The Digital Americana: Freedom Issue

Brandnew July issue of The Digital Americana is available for download (or outrageously priced print version) now.

It’s kind of awesome. I’ve got three pieces in there and a ton of photos, including the cover shot. Plus it’s 80 pages worth of articles, reviews, poetry, and fiction. So if you have an iPad or iPhone, go download it. The app is 99 cents, and each issue is $1.99, or cheaper by subscription: $5.99/6mth/6issue and $9.99/12mth/12iss. Both options include the current issue.

Excerpt from my 4th of July rooftop party review:

           The issue being that we’d been promised a runaway rager for the Fourth of July.

Everybody I spoke with who had been to this certain building’s historic Fourth parties had called them wild, indecent, and flush with liberty. A week before the date we went up to survey the intended rooftop. Obviously it was a beautiful view. The skyline washing over us like that waterfront wind off the East River, to which we could have spit if struck with the urge. It’s the sort of rooftop that’s coveted in the surrounding Williamsburg neighborhood, but there was a problem. Leaving only a thin remnant of once free space, there had been erected chainlink fences—padlocked party kennels intended for individual rental that shook our hopes for the mythical blowout we’d come to feel was entitled to us.

But this isn’t about a giant bummer. It just starts with one. This is about being woken up at all hours the night before by impatient patriots and errant pyros getting a head start on the fireworks. This is about grills and smokers being dragged through the early morning that will spill out delicious meat and veggies like Black and Decker cornucopias, and coolers whose icy bottoms won’t be seen until the hazy morning of National Hangover Day. This is about freedom and independence in Brooklyn, New York. It’s about us. We’re the new Americans.

“Honestly,” said Ian, a guy on a roof, “This is actually the first time I’ve thought about freedom and the Fourth of July.”

“Together,” I added for him, but he couldn’t have heard. By that hour the small group of people still attending the party on Rooftop #2 were in no position to be answering these questions.

“I mean, it looks like they’re still over there,” said Molly Wilson, “Like, begging us to come over, or inviting us over secretly.”

“Yeah,” said Katherine in a hushed wonder, “Probably.”

I followed their gaze over to Rooftop #1. An American flag was being waved in and out of its own silhouette by a man dressed as an American flag against a sunset which couldn’t have been more beautiful if we’d ordered it. As any true patriot knows, the American flag is the international sign for freedom. Regardless of the telepathic invitation that Molly was channeling, the time was nine pm, and there was no doubt in my mind that we should feel at perfect liberty to return to Rooftop #1 for the sundown festivities plainly in fullswing.

At four pm when we had journeyed from the far side of Williamsburg to S 3rd and Havemeyer, the sun had just dipped off on its slow bow to the parties to come. Our small clade kept to the shady side of the street—a big city phenomenon—weaving our way through hesher sidewalk BBQs and day drunk hipsters in full battle regalia; the asymmetrical freedom mullets, the half-racks and forties tucked under tattooed biceps, and the elegant interpretations of what an American flag would look like if it were a really welldressed twenty-something instead of just a sheet on a stick. Waldo could have stood shouting his whereabouts from a soapbox on Bedford ave and we’d all have just thought that he was in on the joke….



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