travel

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.

Mya Coviello Shares Her Experience Abroad

Mar 23, 2014

Advocates for studying abroad believe that students who make going overseas a part of their education helps students and future employers develop profound skills. It pushes students to get out of their comfort zone to experience another culture, language, environment, and education system. Essayist Mya Coviello shares her story of studying abroad in Europe.

  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.

  Growing up in a small river town in Illinois, Diane Johnson always dreamed of floating down the Mississippi and off to see the world. Years later, at home in France, a French friend teases her: “Indifference to history—that’s why you Americans seem so naïve and don’t really know where you’re from.”

In her new memoir, Flyover Lives, Johnson explores the Midwest and the family’s history. In digging around, she discovered letters and memoirs written by generations of stalwart pioneer ancestors.

Western Mass. Turnpike Tolls Set To Be Restored

Sep 10, 2013
en.wikipedia.org


Tolls will soon return for motorists traveling on the western end of the Massachusetts Turnpike.

The first of two informational hearings is scheduled for tonight on implementation of tolls between Exit 1 in West Stockbridge and Exit 6, which leads to Interstate 291 and Springfield. The meeting will be held at Lee High School.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

A former high school teacher from Columbia County has completed a long trek to raise money so young people can have the opportunity to travel.

Andrew McCarthy

Aug 19, 2013

  Though most renowned for his roles in seminal 80s films like Pretty in Pink and St. Elmo’s Fire, Andrew McCarthy has gone on to become a director, a revered travel journalist and editor-at-large for National Geographic Traveler. In The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest for the Courage to Settle Down, McCarthy recounts his journey towards self-awareness and his fears of commitment.

An Unfriendly Town

Aug 1, 2013
City of Albany; "X" graffiti by Dave Lucas

Looking for a warm welcome in a new city? Don't come to Albany - that's the message from a new survey of the most and least friendly places on the planet.

WIkimedia Commons/Andrea Di Falco

If you’ve ever found yourself standing on a busy city street corner with one foot in the gutter and an outstretched arm, you know the perils and victory that can be associated with travel by taxi.

We’ve all heard the urban legends of the child born in the back of a cab, or the long lost loves rain soaked reunion in the back seat of a yellow livery car, but today we want to hear your real life “taxi cab confessions” whether hopeful, or harrowing. WAMC's Alan Chartock hosts.

    Moses Gates is a new breed of adventurer for the 21st century. He thrives on the thrill of seeing what others do not see, let alone even know exists. It all began quite innocuously. After moving to New York City and pursuing graduate studies in Urban Planning, he began unearthing hidden facets of the city—abandoned structures, disused subway stops, incredible rooftop views that belonged to cordoned-off buildings.

In his memoir of his experiences, Hidden Cities, Gates details his travels through underground canals, sewers, subways, and crypts, in metropolises spanning four continents.

Gates describes his immersion in the worldwide subculture of urban exploration; how he joined a world of people who create secret art galleries in subway tunnels, break into national monuments for fun, and travel the globe sleeping in centuries-old catacombs and abandoned Soviet relics rather than hotels or bed-and-breakfasts.

    In his early 70s, author Daniel Klein came to terms with aging. Klein returned to the Greek village and philosophers he has visited for decades to discover authentic ways of aging.

In Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life , he concludes that old age is a privilege to be savored, rather than a disease to be cured or a condition to be denied.

    As President Barack Obama's Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, set out to repair America's image around the world—and her own. For the four years she served, BBC foreign correspondent Kim Ghattas had unparalleled access to Clinton and her entourage. She tells the story in The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power.

  On November 14, 1889, Nellie Bly, the crusading young female reporter for Joseph Pulitzer’s World newspaper, left New York City by steamship on a quest to break the record for the fastest trip around the world.

Also departing from New York that day—and heading in the opposite direction by train—was a young journalist from The Cosmopolitan magazine, Elizabeth Bisland. Each woman was determined to outdo Jules Verne’s fictional hero Phileas Fogg and circle the globe in less than eighty days. The dramatic race that ensued would span twenty-eight thousand miles, captivate the nation, and change both competitors’ lives forever.

Listener Essay - Imagine Vioney

Feb 13, 2013
imaginepeacetower.com

  Deb Smith is a professor at Empire State College's International Programs in Saratoga Springs.

PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (AP) — All lanes of the Long Island Expressway are now open.

Authorities say both the eastbound and westbound lanes have reopened in time for the Monday morning commute.

The ramps off the expressway and other major Long Island roadways are still snow covered.

A steady light rain was falling early Monday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

MassDOT 511 Traffic Camera

BOSTON (AP) — Commuters heading back to work in Massachusetts for the first time since the blizzard are being urged to use caution and leave extra time.

Many secondary roads still have a thick coating of snow, and high snow banks that block sight lines at intersections and near highway ramps make turning and merging hazardous.

Pages