Preservation Support for the Gowanus Awarded by Historic District Council!

I am happy to learn that the hard work of a Gowanus neighbor of mine has paid off. This person, who chooses to remain anonymous, has been tirelessly working to get the Gowanus Urban Industrial district considered for preservation since before the Toll Brothers knocked down the Blades-Forman Lumber Company warehouse at the end of 2nd street near the canal (which should of been landmarked) back in December 2007.

Contrary to what many developers say, there are many beautiful buildings in the Gowanus which exude their own unique industrial revolution era charm. The type of charm which has vanished from other parts of Brooklyn and other parts of the city and needs to stay. The Gowanus district spans from Butler up to Hamilton Avenue and is bordered by Hoyt and 4th Avenues. It really is quite larger than most people think. Since 4th Avenue has been partially destroyed and marred by some pretty fugly condo buildings it is a bit of a relief that an agency in NYC actually cares about maintaining what is so special about the Gowanus corridor.

The Gowanus has been chosen along with 5 other neighborhoods in the five boroughs by the New York Historic District Council as part of a program called "Six to Celebrate". The other neighborhoods chosen are Bedford-Stuyvesant,Jackson Heights, The Bowery, Mt. Morris Park and Inwood.

Here are the details from the New York Historic Distict Council's website.

"The six, chosen from applications submitted by community organizations, were selected on the basis of the architectural and historic merit of the area, the level of threat to the neighborhood, strength and willingness of the local advocates, and potential for HDC’s preservation support to be meaningful. Throughout 2011, its 40th anniversary year, HDC will work with these neighborhood partners to set and reach preservation goals through strategic planning, advocacy, outreach, programs and publicity.

“Neighborhoods throughout New York are fighting an unseen struggle to determine their own futures. By bringing these locally-driven neighborhood preservation efforts into the spotlight, HDC hopes to focus New Yorkers’ attention on the very real threats that historic communities throughout the city are facing from indiscriminate and inappropriate development.” said Simeon Bankoff, HDC’s Executive Director. “As the first list of its kind in New York, the Six to Celebrate will help raise awareness of local efforts to save neighborhoods on a citywide level.”

Read more at the Historic District Council's website here.


Blizzard Greetings from Found in Brooklyn

F.I.B failed to address the holidays this year. Soooo may this blizzard be the beginnings of good luck, health, happiness and prosperity being forcefully blown into your New Year!
My block here in the Gowanus, which is a fire truck route from the Red Hook Station did not see a snowplow until 11:30 am this morning. It was strange not hearing continuous plows throughout the night as done in all other storms. What's up with that? I have a feeling Bloomie is going to get an earful on this one. Just sayin'...And here is Hoyt Street completely forgotten at 1:30 in the afternoon. And no trains running in Carroll Gardens either...I am glad I did not have to be anywhere. I feel for you all that had to walk all the way over to 4th Avenue and Union to catch the R today.When I returned to the quiet almost country like tranquility of the Gowanus area I was lucky to hit the bridge at the moment the sun shone through the little holes of the rusty old corragated fence by the bridge.
Our own version of Stonehenge right here in the Gowanus!

* More photos at my Gowanus flickr set.


Third Avenue Icon


Shop Proteus Gowanus for Cool Gifts this Sunday

Tired of the usual schlock? Want some thought provoking and also utilitarian gifts? Get away from the maddening crowds to the serenity of Nevins Street in Gowanus. Check out the art in the galleries while your at it...dig the list of examples below to get an idea of what the aesthetic of Proteus Gowanus is all about!

From their press release:

You are cordially invited to the Proteus Gowanus All Day Holiday Shopping Party!
Sunday, December 19, 12-6 pm

"Are you searching for unusual, offbeat, unique or peculiar gifts to give for the holidays?

Are you dreading the slog through mall and mayhem with the accompanying auditory torture of repetitious holiday music?

May we suggest you attend our all day (12-6 pm) Holiday Shopping Party and solve your shopping problem while drinking grog and listening to unusual, offbeat and peculiar holiday music.

Shopping at Proteus Gowanus is intellectually stimulating, likely to result in conversation and often amusing.

Among the many gifts you might find here are:

Umbrella Bags made by the Fixers Collective - $25
Reflective Vests for Uninsured Bikers - $20
10 Postcards of the Gowanus from the past 100 years - $25
A Pocket Cloud, complete with silver lining - $18
Felted Angels- $25, Enameled Jewelry - $40 - $85, and Knitted Slippers - $35
from the Republic of Georgia
Taxidermy Mice adorned with wings and costumes - $70
Fone Art Figures - $50-$150
Miniature Library Furniture made from library catalogue cards - $20-$35
Songs of Lewis and Clark, a CD - $18
Colored Blocks from the Learning Materials Workshop - $30 and up
Handmade Book Brooches - $30
A wide assortment of new and rare books
Plus books published by Proteotypes, our publishing arm,
including the newly released:
A Little Common Place Book - $15.00
The perfect gift for the itinerant thinker"

Where: 543 Union Street down the alley off Nevins


Plane Crashed in Park Slope 50 Years Ago Today

I found these proofs of the event in a collection of old photos that were in my possession. Here is the story on what happened.


"You Are Real": A Salute to the Mars Bar-A repost from 7/7/07.

The Mars Bar is the latest old school place that is getting the wrecking ball, although not really old in the old sense of the word, the Mars has been around since the late 1980's and has been the last hold outs of the type of east village bar where the punks, the postal workers, the homeless,the artists and all matter of people in between mingled. Things and conversations happen in that shoebox of a place that frequently seemed like hallucinations. It kind of stepped in where another 80's era east village bar, Downtown Beirut left off. Anyhow, it's closing. I don't care what the owner Hank says, the developers are probably not "good guys". Another bar that went on the chopping block this week was Max Fish on Ludlow Street. Also not really old but old compared to everything else on the block. I guess they were the beginning of the onslaught.

Anyway this is a post I did about 3 years ago saluting the Mars or as I like to spell it Marz.
How I spent my 7/7/07.
Man, am I glad I didn’t go to that drumming thing over at Brooklyn Bridge Park yesterday! Sounded like it turned out to be an over crowded nightmare. It was sort of fascinating to me that the Boredoms had managed to attract such a crowd. Was it the Boredoms or the hype of the importance of the date 7/7/07? OK I just answered my own question, clearly it was the latter….What did we do on 6/6/06? Does anybody remember?! On 7/7/07 I could NOT get out of bed or out of my house, it must have been the centrifugal force of the sun telling me to stay home and meditate or simply exhaustion. So, after the sun set I ventured out and it was quite a lovely evening.

A friend was in town from LA and wanted to meet at the Motor City Bar on Ludlow Street in Manhattan. I ventured out into the 7/7/07 night to join Margie aka Vena Virago and CalmX (long time East Village resident and artist).Well, we lasted about 10 minutes before fleeing. The saturday night bar scene on Ludlow Street is pretty soulless. The music at Motor City was loud yet you still couldn’t hear it. SO the three of us old timers ended up at the Mars Bar, one of the or shall I say THE ONLY old school cheap punk rock NYC bar left. It is now surrounded by what else? Luxury condos! The ugliest tall tower glass and metal kind with Whole Foods just a hop skip and a jump away. The Marz is still doling out the cheap drinks (2 really strong vodka drinks and one beer = $11.00)has ranting bartenders, (this evenings hostess started complaining at the top of her lungs when someone put some jazz type music on…’WHO PUT THIS SH*T! ON!!” Of course she intercepted it and put on what SHE wanted to hear, “Too many creeps’ by the Bush Tetras) and a cast of regulars right out of “Midnight Cowboy” mixed in with an eclectic bunch of others. There is a lot of coming and going at the Marz Bar (it is a total “I’m waiting for my man’ bar, IF you know what I mean) but it's sort of a punk rock "Cheers" for all the "black sheeps" of the family to feel at home.

I salute you Marz Bar, long may you continue to be a zit on the airbrushed cityscape that our town has become. You are REAL.

See the original post here.


Last Week to See "In the Footprint: The Battle Over Atlantic Yards"

This show about the Atlantic Yards fiasco has gotten rave reviews and it is the last week to see it performed. I just know you all want to see Marty Markowitz being played by a basketball!


The Civilians presents the world premiere of In the Footprint, a new play with music at the Irondale Center in Fort Greene. The site of the future Atlantic Yards Project, including the Barclays basketball arena, is located two blocks away from the theater where In the Footprint chronicles the conflicts surrounding the largest land development project in Brooklyn's history. This lively theatrical production is inspired by interviews with the real-life players in the controversy, representing many different perspectives: Daniel Goldstein, residents of Prospect Heights and Fort Greene, political leaders such as Letitia James and Marty Markowitz, members of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, union members, and project supporters such as ACORN's Bertha Lewis.

This show is the culmination of a two-year long company investigation. The creative team listened to Brooklynites from Borough Hall to barber shops to gain insights into both the Atlantic Yards drama and the ongoing story of gentrification. The company previously presented a week of sold-out workshop performances at the Brooklyn Lyceum in 2008 under the title Brooklyn at Eye Level. In the Footprint, along with several pre- and post-show dialogues, will examine the conflicts that erupted in the case of the Atlantic Yards through to their current resolution in an attempt to discover how the fate of the city is decided in present-day New York and what can be learned from this epic and ongoing story of politics, money, and the places we call home.

The Atlantic Yards development project was first proposed in 2003 by real estate developer Forest City Ratner. The construction plan includes a basketball stadium for the New Jersey Nets, high-rise condominiums, and new commercial spaces, and the demolition of established local businesses and existing homes. The groundbreaking for the development project occurred in March, 2010 after seven years of negotiations, legal battles, and community protests. The New York Court of Appeals' decision permitted the use of eminent domain.

Post show speakers this week are:
December 6 at 7PM: BrooklynSpeaks: The Future of Atlantic Yards
*USE THE CODE FUTURE when purchasing tickets to the show on December 6th and a portion of the ticket goes to support continuing legal action challenging the Atlantic Yards development process.
December 7 at 8PM: Letitia James , New York City Council Member (Invited)
December 9 at 8PM: Stacey Sutton, Urban Planning Professor at Columbia's Architecture Grad Dept.

Also! NEIGHBORHOOD NIGHTS are special performances for Brooklynites! If you live or work in Brooklyn, use the code NEIGHBORHOOD when purchasing online or at the box office for $20 tickets to Tuesday 8PM and Saturday 2PM shows! They all include a Post-Show Event (schedule HERE)!

Go to the Civilians website to read much more, view videos, read reviews here.


Reminder: Serious Whimsy Group Show Opening this Sunday 6 to 9pm at Littlefield in Gowanus

"The artists in this show are driven --these objects are the inevitable manifestation of their unique, often obsessive drives. "

I would also like to add that I am in this show and I invite you all to come to the opening!

This show is curated by Cat Weaver of the Art Machine blog. Artists in the show include: Gail Rothschild, Justin Gignac, Kit Warren, Mark DiBattista, Stephanie Homa and Sztuka Fabryka.

When: Sunday, December 5th from 6 to 9pm.
Where: Littlefield Art & Performance Space - 622 DeGraw Street, between 3rd & 4th Avenues.
A Free Event
Click here for more information.


Gowanus Flood Prevention

A tire, a log and sandbags will hopefully do the trick. Sort of looks like some sort weird art installation of a strange bed except it's not,these are cellar doors being battened down on Carroll Street.

Anyway it's old news at this point that Whole Foods is now saying that they are going to start to set up shop on 3rd Street after years of delays. It's a well known and documented fact that the area that surrounds the site and around Gowanus Canal sits in a flood zone (hence the need for the Root Hill Cafe to go the measures that they do) It should be interesting to see what happens when Whole Foods puts their foundation in, it will be sure to fill with water whenever it rains. That site was full of water until a couple weeks ago, it was like a little swamp most of the time. Anyway I saw foundation flooding happen repeatedly on the Scarano building on Bond Street and it took YEARS to finish that stupid looking thing. So, in closing I really hope that the D.E.P really did magically re-mediate the toxic plume that runs (or ran?) beneath the soil on the site for the sake of the construction workers health and also the local communities.


"Serious Whimsy: Group Show Opening Sunday at Littlefield in Gowanus.

"The artists in this show are driven --these objects are the inevitable manifestation of their unique, often obsessive drives. "

I would also like to add that I am in this show and I invite you all to come to the opening!

This show is curated by Cat Weaver of the Art Machine blog. Artists in the show include: Gail Rothschild, Justin Gignac, Kit Warren, Mark DiBattista, Stephanie Homa and Sztuka Fabryka.

When: Sunday, December 5th from 6 to 9pm.
Where: Littlefield Art & Performance Space - 622 DeGraw Street, between 3rd & 4th Avenues.
A Free Event
Click here for more information.


Sad Irony on Thanksgiving Eve

This blew my mind today when I passed by the Montauk Club.


They did NOT vacate yet! Ruby's Open This Saturday

Coney Island Lover/Tour Guide Captain Bob wants you to help SAVE RUBY'S!.

I do not know the details as to whether, Ruby's Bar and Grill got an extension on their eviction orders or not but I would just like to get the word out that Ruby's will be open tomorrow- Saturday, November 20th from 11am on. is supposed to be sunny tomorrow, go and show your love and support for a business that should remain.

Continue to call your elected officials and spread the word about this petition.

List of Elected Officials and Involved parties.

Marty Markowitz ("Mr. I love Brooklyn" STILL has not said anything publicly)

Domenic M. Recchia, Jr

Zamperla amusements
973-334-8133 ext 201

Coney Island Development Corporation

Christine Quinn



Farewell To Paul's Daughter? Hope Not.

I attended the party for what may be but hopefully not the last weekend Coney Island icon snack bar Paul's Daughter this past Saturday afternoon. As a thank you EVERYTHING was on the house. Hot dogs, french fries, cotton candy, lemonade, beer - all gratis as a thank you to customers from the Paul's Daughter family.
Oh man these signs are so beautiful..what will happen to them?

A F.I.B commenter on a previous post about the party and described the scene, it pretty much sums up the feeling;" It was such a beautiful day at Coney today, and the party at Paul's Daughter was so gracious. The food was free, and very delicious - such generosity of spirit. I hope they don't have to leave Coney - that a miracle happens."
Ruby's was also open again this weekend and I heard a rumor that food was going to be free at another business that has been evicted, The Gyro Corner, today (Sunday).

Show your support for the small family businesses of Coney Island who have stuck it out through the years, please sign this petition.


Snyder Avenue

The Diplomat Lanes on Snyder Avenue between Flatbush and Bedford Avenues has been closed for a few years but the signage remains.


"Paul's Daughter" Party * Saturday * Coney Island Boardwalk * Show Your Support* Free Eats

Paul's Daughter (formerly Gregory & Paul's)is the snack bar that has been in front of the former Astroland (now Luna Park) for 41 years with the iconic happy hamburger man on the roof, the beautiful hand painted signs and serves up classic Coney Island food, you know, the kind that the new UPSCALE restaurants will mimic and charge double for.

They are having a party this Saturday afternoon at 12:30 pm and they saying the food will be "on the house".

Show your support and pay your respects. It may be one of the last times you will see it in all it's glory.

Photo from Paul's Daughter family's collection on their Facebook page

And also a reminder-


Last Call (perhaps) at Ruby's Bar & Grill.

Michael Sarrel, bartender, co-owner

You can say that again sister...

This past Saturday was perhaps the last day of business at Ruby's Bar & Grill. I got there in the mid afternoon and missed the heartfelt speeches made by Coney Island historian, Charles Denson and bar founder Ruby's daughter, Melody Sarell, which you can watch here.

Myself, I felt angry and sad that this place may very will be taken away from Coney Island along with Paul's Daughter (there over 40 years), Gyro Corner, Shoot the Freak, Cha-Cha's, Beer Island and the Grill House. It didn't seem real, the Ruby's family were gracious to the very end and worked as if it was any other day. I had a few words with Ruby's son-in-law, co-owner and bartender, Michael Sarrel before I left and I asked him how he felt, he said he felt "happy and sad" and I said I felt angry and why did he feel happy? He said that he was happy with how they were going out- if this was the end-with a nice crowd with the right people and he thanked me for coming before continuing to pack away the outdoor furniture for perhaps the very last time. A class act.

Still I am mad. I am mad that the people who have stuck out through the bad times in Coney Island and SHOULD BE LANDMARKED are being asked to leave. Authenticity is being sacrificed for most likely a re-creation. Will the new places have old photographs of Coney Island and hand painted signs? I would put money on it that they will. But they won't be THE REAL THING. They will be simulations in corporate chain restaurants. UP SCALE is the word Italian developer and evictor Zamperla,is loving to use, when describing what they "envision for Coney Island".

As Ruby's daughter Melody said in her speech, Ruby's is still not going down without making some noise. Please sign the petition if you haven't and pass it on to anyone you may know. Ruby's and all the evicted businesses are important parts of the flavor of Coney Island and we can't just let C.I become another mall without a fight.

Sign the petition here.

More photos of Ruby's can be seen here.


The REAL Coney Island.

Paul's Daughter, originally uploaded by lisanneMcT.

This is a photo of real people enjoying Coney Island. BUt noooooooooooo a European company says that this is not what Coney is about. THIS does not fit into "their vision" of Coney Island.

Excuse me but THIS is why people love Coney Island. Hand Painted signs, family run businesses, hot dogs, sausage and peppers, knishes, french fries and beer.

I am still so upset about the recent eviction notices to all the businesses on the boardwalk.

Tomorrow may very well be (although I am hoping otherwise) the last day that Ruby's Bar and Grill is open.

GO and show your support if you can tomorrow and if you haven't already SIGN THIS PETITION!


Zombie Librarians Converge at City Hall

Wondering how the Zombie Librarian walk over the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall on Halloween to protest possible budget cuts went? I figured since I received comments in a recent blog post about the state of the libraries like the following, some of you might be interested.

F.I.B reader Ben Franklin said,
"Props to the Brooklyn Collection for making do as they can but BPL is already being treated shamefully-- I won't even get into the highly variable state of the branches-- but everyone should be ashamed, and furious, the situation has gotten so bad."

These photos and review of the day are from the group Save NYC Libraries .DSC05327
" Over 50 zombies converged at Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn to moan about new cuts to library budgets in NYC. “More Libraries, More Brains!” they grumbled, shambling across the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall in support of maintaining library funding at it’s current level for the remainder of the fiscal year. The local zombie community has been under threat of a severe brain shortage following recent cuts to library services, and they fear starvation if new cuts are allowed to go through.
Midyear budget adjustments are projected to cut a further 5.4% from local library budgets, resulting in continuing cuts in service hours on weekends, materials budgets, and more layoffs.
If even the undead community supports library services, we must be doing something right. let’s prevail upon our elected officials to make sure that libraries remain fully funded so we can continue to provide the essential services and community that New Yorkers have come to rely on."

Go to their website for more information on the budget cuts and more photos of the zombie march.


Help Save Ruby's Bar & Grill

I still have not heard much news on any changes in the evictions happening on the Coney Island Boardwalk. Many people are wondering what they can do to help. The only thing I know of so far is this petition put together by friends and patrons of Ruby's Bar and Grill. Please sign it here.

*This message just came in via a comment from Ruby's Host, a name I recogonize from the Coney Island Message Board about a rally happening this Saturday out at Ruby's on the boardwalk. Message is as follows:


See you there!

Also please contact the following elected officials and businesses and tell them why these evictions are wrong.

Rubys has been told they have 15 days to get out. If you want to see them stay they need your help please CALL or send letters to:

Central Amusement International

49 Fanny Road
Booton, NJ 07005
ATTN: Valerio Ferrari & to Mayor Bloomberg

Marty Markowitz

Domenic M. Recchia, Jr

Zamperla amusements
973-334-8133 ext 201

Coney Island Development Corporation

Christine Quinn

You can also continue to check in to Coney Island watchdog blog Amusing the Zillion as I am sure Tricia Vita will hopefully have more information as the week goes on as well as The Coney Island Message Board.

This message just came in via a comment from Ruby's Host, a name I recogonize from the Coney Island Message Board about a rally happening this Saturday out at Ruby's on the boardwalk. Message is as follows:



Cherished Mom & Pop Businesses Booted from the Coney Island Boardwalk

grecian corner on the boardwalkThis business with it's beautiful signs needs to stay!
Today nine out of 11 businesses on the Coney Island boardwalk received letters from Italian amusement company, Zamperla/CEI, which leases the property from the city. These tenants have lost their leases and have only until Nov. 15 to vacate the property. Businesses that received these letters are all part of the heart and character of Coney particularly Ruby's and Gyro Corner. These businesses are all family run and are being asked to leave in 15 days after years of business. The only ones allowed to stay are Nathan's and Lola Starr boutique.

First it was Freddy's now it's Ruby's!

This is just so wrong. These businesses are what make Coney Island, CONEY ISLAND! What? Are they going to open a bar that is *like* Ruby's, with vintage looking photos of Coney Island along the walls, while Ruby's, which has been on the boardwalk for 76 years, has the REAL THING? Can we please be SPARED an "upscale" Coney Island? The reason I LOVE Coney Island is that it is NOT upscale and also because of its' unique energy that generates from the combination of being a place for ALL New Yorkers (not just the rich) and the presence of the family owned businesses on the boardwalk. This just kills me because I know whatever businesses that they end up putting in there are probably going to just replicate what they are replacing while taking away the authentic patina built up through the years.

I am not one to be nationalistic but this time I am making an exception. How can the city allow a European owned company to execute "their vision" of what they think Coney Island should represent?!

The Atlantic Yards project also extinquished cherished family run businesses and also happens to have foreign investors (
from Russia). Excuse me but do I see a pattern here? Is the future of New York going to be outsourced?

Amusing the Zillion and The Daily News.


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.