I have witnessed the transformation of downtown in the last fifty years. Gone are the empty warehouses, and a new art district, including an architecture campus, is now changing the environment in a way I could have never imagined.
It is at least 20 years since Italian cars were near 4th Street. But Mike Baum and friends brought them back. They put on a show called Macchinissima, a gathering of all Italian machinery with wheels, right in the middle of this neighborhood, ten blocks east of the Museum of Contemporary Art.
I was thrilled to see vehicles from Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Maserati, Abarth, Bizarrini, Fiats, Vespa, Lamborghini, and a couple of Ferraris. But better yet, it was the people’s reaction. Today, unless you are somehow connected to the car world, you don’t see these cars anymore unless you go to an exclusive and expensive venue. People’s smiles were rewarding to see.
Along two blocks of Traction Street and Avery Street, you could walk around almost 40 cars from different periods. Some are unique, like the Lamborghini Miura or the Concours winner 1966 Bizarrini 5300GT Strada. My favorite was the white Lancia Flavia Sport Zagato.
If this was a sample of things to come, Macchinissima could only grow in attendance and be part of this changing downtown.