2010 Catch Up

I finally got around to some of these photos from the past year while hanging out in Logan Airport for five hours on my way from New York to Long Beach yesterday. Most were shot with my Leica, though some are iPhone photos and some are from my 35mm toy camera.

Interstate 70 Between Green River and Salina, Utah

On the road from Liberia to La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

Lunch at a roadside soda in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Small Town Costa Rica north of San Jose

Mexico City

Central Mexico City

Chapultepec Park, Mexico City

Chapultepec Park, Mexico City

Bridgelife, Chicago

Pilsen from Bridgelife


Riis Park, Queens

Memorial Day BBQ in Brooklyn

Maujer Roof, Brooklyn

Coney Island, Brooklyn

Atlantic City

Atlantic City


Montreal from Mount Royal


Portuguese Lunch in the Plateau, Montreal


Pollo Tropical Cat, Miami

Long Beach

Kogi BBQ Truck, LA


Omelette Inn!

Hole Mole!

Parking Garage in Chicago that thinks it’s the 2 Train

Grayslake, Illinois

After the Christmas Blizzard, Brooklyn.

Chinatown Fair Arcade, New York

East from the Empire State Building

I left for California yesterday with my car looking like this.

This sums up the past few months pretty well.

This entry was written by brett, posted on January 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm, filed under Chicago, Costa Rica, Long Beach, Miami, New York, Travel. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.


I’ve been in New York since Saturday evening.

I dropped Juan off at MIA last Friday afternoon and immediately headed north on I-95, stopping only for waffle fries and regular unleaded until RIchmond, VA, where I retired for a night’s rest around 5:00 AM Saturday. After leaving Richmond at 2:00, fighting DC traffic, almost running out of gas in Baltimore, and spilling cherry limeade all over the dashboard, I crossed the Verrazano Narrows Bridge into Brooklyn around 8:00 PM Saturday night. I’ve been posted up in the top floor of a loft in Williamsburg ever since (how ruthlessly absurd).

Here are some more photographs of questionable quality:

This is Slick Rick rapping at his own birthday party in South Beach. Not sure why I was there, but it was fun.

This is a liquor store on the way to Versailles- a castle that is also the best Cuban spot in Miami.

This is what I ate at Versailles.

These are our bikes at the beach.

This is what a Central Florida sunset looks like.

This is the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.

This is the Brooklyn Bridge as seen from the northbound BQE.

This is the view from the rooftop where I’m currently residing.

I saw these in a thrift store in NoHo yesterday.
Their subtle way of saying “you have a free roundtrip on jetblue, now use it to go to Bogotá or else.”

These are from a Kodak disposable that I bought in Long Beach:

This is the view from my flight from LGB-ORD earlier this month.
The transition from the San Bernardino Mountains to the Mojave Desert is sweet.

This is the approach over Chicago, complete with a u-turn over Lake Michigan.

In other news, a great lunch was enjoyed today at the Boston Market in Ridgewood, Queens. Starting tomorrow morning (Friday) I have to go to three airports in four days and I’m not even flying anywhere. Saturday, however, I will be driving upstate for the day. No idea what I’m doing next week.

Also, I promise that effective immediately there will be no more hipstamatic photos on this blog.

This entry was written by brett, posted on May 20, 2010 at 11:51 pm, filed under Chicago, Miami, New York, Travel. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

Four Weeks by Camera Phone

Chicago, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Ensenada, Tokyo, Seoul, LA, Miami.

Karaoke in Hongdae

Fried Chicken Delivery in Seoul

Compton Station on the LA Metro

Seoul Tower

That way

Central Seoul?

Rooflife in Playas de Rosarito, Mexico

Fail Mirror in Colorado

This TV Dinner was good

But the actual restaurant was way better

TV Dinner Restaurant


Strange Fruit is my favorite

Cosmos is pretty sweet too

How to spend $20 on a photobooth in Long Beach

Two trackbike boutiques in two blocks in Hongdae

Taco truck in Seoul

Moroccan sandwiches after a party in Seoul, shortly before a 5:00 am cab ride to Incheon Airport.

Five bikes on a rack for three on the way to Mexico

Look at all these Lenos. Burbank, CA.

Jerome getting political

Cause he’s got the money to be political

Long Beach airport is my favorite

How to drive from Chicago to Miami in under 20 hours

Juan’s fridge in Miami

Yesterday I bought the hipstamatic app for my phone, which is pretty amusing. These next few are from that.

Sir Juan’s Villa

Driving back into Miami from the beach

Fail raft

I’ll be in Miami until Friday, then headed to New York for a while. More soon.

This entry was written by brett, posted on May 10, 2010 at 7:24 pm, filed under Chicago, Long Beach, Mexico, Miami, Seoul, Travel. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

Wicker Park Track Bike Failure

you saw it here first.

This entry was written by brett, posted on July 14, 2009 at 9:40 pm, filed under Chicago and tagged , , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

Look Here

Memorial Day BBQ on the West Side of Chicago.

Lots of updates and new work at brettharmon.net. Check it out.

This entry was written by brett, posted on May 27, 2009 at 5:58 am, filed under Chicago. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

Chicago-New York-Miami:
The Other Bermuda Triangle

The past few times I’ve been in New York, I’ve been tempted by the idea of jumping on the southbound New Jersey Turnpike and driving Interstate 95 to its southern terminus in Miami. Though the drive to Miami is only marginally shorter from New York than it is from Chicago, New York and Miami share the same highway (I-95) and ocean (Atlantic). This is the same (gratuitously flawed) logic that gave birth to a road trip from LA to Vancouver the weekend following the 2004 presidential election.

I spent the first week of this month in New York: ADC Review, studio tours, friends, bike riding and non-ironic dining. My car even got to play victim in a hit-and-run on a deserted side street in Queens. A good time, sans the fact that it rained for 90 percent of the week.

This is us on the Williamsburg Bridge.

When school gives you a free hotel room in Chelsea, you invite not only your teacher to the party, but all your friends in Brooklyn.

On Friday May 8th, I ate my traditional leaving New York meal (number 6 at Wendy’s plus an extra hamburger) in Maryland instead of New Jersey. Later that night I ate a Banana and some cereal bars in the humid-subtropical parking lot of a southern North Carolina twenty four hour supermarket. Noon on Saturday I ate a Cuban sandwich 100 yards from the beach at Bal Harbour Shops in Miami.

Stuck in traffic on the Williamsburg bridge on our way to the Holland Tunnel on our way to the NJT on our way to Miami.

Sometimes Jerome drives.

This is on the border of North and South Carolina.

As always, Miami was ridiculous: Beach, hot tub, pool, Chicago, The Standard, The White Room, and Pollo Tropical. Juan played host and played it well.

The drive back to Chicago was non-stop and to the point, short of an hour break in Atlanta to indulge in some twenty four hour diner food with a few friends.

I made it back to Chicago less than twenty four hours before Industry Night, which went really well. I talked to quite a few people and got a lot more feedback than at the ADC Review. I woke up sick on Friday, but still made it to Manifest and the graduation party at the Hilton that night. Slept in on Saturday instead of walking at graduation, but that was pretty much the plan anyways.

Downtown Miami is so strange.

Beach, then hot tub, then pool. Everyday.

Juan bought a three hundred dollar moped that occasionally runs long enough to make it to South Beach.

Rick Ross couldn’t make it to the photo shoot.

Sweet dent.

Reststop on Alligator Alley.

Tonight I’m sending in an application to take part in a paid NYC-LA bike ride from June-August. $3000 plus $25/day and $800 for transportation to NYC and from LA to ride my bike across the country with 41 other people and blog about it (it’s part of an ad campaign for a vodka company). Sign me up.

This entry was written by brett, posted on May 17, 2009 at 9:30 pm, filed under Chicago, Miami, New York, Travel. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

No Adventures Here

Moments before we purposely missed our train at the Pico Blvd Metro Station.

As of this morning I’ve been back in Chicago for two weeks. The majority of my time has been spent working on some unfinished design projects, editing photos, polishing up the portfolio, backing up data, and generally eradicating tons of useless junk from my life. I’ve also been making up ten-fold for two months of no bike riding and (almost) no Mexican food.

I also came across an outstanding written record of a particularly derelict adventure from last August. Below is the copied and pasted version direct from text edit. Please excuse the blatant lack of capitalization.

I heart LA: The story of yesterday (August 18, 2008)

after waking up a bit disheveled from the night prior and indulging in a chorizo scramble at potholder, we decided to catch the metro to downtown LA to ride some hills and shoot a few photos. an impulsive decision to jump off the train at pico blvd left us chasing after a train that still contained a bag with my camera as well as the keys to billy’s apartment and car. as the train left, i was able to sign my phone number to a younger lady and her kids who we’d sat next to, hoping they would take the bag and proceed to call me to pick it up later.

half an hours worth of eavesdropping provided us with the knowledge that they would be catching the red line up to hollywood for an afternoon of shopping before eventually catching the gold line back out to pasadena. at this point, we could wait around and hope she called, or we could take off on our bikes and try and beat the redline from downtown to the hollywood and vine street station where we would catch her.

without much debate, we took off up the hill on figuroa and headed west on sunset blvd through echo park and silverlake, splitting lanes and bombing hills and landing ourselves in hollywood about 25 minutes later. billy manned the station while i wandered around the neighborhood looking for them. after about an hour of no luck, we decided that i would hold down the hollywood and vine station and billy would cruise over to hollywood and highland in the chance that the could end up there. just as we’re ready to give up, billy spotted her at the elevator heading back underground. it turns out she gave the bag to a metro employee at the 7th street metro center station back downtown.

the mood was celebratory while riding the red line back downtown to claim our bag. after all, we had chased down a random woman in a city of over four million people. we’d go downtown, acquire the bag, and salvage what was left of the day. suffice to say, the mood shifted when we got downtown to discover that there are no actual employees working at the station. our chase led us to all ends of the station, as well as the surrounding blocks at street level downtown. a maintenance worker went out of his way to help us out, and even called the offices to check on the lost and found. apparently nothing had been reported and lost and found claims take three business days to register.

after another hour or so of wandering around the station looking for figures of authority, we’re ready to give up again. finally, while i was outside being transfered from operator to operator with the mta, billy went back underground and got the attention of a subway conductor. to do this, he had to fight off a crackhead who claimed the front car to be his own. the conductor responded to the commotion, and when billy informed him of our situation, he simply went into a little office and came out with our bag. as i’m outside arguing on my phone with the mta, billy walks up with the bag and brian unexpectedly cruises up 7th street in his pontiac. all is well and then some. we celebrate with sandwiches.

brian took off after dinner in typical unannounced fashion. billy and i found ourselves on top of a parking garage downtown, debating whether to call it a day or to head out to west hollywood to meet some friends for a drink. we decided that the best option would be to do neither, and ride out to silverlake to have a beer at a bar called good, which has a beer list that puts both jerry’s and the yardhouse to shame. at good, thirteen dollars buys you one beer, but when that one beer is a 22 oz triple ipa with the same alcohol content as some wines, it’s more than acceptable. so relatively drunk off of one beer each, we decided to acquire sparks for the metro ride back to long beach.

we rode back to 7th street station downtown before deciding that we’d rather wait above ground for the train at pico blvd and drink our sparks outside. by this time, it’s about 10:45. while drinking in an abandoned lot, the train appeared from nowhere, causing us to drop our beverages and sprint to the station to buy tickets. after we missed the train, we joked about riding the our bikes through south central, watts, south gate, and compton all the way back to long beach. somehow it became less of a joke over the following fifteen minutes. as the next train approached, i told billy it was his call whether we get on the train or get on our bikes. the doors opened, then closed, and we were still on the platform, laughing uncontrollably at the fact that we just purposely missed another train and would now be riding our bikes 25 miles through the hood of south central LA on a sunday night.

the policy on the ride from downtown was no eye contact and no yelling back at cars. we planned to ride washington blvd east to alameda, and alameda into compton where we would cut over to long beach blvd which would get us most of the way home. we rode fast and paced ourselves as to not get caught up at stoplights, and breathed a collective sigh of relief as we crossed under the 105 freeway out of south central proper. as we rode through el segundo blvd, we noticed “city of compton” printed on the street sign, and collectively giggled the type of giggle that could only come from two midwestern kids who grew up with an unhealthy appreciation of west coast rap music. soon our glee was shattered yet again, as billy realized he was rolling on a flat tire down a particularly ominous stretch of alameda in the center of compton.

we found ourselves at a gas station, trying with very little luck to refill billy’s tire. we decided to retire to the inside of the gas station to buy snacks and use the bathroom, but found the attendant locked inside behind a wall of bulletproof glass. instants after we realized we weren’t getting inside, we caught the attention of a middle aged couple, and the guy proceeded to utter what may go down in the books as the greatest sentence ever directed towards me- “it’s awfully late for you guys to be all bright white riding your bikes up in the hood.” he went on to elaborate about how we were in the “real” ghetto and we needed to get on the train and get ourselves back to LA before we get dead. we soon realized that trains were still running to long beach, and got ourselves to the station as the train was rolling in.

three stops from compton and we’re at willow street where we started our adventure earlier that day. four more stops and we’re at first street in downtown long beach. after a short jaunt down broadway on a flat tire and we made it back home in time to celebrate with beer and animal crackers.

When I wrote that I figured I’d be living back out in LA by now. I’m still telling myself I would given the right conditions (good job and living situation), but who knows.

Nonetheless, I’m driving back to New York this Friday for the ADC Review of graduating student work on the following Monday. Columbia is sending four of us from the graphic design program, as well as four from advertising art direction, and putting us up for the week at the Four Points in Chelsea. I’ll be spending the weekend before the review at my home-away-from-home-away-from-home at the Salon of Abundance in the always festive Williamsburg, where things will be even more festive than usual due to a pending Saturday night house party.

The ADC Review will be followed ten days later by Industry Night in Chicago. I’ll be spending the rest of this week finishing the fine tuning of my portfolio, updating my website, and preparing myself to act like a professional. I should probably get an oil change too, but you know how that goes.

This entry was written by brett, posted on April 27, 2009 at 9:21 pm, filed under Chicago, Travel. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

Why is There Still a Christmas Tree in My Living Room Window?

It was 52 degrees and sunny in Chicago today- quite balmy for February. Taking full advantage of the beautiful weather, I rode my bike downtown to the Brazilian Consulate to pick up my visa, which was actually processed in one business day instead of the advertised five. This came as a relief, as I’d been slightly nervous that my request for a tourist visa would be denied, as I hadn’t actually provided proof of onward travel from Brazil, just a printed out email stating that I have a flight to Miami from Santiago on April 8th.

I stopped at Subway on the ride back home, not because I particularly enjoy stale bread and old lunch meat, but because I had five dollars on an old gift card and a craving for banana peppers. I ate it outside in the sun, on the steps of the Eckhart Park fieldhouse. Rest assured, it’s still not good. However, no matter how bad your lunch, it’s still a win when you’re eating it outside in February.

I’m leaving for New York in the early morning hours Thursday night/ Friday morning. I was planning on driving and leaving my car in Brooklyn in the “care” of Marky S for the time I’d be gone, however this is no longer a necessary risk, as my dad has offered me a ride. What this means, besides the fact that I’ll have to alter my moderately offensive ORD-JFK soundtrack, is that I can stay out late Thursday night and not worry about driving in the morning. I figure he can handle Illinois, Indiana, and most of Ohio, and I’ll take over for the remaining half of the drive after waking up for a delicious lunch at the Chick-fil-a in Youngstown, on the Pennsylvania border. As a “thanks for driving me to New York”, I’ll probably take him out to dinner Friday night somewhere in the city, perhaps my favorite Italian spot ever on West 4th in Greenwich Village, who’s name I can never remember, despite their absolutely delectable lobster risotto.

Tonight I will create a series of lists. I suppose in some ways, writing this is a preliminary survey of said lists. I now have three days before I leave, and many things to accomplish before doing so. Much of this involves backing up my desktop, setting up an old macbook with software for editing photos and working from abroad, figuring out what I’m actually packing, packing, cleaning, and throwing away a bunch of shit. Somewhere in there I also need to be at a meeting downtown at noon on Wednesday, go to dinner at Geja’s and Juan’s party at Crocodile Tuesday night, get a haircut, drop my car off at my dad’s house, and get lunch with my mother and convince her that I’m actually going to come back eventually.

It’s supposed to be 60 and sunny tomorrow, which means that nothing important will get done until the sun goes down.

This entry was written by brett, posted on February 9, 2009 at 7:29 pm, filed under Chicago, Travel. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

Forty Hours

–The following was written mostly Friday evening but finished tonight (Sunday)

At 6:00 this morning, after driving more or less nonstop from western Utah (C, on the map below) without sleeping, I was welcomed back to Chicago by the endless precession of bluetooth-chattering, egg and sausage mc muffin-smacking residents of western Illinois, who, instead of taking the train, choose to endure 2+ hour traffic jams at such early hours of the morning that only farmers and Williamsburg cocaine enthusiasts should be awake.

Nonetheless, I was back in the city and snuggled up in bed in my frosty apartment by 8:30 this morning. That is of course, until around 3:00 this afternoon, when I was rudely awaken by Brendan (whose Long Beach apartment had been my home for the past two weeks), who was calling to inform me that he was feeding himself grapes while sitting in a hot tube on a San Diego rooftop outside of ASR. Instead of throwing my phone, I simply ordered myself pad khee mao and a cucumber salad from my favorite local Thai establishment and perused expedia until its arrival, at which time the delivery man called me out on my two week hiatus. I suppose I’ll have to call the tamale man tonight, as I’m sure he’s been wondering as well.

View Larger Map

After a departure lunch with the homies at TK Burger on the dark side of the Orange Curtain, we were on our way back to Chicago around 2:00 Wednesday afternoon. As usual, the drive back from LA was one customs. I personally cannot fathom driving through Las Vegas and not stopping, at least for a few minutes to take in the absurdity of the place, and will immediately write off as soulless anyone who can simply “pass through” such a place on the way to another destination. This of course, is why I have never not exited Interstate 15 at Tropicana Avenue and proceeded to make a left turn onto the strip. Be it a dip in the pool at the MGM, a beer on the Brooklyn Bridge at the NYNY, a three foot margarita at the Westward Ho, or a spin of the roulette wheel at the Belagio and a buffet at the Flamingo, you don’t just pass through Las Vegas.

In this case, it was a three dollar beer and hot dog at some no-name dive casino next to the Flamingo. The hot dog was surprisingly above average, and I drank half of the beer before passing it off to Dan, because I, above all things, had to be in proper shape to drive us to Chicago.

On the way back to the car, which we had parked for free on the third floor of the garage at the Flamingo, I discovered the coveted roulette machine which had ruined an otherwise wonderful day at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe one evening in the Summer of 2007. This day, however, the gods were on my side, as I struggled, pineapple-mango smoothie in hand, through the ups and downs of the wheel to come out four dollars ahead. Free parking, three dollar hot dog and beer, and a smoothie purchased on a gift card, combined with four dollars winning at the Flamingo means we were headed north on Interstate 15 towards Utah one dollar ahead.

Another tradition that used to take place specifically in Vegas, now takes place in St. George, Utah. This is of course, a final hamburger and strawberry shake at the last In-N-Out Burger as one heads eastwards towards the vast expanse of flavorlessness known as the great plains. Now that In-N-Out has expanded to the great state of Utah, one is left with more stomach space for hot dogs and buffet food in Nevada.

The climb up into the highlands of central Utah brought with it increasing amounts of snow, as well as uncertainty as to the logistics of the rest of our journey. As we left Vegas around 8:00 PM, and had already finished our meal in St. George by 11:00 (hello mountain time), we were on pace to be in Denver way too early for our scheduled intermission of bike riding and burrito eating at Illegal Pete’s. It was decided that although we were not exceptionally tired, a nap was in order, as to align our schedule with that of the sun.

We found our sleeping quarters, a view area on the side of Interstate 70 just east of Salina, Utah, in the middle of a stretch of 110 miles of zero civilization. I felt at ease with the situation, because, as a man of tradition, I had slept at the very same rest area almost exactly a year prior. In fact, it was upon waking there last year that I took the following photo.

Before sleeping in the car, I experimented with some long exposures with the Leica, as it was surprisingly not too cold outside. I lacked a tripod, but did have a one dollar chip that I kept from the Flamingo, which I used to prop up the lens and attempt to frame up these shots in the dark.

We slept through the alarm on my phone, finally awakening around 8:30 once the greenhouse effect took hold and made it unbearably hot in the car. 70 miles east we found ourselves in Green River, where tooth brushing and contact lens cleaning takes place in these parts.

10:35 AM found us in Grand Junction, Colorado, the first real civilization since St. George. As most late-morning breakfast aficionados are well aware, 10:30 is the time at which most fast food establishments feel it is appropriate to replace hashbrowns and cinnamon rolls with ground beef and onion rings. Grand Junction makes no exception, so we found ourselves working with a chicken sandwiches, waffle fries, and Dr. Pepper at 10:35 on a Thursday morning after a long night of gambling and sleeping in parking lots.

A stop for gas and water in Glenwood Springs had us ready for the climb through the two snowy 11,000 foot mountain passes between Vail and Denver. The mild altitude sickness induced headache that I acquired while passing through the Eisenhower Tunnel quickly passed as we unstrapped the bikes from the back of the car at a park just outside of downtown Denver. A cruise around downtown on the bikes during at the peak of a warm and sunny Denver afternoon was followed up by an early dinner at Illegal Pete’s on 16th Street. A wise man once said, “when in Queens, you eat at the Sizzler.” The same can be said regarding Denver and Illegal Pete’s. A re-up on Burritos, bike ride back to the car, and quick jaunt down East Colfax and back up Colorado Blvd found us on eastbound Interstate 76, barreling towards Nebraska at 90 mph.

Just outside of Fort Morgan, Colorado, we encountered the first of two run-ins with the enforcement wing. Moments after I cautiously and courteously passed a state trooper, I noticed he was pulling me over. After a private questioning of both Dan and I, he failed to catch us up in some sort of scheme, which apparently involved the bicycles on the back of my car, as the fact that one of them lacked wheels really seemed to rack his brain. We left the scene with a “good day” and the first of two written warnings. Dan snapped this photo in the mirror while I was out of the car being questioned.

Shortly after a quick stop for gas and drinks in Fort Morgan (which is quite possibly the most foul smelling town east of the Rockies), we found ourselves passed by a small caravan of three vehicles with zero regard for the law. For some this could be an unnerving experience, but for those in a hurry it is a blessing. We quickly caught up with the pack of renegades, which consisted of an Audi wagon with Colorado plates, a Ford Pickup with Iowa plates, and a red VW sedan with plates that remain a mystery. By assimilating oneself into a such a caravan, the chances of being picked out by the police in the event of a speed trap is reduced dramatically. A sustained three hours of speeds between 100 and 110 miles per hour landed landed us in central Nebraska before the entourage split up for gas stops.

Just west of Lincoln, not long after returning to the road, we were pulled over yet again, this time the result of an elaborate speed trap featuring three of Nebraska’s finest. As I saw the lights from miles back, I was actually following the speed limit, if not going a mile or two below. Still it was claimed that I was going “well over eighty.” Either my boyish charm prevailed or the officer knew he didn’t have a leg to stand on, but we were let off with our second written warning of the evening. This is not to say that the spirit of our 100+ mile per hour rampage through the Great Plains was not damaged, as from this point on cruise control was set at a few miles per hour over the limit.

After what seemed like hours, we finally crossed through Omaha and over the river into Iowa. With 1 AM swiftly approaching, the prospects of finding an exit with both an open Wendy’s as well as a gas station seemed grim. We settled for gas and a snack, and embarked on a 280 mile stretch to the town of Wolcott and the highly regarded Iowa 80 truckstop, which claims to be the world’s largest. Regardless of their claims, Iowa 80 is the world’s premiere dealer of fine wolf shirts, Christian bumper stickers, and cutlery, as well as the location of an infuriatingly understaffed 24 hour Wendy’s.

With all of our humanly needs fulfilled at one truckstop, we were on the last leg of our journey back to Chicago. Less than 30 miles east on Interstate 80, we crossed the Mississippi River, signaling our triumphant return to the kingdom of Blagojevich. Shortly after, we merged onto Interstate 88, which could only in a state with the political tradition of ours, be named after the disaster that was Ronald Reagan.

At this point, it’s about 4:00 AM central time on Friday. It’s 2:00 AM Friday in LA. Exactly 36 hours earlier I was sitting outside in the sun, eating a hamburger in Costa Mesa. Trying to pinpoint the moment at which time jumped the shark, I find myself reflecting upon the roulette wheel at the Flamingo, the deserted rest stop in Utah, 16th street mall in Denver, 350 miles of Nebraska while listening to late 80’s shoegaze, and then what?

Only a day prior I took this photo of the sun setting in the California desert as we drove towards Las Vegas.

I’d been driving without sleep since Salina, Utah. Now I’m sitting in Friday morning rush hour traffic fifty miles west of Chicago on a tollway named after an asshole. I’m tired and delusional and there’s a shit ton of snow on the ground and the sun is just starting to rise. We could stop for lattes, but as a brilliant man would say, “there’s no time for handjobs.” We merge onto 290, bumper to bumper through Maywood and Oak Park. Finally after Harlem it opens up, we switch from Belle and Sebastian on the now defunct iPod to Bone Thugs N Harmony on the CD Player, exit at Damen, and drive the final two and a half miles north to Wicker Park, arriving just before 8:00 AM.

We quickly unload the car in the alley before I circle the neighborhood looking for parking. Of course Wicker Park being in it’s own timezone, no one is actually awake at 8:00 on a Friday morning, so parking is actually more difficult than it would be at noon when everyone heads to brunch. After locating an unplowed and icy spot two blocks from my apartment, I lodge my car into a mess that I assume I’ll have to dig myself out of next time I leave, that is if my car even starts after the zero degree cold spell that is predicted for the following days.

I’m in Chicago, trick.

This entry was written by brett, posted on January 25, 2009 at 8:23 pm, filed under Chicago, Long Beach, Travel and tagged , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

Life is About to Get Interesting

So I’ve been meaning to make this blog more blog like for a while, but 19 credit hours and developing my portfolio had been consuming all of my time. However, as of yesterday afternoon, I’m no longer in college. I also don’t have a real job or any plans on acquiring one until May.

After a final portfolio review yesterday morning, our teacher took us out for drinks, as the majority of the students in this class were graduating. Being slightly inebriated at two in the afternoon, I decided that the time was right to buy the new digital Leica I’d had my eye on for quite some time. Although the time probably was not right, I hopped on the blue line with this little thing. The guy at the camera store thought I was full of shit, so the look on his face when I handed him my jetblue amex card was rather priceless. Any buyer’s remorse I felt afterwards was quickly erased after playing around with it today. Now I just need to sell my D70 and my Powershot so I can pay this off before I start getting charged 20% interest.

As is tradition for the middle of December, I’ll be driving to New York Sunday evening to hang out for the week and bring Mark Steffen back to Chicago for the holidays. That is, of course, assuming we can drag him out of the Sizzler in Rego Park, Queens. We’re planning on stopping in Baltimore for a night, as well as a possible stop in Philadelphia for a Wu-Tang show.

None of this, however, is until after the supposed to be epic party that my roommate is apparently throwing at our apt tomorrow night. Rumor has it there will be dancers, bottle service, and an abundance of pepper spray.

Right now I’m off to Pilsen to check out a few openings, including my friend Collin‘s photos as well as a book of mine that is in a show at Vespine.

This new layout is to replace the magazine-like and extremely buggy theme that I had been using previously. It’s clean and simple and quick to update, and will be seeing a bit of customization in the coming days, especially in the typography department.

Check back soon.

This entry was written by brett, posted on December 12, 2008 at 5:31 pm, filed under Chicago and tagged . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

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