I'm moving seconds away from my current digs, just up the stairs! Despite my 12 step move I still have to pack and that involves going through 14 years of accumulation. I've mentioned before that F.I.B once had a zine and how I saw blogging as sort of extension of zine culture. My zine was completely handwritten and illustrated, as that was the norm in the pre-computer 80's. I have bins and bins full of great old NYC fanzines, amongst them I found a letter dated 1986 with an invitation to an event in Park Slope at a place called "The Living Art Space" which was located on 5th Avenue at 11th Street in Brooklyn. Performers that evening were David Huberman (creator of the INSOMINIACS poetry group), BUG, Robert Parody and get this TULI KUPFERBERG from the Fugs.

As I lived in Queens at that time and rarely step foot in Brooklyn except to go to Coney Island I did not attend. I had an experience in Park Slope as a teen going to a party where a dog appeared out of nowhere flung from a roof. SPLAT wasn't the word, kept me out of Park Slope for a while. Park Slope was tough at one time and kids knew when other kids weren't from their neighborhood, very territorial and Warriors like!This is what the "Living Art Space" is now. Photo quality bad I know but you get the idea. It's across from Timboo's. If ANYBODY out there has ever gone to this place, I would LOVE to hear about it!


Greenpointers. Read All About It!

Do you think these guys are hipsters or just fireman wannabes?

I think neither! A couple months ago I came across a huge cache of photographs from the Greenpoint area of Brooklyn. I sold most of them off but kept some for myself. This is one of them. Probrably taken in the mid to late 80's in Polish Greenpoint. Where are they now? Note the cultural crossing, the white rocker/stoner boy look with the hiphop wide lace adidas! Also now that I am analyzing it, the guy on the left is wearing an open leather vest with a flannel over, interesting look.

Anylyzing it much furthur I realize the guy on the left kind of looks like Ricky Kasso. Yes, I've read Say You Love Satan, hasn't everybody?

My reason for showing off these Polish-American stoner dudes is that my pal to the north, Justine Carroll of Greenpointers fame has made "blogger of the month" over at Brian Berger's Who Walk in Brooklyn. If you have never read Greenpointers, you should. Justine is a rarity amongst bloggers as she is local but doesn't have a chip on her shoulder about it. As she lives in a neighborhood that is changing she enjoys the best of both worlds, the old and the new and doesn't sound off on all of it but when she DOES go off, it is usually hilarious. The interview touches on everything from catholicism, street life, hanging out with her grandfather in the token booth to her stint on Staten Island and so much more. Read the whole thing for yourself here!

Ooooh, who will be Brian's next "Blogger of the Month"?! He IS picky and DOES like the underdog so stay tuned...he does great interviews, recently he reran an interview with Donald O'Finn, manager of Freddy's Bar and Backroom. I would like to remind people to go to Freddy's, you will miss it when it's gone, the bulldozers are surrounding it as we speak. Read the interview here.


Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings TORE IT UP at Central Park Summerstage earlier today. Check out my video to see. I know it's Manhattan but they are out of Bushwick. Click here to go their website and BUY THEIR RECORDS!
F.I.B's got a crush on the guitar player left of the drummer btw....


Also found in my closet but I took this one!

Dating myself here as I tend to do but this was also recently unearthed in my closet. Johnny Lydon aka Rotten glaring at me at Danceteria when I went to see Brian Brain (Martin Atkins) in my early underage nightclubbing days. Martin Atkins was the drummer for Johnny's band P.I.L which had broken up by this time. This was probrably taken in 1983. Yeah F.I.B's no spring chicken (but how come I still feel like one?) Did you know that P.I.L played at the club The Brookyn Zoo (in Sheepshead Bay!) with JAMES BROWN?!! YES it's true! Music was so mixed up back then -such good times. I probably took this with a disc camera, anybody remember those?! He did ask me if "i had a fag?" later but I just giggled. Ah youth!


Mystery in my closet continues....

Park Slope Plane Crash of 1960
Last month I found a bunch of amazing old photos in my closet, amongst them was is this test strip of images of the Park Slope Plane Crash of 1960!! Yup, two planes crashed down right on 7th Avenue in Park Slope. I am still researching all these photos. This one is the only one that is post-1950 and taken by a photographer named R. Nelson, the rest are all by R. Raffius. I am still trying to decide what to do them all and haven't found much information other than that R. Raffius worked for Keystone Images a company that took photos of exotic locals all over the world. Japanese Geishas? Japanese ships? Surfers on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii! Note the absence of hotels!

Anyway this is still but a mere taste of the photos that are all so well developed and interesting, I've got hundreds of images. If anyone out there knows of any collectors of this type of thing, send them my way, summer has not been kind financially to F.I.B although everything else is aces!!!

To see more images click here!
To read about just how this all came about, click here!

My closet is looking amazing by the way, still working at it though!


Found on Smith Street

Hey Zeus!

Spotted near that wood wall around the demolished building (where the Bike Shop used to be) that took away the sidewalk and has everyone walking on a narrow strip of a subway grating for what seems like a very long time.


xxx READ-UP! xxx

Mystery Solved!!!

If you ever get stuck in traffic on the BQE around the Navy Yard headed into Brooklyn you may be familiar with Read-Up! He/she/they have some prominent work up around there that's been up for years.

Once again many thanks to Brian Berger for the photo.


What's The Hook? Go Find Out!

To follow up on my rant about that hideously colorblind article about Red Hook. I would like to inform you that what the New York Time's SHOULD of covered was the What's the Hook? photography exhibit which features photographs of people who are far more interesting. I spoke to the mastermind of this exhibit, Harriet Zucker while checking it out. The exhibit was an open call for photographs taken during the span of one week in Red Hook last summer. Harriet also gave neighborhood kids and senior citizens plastic cameras to use and I have to say some of these photos give the most intimate portraits. The exhibit is up tomorrow and next weekend only at the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition at the fab Beard Street Warehouse in Red Hook and there are also some photos behind the Fairway.The warehouse which is from the civil war era and smells deliciously of old seasoned wood has amazing views by the way!

Hey LADY!!!

Read all about the "What's the Hook?" here.

Also, Harriet is going to do it again, starting tomorrow you can snap away and send her your pics for next years exhibit, look at the website for details!!


P.S.A: Anybody have any photos of Brooklyn Botanicas?

Crusader Candle Factory on Nevins Street.

I recently received a request to shout out into the blogosphere regarding photographs of Botanicas. There is a research project going on and any photos would be appreciated. Specifically, San Antonio Religious Articles which was formerly at 192 Smith St. The building got torn down (what else is new?). So if you got some to share, contact me here at lisannem (at) gmail (dot) com and I shall get you in touch with the interested party.

And since I just featured local Gowanus manufacturing business, Crusader Candle (they make the religious candles that you find in botanicas, bodegas and supermarkets) I would like to take this moment to remind you that the Gowanus Transformations exhibit is still up at the Brooklyn Historical Society and will be up until August 24th. This exhibit documents manufacturing past and present around the Gowanus Canal. It was recently written about in City Limits magazine. This exhibit is quite timely as Brooklyn is losing it's manufacturing areas rapidly due to the construction of "luxury" condos. Try and check it out!

The Brooklyn Historical Society is located at 128 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights.

Critique on the media's endless fascination with Red Hook, Brooklyn.

I just saw this and barfed. This is NOT MONTANA this is BROOKLYN! When will the media put a halt to it's endless fascination with Red Hook? I mean is IKEA paying them all off? The guy with the beard and the pick-up truck and the chick with the baby sling, prairie skirt and boots, I mean arggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhblblllllllllllargBARF!!! And oh yes EVERYONE is an artist or a bartender (don't forget your kerchief!) in that area, just EVERYBODY...WHAT a friggin' sham!

Good Morning!


Robocat on Second Street!

I'm back from the Blue Ridge Mountain area and am feeling like this guy who hurled his body at me, blocking my path on Second Street last night. A bit rotund in the stomach! It's been a while since I have been out of the NY metropolitan area and it was shocking to me just how LARGE people in america are. But since cases of soda are cheaper than a gallon of milk these days it's not surprising. I felt svelte and my sister who is in the thin side said she felt anorexic! Anyway fried food is fun for a while but a couple of days of hush pupppies has me feeling like eating nothing but green, which is hard to come by on the road to the south. It's sad how every roadside stop is the same with the identical fast food chains in every town making nothing unique. If you go furthur into the older parts of town you can find some independently owned places but it ain't easy and especially when time is of the essence! Surprisingly I didn't take many photos. This is one of the few- it's Hendersonville, North Carolina on a Sunday morning. As the saying goes it was about 90 degrees in the shade!