The Q at Parkside
News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.
Monday, July 5, 2010
That booming bass can take your breath away - permanently
Grenada. Here in Parkside Caledonia, more than a few of our neighbors hail from this gorgeous island nation just NE of Venezuela. If you're a person of a certain age, you'll remember the invasion of Grenada by the U.S., an event that puzzled most Americans, since few knew the nation existed, let alone needed rescuing from the barbarous arms of totalitarianism.
Two doors down from me, Barry is the super of a large Clarkson Ave apartment building. He's from Grenada, and proudly wears his country's colors on his rasta hat (some call it a dread cap). He's a really sweet guy, and he came up to me on the 3rd of July to say he was having some friends over, and they were doing a barbecue in the back of the building, and they were going to play some music, and he hoped it would be okay. Now, I know when something is a fait accompli as much as the next non-french-speaking person. So I said, no prob Barry, have a great time, at which point I made a really lame attempt at a bump handshake that he decided was so lame maybe he should just shake my hand Western diplomat style. Which was cool, and we're cool, and it's all cool.
5 minutes later the music started. The house rattled. The whole neighborhood rattled. Car alarms went off. I could see from my backyard a giant rack of gear with pretty flashing lights (was it just coincidence that the lights were the same red, green and yellow of the Grenada flag?). But Holy cannoli Sicilian Batman -- the thump of the 808 (yes, I've made a few records in my day) was extraordinary, even by Brooklyn standards.
Now I could make some lame-ass joke about how white people like treble and black people like bass. And the fact that I had just that morning been listening to the Hollies and Burl Ives could nail that sucker home. Don't get me wrong, I love George Clinton, but even the Atomic Dog never had cojones as big as today's reggae and dancehall. It's NYC, and there's no reason to complain, and we didn't, and the day was great and the house held up and Barry's guests were pretty much spleafed out and mellow by 11PM.
But here's the poop: massively loud music can actually make your lungs collapse. I thought this was an Urban Legend, but then I read this:!!