The NYC gas crew came around afterward and I decided to do some investigative journalism and settle (or create more) of the noise on the internet. On From the Corner to the Block each rapper was asked to rap about a corner, any corner. Many of the raps turned out to be a celebration of urban shenanigans. Setting up on the corner with balloons seemed in a way to epitomize this. The guy running the thing was an ex-Dead Head in an old Saturn who was meek and soft spoken. He was never at one point threatened by my questioning. He said he was never involved in any violence, though he did mention that the people from Philadelphia are more aggressive. He also took my suggestions of making efforts to control the balloon litter. The couple college kids helping him seemed to be good friends together out for a night of fun, living and laughing together in that perpetual “ah ha” moment. Whether it is amoral or not, This guy was not pulling in big money. From what I was told is that there is no organization on the level of a large or mid-sized crime network, as is being rumored.
Williamsburg is both extremely intriguing and repulsive. The streets have some of the most beautiful graffiti and art in all of New York and there is a lively, safe community. Yet signs of excess and aggressive gentrification are everywhere. At any given block you can look up and spot a bundle of 7 or more pairs of brand new sneakers which hang from the power lines as part of an advertising campaign. These kinds of Brooklyn Bowl shows create a cross pollination of tour culture and Williamsburg chic, for example the “Mr. Natural” in a school bus “powered by veggie burrito oil,” who seemed in it solely to get laid by as many anthropology majors as possible. Being surrounded by Brooklyn's young and almost famous is a good time and less pretentious than one might assume. The vibe that Brooklyn Bowl brings to the neighborhood is a new and different energy, both humble and exciting, nostalgic for the golden age of music while working to create a new one.