"This Scorpion helmet has totally changed the game for me, and now I feel like I can stand a chilly winter ride – even if it’s just to The Village Cheese Shop for tea and fondue."
I haven’t put on a full face helmet since I traded in my sportbike for a chopper over ten years ago. I had then opted for a brain bucket before settling on the vintage open face style of helmet which seemed to better suit the Sportster/bobber I purchased once I moved back to the States. And, that style also seemed to work with my most recent purchase – a Triumph Thruxton R.
But during the recent chilly fall days, my boyfriend had me go to Maximum Motorsports to pick up his brand new Ducati 959. So it was time to dust off the old full face Suomy (couldn’t be seen on a luxury machine with a nerd helmet). And instantly, I remembered the advantages of a full face helmet (beyond safety, of course) I was significantly warmer than when I wore the open face helmet. And for me, that was a game changer. Those of you that know me, know how stubborn I can be, especially in regards to gear. And my dislike of the typical bulky, stiff, uncomfortable cold weather gear, has kept me from riding on cool days for…about…as long as I can remember.
This was originally written in my journal on 3.19.13, but because this quaint little restaurant comes to mind every time I make a road trip, I figured it was worth reposting for an audience that's frequently "on-the-road".
114 North Third Street
Bardstown, KY 40004
In this quaint, historic village, I saw a sign above a restaurant, "Mammy's Kitchen" and my growling stomach begged me to explore. Upon entering I was greeted by the most courteous southern drawl requesting me to "take a seat wherever ya want". I made myself cozy in the booth and took in the eclectic surroundings. The walls of the restaurant were covered with whimsical Southern chotchkies: think old barn doors, signs with barn animals and cute cliques, and vintage clocks. The red china cabinet was a stand out feature, along with the stuffed animals adorning a high shelf to celebrate the spring. Even the old worn out chairs, and tacky vinyl covered booths seemed to fit right-in. The waitresses topped-off the warm atmosphere with their friendly smiles, wearing shirts with the slogan, "Southern Cookin Makes You Good Lookin". And yes, they all actually looked like they ate this home-cooking, showing off their cute curves with fitted shirts.
While the menu wasn't expansive nor healthy, as are usual requirements in my favorite restaurants, it was definitely reminiscent of a visit to grandma's house: the special being open-face roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and green beans. I had to give-in to my vegan diet and order what was printed on the menu as "The Best Grilled Cheese Ever" which was "Texas Toast" with tomato and pepper jack cheese. I had them hold the bacon. The sandwiches even came with sides I distinctly remember having so often at grandmas house: thin, oily chips with a bright green pickle. And I must say, the meal totally hit the spot and was worth breaking my diet to have the full, vintage experience at Mammy's Kitchen.
This was originally written in my journal on 11.20.12, but because Ben Howard is one of my favorite musicians, and this EP is hauntingly beautiful, I've decided to repost it on this blog since it's worthy of all audiences to hear.
I've been anxiously awaiting this release since hearing some of these songs live during his live performance in NYC in Sept 2012. And this album definitely doesn't disappoint...how could it with that amazingly, unique English voice?
I would definitely say that this collection has a much more aggressive feeling than his previous release, Every Kingdom. I mean, just look at the cover art - Every Kingdom has a refreshing water scene of whites and blues whereas The Burgh Island E.P. has almost an entirely black cover besides the moonlight (or is that sunlight) peeking out from behind dark clouds. The sound is still distinctively his own with complex guitar chords, complimentary percussion arrangements, and heartfelt vocals. But the songs themselves have a more desperate, harsh sound. And even the lyrics are a bit more bitter than the more peaceful lines in Every Kingdom.
"Oh maybe you were free before my blackened wind covered you. I took the sing from your song. I made a bed where you don't belong" from the most gorgeous, urgent song on the E.P, "Esmerelda". "Oates in the Water" is another stand-out song which begins very solemn and picks up aggression throughout the 5-minute song. "And you'll find loss and you'll fear what you found when weather comes, tear him down...go your way, I'll take the long way 'round, I'll find my own way down, as I should." Powerful lyrics followed by an equally powerful instrumental section that I can feel deep within my soul.
In its entirety, The Burgh Island E.P. is an extremely emotional collection. It further illustrates his talent and is evidence of his long-standing musical appreciation, and various influences from his childhood through the present. Obviously he's as incredible in the studio as he is live - a truly talented individual. Hoping he makes his way back to NYC soon!