Shoegazing: you’re doing it wrong

March 21, 2014

The point of this exercise is to recover money that has been lost by unknown persons, without the reasonable chance of reuniting it with the person who lost it. Picking up a $20 that a blind person dropped and pocketing it – you’re doing it wrong.

http://www.lamebook.com/hero-of-the-day/

FOUND: Several small scores

January 13, 2014

Found: The Shoegazer has once again moved across state lines, and being busy with that and other things means less time for blogging. However, here’s a quick update of recent finds:

  • $12 on the ground at TT The Bear’s in Cambridge, MA, lying in a dark corner of the main performance room
  • $5 on the ground at TT The Bear’s during the weekly new wave dance night “Heroes” on Saturdays
  • a wet $1 bill on the ground in Lot Six, the Central Square parking lot that inspired a rock band
  • another $5 bill on the ground at TT The Bear’s, again at “Heroes” as the lights came on at the end of the night
  • a Charlie Card (MBTA/Boston electronic fare card for subway & bus fares) on the floor at TT the Bear’s. The Shoegazer does not know if it has money on it, but even if it’s empty, The Shoegazer could use a new Charlie Card. 

FOUND: Pizza Dough

October 17, 2013

Found:  Prior posts on this blog have revealed The Shoegazer to be a fan of Maine in general and specifically the city of Portland. It’s full of classic New England charm and traditional Maine cuisine, but also lots of record stores, vintage shops, and restaurants serving all kinds of food, including some of the best Japanese food The Shoegazer has had the pleasure of eating. It’s also a place where money turns up on the ground from time to time – past Portland finds have included the sidewalk outside a bar, and under a bar stool.

Upon arriving in Portland on a recent Sunday to enjoy an afternoon of walking around and sampling some of his favorite restaurants, The Shoegazer’s first stop was to pop in at Otto Pizza on Congress Street, to satisfy hunger pangs that couldn’t wait for the arrival of his partner in crime, The Oxygen Tank Music Aficionado (so named for her appreciation of early-mid 20th century music, mostly listened by the elderly “oxygen tank” set).
 
The Shoegazer grabbed his slice of pizza from Otto, a local favorite that has recently branched out to the Boston area that frequently offers multiple white (non-tomato) pizza slices, a rarity outside of New York City. Immediately after leaving Otto, The Shoegazer glanced downward just long enough to spot a $10 bill lying on the ground at his feet.
 
Location: This tenner was found outside of Otto Pizza on Congress Street in Portland, Maine.
 
Source: As Congress is a busy street full of shops and eateries, the sidewalk was pretty crowded that Sunday afternoon. While there was nobody in the immediate vicinity of the sawbuck, whoever dropped it couldn’t have passed by more than a few minutes prior. A couple of girls with Ugg boots on passed through the area a minute or so before, so perhaps this Hamilton was saved from a fate of being spent on cigarettes or Coors Light.
 
Destination: This $10 rode around the streets of Portland in The Shoegazer’s pocket for another hour or two. It was then spent on a late lunch at Duckfat, where The Shoegazer and Oxygen Tank Music Girl shared a bowl of Duckfat’s famous poutine (Belgian style fries, duck gravy, cheese curd, duck confit) and a beet salad.
 
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FOUND: Farm Fresh Fiver

September 9, 2013

Found: Manchester, Vermont is not exactly a hotspot for finding money on the ground. In fact, your humble narrator has dropped more money on the ground in Manchester than he has recovered. Nevertheless, if one continues to look down you’ll eventually spot something. The Shoegazer was returning to his car after visiting the Spiral Press Cafe (in the same space as the famed Northshire Bookstore, which is worth going out of one’s way to visit) when he spotted something in the gutter. Instantly recognizable as US currency, a $5 bill came into view in the gutter of the street, up against the curb.

The bill seem to have been on the ground for awhile – it was dirty and still damp from rains that had ended the afternoon before. How did this bill sit unrecovered for so long? It’s possible that it was underneath a parked car, as The Shoegazer found the bill not too far from a parked car. The car in question had out of state plates and a dog left inside, so if there was anyone who deserved to be out five bucks, it’s a minivan driver from Connecticut who leaves their dog in the car. The Shoegazer was a little mad at himself for noticing this bill on his way TO the cafe, as it was found only upon returning to the car. Although, it’s possible the bill had been under a car and had just now dried out enough to be blown up against the curb.

Interesting historical note: this bill, bearing the portrait of Abraham Lincoln, was found about two miles from Hildene, the Lincoln family home, now a popular historical site in Manchester.

Location: This bill was found up against a curb in a section of on-street parking spaces on Bonnet Street, aka Route 30, in Manchester, VT, down the street from the Spiral Press Cafe.

Source: While the bill appeared to have been damp and not recently dropped, The Shoegazer hopes it came from one of the town’s many out of state visitors.

Destination: This $5 bill was spent at Clear Book Farm in Shaftsbury, VT, purveyors of the best corn on the cob The Shoegazer has ever gotten stuck between his teeth. He also purchased a container of Gammelgarden Creamery’s excellent maple skyr and grabbed a copy of Edible Green Mountains, which was free and did not require the services of the recently found fiver.

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FOUND: Fifteen on the Floor, Before TT’s Fortieth

September 4, 2013

Found: The Cambridge, MA rock club TT the Bear’s is nearing its 40th anniversary. During that time, the venue has served primarily as a live music venue, as well as, in its early year, a restaurant. Remnants of the TT’s kitchen are still there, though much of the space was done away with when the sound booth was moved back. In recent years, TT’s has also played host to a handful of weekly and monthly dance nights, many of which were once affiliated with Man Ray, the Boston area’s beloved defunct goth club.

“Heroes” is a Saturday fixture at TT’s, a goth-ish new wave dance night starring Chris Ewen, who some might know for his musical contributions to bands like Future Bible Heroes and Figures on a Beach. The Shoegazer and Miss Artgal stopped by late Saturday night for a little dancing and, just maybe, some shoegazing. TT’s in recent years has become quite the hotspot for finding money on the ground, maybe because the TT’s of “Heroes” is cash-only as of late, the atmosphere is one of loud music, bright lights and dark corners, so it’s only natural that money falls to the ground. Sometimes it stays there for quite some time.

In a dark corner, not far from the DJ booth and Chris Ewen’s blinding neon sign, The Shoegazer spied something on the floor. Cash, or napkin? Quite often it turns out to be the latter, but today it was cash money – $15, a tenner and a fiver, found together.

Location: These bills were found near the DJ booth on a dark, unoccupied bit of dance floor at TT the Bear’s in Cambridge, MA.

Source: Given the amount, my guesstimation would be someone who bought a cheap beer (a $4 purchase at TT’s), left a dollar for the barkeep and took their $15 in change without carefully securing it on a pocket or purse. Since nobody was even within a few feet of this money, the source remains at large.

Destination: The fiver went toward the purchase of a drink at last call, while the sawbuck was spent around 3am at the New Yorker Diner in Watertown, MA, which is one of the only late night eating spots in all of the Boston area. It’s open all night, folks. Get on that.

FOUND: Sawbuck at the Racetrack

August 6, 2013

Found: The Shoegazer had never been to a horse race before, and living within an hour’s drive of the storied track in Saratoga, rectifying that shortcoming was long overdue. Now, The Shoegazer has long been known to “bet on the wrong horse” in situations where there are no actual horses present. He gets into the grocery store line that’ll undoubtedly involve a personal check and a pile of coupons; at toll booths he winds up behind the guy getting change for a $20 and asking for a receipt. So The Shoegazer didn’t really expect to win much of anything betting on the horses.

Still, The Shoegazer did win $11 on a horse finishing second (or “Place”, as the track parlance goes) while partner in equine Miss Artgal fared a little better, repeatedly winning small amounts of money betting favorites across the board. Hey, we’re learning this track lingo pretty quick, huh?

The Shoegazer didn’t really expect to find any money on the ground here, despite the fact that cash transactions and drinking were common at Saratoga Race Course, and those two ingredients frequently result in dropped money. But at the track, The Shoegazer spotted a couple of guys picking up discarded betting slips looking for winners, and surely if those guys had resorted to that tactic, they had probably already scanned the ground for financial flotsam.

To The Shoegazer’s surprise and delight, he spotted a $10 bill on the ground near the cashiers, where one places bets and cashes in winning tickets. The Shoegazer scooped up the errant sawbuck and the window attendant took notice. She was rather insistent that The Shoegazer chase after the possible dropper of the money, despite the fact that he didn’t see who dropped it. Still, The Shoegazer did manage to flag down the last person to visit that cashier, who said that all of his money was present and accounted for.

Location: This $10 bill was found near the cashier windows in the main concourse at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Source: Not the guy that the cashier thought had dropped it. Despite the cashier and The Shoegazer’s best efforts (and by best, I mean asking one dude), the source of the money was not found and the bill remained in The Shoegazer’s possession. In the spirit of spending found money at or near the location of its recovery, The Shoegazer used part of it to place his next bet. Though he was tempted to see the lucky find a sign, he didn’t bet the full amount. This was also lucky, as the chosen horse did not finish in the money.

Destination: As mentioned above, part of the found $10 went toward a non-winning bet in the next race, and the rest paid for some groceries for a late dinner that evening. It’s only fitting that The Shoegazer fared better by looking at the ground than by looking at the horses or the racing program.

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*no benches were moved in the making of this photo.

FOUND: Fertile Ground at Solid Sound

July 2, 2013

Found: The Shoegazer had a blast at the Solid Sound festival at Mass MoCA recently, although he was off the mark when it comes to finding money on the ground. Large concerts and music festivals are usually a great place to look – you’ve got crowds, drinking, lots of cash-only financial transactions – everything you need to facilitate a few dropped dead presidents.

Maybe it was the fact that The Shoegazer was trying not to look down, after walking up several flights of grated stairwells to visit an airstream trailer suspended 4 stories off the ground.

Either way, the big money find for the weekend was made by Miss Artgal, who spotted an errant $1 bill on the ground near one of the beer stands. The next day, The Shoegazer and Miss Artgal were walking through the courtyard when another festival-goer plucked a $5 bill off the ground right in front of The Shoegazer. He was sent off with his prize with the instructions to spend it within sight of where it was found. So while Miss Artgal and a fellow Wilco fan made out pretty well, The Shoegazer is hoping a big score is in the offing.

Location: The $1 bill was found near a beer stand on Joe’s Field, an area on the grounds of Mass MoCA where the headliner, Wilco, had their stage set up. The $5 bill was found at the intersection of several footpaths through the Mass MoCA complex, not far from where the Wilco-themed strength tester carnival attraction was set up. Mass MoCA, for those unaware, is located in North Adams, Mass.

Source: It’s unlikely both of these bills were dropped by the same person, but hey, if you’re going to drop currency twice and only be out six bucks, it’s probably a best-case scenario. Chances are lots of money was dropped over this past weekend, as concert-goers had to contend with crowds, traveling light, darkness and the effects of the mostly high-ABV craft beers being sold.

Destination: The $5 bill, and its finder, went on their merry way and nothing else is known of the fate of either. Presumably the man is still alive, and Abraham Lincoln is still dead. The $1 bill, in the possession of Miss Artgal, posed for the picture below before being spent as a tip for a gin & tonic purchased at the Hong Kong in Cambridge, MA at a comedy show put on by Ken Reid.

After coming up short, The Shoegazer’s highlight of the weekend was probably Wilco’s Friday night all-request performance, where they covered Daft Punk, The Modern Lovers, Pavement, Cheap Trick and more.

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FOUND: Enough $$ To Feed Some Goats

May 29, 2013

Found: Three one dollar bills, scattered among the motley assortment of attendees at “Heroes”, TT the Bear’s regular Saturday night new wave dance party. Although The Shoegazer first visited TT’s way back in 1996, it’s only in recent years that the venue’s floor has upped its generosity.

The first single turned up on the floor a short distance from the lounge bar, where former Man Ray bartender Terri mans the bar and many former Man Ray patrons congregate. Not all of their outfits are practical, however, and this occasionally leads to dropped money. Later in the evening, two more dollars were plucked from the dance floor, as The Shoegazer’s hand was nearly danced upon in the retrieval. 

Location: One dollar was found a few feet from the Lounge Bar, two more dollars in the middle of the dance floor. Both were at TT the Bear’s in Central Square, Cambridge, MA.

Source: The “Heroes” crowd consists of many former Man Ray patrons (storied, and now closed, goth club that was once half a block away), they frequently wear clothing that’s not exactly designed to carry around money. Dollar bills find it easy to make their escape after bar transactions.

Destination: These dollars traveled with The Shoegazer and Ms. Bun Bun (so named because she refers to every single wild rabbit in her Watertown neighborhood as “Mr. Bun Bun”, regardless of gender) to a farm stand in Boxford, MA where one can purchase vegetables to feed a pen of goats and sheep. The $3 in TT’s floor money paid for two bags of carrots, which were quickly devoured by a pair of hungry goats and their pen-mates.

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FOUND: Red Light Dollar Party

April 28, 2013

Found: After a rather long dry spell, The Shoegazer recovered a $1 bill from the floor of Red Square in Albany, NY, following a set by the NYC-based band Black Light Dinner Party. It’s been a slow year so far for The Shoegazer, who hasn’t spent a whole lot of time in crowded bars as of late. Here’s hoping that future visits to Great Scott in Boston and Upstate Concert Hall near Albany will yield some floor money, as they have so reliably done in the past.

Location: This bill was found folded in the center of the floor of the back room (where the bands play) at Red Square in Albany, NY at around 1:30am, right after Black Light Dinner Party’s set and after most patrons had started toward the exits.

Source: One of the approximately 50 or so fans with great taste in music who stayed late to catch BLDP’s set.

Destination: This dollar was spent the following day in Dorset, VT. There’s a white barn on the main road (route 30) where one can go in and buy local meat, eggs and produce (when in season) and pay by the honor system. The Shoegazer got a package of locally raised bacon for $5.50 and the shoegazed dollar went into the cash box.

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FOUND: A Tip For a Dancer

February 17, 2013

Found: Pardon the delay in posting this, but back in January The Shoegazer found himself back in the familiar sights of Central Square in Cambridge, MA, where he spent many an evening during the unnamed decade that spanned from 2000-2009. Showing a friend the excitement that is hopping between the Middle East and TT the Bear’s, The Shoegazer caught a few bands at the Middle East upstairs before heading over to TT’s for some dancing at Heroes.

As previously explained here on the blog, not all Boston music venues are created equal in terms of finding money on the ground. The undisputed king is Great Scott, while semi-regular scores have also been made at The Middle East, Brighton Music Hall, O’Brien’s and occasionally the Paradise. But before 2010 or so, finds at TT’s were rare. In recent years, the legendary venue has been coughing it up with some regularity; The Shoegazer has even made multiple finds in the same night https://theshoegazer.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/found-ad-frank-the-fast-easy-dollar-part-deux/

While on the dance floor later in the evening, The Shoegazer happened to glance downward and spotted some very trampled-upon money – upon retrieval the find totaled $11 – a sawbuck and a one.

Location: The $11 score was found in the middle of the main dance floor during “Heroes” at TT the Bear’s in Cambridge, MA.

Source: Someone with their dancing shoes on but eyes not on the prize. It probably slipped free of a pocket or purse after being given as change at the bar. It’s quite easy to drop money in this way and never notice, as evidenced by the six years’ worth of posts on this blog.

Destination: The $11 didn’t stay with The Shoegazer very long – it went toward the purchase of another round at the main bar.