Monday, August 30, 2010
It's been a hot & humid summer. It has also rained a lot. Not the nice soft summer rain. The flood causing tropical thunderstorm type of rain. Every time I think the trails have dried out enough to ride without causing damage to them, it rains for two straight days. No rain for past few days and the trails are mostly dry enough to ride. Off to Sweet Woods I go. It felt great to get out and ride through the woods.
This section is usually muddy, but now it is like a mini lake. The frogs jumped in as I rode past and I have never seen the Lilly pads in almost ten years of riding here.
This incredible bridge is definitely new this summer. I have seen a few people riding these trails, but I have no idea who builds these great bridges over the ravines. I would love to help some time and I thank them now.
It felt good to ride today but I have to get some sleep because tonight is the LATE Ride through Chicago.
The ride started earlier this year. Our group, Kimmie, Chrissy & Walter started about midnight.
Here's Walter throwing down some Canadian gang signs.
I had a good time riding with Walter, Kimmie & Chrissy. We got separated several times but always found each other along the way. Here's a fun loving volunteer directing traffic while playing songs that befit his outfit.
Kimme was all smiles back in Grant Park. The early start time meant that we were done before the sunrise. I hope they go back to the later start next year. Since we left the dogs alone all night long, we dropped off Kimmie and picked them up for an early morning trip to LakeView Beach. It was a beautiful summer morning for a swim.
Oslo went in for a swim. I jumped in for a Polish bath. Then we walked down the beach.
Everyone resting before we headed home where everyone took a nap.
I haven't been to the Taste of Chicago in over 15 years. Why?...You might ask. Because it sucks. The original concept was very cool. Local restaurants selling their specialties all in one place for everyone to sample. Great idea. But as everyone who pays attention around here knows, Mayor Daley is a corrupt piece of shit who thinks he does not stink. Trust me that smell at 130th Street on the Bishop Ford is not the garbage dump or the sewage treatment plant, it is the odor of Mayor Daley's city. That said, I went to the Taste of Chicago today. Guess what? It still sucks. Not because of the overcrowded streets, the lack of picnic tables, the long lines to buy tickets that must be used instead of cash at the booths or the fact that the restaurants do not sell drinks so you have to stand in another very long line for a drink. The reason it sucks is once Mayor Daley realized how profitable Taste of Chicago could be, he ruined it. Now only his friends or restaurants that he can extort money from are allowed to be at the Taste. Again not the main reason I hate the Taste of Chicago. The restaurants are only there for the money too. Several sell food at the Taste that they do not sell at the restaurant. The great American way...take a great idea and fuck it up in order to turn a bigger profit. I ate at several places and now I know never to visit those restaurants. The real reason I went to the Taste was to see a band that I love, The Heavy. These guys are great, they have an updated hard rocking 60's soul sound. They made the trip to Grant Park worth it for me.
I went with my friend & fellow music aficionado, Marko
The Heavy rocked the stage in the hot sun. Unlike the band before them, the crowd get getting bigger as they convinced people to stick around with their unique sound.
The singer, Kelvin Swaby, stuck around to greet the fans.
Walking through Grant Park after the show we found a hot clown which is extremely rare.
I also found a bunch of tables set up for chess matches but they started taking them down when we got closer. So to wrap this day up, will it be another fifteen years before I go to the Taste Of Chicago. Probably longer than that unless a cool band is scheduled to play.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
It's a big day in Coney Island. Today is the Mermaid Parade. This is Coney Island's version of a Mardi Gras Parade. I got to CI before 8am and headed to the handball courts. The Seaside Courts were packed. Mostly friendly games. But the non playing crowd was buzzing about a possible "A" game that might happen. So I took pictures while I waited for the big game.
Cisco & PeeWee battling early in the match.
New York City handball legend Joe Durso
PeeWee was all over the court
Cisco during a timeout
Tense moment near the end of the match
PeeWee with a victory smile. I got chastised while taking PeeWee's picture by someone in the crowd. He said the legend is over there why are you taking PeeWee's picture? I didn't say it out loud, but I was thinking because PeeWee is the reason they won.
Joe Durso cooling off after a hard fought win.
I was running late for the parade. I had to run from W 5th St. to W 21st St. to get my press pass for the Mermaid Parade staging area. I grabbed a Nathan's hot dog on the way. My God I love Coney Island.
I had to stop and get a t-shirt for the parade. The streets were already packed with parade participants and onlookers. I'll try my best to describe the day with pictures, lots of pictures and words.
Only in Coney Island would someone dressed like this not stand out in the crowd. It's barely past 11am and the party has started. One thing I learned today. Everybody here is a star, at least for a day. I really enjoyed that aspect of the parade. There are almost as many photographers walking around as there are people in the parade. I took over 50 pictures just walking to the staging area on 21st Street.
There are no dressing rooms...so a mirror leaning on a tree along Surf Ave gets the job done.
Some of the beautiful people in the Mermaid Parade. This last one is one of my favorite pictures.