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Monday, April 26, 2010

Swaggertist in Blue

Where would you find a man who is a roller skater, saxophonist, writer, composer, recording artist, and inline skate trainer, who had a hit single on Billboard for 13 weeks ("Funky Bebop"), has a Masters degree in group therapy (with work done towards a Ph.D), and travels on an outrageous fur-covered trike? In New York City. See additional photo here.
And, of course, a man with this many incarnations would be expected to have had as many names - Bladie aka Bladie Flowness, Vin Zee, Vinzerelli, Vincent Brown. Now reinvented on his trike as the Swaggertist. I cannot attest to all his claims, but it would be fair to say the man is a one-man self promotional campaign on wheels.

Bladie was involved in musifying the roller skating scene in Central Park, what he calls the ultimate dance party on wheels. The New York Times wrote: "There are the old-timers, like Bladie Flowness, who has dreadlocks and a dyed beard and sails against traffic doing tai chi in multicolored Bedouin pants."

After meeting Bladie and introducing myself, Bladie gave me one of his music CDs and a DVD compilation of various clips of him. This bike is not his first, and he has been known for colorful dress since his early days on the skating scene.

However, it takes more that just chutzpah, bright colors and a turquoise fur covered trike to become successful or get attention in New York City. Although Bladie certainly gets attention when he cruises the city, park regulars barely give him a glance. After all, he has to compete with Piercing Al Fresco, Hector, André (Out There), Spike, Narcissism Gone Wild, Water Sprites, Wood Nymph, The Misfits, The Dance Parade, Flamboyant, The Krishna Fest, the Dyke March, Singing Bowls, Eight Twenty Five, Twelve Tribes, Penny Farthings, Superheroes, Snake Charmer, Circus Amok, and Fashion Forward.

And Bladie has plenty of musical talent to deal with. For now, Gershwin has not to worry about the Swaggertist in Blue :)


Jen said...

Looks like Washington Square Park? I bet he gets attention when he cruises the city. From the looks of the bike, it appears to need a wide berth.

René said...

Saw you take this one.

Mary said...

i guess recumbent biking suits a geezer better.

Ceciel said...

I seldom write comments, but I am an addicted reader of your blog. I just love today's posting and its links !
Thank you for sharing all this :-)