Recap: FAB! Festival on 4th Street

Posted on: October 1st, 2013 at 10:21 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

Hula Hoop Dancers. Photo: Lori Greenberg.

The FAB! Festival is a favorite of ours, bringing together community groups, cultural institutions, artists and local businesses each year. With their refreshing alternative to generic street fairs, FABnyc (Fourth Arts Block) really knows how to throw a unique and creative party.

This image has been archived or removed.

Oaxaca Tacqueria. Photo: Lori Greenberg.

This year’s event was bigger than ever, with art installations, dance, music and theater performances, along with local businesses lining the streets. We sampled some pretty incredible food, including chocolate chai ice cream from Alchemy Creamery (gluten, dairy and soy free), and plenty of dark chocolates from another local favorite Bond Street Chocolate. (Hey, it’s always good to start one’s meal with sweets). Eventually, we got to try some non-dessert food, including spectacular potato tacos from Oaxaca Tacqueria.

This image has been archived or removed.

Works in Progress. Photo: Lori Greenberg.

We snagged a free t shirt with the FAB logo, silkscreened while we waited by Works in Progress. Before the festival, people had also been invited to “BYOT” (bring your own tee shirt), in case they wanted a specific size or color.

This image has been archived or removed.

Miggy Buck and her bicycle-powered art installation. Photo: Lori Greenberg.

There is always a green component to the FAB! Festival. Along with GrowNYC and other sustainable groups in attendance, there were bicycle-powered setups, which are always fun to check out. The 4th Street Co-op made bike-powered smoothies, and artist Miggy Buck created a bike-powered art installation. Buck’s piece was a cityscape created out of recycled wood scraps with an old-style slot car track surrounding it. Pedaling the bike enabled the toy cars to zoom around a mini-Manhattan, replete with NYC-themed vehicles. The taxi was our favorite. We were in awe of Miggy’s biking abilities. (We’re not going to do any long distance racing with her, any time soon.)

This image has been archived or removed.

Amanda Browder in front of her “Good Morning” installation. Photo: Lori Greenberg.

Other standout art installations included “Good Morning,” a centerpiece of the festival by Amanda Browder. A gigantic fabric sculpture made from repurposed scraps of fabric was draped all the way down a building in the middle of the block. The installation was part of FABnyc’s SUSTAIN project, with the partnership of Downtown Art and Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company.

This image has been archived or removed.

Eric Ho of miLES. Photo: Lori Greenberg.

miLES (Made in the Lower East Side), who also has a storefront on 4th Street, was promoting their new Kickstarter project. miLES’ “Storefront Transformer” seeks to take vacant local storefronts and transform them into incubators for small businesses. miLES hopes to prototype and demonstrate a Storefront Transformer in action this November and December. It’s a great cause to keep local businesses going in this town. So go to the Kickstarter link, and cough up some dough, people!

This image has been archived or removed.

IATI “Theater in a box.” Photo: Lori Greenberg.

Another standout performance was the mobile black box theater with performers from the IATI Theater inside. Audiences were able to peek through portholes cut in each side of this box to view the goings-on. Performers would often stick their heads or hands outside of the holes to engage with passers-by.

This image has been archived or removed.

Bombay Rickey. Photo: Lori Greenberg.

The live music was all over the map, in the best way possible. Notable bands included “Bombay Rickey,” a five-piece band from Brooklyn “straddling the boundaries of surf, cumbia, spaghetti-Western, and Bollywood, balanced out with a little coloratura soprano.” Frontwoman (and killer accordion player) Kamala Sankaram blew us away with her operatic vocals. We were instant fans the second we heard Sankaram’s cover of an Yma Sumac song.

This image has been archived or removed.

Hector Martignon and his band. Photo: Lori Greenberg.

We also enjoyed seeing Hector Martignon and his band, presented by the Nuyorican Poets Café. The salsa fusion got much of the audience out of their seats, dancing in the street.

This image has been archived or removed.

Dancing in the streets. Photo: Lori Greenberg.

Other favorites included the Rod Rogers Dance Company, the hula hoop dancers, and the Winged Reptile Performance by Pradomar Productions. The latter made us feel transported to the set of a 1950s B-movie. Plus it included a didgeridoo, and that’s never a bad thing.

This image has been archived or removed.

The Reptile People. Photo: Lori Greenberg.

Find out more about FABnyc here.

Recent Stories

Man Shot Dead After Opening Door to Gunman at Lillian Wald Houses

A man was shot dead inside his apartment in the Lillian Wald Houses Friday night after the suspected killer knocked on his door, police said. The perp entered 691 FDR Drive just before 10:00pm and went to the fourth floor apartment of thirty-year-old Davon Venable. Reports noted that Venable and his father heard a knock […]

Filmmaker to Get ‘High on Ludlow Street’ with New Documentary [INTERVIEW]

One filmmaker is on a quest exhume the history of Ludlow Street with a forthcoming documentary series called High on Ludlow Street. What follows is an interview with Charles Libin, who talks about the so-called “gift of Ludlow,” memories on the block, challenges of making the film, and the current state of his beloved street. […]

Mayor Adams Vetoes Bill to Fine Non-Artists Residents in Upzoned SoHo and NoHo

The SoHo/NoHo Rezoning saga took a new turn last Friday when Mayor Eric Adams vetoed the controversial bill (Intro 2443A). The last-minute legislation, introduced by former Councilmember Chin, would levy fines against residents occupying JLWQA units without official “artist certification.” The odd JLWQA acronym isn’t the call sign of some defunct NYC radio station; it […]

Gaia Cafe Planning February Return with New Essex Street Locale

Gaia Italian Cafe, a locals favorite, is gearing up for a return. An early pandemic victim, Gaia shuttered its sub-level operations in the summer of 2020 after nearly a decade on East Houston. Then word came through last July that namesake chef-owner Gaia Bagnasacco signed a lease for the ground floor of 119 Essex Street, […]

‘Be My Baby’ and a Strange 1965 Visit to Parisi Bakery (Ronnie Spector RIP)

Ronnie Spector, the chanteuse who fronted the Ronettes in the 1960s with her signature vocal yearning, died yesterday. She was 78. She passed after “a brief battle with cancer,” according to a statement from her family. In tribute to her life and music, we’re re-publishing the following piece from a few years ago highlighting the […]