Archive for chicago

To Move or Stay Put

Posted in Personal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2010 by Kyle Barry

Recently, many of my friends have moved to new neighborhoods in Chicago.  This has left me alone in the Wicker Park/Humboldt Park neighborhood, but has also got me to do some thinking. Should I pack up my crap and hit the road too?

I’ve been living here in Humboldt Park for about 3 1/2 months now and it has been great.  It’s certainly not a dream location but the rent is cheap and I have two great roommates.  We pretty much stick to ourselves and we all pay rent and utilities on time.  I have never been afraid that I would come back one night and all of my stuff would be gone.  Sure the surrounding neighborhood provides an interesting soundtrack to fall asleep to.  However, you get used to drunk people shouting, the constant whine of the police and ambulance sirens and the occasional gunshot/firecracker/car backfire in the middle of the night. It’s been home for me and my first place truly out on my own.

Now that everyone I know and spend time with lives in Logan Square, I feel abandoned to say the least and I consistently hear encouragement that I should look for something closer to rejoin the “group”. To be honest, I haven’t looked at all.  Why?

-It seems a bit unrealistic to think I could find cheaper rent than what I’m paying now. There’s always the possibility but then other factors come into play.

-Roommates. Hard not to take for granted sometimes.  Neither of them are creepers and neither of them bring home creepers.  Win Win right there.

-The location is prime for me. I hop on the North Ave. bus and I’m at work in 10 minutes.  Driving is just as easy.

-Pizza Hut.  Can you beat “All You Can Eat” buffet for 2.99? Ya, didn’t think so.

I guess I need to do myself a favor and just troll on Craigslist for a little bit just to humor my friends.  I’m staying practical on this one though, much like I do with other decisions. If a super cheap place pops up in Logan Square with some cool dudes, I pounce on it. For now, I stay here under the flags of the red, white and blue.

Not the flag you were thinking of, eh?


The Move.

Posted in Personal with tags , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2010 by Kyle Barry

I’m moving out of my cousin’s basement this weekend and will now be contributing to society like a normal human being.  It’s exciting.  I found a place in Humboldt Park right near Hipsterville…I mean Wicker Park. It’s by no means a lavish environment but it does provide me a place to lay my head at night.  It’s a cozy little dumpster in the back alley of…NO. I need to be serious for once.  It’s an actual real apartment that I will be sharing with two other guys.  They seem normal enough and it’s just a few feet from the bus stop that I will be taking to work so I won’t have to burn any unnecessary calories.  It’s certainly a win win.  In fact it’s a whole lot of win.  You know what I’m talking about.  If you don’t, here’s a visual:

On a completely unrelated note, Emily (my lovely partner in crime) and I attended the Chicago Auto Show.  It was not as impressive as we had both hoped but I did get to see some a nice a automobiles. (You really need a good Italian accent for that one.  Think Mario and Luigi.)  Porsches, Lamborghinis, Maseratis, Lotuses, and a Toyota Corolla.  Seriously though, for all you car geeks out there…it was a pretty good turnout.  Here’s a list of all the beautiful pieces I will someday own.  That lottery better hurry up and get won by me.

Nissan GTR

Audi R8

BMW M3 (which I got to sit in and almost wet myself)

Maserati Granturismo

Lotus Exige and  Evora

Mercedes SLS AMG (the gullwing)

Acura ARX-02a prototype

Fisker Karma electric concept

Lamborghini Murcielago and Gallardo

The list just goes on.  Actually, it doesn’t and that’s why I was disappointed.  There weren’t very many concept cars and many of the companies weren’t even showing their top-of-the-line vehicles.  Audi didn’t have the RS4 or RS6.  They didn’t even have an A8 for that matter.  There was no M5 or M6 from BMW and Porsche only had three models, one of which being the appalling Panamera.  It looked like a retired football player.  Gross.  Long story short, it was disappointing but I guess for 6 bucks I shouldn’t be complaining.  I would’ve paid that much just to sit in some guy’s BMW out in the parking lot.  Also, I got to skip church, so double bonus.  Just kidding…but seriously.

Be prepared because my next post may very well come from my new abode.  Get pumped.  I know I am.

2010 fo sho

Posted in Personal with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2010 by Kyle Barry

Yeah, it’s been what…about 4 or 5 months since I’ve posted anything on here?  Big deal, wanna fight about it?  Who am I kidding, I’d lose.  So it’s February Freezuary and I thought now would be a good time to explain what’s been going on for the last 1/3 of a year.

I’ve become recently employed by West Elm, which is a modern furniture store similar to IKEA but with higher quality products.  I work in the stockroom pushing heavy boxes onto and off of trucks.  It’s nothing special but every two weeks,  Cha-ching.  Okay not really.  It’s something though and I’ve been needing income for a while now.  I’m still looking for a respectable job in the graphic arts field but there’s not much out there.  It’s a cold, harsh environment for recent college grads.  I applied for a junior graphic design position and was turned down because I didn’t have enough experience.  Let me repeat that, a JUNIOR graphic design position.  How bogus is that?  If you’re still thinking about it, the answer is VERY BOGUS.  It’s crunch time.  Bottom of the ninth.  Sudden death overtime.  I need to find another job to cover future rent, loans and food or I may have to do the unthinkable and…move back home.  Duh Duh Duhhhhhhh.  (That was supposed to be the dramatic sound you hear right before a show cuts to commercial.)  Hopefully it won’t come to that and some creative agency will reach out and pick me up.  And offer me a six figure salary.  And give me a Ferrari as a company car.  Oh, alright, I don’t need the six figure salary, just the company car.

Two-sided, that's how I roll.

In other news, I became productive a little while back and not only got myself some business cards, but finished my portfolio to the point where I’m not embarrassed to show it to anyone.  I’ve gone to some interviews and felt pretty good, but obviously, nothing doing there.  Something will come up.  Either that or I win the lottery.  But hey, that scenario is a win-win so my future can’t be that bleak.  Anyways, here’s a shot of the cards.  45 bucks goes a long way at Kinko’s and they still look halfway decent. When I start raking in that six figure salary I’ll splurge on some nice offset cards or something.  If you can’t design and execute on a budget, you’re toast.

Besides that, it’s been pretty straightforward.  Living in a basement, taking public transportation and having my wallet sucked dry by Chicago’s 10.25% sales tax.  What’s not to love about a city that’s on the brink of bankruptcy?  To be honest, it’s really the Chipotle that’s costly but it’s so dang good.  Hope you enjoyed this short and sweet update.  If there’s anyone left.  I’ll do my best to get back on a weekly schedule. We’ll see how that goes.  Peace be the journey.  Oh yeah, one more thing.  No more snow.  Winter blows chunks.

Lollapalooza…A Dream Come True

Posted in Personal with tags , , on August 12, 2009 by Kyle Barry

As you may have already seen on Facebook, I was at Lollapalooza this weekend.  If words could only describe.  Oh wait, they can.  IT WAS INCREDIBLE.

To begin this story, you need to know a little bit about a friend named Ryan Hamm.  Ryan recently moved to Orlando, upon receiving news that he had been hired by Relevant Magazine.  That’s postworthy as is, but it gets better.  Ryan contacts me the other week and says,

“How would you like to go to Lollapalooza…..FO FREE!?!”

Yes, Yes, I’m listening, I’m intrigued.

“How would you like to take pictures for my web blog?  And take all the photos from the  photo pit?  And get into the exclusive media tent?  And literally be able to reach out and touch the artists as they play the songs that you love? And have all the free pizza, snacks, and beer you could want for the whole weekend?”

Hold on a second, I need to change my underwears.

It was quite possibly the greatest weekend of my entire life.  Never before have I felt what it must be like to be an actual rockstar.  Free food, and more importantly, free booze.   Our special bracelets got us almost unlimited access everywhere.  It’s quite a feeling to have screaming fans behind you, restrained by barricades as you literally stand 10 feet from bands that frequent MTV, VH1, and the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

My face is partially melted because I stood too close.

I'm pretty sure my jaw was dragging on the ground this entire weekend.

The lineup included Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Andrew Bird, The Decemberists, Kings of Leon, Coheed and Cambria, Tool, Band of Horses, Vampire Weekend, Animal Collective, Cold War Kids, Snoop Dogg, and The Killers.  Those were just the ones I saw.  My brother would probably never talk to me again if he ever found out that I saw the Killers instead of Jane’s Addiction.  Will you ever forgive me, Ray?

(A quick side note here:  Not until hours after did I discover that Jane’s Addiction had a special guest by the name of Joe Perry.  Yes, that Joe Perry, the lead guitarist from Aerosmith.  Knowing this now, I definitely would’ve seen them instead of the Killers, who are not a personal favorite and are nothing to write home about.)

Anyways, the lineup was stellar, the experience was unforgettable, and the weather…sucked, as usual.  If you like bone-chilling rain one day, followed by some righteous humidity the next, then Chicago is the place for you.  I’m telling you, the B.O. in some of these crowded areas was enough to make you buckle at the knees.  Some of these guys need to google “deodorant”.  Actually, while they have the computer in front of them, they should do a quick search for “back waxing”.

In conclusion, my life will now be a slow and gradual downward spiral of uneventful happenings that guide me to an age where senility and belligerence creep in and I come to  require constant convelescence.  I just hope they give me a young 20 something with an attentive personality and a willingness to listen to my epic tale.  Also, he’ll be able to help me wipe.


Posted in Personal with tags , , , , on August 3, 2009 by Kyle Barry
hmmm...a blog you say?

hmmm...a blog you say?

Well, it has finally happened.  I’ve become so attention-starved that I’ve begun a blog.  I want everyone to know what I’m doing in my life so badly that I’m willing to post it on the world wide web.  Don’t judge me.

Here’s my plan.  I’m going to attempt a weekly post that covers my personal and/or professional life.  Considering that I’m in the middle of finding a real job, it will most likely be what I’m doing in my free time for now.  I’ve got some saweet things coming up in the next few weeks and I plan on documenting everything with a plethora of words and images.

Just a little disclaimer:  This is a family friendly blog, so please omit terms in your comments such as “stab” “kill” “die”, common swear words, and anything having to do with bathroom humor.  Ok, bathroom humor is acceptable.  It’s always acceptable.  Actually, here, it’s encouraged.  But seriously, no bad words homies.