Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Walking the Streets Looking (Esperdair Street)

A summary of the blog.
“This is the place it happened. It was here.
You might not know it was unless you knew.”
-Joshua Mehigan, 2015
10:20  It’s October 10th, 2017. 30 years ago, Spider-Man died. I am on a train heading to New York City to visit the place where hedied. The sun is shining on the window next to where I’m sitting, and I have begun writing in a journal about this day. Feels right to do some psychogeography for a book called Espidar Street. I know [illegible text] where this trip will end, I’ve known since the beginning. It was obvious given what theis story is. I don’t know How this will go between the beginning and the end. Nor do I Have a name for this notebook. I have ideas, sure, but nothing con crete. I guess that’s this blog in a nutshell. I suppose I should start reading Weaveworld right now. I promised myself I would start on the train to the city, and I always keep mostly keep my promises.

12:05  Not exactly an Apple store in the traditional sense, but nonetheless Blake appears is the glistening rays of the dying light we call a sun. He sings of many things. Of where I’m meant to go, of… [scribbles] other things I do not recall because my imagination is lacking. But I shall go where he has charged me to go. You know where that is, don’t you?

12:20  Roughly 2 min 15 minutes into my trek, I receive a phone call from my mother asking where I am. Perhaps in an odd sense of universal humor, I am across the street from the Museum of the Moving Image. My brother, on the drive to the train station to get into the city had asked me to stop by there, And while I will make many a stop on my journey, I don’t think that will be one of them.

12:29  In truth, I have an unfamiliarity with Queens. My time in the city is usually regulated to Brooklyn or Manhattan or Union Square. And yet, I have a familiarity with its atmosphere. At home, there is a small city not 10 minutes away. In between that small city and the suburb I call home, is a transition. Compared to the city and my home the area is [illegible text “incomplete?”] Roads are cracked, buildings are abandond, and strip malls and gas stations dominate. [The words “In short, it” scribbled out] And yet, there is a lived in quality as all places do. The tune of an off tune guitar that [illegible text] sounds perfect. The taste of a hot summer’s eve in winter. The feeling of Queens.

12:38  And lo, the skyline of Stamford haunts my trek through Queens.

12:45  As my trek continues, I pass by a table selling used books. Among them, are at least the first 2 volumes of the Percy Jackson books. They were a childhood favorite of mine and tied into another old fav, Cyberchase, and its minor fascination with Greek myths. If there’s anything that haunts my childhood, it’s those old Greek myths.


12:54  Old Theatre seats lie dead on the side of the street like an alley cat or a squirrel. At the table, I found a copy of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. I did not buy it because I am not sure if the take card. Probably not, though I do have a fondness for that book based on reading it for a class in college.

1:01    I stoped for a minute to apply for a job with a local movie theatre. they said to try again in early November for the Christmas season. The decayed sign reminds me of a mobilstation by the High School that had a similar sign. After a storm, [the?] Station lost one of its letters, and it was the “Mobil Art” for a few years. Ironically across the street was a Sunoco Station.

1:07    I see the spirit of the 80’s is still alive in New York.

1:09    Damnthat’s pretty.

1:17    At long last, I turn onto Jackson Ave in an area under construction as all cities are.

1:25    Most of my Christ mases were spent on the 495, going in and out of the city to do my annual visit to my uncle Brendan. He’s good people, though I don’t see him enough to know the validity of that claim. I think I had lunch with him back in July and watched an episode of Game of Thrones with him and that’s it since college. Though, to be fair, his father in law has been in the hospital for a few years So it makes sense for him to spend time with that old man.

1:31    I don’t know why, but I’ve always had a fondness for swimming in bodies of water.

1:38    Honestly, for all my synecism, I can get be hind this sentement.

1:41    Off the bridge and on Eagle St, I see a church like the one I attended as a kid. I didn’t do communion there, but I still went there for a time. I think we left for conveniance and the church’s increasingly reactionary tendancies, though I’ll have to double check with my Folks for that.

1:48    Growing up, I was enamored by the concept of getting a tattoo, A picture representing a part of myself unseen on my flesh, a stor- that has implications as a house does [“by” scribbled out] in a forest. Now, I’m not so sure. Maybe one day, I’ll know, but not today.

1:54    We all have our own ways of exploring a city. Some walk, Some write, and some even paint. All that matters is we understand where we are in a way that works for us. Though, personally, I have a fondness for the musicians on the subway.

1:59    Also Fuck Nazis. [“They’ll never understand” scribbled out] they are the worst! Fuck em!

2:08    [“In need” scribbled out] As I was walking down Franklyn St, I happened upon a bookstore. Bookstores in Brooklyn are as frequent as deer in Greenwich, which is to say “very”. regardless, I decided to take a rest in that store to get some nice AC, I’ll probably get something or other, as I do see some books of note, though not Things Fall Apart.

2:16    I already have this one, but good on the store for having their politics up front and center.

2:27    I loved reading this as a web comic.

2:40    In all honesty, I didn’t care much for Black Hole, though adding the Cambell esque snake to the picture does add to the comic’s exploration of sexuality. (man, I need to finish Snakes and Ladders.)

2:43    I was never a Chaplin fan as a kid ([“though |” scribbled out] I was more of fan of MASH (film) ad Clue), but I still have a fondness for The Great Dictator.

2:50    Shaken Squelchier

2:54    The Call of Duty games were always a part of my adolescence, one that I’m always mixed on. Back then it was their unfriendly multiplayer (though I had a PS3, so I never got rape threats against my mom) now it’s the uneasyness with [scribble] the militarism. (Last weekend, Marvel tried to sign up with a military contractor to make an all ages book. As radio ads for the national guard on Radio Disney prove, this can be extremely effective. Thankfully Fan outrage put a stop to it in less than 24 hours. But they could try again when no one’s looking.)

3:03    If my experience in cities has taught me anything, it’s that we have a bizarre fascination with domes.

3:13    Apperantly, this is Jacob’s Ladder Playground, which in many ways explains Brooklyn’s arch anti-nazi stance: a large portion of the population are Hasidic (misspelt as "hisitic") Jews.

3:20    See also.

3:23    And now we move into more familiar territory as this was where we’d get off to go to Pratt to help my brother move out of his dorm.

3:25    Yes, I was there on October 10th, 2017 and I will be here again in the past and the future. I look forward to going back.

3:45    I’m close to where Blake wanted me to go, I can tell.

3:50    Another pretty bit of art, [though?] I can’t take pictures of them all, now can I?

3:51    Found on the ground by Glo Conda Playground. Only a short while before [scratched out]

4:00     We are the dead: Short days ago,
            We lived, Feltdawn, saw sunset glows
            Loved and were loved: And now we lie
            In Flanders Fields!

4:05    Look, I ran out of water on Flushing, and I need something to drink.

4:23    And Behold, our destination: the Brooklyn Bridge! For it was here were Gwen Stacy died. In many ways, this is a fitting end to this psychogeography. In no way the cause of Peter’s death, Gwen Stacy’s passing still has an important effect upon [“their story.” scribbled out] DeMatteis’ run on the character. It was her death that shattered the Parker/Osborn relationship, her inspiration that pushed MJ into being a better person, and her love that made everyone around her better than they would be without her. [“In” scribbled out] She didn’t need to die for her to have an impact upon the world, and her passing only hurts [“the wo” scribbled out] those whowere left behind. I never knew her, but I miss her.

3:55    It’s November 27th, 2017. The sun has finally gone behind the trees so that it no longer blinds me as I type. I just finished typing up the journal I kept for this entry of the blog. I’m sitting at the Cos Cob Library because I felt like I needed a change of scenery. Get out of my comfort zone and all. I suppose I should have something to say. Despite what you may think from the entry, I did finish Weaveworld, and I loved it so much it actually topped The Lathe of Heaven as my favorite book of all time. I called the theatre back at the beginning of the month, though I did not get the job. I did get an internship with 2Leaf Press (literally on October 11th), which looks promising and my Patreon… is getting me $4 a week, so you know: baby steps. I never got a copy of Things Fall Apart, and I suspect I never will. I finished Esperdair Street a few hours ago, and I didn’t much care for it. It wasn’t that I thought it was bad; it was fine enough. Rather it didn’t leave much of an impact on me nor did it make me want to read the book further than the initial chapters. Then again, I might be a bit too hard on the book, as I felt like I was speeding through it. Not because it was a breezy read, but rather because I’m going to Florida to visit my Grandmother on Wednesday for two weeks and I checked the book out of the library and I don’t feel comfortable reading a library book outside of the Tri-State area. In retrospect, it was probably the wrong move to use this as the psychogeographic entry (probably should have made that the Dirk Gently entry, but I needed somewhere to outline psychocronography). I only did it because the word “Street” was in the title. Then again, my reminiscing about my history does fit within a book that’s mostly about a rock star remembering his career (warts and all). Add to that, a bit of symmetry with the start of Act II and its exploration of genre, and I suddenly feel fine with this being how I talk about Esperdair Street. I’m probably going to take those two weeks off to cool down (maybe more, depending on how long it’ll take to download the next entry). Hopefully the final third of the project will do well, but I can’t predict the future. Before I go though, I should let you know I did come up with an idea for the name of my journal.

(Next Time: House)

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[Photo: Flex Mentallo #1 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly]

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