hells angels

When it comes to my bar selection, I prefer dive-y bars. Why? Besides the fact that I meet the most interesting people, typically the drinks are cheaper, they’re not as crowded, and there is always pool or darts available.  Back in Nashville, I always played on plastic boards at the endzone.  If you’ve ever made the switch from plastic to cork, it can be quite tricky. 
Lately, I’ve been venturing to the lower east side to throw darts with Drew (who would like for me to acknowledge that he is an excellent dart player…).   We play at a dive bar called “The Edge” on 3rd street between 1st and 2nd avenues.  Also, on this block, is the NY chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation”  Why has this doorstep has struck such an interest with me?
 
WELL…I think one thing in movies, music or real life that really reaches me on a deeper level is the camaraderie found in belonging to a team or group.  Simple notions such as a caravan of fans to a football game, the historical rat pack, or a common love for music are just examples of a camaraderie that give me chill bumps.  Am I interested in Hells Angels because I want to be in a hardcore motorcycle gang linked to crime-related instances? No, not at all. However, there is a sense of mystery and the selectiveness to this group that intrigues me enough to write about them.
Members of this legendary motorcycle gang all ride Harley Davidsons as their principle mode of transportation and refer to themselves “one-percenters”.  The American Motorcyclist Association claims that 99% of motorcyclists are law abiding citizens and that the remaining 1% are outlaws.  Therefore…I have found the doorway to the land of outlaws! Or at least where they hang out…

The insignia above is military-related.  It’s called the “death’s head” and is mimicked after the 85th Fighter Squadron and the 552nd Medium Bomber Squadron from WWII. 
The members Hells Angels supposedly ride around 20, ooo miles per year and hang out in their distinctive “clubhouses”.  The NY clubhouse that I have photographed here is an entire 5 story building with 10 or so cameras situated to aim at the door.  Because they’ve been linked to a history of crime-related instances, their building is heavy on the security.  
What a crazy history this city has! And who would have thought I’d find it on my way to throw some darts?  
 

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