Showing posts with label neighborhood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label neighborhood. Show all posts

Friday, June 13, 2008


Every once in a long while a club will change it's appearance or the types of events it has. Usually this is done due to a change of ownership or in hopes of making more money doing something different. Rarely the club changes due to problems with the clientele. This change shouldn't happen if the right type of security is there to enforce the club's rules. Unless the security personnel's hands are tied.

There was a club in a nearby neighborhood that made a drastic change a while back. They used to have a lot of hip hop, reggae, and house music nights. They also had live music that ranged from country to heavy metal. They tried to bring in a mix of all the different styles to keep a mix of customers. They worked like this for many years.

The hip hop nights became very popular. They started drawing in a lot of people. This particular form of music sooner or later brings in a particular type of people. People who like to wear baggy clothing, hats turned to a side, and certain pant legs pulled up to their knees. All of these are characteristics of gang bangers or wanna be gang bangers. Once enough of these characters show up there's usually different members from different gangs showing up, which is never good.

At some point after the different gangs showing up it's only a matter of time before more drastic measures start to happen. Someone's looking at someone else's girlfriend, someone bumped into someone, or someone is just wearing the wrong colors. Then the fighting, knives and guns start to be shown and all the idiots involved ruin it for everyone else.

That's exactly what happened to this club. They did too many hip hop events and the idiots started showing up there. The idiots started bringing their guns and knives. The guns and knives started to get used. The club closed down for remodeling.

Now some people might say that it's the clubs fault for this to have gotten that bad. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've said it a few times myself. The club should have gotten metal detectors or i.d. scanners. That might have scared off some of the problems. Instead, the club closed down and remodeled the entire place. They even went so far as to stop all live music.

Now I don't know if the problems were the entire reason behind the remodeling. I don't have the inside track but to me they're just as good as anything else. In fact, other people had the same idea.

As I stood outside of my doorway a skinny black guy with his pants hanging below his ass walked up to me. He didn't look familiar at all. With the club I mentioned above closing we've started to get a lot of newer faces in the area. No doubt they're looking for another club in the area that is hip hop friendly. When he walked up I asked for his i.d. and he presented it.

"Yo man, you got beats in here?"

"Do we have what?"

"Beats man, you know, hip hop an shit."

"No," which was a partial lie, we do have some hip hop on the juke box.

"No? Shit... hey man, you hear bout Sound Club?"

"I heard they remodeled."

"Yea, that some bullshit man. Justa keep us out. Wha you think bout that?"

"I think it's great."

"Wha!? It some fuckin bullshit man..."

"No, the bullshit is the idiot gang bangers and their guns. You think I want that kind of shit in here?"

"Wha eva man.. they jus tryin gentrification us."

At this point I was confused. Why wouldn't the bar try to better themselves? "Seriously man?"

"Fuck yea.. just tryin to keep tha niggas down is all. Can I go in here or what?"

"Yea... just pull your pants up. We have a dress code."

With that the guy stared at me, waved his hand at me and walked off. I couldn't help but laugh a little bit. Here he was trying to seem like he was smart. Makes me wonder if he heard someone else use that word earlier and people agreed with that person. He used it so it must be the right word to use...

Gentrification is basically when you take something bad and turn it into something better. So here he was admitting to being something bad and not wanting to become better.

What a great state of mind.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Taking it home...

When you live in an apartment building sometimes people decide to have parties. It's only a matter of time that the cops get called if you don't clear it with the rest of the building or at least the landlord. It's very rare that a big rave type of party happens in someones apartment.

"Yo man, 20 bucks man."

I stopped fumbling with my keys that were still in my pockets and looked up. In front of the doorway to my apartment building was a guy about 6'2" tall. He had a ball cap on turned sideways, an oversized white hoodie, baggie jeans, white shoes and a jean jacket. I stood there looking at him, "Excuse me?"

"Yo man, it's 20 bucks to get in dis party."

"Yea, that's great. I live here." I started up the stairs again.

"What? You din't hear me or somthin man?" His hand came up as to stop me. I grabbed his hand, bent it back towards his elbow and spun him around. Now his face was pushed up against the wall.

"I heard you fine. You must not have heard me. I live here."

About that time a few people came walking around the corner. I had a feeling these were friends of his fairly quickly and had an even bigger feeling that I was going to be hurting in the morning.

"Yo Ty! Hey man, let him go!" The two guys came running up and the girl was slowly making her way up. I started pushing up on Ty's hand making him stand taller and become even more uncomfortable.

After Ty gave out a little yell I said, "You guys stay back or I'm breaking his wrist." The guys slowed down and stood there staring at me.

"Yea, he gets paid to do that kind of stuff." The girl in the group came walking up. It was Janet, she lives down the hall and apparently is the one having the party.

I pat Ty on the shoulder and ask him if we're cool. When he agrees I slowly let the pressure off of his hand and arm. I go nice and slow so if he decides otherwise I can put him back in place.

Janet walked up to me, "I'm sorry Mike. This won't happen again."

"You can't have some guy out here charging. That's just dumb."

"I know, I know..."

"In fact, how bout you get up there and turn off this racket and get everyone out. I want to get some sleep."

"But people are finally showing up. It's an after hours party."

"Well, we can do it the fun way. But you'll probly get in trouble for it."

"Your not gonna call the cops are you?"

"I'll give you an hour, after that it's fair game."

Saturday, October 13, 2007


It's always interesting when you walk out of work. It's usually daybreak by the time we get out. The birds are chirping and there are people heading off to work, the normal joggers and the dog walkers are out as well. It's a total switch from night to day in the matter of an hour or two.

Every time out the door it's the same. We all stand out front and talk while we wait for cabs to come by and we set the girls off to their homes. Some of the guys walk the girls to their cars and then it's our turn to take off and go our separate ways until the next night comes again.

After everyone's accounted for I start walking the three or four blocks to my car as I usually do. I usually park this far since parking is limited near the establishment and it's good to get that little walk in after work. I also like parking that far away so it's harder for any past conflict (aka assholes, douchebags, etc.) to know what I'm driving and to damage what little bit of a fine running automobile I have. Some people tell me not to be so paranoid but I know what can happen.

I hate for this to come out as some kind of Roadhouse situation but it has happened to me before. I've worked in places where I'd park close because I was running late and then later there would be a problem and somehow my car ended up on the receiving end. I've never gotten a stop sign in my front window but I have had flat tires and words scrawled on it. Through out time I've learned to not park close to work and I've started getting there earlier so people don't notice me getting out of my car. It's just better for my car and my wallet if I do.

It's been a long time since anything like that has happened and I am knocking on my cheap fiber board desk which I'll now dub as "wood" as a safety precaution.

In fact, I think it's been at least two or three years since anything like that has happened. Even then they just wrote a few encouraging words on the drivers door of the car. I found it funny and the other guys I worked with at the time took it a little more personal than I did. I never let little things like that bother me. I figure that if they really knew me they wouldn't be doing it.

I've never been the type of person that takes things personal. It's just not worth my time or effort when it comes down to it. Of course, if it had been someone I knew and they knew me then it's a totally different ball game.

This morning as I walked to my car everything seemed the same as normal. Nothing out of place and lots of joggers. It's nice not having to worry about things happening and sometimes thats worth more than having things happen just so there's something interesting to say.

Then again, when nothing is happening it gets to be pretty boring as well.

Monday, October 01, 2007


Being a doorman at a popular establishment is strange. While your at work everyone wants to know you and they see you clearly. When your not at work your pretty much invisible to everyone. Which is actually pretty nice. Lots of people have two different types of memory functions. The sober memory that remembers to take the dog to the vet and the Drunk memory that remembers what the doorman's name is and what he looks like. So most people have their sober memory working during the day and I stay invisible to them if they actually see me.

Sometimes I'm even invisible to some people when I'm right in front of their faces.

"What do you mean Mike's not here?" The woman speaking to me wasn't all that ugly. Her body had a great form with all the curves in the right places. "He better be here, or he ain't gettin any tonight!"

This just made me think, Who the hell is this chic?? I figured she was just trying to make a spectacle so that I would feel uneasy and let her in. "Listen, do you even know who Mike is?"

"I should. He's my baby's daddy." Now it really became interesting.

"Well, could you describe him to me? I haven't met him yet but I hear he's a real big shot around here."

"I don't have to describe anyone to you. If you don't let me in now you won't have a job tomorrow."

At this point the other people in line are all looking and I can hear some of them mumbling about. This woman was just getting louder with everything she said. Then she started to walk up to the door.

"Listen honey..."

"Don't you even honey me.."

"Listen, if your not with this Mike person that supposedly works here I can't let you in. Your gonna have to wait."

"Oh.. that's it. You ain't gonna have a job tomorrow!"

Just then, as if on cue, Megan walked up with a couple of her friends. "Hey Mike, I just have a couple friends. Think we can squeeze in?"

"Of course hun."

I turned to the loud mouthed woman and smiled. She stood there looking at me with her mouth wide open. "Miss, you never asked me what my name is. I don't know you so either wait in line or leave."

"That's just bullshit! You let me go on like that in front of all these people!?" she said as she spun around and started walking away. The crowd of people started laughing and she started telling them all to shut the hell up as she walked away.

It's funny how people never notice you until they want something from you. There are some people that know how to work this game and there are those that don't. Name dropping rarely ever works. The one time that it does guaranteed is when your a friend of an employee and that employee actually says something to the door staff about you showing up. Most other ways don't work at all.

Still the best way to slip into a place that has a line is hard cash. Just don't be cheap about it. If you want to act like a big man then pull out the big dollars, especially if you have people with you.

I still go out in the neighborhood occasionally and I take notice of the people that I meet at other establishments. If I see you enough then I help you out. I don't even expect you to do it for me, I could care less. I'm not about to shell out money to get into a place but I'll get into that at a different time.

I find it weird but comfortable that people don't recognize me while I'm out. It's kind of nice knowing that people don't notice me when I'm not at work. I've sat and had drinks with people I've thrown out before and listened to how they thought that "bouncer" was an asshole. Then I go on about how the guy is just doing his job and they agree. Sooner or later it comes out that I'm that asshole and everything is fine. They come back to the establishment and they're more aware of how I do things.

Now I just need to figure out how to work this invisible feat for personal gain.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Busy, Busy...

Now that the heat is starting to turn up more and summer is in effect we've been getting busier. Thursdays have became the new Friday and Friday and Saturday are still just as busy as always. Plus, with all the little festivals going on in the neighborhood it gets people out of their house earlier and they want to stay out later. Which means even more people trying to get into the establishment.

What's this mean for me?

It means that I deal with more people that just don't seem to have a clue. It means more people waiting in line to get in and even more people arguing with me as to why they aren't coming in. The wait time is longer because less people are leaving. Even more people are trying to play the "I work at this place or that place" game and more regulars to deal with.

The entire neighborhood has changed a lot. There's more of the baby stroller yuppie types in the neighborhood now and a lot more suburban people coming through which means less stories about people trying to tip me to get in. Now it's usually "Stop by my job and I'll hook you up with free entries with your dinner," or "I'll hook you up with free tickets to a show." The sad part is that I already have these hook ups through these peoples bosses. So now your offers are null and void.

I wish I could revisit posts of people hooking me up like Mr Strong Handshake did back in the day. If I had more days like that I wouldn't be so stressed about everyone being clueless about how things work. I guess I've been in the industry too long to realize that not everyone thinks of these things as common sense practices.

The major festivals bring about bands and promoters and I'm always trying to hook them up. I don't ask for anything from them but if I have heard of them I will do what I can. If I don't know you then I hope that you show up with someone I know from the club you played at. Then I can make them look like rock stars. Occasionally I'll get tickets to a fairly big show in the area for helping them out.

When I get the tickets it's a toss up as to what I actually use them for. Sometimes I'll give them to some unknowing customers that were really cool or I'll give them to a co-worker, very rarely I'll sell them. If I do it's money in my pocket and everyones happy, especially me. I've even used them as trade before to get things that I really wanted for myself. Flat panel TVs and other items are pretty expensive these days.

So every hook up is used for a hook up. That's how it's done. A person doesn't go out of their way for you just because they think your nice if they don't know you. They do it so they can get something out of it for themselves. Yes, that even goes for that nice guy that held the door open for the girl. Everyone wants something.

I know.. I'm being cynical again. Or am I?

Monday, April 23, 2007


Just to go off topic a little bit here. I'm a driver, I have a car and I drive around a lot. I know a lot of people look at me crazy with all the other transportation options but I like to drive. I always have, I always will. I just wish half the people out here that do drive had common sense. There should be some kind of testing for that.

Like when you park your car on the street, leave a couple feet on both ends of your car if you can. Don't just park in the middle of 2 parking spots. You fuck it up for everyone else. Thanks man, now I get to walk 2 or 3 blocks because you don't know how to park.

Horns are great, really they are. When I hear one go off now I completely ignore it. Yea, I know your probably in a big hurry to reach that red light up ahead. Your probably in a bigger hurry to whip out and go around me and almost hit that old lady that's in the middle of the street. Ever wonder why people slow down and stop in the middle of the road? We do it just so your invaluable ass can whip out around us and hit something or someone. Really, the world is out to get you.

It's also very brilliant of you to have half your body out the window screaming at someone behind you while your driving down the road. It's not like there's anyone else on the road except for you.

The funny part is, now that you've laid on your horn, almost fell out of your window, and came really close to hitting that dump truck in front of you, you don't have much to say. When your cars sitting you don't say anything at all. You stay in your car and you don't say a word. Makes me wonder what might just happen if I did get out of my car and walk up to yours. Would you still be the big macho man for your girl or would you just sit there and cower?

I've never understood road rage. Most things I let slip by because it's not worth my time to really care if someone else gets hurt. Seriously, if your driving gets you killed then so be it. If your driving kills one of mine... Then you better hope it kills you too.

I might be on the right side of things but that doesn't mean that doing some bad isn't right as well.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

No really, your too good....

The local festival is all over. It was pretty quiet with a few exceptions here and there. Mostly just drunks trying to come in and then argueing with me outside that they weren't good enough to come in.

That's right...

That they weren't good enough to come in.

Sometimes it's fun to be at the front door. Someone walks up, drunk off their ass, and I refuse them entrance. They start argueing that they're not too drunk, then it changes that I don't think they're good enough to come in. I agree.

I tell them that, yes, you are too good to come into this bar. You should try another bar because you are too good to come into our tiny, ugly bar. That we don't deserve you inside.

And just like I changed from your not good enough to - your too good to come in, they get confused. Then they say that I shouldn't try to get them in the bar and they're going to take their business somewhere else.

I act a little sad but then wish them a good night.

McGee came through again, looking the worse for wear. Drunk every night and eyes glazed over. Sad part is, he shows up early and looks like crap. He did take a short break for a few days though. Then I saw him walking around one night when I was leaving my house.

He had the same clothes on as he did last time I saw him out and he was carrying the ole brown bag special. For those of you that don't know what that is, it's basically a bottle of booze bought from the liquor store wrapped in a brown paper bag. He was already stumbling a little and it was only around 1 in the afternoon.

Some people get wrapped up in the liquor and what ever else they get into. I'm glad I've seen the damage that could happen through past experiences and watching people destroy themselves. Then again, many people have and have followed that road.

There's no real way to tell why people do certain things. I guess I just like to have control of myself. It's a good thing to have and a bad thing to lose.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


With the summer coming full steam there are always festivals all over the city. Each festival is completely different whether it's for a country's liberation, a religious factor, or just about any other reason you could think of (food, beer, etc.).

So with the local festivals going on we always get people in that we never see before and will probably never see again. Usually it's a quiet crowd but once in a while there are a few loud mouths, nothing too major.

The biggest pain is just the car horns blaring and idiots running in the streets. Which makes for doing anything other than sitting at home a pain as well. Traffics backed up, horns blaring everywhere, and people jamming up the streets and walking whenever and where ever they want to.

I was on my way to work and a group of people walked across the street in front of traffic causing traffic to stop and allow them to get by.

Then a simple thought ran through my head. If I was a sick and twisted person I'd probably just run them over. There's no crosswalk, no cops directing traffic and according to law they were in the wrong, even if they got hit by a car. As long as you don't run your not at fault.

Of course, thoughts run through everyones head like that from time to time. It's just a good thing it rarely happens.

The big weekend is coming up in just a couple weeks. Fireworks, gunshots, drunks, and a slew of other things that may or may not turn into problems.

Last year was fairly quiet but if these little festivals are a sign I think it might be a little louder this year. Time will tell.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Kharma's a bitch...

Sometimes things happen for a reason. Some people believe in Kharma and that's pretty much the way I see it as well even though I'm not much of a religious person. I guess I just haven't found one I fully agree with.

Working in this neighborhood you tend to get to know a lot of the people that work in the neighborhood. It's usually a good idea since people help people. Sometimes it's a good thing and sometimes it's a bad thing.

Mcgee stopped in early one night. He's a doorguy at one of the local bars but usually doesn't show up until late but just early enough to get a drink in and leave. He's shifty and I usually keep an eye on him coming and going. He's been told not to come to the bar before and we've asked him to leave a few times before due to his drunkeness and his mouth.

He came walking up, shook my hand and looked at me with his glazed over eyes. "I got fired tonight.... you hiring? I really need a job.... I can do this shit... easy..."

"What happened man?"

"Eh.... you know.... they said I was drunk.... I told them I wasn't drunk... I was just having a few drinks...."

"Well, we're not looking for anyone but you should try next door. I heard they were cleaning house."

"Nah.... they won hire me.... I need a beer...."

Mcgee walked in and got himself a beer. He stumbled through a couple more times running around the neighborhood stopping at places asking if they needed help.

A brilliant thing to do while he was drunk.

Now even if we were looking for help we wouldn't hire him. He's an asshole. He's one of those guys that abuses his position. He's been barred from the bar for "borrowing" bottles of liquor and for running his mouth way too much. Plus he won't get hired due to his other ways of making money.

The guy dug his own hole by his own actions. You treat people bad, you make your quiet actions known, you do the wrong things and it comes back to you. People can see you falling down and no one wants to hold you up because they don't want the hassle from someone that's never done anything for them.

I'm sure Mcgee will find something away from here. If not there might be a new bum on the town.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


The weather's changing. The days seem to be getting a little longer and the people are getting stupid again.

When the weathers really nice out or really crappy, you can count on the people being stupid. I don't know why people get that way but they do.

Maybe when it's really crappy out they want to get really drunk to forget their blues. When it's really nice out they want to celebrate. No one really knows except for them. I could sit here and speculate on it all for hours but that'd probly annoy you and it'd waste a lot of time.

This time of year is usually the Changing of the Bums too.

Changing of the Bums is pretty simple. The bums that were around last summer and this past winter that got on everyones nerves head off for a new area. Like clockwork, new ones take their place. It's almost like a giant system of placement. Maybe they have a union or a newsletter that no one knows about. Kinda like the markings hobos used to use to tell if a town was friendly.

Hobos and bums are basically the same. Ones in the city and ones on the road. So I'm sure they have some kind of thing going on.

"Yea man, if you act all crazy up there by Joshua's Dog stand you'll get more cash than if you sing. But if you go downtown an bring along a dog you'll get even more. dem people down there fall for the lost puppy bit..."

I actually grew up in an area where the hobos left signs up on the railroad tracks. I don't think there were ever any around when I was a kid though.

So with new bums comes the ever lasting circle of telling them to take off. Some run off quick, some walk to the edge of the property, some try to talk to you as to why they're there to begin with, and some just act like they're deaf.

The ones that act deaf are kinda funny. When they start to walk off I drop a few coins on the ground to see if they hear it. 90% of the time they do and turn around looking at me. They grab the coins and walk away.

Most of the guys can be easily swayed to stay away. I'll give them a couple smokes or a buck or two and they keep their distance. I don't do that with all of them but there is one or two that I'll help out occasionally. Those are the guys that are in the neighborhood all the time. It's always nice to have an extra set of eyes and ears in the neighborhood.

Some of these guys have a pretty good racket going on. They can find just about anything you might want. Of course, what ever it is it's never up to par. There's usually something wrong with it but they try and you gotta give that to them.

One of the guys even offers to watch peoples cars for a dollar. He'll watch your car and make sure no one messes with it. Most people give him the dollar just because they think he would do something to it if they don't. I think that ones pretty funny. The guys not going to do anything for the simple reason you could finger him if something did happen. That's a good racket.

So with changes come the same old problems. Just new characters.