Your Redheads spent last week on a whirlwind tour of New York State; each day a different city with lots of driving through other cities in between. So what compelled us to spend so much time getting to know the parts of New York that aren’t of the five boroughs? We were part of a tour for the New York State Presenters Network . Spearheaded by impresario Peter Lesser, the tour was meant to bring artists and presenters across the state together to exchange ideas about block booking, community involvement and collaborations between artists and arts’ organizations. We came back chock full of ideas, and fired up. We'd met some wonderful new people, seen jaw-droppingly gorgeous venues in places you’d least expect, and and been inspired to think well outside of the box. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be bringing you many of those ideas, profiles of the places and organizations we discovered, along with commentary from some of the artists and arts supporters who were involved. But first…we just wouldn’t be your Redheads if we didn’t share with you our very own Road Trip Top Ten…
1.) Biggest Regret: Not stopping to have our picture taken with the taxidermied bear.
2.) Culinary Highpoint: Kingston, NY. Pulling into our hotel and seeing a TGI Fridays, Taco Bell, and a Sonic Drive-In did not bode well for our gastric expectations, but a little expedition off the beaten path to the waterfront brought great rewards. This is where we found Ship to Shore Restaurant , and Richard, our charming and darn near perfect waiter who brought us one of our best meals in recent memory. Starting off with a soup of caramelized onions, cici beans and just a hint of curry and followed by a seafood risotto with rock shrimp and scallops that were beyond fresh we thought we couldn’t ask for anything more. Until…dessert! The vanilla bean crème brulée had us near tears. We felt we need never eat again, at least until the next morning when we made a stop at Adams Fairacre Farms market and picked up local goat cheese and apples and pears for that night’s automotive dinner. AND chocolate…which brings us to...
3.) Best Breakfast: Truffles from Adams Fairacre Farm! Don’t give us that look! Chocolate is loaded with good things that fill one with peace and good will towards one's fellow man, especially when the chocolate in question has been laced with brandy. Besides, isn’t it a vegetable?
4.) Low Point: In a nameless city in a nameless hotel calling for extra blankets and receiving something called a blanket that seemed to have been fabricated out of melted cassette tapes. ICK!
5.) Best In-Car Entertainment: Reading P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves & Wooster stories aloud. Musical use of language, great characters, and fall-on-the-floor funny. Just what the old onion needs while on the road.
6.) Lower Point: The much-vaunted "Sleep Number" beds in our hotel rooms somewhere along the way. As far as the Redheads can discern, the perfect sleep number is the phone number you call to get a couple of Sealy Posturepedics delivered a.s.a.p.
7.) Magic Moment: Stopping on a pitch black road in the Adirondacks and looking up to see that the lights in the sky were millions of stars. Millions!
8.) In our Next Life: We want to be dancers with Paul Taylor’s Taylor 2 Company.
9.) Our Confession… There is no Ten; we got distracted by something shiny.