Tags: aeachi



August in America, day twenty-five

Today was the second day of An Event Apart Chicago and I kicked things off with my talk The Long Web. But this time I introduced a new variable into the mix—I played a bit of mandolin.

A Man and His Music: Jeremy Keith at An Event Apart Chicago 2013

It was relevant …honest. I was talking about the redesign and relaunch of The Session, which involved giving a bit of background on traditional Irish music, so it seemed appropriate to demonstrate with a hornpipe. I screwed it up a little bit, but people didn’t seem to mind.

Jeremy Keith at An Event Apart Chicago 2013

Once I was done with my talk, I was able to relax and enjoy an excellent presentation by Adrian on interface details; lots of great food for thought in there.

Once the day was done, myself, Jessica, Jason, Ethan, Brad, Kristina, and Karen made our way to The Purple Pig, where we proceeded to eat all the food. Excellent food and excellent company; a good way to spend my last night in Chicago …and indeed, the United States.

Tomorrow I begin the journey home.

August in America, day twenty-four

Today was the opening day of An Event Apart Chicago so I spent the whole day at the back of the room absorbing the knowledge bombs being dropped.

As usual, the quality of the talks was excellent, and quite a few of them set me up nicely for my talk tomorrow. I’ll be reiterating a lot of what Ethan said about progressive enhancement—no surprise there.

I’m on first thing tomorrow. That’s the hangover slot (thanks for booze, Media Temple). I’m kind of nervous about the talk. Now that I’ve given it once already—at An Event Apart DC earlier this month—I shouldn’t be worried, but I’m going to attempt something a bit new tomorrow. If it doesn’t work, I’ll be left with egg on my face.

Wish me luck.

From Chicago to Brighton

I was in the States last week for An Event Apart Chicago. I had a most excellent time. Partly, that’s because An Event Apart is always excellent, and partly because Chicago is such a great city.

I took pictures.

I did the Architecture Foundation’s river cruise (again), which I would highly recommend to anyone with the vaguest interest in either architecture or just cruising down rivers in boats.

Canyons of stone and glass Jessica

I also went to my the second bases-ball game of my life. The first one was at Fenway Park, so going to Wrigley Field feels like the logical next step—maybe I should work my way through all the bases-ball field diamond pitches in chronological order.

Chicago dog in Wrigley Field On the bleachers

To balance out such sportsness, I made sure to spend plenty of time in the Art Institute Of Chicago, taking full advantage of the Lichtenstein exhibition that’s currently running there.

Lichtenlips Lichtendog

I had the opportunity to meet some of the hard-working web geeks of Chicago. I had a look around the Obama campaign HQ, thanks to Daniel Ryan. I also got a tour of the whacky Tribune Tower, thanks to Chris Courtney, and I got to see first-hand how the web team at The Chicago Tribune are doing some very cool stuff with data.

On the Tribune roof Journalism is serious business

Now I’m back in Brighton, which is turning into geek central with the Brighton Digital Festival. It kicked off last night with Seb’s fantastic PixelPyros digital fireworks.

PixelPyros PixelPyros are go!

Reasons To Be Creative starts today. I’ll be popping in out to hear some of the talks, but things are getting pretty busy here at Clearleft Towers, what with this being dConstruct week.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve started having dConstruct dreams this week. I have to remind myself to actually enjoy myself and not spend the whole time stressing out. I think it should be fairly easy to enjoy myself, what with that kick-ass lineup.

That’ll be on Friday. Before that, there’s Brighton SF on Thursday. That’s going to be a lot of fun too, and a total geekfest with Jeff Noon, Lauren Beukes, and Brian Aldiss.

Grab a ticket if you haven’t already. See you there.

She car go

As befits a place known as The Windy City, my visit was something of a whirlwind.

I got into Chicago with a day to spare before An Event Apart kicked off. I made the most of that blessedly sunny day; walking out to Navy Pier, down Lake Shore to the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium, stopping for a typical specimen of the Chicago hot dog on the way. By the time I walked back to my hotel—stopping for an obligatory mirror shot at the bean—I was fairly knackered and happy to spend the evening relaxing in the company of my fellow speakers.

The conference itself was great. From Eric’s mind-blowing opening talk to Jim’s relaxed film-filled closing, the quality remained consistently high although it dipped a little at the start of the second day when I took to the stage and made the audience mimic Eric’s patented devil horns.

As great as the speakers were, the crowd were the real stars. I had some great conversations with the smart standards-savvy folk who came to the conference and followed on to the post-presentation drinkipoos. The opening night party was lubricated by the generous and dangerous guys at Media Temple. I’ll be seeing them again next week at the dConstruct pre-party.

An Event Apart wrapped up yesterday. Today I had some time to kill before heading for home. I spent it taking in the wonderful architecture from the vantage point of a river boat tour followed by a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago. They were both gratifying cultural experiences but I don’t think they could quite compare to the late-night visits I had already paid to Chicago’s true cultural icon, the Billy Goat Tavern.

It feels like I just got here but here I am, back at the airport. Having experienced most of Chicago’s tourist attractions—art, architecture, hot dogs, pizza and cheezborger—I am currently engaged in the one activity that every visitor to Chicago really can’t avoid: sitting in O’Hare for hours, waiting for a delayed flight.