Island Import Day/Bishnu’s Memorial Day – What Went Down

Monday 26 March, 2012 | By Evan Kaston

Segregation is all around us, and it is something that we have been forced to live with for centuries but this on this particular Sunday, all of that was put behind us. No matter who you are or what color you are, black, white, blue, brown, yellow or green, or what you are into, Euro’s, JDM, KDM, or even American muscle, all the boundaries were broken down to remember one person; Bishnu Dinanauth.

Bishnu was involved in a fatal car accident last year. He was cruising in his built s14 240sx, while on the way to to the Heckscher State Park Meet, when he lost control and hit a tree. His close friend Tesh (the man leading the cruise out to Heckscher Park in his bagged Jaguar) decided to create a cruise out to an event called Island Import Day, in honor of his close friend, who was also a huge car enthusiast. This was an incredible idea because it educated people, who had no idea who Bishnu even was, about the tragic event that ended his life but even more so, brought the masses together in ways that Bishnu or anyone else for that matter could have even imagined.

The actual meet would be held at Heckscher Park, out in Islip, New York, but the cruise out to the park was the movement that Tesh wanted to create in remembrance for his friend. A movement is an understatement.

There were two main meet up points for the cruise; one group would leave with Tesh from his hood on 134th street in Jamaica, Queens and the second big group would leave from exit 13 off of the Southern State, with other people joining in as the cars were slowly cruising down the parkway.

Tesh lead the pack, sitting sideways in his bagguar, going 40mph; basically, he was shutting it all down. The sea of cars that followed behind him was nothing that I’ve ever seen before. There was absolutely no one in front of us and a slow moving parking lot behind us, but this was only the beginning.

By the time the cars reached exit 32s on the parkway, we had some friends waiting for us; the boys in blue. Two state troopers, facing traffic, were blocking off the rest of the highway and decided to put the cruise to a halt. More troopers rolled up to the scene in no time and they managed to pull all the cars over into the two left lanes to allow for traffic to vein through the right lane.  The troopers went around asking for everyone’s documents and if you didn’t have any violations on your record, they let you go free. The cruise had been broken up, but thanks to proper communication, the Island Import Meet would go on, even if it plans had to change. Once arriving to Heckscher Park, we found out that the boys had also shut that down as well, even though the proper permit was in place. With over 1800 people, the Meet had to move.

Most of the cars, if not all of them, managed to funnel their way into the immensely crowded Dave & Buster’s parking lot out in Farmingdale, which was not as nice of a location as Heckscher Park but most definitely doable. The Island Import Founders made the best of the situation at hand.

After searching amongst the crowded parking lot, trying to get lucky and find a spot to park, we got out and observed this historic event. By 3:30 in the afternoon, the lot was beyond filled and cars were still pouring in; by cars, I mean everything. Segregation was a thing of the past this Sunday and diversity was the most prominent I have ever seen it. Watching cars such as Audi R8’s and Austin Martin DB9’s integrate with Honda Civic eg’s and Mark Three Volkswagens, along with all the people from all different types of car clubs and cultures interact and have a good time together, all in the same meet was nothing less than epic. This was not just another car meet, this was history.

We gathered enough coverage to warrant a two-post feature of the March 2012 Island Import Day. Please click here for MORE pictorial coverage of the Meet.

This was also unofficially the opening to the show season for most automotive enthusiasts. Cars that have been in hibernation throughout the winter or cars that have been daily driven and in winter mode these past couple of months, broke out of their winter skin and showed us the beginnings of what they’ve been working on. Whether it was a pair of wheels that you’ve been waiting to unveil or a new shaved bay that you were working on, or a whole new car all together, today was the day that we saw it all.
Granted this was only the first show of the season, and most of the cars are still under construction, we saw plenty of great work and met plenty of great people as well. We can hardly call these past couple of months winter, so like a pair of legs off a Victoria’s Secret model, it looks like it’s going to be a long and beautiful spring/summer and Island Import Day set the bar very high on what we can expect for the upcoming season. We here at SNTRL look forward to covering all of your favorite shows and even some that you didn’t know about, so keep up the good work and keep it locked for the best pictures and updates.


Photo Cred:    Pravan Kmala   ||   Chris Mallari   ||   Edwin Reyes   ||   Tyrone Roberts aka Streetstyle   ||   Michael Carolei

About the author

A home grown boy straight out of Queens, New York, Evan fell in love with the scene at an early age. With a passion for creative writing, he's all about giving the people what they want, the way they want to see it.

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