Filters Magazine
pop/sub/fringe culture
Issue 3: Local edition!
Friday, 23-Feb-2024 07:46:33 PST
Gangster rap's not the only thing 'blowin' up' in the ghetto!

That's right, they finally dropped the uninhabitable projects affectionately known as Geneva Towers. A little before 3 o'clock today, May 16, 1998, the Master Blaster flipped a switch and sent the gutted structure to the earth. It wasn't a clean job, but it delivered.

the Towers
Josh and I took the Caddy onto the 101 and headed south towards the Cow Palace. Along the way we casually noted the changes in the city, but soon our conversation turned towards today's event.

"'Master Blaster' is probably the coolest title you could have," i declared. "not only does it sound cool, but it gives you license to blow shit up!"

We pulled up to the Geneva drive in to meet the rest of our posse. It looked like the empty lot might offer a pretty good view of the show, but then we noticed that there was actually someone at the toll gate. further inspection produced something strange. there was a flea market going on, but it was the most budget flea market i'd ever witnessed. three vans with tables in front and 30 or so people milling around.

We needed to pull over somewhere to wait and the only spot was in front of the Alpine motel. it was about the sketchiest, most run down motel i'd ever witnessed.

some nasty-looking smoke from the demoltion
"if i was on the lam, that's where i would hide out," said Josh.

"nah, the police probably have a hotline to that place. first call they make when there's a fugitive is the direct line to the Alpine."

It was fairly obvious that the minivan was a no-show, so we found the only spot within ten blocks of the place: a red zone in front of the Cow Palace. A ticket would be a small price to pay for this entertainment, and it would take a special oversized tow truck to move that thing.

"Tek thinks there's gonna be a lot of gunfire during the blast."

Geneva street is mainey. It's like a totally different city out here. Everything's one-story (except the towers) and it looks like an LA suburb. Lots of boarded up buildings and fast food joints. We decided to watch from next to a paddy wagon blocking the road that had a direct view of the towers. The streets were teeming with people, even the stretch Muni bus drove by slowly trying to get a glimpse. Every amateur photographer and his mom was there getting ready for the photo op.

what was left
It seemed like forever between the time the cop told us 12 or 13 minutes and when it actually happened. And then it did, and with no warning. We were all milling about making sure no one blocked our views when the initial blasts went off. right away, cameras went up and people got quiet. There was a pause, and then it started to jump off! bam bam bam boom! it had more booming bass than Miami! it fell straight down in sections like a row of dominoes, all the while the crowd getting louder and louder, till it was engulfed by largest cloud of thick, gray cement smoke. the crowd cheered!

as we walked away, we noted how nice the geography of the area was. but from the ground, it didn't look all that different. it wasn't until we were on the freeway and looked over that i noticed something different. i realized that it wasn't that the towers were gone so much, but that there was now a view of the hills behind.

All material herein is copyright © 1999 Filters Magazine