Categories
Photography Travels

Thunderstorms, BBQ and Vineyards

NashvilleSaturday started off quietly as James and I awoke to our iPhone alarms at 8:30. We packed up our things and made sure not to disturb Lee, Rebecca or Michael on the way out.

The beauty of Louisville shined though the gray overcast morning as we wandered the streets. Knowing our next destination, Nashville, was only three hours away we decided to take some time to explore before rolling out.

First things first we head over to the Louisville Slugger factory to get the tour. We were suprised to find they also have a mini Norman Rockwell exhibit there as well and we spent some time learning about both baseball and art.

From there we made a stop off to Cake Flour bakery for a quick bite to eat and suddenly we found ourselves caught in a torrential downpour. We watched from inside as the street began to flood and it began to look like the dead of night at 11 am EST and decided it as our cue to get out of town ASAP.

Sure enough we passed right through the storm on the road but otherwise the trip to Nashville was uneventful. Turns out the Nashville beer festival was sold out so we met up with my friend Robin and decided to grab some BBQ then head over to Arrington Vineyards for a wine tasting. We sat beneath the trees overlooking some gorgeous Tennessee hills sipping wine and talking about video production and laughing like idiots.

After some sobering up we blared some pop music and drove towards the city to show James Yazoo Brewery. Yazoo is a local Tennessee beer company with a wide variety of beers and an excellent brewpub. We relaxed there sampling beers as the sun went down sharing old stories and laughing at dumb jokes.

From there we head downtown where Robin described the damage of the flood that hit Nashville last year and we met a homeless gentleman, Ernie. He told us about swimming in the river and hopping fences. Somehow it came up that we were headed to New Orleans and he told us that is where he’s from originally, he then launched into detailed suggestions of things to do there, specifically citing that the French Quarter is overhyped and we need to make sure we explore the whole city.

After wandering the strip for a while we ended the night in a dueling piano bar off of Broadway before heading back to Robin’s place for the evening. All in all it was a laid back and carefree day. I couldn’t have asked for a better time.

We’re now solidly on the road to Birmingham for lunch and New Orleans this evening. Until tomorrow true believers, enjoy the photos!

Categories
Photography Travels

Chicago to Louisville (and Indianapolis for lunch)

Windmills

About 11 o’clock this morning we set off from Chicago, south towards Louisville.  James brought along some playlists of funk music and snacks for the road and our good friend Lee had decided to join us for this leg. Coincidentally Lee’s girlfriend Rebecca is going to be in Louisville this weekend so it made sense for him to join us. The three of us relaxed and joked around on the road and it wasn’t long before we were stopping to photograph windmills and “Hell Is Real” signs indicating we were definitely deep into the great state of Indiana.

We posed the question of where we should stop for lunch to our Twitter followers and  the awesome @JennFree suggested Scotty’s Brewhouse in Indianapolis. Her pitch was compelling and seeing as how I’m on a never-ending quest to try as many different beers as possible, any place with “Brewhouse” in the title immediately appeals to me. Luckily the guys were happy with it too.

When we arrived in Indianapolis we were struck by the beauty of the city. With it’s many beautiful monuments and circles, the downtown area is simply gorgeous. We wandered around a bit, checking out a smoke shop and a vintage styled Dunkin’ Donuts. We stopped off at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monument and were instantly taken aback by it’s beauty and size. The entry on Gowalla for it mentions it being comparable to anything in DC and I’d say it’s formidable by my memory. Sadly the structure is under restoration but that didn’t prevent us from enjoying it nonetheless.

Scotty’s was a very large sports bar / pub with outdoor seating and a fairly typical menu but a reasonably sized beer selection. Lee and I each tried a local brew and chat a bit before hitting the road again. Lee proposed that the city would be suitable for another visit sometime. I definitely agree. It didn’t hurt our impression though that we arrived there to our first real taste of summer weather (a refreshing change from chilly Chicago.)

From there, it was straight on through to Louisville without stopping. Upon our arrival we hit up local music shop EarX-tacy and then went for some BBQ at Mark’s Feed Store on the suggestion of the wonderful Ms. Amy Guth. The atmosphere was friendly, and the food was okay. The three of us were mostly happy to have arrived.

Tonight we are staying with a friend of Lee and Rebecca’s and tomorrow James and I will bid them adieu and head to Nashville hopefully in time for the East Nashville Beer Festival.

For now, we’re going to hit the local bar scene. Good night folks enjoy the photos!

Categories
Photography Travels

Into the great wide open.

Open on FlickrA week ago I had my final day at Apple Inc.

As much as I deeply love Apple it was one of those things where it was just time for me to move on. The constraints of working a retail job have been a challenge to my personal creative pursuits for some time so after six and a half year I’ve decided to move on (for now at least).

Today marks the beginning of something else entirely. Today I am leaving on what I hope to be the first of many road trips across the United States, during which my goal will be to write and publish a photo set daily from the road.

On this trip I will be accompanied by the always awesome and always funky fresh James Vest. The two of us will be exploring our way down to New Orleans and back over the course of 8 days.

We’ll be reaching out on Twitter to crowd-source the things we do in each city and others are welcome to meet up with us if they so choose.

I have to cut this short as I still have a few things to take care of before hitting the road. Expect another blog later today but in the meantime here is how you can follow us:

John
Twitter | Flickr | FourSquare | Gowalla

James
Twitter

Categories
Photography Technology

blue beanie day 2010

Show your support for web standards by wearing a blue beanie today and changing all your social networking avatars to a photo of you doing the same.

This is me attempting, poorly, to mimic the cover of Jeffrey Zeldman’s Designing With Web Standards 3rd Edition.

For more info check here.

Check out the Flickr group here

Categories
Chicago General Photography Theatre

This week in thankfulness

To start with I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

I’m visiting NY for the weekend to see my family and reflecting a bit right now I’m thankful for a lot. I’ve switched to part time at my retail job and I really have started to find a good work / life balance. I turned 29 on Saturday and had an awesome party with awesome friends. I can’t express enough how important and awesome my friends are. Thank you everyone. This has been a great year. What I am thankful for going forward though are exciting projects. If you know me, dear reader, I’m not happy unless I’m doing a million things at once, here is what is going on right now:

  1. I’ll be working with dynamic improv duo Batterymouth to promote their upcoming run Fridays at DeMaat Theatre at Second City from Jan 21st – Feb 25th. So far we have one publicity photo ready but there are more on the way. In my eyes Batterymouth is one of the best kept secrets of Chicago theatre and I’m very excited to be working with them.
  2. Speaking of comedy… Long Pork is still going strong. The Gentlemen are hard at work on their next show which is set to debut at the Chicago Sketchfest on January 13th 9:30 pm. Also they’ve been invited to preform in the Charleston Comedy Festival for which they are super excited and honored.
  3. Still doing the ChicagoNow thing. Yesterday I published a photo set of Wrigleyville during last Saturday’s Northwestern vs. Illinois Football game. You can check that out here. Tomorrow I’ll be publishing a holiday gift guide for photographers so check back then.

That’s all for today friends. I hope you all enjoy your turkey dinners!