Archive for November, 2008

FOUND: A Fond Farewell to the Abbey

November 28, 2008

Found: After 75 years of existence as a dive bar, neighborhood watering hole and music club, Abbey Lounge shut its doors for good on the day before Thanksgiving, ending an era the only way they knew how – with loud, raucous local bands, cheap beer and strong cocktails. While many music venues close unceremoniously and never get a proper farewell, old-timers and recent arrivals crammed into the tiny bar for one last night.

And just like what happened to The Hacienda in the end of “24 Hour Party People”, the patrons of the final show did their best to loot the venue of its trademark signs. First to go were the beer and liquor signs on the wall, followed by a few items The Shoegazer managed to liberate from the doomed club – a fire exit sign, an “employees only” sign, and a “sold out” sign that looks like a homemade sign lovingly made by one of the bar’s door people. Oh yeah, and amid the chaos, The Shoegazer also found a $1 bill, near the exit.

Location: What is now the former site of the Abbey Lounge, on the border of Cambridge and Somerville in Inman Square.

Source: The exit sign was installed to bring the bar into compliance with fire codes, where it would guide patrons out of the building in the event of a fire. The “sold out” sign looks home-made and was probably the work of a bar employee. The “employees only” sign was on a door near the rear of the bar, intended to keep drunken patrons out of what was probably a janitor’s closet or storage area. The source of the $1 bill is anybody’s guess

Destination: Let a thousand Somervillians bloom. The exit sign will likely adorn The Shoegazer’s apartment, and the “employees only” sign is already re-mounted on the door to the apartment’s only bathroom. The “sold out” sign will be returned to its creator, should said person come forward. The dollar was spent at the Capitol Diner in Lynn, MA on the morning of November 28.

The future of the location lovingly known as the Abbey Lounge for 75 years remains in question.  While many, including The Shoegazer, would like to see it remain a live music venue, unconfirmed reports suggest the site may become yet another Irish bar.  Personally, The Shoegazer would rather it become a Starbucks or a Republican Party Headquarters than see another bad Irish bar pop up.



FOUND: Solace for a Soggy Shoegazer

November 7, 2008

Found: The Shoegazer began his night at the Silhouette, a bar on Brighton Avenue in Allston, but after DJ Fabulous spilled an entire beer in his lap, it was time to head elsewhere.

Halfway between the sites of previous finds, Great Scott and O’Briens, lies Common Ground, an unassuming neighborhood bar known for its decade-themed dance nights, solid beer selection and cranky owners. The Shoegazer was once a regular at the Thursday 80’s party known as Love Night, and still goes back on those evenings when a hankering for Neneh Cherry, Murray Head or Duran Duran just won’t go away. Common Ground, while not as lucky as Great Scott or O’Briens, is still a place where a lost dollar or two can turn up at anytime. And of course, “anytime” can certainly include finding a crumpled $1 bill lying on the middle of the floor in the bar area. A few steps to the left, a nonchalant reach downward, and just like that, The Shoegazer is $1 richer.

Location: Common Ground, a bar on Harvard Ave in Allston, MA. Harvard Ave is also known as The Golden Road, as its Allston section essentially begins at O’Briens and ends at Great Scott, when the street passes into Brookline.

Source: A careless 80’s fan.

Destination: This dollar is no longer in The Shoegazer’s possession, however he as no recollection of spending it, so perhaps The Shoegazer has inadvertently paid it forward. Let’s just hope the rest of his money is where it ought to be.


Find Something? Lose Something? E-mail The Shoegazer

November 6, 2008

The Shoegazer, while remaining a semi-mysterious figure (really, anyone familiar with the locations and people mentioned in this blog could probably figure it out), can now be reached via e-email!

Now you can e-mail The Shoegazer himself at

Have a shoegazing story of your own?  It seems that most people who are told of this blog usually have a story to share about a found bill, wallet or envelope of cash.  There are some out there who have found far greater sums of money than The Shoegazer.  Include all of the details of your find – a description of what you found and how you came across it, the location, the source (or your best guess) and what you did with the money (or where you returned the wallet, etc).  Pictures always help, too.

Lost something and you want The Shoegazer to keep an eye out for it?  Give The Shoegazer the details and his head will be kept down should he find himself in the area of your lost valuables.

Think you’re the rightful owner of something The Shoegazer found?  Although the motto “finder’s keepers” is a creed of The Shoegazer, he has no interest in keeping anything that has a rightful owner – including wallets, ID’s, credit cards, passports, etc.  Whenever possible, these personal items are turned over to employees at the businesses where they’re found.

FOUND: 2 Tricks, 0 Treats

November 1, 2008

Found: With The Shoegazer’s recent track record at Great Scott, the much-hyped Pill Halloween Show seemed the perfect place to continue the streak, as surely ill-fitting costumes would let bills both large and small slip unnoticed into the dark, beery oblivion. What The Shoegazer did not count on, however, was that Halloween is also the night of Trick or Treat, and maybe recent good luck at Great Scott led The Shoegazer to believe that he would be getting more treat than trick. However, the opposite turned out to be true.

Early into the night, as The Sun Lee Sunbeam were playing an animated send-up to Elastica (minus the smack, I hope and assume), a small piece of paper came into view near the bar. A quick reach revealed the first Trick played on The Shoegazer on Halloween – it was in fact money, but unfortunately it was a fake $20 bill. And just in case there was any question about its authenticity, the bill was about half-sized, measuring approximate 3 inches by 1 inch.

DJ Fabulous

the fake $20, with a real fiver and High Life bottle shown for scale. photo: DJ Fabulous

Later on, as Wonderful Spells had done the Kinks better than maybe even the Davies are capable of these days, and Perennials reunited to get the dancefloor going as The Strokes, The Shoegazer made his second deceptive discovery of the evening – with the assistance of DJ Fabulous, The Shoegazer came up with a fake $100 bill, this one full sized, but to set aside any doubts of its validity, the reverse of the bill was blank. What The Shoegazer thought may be another bill turned out to be any empty Miller High Life bottle. Cursed again!

Location: All of these non-finds happened at The Shoegazer’s traditional stomping grounds, Great Scott in Allston, MA

Source: The Shoegazer has no idea which Halloween costume produced the half-sized fake $20, as it could have been any number of show-goers. The Shoegazer did spot another fake $100 bill as part of another person’s costume, so it’s safe to assume that she was probably the source of this one. There were three Sarah Palins in the crowd, including one 6-foot-tall guy wearing size 16 heels (apparently sold for Dennis Rodman impersonators? The Shoegazer can’t believe there was a market for such a shoe). Perhaps the fake money was part of a fake Palin’s economic stimulus package. Releasing fake money onto barroom floors is about on par with most of the Republicans’ economic proposals this time around.

Destination: The Shoegazer will keep these fake bills as a keepsake.

DJ Fabulous

a bogus $100 bill. not shown: its blank reverse. photo credit: DJ Fabulous