Lucky Thirteen In The City
Article By: J. Ken Conte
Photos By: Jason Cirrito
Originally Published In The February 2017 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
I spent some time in New York City. I lived right outside the Bronx my last two years of high school and got myself into some questionable situations I’m lucky to have escaped. These days, when I go to New York, I always make a few stops. My 97-year-old Grandmother lives a few minutes from the city and tells tales of growing up on Arthur Avenue, in the Bronx. I live for those stories. She’s written a few of them down, and they make my little bit of hell raising in the city look like child’s play. My sister and her husband live in Brooklyn, so I always try to visit them and then head over to see Bobby and Elisa at Indian Larry Motorcycles. I try to maximize my time when traveling to either coast, pack as much into each visit as possible.
During a recent trip to New York for the 13th Annual Indian Larry Block Party, I spent the night at my sister’s, and we went to a show at the Eugene Mirman Comedy festival. It was a somewhat secret lineup, and we laughed our asses off. (If you haven’t seen live comedy, do yourself a favor and try it out—it’s a blast.) The next morning, I woke up early, headed to Williamsburg, and the Indian Larry Block Party. I found parking in no time and got my booth up in a great space. I’d wanted to go to Indian Larry’s Block Party for years—I used to read about it in The Horse Backstreet Choppers and Cycle Source Magazine. I knew it would be far different from when Larry was alive, but I also know Bobby and Elisa, who have been caretakers for the Indian Larry name and legacy for years now, and I was confident they’d do it right. I wasn’t disappointed.
The first time I attended, in 2015, I was overwhelmed. So many people, sights, sounds, events. It was a blur. I resolved to go again this year, but I decided to make an effort to experience things on a deeper level. What I found at the core of it all were my friends. This is the part of motorcycling that really matters and makes a difference. I got to visit with so many people from all over the country. Many of them I only see a few times a year, usually at rallies, where everyone’s really busy. The atmosphere at the Block Party is different from your standard rally. It’s way more relaxed.
Yes, we’re selling things and doing demos and events, but this time I made it a point to take my time taking it all in. It was more than just vendors. It was an atmosphere of deep camaraderie among motorcycle people who love to ride. No one’s posing or pretending. These people are for real, and I’m one of them. Motorcycling’s a way of life for us. We also know how to have a good time. The East Coastin guys pulled out all the stops, there was a huge pig roast in back, and great bands rocked all day, including Ogre, Scrapers, Mammal, Judas Priestess, Crimshaw, Paragnosis, Big House Pete, and the Ice Cold Killers. I couldn’t believe the amount of people and bikes that show from everywhere you can imagine. What started for me as an excuse to see family has now flipped: I’ll never miss another Indian Larry Block Party. I know you’re thinking, “Is it really that much fun?” Come on out in 2017 and find out. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be going every year after that without fail.