Archives for category: Travels

This year has been a treasure hunt for silver linings amidst the rainout-your-whole-life clouds of 2020. At some point this spring, my partner, Melinda, and I swapped our rhetorical lament, What is going to happen next?, for an actual question: Wonder what we’re going to do?

What followed was a wonder quest for experiences uniquely enabled by these times. Here are a slew of moments that got me through this year in no particular order.

(Note: This is not a productivity list, at times, surviving was more than enough. I also acknowledge my work-from-everywhere privilege and ask, if you are also in the position to do so, please signal boost and/or donate to an organization committed to helping those in need get through this time and be resilient on the other side — and, of course, keep wearing your mask, washing your hands, and socially distancing.)

Citibiked: Manhattan

Read: How to Do Nothing, Jenny Odell

Picked: Cherries (spring), Peaches (summer), Apples (fall) at Rosehill Farms, and Jalapeños (near Seneca Lake)

Watched: Flamingos mate for life (Celestún, Mexico); gulls soar through Manhattan; turtles lay eggs; lambs be born; caterpillars eat bouquets of dill; bears roam; foxes fox; cottontails bound; wild turkeys fly; Mom’s new kittens play

Drank: Compaigne des Vins Surnaturels By the Lake and all over New York thanks to their spectacular home delivery

Made: Protest signs from a fully stocked children’s art supply closet

Listened: “If you waiting for life to go back to the way it was,” said my friend, Lulu, “you’re trying to live in a world that no longer exists.”

Practiced: Spanish 1:1 via Skype with SpeakShop tutors in Guatemala

Cut: Coffee (from 2 pots to 2 cups a day)

Read: A Paradise Built in Hell, Rebecca Solnit

Lit: ~100 fires

Picked up: 4 Charles Prime Rib

Stretched

Read: Think Small, Wendell Berry

Cheered on: Every team in the WNBA (especially the Lynx) via League Pass

Ate: Rubirosa outdoors on Pride

Microdosed

Gathered: Queer night on the farm (Chaseholm Farm)

Conferenced in: From home (Chelsea, NYC); a creek (Catskills); a fireplace (Hudson Valley); the beach (Yucatán)

Drank: Chëpìka

Chopped: Wood, like whole trees, and local farm vegetables for Melinda to grill

Voted

Saw: Uxmal

Ordered: 1 kilo of handmade, heirloom corn tortillas from Pancho Maiz

Lived: Next door to a popsicle shop

Puzzled: Sometimes looking at the box, sometimes not, and one I didn’t finish (Smoke & Petals because I got high)

Cried: When Rough Draft bookstore re-opened in Kingston

Marveled: Farm Arts Collective‘s Dream on the Farm performance amongst hemp and fairytale eggplants

Wrote: Daily journal (as I have since childhood but, for real, just to journal, not to publish)

Ate: Fresh fish

Listened: Astrology readings – now on the new CHANI app✨

Counted down to a bright new year

What’s lightened your year? Share your silver linings…

Twenty years ago, I studied abroad in England–curious to learn something new. When I arrived, I took a train into London for a welcome orientation weekend, before heading north to Lancaster University. Moments after checking into a nondescript, student-friendly hotel, I met Mel.

Our connection was instantaneous; it felt timeless, as if we had always been and would forever be.

Mel was destined for the University of Sussex. And nobody–not even baby dykes–started a long-distance relationship on the first day of study abroad, back when prepaid phone cards were the only option.

We became friends and eventually partners. The only anniversary we cared to celebrate was the day we met.

For our 20th, we went back to London. We found our hotel, piecing together fragments from my journal, her scrapbook, my photographic memory, her pigeon-like sense of direction. It was still a hotel. And London was still London; so the rain started to fall as we gazed up at the third-floor window of the bunkbed room we first shared.

Mel and I ducked into the lobby and were kindly offered a cup of tea. We waited out the passing shower.

“This is where we met,” we kept repeating.

Tracey Emin I want my time with you 2018

Tracey Emin, I want my time with you, 2018

Serendipitously, one of my favorite artists, Tracey Emin, also had a public art piece on view at the St Pancras International station.

I Want My Time With You stretched 20 meters, over 65-feet, across wrought iron and glass roof. The nearby Champagne Bar by Searcys offered a stunner view.

We rang for Champagne but learned there was an English sparkling on the menu we decided to give a go.

Mel and I toasted to our time–and to wanting more.

Shyla Sheppard and Missy Begay, Co-founders of Bow & Arrow Brewing Co.

Last fall my partner and I were vacationing in Albuquerque, NM and had the pleasure of finding our way to the Bow & Arrow Brewing Co. By my second  Wild Sumac, described in the beer menu as an earthy lemonade with a desert sparkle, I knew I was going to have to share the news.

ICYMI: There’s something brewing in Albuquerque.

The craft beer movement is thriving way out west and nowhere more refreshing than at Bow & Arrow. Co-founders Shyla Sheppard and Missy Begay, partners in business and in life, are fostering a beer-lovers community at their Native-owned brewery and taproom in the heart of the American Southwest.

They opened their taproom in the adobe desert city near the pink Sandia Mountains. There, they serve wild, sour, and barrel-aged beers that are brewed onsite. In collaboration with their Head Brewer, Ted O’Hanlan, they strive to integrate local ingredients that are adventurous and unique to the area.

“There is a long history in the Southwest of cultures melding together,” Begay says, when we connected for an interview for Curve magazine. “The indigenous culinary tradition here is very strong.”

“Having a strong connection to the land is based on our upbringing,” Begay continues. She was born in Albuquerque and raised on the Diné Nation. Sheppard grew up on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota, where she is a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes.

“From a young age, we were taught that the land has its own spirit. And in my tribe, Mother Earth is our mother,” Begay says. “The land provides water, earth, plants—everything you need to brew great beer. We’re conscientious of where our ingredients come from and we take great care in selecting them.”

Curve Magazine, Feb/March, 2018

The full review (rave) about Bow & Arrow is in the February/March digital issue of Curve magazine. Support women-run queer media by subscribing.

In addition to brew magic, “The Land of Enchantment” also features Sheppard and Begay’s motivation for leadership that’s inspired by their belief in The Seventh Generation.

“Speaking out and being visible is really important for future generations so they can freely aspire to do what they want to do whether they are gay or indigenous or whatever.”

 

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