I Gemelli Pinarello / The Pinarello Twins
Thanks to the recent weekend visit of heartbroken ex-Brooklynite AK718, who flew all the way from Munich to sample the hand-pulled noodles at Xian Famous Foods and cover the grand opening of my photography exhibit at Sunny's for the international media, I had the good fortune to reconnect with another member of the original German club-crawling posse, Mr. Wolfgang Wesener, portrait photographer extraordinaire, a man who sensibly fled New York twenty years ago, in 1990, just when it was getting boring around here. Now he's back, after moving for a couple of decades to the north of Italy to raise a family, produce olive oil and take pictures of vintners, and it's as if time has stood still; he's still sporting a wardrobe straight from Avenue A circa 1985.
Although he shared many memories from his time away, during which thousands of portraits were snapped, one of the highlights, at least in my estimation, was described in Wesener's modest admission that, why yes, he had indeed photographed Giovanni Pinarello, the patriarch of the Pinarello clan, one of the foremost names in bicycle manufacture. The Don, so it might be said, of Classic Italian Steel. "And I've just come from New Jersey," exclaimed Wesener, "where I purchased, from a man I found on Craigslist, my very own Pinarello, from the 1980s! I can hardly wait to tell Giovanni!"
"Nao e posivel!" I said, or something along those lines. I waved my hands in the air with Tuscan excitement. "Guarda!" "Anch'io!" and so forth, I went on, meaning: No way! I have one too. The exact same size!
Wesener's portraits are made in black and white, so while you cannot appreciate in this picture that his Pinarello is a fetching and rare eggplant purple, while mine is fire-engine red, it is obvious that our immediate resolution to go riding together actually resulted in our going riding together, this very morning.
Photo: Wolfgang Wesener