Sunday Stories for August 31st, 2014

Sunday Stories for August 31st, 2014Sunday Stories for August 31st, 2014

What a glorious last week of summer it has been. Yes, I know that fall doesn’t official start until September 21st, but I’ve always observed Memorial Day as the beginning of Summer and Labor Day the end.

Yakima Valley agriculture

Acres of crops in the Yakima Valley

We spent time this past week in the Yakima Valley, home to some of the most fertile land in our state, and an agricultural mecca. The area is known for its apple and cherry crops, and, of course, it’s grapes for wine, but apricots, peaches, and nectarines are also grown here. And while many people don’t realize it, I didn’t, about 70% of the country’s hops are grown in the Yakima Valley. Beer lovers rejoice!

I’ll have some stories about the time spent there, perhaps even a photo essay, over the next few months. I’m sure you’ll want to start planning a visit soon.

Now, on to what caught my eye on the web this week.

What Life Is Like When You’re Born on a Commune

I came of age during the 1960-70s, and while most of my time was spent in small town America, and later in small town suburbia. It was a time when the idealism of my generation made us think we could change the world. We did change the world in many ways, not all for the better, and this first person essay took me right back to that time. Right back to the idealism, and the turulence, that filled those decades. See if you feel the same way.

My parents spent the 1970s on communes: first, a shared house in Boulder; after that, a “self-realization fellowship” in Paonia, Colorado; then the Spring Hollow farm in Tennessee, with a dozen other couples. They were out to save the world, or at least themselves. Peace, love, and understanding.

Vintage Snapshot: The Camera Museum, Penang, Malaysia

While we’re waxing nostalgically, this museum of vintage cameras in Penang, Malaysia, caught my eye. I didn’t check it out while I was there, but it looks like something I would enjoy. If your a photographer or fan of vintage items, I think you’ll like this story – and the museum.

Opened in 2013, the Camera Museum Penang occupies a two-story pre-war shop house divided into four sections. The gift shop and  museum café are free to enter, but the upstairs sections – the main vintage camera display area and Camera Obscura – need an admission ticket.

Did Tony die at the end of The Sopranos?

As television series finales go, I thought The Sopranos finale was supreme. Did Tony die or not? What happened to all the other family members? Why was the fade to black both so perfect and so perfectly frustrating? Everytime I hear Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ I think of The Sopranos. This interview with the series creator is both frustrating and illuminating. I think we’ll never really know.

The main topic of conversation about The Sopranos, seven years after the series finale, is still whether Tony Soprano, mob boss of North Jersey, is dead or not. And series creator David Chase couldn’t care less about that.

Kitser on bannister

A good luck house cat

Russia’s Biggest Bank Offering Loaner Cats To Entice Mortgage Borrowers

Just a friendly service from your friendly Russian mortgage lender – you get to borrow a cat along with your rubles. I’ve often thought mine were good luck, perhaps I’m not alone in that thinking.

Because it’s apparently good luck in Russia to let a cat stroll through your new home before you move your stuff in, and because mortgage interest rates have skyrocketed in the country, some employees at the nation’s largest bank are offering to lend out their feline friends to a handful of mortgage borrowers in the coming months.

Read original article here: Russia’s Biggest Bank Offering Loaner Cats To Entice Mortgage Borrowers – Consumerist

10 Best Lobster Rolls in New England

I enjoy lobser – a crustacean steamed to perfection, dipped in butter, and even better if I get crack and eat it with my hands. Such is the joy of a lobster dinner or boil, and you won’t see me turning it down. It’s taken some warming up to the lobster roll, however, and I’m still not entirely used to substituting mayo for butter and adding bread. These come highly recommended, and if you’ve tried these (or any other) locations, I’d love to know what you think.

The lobster roll has become the New England summertime sandwich of choice. Tasty chunks of lobster meat drizzled with butter or tossed with mayo and served up on a crisp, buttery bun are all the rage these days.

Read original article here: 10 Best Lobster Rolls in New England

The Story Behind the Boston Charlie Card

My parents were Kingston Trio fans, and I remember singing along with the song M.T.A. and wondering how Charlie was ever going to get off the train. I didn’t realize the political roots behind the song, nor that it was censored and changed because of the political times, but I found myself humming the song (to myself, I’m not totally crazy) the first time I rode the Boston T. The city, in perhaps an ironic wink to history, has named its rider card after Charlie.

Romney was not there to give a speech. He was there to join the Kingston Trio in a rendition of “M.T.A.,” the iconic ballad about a “man named Charlie” doomed to “ride forever ’neath the streets of Boston” and become “the man who never returned.” The concert introduced the new Charlie Card, designed to replace tokens and change. 

Read original article here: The Story Behind the Boston Charlie Card



Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

One Response to “Sunday Stories for August 31st, 2014”

  1. September 1, 2014 at 1:23 am #

    Thanks for including my article Mary Jo — much appreciated!

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