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Space Noises in a Brooklyn Abandoned Lot

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Space Noises in an Abandoned Lot in Brooklyn or, Friends in New York City

A young girl on LSD walks up out of the crowd and stands before me. “I am on LSD,” she says.

“Oh, really,” I say.

“I like your pipe,” she says.

“Oh, really,” I say.

She then tells me about how she moved out of her apartment because her fat roommate had too much negative energy and was really fat and how her father doesn’t like her anymore and how her roommate was fat and how her mother is a drunk and how she liked my pipe again and I say “Oh, really” one more time.

I made a joke about fat people. She went away.

The band was about ready to play and I was standing in an abandoned lot just off the Myrtle Ave. stop in Brooklyn with about a thousand young punk rock kids with tattoos and holey faces and nightshade grins. A train track ran over the concert area and there was graffiti all over the brick walls that enclosed the battered and junk strewn lot. This was the perfect place for a show in New York City.
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Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Brooklyn, New York City- September 16, 2008
Travelogue Travel Photos
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“What a good environment to welcome me to the Big City,” I tritely thought to myself as I watched a group of drunken 16 year old punk rockers throw spent beer cans at a train that passed by on the overhead bridge. “This is really cool,” I continued thinking as the band warmed up their electric guitars to the despair of the old folks living in apartments whose windows directly opened upon the abandoned lot. I watched a dirty old guy in a dirty wife beater in a top floor window close his dirty curtains with a pissed off gesture. The crowd of kids pushed closer to the stage. Another train went by and its lights lit up the night sky and spotlighted the performers.

Then the band launched into the introduction to their first song. It was slow, loud, and without any form. I was excited for the song to really begin. After five minutes I gave up hope.

It soon became evident that I was watching a band who would only play disassociated space noises on guitars and electrical devices instead of songs. It was too funny for jokes. I suppose the space age even deserves a good retro resurgence.

Annoyingly random guitar and electronic noises are again in vogue: the new old thing. Perhaps cool means pretending to enjoy that which 99.9999999% of the planet would find stupid.

Electronic space noises masquerading as music is stupid.

I scoffed like an old f’ck and resumed the search for my old Buffalo friend Glenn. I call him Zymanski. He has dreadlocks down to his knees and a big beard- I did not assume that he would be very difficult to find. Previously in the evening he had somehow tracked me down by calling a chain of cellular telephones owned by people who could possibly have been in proximity to me. He found the phone of that my roommate Bryan-the-Dinosaur was carrying and told me to meet him at the abandoned lot off the J train. I said ok.

I walked through the crowd of stylish kids as they attempted to brain wash themselves into believing that randomly assembled space noises and funny guitar sounds are enjoyable to listen to. They are not, and I highly assume that the gathered flock of kids knew this as well but were just too afraid to show any indication of common sense for fear of being ostracized. (“Johnny likes space noises; he’s so dreamy.”)

I then accidentally made the observations that it was the fat, nerdy seeming kids who pretended to like the space noises the most. Maybe it reminded them of video games.

Smoking another pipe of tobacco I ran into my old friend Zymanski. I had not seen him in years and was glad to see that he was still the possessor of dreadlocks that hung down to his knees. He was flanked by another long-time-ago Buffalo friend, and we all exchanged a big round of hugs and happy yelps of joy. Buffalo has always been a good stop for me, and that rotten town has provided me with stocked piles of crazy memories and old friends. We quickly left the lot that was the unfortunate location of space noises and went to the corner store for some cheap beer. Thee dollars got me 44 ounces of gross booze and we walked back towards the auditory onslaught arm in arm sloshing down big gulps of Olde English.

Back at the “concert” Zymanski and I broke away from our little group and had some lunatic talk as we caught up on intervening years. The rest of the kids that we were with sat down on the crushed stones and rubble that covered the ground. They looked bored. Zymanski and I talked joyously until he announced that he needed to go to a band meeting that night and quickly departed. I was then left standing alone and feeling a little square. A stale and formal band meeting took precedence over treasure hunting on this night.

(was he in a high-school marching band? a band meeting, what the hell is that? can’t he just have a band meeting the next time he sees his band? does he really have to end a potentially fun night to sit like an ice cube with other ice cubes talking about ice cube plans and nothing and dates and plans? isn’t music suppose to be fun? were we not having fun?)

But Zymanski was gone and I stood with Long-Time-Ago friend and two new ones. One new friend was also from Buffalo but I do not recall running into him before; a nearby blonde girl picked on him for carrying a bike messenger bag. The other kid wore white jeans with a white t-shirt and said that he was from Missouri or some other Nowhere. I looked at these friends, they looked at me, the blonde girl continued picking on people.

(my friends had nothing to say to me. i tried to make a joke. it did not really work. they are not really talking to me, i notice. maybe they do not like me much anymore? maybe they think i am going to do something stupid and embarrass them? they could be right.)

We were clearly not in Buffalo anymore.

My friends get up from their sitting places and walk away without telling me where they are going. I follow for no reason. I walk five paces behind them down the street. They take no notice. I stop walking. They take no notice. I watch them walk away.

I stand alone in the dark street looking around at myself. With a shrug of my shoulders and a tinge of sadness I climb up the stairs to the train platform and ride off across a big cold and dark city.

Alone.

Friends in New York City.

Links to previous travelogue entries:

  • Reflections on Eastern Europe
  • New Travel Strategy Works
  • Scholarship to Travel the World

Space Noises in an Abandoned Lot in Brooklyn or, Friends in New York City
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Filed under: New York City, USA

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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