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Draplin Design Co., North America
March 31, 2004
Chicago = Big
Posted at 09:10 AM


I always forget how big Chicago is. It’s not until I’m within a couple miles, and that skyline is in front of me…that’s when I realize just how big the place is. It’s big, and mean. Take our word for it.

My Chicago weekend was really good. I flew in, with little incident and/or turbulence, to be greeted by PJ “Hoss” Chmiel and Naz. We dined over pizza and soft drinks, and caught up on all the things that ought to be common knowledge between us. We drove the city, in a large rented SUV, seeing this and seeing that. But a few streets escaped our wrath. Lower Wacker Drive at 140mph is one to be remembered. Take our word for it.

Chicago is big, and is populated by people, of many colors and many origins. One of these fine citizens goes by the name Gina Maria DiPonio (scroll down, first photo…). I met the gal at D’s wedding last summer and well, she had a lot to say and I found myself sprayin’ shit along the lines of, “DiPonio, the next time I get to Chicago, we’ll kick the town’s ass.” So this time around, I looked her up. We ran around the city, had some dinner, took in some local tunes. The girl is on the up and up, with her teaching, writing and community volunteerism. Very inspiring. She’s from Traverse City, thriving in the big city, and we wish her nothing but the best. Take our word for it.

People travel to Chicago. They fly in on big planes. Some for business, some for pleasure…some because it’s their home, some because they are looking for a change. A group of snowboard industry schmucks flew into the Windy City for a very bloated Boost Mobile big air/rap jam/logofest deal. Company men like Pat “the Eye” Bridges (never misses ANYTHING, believe us), Evan Rose (overpaid), Mark Michaylira (over-Gaussian Blur’d), Chief Nusenow (over-bro’d), Mark Sullivan (big ol’ Idaho russet potato in his ass) as well as minions of other puzzled team managers, “marketing” managers and scattered “professionals.” Many familiar faces from the snowboard world were in town. It felt like a tradeshow, only in ritzy-ass hotel on Lake Michigan. There were more people working at the event, than fucks actually attending it. Funny how that stuff works. “Can I see yer pass, please?” says the concerned official. “I’m on the list. Take my word for it.,”was our feisty reply.

“See that, motherfucker? (…as I’m pointing to Lake Michigan’s sweeping shores…) You ain’t in Laguna Beach now!” is what I had to say, many times over, to one Chief Nusenow. He took our word for it.

Special thanks to “Big” Jim Coudal for the tour, cold ones at the corner bar and advice. He’s got a hell of a thing going back there. Very inspiring. You fucks ought to be checking his site daily. Take our word for it.

Other notable activities over the weekend: The Art Institute, straight to the top of the Sear’s Tower pickled on Foster’s Oil Can ale, Deep Dish Pizza, cab rides to shithole diners, a driving tour of Gary, Indiana, watered down drinks in the hotel lobby, “easy-on-the-eyes” waitresses serving watered down drinks in the hotel lobby and a walking tour through the meat packing district. Some of those gutter juices can make a man rethink his carnivore activities. Take our word for it.

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Bonus deal: Turns out my flight outta Chicago was a little late that Sunday evening, due to some of the nastiest skies I’ve seen in a long time. Those clouds were Pantone 431, yo! Scary stuff. So I get up to Minneapolis good and late, missing flights and all. I sweet talk the little chickadee at the gate and she offers up a free ticket for the mishap. Real Good™. Geoff Schley, Free Range Picker and Target’d graphic designer cruised out to rescue me. I took his word for it.

Minneapolis was as dark and mean as ever. It was nice to be in town. I even managed to get some time in with Ryno, that surly bastard. I managed to get some time in “around town,” seeing old haunts and special places. Lots of good memories there…with school, with Melissa, with friends…I miss those days real bad. You got my word on that one.

It’s good to be back. Gonna buy a house. take our word for it.

There Are 4 Comments

Stop talking about the house and just buy one … Use all that freelance you’ve been boasting about.

Posted by: MM on 04/02/04 at 12:44 AM

Great report on your trip to Chicago! I’ll be going back there this year and I’m looking forward to it. I have never been up the Sears Tower so I’m going to do that this next time around. Along with a bunch of other touresty stuff! I have never been to the aquarium or the art museum. Seems like when I go there it’s with a group of people that are there to party and that venue gets old. One time I went with 16 people from work to The International Tool Show at the McCormick center. It was “off the hook!” We went for 4 days, hardly slept, and by the time we left I never wanted to see the likes of Chicago again. (That takes about a year to get over) The last time I went was with my friend Barry and the only good think I can say about that weekend was meeting PJ. Barry had this annoying 21 year old girl following him around and she ended up staying in the room with us. (Fucking Punky Brewser all over again!) When she wasn’t playing video games she was giggling. I just kept taking off on my own to do my own thing. I don’t know what he was thinking….but I do know what he was thinking with!

Good luck house hunting! Have a great weekend!

Posted by: Uncle Terry on 04/02/04 at 6:35 AM

It was good to finally meet you Aaron. Brief but good. Good conversation, good food and good night sight-seeing.

Posted by: Naz on 04/02/04 at 1:06 PM

I think Fosters is actually a lager and not an ale; but it gets you hammered nonetheless. Glad you had a good time in this fine city.

Posted by: Ben S on 04/05/04 at 10:13 AM