Thursday, November 27, 2008

Conversation with My Father

My father, Henry Roden, is a great man. I think we may all feel that about our fathers, but mine is especially great. Here are some highlighted quotes from this morning during my annual Thanksgiving Day phone call with him. Thanks Dad, for everything.
  • On Concepts - "People don't sell things, they sell concepts. It's like the guy who sells drills. He doesn't sell drills, he sells holes."
  • On Change - "There are three types of people in this world. Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what the hell happened?"
  • On Labor - "It's like when I was in Mexico in '62 and there were hundreds of workers alongside the road swinging pick-axes and I said to the guy I was with, 'wouldn't it be easier to do this with a machine?' And he said, 'but then they would have no jobs.'"
  • On Farming - "Tried that and there's NO WAY I'm going back to it. What we should have grown was palm trees. We would have made a fortune."
  • On Government - "When I was out helping the democrats get into office, what was amazing was the enthusiasm that the young people for Obama showed about what they were doing."
  • On Hillary - "One of the local political cartoonist put it best ' Billary.'"
  • On Juarez (just south of the border where he lives in New Mexico) - "They talk about 200 dead this year in Tijuana, Juaraz has had 1,300! Most if it drug related. Of course the kids still come to school in this country. We just built a new bridge for them to cross over on. You don't hear about those things much in the media."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Chicago Express Inc.

From Robert Frank's 'The Americans' - Taken at the Art Institute of Chicago with permission.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My New Friends at the Zebra Lounge

Home Again at Nikki's

I'm so lucky is right. Here's Nikki in all of her shining glory the night Obama became our 44th president. I've checked in to her 3 flat in the northern neighborhood of Edgewater / Andersonville for my final four days here in town. Nikki and I met when we shared a communal living space - piso compartido - in Buenos Aires a few years back along with her twin sister Jessica as well as a bunch of other foreign travellers.

Now she's teaches social studies in one of Chicago's many charter schools and is the most gracious hostess ever - thanks for the note and coffee this morning and for putting me up and for putting up with me.

Here's Nikki with her roommate Carrie, parading down Michigan Avenue on election night, November 4, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Even MORE Random Pics from Shooting Chicago

Veteran painted hummer in Oak Park

Stuffed Dogs, Chicago-style

Bikes locked up outside everywhere

Keith Herring sculpture, downtown Chicago

"Going up?" Good times as a tourist in Chicago headed to the 101st floor of the Sears Tower.

Monday, November 10, 2008

America's Top Drinking Neighborhood

A giant chiuaua-sized rat scurries up the gutter sniffing for scraps, northbound on Damon Avenue as I pass by in the sub-freezing cold early Chicago morning, headed back t0 home on Evergreen St - Hotel Ryan in Wicker Park. Sunday night at the Map Room, a travel-oriented Belgium-style pub with many authentic Belgium-style beers on tap is host to tonight's Sunday night neighborhood locals, a wicked cross section of folk from the neighborhood and life at large, I suppose. There's the jar head-looking crew cut marines across the way, the hipsters in back playing pool and the beer drinkers scattered across the bar, as are we.
Two friendly and slightly buzzed gals saddle up next to us as Thin Lizzy continuously plays in the background. They judiciously study the beer menu and then order up some fancy Belgium beer from a bottle with a cork. "Don't mind us, we've been drinking for six hours straight," the tall mischievous one says. I grab the camera and start snapping away as the curly haired shorter one talks of her past year off with another year to go when I ask her about having to be at work tomorrow, Monday. "I used to own a Mediterranean sea food joint in the neighborhood but I sold it, time to move on." Shortly there after she picks up her garb, dons her winter wear and heads for home in the howling hard Chicago wind-swept night.

"That's Stephanie," says the new guy, a friend of Sarah. "You know, from America's Top Chef? I have a picture of her in my phone."

Both Sarah and I shrug, neither of us owns a TV.

Later, much later, I finally head out into the dark cold street myself, alone and distracted, making it down to the end of the block and around the corner before I realize I've left my all-important gloves and wool cap back at the bar. Trudging back to the Map Room I round up my stuff and head out once again into the biting cold, crisp, cool and clear Chicago night. Passing by the Blue Line station headed south, the digital clock-thermometer above reads 29 degrees. I shove my gloved hands deeper into my coat pockets and continue on. Home is closer than I think.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Top Dog - Chicago Style

- photo by Carrie, Chicago actor extraordinaire

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Man... today got bigger and bigger, every waking moment. Here are a few brief highlights from this historic event in American politics and world history. Now the real work starts.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Ironically, my official free Obama 08 campaign button just arrived in the mail from MoveOn after more than 8 weeks. (They did say it'd take awhile and it was free). It came in a huge, padded somewhat faded drab manila envelope and is so tiny - about the size of a slightly over-sized quarter - that I almost missed it inside the giant envelope. But just in time indeed. Although I'm not a big button wearer, now I can proudly wear this historic button on the plane Tuesday, November 4, 2008 as I make my way towards ground zero in Chicago - Grant Park for the big celebration on Tuesday night.
My latest photo assignment - shoot 44 locations in Chicago at the beginning of winter in 12 days - lands me smack in the middle of American history X - REAL HISTORY! Hope and change have been the central tenants throughout the Obama campaign and I for one am super excited, especially after twenty years of apathy and disillusionment. To have BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA just two or three days away from the presidency, a BLACK man headed to the WHITE house... wow! So awesome! Stay tuned for updates from Chicago, and then some pretty travel photos of that great city.

- Goyo