Brooklyn, N.Y., Sept. 16—One of my favorite events of the year, the Indian Larry Grease Monkey Block Party, saw its 14th iteration at Indian Larry Motorcycles in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. Although I arrived in the morning, the entire block, as well as the surrounding streets, were filling up quickly with bikes as people rode in from all over the East Coast. Actually, the party has gotten so popular over the years that friends and fans travel from all over the world.
The block party is free to attend, with food and beverages available to purchase. For those who wanted the full experience, VIP passes were available at $100 each, and included full access to the shop and backyard where beer and barbecue were freely available. Some keepsake goodies came with the VIP package as well. But you didn’t need a VIP pass to have a good time; there was plenty to enjoy that didn’t cost a dime.
Vendors lined both sides of the street, but these weren’t just any merchants. Many were friends of Indian Larry Motorcycles owners Bob and Elisa Seeger, and the merchandise and art exhibits were all in keeping with the shop’s sensibilities. Artwork, jewelry, apparel, custom bikes, and more were on display. A real treat was seeing the iconic Sugar Bear and his lovely lady Fuji, who were there not only to honor the shop but to promote their new Sugar Bear museum north of Sturgis, South Dakota.
A one-day, once-a-year event like this is a massive undertaking, but Bob and Elisa had help from friends and family to make sure it was a success. And proceeds from the block party went to the Aidan Jack Seeger Foundation, formed in 2012 after the death of Bob and Elisa’s 7-year-old son Aidan from adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). ALD is a genetic disease for which Elisa and the Foundation have been fighting to require screenings for newborns in an attempt to detect the disease in time to successfully treat it.
Inside the shop, tattoo artist Sideshow Brian of Immortal Ink was laying down pre-selected pieces on those desiring to take home a more permanent Indian Larry souvenir. In mid-afternoon, some trick riders took over an intersecting street performing freestyle stunts involving a lot of smoke and a few heart-stopping moments. Several awesome bands, one right after the other, played all day and into the evening, and all the bikes parked in the street in front of the shop (at least, those that were vintage or some level of custom) were eligible to complete in the ride-in bike show.
Trophies were awarded for Best of Show, Best Custom, Best Vintage, and Best Paint. To my great surprise, my 1982 FXRS won the Best Vintage trophy. I think the owners of some righteous Panheads, Knuckleheads, and Flatheads were surprised that a Shovelhead won, as well. But judges like what judges like, and they apparently recognized the rarity of a near-stock good-condition bike like this.
The next Indian Larry Grease Monkey Block Party will be held on Saturday, September 15, 2018, so plan to be there!