Sunday, June 29, 2008

June 28, Memphis to Oklahoma City

We hit the road hard and early leaving Memphis around 7am. The most moving moment is when we crossed the bridge over the Mississippi River into Arkansas. Because of the rain we didn't stop to go down to the river as we had planned. We vowed though to return someday and spend more time on Americas great river next time. From that bridge crossing the Mississippi it sure looked like a great river. A vein nourishing our country with fresh 'blood'.

We travelled a few hours through a fairly considerable rain storm and as the skies were clearing we detoured a few miles off I-40 to Little Rock, Arkansas for needed sustenance, landing on the shores of the Arkansas River by the art museums and Clinton library. We had a great breakfast and walked the farmers market which was right there. After a few weeks on the road all these fresh fruits and vegetables looked really good. Those blackberries were the most beautiful I've ever seen. Really large.
A long haul on the road and our two stalwart travellers without complaint reach their desired destination, Oklahoma City. And yes it does look 'oh so pretty'. I thought about going to a more upscale hotel sometime on this journey and figured if I was going to get a good price for a great room OK City would be a good place to try. My taste is for older hotels and I zeroed in on a downtown one called the Colcord rather than a sterile Sheraton. This hotel is privately owned and I like to get away whenever I can from 'chains' whenever I can. With our luck we were not only able to get a room as the hotel was not busy this weekend but one on the top floor, the 12th. Superb views of Oklahoma and surroundings. What a luxurious hotel, marble bathroom, really nice sheets on the bed and we got it for Super 8 motel prices! What a cool room we had.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

June 27 Memphis,Tennessee

We've been hard travelin' and haven't had the time to do any blogs for a long time. This is no exception. I just wanted to shoot this off before we hit the road to Oklahoma City. I will be completing this blog when I get home.

A quick blog for y'all to see a couple of images of last nights Memphis adventure. I got Benny to 'audition' for one of the greatest of Memphis groups, The Masqueraders. These guys have been playing for over 30 years and are one of the best groups in America. Stardom doesn't mean selfishness and narcissism. These guys were happy to give Benny a shot and Benny before the show showed the gents some really hot boogy woogy blues piano. He blew them out of the water! Not only did they give us a welcome but called Benny up in the middle of their first set to play. So Benny had a full house full of real Memphis audience to play to. He rose to the occasion and rocked out the house! He must've played for ten minutes. Later at the end of the show he was called up yet again for an encore to the cheers of some Alabama students who joined him on stage to the tunes of 'Roll Over Beethoven'. I video'd the whole show and will be combining with Masqueraders to make a promo for them. Who knows, we (Jean,Benny and I) might have to come back to Memphis to get additional footage. By the way, The Masqueraders put on a superb professional transcendent show. It was truly mesmerizing.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

June 14-Becket, Mass to Beacon, NY

We went to the Dia/Beacon museum in Beacon, NY
after our road trip from the Dreamaway Lodge in Becket, Mass and the Berkshire mtns. what a trip this has been only to land in Beacon (2 hrs by car)for a look at the the grandest modern museum put inside a huge warehouse. This museum is so cool, there are no signs anywhere indicating where it is. The DIA. Anyone interested in grand works of art for large spaces, modern, I couldn’t recommend any more highly the DIA in Beacon. Austere and solid as a rock, the warehouse itself is an unimaginably large space. Huge. My favorites pictured here. Richard Serra’s huge metal sculputure

Warhols painting

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June 11 Martha's Vineyard

What a day. Not hot just June east coast weather. We started out the day walking the back path to Menemsha shore to look at the tidal pools. The woods are alive with birds and snakes and greenery. Flowers are in bloom. This is heaven.

Later in the day I went on my own to Gay Head Lighthouse. I asked a local if he knew of a beach here and he pointed the way, and you don't need to be a resident to use it. Just ten minutes walk from the lighthouse. Ah, an afternoon baptismal in the Atlantic Ocean. Refreshing and life giving. The shoreline had a Caribbean look to it today with light blue waters and white sands. It was truly beautiful.

June 9,10 Martha's Vineyard

A 1 hour 20 minute car ride out of Providence and you get to the ferry at Woods Hole, Mass for a 45 minute boat ride to Martha's Vineyard. Lucky for us my wife is good friends with someone who owns a home here. Otherwise you'd have to pay through the schnozzola to afford a place here. This has become a playground for the very wealthy, sending real estate through the stratosphere. However one can get to Martha's Vineyard without even taking a car, just a bicycle and pedal around this most beautiful island. Gorgeous fragile ocean beaches are restricted to residents only. There are some public beaches. Lucky for us we were able to swim in the Atlantic, still a little chilly, but let me tell you, soaking in that ocean has been a baptism. Blessed are our oceans, may we protect them from harm so that life within and on its coastline may flourish. Nothing for me is quite as refreshing this hot day as a salt water swim.

Prices for food are even higher here than the mainland (they're high there already!). EVERYTHING has to be shipped here except the few farms here. This is a very worthy place for a trip. Get out of town, bring some of your own food. There is not a strip mall or a McDonalds nowhere. no neon. no commercialism except in a few places restricted places. This is my kind of paradise.

I'll have some more pics, but here are some prelims. the sunlight through that cloud is a thunderhead.

June 7,8 Providence, Rhode Island

My darling wife, Jean has made this whole trip possible. She not only is helping finance my son's cross country summer but she is lending us her car! The Prius. Without it and her help this journey would not be possible. She is both lovely, giving and a loving mother and wife. Jean's sister, Judy has a daughter, Sarah, is getting married to a great guy, Seamus. Check out the mansion they got married in. A stunning 1896 place now a public park. I have video of the interiors but what a perfect place for a wedding. And let me tell you, the food was really good, a step or two above the usual catered stuff they shovel at you. Providence is a beautiful town with water and coastline and bridges everywhere! Yet another confirmation that no matter where you go in this country there is great natural and man made beauty to be found.

My son Benny was happy to see a supermarket chain named after him, in cool neon.

Monday, June 9, 2008

June 5,6 New York, New York Revisited

What can I say about New York City, my birthplace? I spent the next two days shooting video and stills and visting an old friend, Tom Farrell. It was the most relaxing New York time I've had. I mean NY is not a relaxing place. There is a barrage of input, at times it becomes almost comedic. All I set out this trip to Manhattan was walk around and collect images of people and buildings. The amount of images available are endless here, at every turn. People are in abundance like no other place I've been. It is a symphony of humanity and architecture and art. Misery and wealth live on the same block. Wealth and poverty are close neighbors.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

June 3,2008 Bronx Botanical Garden

One day of decompression and it's back to work filming for my tv show, You Are Here. Where was I? I was at the Bronx Botanical Gardens in NY on a gorgeous June day. I would urge everyone to go see these magnificent gardens, acres and acres of trees and plants and flowers of unimaginable beauty. And the conservatory! Exquisite. My host here in Cold Spring, Phil H has mentioned that THIS is Heaven. Like not under the ground as Bob Marley has said and I concur. Bronx Botanical Gardens are heavenly indeed. To frame it all in majesty is the art of the sculptor, Henry Moore. Words cannot describe the complexity and simplicity and beauty of the remarkable abstract sculptures on display. Just Go! The show runs till November.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Day 6 Cleveland, Ohio to Cold Spring, NY

I was glad I spent a little time in Cleveland before hitting the road. I went through Lakewood again with my camera shooting video of the grand houses that line its streets and then to downtown to have one last look at the beautiful buildings, stadiums and statues that inhabit the area. I then hit the road and I made it. No accidents. The Prius 4 made it like a champ. As for me I'm tired from somewhat blistering trip across America. I have to admit this was the most difficult driving day for me. I was starting to get tired and grouchy. Pennsylvania seemed to go on forever. If I should do this again and needed to get back quickly I would add one more day to the trip and make the last day not quite as long. So for the quick trip I would make it 6.5 days not 5.5. Whatever, I'm in NY!

The highlight of this day was arriving in Cold Spring, NY.
The Hudson Valley is by far the most beautiful spot on this day because it is a second home to me right now. Someday it will be my first home as I own land here. For those who have never visited Cold Spring its a great destination for a little stroll down Main Street for great little antique stores, little restaurants and a great little typical classic pizza place, Cold Spring Pizza. Just the pizza nothing else man. A walk down Main to the Hudson River for great views of West Point and Storm King Mountain which is right across the river. Rent a kayak. If your more into hiking find a trailhead inland or walk a part of the Appalachian trail. Some nice lakes in the area. Garrison Institute, some terrific summer Shakespeare, Hudson Valley light etc etc etc etc...Near the river there are great hikes up the mountain to the east of 9D North. overlooking the river. Relatively short and just beautiful views. Some good spots along the river for swimming.

The way back West in 2 weeks will be more of an adventure in that my son and I will stop and spend time in various parts of the south and southwest. He's a musician. A young one. Just 10. I want him and myself to hear some music along our way back west. So we're taking the southern route through Virginia, Monticello,Nashville and Memphis area for music. Instead of taking the 5 and a half days this took me getting here, we are going to be cross country for a 10-16 days on the road,in the hybrid. We are very fortunate to be able to do this. We shall try and make our itinerary worth our time and money.

'Take it easy, but take it"-Woody Guthrie