Friday, October 9, 2009

More on Toronto...

Okay, after leaving Buffalo, and Erich, and Erich's most awesome dog Lilly we took off to Canada. The pix above are a blow-by-blow of a border-crossing, some wine-tasting at my favorite Niagara-On-The-Lake winery, Konzelman, to the drive to Toronto.

In Toronto, disguised as tourists, we snuck around Toronto looking for bicycles, record stores, and coffee shops. We found all of them.

For Bikes, Cyclemania

For Records, Hits and Misses

For Coffee shop, Moonbean

We also met a dude who is a community organizer from Detroit, and a really cool guy who has lived all over the world, was in the US Navy during the JFK era blockade of Cuba, and was overly concerned about my not wearing a jacket in some pretty nasty, rainy weather. Fucking blast. The beautiful blonde is my friend (from the past) Katya....

Toronto, Ontario, Night One.

Stewart Here:

Jorge and I touristed to the max on Queen Street West where I found absolutely no friendly internet service providers. I stumbled into a "Second Cup" by the lure of free internet and found that I was permitted 15 minutes of free internet before being punted into the world of anti-internet once more.

Following our stint as Toronto tourists we showed up on the door step of Sneaky Dee's whereby we set up shop and took power naps. An hour later fellow Philadelphians appeared in the form of the Loved Ones. Jorge works with Mike, their drummer, and from there on out it was business as usual. In the end we shot 12 Torontonians, and a lot of barred women.

Ended up at Mark Pesci's spot on King Street West for some sleep and contact with my friend Katya, who I have't seen in 10 years. Met up with Katya this morning before shooting off to Ottawa. I was stoked by this entire morning. The whole thing. The meet up, the coffee, the rain, and the drive to Ottawa.

It dawned on me that I am only one week into 7 weeks of the US tour. Holy Shit.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Toronto, Ontario; Day One. LOVE...

Stewart Here:

In Toronto today. The trip up was a blur mostly because I slept while Jorge drove. Traveling with Jorge is a lot of fun for he has never been to Canada, and so everything is new to him.

I have had a long, long, long love affair with this town. Got my first bike messenger gig here in 1990 before taking it on as an on-again-off-again career option in Philly. So, yeah, lots of memories here for me to revisit, though all my solid Toronto friends are long gone.

We are at Sneaky Dee's tonight shooting while the Loved Ones (a Philadelphia band) plays. Small world. Pix to come later. I am stoked...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Buffalo; Day Two; Day Off

Stewart here:

Today was an awesome day. We put Stefan on the plane home and Jorge and I took off for Niagara Falls, NY and Canada. For those of you who have been there the US side kinda sucks in many of the same ways that many US cities kinda suck; Walgreens, Rite Aids, and crappy sight-seeing ops. On the other side of the Niagara River is the Canadian version of the New Jersey coast; a piece of Atlantic City, a piece of Asbury Park, and a lot of Wildwood boardwalk (see pix above).

We began our day at the falls by walking across the bridge, up Clifton Hill, and to our breakfast destination; Golden Griddle, for our $6.99 all-you-can-eat breakfast.

After a fat-filled breakfast we took a little walk down to the falls to check them out. Now, remember, Jorge has never been to the falls. To a first-timer they are pretty mind blowing for about 20-minutes. 20-minutes later, as predicted, we were humping it back to the car and on our way back to Buffalo, to the house of our host for a few naps and some chill-out time. A quick trip through Buffalo and we were hooked. Beautiful place. Nice people. Good coffee. The end.

Toronto tomorrow. Sneaky Dee's. Be there.

Buffalo; Day One

From Stewart:

We left Syracuse early yesterday morning and fired across Rt. 90W on our way to Buffalo. Along the way Stefan began craving a reasonably tasteful cup of coffee, and so a Tim Horton's was tracked down and utilized.

A few hours later we found ourselves parking near Spiral Scratch Records and Rise Above Tattoo Shop, directly next door. At 4pm we fired off one "live" tattooing of Nora Brown getting her bars, and for the next three hours I shot another 7 folks; including Stefan getting his first tattoo.

A few hours after shooting we ended up at Erich, owner of Rise Above Tattoo's, house for another awesome night's sleep.

Stefan departed this morning for DC and then to a wedding in New Mexico, and was replaced temporarily by Jorge Brita, who will be my company for the entire Canadian leg of the tour, and includes Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal.

Before that, however, we have one day off to enjoy Buffalo and Niagara Falls. More on that later.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Syracuse, NY, part 2

From Stefan:
Syracuse surprised me in many ways. Miller High Life cans in camo design, people driving off to drag more people in for the shoot, one BARRED upstairs housemate who refused to partake at all, one of the interviewees selling me the National Record Day edition of the entire Jesus Lizard singles catalog. The perfect end of the night was a male nurse coming by around 12:45 AM after his shift to have his photo taken and interview done. 
Total: 7
Thanks to everyone who came by the shoot in the 'cuse and especially to our outstanding hosts, Ben and Sarah!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Syracuse, NY, part 1

We pulled up at our location (a private home this time) around 6 pm and got right to work with interviewing and photographing the first 2 folks, while "The Exorcist" played on DVD. After that, delicious pasta and fun conversation. 1 more person got "processed" after our meal, after that more chatting and "Seven" on DVD. Another person is supposedly showing up around midnight after getting off work. Stay tuned...
...oh, and there are more awesome kitty cats, of course.

What is it with the Upper Northwest???

From Stewart:
"Now on promoter #5,..."

From Stefan:
Just like in a Bermuda Triangle, things such as commitment, promise and support have been mysteriously disappearing from our planned stops in Olympia, WA, Spokane, WA, and, last but not least, Portland, OR.
Fortunately, the same can't be said about the rest of the country...
...well, besides St. Louis, MO. The contact there finally told us last night that he hadn't done any promoting the past 3 months.

Meanwhile, we're truckin' along. The East Coast has been great to us.

Up I-87

Todd caught his bus to Philly, the hard drives came back into our hands, and after a stop at the Houston St. Whole Foods we headed up to Albany, NY. 
Right around 1:00 AM we arrived at Joe Berben's place in Troy, where, much to our delight, we also got to meet another cat, "Milo".

Time for a late night snack and much needed sleep before the shoot in Syracuse.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Day off. Sort of.

2 more people came by Amy & Will's this morning to get interviewed and photographed while coffee and pancakes were materializing in the kitchen. 

Breakfast and good conversation with our generous hosts before the Hyundai Sonata will be heading to NYC. Todd is going to resume his search for his passport in Philadelphia, Stewart and I are going to reclaim the 2 external hard drives we had forgotten at the Double Down Saloon.

After that, back north.
Much appreciation to Mike & Jenn for putting us up in Bridgeport, CT. And to Ella for letting us into her 2-year-old world of playfulness.
Will & Amy in Brighton, MA, went above and beyond with support during our shoot, a home cooked pasta meal, excellent accommodations and many other services, such as wireless internet.

Tomorrow will be a day off! Down to NYC to drop off Todd and then back up to Albany, NY.