Day #18 Sept 27th Chicago, IL

We left early so that we would have time for some sightseeing. We went to a graveyard where we say a memorial monument of “the Haymarket martyrs” and the gravestone of Emma Goldman.

It felt a bit surreal to stand by and touch these objects that where symbolizing something I had only read or heard about. If only we could sometimes talk to the folks from the past. Z said something like, “Thats our advantage. We can hear, read and know about them but they’ll never talk about us”.

After trying to listen to Emmas cold stone for some advice, feeling a bit silly, I appreciated that there where monuments dedicated to these people. I want to respect the memory of them by remembering but not lingering in the past. Time makes things change and we have to reinvent ourselves with it.

Later we met with some new friends in the city that took us for a small tour in the van to show us some spots and tell us some stories of resistance. They pointed out where a huge prison was, we drove past it and apparently FBI headquarters should’ve been right behind it. They told us about police repressions a few years ago and how people where evicted and convicted for bullshit. We saw another Haymarket memorial statue. The stone platform it was lifted on was decorated with square plates from different workers unions from around the world. In a way it is impressing to think about the union organizing traditions that followed such historical events but I also feel sad that things have not gotten further. Maybe not even really changed, except for the face of exploitation. Why are we still not selling our labor just 2 hours a week? Why are we in wage-slavery at all?

On the way back we drove under the railroad and apparently there had been a battle against the police here in the late 1870s. Probably in the same wave of railroad workers strike as what we heard about in Pittsburgh. We turned right and followed the tracks for many kilometers. The wall under it was covered with murals, old and new, and many had a political story or message behind it. It also looked like some had been painted over with beige paint. I guess someone chose what is worth being seen or not. After slightly going through the “Czech neighborhood”, Pilsen, we came to the house where most of our lovely new friends lived and where the event would be at.

Soon, the place was filled with local fellow radicals, punks, queers, booktables and food made by several people. WOW! Such an energy in this street and in this house! Apparently they had just cleaned out their lowest floor so all the writings and posters on the walls, all the colours, furniture and books in the shelves, where just a few days fresh. It was nice to see how it was already welcoming for events, bands, gatherings and dinners…

The weather was nice and there was a rumour of a blood moon possibly appearing when darkness fell. So we invited everyone to sit outside instead and it became a very warm atmosphere. A deep and varied discussion followed with the 60 – 80 people that came. It was definetly a very very good night. I even felt like the discussion ended too fast so after we broke off to informal conversations I ran to several people, to catch them and have a chance to litsen and to tell them what had come to my mind.

After several plates of the various tasty food and meetings with people we had to get back on the road. So we all jumped into the van and I drove us away into the night…

Day #17 Sept 26th Milwaukee, WI

Ketsi: After many hours of driving, being stuck in traffic jams through Chicago, we came to the town of Milwaukee. We picked up the person who had organized the event together with some good ol’ vegan chili he had made for us and for whoever would be hungry at the event, which took place in the People’s Books Co-op.

15 people came out to hear what stories we had to bring and to discuss with us. A person told us they just moved to a small town and kept wondering what they could do there. So we talked a bit about how to organize in smaller places or finding out what could be adressed around you or in your own life. I didn’t find the discussion very lively but apparently people where happy that we came and some appreciated what we could share to inspire them. Some had driven from quite far away to get to the event.

After we had packed our things to go back home to our friend, we waited by the car for a bit for everyone to gather. Z was showing his best body-sound tricks, including clapping in front of his face, with an O-shaped mouth to form drop sounds. We all tried and I could stop laughing cause our friend looked so incredibly funny… Just thinking about it know makes me want to bend like a swiss-knife.

Later that night we watched a Czech DIY documentary about the IMF and World Bank meetings and the demonstrations against them that took place in Prague 15 years ago. It was pretty interesting, and also funny (except for the parts where the two young men talking to an office-woman to have an excuse to film her skirt). The scene where they’re talking to the chief of police is great though. Bad comments delivered one after the other in belief he was sharing some kind of older-man-wisdom.

Day #16 Sept 25th Grand Rapids, MI


At our lovely friends little house we slept really well. In the morning they shared their home made banana bread and after a while we went into the city four some food gathering and trip to the post office. It all took a pretty long time, especially in the post office where we wanted to send a mail to Europe and realized it would be at least 25 dollars (!!!) and take approximately forever.

Oh well, a few stops later we went back to the house and our friends made food while we got square eyes in front of computers. Time is flying and we all are trying to keep up with our writing projects, reading news from Europe and Brazil and just simply keeping in touch with friends. It is hard to find time for everything during the few 24 hours of a day when you want to live in the moment, connect with the people that are physically around you and to make the best out of that experience.

We didn’t have time to eat so much before the presentation so we threw some calories into our mouths and left on eight wheels.

We gathered in the art workshop of a really talented artist who, among other things, did linoleum prints and drawings. The space was quite big, industrial, but still cozy, with many couches and chairs for people to sit on. I think around 40 people came and I think it was over the expectations of the organizers. People from different ages and positions spoke and it was very inspiring to have an exploring discussion with people who seemed to find answers themselves, for the questions they where asking. Some also just wanted to express what is their ideas and suggestions for strategy.

Later in the evening we went back to out friends and had a funny evening with more people who came over to hang out. I remember some great moments of stories, jokes or even one-liners being delivered one after the other from different corners of the room.

J showed me some styles on their Banjo and I learned that L could actually play the violin! (though they used another word for the instrument that sounds less fancy…). Great evening but again the amount of hours disappoint me and I gotta go to sleep…

I want to mention the magazine The Black Seed, which is a really interesting green @ publication.

L & B, thanks for hosting us and for all the fun and great food! Hopefully you wont build a grudge against us because of the water finding its way from the second floor through the ceiling…

Day #15 Sept 24th Kalamazoo, MI

Kets: Hey hey, a day packed with impressions was ahead of us. Two people from the crew went to a museum in Detroit that morning while the other half stayed in the punk complex to do some exercise with SEAN T. My body is heavy from many weeks of not moving much and especially the last two weeks spent sitting in the van and on chairs by the presentations, that will not change for the next two months though. But moving is fun! Even when I feel weak it is pure pleasure to get sweaty and feel my pulse racing. I love my body – trying not to be ashamed of taking space, dancing or exercising however it looks like, is for me part of that love. Sometimes someone might make a joke, that we look serious or silly, but whatever. There are parts of my body that I might want to hide when I’m doing certain movements, but I guess that’s part of MY “fat-ctivism” to try get over it and let go of valuing different parts of my body according to if they are firm, wobble, hang, are big or not. Me and Sasha tries to pep Z that “it’s only for 25 minutes!” when he wants to leave us after 20. We finish the last 300 seconds while Z starts to prepare a really nice meal for the whole crew. Food doesn’t prepare itself so sometimes we find that we’re too optimistic about how early we can go back to the road again.

A little late, but still in acceptable time, we start heading to Ann Arbor.

In the university of Michigan, there is something called “the Labadie Collection”. It is an archive, which is over a 100 years old, containing radical material, posters, newspapers, letters, pamphlets, fliers, communiqués and books related to anarchist struggles and other radical social movements.

B had already organized a visit for us, beforehand, to this archive and had told us that we should request what we would want to see from it, since it is so big and it’s not possible to just browse around it (though I think you can partly do that online).

Julie Herrada, the current safe-keeper and responsible wielder of this archive, had picked out some specific material and prepared some boxes for us that she thought we might be interested in. She brought us to a room where there was enough table space for us to open folders and look through all the different texts and pictures. There where very old magazines from Brazil, books and texts from Czech(oslovakia) and more…

After about half an hour of us looking through stuff individually, she called us together to show something very special. Out of the treasure box she showed us letters between Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman, along with a lot of identification documents of Emma. Touching the papers that those famous, fierce anarchists had themselves written on and touched was a bit unreal. I don’t easily get starstruck, but this was pretty cool. Ramona was totally overwhelmed though, when reading what Alexander had written in the tomb prison, in the dark, maybe he thought he would die there.

We took selfies holding Emma’s IDs and I think we had to restrain ourselves a little from not acting childishly excited.

I want to send huge greetings of gratitude to Julie and her assistant Eve who made possible this visit and offered us their time to show us some things from this awesome archive.

The presentation for tonight had been organized by some young people of the “peace center” which is a political university group. They had a little office in the basement of a church so we could use a big meeting space there. M was a super-cool, positive and intelligent person who had not only set this up, and brought interested friends, but as well came with a great dinner! Thank you very much.

I was way to tired and had a growing headache so I slept in the van for a few hours and then joined the others when the presentation and formal discussion was over. Best idea ever, I felt like a new person and even got to speak personally to a few people who hadn’t left yet.

We dropped M at her house and then continued driving overnight towards Grand Rapids…

Day #14 Sept 23rd Detroit, MI

Kets: We woke up in the lovely home of Trumbullplex, though I hadn’t slept very well I was excited about the coming day. Our new friend J lent us some of the house bikes so me and Z could go for some food in the morning. Detroit wholefoods and its serious security guards didnt really invite to a good environment for any five-finger-discounts, so we spent a lot of money that day to feed ourselves… Though, even with a big wound in our pockets, we knew that we are so often treated with nice meals by known or unknown friends along the road so better accept it and try to work for cheaper solutions in the future…

The program for the day was, except for another presentation and discussion in the evening, to go for a little tour around the city guided by our local friend. He helped to find and prepare some more bikes that we could borrow. Z grabbed something that looked like a chopper with its fork really long and a tiny wheel attached to it. The handlebars where super long (high) and there was a thing attached on the back of the bike where you could keep a toy sword for eventual fights on the road.

Seriously a great spectacle to watch but unfortunately a little hard to ride so he chose another, more “normal” bike in the end.

Feeling like the coolest bike-punx, listening to RVIVR from Zs cellphone, we cruised together on all the different bikes, including a tandem! J took us past the abandoned train station, through some neighborhoods, around town, by the space of the big food markets, over the industrial areas into another neighborhood where we stopped to look around the Heidelberg project. It was a strange place. Funny, mysterious, cute and also weird. Many questions came to my mind about what was the meaning of the project? There where many toys and clock-symbols scattered or organized around the area – but no signs to answer my wondering.

During the presentation that night, a cat decided that we took too much of the “stage” ourselves and decided to roll around and play super-cute while Ramona tried to focus on telling her story. Of course, what Ramona has to say is super interesting, but when a cat is cuddly breakdancing next to you I guess its hard to compete for peoples attention, haha.

I think there was about 20-30 people who showed up and there where some good responses, reflections and questions that came up. One person told us about how she organized with people against evictions in the city. She was pretty radical and I was inspired by her devotion. She mentioned knocking on doors and telling local people against the latest specific case but also felt like we need to find other ways to reach out to more people.

We where told that the water situation in Detroit is also pretty bad. Some areas (and its inhabitants) don’t have gotten the water shut off while stadiums and corporations have unlimited access. Right me if I’m wrong, but I heard that the water resources might get privatized. There are group(s?) organizing around this as well. I have the feeling that a lot of interesting, but also seriously heavy stuff, is goin’ on in this city.

Day #13 Sept 22nd Toledo, OH

Kets: I woke up, a bit confused, on a couch in Cleveland. Last night I had thought I would just rest a little while the others where still hanging out in the living room, but I woke up after the sun had already rose and the room was empty. Z was also sleeping in another couch across the room.

After Sasha came downstairs after a nice night of having a double bed for himself, the three of us decided to take the car to the beach. Erie Lake looked like an ocean for us, since you cant see the other side of it. We walked down to the shore and found that many parts of it actually wasn’t sand, but it was millions of little broken pieces of shells that gave a sound like walking on glass when we went over it. After some 100 meters we found a softer spot with fine sand and we pepped each other to do some exercise together. Jumping like frogs, running around, walking like bears, lifting heavy weatherbeaten wood and another classic moves like push-ups and planks was a lot of fun when you don’t do it alone.

Afterwards the reward was right next to us and we swam off our sweat and heat for a moment… Though, some guy had walked past and told us its not really healthy to swim there… Later, someone from Toledo would tell us that the lake is a bit like a huge sewage, but “outside of Cleveland should be all right. Haha, oh well, we made sure not to dip our heads. The water was quite full of yellowish algae.

The drive to Toledo wasn’t that long so we could take it easy. We had been invited to speak outside, in a community garden. When we got there the sun was about to set. In the last moments of daylight, I went around the squatted field and adored the sunflowers, tomatoes and DIY decorations.

People started to grow food a couple of years ago. From what I understood, they never asked for permission to use this field, which is state property. It seemed like the city rather was in the position of thinking “thats nice that someone is doing something there so we dont have to take care of it”.

People had brought a lot of food that night pumpkin stew, chili and a spicy vegetable soup) and it was great to share a meal with all the nice people. As the darkness fell over us, a fire was made and everyone started to gather around it under the stars.

We presented our ideas and experiences and many people where responding, asking and expressing themselves. One person gave something like a spontaneous speech about a lot of topics. One of them calling for white folks to, for example, stand up against and do something about the confederate flags still hanging – historically a symbol of white supremacy and defense of slavery.

We slowly went into informally discussing individually between each other. I was happy to hear people saying that it was great to have a chance to come together and talk about real and radical topics. Thats what I hope we will do during this tour, not only sharing our “international” experiences with folks here in the US, but also to create a reason for people to start local conversations. Thank you for welcoming us to such a great event.

I think most of our crew wanted to stay longer, but the road was calling for us so we jumped into the van and drove off to Detroit where we would spend the next two nights.

Day #12 Sept 21th Cleveland, OH



Kets: In the morning I waited for Sasha, Z and our new friend Al to come together for a morning exercise. We took the computer outside to obey our devoted video-friend, Sean, for 25 minutes. Already after two minutes my heart was racing and I had blood-taste in my mouth. We where laughing a lot though, how silly we must look to the construction workers on the other side of the road, how we jump around to the serious sound from the computer. But it feels great. When where done, I throw my sweaty body on the ground and inhale some of the sunlight that is beaming through my eyelids. On the way back to the house I admire the vegetable garden of Als house and I eat some of their raspberries. We make a nice breakfast of the free material from last night.Vegan pizza and a rich fruit and tahini smoothie… Mmmm!!


Hey, by the way, I apologize for so often talking about the food we eat or the simple activities that we do, but I guess that says a lot of everyday life on a tour. I do get to see a lot but I’m not very good at writing down the detailed information about each city – and mostly we don’t really get to see much of them except for few concentrated parts.


After a few hours of driving we arrive to bookspace in Cleveland. “Guide to Culture” has been in town for a few years but recently moved to this new space that was a little bigger, and nicer for them. In a room in the back of the house we saw how they printed books themselves, someone was just cutting the covers and stacking the books in a box.


I shared some grapefruit with the lovely 5-year old kid E. I like that we sometimes have the opportunity to spend time with some kids on this tour..! I don’t want to generalize but… they are so funny! Actually, in the bookstore they had a zine put together by a teacher and his 3rd grade students. At first I thought it would be some boring project where parents could feel proud for a moment while any other readers would be bored out of just holding it. But I opened it and started reading and OH MY this contained some SERIOUS heavy poetry!!


Some of them where funny, some very wise and dark. Some hopefully naïve and pure-hearted. A very sweet project… Respect to anyone who litsen and amplify what kids want to express.


The presentation was good, I think around 40 people showed up and many people hung out afterwards to chat more. Sasha pepped going to the lake at night cause he wanted to swim, but first we went to the house of our hosts and dropped our stuff. They had made us a big and tasty vegan chili with rice. As Sasha says, “its great to be hungry because when its time to eat, you feel that you deserve it”.


We drove to the lake and walked towards the water, but apparently any park or beach or public space is forbidden to enter after dark here in the U.S.

We looked like a black block of rebels but when an idling police car just turned on its headlights, everyone started to run back the other direction like nervous teenagers. Us non US-citizens didn’t really know what was goin’ on so we followed the lead to escape. But what the fuck? Why were we running? Haha, all except for one person who slowly walked back with disappointed steps, we’re acting as if we had just set that car on fire.


Oh well. So we couldn’t visit the beach because of the police car guarding the path but we went somewhere else where we could at least look over the lake and see the lights and skyscrapers of downtown Cleveland from afar.

The confident person told us some recent stories from the city when police had harassed and even killed people. One was of a young black kid that had played with a TOY gun and that cops had pulled up shot him in cold blood. Another of when cops had stood with their knees on an old woman so she, probably broke her back, choked and died. She told us that, as far as she knew, there hadn’t been any riots in the city after these events.

Day #11 Sept 20th Columbus, OH




Kets: I said it before and Ill say it again, days are racing before our eyes and every night is full of activities, even after the scheduled presentations and discussions. Every day we meet very interesting people and sometimes we get to hang out with a few and have a lot of fun. Sometimes I think I will go to sleep early, to have more time to do something in the morning, but the evenings stretch into the night and after just a few hours of sleep the morning comes and we better hurry to pack our stuff, maybe have some breakfast and leave. I’m glad that we are two drivers though so that there is less pressure on us to take the whole distances alone.IMG_1067In Columbus a comrade had organized our event to take place in a church. We thought it sounded weird but when it got there I saw a lot of signs inside of the simple rooms (posters and flyers etc) indicating that there was probably other political groups using that space as well. For example I saw a flyer with the radical transgender symbol on it. It called for people interested in organizing around gender politics.

IMG_1066IMG_1069IMG_1065There wasn’t that many people who showed up, but still good. Maybe around 25? Though the variety of people was quite wide I would say. IMG_1071

Plant boxes. I see a lot of these where we go in the US, at infoshops and social centers.

Among them where a few punks, some leftist and, lets not forget to mention, a distant relative of a member of our crew. Someone expressed his dissatisfaction on how people in general society do not recognize the fascism/nationalism that is growing around the united states. He wanted to ask the activists in Europe for ideas and strategy on what to do about it. What can I say about Europe? My general feeling is that Antifascist movement did a good job in cleaning the streets but now we are inevitably facing a nationalistic trend in common people all over the continent despite those efforts.

IMG_1072IMG_1073IMG_1075Old and new photographs hang on the walls inside this church.

After yet another interesting discussion we went to our friend Al’s place. He lived in a beautiful big house with another five people. They had rebuilt a lot of stuff, and had organized a very cozy and DIY-spirited home. It would be a shame if I didn’t mention the very ambitious kitchen again… I’m still amazed. Everything was big: their sink, for dishes or whatever, was made by an elevated bathtub, they saved space in the room by installing the huge fridge through an old door-opening in the wall and isolating it from the outside. Instead of having some corner by the sink do whatever (chop veggies and work with food) they had a little, tall table in the middle with space around it so many people could be in the kitchen and work at the same time. It was pretty inspiring to see more of their solutions, especially since I usually feel claustrophobic in the kitchen back home…

After a great dinner with hummus, garlic breadsticks, salad, tomato sauce and pasta, we went to the backyard and shared funny stories by the fire. Al mentioned that there where tunnels under the city that where built a long time ago for protection against the cold war or a possible nuclear attack. We toyed with the idea of getting there through some of the known entrances to hunt for graffiti and explore (but we didn’t go). Then came J, another person who lived in that house and I went with them for a little dumpster-diving adventure. I was pretty excited because I dont have the chance do it very often these days.

We talked about ideas of healthy lifestyle (like regular physical activity) and the sometimes problematic psychological aspects around it. I find it very frustrating and hard sometimes to maintain a beneficial perspective on these things as there are so many levels on how we are told in this society of whats right or wrong, desirable as well as disvaluing different bodies. Others and our own. I have for a long time wanted to do some project, maybe a zine, to try to explore and maybe bring some motivation and strategies in that complex battlefield of “health”, ideas, self-respect, “riot not diet”, etc, with a queer perspective. J was also interested in these things so we had a good conversation about it. Hopefully we could exchange ideas or even collaborate in the future.


After about 10 minutes in the car (that looked like a little land-rover or something) we found our huge treasure box that we climbed and started digging. It was a freakin great hunt and we found many well preserved vegetables and fruit. Some of the crazier things we found was organic mango juice, almond milk, fancy root chips and pre-made (oven-ready) vegan pizza. WHAT THE!

The evening got longer with good conversations but finally I “put the axe in the floor” and went to sleep on the nice bed in the school bus they had on their yard. Apparently it had been donated to them from some hippie who felt it was to big for him. It runs on vegetable oil though and Al was gonna start working on the interior.

Day #10 Sept 19th PITTSBURGH, PA





Ketsi: We got some sleep in a very friendly family home which offered us a good rest and what I felt was complete luxury. (Separate beds and new sheets!) A super/-tasty breakfast had been made for us in the morning. It was a proper quinoa/nut-porridge and I’m still grateful for that meal, several hours later…

We joined with a group of anarchist comrades who took us to walk around an industrial area for a little tour on radical history. In 1877 railroad workers went on strike. They rose up independent of unions, they halted train traffic and affected the infrastructure by destroying some trains and stations.

Eventually the revolt was put down by the state and federal militias. Most of the violent battles took place in Pittsburgh and our friend told us a story of when about 30 percent of the city population where part in protesting and even fighting the militia with fire, bricks and arms. Thanks for the great storytelling and reviving a local memory for our group…

We went to a park to relax and talk a little, before the presentation would kick off in the afternoon, here we where told that anarchists had called for a big demonstration against the G20 summit 2009 and they had gathered in this park.

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On the way to the location of our presentation, we stopped by the local infoshop. Really cozy little place with a lot of books and nice bike-patches. We where just there for a few minutes to pick up some boxes and then we drove to the tower of mordor/midgar/neo-gothic-futuristic spire of babylon that we had previously wondered what the fuck it was.


It turned out that was actually the place we where supposed to speak. We entered the Hogwarts castle with our small little boxes and our even smaller little bodies. Through an impressive hallway and up a stairway we came to the university classroom. We played around with the teachers podium a little but then got serious when the big room was flooded with students. It was so exciting to speak and discuss with so many interested, young people. I’m not very good at body counting, but I guess there where about 150 people there. That was impressive, especially on a Saturday afternoon! Thanks to everyone who wanted to come to school one additional day of their week.


After this event we quickly went back to the house to throw in some food in our bodies to keep up the energy for the rest of the day. The next event would be held in a private home, less formal and we where to discuss in a smaller group. Though actually about 30 people showed up.

Later that night we collectively relaxed in hot water and our friend treated us with vegan ice cream. Like WTF so NICE! Thank you <3

Day #9 Sept 18th – BUFFALO, NY




Ketsi: The drive between Rochester and Buffalo isn’t that long so we decided to take a little detour to Niagara Falls. After choosing between different expensive parking spots we walked towards the mighty waters.

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I felt as if the place was insulted by all the human-made buildings and bricked ground around. If I had been walking through wild land and forests with my own two feet before encountering this giant, if it was still surrounded by thick vegetation – maybe I had then been able to understand its size. But after many days of passing by huge buildings, crossing enormous bridges and seen vast landscapes of industry, the falls looked like a miniature of itself compared to the skyscrapers and the watchtower next to it.

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Nevertheless, it was amazing to see, hear and feel it. Some of us jumped a fence (saved 38$ each on entrance fee) and got to look at the beautiful act of water and gravity from another perspective. We went down an elevator to meet the falling water at its feet and we where misted by the mist that hit up from the thousands of liters of water that gravity pulled down per second…


Hey! We gotta go! We didn’t want to get late for our next presentation, so we ran back to the car and drove the last bit of asphalted ground into Buffalo and came to the radical library “Burning Books”.

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The event of tonight consisted of a presentation by two Animal Liberation activists about a recent campaign against Skanska and their project to build a new animal research lab. Skanska is a construction company based in Sweden but is as well widespread in US.


The infoshop offered a huge vegan dinner (smörgåsbord) for everyone who attended to speak or listen. When most people had finished their plates we tried to make our presentation a little shorter since two people had already spoken before us. About 40 people came to the event and again, we met a lot of interesting people and thoughts.

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When most people had left for the night, we jumped into our home-on-wheels and drove overnight to Pittsburgh…

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Burning books is really nice radical book shop orientated on anarchism, animal liberation and earth first and indigenous struggle. It is run by Leslie James Pickering a person who was press spokes man for Earth Liberation Front for long time. Some people with kids and older activists attended the event. After more than 3 hours of official program about 20 people left for discussion and it was worth it. We ha d a lot of good talk changing opinions with people with many experiences from different struggles. Thank you all for so much nice food and creating this amazing space. Let’s continue drive to Pittsburgh another city of the “Rust Belt”.