Monday, May 30, 2005

F'Shan And Other Meaningless Exclamations

Yes, it has been a while, although we note that we have been a more frequent poster than top liberal ranter Digby, as well as a host of other blog celebrities, which you can peruse on our newly-installed blogroll, below and right.

We were in Motor City, and on this occasion were right in the middle of downtown, where there was, on Saturday, this large formless video games festival. We've no idea what it was, and were zooming over to the Windsor Tunnel, so we didn't really catch musch of the atmosphere. The quite awesome Detroitblog certainly didn't see it as worth remarking upon [UPDATE: Oh hang on, he did]. Probably too busy watching the city's remarkable architectural heritage crumble around his ears.

John, the author, is probably too polite to say it, but Detroit's problem is a massive hemorrhage of yuppies. The very smart kinds from in and around Detroit go off to New York or LA, whilee the second string kind of lope off to Chicago. Royal Oak and Ferndale are fun, but lack the infrastructure that the midwestern climber requires. But if the rather twee, and certainly not particularly imposing Gaslight district in San Diego can be reinvented as a must-see playground for the recently graduated then Detroit could be much better.

Nothing illustrates this insanity better than the existence of Windsor, Ontario (at the bottom of the picture). Windsor is a lovely place, the kebabs kick ass, the cops are genial, and the bars seem very fun (we were around at 3pm, so really just peered in). Some advantages will always be unavailable to downtown Detroit - a sane drinking age, steady supply of strippers, established casinos. But it just shouldn't be such a popular night out of choice for residents of a city with a cultural heritage among the best in America. Our theory - any city where there is no way of barhopping on foot is going to lose out to the trashiest competition.

The border guards at the end of the tunnel, however, were the best we had ever encountered, maybe not as jovial as the guys in Buffalo, but much more professional. Having dealt with so many rude guys at the NYC airports we were very pleasantly surprised. Cutesome, who normally gets waved through with a quick welcome home, and for whom this was a first look at what foreigners see, was also very taken by the example of her tax dollars at work. We have heard rumours of a charm offensive at work at the USCIS, but this is the first evidence we had seen of it.

Back in New York, we have to prop three restaurants - Casa Mono, a Battali-pimped tapas joint close to work that sells frogs legs, Public, which was set in loadig bay, is a collaboration between a chef and a London-based design firm, and sold kangaroo, but still didn't piss us off, and Al Di La, which is what all Slopers know is the guv'nor.

We did go and see Kill Henry Sugar on Thursday night, and it was good. We've been popping by to see them in various east village hellholes for a few years now, and they're usually good enough to recognise us, although our associate did somewhat blow our cool by screaming "Play Trumpet! Go on, for the Brits!" at the end of the set. They were good enough to play it. Still, we're sure it is a surreal experience for the boys, who have three home-pimped but modestly-selling albums behind them, to be facing such calls for The Old Hits.

We could go into more details, but may need to rehash the experience for Sugarzine, which finally got round to putting up the Dirtbombs thing we did. Not that it should have seen the light of day - it's not very coherent, and we were drunk as a lord. But yet again we're billed behind reviews of more famous bands. Which is not very underground at all. In fact it's much less underground than the contents of Trent Reznor's head (scroll down), or indeed Miguel's.

While we're on the subject of Miguel's "group" blog, why does the Mancunian "Deirdre" use US spellings and post pictures from gigs held in downtown New York, and why does Mig-Hell not give Indeie his ticket? We're huge fans of anonymity, but multiple Gibson-esque hipster avatars? That's not pomo, it's colonic.

Expect more light posting (we're an hour late to start work) over the next week, as well as a possible vacation hiatus the week after. Bear with us. Your (increased) visits have been much appreciated, although we're still mystified by heavy Israeli interest in an obscure piniped post from a year ago.


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