What comes to mind when you think of a block party? Family, community, friendship, and celebration all come to mind, and for 19 years now the crew at Indian Larry motorcycles has been bringing together the city of Brooklyn by opening their doors and their hearts to the public for the Indian Larry Block Party. The event is often a refined balance of controlled chaos in the streets with motorcycle stunt riding and rows of custom bikes lining the sidewalks in every direction. The block party took over the streets once more in 2022 and Bobby, John, and the whole crew gave everyone the party that Brooklyn deserves. We are always proud to sponsor and support this event year after year, so we came out and joined in the festivities.
As the day got fired up, the streets began filling with people and the vendors lined the sidewalks as the bikes began to funnel in by the dozens. The horsepower hooligans of the "East Coastin' crew" made quick work of getting people hyped as they began their usual round of screeching tires and burning rubber in multiple directions up-and-down the adjoining streets to the show. This motorcycle mayhem is something that often gets observed only from a distance by the NYPD, but this year the boys in blue decided to step in a little early and shut down the street-shredding shenanigans. This left everyone still hungry for excitement, so Bobby and the boys opened up the back lot and turned the stage area for the bands into a tornado of flying tire trunks as the stunt riders continued to show their skill level in a smaller space. The wheelies and burnouts kept on shredding and the live bands kept the party going all day long. The smell of barbecue filled everyone's noses as they grilled up some prime meats for the folks where were gathered in the back lot for the show.
If picking chunks of black rubber out of your hair isn’t your style, then this year's block party also brought back the sophistication of the "Grindhouse Gallery" curated by Bryan Helm. You could dip into the gallery in the back lot all day long and see some custom builds by the amazing Paul Cox, then check out the walls lined with art pieces from Makoto Endo, Darren McKeag, and, new this year to the art exhibition, Jessie Madera, better known as the airbrush artist "the painting buzz."
Jessie, Darren, John the Painter, and an all-star cast of artists contributed painted helmets to the Biltwell Gringo helmet art show this year in the gallery. Each artist showcased a different style, from collage work to highly detailed air brush, as well as graffiti art and much more. The gallery didn't leave the photographers out of the mix either with work from the late, great "Pulsating Paula" curated by Marjorie Kleiman and some very cool one-of-a-kind prints from Bryan Helm himself who put together a very special print process for his photos just for the show. Digital to negative and then negative to print give his prints a timeless look.
After the barbecue truck grilled the last slabs of meat and the bands rang out their last notes, it was a good time to go around and check out the madness on the streets in front of the famed Indian Larry shop space. The bikes lined up in a fine mix of custom choppers down the middle with many of the high-performance bikes lining the sidewalks, with everything from high torque S&S motor FXRs and several Indian Larry builds, to some of the most wild choppers that you just had to see for yourself to believe.
The side streets surrounding the Indian Larry complex continued the fun with some wild bikes, trikes, and machines galore. The occasional hot rod car squeezed in and even a 70's dune buggy that you wouldn't expect to see cruising the asphalt jungle of Brooklyn. There was no lack of style and good taste and there was even a good mix of cafe and resto mod customs this year as well as some impressive Hondas and Yamahas.
Overall, the bikes usually steal the show every year and it's always a treat getting to see all of the Indian Larry builds in one place. But after you've seen all the bikes and eaten all the good New York food, the smiles on people's faces and the conversations you strike up are what make the block party what it really is. If you ride in with a good attitude, ready to have a good time, the block party will welcome you with open arms. Family, community, camaraderie, and custom works of motorcycle art are what the block party is all about. We are happy that the hard-working Indian Larry crew continues to honor Larry's memory each year by rocking the block again and again. Special thanks to Bobby, John, Gabby, Bryan and everyone who put in the hard work to make this year show so great.
Photos and words by Mike Vandegriff