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What's in my bag? — Gordon Meyer


What's in my NOW?

October 28 · Issue #74 · View online

One interesting person shares the tangible and invisible things that are influencing the NOW — 3 physical, 2 digital, and 1 invisible.

Gordon Meyer is a writer and magician. He conducts “bizarre” walking tours of the Chicago neighborhoods of Wicker Park and Bucktown that focus on forgotten lore, unexplained mysteries, and ghost stories. His latest project is a book series about “Notorious Neighbors.” Find him at and @gordonmeyer on Twitter.

About the bag
The bag is from Timbuk2’s “Distilled Collection,” which has sadly been discontinued. I love its canvas material and physical closures (instead of velcro). The tour sign attached to the flap was created on an inkjet printer using Avery Printable Fabric.
What's inside the bag
Zippo 1941 Replica Lighter ($26): I bought this for its historical and minimalistic styling, but soon learned that the “windproof” claims are true — and useful in bad weather. I use it on my candle-lit tours, and also to ignite an offering to a seamstress and labor activist whose story I tell. 
Listerine Ready! Tabs ($18, 56ct): I used to carry a water bottle to combat dry mouth, but these are lighter. They cause my mouth to water like crazy and freshen my breath. Recommended for anyone doing a lot of speaking. Bonus: They’re sugar free. 
Busy Beaver Button Co: Everyone who comes on the tour gets a logo button attached to a ticket stub. The stubs are half-sized business cards from The buttons feature my logo by artist Refugio Alfaro and are manufactured by the local company, Busy Beaver Co. (Spoiler alert: the buttons glow in the dark!)
Nite IZE SpotLit LED Light ($8): I keep this light clipped onto my bag to increase my visibility for autos, and I also unclip it and use it to illuminate the placards I show to my guests. It’s tough, waterproof, and provides just the right amount of extra light. The placards in the photo are of a Felt & Tarrant Comptometer (manufactured in the neighborhood) and Richard Nickel, a preservationist, artist, and neighbor. 
Additional items in the photo
Spirit apparatus: The chalkboards have had their frames removed for smaller packing, I use these to receive messages from the ghosts of Bucktown. The large, vintage Chicago Fire Warden Bell, is haunted.  
What's in YOUR bag?
We want to hear about unusual and unusually useful items that you carry in your bag. It can be anything really: gym bag, travel bag, art bag, tool bag, etc. — or just a combination of your favorite items of the moment, that you would carry in a bag if you could. Start by replying to this email with a photo of the things in your bag (you can use your phone). If you get a reply from us, fill out the form. We’ll pay you $50 if we run your submission in our What’s in my bag? newsletter and blog.
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