threatened by Ratner, hosts ‘Eminent Dom-Aid’ Sunday
Move over, Woodstock.
Prospect Heights residents fighting a proposed basketball arena in —
or make that on — their backyards have put together a 10-hour music,
poetry and general feel-good music jam to raise money for and awareness
of their plight.
But unlike its upstate, counter-culture counterpart, this one won’t
involve mud, rain, or anything outdoors — let alone bad acid.
Instead, Freddy’s Bar and Backroom, a neighborhood favorite watering
hole and cultural hub at 485 Dean St., is hosting the event on Sunday,
Feb. 22, from 3 pm to 1 am.
Organizer Carolynn Black is calling the event “Eminent Dom-Aid”
(get it, eminent domain/Live Aid?) since her brand new apartment, just
next door to Freddy’s, would also be condemned if developer Bruce
Ratner is successful in his bid to build a $2.5 billion arena, office
tower and housing complex stretching east from the intersection of Flatbush
and Atlantic avenues.
The wrecking ball would also come down on Freddy’s, a Prohibition-Era
bar that now sponsors free nightly music.
“The idea came to me on the way back from a gig in Hoboken,”
said Black, lead vocalist for the band Carolynn Black & The Blues
who will play a few of their country-blues-rock tunes Sunday night.
“I was talking to the guitar player about how awful this whole thing
is and it just dawned on me — What can I do as a musician? I can
play,” she said.
So Black wrangled up 13 local bands (dozens more offered their services)
who will play out of the goodness of their hearts (and desire not to lose
Spectators are asked to pony up $10, all of which will go towards legal
fees for Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, an umbrella group of residents
who are fighting the arena plan.
The group recently retained noted civil liberties attorney Norman Siegel
to lead their cause.
Eminent Dom-Aid should offer a bit for everybody, musically speaking at
least, with everything from a string quartet to rock, country, funk and
“It’s terrible that it has come to this, but it’s heartwarming
that everybody is pitching in. It’s good old ’70s activism,”
Eminent Dom-Aid bands will also include The Deed Deedle Dees, Foster Family,
The Waylons, The Struck Jazz Band, John Pinamonti, Jaybird, Eric Schwartz,
Volcano, The Minors, Afroskull and Spunk Lads.
For more information, contact Freddy’s Bar & Backroom at (718)
622-7035 or log on to www.freddysbackroom.com
©2004 Community News Group