Roman in Hell

2012 October 18
by Roman Stoad

People rise up! The Beast is Manifest!

Bum’s Night Out: After Roman found this article in a NY Times he picked out of the Billtown trash, he decided to head over to Hell Square and the Terror Zone—it sounded like Roman’s kind of place: drunken broads, leftover booze on the streets for the taking, free, half-eaten sandwiches, and plenty of opportunities to pick the pockets of white people, (whatever color they were). It was Roman’s intention to “accidentally” trip and tumble himself on top of the bodies of the drunk women passed out or sick on the sidewalks outside various trendy establishments. This is generally the only action Roman gets, and it’s cold action at that.

So it was a Saturday that he hit the strip on Ludlow, better known to locals as the Terror Zone. (Many years ago there was one bar in the whole area—Max Fisch—now there are thousands). Since Roman had no money anyway, he attempted to cadge drinks from the iPhone bozos standing around admiring themselves outside the clubs, people who mistook themselves as “special,” and who also mistook old Roman for a piece of local color. Some even wanted to take iPhotos of their friends posing beside a genuine Lower East Side bum—they’d heard of them, they’d just never seen one out in the suburbs where they come from. (By the way, we’re coming to your town too, and soon). One tall swaying blonde person type, who looked like a reject from a “Sex in the City” casting call, took a look at Roman and said to her self-impressed companion, “Look Jimmy, a local resident, isn’t he cute, maybe we should give him a quarter.” Little did the blonde know that I had my hand in her purse already and managed to lift out a twenty, which I spent at the liquor store on Essex.

I wanted to fit in, but everybody seemed so young and pretty and dumb, and they all seemed to have stepped off the pages of second-tier fashion magazines. Indeed, their clothes cost more than Roman’s rent (ha-ha-ha Roman doesn’t pay rent). I walked up and down the sidewalk hoisting my half-pint in the air and shouting, “Let’s party people!” But the people pushed me out of the way in their mad self-involved rush from bar to bar to restaurant to pizza stand to bar again, looking to get laid, or at least looking to spend some that obscene amount of cash burning a hole in their bank accounts.

Disappointed in the constant rejection, I sat down on a stoop with a number of locals who seemed pissed off at the environmental decay: after all they used to live in a “neighborhood” and now they lived in Zoo World. They were sick of it; they felt they lived in a prison in which the bars were made of mad thrills seekers. They said they had formed various community groups to fight it, but the fight wasn’t working. The State Liquor Board really doesn’t care about enforcing the law (which is odd for an institution that supposedly enforces the law).

Now, political activist that Roman is, I said the only solution is to physically take back the streets. Think about it: crowds of locals shouting down the party crowd, chasing them out of the neighborhood with brooms and bats and water balloons. The people have to do it themselves, because he police aren’t going to do it. The police won’t touch white people no matter how badly they behave. We have to do it ourselves, I said, “C’mon my friends, let us gather together in a counter-insurgency, let us function as Freedom Fighters to the Taliban of the Entertainment/Industrial Complex! Grab your broom handles, your bullhorns. Take back the streets!” But my stoop companions seemed despondent. After all, they were correct when they said it would only be the locals who would get arrested, because Bloomberg cares more about the tourists than the residents.

Now Roman has a buddy who lives over there in Hell Square. He tells me the residents bar their doors on weekends and are even afraid to go to the bodega after certain hours, as crowds of drunken fools singing and screaming push local residents out of the way in their rush to gratify their desires. He tells me of building owners who have to hire special clean-up crews to scrap the vomit, piss, food and drink refuse from their doorsteps, because the city doesn’t do it. He tells me of having to fit styrofoam sound panels in his aptartment windows to keep out the horrid and ever-growing noise thronging the streets until 6 am, the drunks singing and fighting when the bars let out. He tells me how Bloomberg’s police deptartment refuses to respond to 311 public disturbance calls and excessive noise complaints. He tells me how in the old days, when there were no bars down on the Lower East Side, that four Puerto Rican or black guys on a corner, sharing a forty and laughing would easily have attracted five squad cars to “breakup” the public nuisance. But that was a colored annoyance, not a white annoyance. And now in Bloomberg’s New York, white annoyance, no matter how extreme, no matter how degraded or disgusting, is deemed good for the economy. Yes, despite the honking taxis, the exaggerated ridiculous yelling conversations of stumbling fools, this is really Bloomberg’s New York—to hell with quality of life, we need to make money off of every square foot of concrete. Or maybe this is Bloomberg’s quality of life—his life, up there on a quiet Upper East Side street, protected by yards and yard of cops, as he watches his investments grow on a TV screen.

Of course there are neighborhoods like this in other cities. San Francisco has North Beach, New Orleans has Bourbon Street, Chicago has Rush Street, and Williamsburg has Williamsburg. But Hell Square is particular kind of NYC fungus, created by real estate for real estate. It is homogenous and smells like suburban spirit.

Alas, after being driven away from the door of every bar at which he attempted to gain entrance. After having been rejected by every fancy “lady” he propositioned, Roman decided to cut his loses. At the end of the night he found himself an alcove where he decided to lay down for some shuteye, but the noise level was so high that even a bum like Roman had to head on down to the river to get some peace. There he watched a tug boat silently drift by on the river, and he dreamed him a dream of another age and another New York where the din of capital had not yet come to over-ride the dialogue of cultured beings.

4 Responses leave one →
  1. 2012 October 21
    Ando Arike permalink

    Imperialist swine invading old-time neighborhoods in search of authenticity, coolness, non-suburban life! They’re zombies, dead on arrival… It’s a plague of scumbag youth — in effect, acting like the sailors and soldiers in the towns surrounding U.S. bases around the world: rape, pillage, mayhem. Go get ’em Roman Stoad!

  2. 2013 April 2
    hdenalithnorth permalink

    Tips to save wedding dresses

  3. 2013 April 3
    hdenalithnorth permalink

    Help me choose my dress!!

  4. 2013 April 11
    hdenalithnorth permalink

    Am I the only one who doesn’t want a White Dress?

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