Geek Convention

On Saturday, Steve and I decided that we needed a break from the soccer field, so we ran away into the city with the kids. First, we went to check out some exhibits at MOMA (pictures later). Instead of horsing around at playgrounds of Central Park afterwards, Steve decided to take us downtown to see a record fair, which was run by the local alt-rock radio station.

The boys got a subway ride out of the deal, which is always a cheap thrill. When we got there, I set them up with iPhones in the corner. Steve joined the other geeks and shuffled through old albums in milk cartons. I took pictures of the geeks.

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I have a weakness for subcultures and there was plenty of awesome subculture action at this Record Fair.

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It was almost all guys with a few gender-ambiguous types thrown in.

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I remember sifting through racks of albums at Bleeker Bobs back in the 80s. These guys never left the 80s.

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I've heard that albums are making a come back. People are nostalgic for the old pops and crackles of the old albums.
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The Record Fair was super crowded. It's nice that there are places for people like this — people who have strong opinions about Kulturbeutel albums.

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He's so happy with his new purchases.

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Steve could have spent a long time at this place, but the kids were tired and I had enough pictures.

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People complain that New York City has become too bland in its tastes. They say it has lost its old grit and quirkiness. For the most part, they are right, but there are still corners of the city where geeks can come out to play.

6 thoughts on “Geek Convention

  1. After we had been married for about ten years, I finally decided to consolidate my wife’s and my record collections. This process generated a lot of duplicates (like 20 or so). I was dismayed to discover, after doing some on-line research, that they really weren’t worth anything. So I threw them out. Had I known that people had fairs like this, I would have dumped them off. I wouldn’t even care about the money (I assume that the proceeds of 20 albums would at best cover the subway fare.)

  2. ah, as a vinyl geek myself I’m sorry I missed the fair😉
    It’s not that we miss the crackle and pop, it’s that vinyl sounds better to us. Neil Young said of digital music something to the effect of – it’s like the difference between standing under a waterfall and standing under a shower of ice cubes. I can’t source that quote, here’s another: “Young said that MP3 was convenient – but that it’s like a vision of paradise that’s only inches deep and slams you in the face when you try to walk into it”.
    Yes, we have opinions..

  3. Not being a music geek myself, I can’t speek to Doug’s music geekery comments in practice. But, I need to point out that it is theoretically possible for the digital format to precisely replicate (at least to the limits of human audition) the characteristics of a vinyl recording, i.e. the “waterfall v shower of ice cubes” (which is which?). It can’t replicate the analog of the vinyl recording, i.e. the randomness of snaps, crackles and pop that depend on random elements on the reading needle or vinyl. Well it can’t replicate that perfectly, though it could add a random eleemtn itself
    I am familiar with this discussion and it’s progression with respect to digital images (versus film) and I am unsympathetic to “holistic” explanations of why digital isn’t as good as analog. If someone’s going to make that argument, I want to here the perceptual element that they’re relying on (and know that it’s within the limits of human perception). With photography and film, people talk about the process itself sometimes (they like printing photographs from film, rather than working at a computer). That’s a perceptually identifiable difference (for example, computers smell different than darkrooms). But, “waterfalls”, softness? the certain je ne se quoi, I don’t believe it.

  4. But, I’m not opposing the geekery. I just need people to justify it on perceptual rather than theoretical or spirtual grounds. I always like geekery (i.e. passionate and learned interest in a topic). In fact, I’m demanding more geekery.

  5. I was 9 months pregnant when we moved from Brooklyn to Long Island 11+ years ago. And then I got put on bedrest, so it was better to just send me to my mom’s house to rest, thus leaving my husband to do all the moving.
    He dumped *all* of my vinyl. I hope some Park Slope hipster vinyl geek got hold of them, but I have no idea.😦

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