Best of Brooklyn: 'Squeak-easy' sculptures take over city streets

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BUSHWICK -

A Bushwick artist is celebrating the street rats of New York City in an unique way.

Sculptures depict pint-sized bartenders serving up everything from cocktails to cheese in miniature "squeak-easies" all over the city.

"The whole project is kinda whimsical...it's a satire," says artist Justin Fine.

Fine created the clay sculptures and miniature sets in his studio, and then staged them everywhere from Bedford-Stuyvesant to Crown Heights.

"(It's) a little bit of a scavenger hunt, if you will," he says.

From "please don't gnaw" to "gruyere and honey," each mini-bar is "Zagat-rated," poking fun at trendy spots in the rattiest neighborhoods.

Many of the sculptures have been stolen or ruined, but Fine says that adds to the adventure.

"The fun part about putting something on the street that small is that people might just walk by it or they might stop or laugh or maybe they'll kick it over," Fine says.

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