In a year that, few will argue, has been unreasonably difficult for almost everyone, the holiday season offers us many opportunities to open our hearts, connect with others, and participate in something greater than ourselves. With that in mind, Wreaths Across America (WAA), a national non-profit organization that honors our military with a mission is to ‘Remember, Honor, and Teach,’ will continue this December with the placement of sponsored veterans’ wreaths at 2500 participating locations across America, most notably at Arlington National Cemetery. A highly-anticipated part of this annual event is the weeklong, miles-long parade of tractor trailers, wrapped vehicles carrying veterans and Gold Star Families, law enforcement and motorcycle riders, leading the escort of wreaths to Arlington for placement.
The original vacation plan for Summer 2020 called for me to fly from New York City to Barcelona on June 4th. There, I would meet up with my Los Angeles-based sister, and we’d spend two days site-seeing and recovering from jet lag before departing on an adventure-packed, seven-day cruise through the western Mediterranean. Sigh, I fucking love to cruise.
Obviously, those plans changed. In May, our sailing was predictably canceled by the cruise line due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While I was relieved to receive a full-refund on my paid fare — and overjoyed with the bonus of nearly $1,000 in onboard credit for a 2021 rebooking — I was also super bummed to know that I would likely not be getting out of Manhattan this summer. First world problems: they are a thing.
It cannot be overstated then that my summer was miraculously saved by friends who own a home the Berkshires, where they’d been quarantining since March. They generously offered to host me for a week of doing basically what I do in Manhattan — eating and going for walks — but with way better food and immeasurably more awe-inspiring scenery, not to mention (but you can see I am about to) air that smells like honey, and the absence of blaring sirens. It was the best week I’ve had in three months. Please enjoy a selection of photos from my many nature walks taken during the vacation that restored my sanity.
My friends live in a private community accessed from a narrow road set about a mile off of a rural thoroughfare. On summer evenings (during any normal year), you can sometimes hear faint music drifting over from Tanglewood, where I saw a fantastic concert by Squeeze with these same friends last August. Sadly, Tanglewood’s 2020 season has been canceled.
Instead, the soundtrack includes choruses of bullfrogs hiding among the marsh reeds, and a rush of wind through the endless trees that can make you look over your shoulder to confirm that no cars are coming.
This marsh and pond are just across the road from a private beach. There, you can take colorful kayaks out onto a lake, which is called the Stockbridge Bowl.
I could gaze at at this view for hours.
Continue Enjoying the Scenery, After the Jump!
Just when you thought that the mere idea of filming a few scenes for your music video in a cemetery was just unbearably cliche, Nashville-based rawk quartet, Idle Bloom come along to show you that it can be done in a way that is still original and cool! What is even going on in this frenetically edited video? I have no idea, really. All I know is that it matches the energy and carefree sense of fun and adventure that comes through in this exciting little song that I just want to hear over and over.
Aurally, Idle Bloom embrace a simply transcendent blend of melody and discord distinctive to musical icons such as Husker Du and The Pixies — for those of you over 40 — but which folks with a more up-to-the-minute grasp of what The Kids are listening to say should appeal to fans of groups like Dilly Dally, a band that we also find to be pretty groovy!
Idle Bloom members include Olivia (vocals & guitars), Callan (vocals & guitar), Katie (bass), and Weston (drums). The band recently completed their debut EP, Some Paranoia, which is out now via hometown label Theory Eight Records, and available wherever fine music is procured. Like them on the FaceBook at This Link. Enjoy!
It is true that New York State is one of the best places to live if you really want to see the fall change of colors in nature. But here in Manhattan, the reality is that the leaves change from green to brown to dead without much color spectrum in between.
Continue reading Top Ten Photos: Leaf Peeping and Fall Colors in the Berkshires!
Image By Dorian Cope
Dee Dee Ramone (born Douglas Colvin), Bassist and primary Songwriter for The Ramones was born on this day, September 18th, in 1951. Dee Dee died of a drug overdose June 5th, 2002. He is buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California, not far from his former Ramones’ bandmate, Johnny Ramone.