Cruising the Center

Sweet Rides, originally uploaded by bloomfieldguy.

The Bloomfield Center Alliance sponsors two events in the summer that nicely represent one of the more appealing differences between living in the sortaburbs and living in the City: Cruise Night and the Farmer’s Market. While a Farmer’s Market isn’t terribly unique — I haven’t visited yet, but after walking through Venner “Park” last night, I don’t imagine ours is terribly big — the central location of both events makes for a nice community-building opportunity in a relatively small town like Bloomfield.

If it were about 5 degrees cooler when we headed uptown for Cruise Night last night, we would have walked there, but instead we drove — those carbon offsets alleviating a bit of the guilt — parked on the south end of the Glenwood/Broad Street intersection, and walked the two block stretch of classic (and not-so-classic) cars on display. There were approx. 25 cars there and at least as many people milling around them, checking them out and talking to their owners.

There was a bit of randomness to the assortment of cars, including legitimate classics with historic license plates acknowledging the fact; interesting older cars that were preserved relatively well but clearly owned for driving not just showing off; and, inexplicably, a couple of brand new cars the owners were presumably just showing off, like a shiny Escalade (I think) that showed up as we finished passing through.

I took pictures of some of our favorites, including the classic Chevy above, which reminded me of Stephen King’s Christine and one of the most randomly souped-up Ford Pintos I’ve ever seen. There was a beautiful blue Mustang there, too — the exterior, at least; the interior had some random upgrades — which was for sale, and both Bloomfieldwife and I looked at it rather wistfully. (NOTE: That’s not us in the picture!)

The true classics were impressive, though the realization that cars from the early 70s are now considered classics and my first car was a 1978 Pontiac Sunbird (V6, rear-wheel drive; I loved it!) made me feel kind of old!

Afterwards, we circled around to Venner Park, hung out by the fountain for a bit while enjoying the cooling weather and an impromptu family night out and about, and while heading back to the car, I had a pretty good beef patty from Dev’s Jamaican Cuisine, which seems like the kind of low-key family owned restaurant that serves good food but has maddeningly casual customer service. I plan to stop in again soon, though, and try some of their other dishes because good Jamaican food is hard to find.

So far, so good, Bloomfield. Keep it up!

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