Kenneth originally submitted the Nov. 30, but shit's been crazy around here, so I just got to it. SORRY —Grant
Scrolling through my effbook news feed around 10pm the other night, I came accross some bummer news: the former DIY/show space in Bellingham called Friendship City had burnt down as reported by the Bellingham Herald.
First off, I'm very glad no one was hurt or died in this fire and thanks to the powerful forces of moms and fire alarms, three individuals lives' were saved.
Julie Deweese, the mother of one of the tenants, said she made a point of replacing all the batteries in all the smoke alarms when her daughter moved in last August.
Boyd said they were fortunate to have had a working smoke alarm.
"In this case," Boyd said, "it probably saved the lives of those kids."
Friendship City was important to so many people. It was started by four KUGS-FM nerds, Sam, Jessica, Jenn and Chris as a really good idea but couldn’t come up with a name for the place. The name came from a house-warming card that involved a cake (or actually was a cake).
Like any house show space, the cops would come occasionally on account of the loud music from the frequent dance parties or from the punk bands that probably freaked out the cats living in the foundation. I can't remember all the bands and performers who added to the memories of that place, but it was incredibly important, special, magical, etc. to everyone involved. It's where I round-about met a few of my Canada friends, got better at my dance moves, never made out with anyone, and bonded with some incredible people.
Aside from my moments in the offices of KUGS, it would be where I would more commonly see many friends, like Kevin Diers who, despite our separate musical interests (he's into something called "hardcore") this is where we would gather. It was like that for me with a lot of my Bellingham friends. I wouldn't see them much in my own domain but this house was a safe and welcoming space that I knew my community could converge. When for the summer of '08, I spent most of my time after work in a bed crying (I was the most depressed to date) and trying to get it together, I knew that I could come to this tiny white house and feel at ease.
The people that I felt close with there, I hold in very high regard, something that some of them probably aren’t aware of. It’s one of a few DIY spaces that have had a big part in impacting my life and understanding how places like this can profoundly influence how someone lives their life.
I came back from a very long trip away from everything in 2009 and it was Jenn’s birthday party. I got so drunk from whiskey that I passed out on the couch and another friend, Alex had woken me up, which immediately put me into hurl-mode. I won’t forget how this was the only time I have ever smiled while vomiting—feeling warm, sick, and loved by the friends who were holding my hair, a mixing bowl, and patting my back telling me that, “it’s gonna be all right.”
Even though Friendship City discontinued in 2009 as what it was, its burning down is not unlike the sadness from a historical monument being destroyed to those that understand it. There are so many stories to tell that fine place but this but I've said my eulogy.
Here's an inaudible and mostly blacked out video of Police Teeth shredding the face off of a point-and-shoot camera: