travel

Andrea Schwartz at the bottom of the Grand Canyon
Andrea Schwartz

Planning a vacation or a weekend getaway? Travel planner Andrea Schwartz is in the studio to answer your questions. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

Dubbed by the New Yorker as "one of America's very best singer-songwriters," Dar Williams has made her career not in stadiums, but touring America's small towns. She has played their venues, composed in their coffee shops, and drunk in their bars. She has seen these communities struggle, but also seen them thrive in the face of postindustrial identity crises.

In her book, What I Found in a Thousand Towns: A Traveling Musician's Guide to Rebuilding America's Communities—One Coffee Shop, Dog Run, and Open-Mike Night at a Time, Williams muses on why some towns flourish while others fail, examining elements from the significance of history and nature to the uniting power of public spaces and food. Drawing on her own travels and the work of urban theorists, Williams offers real solutions to rebuild declining communities.

Andrea Schwartz at the bottom of the Grand Canyon
Andrea Schwartz

Planning a vacation or a weekend getaway? Travel planner Andrea Schwartz is in the studio to answer your questions. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

Andrea Schwartz at the bottom of the Grand Canyon
Andrea Schwartz

We are in the midst of the summer travel season. Veteran travel planner Andrea Schwartz is in the studio to answer your travel questions. WAMC's Brian Shields hosts.

choreographer with dancers
http://chasebrockexperience.com/


  The Chase Brock Experience is a Brooklyn-based contemporary dance company founded by choreographer Chase Brock. CBE has premiered 29 dances (to music from Beethoven to David Yazbek to Nellie McKay) and six commissioned scores (from composers like Joshua Rosenblum and Michael John LaChiusa.)

The dance company has been in residence at Catskill Mountain Foundation and will perform at Orpheum Film & Performing Arts Center in Tannersville, NY this Saturday at 7:30pm.

Chase Brock joins us now. In addition to choreographing for his own company, Brock as provided his talents and expertise to various Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional and international productions including Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark; Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame; and HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

wikipedia commons

Looking for a summer getaway? We’ll be discussing travel today, with veteran travel planner Andrea Schwartz. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

The Airbnb Story

May 5, 2017

Fortune editor Leigh Gallagher explores the success of Airbnb along with the more controversial side of its story. Regulators want to curb its rapid expansion; hotel industry leaders wrestle with the disruption it has caused them; and residents and customers alike struggle with the unintended consequences of opening up private homes for public consumption.

Gallagher's book is ​The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions ... and Created Plenty of Controversy.

Photograph of a portion of Tanja Hollander's "Are You Really My Friend?" at MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA's Instagram


  How often do you get a friend request on Facebook from someone whose name you don’t recognize? You have mutual friends. You check those names -- and then you aren’t sure exactly who some of those people are either - or how you know them. Imagine telling someone 15 years ago that you have friends you don’t know -- and not in that “a stranger is a just a friend you haven’t met yet” optimistic way.

Tanja Hollander’s new exhibition Are You Really My Friend? is currently on view at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. The show explores, through portraits and paraphernalia, what friendship means to Tanja and what friendship means today - in the age of social media and easy surface relationships. She set out to connect with and photograph her 626 Facebook friends.

I spoke with Tanja and curator Denise Markonish at the museum recently and began by asking Tanja when and where she had the idea for the project.

Lisa Dickey traveled across the whole of Russia three times - in 1995, 2005 and 2015 - making friends in eleven different cities, then coming back again and again to see how their lives had changed. Like the acclaimed British documentary series Seven Up!, she traces the ups and downs of ordinary people’s lives, in the process painting a deeply nuanced portrait of modern Russia.

Her book is Bears in the Streets: Three Journeys across a Changing Russia.

ski slope
kkic / Wikimedia Commons

Want to get away and enjoy a respite from the cold and snow? Or are you of the mind that now is the time to get out and enjoy the fresh powder with skiing, snowboarding or another outdoor activity? We’ll be discussing travel today, with veteran travel planner Andrea Schwartz.

Some longtime residents think the calling Albany, Smalbany is a cheap shot. Others embrace it. Like our next guest.

With new and updated entries on everything from food, shopping, and the arts to people, history, and places to visit, The Smalbanac 2.0 is a wry, affectionate, and practical guide to New York State’s capital city and surrounding area.

Packed with information, the guide is perfect not only for visitors, new students, and those relocating to the area but also for long-term residents who want to get out of their comfort zones and explore the many hidden and some not-so-hidden treasures the area has to offer.

A local artist and writer, Christine Garretson-Persans has worked at The Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center since 2004. 

A sunset at Taft Point
National Park Service

We welcome back custom travel planner Andrea Schwartz to help you satisfy your wanderlust. Andrea is an expert on American and Canadian national parks. Ray Graf hosts. 

Listener Essay - The Van

Sep 1, 2016
The Van
Diane Kavanaugh-Black

  Summer is on its way out. In this listener essay, Diane Kavanaugh-Black writes about a vital companion on her childhood summer journeys, and a relationship that lasted twenty-five years.

THE VAN

In my family growing up, there was me, Mom and Dad, Vera, Mae and Alex. And The Van.

A turquoise 1964 Dodge A-100 cab-over-engine truck—the 49th off the assembly line, purchased by my parents eleven months before I was born. Mom called it “Bessie” until the van’s age and appearance earned it the nickname “Trusty Rusty.”

  Many childhood summers, Mark Woods piled into a station wagon with his parents and two sisters and headed to America's national parks. Mark’s most vivid childhood memories are set against a backdrop of mountains, woods, and fireflies in places like Redwood, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon national parks.

On the eve of turning fifty and a little burned-out, Mark decided to reconnect with the great outdoors. He'd spend a year visiting the national parks. He planned to take his mother to a park she'd not yet visited and to re-create his childhood trips with his wife and their iPad-generation daughter.

But then the unthinkable happened: his mother was diagnosed with cancer, given just months to live. Mark had initially intended to write a book about the future of the national parks, but Lassoing the Sun grew into something more: a book about family, the parks, the legacies we inherit and the ones we leave behind.

Russell Banks’ works include the novels Continental Drift, Cloudsplitter, The Sweet Hereafter, and Affliction.

His latest, Voyager: Travel Writings, is a collection of travel essays spanning the globe from the Caribbean to Scotland to the Himalayas.

  Set against the backdrop of an expanding nation, Eric Jay Dolin's book, Brilliant Beaconstraces the evolution of America's lighthouse system from its earliest days, highlighting the political, military, and technological battles fought to illuminate the nation's hardscrabble coastlines.

Beginning with "Boston Light," America's first lighthouse, Dolin shows how the story of America, from colony to regional backwater, to fledging nation, and eventually to global industrial power, can be illustrated through its lighthouses.

  Now in his mid-seventies, Russell Banks has indulged his wanderlust for more than half a century.

In Voyager, Russell Banks, a lifelong explorer, shares highlights from his travels: interviewing Fidel Castro in Cuba; motoring to a hippie reunion with college friends in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; eloping to Edinburgh, with his fourth wife, Chase; driving a sunset orange metallic Hummer down Alaska’s Seward Highway.

Russell Banks will be at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs on Friday, June 24th.

  It started as a far-fetched idea—to hike the entire length of the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline—eventually became a plan. In September 2012, inspired not only to draw attention to global warming but also to explore his personal limits, Ken Ilgunas strapped on his backpack, stuck out his thumb on the interstate just north of Denver, and hitchhiked 1,500 miles north to the Alberta, Canada oil sands.

Then he turned around and began a 1,700 mile trek, hiking—nearly entirely on foot—to the XL pipeline's endpoint in Port Arthur, Texas. And this wasn’t a manicured trail: he walked almost exclusively on private property, mostly on the wide-open, half-wild pasture and farming fields of Alberta, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

The resulting book, Trespassing Across America: One Man’s Epic, Never-Done-Before, and Sort of Illegal Hike Across the Heartland, is a meditation on climate change, the beauty of the natural world, and the physical and mental extremes to which we can push ourselves.

  In The Geography of Genius, acclaimed travel writer Eric Weiner sets out to examine the connection between our surroundings and our most innovative ideas. He explores the history of places, like Vienna of 1900, Renaissance Florence, ancient Athens, Song Dynasty Hangzhou, and Silicon Valley, to show how certain urban settings are conducive to ingenuity. 

Eric Weiner is a former NPR correspondent and the author of the New York Times bestseller The Geography of Bliss and the critically acclaimed Man Seeks God.

  My Life on the Road is Gloria Steinem's first book in over 20 years.

It it, the writer, activist, and organizer offers a candid account of how her early years led her to an on-the-road kin of life; traveling, listening to people, learning, and creating change.

  The twenty-first century has relegated airplane flight—a once remarkable feat of human ingenuity—to the realm of the mundane.

Mark Vanhoenacker, a 747 pilot who left academia and a career in the business world to pursue his childhood dream of flight, asks us to reimagine what we—both as pilots and as passengers—are actually doing when we enter the world between departure and discovery. Vanhoenacker's book is Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot.

Rinker Buck will be doing a talk and signing at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT on Friday, December 4 at 7 PM, and a talk and signing at Northshire in Saratoga Springs on Saturday, December 5 at 7 PM.

Buck is no stranger to grand adventures. His first travel narrative, Flight of Passage, was hailed by The New Yorker as “a funny, cocky gem of a book,” and with The Oregon Trail he brings the most important route in American history back to glorious and vibrant life.

Traveling from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Baker City, Oregon, over the course of four months, Buck is accompanied by three cantankerous mules, his boisterous brother, Nick, and an “incurably filthy” Jack Russell terrier named Olive Oyl.

Moses Robinson

  Siblings Matt and Ted Lee grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. When they left to attend colleges in the Northeast, they so missed the foods of their hometown that they founded The Lee Bros. Boiled Peanuts Catalogue, a mail-order catalogue for southern pantry staples like stone-ground grits, fig preserves, and, of course, boiled peanuts.

When an editor of a travel magazine asked them to write a story about road-tripping their home state in search of great food, they embarked on a second career as food and travel journalists.

Their new TV show is Southern Uncovered on Ovation and tomorrow he will be emceeing the second annual Coxsackie Cook-Off at the Coxsackie Farmer’s Market. Four local chefs will get a basket of surprise ingredients from the market for each round and will have a short time limit to develop and cook a delicious dish in order to move forward.

  The new book: Journeys Home: Inspiring Stories, Plus Tips & Strategies to Find Your Family History spotlights genealogical travel. The book opens with a personal journey to Ireland as recounted by featured author, actor, television director and award-winning travel writer Andrew McCarthy. Following McCarthy’s story are 25 intriguing personal narratives from other contributors.

Whether the contributors are looking to meet unknown relatives for the first time, unravel family mysteries, walk in the treacherous footsteps of ancestors or return as an adult to a place they fled as a child, each pilgrimage is linked by the common desire to know one’s past in order to reconnect and gain a sense of belonging.

Andrew McCarthy is known for his roles in the 1980s films St. Elmo’s Fire, Mannequin, Weekend at Bernie’s, Pretty in Pink and Less Than Zero. He also has an illustrious writing career. He is an editor-at-large at National Geographic Traveler magazine. His 2012 memoir, The Longest Way Home, became a New York Times best-seller.

    When he set out to visit all of the planet’s countries by age thirty-five, compulsive goal seeker Chris Guillebeau never imagined that his journey’s biggest revelation would be how many people like himself exist – each pursuing a challenging quest.

Interestingly, these quests aren’t just travel-oriented. On the contrary, they’re as diverse as humanity itself. Some involve exploration; others the pursuit of athletic or artistic excellence; still others a battle against injustice or poverty or threats to the environment.

  If you are a lover of Jane Austen, close your eyes and imagine being brought to the towns, gardens, estates, and other sites from her iconic novels.

Saratoga Arts and a company called Edventures will be offering such an opportunity through a Jane Austen Tour that departs for England on April 25 and returns May 4, 2015.

The trip will be led by Dr. David Shapard, a Jane Austen scholar. David is the author of The Annotated Pride and Prejudice as well as annotated versions of Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma. He joins us along with Mary Huber, President of Edventures.

wikipedia.org

It’s the peak of the summer vacation season, meaning thousands have flocked to the Berkshires. But where do year-round residents go to relax?

Listener Essay - Folding Laundry

Apr 3, 2014

    Pamela Ethington is a writer who divides her time between Syracuse, where her home is, and Woodstock, N.Y., where her heart is. Her work has been published in New Millenium Writings. She is a student of author Martha Frankel in Woodstock.

  From the frigid trans-Siberian railroad to the antiquated Indian Railways to the futuristic MagLev trains, Tom Zoellner offers a stirring story of man’s relationship with trains. In Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World—from the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief, he examines both the mechanics of the rails and their engines and how they helped societies evolve. Not only do trains transport people and goods in an efficient manner, but they also reduce pollution and dependency upon oil.

Zoellner also considers America’s culture of ambivalence to mass transit, using the perpetually stalled line between Los Angeles and San Francisco as a case study in bureaucracy and public indifference.

      When she was just seventeen, independent and ambitious Elizabeth Scarboro fell in love with irreverent and irresistible Stephen. She knew he had cystic fibrosis, that he was expected to live only until the age of thirty or so, and that soon she’d have a choice to make.

She could set out to travel, date, and lead the adventurous life she’d imagined, or she could be with Stephen, who came with an urgency of his own. In choosing him, Scarboro embraced another kind of adventure—simultaneously joyous and heartrending—staying with Stephen and building a life in the ten years they’d have together. The illness would be present in the background of their lives and then ever-more-insistently in the foreground.

Scarboro tells her story of fierce love and its limitations with humor, grace, and remarkable bravery in My Foreign Cities. It is a portrait of a young couple approaching mortality with reckless abandon, gleefully outrunning it for as long as they can.

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