FOUND: Ambling Abes

November 11, 2012

Found: So it seems that Albany-area venue Upstate Concert Hall is the Great Scott of Upstate New York. Great Scott, of course, being the Boston concert venue famous on this blog for its frequent floor money finds. Upstate Concert Hall is dimly lit, even before and after the performances and its policy on tabs (minimum charges, having to hand over your ID to the bartender) encourages many to pay with cash. Though false alarms abound due to the “coming attractions” flyers that the door people hand out on the way in (when folded or crumpled they can resemble money in the perma-dusk of the venue), The Shoegazer made his latest find at the cavernous suburban venue.

The show featured a Shoegazer favorite, Yeasayer, along with previously unknown openers Sinkane. Though Upstate Concert Hall can hold maybe 1,500 people, back areas were curtained off to create a more intimate feel for the couple of hundred attendees of this show. Shortly before Yeasayer took the stage, The Shoegazer noticed a piece of paper on the floor near the bar. Was it one of the venue’s flyers or some paper money?

The delight of “ooh, a fiver” quickly turned into “ooh, two fivers”. A $10 find and one of the bigger ones of 2012.

Location: These bills were found tightly folded together on the floor near the main bar at Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park, NY.

Source: Somebody with great taste in music, who unfortunately probably had to have lousy taste in beer and drink cheaper PBR’s for the remainder of the evening.

Destination: While The Shoegazer appreciates good beer and less than appreciates the hangover he gets from even 1 or 2 PBR’s, $3 is a fair price and this find purchased a couple of that 1893 blue ribbon-winning swill.


FOUND: Got a Pocketful of Money

October 10, 2012

Found:  The Shoegazer was in Boston over the past weekend to catch Jens Lekman, one of his favorite artists and easily his favorite Swede.  A few years back Jens had a song called “Pocketful of Money”, a slow burning love ditty about blowing all his cash on a girl he’s head over heels for.  His performance of that song was pretty amazing on this night, as he performed the song without his band and using the audience’s finger snapping to provide him a beat.

About mid-way through the show, The Shoegazer decided it was once again beer o’clock and went over to the small beer-only side bar at Royale, the downtown nightclub hosting the show.  Near this small side bar, a one dollar bill was resting on the floor and was quickly added to The Shoegazer’s (dwindling) pocketful of money.

Location: This dollar was found near the small beer-only bar near the back of the room at Royale, a nightclub on Tremont Street in the Theater District of Boston.

Source: Jens also has a song called “Rocky Dennis’ Farewell Song to Blind Girl”, a reference to the 80s movie “Mask”.  Since Royale is relatively well-lit even while the performances are underway, it’s possible that whoever dropped this bill was blind – and possibly Rocky’s lost love.

Destination: In an attempt to squeeze as many favorite things as possible into one night (with thus far had included Jens Lekman and fish tacos, The Shoegazer headed to Kenmore Square and the Island Creek Oyster Bar for some ultra-fresh briny bivalves and a cocktail.  A dollar doesn’t buy a whole lot at Island Creek, but The Shoegazer did part with the remainder of his paper money for that evening, including the Royale floor dollar.

Jens Lekman, facilitator of found funds, from The Shoegazer’s view

FOUND: Buttering Up The Floors of Upstate Concert Hall

September 27, 2012

Found: Many years and several jobs ago, The Shoegazer sat beside a fellow radio promoter named Greg, who overheard The Shoegazer regale many a DJ and music director with zany stories.  One of them involved a missing stick of butter, so from that point on The Shoegazer was known as “The Butter Guy” in some circles.  Sometimes he retorted by referring to Greg as “Greggles”, but it wasn’t as satisfying.

Though a twist of events we call life, both The Shoegazer and Greg are now living within driving distance of Albany and its suburb, Clifton Park, home to a music venue known for a generation as Northern Lights but recently re-christened Upstate Concert Hall.  After bumping into Greg and catching up for a bit, he mentioned The Shoegazer’s old talent to a few of his friends. 

No more than a few minutes had passed when The Shoegazer noticed something at the feet of Greg and two of his friends.  It should be noted that upon entry to Upstate Concert Hall, staffers hand people flyers listing upcoming shows, and a lion’s share of these wind up on the floor co-mingling with patrons’ lost money.  Having been fooled earlier in the night by a crumpled flyer, The Shoegazer thought that luck was not on his side until he spotted the unmistakable shape of grounded US currency.

It turns out that George Washington is quite the Minus the Bear fan, or perhaps he prefers the openers and decided to spend the headliner’s set on the floor.  Either way, The Shoegazer directed the trio to the dropped bill, where it was retrieved and offered to The Shoegazer.  It was suggested the bill go into a fund to pay for the venue’s reasonably priced $3 PBR’s.

Location: This dollar bill was on the floor near the main bar at Upstate Concert Hall, a music venue on route 146 in Clifton Park, NY.

Source:  Since this bill was due south of Greg’s pocket, The Shoegazer assumes it came from him.

Destination:  Greg pocketed this dollar with the suggestion that it be spent on another cheap, headache-inducing PBR.  But since $1 will approximately 1.25 sticks of butter, The Shoegazer will assume it was spent on that.


Greg aka Greggles, longtime fan and first time subject of The Shoegazer blog

FOUND: Scott is Still Great

August 22, 2012

Found:  2012 has been a rather dry year for The Shoegazer.  It’s to be expected, living in an area with a fraction of the nightlife that the Greater Boston area had to offer.  But even on trips back to old haunts, shoegazes have been few and far between, and the Albany dropped money scene just isn’t picking up the slack the way The Shoegazer had envisioned.

Remedy?  Return to Great Scott, the site of so many past floor money discoveries.  The bar’s cash-only, no tabs policy result in many more opportunities for dropping money than at other bars, and as luck (or misfortune, depending on your perspective here) would have it, some of those opportunities manifest themselves in the form of… dropped money.

The Shoegazer almost didn’t investigate the folded piece of paper lying under a bar stool near the draft beer taps, but there was nobody standing nearby so The Shoegazer took a gander.  Often, things that appear to be money are nothing more than receipts or napkins, but in this case what was thought to be mere scrap paper turned out to be a faded, but perfectly valid, five-dollar bill.

Location: This well-worn fiver was lying under a bar stool near the beer taps at Great Scott, located on Commonwealth Ave in Allston, MA.

Source: Like many Great Scott patrons before them, a concert-goer either pulled this bill out by accident while paying for a drink, or failed to successfully pocket their change.  The source remains at large.

Destination:  The Shoegazer was in the midst of a classic Allston night, not enjoyed in quite some time.  Stops included sushi at Fish Market, cocktails at Deep Ellum, the show at Great Scott, and a final stop at The Model, where this bill was spent on a last-call buzzer-beating High Life, plus tip for the hardworking Mr. Unger.

The Brookline Lebowski shows off The Shoegazer’s latest prize

FOUND: Go for Wings, Get the Bone

July 4, 2012

Found: The hit or miss nature of finding money contributes to the sporadic rate of posting seen here on The Shoegazer, but about 11 months ago, The Shoegazer re-located to a small town area of southwestern Vermont where apparently people keep a better hold of their loose bills.  Also, there are fewer bars here, they’re generally less crowded and your humble narrator spends less time in them than in Boston-area bars.  The Shoegazer famously lost a $20 bill in town shortly after moving to town, and posts have continued thanks to finds that occurred while The Shoegazer was visiting places like Boston, Portland and Albany.

The Shoegazer decided that a Red Bull was in order to help finish the day’s work, and what with it being a beautiful summer day, he decided to walk to a nearby convenience store to purchase one.  The most direct route to said convenience store is to walk through the gravel parking lot of the Firefly bar.

Barely noticeable among the gravel of the parking lot, The Shoegazer spotted and nearly walked right over a worn-out, crumpled $1 bill.  Like a rattlesnake disguised in an Arizona desert, this bill had seemingly spent a little time outside becoming more like its immediate surroundings.  With this find, The Shoegazer has ended a 11-month Vermont drought and added a new state to the list, joining Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, New York and, strangely enough, South Carolina.

Location:  This bill was spotted more or less in the middle of the parking lot behind the Firefly restaurant and bar in Manchester, Vermont.  Typically this area is where cars drive in and out of the lot and not part of any vacant parking space.

Source:  Obviously someone not fazed by the Firefly’s recent price increases, as beers have crept up toward city prices and the Thursday chicken wing night special, a steal at 35 cents per wing, is up to half a buck.

Destination: This bill probably only spent 2 minutes in The Shoegazer’s possession; noticing that the upcoming Mega Millions jackpot had reached 86 million dollars, The Shoegazer spent his windfall for a ticket with which he hopes to get a slightly larger windfall.

a bone from Firefly’s parking lot, and a welcome change from the usual chicken bones seen there.

FOUND: My Goodness, My Shoegaze!

June 4, 2012

Found:  A long drought by Shoegazer standards ended on Saturday night at the Druid pub in Cambridge, MA.  While sitting at a bar stool with the Titillating Tippler, a familiar looking piece of paper was spotted on the floor between the tables and the small pub’s room-length bar.  The Shoegazer deputized the Tippler to retrieve the bill, which she did like a natural, snatching it up and returning it to the bar area.  It turned out to be a mere $1 bill, and as such, was offered up to the bartender as an incentive to keep the drinks coming.  They came.

The Big One that broke The Shoegazer’s dry spell

Location: This Mr. Washington was discovered on the floor of the Druid Irish pub in Inman Square, Cambridge, MA.  It was lying on the floor not far from a row of tables.

Source: Many people walked by this bill, either failing to notice its presence or maybe just failing to care.  The loss of denominations as small as this are rarely noticed by those who lose them.

Destination: This bill is yet another contender for least time spent in The Shoegazer’s possession.  It was plopped down on the bar where he and the Titillating Tippler and a few others were enjoying drinks, offered up as a tip to The Druid’s fastidious bartenders.

Lost a $1 bill? Cry no more, for it could’ve been way worse

FOUND: The Great Lost Bill

January 16, 2012

Found:  The Shoegazer took advantage of a long weekend to eat and drink his way through Portland, Maine, the home to many of his favorite restaurants and bars.  Shoegazing was not explicitly on the itinerary, but finding money on the ground is about having a keen eye and being aware of your surroundings (particularly those below you).

Having previously come away from Portland beer bars with found money, The Shoegazer glanced around at the Great Lost Bear bar and spotted a bill lying below an occupied bar stool.  Since the stool dweller had yet to pay for anything, the Shoegazer determined that the bill was most likely not his, and thus up for grabs.  The night continued as other patrons trickled out of the bar, but this obvious first date situated above the mystery bill was continuing longer than initially predicted.  When the woman started to give her date advice about an apparently recent divorce, it was clear they were in this for the long haul.  The Shoegazer needed a plan.

So while putting on his jacket, The Shoegazer intentionally dropped a couple of coins and retrieved the wayward bill along with his coins.  While initially thought to be a single, The Great Lost Bill was in fact a twenty!

Location: This lost bill was found at The Great Lost Bear, a beer bar in Portland, Maine.  The bill was found under a bar stool at the main bar.

Source: Most likely the previous occupant of the bar stool that was later used for an internet date gone awry.

Destination: The Great Lost Twenty will remain in Portland for the time being, as it was spent on breakfast the following morning.

Why is the bear lost? He's blindfolded by a shoegazed $20!


FOUND: Black Taxi Fare

November 22, 2011

Found: Last Friday, The Shoegazer headed into Albany, probably the city nearest him that routinely gets touring bands through, for a bill that featured new favorites Black Taxi along with Paranoid Social Club and My Pet Dragon.  The Shoegazer caught Black Taxi live a few months ago and loved their onstage energy (not to mention catchy songs), though he was a tad disappointed to be at a street festival and not find any money on the ground.

However, this time The Shoegazer scanned the floors near the crowded main bar for treasures, and after a few false alarms that turned out to be napkins, he finally popped the Albany shoegazing cherry by recovering a crumpled, flattened $1 bill from the floor.

Location:  This one dollar bill turned up near the middle of the main bar at Jillian’s on North Pearl Street in Albany, NY.

Source: Albany is pretty divided sports-wise, with fans of New York teams, Buffalo and some Boston fans filling the room with various sports logos.  The Shoegazer hopes this bill came from a Yankees and/or Jets fan.

Destination: The next day The Shoegazer went to Mass MoCA in North Adams and then rolled a few games at the very cool Mt. Greylock Bowl afterward.  This dollar paid for one of the reasonably-priced games thrown on the alley’s vintage wooden lanes.

Ezra from Black Taxi posing with The Shoegazer's prize

FOUND: Sherman Cafe Cookies All Around

November 15, 2011

Found:  The Shoegazer recently ventured back to that old haunt of the Sherman Cafe, where the chocolate chip cookies are good enough to warrant crossing state lines.  As he stepped toward the counter to place his order, a light colored object on the otherwise dark floor caught the corner of his eye.  Low and behold, it was a one dollar bill, looking as it had been freshly dropped.  The Shoegazer’s Sherman-going companion, known on this blog as The Brookline Lebowski (due to a sudden burst of bowling prowess earlier that day), alerted The Shoegazer that the dollar’s source might still be very close by.

As it turned out, the customer identified himself as Matt, though not the same Sherman employee who found $3 in the vicinity of 69 School Street earlier this year.  This Matt said he would probably spend his newly recovered dollar on a cookie.  A smart move.

Matt's wayward dollar, seen during a brief bivouac on the Sherman Cafe floor

Location: This bill was spotted at the foot of the counter at Sherman Cafe in Union Square, Somerville, MA.  This marks the second time a dollar has turned up at this very spot.  As counters are near cash registers and therefore the site of cash transactions, occasionally money does turn up on the floor near coffee shop or store counters.  It’s a good place to look if you’re an aspiring shoegazer yourself.

Source: The Shoegazer’s compadre in Sherman cookie appreciation, Matt.

Destination:  Right back to the Sherman counter for one of their sweet treats!

side note – remember those Mass lottery tickets that resemble cash closely enough that they frequently fool The Shoegazer when they’re discarded on the ground?  The Brookline Lebowski topped off her record-breaking score of 117 at the lanes by winning $15 on one of these tickets.

The Brookline Lebowski beats the odds to win a crisp new $15 bill

FOUND: Radio Free Money

October 13, 2011

Found:  The Shoegazer has recently departed his longtime home in the Boston area for a more laid back setting, and in these new environs there’s much more green in the scenery than on the ground.  But on a recent trip back to his old stomping grounds, The Shoegazer happened onto the opening night of a new music venue in Somerville called Radio.  In the former Club Choices site (and with Choices’ sign still hung above the door), a new enclave of Boston rock was unveiled before our very eyes.

Maybe due to everything being so new, Radio’s credit card machine was not yet operational, resulting in a flurry of cash transactions as patrons sweaty from the crowds and lack of AC imbibed round after round of adult beverages.  It was only a matter of time before The Shoegazer found something – a one dollar bill lying at the feet of Goddamn Glenn of the band Parlour Bells.

Location:  The dollar bill was found near the bar in the raised area to the side – a mezzanine area not unlike a small version of the one found at the Middle East downstairs.  All of this happened in the brand new nightclub Radio, on Somerville Ave in Somerville, MA.

Source:  A lover of Boston rock & cheap beer!

Destination:  The Shoegazer, thinking this bill had come from Goddamn Glenn, offered it up to him, who immediately offered it up as a bonus tip for the busy-bee bartenders struggling to keep up with demand for drinks.

Goddamn Glenn with a Founding Father