This weekend Derrick and I left the eerily sunny northwest on a red-eye flight and touched down to a sunny Newark (seriously, what are the odds?)
After collecting our Dodge Avenger from Enterprise we set off for Newburgh New York. A short 70 miles and many conversations about how Chrysler is still in business we arrived at the Hilton Garden Inn which thankfully is within stumbling distance of OCC.
A quick shower and a change of clothes later, we crossed the parking lot only to be met by some of the finest Mazdas in the area along with some of the finest tuners and tuning companies for the Mazda community. We met up with a few of our sponsored drivers (Steve Kritzberg and Matt Kellogg) and then touched base with the leader of the event, Storm Sasaki and set out to talk to some fine folks.
As you can see by the pictures, OCC featured almost every kind of Mazda you could imagine and really brought out a lot of cars. Obviously with the popularity of the Mazdaspeed 3 in recent years, that car was VERY well represented. The atmosphere at OCC is very laid back, with everyone anxious to see what the next trends are and hoping to meet some of the people they have befriended on the forums in real life. I personally was able to finally put some faces to names of some very incredible people and felt very lucky to encounter a few other that I didn’t know but now am proud to have spoken with.
After a short lunch at the OCC cafe (which has a surprisingly good Rueben sandwich) we were back out into the sun. With over 200 cars on hand, there was quite a bit to keep any Mazda fan busy.
After the raffle (where lucky contestants won everything from CorkSport gift certificates to a new set of tires from Continental) with the sun sinking low into the sky we headed to a restaurant and spent a good few hours having a great time with many other Mazdaheads. The rest of the night went very quickly with a parking lot roundtable discussion and somehow ended with us partying with a group of newlyweds at the Hilton.
The next day we hit the road to head to the famous Long Island (pronounced Lon Guyland) to hang out with Steve and Matt. Steve showed us the amazing repairs he had done to his house after hurricane Sandy and then showed us the destruction to the famous boardwalk that has yet to be repaired. It was truly amazing what that storm did to the town, but even more amazing was the way the town pulled itself back up and seemed to be just as New York as it had ever been!
Finally, before we headed back to the airport, no trip to New York is complete without a visit to a Kosher deli. Luckily, Steve knew just the place. The Lido Kosher Deli left Derrick and me speechless. The pickles, the slaw, the hot pastrami on rye… If you’re ever looking for a discount on CorkSport gear, you can get both of us to do just about anything to taste that food again.
It was with heavy hearts (and bloated stomachs) we got on our plane knowing that this was the last OCC meet and that we had to leave New York behind, but Storm is already planning the next meet and you can bet your short ram intake that we will be there! Thanks again to everyone who made this possible and everyone who came out… and anyone who wants to overnight us some Pastrami…