I'm not happy with your
review of Rain Lounge. Nothing personal, mind, but I don't see
it that way at all. As someone who spends a good deal of time avoiding
tourist traps, your review made me wonder if I'd lost my touch.
Then I decided you were just wrong, or befuddled in love by the
Pat Benatar-like bartender, whom I am guessing was Amanda. I tried
Galapagos, North Sixth (excrement, true shit, sure to close before
October), Iona, Yabbey, Mugs, Turkey's Nest, Stinger (love, love
it, just not more than once in a while), and others, and Rain was
the only place I feel comfortable every night I go. Cozy is part
of it, lack of pretension the rest. I dunno what décor you
were looking at, but it's just paint and cheap lights, man. A small
budget used wisely.
This is what I would have written:
"Opened two months ago by musician Bobby Bell, the Rain continues
to draw a low-key, low-poser crowd, straight and gay, black, white
and Latin, creative and international. The other night, just a normal
night, I met a Japanese student couple, three Danish girls (one
local, two visiting), two new arrivals from San Francisco, an eight-year-resident
English musician and a ten-year-resident German composer, besides
the usual dotcommers, working stiffs, a dozen Brooklyn natives and
two local old Polish men. The bartenders are pleasant (among them
a DJ, a painter, a French art student, an actor, a musician), Bobby
is friendly, and there's a small garden in the back. Drinks are
about $4 for a bottle, $6 or so for a mixed drink."
I'm betting you were there that one night Rain had a sort grand
opening or shortly thereafter, when it wasn't open continuously
yet. I think this because:
First because their bottled beers have since expanded to Red Hook,
Rolling Rock, Corona, Red Stripe, Heineken, Amstel Light, Budweiser,
Bud Light and a couple of others (sometimes Kirin), including two
kinds of Sam Adams on tap (when the taps are working: the irregular
tap beer is definitely a problem). Not the most creative selection,
but Coors Light? Michelob? Are you kidding? Maybe I missed them,
but damn, I'd buy it and pour it out just to keep it from poisoning
the kids. Bobby's got better taste than that.
Second, because that whole juice bar work permit sounds dubious.
As the kind of guy who reads work permits religiously (looking for
the taint of McDo and Starbucks), as well as movie permits, parking
permits, vendor permits, elevator inspection certificates, etc.,
etc., I'm suspecting you were confused with the place one block
down, on a corner on the same side of the street. Or something.
Third, because your drink prices don't sound right. The prices
I quote above are what I get charged, when I go. I think. Bobby
has been fiddling with the drink prices, looking for a good cross
between keeping customers and staying in business. One thing he's
done is to expand happy hour.
I should note for the record that I am merely a customer of Rain
Lounge. My intimate knowledge of the place is a result of my alcoholism
and sturdy liver; any other place that so facilitates one of my
bad habits will merit the same kind of red-nosed attention.]
Thanks, in any case.
PS: Your Planet Thai review is right on the money. Blech
- Name Withheld.
F. Sot replies:
Points well taken, Grant, though I still think the interior is
slick and not merely "paint and cheap lights." I'm glad you enjoy
the place. Maybe I just caught it on a bad night. All I can tell you
is what I saw and experienced, which didn't leave me hankering for
more. Again- a straight shot of $12 a bottle whiskey (and that's retail)
was $7 before tip. At some point in the future I'll stop by again.
Hopefully by that time Rain will have its beer selection and drink
prices more settled and I can re-do the review.
In response to F.
Sot's Rick Martin Article:
Dear Free Williamsburg & F. Sot,
I just found your website, I like it a lot. I've been here in the
'burg for almost 7 years now, I like to think that I was on the
cutting edge of the group that has made this area unbearably hip.
That is my attempt to gain some williamsburg cred.
I was working on that Ricky Martin video. There were some other
Williamsburgians on the crew too. That guy who kept asking you to
move probably did have 9 years less college education then you,
either that or he was a former film student. A lot of the PA's on
the crew are from Brooklyn or Queens, didn't go to college, but
being a PA they can make around 30K a year, and collect unemployment
when they aren't working. That's what I did when I was a PA. In
film production no one really gives a shit how much school you completed,
what matters is how u do the job. For someone who never finished
college myself film has been a life saver
Yeah a film shoot in your 'hood is kind of inconvenient. But lots
of williamsburgers work in the film industry. It pays pretty damn
good & lets you do side projects when you aren't working. No, Ricky
Martin videos are not art. I could give a shit about Ricky Martin.
But is it that hard to move down the street? The guy said "please"
after all. Everyone loves to bitch about film crews, but the fact
is that the next day you'd hardly be able to notice we were there.
I'd rather have a film crew once a month on my street than the dozens
of garbage trucks I have now. It's all a matter of perspective.
If the next time a crew is shooting on N. 7th Street you are really
bothered, well, walk up N. 6th Street home instead. If they are
right in front of your house and it's really bothering you, ask
to speak to the production manager, and maybe you can get $100.00
or something to calm your nerves.
- Name Withheld
You seem like a reasonable guy, too bad I hadn't met you that
sordid night. What was particularly galling, though, is that I was
being bossed about by a person with no authority to do so. He acte
worse than a power crazed cop. I was not within the filming area.
I certainly wasn't trying to crowd toward Yo Rickie. I know, I know-
the filming area can be large, there's the background to consider,
etc. By why not tape off or somehow demarcate a clear boundary as
to where peope who live here can stroll and stand and where they
- F. Sot Fitzgerald
The Case of the High-Pitched Tenement... The Mystery Continues:
I am sure you have lots of females writing to you as I type, your
theory is all wrong, women do hear that awful high pitched noise
on (North) 4th St. And no, I am not a lesbian. Perhaps the ones you
asked were deaf or hard of hearing - HOW the hell can you not hear
For years I too have wondered what was going on in there. At first
I didn't associate it with the building, but you're right , it seeping
through the walls everytime I pass by. I read your (?) or someone
else's letter last month referring to the noise and I must say I was
quite looking forward to hearing some crazy fantastical story, true
or not this month as to what it could possibly be.
Alas, I have to say I am disappointed that you didn't even make something
up. There is so much one could do with a house that looks like that
and a noise that sounds like that, it could be an epic story or readers
could add to the story each month, new theories, new research, ghosts
goblins aliens..............., endless possibilities, clubs, societies,
find the screeching noise secret society. Go on, put some more effort
into it, you know you want to..........
- Name Withheld
I think it sounds like YOU want to write a fantastical story
about the buzzing house. That's not my style however. I'm afraid
a story about "ghosts goblins aliens" sounds pretty unfunny. You're
the first woman that I've heard that can hear it. I think it probably
just means that you, like me, follow the treble. I think we'd both
be better dancers if we followed the bass.
Ejudicate! Good word, Dan
i couldn't help but comment on your le
tigre (debut) review - you seemed to have missed the point about
the song "dude, yr so crazy!" (though you'd think the title would
give it away)....you refer to the phrases as being "unconnected" and
stream of conscience blah blah blah, but to me (and every other single
person I know who has heard this record), it's about that trendy asshole
type of guy who thinks he's "cutting edge" b/c he wears ironic hawaiin
shirts, watches retro porn and goes to film festivals (all of which
were mentioned in the song, along with "just chillin.....big collection.....likes
parties.....shabby chic") - granted, i see your point about how it
could have rocked out more - there was no actual tune there - but
it definitely had a point, and not an especially obscure or hidden
one (i figured it out pretty quickly)....
Yeah, I probably missed the point there. Perhaps the phrasing was
so broken up that I wasn't able to connect. Still pretty loose, lyrically.
Thanks for reading. As I recall there were some other weaknesses to
that rather lengthy review, so I think you're letting me off light,
probably. Now I'm reviewing your criticism of my review. Pretty meta.
Perhaps there should be a website that ejudicates criticism critiques,
with a letters section. Anyway, good record, that LeTigre. If you
feel like replying, I'm wondering if their EP is worth getting. I
read a review that dogged it, but, as you well know, reviewers don't
always have it right. Thanks for the feedback.
-- Dan Kilian
from the Editor:
You've probably heard the rumors, Starbucks is coming to Williamsburg.
Or are they? The rumors are out there, but we cannot find anyone
to substantiate them.
Regardless, an anonymous friend of Free Williamsburg recently contacted
the company and below is the response that she received. If Starbucks
really cares about the communities they infiltrate, then why can't
they answer a simple question?! Please let us know if you have any
information on this topic.
Dear Name Withheld,
Thank you for taking the time to e-mail Starbucks Coffee Company.
Unfortunately, I am unable to confirm the opening of a location
Williamsburg (Brooklyn, NY). However, I recommend checking the website
periodically for updates.
Thank you again for contacting Starbucks. If you have any further
questions or concerns, please contact us at [email protected] or
call (800) 23-LATTE to speak with a customer relations representative.
Starbucks Coffee Company
Our Crack Reporter Russ Josephs with the Unsubstantiated Scoop:
I know, actually, what the deal is with the Starbucks. Apparently,
they bought the building across from the Verb, and were going to open
a Starbucks there, but decided not to. Instead, as of now they're
planning to open a high-end bakery. And even though there will be
no Starbucks sign, it will still be one of their enterprises. It's
essentially a Starbucks in disguise.
I am Yuppie,
Hear Me Roar
DEAR FREE WILLIAMSBURG:
Y'know, I've lived in Williamsburg now for about 2 years and yes
I am one of the enemy (apparently). I used to love walking home seeing
all the Yuppie Go Home graffiti all over the place and wishing
I had some spray paint to write right next to one of these free advice
columns, "Not only ain't I goin' home, I'm inviting my friends over
Don't you hip, cool (or is it deck)
people understand how the world works. You don't want people with
actual jobs to move into your neighborhood? Don't you realize that
a few trustfund baby artists (well at least that's what you tell people
you are) are the actual problem. It's not the Yuppies.
This was a perfectly nice Polish neighborhood before you guys decided
to move in, open up your hip bars, and generally make the area more
inhabitable for the Yuppies. I know I wouldn't be paying 2 grand a
month on a 2 bedroom in this neighborhood if it wasn't for what you've
done to the neighborhood.(I'm not actually paying that but apparently
that's what the places near Bedford are going for. To be honest I
wouldn't even consider paying that too live in Billburg)
Don't get me wrong, I love this neighborhood. I'm going to the rally's
to stop the powerplants (another thing you'd have no chance against
without Yuppies being in the area, and still probably have no chance
against). I fit in better with the whole anti-establishment world,
I really dig alterna-chicks (Williamsburg is one of the few places
where telling a girl you work on Wall St. is a sure fire way to strike
out). But it's so irritating hearing the anti-yuppie sentiment after
a while. How all your favorite bars are getting overrun, all your
apartments are leaving your price range. Well, it's your fault so
get over it. In fact, all the bitching and moaning...it's just soooo
Oh and one more thing...the way you guys rebuttal all the letters
you get is like watching my brothers kids say "Oh yeah....!" It really
looks pathetic. But other than that, I like the site, keep it up,
just stop whining.
-- Name Withheld
The "pathetic" rebuttal:
Um... who's whining again?
-- Free Williamsburg
The Hipster Handbook - see the article
No 'hipster' I know (at least the ones in Manhattan, you know, the
REAL New York) goes to SUBurban Outfitters. Maybe you Billyburgers
haven't caught that trend yet. It really is so very 1995.
In case you missed the joke, The Hipster Handbook
was SATIRE! Perhaps in the "Real" New York, humor is no longer fashionable.
-- Free Williamsburg
Some Nice Words (Finally) for Russ:
I stumbled onto your site quite by accident and ended up reading
the Sex in the Sub-city story. Brilliant. A wonderful piece
of writing. Just had to write you and let you know I enjoyed
Disclaimer from the Editor:
Opinions addressed in Free Williamsburg are not necessarily our