Zines About Travel and Place

We here at Next Exit Travel have several other projects in addition to this blog. Among them is Xerography Debt, a zine review zine. (If you’re not sure what a zine is, go here). In the last two issues I’ve reviewed several zines that focuse on travel and/or place and thought perhaps readers of our blog might enjoy learning about these zines.

Watch the Closing Doors #64

Fred Argoff
Penthouse L, 1170 Ocean Pkwy., Brooklyn, NY 11230
Price: $10 for a 4 issue subscription
Size: 5.5” x 8.5”
Page count: 24

WtCD #64 primarily focuses on Chicago’s CTA system. I think we all know that people are more distracted than ever before and Fred shows how that plays out within NYC’s subway system with an increase in missed stops (although I once missed a school bus because I was too busy reading). Did you know that the city of Paris gifted an Art Nouveau style station to Chicago? I didn’t and now I want to see it! The final photo of Chicago’s Blue Line O’Hare station was especially timely given the recent accident and word that the station’s future is uncertain.

Quote: describing a photo “Above, take off your pants and head for the subway! The No Pants Subway Ride becomes a tradition in Chicago, too. Inaugurated a decade ago in New York by the comedy group Improv Everywhere, it seems that people in cities with subways the world over have embraced the idea – and participate enthusiastically.”

Brooklyn! #83

Fred Argoff
Penthouse L, 1170 Ocean Pkwy., Brooklyn, NY 11230
Price: $10 for a 4 issue subscription
Size: 5.5” x 8.5”
Page count: 24

As with all issues of BROOKLYN!, Fred shows the depth of his knowledge and love for the diverse borough. You want to know the difference between Ocean Parkway and Ocean Avenue? Ask Fred. This issue runs the gamut from urban wildlife to repurposed boardwalk planks to the finest tree-lines streets in Victorian Flatbush.

Quote:kapeesh? – You understand? Okay, so maybe you spell it ‘capisci’ in Italian. But we’re not in Italy here, and besides, you hardly ever see it in writing. It is usually only spoken, Kapeesh?

Chorrada and Chorrada #1

Kris Mininger
Calvo Sotelo 13b, 4b, Plasencia 10600, Cáceres, Spain
Email: kmininger@gmail.com
Price: trade, donation, mix tape, the usual
Size: 3.5” x 4.75”; 8.5” x 11”
Page count: 8

Kris returns with a mini zine, explaining the name Chorrada, and then a travelogue zine, also titled Chorrada#1. “Chorrada” translates to a little, insignificant thing. This mini rambles as much as an 8-page mini-zine can, and I mean that in a good way.

#1 is essentially a travel zine, instigated by Kris’s parents visit to Spain. The focus is their trip to Ciudad Rodrigo and discovery of a museum devoted to chamber pots. As a lover of off-the-beaten-path spots and museums, I was suddenly inspired to go to Spain. An enjoyable read.

Quote: “There were posters on the walls informing us of the various important moments in chamber pot history: ‘¡Agua va!’ used to be a common warning in Spanish streets when someone was getting ready to empty the contents of a chamber pot out a window.”

Bookstores and Baseball, 6th Inning

David LaBounty
P.O. Box 250382, Plano, TX 75025-0382
david@thefirstline.com
http://www.davidlabounty.com/bookstores_and_baseball.htm
$4-5? US
trades: unknown
size: 8” x 8”
page count: 52

Initially I questioned if I should be the person to review this zine. I have never actually seen a sporting event. The closest I’ve come was half-watching a basketball game at a bar in San Antonio with my boss. That said, I was charmed by this zine and David and his son Gabe explained their devotion to baseball in a way that gave me more insight into why people love the game. David is a publisher of both books and zines and this series of zines highlights his family’s travels around the US as they visit, well, bookstores and baseball. Gabe, his son, is on a quest to visit all the state capitols and he also contributes to the zine. In this issue they visit Kaboom Books, Domy, Houston Indie Book Festival, Steve’s Books and Magazines, Left Bank Books, Boxcar Books, The Book Loft, Amazing Books, Atomic Books, Kramerbooks, One Stop News, and Burke’s Books. He remarks on the health (or unhealth) of the stores and in that the state of bookselling these days. He also takes in games with The Frisco Roughriders (AA), The Houston Astros, The Springfield Cardinals (AA), The Pittsburgh Pirates, The Baltimore Orioles, The Memphis Redbirds (AAA), and The Texas Rangers. If it charmed someone who basically hates sports, imagine how much someone who likes baseball will enjoy this!

Chorrada, #2, #3

Kris & Lola
Calvo Sotelo 13B, 4B, Plasencia, 10600 Caceres Spain
$ Donation, letter, mix tape
trades: yes
size: 8.25” × 11.75”
page count: 8

I’ve always been partial to per-zines that offer a glimpse into lives outside of my experience. Kris is an ex-pat living in Spain with his wife Lola. In #2, Kris writes an essay about shoes that is really about his various jobs, life in Spain, and his very large feet. This was a great article. In #3, Kris meets an eccentric ex-pat who lives in a cave. He also has a weekend away in a terrible hotel. As an avid traveler, I loved the descriptions.

Piltdownlad: Behind the Wheel, #10

Kelly Dessaint
PO BOX 22974, Oakland, California 94609
piltdownlad@gmail.com
http://www.kellydessaint.com/piltdownlad
$3 US
trades: maybe
size: 8.5 “ x 11”
page count: 60

Behind the Wheel is very different from Kelly’s other zines, this one taking place present-day, in a time and place that is undergoing economic and technological changes. In most of Kelly’s other zines he is what is changing; in Behind the Wheel, San Francisco is what is changing. Kelly moves from LA to the Bay area and quickly finds that the SF he knew has disappeared. He begins working for Lyft, a social media ride sharing business. He documents his life as a modern day cab driver and those he shuttles around the city he can’t afford to live in. Tech companies are one of the reasons SF has changed and yet Lyft is one of those companies. Kelly recognizes the inherent conflict and the potential for being part of the problem. I noticed similar issues when I went to Seattle this summer. This zine very much captures a time and place and shows changes technology and social media have created.

 

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Silverball Arcade Museum

Silver Ball Arcade Museum
Silver Ball Arcade Museum

As we indicated in a previous post about Timeline Arcade, we here at Next Exit Travel are big fans of arcades. It isn’t about nostalgia, our inner 12-year-olds just never died. We were in New Jersey for a family event and as we got in the car, WPT mentioned we were only a short drive away from Asbury Park – home to the Silver Ball Arcade Museum. Suddenly, we were detouring to the Jersey Shore.

Silver Ball Arcade Museum
Silver Ball Arcade Museum

The pinball machines were amazing – some over 60 years old and in perfect working condition. The variety of machines was impressive – from mechanical relics to Elvira offering sexy come ons to Charlie’s Angels. Galaga was my game back when I had to seek it out at mini-marts and game rooms and I probably played one of my best games in a decade on their machine. They also have Pong, Tetris, and an air basketball game that was a lot of fun. Most games have information about the manufacture and history of the machine, so it is a museum. A museum of fun where you can touch every exhibit.

Silver Ball Arcade Museum
Silver Ball Arcade Museum

The admission is time-based, so you can try a ton of games without worrying about running out of quarters. We only had an hour before we needed to hit the road, but it was enough to get a taste and want to go back.

2nd place! Silver Ball Arcade Museum
2nd place! Silver Ball Arcade Museum

Silver Ball Arcade Museum
1000 Ocean Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
Phone: 732-774-4994
Website: http://silverballmuseum.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SilverballMuseumArcade
Admission: 1/2 Hour $7.50, 1 hour $10, all day $20
Off-Season Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11 AM – 9 PM, Friday: 11 AM – 1 AM, Saturday: 10 AM – 1 AM, Sunday: 10 AM – 10 PM

Silver Ball Arcade Museum
Silver Ball Arcade Museum
Skeeball, Silver Ball Arcade Museum
Skeeball, Silver Ball Arcade Museum
Silver Ball Arcade Museum
Silver Ball Arcade Museum
Silver Ball Arcade Museum
Silver Ball Arcade Museum
Silver Ball Arcade Museum
Silver Ball Arcade Museum
Silver Ball Arcade Museum
Silver Ball Arcade Museum
Pong, Silver Ball Arcade Museum
Pong, Silver Ball Arcade Museum
Silver Ball Arcade Museum
Silver Ball Arcade Museum

Fleshtones at World Cafe Live, Philadelphia (11/2/14)

The Fleshtones at World Cafe Live (11/2/14)
The Fleshtones at World Cafe Live (11/2/14)

You won’t find the Fleshtones working the oldies circuit for Bic-toting Boomers looking to rekindle, if just for that moment, the fire of their youth. That’s because “America’s garage band”, contemporaries of the likes of the Cramps and the Ramones, have never stopped going since guitarist Keith Streng struck the band’s first power chord in 1976 New York. Indeed, amidst their endless touring around the world, the Fleshtones – comprised of Streng, drummer Bill Milhizer, bassist Ken Fox, and frontman Peter Zaremba – released their 22nd album, WHEEL OF TALENT, in early 2014.

The Fleshtones at World Cafe Live (11/2/14)
The Fleshtones at World Cafe Live (11/2/14)

The band still fires on all cylinders, as demonstrated during a November 2, 2014, performance at World Café Live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Fleshtones mined their nearly four-decade-old catalog, turning out crowd-riling gems like “Pretty Pretty Pretty” and “Girl from Baltimore,” but they also played recent songs, such as last year’s “Haunted Hipster” from the Halloween compilation MONDO ZOMBIE BOOGALOO. Fox and Streng, their lean frames poured into impossibly fitted jeans, are as restless onstage as ever, while Milhizer’s ace beats and Zaremba’s signature Farfisa organ and enthusiastic vocals pry loose even the most inert audience member. But perhaps as satisfying as the band’s seemingly boundless energy is their resilient and evident enthusiasm for their craft.

The Fleshtones at World Cafe Live (11/2/14)
The Fleshtones at World Cafe Live (11/2/14)

Prior to the show, my 8-year-old son and I spied Zaremba lingering about the bar at the back of the venue. We promptly picked up a copy of the band’s 2003 disc, DO YOU SWING?, at their merch table. I handed it to my son.

“Go for it, kiddo,” I said.

We headed back toward the bar, where my son waited for a break in conversation to approach Zaremba, who graciously signed the disc for the boy.

“I’m happy to sign any one of our albums,” Zaremba announced, “and do you know why? Because I’m proud of every one of them.” He then turned and handed the disc to a man at the bar. It was Milhizer, who also signed the CD.

My son, elated, thanked them both. Milhizer smiled.

“Thank you for having us here,” he said.

 

The Fleshtones at World Cafe Live (11/2/14)
The Fleshtones at World Cafe Live (11/2/14)
The Fleshtones at World Cafe Live (11/2/14)
The Fleshtones at World Cafe Live (11/2/14)
The Fleshtones at World Cafe Live (11/2/14)
The Fleshtones at World Cafe Live (11/2/14)

More photos at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/leekinginc/sets/72157649241257901/