A Quick Trip to the East Coast

I’ll be jetting off to Washington DC and New York City in a couple of weeks. I’ll be in NYC for work and in Washington DC for fun. It’s been years since I saw Landon, which is crazy. I actually cannot really remember the last time I saw him only that I think it was for a mutual friend’s graduation back in 2009. I sure hope it hasn’t been that long!

October 11th I fly from San Francisco to Washington DC. I hang out there for a few days and then take Amtrak on the 13th to New York City. The morning of the 14th I’ll be around Times Square to hit up the Today Show and Fox and Friends for work. I might have to make another trip to the area on Saturday but otherwise I’ll be pretty free. While in the Big Appel I’ll be staying with my friend Ian.

Having friends in cities like New York, Chicago, Washington DC, etc is great. They all know they can stay with me anytime here in San Francisco and in exchange, there is a chance I can stay with them while in their city. It’s like the ultimate in couch surfing, only no worries about being the victim of organ theft in your sleep. Nothing like waking up in a bathtub full of ice to ruin a trip to NYC.

It will be nice to visit the east coast for a while. Sometimes I wonder if living on the Left Coast is changing me. Not nearly as much hustle and bustle out here. It’s substituted with hoodies, web-startup parties and wine. The last time I was in New York (besides flights connecting to Europe) was with Ryan back in 2009!

During the limited free time I’ll have, I’d love to meetup with my Twitter friends. Let me know if anyone is up for it! I’d love to meet some more of my East Coasters.

The Seattle Public Library is a Beautiful Building

One of the things that stuck out during our trip to Seattle was the architecture. When I think of cities that have really awesome or unique architecture, in America, I think of places like Chicago, New York City, Washington DC and Charleston North Carolina.

I never think of Seattle and architecture in the same sentence. Well, at least, I didn’t.

What’s great about visiting a city where you have a friend is getting the not for tourists guide to a city. Whether it’s hitting up hole-in-the-wall diners or visiting the local library, there are all these little treasures you wouldn’t ordinarily get to see.

In this case, it’s the library. The Seattle Public Library is awesome. At the top you’re catching a glimpse of what it is like to look down from the highest point in the library, down to the ground floor stacks. I think we were 10 stories up when I took that photo. Being that high up got Sam and I both a little anxious. But the views were worth it. Continue reading

Chicago Photography Center Showing

It might have been nearly a month ago to the day but I’m still going to give this a go. On October 15th, I met up with my parents in Chicago, fresh from their flight from Saudi Arabia. We were all in town to catch the tail-end of a gallery show featuring two of my photos at the Chicago Photography Center.

They partnered with FilterPhoto for a photo contest and gallery show, sponsored by Canon, Adobe and others. The photos were supposed to be Bauhaus inspired…

The Bauhaus movement was brought to Chicago by Lazlo Maholy-Nagy and Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe Germany and eventually centered at the IIT. Maholy-Nagy had been at the forefront of the development of photography in the 1920’s and 30’s in Europe and continued his experimentation and teaching of the medium at the New Bauhaus in Chicago. Throughout, he championed the opportunities that photography offered for a “new vision”, emphasizing new ways of seeing, surprising points of view, and unconventional techniques.

Two of my photos were selected for official entry into the competition. More on that a bit later.

We had a wonderful time exploring the city, taking advantage of the L and enjoying all the wonderful food Chicago has to offer. We didn’t, however, make it to any shows or do anything specifically Chicago. Instead we opted to wander the city, stopping whenever something truly interesting popped up. This is how I like to visit a city.

Seats on the L

On our first full day in the city we made our trip to the gallery to see my art on the walls, check out the competition and figure out how I was going to get my work shipped back to Columbia. I was hoping I would bump into Maggie who notified me about the show but that didn’t work out.

Walking up to the gallery the first thing you see from the street is one of my photos. That was as awesome as it was surprising. The letters on the window cast their shadow across my photo. Pretty cool!

One of my photos at the Chicago Photography Center

Unfortunately none of my photos won outright, though I did get Honorable Mention. Honestly though, I really do think I should have won, at least placed. I can admit when there are better photos, and there were some that I thought were better than mine. However, none that I felt were better than mine scored as high or higher than mine and the photos that did win certainly didn’t seem anything too interesting or intentional. It’s all subjective and I try my best to not get bent out of shape for not winning but… if I’m going to lose in a competition, I want to lose to a better photographer.

I probably shouldn’t rant but, it’s my blog right?

After the gallery trip we hit up the John Hancock Observatory for overpriced drinks and an unbelievable view. The overpriced drinks are totally worth it for the experience, seriously.

Chicago Skyline

With only a few more hours left in the city, we hopped back onto the L, got some delicious dinner at The Chicago Diner and headed back to our hotel. An early flight the next morning would bring me and my mother home to Columbia while my dad started his voyage back to Saudi Arabia after a short trip into Texas.

Trash Can be Beautiful

Despite not winning first place in the show, I’m still honored that my work was deemed worth enough for the walls and enjoyed the stiff competition like I got from some photographers in particular. If I had the money, there were easily six photos I would loved to have purchased. In addition, the trip provided me to visit my parents, the first time since they were in America for my graduation back in May.

Oh, and the show got me “featured” (using that term loosely) in Time Out New York which is baller. Check the link below.

The San Francisco Post

I swear to whatever is necessary that I have a blog post or twelve coming. Life is just too busy for me right now to really explain what’s going on. I find it ironic that this blog is my release yet I’m too busy to spend the time necessary on it to get that release.

It’s a pretty horrible situation to be in. I’m too busy to write so I get frustrated, annoyed and even a little depressed. So now I need to write even more but again… no time.

So I’ll leave you with this.  A photo I took from Fisherman’s Wharf. It was an amazing afternoon, the air was crisp and cool, the sun shining through a sky completely absent of any clouds and I was walking with two old friends to an unlimited wine and cupcake tasting. What could be better?

So, a post about all the fun from my San Francisco trip, like a month ago, is coming. It’s a two-part post. This will be followed up by a post covering my gallery show in Chicago and then another post about the future, San Francisco and work.

After that I’m thinking a few political posts and maybe one covering a musical artist I’m digging right now.

What else would you like me to write about? Leave it in the comments. Maybe I’ll make time to write if I feel there are people creating the obligation.

Luggage Lost

I waited and waited but you never showed
In Bahrain we first parted
To Saudi to Frankfurt, we traveled together
Come Chicago reunited, for Custom and Immigration’s pleasure.

St Louis I waited, anticipated
But you never showed.

Damn you Chicago, the booze and the jazz
Confuse-ed United
Luggage workers spazzed.

You are lost now and missed
And I am quite pissed

United I hate you.

Ferris Beuller Would be Proud

One of those Kennedy/Lincoln situations.

In Ferris Beuller‘s day off, Ferris faked his health as an excuse for a day off.  Barack Obama is being blamed for using the healthcare crisis to draw away attention from the war and economic problems.

Ferris Beuller was from Chicago. Barack Obama was Chicago senator.

Ferris Beuller borrowed his friend’s dad’s car, convincing him there was no other way.  Barack Obama convinced Congress et al. that we needed to borrow money and buy out General Motors.

Ferrish Beuller was an incredible speaker that ultimately always got what he wanted.  Barack Obama (see Ferris Beuller).

So what do we have here?  Like a scene out of Ferris Beuller’s Day Off when Ferris runs through a Chicago parade getting the entire city in on his song and dance.  Well, Barack Obama is pushing for a more socialized health care system, not unlike Canada, the UK and France‘s systems, for America while simultaneously trying to win the 2016 Olympics for Chicago, which of course would bring a lot of song and dance to the city.

Follow me?

So here’s the two coming together.  A French Canadian, university (UQAM) gathers 172 of their communication students to perform a massive lip-sync of an American hip-hop group, The Black Eyed Peas, in a style ripped from the venerable 1986 film.  They did the entire thing in two hour and fifteen minutes and as you’ll see below, it’s pretty freaking incredible.

Moral of the story?  We need socialized healthcare, the 2016 Olympics and more mass-lip-sync performances.

Not too proud of my Americanism to say… I’d kill to be a French Canadian going to l’Université du Québec à Montréal!

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Starbucks’ AT&T Shift Still Glitchy

I celebrated the day I got free internet access at Starbucks through the new contract with AT&T and my family’s AT&T Uverse subscription.  Secondly, I have access though my Starbucks Rewards card.

Sadly, the transition from T-Mobile to AT&T hasn’t been too smooth.

AT&T or T-Mobile

Today I logged in to my AT&T.net account only to be logged into a T-Mobile account.  It doesn’t change the quality of my service but just goes to show that no one has their head in the game.

A few weeks ago when we were in Chicago, the entire AT&T WiFi network was down, for hours.  Randomly I cannot login to my account and a few friends of mine have never been able to access their two hour per day Starbucks Rewards internet.

Come on Starbucks, AT&T and T-Mobile, get your act together!  Furthermore, where’s my free iPhone internet AT&T?!  Hmph.

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