Day 365

WE MADE IT!

#TGAA officially kicked off one year ago. It all started at Recess Creative in Cleveland and now—here I am—waking just a short distance from the Golden Gate bridge in warm and sunny (kind of) San Francisco. Tomorrow, I kick off my tenure at the Evolution Bureau, which is Stop #13, but as for today it’s all about exploring the bay area. In fact, for a portion of the day I’m actually venturing over to San Jose for a meet up with friend and #TGAA sponsor, Baunfire Interactive. I've known them for quite awhile at this point, so it'll be nice to finally see the team in person. 

I arrived into town early yesterday morning and was immediately met with what I can only describe as a light monsoon. It made for a rather difficult time getting groceries and settling in, but a few soggy walks later and I somehow managed to get the job done in the end. For as well planned as this trip as been, I’ll admit I really did fail at avoiding winter… and rain for that matter. But, oh well, you have to take what you can get, I suppose.

At first glance, this city reminds me of a mix between New York City and Seattle. The downtown area is dense with street performers, name brands and endless high-rises, while the suburban areas are quaint, laid back and full of life. On the surface, it seems like a pretty ideal mix to me. And being on the bay, you’re also getting incredible views just about everywhere you look—and that’s never a bad thing.

Aside from the beautiful scenery, I’ve already come to notice that San Francisco is unique in many other ways too. From the style of their houses to their appreciation of the arts, this city is a rather fine introduction to what California has to offer. On a personal level, the AirBnB I’ve rented couldn’t be more ideal either. It actually brings to mind my stay in Chicago, because the place is really nice but the neighborhood is just a tad on the sketchy side. The area I’m in is called the ‘Tenderloin District’ and it’s pretty obvious that it’s going through some sort of transition right now. I’ve heard good things about it, but it seems not everyone would agree with those opinions (including Wikipedia).

That’s about all I have for today. I didn’t sleep much on the train ride in and the entire weekend is still kind of a blur. All I know is, I really hate the person who decided to defecate all over the bathroom across from my sleeper car. It made for an extremely uncomfortable ride, but that's also a story I’m sure no one wants to hear about. 

Just believe me when I say, “I glad to be in San Francisco.”

-Steve-

From the Rails 3

This blog is coming to you from somewhere in Wisconsin. I can’t remember the name of the last station, but I believe we’re about two hours north of Madison. As we continue down the tracks and I stare out into the endless fields, I can’t help but feel a little “off” today. I’m not sure if it’s fatigue from being on the road for 8 months, my ongoing financial worries or if my impending 30th birthday is starting to weigh on me, but regardless of the cause, I certainly don’t feel like myself today. Just being able to look out the window and listen to some music in my headphones certainly helps though. I think with so much going on everyday, it’s a nice change of pace to just shut my brain off for a few hours.

I will say that one interesting thing about today’s train ride is that it’s my last one until November. I’ve always considered my next few stops the “giant leaps” in my itinerary, because I go from Minneapolis to Austin and Austin to Seattle. Since these stops are so far away from one another, I decided it best to finally hop on a plane or two. Of course that means—for a brief period—I’m back to dealing with security lines and a lack of diner car. Oh, how I’ve been pampered on my various Amtrak trips!

Despite how I currently feel, I am extremely excited to land in Minneapolis. Everyone I’ve met along the way, who has ever stepped foot in the Twin Cities, has told me to expect incredible weather the entire month. I hope it’s true; because at this point it would be a huge let down if everyone was pulling a prank on me.

As I mentioned in previous blogs, I’ve never been west of Chicago. So, let’s see what the rest of this country has to offer, shall we? (Well… first I need a nap. So, let’s start tomorrow.)

-Steve-

Day 183

A piece of artwork in the Boxing Clever office

I should just accept the fact that I cannot sleep in a moving vehicle. There’s just nothing fun about an overnight commute, especially when you have to switch from a train to a bus in the middle of it. But, nonetheless, early Sunday morning I officially arrived in St. Louis and that’s when things started to pick up.

Greeting me at the Amtrak station, Jim Harper (Partner at Boxing Clever) went well out of his way to ensure my first impressions of the city were nothing short of spectacular. He even set me up with a few friends of his (one of whom works at nearby production house, Bruton Stroube) and they’re letting me crash in their spare bedroom for the month.

After I hopped into Jim’s car, he took me by Boxing Clever for a quick tour of the office and then we drove a few blocks west to pick up Casey and Sara—the aforementioned friends. The group took me for a bit of sightseeing through the city, before we stopped to indulge in a wonderful—and very filling—brunch at Wild Flower.  After filling our bellies, the tour continued through an area of the city known as “the loop”, as well as Forest Park, which houses the city's zoo and several museums. While I still haven’t stepped foot in the downtown area, I can already tell I'm going to enjoy my time here. 

All in all, this was the warmest reception I’ve ever received upon entering a new city. And if the rest of my time here lives up to what I experienced in my first day, I can already tell you that this is going to be a great month.

Tomorrow, I begin my tenure at Boxing Clever and as I said last week, I’m extremely excited about it. Not only am I getting the chance to craft some amazing copy for BC, but I’ve also been told that there are a few projects for the record label awaiting me.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I really a nap.

-Steve-