Everyone I’ve spoken to in Chicago agrees—this has been the worst winter in memory. It’s been bitterly cold and snowy. It’s almost March and I’ve only ridden my bike twice whereas last year I proudly rode all winter. Luckily I have a few business trips on the horizon that will get me away from these depressing temperatures.
In my travel roundup of 2012 I was hoping to travel a bit more internationally this year. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. It’s funny too, as I finally broke down and was approved for the Global Entry program. A big bonus of the program is qualifying for the TSA Pre-Check line when flying participating airlines.
I stuck with mainly United again this year—once you get status on an airline business travel becomes so much more enjoyable. Last year I made status based on miles (Australia put me over the edge), but this year I made it on segments (New Jersey and Detroit aren’t far, but each flight counts as a segment). Whereas I had two trips booked last year at this time, it’s looking like a Chicago January for me in 2014.
January: Brooklyn, New Jersey, Atlanta, New Jersey, New York
My first time in Brooklyn, and a view of the unfinished World Trade Center
Another first—Atlanta—where I rode the metro and visited the aquarium
After working in New Jersey I stay in Manhattan for a few days
There’s never much to show when working outside of Detroit so here’s a shot of my winter biking adventures
The short flight to Detroit does provide for great views of Chicago
March: New Jersey, Minnesota
Odd weather left the view of Manhattan fro Jersey City radically different day-to-day
Flying in early allows me to meet up with New York friends and draw at the FIT museum
Minnesota is still awfully cold in March, the bike up to Chicago’s annual Traveler’s Century Club meeting was much more pleasant
An entire month at home!
With May came weather good enough for long bike rides, helping out with the local Kidical Mass ride, and outlandish Mexican wrestling matches
I worked in the hotel inside Pittsburgh’s airport for days, but managed to get out and take a bus to the Warhol Museum before flying home
June: New Jersey, Minnesota
Every once in a while I’m upgraded to First Class
David was in town from Canada, so we managed a Sox game and a concert in Millennium Park
July: New Jersey, New York, New Jersey, Brooklyn
The Turrell exhibit at The Guggenheim was excellent, although incredibly crowded
This trip was a big museum stop for me—both The Guggenheim for Turrell, and The Met for the Punk Fashion exhibit
I saw Belle and Sebastian and Bjork in a rain storm at Pitchfork Music festival but managed to get hit by a car biking home
Working in New Jersey 8 times this year, I finally bought myself a MoMA membership. This visit I stayed a few days at the end to visit with a friend in Brooklyn
A friend and I took our bikes out to the suburbs to bike the beautiful Fox River Trail
Detroit again—this place and I don’t get along
Summertime in Chicago is grand—free concerts, block parties and garage sales
View of the city on a bike ride past the Planetarium
The annual seersucker bike ride to Jackson Park
September: Detroit, Denver
Sooner or later I knew I’d end up in a Detroit ER…
On the bright side, after the ER I headed to visit my sister in Denver for the Tour de Fat
October: New Hampshire, New Jersey, Austin
Chicago’s beautiful lakefront
New Hampshire was another first for me this year
I visited both MoMA and PS1 on this New York visit
My first time in Austin was nice, but wasn’t the amazing place everyone had talked up
The Guy Fawkes tweed ride is the best ride of the year, but the ride home from Bridgeport is brutal
Once in the hotel I didn’t leave, and I managed to kill my computer. Maybe South Beach next time around?
A snowstorm kept me delayed in dreary Detroit an extra day and a half
Today was a beautiful fall day in Chicago. It was cold but not yet so cold that you don’t want to leave the house. Since I’ve been traveling so much I haven’t had a chance to make it up to the forest preserves North of Chicago since the beginning of Spring. I love fall, but just wish it wasn’t followed by winter.
Growing up near Chicago has trained me for winter and I’m used to much more snow than we’ve been getting in recent years. What is it about this year’s winter that has everyone I know pleading for it to end? Despite the lack of snow it seems we’re well below average temperature for March. I don’t mind the cold, but I miss the sun.
I can deal with the cold temperatures, it’s the weeks without sunshine that get to me during the Chicago winter.
Despite my lack of updates, I managed to take quite a few trips this year. Only a few were non-work related but I try my best to spend a little time in each city I visit. Both St. Louis and Detroit trips were in and out in one day, but I always arrange extra time in New York and D.C.
Who knows what sort of travel is in store for me in 2013, but I hope for at least one international trip. I’m still toying with the idea of biking around Iceland but, for now, all I know is I’ll be visiting New York and Atlanta.
January: Washington D.C.
February: St. Louis
March: Virginia, Syracuse
April: NYC, Jersey City
May: NYC, Jersey City
July: Washington D.C., Detroit
September: Connecticut, Houston
November: Sydney, Pittsburgh
I may be a bit behind on my posting, Chicago’s Open Streets happened in September. Even so, I wanted to post about it because it was an interesting event. One and a half miles of Milwaukee Avenue was shut down for a good part of the day in Wicker Park. I was hoping it would simply be a clear open street for cyclists, but small areas were set up with activities like 4-square, fencing and areas for kids to play. As nice as it was to casually ride down Milwaukee without worrying about being doored or running over a jaywalker, I pointed out to friends that this happens every Sunday and holiday in Bogota and, although this is a start, I hope we can make streets safe and open more than once a year.
Chicago was beautiful yesterday, the trees full of yellow leaves glowing against a bright blue sky. Today is overcast and dreary, reminding me that the winter is coming. Summer in Chicago is so great that, even though I know it will end, it’s always hard to see go.
Less than a week to go until Meet, Plan, Go! I’ll be speaking in a breakout group at the Chicago event this time around, but there are tons of amazing and experienced travelers at all of the events.
So, if you’ve ever been jealous of my trips and wondered how you could possibly travel around-the-world or long-term get yourself to Austin, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, South Florida or Toronto next Tuesday, October 16th.
Our lovely host, Lisa Lubin, was on WGN news last week talking about the Chicago event (watch the video here). The event has historically sold out, so get your tickets now if you plan on going and don’t want to risk door tickets selling out. Still unconvinced? Here’s ten more reasons to attend this year.
Growing up, my birthdays were rarely big celebrations. My birthday hits so close to the beginning of the school year that the classroom cupcake policy was never in place and friends weren’t reconnected with from the long summer break. As an adult I haven’t done much to celebrate other than go to my mom’s house (this year we went out for Chinese), and have a day to myself. I often go for a long bike ride or draw at a museum. This year I decided to go to the circus.
Although I loved all the acts, especially anything hanging from the ceiling and the amazing pole dancer, my favorite act of the night was Luisina Rosas on the German Wheel. As a child my parents gave me stilts, a pogo stick, juggling set and a unicycle but I never thought to ask for German Wheel lessons.
Check out this demo reel from her website, around the 1:30 mark: