Busy summertime

I’m presenting “Driving for Dollars” (downloads will be reposted in July) twice this week:
1. Greening the Heartland–Palmer House, Wednesday, 9am
2. Transport Chicago–IIT HUB, Friday, 11am

Next week, I’m off to Pasadena for CNU XIII, then taking some time after that off. So, I’ll be posting sporadically at best through, oh, maybe mid-June (before going on vacation again in July).

Palatial photo dump


Early spring in Chicago brings with it shifting winds that seem to wipe clean the air above the city. The salt dust, fuel-oil soot, marine fog, and low-angle sunlight that conspire to create the gray (or, at night, orange) pallor of winter all drop away. Warmer sunlight and battling lake and prairie winds make for some crisp, severe-clear days that are perfect for photos — before the humidity and smog of summer drop their veil of haze. That’s all to say: I’ve uploaded quite a few springtime-around-town photos to Flickr — from the leviathan Industrial Gothic lofts of the Central Manufacturing District to elegant Graceland Cemetery, with forsythias and willows in their pale beauty.

I’ve also uploaded a few photos from months past, including shots from Philadelphia (e.g., 30th St. Station, as above) and Boston and a few events here (like the Anti-Auto Show).

back from the beach

run, child

Originally uploaded by paytonc.

Taken on Miami Beach at the 10th Street lifeguard station, probably around 6pm on 15 January. I’ve also started a flickr feed in the left navbar, showcasing six recent photos uploaded to flickr. It’s a neat service–I’ll probably keep assembling the urban photos into galleries, but will use flickr for snapshots since it’s much easier. (Now, if only there were a quicker way to web-optimize photos or adjust perspective…) Hopefully, this will result in much more frequent photo updates.

Also, Flickr allows comments, which I’ve had to remove here due to a flood of comment spam — even with filters, the spammers are always one step ahead. I’m investigating moving over to WordPress for the blogging software, which would hopefully allow me to open comments back up. (Got the first ping spam attack last week — harumph.)

Leaving the peninsula

I’m on a train now, waiting at the station in front of Jacksonville after a day spent traveling up the length of Florida’s Atlantic coast.

A curious juxtaposition from yesterday: two neighboring bars on Washington Street in South Miami Beach are called Deep and Bash. Guess which one is the gay bar? Hint: we queers are evidently not quite campy enough for this final frontier of language reclamation.

Note for future research: it would be interesting to see Terraserver aerials of a bunch of what appear (from the atlas) to be questionable Florida “land speculation scams”:http://www.spikowski.com/landscam.htm. Among them: “Rotonda”:http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=26.887778,-82.271389&spn=0.3,0.3&t=k, “Golden Gate Estates”:http://www.defenders.org/releases/pr1997/pr617972.html, “Port Charlotte”:http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&om=1&z=15&ll=27.05,-82.105831&spn=0.013989,0.02974&t=k, Port La Belle, Lehigh Acres, “Cape Coral”:http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Cape+Coral,+FL&ie=UTF8&z=15&ll=26.684084,-81.972041&spn=0.014034,0.0421&t=k&om=1, Indian Lake Estates, and Clewiston. (Clewiston had the advantage of being platted by John Nolen; the others seem to date from the early 20th century land grabs: grids platted far into the swamp.)

Joel noted that I can now add Florida A1A (the Atlantic coast road) to the list of notable highways I’ve seen from both ends.

That list now includes all of the key transcontinentals:
US Route 66, Chicago & Santa Monica
Interstate 5, San Ysidro, Calif. & Blaine, Wash.
Interstate 10, Santa Monica & Jacksonville
Interstate 40, Barstow, Calif. & Wilmington, N.C.
Interstate 80, San Francisco & New York City
Interstate 90, Seattle & Boston

California Highway 1: traveled in 13 of 14 counties, seen southern terminus
Interstate 55: well, at least I plan to eventually take the train down to New Orleans
Interstate 95: traveled in all 15 states, seen southern terminus

However, since both CA 1 and I-95 end in the wilderness of the north, I may never be able to say I’ve properly traversed either. Considering I’ve still never learned to drive, that’s still not a bad record overall.

traveling again

12-22 January. Schedule includes Orlando, Miami, Raleigh, and Washington. Looking forward to: sun, hearing Vincent Scully, taking Amtrak up the East Coast (Amtrak’s the closest to a road trip that I get), and, of course, celebrating the Re-Coronation with Eastern Establishment Billionaires.

and some schadenfreude: not that I despise the cold, but this is the forecast for Chicago while I’m in Florida:


It appears that at least two or three entries from the past few days have been deleted in the course of a site rebuild. Oh well. I’ll work on reconstructing them if I’m ever reminded of their topics again.

away for a few days

I’ll be away from 11-15 November, mostly due to a meeting in LA and related schedule squeeze.

Schedule-related resolution: if the newspapers piled up before or in the immediate aftermath of Election Day haven’t gone anywhere by December, they’re gone. And as much as I’ve discovered that the FT does a great, Economist-like job of tidily pre-digesting global news, the pink snowdrift now accumulating under my desk is a great reminder of why I don’t actually subscribe to newspapers.

E-subscription to The New Republic is a much nicer compromise than I thought; somehow, skipping past all those marginally interesting articles doesn’t seem nearly as great a loss when they’re all still archived online. Plus, it’s cheaper — unlike, say, an e-sub to the New York Review of Books, which I’ve had a trial subscription to as of late. Sure, I feel endlessly erudite skimming it on the train, but the content drifts too far into literary-land (e.g., reviews of poetry anthologies) for my coarse, nonfiction-only, news-junkie tastes. Plus, my transit vanity goes too far — only I care about whether other people’s newspapers are sufficiently highbrow.


The week before the election is always a weird time; I might finish some older posts, but don’t expect much until mid-next week. Besides, I’m spending the weekend saving the world from Bush… er, doing GOTV in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, population 42,203. If there’s anything worth photographing besides the inevitable cross-stitched “I love my assault rifle, the troops, and BushCheney” signs, I’ll post the pictures later.

Update from FdL: one of my canvassing partners is Deirdre McCloskey’s neighbor. The campaign’s Washington-assigned organizer went to school with a guy I dated. It’s a small world even outside this small city.

Recent photos

Some photos from the past few weeks — haven’t had time to organize them into albums:

95th at Calumet River, 21 August

106th west of Calumet River, 21 August

111th & Cottage Grove, 21 August

7th Avenue at maybe 25th, NYC, 27 August

Plano, Ill., 17 September