Category: Music

…to the shores of wine country

Sunday, July 27th, 2008 | All Things, Arts, Drinks, Family, Friends, Music, NYC History, Travel

High fuel prices may be forcing most of the antique sellers online; we trekked the entire 50 miles of the sale without coming across a single dealer. But while Route 90 wasn’t the cornucopia of collectibles we’d envisioned, the entire weekend didn’t have to be a bust.

We decided to pack in early after a head-scratching encounter with one local woman and her chicken coop, during which we received some serious misinformation about the normal egg laying schedule of hens. (6 eggs a day? We may be city folk, but we’re not that gullible.)

The eastern shore of Cayuga Lake hosts just two active wineries compared to over a dozen along the western edge. Although we were given (more) dubious information about how the Cayuga County-side farmers historically have been less willing to sell their land for use as vineyards, a more probable explanation for the discrepancy is the west-to-east moving jet stream which creates a warmer (and somewhat less vine-friendly) eastern lake coast.

We stopped in for a tasting at 72-acre Long Point Winery in Aurora — the second winery to open its doors on the eastern side of Cayuga Lake, in May 2000. (King Ferry Winery was the pioneer, in 1984.)

After picking up several bottles of the whites for which the Finger Lakes region is best known, we moved on, bidding adieu to Route 90. Continuing on the scenic route home, at Ithaca’s Six Mile Creek Vineyard, we sampled and bought more award winning Riesling. That afternoon, the tasting room overlooking the sloping vine-covered hills was also hosting half a dozen greyhounds and their owners, who were at the winery for the Grapehound Wine Tour — an annual Finger Lakes hound/wine tasting event, now in its third year.

From the wine trail to the ice cream trail

Some places are worth a stop, just because you like the looks of them. Richford’s Dairy Treat caught our eye as we made the turn onto Route 79, with its hulking black smoker parked in the front lot, and huge signs advertising BBQ chicken and 24 flavors of soft serve ice cream — mixed to order.

My creamy espresso cone did not disappoint.

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Where in the world is vipnyc?

Friday, July 25th, 2008 | All Things, Arts, Events, Family, Friends, Music, Travel

Friends and readers,

As a few of you may have noticed, I have been on hiatus this past month.

After a musical Memorial Day weekend in the Pacific Northwest, I spent two glorious weeks in Hawaii, followed in rapid succession by a wedding, and jaunts to Orange County, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Locally, there was much work to do launching my community supported agriculture group’s season, a visit to Public Farm One at P.S. 1, a night of Shakespeare in the Park, a slew of birthday celebrations, a pair of sublime sushi dinners, and the Siren Music Festival in Coney Island. More, too, but you know I don’t include everything on this blog…

Oh, you wanted to see pictures, and perhaps a video or two? (Follow the links to the full flickr sets.)

P.F. 1 (Public Farm One) at P.S. 1:

San Francisco shores:

Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco:

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, San Francisco:

de Young Museum & Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco:

Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco:

Coney Island, New York:

…and many more photos from O’ahu: Kualoa Ranch, Diamond Head, The Polynesian Cultural Center, and at Pearl Harbor, the Battleship Missouri and the USS Arizona Memorial.

I will be up in New York’s Finger Lakes region this weekend for the annual 50-mile garage sale along Route 90 — remember last August’s Highway 127 Sale through the rural South? — perhaps with some stops along the Cayuga Wine Trail, after which I hope to be able to buckle back down to the business of blogging as my summer tan lines slowly fade into memory.

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Rock and robots

Monday, May 26th, 2008 | All Things, Arts, Music, Travel

From the Olympic Sculpture Park, we found our way to Seattle Center by following Broad Street up the hill toward the skyline-dominating Space Needle.

The 74-acre Seattle Center complex was built for The Century 21 Exposition of the 1962 World’s Fair, and serves as the cultural heart of the city: home to the Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet, i.e., the newly transformed Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, numerous theater companies, the Pacific Science Center, The Children’s Museum, and the Experience Music Project|Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.

The centerpiece, of course, is the 605-foot Space Needle. On a rare, clear day — today was not one, alas — the observation deck offers panoramic views of the city, its surrounding mountains and Puget Sound from 520 feet above ground.

JM among others had recommended a visit to the Frank O. Gehry-designed Experience Music Project|Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. CF and MT had visited this garish, multi-colored building a few years ago, back before the SFM replaced the “Funk Blast” wing with its much-missed ride. (Incidentally, I thought I was only one for whom the connection between rock and science fiction was lost, but apparently not.)

We toured through the permanent exhibitions, which included the excellent “Sound and Vision: Artists Tell Their Stories” — EMP|SFM’s collection of videotaped oral history interviews. I could have spent a couple of hours in that room of monitors and headsets alone, but at least I got to watch the clip of Nichelle Nichols telling the terrific anecdote of television’s first interracial kiss, which occured on the “Plato’s Stepchildren” episode of Star Trek TOS. Not that I’d know anything about thatnope.

The interactive stations offered the chance to simulate keyboard, drum or guitar riffs, or to tool around with amplifier effects at the “Jimi Hendrix: An Evolution of Sound” exhibit. (Reminded me a bit of Rock Band… and we know how I feel about that.) The “Northwest Passage” traced the development of the Northwest music scene, which apparently owes a lot — much more than I ever would have guessed — to The Presidents of the United States of America. (Them again?) The original handwritten lyrics to “Lump” are enshrined here. Oh, and some band named Nirvana had a few hits, too. On display: Kurt Cobain’s Lake Placid blue Fender Mustang from the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video — pretty cool.

The SFM wing of the EMP|SFM was a cool, if random collection of science fiction memorabilia — robot toys, Star Wars action figures, a T-800 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the original model for the Death Star and a few other familiar characters.

Outside the museum, the annual Northwest Folklife Festival was taking place. Impromptu performances, the waft of incense, stalls selling hemp goods and holistic medicines… if I had been asked to guess at which of the two area festivals there would be a shoot-out this weekend, this would not have been my choice.

And live music… because we just can’t get enough. From the stage-facing beer garden, we sipped on cold beer and wine (organic, of course) as Little Big Man commanded the stage with his reggae sounds, wiling away the final hour before I hopped the Monorail (…Monorail …Monorail!) back downtown for the airport shuttle home.

Not that’s a full six hours. Once more: full Seattle flickr set.

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