Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Won't Get Byrned Again: The Indignity of Being an Unwitting Participant

While many Craigslist "missed connections" posts are noteworthy in their specificity, some are actually conspicuous in their ambiguity. The following post is an example of the latter:



guy on a bike at david byrne show - w4m (prospect park )
Reply to: [deleted]

Date: 2009-06-09, 1:01AM EDT


we saw each other in passing not once but twice after the david byrne show. you were biking away on your bike and saying goodbye as i was walking home. i thought you were cute!



While it's possible the lack of detail is an attempt to solicit as many responses as possible by omitting any specifics that might serve as filters, it's more likely that this particular poster simply lacks descriptive prowess. The fact is that not everybody can describe a person accurately using only words. This is why if you're an eligible person in a large urban center and you want to be singled out for a "missed connection" it's extremely important to apply as many distinguishing features to yourself as possible. Just imagine how much more effective the above post would be if it included the sentence, "You were shirtless with a tattoo of Charles Nelson Reilly on your back, you were wearing fishing waders, and you had a pair of live macaws on your handlebars." Of course, this can backfire, since in a large enough city the more people try to set themselves apart the more they end up looking like each other. (For example, one needs only visit Williamsburg, Brooklyn to see that the Charles Nelson Reilly tattoo and waders is the tribal arm band and Dr. Martens of 2009.) Still, every little bit helps.

In truth, looking for a "guy on a bike" at last night's David Byrne concert in Prospect Park, Brooklyn was like looking for a guy with a helmet mirror at a charity ride--it described just about everybody there. And the reason I know this is that I myself was at last night's David Byrne concert; moreover, I was there on a bike as well. However, it just so happens that I was there completely by accident.

Firstly, I should say that I'm not much of a David Byrne fan, and as such I don't keep abreast of his comings and goings. Sure, since he's also become the Bono of local cycling advocacy it's inevitable I come across him from time to time, but for the most part he's like a Canadian parliamentary debate to me in that I know he's there and I know he's important to a bunch of white people, but nonetheless I have absolutely no interest in listening. Secondly, I should also mention that I regularly ride my bike through Prospect Park. Between my commute and the fact that most of the local races take place there too I've gone through that park more times than Paul Kimmage has been through Lance Armstrong's garbage.

Ordinarily, ignoring David Byrne and riding through Prospect Park regularly have never been a problem for me. However, yesterday evening, these two seemingly unrelated facets of my existence collided with disastrous consequences. As I entered the park, I noticed a larger number of people than usual in the vicinity of the band shell. "No big deal," I naively thought to myself. The summer concert season has obviously begun, and ordinarily there's no problem riding past the stage even when a show is in progress. "I'll just ride through slowly." Unfortunately, I didn't know that this particular concert was being given by David Byrne, nor did I appreciate the large number of people who apparently want to hear him. Before I knew it, it was too late to exit the park, and I was quite literally trapped in a throng of hipsters:

I valiantly tried to stay on my bike for as long as possible, but I was soon forced to dismount and walk. After awhile though even that became almost impossible. It was like being trapped in hipster quicksand. Even worse, since this was David Byrne, the quicksand was multi-generational, and the hipsters ranged from young ones desperately trying to find each-other via cellphone to older ones with "man boobs" (I believe the polite term is "manmaries") wearing Moog t-shirts and carrying their small children. I still did not know who was playing, but I was vaguely aware of a thin, warbly sort of ambient whining coming from the vicinity of the stage. I was too frightened to ask anybody who the performer was, but just as you can look at rock strata to determine the age of the Earth, I determined from the cross-section of the crowd that whoever was in that bandshell was probably pretty old.

Oh, and there were bikes. Lots of them. Some were locked to poles:



Others were under concert goers:


And to my utter horror, some people were even using them as dinner tables:

(All You Haters Scarf My Takeout.)

By now I was beginning to feel like Sean Connery in "Finding Forrester" when they go to Madison Square Garden and he has an agoraphobic freakout, and it seemed entirely possible that I might never escape this crowd. So panicked was I that I began to imagine that the world beyond the park was in chaos as well. After all, given the sheer number of people here, there must be empty apartments full of unguarded modern furnishings and late-model Apple computers from here all the way to Greenpoint. ITTET, surely hordes of bandits were now sweeping across Brookyn plundering recently-closed co-ops and gorging themselves from Sub-Zero refrigerators brimming with Fresh Direct produce. Overwhelmed by the thought that even if I survived this crowd a whole new set of horrors awaited me beyond it, it was at this point that I began to swoon:



I also realized that, while so much of what I had previously thought was important in life no longer mattered to me now, there were two things of which I was absolutely certain:

1) I don't want to die;

2) If I do die, I don't want it to be from choking to death on a blond dreadlock.

Then I saw something in the distance. At first, I thought the crowd had resorted to cannibalism and someone was holding aloft a human corpse. Soon though my eyes adjusted and I realized a concertgoer was literally raising a fixie in the air over the heads of the crowd. I managed to photograph it, though the bicycle is only barely visible:

Yes, apparently at concerts people don't hold their lighters or cellphones in the air anymore. Instead, they just use their track bikes. In a way, it would have been less terrifying had it been a corpse.

In the end, though, I managed to stay conscious, and to my intense relief I eventually made it through the crowd and to the relative safety of the streets of Brooklyn. Incidentally, if after reading this you actually still want to go to a concert for some reason, you can win tickets to something called "All Points West" on Fat Cyclist's sister's blog:

Yes, the Fat Cyclist family is a lot like the mafia, except instead of killing people they just make you help them raffle stuff off for LiveStrong. Sadly, I don't think David Byrne is playing "All Points West," but I was surprised to see that My Bloody Valentine are one of the bands on the bill, and when it comes to ambient noise they make listening to David Byrne seem like holding a conch shell up to your ear. So if you're ready for some Sidi-gazing, visit Pistols and Popcorn and enter the contest. And if you win, don't forget to bring your bike so you can wave it over your head during the power ballads.

96 comments:

Anonymous said...

podium?

c murder said...

Podium! Yeah!

Nick said...

Third!

mattoidbunko said...

Ride on!

Surly Bastard said...

Could it be?

Astroluc said...

HAhHAH! top 10... and I read IT :D

ant1 said...

ant1st!

bklnbikenewbie said...

podium!!!!!

dwth said...

top 10

Astroluc said...

well... I always read it, so I guess that's no triumph. :/

rezado said...

Wizard of cog

hillbilly said...

that was all some kinda weird last night. fortunately for you i think you missed the auctioning off of the Jamis (and the interesting swedish pronunciation) and the bicycle valet parking?

Jim said...

The notion of current 'hipsters' following a musician who had his heyday roughly 30 years ago causes enough cognitive disonnance to tear a hole in the fabric of Tina Weymouth's hair.

Rantwick said...

"he's like a Canadian parliamentary debate ..." Hey snob, you're in my good books just for knowing that Canada is a country rather than the "up north" state.

You also know we have a parlaiment! Are you (gasp) a secret Canuck-hound?

Luck E. Seven said...

This is not my beautiful comment...


A

Smellvin said...

I hope you were wearing your Vittorias on your stroll through PP.

Rantwick said...

Hey, you know that blog post that many of you crashed after I mentioned it here? It's been taken down. It was a pleasure to watch you all work that comments section.

ant1 said...

nice work rantwick.

rightsaid kev said...

One of those 'hipsters' was wearing a Miller High Life hat, a la Da Mayor.

Snob, did you know Nike just came out with a 'Do the Right Thing' commemorative pair of Jordans? Heavy.

sufferist said...

Here i am.

Anonymous said...

Snob, Only 3 of the 9 bikes in the pictures are fixies (taking your word on the one waving above the crowd) the rest are geared...that gives a FGCC (fixed gear concentration coefficient)of 33%...that's awful low...what's going on?

Sidi Gayzer said...

brilliant!

Test Tickle said...

I'm so glad I went for the Shimano mtb shoes instead (replacing my decade old Dominators) .... I mean, I saved $150 and BS's ridicule. Life is good.

Strayhorn said...

If you're an overweight, out of shape Boomer, those flabby things on your chest are known as "moobs."

And I should note that the guy on the Serotta at this past weekend's half-century was an engineer, not a dentist or a lawyer - but he did admit to swapping out the quill stem for an adapter and a threadless stem so he could fit one of those horrendously overpriced Easton K-Wings.

So I guess the universe is still in balance.

Surly Bastard said...

Snob: your horrifying concert-going experience reminded me of the story at the end of Tennesee William's 'Suddenly Last Summer' that drove Catherine (Elizabeth Taylor) insane. Byrne also fits as cousin Sebsatian because of their mutual affection for white suits. If TW wrote 'Suddenly' today it would probably be entitled: ALL YOU HATERS CAN EAT MY BALLS.

bikesgonewild said...

...ride yer bike, feel the byrne...

Disgruntl Ed. said...

On my commute I have had to ride past a maggoty skunk corpse that has been lying next to the path for several days now. Well, at least it's not a David Byrne concert.

Paul Bowen said...

Hey Snobbers, in your attempt to discern the artiste from the crowd, you were almost playing my Brixton game. My route home takes me past the Academy you see and oftentimes the street will be athrong with concertgoers, who I get to give the once over before I see the awning and find out who's playing. The game is to guess from checking out the crowd who the band is then crane my neck as I pass the Brixton Road/Stockwell Road junction to see if I'm right. I usually get close - for example I thought the Stray Cats crowd was for The Cramps (and was relieved it wasn't because I would have wanted to be there for The Cramps - RIP Lux) and guessed Fallout Boy's was there for My Chemical Romance. Sometimes I'm bang on - (Kasabian - mainly twentysomething, overwhelmingly male, generous sprinkling of Oasis teeshirts). And then other times I fail utterly - e.g. some group I never heard of and whose name I now forget who, I found on checking them out, perpetrate a sort of slushily romantic goth metal-lite. German or Swedish I think, with a slightly operatic female voaclaist. Anyway, lots of gothish gals, 15-40, with a smaller number of their male equivalents.

CommieCanuck said...

CHUK NLSN

Paul Bowen said...

Surly: I think you'll find it was Lionel Ritchie who wrote Suddenly.

Anonymous said...

Seems we have more arrogant drivers here in Ottawa, Canada than NY...

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Travel/Arrogance+wheels/1673358/story.html

CommieCanuck said...

Snob is very Canuck friendly, and obviously a big fan of Canadian Parliament on C-span.

Viewing tip: adjust your TV so the color is turned off to black and white: identical to watching the three stooges.

"..Mr Speaker, will the honorable minister from Kamloops kindly explain why he was photographed in flagrante delecto with a baby moose?, nyuk.nyuk."

bikesgonewild said...

...off broadway play by an ex-bike messenger n' shop owner...music in the park by a bike advocate-ive, ex-famous musician...

...fixies in the park, salmon streaming the streets...

...looks like the beginning of a long, hot, cycling & cultural summer in nyc...

tentofortysix said...

"Sidi-Gazing". Totally classic.

Surly Bastard said...

Damn PB, I think you're right. Say, is that NFL team, the Cleveland Bowens, named after you?

Charles "Steely" Reilly said...

Snob - What no coverage of the Tour de Brooklyn?

Pulverized Concepts said...

Best post in awhile, Snob. What an adventure! Do the cops have a number on the burglary epidemic yet?

grog said...

the relative safety of the streets of Brooklyn
huh?

Isolation Helmet said...

I used to see David Byrne on my commute home on the west side bike path. He always wore this jump suit (Very DEVO). Based on your description of the event I am so, so glad I no longer live in Prospect Heights and no longer need to suffer through another monotonous ride around Prospect Park. Thanks for curing any lingering homesickness for Brooklyn.

Critical Ass said...

Yes, that Kevin Shields is one genius of a douche.

Daddo said...

what a horrible day I decided to recommend this blog to my friend Brian Eno.

kale said...

I sure hope the Rose-hued Cannondale from the pole shot is waiting for some like-colored tape.

The dude in the bottom right corner agrees with me.

g said...

heehee,

Kale said pole-shot.

d. fofonov said...

American women are too much fat.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to claim that honour SB but I believe the name was chosen to honour the poet Elizabeth Bowen, whose lecture tours of the US in the middle of the twentieth century had such a profound effect on Ohioans.

Paul Bowen said...

f off fofonov

red neckerson said...

so i checked out this david byrnes feller becos hes not the kind of guy who passes thru viper or even hazard hell i doubt hed set foot in lexington

after i lissened to two songs i had ricky get a screwdriver and poke out my ear drums shit it was the awfullest thing i ever hert

you yankees aint gots shit for brains

Anonymous said...

that missed connection was obviously for seanywonton...

KEXP Listener said...

Aha! The Seattle Mayor's secret plan to affect New York's full wankification is succeeding.

You thought you were getting a great new radio station when John in the Morning started occasionally broadcasting from your fair city. Alas no.

KEXP is insipiently feeding your vile masses vigorous doses of David Byrne and My Bloody Valentine every day at 90.5 FM (90.3 FM in Seattle,) and streaming at KEXP.org.

Get out while you still can.

It's too late for me. I've been donating for years now.

Anonymous said...

I'd heard Canada had a parliament but I had no idea they had television there.

David Yow said...

David Byrne, ladies and gentlemen!

I can't swim,
I can't swim,
I can't swim,
I can't swim.

Anonymous said...

Take (Byrne) to the East River. Throw him in the water.

Anonymous said...

"Please tell me it's Wayne Easter".

Anonymous said...

Donning wet tap shoes
And skanky wool shirt, I leave.
I love this weather

Linda said...

Rantwick--I saw yesterday that the blog post had been taken down, too. That was just plain ignorance on her part so we done dood good. I have little tolerance for people like that.

And I never could tolerate David Byrne either.

Anonymous said...

hi im bavid byne, yu can't all hatte me, why? I gotta BUI/BWI and is cool.

Anonymous said...

that fixie in the air over the heads of the crowd somehow
put me in mind of the ape in "2001, A Space Odyssey"
waving the bone at the obelisk while the others jumped up
and down.

Becks said...

...I was quite literally trapped in a throng of hipsters
I believe the correct terminology is, in fact, a fixie of hipsters.

Anonymous said...

Not apropos of this post, but of a long-ago shot of a disintegrated wheel:

http://www.velonews.com/article/93054/a-shattering-experience---a-post-recall-r-sys-wheel-failure

One thing about crabon, it does not fail gracefully.

Anonymous said...

http://209.85.129.132/search?q=cache:VTX7-4nybVAJ:theutterance.blogspot.com/2009/05/other-day-i-was-driving-along-skinny.html+http://theutterance.blogspot.com/2009/05/other-day-i-was-driving-along-skinny.html&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&client=opera

Once known as The Badger said...

4th, not quite podium

Andy Pandy said...

Anon 4.06 Of course they have TV in Canada but the problem is that you have to pedal a little faster on the generator to get enough kW's to power up the tubes, and your significant other has to be on the roof constantly adjusting the antenna. Here in Oz we are awaiting the QE II's arrival full to the gunwhales with disgarded wireless sets.... cant wait

Anonymous said...

GO PENS!

Jakub said...

Anon, thanks for the link to the cache. I was wondering what I missed.

Detroitus said...

Screw you 6:56. Go Wings.

Anonymous said...

All you haters BAGM YTEA

Anonymous said...

"but for the most part he's like a Canadian parliamentary debate to me in that I know he's there and I know he's important to a bunch of white people, but nonetheless I have absolutely no interest in listening."

= awesome.

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO PENS!

leroy said...

Yeesh, enochlophobia at a David Byrne concert in Prospect Park.

Sounds like the climactic scene from "The Day of the Locust."

Great Depression Hollywood meets Great Recession Brooklyn.

All that was missing was Homer Simpson.

ken e. said...

locked up here in my igloo, does this mean the stanley cup is still up for grabs?

go tom tom club!

bikesgonewild said...

...best setup in sports...game 7 w/ all the previous games won by the home team...

...do the pens want it enough to go into detroit's rockin' house on friday & completely assert themselves ???...(personally, i hope so)...

...it's a hard sell anytime in that building...the vibe, the fans, the red wings w/ their experience & expectations...

...but it's the cup finals & it's game 7...damn...it could only get better if it goes into overtime...one final goal after a season of trying, wins it all...

...& then one of the truly great traditions in all of sports...both teams line up, look each other in the eye & shake hands...

...just sayin', not that i care about hockey at all...bwaaahahahahaaa !!!...

Anonymous said...

american gangster

ringcycles said...

Isn't it bike season already? What's all this talk about big guys ice skating with sticks? Even I've put away the neoprene booties and lobster gloves for the summer. I think the Prospect Park concert and this series of comments are a conspiracy to make BSNYC Stop Making Sense.

Anonymous said...

This comment section is like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates.

ant1 said...

GO PENS!!

Game 7 = this year's Ventoux stage.

Anonymous said...

Hockey's for fags in pads, grow some and play football (soccer).

Anonymous said...

Canada is in Mexico, right ?

hillbilly said...

i found epic, and it turns out to be moderately paced

June 20: Brooklyn Waterfront Epic Ride
Ride the Brooklyn & Queens coastline on a moderately-paced 40+ mile ride from Greenpoint to Jamaica Bay and back.

Anonymous said...

Hillbilly-


"Start: June 20, 2009 - 12:00pm
End Time
End: June 20, 2009 - 12:00pm"

Damn that's epically quick for a 40+ mile ride.

Anonymous said...

In the tiresome before it started practice of tacking "ista" onto words as in fashionista, recessionista, etc, I am wondering how long before one of the lameistas
coins the "epicista"?

bikesgonewild said...

...talk about a self fulfilling prophesy...

Take off, Hoser said...

CANA DIAN

ant1 said...

anon 11:53 - You're right, those soccer players are some of the toughest dudes around. Their pain threshold is off the charts. They don't whine much either.

bikesgonewild said...

...soccer players = more fancy turf diving (& attendant wincing) than an olympic springboard event...

Newsfeed said...

http://gawker.com/5284865/fox-newser-accused-of-dragging-cyclist-through-central-park

kale said...

bgw-

...Indeed...

hillbilly said...

yeah, i loves me some premiership football, but they flop more than the duke basketball team

grace said...

so glad to have discovered your bike! and your post on the david byrne show is awesome

i JUST moved to the city a week ago, and ive found myself in dire need of a bike. any advice on where to find a cruiser on the cheap??

bikesgonewild said...

...kale..."& the oscar/gold medal for most dramatic scene/dive goes to..."...

Nicole H. said...

Although I went to the concert by choice I'm glad I wasn't the only one there thinking I was "quite literally trapped in a throng of hipsters." Also, while there I had this funny feeling and you have helped me realize what it was: the feeling that "there must be empty apartments full of unguarded modern furnishings and late-model Apple computers from here all the way to Greenpoint"...it's like we're thinking with the same brain.

Noah said...

To all you Cyclists especially you snobs, there will be FREE Bike Valet at all of the Celebrate Brooklyn concerts.

Anonymous said...

sidi gazing, yea, thats what I'm into. however, since I do not have sidi's to gaze at myself, I only can do sidi-gazing when racing.

Anonymous said...

Is Yeti Real?
http://www.is-bigfoot-real.com/

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