Concrete Jungle, Vernal Pond

Where shall we start this story? Let’s start in the present day.

On December 10th, 2023 I took receipt of a Sennheiser Ambeo Headset. This is a niche product on closeout (once $300, now $50), following Apple’s iPhone changeover to a USB-C port. The headset is of the old wired paradigm, earbud style, but larger and heavier than those that used to come standard with an iPhone, and so requiring a soft coat hanger curl to rest on the top of your ears. The main selling point for me was the promise of exceptional quality binaural sound recording, captured by two tiny microphones facing out from the earbuds.

So I padded over to Irving Park to test it out and no sooner did I arrive at a novel scene when the action was just beginning. The scene itself was familiar: a roughly 75’ wide amoeba shaped concrete derelict terrace and wall in mysterious disuse for several decades. (These days it is mostly enjoyed as parkour grounds.) But on this day, owing to an atmospheric river event, the basin was completely flooded and for the first time in recent history it was briefly brought to life as what I always assumed it originally was: a wading pool.

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