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The Passage of a Few People Through a Rather Brief Moment in Time #155: Boomtown

07.4.12

One or more persons during a certain period drop their usual motives
for movement and action, their relations, their work and leisure activities,
and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the
encounters they find there.

It's a bike ride.

Started by user nathansnider and user theroyalacademy.

It meets every Wednesday at 8:30pm
at California Donuts #21.
We ride at 9pm.
We'll endeavor to return before the last red line trains (around midnight).

On this bike ride, you might expect:
- inconvenient passageways
- oblique strategies
- Oulipian constraints
- disorientation
- reorientation
- "cover" versions of other people's rides, performed with amateurish enthusiasm
- amateurish enthusiasm
- pool halls
- bowling alleys
- karaoke
- geocaching
- full moon picnics
- traffic median tea parties
- rivers that no longer exist
- smell tourism
- Couchwick v2.0

Furthermore:
- usually 20-35 miles
- usually some hills
- a medium pace (probably not for beginners; certainly not a hustle)
- few stops, short stops
- but we're not in a rush; we don't need to run every light
- victory donuts!

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This week:

Boomtown


Eating breakfast at the Los Angeles Police Academy Café is a curious
experience. It is, more or less, a diner like any other. Diner food,
diner service. A little bit quaint and old-timey. Yes, it is almost
Platonically diner-like in every respect save one. Sonically. Not that
it lacks any of the usual diner sounds (the friendly chatter, the
sizzling grill, the clinking plates and silverware), but there is an
extremely conspicuous addition to that typical sonic palette: gunfire.
There is the near-constant sound of ammo being discharged on the
shooting range just up the hill. One can't see it whilst sitting in
the Café, but one most certainly can hear it. And it completely
changes the experience. There is a feeling of both being in the space
of the diner and simultaneously somewhere else, somewhere nearer to
these sounds which feel so close by, almost right on top of you. One's
body never quite feels at rest even though one is sitting in a booth
eating comfort food.

Sounds affect spaces and spaces affect sounds. A noisy party feels
spatially different from a quiet one. Music in a cathedral sounds
different from music in a garage. As is true on the level of the room
so too on an urban scale. Helicopters circling overhead, the sound of
rain: these change the city's space. Not physically, but experientially.

Once a year, the city of L.A. stages an ambitious experiment (as do
cities across the country) in sonic architecture. Through the coordinated,
widespread deployment of pyrotechnic devices, we test the effects of
such auditory incursions upon our perception of space. Does the city
become bigger or smaller? Does it move faster or slower? Do disparate
districts begin to feel more homogenous? Or does everything simply
feel altogether different from what it was before?

This week we become roving test subjects for the annual experiment.
Keeping our eyes open to what we encounter as always, of course, but
also, especially, our ears.

Very low mileage, and probably an easy pace, but not necessarily an
easy ride. Nothing too crazy, but still some hills and stairs.

+ Pre-ride picnic


A few of us will be getting together for a little picnic in Barnsdall Park
before the ride. Nothing fancy. Casual. Potluck-style. Everybody welcome.
Bring some food, a frisbee, and a friend. Meet around 6:00/6:30-ish.
Afterwards, we'll ride together down to CA Donuts at 8:30.

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For the latest information about each week's ride, join our mailing list:
http://groups.google.com/group/the-passage-announcements

For more information about past rides, visit our (newly updated!) website:
http://www.ThePassageRide.com

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Certain shifting angles,
certain receding perspectives.
 


Posted by theroyalacademy