all that remains of billy's antiques and props on houston and the bowery. 12 april 2012.
It’s hard not to love the spring in New York. Everything and everyone wakes up and the world feels like it’s full of possibility. Even when it rains, it still has this sensation of promise. It’s strange.
Billy’s Antiques and Props was a staple in the city that represented old New York. But as the Bowery becomes more and more gentrified, places like Billy’s now longer have a home. It saddens me that I’m part of that gentrification. I would have loved to roam the East Village and the Lower East Side in the 70’s and 80’s when it was sketchy and cabs wouldn’t even come down here. Now the scariest thing are the “bridge and tunnel” folks on the weekends with their puka necklaces and Jersey Shore hair. That shit keeps me up at night.
I love “Springtime in New York,” by Jonathan Richman. It has nothing to do with the fact that he’s singing about my neighborhood. I swear.
These disgusting things are my second pair of black Chuck Taylor kicks. My first pair had been around the block more than a few times, and after my first love wrote song lyrics on them, I put them away. There’s no sense in scuffing away proof. My first pair is in a box somewhere.
I got these in college to replace the pair I had to put in a metaphoric glass case to preserve the memory. These nasty things have been to more shows than any of my other kicks, they’ve danced to indie pop at Don Hill’s in the West Village, they’ve been to Austin for SXSW, they’ve walked back and forth over the Williamsburg Bridge a few dozen times, and although I brought a new pair with me, these were what got me around the streets of Paris two years ago.
They’re busted and broken, riddled with holes, and manage to pick up and smuggle rocks into the foot-bed. They could also probably use a good scrub, but they’re canvas. No canvas should be washed clean. Ever
“Yer Feet” by Mojave 3:
I was drunk when I met you
I was drunk when you walked out the door
and I rolled around the night
to find you
but I guess you never knew
Yeah you needed something solid
you could hold
like a dog that came when you called
like a coatstand that sits out in the hall
But you don’t need me