Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Laws of Haymarket Alley aka Amber Lane

This is the alley behind The Haymarket. The yellow wall is Faces. The free-standing brick house to the left has a sign that says 1 Amber Lane. Somebody must live there but I've never seen anyone enter or exit and all the windows are shuttered. It's a mystery to me.
There are things you shouldn't do in the alley. Things you would never have imagined doing anyway. But just in case you were thinking about bagging one of the wild deer that graze in the alleyways of our city, back off! This sign is only logical if it went up in response to a specific incident. Maybe someone was on the fire escape picking off Canadian geese as they flew over?
There is no hoop in sight and the area behind 1 Amber Lane is filled with cars... but you kids take that basketball and skedaddle or we'll sick the law on ya! Where exactly would one get authorization to play basketball anyway? Yet again, this is so specific that it undoubtedly dates back to a particular incident or incidents. I picture a guy in hunting garb with a shotgun approaching the hoop game and saying, "You kids mind if I finish off this deer that limped onto your court?"
Rules rules rules! The floating face and the carpet remnant are turf markers from two local rival gangs; The Floating Faces and The Carpet Remnants.
Now this is my kind of rule!
The wild vine of Amber Lane!
That concludes this photo documentary of an alley in Northampton. Here at Life In The Nohodome, we take you where there is really no reason to go.


Rich Puchalsky said...

That wild vine / wall creeper is an amazingly aesthetically interesting plant when the sun illuminates that wall in the right way. It makes a complex pattern of black lines, half organic, half geometric, over an incredible yellow glow. I once stood there for something like 15 minutes, watching it and wishing I'd brought my camera, and someone from Haymarket Cafe -- for this alley also holds the back door to Haymarket, complete with auxiliary fire exit entrance if you want to mysteriously appear on the second floor and / or escape a posse -- told me that multiple photographers each year set up in the alley to take pictures of it.

Disgruntled Goat said...

as a nostalgic former northamptoner, i <3 this blog.

Caty said...

I fulfilled Internet convention & actually Laughed Out Loud.

Mary E.Carey said...

Great post, especially concerning the No Hunting sign.

Traci said...

Might someone be hunting for a bargain back there?

Jon Aronstein said...

I think the only hunting that goes on is primarily for cigarettes.