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zombies holding fists full of balloons
September 21, 2011 10:20 AM   Subscribe

"A lawless drug nightmare erupted on my street after Saturday night's OSA concert featuring the band called Widespread Panic."
posted by griphus (111 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Widespread Panic fans caused widespread panic?
posted by kmz at 10:22 AM on September 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Does what it says on the tin, I suppose.
posted by grubi at 10:22 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hamsterdam!
posted by NoMich at 10:24 AM on September 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


Police! Help! There are mildly sedated people walking around with balloons in my gentrified neighborhood!
posted by mullingitover at 10:24 AM on September 21, 2011 [55 favorites]


Lawless Drug Nightmare is the name of my Insane Clown Posse cover band.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:26 AM on September 21, 2011 [34 favorites]


Much Ad About Nitrous.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:26 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ado. ADO! Dammit.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:27 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Afraid for my safety while filming on my stoop

Go inside!
posted by eugenen at 10:27 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm rooting for the meteor here.
posted by yerfatma at 10:27 AM on September 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


Widedspread Panic should tour with The Airborne Toxic Event.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:28 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Police! Help! There are mildly sedated people walking around with balloons in my gentrified neighborhood!

Really. I watched most of the first video, and didn't see anything police-worthy. The written account didn't mention anybody injured, or property destruction, or anything.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:28 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Isn't the hippie crack mafia the real story? Or am I the last to know?
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 10:28 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh man, They should see the area the area around Madison Square Garden after a Phish show. People huffing nitrous in doorways, passing out on cars, laying in the streets. Last time I was helping out in a bar because it was so packed, I stepped outside to witness the mayhem and someone passed me a baloon, stepped back inside and tumbled down a flight of stairs while trying to retrieve a case while huffing nitrous. I love the mayhem after Phish Shows.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:29 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I remember the first rave I went to with a balloon vendor. They were set up in a little closet on the edge of the dance floor, with a long line, made longer by how they would pause sales every few people to do some hits theirselves. I saw a big guy, trying to impress his friends, huff till he blacked out, falling backwards onto the concrete floor.

Good times.
posted by No1UKnow at 10:29 AM on September 21, 2011


Wow. I can't believe this shit made MeFi. Let's just say that I will be dealing with the fallout from this tonight.
posted by spicynuts at 10:32 AM on September 21, 2011


For some reason I was expecting, "So I was about to try to get some video editing work done on my 27" Apple LED monitor for a documentary about Brooklyn cryptozoology".

I can't explain why, that's just what I feel the sentence would've ended with.
posted by lattiboy at 10:32 AM on September 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


Jerry would not approve.
posted by jbickers at 10:32 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


... didn't see anything police-worthy. The written account didn't mention anybody injured, or property destruction, or anything.

Yeah, but there were sex offenders in the crowd.
posted by General Tonic at 10:33 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


... didn't see anything police-worthy. The written account didn't mention anybody injured, or property destruction, or anything.

Yeah, but there were sex offenders in the crowd.


And they were holding fists full of balloons. FISTS!
posted by eugenen at 10:36 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Whenever Widespread plays around here, local law enforcment authorities are overjoyed. It's practically free money. They bring out all the paddywagons and put all the narcs in tie-dyes and they bust people all night long. I think there were more than 200 arrests at a show a couple of years ago. People squawked to the city council and the band was banned from that venue, but then quietly allowed back the following year once someone did the math.

Stupid hippies. Take all your drugs BEFORE the show, don't bring them to the parking lot!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:37 AM on September 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


Also I love how everyone in the comments assumes the complainant is:

a) white
b) male
c) a gentrifier

Having spent the last few months dealing with the neighbors who are upset about quality of life issues resulting from these free summer concerts, I can assure everyone that these are ASININE assumptions.
posted by spicynuts at 10:37 AM on September 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


I meant the Gothamist comments, not MeFi.
posted by spicynuts at 10:37 AM on September 21, 2011


I went to a rave afterparty at a super 8 in fairly rural virginia where the rave promoters managed to get a bulk discount for $20 rooms and we sold out two floors of the hotel. People were willing in full canisters of nitrous right in the front door and up the elevator the whole night. My friends and I found the nitrous room by following the trail of bodies and balloons.

I only was in there for a few minutes, but I left one of my friends there -- it was the first time he'd done nitrous, and he was on e, too. We came back to pick him up like 6 hours later at 9 AM, and he hadn't moved. Just one balloon after another for 6 hours straight.

Really, watching someone on nitrous is kind of a scary thing, because their personally just gets erased. They're there, and then they aren't. Then they laugh and do it again, and again, and again.

And then they stop and everything is back to normal, just the weirdest thing. I'm not a big fan of it, myself (though watching 6 hours of the powerpuff girls (my first time watching it) while candy-flipping and doing whippets was probably my favorite tv-experience ever).
posted by empath at 10:38 AM on September 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


What's wrong with nitrous oxide?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:38 AM on September 21, 2011


JINX!
posted by mrgrimm at 10:39 AM on September 21, 2011


you can feel it making you morer stupider every time you do it, basically.
posted by elizardbits at 10:40 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


I can understand complaints about the behavior of fans after free summer concerts. I think the point is that, of all the things to complain about, this person chose to complain about people queuing up to calmly and safely purchase an illegal drug. They proceed to complain about a traffic cop who rightly prioritizes the safe egress of concert goers. I have to think that this is a brilliant Poe.
posted by muddgirl at 10:40 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


My feeling is that this is the kind of thing you move to New York for. They should probably have stayed where they were if they wanted peace and quiet. From time to time things get .. um.. interesting here, as long as there aren't hippies outside double fisting baloons every night it is all good.

I lived in a place when I was a kid where hookers shrieked at eachother every night, we usually let them be. One night they started hitting eachother with garbage can lids. That is when we called the cops.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:40 AM on September 21, 2011 [11 favorites]


What's so funny about peace, love and nitrous oxide?
posted by box at 10:40 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


HOLY CRAP FRAT BOYS AND HIPPIES... AND DRUGS!!!!

Run for the hills. Stockpile water and dinty moore beef stew.
posted by TheBones at 10:43 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


I would just like to take my Your Favorite Band Sucks! opportunity to say that Widespread Panic is not only one of the worst live bands I have ever seen, but their recordings suck, too, and their continued two decades of popularity is a total mystery to me. My only guess is that it has something to do with the Dead—who, while still boring in my book at least are inoffensively listenable sometimes—breaking up and all of the jam band fans needing somewhere to go.
posted by vibrotronica at 10:43 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


...their continued two decades of popularity is a total mystery to me.

Seven years of advertising on Buffy: The Vampire Slayer.
posted by griphus at 10:44 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


They should probably have stayed where they were if they wanted peace and quiet.

I'd urge you to read my comment above about making assumptions about who these people are that are making complaints. Please remember that this was a residential area LONG LONG before it became the hip new place for hipster living.
posted by spicynuts at 10:44 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


If they had any sense, they would have brought in a Dentist and taken care of some of the more serious dental problems in the crowd... two birds, one stone.
posted by tomswift at 10:45 AM on September 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Nitrous is not exactly a rage drug. I can't see a huge group of nitrous crazies doing much more than trying really hard to remain upright and giggling. Nitrous is not PCP.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:46 AM on September 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


If this were My Least Favorite Drugs Forum, I would vote for the drugs that just block oxygen from getting to the brain, like nitrous oxide or huffing paint.
posted by kozad at 10:47 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I love hippie music festivals. everyone is walking around picking up trash and dancing, or relaxing on the grass (heh) and drinking. Best summers of my life.



One night they started hitting eachother with garbage can lids. That is when we called the cops.

that is some funny shit.
posted by zombieApoc at 10:48 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


kozad: "If this were My Least Favorite Drugs Forum, I would vote for the drugs that just block oxygen from getting to the brain, like nitrous oxide or huffing paint."

Except that's not how it works.
The pharmacological mechanism of action of N2O in medicine is not fully known. However, it has been shown to directly modulate a broad range of ligand-gated ion channels, and this likely plays a major role in many of its effects. It moderately blocks NMDA and β2-subunit-containing nACh channels, weakly inhibits AMPA, kainate, GABAC, and 5-HT3 receptors, and slightly potentiates GABAA and glycine receptors.[36][37] It has also been shown to activate two-pore-domain K+ channels.[38] While N2O affects quite a few ion channels, its anesthetic, hallucinogenic, and euphoriant effects are likely caused predominantly or fully via inhibition of NMDAR-mediated currents.[36][39] In addition to its effects on ion channels, N2O may act to imitate nitric oxide (NO) in the central nervous system as well, and this may relate to its analgesic and anxiolytic properties.[39]
posted by mullingitover at 10:51 AM on September 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


I grew up loving Widespread Panic. I hate the feeling of nitrous. That is all.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:52 AM on September 21, 2011


Just to make sure I'm clear on what's going on here: This is the Williamsburg that is in New York City, correct? And this person, who lives in New York City, is freaking out because, in New York City, on a weekend, there were lots of people walking around on the sidewalk, some of whom appeared to be mildly intoxicated?

Now, I've never lived in New York City. But I've been there on many occasions. All these years, I was led to believe that New Yorkers, for all their famous quirks and cultural traits, are not the sort to be surprised or freaked out by an urban street full of people, some of whom appear to be mildly intoxicated.

But I suppose one of the things that makes New York such a great city is that all kinds of people live there, including people who are, apparently, unaware that they have chosen to live in the most densely-populated city in the United States and that their city is famous for having sidewalks crowded with people.
posted by The World Famous at 10:52 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


If you don't like street parties, then move back to the suburbs. duh!

There are several major advantages to life in Europe over life in the U.S., sanely run health care, affordable universities, and botellón. There is a one common thread linking the best bars in virtually every city in Germany, France, Spain, Itlay, etc., namely they are not bars at all but outside urban spaces where people bring their own drinks.

There are a few Spanish cities that banned botellón in response to badly behaved Brits who moved there, which kinda ruins their whole European-ness.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:52 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


As others have said, anyone who is "nitrous oxide-fueled" tends to get about five feet before standing still, sitting down, or falling over. You'd be lucky to get a trash can lid above shoulder-level on nitrous.

Also, these plaintiffs always get their behavioral causation wrong. I would submit that the fans in question were thoughtless morons before the nitrous oxide, not because of it.
posted by mykescipark at 10:53 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


You left out a key word from the YouTube video description:
"Post-concert drug orgy mob nightmare".

Man was that video a let-down.
posted by shinynewnick at 10:53 AM on September 21, 2011


What has happened to my New York? when I left it was filled with excitement and danger, you learned that the world was a tough place but you could still make it.
posted by kanemano at 10:54 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ya know what, fuck it...I'm not even gonna bother to try to address the 'move back to the suburbs' shit or the history of why these concerts are annoying/frustrating/detrimental to the families who have lived on these blocks for generations. Instead, what I'm going to do is grab about 3000 hipsters, assholes and kids from across the river and like the Pied Piper, lead them into your neighborhood at 10pm on a Tuesday night (not all the free concerts are on Saturday) and then let them park wherever the fuck they want, drink as much as they want, puke on your grandma's porch, drop their stupid hipster garbage all over your front stoop, piss on your trash cans, get in fights, vandalize your parked cars, etc and then I'm not going to do anything to help you fix these problems in the morning. Then I'm going to do it all summer long. Have fun!
posted by spicynuts at 10:56 AM on September 21, 2011 [13 favorites]


I'd urge you to read my comment above about making assumptions about who these people are that are making complaints

Duely noted. I assumed the native New Yorkes had been pushed out long ago. Good to know there are a few of us still there fighting the good fight.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:58 AM on September 21, 2011


Ya know what, fuck it...I'm not even gonna bother to try to address the 'move back to the suburbs' shit or the history of why these concerts are annoying/frustrating/detrimental to the families who have lived on these blocks for generations.

Difference between "annoying/frustrating/detrimental" and OH MY GOD HIPPIE ZOMBIE UPRISING WHERE'S THE NATIONAL GUARD
posted by eugenen at 10:59 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


What differentiates hipster garbage from regular garbage? Is it like, torn old jeggings and circle scarves and fake moustaches and PBR cans?
posted by elizardbits at 10:59 AM on September 21, 2011 [12 favorites]


Pfftt, maybe in 2005. Maybe you should stop dumpster diving by the NYU dorms and come and see what the real underground garbage is like (older, dirtier, more eaten by rats.)
posted by griphus at 11:01 AM on September 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


Nitrous oxide fueled? Nitrous lasts about a minute or two. It takes you that long to stand up. Hippie crack? Dear ghod what a truckload of horse shit.
posted by Splunge at 11:01 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


spicynuts: let me know when you're going to do it so I can make sure to notice, otherwise that's going to be like pretty much every other day on Capitol Hill.
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:02 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


let them park wherever the fuck they want, drink as much as they want, puke on your grandma's porch, drop their stupid hipster garbage all over your front stoop, piss on your trash cans, get in fights, vandalize your parked cars, etc

I am sure all these things happen - they happen in any city which hosts events. BUT, none of these things ere documented in the linked complaint! Why are you assuming that people would mock you for completely different complaints than the ones made in the OP?
posted by muddgirl at 11:05 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am with you spicynuts. I am going to leave now though. Last Brooklyn thread I got called an anti-hipster bigot and was told that I was the same type of person who tried to keep jews out of the upper east side.

PBR cans?

Old Overholt bottles.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:07 AM on September 21, 2011


no self-respecting jew would want to live surrounded by crotchety old goyim anyway dude.
posted by elizardbits at 11:08 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Good to know, now I don't feel so bad. They are more than welcome over here on the west side.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:15 AM on September 21, 2011


YOu know how you get a punch of whippeters off your lawn? You roll them gentle away as you would an errant turtle.
posted by The Whelk at 11:15 AM on September 21, 2011 [15 favorites]


Straight Dope: How does nitrous oxide work? Is it dangerous?

Go Ask Alice: Nitrous Oxide

Just Say N2O -- The Nitrous Oxide FAQ
posted by mrgrimm at 11:20 AM on September 21, 2011


" ... in other news, police are investigating an aerosol-cheese-fueled pandemonium following Sunday night's String Cheese Incident show."
posted by octobersurprise at 11:25 AM on September 21, 2011


If you don't like street parties, then move back to the suburbs. duh!

While I definitely think this person was overreacting, I think it's important to know something about that part of the neighborhood. Up until a few years ago, that little slice of the waterfront was quiet. Even with the expansion of other adjoining areas of Williamsburg, you could walk down Kent st.(th e street along the waterfront where the outdoor concerts are held. at 11pm and get kind of spooked at how eerily deserted it was. I can imagine for the more established residents, that the transition form industrial ghost-town to what it is now has been a giant pain in the ass.

Also, "gentrified" Williamsburg, despite it's explosive growth, is still just a small slice of a large diverse, well established neighborhood full of people who have been there for generations.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:26 AM on September 21, 2011


I am an old guy who still relives his Dead show days of the 70's and 80's. That being admitted to, I am at a show in Hamilton Ontario and sitting with a guy outside the show who has 4 boxes of whippets. We start doing a few when a local officer of the law strolls over and asks whats up. We mumble something and he hands us each a ticket for loitering. Then he says, welcome to Hamilton home of the Tiger Cats. Also, the cost of the show just went up by $30. Enjoy. Show this ticket to the next officer who asks and he will let you be. We got the two day discount as we held that ticket for two days of shows.

The biggest hassle we had all weekend was coming back across the border making the mistake of telling the border agent the purpose of our trip was to see some Grateful Dead shows. Why we didn't just say pleasure or vacation I will never know, but I do know that there is a 60 year old border agent who knows almost every part of my body now.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:26 AM on September 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


The median sales price for homes in Williamsburg for Jun 11 to Aug 11 was $610,475. This represents an increase of 13.8%, or $73,910, compared to the prior quarter and an increase of 24.6% compared to the prior year. Sales prices have appreciated 14.1% over the last 5 years in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The median sales price of $610,475 for Williamsburg is 14.02% higher than the median sales price for Brooklyn NY. Average listing price for homes on Trulia in Williamsburg was $723,223 for the week ending Sep 14, which represents a decline of 0.2%, or $1,307 compared to the prior week and an increase of 3.2%, or $22,315, compared to the week ending Aug 24. Average price per square foot for homes in Williamsburg was $567 in the most recent quarter, which is 51.60% higher than the average price per square foot for homes in Brooklyn.

http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Williamsburg-Brooklyn/5274/market-trends/

the woman recording people in those videos does not appear to be particularly sympathetic. (not to say that i find "WSP" fans sympathetic in the least, indeed, agreed re: the "rooting for the meteor" comment).

lots of people getting displaced from their communities these days because of -worsening- economic conditions...
posted by lulz at 11:32 AM on September 21, 2011


Instead, what I'm going to do is grab about 3000 hipsters, assholes and kids from across the river and like the Pied Piper, lead them into your neighborhood at 10pm on a Tuesday night (not all the free concerts are on Saturday) and then let them park wherever the fuck they want, drink as much as they want, puke on your grandma's porch, drop their stupid hipster garbage all over your front stoop, piss on your trash cans, get in fights, vandalize your parked cars, etc and then I'm not going to do anything to help you fix these problems in the morning.

Ok. They'll all get parking tickets, which I guess will be good for my city's revenues. And my grandma is dead and her porch is like a 14-hour drive away from my neighborhood. Also, I don't have a front stoop. As far as vandalizing my parked cars, that would suck, but that's not even alleged in the linked article.
posted by The World Famous at 11:34 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


This was a shocking video of heinous activities that endanger the public. Everyone knows you shouldn't huff nitrous from rubber balloons, the insides are dusted with talc that will give you pneumoconiosis.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:39 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am at a show in Hamilton Ontario ... he hands us each a ticket for loitering. Then he says, welcome to Hamilton home of the Tiger Cats. Also, the cost of the show just went up by $30. Enjoy. Show this ticket to the next officer who asks and he will let you be. We got the two day discount as we held that ticket for two days of shows.

Yeah, Hamilton was surreal.


The biggest hassle we had all weekend was coming back across the border making the mistake of telling the border agent the purpose of our trip was to see some Grateful Dead shows.


Thanks for running interference for us. We told them we were coming back from some work at a client site, asked what the big line was about, and sailed on through.
posted by mikelieman at 11:40 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Stupid hippies. Take all your drugs BEFORE the show, don't bring them to the parking lot!

But those jam bands play for soooo friggin' long that the drugs taken before the show have worn off.
posted by NoMich at 11:49 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Help! I'm at Disney World in July and it's too damned hot!
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:50 AM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ya know what, fuck it...I'm not even gonna bother to try to address the 'move back to the suburbs' shit or the history of why these concerts are annoying/frustrating/detrimental to the families who have lived on these blocks for generations.

Ya know what, spicynuts, I sorta wish you would. Because having grown up in the neighborhood of one of Europe's biggest football stadiums, and made my home next to one of its most notorious red light districts, I'm struggling to understand what's going wrong here. In both locations, we have transport regulations, a positive police presence and some well-thought-out community policies for dealing with recreational activities that can and do get seriously out of hand at times.

Seriously, a reasonably well-organized city should be able to handle this kind of human traffic, and if NYC can't, there's clearly a problem. If civic order has broken down over something as benign as a series of free concerts, than perhaps you should be talking to event organizers, local councils and emergency services to find out what's going wrong?
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 12:04 PM on September 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


"I was about to try to get some video editing work done on my computer"

Thanks for putting it all in context, dude.
posted by HumanComplex at 12:10 PM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


shinynewnick: " "Post-concert drug orgy mob nightmare".

Man was that video a let-down.
"

No doubt -- it's a real toss-up which word has been cheapened by the US more lately -- 'orgy' or 'socialism'; both keep being promised to me, and I keep not seeing the imagined benefits of either.

HumanComplex: ""I was about to try to get some video editing work done on my computer"

Thanks for putting it all in context, dude.
"

I think was actually an excuse for why none of the video evidence is edited at all; the complainant is saying "The editing I'd planned to get done hasn't because of this incident, so please forgive the presentation of my hastily posted and in no way damning evidence"
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:22 PM on September 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


My wife has an ex-boyfriend who she introduced to nitrous (I've never done it myself, it doesn't look all that appealing). The guy went crazy for it; he was doing, literally, over a hundred whippets a day for months. That combined with his general lack of care for himself led to pretty severe health problems. Because of the B12 deficiency or whatever it causes, his legs started to give out on him. He ended up having to be in the hospital for a while, and now has to walk with a cane -- supposedly for the rest of his life.

That's all.
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:57 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


FYI - From last night's 94th Precinct Community Affairs Monthly Meeting. D.I. Hurson is the Precinct Chief:

And last, but not least: The “concerts”

* Per D. I. Hurson they have all gone well, save of course, Widespread Panic.
* Vendors selling “laughing gas” were found and three canisters were confiscated. These were taken away by the Fire Department as apparently that is the protocol.
* Per D. I. Hurson this is a “Manhattan” problem. (I— or more accurately my neighbors/readers residing in the 90th Precinct— will probably beg to differ.)
* I was later told by Officer Adamo that most of the men he caught using nitrous were in their 40s. One was even in his 50s.

You can view footage of this presentation here
posted by spicynuts at 1:06 PM on September 21, 2011


If you don't like street parties, then move back to the suburbs. duh!

Here's the thing, most of the concert goers probably came in from the suburbs themselves. One thing that pisses you off as a city resident is suburbanites treating the city as a playground that they can trash and then drunkenly drive back to their quiet cul de sac to sleep it off, leaving you to clean up their urine, puke and empties off your sidewalk.
posted by octothorpe at 1:15 PM on September 21, 2011 [12 favorites]


Old Overholt bottles.

Well clearly they can't be all bad then.
posted by quin at 1:15 PM on September 21, 2011


Christ, there were more people outside my house at 3AM last Saturday than there were in this video. Damn football game not starting until midnight. I actually like it better than the usual "hardly anyone outside" situation.

Football fans, those are the crazy ones. You have to keep in mind that these people sat through a severe thunderstorm followed by two more hours of rain just waiting on the game to start. Then they sat there another 3 hours or so while the game was played. Hard. Core.
posted by wierdo at 1:25 PM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wonder if Chief Hurson or Officer Adamo would characterize the situation as "A lawless drug nightmare."
posted by muddgirl at 1:33 PM on September 21, 2011


FROM THE COMMENTS LOL:

During the period between the years 2007 and 2011 the following events took place on North 7th St and Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn:

A lawless gentrification nightmare happened shortly after sweet beautiful music had filled the air from DIY venues along the waterfront.

Ruthless developers with bloodthirsty eyes and bottomless wallets smashed and pillaged every old property along waterfront and built towering condominiums with pristine green common lawn areas as I watched, a hapless citizen searching for some sanctity and truth.

I had set up my easel and wet my brush and was about to work on a painting that I had started several months prior when I saw the horror unfold on the streets:

People with strollers the size of European automobiles and dogs the size of rats stormed the streets and approached me with a bloodcurdling look in their eyes. It was property they wanted, and a quiet place to view Manhattan from atop the highest perches that made their veins pulse with the power afforded by the acquisition of such luxuries. I watched sadness unfold as bodega owners bowed their heads and moved quietly to suburban areas as the tyrants of Duane Reade situated themselves in a tidy but massive storefront at the base of the condominiums, offering bulk drugs, sparkling water, and toilet paper at rock bottom prices.

And then...the music died.

It started with the vicious entitled residents of the condominiums. They found the sweet creativity and original sound emanating from the warehouse spaces to be offensive to what they believed to be noble causes. Their fangs grew and under the guise of bohemians economically supporting an area ripe for development, they struck, and they struck hard. Their faux-bohemia, though lush in appearance, with the display colorful tattoos and interesting haircuts, thus snuck into the night like a violent spector and crushed everything that was true and right in the name of fully inclusive gyms, laundry, and a desire for isolated living resembling the great feudal rulers who previously populated the countrysides.
posted by lalochezia at 1:53 PM on September 21, 2011 [10 favorites]


One thing that pisses you off as a city resident is suburbanites treating the city as a playground that they can trash ...

So true, particularly on weekends. My friends wonder why I prefer going out on weeknights instead of "amateur nights."
posted by exogenous at 2:00 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Brooklyn is the suburbs.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:03 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, I just moved to the suburbs and I can assure you that many suburbanites treat their own community as a playground that they can trash.
posted by muddgirl at 2:03 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also I love how everyone in the comments assumes the complainant is:

a) white
b) male
c) a gentrifier


Personally, I made that assumption because of the video-editing-on-my-computer comment; it was out of place, and felt like code for "I am a white person with money and a job."

I say this as someone who is white with money and a job
posted by davejay at 2:09 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


They really are letting anybody move into Brooklyn these days, aren't they?
posted by lumpenprole at 2:10 PM on September 21, 2011


Also, I used to live in an apartment on Clark street in Chicago, and whenever the Bulls would win the championship (which at the time was often) I'd have to go stay at someone else's house, because Clark street would be clogged all night with people and cars (also full of people) yelling and honking and otherwise celebrating. You get what you get and you don't get upset; it is part of living in a world with other people.
posted by davejay at 2:10 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


My hipster neighborhood (northern liberties) is constantly having free shitty concert events that turn the streets into a mess. As stodgy as it seems, I can totally relate to the article - though if it was just N2O zombies and not drunk teenagers pissing all over my door I'd probably be alright.
posted by smackwich at 2:16 PM on September 21, 2011


In my neighborhood, 5000 or so of my closest motorcyclist friends all simultaneously started their engines when the bars closed at four a.m. Sunday. It was a rousing sound. I knew better and set the alarm for 3:30, because it is much more fun to watch than be awakened by that cacophony by surprise.

I add this because if one knows it is coming, it is not even remotely threatening. Just exhilarating. I think our videographer could have had some fun with this, instead of just being nebbishy.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 2:39 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


@Elizabeth the Thirteenth--NYC is 7 times larger then Amsterdam and 1/2 the size of the Netherlands. It also has a much different cultural history, is much more heterogeneous/culturally diverse and allocates substantial public safety resources to other challenges whichh Amsterdam has not been subject for a long time. One can appropriately argue about the wisdom and necessity of allocating resources in this manner but arguments such as "we do it why can't you' can be tiresome. I try to scrupulously avoid this during the 5 months I live in Ireland or the 7 months in the States.
posted by rmhsinc at 2:48 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


God I detest Widespread Panic. My girlfriend and I were given free tickets to one of their shows in Asheville, North Carolina at the Civic Center. Big 'ole arena. The first set was so unbelievably loud that it made everything but the screeching guitar solos a muddy midrange wash of fetid atonality. I've seen shows there before and the sound dude didn't crank the gain that high, so my money was on the personal engineer with the massive Neve for that little tweak.

At intermission, my girlfriend had a mild heart racing / overheating attack. I understood completely, as the entire arena was choked in a fog of pot and tobacco smoke so thick that every breath felt like it was maybe 20% oxygen. And this is from a smoker (of both, occasionally) so I knew it was over the top. We left.

Funny thing was, the people around us didn't seem to be really paying attention to the show either. They were all in a constant rotation of hitting a joint, drinking a beer, lighting a cigarette, texting, talking to their friends, hitting a joint, drinking a beer, going to the bathroom, lighting a cigarette, and so on. After hearing their "music" I am not surprised. I was stoned, and it still sounded like shite.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:00 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Life's a gas.
posted by Sailormom at 3:22 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are basically two ways to imbibe n2o. One is to get a balloon and breath in and out of it. You get really high that way. It's also bad for you, because you actually risk oxygen deprivation.

The other way is to simply inhale n2o and exhale it. This gets you less high, but has pretty much zero negative impact, aside from the possibility of b12 deficiency if you do an awful lot of it.

Though I'm obviously familiar with its use, I'm actually not a fan of it being sold at parties, both because the people selling it tend to be the sketchiest (the only time I've ever heard of a gun being brandished at a Moontribe desert party was by a nitrous seller who was asked to stop selling), and because it's just a weird vibe for parties. Some things are better done in private.
posted by flaterik at 3:23 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


These people are doing it wrong!

Everyone knows the only right way to do nitrous is:

1. Put on Ween's The Pod
2. Sit down

There is no right way to do Widespread Panic.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:27 PM on September 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think I'd call the cops on jam band fans on general principle.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:21 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


HIPPIE ZOMBIE UPRISING WHERE'S THE NATIONAL GUARD

I seriously have a novel idea that involves hippie zombies. They can only be killed by solar powered lasers, for irony's sake.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:22 PM on September 21, 2011


Not to cast doubt on TFA, but nitrous lasts 30 seconds, a minute tops. And you don't go on a rampage, you fall over giddy and enjoy the feeling of your clothes, or the sound of going "bwa bwa pbpbpbpttttt bwa bwa" over and over, or the way the pavement (or your clothes) tastes.

Even with "fistful of balloons" full of nitrous, you really end up limited by the basic need to breathe. And even assuming every 3nd balloon full of pure O2, a human could realistically only carry a whopping 5-10 minutes of "high" at a time.

So this "lawless drug nightmare" either consists of some sort of viral marketing campaign, a bunch of fans basically faking (most of) it, or a whole five minutes of watching hardcore hippies rock back and forth while drooling on themselves.
posted by pla at 4:34 PM on September 21, 2011


I can see by what you carry that you come from Barrytown...
posted by TheRedArmy at 5:23 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ya know what, fuck it...I'm not even gonna bother to try to address the 'move back to the suburbs' shit or the history of why these concerts are annoying/frustrating/detrimental to the families who have lived on these blocks for generations. Instead, what I'm going to do is grab about 3000 hipsters, assholes and kids from across the river and like the Pied Piper, lead them into your neighborhood at 10pm on a Tuesday night (not all the free concerts are on Saturday) and then let them park wherever the fuck they want, drink as much as they want, puke on your grandma's porch, drop their stupid hipster garbage all over your front stoop, piss on your trash cans, get in fights, vandalize your parked cars, etc and then I'm not going to do anything to help you fix these problems in the morning. Then I'm going to do it all summer long. Have fu

Those are all annoying things. They have little or nothing to do with illegal drug use, however. If someone wants to avoid these types of problems, they'd be better off avoiding living near bars and other places that legally sell the drug that pharmacologically is more likely to induce violence and disorder than any illegal drug (yes, including crack: most 'crack related' violence is really crack-prohibition related violence). If they moved into a neighborhood where bars are loud and concert venues exist, they're basically stuck with the problem no matter whether the fans use nitrous oxide or not. Stirring drug hysteria simply increases prejudices that produce stupid policies that make things worse.
posted by Maias at 5:49 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


(And if the venues moved in later, that does especially suck for people already living there, but again, such people are far more likely to be victimized by policies that result from drug hysteria than they are to be helped to have a more civil community by them).
posted by Maias at 5:50 PM on September 21, 2011


i used to work all night at a gas station in a small midwestern city - imagine a scene in which all the bars close down at 2.30 - (2.20 "bar time") - and then those from the country and western bars and those from the clubs in "the hood" converged on our convenience store an the all night restaurant next door

for years, at 2.45 am, every friday night/saturday morning, there was a fight in our parking lot by the gas pumps - one could set a clock by it - it was simply a fact of life that we would have to call the cops at that time, who were usually close by

occasionally, i would have to prevent people from taking things such as newspaper stands to do violence to other people - "you do what you want, dude, but you're not using this to do it with"

once, there was even a shooting across the street - oddly enough, everyone disappeared except the victims and one brave nurse - guess who got to walk across the street to check it out and flag down the cops? - man, that was a LONG walk

and i'd also get the pleasure of having to ask people to move their bass-booming cars from the gas pumps (over the intercom), after they'd been their for 10 minutes, pumped their gas and had a line of cars behind them, with people getting pissed off

drunks, juvenile delinquents trying to shoplift, people screaming at each other, flaked out murderers who'd just killed someone, exotic dancers who were scared to death that some creep was going to follow them home, fights and minor mayhem ...

yeah, bring on those 3.000 hipsters on nitrous, because that ain't jack shit

and i won't even get into my night desk clerk at a motel full of crack dealers experiences ...

lady, this scene you taped is fuckin' TAME - get a time machine and me as a guide and i'll show you something that'll really spoil your night of editiing video
posted by pyramid termite at 6:13 PM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm w/spicynuts on this. I have these asshole 'bro' neighbors upstairs. Some of it is them not knowing how loud they are through these walls, I think, but seriously they are some stupid lame-ass frat boy types, in and out every 30 minutes. Yelling outside the door, and before I ever actually heard them pegged them as frat boys and then one day I heard one say "bro" unironically while walking in the lot. It's not cool to have dickwads thinking they're living in party central, when you live in what is ostensibly a nice quiet neighborhood (mostly - we get our asshole boom boom bass cars now and then) but Thursday night 2:00 am is not time to be all loud and shit.

And who the fuck walks around their apartment that much?

/getoffmyceiling-roofthingy
posted by symbioid at 7:20 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thursday night 2:00 am is not time to be all loud and shit.

Thursday is a really good party night though.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:22 PM on September 21, 2011


I'm not even gonna bother to try to address the 'move back to the suburbs' shit or the history of why these concerts are annoying/frustrating/detrimental to the families who have lived on these blocks for generations.

I lived in Williamsburg a decade ago (Berry between South 4th and 5th) and I never met anyone that had been there for "generations." I'm not saying that you're full of shit, but.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:27 PM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Saxon Kane: "My wife has an ex-boyfriend who she introduced to nitrous (I've never done it myself, it doesn't look all that appealing). The guy went crazy for it; he was doing, literally, over a hundred whippets a day for months. That combined with his general lack of care for himself led to pretty severe health problems. Because of the B12 deficiency or whatever it causes, his legs started to give out on him. He ended up having to be in the hospital for a while, and now has to walk with a cane -- supposedly for the rest of his life.

That's all.
"

Hundreds a day. For months. The data is in folks. Nitrous oxide is the Devil's Farts. You have been warned.

That is all.

Anecdotally, that is.
posted by Splunge at 7:57 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


You need drugs to think Widespread Panic plays good music.
posted by bardic at 8:35 PM on September 21, 2011


You need good music to think Widespread Panic plays drugs.
posted by Sailormom at 8:47 PM on September 21, 2011


You all have had way more fun on nitrous oxide than I have in the dozen or so times I've tried it. I just get a headache, a racy heart, and the longest moment of not being able to focus. Mostly the headache and racy heart. I feel ripped off.

I believe Drugged Hippie Zombie was a past Halloween costume of mine.
posted by _paegan_ at 8:54 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am shocked--shocked!--to learn that a drug as utterly fucking boring as nitrous is being abused on such a wide scale. I had no idea.
posted by kprincehouse at 9:23 PM on September 21, 2011


I tried doing nitrous once but just ended up getting whipped cream up my nose.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:33 PM on September 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


"...when you live in what is ostensibly a nice quiet neighborhood ..."

Ostensibly does not mean "in reality." Your expectations have not been met. Believe me, I have had the same experience. There are two possible productive solutions:

1. Adjust your expectations to fit the reality of the situation.

2. Move to somewhere that has a reality matching or exceeding your expectations.

No other approaches will have a happy outcome.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:57 AM on September 22, 2011


When I first saw this, I thought it was some part of an ARG or viral campaign for the upcoming Batman movie: GOTHAMist, Nitrous = Joker gas, a 'shakycam' video that isn't shaky enough. But I don't think Williamsburg is part of any DC canon, and I realized they might have used a steadycam, and then people here say that with Widespread Panic is a real band. But I don't even know if I can trust Metafilter comments anymore; that videogame thread messed with my head.
posted by SouthCNorthNY at 10:14 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've found that BY FAR the most antisocial aspect of nitrous oxide abuse is the enormous pile of litter it generates. It's always a downer to go to some supposedly fluffy eco-friendly hippie music event and wind up having to wade through or trip over a carpet of little nitrous canisters.
posted by doop at 11:24 AM on September 22, 2011


And who the fuck walks around their apartment that much?

My upstairs housemate. Seems like he's moving furniture every night.

I am shocked--shocked!--to learn that a drug as utterly fucking boring as nitrous is being abused on such a wide scale. I had no idea.

I won't tell you about tobacco cigarettes, then. That'll break your heart.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:09 PM on September 22, 2011


Nitrous is truly not a boring drug if you take it in a proper setting like a dentist's office where it is combined with an appropriate amount of oxygen. You kind of float on the edge of consciousness and can become extremely euphoric. There is, however, a possibility of a bad experience, which can be terrifying because you feel so out of control. I once freaked out because I had no idea what a dentist was and why one would be in a dentist's office. That was a terrifying loss of memory/identity but it resolved rapidly. And I still prefer it to my extreme dental anxiety without it.
posted by Maias at 7:50 PM on September 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


The best and worst nitrous experiences I've ever had were in dentists' offices.
posted by box at 7:57 PM on September 22, 2011


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