That’s like, maybe at this point, a million words about about absolutely nothing.
It seems to me that the best way to celebrate such a feat is to write a whole bunch more about the same thing.
The ‘few days away to get my head straight’ I referred to when last we were together was a simple trip to New York City, where I immersed myself in genuine New York style pizza and cultural significance, neither of which can be found in the Bay Area.
My primary motivation for going was to see a collection of art work by a very favorite artist of mine named Egon Schiele;
I was first introduced to this artist in a UC Berkeley library in 1988 by a friend named Adam. From that moment forward, the color of my own work was forever set in stone.
While holding the floor down in a bar one night I was attempting to describe his significance (to me personally) to someone, as I could tell that the idea of flying across the country to see a bunch of paintings and drawings didn’t exactly make sense to the person I was speaking with, and in probably what was a drunken slur I said something to the effect of “people travel across the world to see the Pope speak. This is my religion. This is what moves me, and what motivates me to try to be a better person.”
And then I most likely made a sweeping arm gesture and knocked a bunch of drinks over.
Upon entering the gallery, getting as close as I could to the paintings and drawings before my eyes lost the ability to focus wasn’t a thing anyone around me balked at.
However taking a photo in the entryway was the thing that sent the blue jacketed security into a tizzy;
It’s never a quality art-viewing experience if you haven’t been scolded by security at least once.
It truly was one of the most memorable and provoking experiences of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
Between art viewings and walking aimlessly though the Greatest City On Earth™, we had ample time to catch up with friends, drink the city out of its selection of boozes, and take in a few sights and sounds;
Upon waking up from our first night in town, I cracked my eyes open sensing someone else’s eyes upon me;
It was nice to have a couple loaners for a few days.
On day two I met up with a friend I went to college with, who immediately after graduation moved to New York and has built a respectable career for himself shooting photos of art work for museum and gallery catalogs, artist portfolios and the like. As we made our way to a cluster of the city’s galleries, he regaled us with stories about visiting Jeff Koons’ “art” factory, and what a nimrod Julian Schnabel is.
Being that he had personal relationships with a number of both New York’s most notable, and emerging artists, as well as the galleries who represent them, we breezed through space after space getting a bit more intimate a look at the work contained therein;
(Above I include a detail, just to give you an idea how many small dabs of paint went into that gigantic painting of Rudolf Stingel’s Boogyman.)
All in all, it was perfect.
That evening, I skedaddled to meet up for a bar night with an internet friend who I affectionately refer to as SHUTUPBRIANQUINN.
The long and the short of the evening is that it took me fifteen minutes to walk to the bar, and two hours to walk home.
I literally drank myself into a wormhole.
Spending two hours in a car, to spend a few hours in Philly, only to spend two hours driving back seemed reasonable, which describes just how hungover I was.
He had a speaking engagement there, and I had a hunch that there would be a bunch of dorks wandering around squeezing brake levers, which if you know anything about me, you know I can’t get enough of. Walking out of the apartment in which I was staying, I fell straight into this;
-indicating that it was going to be a good day.
Upon our arrival, I was not intrigued with bikes and bike parts, but rather, big buildings I’d never seen before, and an airplane/greenhouse;
But we had a job to do, and with the Bike Snob checking his watch every few minutes, I knew said job was due to happen soon, though not before stopping in to say hello to some folks.
Immediately we stopped in to see this guy;
-who said “I’m sorry I called you a wanker“, which opened up the flood gates of people who’ve called me a wanker. Having no idea which one in that long line he was, I accepted his apology (for everyone who has ever called me a wanker), and continued on with our conversation.
Suddenly I reflected on this post, and realized this wasn’t just any person who had called me a wanker, but THE person who called me a wanker.
But by the time all of the neurons in my brain had lined up to complete this connection, I was on the other side of the hall looking at other stuff, so I just chalked it up to another simi-victory for my grey matter.
Anyway, I wandered around the hall and saw some people and stuff;
Now, I don’t know how many bike show/expo/nerd fests you all have attended in your years, but for me, every one I go to I find at least one thing that give me pants bursting and non-gender specific bike wood. (Just so we’re clear, both men and women are capable of getting bike wood.)
Whatever. I’m a big fan of hand built cranks, and I’m a big fan of the old Syncros steel cranks, so when I saw these I was full of warm fuzzies.
But the time was upon us to adjourn downstairs for The Snob to do whatever it is that he does.
I wanted to post this photo and say, “in the history of his speaking engagements, he had a record breaking crowd“;
In truth however, at this point, the crush of humanity had adjourned, and he was simply signing books for a few stragglers.
As usual, his discussion delighted and entertained, and I quite enjoyed watching him work the crowd like a young Gallagher, minus the fruit and gigantic hammer.
After packing up his stuff, we were both very hungry, so we asked some locals if Philly had any sandwiches that possibly contained cheese and maybe steak, and if so, where we’d be able to find such a thing.
It turns out there is a corner in West Philly (I think it was west. All I could think about was the Fresh Prince song) where there are two of the ‘best’ cheesesteak eateries. We flipped a coin and went to the one that looked most like the set of a sitcom about a brash but lovable Italian American family;
We loaded up on food, I accidentally dripped cheesesteak juice all over my lap, and we beat feet back to NYC just in time for me to meet up with my hosts for a final meal and a guided tour through Bushwick;
After a final night of sleeping the slumber of someone who’d been running on all cylinders for three days (remember, on any given day I might go on a ride AND go to the post office), I met up with one final component of my stay in town, being the maker of things, and the teller of stories, Mr. Seth Rosko;
While eating breakfast together, we came to the conclusion that we know exactly 500,000 people in common, spanning nearly three decades, yet inexplicably, we’d never crossed paths.
At the meal’s conclusion, hands were slapped and hugs were given, and finally the time to grab a car to JFK had arrived.
It was a trip of many fond and hazily recalled experiences, and as I sit before you typing the final sentence of this 1000th post, I want to make reference not to me being as happy as a little Chinese boy in padded overalls, but rather that I am truly humbled by the years of support, and if I could thank each and everyone of you personally with a handshake and a bow of gratitude, I would do so.