Cultures Meet on Cape Breton at Celtic Colours Festival
On Cape Breton Island, in the far north of Atlantic Canada, music is part of the fabric of life, always. So, too, is warm welcome to all who visit. Though Cape Breton is, you might say, off the beaten path, it has for centuries been a place where cultures met and greet and connect with each other, from First Nations tribes who came to the shore and forests to fish and hunt, to those seeking refuge from political and social turmoil in Scotland, Ireland, France, New England, and elsewhere. The island’s somewhat out of the way location is perhaps one
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Main Street USA: Greenville, South Carolina
When people visit bustling downtown Greenville, South Carolina now, most of them have no idea that Main Street was a four-lane ghost town artery for a while. In the golden days, downtown was where everyone went to go shopping and and there were department stores from Belk, Kress, and J.C. Penny. Then it followed the same path as many urban cores in the 1970s as shopping malls with giant parking lots drew the crowds instead. The big stores left, then the little ones, along with all the shoppers. Many downtown main streets in America never recovered, but those cities led
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Bare Feet on Planes and Other Travel Atrocities
I hardly know where to begin here. This image of bare feet showed up in my Twitter feed. There they are; nonchalantly hanging out on an airplane bulkhead. I had to pause and stare. This pretty much summarizes the misery of flying today. Yes, we shake a weary fist at travelers who are clueless slobs – although this person has a better pedicure than I do, so maybe “slob” isn’t the correct term – but that is only part of the problem. The standard flying experience is a stack of one soul-sucking moment after another. The frenzied, crowded airport arrivals,
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Great Smoky Mountains: Appalachia in Autumn
Mist rising from the trees and waters, fog lying in the valleys, clouds wreathing the mountain heads: Shaconage, place of blue smoke, these mountains were called by the First Peoples. Later, this part of Appalachia became known as the Great Smoky Mountains. That mist and fog and cloud were — and are — of a piece with the majesty and mystery these mountains hold. A good part of these mountains and valleys, much of the land along the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, forms the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Though some of the towns near the park’s boundaries
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