The eminent Swedish botanist and zoologist Carl Linnaeus, father of modern taxonomy, called Bartram “the greatest natural botanist in the world.” And aristocrats eagerly awaited the arrival of their “Bartram’s Boxes”: bundles of seeds, saps and specimens shipped from North America. What brought him to the Catskills?
Friday, Apr. 19: Bicycle Day celebrates the Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hoffman’s accidental first LSD trip, his surprising bicycle ride home from the lab that day and everything that followed.
Saturday, April 20: Via time zones and the 12-hour clock, it is always 4:20 somewhere, I guess, though my head is too foggy to really think it through. But a real 420 only comes once a year, and the entire day is given to what, most days, receives only an hour or two. A weekend 4/20 is like Venus-in-Gatorade rare.
June 15 and 16: One should never sleep on Clearwater. Over the years, it has quietly become the most inclusive and progressive of all the major New York summer festivals, belying its reputation as a weekend of Pete Seeger’s two favorite things: banjos and garbage cleanup.
Mohonk’s summerhouses were originally fashioned by “rustic carpenters”: farmers mostly, with good carpentry skills. The amateur artisans were instructed to use the materials they could find at hand and to use their imagination. No two are alike.
Guyot’s map of the Catskills radically redefined the physical and cultural understanding of the region. Before his work, the mountain known as High Peak was unanimously considered the highest in the range, and the region of the Catskill Mountain House (where the North/South Lake campground is today) was generally thought to be the only part of the Catskills of real natural and cultural interest – a misconception that the House owners had no interest in changing. Guyot set everyone straight, demoting High Peak, ultimately, to merely the 23rd-highest summit in the range and calling attention the natural treasures of Slide Mountain and the areas of the Catskills to the south and west.
Michael Lang can stake a legitimate claim to intellectual ownership of Woodstock, but he doesn’t. He is a “we” person when he talks, and over time you begin to notice that there are three levels to his use of that pronoun.
Considered by many to be the jewel of the Hudson River bridges, the Mid-Hudson Bridge was created by the famous bridge designer Ralph Modjeski. And the financing of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge is considered by many to be an innovative precursor of FDR’s New Deal economic systems.
Friday, April 12: She has released ten albums, written four books and been called “one of America’s very best singer-songwriters” by The New Yorker. Unison booked her, but she’ll be performing at SUNY-New Paltz’s Studley Theater.
Saturday, April 13: I am not sure anyone would have predicted the return of vinyl, and with it the flourishing of record stores, and with that the renaissance of record-store culture and its barbershop vibe of feverish cultural engagement and curation. But here we are.