Blog – Vespa

19 Jun 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Blog – Vespa
Vespa S College 150
Vespa S College 150

#VESPAVITA CONTRIBUTION OF THE WEEK- JUNE 14TH, 2013

It’s Friday and time for the How Do You Vespa? contributor post. Each Friday, we’ll feature passionate Vespa owners who share their stories and photos of their favorite experiences aboard a Vespa.

This week’s contributor is Ted Gushue. a contributing writer at SCENE magazine. He grew up watching his dad ride motorcycles and became a fan himself since an early age. His decision to ride a Vespa while in college made him an avid Vespa rider and fan, here’s his story.

Ted’s red Vespa ET4 that he rode while in college.

I went to college in a sleepy suburban town in Rhode Island by the name of Bristol. The tiny hamlet of a few thousand was known primarily to the rest of the world as the birthplace of the Fourth of July Parade, a procession which takes place every year down Main Street, a street which unsurprisingly is marked down the middle by Red, White, and Blue – not yellow.

By all accounts it was a lovely place to spend four years, right on the water, perfect sailing weather, delightful springs, lazy summers, admittedly miserable winters. But for me, the season that sticks out in memory was autumn, not for any reasons meteorological mind you, but for one evening in particular. By most accounts it was a wholly unremarkable night, which I’d chosen to whittle away at a friend’s house a few blocks away.

Around 2:00 AM I received a deadpan phone call from my roommate: “Hey man, your car is on fire.”

“Do you think you could put it out?” I jokingly replied, assuming this was a strikingly poor attempt at a late night joke.

“Well, I guess all the fire trucks outside are taking care of it.” My eerily calm roommate continued.

At the very least I owed this some attention, which turned out to be the understatement of the century when I returned to my house to find a 40 foot inferno raging in the place where my Jeep Grand Cherokee used to stand. The Fire Department was out in record attendance to hose off my four wheeled char, leaving little more than a river of black water running down the cramped street. The investigation would later reveal that I was the victim of a random act of arson carried out by a group of faceless teenagers who remain at large to this day.

Fast forward through the arduous legal process of having your car burnt to the ground I found myself demobilized. The freedom I’d enjoyed skipping from house party to house party in my Cherry Red Jeep had been stolen from me. I was in purgatory.

But then my father called.

“You know, you could always take the Vespa…” He said it almost as a joke, at this point winter was on its way and to him the prospect of whipping around on a Ferrari Red Vespa ET4 in sub-tropical climates seemed laughable to him. But not to me.

“Done.” I replied.

Within a matter of days I had her in my garage, my freedom restored. La Vespa Epoch was upon me, and it was glorious.

For the remainder of my time at school I bounced around town, perpetually beaming, blissfully aware that I was having a much better time than anyone within eyeshot. I no longer had to adhere to the hell that is collegiate parking. I could zip from class to class without consequence of time. Beach party? There in an instant.

Sporting event congestion? Need not apply.

I can’t imagine too many ramen huffing students have the budget for a Vespa in their loan packages these days, but if room can be found, I highly recommend it.

What is your favorite Vespa memory? Have any great stories that you can share with us? Submit your photos and your stories by using the hash tag #VESPAVITA on Twitter and/or Instagram.

Be a part of the conversation and help us celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Vespa 50cc scooter!

All submissions will be automatically added to La Vespa Vita’s mosaic gallery of photos .

VESPA AND THE WORLD

Today, Vespa scooters are seen from New York to Indonesia and everywhere in between, proving that the Vespa lifestyle is one that can be found in any part of the world. Vespa represents the ultimate style and elegance. It is an icon of Italian design that satisfies the needs of a sophisticated target worldwide. It represents the past and the present.

It is a blend of modernity vintage. It reminds people of scenes from the 1960s film Roman Holiday but it also reminds people of innovation, sleek minimalist design, and an iconic product. “The Vespa— the ‘airplane landing wheels’, the curvaceous metal casting, the accommodating butt (all the qualities that years of Vespa commentators have correctly identified and celebrated) – is as universal and immediate an image as the Coca-Cola bottle and the Volkswagen ‘Bug’”, stated in the Vespa: Italian Style to the World book.

Photo courtesy of Piaggio’s “Vespa: Italian Style to the World” book

All of these characteristics that define a Vespa are what made the world fall in love with it. The globalization of the Vespa took off in the beginning of the millennium as technology made possible for faster communication, production, and importing. What are interesting to analyze are the trends and needs of each country and how each culture utilizes Vespas.

For instance, the Japanese market especially likes vintage Vespas such as the Vespa 50 and Primavera models. For a while Pontedera was making exclusive “new vintage” models and shipping to Japan, selling about three thousand units per year. The Vespa customer in Japan is the one that appreciates the simplicity of the vintage design and likes to invest in those models rather than buying a brand new design.

The Vespa 50 Special scooter

On the other hand, the market in India is completely different. There, Vespas are a convenient small vehicle that can easily navigate through the country’s narrow roads and chaotic traffic. There are over 4 million motor scooters in India and they represent 70% of the over 2 million vehicles registered in Delhi.

Piaggio’s Vespa was the leading scooter in this market during the boom up until the 90s but after a going through a legal battle due to license deals, Piaggio finally reached a settlement in 1999 and are now back in the Indian market.

The Vespa Primavera scooter

In other parts of the world such as China and Latin America, Vespas became extremely popular. About 10 million scooters are sold per year in China alone. The profile of the Vespa buyer in the international market can be described as, “an upwardly mobile member of the well-to-do middle class, an admirer of foreign things, motivated by the desire to display his own status,” as stated in the Vespa: Italian Style To The World book.

Photo courtesy of Piaggio: Vespa 50 Rivista

Various Vespa clubs have been formed all over the world, for instance the New York Scooter Club is one of the biggest in the U.S and it hosts meet ups and scooter parties that attracts hundreds of people every year. The Vespa World Club’s headquarters is in Pontedera (where Vespas are produced to this day), and in 2006 they celebrated Vespa’s 60th anniversary by hosting the biggest Vespa rally with over 8,000 riders who rode through the streets of Turin, Italy.

And in America, you can participate in Amerivespa. hosted by Vespa Motorsport San Diego, June 27 – 30. The Vespa community is one that shares one thing in common: their love for riding a Vespa. Vespa has become a world recognizable two-wheeler with its own brand identity that will continue to set this scooter apart from others for decades to come.

What is your favorite Vespa memory? Submit your photos and your stories by using the hash tag #VESPAVITA on Twitter and Instagram.

Be a part of the conversation and help us celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Vespa 50cc scooter!

All submissions will be automatically added to La Vespa Vita’s mosaic gallery of photos.

CULTURAL FACTS: 2000S

The beginning of the new millennium brought the globalization boom with the internet. Information sharing and accessibility to multiple mediums of communication shaped society and defined cultural habits of this decade. How did the Millennial Generation receive news about the war and watched the inauguration of the first biracial U.S. President?

The Internet. The birth of high speed internet and broadband internet made it possible for people to share information, view content on mobile devices, and receive news via social channels. The most popular websites of this decade were Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Amazon, Ebay, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube.

A Vespa Granturismo

Popular Vespa scooters that came out during this decade include the Vespa Granturismo and the Vespa LX; both have sleek design, high technology, and were meant to replace the ET model from the 90s. The Granturismo was the largest Vespa scooter when it came out in 2003. It had a 200cc engine, with design details reminiscent of the original Vespa plus the addition of a rear luggage rack, which made it the perfect scooter for longer rides.

The Vespa LX came out a few years later with similar design aesthetic as the Granturismo but it had four versions: the 50cc two-stroke Hi-Per2, the Hi-Per4, the 125cc, and the 150.

The introduction of file sharing enabled many artists to launch their musical careers online without a recording label. Social media sites such as MySpace and Facebook both served as a place for artists to showcase their music, tour dates, and photos with fans across the world.

Rap and hip-hop became popular in the 90s but it wasn’t until the 2000s that rappers such as Eminem broke through to mainstream, with Eminem leading the way by selling 32 million albums and making his acting debut in the successful film 8 Mile . Britney Spears, who had first emerged in 1999, became the best-selling female solo artist of this decade with sold out tours across the world as well as a film debut in Crossroads . One of her most memorable performances was at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards when she had a snake wrapped around her neck while she sang and danced. The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, released his last album in 2001 titled “Invincible”.

Notable music artists of this decade include Beyonce, Kanye West, TLC, Dr. Dre, Robbie Williams, The White Stripes, The Neptunes, among others. In 2005, Live 8 launched its benefit concerts, aimed to create global awareness about poverty.

There were near-simultaneous concerts held in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, United States and South Africa.

Rapper Eminem sold 32 million albums in this decade

This decade is known for recycling trends from past decades. For example, the 80s neon trend had a huge comeback in 2001 when Louis Vuitton’s designer Marc Jacobs debuted a collection of bags with neon graffiti prints in collaboration with artist Stephen Sprouse. It was a major moment in fashion because a luxury brand made neon cool again with big, bold prints on its timeless bags and accessories.

Ugg boots (sheepskin boots made in Australia) were originally introduced to the U.S in the 70s to the surf community as a utilitarian boot that kept feet warm and provided comfort, but became trendy shoes in the 2000s when celebrities such as Jessica Simpson and Paris Hilton started to wear them. Most girls would wear Ugg boots with skinny jeans and a North Face jacket. Another shoe style that became popular were Crocs, plastic shoes that look like clogs.

The “geek chic” look also became extremely popular and was acquired by wearing nonprescription glasses with bow ties and/or suspenders.

Louis Vuitton bag in collaboration with artist Stephen Sprouse

The next level of technology in films was introduced with 3D, which allowed the viewer to watch a movie with the illusion of depth perception. Movies such as Spiderman and Harry Potter . which had a lot of special effects, could be viewed in 3D by wearing a pair of plastic glasses provided at the theater. However, the film that made 3D big was Avatar (highest-grossing film of the decade) when it came out in 2009.

The film was directed by Academy Award winning Director James Cameron, who also directed Titanic . and it was released in original format as well as RealID 3D, Dolby 3D, XpanD 3D, and IMAX 3D formats. Films that featured a Vespa included Lizzie McGuire, Alfie, Deuce Bigalow, The Interpreter, Under the Tuscan Sun, Penelope, Get Smart, Transformers, Bourne Identity, Angels – Demons . among others.

Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway in the film “Get Smart”

Reese Witherspoon and Christina Ricci in the film “Penelope”

Shia Labeouf and Megan Fox in the film “Transformers”

The technological innovations that were released in this decade changed how people communicate to this day. The internet was carried across wireless and broadband, which made it possible to surf the net on a mobile device. The USB flash drive replaced floppy disks and paperless services became a norm.

Software that was highly utilized at offices across the country on PC computers included: Windows 2000, XP, Microsoft Office, Windows Vista, Microsoft Office 2008, and Windows 7. The main form of communication became email and text messaging. Top social networks used were Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube. Top search engines and commerce sites were Google, Yahoo, Amazon, and Ebay.

The leading social network of this decade: Facebook

What is your favorite Vespa memory or other memory of the 2000s or a 2000s technology, musician, actor, director, fashion designer or design that inspires you today? Submit your photos and your stories by using the hash tag #VESPAVITA on Twitter and Instagram.

Be a part of the conversation and help us celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Vespa 50cc scooter! All submissions will be automatically added to La Vespa Vita’s mosaic gallery of photos .

#VESPAVITA CONTRIBUTION OF THE WEEK- JUNE 21ST, 2013

It’s Friday and time for the How Do You Vespa? contributor post. Each Friday, we’ll feature passionate Vespa owners who share their stories and photos of their favorite experiences aboard a Vespa.

This week’s contributor is Ellis Gallagher. an artist who specifies in doing graffiti and street art in New York and has been featured on the cover of Time Out New York magazine. He started drawing on the streets in 2005 and, eventually branched out to work with companies and organizations such as City Arts Foundation, TMP Worldwide, Newcastle Beer, Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Children’s Museum of Art in NYC, among others. Find out how he became a street artist and what made him draw a shadow of a Vespa scooter.

1. When did you decide to become a graffiti artist and why?

I became attracted to graffiti as a very young child growing up in the east village in New York in the late 1970′s, seeing different names painted/inked on the streets. As I tried to mimic this aesthetic, I began as a practitioner of the craft at an early age.

2. What was the first drawing of an object’s shadow?

The first shadow I ever did on the street back in 2005 was a chalk enhanced piece, a shadow of a fire hydrant on Kane Street in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn.

3. What has been your favorite shadow to draw and why?

My favorite shadow to draw has to be the bicycle shadow because it has become my trademark. Bicycling is a form of mobility and mobility to me equals freedom. Freedom to roam wherever the wheels take you. Street art is freedom to me in that respect as well – it is outside and free for the masses to enjoy; free to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors while creating. Street art is not constrained.

It is there, in your face, like advertising, but the difference is most times it is not trying to sell you something or someone.

4. When you saw the Vespa parked, what made you want to draw its shadow?

I thought that the shadow looked like a giraffe!

5. What materials do you use to draw the shadows?

On the streets I use chalk. For paintings and works on paper and site-specific works I utilize a bevy of materials incorporating screen printing, spray paint, paint marker, paint stick, ink, enamel and sculpture.

6. What item would you like to draw a shadow of next?

Utilizing the Vespa’s shadow for an international advertising campaign, site-specific works in multiple cities! Vespa, can you hear me knocking?

What is your favorite Vespa memory? Have any great stories that you can share with us? Submit your photos and your stories by using the hash tag #VESPAVITA on Twitter and/or Instagram.

Be a part of the conversation and help us celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Vespa 50cc scooter!

All submissions will be automatically added to La Vespa Vita’s mosaic gallery of photos .

#VESPAVITA CONTRIBUTION OF THE WEEK- JUNE 28, 2013


Amerivespa is taking place in San Diego from June 27th-30th and to honor the 50th Anniversary of the Vespa 50cc scooter, Piaggio’s Technical Representative Sean Needham created a series of three boards to showcase at the event that highlight the timeline of the legendary Vespa 50cc scooter. Check out the boards below!

Be a part of the conversation and help us celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Vespa 50cc scooter!

All submissions will be automatically added to La Vespa Vita’s mosaic gallery of photos.

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