Taken at last night’s RBNY Legends Game at the Harrison Soccer Courts. Loved how this turned out.
ADDENDUM 7/18/11: Per an email I received from the Empire Supporters Club, the walkover will no longer be involving flares on the bridge. Direct quote: “We can no longer do flares on Bridge, FBI & Homeland Security are involved, they are going to arrest people, it won’t be pretty, etc.” So while there are alternate plans to work in flare usage in other places, please take the article below as a snapshot of what once was.
“Yeah, you went to a riot last night.” – Alexandra Klasinski
Of all the traditions held by the “South Ward” – the collection of supporters groups and ultras that make up the three sections behind the south goal at Red Bull Arena – the most chaotic may be the Walkover.
What is the Walkover? Take about 200 hardcore fans. Feed them lots of beer. Give them flares and smoke bombs. And then send them over the bridge that connects Newark’s Ironbound district to Harrison, the one that empties out right near the gates of the stadium.
The whole process takes about 30 minutes – the bridge is not terribly long, but once the crowd hits the middle there’s less forward progress for a bit. There’s a constant threat of arrest for improper use of flares, the possibility of minor burns, and the air is thick with ash and smoke.
But between the chanting, the general party atmosphere, and the crackling energy of the whole thing, it is a hell of a lot of fun to be in the middle of. The traffic cops were befuddled, the cars trying to get across the bridge were more amused than pissed off, and it was a fantastic way to get pumped up before the game.
Anyone who has the time before a RBNY home game should skip Harrison and head over to Newark. Meet up with whichever supporter’s squad you want – GSS meets at MMM Bello’s, ESC at El Pastor, or the Viking Army at Catas – about an hour before kickoff.
And bring some ruckus.
ADDENDUM: Some video from “GSSDave”, who shot the walkover:
Let me begin by stating that I don’t expect this to make much sense to anyone other than myself.
I am more than a little in love with my Sprocket Rocket.
Highly recommended for people who want to get back to shooting analog.
Today was National Waffle Day. 2009 Vendy Dessert winner Wafels & Dinges was celebrating the occasion less than a block from my office, so I brought in my camera and spent my lunch hour enjoying the scene. Rain and the NYPD couldn’t stop the crowning of Mr. and Ms. Wafel, and most everyone in line had a crudely drawn picture of the truck to exchange for a free wafel.
One of my greatest pleasures is finding intersections in aspects of my life. Before he departed the NYC area, it became apparent that my (then-)coworker Zach Szukala shared a love of Coupland’s books, and a particular love for the large-type Helvetica (always Helvetica!) aphorisms they would contain. His first novel, Generation X, embedded these every few pages in the margins, with pearls of wisdom like “YOU MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN PAIN OR DRUDGERY”. His recent attempt to recapture the lightning-in-a-bottle that Microserfs had, J-Pod, featured page after page of sentence in this style that bordered on hypnotic, if not subliminal.
After enough exposure to these books, things throughout your life begin to look…Couplandish. Spotting one of these bits can be difficult to the untrained senses: it’s a certain ratio of detachment, nostalgia, history, helplessness, and wordplay. In time, they begin to jump out at you from signs and announcements on loudspeakers.
For months, Zach and I would jokingly speak Couplandish – inventing (sometimes cribbing) phrases and snippets that we felt wouldn’t feel out of place in one of these novels we loved so much. Back in June, we started writing them down. A small amount of programming provided mid-90’s web color clashes against random large-type Helvetica (always Helvetica!) selections from the library, and Couplandish was born as a Web 1.0 application.
I realize single-serving sites are out of style now, but if you’ve ever read a Douglas Coupland book, I hope this will give you a smile.
(This is the second of two side projects that I had intended to announce. A third is now in development.)
Like so many others, I have found Twitter a simultaneously fantastic and mind-numbing portion of the internet. For every good thing (extremely rapid notifications for breaking news, lots of good links from friends), there’s an equal and opposite bad thing (inane trending topics, spam bots). While most of these are universally shared, there’s one particular quirk that is not common.
Twitter makes it easy to reference other users – sticking an @ symbol in front of their name is considered a “mention” and most clients will flag this as relevant to the interests of those mentioned. This is theoretically good, but in practice a number of things become clear:
- With characters at a premium, many people can’t be bothered to type out full user names.
- Because a lot of people are using cell phones to post to Twitter, the habit of heavy SMS users to shorthand text continues here.
- Because a lot of people don’t understand how mentions work, they tend to throw @ symbols wherever they feel like, or spaces in the middle of user names.
What this adds up to: if you were on the Twitter train early enough to get what could be called a stem username – one that might be used at the beginning of other user names – you may be subjected to mentions not intended for you.
There are a lot of Remy’s on Twitter, and I get a lot of mentions for them. I’ve taken to answering them on a Tumblr blog devoted specifically to such endeavors.
Sighing frustration + helpful cheerfulness + Twitter anthropology = Wrong Remy. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.
(This is one of two side projects I’ll be introducing this week.)