Fight This Generation

More snowy antics up on Raven Hill, in East Falls. This was around the time that I was writing the View From The Falls column for The Philadelphia Independent, the first installment of which I shared a page with none other than Lord Whimsy, who — blessed be he, and blessed be we — comments on here more than anyone I know. Gotta say, I really believed in the Falls back in those days. Steep hills, tiered rowhomes, magic gardens, secret streets, the lonely whine of distant freight trains at night, a river and three bridges — it truly is a magic place, a Philadelphia out of Philadelphia that’s still in Philadelphia. The first time I saw the river flood over and watched a duck floating serenely down Kelly Drive I knew I was living something that could never be quantified or coherently explained. All we wanted was for everyone we knew to move out there — the rents were pretty competitive back then — and to start a La Vita Nuova with us, a collective reinvention of What Living In Philly Could Actually Be. From what I understand, the place is going through a Total Manyunkification right now…sad, sad. What could have been will never be, but y’know? Fuck it. The same people who will tell you that Philly’s too small will always be the same people to say that East Falls is too far away.

Mikey Prema. For the first time during this entire project, I’m seriously no joke totally stumped for a caption.

Goddamn, isn’t San Fransisco like the prettiest city in America? This one from July, 1998. Me and Vee were just bummin’ around the West Coast when our hostesses in Davis, CA one morning drove us to SF and dropped us off. No problem, we figured, as we got out of the truck (we road in the epic fashion in the open air of the back of a pickup truck), cracked open our fresh cans of Rolling Rock and walked down Market Street, trying to guess what was next. Best bet: a half built home in posh Nob Hill. Walk across the wooden plans, make sure the neighbors don’t see, and you’re in, among the sawdust and fresh wood. No roof was a problem, but it never rained, thank God. Freezing cold at night, up at dawn before the workers arrived and we were off. We met Cassie Powell and her friends at a bookstore. Cassie loved the Beat Generation and but hated me and Vee: two travelling writers on the road. Huh? Either way, Cassie let us crash at her place, but when I got home she never returned my letters. Bummer. No thang, since the next night I met Rosemary, who totally let us crash with her friends in their hotel. Yes, I got Rosemary’s address too, and she totally wrote back. Wait, hold on a sec…holy fuck, I totally just found Rosemary on Myspace! Wow! Now let me just write a — man, isn’t this century cool? Wait till I tell her about this blog!

Let it be said that we met Rosemary while drinking in the park that’s featured on the cover of Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing In America. The whinos we met there were just as interesting as the whinos in the book. And after we met Rosemary and her friends, we realized that yep, magic things still happen there too. Aces.

Okay wait now that I have the browser open I might as well go ahead and look up where — oh crap, you’re not going to believe this, but Cassie Powell is an actress now! No really, she totally has an IMDb entry! Okay, sure, so I haven’t heard of the three 2005 films she’s apparently starred in, but what the hell, who said I knew anything about film anyhow? That’s right, no one!

Back to the above photo…

Question One: What film was this street prominently featured in?

Question Two: Where’s Waldo? Uh, I mean, where’s Bader?


9 thoughts on “Fight This Generation

  1. Pretty soon you’ll be near the long-defunct Down To Earth Coffee Shop, in historic downtown Mt. Holly (shut down — as the story goes — in 01 for being a secret meth lab!), where DRYAD played their first show in the spring of 1995. That’s the first time I met Heather McMonnies. She offered to help carry our equipment out. I was like, who’s this blond chick? She looks like a cheerleader! I think she heard me, and felt really bad about it for years hence, but chances are she forgot. I bet she never even READS these comments anyhow! So there!

  2. Yes–I’ve been dealing with contractors all week (tile guys, flooring guys, door guys, chimneysweeps, etc), and painting the interior of the place in bright whimsyesque colors. The Weird Hill is only two blocks away, where the Forlorn Turkeys reside.

    Our dear friend Heather certainly has wholesome, cute looks, but “cheerleader” doesn’t really come to mind; there’s a lunar serenity in the face–more like a Polish St. Bernadette or something. Similar things can be said of some of the pretty “unicorn bait” ladies who frequent the Fern Knight shows. Leafy wreaths look absolutely marvelous on their heads.

  3. One: twelve years ago Heather looked like a cheerleader, trust me.

    Two: There’s a demented part of my brain that unpacks those last two sentences to mean that you psychically knew that I have a photo of my ex-girlfriend on a trip we took to the mountains of PA where she’s wearing a wreath of pine-vine that she made, which thus made her “Unicorn Bait” because her new boyfriend has a ponytail and is in fact in Fern Knight.

    Then I’m like — what, am I going crazy or something? I can’t be!

  4. Twenty years ago, I looked like a cheerleader’s stalker.

    The wreath theme is fresh in my mind these days. Went to a solstice thingie that featured wiccan proceedings and wreaths. The people who sold their house to us were wiccans, as are their neighbors. Had discreet little alters in the back yards. After that fateful trial that Franklin wrote about in the 1730’s, witches have at last returned to Mount Holly.

    Can’t keep any of the names straight in that Compound scene–I’m merely a guest. Really nice kids, though.

  5. That’s Lombardstreet, been in a bunch of great flicks (mainly VERTIGO)! The pic’s too damn small to find any sign of a California Bader, though!!! Where are ya’, lad?

  6. Ben…Ben! Of all people YOU have the biggest monitor I’ve ever seen. What is it, like 50 inches? 60? It’s like a movie theatre! So you got no excuse, I’m real easy to spot in the pic, that’s me right in the middle, hands on hips, blue Puma windbreaker. Duh!

  7. I owned the down to earth coffee house in mount holly –it was not a meth lab–meth sucks–it was an ecstasy lab

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