Thursday, July 15, 2010

34. See a Band at Nectar's and Eat at Pizza on Earth: A Vermont summer combo

It's been a great summer of amazing new places and new things, but I have to admit that a side of me has been itching to get back to Vermont. I love Vermont, but I especially love Vermont in the summer, and I'm excited to have the chance to do some things that everyone around here associates with summer, but that I've never gotten around to. So, last night and tonight I did two of them. The first was in direct response to a lot of ribbing from some of my students, who think it is very funny, and a little pathetic, that I've done lots of travelling around the world but never made it down the street to Nectar's, the restaurant/bar/club that gave Phish its start. Similarly, some of my colleagues were surprised to learn that I had never visited Pizza on Earth, where you sit on picnic tables outside a barn in the summer and load up on pizza and gelato before climbing everyone's favorite hill that aspires to be -- but isn't quite-- a mountain, Mount Philo.

Connor, with whom I just travelled to Jordan, provided the means for finally getting me to Nectar's, when he invited me to see his band, Fink, play there. As if that weren't incentive enough, two other students, Will and Ben, were playing first in their own band, and Alexsis, who I've known since her first day at Saint Mike's when she was assigned to me as an advisee, suggested that I could join her. It was, of course, great fun to watch students that I know from the classroom and from working together on AIDS and other political issues, show a whole other side of themselves as musicians. Here's a somewhat blurry picture of Connor playing, and one of him, Alexsis and I after the show was over when he was loading out the equipment.

The second new thing was a bit more staid, but equally fun. Pizza on Earth sits in a small but wildly popular building next to a farmhouse and very big barn on the way to Mount Philo. Here are friends and colleagues Katie, Kristin, Drew, Greta, Annemieke, Traci and Zan relishing our dinner on a wonderful summer night. About half of us went up Mount Philo afterwards, and here are Brett, Drew, Kristin, Annemieke and Traci part way up the climb, and Traci and I at the top.

I know I've been very lucky this summer to have visited pyramids and sandstone cities, and taken camel rides through the desert. But I think I'm just as lucky to be able to come home to a lively college town that's loaded with fun, multi-faceted students and great friends and colleagues set in one of the most beautiful mountain lake settings in the world. Vermont is pretty cool, and it's a lot of fun to finally hit some of the places that everyone knows about, but I never made the time to explore.

Coming Attractions

The list I published in the last post is still pretty accurate, except that I'd now add that it's looking like August 14 will be the date for the 24 hours in New York City. Let me know if you're interested and want some more details.

Since it's officially the middle of summer I decided to grant myself a vacation from my language project, or more accurately, I ran out of languages and was too lazy to look one up for this post. Now that the languages are in the 30's it's getting harder, so if people have ones I haven't used yet, I'll gratefully accept them.

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