soooooo much delicious vegan food. i’ve been to so many amazing vegan restaurants while on the road. here’s just a sampling of the tasty sustenance i’ve experienced.

i hung out with my friend krissy at the chicago diner in boystown. we used some of the money we made from shadow puppet busking to buy breakfast.

chicago-diner

 

i had french toast with tofu scramble and a side of sausage. even the slice of orange was vegan “;-)

french-toast

 

in ann arbor michigan i had the best vegan cheesecake i’ve tasted in my entire life. it was so simple and delicious.

cheesecake

 

and it’s always nice as a vegan to have something greasy. here i had “chicken” noodle soup, cole slaw, and some sort of barbecue sandwich complete with mystery meat… haha. i think those cubes of bread were suppose to be homemade croutons.

greasy

 

i love it when i get access to a kitchen for cooking. and i think my friends in milwaukee loved it too. i made pizza and soup while there.

pizza

 

and the best vegan treat while on the road? banana car!

banana-car

 

seriously i drove by this on the interstate while heading north to wisconsin. wowzer!

banana-car-close

 

-marc

usa usa usa usa usa. not. so i found the hotspot for watching fireworks. dunkirk new york. seriously though. it’s along the coast of lake erie and at least 1000 people showed up for the show.

as soon as the first explosion went off, people started shouting “usa usa usa usa…” and i couldn’t help but laugh. they’re proud to be american and they’re proud to blow stuff up.

but i know too many proud americans that spend their days smoking pot or popping pills and playing video games while living on a government loan. america had so much potential back in 1776 when independence was declared. perhaps we’re just in a rut?

why should i complain though? there are very few places in the world where i could safely travel around playing music full-time. it only takes a little bit of hard work. we can stop idly bathing in our independence with just a little bit of hard work. get something done. make a difference in the world. make a difference in our country. create something beautiful. something meaningful.

none the less, the fireworks were pretty.

 

-marc

 

fireworks

my violin bow can’t handle the touring lifestyle.

well that’s not entirely true. i made the mistake of going to a random bow luthier and they didn’t do the best rehair. within a week of the rehair my bow was ruined.

broken-bow

 

so now i’ve been in a downward spiral of buying cheap $40 bows while looking out for a decent luthier to rehair my preferred bow.

bows

it’s funny that a rehair ranges in price from $50-$70 when you can just buy a cheap new bow for $40. now that’s just silly. besides the fact that buying a new bow is wasteful, it will never perform up to the same par as a nice rehair on a more expensive bow.

 

cat1

ok so i’m allergic to cats. but why do they have to be so cute? this one lives in midland, michigan.. in case you were planning on visiting.

 

cat2

and this one is constantly winking, because she lacks a right eyeball. horrificly adorable?

 

so did you know chicago has beaches? i guess that makes sense, being that they’re next to all that water.

chicago-beach

 

but being from florida, i find it funny that their beaches have ducks and pebbles instead of seagulls and shells. silly fresh water coasts…

chicago-rocks

 

hanging out in midland with the cat mentioned above, i had the best worst jam session with e and also mitchell from swansd of zapan.

worst-jam

 

and i think i found my new exercise routine while on the road. it’s from an exercise tape at the very same house as the best worst jam session.

disney

i’ll be tightening my buttocks while honing my bank robbing skills.

 

this crazy tree trunk is in grand rapids michigan. what if you were to cut a tree down and this is what you saw? would your mind be blown?

tree-stump

 

holy smokes! guess who i ran into while in chicago? none of then krissy abdullah, the director of a silent collapse. she was passing through with a cool suitcase puppet show, on her way to some awesome film editing school in colorado. we busked at lincoln park, her doing shadow puppet magic and me accompanying on violin.

puppet-busk

 

-marc

“i like to think of him as a real life cartoon character” – the neighbor’s opinion of my father.

brosis

as a child, my sister mary & i were always really close. three years apart in age but practically twins.

 

i’ve had a short break from touring lately. i spent it in cincinnati with my biological father. we had a chance to catch up with each others lives and look at old family photos.

house

he lives in an old house on a hill above the city. the area is called “mount adams”

adams-view

i saw some great views of cincinnati from up on the hill. it was very relaxing. a much needed break from touring.

 

and i spent some time with my biological father. he hadn’t been in my life for over 20 years. now i’ve had the chance to really get to know him. and he’s had the chance to know me. it takes more than a few days to really comprehend one’s character.

baseball

and baseball. it takes baseball. baseball with my father and half brother. i think this is the second game i’ve ever been to in my life.

 

my brother nick is quite the skateboarder.

skater

i even helped nick make a skate video while i was in town. it was a lot of fun to hang out. i spent the majority of my life with three sisters and two mothers. it’s nice to have a brother.

 

myras-dionysus

best vegan food in cincinnati? glad you asked! myra’s dionysus. delicious!

 

dumpster

although who needs gourmet vegan cooking when you can just dumpster dive with dad? he likes the local bakery a short walk from his house in mount adams.

 

owen

i won two free tickets to see owen pallet in downtown cincy. how funny is that? i’m just passing through town and i win tickets to see another looping violinist in concert. haha.

 

sambeam

and i saw iron and wine in concert across the river in kentucky. awesome! i was standing right up front with all the teenie boppers. before the show started there was a circle of teenage girls behind me huddled in a circle, like they were keeping warm by fire. what were they doing? mass texting. they all had their blackberries and iphones out.

 

bonnaroo

and i had tickets for bonnaroo too. but i didn’t go. sigh. instead i prepared for being back on the road.

 

violins

i did some much needed maintenance on my violins… repairing finicky tuning pegs and rehairing my bow.

 

visuals

and i pimped out my live show with even better visuals than before. these next two months of performances are going to be amazing. if you have the chance, come out to one of these shows. you won’t regret it.

 

superman

and of course i spent a lot of time on the computer booking more shows.

 

it was great having a break. and it was great spending it with family. but now it’s back on the road for me. hope to see you out there!

-marc

p.s. i found this bench-view of kentucky where i enjoyed reading a book or two.

reading

lou a vull. getting into kentucky, i didn’t know what to expect after the cold embrace of nashville tennessee. pronunciation is the key to acceptance in louisville. so here it is:

lou – a – vull

simple as that. apparently there are two pronunciations though, one for in-town use and one for out-of-town use. consider yourself privy to the highly coveted in-town diction. not to be taken lightly!

fortune

i’ve been to many chinese restaurants on the road. nothing hits the spot like a little tofu and lo mein. but double dragon ii, aptly named after the video game (their noodles were kick ass), was the first chinese restaurant to offer vegan fortune cookies. usually they have eggs in them and i politely refuse.

one is not sleeping, does not mean they are awake.

hmm… what does that mean? am i waking up while on the road or am i going into slumber? and how about my music… is it blossoming or wilting? i’d like to believe the former on both accounts. but perhaps i should meditate on it for awhile.

 

i didn’t know what to expect when arriving at the venue. with a name like rudyard kipling, well… mechanical parrots do fit the bill wouldn’t you say?

rudyard

had the opportunity to hear some very unique instrumentation when rebecca williams hit the stage: acoustic guitar, female vocals, and drums (with brushes of course). it was an amazing performance! the guy behind her on cymbal had jumped on stage as i was taking this picture. for most of her set it was only rebecca and the one drummer. beautiful!

rebecca

hanging out afterwards with the band hemingway road, i had the opportunity to try vegan yogurt made from almonds! woah!

yogurt

having the next day off, i explored louisville quite a bit with the very hospitable brian davis, roommate to robbie of hemingway road. we hit up bookstores, record shops & local diners. plus i had the chance to finally cook a decent meal. given access to brian’s kitchen, i cooked up a tasty soup and salad for him and his roommates.

dine

after the delicious meal we went upstairs to smoke hookah with his neighbor.

hookah

shawn distributes natural foods to all the major supermarkets in the area. he gave me all sorts of interesting vegan treats to try out while on the road (including the almond yogurt). yum! thanks shawn πŸ™‚

 

all in all a great time. i really enjoyed my experience in louisville and hope to come back soon for another show. thank you hemingway road and hemingway road’s roommates and hemingway road’s roommate’s girlfriend amanda for showing me such a fun time “;-)
-marc

sewanee tennessee is the place to be. i had the wonderful opportunity to spend a few days here at the home of the university of the south. one of it’s many claims to fame is “the most beautiful campus in the country”. i was skeptical at first but then i started exploring the campus grounds and it’s surrounding trails.

trail1

walking along this beautiful trail, i didn’t expect it to open up but suddenly i came across a clearing.

rock1

which led to this spectacular view

rock2

so yes this is only the beginning of the most beautiful campus in the country. the town of sewanee is integrated with the university. boasting a population of 3000 people, 1400 of those attend the small university.

 

i’ve always been a fan of cemeteries. these elaborate tombstones have been around for ages.

grave1

i wonder what it takes to be buried in this beautiful area. perhaps it’s full of past university professors?

grave2

who needs hollow chocolate rabbits? i spent my easter with these adorable bunnies.

easter

finally i found a hiking buddy. callie took me to explore one of the more hidden trails leading up to buggy top cave.

hiking-buddy

hiking for about an hour, we came across this beautiful cave with an intense rush of water coming out of it’s mouth.

cave2

the erosion had created a beautiful opening to the cave (that’s callie’s shadow in the middle).

cave3

and on another trail i found miniature waterfalls. how adorable.

waterfall

plus these amazing little plants all along the edge of the trail. each one is no bigger than your pinkie nail.

trail2

i spent three days hopping couches at the eco house, a university residence with composting, gardens, chickens & rabbits πŸ™‚

ecohouse

i played two shows while in sewanee (yay for encore performances) complete with snacks and tea. thank you to my good friend pam for putting together such a wonderful experience!

snacks

and always in search of free wifi, i came across this adorable kitten at the local coffee shop. so used to the human diet, he happily ate pieces of my bagel and pam’s chocolate muffin.

kitty

i had a wonderful time hanging out in sewanee! getting some much needed rest was great too. thank you to all the residents of the eco house. it was wonderful hanging out with each of you.

-marc

it was great spending my birthday hanging out with friends in atlanta. ryan & jenna treated me to delicious home cooked vegan thai food. yum!

bday

one of their bathrooms is a dedicated home (and now jungle gym) to this beautiful reptile.

iggy

they fill the bathroom sink like a pool. curious, i asked them what she could do with such a small bath. she likes to poop in it. i guess i shouldn’t judge until i’ve tried in myself.

in athens i got dueling violins going, or more like “dueting” violins. adam poulin and i jammed away into the wee hours of the night. he too plays from the heart, emotions connected to his fingertips. i’ve never had that much fun jamming out with another violinist!

violins

nearby in alabama i played at an interesting art gallery. frank hardy, the owner & artist of this gallery pub, displays his personal artwork all over the walls. this picture should sum up his style in a nutshell.

gallery

of course not all shows turn out as great (or interesting) as alabama. playing to an empty room happens on occasion. but i can now say i shared the same stage with all these great artists. i doubt they’ll be rushing to paint “to all my dear friends” on the wall. but i gotta start somewhere πŸ™‚

artists

-marc

traveling alone has been a very interesting experience for me. it’s challenging spending so much time alone. but hopefully i am starting to get used to it.

now that i’m not constantly around family and friends, i have a lot more free time on my hands. this is good because i’m not just booking and playing shows. i actually have time to explore a bit and start reading the many books i brought with me.

in new orleans i had the opportunity to play at an amazing coffee house called fair grinds. robert, the owner, is an amazing person. i wish him and his coffee house a great future. i spent the night in new orleans at a rapper’s house who works on tugboats by day. how amazing is that? he sampled some of my violin for one of his tracks.

fairgrinds

in birmingham i played at mecca fest iii. it’s a benefit show to help out the daniel day dream mecca art gallery. hearing the band voices in the trees was a fantastic experience. they are all very talented and energetic musicians.

trees

but it’s their viola player that tops the cake. she’s probably the only other string player i’ve seen that moves around as much as me. she claims it was to keep warm but i know that’s not true “;-)

viola

i’m in montgomery alabama right now enjoying a cup of coffee while working on booking more shows. do-it-myself touring like this is very challenging but it’s worth it when i get to play music for so many great people. i know that i’ve touched a few hearts with my violin and that makes all the difference.

-marc