4:00 a.m. in Park Slope, Brooklyn at a friend-family’s home, the kind of apartment that seems more like a living story than a building, the kind of apartment with books and records and instruments hidden in every corner, the kind of apartment that feels like a labyrinth of ideas and memories that no one who didn’t live there to co-write the living story will ever be able to access. Also, there was a noise in the backyard that phased in and out like two airplane motors, and I was not sure if it was two populations of crickets trying to sync up or two A/C fans.
3 hours: MTA to Amtrak to a local bus which I was delighted to see was actually a dedicated right-of-way rapid busway. Impressive, CT Transit.
There was a very legit bagel place on the corner by the friend-family’s home. Everything bagel, toasted with tomato and peanut butter and onion. Don’t knock it ’til you try it, snob. Five stars.
Incidents of note on journey:
- At Penn station, escalators go down to the track and people snake around in a long line before boarding this escalator. One of the Amtrak officers stood over the escalator, leaning over us, and berating us positively. “HEY, bring that ENERGY to start your day. If you don’t bring it, no one’s gonna bring it for you. STOP checking that phone, you can find out how many likes you got later. HEY, you pack that bag? Heavy, huh? Well, remember, YOU packed it.” No one was enjoying this but me, and I found that very puzzling. New York’s still got it.
- I spent $25 on a Metrocard and it didn’t work, so they gave me an envelope to mail to someone to get my money back.
- On arrival at the closest bus stop, I still had to walk about a mile down a pretty green formerly-industrial canal, pictured above. I also had to pass a very enthusiastic display of American flags and white-painted flower boxes intended to memorialize war dead.
- The lone crosswalk in Forestville emits an alarming beep when it turns green. It sounds like something is very, very wrong. This is probably meant more for the cars than the pedestrians: “DO NOT KILL THE PEDESTRIAN.”
A 12-inch tuna sub from Subway in the middle of a grocery store parking lot. Calling it bleak would be an exaggeration for car people, but as a pedestrian it was fairly punishing. I worked on LUH papers again.
Soundperson’s name/shirt color:
Jordaan, also the promoter and a very stand-up kind of guy, also his birthday. Shirt was black. He also had a collection of radioactive clocks.
I ate pretzels the promoter put out to make people more thirsty and buy more beer.
The Anthem of the Greater McMurdo Station Chamber of Commerce
Freeway in Heaven
The Crows of Emmerich
A Violent Translation of the Concordia Headscarp
…kind of blanked out in the middle…
Incidents of note during performance:
There are many pianos and piano harps in various states of disrepair strewn about the factory. For the last few songs, I asked people to follow me down a hallway where I found one of the most playable pianos and finished the set in the semi-darkness there. The piano was out of tune, it was dark, and I had no contacts in, but I managed to Muppet-fist my way through most of the chords, and it felt really really good. But when I was done, I turned around and was cornered by a bunch of people I didn’t know at the end of a hallway in a decommissioned factory, and no matter how much my conscious brain told me the context, it felt really alarming.
00:30. Going into it I knew this was gonna be a fun one because I had no plans. Fortunately, Jake from CT neo-Swirlie-ites Pulsr was on hand. We listened to some music, he let me crash, and in the morning he gave me a lift to the New Haven train station through extremely heavy rains that slowly turned into minor flooding.
Days off (06 and 07 September):
These were mainly spent making progress on my LUH papers, so I won’t document them.
From a laundromat in Chicago (more about that tomorrow),