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Archive for August, 2009

Self Expression Rules at Black Rock

By Linda Tancs

Starting today through 7 September an annual experiment in communal living and survival–the Burning Man Festival–welcomes guests in Black Rock Desert in northwestern Nevada. What is Burning Man? As the organizers will tell you, it defies description; it’s to be lived to be believed. I’ll offer an analogy: it’s a sort of Woodstock for the intellectually curious, but be sure to bring your own towels. In fact, bring anything you’d need to survive. Each year’s event has its own theme. Draw your own conclusions about the festival from these past monikers: Fertility, Time, Hell, Outer Space, The Body, The Floating World, Beyond Belief, Vault of Heaven, Psyche, Hope and Fear, The Green Man, and The American Dream. The theme for 2009 is Evolution. Of course, as with any movement in self expression, there’s art: performances, sculpture, installations and costumes. And, of course, the Man. This year, the Man will burn on the evening of 5 September.

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Tiger on the Course

By Linda Tancs

News that Tiger Woods is playing at The Barclays PGA Golf Tournament now through this weekend had hearts aflutter, but what’s truly inspiring about this year’s competition is the location. Hosted at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, the 18th tee is met with the imposing presence of Lady Liberty in the harbor less than a 1000 yards away. That’s certainly a distinct departure from the typical slate of seas and mountains ringing most clubhouses. Add to that a library and cigar terrace overlooking championship point like a luxury skybox. Whether you love golf or not, the ambience is worth the price of admission.

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An Eye in the Sky

By Linda Tancs

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…an orb.  Swaying in the western rainforest new Qualicom Bay on Vancouver Island are two tree-hewn spheres with circular windows (hence, the eye-like appearance), a grown-up resort meeting a childlike desire to play in a treehouse.  The daring duo are named Eve and Eryn.  The larger of the two, Eryn is less than 11 feet in diameter.  That makes for some cozy living space.  But then again, you’re there to commune with nature, not to hole up reading magazines.  In other words, you’re a free spirit.  Let the wind be your lullaby.

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Living Art in London

By Linda Tancs

Forget your measly 15 minutes of fame. Lucky UK citizens get an hour’s worth in London as part of the One & Other living exhibition on the empty stone plinth at Trafalgar Square. The art project allows applicants from every part of the UK one hour atop the plinth, day and night, to exhibit themselves in any manner they wish. Needless to say, the results have been very colorful. Over 32,000 have applied for 2400 places. Some of the winners, chosen at random, include a town crier, an Elvis impersonator and a woman dressed as a pigeon.

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Family Fun in the UK

By Linda Tancs

It may seem a bit strange to think of family fun and youth-appropriate events amongst hop farms and oast houses. Yet that’s exactly what you get at The Hop Farm, just 45 minutes from London. Located near Paddock Wood, Tonbridge, this tourist attraction offers an oast-themed amusement park complete with a carousel, magic show, animal farm, wax museum, and outdoor play area. Don’t miss the new and upcoming Halloween 3D goblin festival and Santa’s Magical Kingdom. True to its hops heritage, the park even offers a hop history museum and a festival in September to celebrate the custom of hop picking. So hop to it!

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The Big Cheese

By Linda Tancs

Cheddar aficionados, take note: Vermont cheesemongers are waiting for you at the annual Vermont Cheesemakers Festival this Sunday at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne. Here’s your chance to meet the artisanal producers, learn about cheese, watch a demo, and sample and buy your favorite cheeses. And what better place to do that than in the nation’s largest artisanal cheese-producing area per capita. Come early and make the weekend out of it; there’s always room at the Inn.

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A Taste of Sweden

By Linda Tancs

Feeling a bit of Smaklust? Then join 100,000 fellow foodies at central Stockholm’s 2009 tasting event from 21 to 23 August. In addition to the standard fare of reindeer, elk, and preserves of cloudberry comes such epicurean concoctions as asparagus schnapps, cloudberry wines, coffee cheese, elk salami and ostrich milk ice cream. Although held centrally, you’ll experience artisanal delights from all over the country. Eat up, don’t be shy. Best of all, admission is free, so you have more cash to support their culinary endeavors.

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