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Draplin Design Co., North America



Pittsburgh is a town of bridges. The old guy at the gas station offered this one up: “Over 700 of ‘em in city.” Wow. That’s a lot of bridges. I thought Portland had a lot, but shit, add a couple zeros and you get a Pittsburgh.

Slept in until 11am. (Went to bed, late, man.) Loaded Big S up and shot downtown to the Warhol Museum. I didn’t know Warhol was from Pittsburgh. Suddenly, those Heinz boxes I’d wondered about made sense.

Highlights of the museum included:
01. Andy’s handwritten replies to letters from friends, art buyers and hopeful followers.
02. His mom’s illustrations. Lots of cats. Great handwriting.
03. His “time vaults” of magazines, clippings and sketches. The story goes, he’d create a new box each month, amassing some 600 boxes of treasures, all of which are at the museum.
04. The old mid-to-late ’70s nightlife flyers from the New York Scene. I’m not into Television and Blondie and those New York Dolls what-so-ever, but did find myself fascinated with the Warhol connection.

Lacking was some evidence of his commercial art studies, from his early jobs illustrating in the ’50s. That’s my favorite Warhol stuff. He’d did these amazing line studies where the ink would bleed beautifully into porous paper. I thought Fotheringham was a god until I discovered Warhol’s work some 40 years earlier. Ha, that crazy Fotheringham.

097. “Warhol Museum, no. 01”
098. “Warhol Museum, no. 02”
099. “Warhol Museum, no. 03”
100. “Warhol Museum, no. 04”
101. “Warhol Museum, no. 05, Truman Capote.”
102. “Warhol Museum, no. 06”
103. “Warhol Museum, no. 07”

All that Warhol got me real hungry. I shot outta town some to the Oakland district. The home of Pitt College. Lots of good lookin’ college kids with loose-fittin’ jeans and running shoes and Abercrombie sweatshirts. Tons of them. On a recommendation from Chloe in Portland and her mysterious Pittsburgh friend, I found the Original Hot Dog Shop. Hot dogs, burgers, pizza and fries. Tons of fries. Lots of cheese dripping on shit too. I got a burger and some fries. I ordered a “small fry” and got a mountain of them on a tray. Yikes. I got through maybe an 1/8 of them, and still felt like I wasn’t gonna make it outta there alive. I felt the Original Hot Dog Shop’s “magic” all day long. Burp.

104. “The Original Hot Dog Shop.”
105. “Order something, already.”
106. “Thought about Gary at the site of this situation.”
107. “Tray of Tears.”

While driving around I thought about Mean Joe Green, Franco Harris, Terry Bradshaw and those mid ’70s Superbowl champs. Thought about proud Pennsylvanian pals Mark Michaylira, Matt Adelizzi and Tim Zimmerman. Thought about Don Caballero and their complex “math rock” shit. Noticed lots of “black and gold” paint themes, basically everywhere. Pittsburgh is a big football town.

108. “Broadway Outdoor Store.”
109. “New York City?”

Near death and afraid my gastric number was up, I got back on some interstate heading back into the city. Next stop was the Southside area. Carson Street was the goal. From the interstate, you could look down and across some river and see the tight, brick neighborhoods. Getting there was another story. I raced back and forth across the city trying to find the on ramps to any of the southside bridges. No dice. All over town I went, finally losing it and asking some street fuzz for directions.

110. “The Liberty Tunnel.”
111. “Very lost, in neighborhoods like this…”
112. “…on brick streets.”

A couple turns later and I was across some bridge and cruising down Carson Street. I passed up some god-awful shopping district, then, shit got better with some little bars, clubs and shops.

113. “Southside, man.”

Being sunday and a day of recreation and all, the city was crawling with biker dudes. Weekend warriors, right? Lots of dumb hats like these and ugly sunglasses. (It was cloudy out, too.) I hadn’t seen one of those American Choppers up close just yet. I got to see my first today. Man, what hunks of shit. Ugly, over-designed parts, terrible colors, flames, tributes and shit. Junk.

Carson Street goes for quite a distance, and of course, I had one of these biker meatdicks behind me the whole way, through each stoplight and slow spot. One of these guys on some kind of hog, who just had to rev that thing every other second or so. Carburated hog farts clogged the air and my brain, jarring onlookers and shoppers enjoying the quiet afternoon. No reason to do it. The thing was idling just fine. Real macho, dickball.

114. “Brrrrapppp, brrrrapppp, brrrrapppp!!!”

Rounded out the day north of town in some little hotel catching up on emails and stuff. Derek D flies in tomorrow morning, which is good cuz then I’ll have some backup. This solo shit can be tough.

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Sitting here, listening to some Chappelle show in the periphery. Just looked up to see the Jackass crew sitting by some pool, hosting some show or something. Knoxville was announcing something or other about some show, wearing a Dave England “Wet Dreamers” shirt. Funny how this shit works.

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Some more shots surfaced from Michaylira’s wedding: RJ’s Banff photostream.

Some winners: Here, here, here and sorta here. RJ, you take a good shot. Wow.

There Are 2 Comments

Tim Zimmerman’s mom and sister would love to take you to Fat Heads for supper, and then to Primanti Brothers for a brew or two.

Left our number on your voice mail!


Posted by: Penny Meholick on 09/05/06 at 8:13 AM

Warhol was one of about 7,000,000 illustrators working in that same style at the time. I think Fotheringham is emulating an era much more than ape’n Warhol.

Posted by: ryno on 09/06/06 at 8:41 PM
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