Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Falcon Ridge Folk Festival 2012

FRFF this year was my best yet. It had been four years since my last visit and despite the lack of repeat artists from 2008 the talent wasn't less than spectacular! We (Tom, Mom and I) arrived in Hillsdale, NY around 9am on July 26th to be welcomed with gray skies and no rain...yet. The tent and cabanas were put up, semi-permanent kitchen set up and sleepingbags ready to be used. Since Thursday was our open day to do whatever we decided to use it as such and do absolutely nothing. We did go for a walk around the campgrounds to see where the showers were and browse other people's camping gear.

 Lookin Hippiafied

 Our view...

 Our neighbors to the left

Thankfully when Mom and I split off from Tom we found a small tent with a set list of bands planned to perform throughout the weekend. We also found out about a few other smaller venues like Buggy Dome or Dungon, Front Porch and Night Owl Song Swap. Back at the tent we met our friendly, hippie, returning volunteers Harmony her husband Brad, Harmony's mother Jodie and her husband Gary. Hour later in the evening we ate Bubba Burgers and played a few games of Gin Rumy 500.

 Tom's talent: catching butterflies

Our neighbor, Harmony, told us about her group's history and the fun tales of the Snaggle Rock gang. Snaggle Rock was lively and ready to start the weekend with a head start. We part-taked in a few rounds of "smack the bag" (a bag with a push button spout full of wine) during the day and right before bed enjoying conversation with the gang. As it turns out the gang has been around of nearly a decade!!


Friday morning I woke to eggs and bacon and music coming from the upper camping field and some of our neighbors. The schedule for the early afternoon consisted of the back-to-back sets of Emerging Artists making their FRFF debut. We ended up going down by the Main stage to see some of them and of course the sun decided to peek out of the clouds and dry the place a bit. Those were some of my favorite sets of the entire weekend.

 Miles to Dayton from Long Island, NY

Mom and I square danced in the Dance Tent and then went back to the tent to listen to some tunes coming from the Main stage down the hillside. There was this huge rock near the top of the hill that was begging to be claimed and thats what we did. Mom and I were greeted by these two little girls or princesses I should say: Princess of Stars and Princess of Love and Peace. It was so sweet and I never realized until in that moment the FRFF atmosphere is very family oriented and conducive to the "free love," free-spirited-hippie 1960's era. I relished when Mom said later into the weekend that this was my version of Woodstock.

Saturday's line-up was focused more on headliners including some of my favorites: Brother Sun and Tracy Grammer. The best part of the day was traveling to the Acoustic Live tent near the vendors to see  a favorite unrecognized band in the FRFF line-up, The Boxcar Lilies, however, not less talented. We had seen them perform Friday evening at Pirate Tent by the RV camping. They were amazing and worth a second performance.

The staff even closed the holes in the ground for us hippie foke

The Boxcar Lilies 

That evening after tenderloin dinner Tom was too cold to the bone with wet feet and decided to stay in the tent while Mom and I walked down to the Main Stage to see the Grand Slambovians. We went back to visit Tom to see how he was but he didn't change his mind. Walking down to the song swap we saw the last of Tracy Grammer's set and a song from Storyhill (one of our favorite bands). The Song Swap was held at the main entrance open to artists, poets and regular foke come together to enjoy each others company. We also headed back up to our campgrounds to hear some music at Front Porch and Buggy Dungon. ilyAIMY, the Most Wanted Emerging Artist from the year before was so AMAZING!!! Around 230am we went back to find Tom fast asleep. Carefully we got ready for bed and slept.

 View from the top of the hill Saturday early evening.
The famous rock on the hill where a few teens sat smoking grass.

Sunday morning was the best ever. I woke up from the most blissful sleep I'd had the entire weekend. Although an air mattress is somewhat comfortable its especially difficult to sleep in your own sweat and sharing a mattress with someone else. Gospel Wake-up Call was awesome especially since the sun came out a few hours later. Afterwards we headed over to the Storytelling set at the Workshop tent to see Spuyten Duyvil, Brother Sun and the Grand Slambovians. We also had ice cream while watching the ever-entertaining and talented Ellis. 

Gospel Wake-up Call peeps sitting near the Main stage waiting for Eddie from Ohio, Girlyman and Brother Sun to fill us with hope for a bright sunny day.

 After three days we finally caught up with Putman Smith, an artist we saw in 
our camp the first day who performed a the Lounge tent during the rain storm Thurs. night

 Harmony and her little artists paraded down the main strip followed by the falcon.
 Thanks to Brother Sun we did have a beautiful sunny day.
The Closing Song with all the remaining artists.
This was a wonderful experience to share with my Mom. We both plan to return together in the years to come but for now we will reminisce in our time at Falcon Ridge. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hippafied and Kickin Butt

This weekend was different for me on a number of counts:  I had decided when I returned from Morocco that I would try to investigate my neighborhood and people within the community. So first, this past Friday I intentionally went to an event hosted by the Downtown Jersey City Social Group at Cityside Bistro. It was nice to meet new people included a particularly rad girlfriend Bella and her drinking buddy Shell. Leave it to me to seek out the international crowd - two Indians, a Russian and a Chinese person. Second, after safely walking Shell back to her car which was nearby Grove St. area Bella suggested going out. We made our way to Porto for a drink outside on the patio (even though it was super wet due to rain) then quickly decided to extend our time hanging out making an appearance at LITM. That's where I had the pleasure of speaking with a Brit, Ben, who was friends with the DJ and Ted, a Johnny Cash look-a-like but not really.

Ted and his friends were celebrating a colleague's 25th birthday. So with a birthday comes drinking, drinking oh and more drinking. Thankfully we met our third and final destination at Lucky 7's. That was a punk-grunge bar playing my kind of music. I even shot a dart or two which is nothing to brag about. A dance to Nirvana's "Smell Like a Teen Spirit" a sip of my vodka cranberry and I was ready to go. I did have a lot of fun with my new JC friend Bella which I only hope to be repeated.

Saturday was an easy-going stay at home in the shade kind of day with the exception of a walk up to Central Ave for lunch. Sunday morning however, whooped my ass quiet literally. I embarked on another meetup event with the Hamilton Park Fitness & Wellness group. A soon-to-be trainer Nick hosted this hour bootcamp which I still feel today (Tuesday). I thought throughout the entire workout "wow, I'm actually really out of shape." But in the end I still felt good about pushing myself. Mom picked me up with three full water bottles after a panicked phone call towards the end of the workout. One word: dehydration.

BIG fuzzy dice...I don't think that'll fit inside on the mirror?!?!

On our way home we stopped at this amazing vintage shop called Revival Vintage. It was a place I will have to revisit before school starts. Between the decades fashion, the furniture, music and decor I couldn't have been more happy. Plus it was an added bonus the place had air conditioning since our 2000 Saturn's AC is busted from oh three years ago...

Wash up, brunch at the Coach House where we devoured most of our cranberry walnut whole grain pancakes (YUM) and a quick sowing lesson completed my very fabulous weekend.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wastin Away Again in Margaritavile...

I know I'm slower posting than I was in the spring, however, I wanted to mention the great time I had with my other gal pal from DC Ms. Jay when she came to stay with me the week of July 4th. She lives in DC and right after the wicked storm that left millions out of power and homeless Jay needed an escape. Welcome to Jersey! She stayed with my mom and I for a few days. We had a great time relaxing, going down to Liberty State Park to see the 9/11 memorial, drinking sangria at The Iron Monkey and much much more. Thanks for a grand time Jay, I hope to repeat sometime after you get settled in St. Louis. 

Some pics of the vacation:

Jay needed to hitch a bus ride in NYC via Port Authority but we left waaay early and had enough time to browse. We walk towards MSG and hit up a cheap pizza joint on 8th Ave. After a bite we kept walking until we got to 34th St. I had suggested she check out some of the shopping in that area for her friend who was having a b-day party the next day. We were so lucky to meet The Stone Writer. Homegirl from Jersey is an artist who craves words/phrases out of sandstone and decorates with spray paint. Pretty neat stuff!

While kicking back and lounging around I have the luxury to spend any or all time drinking up a fix or two of my Momma's signature margarita recipe. In addition I made a great homemade guacamole that tasted zesty and feel like summer. I've been thinking a lot lately and yearning for some socializing that doesn't involve a tv or laptop. Fortunately I've become accustom to reading as a form of relaxation, getting outside the house and zoning out into my own creative world.

Journaling has always been my getaway but lately I've felt that writing doesn't always take my mind off of reality. However I do understand how important it is to take the time if any time on myself. For the majority of my life I have been so serious and responsible for necessary reasons but never did I once question how I acted or what I did, said. I'm finally opening up to the idea of being more selfish and caring for me than spend it all on others. So I'm "wastin away again in Margaritavile!" Thank you Jimmy Buffet

 Momma mixing the drinks

Yesterday I had a chance to take a walk and stumbled upon Riverview Park. I decided to sit, take in the atmosphere and read. I never noticed before but sitting there I realized the beauty of the NYC skyline. It was right in front of me. The best part was seeing a cruise ship ride through the Hudson. It was priceless. I need to enjoy the simple anythings much more and this was a start.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Chill Down By the Seashore

Sag Harbor has always been a place of calamity and relaxation. I've been so fortunate to have the luxury of time and a place to spend a few weekends here and there during the summer since I was born. I'm often reminded of the memories I've shared throughout the years going out to the East End with my family. My mom always remarks the time we went out to Sag Harbor with my Aunt Barbara before my cousin Brian was born. It seems to have been a fond memory for my mom especially since that was the time when I ate my first solid food: ice cream. No wonder why its one of my trigger foods! (Along with  Nutella).

In the last five or six years we've tried to bring new people out with us to experience what we treasure so dearly. I feel it is a magical place despite the rudeness of pretentious drivers and the snotty attitudes of the Hamptonites. See the people who've lived out there for sometime like our family still called the South and North Forks the East End. I just don't see the point calling it The Hamptons. Who died and made those people kings and queens.

This past weekend my DC friend and former TWC alum, Kristi, came to spend a relaxing time at the beach. She was an absolute joy to be around not to mention a good luck charm. All the traditional things to go wrong or be challenging were easier with her around...I'm convinced. I was super excited that she had the opportunity to spend time on the beach at both the bay and the ocean. We went out to Montauk for an afternoon and went up the lighthouse. She even had the chance to eat a whole lobster!! And unlike my other friends who ignored my advice to A) put on sunscreen, B) stay out in the sun for a limited amount of time, and C) reapply sunscreen, Kristi, who is paler than almost anyone we've taken out there, listened to everything AND got a really nice tan.

Dropping her off in downtown Sag Harbor on the Jitney was a sad moment. She didn't want to go back to work and I didn't want her to leave. However, there will be other times. We stayed an extra night with Daddio (aka Tom) and even squeezed in a visit to his favorite Candy Kitchen as well as grab a quick bite at this new joint Mom recommended called Bay Burger (TRY the watermelon sorbet - its delish!)

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