The San Francisco Marathon

I looked closer: all the jackets were adorned with a collection of Harley Davidson patches. Really? They hired a motorcycle gang for security duties? Are the race organizers not familiar with the fable of the Rolling Stones’ Altamont concert? The moral of the story: do not get a motorcycle gang to be responsible for security at your event. Perhaps the organizers calculated that everyone in attendance is a marathoner and, in case of trouble, can just run away?

Making no Little Plans, out of Legos

n the middle of July the Alumni Association at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) held their fifth annual Help Build a Lego City event. Some people were there because playing with Legos is fun. Others, who had obviously graduated from “playing” with Legos to “working” with them, were creating projects of such gravitas that light was having trouble escaping.

A Day at the Figment Art Festival in New York

The day began with a 10-minute ferry ride from Brooklyn Bridge Park with the skyline of lower Manhattan preening just off to the west. Once landed, we set out to get artified. My mild sense of apprehension (born of the assumption that free equals bad) quickly turned to relief – the quality of the performances and installations was surprisingly good. The selection committee had done an admirable job.

Category: USA

A Weekend at Illinois’ Cave-in-Rock State Park

There is an ad campaign, the posters for which are easy to find in Chicago, called Mile after Magnificent Mile, which is meant to entice visitors to venture beyond the friendly confines of the city into the Illinois hinterlands. The ads are, as far as I can tell, completely and unequivocally ignored. No one from […]

Category: USA

Ferry-Hopping on Lake Lucerne

Promisingly, halfway up the hotels and restaurants gave way to cows and chickens. I don’t want to say that we were now in the “real” Switzerland, because that would have meant we were sitting in the waiting room of a boutique investment banking firm in Zurich

The Little Rock Marathon

When a Race’s Logo Foreshadows its Own Cancellation The orange goo oozed down the windows, casting the cabin in an eerie Halloween glow. I had never been on a plane while it was being de-iced before. It was an airplane that was supposed to be on its way to Little Rock, Arkansas, where the next […]

Fine Art Zombies

An Evening in Chicago with the Living Dead Chicago is known for its vibrant amateur theater scene. Usually low budget and unvarnished, the stereotypical performance is clever and quirky (or at least aspires to be) and takes place in a subterranean space where maybe the heat works, and maybe it doesn’t.

Living the High-life on Colombia’s Pacific Coast

I hadn’t been this apprehensive about a trip for a long time. We were traveling to a place we had never been before and I was on edge. This foreboding foreign land for which we were bound was the four-star accommodation. For the first time, we were going upmarket.

A High Wire Act – Public Transit in Medellin

It cuts through the center of the city and the short hop from our stop north of the center to the downtown stations convincingly made the case for calling the train a tour bus on rolling stock. There were great views of several guidebook attractions: the Botero sculpture plaza, the Plaza of Light, the bustling pedestrian malls. I felt vindicated as they got more than 85¢ worth of oohs and ahhs from me and my wife.

The Quad Cities Marathon

A Weekend Spent Crossing the Mississippi The hail of bullets shredded the front tire of his motorcycle, sending him sliding into a pomegranate vendor. He staggered to his feet, looking around wildly for a sign of his would-be assassin. A flock of startled pigeons near the narrow entryway to a cobblestoned alley gave it away. […]