• Gowanus Canal, Search for some Revolutionary War Items & Other Places to Look

    It is extremely exciting to hear that parts of several old ships might be sitting at the bottom of the Gowanus Canal. The Post this morning put out it’s own article talking about the treasure trove of history that people think might be in the Gowanus Canal. It’s not hard to imagine; One look at the murky Canal’s water and you can easily believe that ‘something’ is below the oily service. While finding a ship that may pre-date the 19th century is pretty darn cool lot’s of local residents and historian buffs alike want to find the mother of all history, something from the birth of this nation, something from the American Revolution.
    In 1776 the American Revolution really began in Brooklyn, with the Battle of Brooklyn (Battle of Long Island). During the battle around 400 Marylanders went up against 2,000(est) british troops who had taken the Old Stone House (in Park Slope) as an artillery position. Gallantly the Marylanders fought the British to try and keep them from using the artillery on the escaping columnist, the new Revolutionary American Army, and George Washington himself. 256 of the Marylanders gave their lives in the battle. Some of the battle spilled into the Gowanus Creak, which was located just down the hill from the Old Stone House original(close to current) location and was part of what is now the Gowanus Canal. Most maps dipicting the battle show American’s moving across the Gowanus Creak area to either escape from or engage the British forces.
    Of course many of the artifacts from this epic battle are probably sitting untouched at the bottle of the Canal past the old cars, the bodies with concrete feet, and the old barges and ships. Things like coins, clothing, and musket balls from the late 1700s make historians salivate. While it is great to look for these items in the Gowanus Canal, there might be several other locations that could unearth American Revolutionary War treasures.
    Whole Foods has been doing construction at 3rd Ave and 3rd Street for a while now. It is a bit odd that nothing cool such as Revolutionary artifacts have been found. Even though Whole Foods has flattened out the ground along the banks of the Gowanus Canal, historic items still could be found as building construction begins.
    Caddy-Corner from the Whole Foods location is a plot of land owned by ConEd, who recently tor down part of a historic wall from an old stadium where the Brooklyn Dodgers played. ConEd destruction of the wall has led to digging along the 3rd Ave side of this particular property. The Old Stone House is just 1000 feet away and it is reasonable to think that because this land was once used as just a park and then just a large stadium that relics from the battle could be just below its’ surface.
    Just across the street from Washington Park a piece of property at 4th Ave and 3rd Street that may soon be under construction (Brownstoner). Before construction begins it might be a good idea for scientist to swift through the dirt in this pit. Being so close to the Old Stone house and Washington Park makes it an ideal place for items from the the Revolutionary War.
    New York City, of course, has tons of history underground, but unlike Manhattan, Brooklyn (and other boroughs) landscape has not been touched as much. In Brooklyn places like the Old Stone House (Washington Park), Green-Wood Cemetery, and Prospect Park have been preserved over time. Probably not perfectly, but none the less taken care of enough so that historic artifacts might be easily found. As the fascination with what comes up form the Gowanus Canal grows it is a hope that other places might be viewed as ‘historically significant’ and studied accordingly. So go forth Brooklyn residence, scientist, and historians and see if constructions sites will let you sift through their dirt. You might find something Revolutionary.


  • Jackie Weisberg – “Gowanus Impression”

    Jackie Weisberg is a Brooklyn portrait photographer who has been working on a series called “Gowanus Impressions”. Her work makes the Gowanus area of Brooklyn come alive with color and texture. She has taken this series over a period of time and has inadvertently(or maybe planned) create a time capsule for places that have recently changed with the neighborhoods revitalization. Take a look at the Brooklyn Garage photo that shows the building before Brooklyn Boulder moved in. Also, look closely at a photo that has a graffitied half wall and a large red building in it. This seems to be taken near, if not in the exact place, that the Whole Foods will be going into. Check her site or check out her blog here, to see her great work.

    Check out her work here: Jackiewiesberg.com

  • Brooklyn Fencing in Gowanus / Carroll Gardens

    We took fencing in college and . . . we sucked at it. But we always thought it was so cool to pull down that beekeeper mask and thrust with that cool pointy sword. After collage we’d tried to kill each other with the cardboard left over from wrapping paper, but it’s just not the same. Luckily the other day we stumbled upon Brooklyn Fencing, which is located in the Gowanus / Carroll Gardens area. SWEET!
    Classes are offered for all ages & the pricing seems reasonable too:
    Kids: ONCE WEEKLY – $125 / 5 weeks
    Junior: ONCE WEEKLY – $125 / 5 weeks
    BEGINNER – $240 / 8 weeks
    Also, some type of cool intro package: 3 group classes and 3 private lessons for $205 – a $40 savings! 7-17 only.
    Spring Break and Summer camp is coming up too!
    We apparently just missed one of their competition this past weekend, but more are coming in April. There is something so exacting about seeing people who are trying to poke one another for the most points. It’s almost silly.
    Hopefully after we take classes we can fulfill our Princess Bride fantasy by grabbing a sword and screaming: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Oh it’s going to be some much fun. Sqwee!
  • The Hole Picture: An Intergenerational Dialogue on Erotics & Porn in Lesbian-Feminist Queer Cinema

    On Saturday March 26, Issue Project Room presents a screening of porn from another perspective and film panel discussion with filmakers & an art historian.
    The details:
    “The feminist reception and production of pornography has had a complicated & fascinating trajectory, a discourse of representation often bound by the logic of the male gaze. The Hole Picture brings together a selection of socio-sexual films & videos by artists Barbra Hammer, A.K. Burns and A.L. Steiner that celebrate desire and redefine notions of queer sexuality and the lesbian body. Presenting a multigenerational overview of representation, this screening and panel discussion will focus on contemporary artistic practices which incorporate avant-garde visions of sexuality and erotics, dissecting the trope of pornography itself. Screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmakers, moderated by art historian Kelly Dennis, author of Art/Porn: A History of Seeing and Touching. This event is presented in collaboration with MIX NYC.”
    Dyketactics, 1974, 4 minutes, Barbara Hammer
    Menses, 1974, 4 minutes, Barbara Hammer
    Multiple Orgasm, 1976, 6 minutes, Barbara Hammer
    Women I Love, 1976, 22 minutes, Barbara Hammer
    Superdyke Meets Madame X, 1977, 20 minutes, Barbara Hammer
    Community Action Center, 2010, 69 mins., A.K. Burns + A.L. Steiner
    Check out more about each film here: IssueProjectRoom.org
  • Big Rick & the his South Brooklyn Tales

    If you’ve ever walked around Park Slope / Gowanus then you’ve seen a fedora wearing man surrounded by a group of people who clearly is gesticulating some kind of amazing story. His eyes are bright and his smile is endearing, but you can tell he’s tough…Brooklyn tough.This man is Big Rick, also known as Rick Kadlub. Big Rick has a tour company that tells the history and urban legend of the greatest boro in the world, Brooklyn. By living in the Brooklyn for 45 years and with his love of the boro Big Rick has earned keen insight into the area.
    Big Rick in a sense embodies Brooklyn. He’s got the walk, the talk, and clearly the look. Recently artist have begun to notice his unique character and have tried to capture his look through various forms of media. Over at the Brooklyn Central library you can find an great photo of Big Rick by photographer Joe Delano (also featured above) in the exhibit Brooklyn Portraits by Brooklyn Photographer;you can find drawings done by local Sketch-Artist at both Mission Dolorous and Canal Bar. There are probably more images of Big Rick out there, but are not yet known by GYFO.
    If you’ve never been on Big Rick’s tour or even had a moment with the icon you have a chance to catch him telling his stories tomorrow at Root Hill Cafe. Big Rick will be telling the “South Brooklyn Tales” for (what seems to be) one night only. Check it out.

Gowanus, Brooklyn

The crack between two hipster neighborhoods, home to the now superfunded Canal, the flash point for the new 'Buy Local' and textile revolutions, & filled with brilliant bohemians. . . this is Gowanus & it’ll awesome your face off.

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