Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dead Inside: Part Two

Back in January, I finally decided to visit an abandoned house that I had passed by time and time again. The house was unfortunately sealed up, but the empty, collapsing garages made for a few good shots.

Neighboring this abandoned property was another, boarded-up apartment building. (See below.)

As the cold began to sink in and my flashlights started to die, I knew that the inside of this property would be much darker than I was prepared for. The combination of those things together with the words "Dead Inside" spray painted on my only entrance quickly led to me deciding against this adventure.

Two weeks ago, I decided to head back with my friend Jillian to further investigate the meaning of "Dead Inside." 

Spoiler alert: It was exactly that. Dead and gone. There was not a thing left on the interior of this building, besides the main structural walls, and an abundance of peeling paint.

You win some, you lose some.

- Jason Unoriginal

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Two-Wheel Tuesday: 8

Being on a bicycle is something that's very special to me. 

I was raised as a mountain biker by my father who began racing when I was very young. As I grew up, him and I were always out building trails in local, sanctioned parks, occasionally racing, or just having fun on a ride.

When I began driving, I unfortunately forgot how much I loved being on a bicycle. Engine swaps, car meets, and drag racing took precedence over most of my other hobbies.

However, when I jumped back on a bicycle in Fall of 2013, that all changed. Commuting on two wheels just makes sense for me. It's practical, it's relaxing, it puts me in a better mindset, and it's of course free. I don't get bothered by traffic, I don't get distracted by modern technologies, and I don't get stressed out thinking about the other burdens of everyday life. I LOVE being on my bicycle. It simply makes me happy.

One of the main principles that I always try to enforce, both with myself and with those close to me, is that if something makes you happy in life, DO IT. Do it always, and don't make excuses.

My dad said something to me the other day along the lines of, "I wish the weathermen would stop giving Winter such a bad reputation. They need to quit telling people to stay inside all Winter long, and start suggesting that people bundle up and get outdoors to enjoy it. It's not impossible."

...and I couldn't agree more.

This is what riding 12.5 miles in -1°F weather looks like when the windchills range from -15°F to -25°F:

(My entirely-stock-component Matte Black 4 from State Bicycle, utilizing an Origin8 rack, aftermarket lights, fender, and saddle.)

(My new bag from Forest City Portage got it's first taste of Cleveland weather.)

 (Smile more.)

 "If you love being on your bike, then go be on your bike." - J. Unoriginal - Ride on. Xx


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Brite Winter 2015

Who has an outdoor music festival in the middle of winter? Cleveland does.

I'll let the photos speak for themselves, but if you want to read more about the event, be sure to check out

Free games for everyone to check out:

(This life-size skeeball utilizes soccer balls.)

Live painting and art installations throughout the festival:

And of course some of the most talented bands that Cleveland has to offer. 
There are always so many to see, so I chose two of my favorites:


There were plenty of food trucks on-site, CLE Clothing Co. was set up selling shirts, socks, and most importantly, their winter hats, there were multiple beer tents, and the turnout in general was outstanding.
Here's to many more years of celebrating all that Cleveland has to offer. 

- Jason Unoriginal

Friday, February 20, 2015

Cheap Tacos & Spinning Wool

I've always found light painting to be difficult to photograph when with a larger group of people. The main reason being that everyone's shots tend to come out looking similar. Light painting is typically focused on the awe-inspiring end result that develops from some sort of light source being paired with a shutter's long-exposure. There are unfortunately not too many variables that can be applied while still getting a successful shot.

Last week after a brief stop at the always-delicious Lincoln Park Pub for Taco Tuesday, Jake, Jeff, Brandon, and I set out to snap a few pictures in the bitter cold. 

I decided to take on a slightly different approach in order to capture a more "behind-the-scenes" sort of look. 

(The location was decided upon.)
(Jake setting up his shot.)

 (Jeff going to work. Brandon visible in the background, trackside.)

You can see how Brandon's shot turned out here. Happy shooting, and stay warm.

- Jason Unoriginal

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Two-Wheel Tuesday: 7

This week I'm taking this post in a slightly different direction.

With how much time I spend on my bicycle nowadays, my old backpacks just weren't cutting it. I reached out to Mike over at Forest City Portage a few weeks back to discuss some details on having him make me something custom. 

I wanted a bag that I could use no matter what, regardless of what the situation called for. It had to be able to handle my camera equipment in a safe manner. It had to be something I could carry while on my bicycle, whether on my back, or while attached to my cargo rack. It had to be something I could climb, explore, and stay stealthy with. And of course it had to be able to handle all of the outdoor elements that Cleveland could throw at it.

The result? Check out this brilliant piece of hand-made artistry:

(Forest City Portage specializes in locally-made, hand-constructed bags of all shapes and sizes, to suit your individual needs. To find out more, check out, or find Mike on his Instagram at: @fcportage.)

 As time goes on, I will be doing a full, detailed write-up showcasing the many different features that Mike incorporated into this bag for me.

It's been a bit cold this week in Cleveland, but I can't wait to use this thing to it's full potential. Expect to see plenty more of it!

- Jason Unoriginal

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Night That Brought The Cold

The evening of Sunday, February 8th, 2015:
"As I stood on a rooftop, I watched it happen. The skies morphed from black to grey, the winds danced within my handfuls of hair, and any brave fragment of skin that dared to reveal itself turned cold in an instant.

We had witnessed an incredible heat wave that afternoon, with temperatures nearing forty-five degrees Fahrenheit. Part of me can even still vaguely remember what the sunshine looked like.

The clouds tumbled in, smothering every last piece of warmth. 
Skyscrapers became snuffed like meaningless candle wicks.
Citizens stained grey. Their stone-shaded skin to now match century-old sculptures.
 Color was lost.
Sound was shaken, trembling in Winter's heavy breath.
Touch became inanimate.

The Cold was here. The Cold was here to stay.
For two weeks straight, the temperature hovered near zero. The sun's rays, merely mirages, contrasted against the dull city sidewalks. Darkness smothered the neighborhood whole.
This is what I witnessed that night..."

- Jason Unoriginal

Friday, February 13, 2015

An Aussie (Freezes) In Cleveland

"Aussie freezes to death in Cleveland, Ohio, as record-breaking lows set in..."

Last week I had the pleasure of showing my friend Shana, who was visiting from Melbourne, Australia, a bit of what Cleveland has to offer.

The afternoon started off with a delicious trip to Sweet Moses (dessert first, duh) before we made our way over to Dike 14, the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve. The snow covering the ground was at least a foot and a half deep, and only a portion of the trails had seen any signs of recent life. It was an absolute escape from the city.

After attempting some photos whilst walking backwards and nearly tripping in the abysmal snow, we joked about the possible disastrous outcomes. Something along the lines of me falling, completely vanishing, with only my extended-arm peeking out of the bottomless field of powder, with camera in hand, safely ascending towards the sky. "Save the camera!"

They say laughter is the best medicine, no?

The night continued with her first trip to Happy Dog, followed by an obligatory bridge climb for a final, unique view of the city skyline. 

The bad news? was a mere 7°F and besides slowly losing all feeling in our hands, my beard grew some of the worst/best "beardcicles" I've ever had. I think she dealt with the cold better than even I did.

Safe travels, Shana, and may you never lose your sense of adventure. Xx

- Jason Unoriginal

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Two-Wheel Tuesday: 6


This week's Two-Wheel Tuesday has apparently moved to Two-Wheel Wednesday. I also don't have any new bicycle-related photos from the week, so let's take it back a bit to the middle of this past November when Jeff, Kaylah, Brandon, and I went on a thirty-some-mile leisurely ride all around the city.

Look how clean my bike was!

After Brandon headed towards home for the evening, we met up with my friend Amanda for the last few miles and a quick stop at Sweet Moses.

- Jason Unoriginal