Scooter Poetry!

My pal Jamie just came across an epic poem about a 1984 Honda Elite for sale. No idea what the backstory is, and I can’t backtrack on the site to learn more about author Paul Ruby, but I’d like to think it started life as a Craigslist ad. “Max’s Scooter Page” of Scooter Quotations & Poetry dates it to 2005, and features lots more scooter poems and humorous quotes, some from a few familiar names of the Usenet days, and the early ScooterBBS. Crazy!

Southern Redemption

Late last summer I attended the Los Vesparados art show in Minneapolis. I took some pictures and made some notes of my favorite works. I never posted about it on 2SB. This is a recurring theme in my service as a Bedell Media International correspondent.

I was walking through a local Barnes and Noble the other day, searching for what I came to learn was last weeks issue of The Economist, when I spied what looked to be a papercraft Vespa set upon an upturned polka dot Chinese takeout box on the cover of periodical. The cover art turned out to be a painting by artist Nate Ronniger. Mr. Ronniger’s work had been listed as shown at the aforementioned art show. So The Southern Review, a literary journal published out of LSU, helped my scooter art odyssey come full circle to remind me that I should finish writing a few posts that I’ve had in the works for months.

Check out Mr. Ronniger’s artwork. I can’t quite believe they are not photos. Also, if anyone knows about The Southern Review, feel free to chime in.

Amerivespa, High Rollers updates

The Amerivespa 2010 website is up. It’s earlier than usual this year, May 27-31, in San Antonio, TX. , One new feature I’m kind of excited about is a scooter art show that will include great Amerivespa artwork from this year’s designer Robert Tatum, plus Shag, Shepard Fairey, R. Black, Glen Reid and some poseur named Bryan. Rally registration is open now, as usual, it is CRITICAL to pre-register if you want to participate in all events and get a fully-packed goodie bag.

The Vegas Rally is February 25-28, and returns to Fremont Street, which should be goodtimes. The Inciters are playing the Saturday Allnighter, with the usual load of great DJs. Pregistration closes February 12

“The Vespa Experiment” results

Here’s a video recap of “The Vespa Experiment,” a Pacific-coast tour by three musicians on Vespa scooters. One of the musicans, Amber Rubarth sums it up:

I feel like this whole tour was all about getting to the core of life and purity and innocence. And, just getting back to the musical part and not in the business of it.

Sure, apart from the fact that it was PiaggioUSA marketing scheme, business didn’t enter into it at all, ha. The music’s not my thing (noodly earnest mellow acoustic pop) but they seem like nice kids. As far as PiaggioUSA marketing schemes go, it seemed pretty successful, and if nothing else, three musicians had a good time and a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so Vespa FTW!

Spree to the beach

Artist Jay Nelson rigged up a custom Honda Spree with a surfboard-bearing roof, a retractable awning, and a wooden storage bin. (An early sketch shows he originally intended it to be a Vespa.)

Funny how stuff like this spreads around… The scooter was exhibited last Fall at Nelson’s “The Autonomous Zone” exhibit at TripleBase gallery in San Francisco. Apparently a current exhibition of Nelson’s work at Gottino, a restaurant in NYC, brought the scooter to the attention of a Portugese-language green design blog, and the image ended up on Notcot, where it was spotted at random by John Park at Makezine. In this case, 2SB reader Sharon spotted it there and sent it our way (Thanks, Sharon! This rant has nothing to do with you), but I’ll probably see the Makezine story later tonight when I’m scanning Google News Alerts, and it’ll be on every scooter blog and newsgroup in America by tomorrow, credited to Makezine. I just point this out because it’s interesting how blogs come across stories then other blogs link to the blog they saw it on rather than the original blog, and what could have been a big bonanza in hits for the person that originated the story ends up bogging down their server with anonymous hot-linked image hits. It’s the internet, whattaya gonna do, but I thought it’d be fun to track down the reason that a year-old art exhibition was suddenly getting a spike in attention. It’d be fun to do a website that pulls stories off Boing Boing and Metafilter and Slashdot and Digg and tracks them back to their original genesis, which is usually by someone that put a lot of effort into the story, and was forgotten in the process of re-writing, simplifying, linking, and forwarding.

Not that I don’t do the same thing, all day every day (though I generally don’t help myself to photos when I don’t know where they came from). I’ve been sort of reluctant to post this sort of sixth-hand story lately, but I guess that’s what what bloggers are supposed to do. Hopefully my occasional hard work on original content makes up for it. Sorry about the weird tangent there, but these things interest me.

Decemberists’ Halloween scooter?

The Decemberists are playing in Wheaton? On Halloween night? And there’s a scooter on the poster? Did Carson Ellis actually paint that? What’s up with her website? Is a liberal alt-whine anachronism-gimmick oboe band playing to creationists at a christian college in a dry suburb on halloween night funny, cool, or sad? I can’t tell anymore, but if anyone can steal me one of those posters, please do. (Photo via Mike Marusin, thanks!)

“Art of the Ride” at Motoworks

Hey, sorry about the last-minuteness, but our local Vespa/MC dealer Motoworks Chicago is having an art show with a reception thingy after work today (Friday). The show will be around for a couple months, if you can’t make the opening:

Friday 10/10 5pm-10:30pm Motoworks presents: “Art of the Ride” Show runs October 10, 2008- December 10, 2008

Art and motorcycles, is that possible? Well, thanks to local artist Mark Nelson, it is! Motoworks Chicago is proud to host this event.

The purpose of this show, according to Nelson, “is to expose the public to more art in neighborhood establishments – and since this business is motorcycles, it was the perfect opportunity to create a site-specific art show about motorcycles. From an artist’s angle, I wanted to communicate to the general public the feeling behind the exhilaration of the ride. To fellow riders, I wanted to communicate the universal understanding and appreciation of the ride.”

The project started out with drawings in pastel chalk. Mark then came here to Motoworks and photographed the mechanics at work. He, wanted to follow in the footsteps of Diego Rivera – a world-renown, historical Mexican muralist, focusing on the actual laborer working his trade.

So please join us at Motoworks Chicago as we present: “Art of the Ride,” a one person show of etchings, pastel drawings, and paintings by an artist who has been living and working in the city of Chicago for 25 years. The art presented here both celebrates the act of riding as well as Nelson’s use of social sarcasm.

An Opening Reception with English Ale is scheduled for: October 10, 2008, 5:00PM – 10:30PM at Motoworks Chicago, 1901 South Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60608. For more info: call Motoworks at 312-738-4269.

(Thanks for the info, Mike!)