September 20, 2006

Coast to Coast

I’ve just come back from yet another crazy bit of traveling in a short amount of time. Liz and I woke up before sunrise on Saturday to participate in the MS City To Shore Bike Ride (thanks again to my kind sponsors!). All told, we rode nearly 80 miles (the first 20 of which were in the rain). Luckily for our sore asses, we had to come back to Philly Saturday night (as opposed to riding back again on Sunday) so that I could hop on a plane to Seattle for An Event Apart. This was definitely the most mileage I’ve ever done on my bike in one sitting, and I gotta say, I really loved it. Of course, I couldn’t do this every week, but it was surreal to think “I just rode to Ocean City”. I managed to snap a couple photos at the rest stops of our dear Team Schmean.

Flash to Sunday afternoon in Seattle. What a beautiful city! It’s like a very hilly Philadelphia with amazing coffee. And when I say it reminds me of Philly, I mean that in the best way; it felt friendly and warm, like home. I stayed at the fabulous Edgewater Hotel, which was revealed to me after arranging the accommodations as the place where some of that infamous Led Zeppelin stuff happened. The night before An Event Apart, we were treated to a pre-party (and free t-shirts!) from the newly established Method Arts. This pre-party was a great chance for some extra social tomfoolery, and something I hope gets picked up in other cities. I love meeting and talking to as many attendees as I can, and giving me free beer only makes it that much more compelling. An Event Apart seemed to go wonderfully. All of the speakers were relaxed and natural and the venue (Bell Harbor International Conference Center) was comfortably spacious. Our audience was attentive and (appeared) interested throughout the entire day. The day wrapped with a tasty happy hour and a half sponsored by our friends at Blue Flavor. Thanks to everyone who attended and helped make AEA Seattle happen! My AEA Seattle photos are on Flickr, but I only managed to get a handful of decent ones, and mostly just of Kelly Goto’s talk.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I’ve signed up for another Letterpress class, and it starts tomorrow. Luckily, this one is twice as long as the last one, so I am hoping to get a few more pieces out of it. I will be sure to take lots of photos and write about it again. *phew* Keeping busy these days. Quite busy.

Commentary (10):

1. Kevin Tamura says… sep 20, 2006 | 12:45 pm

It was great to finally meet you Jason. Your presentation was very inspiring and it always nice to see how another designer thinks.

Oh and Brian K. Vaughan is the guy who wrote Pride of Baghdad. I’ve got a copy waiting for me at the comic book shop.

2. Jason Santa Maria says… sep 20, 2006 | 3:12 pm

Ooo, thanks Kevin! I will go add that to my wishlist :D

3. John says… sep 20, 2006 | 7:13 pm

Nice job Jason! I enjoyed it very much…Hope to see you speak/present again soon!


4. Brian Warren says… sep 21, 2006 | 11:37 am

I had a blast at AEA and it was great to hang out with you and everybody there. I love these opportunities to get together and goof off.

5. Jared says… sep 21, 2006 | 3:12 pm

Team Schmean. Probably the best name ever. I want to do one of these mega rides someday.

6. Matt O. says… sep 21, 2006 | 4:18 pm

Man, you’ve been all over the place! We’re looking forward to having you guys here in Austin for AEA. That’s utterly sick that it’s going to be held at the Drafthouse — quite the venue of choice, if you ask me. I hope a pre-party gets set up here like in Seattle (nothing like some Texas-style tomfoolery mixed with web standards and alcohol).

7. Jason Santa Maria says… sep 21, 2006 | 4:22 pm

John and Brian: Thanks for coming out!

Matt O.: We are really excited to head to Austin too. Even if someone doesn’t sponsor a pre-party, maybe a local attendee can organize a gathering at a nearby pub or something. It doesn’t need to be formal, just nice to go hang out and talk with people before the event.

8. Richard Herrera says… sep 24, 2006 | 8:38 pm

I can’t believe you stayed at the same hotel I did, and I had no idea.

I now have 2 regrets:
1. Not knowing/spotting Jason Santa Maria @ the Edgewater
2. Not realizing we were a few piers away from Newsvine.


9. Patrick Wright says… sep 25, 2006 | 3:19 am

Sweet conference…was a little bummed I couldn’t stay after and chit chat with some of the attendees.

I’m sure you’ll have a kick ass time in your class. My work sent us to a half day Letterpress workshop, which led me to a 10 week class, starting this Wednesday. Definitely excited to have some design time away from the computer… :-)

10. Ryan says… oct 2, 2006 | 4:16 pm


in your speech you said something about no understanding why bacardi used the bat in their logo. i think its a matter of being nocturnal. bats go out at night. you party with bacardi at night. if that’s not it, it at least sounds pretty good, eh?

good luck in austin and take it easy.