Tag Archives: Travel

The Ruins of Music

Archaeology and Material Culture

The Grande Ballroom in Detroit in 2009, which remains in ruins today (image from Albert duce). The Grande Ballroom in Detroit in 2009, which remains in ruins today (image from Albert duce).

Music has a rather ephemeral materiality rendered in tangible things like CDs, cassettes, records, and perhaps even digital playlists, but its more compelling archaeological dimension is probably the historical landscapes of clubs and music districts that dot nearly every community.  Local grassroots music tends to be relatively dynamic, but live music holds a tenacious if ever-transforming grip on the landscape: most communities can point to a distinctive soundscape of clubs, impromptu spaces, and places from churches to schools where music was the heart of local experience.

Music has had a profoundly consequential hold on youth culture for most of the last century, but many places’ local musical heritages are in ruins or razed.  The musical landscape is exceptionally dynamic: a parade of fringe styles continually step forward in nearly every place, articulating a host…

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The Last Stand of the Drive-In Theater: Upgrade or Perish

Midlife Crisis Crossover!

In my early childhood years, I had only two options for seeing movies: squinting at them on my family’s thirteen-inch black-‘n’-white TV (and I was rarely allowed to choose what channels we watched); or seeing them writ large on the giant-sized, outdoor screen down at the drive-in theater. In a world where limited technology narrowed our choices, this competition was a no-brainer to me.

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An ‘African Safari Wedding’ is Even More Incredible than it Sounds



Reddit user Corey Perkins (u/per1993) posted an incredible wedding album earlier this week. The Imgur photo gallery (which has been viewed over 765,000 times in three days), shows the couple’s breathtaking ceremony at the Chengeta Safari Lodge, which is located about 80 km from Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe.

The couple met while attending Seton Hill University and got married in the United States three years ago. Earlier this year they travelled to Zimbabwe for a second wedding so the bride’s family could celebrate the joyous union.

The day’s events were captured by local photographer Christopher Scott. I’ll let the images speak for themselves but this is truly one of the most incredible wedding locations I’ve ever seen!

[via Corey Perkins/per1993 on reddit]



african safari wedding (1)



african safari wedding (2)

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Exploring Central Havana’s Hamel’s Alley


On afternoon I decided it was time to explore a different part of Havana that I had yet to see, Centro Habana or Central Havana. I’d see enough of beautiful Old Havana and thought it was time to see the real Havana that has been untouched. Central Havana is the most densely populated part of town and unlike Old Havana, nothing has been restored.

I hailed a coco-taxi (a three-wheeled scooter) right from my hotel in Vedado and enjoyed a fun ride down the Malecón to my first destination in Central Havana, a special place called El Callejón de Hamel (Hamel’s Alley). I was in for quite a wonderful surprise!

Taking a Coco Taxi in Havana Taking a Coco-taxi in Havana. (A three-wheeled scooter with a cover and room for two in back).

Centro Habana Cuba Heading into Centro Habana (Central Havana), a more densely populated and rundown part of town with ramshackle buildings and potholed streets.

Centro Habana Cuba

I paid…

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Extreme Plane Spotting at Maho Beach, Saint Martin



Located on the Dutch side of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin (i.e., Sint Maarten) is the famous Maho Beach. While it has the characteristic white sand and turquoise water of a Caribbean paradise that is not what makes Maho Beach such a popular tourist destination.

Rather, it has much to do with the Princess Juliana International Airport directly adjacent to Maho.

Arriving aircraft must touch down as close as possible to the beginning of Runway 10 due to the short runway length of 2,180 meters (7,150 ft), resulting in aircraft on their final approach flying over the beach at minimal altitude.

Watching airliners pass over the beach is such a popular activity that daily arrivals and departures airline timetables are displayed on a board in most bars and restaurants on the beach, and one bar even has a speaker on its outside deck that broadcasts the radio transmissions…

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