Thursday, April 28, 2011

Railroad Revival Tour

Let me start by saying that I know this whole thing is maybe a little overindulgent, theatrical, and beardy, but, I LOVE IT.  For anyone who missed my squeals of excitement for the weeks leading up to the show, here's what went down: my friend Lauren and I caught a plane to Austin, Texas mid-morning on a Tuesday, caught a bus to downtown, caught a show, and caught a plane back to Colorado at 6 am Wednesday morning.  That's the bare bones run-down. The point: to see 3 fun, folksy, wonderful bands at one stop along their whimsical railroad tour across the Southern US - Old Crow Medicine Show, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Mumford and Sons. If you've never heard of any of these bands, and don't care to look them up, here are some adjectives that should help paint the picture: old-timey, sepia-toned, banjo-y, Depression-era Americana folk dust-bowlers. 

Again, I understand that this tour comes off as "schtick" to some (see example below), but the whole experience makes me feel good for some reason, and I love the music, so I buy into it one hundred percent. So there. 

An article from Austin's A.V Club website, entitled, "Mumford and Sons fulfill destiny, book tour on vintage locomotive" said this: 
"Last fall, The A.V. Club's own Steven Hyden memorably described English folkees Mumford and Sons as "hokey cornpone-ographers," a descriptor the band will take to its logical conclusion by embarking on a six-stop tour of the American Southwest on a fucking train. Said train will be composed of vintage railcars from the mid-20th century and also carry the members of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show, because of course it will."
Haters gonna hate...but I appreciate the wit.

Without further ado, here are pics from Austin and the show.

Angelina Belle Eberly, lighting a canon


poster art, from here

the venue @ 4th and Waller

Old Crow Medicine Show

Me & L-dawg

Edward Sharp & The Magnetic Zeros

Mumford and Sons

Austin High marching band

communal gypsy hippy love fest

post-show skee ball

high score

Everybody on stage for one final song...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Crater Lakes

Saturday was glorious. We awoke to snow falling (on my newly planted veggies) and a day free of commitments. So, C loaded the car with various snow accessories, I gathered some snacks and poured a thermos of hot coffee for the road, and off we went. We ventured...up. 

Plan A (to climb South Arapaho Peak) was foiled by a snowy, slippery road. So we executed Plan B - hiking to the Crater Lakes in the James Peak Wilderness.  

Topo of the route 
(from protrails)

East Portal Rd.

The serene, lonely trail.

Taking C's new ice axe for a test run.

At the lowest lake (elev. 10,630 ft).

Snack break!

Coal emerging from Moffat Tunnel back at the trailhead. 

Beautiful day. (Carl was so excited about the powdery conditions that he went back this morning for a snowboard run)

In other news: Happy Easter!

Friday, April 8, 2011

New York City

Last week we were swept away to yet another physics conference, this time in New York City.  (Well, one of us was 'swept', the other worked diligently to prepare a poster presentation...) See??  Grad school isn't so bad.

I took way too many pictures (as usual) and we did a lot, so I'll keep the narratives to a minimum. This will mostly be a photographic recap of the trip with a smattering of explanatory captions.  

Day 1.
My Priceline acquisition: the Radisson Lexington Hotel

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Rockefeller Center

Bryant Park

New York Public Library

Show at the Comedy Cellar (This was a great night, and something we'd probably do a couple times a week if we lived here. We saw Jim Norton, Aziz Ansari, Tom Papa, Chris Rock (unexpectedly) and a few others. I was hoping we'd get extra lucky and get a visit from Louis CK, but, alas..)

Day 2.
Shake Shack

Times Square

Street art

(Front row at) The Late Show with David Letterman (guests: Regis Philbin, Snoop Dogg, comedian Andy Kindler)

The floor of the Ed Sullivan Theatre. No pictures!

Bed bugs, rats!

Day 3.
I wandered in the morning and we met up for lunch. Amazingly, I had all of Paley Park (smack in the middle of Midtown) all to myself for coffee and breakfast.

Gray's Papaya (a dangerously delicious hot dog joint that came highly recommended by a former NYer friend as well as a few foodie guides.) $1.50 each.

Tom's Restaurant (aka Monk's)

Columbia University grandeur

Yeah I did.

Day 4. 
Conference duties engaged C most of this day, so I hit a few neighborhoods (and stores) that I was dying  to see - Madison Ave., SoHo, Union Square area, etc.

Late night dinner and show at The Jazz Standard (Notable players in the SF Jazz Collective octet - Mark Turner - tenor sax, Stefan Harris - vibes, Robin Eubanks - trombone (bro of Kevin Eubanks of The Tonight Show))

Day 5.
United Nations

Grand Central Terminal

Chinatown/Little Italy

Brooklyn Bridge

Street art in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Day 6.
American Museum of Natural History

Zabar's for lunch

Central Park

Metropolitan Museum of Art (for a bathroom break..)

A Guggenheim walk-by

Dean and Deluca (where we ran into a spandex-clad Tom Brokaw)

Day 7. 
Ground zero

Financial District (ran into a commercial taping)

Stock Exchange

Charging Bull (I didn't want to fight the crowds for a decent picture. This guy gets a lot of action...on both ends...)

Chelsea Market

Highline Park (This was COOL - an old elevated freight railroad track transformed into a public park)

Intrepid aircraft carrier

Until next time Gray's Papaya New York...