defend brooklyn


A stray cat hangs out in the lot that might unfortunately become the prohibitively-expensive Whole Foods near the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.

Speaking of being eco-friendly, Jenn and I made it out to the monthly Brooklyn Critical Mass, at Grand Army Plaza on Friday.  It was decidedly higher profile than normal, with the widely-publicized police brutality at last Friday’s Manhattan ride.  The entire, enjoyable 2.5 hour police-escorted cruise through Park Slope, Dumbo, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bed Stuy, Bushwick, and some other remote neighborhoods went successfully, without tickets or much police harassment.  The vast majority of onlookers cheered and waves, though a handful of drivers and pedestrians shouted some funny things: “I thought the Olympics was in China!  Yall is the Special Olympics!” and, “Are you the Bike Squad?”, “There goes the Gay Marathon!” plus, “Communist bastards!” Haha, near a bar, some guy walked out with his beer and asked “What are you riding for?” and someone responded “Yes!  What are you drinking for?”  We met a few nice fellow cyclists, including some people active with TimesUp and a Dyker Heights guy on a black and white Langster named Mike (who reminded us of a younger and slightly more Brooklyn Mike Morarian).  Great fun, check it out next month.

• This past Tuesday I made it out to a small group ride for some training laps at Prospect ParkHenri, Lewis, and (damn, drawing a blank now on the other name), were super nice, and very fast.  I’ve got a little ways to go before I can power through that many laps at a decent clip again.

• Speaking of keeping active, in very unfortunate news, my super-active British uncle, Peter, died unexpectedly the other week.  He was a well-respected physician and marathon runner based out of Richmond, Virgina.  He’ll be missed.


Under-appreciated South Slope, Brooklyn.

• So as of August 1, I officially became a Brooklyn resident. I’m living out of a suitcase on 9th street in Park Slope until I move into South Slope (on 23rd St) on September 1st.  But no, to get “BROOKLYN” on one’s knuckles is certainly more than a little preemptive.  Though, I did get this on my left arm a little over a month ago (though it’s a homage to a small place in South Carolina, not the NYC area):


Carroll Gardens side of the Gowanus Canal.

• The new Five Guys Burgers & Fries on 7th Ave in Park Slope does cook great burgers.  The normal ones are double patties, and the smalls are single patties.  Their interior space and identity do seem to be a laziness-driven cop-out, but the food is certainly worth checking out once or twice a month (though, go easy on the arteries).

• Last night Jenn and I caught I’ll Come Running (2008) as part of the Rooftop Films series over at the American Can Factory on 3rd Street.  The passion-into-freak-accident plot reminded me a lot of the poorly-named Japanese Story (2003).  A 2-person band called “Bell” opened for the film, and drew upon Bjork inspiration to layer vocals, keyboard, and electronic drums, sounding like a cuter and decidedly less catchy version of Cassettes Won’t Listen.


Defend Brooklyn.

• Thanks to Jason & Kirby for throwing a good, old-fashioned cookout in the backyard of their 8th Street apartment, in the heart of the Park Slope brownstones.  Filled with many of their triathlon friends and coworkers.


Remnants of an alleyway pool party in the Lower while I was moving out.

here’s to the first thousand


I vote for more than one bike month.

• So it has been a good thousand days. A few years ago, it got off to an action-packed start, with this little quote from Day 2:

“…two of them start beating the dreads guy’s head against a parked car’s door… Blood is running down the faces of at least 3 of the men, several have cuts near their ears that look pretty rough, the dreads guy has blood coming from his nose, perhaps mouth.”

I’ve been debating about it, and I think I may be dropping the “day” nomenclature. At least to see how it feels for a while. We’ll see. In the meantime, here are some recent film scans from an old Canon SureShot 80 I’ve been testing out for a few months.


A concrete factory near the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.


Timeless Fort Greene, Brooklyn.


Maybe one day. Fort Greene, Brooklyn.


Spare mountain bike tires. Fort Greene, Brooklyn.


Foodstuffs outside of Mama’s Food Shop in the East Village, Manhattan.

• I caught up with Mr. Appalachia, Corey, and Jenn over at that new barbecue place that replaced the old barbecue place (Biscuit BBQ) on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, and the verdict is in: it is somehow equally bland. While the food has more flavor, the lameness of everything being served in Mason jars combined with overpriced meat results in a bland experience.

• I walked to a bodega last night about a block from my apartment for some gatorade and heard no less than three cars rocking the new Lil Wayne album. I mean, I’m certainly not one to hate on him, but it’s no Weezy mixtape. Just saying.

• Also: a goodbye goes out to my dear grandmother. She’ll be missed.

aquatic rock


Leticia near the Gowanus Canal in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

• Two weeks ago (ouch, it’s been a while), Jenn, Jesse, Jessee (yes, I don’t think there are even that many J’s available in Scrabble) and I caught the Brazilian dance troupe, Grupo Corpo perform two dances back to back over at BAM’s Opera House. Afterwards, we went over to one of the three (and supposedly the first) of the Kiku Restaurants in Park Slope, that are all unrelated, and just want to all be named after the small flower.

• Jenn and I scored a Miyata road bike (well, via paying for the item, but regardless, always good to pick up a new bike) for her to replace her GT Rebound. Shaun, the guy we bought it from, a few blocks from my place here in the Lower, is opening a bike shop on 3rd between 1st and A. He’s going to specialize in older steel bikes, and seemingly isn’t pro-track/fixed (or even BMX) like the rest of the neighborhood. Look out for his opening around May or so.

• Caught a late screening of Contempt (1968) directed by Jean-Luc Godard over at the Film Forum. Luckily it was held over an additional week. Jack Palance (ie: Ripley’s Believe it or Not host) as the typical “stupid American” seemed perfect. Godard goes over the top to show the female body on display, during the collapse of a marriage, set against the beautiful Italian coast. It felt like Godard doing a Fellini film from the beginning: we see that we’re about to enter the world of on-screen filmmaking in Italy, and the main characters are the film’s suave writer, arrogant producer, and oddball-genius director (played by Fritz Lang). Great film.


Jenn and Mr. Lehman in the gallery section of Supreme Trading in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Williamsburg Open Studios happened two weekends ago, to coinside with the Armory Show over at a pier in Manhattan. Will Hall, Chelsea, David Lehman, Jenn, Pam, and I went to a handful of them, occasionally held up at the keg lines, then went over to the afterparty at Supreme Trading, then finally Legion Bar to see Welles spin.

• This past weekend, Jenn and I got in a lot of cycling in preparation for the upcoming Five Borough Bike Tour. We also caught the opening day of Brooklyn Flea over in the Fort Greene area on Sunday. We saw Brian & Rachel, Addie & Brandon, and a few others, before ducking out to prepare some guacamole over in Park Slope. Then, Leticia and I played a few games of pool over in Carroll Gardens over some corona and whiskey, respectively.

• The previous day, we got in a bike ride from the Lower to the Slope to Long Island City, Queens via the less-talked about Pulaski Bridge. Later we rode with Brian & Rachel to a really solid, new Latin American restaurant on Broadway, just south of the Williamsburg Bridge, on the Brooklyn side.

Mos Def was heading into the car service next to where I was eating lunch last week over in Fort Greene, the neighborhood he calls home.  Also, in terms of music celebrities, Paul Simon was walking out of my office when I was leaving the other evening.

• Music-wise, unfortunately the Postelles & Bachelorettes show was moved from Sound Fix (likely due to the underage liquor bust the other weekend) to the inferior, Spike Hill, also on Bedford. Also the crowd was ten to fifteen years younger than we expected. I think I need to do my homework a little better before some shows. A few of the Postelles were in attendance at this show tonight:


Chairlift performed tonight at the wonderfully, aquatically-themed venue, Glasslands, in Williamsburg.

I couldn’t quite see where they were going with the first few songs, but it sounded like there was some potential, and then they finally reached a nice point toward the end of their set, with sparkley keyboard notes and catchier bass lines. Female-fronted, though the other two guys seemed to have decent voices as well. Though, perhaps anything would have sounded great following the tragic band that opened, Aquila. Even covering The Pixies (Break My Body), Aquila felt like they were missing a few instruments (well, and someone who can actually sing). Symbol-heavy drumming and bass guitar with too much distortion is lame. I did run into Ian though, in the crowd, a former college mate from a few years back, who happened to be in town for a few days. But I mean, the venue seemingly projects the Blue Planet series silently each evening on a side wall. I’m sad that I didn’t create an aquatic themed indie rock venue first. Long live David Attenborough!


An Elvis wheat paste on Houston. It’s a Fisher-Price assault rifle.