Below are some pictures I took at Rollin’ and Rocking at Thee Parkside a few weeks ago. This show was a lot of firsts for me, I’d never been to Thee Parkside before, which is something of an anomaly since I’ve been to nearly every other venue in the Bay, so it was great to finally see the stage that I’d always historically passed on seeing some great bands on. That much is definitely my mistake, Thee Parkside (good lord, it frustrates me more and more every time I type out that vestigial “e”. Were we confusing this with another Parkside? Did this fix it? Anyways…) was a great venue in a surprisingly chill part of the City, I have a feeling we’ll be back to this place again soon. Another first for me was, perhaps also surprisingly, this was my first “van show”. Sure, I’ve seen vans at car shows before, but this was something different, a place where the oddball vanner life accessories and aesthetic is cherished, a show where people have nicknames, a show that starts late, people park wherever, and the show goes on “until it’s over”. Based solely on my now one experience with van shows they seem to be on a whole other level than your typical car show, and that much I really dug. No one seemed to be trying to prove much of anything, the crowd was chill, there was no urgency and it really had a freewheeling vibe that I’d hope comes from a flame carried across the country for decades from the vanners who started this movement so many years ago. It was neat, and completely not what I expected. It was great to see our friend and friend of the podcast Matchstick and Meredith out there, and I wish I could have spent more time chilling on the side of theeee Parksideeeee in San Francisco’s always perfect autumn weather watching the sun drop over the restless city but alas, the Gallery was calling across the Bay, so Josie and I made it short and ducked out early to go help get the show ready.
When I was leaving the show, weaving through traffic in Josie’s metalflaked 57 Chevy something about the show bugged me, but I didn’t realize what it was until much later. When I left the show I felt a little funny, maybe because I am so used to the crowds we usually see on the weekends here in Northern California, or maybe because I’m just sort of in a weird place with myself lately, but I had felt a little closed off to the whole experience. Eventually I came around and realized that the only problem with the show was with me and me alone. I went there with expectation, I went there with a boatload of social anxiety and whatever the automotive equivalent of blueballs is (I’d given up on thrashing on my van a few days before when it became apparent I needed to put a little more time into my van before it’s on the road). I failed to reach out to new people, I did a shitty job introducing myself and talking to people that had built these wild machines that I was digging on, and I fucked up by not striking up more conversations with strangers.
We’ve all struggled with the same issues on our rides, and I should have done more to open up and let everyone know how appreciative I was of what they were doing out there on the side of eeeTheeeeeeeParksideeeeee that night in the City. I guess what I’m trying to say is that this was a great show, these are great people, and I’ve still got some work to do getting comfortable with myself. But that’s OK. I don’t think these things come easy to anyone, and I hope with a little honesty, hard work, and further self reflection I’ll get there. But enough about me, you folks came here to see some vans, so here it is: My pics from the Rollin and Rocking Show in San Francisco, thanks for reading.