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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ready to Rumble, in Alphabet City

Motorcycle Gang, Avenue A
Photo by myself in Alphabet City, on Avenue A and 6th Street.

A large group of about 20 motorcyclists convened in Alphabet City. They roared down the street, causing a minor ruckus. Several bystanders looked on in awe.

I'm not sure whether these folks belonged to the Hells Angels, but they were a startling sight against the backdrop of graffiti. It was early on New Year's Day, and many places were shuttered.

Motorcycle Gang, Avenue A


Alphabet City was only recently considered dangerous. Normal people didn't venture into Tompkins Square Park, which was filled with vagrants and homeless people.

The park has been renovated within the last 10 years. I've been visiting the neighborhood more often because of Rupert. He loves the dog run in Tompkins Square Park, which is roomy and usually filled with his Manhattan buddies.

Related posts: Tompkins Square Park, in Alphabet City, City Portraits - The East Village and The Latest Urban Adventure.


Laura Cousins said...

This reminds me of the weekly biker's get-together on Poole Quay in Dorset. Lots and lots and lots of Harley Davdisons ... *gulp*! But in Poole, they are actually mainly ridden, it seems, by middle-aged men fulfilling some long-suppressed late teen-aged fantasy. It is only now that they can afford the bikes they dreamed of as adolescents.

onlythejodi said...

Hell's Angels would never be caught dead wearing full face helmets or riding rice burners. For shame, Kitty.

And sadly, for those of us who have known and loved us some Hell's Angels, there are hardly left in NYC. Not like the old days when Alphabet City and the Park were dangerous and 3rd Street was lined with gorgeous Harleys. Today, if there are a half dozen bikes in front of the clubhouse, it's a lot.

Love you portraiture of the nabe....

Kitty said...

Ha, Lozzie!
I know the type you're speaking of. At least they're living out their fantasy though, rather than sitting around and watching tv.

Hi Jodi
lol, yes I thought the Hells Angels only rode Harleys, too. These guys (they seemed to be all men) were on sportier bikes like Kawasakis.

I too miss the olden days when the city had more grit to it. Now it's all brunch spots and boutiques, very homogeneous.

ChickenUnderwear said...

yea, they look like a bunch of dentists to me.

fishwithoutbicycle said...

When I first moved to New York in 2000 I would go to restaurants on Avenue B much to the horror of my NYC born friends who still perceived the area to be dangerous.

The homogeneity of NYC these days is one of the reasons I am contemplating leaving for San Francisco, not that the chains don't have a firm hold there too, but there seems to be less of a stranglehold. I was considering moving to Boerum Hill/Carroll Gardens for similar reasons, but my cheap, spacious Manhattan apartment has me tied. Poor me ;-)

Luis Gomez said...

Great photos. Never been to Alphabet City, but now is on my list of places to visit.

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Terry at Blue Kitchen said...

I'm curious, Kitty. How do you get Rupert to his favorite parks and such? The subway?

Kitty said...

Ha Chicken!

Hi Fish
I can see your point about SF. Mark threatens all the time about moving there. My fear is that it's a small place, and I would miss the neighborhoods and open areas that we have here.

Then again, I've only visited once and should really check it out before judging! Curious to see whether you'll move there in the future.

Thanks Luis
I hope you enjoy this neighborhood as much as we do. It's only slightly off the beaten path.

Hi Terry
If Rupert were smaller and bag-able, we could bring him on the subway. Mark has snuck him on previously, getting out at smaller subway stops (ie; not Union Square, Penn Station, etc.)

We're lucky to have a car, and the trip from Brooklyn to Manhattan is quick. Park Slope to the Manhattan Bridge to Alphabet City is a matter of minutes. Plus, there's tons of parking on the East Side, as opposed to the West, where the streets are narrower and more complicated.