Sometimes I wonder if we'd get more work done on the CrazyStable if we lived someplace else besides Brooklyn...someplace with fewer distractions. There is just too damn much fun to be had around here, so totally without even bothering to hop the subway to Manhattan. Last weekend, it was diaphanously clad artistes perching amid tombstones to accordion music (see below)...this weekend, our friend, co-blogger, intrepid urban explorer and now author, Kevin Walsh, will be giving one of his "Forgottener Tours" of Red Hook--a nabe I love--after signing copies of his just-published book, Forgotten New York, based on his endlessly absorbing website of the same name. The tour will start after the 3 p.m. booksigning at Freebird Books, 123 Columbia Street in Brooklyn (near the corner of Kane Street).
- Those of us lucky enough to be FOK's (Friends of Kevin) celebrated at a book party recently at Chumley's, an appropriately tucked-away relic of Prohibition in the winding streets of Greenwich Village, where I met the fabulous bloggeuse of Dawn Patrol among other pals old and new. (Your Stable Mistress is in one of those party pictures on Kevin's site, looking unfortunately like Letterman on laughing gas.) There was a rare degree of consensus that it couldn't happen to a nicer guy; Kevin has been following his curious passion for haunted and fading traces of the urban landscape for a long time. The book sprung from his site is a meticulously researched and designed Baedeker to a city caught fading in and out of a time-warp transporter beam, in plain sight all around us (if you know where to look, and boy, Kevin does).
Expect the Red Hook tour to be crowded; there are other Forgottener signings-with-tours coming up on Wed., Oct. 18 (Greenwich Village), Sat., Oct. 21 (Staten Island), Sun., Oct. 22 (the Bronx), and Sat., Oct. 28 (Bayside, Queens). At the heart of Kevin's enterprise is the notion that the urban landscape is endlessly fascinating. I remember on his tour of Bushwick, as the ragtag lot of us toddled along in search of crumbling brewer's mansions and other ghosts, some "homeboys" sipping from brown bags outside a deli gave forth with some, er, less than flattering characterizations of our shared adventure. Kevin betrayed only a mild peevishness, and commented, "Hey. They're just sitting there, and we're going around, looking at stuff." (Or slightly stronger words to that effect.)
Here's to going around!
When I'm out in the street
I walk the way I wanna walk
When I'm out in the street
I talk the way I wanna talk
Baby, out in the street I don't feel sad or blue
Baby, out in the street I'll be waiting for you
--Bruce Springsteen, ‘Out in the Street’