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‘Self-Aware Gentrifiers’ Had a Tactical Meeting in Bushwick Last Night

Image via The Base's Facebook page.

Image via The Base’s Facebook page.

“I’m a transplant, and I wonder if I’m part of the problem,” said a young Bushwick resident last night at The Base, the neighborhood’s new leftist community center. “Is there anything we can do? Become self-aware gentrifiers?”

The question came up at a meeting led by Frank Morales, called Fighting Displacement and Building Grassroots Power. Presenting his zine, “Strategy and Tactics of Neighborhood Self-Defense,” the housing activist described the earliest and most unpleasant stage of gentrification: landlords let buildings decay without maintenance and the city stops funding firefighters, hospitals, and the precinct, so that long-term residents leave the now unlivable area and landlords can fix up their buildings and raise the rent.
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Owners of Pearl’s and Los Perros Locos Got Stiffed By Bike Thieves

As far as we can tell, the thefts are in no way related to the classic work of Italian neo-realist cinema.

There’s an old saying: don’t bite the hand that feeds you, and don’t steal their wheels either!

And yet a couple of weeks ago Alex Mitow, the owner of Los Perros Locos, posted a Facebook update about his bike disappearing from a fence on the Lower East Side. And this morning Betsy Maher, the owner of Pearl’s Social and Billy Club, and Benny Thomson, a bartender at Anchored Inn, had their two Suzuki motorbikes stolen from outside Thomson’s place at 62 Greenpoint Avenue. (Yep, more crime in Greenpoint…)
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Heptagames Will Be ‘Like Gathering of the Juggalos But Way More Interesting’

The barn at the Catskills farm

The barn at the Catskills farm

We’re approaching a cultural moment in the history of New York City where there’s really no excuse not to go upstate for a weekend of arts and games. First, we told you about Offsite; then Summer Camp; and then last week, we wrote about The Last Weekend, a three-day food, arts and crafts festival taking place in September in the Catskills. Now comes Heptagames, a “festival of games, installations, and performances” taking place in the Catskills this weekend.
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East Village Murals Vanish; More Development in Williamsburg and Bushwick

Buff Monster, Bushwick Collective

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

Does Bushwick Collective (above) have to get all the murals? Chico’s wall, located at the corner of East Houston and Avenue B, was painted over without explanation this weekend, according to EV Grieve, who also noticed that the Joe Stummer mural on the side of Niagara has disappeared. But don’t despair, Strummer is coming back.

The recent string of crime in Greenpoint makes it seem like the neighborhood must have seen safer times, right? Well, an info graphic – comparing this year to last, and (for some serious perspective) 1993 – might make you feel a little better about the North Brooklyn neighborhood in 2013: while incidents of rape are up, robbery is down 22%. [Greenpointers]
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Think Your Commute Is Bad? Step Into the Shoes of a Jakartan Subway Surfer

(Courtesy Brian Duggan and ISCP, New York)

(Courtesy Brian Duggan and ISCP, New York)

August is normally a barren wasteland of shuttered galleries on summer vacation, but the North Brooklyn art scene has been reinvigorated by a powerful experiential exhibition ripped from the global headlines.

Dublin-based artist Brian Duggan’s site-specific installation We like it up here, it’s windy, really nice at East Williamsburg’s International Studio & Curatorial Program, where he’s currently a resident, offers a glimpse into the shocking crowd control techniques on the trains in Indonesia.

Duggan was “shocked and amazed” when he read about a 2012 initiative by the state-owned railway company, PT Kereta Api, to control the amount of passengers that ride on the train roofs due to overcrowding by hanging large medieval-looking concrete balls above the train lines to knock them off.
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Point Your Vintage Triumph to This Motorcycle Block Party and Film Festival

MFF“Anybody can own a bike and anybody can ride a bike” is the mantra of veteran motorcyclist Jack Drury. The former punk and metal rocker has spent his entire career as an event producer trying to prove it: this Sunday in Williamsburg, his Bored, Stroked, Ported vintage-motorcycle block party celebrates its 10th year of shattering the stereotype of “tough guys, violence, and Orange County Choppers,” and next month he’ll bring Brooklyn’s first motorcycle film festival to Williamsburg and Greenpoint.
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Ridgewood Is the New Bushwick; Man Seeks Missing Puppet

If you do go to Out in the Streets in Ridgewood, take note: that’s where everyone is moving now that the average rent for a studio in Bushwick ($1,675) is up 27 percent in the last year. [NYT]

Meanwhile, studios at The Williamsburg, in (you guessed it) Williamsburg start at $2,290. That gets you two landscaped courtyards, a fitness center, laundry room and private storage. Check out the photos. [The Real Deal]

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There’s a Building Ablaze in Bushwick Right Now (Update: Bushwick Collective OK)

Fire at 449 Troutman

Fire at 449 Troutman

Fire at 449 Troutman

Fire at 449 Troutman

Fire at 449 Troutman

Fire at 449 Troutman

Fire at 449 Troutman

Fire at 449 Troutman

Fire at 449 Troutman

Fire at 449 Troutman

(Photo: Erin Kelley)

(Photo: Erin Kelley)

Bushwick’s week of mayhem continues: A tipster just alerted us to a three-alarm fire that’s currently blazing at 449 Troutman Street. An eyewitness reported billows of black smoke and a fire truck ladder extended to the roof of the building. According to the FDNY, the call came in at 4:42 p.m., and 138 firefighters were sent to the scene.
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Learn How to Make Indian Tacos and Jam on Analog Synths at Camp Lakota

(Photo courtesy The Last Weekend)

Indian tacos. (Photo: Keetja Allard)

If you missed the Wild Honey Pie summer camp that we told you about (Bushwick Daily has photos), don’t worry: The Last Weekend — a three-day food, arts and music festival taking place in the Catskills — will give you another chance to become one with nature alongside fellow artistically-inclined folks looking to escape the city for a spell.
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Opening a DIY Venue? ‘Leases Are Much More Confusing Than French Philosophy’

Silent Barn Public Meeting #9 (Photo: Phillip Pantuso)

Silent Barn Public Meeting #9 (Photo: Phillip Pantuso)

Over the last few years, as the number of city crackdowns on quasi-legal do-it-yourself venues in Brooklyn has risen, the community that organizes, fosters and sustains such spaces has shifted focus, ever so slightly, toward maintaining long-term viability. Which is why last night, at the The Silent Barn in Bushwick, a four-person panel and about 50 attendees came together to discuss “Legalizing DIY.”
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Let’s Just Say North Brooklyn Had Some Infrastructure Issues Today

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Leaking parapet at 349 Bedford (Photo: Anna Silman)

A quick update on those four manholes that caught fire near 176 Maujer Street, where three residences were evacuated due to CO readings. ConEd says the cause of the fires has yet to be determined, but there are no customers without power. And the FDNY says the fire, which broke out shortly before 1:08 p.m., was under control by 2:20 p.m., with no injuries to report.

While trouble came from below in Bushwick, it came from above in Williamsburg.
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