Chicago. My favorite city in the United States. It feels like home to me, literally like Rochester and Buffalo, but... better. The people, the food, the sports, the weather, the music, the lake... all of it. Everything I have a passion for in my life is right here. My first time here was back in 2011, where I got to spent time with my graphic design classmates and good friends. Coming back with my brother felt like I never left. I debated on moving to either Chicago or New York City after college; even though New York City happened, and I'm glad it did, it doesn't feel like Chicago... it never will.
"I've never truly been to Miami," is what I told myself before this trip because I was 15 years old the last time I was in the area. Plus, is Fort Lauderdale considered Miami? I'm not sure, but I know there's no place I've been to like Miami Beach. I usually find myself going to Tampa when I come to Florida, however, this time around was spent in South Beach with no set plans or places to go. My three days consisted of sleeping, going to the beach, and eating, all within a five block radius. Favorite place to eat was Yardbird, and favorite bar was Kill Your Idol, both within walking distance from each other. Not a long trip, nor what most people would consider a "vacation," but it was exactly what I was looking for.
I've been to Boston many times through out my life. It has always given me that same feeling you get when you go back to your hometown. It doesn't have the wow factor of a major metropolis plus the city and people give off a small town mentality in my opinion, which is something I prefer. Something happens in big cities like New York and Los Angeles when too many people share the same interests that it doesn't feel like there is something to call your own. There is still a lot to do in Boston even though people aren't flying across the country to do them, which is what I like about it. Leave me in Boston with the beautiful views on the water and the great seafood while you wait in line to look at a building in some other city.
I’ve been to Montreal twice now, not too far apart from each other, both in the colder months. I always felt a connection with Canada and this tripped proved it. I’ve easily had the best food experiences in my life both times I’ve been there, at Le Bremner in Old Montreal and Joe Beef in Little Burgundy. It just so happened my cousin was in town playing the Montreal Canadiens in the few days the last time I was there, so having time to spend with him was the cherry on top. Definitely will be making more frequent visits to Montreal no matter the time of year.
My first trip out to California was in November 2014. We flew to Los Angeles, rented a car, drove around LA and down to San Diego, stopping in La Jolla. I had such an amazing time having a glimpse of a lifestyle very different from what I’m used to. The people I was with made it very special, it felt like a true vacation. My second time back was with work to have our company summit meeting. I went a day early to see one of my good friends from back home and go to a Kings game. On the last day of the trip, we had a majority of Universal Studios to ourselves! It was a great opportunity to bond with my co-workers, both people all over the world, and people I see everyday.
I never envisioned myself going to Hong Kong, let alone so soon in my life. I was lucky enough to be asked to go to Hong Kong for work for a week, in October/November. Me and a fellow co-worker went on the trip to install artwork in a WeWork building in the Wan Chai district. We had a few days to break away from work and explore. I took a boat to Sok Kwu Wan on Lamma Island, mostly for the boat ride itself and try to wrap my head around how far from home I was.
The visit to Seattle was an extension of my Vancouver trip. My friend and I caught a cheap, short bus ride down and spent three days exploring the city. We spent most of the time doing "touristy" things but what the hell- why not. We ate oysters, went on boats, watched baseball, and took it all in. Next trip out to Washington will have to be spent outside of the city and in nature, but Seattle is definitely a city I could see myself living in.
This is a trip I will always remember. I've been to Canada many times but never out west before. Vancouver was the perfect balance of city and nature, which is my idea of a perfect place to live. The purpose of the trip was to visit a brewery I did the logo for, The Parkside Brewery in Port Moody, but spent most of the trip exploring the area. Vancouver is incredibly convenient to explore on a bike and very easy to get around. I highly recommend ditching the car and riding a bicycle around town and through Stanley Park. You won't find a bad view anywhere you go.
I’ve had very different experiences from when I first visited Raleigh back in January 2010 to when I did recently. It was pretty much my first small experience of the south but didn’t get to do too much, being the winter and all, besides seeing one of the best NHL games in my life… and I’ve seen more than I can count. This time around was summer. Maybe we got off on the wrong foot at first but now I’m happy to say Raleigh is a place that just comes easy. The main reason I went down was to visit friends that just settled down there. I spent most of the time on the water of Falls Lake riding boats and wake boarding. That’s my friend Jake in the photo, not me. Also, we went to the North Carolina Museum of Art and I was surprised at the amount of great pieces there; seen originals from some of my favorite artists of all time Franz Klein and Ed Ruscha. We ate, we drank, we played roller hockey, we played music, even got to see an old friend that made the trip down from Richmond, Virginia. Being surrounded by such great people definitely changed my mind about Raleigh and gave me a new perspective on what I want in life.
It's hard to mention the places I've been and places I will go without first mentioning Maine. My trip to Portland, Maine made me realize how much I want to explore more and do different things. I was lucky enough to drive up with my brother and his girlfriend, where we got to spend time with all of her friends. First stop was Cape Elizabeth, where we took in the sights, followed by a lot of eating and drinking, and exploring the downtown shops. I live in Manhattan, so seeing the great outdoors, cooking on a grill while playing catch with a dog isn’t something I take for granted; the drive up there simply felt like a vacation to me. I wrote a few postcards to my friends and family about the trip and how special it was, another thing I need to remind myself to do more. Maine is a very special place and I can’t wait to go back.
I wanted to have a section on my website where I talked about my experiences and destinations- mostly for myself because I have bad memory, but also because I’m not a very outspoken person to begin with. Let me first say that I do not consider myself a traveller or explorer. Yes, I enjoy traveling as much as the next person, but to sound like I’ve seen and done things most people haven’t wouldn't be accurate.