Sunday, October 09, 2005

Who Are The People In Your Neighborhood?

So yesterday I plugged in our wireless. More wireless=more blogging. Before I had to crouch over the computer while it was plugged in with the ethernet cable, now the computer is getting closer and closer to sitting on its resting place atop my recording workstation. So, easier workstation use= more workstation use? Hope so!

Today we happen upon an interesting sight here in Philly. Our neighborhood has taken great strides toward cleaning up itself. This is the infamous block where Mumia Abu-Jamal's life changed forever in 1981 (flashback: Free Mumia swept the hip hop world in 1995, a cab driver accused of murdering a cop, and is an interesting discourse in urban blight: cabbie vs. prostitute/police informant vs. the justice system). I'm not going to even postulate on that. It's severely convoluted, and reeks of corruption in several levels.

So our neighborhood, the gayborhood as it is called, is having what is called "Out Festival." There are games, music, vendors and people everywhere. Below our window I am listening to the megaphone-amplified prostylized hate stylings of a religious group here to protest. If it is God's command to save one another, I can think of fewer more effective methods than screaming how much someone thinks someone will to go to hell. The din of plastic whistles is everywhere, it seems someone has supplied the festival goers with the hate crime equivalent of a rape whistle.

It's sad that "live and let live" does not exist. If gays were not in my neighborhood, I doubt I would be able to live here. Where other parts of the city have fallen into abject decay, our neighborhood keeps a delicate balance. We have boutiques, antique shops, gelato and coffee, independent restaurants, and nightclubs, but we also have a some drugs, some prostitution, some filth. Amid the filth, there is positivity. Amid the positivity, there is negativity. It is confounding to see what some people turn the love of their god into. How much love is in their hate? How much hate is there in their love?

Saturday, October 08, 2005


The coffee spot was found today. I mean, knowing it was there but not going doesn't count. Somehow it seems I've been reluctant because I knew it would be just like Common Grounds. And in knowing it was like Common Grounds, I didn't want to face the reality that every coffee shop in the world is the same, it's the people that make them different. My reluctance is completely built off of the reality that there would be no Jakuta. There would be no Jim. There would be no open mic nite to get from Laura, which would then pay off the first MFA studio session.

It's hard, you realize you are a creature of habit, and don't truly appreciate that until you have a whole new world of habit to get to know. New places. New people. Same coffee. Perhaps my attempt to once and for all quit the bean is an attempt to delay the obvious. Arlington will not be replaced, nor recreated. That was a time and a place, and now I am in a completely separate time and place. It's this duality that has kept me going for the past 3 years, and now it's spun me a bit too hard and I seek stability. I know, stability is *so* not indie rock. But then again, neither am I!

So now I have the place and I realize I've been so slouching as a writer. I've been concentrating on specific melodies and writing directly for songs… not pushing my linguistic abilities by putting pen to paper and seeing if I can damn well puncture the writing surface.

This reminds me of my first major transition in life, after college, when these ridiculously arty titles started coming to me. "Stranger with a Camera" "Entrance to the Exit" "Sailing Away from 1972." Sit tight, let's see what other Mingus-lite titles I can come up with. Moreover, bring on the floral verse. There is nothing in the world like being verbose…