Thursday, May 29, 2014

Let's go to the ocean — A video

This thing still on?

I’ve been away from the computer for awhile, but don’t worry — AAA is still very prominent in my mind. Over the weekend, my brother and I decided to take our Honda CL125s out to the Atlantic Ocean for some back road and beachside fun.

Something to point out — The blue bike, as ridden by Andrew in the overalls, has been our parking lot project for the two weeks or so. Recovered from an Arkansas border town, we’ve torn it down and built it up. It’s a work in progress…and you’ll see that progress soon. Anyways, check out the video we put together. It’s a little rough, a little roudy and 100 percent back road bliss.

See ya out there.

Click the image above for the video

Friday, May 16, 2014

Midwest Mayhem at the City Museum

I spent some time trying to figure out how to make this post on-topic and fit in with the blog. Then, I realized I was seriously over thinking it. There aren't many things more nostalgic than a radio station that plays good music by d.j.'s that are in the studio and picking the songs themselves. KDHX is one of the few radio stations that still do this and last night they had their annual party at the City Museum to thank all the listeners who donate money to run the station. 

If you don't know already, the City Museum is a must visit if you are ever in St. Louis. This 600,000 square foot building has to be one of the coolest playgrounds on earth. I'm not sure how else to describe it. There are caves, trees, slides, rope swings, cat walks, even airplanes and buses. Everything is made out of local reclaimed building materials and found objects. The stuff in this fun house is as much a jungle gym as it is art. There is always fun stuff being added so if you haven't been in a while, you are almost sure to find new places to hide and different stuff to climb.

The City Museum is the perfect venue for KDHX to hold Midwest Mayhem. There is plenty of room for the twenty bands, burlesque show, poetry readings, and other performers to entertain the huge crowd. My girlfriend and I didn't have much time to climb around because we were busy watching the bands and burlesque show. The neatest part of the night, for me, was at the end of Al Holliday and the East Side Rhythm Band's set when the Funky Butt Brass Band jumped on stage to help Al and the guys close out the evening's music. As soon as the last song was over, the Funky Butt boys jumped off stage and started a parade going down the stairs and out the building while playing music. Those of us who were too far back in the crowd to hear the music didn't have to worry, KDHX dj, Chris Ward started chants that got the huge group to sing "When The Saints Go Marching In" followed by Biz Markie's "Just A Friend".

This giant celebration is always a really fun time and a great representation of why St. Louis should never be called "fly-over country".  I can't wait till next year! Don't just take my word for it, listen to KDHX and visit the City Museum. You won't be sorry.


Friday, May 9, 2014

Vintage Bike Night — Cinco de Mayo

I have a big desk calendar on my bar in my apartment. As activities come and go, they get written down and crossed off. Depending on the extent of my pre-planning, these show up anywhere from an hour to a month in advance. So the second Nick and I devised a plan to go to Vintage Bike Night for Cinco de Mayo, I ran to the calendar and scribbled “Vintage Bike Night, 6 p.m.”

You see, this wasn’t just any ordinary VBN for the AAA crew. Because this time, both Nick and I were slated to have fully functioning vintage motorcycles.

And one month later, I found my foot resting on the kickstarter of my CL125. Two blips of the throttle and one swift movement brought the little engine to life. Six feet in front of me, Paul Stroker cranked the ignition on his freshly-rebuilt Harley chopper, now equipped with a springer front end and cackling fishtail exhaust tips. The roar quickly drowned out the sound of my ‘70s thumper.

To our left, Nick and Tom Wescott fired their Cold War-era BMWs. With airheads churning, Harley roaring and Honda humming, we started our two-mile ride to Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood.

The late-spring greenery blurred by as we cruised towards the event, almost as if the world stood still as we cut our way through.

To the casual observers refueling at the Phillips station, our group must have looked like four motorcyclists cut from different eras and catapulted into 2014. With period helmets and bikes, I suppose their observations weren’t too far fetched.

As we pulled into the “Vintage Parking” section, everything clicked. Friends, motorcycles, photos and food. If this isn’t living, then I don’t know what is.

So take off your skid-lid, grab a drink and take a walk around VBN with your pals at AAA.

Photos by both Nick and I.