From our mail bag. Why do we keep hearing about this shit happening at Union Pool?
We were in the back room at Union Pool on Wednesday night for an event. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the back room of Union Pool, but there’s a bar, a stage, and a balcony with stairs leading up to it.The place was really crowded with spectators that night and there were roughly seven people on the stairs, including my girlfriend, J., and 2 other friends of ours. I was on stage.
My buddy J. was the only black guy in the whole place.
Early in the event this white guy, likely in his 40’s—beard, darker hair, medium build, short hair, pretty non-descript—goes plowing up the stairs through the people to get to the balcony, muttering about people being on the stairs, but really shoves J. hard. J. says something to the effect of ‘Stop pushing people dude’ and the guy gets in his face with ‘just get out of my way’ and goes on up.
Soon after he comes plowing back down, but this time puts his hand on J.’s face and shoves him, very much singling him out. J., quite naturally says again ‘Yo dude, stop pushing people’ and the guy gets in his face again.
Then, he goes back down, gets the two bouncers, who come to the stairs, not even knowing who they’re supposed to be looking for. The guy points to J., they put their hands on him, he says ‘get your fucking hands off me.’ One of the bouncers says something about J.’s ‘attitude’ and tells him he’s got to go, which he does, with my other two friends following him out.
I’m on stage for all of this so I missed the whole thing. I got this story from my girlfriend and all three of the other guys, plus some girl who was standing on the stairs too. They were all saying how weird it was.
Important note: after the show, I’m telling this story to a friend of mine’s boyfriend, who says to me ‘oh yeah I used to work here I’m not surprised. They’re totally racist here, this shit happens all the time’
I didn’t get to talk to him long enough to find out who ‘they’ are. But wtf.
Later i found this:
Bottom line: J. was the only black guy there, and it was packed. Even if this isn’t a race thing, the guy was a prick regardless, and they seem to have a record of this kind of shit. J. did nothing wrong, nothing I wouldn’t have done myself.
I’m particularly pissed since my band has played there many many times and brought them plenty of drink-buying people, we even had a record-release show there a couple years ago which sold out. This particular night brought a huge crowd too, and while i’m doing my monkey act on stage, they’re throwing out my friend, who didn’t even want to raise a stink over this. All three of them are like ‘hey man it is what it is, don’t sweat it’
An added sting is that these guys don’t hang out in ‘hipsterland’. I.e. they’re the kinds of guys who use that word. Know what i mean? So I talk them into coming to this event my other friends and I put on, and they get kicked out inside of 20 minutes. Just fanning the flames of the ‘fuck williamsburg’ thing.