*******2009 Coney Island Film Festival******** October 2nd - 4th!

It's time again for one to THE BEST film festivals in one of the most unique locations in the United States, the Coney Island Film Festival! Now in it's ninth year, this years line up seems as fascinating as ever with opening night kicking off with a 28 minute short about side show performers called "Step Right Up" by Luke Marshall followed by documentary The "Prince Of Mermaid Avenue" by Coney Island historian, Charles Denson. "The Prince of Mermaid Avenue"The story of Jimmy Prince, owner of Major Meats on Mermaid Avenue, who retired after a sixty-year run as an anchor of the community.

These are followed by the always entertaining and WILD opening night party, where sideshow and burlesque performers hobnob with the film crowd. 25 bucks gets you a ticket to the films AND the party which includes an open bar.

Shorts! Docs! Features! This festival has it all! Get your tickets NOW as program #6 has ALREADY SOLD OUT! Also! Do not miss the screening of the WARRIORS on their home turf!!!

Click here for the complete schedule.


How Will Climate Change Effect Us Locally? Attend this Presentation on Friday.

Ever wonder how storm surges due to climate change might effect the Gowanus Canal and Red Hook area? Come to this presentation led by Malcolm Bowman, PH.D Professor of Physical Oceanography and a Distinguished Service Professor at the Marine Sciences Research Center (MSRC) State University of NY at Stony Brook this Friday evening at 6pm to find out what the possibilities are.

This event is hosted by F.R.O.G.G (Friends and Residents of the Greater Gowanus) and the Sierra Club.

From the press release:

Storm Surges In Our Brooklyn Community

What does the current science indicate? How might climate change effect our area? What does this mean for our Gowanus and Red Hook districts?

Malcolm Bowman is the coordinator of the Stony Brook Storm Surge Group, where his current research studies include prediction and modeling of storm surges that threaten the New York Metropolitan area. This group is exploring ways the City can protect itself from flooding from extreme weather events in an era climate changes and sea level rise.

Dr. Bowman has made presentations on his research all over the world and in the United States. Just a brief listing of his presentations include the New York Academy of Sciences. Columbia University, US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2, Engineers at Pratt, and many many more.

NYC on Storm Surges:
“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found that New York City's low-lying, heavily populated neighborhoods are more exposed to the threat of coastal flooding in a hurricane than most people realized. Large areas of southern Queens, southern Brooklyn, the lower east and west sides of Manhattan, and the perimeter of Staten Island could all suffer damage from a hurricane's storm surge. In addition, storm surge from a strong hurricane would not be limited to waterfront properties and could conceivably push miles inland in some areas. New York City's unique geography — located at a "bend" in the coastline between New Jersey and Long Island — makes it especially vulnerable.

Even a low-level hurricane that makes landfall near New York City could wash ocean waters over large sections of some coastal neighborhoods. Storm surge can make landfall five hours before the hurricane itself. It can also take place after a hurricane has moved away from the city, as high seas slump back into confined spaces like Long Island Sound.”

Friday night, September 25, 6:00 PM
at Long Island College Hospital, Atlantic Avenue and Hicks St., Conference Rm A/B


"Brooklyn Utopias?" Art Show Opens this Thursday.

This subway plaza and entrance at 360 Smith Street (F train, Carroll Street) is now closed for the next couple years due to the construction of Billy Stein's "Oliver House" condominiums. This was the site of the above art which will be featured in "Brooklyn Utopias?"

I received this press release from particiapting artist Triada Samaras:

Brooklyn Utopias? is a series of group art exhibitions and public programs organized for this fall. Brooklyn Utopias? engages artists, youth, and community groups in considering differing visions of an ideal Brooklyn.

The “Democracy Wall” featured paintings, photographs, newspaper clippings, blog excerpts, personal comments, drawings and more. It became a symbol of my neighborhood’s strong opposition to large-scale, luxury development in our low-rise, brownstone community, threatening the original planning of Carroll Gardens by the urban planner Richard Butts in the 19th century. In an on-going dialogue and protest, my neighbors and I were able to express themselves freely in public on the “Democracy Wall” for a period of time.

A partner exhibit with even more artists and artworks will open at Brooklyn Historical Society on Thursday, October 1. Two public events in October will engage community organizations in dialogue with the artists, exploring what it would take to build a "Utopian" Brooklyn. Both exhibits also provide opportunities for you as visitor to reflect on your experiences living/working in Brooklyn, and express your own ideas about a more ideal Brooklyn. More details on that later this month.

The opening is this Thursday from 5:30 - 7:30 PM at the th Old Stone House at 3rd Street and 5th Avenue.

Click here for more details.


P.S.A: Don't Forget to VOTE on Tuesday!

Just think. After tomorrow our mailboxes will unclog!

F.I.B's voting guide for the many (I know you're out there!) who are also sick of over development, politicians selling out neighborhoods and overall dispicable behaviour. Will the new ones be any different? Only time will tell. BUT here's FIB's recommendations.

Norman Siegal for Public Advocate.
And locally, Josh Skaller for City Council.
Comptroller? A HARD ONE. Just don't vote for David Yassky.

The main goals here are to get Bloomie out, prevent Bill DeBlasio away from becoming Public Advocate and no David Yassky as Comptroller. Hope it happens.


Egyptian Mermaid

Found on Vanderbilt Avenue after the West Indian Parade last weekend.

*Sorry for the blurriness, this camera is shot after only 3 months, I hope to resolve this soon.


Parachute Performance Festival at Coney Island 9/12 & 9/13

The other weekend when I stopped in at the Coney Island History Project, I met Amanda Deutsch, the director of this new performance festival happening after hours at the Coney Island Aquarium. There are some interesting folks on the line up including actor John Ventimiglia (“Artie Bucco” from The Sopranos) reading Henry Miller’s words on Coney Island amongst others.

The festival aims to highlight the history of Coney Island, while simultaneously bringing people to discover what the present Coney Island has to offer. The goal is to create something new and create a bridge over the whole neighborhood—east and west. Festival-goers can come, spend the day, walk around Coney Island, eat lunch at a local restaurant, ride the Cyclone and enjoy a poetry reading.

And speaking of spending the day in Coney Island before the festival check out the Coney Island History Project located next to the Cyclone on Surf Avenue. It's a FREE fun museum and they are offering free downloads of a Coney Island walking tour for your ipod or phone! Click here to find out more.
>Free samples of Stumptown coffee will be available at the Coney Island History Project to get you caffeinated and ready to go....

Saturday – Hosted by visual artist and performer, Africasso.
Cara Benson
Charles Denson, author of Coney Island: Lost and Found
Jibade Khalil Huffman, author of 19 Names for our Band
Dennis Nurkse, former Brooklyn Poet Laureate
Patricia Spears Jones
Edwin Torres

Sunday – Hosted by the illustrious burlesque dancer, Angie Pontani (Miss Cyclone)
Edmund Berrigan, poet and member of the band, I Feel Tractor
Michael Cirelli, poet and founder of Urban Word NYC
Eileen Myles, poet, author, ran for president as a write-in candidate.
Akilah Oliver
John Ventimiglia (“Artie Bucco” from The Sopranos) reading Henry Miller’s words on Coney Island.

Where: New York Aquarium’s Alien Stingers exhibit (after hours)
When:Saturday, September 12th & Sunday, September 13th @ 6:30 p.m.

Surf Avenue at West 8th Street
By Subway:
F, Q to West 8th Street stop
F, Q, N, D to Stillwell Avenue stop

Eight Years Later

I don't often choose to go back to this day. The feeling of helplessness and overwhelming grief that went on for months sometimes feels like a lifetime ago yet when I think back I can remember everything. This post is in trIbute to never forgetting the pain and loss NYC felt that day.


I didn't think I'd mention 9/11 but here I am doing it. I was out the other night and seeing the beams of light shooting through the sky from the 9/11 memorial completely surprised me. I had forgotten about 9/11.

As everyone who was in NYC on that day and the months that followed it is almost unfathomable to think that time has dulled the memories of that day. Everyone has a story about where they were. Me? I was on my way to my job in Queens. I didn't listen to the radio that morning and actually left the house after the first plane hit. I had a car at the time and was headed toward the BQE. I did notice lots of people looking in the air and I had to keep pulling over to let fire trucks go by. When I think that most of those guys didn't make the return trip home I still get choked up.

My husband at the time was working at 4 World Trade Center. He was in the area early that morning and was ironically killing time at Record Explosion on Broadway. He heard the first plane hit and everyone around him assumed that the World Trade Center got bombed again. Rather than walk away from the scene, he walked toward it. You have to remember if you were there you had no clue as to what was going on. He looked up and watched what transpired from in front of Century 21 on Church St. He saw the people jumping, he heard the building groan and then he said it felt like a giant oven opening and everything went black and then white and he started to run. I didn't know if he was OK until almost 1:00 PM. He actually got home before me, by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, from there he saw the towers fall, he said everybody was dead silent.

I only made it to Greenpoint that morning and I saw the building with the gaping hole and the smoke pouring out but I didn't see it come down. I was listening to 1010 WINS and heard the hysterical announcement that the first tower had collapsed. The streets of Brooklyn were chaotic, everyone trying to get home. I remember pulling over and I actually vomited, thinking about all the people in the building. I was frantically trying to call my husband but could not get through. I remember crossing 3rd Avenue and seeing the streams of people who had walked from Manhattan, the office women carrying their high heeled shoes. It was like a science fiction movie.

Everyone in my building got together to listen to the news in shock. No television. Our transmitter was on top of the World Trade Center. We were relieved to learn that any firemen and people we knew who worked there were alive. My husband’s 2-way radio that he used for work was alive with coworkers checking to see if he was all right. It took a long time for him to tell anyone what he experienced. He said he didn't want to talk about it "out of respect for the dead".

The next night I remember seeing the first candle burning in the area in front of the Gowanus Yacht Club and then the first "Missing" poster at the same spot. In a very short time there were hundreds of candles and hundreds of fliers.

I've heard people say that 9/11 memorials should be put to rest, that they are a symbol of the war we are now in. Not for me, those beams of light are a very simple and elegant way of remembering the people who didn't make it home that day.


Found Photo Follow Up! They Were Heroes!

I posted this photo I found in a huge lot of photographs I came across about a year an a half ago. The strange juxtapostion between metal stoner dudes and fire truck intrigued me as well as made me laugh for some reason. It was one of my faves out of the over a thousand photos that i had.

Well guess what? Someone saw the photo and recogonized the guy on the right, contacted him and then he contacted me!

When I originally posted this my photo description was:

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

Ends up there WAS a reason they were posed in front of a fire truck. They saved an elderly lady from her burning apartment 22 years ago on Russell Street in Greenpoint.

Read the words straight Tommy Scudiero (the guy on the right with the fat laces) mouth here!

"June 6th 1985. Me and Dave Monat just ran into a burning building on Russell street and saved an old lady. We ran up the fire escape. He had a fire extinguisher and we went to break the window and Dave squirted the fire extinguisher in my face . That picture was taken by the Greenpoint Gazette."

Here is the photo from the Greenpoint Gazette!

I just KNEW there was a story behind this photo and thanks to the keen observation skills of someone who grew up in Greenpoint and stumbled onto F.I.B one day, this mystery was solved! Thank you!

Read the original post about the photograph here!


Stupendous Sunsets & Sand Castles

Outstanding workmanship! The symmetry was amazing and the detail!!! Steps! Gothic Style Windows! Flying Buttresses! And of course the beach, the water was divine. As I have said before, who needs the Hamptons and those annoying people that go there. Gimme Coney!

P.S- When you visit be sure to stop by Coney Island USA and see the Side Show (I did!) or visit the museum or have a beer at the fab Freak Bar where you just might herar live xylophone music by Fisherman as I did yesterday. Always something going on there so check the schedule.

Also! The FOUR DAY Rockabilly Festival is still going on at Cha-Cha's Bar. Checkitout!


Found on Third Avenue

A big Citroen dealership in Brooklyn? Hard to imagine. Perhaps that is why it is no more. If you were wondering, Citroen is a french automobile manufacturer. The type of car that you see in a Jean-Luc Godard movie.

Big Moving Sale * Friday & Saturday

First time I've done this but I got a nice email from the family that is moving out of Brooklyn to the West Coast on Tuesday. EVERYTHING MUST GO!


Fourth Avenue Freeze Out

I know they evicted people and knocked a building down at this site. Then the artist that sold her soul to the developers put up her trademark flowers and inane words like "Thank you!" on the wall. On this one she actually wrote "What is humility?"

Don't ask a developer! Or perhaps that was a meditation for herself to make her feel better for putting a folksy face on glass and steel to come. By the way most of the "luxury" condo around 4th avenue have no charm and look like NYU dorms in the east village, which, my "favorite" artist has also adorned their wrecking walls with her inanity.

Anyway, back to Fourth Ave. It looks like the big plans fell through and now this piece of property at the toney local of fourth avenue and 7th Street is for sale and her artwork is the legacy of hope of the year 2008.

Read and see the art & bad poetry about dead revolutionary war soldiers done by this very same clueless artist on 3rd Street and Bond as a ploy to want to live there here.

Found on Sackett Street

Subway vs. Muscle Car.