Book event in Brooklyn Bridge Park—Monday, July 7, 7 pm

Once again we will be kicking off the Books Beneath the Bridge series in Brooklyn Bridge Park, this time with a talk by Elizabeth Mitchell about the history of the Statue of Liberty.  She will be discussing her new book on the subject, Liberty’s Torch (Atlantic Monthly Press).

The event will take place on the steps of the Granite Prospect, with downtown Manhattan, and Miss Liberty herself, in the background.

This past fall, Mark Cersosimo shot part of this short film inside Freebird. Aside from being grateful for making the store appear so attractive, The Roving Typist’s subjects (C.D. Hermelin and his portable typewriter) are right up our analog alley. He’s more manual, while we strive for Selectric, but it’s all the same in the end. Enjoy this bit of old school style streaming on your new fangled machines.


Event in Brooklyn Bridge Park, Monday, July 8, 7 pm

Join us Monday, July 8, in Brooklyn Bridge Park for a group draw led by illustrator, James Gulliver Hancock, author of All the Buildings in New York (That I’ve Drawn So Far).

For the second year in a row we help kick off the “Books Beneath the Bridge” series, in which Brooklyn indies help program author events on the Granite Prospect of the recently developed Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Starting at 7 pm, shortly before the sun sets behind the outdoor stage, James Gulliver Hancock will lead the audience through his own process in documenting the buildings of New York through line drawing.  And he will help us in our own attempts to sketch the skyline just beyond.  Guaranteed one of the best still life studies you’ll ever have.

Details: Monday, July 8, 7pm

Talk / signing with James Gulliver Hancock, author of All the Buildings in New York

Granite Prospect, Brooklyn Bridge Park
Free and open to the public

Directions to the park:

Freebird Books

Release Party and Reading Sunday, May 19 at 3 pm

imageSunday, May 19, 3 pm

Join Douglas Watson for the release party of his debut collection of fiction, The Era of Not Quite (BOA Editions) Douglas will be joined for a reading by special guests Hannah Tinti (author of The Good Thief and Animal Crackers and editor-in-chief of One Story) and Anthony Tognazzini (author of I Carry A Hammer In My Pocket For Occasions Such As These).

Winner of the inaugural BOA Editions Short Fiction Prize, Watson’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Fifty-two Stories, Tin House Flash Fridays, One Story, Sou’wester, The Journal, Ecotone, Salt Hill, and other publications. His story “Life on the Moon” was chosen by Dan Chaon and Wigleaf in 2012 as one of the year’s top fifty very short fictions. He will be featured as a literary debutante at One Story’s 2013 Literary Debutante Ball. Watson was born in Scranton, Pa., grew up near Reading, Pa., and graduated from Swarthmore College. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Ohio State University and an MA in history from Brown University. He lives in New York City, where he works as a copy editor for Time magazine.

Praise for The Era of Not Quite:
"Once upon a time, an acquaintance of Kurt Vonnegut, having read all of the writer’s books, accused Vonnegut of putting bitter coatings on very sweet pills, and I am here to level the same charge against Douglas Watson. Yes, this collection is a relentless catalogue of frailty, folly, and mortal misery, but if you look beyond the cholera, the neck wounds, the burning feet, the bleached bones, the voids, the caves, the deaths at sea, the stillborn babes, the senseless yearnings of the heart, the grief and despair and profound loneliness, then what you will find, reader, is a tender, lovely, elegant celebration of the very idea of life, of living. These are vital and exceptional tales.”
—Chris Bachelder, author of Abbott Awaits

Welcome to Irving Street, the lost block of Brooklyn

As part of our ongoing efforts to scan and upload photos and negatives documenting the Columbia Street waterfront in the 1960s and ’70s, we share this latest set of images featuring the forgotten stretch of Irving, a short street extending between Columbia and the waterfront.  After the buildings across from Freebird were torn down in the late 1970s, the Port Authority took over the land and it is now occupied by the container docks.  But for a brief time it became a playground and event space for the Puerto Rican community that then lined the waterfront from Kane to Degraw.

Reading and film screening in backyard—Sunday, Oct 7

Please join us for the launch of a new work of fiction and the screening of a film classic

The Three-Day Affair by Michael Kardos

Sunday, October 7, at 5pm

Michael Kardos will read from The Three-Day Affair followed by a screening in our backyard (weather permitting) of “Wonder Boys”

Praise for The Three-Day Affair: “So disturbing it makes you wonder what he might have in mind for his second book… A carefully calibrated study of how even the most highly evolved members of our species can become feral under pressure.”—The New York Times

Will, Jeffrey, and Nolan have been friends since their undergrad days at Princeton. Now, nine years after graduation, Will is a musician reeling from the tragic death of a bandmate, Jeffrey is a wealthy beneficiary of the dot-com boom, and Nolan is a state senator with national aspirations. Their friendships have bent without breaking for years, until one shocking moment changes everything. One night on a drive, they make a routine stop at a convenience store. Moments after entering the store, a manic Jeffrey emerges, dragging a young woman with him. He shoves her into Will’s car and shouts a single word: “Drive!” Shaken and confused, Will obeys. Suddenly, these three men find themselves completely out of their element, holding a young girl hostage without the slightest idea of what to do next. They’re already guilty of kidnapping and robbery; it’s only a matter of time before they find out what else they might be capable of. For these men, three days will decide their fate—between freedom and prison, innocence and guilt…and life and death. The Three-Day Affair marks the emergence of an electrifying new voice in crime fiction.

Michael Kardos is the author of The Three-Day Affair the acclaimed story collection One Last Good Time, which won the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters award for fiction. His short stories have appeared in The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, and elsewhere, and have been cited several times as “Notable Stories” in Best American Short Stories. He received a degree in music from Princeton University and currently lives in Starkville, Mississippi, where he co-directs the creative writing program at Mississippi State University. More info can be found at

David Bukszpan in a drier moment at Freebird’s first Scrabble competition.  David is the author of Is That a Word?: From AA to ZZZ, the Weird and Wonderful Language of SCRABBLE.

David Bukszpan in a drier moment at Freebird’s first Scrabble competition.  David is the author of Is That a Word?: From AA to ZZZ, the Weird and Wonderful Language of SCRABBLE.

Scrabble Tournament and Fund raiser for Books Through Bars

The (Unofficial) Brooklyn Scrabble Championships—for experts and novices

A Brooklyn Book Festival 2012 Bookend Event

September 22, 2012


Free (but donations of paperback dictionaries strongly encouraged)

To celebrate the new book, Is That a Word? From AA to ZZZ, the Weird and Wonderful Language of Scrabble by Brooklyn author David Bukszpan, Freebird Books and Goods invites all comers to an afternoon Scrabble tournament and an al fresco evening viewing of the Scrabble documentary, Word Wars, starting at sunset. Single players and teams can compete in the novice or advanced divisions, with prizes to the winners in each. The champion of the advanced division will be crowned Brooklyn Scrabble Champion (for the day). Free food and drinks. All attendees are encouraged to bring at least one old dictionary to donate to the Books Through Bars programs.

In lieu of a book, small cash donations will also be accepted. Entrants are encouraged to RSVP to to guarantee participation.

Columbia Street circa 1966 (versus now)

A slideshow of Columbia Street around 1966, intercut with photos of their present day sites. These scans—made from a contact sheet of medium format negatives—are arranged as if you were walking from the corner of Congress Street (near the tennis courts and the exit of the BQE) south to Degraw Street.  

Though an incomplete set (sadly our own address is absent in the photos), they document many of the businesses that served the Puerto Rican and Italian communities around Columbia Street in the 1960s. They also display the creative destruction that New York has cycled through over the last fifty years. As some apartment buildings were razed and reused for parking, others have arisen on the sites of former gas stations, garages, and abandoned lots.  

These are part of a cache of photos and negatives that document the Puerto Rican community of Columbia Street in the Sixties and Seventies. They were generously donated by our former neighbor, Noah Baen, a longtime resident of Tiffany Place. Freebird is in the process of archiving and scanning them.

Freebird Books opens summer reading series in Brooklyn Bridge Park

As a part of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy’s mission to bring cultural events to the new park, Freebird helps kick off their “Books Beneath the Bridge” literary series with a reading and performance from Lost Everything author, Brian Francis Slattery, and his band. In the A.V. Club, Jason Heller recent said of the novel: “In a single, searing vision, Slattery distills Lost Everything’s hallucinatory backdrop: a once-prosperous land reduced to scavenging, anarchy, civil war, and late-19th-century technology—not because of a meltdown or other catastrophe, but due to the gradual, inexorable atrophy of America. It is the current selection of Freebird’s Post-Apocalyptic Book Club.   

The reading series takes place outdoors on Monday nights on the Granite Prospect of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Get directions to the park and the seating area.