Friday, July 23, 2010

On a Vacation - Oregon

As previously mentioned, I'm headed to Oregon for vacation with family. I'm really looking forward to it now, as I've realized I'm happening upon a place called "Crater Lake" that looks a little something like this:

So, needless to stay, I'm stoked. I imagine internet will be spotty, so blog posts upon availability. Rest assured, I'll bring back my own documentation and hopefully a healthy sun tan.

On Inspiration Friday

Thursday, July 22, 2010

On Dressing Well - Cathy Horyn

I don't know that I've ever publicly expressed my love for Cathy Horyn, but let me say it. I love her. I think her writing is just enough flower and just enough ice. Her tweeting is a treat, and this boyish little number she wears here looks incredibly cool.

On Six or Less

There's a piece in the NYtimes today that highlights a small online movement of people committing to either live a year without purchasing clothing or living a month using only six items of clothing. bosts a community of bloggers who have decided to take on the challenge and document the ways in which they see this being impactful in their life.

I've got to tell you that I've always liked things like this, in theory. Despite all my "things"I'm a minimalist at heart, and yesterday as I began to throw clothes into my bag in preparation for my trip to Oregon, I was reminded how overwhelmed I get by trying to decide what is appropriate to pack. This is particularly the case for this trips and temps threaten to span a good 40 or more degrees Fahrenheit. As much as 100 during the day and as low as 50 at night. So, how in the world does one not overload their suitcase to accommodate this?

But, back to everyday life, doesn't this seem like a good idea? Mary told me this is how she lives already, but I think I would challenge her (or anyone for that matter) to really go down to six. This is one of the reasons I'm supportive of school uniforms because I think it takes a lot of pressure off, although, I'm reminded of how the Fresh Prince of Belair used to wear his school uniform sport coat inside out. I suppose we all want to be a bit different, but when really stripped down to the essential six, how do we make ourselves stand out? Worth a thought.

I'm feelin' though that this IS an impetus to keep my packing minimal. I think I can stay with one bag... we'll see.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On Painter Worship - Rudolf Stingel

In my life, I've had two semi spiritual experiences in the presence of paintings. The first was when I was in College and visiting the Art Institute to see the Gerhard Richter retrospective. I remember literally feeling like I couldn't believe what I was seeing and standing in awe. These images were so beautiful and so impactful. I think in some ways they continue to be influential on how I take pictures.

Three years ago when I was in NY for the Whitney Biennial I had a somewhat similar experience with Rudolf Stingel. This was a much more conceptual high as Stingel is not just a painter, but a conceptual artist, but I remember taking a minute to collect myself and take it all in. It really resonated with me and I haven't ever quite removed it from my mind since.

Following that trip, the MCA here in Chicago did a Rudolf Stingel exhibit that allowed me to see his work in its own context and in its true beauty. It did not disappoint. I was generally thrilled and influenced by it all.

It is my belief that we need to hang onto these experiences tightly as they tend to happen infrequently as we get older. The more we know, the harder it can be to feel, so I am thankful for these memories that remind me how can art can impact.

On Eating Well - The Publican

Last night, I was reminded of the fact that I eat incredibly well. Scott and I made our way over to The Publican, which for my money is about as spot on as a restaurant gets. But wait, "aren't you a vegetarian?" you ask? Well, yes, but I'm totally on board with the farm food experience, and the publican has enough veggie options to keep this boy happy.

The pickles have been a highlight for me, both times I've been to the restaurant (the first being my birthday last year) and last night I had the most delicious corn in the world. This was accompanied by a delicious white Alagash. Scott enjoyed the Schnitzel.

I must tell you, I'm simply obsessed with summer. Al fresco dining, extra time, fantastic company and delicious food. These things make me feel like the luckiest guy in the world. Ferealz, yo.

Monday, July 19, 2010

On Pitchfork Music Festival

Since its inception, I have been in attendance at the Pitchfork Music Festival, with the exception of last year where I was with m parents for their 50th anniversary. I have to say, that each year I imagine myself sweltering in the heat and dealing with the crowds and consider bailing, but, and this is a big but, I don't. Therefore, I declare publicly that it would be a big mistake if I did. It really is a fantastic time in a situation that feels particularly Chicago and particularly positive.

The festival in general is incredibly well thought through and responsible. They recycle, they don't gouge, they have lots of vegetarian food options and this year they dropped bottles of water to a necessary $1 price. See, it was hot. Well over 90 degrees Fahrenheit each day, so the fact that so many people are willing to brave the temps and listen to bits of indie rock is deserved of inexpensive water.

I think this year, I listened to more music than I actually have in the past. Less distracted by location and more interested in spending time with friends, both days we parked ourselves and just hung out in between two of the three stages. The highlight for me was LCD Soundsystem. A show that seemed to cause just about everyone to dance.

Overall, times like these remind me that I am happy to be able to things like this. Spend a weekend, in a park, with friends and food and music. Oh, and the shower afterward was pretty amazing, too.

ps. Can you believe the quality of the new iPhone pics? I'm impressed.

Friday, July 16, 2010

On Inspiration Friday

On Shoes for the River

Next Saturday I will be making my way to the remoter parts of Oregon. I will be flying into the Medford and driving to an even smaller town NEAR the already small place of Cave Junction. This is a family trip, as I will be meeting my Sister, her husband and children and traveling with my mother and father. This is something my sister has wanted for a long time. An area of the country that they travel to relatively often. The home of her husband's family and apparently a part of the country that is so beautiful it is not to be missed.

In preparation for the trip I've been instructed that I will need proper shoes to walk around in water and rock. Where we will be staying is near a series of rivers that beg to be waded in an walked through, their basin both enticing and rocky.

Given my lack of active wear knowledge, I've done a bit of research and recently came to the conclusion that Chaco Sandals were probably the way to go. I've been hesitant about the price tag, but certainly I would never wear a pair of Keen's. Also, after trying on a pair of Teva's which, really really really remind me of middle school, I realized there was not comparison. The Chaco Sandals were of an incredibly high quality and worth the investment.

Here's the thing that makes them special. Besides the quality of the sole and the support they provide, the straps wrap through the sole and adjust to your foot as you move and walk. You can actually feel this and the mobility it provides.

My plan is to give them the ultimate test by breaking them in at the Pitchfork Music Festival this weekend. I may catch a couple of hipster glares, but I'm willing to take the risk in the name of comfortable feet.