I have to deliver a piece of art in Beverly on Saturday so I start biking south. I take Racine through where the stockyards used to be, then cut west to Damen and take it most of the way. It’s way too damn hot for October and it’s making me irritable/sunburned.
I get an Italian sub from Calabria Imports as a delivery fee from Libby for dropping off the collage, then decide, because I think it’s on the way, to swing by Old Fashioned Donuts. In my memory, it’s a straight shot east from Beverly; turns out it’s a mile and a half south at 112th & Michigan. I buy a dozen glazed and get back on the bike.
I assume there’s a way to the East Side from Roseland but hit one dead end after another. I keep having to dogleg north until 103rd, where there’s no bike lane and a bunch of road-ragers unwilling to let me be. I get to Buena Vista pouring sweat, not ready to smile or make nice with anyone. Lucky for me, in the four hours I’m there babysitting my show, no one comes in. I chat with John and treat him to a donut.
The next afternoon I take CTA south. That turns into an adventure because I misread the bus sign to say that the #30 doesn’t run Sundays. This necessitates getting back on the Red Line, taking the #95 bus east, then bumming a ride from John the last mile to the gallery. We watch busses drive by in both directions all afternoon.
Skyler and Alicia arrive a couple hours after me and I help unload musical gear from the car. Sam shows up a half hour later. John and I have brought up chairs from the basement and gamed out where the band should set up.
Then the seats are filled with friends and the music starts and for forty-five minutes there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. Getting Mute Duo to play surrounded by the work I made at Buena Vista has to be a peak life/career moment. I joke when introducing them to the audience that I only made all the crap on the walls so it could be a background for their music. But I’m kind of not joking.
The reason I didn’t bike down is that I have a bartending shift at Rainbo and would never make it back north by 8pm. I bum a ride with Sam. He punches in the address into the GPS and we circle around a bit until he asks me for directions. Eventually, between Google and me, we make it to the highway. We talk about how dependent everyone has become on the apps. Alicia won’t drive a block without her Waze. I can’t bear any of them. If I absolutely have to, I look up the directions, then write them out in my notebook.
But more often than not, I just blunder through. I know the city better than most. Not nearly as well as I’d like to think though.
I’ve been putting in time on Instagram, trying to figure out if it’s worthwhile. Most of what I do is vomiting up the archive of drawings and paintings in various groupings. The other day I posted a few cleaned-up images of Hardboiled Coffee bag drawings. That prompted a redesign of the entire section of my site devoted to that project—nearly two hundred images. Takes me all day to get it more or less the way I want. By midnight, I’m done but feel like I’ve just returned from the moon. A few days later I delete my Instagram.
My Buena Vista show is by appointment only until it comes down the 22nd. Drop me a line if you’d like to see it.