Check out the story of Shitty Gardens, I mean City Gardens.
For those of us who grew up in the Garden State and loved hardcore / punk, this was a venue, a cinder block box to be more exact located in what was truly the bowels of Trenton. I remember the first time I drove there with friends (I can't recall the show, maybe Bad Religion?) we kept driving deeper and deeper into what looked like an industrial wasteland and if we didn't find the club, we were certain we would be left for dead in some empty gnarly parking lot surrounded by abandoned factories and who knows what else. This was not your typical destination point but if you were a suburban kid into underground music, this was THE place to see band play. Even if you risked your life in and out of the joint to do it.
Inside the club, the shows were infamously violent so if you could survive the floor / pit of one of those shows, you could make it anywhere. And yet we were all some extended family of misfit toys and freaks living on the fringe of normal society. It was exactly a home away from but it was some place we all considered important because so many great bands played there for so many years.
There is now a documentary about the place and the man who helped to make it all happen, Randy Now. A man who after bringing so much amazing music into our lives, is broke like the rest of us who have tried to survive in the music industry. The good news is, he appears to have one hell of a record collection. I've talked with Randy over the years for work related things and what impresses me about the guy still is after all these decades, he is no less passionate about music.
All hail City Gardens!