The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bessemer's Southside...happenin'

A few days ago I wrote about improvements on Bessemer's south side and mentioned the planned police substation. Seeing is believing.

This building at 2703 Dartmouth Avenue is being converted to the much needed police substation. One advantage in having the substation is faster response time. And not just because of distance. Both police and fire responders can be slowed down because of trains, although there should always be police on this side of the tracks. But if extra units are needed, they could be delayed. (Such was the case during the fire that destroyed my neighbors house...a train delayed the response...who knows what may have been saved if that were not the case).

Here is what the sign says.

The Bessemer Neighborhood Association called for this before our association was even formed, if that makes sense. It was one of the things brought up in our initial discussion, and at several meetings that followed.

Gip's Place

Also on Bessemer's south side is a place that many of my readers have visited, but until this past weekend I had not. Gip's Place, a juke joint just blocks from my house, has been described as a site for underground blues, and one author says it reminds him of the 60's underground joints.

That's sort of the feeling I had as I saw people of every description gathered for one purpose: Good Music. Not that I was visiting too many underground joints in the 60's, but...I got around a little more than people might suspect.

We didn't set out to go, but after learning Saturday night that Ray Cashman would be there, we decided to brave the rain and go. Heck, it's just around the corner, practically.

Of course there's dancing and food that must be very good (we had already eaten and just couldn't take in any more) judging from the way it was being devoured, even to the extent of seeing one person licking the aluminum foil wrapper that had contained what looked like a polish dog. And beer, strictly on a BYOB basis. There are house rules, but you have to be there to learn what they are.

Here, at Gip's Place myspace page you can hear some of Gip's music and music of those who have played there.

Gip's about 87 years old and has been doing this for decades, and the place has gained quite a reputation in the world of blues.

Check out Gip's personal myspace page for more of his music.

Here's a video I took, the quality is terrible (Blackberry) but you can get an idea of the place. Gip's in the blue coat and white hat.


Anonymous said...

Going to Gip's is an awesome experience. If you love blues I highly recommend going. And the food is indeed good. I had the best Polish dog I have ever had there.

When me and Alex went we got to hear Willie King play. He passed away a few weeks ago of a heart attack so I feel blessed to have heard his last performance at Gip's.

Joe said...

Yeah I meant to mention they had a little tribute to Willie King and a big round of applause.

Anonymous said...

Are we sure the new police substation is not just another way for the police dept to distribute drugs? Some think so! As corrupt as the police dept is, it seems they want a "spot" through wich to distribute illegal contraband and fill the pockets of those on the force! May the force be with us!

Anonymous said...

"Not that I was visiting too many underground joints in the 60's, "
of course you probably already know it joe but i was ..earrly 60s.. waiter from the lowenbrau [sp] house [i had a painting in home wood took me to a wasin a house ..i think they only had one kind of beer [blatz maybe] right from the refrigerator. and some 19-20% wine..sometimes chicken. always a lotta people ..gambling and music and grass.. i never saw another white person in there. from there i found a few other places. ive always loved the blues and lotsa my life ive had them. you can never go back

Joe said...

Gee I thought I was the cynic.

Those were the days, huh?

Anonymous said...

hey joe the band seemed kinda tuned in on mr gip,are you going back and where is it ? looks like it would be a real cool experience and a lot of fun,and the music in the video sounds real good .is it really the real deal ?