Thursday, November 18, 2010

Road to Burning Man


Last year I had the chance to spent the night at Pyramid Lake before heading up to Black Rock City. Me and two others, sharing a small tent by the side of the lake. In the middle of nowhere. In the middle of nothing. Right there at the center of everything. Quietness. Silence. Only darkness. And many stars.


Pyramid Lake, 2009


I woke up a solid hour before the sun, and started working on my gear, getting ready for what would become one of my favorites shots for that trip. Modest, simple and resilient: i remember only getting a camera with my fisheye lens, a tripod and some inner strength to fight the desire to stay put inside my warm sleeping bag. No, I could not pass that moment, though I had no idea what would look like. The result is the photo below.

Pyramid Lake, 2009

This year we drove right through the reservation: beautiful, quiet, patient nature. The cozy clouds are a well known sign, giving me a hint this will be a great burn. I had remembered the previous experience, sleeping by the lake, the darkness and the complete solitude.

Pyramid Lake, Nevada


Nostalgic moments make me wonder if I would find peace by the lake, away from society, away from the chaos: no moments allowed to live in the moments, time leaping time. No time to have time. A blink and two months go by. A nap and ten years are gone.


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I wonder how fast seconds are in a place like this. For me, right now, even a place like that may not be slow enough for me: I need time. I need more time. I need to slow down life.






Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What happens in Vegas...

... is exposed right here!

Our last full stop before Black Rock City was Las Vegas: the plan was to arrive one evening and leave town the following morning, leaving one full day to explore the infamous Sin City. Out of the three of us, I was the only first timer in town, so everything was kind of new to me. The other fold of the stop was for me to visit an old friend of mine and her daughter. I hadn't seen this friend for about 3 years, and never had a chance to meet her 4-year old daughter.

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The Palazzo


Thanks for a special friend, I was able to spend some time in the pool area at the Palazzo and enjoy some caipirinha at Sushi Samba! Fucking yeah.. nothing better than some chillin' before a week at black rock desert...


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Same colors, Same winds, Different Vibes

After Seeing Vegas and already been to Black Rock City, I was shocked how drastically similar and different both cities were. It must be something in Nevada's water or just the desert dust. As I was exploring Vegas, I couldn't help myself but make the comparison to BRC:

  1. Lights. lights and lights: You make the call: neon? color LEDs? Laser beams? Fire? They both have them, enough to "transform" night into day.
  2. Entertainment: let's just ignore the "fun" factor / quality aspect of it and say both cities do offer TONS of entertainment. I must admit, if I didn't know better, I would be entertained in Vegas. Enough said.
  3. Seasonal places: No argument here about BRC, as the city only technically  lasts 7 days. Now I was surprised talking to some "locals" in Vegas, to hear most people come, stay for a couple of years, then go. Kind of Waikiki but turboed: the "locals" seemed to be from all over the place, but Vegas, which I guess is typical for tourist cities.
  4. Creativity: okay, let's just please take this as I am presenting. I said creativity, NOT originality, so burners out there, CALM DOWN, I am not insulting BRC! Even the art of copying something has creativity in it, and the concept itself of creating cities in the desert is creative. So in my humble opinion, both cities do reveal levels of creativity beyond an average city.
  5. Reality Refuge: inarguably, both cities do attract a vast range of newbies driven by the concept of a surreal lifestyle. It is common to hear stories about first timers going to Vegas as well as Black Rock city: tales of sex, drugs, alcohol, parties, and the list goes on.

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Plastic x Flesh

At a first layer, the similarities are there, but as you peel off the shells, in essence there is not much in common between these cities: their dynamics is absurdly different, their vibes are entirely opposite.I believe the gap is so huge, as to white and black, dry and wet, FAKE and REAL. Which one is each? It is in the eye of the beholder. You pick your flavor. As for me, I know I am a Black Rock city citizen.

Yes, the foundation of my analysis is very poor, after all I had spent less than 48 hours in Vegas. At the same time, I invite anyone willing to make a better comparison, to visit BRC, and see what this city is really about.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Encounters of the Weird Degree


Noun: encounter

  1. A minor short-term fight
  2. A casual or unexpected convergence
  3. A casual meeting with a person of thing
  4. A hostile disagreement face-to-face
  5. A cop stopping you on the highway

Noun: “weird degree

  1. Suggesting the operation of supernatural influences
  2. Strikingly odd or unusual
  3. Beyond what is natural
  4. A cop stopping you on the highway, separating you from your friends, interrogating each one individually and checking the answers and politely asking if you have an amphetamine lab in your RV.




Now I can look back and laugh at our encounter, but it was a damn intense moment. Very weird how similar to the Supertroopers opening scene it was… Geez.. luckily Adriano was the only one that had a chance to sit inside the police car with the K-9 smiling at him.




Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Catalina, The Brave

After 1,300 miles we are at Omaha, Nebraska. No, this is not a planned stop point, we don't know anyone in Nebraska and we most definitely wish we were somewhere near Boulder/Denver. But that’s how life is: you plan for coffee, and you get tea. You plan for black, and sometimes you get white.

Catalina, The Brave. Indeed, La Poderosa, The Powerful Conqueror. Royal brave girl disguised as a humble pagan. Wounded in battle, scarred for life, but resilient. Maybe it is the Transformers’ culture influence in which machines mirror people and even show feelings, or maybe it is just me hoping she is on my side. Either way, it is a machine with lots of character, something rare in some people.  

She has been driving 16 hours a day, with a leaky water pump, covering ground to get us to our destination. At every stop, a puddle of antifreeze is beneath her. Temperature running high, but within specs shows us her desire to keep on moving, to not give up, and continue the course. Showing off the resilience within, showing off her character.

We have been racing for 1,300 miles to locate a water pump and a garage shop that could do the swap. Not a easy task, considering it is a 1988 vehicle and no parts store will store it. I was actually able to locate an Autozone store in Nebraska that had a returned part in stock. And on top all off mechanical issues, we had a route to follow.


IMGP7351On the way to Chicago - 1st Night, Dunkin Donuts



IMGP7586The Crew + Catalina, The Brave – 2nd Night, Lake Manawa State Park, Iowa


Ron’s Garage

Miles driven today so far: 0



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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Crew

The crew has finally met at Ground Control. And what a unique crew: two Brazilian hippies; and American lawyer and a Russian Buddhist.   We know for sure we are legally protected, spiritually blessed and, well, ready to party!

And to close the circle, we have Catalina: clean, shiny and desperate to hit the road. It is her purpose on life, it gives her meaning. She is not supposed to be parked in a driveway somewhere in Connecticut. She needs the road. She needs the asphalt passing underneath her at 60 mph. She wants to show everyone she is capable of that one more challenge. And she will successfully, with the help of our unique crew, achieve that.



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Monday, August 2, 2010

Round Trip Created


6,465 miles round trip created. Just click on maps for biggies!















Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lady in Red

I've never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight
I've never seen you shine so bright
I've never seen so many men ask you if you wanted to dance
They're looking for a little romance, given half a chance
I have never seen that dress you're wearing
Or the highlights in your head that catch your eyes I have been blind
The lady in red is dancing with me cheek to cheek
There's nobody here, it's just you and me, It's where I wanna be
But I hardly know this beauty by my side
I'll never for get, the way you look tonight
I've never seen you looking so gorgeous as you did tonight
I've never seen you shine so bright you were amazing
I've never seen so many people want to be there by your side
And when you turned to me and smiled, It took my breath away
I have never had such a feeling
Such a feeling of complete and utter love, as I do tonight
The way you look tonight
I never will forget, the way you look tonight
The lady in red
The lady in red
The lady in red
My lady in red (I love you.)


 Lady in Red - 06


 Lady in Red - 01Lady in Red - 04    Lady in Red - 05Lady in Red - 02



Lady in Red - 03

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Housecleaning: PurplePower Powa!


One thing that I have learned while working in some-what big projects, is that if you are performing some kind of cleaning and/or aesthetic work, is that the project is moving along as expected OR there is something really dirty and smelly!

In our case, fortunately the project has been moving along very nicely, with small bumps on the road but well within schedule. Yes, we still have a list of tasks to complete, but we are confident will get done in time. We have been pushing really hard lately so when you hit a 95F Saturday like this past weekend, we allow ourselves to take a break and do some "cool off work".

07 - Catalina - 03


 07 - Catalina - 01 07 - Catalina - 02 


Actually the cleaning work was comprehensibly easier than we thought and the results were exponentially better that expected. Not a bad combination, not at all. Also, we need to give props to those guys at PurplePower: I've been using their product on wheel/tires cleaning for years and i knew how powerful it was. Great great great!

07 - Catalina - 04


07 - Catalina - 05 07 - Catalina - 06 07 - Catalina - 07 07 - Catalina - 08 07 - Catalina - 09 07 - Catalina - 10

07 - Catalina - 11


    07 - Catalina - 12 07 - Catalina - 13

07 - Catalina - 14


 07 - Catalina - 1507 - Catalina - 16