Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mill Avenue Nights Saturday November 29th 2008

Expanding my interviews

I have finished up most of my interviews of new and old street rats and have decided that it’s about time that I expanded my interview process of other visitors. This is going to include the more long-time evangelicals as they’ve become part of my observation mandate.

So, I asked Jim if he’d be interested in an interview. I will try to do that next week.

APS Fantasy of Lights

The parade crashed through the Ave and sprinkled electrical dust on everything. Well, not exactly, but it did cause the city to turn on the trees—and by this I mean, they turned on the Xmas lights that wrap around them. The usual white trappings are now across the Ave with some additional changes: colors.

On University and Mill Ave there are trees with green-lit trunks and strange bunches of red and blue “fruit” glowing in them; further down Mill Ave we can find trees that have red trunks, and blue, green, and white “fruit.” These differing trees always occur at intersections. They seem to be the new variety offered by the city to interest people.

The parade culminated in a giant firework show launched from Sun Devil Stadium at about 8:30pm (that was the finale moment.)

They cut off the Ave from normal traffic and let people run about through the street willy-nilly—I love it when they do that. As much as I know it disrupts the normal operations of the city, I have long wondered about if there could be more pedestrian centers. We do have a beautiful bazaar.

People were walking around with cheap light saber toys that filtered strange blue, green, and red lights—some which twisted and twirled through kaleidoscopic merriment as they swirled them in joviality. Welcome to the Ave. Enjoy and be free.

The parade and the crowds that crushed behind it also brought with them a mountain of trash. Discarded wrappers, cups smashed underfoot, tied wrappings of lit-toys that exploded under car tires like backfires.

New Evangelicals

I noticed a fellow who claimed to be a street rat on Mill Ave when he was sixteen; I don’t know how old he is now so I couldn’t say if he was during or before my observations—he seemed to recognize me when I walked past; but I didn’t get a chance to talk to him. I didn’t even get to know what the name of his troupe is (troupe of one…)

He had an honest to gods piano.

I believe it was a KAWAI (I know, that’s Nipponese for “cute” but it’s a real brand) a large, black affair run through with electronics; probably to connect up to his two large speakers on staves. He broke down and ran away before I had a chance to really talk to him. He spent part of his time playing and part of his time proselytizing. I’m sure the Resistance were interested.

I also got to talk to John, who had come out with Lee.

And amidst the groups was Trevor again, although we didn't really get much of a talk in. He got some time on the microphone while I was listening in front of the Post Office before I went to see the people who run the Thirsty Dog.

And then there was also a new young man named Brant who, if he wants to be part of Mill Ave culture, should really learn to be conversant outside of his mirrorspeech or he's going to have a very hard time assimilating into the local color.

The rest of my notes on encounters with evangelicals tonight and the operations of the Resistance will be on the Mill Avenue Resistance observations column. Please direct questions and criticisms of observations there as I can use them to enhance my notes.

The Drum Circle

There weren’t any drums tonight.

Our hangout is pretty much doing well with some wonderful people to stop and talk to. But our drums are lacking.

I saw Vince out tonight, as well as Nikki, and a few others, but largely it was just a social gathering for us to stand and get some attention. I hung around for a while to get news and information on how everyone was doing. By in large people are still being people—plus there was this rumor about Osiris, see below—but really it was another night.

There were about thirty people to be visited with tonight. I don’t have any specific notes on them, pretty much milling around and cajoling with the best of them.

Drum circle / streetrat children

And by this I mean the kids of street rats I used to know. I met Barbie tonight. Her mother was actually before my time, but she's old enough to recall when the RHPS goths were the norm (my particular intra-tribe in the Tempe subculture.) After I offered her one of the books she sat down next to me and regaled me of some street rats that I've known for some time.

She was seven when she was out there with her mother and recalls people from long past, some who haven’t been back to the Ave in years. It was amazing and wonderful to get a chance to chat with her about the nostalgia of the Ave—so much of it has changed since then.

However, being a living, breathing organism and shaped by everyone (all of us) who visit; she is yet another beating heart in the great, glory and breath of life that is our community.

Osiris being hit by a car

Yes. He was hit by a car.

Yes. He is fine.

Thank Gaea that he’s made of some mysterious skymetal that regenerates and protects him from serious harm. What the hell can I say, I am so overjoyed that he wasn’t minced. I just learned tonight that he’d been ploughed over and through and gone to the hospital by another street rat.

It is so good to hear that he’s alright.

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