Happy Halloween and Sam Hain....

Prospect Park
On Halloween or Sam Hain, the veil between the worlds is thinnest, and communication between the world of the living and the world of our deceased ancestors, the fairy folk, and other spirits is easiest. So don't forget to visit with them somehow! Light a candle and think on the people you love who have left you, you may get an answer!

Otherwise, listen to Black Sabbath's first album or maybe the Cramps,eat some candy and throw some eggs!


Found in Prospect Park

Beethoven looks slightly less intimidating with this amazing backdrop. The leaves are peaking! Get thee to thy park now!


Reverend Billy Speaks Out Against Fracking

This just in from my favorite video activists Sabine Aronowsky and Steve DeSeve. Green Party Mayoral candidate Reverend Billy recently visited their Brooklyn headquarters and spoke about an irresponsible New York Times article on gas drilling.

Why was it irresponsible?

They did not mention the "fracking" that's being done in New York State

What's fracking?

* "Fracking," as the industry calls it, involves injecting a million gallons or more of water and chemicals deep underground to pry out gas that's locked away in tight spaces. Many environmentalists want the federal government to regulate the practice because, in some cases, fracking may be harming nearby water wells. The industry says regulation should be left up to the states.

To find out more check out the trailer for a new documentary called Water Under Attack

*Info from an radio show by Jeff Brady on NPR a few months ago, read the whole article here.


Urban Divers Enviromedia Mobile Debuts!

Ludger Balan founder of the Urban Divers accepting one of two nice checks, this one from Waste Management! The other was a very nice sum from Assemblymember William Colton.

So nice to have some GOOD POSITIVE news regarding our urban waterways! Today I attended the unveiling of the fab Enviromedia Mobile which travels to schools throughout the NY area educating about all things aquatic in front of Brooklyn Borough Hall. Inside this long metal trailer your will find everything from aquatic artistic inspiration, info about effects of climate change on marine life amongst many other relevant topics. The mobile also has a lot of very cool historical nautical items and has a wonderful wood planked floor (you feel like you are on a boat once inside the metal trailer!). It is quite a accomplishment.

*After 11 years of continuing dedication, including eight years in conception and design, and three years of intense hard work. The Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy has conceived a unique learning and cultural tool to help increase environmental literacy, youth development and maritime cultural enrichment in our community, in our schools, on the waterfront in Brooklyn.Senator Velmanette Montgomery, one of the few politicians to come out publicly to be for the EPA cleaning the Gowanus Canal (ie: she is PRO Superfund!) was there.

While there, F.I.B heard from reliable political sources that Mayor Bloomberg's push to have the city clean the canal is not deterring the EPA from stopping any plans for doing it themselves. Great News!!!! Is that an IRON LUNG?! Do correct me if I am wrong...FIB has more photos but the computer is dying, if it's not the camera, it's the computer, oy.... a (low tech operation here, anyone have an old laptop to donate? I have no shame!)

Anyway, the Enviromedia Mobile is an environmental center/museum and it travels to schools, community fairs/events, as well as host waterfront environmental awareness activities (e.g. eco-cruises, live underwater video exploration, birds of prey, clean-ups), in order to encourage Brooklyn residents and the general public to engage in environmental education, environmental stewardship, and maritime as to raise awareness about the ecological significance of the Gowanus Canal and the environmental impact that challenges it as well other waterways in New York’s estuarine ecosystem and urban watershed—where we live, work, play, learn and worship.

You can contact the Urban Divers Enviromedea Mobile at enviromediamobile.udec@gmail.com
to learn more or to set up an appointment for them to come to your school or neighborhood.

Congrats you crazy Urban Divers! (Yes they dive in the waters of NYC!)

* From the Urban Diver's press release.


Wake for ABC No Rio

I a am week late on letting you know that, if you are unaware, non profit art spot, ABC No Rio is preparing for the demise of it's existing structure. I attended the wake for the building last week where I witnessed the cast canvas shroud of this lower east side tenement being ceremonially removed and dropped into a waiting casket. The wake ensued in the gallery space after a procession around the neighborhood.

Check out an exhibit or a performance now before you say "I should of.." and the before the building is gone or even better! DONATE some money towards their new GREEN building designed by architect Paul Castrucci. There are different ways to donate, you can even get yourself some hand screened holiday cards or a one of a limited edition pinhole camera print of the building by photographer, Michael Bayard.

ABC NO Rio is the epitome of DIY so pay homage!!!


Gowanus Finally Gets Honest Major Newspaper Coverage!

I am reprinting this article from today's Daily New's because it is so nice to get an honest account about what is going on over the battle between the community & the EPA versus Bloomberg and assorted developers which include suburban home giants and Williamsburg condo blighters, The Toll Brothers.

Bloomberg nor anyone else in the city cared about the Gowanus until developers started snooping around dreaming about building condos like the glass/steel ones on the Bowery in Manhattan. Except these were going to be built on a toxic brownfield on the shores of an aquatic brownfield without a thought to health and environmental risks. I guess waterfront prooperty is waterfront property! For almost 2 years there has been a battle between the developers and environmental activists/historic preservationists concerning a rezoning that would allow over 2,000 new residents into this fragile area which lacks infrastructure (schools?!)and would bring significant traffic into a neighborhood with narrow streets.

Anyway! Surprise surprise, even though 80% of the comments were PRO Superfund on the governments website and there WAS a deadline, Bloomberg is acting like that the city is already the ones who are cleaning it, the pumping station is only PART of the puzzle.....I just don't get it. Condos are empty, constructions projects are abandoned- doesn't it make SENSE to let the EPA come in and clean the canal with money that does not come from us?

Anyway a long lead in to an article, honestly reported.

"Advocates of Superfund cleanup of Gowanus Canal denied entry at city launch of $150M cleanup"

BY Erin Durkin

Gowanus Canal advocates charge they were shut out of Mayor Bloomberg's kickoff of a canal cleanup because they support designating the polluted waterway a Superfund site.

The group of eight was barred by police from entering the Friday event, at which Bloomberg launched a $150 million project to improve water quality.

Some members of the group had hoped to attend as members of the Department of Environmental Protection's Flushing Tunnel Rehabilitation Stakeholders Committee, formed in 2002 to work with the city on plans to rehab the canal's flushing tunnel.

"It was really a private party," said committee member Marlene Donnelly. "They wouldn't let us through the gates. They actually told us we weren't allowed to stand on the sidewalk there because this was a private event."

Bloomberg has lobbied vigorously to stop the federal Environmental Protection Agency from making the canal a Superfund site, saying the city can do its own cleanup faster and without driving away potential development.

"I had my Superfund sign with me. I'm not going to deny that," said Linda Mariano, another committee member, noting that local activists who oppose a Superfund designation and representatives of developer Toll Brothers were let in. "It was an extremely sad scenario there on Friday."

Bloomberg spokesman Marc LaVorgna said the event was "for invited guests and the media .... They [those denied entry] were permitted to be just outside the event on the street and make their voices heard."

The city project includes fixing the canal's flushing tunnel, upgrading a pumping station so less sewage will be dumped into the canal, and dredging part of the waterway.

Read the actual article here.

Gowanus Open Studios this Weekend (A.G.A.S.T)

A painting of the Gowanus I found on the street a few years back!

It's time for the ANNUAL GOWANUS ARTIST TOUR or A.G.A.S.T this upcoming weekend. It is an event that is completely free and allows you to wander around the neighborhood, roughly between DeGraw and the Ft. Hamilton Parkway, from Hoyt up to 5th Avenue and enter artist's workspaces as well as galleries.

As per an email I received:

The Annual Gowanus Artist Studio Tour (A.G.A.S.T) will take place in Brooklyn this Saturday and Sunday, October 17-18, 1-6pm.

Near the Gowanus Canal and in it's 13th year with some 150 participating artists, the A.G.A.S.T. tour is considered one of the most robust in Brooklyn. Several new artists as well as artists who have participated in the past will open their doors this weekend, so there's lots to see at more than 30 locations.

If you are traveling by subway, please note that the F/G will not stop at Smith/9th street this weekend because of track work. Instead, you can take the shuttle bus from A, C, F at Jay St/Borough Hall to Smith/9th Street, or N train to 4th Ave/9th Street which runs local in Brooklyn for the weekend.

A.G.A.S.T. Annual Gowanus Artists Studio Tour

Click here for more info which includes down loadable maps.


New FBR Video: Jane Jacobs Remembered with Reverand Billy Airs Tuesday Night.

Sabine Aronowsky and Steve DeSeve the duo behind Freddy's Brooklyn Roundhouse, have released their latest episodes this week and they can be viewed on BCAT & Manhattan cable tomorrow (Tuesday)night at 8:00 and in Manhattan on Thursday. The next two episodes focus on the words and ideas of Jane Jacobs and the current developments happening in NYC today.

As per their press release:
"The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs’s most famous book, helped change the blind acceptance of urban planners and their grand schemes to remake cities into unlivable places. Jacobs ended Robert Moses’ reign of bad building and urban destruction. With the misguided development of the Bloomberg administration today, Jane Jacobs's work is as important as it ever was. Freddy’s Brooklyn Roundhouse presents two new episodes based on readings from Jane Jacobs, filmed at the Judson Church, NYC and hosted by Green Party Mayoral Candidate Rev Billy.

You can watch these episodes on TV in Brooklyn and Manhattan , air dates below, also on YouTube now here.

Episode 1: Features neighborhood activists, Michael Premo from Picture the Homeless, Philip Dipaolo from The People's Firehouse and Joy Chatel, Defender of the Duffield House Brooklyn Underground Railroad landmark.

Episode 2: Features neighborhood activists, Cathryn Swan of the Washington Square Park Blog and Save Union Square, Melanie Joseph of the Foundry Theatre and Christabel Gough, NYC preservationist hero.


Brooklyn BCAT Air dates

Episode 1 Tuesday Oct 13
8:00 PM - TimeWarner Cable 34 / Cablevision 67 / RCN 82 / Verizon 42

Episode 2 Tuesday Oct 20
8:00 PM - TimeWarner Cable 34 / Cablevision 67 / RCN 82 / Verizon 42

Manhattan MNN Air dates

Episode 1 Thursday Oct 15
8:30 PM - TimeWarner Cable 56 / Cablevision 17 / RCN 83 / Verizon 34

Episode 2 Thursday Oct 22
8:30 PM -TimeWarner Cable 56 / Cablevision 17 / RCN 83 / Verizon 34

Bob Holman, of the Howl Festival & Bowery Poetry Club and former City Councilwoman, Carol Greitzer, are other activists who spoke at the event and were not included in the above shows, due to lack of time, will be found here:


In solidarity to all of you working to stay “neighbors” in our neighborhoods, keep up the good work!

~ Sabine


Bloomberg Comes to Gowanus and LOCKS OUT COMMUNITY!

F.I.B's eyewitness news team showed up this afternoon for Bloomberg's celebration of the start of work on the Gowanus Flushing tunnel finally starting (of course it took the threat of halting development to proceed) and said that no one who really lived in the community was allowed to watch or participate in it! The usual suspects were there for this private celebration. You know, Toll Brothers,our former lame-o Councilman Bill DiBlasio, Buddy Scotto and his crew, Borough President Marty Markowitz, assorted politicians and the people who love them and of course the press.

Can't wait to see what slanted articles appear in the Post and the Daily News tomorrow!

Through the Gowanus grapevine I received this irate email from an extremely involved member of the community.

"Eight members of the DEP Flushing Tunnel Rehabilitation Stakeholders Committee were barred from entering and taking part in the celebration that is going on as I type this email at the Flushing Tunnel Station on Douglass Street. These 8 people and others spent many, many hours of their time freely to review documents and provide input into the planning for this effort since DEP convened the group in 2002.


Just wanted all of you to know how concerned citizens who give their time to better their community and all of New York City get treated by the current mayor of NYC."

Is anyone surprised? I wish I was.


Coney Island Film Festival #9 Wrap

Miss Cherry Delite and Scott Baker perform at the opening night party.

The Coney Island Film Festival once again successfully featured great films of all kinds this year. Despite the torrential rains on Saturday, the film fans came out. As usual, the opening party was fabulous. The amount of talent and work put into the show with it's mixture of burlesque, vaudeville and side show talent never ceases to wow me. Although not part of the film festival, F.I.B also attended the screening of the Warrior's on Saturday night, I saw the Warrior's on their HOME TURF! How cool is that? And how cool is it to listen to Dick Zigun tell people to be LOUD after telling everyone to be quiet and turn their cel phone off for days?

This year's 2009 Award Winners were:

Best Feature - Sea Legs - Craig Butta
Best Short - Basket Bronx - Martin Rosete
Best Documentary Feature - The Prince Of Mermaid Avenue - Charles Denson
Best Documentary Short - Young at Heart - Brian Paccione
Best Experimental - Who Shot Coney Island? - Howie Alex
Best Silent Film - The Institute of Séance - Kevin Corcoran
Best Animation - The Terrible Thing of Alpha-9! - Jake Armstrong
Best Music Video - "Blue Sky" KaiserCartel - Grizlet
Best "Made in Coney Island" - The Poor Man's Follies - Micropunta

Congratulations to all!

Read more about it here.

Another Atlantic Antic

It isn't fall in Brooklyn without the Atlantic Antic! Although I have nothing against people selling their wares, the music and hanging out with friends is always the main draw, plus it didn't hurt that it was a 5 star stunner of a day weather wise..Once again Les sans Cullotes performed in front of the Last Exit bar...I was particularly enamored with the keyboard player's mime t-shirt and tuxedo jacket with zebra striped yoke and fringe!
And speaking of fashion - FOUND ON ATLANTIC AVENUE! The Reverend Billy Talen's shoes! Bloomberg would never pound the pavement in such fab shoes as the Reverend Billy Talen does as he preaches his word of a dream for a city for the regular folks.If you don't know, the Reverend Billy is running for Mayor, go to his website here to find out more.

PS- Looking for something to do on Halloween? While on the website I see that he is looking for people to dress like a zombie Bloomberg and march with him in the Halloween Parade!


Superfund Gowanus-Contact your Senators ASAP!!!

You know how F.I.B was begging you all to comment on the EPA's website that the Gowanus Canal should be Superfunded from April to July? And before that letting you all know that the Gowanus is not the place for the Toll Brothers as well as others to plant their condos as it is an AQUATIC BROWNFIELD? Remember how happy the community was when the EPA stepped in? The show of support of the community resulted in 80% of the comments to be FOR the Superfund! BUT apparently that means nothing because even though the comment period is OFFICIALLY OVER, the EPA in Washington is taking time to take meetings with Mayor Bloomberg and NOT the community (we've been trying to meet with them) and last I heard is stalling it's decision until December. Originally they said the reason for the delay is that they have to read each and every comment. Apparently it was the highest number of comments the EPA had received for ANY project. You would think that would say something about what should be done! But NO! It's the same old same old, "money talks ..",the City wants to clean the canal after years of ignoring it (um where is this money going to come from? Us and a WRDA grant they will have to apply for every year) now that it may slow their plans down to build, build, build...so people, once I again I ask you to take five minutes to cut and paste the letter (composed by C.O.R.D) below and send it to our Senators Charles Schumer and Gillibrand. We need to clog their mailboxes to let them know that the community needs to be heard,just as we were the majority on that comment site. I am so TIRED of the developers getting their way despite the lack of infrastructure,we barely have subway service and if you have been reading the news lately, the city needs to build more SCHOOLS not CONDOS! It made my day to see that L Magazine voted the Toll Brothers in this week's issue as one of the "villains" responsible for destroying New York...Von Sprecklesen no matter how hip you choose to portray yourself you still ain't!


Dear Senators Gillibrand and Schumer, 

We are residents of the Gowanus area. 
Our neighborhoods may have different names such as Carroll Gardens or Park Slope, but we are the people whose lives are touched every single day by the deplorable condition of the Gowanus Canal. 

We are the people who applauded Commissioner Grannis's request to nominate this open sewer to the National Priorities List. 

We are the people who signed a petition in support of that nomination. 

We are the people who attended the multiple meetings held in our community. 

We are the people who obediently sent in our comments to the Environmental Protection Agency in the prescribed, timely manner and we are the people who have been waiting patiently for science and common sense to lead our Canal into the healthier life the Superfund designation would offer us all. 

We are the people who are beginning to strongly feel that what residents want is of no importance; that the desires of those who stand to benefit financially somehow trumps the health of those who inhabit the area. 

We are your constituents. Our pro designation comments represent the majority and we ask that you speak on our behalf. 

The Gowanus Canal must be added to the National Priorities List. It must be designated a Superfund site. 

Work must begin with the sole motivation of improving public health and the environment. 
No other plan, no other dream, no other ambition is more important.

No other course of action should be permitted to take precedence over the health of Gowanus area residents and our children. 
The EPA indicated in those community meetings that they are ready, willing and able to proceed. 

We are the people. Represent us, please. Call E.P.A. Administrator Lisa Jackson

***Please copy, paste and sign the letter above and email to both senators.***

For Senator Schumer, click here

For Senator Gillibrand, click here