No doubt under the influence of the extravagantly titled “Supermoon,” March 19 was a day of nonstop partying for your humble Crasher. First, a birthday picnic in Bird Park for my friend Lauren. My roommates arrived late on their bicycles, saying, “We got lost and ended up at a live action role-playing quinceañera! They were cooking carne asada and battling with foam swords!” We spent the sunny afternoon snacking, painting faces, and instigating cut-throat hula-hoop contests.
At sunset, we made our way to a friend’s place overlooking University Avenue in North Park, where River City played acoustic indie-folk songs in the living room. Maybe 20 of us lounged around eating plates of vegan treats from the potluck as the band sang and strummed on guitars, fiddle, banjo, and a washboard. A few doors down on Ray Street, a triple birthday party raged away on the roof of an art studio. Girls distributed Jell-O shots to black-clad partygoers as a band played Radiohead and Incubus covers from the garden patio below. A yeti piñata hung from a tree in homage to the birthday twins, who were about seven feet tall. I talked with a friend from high school whose boyfriend was one of the 17 servicemen aboard the USS Ronald Regan contaminated with trace amounts of radiation. Ever the optimist, she said, “I just hope he doesn’t come back with a tail!”
Around midnight, my friend Jess and I headed to Logan Heights for a warehouse party. Sixty or so people hung around the vast space near Commercial and 30th, zipping around on bicycles and drinking blue cups of beer. DJ Grid, who invited me to the party, played electro jams from a booth beneath an arch of balloons as BMX riders spun 360s and fixie kids launched X-ups from wooden ramps. A girl rolled up on a mountain bike and said, “You’ve got to try it! It’s a bike party!” While Jess rode some loops around the warehouse, I chatted with Jinna Albright, the hostess of the evening and co-owner of South Park’s Thomas Bikes with husband Don.
“My vision is to have more of a bike community,” Jinna said, “instead of mountain bikers, BMX, fixie boys, racers. Why do they have to be separated? I used to be in the ministry. To me, this is another ministry. It’s no different than running a church. Everyone is accepted.”
She introduced me to Mat Jones, a 24-year-old BMXer from Ocean Beach. “You want to get a photo of me doing a backflip?” he offered. My camera clicked too early the first time, so he casually launched another flip off the ramp before stopping to chat. “I’m a jack of all trades,” he explained. “Skateboarding, biking, magic.”
To demonstrate, he took my business card and made it vanish in thin air. Upping the ante, he then made his pinky and ring fingers disappear entirely. Baffled, I wandered off in search of drink. Out front, I found Jess and Don talking with DJ Grid, who was sporting a fresh Tron Legacy jacket. We passed around a bottle of vodka and Don, who shopped at Thomas Bikes in the ’80s, said, “This party is for the little guy. My time has passed. The guys before us passed on the torch, and now we’re passing it to the next generation. That’s what keeps it going forward.”
Clearly not just blowing hot air, Don even offered pro-bono legal counsel on a ticket I recently received for bicycling through a stoplight in Hillcrest. ■
Crash your party? Call 619-235-3000 x421 and leave an invitation for Chad Deal.