An Evening Along Damen Avenue with Justin

Stayed at work a bit late yesterday, as I was meeting up with Justin around 7PM. He’s a digital nomad these days, working off a West Coast time zone, and so he had meetings a little later into the day than the rest of us.

We opted to meet at Rainbo, and I decided to go up to the Damen stop… just so I could have an excuse to walk down Damen. I’ve been to Division a little more often of late, but it had been a while since I’d been up near North Ave.

Ah, Rainbo. As much as shops come and go along Division… I like that this bar is still here. Sad that Clubfoot has gone, but hopeful that Rainbo will remain for a while yet.

It was fairly quiet when I arrived, and still pretty slow when Justin arrived. It was great for us talking, but I hope it ended up getting a bit busier later on in the evening.

It is truly remarkable how quickly Justin and I got into geeking out. Moments after sitting down, we started talking about JavaScript, linters, and unit testing. Good times.

After talking tech for a while, we opted to head out. I had learned that Justin was getting into D&D again, and even DM-ing… with his own campaign, which he had been creating illustrations for. So we grabbed some falafel, a six pack, and went back to the apartment he was renting while in Chicago for the week.

A view into the efficiency, where he was staying. The whole night – walking down Damen, visiting Rainbo again, I was reminded of the younger man I was some seventeen years ago.

Thinking back to the blog’s early days, I imagined being young and single in Chicago, and thinking that this apartment would have been a great one for me at the time.

On the countertop, it was a delight to see Calvino and Moore together.

A few of Justin’s sketches. He talked about how much he loved his Apple Pencil, and how big of an impact it’s had on his workflow.

More campaign work. This is actually a good example of what I think he’s talking about, in terms of workflow (and note taking).

There were some issues with the electrical and AC, so the inside of the unit was a bit stuffy. So Justin and I opted to step outside and finish our beers there.

On the back side of the door, I saw this side. Kind of an aggressive sort of sign to see, every time one walks out the door. It did make me wonder if this sort of thing was legally binding.

The entrance to several of the units was down an alleyway, off the main street. But outside the door, there was a small little pocket of an area that was perfect for two people to just hang out and sink a beer.

It was an early night for me, but felt like we were old friends, retracing old routes. A nice chance to catch up a bit in person.

Revisiting Wicker Park
Justin’s Late-Night Birthday Party
Visiting Old Haunts with Justin
Damen Blue Line Stop
Rainbow (2002)

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