Remember when I went to celebrate Tesla’s birthday last year? Yes, cake and everything.
This year, I took a tour of Wardenclyffe since I can’t go to his birthday. I’ve decided that I would like to live there. Sure there are plants growing out of bricks, and none of the buildings are habitable.
Side Note: Brace yourself. I just looked up the word habitable to make sure I was using it the right way. What has become of my lazy-writer-MO? Oh, wait, I’ve been doing some proofreading gigs. It’s that grammar stuff.
Side Side Note: I still have like five jobs.
Anyway, Tesla! I love him! Here’s why. [All this is from notes I took in 90 degree heat in the blazing sun, so, you know, “facts.”]
The Bauer House
The Bauer House was originally a shoe shop before prohibition. Then it (allegedly?) became a speakeasy. There are tunnels leading out that were probably built to avoid police raids. The last time Telsa came to Wardenclyffe, he sat with the Bauers, speaking to them in German. German, y’all!
Tesla’s coil uses magnetic and/or electrical fields and can play music when hooked up to a keyboard if it doesn’t first give out so much energy as to render the keyboard inoperable. The first solution to any technology that isn’t working is: Turn It Off and Turn It On Again. I didn’t catch the name of the volunteer running the show here, but he knew, like, everything. Lots of stuff about induction and resonance. We listened to the coil play the theme song to Game Of Thrones.
Did you know that if you play a note on a stringed instrument next to another stringed instrument, the other instrument will play the same note? Yes! Because waves of some sort.
[Again, it was hot, I was sweating–yes, I know, I’m always sweating, but this time it was from the heat–and I was following science the best I could, and I’m not a science idiot but I’m also not Tesla or this very knowledgable volunteer and I don’t play violin, so let’s just accept my “waves of some sort” as accurate. Also, I don’t know if I spelled knowledgable right; it looks wrong. Back to being lazy].
Then we moved onto the Van de Graaff generator. It’s the thing that makes your hair stand on end if you put your hands on it. However, humidity can put a damper on all that electrostatic, lit-er-al-ly. So while the VdG generator messes your hair up in a fun way, humidity interrupts the fun and messes your hair up in a not fun way. This is why everyone moves to Arizona. The dry heat.
Finally, someone played the theramin. It’s an electric instrument that works without touching it. The inventor, Theramin, was from Russia and also invented things for ships to help them with navigation. Possibly.
Tesla created the first remote-controlled machines. Like, robotics, y’all. In 1898, he presented his teleautomaton at Madison Square Garden to the crowd at the Electronics Expo. Some people accused him of occultism and that bad magic. Some people thought he had a monkey inside his machine. Because somehow that’s more believable than scientific inventions.
Is there a monkey in here?
Tesla’s Tower Of Power
Tower To The People is a documentary directed by Joseph Sikorski about Tesla’s Wardenclyffe dream. Sikorski offered some insights into the story, complete with sound effects of buildings crashing down when he got to the part about destroying Wardenclyffe. Basically, after Tesla’s friend Astor died on the Titanic, his estate pursued back-rent for Tesla’s living at the Waldorf Astoria and kind of not paying sometimes. Somehow, destroying Wardenclyffe led to getting the money they wanted.
Also, here is exactly what I wrote in my notebook after all that: Telefunken in West Sayville = other huge LI tower.
Discuss and get back to me.
There were Teslas there. Like, the cars. They look like any other cars but they run on Tesla technology (not monkeys). I don’t know much about cars, but I do know a scooter built for two is the epitome of everything life is meant for.
Train Spur and Lab Chimney
The train spurred off right to Tesla’s lab. It doesn’t do that anymore. The decorative cap on the chimney is called the wellhead. That’s about all I gathered because I was distracted by the plants again.
Lab and Tunnels
The lab has tunnels running out from it to where the tower was. These tunnels were to get water and air to the tower and for steel and copper electrical grounding rods.
That does not sound right at all, but these were words I heard. Feel free to continue to play around with them until you find an order that makes sense to you.
Isn’t it pretty?
I wanted to get a Tesla pin, but all they had were t-shirts, so I instead donated some money and headed out.
I want to go back, though. There’s something about that place. There are spirits. It hums with something special. So if I could just live there, you know? To soak up all that vibration day after day.
I know. I’m aware that my idea of camping is watching Naked and Afraid while wearing clothes under my ceiling fan. I’m aware that living at Wardenclyffe would mean living without modern day advances like plumbing. Also, I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to live there.
So, here’s the deal. I’ll keep visiting whenever it’s open. I’ll keep taking my notes and writing my poems. I’ll keep falling in love over and again with this inventor. My collection, Tesla, My Love, Our Everything, will one day be complete and published, and then maybe it will win an award, and then maybe I’ll get rich and famous and then I can refurbish the Bauer House and live at Wardenclyffe. That’s the plan.