i had the opportunity to go to claudia's summer outing last night; funny enough, it was on the same boat that my company is planning it's outing - the mystic blue. it was pretty fun, the weather was perfect.....i wish i had brought my throw-away camera along, as it's still got a few shots that need to be used up before i can develop it.
after we got home, i turned on c-span to see if i could catch a repeat of barack's speech from the DNC. lucky for us, the repeat started just as we settled in.
all i can say is that i hope others were able to see this speech. the comments on his blog are just so overwhelmingly positive. reading through the comments, i see independents from all over this country donating to his fund, just because of the hope he provided in his keynote address.
i can honestly say that whether it's 8 years from now, or 4, or 12, barack obama will be back giving speeches at the DNC - hopefully for a much bigger piece of the pie!
other than that, just gearing up for my b-day weekend (taking the day off on friday for the actual day) and celebrating one year smoke free!!
went to see the grand opening of millennium park over the weekend. luckily, we went down on friday night to see the late-night (!!) dj set by derrick carter. if you know anything about chicago, this is a pretty monumental event - the city has always had a chip on it's shoulders regarding the electronic music scene. however, in the past few years, as club nights gained popularity & it became more of a twenty-something (and upwards) scene, instead of a underground youngster vibe, i think the city saw dollar signs and a way to connect to the "kids" my age.
the park is phenomenal! we went at the perfect time, as the rest of the weekend it was crazy crowded and you could barely walk around, let alone explore the different areas of the park. we were able to walk right up to "the bean" and stand underneath. the shape of the bean allows for quite a few people to mingle underneath & marvel at the way you look in infinity. i'm linking to some shots so y'all can check it out. i brought a small throw-away & took a few shots, but as i went at night, i didn't bother with my digi. next up is the reflecting pool and two towers....pretty rad. friday night, the dj was set up close to the fountains & people of all ages, and all races, were hanging out in the pool, dancing in the fountains & just running around having a great time. archie's shot, linked on gapersblock.com today, pretty much sums up the scene friday night.
the rest of the park is just a total trip - the gehry bandshell is mind-blowing when you get up to it & onto the great lawn. guys were playing frisbee, people were finishing up picnics packed for the orchestra, and others were just exploring like us....we cruised over by the new bridge, also designed by gehry. very wild, completely modern, but also a throwback at the same time. while looking over the street perched atop the bridge, our crew could hear different music coming from another area of the park - just then, i remembered that fareed haque was also playing friday night, up near the performing arts building. the auditorium was built underground, with the space above crafted in a way to support outdoor performances. he was playing on the outdoor terrace, with a large projection screen using the top of the performance hall as the screen - quite an ingenious use of space, in order to incorporate even more use of public space.
we saw the bike house, as we dubbed it, which is another piece added to chicago's reign of best big city for biking - free bike parking, and with a membership, you have access to showers, lockers, a cafe....all for the people to use for the big festivals, or just those that would like to ride to work & freshen up upon arrival.
all in all, my crew was thoroughly impressed & very glad we made it down. it was a bit of a toss up, but thankfully we posse-d up and took the train down to catch the last hour or so. the park does close at midnight, and really, it is quite exceptional at night. while the daytime is perfect to explore, there is just another vibe at night. the vibe inviting you to the city, inviting you to be a part of the party. if you live in the city, do yourself a favor and get down there; if you come to visit, you cannot miss this park. i was talking to a friend yesterday, and we were trying to think of another US city with a park like this. both central park & golden gate seem to be a closer match to grant park - the spralling city park with lots of green space. either way, it's a true treasure.....not to be missed.
thanks to our mayor, and the many private donors who stepped up to help get this park finished - it wouldn't have happenned without you! and, now we, the people, can enjoy it.
i danced on the hill.
and, now alpine is over.
unless a cosmic change of events occurs in the next two months, my run with the boys is over.
while it was great to see some old friends & get back together like the old days, the show itself was bittersweet. it wasn't the best by any stretch; and honestly, i would've been happier at either of the creek shows, or at the friday alpine gig.
saturday just seemed so final. emotions were running high; the crowd tapped into the energy, but at the same time, tapped into the sense of finality. and when the boys left the stage you could see the love they have for each other and the fans, and it just doesn't seem right to me.
there are many good reasons, mostly pertaining to the fact that phish is a touring band, not a studio band, but why can't they change? change for themselves, give the fans time to rest, and figure out how to proceed without the huge organization that developed around them.
i've read rumors of trey saying, "am i making a mistake?" YES, please, take 5 years off, and come back burning hotter than ever. you know the true fans will be here, patiently waiting.