That's Dan Pensyl and Milton Arellano, my old roommates. I was staying on their couch in Brooklyn when we all got woken up by a series of panicked phone calls letting us know that everything around us was on fire. It wasn't, but the warehouses by the waterfront, which incidentally house the Autumn Bowl, were going up in flames. We snuck past the barriers and had a look. It was intense!
There were reporters everywhere! It was the biggest fire in New York in over a decade (not counting September 11th). Ever notice how every channel has a female Asian reporter? This lady was freaking out but she was doing that "Go to your happy place, Ellen!" thing that people do when they're freaking out.
Later on I went to Philadelphia, where Jeremy Fish was having a show at Space 1026. People sometimes refer to Philly as "the 6th Borough," but that ain't true. It's fucking far from New York and there are tolls! I didn't take too many art photos because of having too much fun hanging out with these dudes, so sorry about that. Also, I apologize for the blurry photos. Take it from me, though, these dudes are handsome! Also, Jeremy's show was rad. I was in Philly for exactly 2.5 hours. Then I drove back to New York. Not much of a story there, actually. Are you wondering about the warehouse fire still?
Two days later I went back to the warehouse and everything had calmed down a bit. I had to talk my way in past some cops, but they were pretty cool about it. The warehouse complex is (was) four square blocks and the buildings are all made out of brick and are 140 years old. Everything burned right up to this hallway that separated the bowl warehouse from the rest of the warehouses. The bowl was totally undamaged. Our landlord is under arson investigation now for the third time in four years. It was so calm there again. Even the pigeons were back hanging out. I wonder how long until the raccoons and feral dogs come back.
This is the rest of it after two days of cleaning up. The fire burned for 22 hours and the 50-foot brick walls fell onto some cars parked alongside West Street. It was nuts. After I took this photo, the landlord's sons yelled at me to get out of there. I said to them, "What, is your dad gonna set me on fire if I don't leave?" Then I left. Hilarious side note-CNN has dubbed Joshua Guttmann (the landlord) "the Jewish Torch."
This is my friend Greg Wilson. He has a rad show of his photos up at the Riviera Gallery in New York right now. It's all photos that he took while he'd been kidnapped in Central California last year by this tweaker couple. They held him for three days and at one point they took him out into the desert where he thought they were going to kill him. Oddly enough, they didn't mind that he was taking pictures all the time. If you're in New York, go see his show! It's awesome.
After Greg and I had lunch we went here. They do a great job trimming the hedges.
Then I went back to San Francisco to play softball in the park. There was an impromptu Hightower show during the 7th inning stretch. Those dudes will play anywhere. You can hire them for weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, too, for like $50. Total bargain. Tell them I sent you, ok? I get kickbacks for every referral.
After softball we went bowling. I never realized how "into" activities I am. Here's Emma demonstrating boobs.
I brought a pocketful of fake mustaches for no reason.
Mine was real. (Why do I always feel the perverse need to make a stupid face in photos? I look like an idiot.)
Eric Jones came too.
A few nights later was the first annual Zombie Prom at Pop's Bar. This is Ethan Indorff necking with his prom date.
It was also Jasamyn and Darcy's combined birthday party. Have you ever seen two lovelier undead birthday girls? There was even a sweet undead prom photo backdrop for prom photos. I think the final tally of fake blood used was well over two gallons. It tasted like mint, which just seemed weird to me.
This was my "zombie pose" for photos. In retrospect I probably should have chosen a pose that didn't make it look as if I was groping everyone. See? I'm almost touching Halsey's boobies!
I guess in the end it wasn't so much a Zombie Prom as it was an excuse for people to just act dead or get bloody. It was radical. If it weren't for these photos, I wouldn't remember any of it. You should totally come next year, ok?
Here's Jake Japanese of Hightower biting his spirit animal.
Wow, take a look at this segue! Next up, Hightower was making a music video! That's Mikey Cohen shredding the Alabama Banks while Hightower plays a song. Ethan is somewhere lurking around filming it all.
The next location was the BART Banks. Hightower sure love to do wallrides, hence their song "I Am the Wallride." They're totally old kooks! Go skate a handrail or something, barneys! This is the "band photo" I took of them, notice their huge wheels.
Here's Emma again, this time doing her best imitation of the ladies of the 1970s. I know. Eww. Or maybe not, depending on what you're into.
Then Rob Collinson came over and we took photos for the new Lowcard product catalogue. Can you tell what he's selling in this photo? Me neither.
This is at an amazing music store in North Beach that I forgot the name of. That's right, these are rock 'n roll babushkas! Inside each of these is a smaller version and then another smaller version and then another, until all the members of the band are covered. It's a good bet that the smallest babushka is the drummer. I was so stoked when I found these. They had AC/DC, The Who, Led Zeppelin, and Van Halen, but also a bunch of weirder ones, like Eminem and Bon Jovi. I was going to get the Zeppelin one until I realized that they weren't hand painted. It was done with computers, which is kind of a let down. I know what you're thinking, and you can stop right there, ok? I'm stealing this idea first. The first band I'm going to make babushkas out of is going to be Sabbath, followed by the Doobie Brothers (that one's probably gonna take a while).
The next weekend was Mission Carneval! It was awesome! I don't even know what we were celebrating, but I celebrated the fuck out of it. There was a parade of lowriders, there were tons of bikini girls, and this dude-the li'lest brown bag drunk I've ever seen. Isn't he adorable?
Then I drank a lot of booze on this stoop.
After I recovered from a fairly painful and debilitating hangover, I went out to the new park in Ione, which is past Lodi. It's in the middle of nowhere and is probably the best park for pool dudes in all of Northern California. The last time we went it was in February and Klemoff, Magnethead, and I camped out in the woods overnight. Our water jug froze solid and I almost lost a couple of toes. This time I went with Magnethead, Sperm, P-Stone, Sneaky, and Digger (aren't nicknames the greatest thing in the world? I wish I had one.), and it was really, really hot. And the pollen count was really, really high, which lead to me having debilitating allergies and, on the way home, my first asthma attack since I was 10 years old. Then Magnethead's dog threw up on me. It was super rad. This is Digger's back yard in Marin. He built a quarterpipe out of slate so that it would match the landscaping. Here he is doing as smith grind at home.
This is a photo of Sperm, who now prefers to be called by his Christian name, which is James. He's a hero of mine because of his utterly nomadic life. One day I'll see him in San Diego, the next in New York or Philadelphia. He pretty much lives everywhere and nowhere, like a phantom, and he rips, too. This is when we stopped skating and just concentrated on barbecuing and drinking beer. I was also concentrating on figuring out how to breathe due to the resurgence of my asthma. God, I'm good at complaining. Digger had caught some salmon and Gunner, the dog, ate it off the grill, which is probably why he later threw up on me.
A few days later us old park barneys went to the Walnut Creek park. By sheer luck, we went on the same day that they were having some sort of county fair across the street from the skate park. They even had a giant inflatable vert ramp with what seems to be Chad Muska skating it. I couldn't figure out why they would have that. They should have put the inflatable Muska shredding a giant inflatable rail or banging a giant inflatable Hilton sister. In any event, the inflatable vert ramp didn't even do anything. I thought at first it was one of those bouncy castles for the kids, but it wasn't. It was strictly decorative. This is Dennis Williams in his totally radical 80s thrashin' gear (complete with leather gloves), which didn't seem the least bit out of place.
(same as above)
This is just two mariachi fellows waiting for their pizza. Nothing interesting was going on but I still took their photo when they weren't looking.
Here's a photo of Mr. Fecal Face himself, John Trippe, shredding back the night. This is from the other night when John, Tim Nargis, and I went out boozing. We started out drinking and complaining about girls at Zeitgeist but then moved the dude-fest to this wine bar down the road (I know), and eventually we just got tallboys and hid out in the playground on Octavia St. at 4am. It was one of those rare nights when dudes get all wistful and give voice to their innermost fears and desires, hopes for the future, and regrets of the past.
John and Tim outside of the wine bar. Tim is a ghost. John's just blurry.
Then when it was light again, some kids I hadn't seen in ages made a barbecue in Golden Gate Park to celebrate the birth of Mr. Zach Blue, an excellent fellow that I also haven't seen in ages. In fact, it's been so long since I moved to New York and then moved back to San Francisco that people got the idea into their heads to make little versions of themselves. Here is the last of the famous international playboys (note his glasses), Chris Duncan, and his progeny, Aya. She eats tofu like it's going out of style.
Cairo Foster also decided to make a baby. Interesting side note: Cairo and I went skating one time when we first met many years ago and he asked how old I was. I told him that I was 19 and he said, "Me too! Doesn't being 19 rule?" And you know what, Cairo, it totally did.
Whereas Chris's and Cairo's kids are lovely little ladies, Elias Bingham's child is really hairy and hasn't learned to walk upright yet.
My roommate, Mariah Gardner, obviously telling little Aya about all sorts of unsavory business involving weiners.
Next thing you know, Faye Jaime and some cohorts had snuck off to the far end of Marx Meadows and set up a water balloon slingshot. They seemed to have an endless supply of water balloons and Faye's aim just kept getting better and better. She's a real deadeye with that slingshot. People were getting pelted from 65 yards away. It was like a mortar shelling, total shock and awe! Dogs were freaking out! Children were crying! Lisa Sussman had a bowl of guacamole explode all over her! Look closely at this photo because Chris Wright and Zach Blue are just about to get soaked.
Then, as if to draw a long and colorful month to a close, Dave Franklin showed up for our weekly Softball Sunday in this shirt. I guess when you go to the county fair, you have to come back with something airbrushed. Although personally I can't quite figure this monstrosity out. Is it an ironic shirt? Is it meta-irony? Dave, what gives? Are you making fun of hipster airbrushed shirts? Are you making fun of irony itself? How post-modern would that be? Whoa! Are you yourself "so fucking hip?" I have no idea what's going on here. See what happens when you live in an age of irony? After a while you can no longer be sincere about anything. Ever. Also, Dave, t-shirts now come in sizes other than medium. May I suggest a large, perhaps?
John hit the day's only home run. See how happy he is? See? Isn't it beautiful? Isn't life beautiful? Everything is beautiful and magical and nothing will ever hurt and none of us will ever grow old or die. And all of this will go on forever. Amen.
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