Once or twice a year I visit Chicago and stay with my friend Jon and his roommate Amarit in River North. It was an action-packed weekend to say the least, all starting with my easy-as-pie Southwest flight that landed early Friday morning. While the guys went about their normal Friday work routines, I explored the city as I do best. Since I had access to Jon’s bike for the day, it was a pretty easy decision to add another stop to my coffee and pastry tour. Thanks to a quick search on Yelp, I discovered The Wormhole Coffee in Wicker Park, which was exactly what I was hoping I’d find. Any coffee shop that has a DeLorean (the “Back to the Future Car”) as permanent fixture is a must-see, and then they took it up another notch with a coffee called the Koopa Troopa (Super Mario Bros. character). You have to stop by this place if you’re ever around Wicker Park and want to experience a totally unique cafe.
The weather was perfect for my 2 mile ride to Wicker Park and it was still a fairly light crowd inside at 9:30, so I was able to choose the best seat to paint the famous car. Of course I couldn’t pass on the Koopa Troopa, which is a peanut butter mocha, aka Reese’s peanut butter cup in liquid form. It was great to try once, though it was more of a dessert than coffee and next time I’ll go with something less creative. But, I was extremely pleased with the huge, fluffy almond croissant that the cafe gets from Fritz Pastry. It had that distinct almond flavor, which is what draws me to the Italian liqueur Disaronno as well (no, I was not drinking at 9:30 am…).
My sketch below took about an hour or so, and painting a metallic object, especially a car, was a new challenge. There’s a lot of gradation in gray color, so I really tried to play up the yellow lights shining on it and gave it a blue tint to offset the red. If you remember the movie the red strokes of color in the back of the car are Coke cans. This is one that I’d like to try in the studio with the proper materials and larger painting surface. But overall it was just so cool to have the opportunity to paint the car and reminisce about the 80’s classic.
I am officially halfway through my 10 week tour, and the remaining five locations are all going to be a bit of a hike either downtown or out to Ballwin. Good thing it’s a caffeinated tour!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow.” – Dan Rather