The Brooklyn Invitational

The GasBox was very honored to be invited to The Brooklyn Invitational  which was held Saturday, September 19th - and we knew immediately what bike to bring with us - our 1950 Norton Dominator that we took to The Quail Motorcycle Gathering earlier this year. So, we loaded up the shop van we like to call The Blue Beast and headed to Brooklyn.  After an 8 hour trip through central PA in The Blue Beast, signs to Brooklyn, NY were a welcome sight.  We left Cleveland at 4am to try and get the Norton delivered to the Brooklyn Invitational by noon.  Just for future reference - there are NO Starbucks on I80 through Pennsylvania (Siri gives you false hope that there is one in Clarion, PA, which we hit at 6am and were in a much needed caffeine fix - but this was a lie by Siri).

Having been in The Blue Beast for 8 hours with no radio or air conditioning, only accompanied by the very loud (much louder than being on a plane) hum of whatever is rattling keeping the sides of the van attached, and having seen my life flash before my eyes numerous times as Jesse drove through New York (his motto was, "If you run into me, it will mess your luxury car up way more than my 1995 panel van,"  I was ecstatic when we pulled up to The Brooklyn Invitational.

When we got there, we noticed that most of the other builders had already arrived  and were chatting among themselves.  I have to say, that I got a great feeling inside when Jesse pushed our 1950 Norton out of The Beast...But I sort of felt like  we should be pulling up in a cool, new Sprinter instead of this hunk of blue metal barely holding on to the welds it was founded on.  But that's not Jesse's style - oh no!  Just another perfect example of Jesse and his character - amazing pieces of art (Norton/Jesse) coming from things that would be better off forgotten (The Blue Beast/gritty section of Cleveland, OH).

The Brooklyn Invitational once again displayed amazing talent from a variety of builders.  (See below for pics of some of the sites we enjoyed).  It is always an honor to be recognized and invited to showcase Jesse's unique talent.

Later that night we were invited to the Paul Cox party. It was a good time running into people you haven't seen in a while and being able to check out Paul's shop.  (Personally, I would like to give a shout out to Paul's wife who did not stop moving even for a minute to make sure everyone was enjoying themselves - from one builder's wife to another: you kicked ass!).

On Saturday, The Brooklyn Invitational was open and humming ... and nearby,  the Indian Larry Block Party was going on at the same time. It was great to see so many people from all different walks of life in one place admiring the talents of a select few in the same industry.  I know there was some grumbling by others about having the two events so close to one another, but in all honesty - this is what New York is - a melting pot of everyone (and every style).  I don't think the location hurt either event and it actually gave the chance for one type of individual to cross over and check out something they might have missed.

Sunday.... it had to come, I knew it did, but why so fast?!  After an amazing weekend of motorcycles, people, pizza (yes there are pictures of that too), and just walking the one and only city of Brooklyn, it was time to suck it up and get back in The Blue Beast for the long, slightly scary haul home.

John FischerComment