Travelogue


On Thursday, 7/21/05, A group of 5 of us will be drawing at Hasbro Childrens Hospital in Providence, as something of a Homecoming.

On Friday, 7/22/05, I will be heading to Orlando, FL (by plane) to visit my parents, help them with their move and see my mother's side of the family.

I will likely be updating the website little over the course of the next two weeks, but plans are in the works for this webspace. Essentially, it will become a redesigned digital showcase for the tour, with more photos, narrative, and navigation. This redesign will be a project for August of '05, So check back early fall.

If you would like an e-mail when the new website goes up, please e-mail me with the Subject Line "WSIK: Digital Exhibit"

Thank you to everyone who followed this adventure online and everyone who helped.

Monday, July 18th, 2005

            On the third day of our Tour, upon arriving in Hartford, CT, either Andrew or I had wondered out loud, “can this be ridden in a day?”  At that point, both of leaned towards the answer, “no”.

            So it was from South Glastonbury, a bit southwest of Hartford, that we departed with the goal of reaching home, Providence, RI, at about 7:30 in the morning, after sleeping under an absolutely majestic and mysteriously deep, layered canopy of treetops.

            We’ve certainly grown stronger over the last 7 weeks, as we ultimately arrived into Providence at about 6 p.m. after a kind-weathered solid day of cycling. We were booking it all day, but the light drizzle into the early noon made it a joy, and the idea of being Home in Providence allowed us to push our muscles that extra lil’ bit.

            It’s great to be home. My reception was simple, low-key, and exactly what I would have hoped for. I got to spend time and enjoy dinner with Mel, one of my housemates, and the spent the evening biking around this wonderful little city, and I got to see Mike, Adriana, Greta and James.

            The next couple of days are going to be fun here in Providence. We’ve got some tour-related projects to entertain ourselves with, before we go to the Hospital on Thursday to draw 5 deep. PROVIDENCE!

Sunday, July 17th, 2005

            We began this day just south of South Glastonbury, CT. Our schedule for the day was not complicated. If it were written down, it would have looked like this

            Approx. 10:00 – Arrive at Shizuka’s Home for Breakfast.

Thankfully, with some navigational pointers from the Shizuka herself, we arrived right on time and got to spend the next while hanging out with Skizuka and her mom.

            So to fill ya’ll in. Shizuka was a stellar student of Mike’s several summers ago. She has made efforts to stay a part of our lives in Providence, and we’ve exchanged helping hands on various projects. She is super sweet, strange (a word I use as high compliment) and sincere. This is all to not even mention her work, which just happens to be full of a little word that begins with V and ends with ision.

            RISD will become her home in less than a month, and we are excited for her to join us in Providence, RI.

            Shizuka had written out a sheet full of thoughtful questions to ask us, and ask us questions she did. It was a delight, and good preparation for the presentations we will be putting on. Somewhere towards the end of the questions, we were asked if we could do a Tape Art mural in her room; the room she will soon be moving out of. Yes is the answer we gave, and we walked the talk’s walk.

            We were fed wonderful exotic fruits and great pesto, much leafy greens and extremely warm energies. Raise your hand if you like food prepared with the care.

            We ended up leaving pretty late on in the day, after having some freshly homemade donuts, and with a plan to go not far. After an unexpected, but good, Segway into the cozy home of a Richard and Joan, a kind couple who spend summertime cycle-touring Europe, and through sharing manage to inspire young folks like Andrew and myself. We departed before not long, and found a wonderful camping spot not far from there.

Friday, July 15, 2005

            Earthplace ruled. Plain and simple.

            These young ones have been learning a lot about weather, so it comes as no surprise that they chose to adorn their walls with storms galore, and rainbows as well.

            A torrent of interesting ideas, even more interesting techniques, and some super solid tag team actions were released amidst the woods and woodland creatures in Westport, Connecticut. Andrew and I were lucky to work alongside four great councilors to focus the ill (ill is slang for really good) energy of 32 bright-eyed campers. Can I get a witness?


(Click Above to Enter the Earthplace Photo Album)

            We biked a couple hours to Milford, and are camping out at a cheap motel (with free wireless!) so that tonight, right after I write this, we can hike out to a Harry Potter Book release party. This is how I plan on spending the midnight of my 21’st birthday. I’m psyched.

            I just want to say thank you, again, to the tons of folks that have made this tour work so well.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

            Today was super extreme. Here is the story of why, abridged.

We began riding north along the Hudson, expecting to take the Tappan-Zee Bridge (TPZB), as recommended by a well-intentioned fellow in a not-so-local bike shop. Crossing the TPZB on our bikes would have gotten us arrested. Which might have ended up getting us across quite a bit quicker than heading north along 9w for about 15 more miles to the Bear Mountain Bridge, which we crossed, and then waiting a few minutes our route to re-open (the road, it had been closed).

            It was about 3:15 and we had ridden a good ways. “A good ways” is relative. For us, in our context, it was a solid 50 or so miles. And that was about the halfway point

            We continued with the non-stop and arrived into Westport, CT, under the dusk sky, at around 8. Andrew estimates the days ride at just over 80 miles, with a number of rough climbs under a hot hot sun.

            Tomorrow we are biking not far and working with a group of 33 at Natureplace’s summer camp for kids.

            We are excited and tired. Real tired.

Last little exciting informational bit.

            I found in my inbox this evening clearance for our photographs at Kidspeace in Orefield, CT. This thumbnail represents about 1/3 of the Gallery. Click on it for the whole show. Bigger pictures and stuff, too.

            So enjoy.

           

Wednesday, July 13th, 2005

            Andrew knew Justin from their days at the Rhode Island School of Design, and it was at his family’s home in New Jersey, not super far from the border of Pennsylvania, where Andrew and I descended and pitched camp in some comfy beds, in a comfy house, after grilling up a whole boatload of veggies, which were the tasteful equivalent to comfy, for dinner.

            So it is no coincidence that we woke up in this same house, cooked up some oatmeal, and said our farewells. Justin’s mother had been super inviting and it was much appreciated. We hit the road around 8 and change this morning and rode till a quarter after 6.

  • I am toast.
  • Today was voted unanimously to be the worst riding day of the tour.
  • We are almost at route 9w, heading north along the NJ side of the Hudson.
  • Dinner is always good. Eggplant has great potential to be good. Tonight it was.
  • Watching the Tour de France last night was ultra-inspiring and had me riding hard through some hard rain and poorly paved, well-trafficked roads.
I’m ready to call it an evening. We are racing towards Westport, CT, to hopefully conduct a workshop tomorrow evening with the 4th –6th grader’s attending a sleepover at Earthfirst.

 

Monday, July 11th, 2005

            Working with the fine folks at Children’s hospital of Philadelphia was really rad. The group started off small, but drawings got done with the slow and steady, and with the help of a great and involved staff, in not much time these glass hallways were plastered with some temporary Tape Art drawings.

            To be honest, Im spent. These photographs are going to tell the story much better than I right now.

I spent a good chunk of my time working with a fellow who’s name I am not permitted to disclose. His effort was inspiring to an awesome degree, and the race-track he created is great art. Period. It is great because it is giving, exploratory, and reflective. I feel honored to have worked with him, and charged by the work he made.

Tomorrow we ride out, and I will bid farewell to some new Friends. I want to thank Captains Kim and Roman for their hospitality. Philly has been beautiful and it’s residents kind and welcoming.

Sunday, July 10th, 2005

            The first night in this city of brotherly love I met several friends of Roman’s who reside at a home known by the name “Danger Danger.

            Danger Danger’s name is derived from a warning audio clip that plays when a certain staircase is accessed. Long story short. We were asked to work in this staircase, with the help of some of the home’s residents and their friends. It was a fun, random way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Don't believe we drew in the Danger Danger Stairwell? Pictures prove it.

Friday, July 8th, 2005

            The pitter patters of rain were a welcome way to wake this morning. At about 7 I set out on foot to spend some time walking around Philly. This was achieved insofar as my feet brought me around a bit of west Philly, to a bookshop where I read about some history of this city, and then more walking, through UPenn and then down towards the museums, library, and so on. Andrew hopes to visit the Mutter Museum, which houses old and apparently mind-blowing medical instrumentation.

            Its been a cold rainy day, and I am hoping that the hot chocolate I just drank will seep through my bones and warm me up a bit, as I head back into the outside.

            I’ve been making my computer desktops along the way, and I’m going to post a collection of them online for you to download. Here we go!

File Size: 1.7 Megabytes of Hi-Qual Imagery!

Thursday, July 7th, 2005

            Roman and Kim are two old friends of Andrews, and this evening, at about 6 o’clock, we arrived at and were welcomed into their home. I feel comfortable with them both and it is exciting to meet more figures from Andrew’s previous life times. We had a less than wonderful day biking, and some really crummy luck with poorly patched tubes, but ultimately we caught some kind winds and cruised on into this beautiful city.

            I think the highlight of my day, to be honest, was bathing in Roman and Kim’s bathtub. I think I will scan a drawing I made of the experience this evening, but to quickly describe how it functions:

            The water jets out from in-between the hot and cold nozzles, so you get this nice thick stream that pours out just high enough so when you kneel it washes over your head and back. It is a seemingly ritualistic and sort of holy bathing experience. I love bathing, and it is exciting to explore new processes. I should note that this is not a permanent fixture in their home, but rather the result of some small malfunction, however, if those inspiring office-posters have taught me anything, it would be “attitude is everything”.

            Tomorrow I plan on waking up bright and early and going for a bike ride around Philly. I want to see this old city come alive.

            It’s strange, and great, thinking about making our way back to Providence.

            But I am thankful that we’ve got spaces to visit and places to draw at before our return arrives.

            Also, late this afternoon we found out that we won a RISCA grant for the presentation of this project in Providence. More specifically, a Tape Art and What Shape is Kindness Presentation Library tour in Rhode Island, spanning the next six months. Kind of nutty, right?

            I’m going to bed. I hope lots of great days are being had out there, beyond this digital realm.

Wednesday, July 6th, 2005

            Today was an amazing day! This tour has been a parade of excellent time, but this day stands out. It is tough to pinpoint why, exactly, but it has something to do with the following elements.

  • I love riding my bike, more than ever.
  • Camping is still so mentally calming; just being in my hammock makes me warm inside.
  • We finally cemented our plans with Philly Children’s Hospital. We’ve got a Tape Art workshop scheduled for next Monday.
    • Tape Art is the best.
  • Simple, healthy meals make me feel solid.
  • Who you are touring with can make a world of difference. I’m glad to be touring with Andrew; he has been 10034204.44% critical to this tour being such a success. We both have our moments, and the other person is there to help put it in perspective. It’s good and it works.

            Tomorrow we will rise and find it to be our fifth week aboard the What Shape is Kindness? Tape Art bike tour. It is perhaps premature to be reflecting already but boy has it been sweet.

            Lastly. As Andrew headed inside a grocery store today to pick up some bread and jellys, A woman saw an opportunity to share and seized it like chipmunks do the chance to play. She talked to me for a while, about her days riding a bike in Buenos Ares, moving with her Husband, her kids and their adventures, the Peace Corp, and so on. Admittedly, it was a lot of ramble, but it was good, and at the end of this ramblely-talk she said “Good-luck young-ones, and ride safe” and then wheeled away. It seems a bit silly a story, but as she spoke there was this great sense I received that she had been expecting us and we had arrived just as unknowingly scheduled.

Touring is great.

 

Tuesday, July 5th, 2005

            Strange day. Said farewell to Andrew’s folks this morning and rode out of DC, past the capital and memorial park, a super cool way to begin a day riding. We passed on Burger King’s advertised “burgers for breakfast” A joke, no longer a dream, and then headed on towards the Bay Bridge out of Annapolis. We dialed up a taxi van and broke our gear down, then headed on across the bridge. This was strange, and to be honest, I didn’t really enjoy it, but it seemed worth trying anyways. When I tour again, I think I’ll work to avoid this sort of scenario.

            So we made it out to a beautiful little island.

Spent a bit riding in some light rain, and as the rain stopped joshing around and got serious, we ducked under some giant highway supports, brewed up some tea, ate rice cakes, wrote letters, read, and took a nap, while around us the winds they did roar like a super-psyched little kid imitating a dinosaur, unleashing an appropriate torrent of spit-rain. Or. It poured. Bigtime.

            This was our first true nap, and we were shocked to wake and find the clock reading 5:30. We hit the road, and the rains they continued.

            Andrew informed me that his father had offered to put us up a night wherever, so that card got played quick.

            Early start tomorrow morning. Time feels funny. I look forward every evening to riding my bike again the next day.

            The theme for our communication with Philly Children’s Hospital has been “chaos at best”. Today their phones were off. Tomorrow we try again. Wednesday we might just show up on their doorstep.

            Andrew has been great as map-finder and route-planner. Baum feels like it was a long time ago. I’m hopeful for bike riding, Tape Arting, and Philly.

CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST TOMORROW!

Monday, July 4, 2005

            Well. This has been great. A couple days in Bethesda with some fine folks, a cozy and architecturally interesting home, great food, a tour of the D.C. Mall area and visits to the the new Smithsonian Native American Museum, the Udvar-Hazy National Air and Space Museum, and the National Textile Museum (which was ultra-rad and inspirational)

            Tomorrow we head out towards Philly, where Andrew has close ties with old friends who work with various youth organizations in the city, so with some certainty we believe a Tape Art project can get locked down for early next week. However, with fingers crossed I hope to confirm things quickly with Philly Children’s Hospital so that we might teach and draw there. Who knows? Soon enough we shall.

            Tonight, however, we will be heading towards D.C. again to catch the big'ol'fireworks show at the National Mall. I am psyched.

            Today’s random fact #1. Andrew measured out our ride on Saturday. It totaled just a hair under 90 miles, and as a result we’ve both grown new muscles. Tomorrow morning I will be weighing our loaded trailers.

            Random fact number #2. My sister is engaged. Congrats to her and Atom!

Saturday, July 2nd, 2005

            Holy Smokes! We made it from Allentown to Andrew's old Home right outside Washington D.C. in 2 and a half days. 2 and a half long days of the slow and steady. With confidence and about 11 hours of cycling today we made the distance. There are photographs of friendly folks and interesting architecture and so on. However. It's past 10:30 and i'm toast. Andrews folks are super welcoming. This context shift (and just about everything else) is cool. I don't think a day has gone by without a high-five between us two (Andrew and I) , and this awesome experiment called touring has continued to treat us super duper well.

Update and Apology (Saturday July 2nd)
Regarding Content Below.

As planned, I had stopped at the Allentown Library to upload photographs and videos. However, in an awesomely unplanned fashion, our webserver was being less than friendly. In short, I had an awful and ultimately unsuccessful time attempting to get the documentation online. With some luck, the photographs below should now function.

Thursday, June 30th, 2005

            Tape Art and its Tear Down at the Baum School of Art

Click here for The Big Book of Baum

Video of the Tape Art Tear Down. (11+ megs. or. Big.) Avi.

Some photos are redundant. I've not been selective. I wanted to post these today before we begin biking again, for everyone to enjoy.

Wednesday, June 29th, 2005

            Woke up, quick cold breakfast, and off to Baum. I had a great day drawing a sizeable flock of birds while Andrew entertained himself with an ever-increasing variety of shrubbery and grass. We’re pretty familiar at this point with the kids and their families, and it’s fun for them to come out and see what new things have appeared.

            Also extremely interesting were drawings done by students at the school of the mural we’ve been making. Which is to say, the REMIX. They were stellar. So today, I include a small sample here.

All of these photographs are thumbnails. Click on them to see the larger version. This is true of every photo in the travelogue.

            Tonight Andrew and I went to our first (and potentially, last) movie on tour. We received an unprompted donation giving us the unbudgeted freedom to pursue entertainment. This evening team us caught the G bus into Bethlehem to catch whatever was showing
           War of the Worlds is a bad movie. If I weren’t so tired I could elaborate upon this with a lot of really solid reason and valid pointery. However, processing photographs is a higher priority so I will leave my review of Spielberg’s latest (but not greatest) at that.
            Today was a day of highs and lows. Both being good to experience. I’m happy to have someone to share these moments with, and I’m thankful for all the wonderful people who are making our days extremely bright, regardless of the weather.

            I have so much to be thankful for.

Tuesday, June 28th, 2005

Also. We had three solid photographs front and center of today's local section of the Morning Call, the Lehigh Valley newspaper. This will be scanned. I have not been online, but perhaps it is somewhere in the digital realm.

It was a really sunny, hot day. Solid drawing day. I am tired and will be taking a shower and going to bed.

I hope you all had a good day.

Monday, June 27th, 2005

This morning we focused on growing our own fields of flowing grasses

A number of classes came out to check out the Tape Art and talk to a few of its practitioners.

After managing to continue our taping under a light steady rain for quite some time, the light turned heavy and we moved under a little ledge and began work on a subterranean exploration.

More Pictures Tomorrow

Saturday, June 25th, 2005

            I was greeted this morning by a beautiful blue sky and a sun that quickly dried up all the dew from the evening we’d just gone through, after a wonderful sleep that was interrupted only by the boom of the festival’s fireworks.  We are not far from our next Tape Art project, and tomorrow we will be riding back into Allentown via some different asphalt veins, so today we enjoyed our beautiful camping spot on top this hay-covered hill. I went for a ride alone this morning, enjoying the hills around here without the added weight of my trailer, and after spending a good portion of my early afternoon reading a wonderful book Andrew picked up out of a dumpster for me (One Hundred Years of Solitude) I went for a brief hike down to the county fair that has been the source of distant hoots and hollers for the last two days.

            I left our campsite with a small back of our trash, and along the way collected the litter along an otherwise beautiful small road. Upon my arrival at the county fair, an attendant allowed both my self and my litter-packed arms in without charging, recognizing with his authority the job that I had done. The litter found its proper home.

32 different chocolate cakes and about as many families were all patiently waiting while three professionally trained judges slowly explored the locally baked riches with small sips of water to clear their pallets amidst part five of the county bake off. For earlier in the week Pies of all sorts were going head to head to determine which pies would continue on to the big state fair.

            Having never been witness to such a competition I had some questions and directed them towards the woman who seemed to be in charge. We had a great conversation about cakes, cake contests, stories about past competitions and their winners. Then I was told perhaps the most exciting morsel of information.

            So it was not before my stomach became the intermingling cavern for approximately 30 different kinds of chocolate cake. That was my dinner, and it was good.  

           With a still-stuffed tummy I will sleep under this sky, amidst this great tall grass, and look forward to the morrow. We don’t know what we will be drawing come Monday, but I do believe these beautiful flowing fields of hay which have temporarily become our home might just find their way into our work, as well.

Friday, June 24th, 2005

            Totally awesome day. This morning I woke at 6, ate a huge breakfast while enjoying a couple newspapers, packed up my stuff and checked out of our room at 8, headed for Kidspeace. Arrived at Kidspeace right on time, about an hour later, Met our coordinator there, Renee, who was excellent. We freshened up, took a look at the space, and soon thereafter met the people we’d spend our morning drawing with. A lot of energy was put into the walls, and some really great efforts were made making sense of the spaces in-between drawings, working to unite the individual efforts and really pull out the theme, which had something to do with drinking coffee, admiring cats, and enjoying the splendors of nature.

            After meeting wonderful ladies who prepare food for the staff, residents and patients and getting ourselves up with some salad we awaited the arrival of the younger group we would work with in the noontime. A slightly smaller group, both in size and number, but awesome efforts yet again. Inspired by the work already present in the space, they continued on with the naturalistic efforts, drawing solid trees, an expansive boa constrictor, straight-up super exciting lines, a grassy expanse, and on.

       Photographs are going to await clearance, so please patience with that.

       Another truly great day, I’m psyched to keep on.

Tonight we are camped out amongst beautiful rolling hills. A county fair is within sight, and with confidence we know this fair shall wake us tonight, at 11pm, to the tune of boom, with a show of fire in the air.

            This weekend, who knows what? And then on Monday we begin our three-day draw at the Baum.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Woke up and read. Biked back out of Allentown with a plan for that place. Checked up with Kidspeace, Checked in with our Hotel, clean showered and shaved up. Andrew did laundry, Website update. Photo processing. Pizza for dinner, prep for tomorrow, more reading, budget spreadsheet, brush teeth and goodnight.

I am super-amped to get back to Tape Art, and get back to working with people. Tomorrow bright and early we are off to Kidspeace!

Quick last Thing. More photos from the last couple days.

Tuesday, June 21st, 2005

            Just recieved a phonecall back from Philly Children's hospital. Have to log off the internet. Hope you all are well.

Also. In case you haven't, check out the Tape Art website.

Monday, June 20, 2005

            Today our three day mini-residency at the Baum Arts center in Allentown, PA was cemented, and some phone messages were left. I will use today’s post to let people know the tentative plan for the rest of our tour.

            Tomorrow we head back towards Allentown and attempt to find permission to just draw on some walls. Friday of this week we are at Kidspeace in Orefield. Monday-Wednesday the week after that we are at the Baum, and then we make a sprint for Washington D.C to catch some fireworks and say hello to Andrew’s family. We then begin our race home, across a mighty big bridge into Deleware, up into Philly, where hopefully we can set up another Tape Art stop, up the east coast and back into CT, where we might be working with Susan’s (Susan from Danbury) sister and her youth nature program, and then finally back into Providence, where we are going to work to coordinate a massive final day on tour, and rally the whole Tape Art team into spending a day at Hasbro Children’s Hospital doing our absolute best to tip our hats to the hometown.

            Lots of crazy days ahead of us, and after eating a few too many s’mores last night I needed a somewhat peaceful (read: restful) day. Tomorrow we ride once again.

Sunday, June 19th, 2005

            I am presently sitting underneath a small set of power lines. These power lines run above a little creek, and as I type my good friend Andrew managed to appear in view, rock stepping up through the little rapids. This is a really pleasant and appropriate junction to sit and write on my little electronical-computer box,

            So tonight is the first night we are staying at a legit campground, which has thus far proven to be a great experiment. We have lot number 5, which is the furthest away lot and is not car-accessible, which means not highly trafficked. We have this amazing creek right behind our campsite and the time to sit and enjoy it.

            The Tape Art Bike Tour idea has proven itself already, at least in my mind, as a really legit way to spend my time, but adjusting to the pace of things is one of the big challenges that the tour has passed my way. Depending on the degree to which you know me, you may or may not be aware of the pace at which I live my life in Providence, RI. I do not feel my pace to be all-too-exceptional, however, things certainly have slowed down, which is a little strange, but mostly great.

            I want to draw with so many different populations, and provide rich Tape Art experiences to as many people as possible, but traveling by bike can feel slow, and somewhat self-indulgent, sometimes I feel a bit guilty, knowing that I could have driven to Danbury in a couple of hours to draw and hang out.

            However, the meditative process that is bicycle riding gives us time to really chew our lives over until the flavors have all had their say. During our last day in Danbury the wonderful woman, and our coordinator, Susan, invited Andrew and I to speak with her students about Tape Art, the tour, and our experiences as human beings. The conversation was casual, the questions they asked were interesting, and I felt very lucky to both something to say, and the opportunity to say it. The comfort I felt in sharing with this class, and my ability to clearly communicate my thoughts regarding the ways I choose to spend my time, help me to see the value in taking the slow road sometimes.

            Beyond all that, this morning Andrew headed inside a Mobile station to refill our main water jug. He exited the store with one of the employees hot on his heels. This young man had asked Andrew a question while inside, something probably along the lines of, “where are you riding from that would require such a large jug of water?”  Andrew’s reply was something along the lines of, “Rhode Island”. A pause allowed for enough interest to grow for this young employee to exit the store and spend a few minutes asking us questions about riding, Taping, and how exactly we arrived at the combination of the two. Before we parted he expressed how he enjoys riding a bike and ought to do something like this, and it was clear to me this project had sparked something in his imagination.

            I did not bring the book on tour with me, and the chances are high I would butcher the quote, but amongst the collection of writings that make up Robert Henri’s “The Art Spirit”, he writes about the task of opening up the book of life and demonstrating that blank pages and awesome possibilities still exist. This morning, in regards to our peer at the Mobile station, I felt this much had been accomplished.

            I’m now going to stop writing because I know Andrew is back at the campsite, finishing off the assembly process for the fire, a fire which will become the tool used to cook marshmallows on sticks and bring catharsis to the act of s’more creation.

            Lastly. I just want to thank the people who take the time to read about this Tape Art Bike Tour of ours. Regardless I would be journaling, but knowing there is a small audience out there paying attention means I will do my best to make the time you spend reading my words as rich as I possibly can.

Saturday, June 18th, 2005

            Another super-beautiful morning biking, this time along Pennsylvania’s 611 north from Easton to Stroudsburg. This meant we spent our morning biking along the Delaware River, with small, interesting and inclusive-feeling homes to our left and the river to our right. After lunch we started getting into steeper climbs as we reached the Pocono Mountains, which we spent the early afternoon climbing. We are camped out just west of town a bit early today, with the computer clock reading 4pm. Letters have been written, budget spreadsheet has been updated to reflect the fantastic $2.50 loaf of fresh baked bread we picked up at this beautiful small bakery right along our way, and now I intend to add some more content to the photograph pages, in the form of commentary.

Friday, June 17th, 2005

            Awoke, enjoyed the cozy big bed for a bit and then stuffed myself with our complimentary continental breakfast. The plan for the day was to find ourselves some work, and in this capacity we found success.

            Late next week we will be working on Friday with KidsPeace, what with kids getting wild on their walls. Then the Monday after that, on the 27th, we will be working with the Baum Arts center in Allentown, both are in PA, and neither are more than a days ride away from our current location.

            So despite the great news in securing drawing sites, we’ve got a week before we’re needed in this here region. So tomorrow morning we ride north and head into the Pocono Mountains for a little town called Stroudsburg, where we will hopefully do some drawing before riding south back into the Lehigh valley area for our gigs next week. About this I feel great.

Beyond that, we spent an absolutely beautiful day in Easton, PA, and after a quick stop at a great local bike shop (Broken Spoke Bike Shop) Andrew and I had some good conversation at the local Laundromat about how we wish to go about the process of drawing, next we split up. Andrew spend some time seeing, and I spent my afternoon cycling around this town, soaking it in like the 20 year old sponge I am. After familiarizing myself with the area by riding up and down this little town’s hills, I found a baseball pitch and spent some time writing, organizing, planning and rhyming.

            Stretching, and then a last little biking to back to our Inn.

I have assembled some random photos to share.

IMGP3528 IMGP4801 IMGP4726

IMGP3489 IMGP3487 IMGP3491 IMGP3522


IMGP4781 IMGP3496 IMGP4910 IMGP3534

 

Thursday, June 16th, 2005

            So today we found this little road named 519 south through a solid chunk of NJ. This road was AMAZING! Fair shoulder, beautiful windy hills, unbelievable sights. Easily in the top 3 roads of the ride. The morning was cool and cloudy after last night’s rains, and with big smiles on our faces we put a solid 25-30 miles behind us in the morning. Camped out under a beautiful big shade-providing tree to eat our lunch, and then we continued along 519 for a solid afternoon. After some trouble with my front tube, we crossed the Delaware into PA, which had us elated, until some more trouble arose with my front tube. We eventually made it to 25th street in Easton, PA, where we found ourselves a cheap hotel room and did a bit of drying out, after finding ourselves caught in some pretty heavy rains late this afternoon. Plans have been hatched, tomorrow there is work to do, and depending on how it goes, we either work, or ride!

Wednesday, June 15th, 2005

            We biked real far, left New York and entered NJ at about 1 in the noontime, then stopped at a library somewhere in Sussex County NJ to research potential drawing sites in PA. Phonecalls were made. Leg muscles grew tighter. We camped out not far from this library, and slept under a rainy sky.

Monday, June 13th, 2005

            Spent a last little bit of time on the patio which is connected to the truly beautiful home which Rachel’s parents built themselves, farewells were said, then Rachel dropped us off at Escape on her way to plan for a summer camp she is co-running.

At Escape we prepared for a day of random tasks. Andrew is now mailing our unneeded objects home and picking up some new used pants while I sit in the library updating the website, processing photographs and researching Bethlehem and Allentown, PA. We have a final workshop planned for the day and a mural to remove, as well as our bikes to pick up, before we roll out of Danbury, CT and continue our journey West.

Also, I just looked online at Danbury’s newspaper and found our first press write up. Designer's share appeal of Tape Art with children.

Sunday, June 12th, 2005.

            We Awoke at Rachel's with our first "day off". Went swimming at a candlewood lake. Enjoyed the woods, walk, and rope swing. Grabbed quick Peanut Butter Jellys, Then participated in Danbury's Unity march. Next Dr. Mike makes good ice cream. Then planning. Dinner on patios. Great conversation, talk of drawing, work, planning and projects, and then some awesome exquisite corpse collaborative drawing games. We headed to bed, feeling great about new friends in new towns and good people up to great things.

Saturday, June 11th, 2005.

            Woke up and met Mary. She had outlined some stuff for us to do in Danbury, and then we headed out for Escape. Met up with Susan, said farewell to Mary, who made a last final kind contribution to the project and then Andrew and I began preparing for our day of drawing.

            We had been given a big brick wall to draw on, and between 9am till the Art Center's close at 4, passerby’s could see us at work, up on our ladder drawing a series of vignettes in old bricked-up windows depicting the different acts of creation which take place inside the art center’s walls. A good drawing day, I will say, and some new Tape Art fans. We met Susan’s sister, who expressed interest in having us work with her students in Westport, CT. Also, we encountered a friendly face named Rachel, who recently graduated from UConn and works with Escape as a painting instructor.  Interested in our story and what we are doing, Rachel spent some time hanging out with us, talking and drawing, and it was not long before we were invited to stay at her homestead. Grateful is a good descriptive adjective for how I feel.

            So after wrapping up our drawing day, we dropped off our bikes at the Bike Express and then met up with Rachel and her significant other, Roy. I am too tired right now write in depth about the day, the fine folks we met and the time we spent meeting similarly-minded people in not-so-far-away lands, however, it is safe to say this tour of ours has already taught us much about great kindness hiding around every corner.

            So I am presently camped out in a super cozy room with some cute cats, a new friend, and Andrew. Another great, long and adventuresome day. Now it is time to sleep.

Friday June 10th, 2005

            Raced the rain into Danbury, and arrived to the YMCA’s Escape to the Arts center in the morning to meet and greet. Our coordinator there, Susan, was excited to have us and interested in the details of our journey. We ate some awesome apples and received a tour of their building, located right in downtown Danbury and host to pottery, painting and woodworking studios, a writing center, sewing stations, a performance stage, dance studio, swap activity space, kitchen / “chill space”, offices, and a bunch of great staff and volunteers. We got some hot tips and headed on over to a great local bike shop named “the bike express”, where we got new drivechain setups worked out for the hills of PA. Then we showered up at the YMCA to groom ourselves for the after-school workshop we would run at 3. From 3 till 5 we worked with a group of middle school students drawing on Escape’s hallway walls. The kids were rad, and their work represents the fact.

            After the worshop we were drained and somewhat without a plan. Unsure of where exactly we would be sleeping, we decided to solve our problems by eating some pizza.

            While waiting to place an order, we were greeted by an interested middle-aged woman who couldn’t help but notice the pack on my back. After a few brief questions she offered to pick up our dinner tab.

            We were pleasantly surprised by this, but the coolness continued. As we waited for our pizza, this woman, named Mary, continued to chat us up. We told her about the tour and showed her pictures of Tape Art, she told us about her sons, her work as an elementary school physical ed. teacher, and shared her memories of the kind people who helped her out as she made her way across Europe in her youth.

            Eventually the conversation led to her asking us where in town we were staying. We had no answer. She invited us into her household, and we felt comfortable accepting.

            Broccoli / Onion Pizza. Summer blockbuster “Troy”, a basement decked out with Yankee’s memorabilia, a comfortable couch, two kind sons and one “crazy” mom, an interested (but exhausted) father. Totally rad. Totally unexpected, and proof that generosity is still alive and kickin'.

Thursday June 9th, 2005

            Great day. Great distance. Great Roads. Confirmed our Tape Art gig in Dansbury. for Saturday. Peanut Butter and Jelly is still great. Great time climbing mountains, Great time descending them. Great Ice Cream. Great Swimming. Great tired feeling. Now we cook.

            After dinner update.

I was playing with an idea while riding, about putting up a sort of “kind person of the day” on the website, because we are meeting a lot of really helpful and giving people on the road. Yesterday a woman pointed us towards the library and then made sure we had enough to eat by endowing us with a loaf of sunflower seed bread. Today we met a kind British man who shared with me his memories of bike touring in England as a teenager.

However, The idea of having a singular “kind person of the day”  is more exclusive than I would like it to be, as we meet a number of helpful people each day. So for now I think I’m going to keep mentioning people as they come along in my writing. Other stuff is happening, i.e. Andrew is documenting well and considering the presentations we are to give upon our return, and we passed by ESPN’s world headquarters' awesome parking-lot satellite array.

            I am ready to fall asleep. It is about 7:30. Tomorrow, with some luck, we have a short ride into Danbury, and some business to tend to.

Wednesday June 8th, 2005

            A funny day. Slow start, As I biked back into Hartford, then began looking for a bike shop. Ultimately I found Ron’s on Franklin, which was closed upon my arrival. Thankfully Ron pulled up just as my spirits had sunk. Ron was consulted upon the matter of my routinely breaking front spokes, and I decided to pick up a decent, but more dependable, new front wheel.

            Andrew had entertained himself until my arrival back at our campgrounds, which happened a bit after 11, and together we continued away from West Hartford.

            Getting out of the greater Hartford area was not a ton of fun. Navigating was not easy. Andrew is our chief navigator and He is doing an excellent job, but these roads were less than half-a-blast. One big plus on the day was our awesome campground right next to a lake amidst some beautiful trees which Andrew took pictures of. Another big plus was the message I had received from Danbury’s Escape to the Arts YMCA arts’ center, who was psyched to have Tape Art. Big dinner with rice, beans, onions and broccoli, and then crawled into Hammock and slept like a rock.

Tuesday June 7th, 2005

            We are camping in a big super-overgrown field on the outskirts of Hartford. It is a fun location. We finished drawing today at CCMC, with the kids finding inspiration in the waiting room’s aquarium and expanding it onto the walls. This one kid drew the raddest starfish. He knew, and shared, some deep mysteries regarding the structures inherent to that specific aquatic life form. After entertaining and engaging quite a range of peoples, we headed to lunch, did one last room drawing with an energetic brother (“tha father”) / sister duo, picked up our stuff and headed on out of Hartford….

            Only to make it to our current location. One of the front spokes on my bike broke and I am without my spares. Who makes mistakes? Jay makes mistakes. This mistake meant we set up camp a bit early, and tomorrow morning I will be biking back into Hartford to pick up some spokes, potentially some more tools, and then we will hit the road once again, with our fingers crossed.

            This also gives us time to try and pin down more Tape Art projects, in the meanwhile. Also, I got the chance to work on some more Styrofoam block prints, using today’s hospital lunch-plate.

            I am super-excited about hitting the road and riding my bike again.

Monday June 6th, 2005

            This morning we woke, enjoyed a bit of oatmeal, complimented with a continental breakfast courtesy the Holiday Inn. Next we walked on over to CCMC, where after a brief tour and overview with our coordinator we began helping a few wonderful young ladies create Tape Art works on the windowed walls of the Hospital. The tape’s translucent properties were explored by patients and ourselves alike. After lunch we worked as part of a larger group, drawing all sorts of outdoorsy items, with gigantic blades of grass and some extremely interesting vine-type vegitation. I split off from the main group to create some murals-on-request with patients in their rooms, and Andrew joined me soonafter and finished off taping in the last couple rooms. I feel confident saying we had great first day of Tape Art on tour.

            We are seeking clearance on the photographs we took, so with some luck these will be online soon for all y’all to see. Confidentiality stuff, please understand.

            This afternoon Andrew and I had a strategic planning meeting, and suffice to say we’ve got our next city chosen and some phone calls to make.             Lastly, we’ve started to use the Styrofoam we pick up along the way (lunch plates, groceries, ect.)  to create prints. A brayer and block printing ink were brought for this purpose. I feel great about Tape Art, portable printmaking, and life in general. I hope you (the reader) had a great day, as well. Tomorrow we depart Hartford continuing west.

Sunday June 5, 2005

            Today went mostly as expected. Casually biked into Hartford after cruising most of the way downhill. Checked into the room that the hospital reserved for us with no problems and then hiked across town to pick up the leafy greens which would serve as dinner. We have a television in our room, which is sort of spaztastic and a bit overwhelming. Tonight we get some rest in a big ol’ bed, shower up and shave, and tomorrow we’ve got a job to do.

Saturday June 4th, 2005

            Lunchtime.
A solid day thus far of long descents and steep climbs. Biked from Oneco to Windham, looking to intersect with the 203. Andrew is rebuilding his front hub cause it is not happy, but word on the street is he found a handyman with the second adjustable wrench we need. Random people are going to be super clutch on this journey of ours, as people want to help.

            Nighttime.
Amend “a lot” to the end of the last sentence in the previous paragraph. Andrew returned to our perch by the road with a big smile on his face. I gave him an inquisitive “thumbs up?” type gesture and he held up  a hand with something in it. That something was a 20$ bill that had been donated by Sean, the handyman who helped him out. Sean was evidently psyched to hear what we are doing. Thank you Sean. Bike troubles and friendly peoples aside, we had another really great and long distance day and are currently camped less than 20 miles outside Hartford. Riding felt wonderful this afternoon and we spent a lot of time on some extremely beautiful small back roads and super sunny flat stretches. Speaking of flats, I got my first a bit past 4:30, and shortly thereafter, we decided to stop, get water, and find a suitable campsite. As the Chief Financial Officer (C.F.O.) of this team I am glad to report that we are not cutting corners or cooking books, and operating thus far under budget. (knock on wood)

            We don’t have a silkscreen, but we do have sunscreen, and Andrew brought great stuff to cook with (I am a newfound fan of nutritional yeast). Tomorrow we have a short biking day into Hartford and to the Holiday Inn, to groom ourselves for

Tape Art and WindowWall Mural at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

Friday June 3rd, 2005

            Today we began our tour. Spent the morning tying up the last lose ends in Providence before setting out at about noon for Connecticut. Nice solid ride on Cranston Bike Path, some beautiful old mills, and then lots and lots of green. About a mile or two into Connecticut, amidst a little town called Oneco, we’ve set up camp and cooked ourselves some rice and beans. They were great rice and beans. Andrew found a flattened baby bird. I found a truly fantastic Friday. Tomorrow we set out bright and early. Night falls. Sweet dreams.

 

 

 

 

 

Route

Project


On June 3rd, A two-person team departed from Providence, Rhode Island headed West on our bicycles. We will be riding round-trip, and along the way we are making stops at various Hospitals, Healthcare Facilities, and Community Centers to create spontanious, collaborative and temporary murals using the Providence-born process called Tape Art.

With our ultimate return to Rhode Island in late July, the shape created by the round-trip route will serve to symbolize the myriad of kind and helpful gestures, both small and large, which have all helped to make this journey, this dream, achievable.

 

Tape Art Stops Thus Far
(Click on Location for Photos)


6/6/05 - 6/07/05
Connecticut Children's Medical Center
Hartford, CT.

6/10/05-6/13/05
Escape to the Arts YMCA Art Program
Danbury, CT.

6/24/05
KidsPeace in Orefield, PA
JUST RELEASED!

6/27/05 - 6/29/05
Baum School of the Arts
Allentown, PA

7/11/05
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA

7/14/05 - 7/15/05
Earthplace
Westport, CT

COMING UP!

7/21/05
Hasbro Children's Hospital
Providence, RI

 

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