Good Bye!

I do believe that this will be F.I.B's last post. I would like to thank you all for stopping by because you people out there are the only reason I have kept it up for the past year or so. There were times when I was really into the blog but now unfortunately it has become more of an obligation and that's no fun at all. I think I prefer to be a blog reader rather than a blog writer. I started F.I.B in retaliation to a blog (which shall remain nameless) that I thought was godawful and these days I think F.I.B has been going in that direction as well. This blog started as a photography blog and I also wrote more about music and personal stuff. It took a different turn when I learned that they wanted to build condos in my neighborhood of Gowanus and it became more politically active in a local sense. While I am still interested in local political action, I just can't keep it up via the blog anymore. Between the Gowanus and the Atlantic Yards,I think I'm tired. The Gowanus has gotten it's Superfunding (yay!), Bruce Ratner has gotten his stadium(boo!) and life goes on. Now the big issue is Coney Island and I don't think I have the heart to cover that anymore although I will continue to be active in that fight. Besides there are people who do a way better job than I ever could, just check out the list to the right. I have met many cool people through the blog and have connected with my community in a way that probably wouldn't have happened without it. Thanks to all the other blogs for giving me mucho blog love through the years via linkage and all that, I have always appreciated it. Anyway I am babbling..I'm not accepting an Oscar here! When I started this blog I would of never thought it would go for four years, it's been pretty much the only consistent thing in my life-thanks for reading!

*This photo is the first photo I ever posted and variations of the same area of the block have been on F.I.B countless times. (Four years later those metal things next the fire hydrant are still bent)


"Bang A Gong" Paintings by Nancy Drew Opening Saturday in Freddy's "Silver Room"

Artichoke - 2010

Freddy's Bar is extremely proud to announce the launch of its art space "The Silver Room" with an exhibition of paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Nancy Drew, entitled "Bang A Gong".

I have to personally add to this official press release that Nancy's glitter fabulous paintings are a beautiful sight to behold in Freddy's new silver backroom. Nancy Drew's medium is GLITTER and FLOCKING. What is flocking, you may ask? Flocking is soft and fuzzy, sort of like velvet but more like the stuff that carnival prizes are made of. Ms. Drew has also has contributed much to the allover design of the new Freddy's, in addition to this exhibit, she has done a glittering "erotic" wallpaper installation in the back vestibule of the bar as well as many other flourishes in different areas allover the bar and backroom.

Anyway read on about this show from Freddy's press release.

"A group of paintings from both her "Artists Series" and "Porn Series" will be included in this mini-retrospective. Spanning the last ten years of Nancy Drew's production, each year is represented by a single painting. Painted in her signature materials of flock and glitter, imagery culled from 20th Century Ab-Ex masterpieces and contemporary video porn boxes is feminized and beautified beyond easy recognition, into levels of high camp and cultural relevance. The resulting artistic transpositions can't help but turn the aims of their sources on their ear. Rendered in plush flocking and sparkly glitter, the original meanings have been entirely recast and transformed in Drew's works, with equal doses of humor and reverence. Ms. Drew is a veteran of the NY art scene, as well as a few controversies concerning her highly-regarded 'cover versions' of abstract expressionist masterworks.

Drew's artwork has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at many venues both locally and internationally, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Chelsea Museum of Art, Artists Space, Exit Art, Roebling Hall, White Box, NYC; as well as Real Art Ways, Hartford CT; Albright College, Reading, PA; and the Kyrgyzstan National Fine Arts Museum, Kyrgyzstan Republic."

Opening: Saturday, February 12th, 7 to 9 pm
Show will be upFebruary 12th thru March 28th

WHERE: The Silver Room at Freddy's Bar
627 Fifth Avenue (between 17th & 18th Streets)
South Slope, Brooklyn


Fulton Street

I have a fondness for close-out stores and wandered into this huge whacked out one on Fulton Street the other day. The ambiance? There were strips of newspaper all over the floor and distorted music played over the stereo. Among this island of misfit toys are hundreds of this Star Wars figurine, whom I have no idea is. I think they were 4 for a dollar. See that macrame looking belt sloped over the back? You can get EIGHT of them for a dollar and just as I was thinking "who would buy this?", I saw a lady snap that bargain up. I also found this new thrift store with an ESCALATOR right next store to Macy's. It's called UNIQUE and everything is sized, organized and cheap. I didn't get any clothes but I did score a Nina Hagen album for 99 cents.


A Tiny Taste of Freddy's Opening Night

I think I have just about recuperated from last weekend's opening of Freddy's new home on 5th Avenue. My photos came out blurry and all I have is about 13 seconds of spirited dance floor footage during Les Sans Cullotes's set before someone actually took me DOWN. Yes. And I have the scratches down the entire side of my body to prove it!

I also went on Superbowl Sunday and saw a fab all girl punk/metal band called Out of Order from Queens. They played during half time. Wish I thought to recharge my camera that day. The image of them playing with that ridiculous half time show behind them was priceless. Anyway loved them, I'll take them over the Black Eyed Peas any old day.

It's mellowed out since Saturday. They open at 11am, ample time to stop by and hang out without the maddening crowd.

Check out their list of events at the website and make a point of watching Donald O'Finn's new Freddy's video, it's brilliant. All that here.


Freddy's Bar Opens Tonite!

Since today is F.I.B's birthday I am tooting my own horn and showing a bit of my contribution to Freddy's. This is just a portion of one of the 2 bathroom doors.

I don't think there is anyone who loved the old Freddy's that doesn't know this at this point but tonite is the big par-tay. I expect it to be a madhouse but in a good way! The bar actually quietly opened LAST night with The John Pinamonti Band being the first performers to play the backroom. I don't think the new location and newish decor will change the heart of Freddy's. All the love and attention put into the bar to make it unlike any other by staff and friends of Freddy's shines through and I believe will bring them great success. Besides isn't it good luck to open on Chinese New Year? I guess Freddy's horoscope sign is the White Rabbit. Makes sense because the place sort of has an "Alice in Wonderland" vibe, you have to go to see what I mean, I am having trouble verbalizing what I mean!

Also! I just realized today is the 4th Anniversary of F.I.B! I held my first anniversary party at the old Freddy's and Les Sans Cullotes played that too as well as The Susquehanna Tool & Die Co. & the Anabolics! And an "Found in Brooklyn" themed art show on top of it all. Honestly I don't think there was any other place where I could of pulled that off so easily, Freddy's gave me the date and allowed me to run with it. Thanks Donald!

See you there!
Freddy's Bar: 627 5th Ave,between 17th and 18th Street in the South Slope.

Doors open at 5pm. Bands start at 9pm. The Magpie, Brute Force, Les Sans Cullotes.


Officially Toxic! E.P.A Releases Results of Gowanus Canal Investigation

Much of this was known but now that it is OFFICIAL and in more detail hopefully this will deter organizations such as the Gowanus Dredgers from encouraging people to have contact with the water and land around the canal.

From the E.P.A's press release:
"EPA Investigation of Gowanus Canal Identifies Widespread Contamination, Health and Ecological Problems; Hundreds of Samples find PAHs, PCBs, Heavy Metals and Other Toxins.

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has completed its investigation of the Gowanus Canal Superfund site in Brooklyn, N.Y. The investigation confirmed the widespread presence of numerous contaminants in the canal and identified the sources of contamination. The investigation also identified characteristics of the canal that will influence future plans for a cleanup. A companion human and ecological risk assessment found that exposure to the contaminants in the canal poses threats to people’s health and the environment.

“The findings of the investigation of the Gowanus Canal confirmed that contamination of the urban waterway is widespread and may threaten people’s health, particularly if they eat fish or crabs from the canal or have repeated contact with the canal water or sediment,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck. “The next step is the review of options for cleaning up the Gowanus, so we can move ahead with a full-scale cleanup of the canal that will result in a revitalized urban waterway.”

EPA’s investigation confirmed the widespread presence of more than a dozen contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and various metals, including mercury, lead and copper, at high levels in the sediment in the Gowanus Canal. PAHs and metals were also found in the canal water. PAHs are a group of chemicals that are formed during the incomplete burning of coal, oil, gas, wood, garbage, or other organic substances. PCBs were used as coolants and lubricants in transformers, capacitors, and other electrical equipment. PCBs are suspected carcinogens and can have neurological effects. PAHs are also suspected carcinogens.

The human health risk assessment of the Gowanus Canal found that people are at risk from exposure to PCBs if they consume fish and crabs caught in the canal. People coming in regular contact with water and sediment from the canal could be at risk from exposure to PAHs. Several contaminants were found in the air directly around the canal, but not at levels that present an unacceptable risk.

EPA’s ecological risk assessment revealed that organisms living in the sediment of the Gowanus Canal could be at risk because of contamination in the sediment, primarily PAHs, but also because of PCBs and metals. Ducks may be threatened by exposure to PAHs in the canal’s sediment and heron could be at risk from eating contaminated fish.

The results of the investigation, referred to as a remedial investigation, are in a draft report which is available for public review online and at the EPA’s document repository in Brooklyn. Links and locations are provided below. Based on the results of the investigation and the human and ecological risk assessment, EPA will commence work on a study that will outline all of the options for addressing contamination in the Gowanus Canal. This study, called a feasibility study, will take place over the coming months. It is anticipated that a draft feasibility report containing an assessment of all options will be completed by the end of this year.

EPA’s investigation also confirmed that a combination of historical and ongoing sources have contaminated the Gowanus Canal. Past industrial activities along the canal contributed a large amount of contaminants that were found in layers of sediment below the surface. A number of industrial facilities are among these sources, including three former manufactured gas plant sites along the Gowanus Canal. Uncontrolled discharges of sewage, storm water and other types of discharges into the Gowanus continue to contaminate the canal.

The remedial investigation identified several site-wide issues to be addressed before cleanup activities can proceed. The stability of the bulkheads abutting the canal could be threatened by dredging activities that could be used to remove contaminants. In addition, debris of various sizes is pervasive in the canal, including sunken vessels near the 4th and 6th Street basins. During the investigation, EPA collected and analyzed more than 500 samples of sediment from the Gowanus Canal and more than 80 water samples for the presence of various contaminants. EPA also collected more than 200 fish, including striped bass, eel, white perch and blue crab, to analyze their tissue for contaminants. Air samples were collected at street level and at heights at which people would breathe while boating on the canal.

Eighty-eight ground water and soil monitoring wells were installed along the canal to study the ground water influence on the contamination and to obtain data about the possible sources of contamination from the properties abutting the canal. Sixty-five of these wells were installed by EPA; 14 wells were installed by New York City on city-owned properties and nine wells were installed by National Grid on its properties. The city and National Grid, potentially responsible parties at the site, collected and analyzed the water and soil samples collected at their properties under EPA oversight.

EPA added the Gowanus Canal to its Superfund National Priorities List of the country’s most hazardous waste sites in March 2010 after meeting with government and elected officials, business representatives, representatives of civic organizations and community members, and reviewing more than 1,300 comments on its proposal to list the site."

To read EPA’s remedial investigation of the Gowanus Canal or for more information on the canal, click here. Or visit EPA’s document repository at the Carroll Gardens Library at 396 Clinton St. in Brooklyn, New York.

There will be a public meeting discussing the EPA's findings on February 23 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at PS 32 at 317 Hoyt Street in Brooklyn, New York.