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Land & Sky issue 1.06

road trip issue

june 2014

JUNE 2014  1


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// contents //

June 2014

lauren randolph

013

every woman should travel alone by Sarah Hepola The author looks back to 10 years ago when she spent years on the road.

018

how to be a traveling artist (or act like one) by Danny Gregory 10 artists offer their tips & tricks for keeping a sketchbook while on the road.

028

interview: Chandler o’leary by Kathryn Swayze The creator of "Drawn on the road again" talks about her experiences as an artist who travels and sketches.

Departments

Columns

002 contributors 003 editor’s note 004 letters 006 our picks 017 snapshot 008 itinerary 022 what i wore

010 bibliophile 034 ask the nomad 035 road test 039 AMY ABROAD 040 Culture spy 042 kitchen

JUNE 2014  001


dominic chevron

// contributors //

Danny Gregory dannygregory.com

Sarah Hepola sarahhepola.com

Lauren Randolph photolauren.com

Danny Gregory is the writer of internationally best-selling books on art and creativity and is currently writing his eighth. His illustrations have appeared in the New York Times and many other publications and books. He lives in LA and Greenwich Village. Danny spent three decades as one of New York’s leading advertising creative directors and has created award-winning, global campaigns for clients like Chase, JPMorgan, IBM, Chevron, American Express, Burger King, Ford, and others.

Sarah Hepola is Salon’s personal essays editor, where reading people’s secrets make her living. She has written many stories about drinking and crying too much. Her essays on culture have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Glamour, The Guardian, Nerve, Slate, and The Morning News, where she has contributed work for more than a decade. Her past jobs include: Travel columnist, music editor, film critic, sex blogger, and for about 15 seconds in the late ’90s, she taught high school English. She lives in East Dallas with a marmalade tabby named Bubba. She enjoys playing her guitar poorly and listening to the “Xanadu” soundtrack.

Lauren Randolph received her bfa in Art from the University of Nevada, Reno. She currently lives in LA where she immerses herself into the larger art community. She loves finding beauty in the familiar — in light, color, prop, costume, or character — while using her creative eye to bring out her imagination and fantasies. She explores narratives with portraiture, and frequently creates conceptual photography. Whether it is a staged shoot or a collection of candid moments, she strives to not only show the personality and life of her subjects, but infuse the photograph with her own spirit as well.

002  LAND & SKY


// editor’s note //

The Great American Road Trip

andrew swayze

Detroit, mi Your editor, exploring the Fisher Body Plant 21.

Whenever I’m about to embark on a long drive, I load my bag with books, electronics, and perhaps some knitting. But then as soon as my husband starts the car and we’re off, I space out. Instead of perusing my magazine or playing with something on my iPad, I find myself completely content to take in my passing surroundings. Whether gazing at the clouds drift over mountains, tracing the urban graffiti snarling through bridges and train tracks, observing multi-generational families at rest stops: all of it stirs up thoughts that have been bubbling under the surface of my everyday conscious, which is otherwise preoccupied by appointments, projects, and other quotidien concerns. My husband and I go on many road trips; even when we have a specific desination, he usually takes the scenic route because it’s more fun to drive. Last August, we drove from Boston to Detroit in 13 hours (our longest trip yet), so we could meet up with some photographer friends and go urbexing for the first time. We made the drive back two days later. It was a fabulous trip, but it was hardly the meandering road trip that captures our collective imagination. If we had planned a more leisurely drive, perhaps we would have found the amazing delicatessens mentioned in “Route: Milwaukee to Brooklyn,” (page 008) instead of dragging our feet to a Taco Bell in a sad moment of sheer desperation while somewhere deep into the state of Pennsylvania. The best road trips make us dawdle and let us take time to appreciate our new surroundings, something we look at in “How to be a Traveling Artist (or act like one)” and our Interview with Chandler O’Leary (pages 013 and 028 respectively). They push us to meander, to explore, to consider the world around us and grow as people, such as we find out from “Every Woman Should Travel Alone” (page 018). They allow curiosity to take us on a roundabout journey. They make us think about Kerouac and Steinbeck — we drum up a list of these authors in our Bibliophile column (page 010). The best conversations I’ve ever had with my husband took place while we were on the road. There’s something about the seeming endlessness of the road that inspires lazy, contented, and organic conversations. We do also have some lovely silences. The road trips that allow all of these things to happen will always be on my bucket list. However you define them, road trips are filled with possibilities, which is why this month’s issue is all about life on the road. Enjoy! kathryn swayze Editor

JUNE 2014  003


// letters //

London Calling

kathryn swayze

readers respond to our feb.2014 issue, aka our sappy love letter to london.

Letter of the Month laura cattell // Boston, ma i was born and raised in East London, left for good in ’94 to attend college in the United States. Now I go back twice a year to visit my darling mum. Obviously the differences you experienced are largely cultural, but it was a such a shame you did not discover or make a habit of shopping at Marks & Spencers. If there is one thing I miss, it is their food. I have looked, but still haven’t found anything comparable in the us. You would think a country that is completely smitten with hamburgers would also show an interest in sandwiches! Pass me the ploughman’s, please! 004  LAND & SKY

At Regent’s Park Cattell, this month’s featured reader, sent us this completely adorable photo of her on a visit back to London with her son.


I can’t help noticing that most of glowing comments about London come from non-natives. How are they to know how much the city has changed in the last several years? You accurately described its superficial appeal to visitors, but the quality of life for residents in many areas has deteriorated so much in recent years that many indigenous Londoners have uprooted themselves and moved out. Valerie Lehmans Seattle, wa as a brit living in the us, I can remember when I was younger and living in London being curious about Americans, as we were basically brought up to believe that we have a superior educational system in the uk and Americans, simply put, have a superiority complex. Given that most Brits are unaware of the workings of the US educational system, it is rather difficult to fit Americans into the hierarchy of social interactions that go on in London and other major cities in the UK. Plus of course there are those social graces that are part of an English upbringing that are completely lost on Americans. When Sarah talks about the loneliness of London, as a frequent visitor in London, I understand her, but part of the reason is Brits are much more attached to their friends and have a much more permanent social circle, that remains intact for decades and decades. We only had to watch Hollywood movies to see how fleeting and temporal the friendships are that Americans make. To be honest, most Brits prefer to keep things on a surface level with most American residents as we expect that any day

they will return to that better job and lifestyle in the States, and any investment made in a friendship will be lost to distance and a culture that most Brits find to be largely undesriable, glossy and excessive. That is one reason why I think it probably takes Americans much longer to integrate into London.

Piccadilly Line, which has so little space for suitcases? molly robertson Taos, nm

i lived in london through my twenties. I thought it was an exciting paradise. Ms. Lyall’s article seemed spot on to me except the getting lost part. Having habited in several US cities as well as London, I think London is easier to get around. I soon developed a map in my head of where things were and the bus or tube lines that would get me there. Ms. Lyall did live in the nicer parts of London that are close to the center and considerably more convenient for most things one would wish to do; many a Londoner cannot afford to live so close and have to live far out in dull suburbs.

A word to the wise if you don’t know London all that well. What this article hints at (by omission, by avoiding any recommendation), and does not quite say, is that the standard of cooking at most Bangladeshi restaurants in Brick Lane is quite poor. The experience of the street itself isn’t much better, with numerous touts packing the sidewalks, coaxing you to come inside their restaurants. It is much like being accosted by a series of pimps, all hawking their prostitutes. The one time we visited Brick Lane, we decided on a restaurant that actually publicized their restaurant by apologizing for the hawkers. It was blatant reverse psychology, but of course we were weary and it worked. There is plenty of great Indian food all over London, but precious little of it is to be found in Brick Lane E1.

ned raggett via email

ian burton London, uk

one of my fondest memories of London includes those daring businessmen and their briefcases, dashing out before the oncoming traffic comes around the corner at what seems like incredibly high speeds. I would stand totally agog at them and keep a watchful eye on the traffic rushing toward them. They usually make it, but I am not quite willing to follow them across. One great tip: fly into and out of Gatwick. It’s easy to navigate, and has a direct connection to Victoria Station. Why would anyone put up with Heathrow and the endless

I loved Lizzie Terschel’s take on the parks of London. I frequent Hyde Park on a daily basis as part of my commute to High Street. There is nothing more enjoyable than passing by professional dog walkers and their pups, lovers sitting along the water, fit runners getting plenty of fresh air at lunchtime, and mothers like Terschel, introducing their children to the simple pleasures of park life. What I love most about your magazine is that even when your stories cover my hometown, I am reminded of places appreciate, to go visit, and explore

Cora Long New York, ny

anew, as if I had the fresh eyes of a tourist visiting London for the first time ever. amelia lestrade via web Your suggestions for a simple London itinerary were spot-on. I stop by Tara’s Bed & Breakfast in North Harrow every time I’m in London. It’s so great to escape the city at night after a long day of touring museums, trying out new restaurants and plodding about with heavy camera gear. Of course, none of this would be possible without London’s stellar underground tube system, which is appropriately legendary! I would also suggest to your overly timestrapped readers that if they’d like a taste of Scotland (but cannot make it up north), they really ought to pay a visit to Boisdale of Bishopgate. It doesn’t sound like much, and because of the way it’s tucked up a narrow alley, it certainly doesn’t look like much either. But they have the best haggis in town. Be sure to go on a Thursday night, when they host a jazz duet. Chloe smith via email

Contact Us email info@las.com twitter @lasMAGAZINE facebook /lasmagazine www.las.com 1 Harborside Drive Boston, MA 02128 617.561.3333

JUNE 2014  005


// our picks // Read The ever popular New York Times column “36 hours” has been turned into a beautiful book published by Taschen to share the best getaways for 150 weekends in the US & Canada.

Snooze

Blue Skies get ready to gaze skyward this month, whether you are marveling at triumphs of urban design or finding a new roof-top bar to try, thanks to these june picks.

Listen Another Travelin’ Song // bright eyes

A Holly Golightly inspired sleep mask will add a touch of glamour to naptime as you take a break from driving down I-95.

Down in the Valley // the head and the heart Grapevine Fires // death cab for cutie Minnesota, wi // bon iver

Shoot

Away! // from indian lakes

Have one foot in the past and present with this limited-edition cymk Diana camera. Lomo photos make the best photos!

Places to Go // leftover cuties Walking // the dodos Ragged Wood // fleet foxes You, Me & the Boatman // quiet company Cubism Dream // local natives

Watch First there was Helvetica, then there was Objectified. Now director Gary Hustwit looks at the flow of cities in Urbanized, a design documentary.

006  OF LAND & SKY

Wear These Swedish Hasbeens sandals will keep your feet cool and comfy, whether you’re taking a little detour on a foot path or striding up to a posh diner for dins.


// snapspot //

Twin Peaks Reader Kathryn Harris shot this while road tripping through San Francisco. Submit your own to snapshot@las.com

JUNE 2014  007


// itinerary //

Route: Milwaukee to Brooklyn seasoned roadtripper and coffee/ music writer liz clayton traces her favorite route in this issue’s road trip itinerary. grab this month’s mixtape & ride along.

008  LAND & SKY

admit it: you’ve always wanted to see the rust belt. It happens to be everything you thought it would be. From derelict industry lands to industrial dairyland, skipping along the northern roads to the Northeast has its extreme charms. Start in Milwaukee, the best small-scale big city the Midwest has to offer, and take in some art at the quite lovely Milwaukee Art Museum, or be thrifty and simply arrive at 10, noon, or closing to watch its Calatrava wings expand or retract to the odd juxtaposition of canned-speaker music from outside. You could spend hours wandering the “antique” malls, restaurants, frozen-custard stands and dollar beer bars of this humble paradise, but if you do anything, make sure to spoil your trip to New York early with a stop at Jake’s Deli. This historic Jewish deli on Milwaukee’s North Avenue will seem at first like it’s in the middle of nowhere — until you realize you’ve simply been waiting your whole life to arrive at this, its highest point. Order a Combo Reuben and a CelRay soda, and enjoy the restaurant’s recently extended hours (meaning you can go there after 3:00pm on weekends!), worn-wood booths and impeccable meats. The haunting neon glow of the word "delicatessen" will beguile the rest of your miles, but don’t turn back: You have a long way to go. There’s more to see and do in Chicago than you have time for, but those who fancy plants will want to spend some contemplative time at the Garfield Park Conservatory (and then head down to Little Village for tacos at La Chaparrita). Wish for a sunny day and azure lake on your drive along Lake Shore Drive, and head east. Whiz past smokestacks of Northwestern Indiana and watch the land transform from steel mill to forest to breezy dune grasses: The quick stretch of coastline God gave Indiana to form the Indiana Dunes, full of quiest, endless-vista Lake Michigan beaches and clean sand. Your departure via the Indiana Toll Road will be far from romantic, at least until you reach endless Ohio. Take in a quick survey of Ohio’s history, as told through the rest areas of the Ohio Turnpike, from the improbable Brady’s Leap to the Battle of Fallen Timbers. Pull over in beautiful Cleveland for a drink (and perhaps a bite to eat) at the Great Lakes Brewing Company, a no-nonsense, fantastic craft brewery with nearly zero ambience and totally good soup. Admire the fact that neither the lake nor river are currently on fire. Speaking of, Lake Erie gets a bad rap; if you wish to seek out a view or two there are few better places to do so than from Pennsylvania’s Presque Isle, just outside the strange throwback town of Erie, Pennsylvania. Cut down to Pittsburgh from here and partake of another of America’s most handsome post-industrial cities: Brick streets and hilly neighborhoods line this open canvas of charm and promise. (Although if you’re looking for something a little more touristique, definitely go eat


todd klassy

Rust Belt There’s beauty to be found in decay; one reason we can’t help but love this itinerary.

“admire the fact that one of those deli sandwiches at Primanti Bros. where they put all those French fries on there.) Leave the turnpike lifestyle from here and chug slowly toward Altoona: It’s a long, bucolic slog on any route through this eternal state, and you may as well take the scenic route, or perhaps diverge along wrongly numbered highways such as the 85 brief miles of misplaced Interstate 99. Tiny towns such as Hershey and Birdsboro pepper this route of rolling hills, brilliant junk-tique markets, and abandoned blast furnaces. Stop in Allentown for a trip to the Fairground Farmer’s Market, used bookstores and

neither the lake nor river are currently on fire.” perhaps a beautiful hamburger and glass of white birch beer on draft at Wert’s. Philadelphia makes a fine last pit stop, and a coffee (or wee tipple of beer) at Ultimo Coffee in Newbold/Point Breeze is surely a wonderful way to rejuvenate. Ignore the cheesesteak wars of Passyunk and nip up to Northeast Philly on your way out of town for a truly delicious sandwich at Joe’s Steaks (formerly called something much more impolite), but

with steaks that taste as delicious as ever. And you’ve soon enough reached Brooklyn: improbably great sunset vistas await you at East River State Park, or in, of course, Sunset Park. An endless menu of $14 cocktails or $3 egg creams beckons from myriad spots across the borough, sopped up by bagels unmatchable anywhere else--we like the Bagel Hole toward the south end of Park Slope. Take in the interior

design histories of America depicted in room dioramas at the Brooklyn Museum and head down to Sheepshead Bay, find a Roast Beef and Cheez Sandwich at the timelessly preserved Rolln-Roaster. The servers are not on roller skates anymore — b ut you will feel like you are. You have arrived at the edge of the land (or almost--that’s just a marina). Soon you’ll head to Manhattan’s Jane Hotel, which once provided beds to the survivors after the Titanic’s sinking. But for now, as the sun sets, it is time to raise a crinkly fry and a frosty mug to the memory of all the miles far, far, behind you. ↘↘ JUNE 2014  009


// bibliophile //

Head in a Book

estelle tang

estelle tang will help you solve your travel problems — through literature! trust her to prescribe the perfect book for you, no matter the situation you’ve found yourself in.

Color Lover Estelle Tang merges a love of books with a love of colors in her amazing home library.

010  LAND & SKY


when you’re traveling with a pet travels with charley by John Steinbeck Near the end of his career, John Steinbeck drove out to rediscover the country he had made a living writing about. With only his French poodle Charley as company, he embarked on a three-month journey across most of the continental United States. On his way, he meets the terse residents of Maine, falls in love with Montana and watches desegregation protests in New Orleans. Although Steinbeck certainly came to his own conclusions on his journey, he respects individual experience: He saw what he saw and knows that anyone else would have seen something different. when you’re somewhere really not exotic (like the motel near your grandparents’ place) breath by Tim Winton So you’re not in Paris. Just accept you’re stuck in a one-pub town and try to make the best of it. Set in a tiny coastal village, Tim Winton’s Breath makes the Australian nowhere strange and gorgeous. Breath is not just a poignant coming-of-age novel — i t’s also an incredible portrait of Australia’s brutal and changeable ocean. Pikelet is a promising young surfer taken under the wing of Sando, the local surf hero. Pikelet worships Sando, but gradually realizes his mentor might not have his best interests at heart. Fall in love with small-town Australia, even if it’s not the pocket you happen to be in. when you’re dreaming of authentic america the lost continent by Bill Bryson Prolific travel writer Bill Bryson returns to the us after two decades in England to search for the perfect American small town. However, Bryson finds an America unlike the place he idealizes. Packed into a Chevy Chevette borrowed from his mother, Bryson drives through 38 states, eschewing the big city and luxury hotels befitting this famed journalist, and delivers bittersweet humor along the way. when your co-pilot is a total hipster on the road by Jack Kerouac When this semi-autobiographical work was published, the New York Times hailed it as the “most important utterance” by anyone from the Beat Generation. Although he changed all the names, the characters in the novel have real life counterparts. Salvatore “Sal” Paradise (Kerouac) from New York City meets Dean Moriarty (fellow beatnik

Neal Cassady) on a cross-country journey fueled by drugs, sex and poetry The novel’s protagonists crisscross the United States and venture into Mexico on three separate trips that reveal much about the character of the epic hero, Moriarty, and the narrator. when you’re wondering wtf was up with the 1960’s the electric kool-aid acid test by Tom Wolfe Young writer Ken Kesey led a group of lsd-using hippies called the Merry Pranksters around the country in a painted bus in the 1960s. To deliver this amazing book, Wolfe combined original reporting with creative writing techniques to both cover the reality of the journey and the hallucinogenic experiences of the characters. The cast reads like a who’s who of counter-culture: Bob Dylan, Neal Cassady, Hunter S. Thompson, Doctor Strange and Jerry Garcia. The book remains one of the most intimate and well-respected testaments to hippie subculture. when you want something deeper to read than that guilty-pleasure magazine you’ve got packed zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig A deep, philosophical book that masquerades as a simple story of a father-and-son motorcycle trip, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is Pirsig’s first foray into philosophical writing. Their motorcycle trip from Minneapolis to San Francisco is also a trip through Eastern and Western philosophical traditions. His friend, a romantic, lives by the principle of Zen and relies on mechanics to fix his motorcycle. Pirisg, on the other hand, leaves nothing up to chance and knows the ins and outs of maintaining his bike. when you’re stuck at home this friday night breakfast at tiffany’s by Truman Capote The traditional Friday night in involves a classic film like Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Audrey Hepburn, cats, ridiculous sleepwear: what else could you want? Next time you are stuck staying in, though, why not try the book instead? Holly Golightly is as fascinating on the page as she is on screen — p erhaps even more so. From her French-peppered utterances to her history as a teenage wife, Holly is as mysterious and alluring as they come. While the film Holly is a magnificent creature who sets the bar for skittish elegance, Capote’s Holly is a wild animal belonging to no one: a lovely, bittersweet surprise for a Friday night. ↘↘

JUNE 2014  011


012  LAND & SKY


every woman should travel

alone

Words by Sarah Hepola Photography by Lauren Randolph

at 27, i took a road trip across the country by myself. it was foolish and lonely and the best thing i’ve ever done.

it was three months into my solo road trip when I grew genuinely scared. I’d been pitching my tent across the country, but I had rolled into Bar Harbor, Maine, on July 4 only to discover all the campgrounds and hotels were full. Wouldn’t you know: The grand celebration of our freedom left me with nowhere to stay. So I parked my car within Acadia National Park, because I figured serial killers wouldn’t bother with the entrance fee, and I curled up in the backseat with the only protection I had: a small hammer, and a teddy bear. Yes, I carried a teddy bear with me on my swashbuckling Jack JUNE 2014  013


if you are lucky, you stop seeing the world as a series of things you do not have — a boyfriend, a baby, an adorable terrier — a nd you start noticing the things you do have. Kerouac adventure. It was a gift from my hs boyfriend, and it reminded me of being loved, and I had dragged it along the ground of the previous decade, through college, my first career and various romantic disappointments. That bear was a kind of battle armor, even as it squished up against my face. And I needed it that night, because my mind was a haunted house of broken glass and men in ski masks lurching from shadows. There were so many reasons to be frightened while traveling alone — 18-wheelers, lightning storms, roadside motels that reeked of death — but the most formidable was my own imagination. I told myself I’d be fine, that no one would find me here, but I was wrong, because I was startled awake by a flashlight flooding the window at 3am. “Sorry, ma’am, you can’t sleep here,” said the park ranger. I tumbled out of the car, barefoot, and how strange I must have looked to him: the ball peen hammer swinging from one hand, the teddy bear from the other. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I now saw his face, a mixture of amusement and 014  LAND & SKY

disbelief. Looking me up and down and wondering, “What the hell are you doing here?” The truth was, I didn’t know. One always thinks about the exotic trips they could take to Africa or Australia or the Alps, but rarely do we allow ourselves to celebrate our own backyards, which often are given the label “mundane”. Whether we are living in packed together row houses in an inner city, or a 50-acre plot in the Midwest, we all have something fascinating to see just out the backdoor. I was living in America; the whole country is one grand backyard, hardly mundane, full of wonders. I could go anywhere I wanted and I wouldn’t need a passport or plane tickets or money with unpronounceable words on it. (Teddy and the hammer were definitely required though.) At the tender age of 27, I got in my aquamarine Honda and drove 26,000 miles around the country for five months by myself. It was foolish and lonely and 10 years later, I still think it might be the best thing I’ve ever done. I wore clothes till they were filthy and lived on baked beans and peanut butter, but the luxury of all that time is unimaginable to me now, because I woke up every morning with no one’s agenda but my own. What did I want to see? Where did I want to go? I’ve been thinking about that trip recently, because I’ve been reading Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, an account of her foolish


Views from the road Randolph captured these scenes while driving to Oregon from Nevada.

and lonely solo walk along the Pacific Crest Trail at the age of 26. As feats of fortitude go, Strayed blows me out of the water. She loses her toenails and whereas she swallows her own mother’s ashes, I visited the Cereal Museum at the Mall of America (and I highly recommend it). But what we shared was a reckless sense of adventure and a grandiosity to believe we could make such journeys in the first place, when so many people were ready to convince us we could not. A woman traveling alone threatens tradition and propriety. And because women often doubt themselves, we stay toward safe harbors and soft landings, hiding behind the needs and wants of others. I spent my mid-20s in this crouch of safety. I saw my friends scattered to both coasts after college, but I stayed in the same city where we went to school, in the same state where I’d grown up. I got a good job at an alt weekly. I learned to shoot pool. But I hid behind 20 extra pounds and a pyramid of empty beer cans. I would get these honking crushes on guys at work — I lived lifetimes with them in my mind — but I would run into them at the printer and be all blank stares and whatever. My female friends were not like this. They were crashing against the rocks of 20-something relationships in a way that

was thrilling and age-appropriate — moving in with boyfriends, dating older men, dating women. But I spent the ages of 23, and 24, and 25 drumming my fingers on the table, waiting for a big romance that never arrived. Men had always been the instigators of adventure for me. It was my older brother I stumbled behind as a little girl, tripping along the ground to try to keep his pace. It was my college boyfriend who whisked me out to Colorado two weeks after we met, where we drove all night and slept under the stars. I kept on thinking if I met the guy, then I would lose the weight, I would stop drinking myself into a coma, I would crawl out of my hidey-hole. But I knew in my heart that the opposite was true. No one could rescue me from my own isolation. The first line of David Copperfield kicked around my mind: “Whether I shall be the hero of my own life, or whether that position will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.” If you are lucky, you stop seeing the world as a series of things you do not have — a boyfriend, a baby, an adorable terrier — and you start noticing the things you do have. A healthy bank account, unburdened by mortgages or school loans. No romantic ties. Loving parents who wanted nothing but happiness for me. Years to burn. That kind of freedom is like a command from the universe to get off your ass and do something amazing. And so, at the age of 26, I quit my job and went to travel in South America for four months. It was amazing, although I don’t need to tell you about it now, partly because that is not JUNE 2014  015


Pacific Coast us Route 101 heads all the way up the West Coast, offering spectacular views.

the point of this essay, and partly because I am the kind of person who can’t read about someone else’s mind-blowing world travel without quietly seething with envy. Oh, I’m so happy you saw the face of God in the stones of Machu Picchu, I’ll just be over here dribbling this Chipotle burrito down the front of my shirt and dying inside. The point of this essay is that I went by myself, and doing so made me wonder what else I could do alone. A map of the world became like a series of boxes unchecked. I kept thinking about my 401K – $7,000 gathering dust in a series of graphs and charts that arrived in the mail each month. I kept thinking about those swaggering tales of men blazing across American asphalt: soaring down Route 66 with the windows down, sliding into some corner booth while some waitress called them “honey.” Travel can be an addiction, and five months on the road suited that greediness in me. I didn’t want to go to one place; I wanted to go to all places. I wanted to run my hands across the entire continent. And so I drove up the Pacific Coast Highway. I drove to Alaska. I drove across Montana and up into Quebec. Some of my friends were so excited by my trip that they joined me on two-week legs. I wrote about my travels on a blog, and strangers emailed me tips for their cities before I’d arrived. 016  LAND & SKY

Not everyone loved this plan. My parents, for instance. But my mother is partly to blame for my wanderlust in the first place. I had grown up hearing tales of her trips to Germany and Austria as a young woman. She traded the cost of an engagement ring to my father for a chance to hike around in the Black Forest, which of course, I thought was the coolest thing ever — to commit to travel and marriage all at once. (My parents are still together.) So she sucked up my eccentric journeys, and settled for a call from every port. It wasn’t easy for her. The world is a wicked place, and no one likes the thought of their only daughter swallowing fear and vulnerability on a daily basis. But at some point, every one of us must stare down this calculation: How safe do we want to be? How much of ourselves are we willing to give up for it? Yes, I was scared at times, but I had also been scared sitting on my futon watching “The Real World.” (Scared of the phone, scared of the future, and scared of what people said about me.) The far more terrifying fate, as I saw it, was that I would fail to become the person I wanted to be. I still wasn’t sure what that was yet. I spent much of those five months feeling like a kite dangling on a string. Was I going to head to grad school? Write for television? Open my own school? My mind filled with clouds. But my God, it was fun. It was boring, too.


john spent his 20s hopping on rail cars and dumpster diving …  he was a wild-eyed wanderer, and now he lived in a comfy victorian in portland, maine, and was giving me lectures about stranger danger. why? just because i was a girl?

I took eight-hour hikes and let my mind wander, or sang the “Xanadu” soundtrack for the 18 billionth time. I also made incredibly stupid decisions. One night, while walking to my friend John’s house in Portland, Maine, I climbed in the car of a strange man who offered me a ride because he thought I was cute. I know better than this, but I was buzzed on five beers and the whiff of danger. He got lost almost immediately, and I grew nervous, and at some point, he started yelling at me, “So you think I’m a rapist? You think I’m going to kill you?” The answers to those questions were yes and yes. But he did not. Instead, he called me a bitch and dropped me off at John’s place, where he had grown panicked with worry. “You can’t do that,” John said, pacing the floor as he spoke. “Promise me you’ll never do that again.” And I felt bad, but I also thought he was being unfair: John spent his 20s hopping on rail cars and dumpster diving. He joined the Hare Krishnas. He was a wild-eyed wanderer, and now he lived in a comfy Victorian in Portland, Maine, and was giving me lectures about stranger danger. Why? Just because I was a girl? I didn’t get it. And it took me years of harrowing escapades and narrow scrapes to get it. Walking down that dark alley in

Philadelphia to cut a corner. Sharing a room for a night with two complete strangers outside of Las Vegas, just to save some money. And please don’t tell my mom about the time I broke into a convent in Austen to get fresh water. Climbing into that car wasn’t stupid because I was a woman. It was stupid, period. So I had a lot to learn about taking care of myself, but I was on my way. In the years since, I feel a jolt of excitement whenever I hear about a woman traveling alone, whether she’s a single woman surfing in Costa Rica or a married journalist dropping into a war zone or a mother going to the wilds of Africa, discovering what quiet sounds like when it unfolds around her. Such exotic forays are out of reach for many people – including me, for most of my life. But I also think you can take a day hike by yourself, you can travel to the lake by yourself. And what you find is a reassurance that you can stand on your own in the world. There is a poignant scene near the end of Wild. Cheryl Strayed’s mother is close to death, and she tells her daughter, “I never got to be in the driver’s seat of my own life … I always did what someone else wanted me to do. I’ve always been someone else’s daughter or mother or wife. I’ve never just been me.” God, that moment cut me. Boyfriends are nice, and careers are important, but I think this is all I’ve ever been after: to just be me. I can’t travel so much these days. I don’t have the money and I have a cat I love beyond all reason, who is old and tired. But I also figured out that I had to stop moving every time I grew uncomfortable. Being in the driver’s seat of your own life is grand, but it requires knowing when you are out of gas. I try to keep a traveler’s eyes. I take expeditions to strange suburbs. I take expeditions to the 7-11. (Behold: Corn Nuts in their native environment!) After years of movement, my challenge now is to sit still. But I also try to hold onto that girl who was young and stupid enough to believe in foolish adventures, the girl who was equal parts ready to fall in love with you and hurl a hammer into your front windshield. I had a strength I did not realize at the time, but one I certainly did not forget. When I am restless and defeated and scared again, I tell myself this: that the greatest trip of my life came because I did not get the things I wanted. I wish you the same. ↘↘ JUNE 2014  017


// header //

Chinatown, ny A page from Felix Scheinberger’s travels.

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// header //

travel awakens the senses and enlivens the soul. don’t miss an opportunity to capture the essence of your next journey through sketching. ten creatives open their sketchbooks to share their tips.

travel is the best time to develop the habit to keep an illustrated journal. When you come to a new place, it’s all novel. But when you draw it, you explore its details and discover connections and angels that give it rich meaning. We all know what the Eiffel Tower looks like, but you have a new appreciation of its engineering, its scale and its history when you draw. A quick snapshot will never reveal as much. Keeping an illustrated travel journal enhances your trip and opens your mind. And once you return from your trip, your mind remains full of wonder. A quick flip through your journal’s pages keeps those memories alive for years on end. Here, you will find a collection of tips excerpted from a diverse collection of artists. Next time you travel, across the ocean or the county line, pack a sketchbook and a pen and discover how making art can open your eyes and deepen the experience. Whether you draw a monument, a tea cup, a trash bin, a street scene, or a view from the airplane window, you will return rejuvenated and completely addicted to sketchbooks.

JUNE 2014  019


The Sketchbooks Top Row (L-R): Fabio Consoli, Hannah Hinchman. Second Row: Lapin. Third Row: Jean-Christophe Defline, Pete Scully. Bottom Row: Cathy Johnson, Lisa CheneyJorgensen, Bryce Wymer. Opposite Page: Lucinda Rogers.

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“don’t judge the outcome, just put pencil or pen to paper.”

1

capture a multisensory experience Drawing facilitates contact with reality and creates a strong bond with places. The stronger the emotion, the deeper it will be remembered in your mind. Because drawing generates intense emotions, the link with places where it was made is even stronger. When I look at an old notebook full of drawings I made in Madagascar, I’m almost able to smell the aroma of Africa. I like to imprint smells in my notebooks; this is why I often use food or fruits like coffee, wine, soy sauce, some fresh herbs, berries or tomatoes for coloring. In this way, even for a short time, I can infuse the smells into my drawings. — fabio consoli

2

catalog the unknown I believe my journal is always a tool for discovery, on the road or at home. Especially when I get nose-to-nose with something, like an unusual mushroom, insect or fossil. When I find an insect nest I don’t recognize, for instance, sketching it fixes it in my mind to compare with a book, online source or to take to an expert in the field. — cathy johnson

3

enliven the mundane Since the age of 20, I have never traveled without sketching. For my very first travel sketchbooks, I went alone to Egypt, Mexico and Vietnam. During those travels, I realized something important: That I need nothing more than a sketchbook, watercolor, ink pen and a bottle of water in order to survive. Most of the time, my sketchbook serves to organize my schedule and may provoke some

unexpected meetings. Sketching also is a key wayto create an easy connection with the people around me. While I sit on the floor sketching, people will spend time talking to me, and when I ask to draw their portrait, they will tell me many things about their lives, sometimes very personal stuff and I write down some of what they share with me. — l apin

4

create a daily habit Buy a sketchbook and begin drawing in it every day, even if the picture is just a little something. Take the book with you everywhere you go, and draw in it instead of flipping through magazines at doctors’ appointments or waiting for your kids to finish up soccer practice or during lunch breaks. Don’t judge the outcome, just put pencil or pen to paper. Make sure you work in your book every day until it becomes a habit that you look forward to. There will come a day when you don’t even have to think about it and your authentic voice will emerge on the page before you.  — lisa cheney-jorgensen

5

discover the unseen details Drawing things pushes you to analyze details and understand why life is different here. It tells you a lot of things you wouldn’t even notice at a simple glance or with a snapshot. If you are drawing a rickshaw, you’ll se that under different layers of blue paint an old rusted framework hides. You’ll notice the handcrafted old wooden pedals, the patched hood and the worn towel on the handle bar to wipe sweat. You immediately

understand how much love and effort are needed to run this heavy engine on a daily basis. — jean-christophe defline

6

switch it up When I’m working on a project for publication, I concentrate on one medium, like watercolor, because it takes a while to get up to speed with a particular set of tools. The journal is the opposite. I never know what will be the right pencils, brush-pen--until the moment is at hand and the impulse arrives. I like to push the pages in the journal — overdo it, lay it on, make it work. — hannah hinchman

7

draw from life My principal way of working is to draw from life, taking inspiration from what I see around me. A travel sketchbook taken alongside is a chance to do the most immediate and spontaneous work and is something to refer back to for memories and ideas. In all my more substantial drawings, I try to keep the looseness and spirit of inquiry of a sketchbook journal.  — lucinda rogers

8

be resourceful My sketchbooks are always small, and I take the minimal amount of drawing materials with me, just the basics: fine liners and a small palette of watercolors. One also can use things one finds; coloring with coffee, red wine or fruit juice can be a lot of fun, and the result is always unique. I also like to use things I find such as bus tickets or restaurant receipts. And my material is never expensive. I don’t want to worry about making mistakes or being wasteful. I like

mistakes. Some can lead you in completely new directions.  — felix scheinberger

9

keep your eyes wide open I like to focus on the character of any place I visit, something that represents it more than just the usual sights. I think things can generally look more interesting if they are drawn, because you get the human rather than the digital-camera version of events. The point is to capture the experience of travel itself, but the temptation is to draw the sights. If you have wanted to go to Paris your entire life, do you feel like you’ve cheated yourself if you don’t draw the Eiffel Tower at least once? Or do you focus on that cute little bakery hidden away behind your hotel, or the street signs, or the entrance to the Metro, or the old man sitting outside the café? All of these things say Paris, so you don’t have to leave them out in favor of the sights. — pete scully

10

don’t judge yourself Working in a sketchbook or writing in a journal is a physical and mental exercise. It’s not necessarily meant to be hung on a wall or handled with white gloves. It’s one of those rare places in this world where on one page you can totally geek out and experiment with abstraction and on the next page you can work through a refined portrait where there will undoubtedly always be something wrong with the fucking nose. — bryce wymer ↘↘ Want more? Read Danny Gregory’s latest book, An Illustrated Journey published last year. JUNE 2014  021


// what i wore //

Vegas Bound chiuie s. shows us some road trip style as she and her family make way for las vegas via vancouver. it’s snowing in vancouver as I write this. Looking out the window, the road is white except the two sewer covers peeking out like a pair of brown eyes. Wow, who would’ve thought I’d ever give sewer covers such a romantic description? Neither my family nor I am Vegas material. But my mom thought that we should visit it anyways, and that’s where we spent our winter holiday. We drove to Vegas from my aunt’s at Huntington Beach and this photo was taken during our trip back to her house. I’d been fantasizing about taking photographs in the desert along the way, since I wasn’t asleep in the back seat this time. I finally voiced my thinking and took some selfies while my dad stopped to fill up gas. dress Nordstorm, discounted after sale because I caught a gum stain so I got it for 8.99! cardigan Gentle Fawn sample sale last August. boots Vintage. bag Vintage, I found it in my grandparents’ storage room over Christmas break. scarf Made by me, with yarn purchased while visiting Gather Here in Cambridge, ma.

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issue 1.09

Land & Sky kyoto issue

sept 2014


Land & Sky