Even Antiquers get the Blues

Antique Week

Could there be anything better than a weeklong antiques fair? Don’t struggle too hard; It’s a trick question.

What’s better is that New York’s scenic Chenango Valley hosts Madison-Bouckville Antique Week (MBAW) in August and it just happens to coincide with the Chenango Blues Fest. I was unaware of the latter when I drove up this weekend to attend the former. Trust me. I won’t be fooled again. Continue reading

Where the Wild Thing Lives: The Evander Preston Gallery

When my sister first moved to Pass-a-Grille, Florida, she wondered about the identity of the homeless guy riding his bicycle up and down Gulf Way.  One day while speculating out loud, a waitress at The Hurricane finally tipped her off. “Honey.  That’s no vagrant.  That’s Evander.” Florida has a reputation for producing colorful characters; the state has proudly sheltered pirates, housed Ernest Hemingway and his six-toed cats, and nurtured generations of gator wrestlers. I think it’s fair to say that only Florida could produce Evander Preston, a jewelry craftsman, brewer, art collector, and chef who resembles a refugee from the Hell’s Angels. Continue reading

Postcards from the Desk

My boss refuses to yield to my repeated requests for a 4-hour workweek.

I, like Timothy Ferriss, wish to indulge my true passion and travel the world but I’ve had no success cajoling and wheedling, explaining how I can work remotely; that through the magic of Skype, I can be virtually present while actually slurping down a bowl of pho guya truyen in Hanoi. He deftly deflects each of my attempts, reminding me that my tax dollar-funded position as chief fiscal officer requires my physical presence in the office. To date, I’ve simply managed to get him to agree to let me work more hours in exchange for additional days off. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what Mr. Ferriss had in mind.

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Rejoice, Air Travelers! Sanity’s Restored!


Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg

Consider me a fan of airport security. I gladly remove my shoes, belt, jewelry, and loose change and happily place my 3 oz. liquids in a clear quart-sized plastic bag.  My underwire bra always triggers the metal detector. The female attendant and I exchange a little small talk, there’s a pat down and maybe a cigarette afterwards. I kind of look forward to it now. The point is that security professionals developed these procedures in response to potential threats and I’m willing to be slightly inconvenienced and sacrifice a tiny slice of my individual liberty to comply because I believe it increases my safety while traveling. Continue reading

Bowled Over: The Pottery of Poland

polish pottery wroclawMy sister moved to Poland in February 2011, a two-year corporate reassignment. She’s based in Wroclaw, formerly Breslau, Germany. The town of Boleslawiec (Say it 3 times fast. I dare you.) is located approximately 120 kilometers from Wroclaw and is famous for the handcrafted pottery produced there for over 350 years, according to the Museum of Ceramics.  I attempted a visit but was thwarted at the train station. Of the thirty or so people milling about, no one spoke enough English to convince me that the train I was about to board was the right one. Because I only had three days in Poland, I could not afford to wake up from my travel nap in a distant, unidentifiable, unpronounceable eastern European burg.
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