When life hands you lemons, and your mind spins into a tizzy about leaving your beloved home state before you’re ready…. you hop in a car and go on an impromptu adventure.
<insert cheesy John Muir quote here>
Land of towering cliffs, iridescent mountains, fields of Sierras, and sparkling lakes. Birds soar and hum overhead while hikers ascend switchbacks, pausing every so often to catch their breath and take in the view. The infamous landscape transforms throughout the day as the sun & clouds drift, kissing the mountains with their soft rosy hues.
It was an completely spontaneous trip (but aren’t those the best ones?) within 36 hours we went from zero to out the door. And it was a short – a 2.5 day shotgun mission, where it seemed like we managed to do almost everything wrong.
So here are my notes – a brain dump of tips and advice for my future self. And pretty pictures (duh)
If Art Basel were cool, cultured and monied (which it is), Scope would be its hip younger sibling, its Brooklyn counterpart. Taking place right on the sand in South Beach, Scope features much more contemporary pieces & at much lower prices. (but still like, several thousand a pop… come on guys this is ART we fancy..)
True to its younger, cooler, hipper style – Scope had a pretty neat app that served as a visual inventory of all the works showing, embellished with special photo effects. A svelte outdoor bar/lounge area hung off the left side & overlooked that crystal Meeeami water.
The dopest part was the Heineken pyramid out back (team Heineken, your event marketing in on point). The pyramid was built out of wood planks, huge canvases & beer (duh).
Straddling the Mojave Desert & Colorado Desert lies Joshua Tree, a quirky little region where magic courses through the air and nature thrives in the most unlikely places.
The National Park is actually larger than the state of Rhode Island, and is lined with tons of hiking trails. There are 3 main entrances on the perimeter of the park, and you most definitely need a car to get in & around the park (I mean.. Rhode Island is it’s own state, for comparison’s sake) A $20/car pass gives you admission to the park for an entire 30 days.
when in Joshua Tree, do as the Joshua Trees do
Some quick highlights…. these were my favorites.
Hidden Valley Loop: this is about a 1 mile loop hike, where cattle herders used to hide stolen cattle. It’s a pretty easy & fun hike. There were several rock climbers climbing alongside this trial… the ultimate people watching sport.
Cholla Cacti Field: Beware! these are super prickly (duh) but there are loose burrs everywhere on the ground. still a pretty cool sight to see… though may not be worth the extra 40 minute drive roundtrip.
Keys View: Not really a hike but an amazing look out point – you can see all of Coachella valley, the San Andreas fault line and the Salton Sea! Go around sunset but just know that it will be crowded up there (oh how original of you… to go at sunset) Continue reading
Driving through tiny dirt roads in Landers, CA, scanning the barren desert scenery for this ‘Venusian’ sound dome, you finally spot it in the distance… looking as out of place as ever – a tall white dome, built entirely of Douglas fir & calking. An “acoustically perfect” space, built by George van Tassel in the 1950’s per instructions from Venus.
Every other weekend the Integratron opens up its Sound Baths to the public – no reservations required (but spots fill up quickly), $20 for a one hour session. Drive out there early to make sure you secure a ticket, and then hang out in the eclectic courtyard, write a love phrase on the chalk wall, lounge around in the hammock village.
By the time I decided I was going to move out of New York and had set a farewell date, I only had a couple weeks to book a flight, pack, turn over my apartment lease, and most important do everything I’ve always wanted to do in NYC. Obviously failed at that last one since my list has always been growing faster than I could ever check things off it… but I could try…
1) One of my favorite things about the city is how easy it is to access amazing, cheap, live music, especially in the summertime. Parks & venues are inundated with musical talent -both large names & up-and-comers. Some of the best free events in the summer include the Celebrate Brooklyn concert series at Prospect Park and various free, sponsored pop-up concerts (Chromeo for Made in America, Haim & Sleigh Bells for Levi’s come to mind).
Tip: Central Park hosts a series of Summerstage concerts throughout the warmer months -tickets are usually $20-40 each, but there is always a healthy crowd hanging out on the rocks right outside Rumsey Playfield. You can catch the entire show (audios only, but that’s 80% of a show anyways) while picnicking out on the grass. There’s even the margarita man who walks around with his ice chest selling margaritas & tall boys. I caught both the Blood Orange and Gary Clark Jr. shows like this before I left. It is by far the cheapest, chillest way to attend a concert.