Tonight: Bushwick Book Club CD Release Party

Once a month the Bushwick Book Club meets at Goodbye Blue Monday to perform original songs about their latest assigned reading material. Tonight they’ll not only be paying musical tribute to “My Life, and Other Unfinished Business,” by Dolly Parton, but they’ll be celebrating the release of their first CD — a gigantic 58-song compilation of the best of the best from the club’s first year of existence. Come on out to enjoy drink specials, great music, and a discount on the CD’s sticker price. And yes, it’s ok if you didn’t read the book beforehand.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
GoodBye Blue Monday
1087 Broadway (JMZ to Myrtle of J to Kosciusco)
ph: 718 453 6343
Purchase the CD

New Food Joint: Traif

I first sampled Traif’s fare back at the Taco Experiment, and it was pretty darn delicious. At the time, the people serving the crispy little taco to my hungover face said something about a new place opening in Williamsburg in a few weeks. Looks like the time is come: Grub Street reports they’re eying a Friday opening at 229 S. 4th St & Havemeyer. For some reason Thrillist has a JPG of the menu, which looks deliciously complicated. We’re talking food items like: pancetta, cracklins’, kecap, rilletes, albondigas, gastrique, pecorino, fideus, l’ancienne, and crab. Leave a comment if you get a chance to check it out!

They Don't Want Your Money

A commenter reacts to the Williamsburg Walks news:

As a person in business it can say that the bitterness of these select business owners is due to the fact that they aren’t creative enough to capitalize on what should become the busiest day of the week for them. I also try to keep 100% or my money spent in Williamsburg, but I too agree that it is clear who doesn’t want our money.

Tim & Eric's Old Spice Commercials

We’re long time fans of Tim and Eric, so needless to say we were psyched to stumble upon these on Videogum:

Two more after the jump:

[Read more...]

Stop the Corporate Creep: Boycott Duane Reed

I’m enjoying this Williamsburg Observer piece on the aggressive Duane Reed settlement across the street from King’s Pharmacy that urges all Williamsburg residents, “Resist the Corporate Hive-Mind, say ‘No!’ to this invasive takeover attempt. Help us keep Williamsburg free of corporate creep.”
They write:

“Last fall, Duane Reade opened one of its mega-mart drugstores on Kent Avenue, in the ground floor of the new Northside Piers. This spring, in the coming weeks, another Duane Reade store is slated to open on Bedford Avenue between North 3rd and 4th Streets, only five blocks from the first store and directly across from King’s Pharmacy, a locally-owned business that has been at this address for most of the last decade. This aggressive and menacing behavior suggests that a virulent infection may be taking hold‚Äîin fact, we hear rumors that Starbucks is also now eyeing Bedford Avenue, already home to a Subway outlet. Will McDonald’s and Burger King be next?”

It points to two Facebook groups: Boycott Duane Reade in Williamsburg and I’m Boycotting the Bedford Ave. Duane Reade/Walgreens as pages to start la resistance. Go get ‘em, tigers.

Bedford Ave. Business Owners Win: Williamsburg Walks Down to One Effin Weekend

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After weeks of pressure from revenue-strapped business owners on Bedford Avenue who saw the Williiamsburg Walks street festival as a burden on profits, the event has officially been rescheduled from six Saturday afternoons to just one lonely weekend at the end of June.
Hope you enjoyed your street party while you had the time, people on feet!
A & G Merch’s Jill Goldhand appears to be one of the leaders of the anti-street festival movement, after she last was quoted as saying there were a few Saturdays when she “had no revenue.” Today she is quoted in the Brooklyn Paper as saying, ‚”Thank God they’ve cut it.” The paper notes she was one “who urged festival organizers to reduce the schedule.”
Jumelle Boutique’s Madeline Virbasius is also pictured posing, arms crossed, above a caption that reads “she got her wish now that the pedestrian mall has been cut to just two days.” (update: this apparently was not her wish. read their statement here.)
I look forward to seeing some numbers of sales during Williamsburg Walks last summer compared with sales during the same weekends, sans walks, this year. Yes, we don’t want local businesses losing out completely to the incoming Starbucks & Duane Reeds of the world, but shouldn’t they be able to capitalize on an increased pedestrian presence on Saturdays in the summer?
Anyways, event organizers tried to strike a more positive note, saying, “‚”We are confident that the event will be fantastic and we will establish a sustainable model for the years to come.”
Sure, this one weekend will be absolutely fantastic. But this is a big step backwards from six summer Saturdays of fun on Bedford Avenue to one weekend of entertainment on a street filled with business owners looking on, arms-crossed. Emboldened by their victory, will the Business Owners aim their sites on the Endless Summer Taco Truck and the Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Truck too?
UPDATE 4/7: Jumelle’s owner responds, saying, the article’s quote was “inaccurate, misrepresented and false,” and that “We have not actively campaigned to cut Williamsburg Walks.” See her full letter here.
photo by Bess Adler c/o The Brooklyn Paper

Bear In Heaven: 'Beauty'

It’s a bit lo-fi, but we’ve been enjoying this video by Bear in Heaven. Check them out April 9 at the Music Hall of Williamsburg where they will be performing with Cymbals Eat Guitars. [Thanks Christina]

Former Black Betty Spot Waking Up

Black Betty’s crusty shell at 366 Metropolitan Ave is waking up, sez the Downtown Diaries, which reports the local designer who worked on Dressler and Saltie (name: Joseph Foglia) is on the pay roll. The new spot is owned by the Dow Young Group and has a new “blue-grey exterior.”
They applied for a liquor license on Jan 13th and are still awaiting its approval.