This morning I thought I was mining straight up gold as I collected mostly beer, but some soda cans to recycle for cash at the Barnyard, a Punk House in the North Side of Tucson, Arizona. About an hour and a half’s work, with about a total of roughly fifty minutes of walking with two trips, the second including the plastic which I figured out I could also get money for during my first visit and all the cans I missed the first time, I earned a whopping $4.86.
The first formal Punk House that I ever went to was the South Side Punk House in West Lawn, Chicago in November 2002. When I first read the term in a CrimethInc. article, I felt like a few of the houses I’d hung out at over the years in suburban Cleveland, Ohio were Punk Houses, but the South Side House really fit the bill.
The best example of life there I can think of to explain to people who hadn’t visited was how after seeing our landlord’s brother shooting fireworks into the library of the House at a Halloween party in ’03, around the time I moved in, I bought three smoke detectors, one for each floor. Guess what happened to them within a week? One was smashed, another disappeared, and I never saw it again over the next six or so months that I lived there, so I took the last one into my room, where I figured at least I could appreciate it’s use, and maybe at least save myself if what I was basically considering to be historically inevitable at that point ever happened while I was there…
One of the things that all of my guests from Ohio always seemed to ask was, how did we keep the place going? A fair and good question. For all the usual reasons, and some probably not usual, I don’t feel like recording the specific answers in regard to the House, but I have been able to visit a number of other Punk Houses around the US around and since my stint there, and can compile something if there is an interest. I would also be interested in gathering other people’s stories as I’ve heard and read about very vibrant Punk House cultures in other cities that I’m not familiar with, or some how didn’t plug into while I was there, such as in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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