Our little village was just written up as one of the Hippest Hoods for Hipsters in Forbes Magazine last month. Any village that has an annual Mac-Off competition is alright by me. And frankly, I've never smiled so hard during The Toilet Bowl Races this year at Hampdenfest. Yes, friends, Toilet Bowl Races. Think box cars with potties...not Grand Prix with fast cars. I'm the farthest thing from hip so this news made me giggle as it was sent to me via Twitter by I very clever youth groupie from DC. Just recently a friend burst into laughter when I said I had a tennis match on Saturday. Is that funny? I guess in a Biff and Buffy sort of way it is. The fact that my preppy self lives up in this funky joint just makes it all the more hilarious, and I love you Hampden! Toilet races and all.
Our way stylish neighbor Paul was the official finish line judge. He was roped into the job by one of the "Mayors of Hampden", Steve Baker, I'm sure. But he had front row seats to all the action. Earlier that morning we were heading to the coffee shop and Steve offered up a spot on one of the "race" cars. Um...not this year, but thanks for the offer Steve.
A front moved over Chestnut Avenue just as the races began. I was expecting a "Surrender Dorothy" sky writer at any moment. It was dark, ominous, and the temperature dropped 20 degrees in 10 minutes. It was big scary. Rumors of tornado's were streaming the Internet and up and down The Avenue. But not even the Wicked Witch of the West could stop the hilarity that was about to ensue so we hunkered down and risked our lives for a great time.
We camped out in front of the Roland Park Deli after having a fabulous hot dog and complimentary cupcake. I love this place. Thank you Nancy Hinds for introducing me to it. If you haven't been you must try their Chicken Pot Pie Soup. Perfect for a cold fall day.
The names of the "race cars" were the absolute limit. "Stool Running", "Holy Crap", "Flush Gordon" to name a few came two by two in about 5 heats. They had to be powered by gravity only. No engines, no manpower.
The closest race and most exciting of the day was between @mobtowngeorge riding in a monk's costume on "Holy Crap" and Team Wholly Terra (not sure of his team name). You can see the intensity on Steve's face.
This speed and intense focus resulted in the first crash of the afternoon. The crowd oohed and gasped. It was fantastic. No one was hurt and they made it to the second heat and added a much needed flare to the event.
The street was lined with people taking photos.
These guys were my favorite of the day. I love the nod to the Flamingo on the handlebars. Their team name was Gorilla Finger Racing. The wrestling masks made the pit crew uniform in my opinion.
E, Viv, and our best bud Brad.
The sky was a close second on the entertainment factor.
@mr_pistol won the whole shooting match with Flush Gordon. Little did I know I was following him on Instagram. We've never met but someone tagged him and I mentioned I took a few winning shots. Hope you enjoy the photos Shawn! Well done.
The pride in this team just makes me so happy.
Will from Luigi's on The Avenue and our great neighbor Viv again gave much reason to smile. Luigi's has the best Italian Deli Sandwiches ever! Ever. The bread is so fresh and all the meat is cut to order by Will. Oh my gosh, my mouth is watering just thinking of my favorite sandwich of all time. Thankfully it is just blocks away from our hip home. We can walk off the calories.
There was only so much dark sky Vivi-anne and I could take so we high tailed it back home to Stone Hill just before all hell broke loose in the atmosphere. E stuck around on The Avenue and got stuck at his favorite coffee house and no tornadoes touched down anywhere near us so all was well in our hood.
Thank you Hampden. You are beyond weird, beyond wonderful and we love you more than our luggage.