Nathaniel Salzman

Chicago area designer, writer, maker and journalist.

November 5, 2012

NS Recommends: Cloud Atlas

I don’t get out to see as many movies as I used to. I’m busier, and frankly Chicago audiences are, more often than not, really obnoxious to sit with. That said, last week I braved the possibility of a shitty crowd and went to see Cloud Atlas with The Mrs. I was not disappointed. While thematically similar to Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain, this movie is so much more grand in its scale and its storytelling that having seen one is by no means having seen the other. But I will say that if you liked The Fountain, or The Matrix, or Doctor Who, you’re probably going to love Cloud Atlas. It’s huge, exciting, enthralling, brutal, and romantic in its hopefulness.

And while recommending a movie is an easy, timeless thing to do, if you’re even remotely interested in seeing Cloud Atlas, do yourself a favor and see it on the big screen. I saw it on an AMC IMAX screen and it was one of those experiences that I’ll never be able to have again. I’ll never again get to see this movie for the first time on the big screen. I’m planning to see it again, but the first time will be tough to beat.

October 15, 2012


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The Bike-to-be
August 30, 2012

Ride Log: A New Bike and a Bearded Lady. Part One.

July 19, 2012 — I had to pack light. No helmet. No armored jacket. No tools. I stuffed four pairs of socks and knickers down into the toe of a motorcycle boot. As many Under Armor shirts and black Ts went down the other. With both boots stuffed deep in my backpack I tucked the rest of my sundry items into the various pockets and compartments of my tired and true old blue bag. – Read More –

August 29, 2012

A question for regular readers

I have a question for you, my handful of regular readers.

As many of you know, I write regularly as an automotive journalist for,, and I also spent a year as BlueCat Motors’ official documentarian, writing a weekly story about what was going on at the shop and some of my own thoughts about riding old motorcycles. – Read More –

August 10, 2012

Thank You, David Rackoff

I’ve just learned that David Rackoff died today.. His decades long struggle with cancer finally got the better of him. I’m deeply saddened to hear of his passing. His was a dark, wonderful wit. When I think back to my first exposure to him — his Fraud essay entitled “In New England, everyone calls you Dave” — on This American Life, I realize just how much of my own thought journey I owe to Rackoff.

His essays inform my own introspection at adult life. “In New England…” introduced me to TAL, to David Sedaris, to Mike Birbiglia, to Sarah Vowel and a dozen others — all of which grew my love of non-fiction storytelling. He was one of the first gay men I recognized as a person rather than just an orientation. And while I haven’t read him in a while, I know the world is a lesser place now that there won’t be any new work of his in it. Thank you, David Rackoff.

July 31, 2012

Ride Log: Vintage Bike Races at Road America

June 9, 2012 — Sometimes a journey is the destination. Sometimes it’s the road. Other times it’s surprises along the way that happen when I intersect other journeys I didn’t even know I was taking. This time, it was all of the above. – Read More –

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