In this edition of The People in Your Neighborhood, we spoke to Zach Staggers, the drummer of The So So Glos, whose new EP is awesome and who recently released a video for the best song on it, “Fred Astaire”.
We live in Shea Stadium, a music venue in the industrial area separating Williamsburg from Bushwick from Greenpoint. From what the sign says, it’s technically called “The East Williamsburg Industrial Zone” and it’s really kind of a no-man’s land.
Best place to people watch?
The balcony here is the best place to see the N.Y. hustle take place. We have the coolest neighbors. Chinese dudes who supply Chinatown. The Lebanese guys across the street are the best, they make furniture, have parties and call us their cousins. This one kid on the block is up to some good-old-fashioned shady business. At a point we thought the block was protected on some C.I.A./F.B.I. status for some paranoid reasons. It’s a good block!
Best place to drink?
This ones pretty easy considering the bar here at Shea has whiskey and Miller High Life pretty much always. We bike over to Bushwick Country Club if we are feeling fancy.
A new Vietnamese spot opened on Grand Street; I think its just called Banh Mi—and the Vietnamese sandwich there is straight up grandma-style banging. The people who work their are just lovely, too.
Best record store?
There is a place just down Grand Street where this dude has all these tapes, discs, and vinyl from Latin America. He has all the dope shit from Dominica and Puerto Rico. He also sells incense.
I forget the name and I just went as far as trying to find my laundry card—a moot task post-tour. I keep having to get a new card, it’s bad. But I think the place is called Super Mega Laundromat or something. Again, it’s on Grand Street. It’s massive and very bright white. I know two of the girls that work there and they always help me out when I don’t want to buy detergent or I accidentally break the TV. I spend a lot of time there.
Best outdoor spot?
It’s not the most conventionally beautiful but if you walk down the train tracks toward Newtown Creek you’ll see how a Superfund site ain’t so bad—it’s nice to see the neglected and shunned parts of N.Y.C. Got to put the “super fun” back in Superfund.
Best place to attend a show?
Easy one! Come see a show at Shea Stadium—it’s the raddest venue around here for sure: the best vibes, a great scene, and needless to say amazing staff. Unless you are into crazy dark & heavy shit, then walk over to The Acheron down the block—Brooklyn’s premiere black metal D.I.Y. spot.
Best coffee shop?
It’s a tough split between Grand Street Cafe and Grand Morelos—the latter is 24 hours though so I might have to go with Grand Momo’s on this one!
Best subway line?
You know why the L is the best train? Because it’s free from the Grand stop if you do it right.
Best date spot?
I like to take the special people in my lives across the street to the Mona Liza furniture guys. They don’t have a restaurant yet but all summer long it was pita with labne, baba, hummus, tabouleh, grilled chicken and livers and plenty of arak to wash it down. Our cousins know hospitality. And to bring a date there, oh man, they love it! Shout out to Nabil, Ibrahim and the rest of the bros.
Best person who’s name you don’t know?
I feel bad but I don’t know the name of the dude with the studio next-door. Great guy! Hung out with him several times. Just don’t know his name. I’m particularly bad with names.
According to neighborhood folklore, are there any celebrities living in the area?
Us So So Glos are the only fake celebrities here. Pee Wee, who lives next-door, is a sort of legend in her own time though, a local celeb.
What do you see more of: dogs, bodega cats, strollers, American Apparel ads or old men on stoops?
Bodega cats wins!
What’s missing from your neighborhood?
The toughest thing about living in an commercial zone is that the building you live was probably not built for living. That said, the one thing I think the neighborhood is missing is a shower.
What’s the biggest change since you moved in?
Not much has changed since we moved in. There are more people and more businesses but everyone’s still here who was here and the neighborhood doesn’t seem to mind the venues and art spaces popping up. The nights are a bit more lively in this industrial wasteland.
Where do you go on a Saturday night?
I walk out of my room and see who’s playing in my living room. It’s the best.