The sad truth of the matter is...the more I have going on, the less I write. I have done much of my finest literary work when there has been absolutely nothing going on in my life. And now here I am with so much to show and tell and what do you get? Radio silence. So I'm going to do the lay down a bunch of photos and then talk about them thing here, it will get uspart way caught up at least.
The Roll It Forward Boston Bicycle Mines are starting to look more like a bike shop every day. Our cage is a constant source of fascination for other people in the building — "So what...youz guyz sell the bikes or what?"
One bonus of working in downtown Boston is that I get to eat at places like Chacarero. It's a ridiculously good Chilean sandwich shop that I hadn't really eaten at since I stopped messengering about nine years ago. I used to grab a sandwich (back then it was veggie...had no idea what I was missing) in the AM, before the massive lunch rush that resulted in a line around the block. I would keep the foil-wrapped piece of culinary brilliance in my bag until I got hit with some wait time at a courthouse or something.
Ya it looks weird. But I dare you try it once. You'll be hooked like it was made out of heroin.
A good portion of my job involves driving around in Penske rental trucks, delivering bikes to various locations. I did a donation bike pick up over in Somerville a couple weeks back which provided me with an opportunity to stop at Pini's Pizza in freakin' Magoon Square kid! It's one of the best spots around, North End not excluded. That slice is two bucks and it's basically a quarter pie. I have no idea why my man boobs are growing larger.
The donation bike pick up was at my former place of employment — Ace Wheelworks. There I encountered a man I call "Turkish Matt." His name is really Memet but that name is hard for many Somerville townies and other assorted stupid fucking white men to process. He'll introduce himself as Memet and the customer will often reply "Hi Matt!" And Memet will correct them, "It's Mem-et." "Oh...why that's an unusual name!" "Not in Turkey it isn't." Once a customer asked Memet his name, Memet told him and the man said "My Man...well OK, I'll call you My Man!"
Then there's Didi. He was pissed I didn't bring him any Hennessy...so he gave me a "Rosette," which is the way a Haitian starts a fight — he smashes the area between his thumb and index finger against your trachea. A move that either kills you or severely incapacitates you.
Back when I worked at Ace, in my twenties, I would attack Didi like Cato did Clouseau. I would wind up with bruises in the shape of fingerprints from his vise-grip like hands. Then I started watching MMA and learned about arm bars. I saw 170 lb Royce Gracie submit that fat, 500 lb bastard Akebono with an arm bar.
I was convinced I could finally best DiDi with a surprise arm bar. Everything was going well, he put me down on the ground as usual, but I was ready, I held onto his wrist and scissored my legs over his throat as I levered his arm back over my hip, a perfect arm bar. Thing is...arm bars are a dumb move in a street fight. DiDi was strong enough to lift me off the floor and then slam me so hard that all the wind shot out of me and I let go of my arm bar. I may have lost the fight but I won DiDi's affection — "OH! That's good Tommy...I think you bwake my arm! But then I fucking SLAMS YOU!"
But there's more to Ace than belligerent Haitians and guys named Memet who don't like being called Matt...the place is full of celebrities. Celebrities like local frame builder Matt Budd. Oddly enough, he insists on being called "American Memet."
The streets of Somerville are awesome too. The way the trees overhang the road...so moving van friendly.
And this guy? This is the baddest dude in Revere. There is only one way to look like the ultimate badass while riding in the back of a Geo Prizm with a "Baby On Board" sign in the window — you gotta get "REVERE" tattooed on your arm in big, honkin' gothic letters.
Or you can get a Jack Chop pumpkin carving kit.
I can't really ride my mountain bike with any kind of conviction right now, but this is what I get to see on my ride home at night. Could be shabbier.