impossible-cities

5

Todd Tobias (Circus Devils, Clouds Forming Crowns, Brother Earth, Robert Pollard, Guided By Voices,…) has a new album out next month on Tiny Room Records. Pre orders come with bonus EP “Impossible Cities 2”. 
Artwork is using piece #3 of the “Psychedelic Constructivism” project, which has an exhibition in two weeks in Brussels.

http://tobias-music.com/
http://tinyroomrecords.wordpress.com/

ROCK. ON.

2

I call this aesthetic “boston panic”

STORYTIME (not megaten related, I just need to vent)

So, there I was, on the 8AM bus to Boston, still kind of out of it having turned in the keys to my Providence apartment, packed and shipped half my life away, said goodbye to friends I spent my four years of university with, drinking myself stupid and dancing in underwear with said friends oh and also GRADUATING, parting ways with my mother (she’s going back to Asia), also it’s my birthday and shit all in the span of the last 72 hours that my idiot self reached into my bag for my id and passport to find HOLY SHIT IT WASN’T THERE

Which is a big problem not only because it’s my bloody passport, but because
1. I’m not American, so chances of getting a replacement is not likely in the next four weeks
2. I have no place to live and literally almost all my friends moved out today because today’s when leases end
3. My wonderful roommates/waifus who left the house after me who were so helpful to look around to see if I had left it under the heaters or something confirmed it’s not there
4. Nothing’s open it’s Sunday and I need coffee I can’t function

Before I assumed the worst, I just hoped it was in my suitcase instead. But when I cracked the suitcase open at the airport to look for it, it wasn’t there either. Okay, I had thought, I just wasn’t very thorough in my search. I have to stay at a hotel tonight anyway, so I’ll do a proper search once I’m there.

And so I checked into the hotel, dumped all my stuff out of my suitcase… And it wasn’t there. Concierge was kind enough to give me the number for the Canadian Consulate office in Boston. So then I had a few choices (I had complied while sitting squashed up against the door in my hotel room because that’s the only spot in my room with wifi for some reason) :

1. Couch surf and wait around a month for a new passport, reschedule flight
2. Take the next train back to Providence, beg the real estate people to let me back into my apartment to look for passport one final time (probably won’t work, I trust my roommates when they say it’s not there. Plus, the real estate office is CLOOOOOOSED because Sunday)
3. Reenact the Boston Tea Party only I am the tea and the hotel’s the ship by jumping out of the hotel window into the Boston harbour

Just when I resigned myself to couch surfing for a month, my mom texts she has my passport. We had put it with hers on accident during the chaos. Problem, she’s on a train to New York, and her flight’s today.

So, thanks to modern convenience of internet, wifi on buses and trains, mobile texting and just generally great service of large cities, she’s going to express mail it to me from New York to Boston. Thank GOD the USPS next to Penn station is open on Sundays, because FedEx and UPS are not.

I’m so tired I’m going to pass out forever now

(If any of my followers are in Boston and wants to get food/recommend me things to do for today, please feel free!)

IT BEGINS

with feeling dazed.

The sirens on polizia vehicles sound at first like music, as if a local parade is approaching or a rather bombastic ice cream truck found it’s way down your street. But this is not suburbia… this is Firenze. 

Standing still in one of the world’s most beloved cities is impossible, so I’m grateful for a moment to take stock of what I’ve experienced in only two days.

Everyone says that the art and architecture in Florence is enough to overwhelm you completely. There’s even a name for this intense reaction to the beauty and culture in Florence: Stendhal syndrome, or hyperkulturemia

I visited the Duomo yesterday, and I am certainly in the presence of magnificence. But the crowds make it hard to stop, to take in details. Because of this, I prefer to duck in an alleyway to find street art, or take an alternate route wherever I’m trying to go. 

[That’s also because getting lost is quite easy, but that’s for another day.]

Florence traffic flows in ways comparable to a large university campus. The crowds overwhelm in and around the plazas and rush hour exists in the early mornings and evenings, but most streets stay quite during the day.

Thank god for the sorority girls who refused to share sidewalks on campus at school. Common courtesy, no? Oh, you’re just going to run Longchamp-first into me. That’s cool.

Firenzians do this constantly. But since I’m already a pro at ball-changing off and back on to the curb, I’ve avoided human collision and getting KO’d by the incoming truck’s side mirror.

If I didn’t believe in speaking too soon, I would say I’m almost used to this.

In particular, the area surrounding the duomo feels familiar in the worst ways. Italian syllables fly, and you walk in the shadow of this beautiful thing [really, how did they even make it] but it feels as if I’m crossing Turlington at the University of Florida. Flyers are thrust chest-high into my trajectory by everyone from restaurant owners to club promoters, while walkway-wide groups of Asi… *ahem* people move through too slowly. 

Men loiter in doorways in fours and threes. They make revoltingly soft kissing sounds as you pass, and some call out, but they never move an inch.

The sun is brutal, but the breeze is sweet. And I sort of enjoy not wondering if I’m going to be cold when I step into a supermarket or classroom.

Amidst it all, my brain still feels a bit foggy. Whether this is Stendhal syndrome, I cannot say. 

I just hope the daze lifts… in time for an adventure. 

Talk soon.

~AAK

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