Welcome to Papacookie, the high-tech space-age streamlined intergalactic concert space for lending substance to empty lives, fertilizing dry spells, introducing extra-liminal ideas into the gaping cultural disconnect, breeding meaning from margins, sticking it to the man, hugging, kissing, and fingerblasting.
Here, sounds and significance are held trapped like branded piglets or reliquary shrouds, depending on how you look at it. You might stand, for instance, at 86th and Amsterdam, imagining that a Belnord window shows nothing more than a picture painted onto its pane—a picture of a bald cat inside, of an octogenarian birthday party, of clustered framed photographs, of an old-fashioned wall sconce, of a wild-eyed succubus looking out—that the building is an empty box and its windows decorative artwork hung from the facade. If you take a moment to look closer, though, up at the 8th story southeast corner window, you’ll find that the prosaic scenes moving across it are inexplicably interesting to you. Like yellowed nautical maps from bygone colonial eras or the momentary glimmer of a meteor said to have traveled millions of miles to get here (depending on how you look at it) their apparent claims upon time and space make them—mere shadows of shadows!—more deeply real than the guy you notice standing next to you at the traffic signal looking at his watch and not noticing you. Linger there on the sidewalk in front of the cleaners across the street on a Saturday night and look up at the apartment, feeling lonely, not moving a muscle, watching Papageno do his jig in laurels, watching a Reagan-era teenager in a black trench causing domestic disturbance with his grandmother, watching a good personality displace hitherto unflinching locally popular interest in authenticity, watching the reflection of a CNN broadcast, watching a waning life and the simultaneous proliferation of its material evidence, watching hippies make love, watching patterned shirtwaists grow dated and then make a comeback, watching death exist, watching decisions grow boring, watching condensation on the glass.
I know this all sounds a bit depressing but believe me, it’s much better than the horrors you’ll meet should you venture inside. DO NOT ENTER HERE.