BROOKLYN, N.Y., SEPT. 15—Every September, Bob and Elisa Seeger welcome the entire motorcycling community to their shop, Indian Larry Motorcycles, in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. This year marked the 15th iteration of the Indian Larry Grease Monkey Block Party, and fans, friends and family came from miles around to celebrate all things Indian Larry.
Attendance at the block party is always free, and Bob and Elisa and crew provide a place for custom and vintage motorcycles to enter the ride-in bike show, also free to enter. A number of hand-selected vendors line both sides of the street in front of the shop, and bands play all day and into the evening. Food and beverages are available for purchase, but the best deal is the VIP packages which allowed entrance into the private party in the yard behind the stop, a pig roast along with grilled hamburgers and hot dogs as well as all types of libations including Coney Island Beer, a DJ spinning tunes, and limited-edition T-shirt and other merchandise.
Vendors included a wide range of motorcycle-related interests, and I’m guessing that Indian Larry would have loved all of it. Appalachian MotoJam was on hand promoting their summer and winter flat track races and hill climbs. Elisa’s company Genuine Motorworks, which now shares retail space with Indian Larry Motorcycles, featured American-made apparel as well as educating people about and soliciting donations for the Aidan Jack Seeger Foundation. Aidan was Bobby and Elisa’s son who tragically died of ALS at seven years old. Gloria Tramontin Struck was there chatting with folks, autographing her book Gloria: A Lifetime Motorcyclist, and posing for photos. Our beloved Gloria has fans all over the world!
Shops like Deadbeat Customs and, of course, Indian Larry Motorcycles, had their custom builds and parts on display. Artist and photographers were well represented, and included Mark Velazquez photography, Mad Artistry for paint, pinstriping and airbrushing, Makoto Endo with his unique chopstick-and-ink method of painting motorcycle portraits, and the family of the late Richiepan was there to launch a new website where apparel featuring his artwork can be purchased. Other apparel purveyors included Crank & Stroker, HR NYC, Lethal Threat/Lethal Angel, Mad Squirrel Leather, and Domed NYC displayed their wares as well.
Inside the shop was Josh Kohn and other tattoo artists from Immortal Tattoo laying down ink from flash created especially for the event. This is one of the most popular features of the block party; there’s always a long line of people waiting to get inked from these top-notch artists.
Seven bands played that day: Damn Jackals, Paragnosis, Judas Priestess, Caught in a Trap, Ogre, Agents of Aggression and Somnuri, while at the same time, East Coastin’ did freestyle stunting on Banker Street, perpendicular to North 15th Street. Wheelies, stoppies, burnouts and all manner of mayhem commenced, surrounded by an energizing crowd. And much to the delight of everyone in attendance, Cole Freeman of IllConduct successfully jumped his Harley-Davidson XG 750 Street over a mountain of Northern Chill water bottles stacked in cases on a series of two-story-high palettes. Northern Chill donated water and raised money to first responders and the military for this jump.
Another popular feature of the block party is the ride-in bike show. Bikes entered into the competition were parked pretty much peg-to-peg along North 15th Street in front of the shop, covering the entire block. Motorcycles had to be custom, vintage, or otherwise unique in some aspect, making for a wide variety of kickass two- and three-wheeled conveyances. Handcrafted trophies were given for Best Custom, Best Vintage, Best Paint, and Best of Show which was won by Jerry Merola with his ’59 Panhead.
The party was still going strong when I left early in the evening, and I wouldn’t be surprised if festivities continued well into the night. The Indian Larry Grease Monkey Block Party is one of the best events of the year, and I’ll be keeping my eye on the calendar for the 2019 edition.