A work in progress, I am love writing beyond what I share on this site, design, product and travel writing and photography and am pleased with the experience to share through published works.
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January 5, 2017
There is something so comforting about a wool blanket, in any form, and when you take that essence of comfort and love, and put it into a Topo backpack with all the functionality that entails, you want to take it everywhere, well, like a kid with that security blanket. But the Klettersack pack comes with a bit more functionality than carrying around your favorite blanket.
The Geronimo Jacquard colorway, with it’s warm body colors, black body facing technical fabric and buttery leather details is the newest addition to join the Woolrich X Topo Klettersack collaboration. But I feel this may be the most versatile and covetable colorway yet. With warm but neutral hues, high end leather detailing, Woolrich’s rich history, and Topo building the pack with enough adjustability and rugged construction to feel technical in Colorado, while effortlessly urbane, this pack literally calls out for fall and winter use. But because it is not overbuilt, while being highly functional, and the textile is a classic, I’m pretty sure that this pack will flow seamlessly into spring and summer outings on bike, beach, trail and daily use across the city.
March 1, 2016
According to Somerville Theatre’s Hermitlake organizer, Paul Fitzpatrick Nager, the film The Search for Freedom sets the tone for the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2016.
This action-packed film, showing some of the brightest stars of our adrenaline-chasing age, overlaid with a beautiful narrative, results in a somewhat jarring juxtaposition that still manages to express powerful wisdoms about the peace and freedom we all seek as we escape into ourselves and our sport. It’s like watching someone cliff-jumping while hearing Buddhist teachings — but if you’re an outdoor sports enthusiast, you know that this is just what the followers of this path seek. This balance between panic and enlightenment where one might just find release.
And the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour always selects films that merge adrenaline highs with awe and a gesture toward enlightenment — sometimes they do it beautifully, sometimes stunningly, other times less successfully. Either way, the films bring us into the worlds of these athletes and nature seekers.
The 2015-2016 world tour continues the outdoor film industry’s efforts to include more diverse films. In terms of race, there is still a long way to go, but there were several women-made or women-focused films this year. Operation Moffat, Bluehue, Women’s Speed Ascent, Project Mina, Pretty Faces and Climbing Ice all feature women in the outdoors, owning it in the way we know we can. Here are some of our highlights from this years’ selections.
Angel Collinson, the first female ever be nominated for, and then also win the Powder Awards “Best line of the year” award took home the 2015 Award for her line in Teton Gravity Research’s film Paradise Waits. A gnarly, cliffy sheer drop of a line in Alaska which she stuck firmly, and for which she was selected by a panel of ski industry judges over male pro ski competitor’s lines for the win. Angel is a champion in big mountain skiing, a beast to watch in the best sense, and that she is a woman taking it all on is just icing! (If you have doubts about her prowess, watch her 2015 1,000 foot-tomahawking fall and her chilled out reaction.)
Climbing Ice: The Iceland Trifecta, while a bit over the top, and as much about photographer Tim Kemple as the skillful climbing of world champion ice climber, Klemen Premrl and top European female ice climber, Rahel Schelb, is good sugary outdoor eye candy. The humor, artistry through challenging, even impossible maneuvers, and deep passion for the sport they exhibit as they explore the playground Iceland presents in the form of ice cave, moulins and icebergs makes the film worthwhile, even if we the viewers have to clamber over Tim’s ego to enjoy it.
Women’s Speed Ascent is a kick ass, take no prisoners outdoors film in the best sense of the word. Mayan Smith-Gobat and Libby Sauter literally hurl themselves against the women`s speed record for the ascent of the Nose on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park and take us with them. “I mean, certainly … you’d be ignorant to say we are not taking risks…,” is the opening, and the two are relentless, with only occasional amusingly familiar self critic reminding us that these two fierce, unbounded athletes are female. That they are us — and yet so much to aspire to as they demolish the wall! At the closing of the film, the theatre erupted into applause and whoops; I look forwards to more films like this. I only wish it were longer.
The feature length film, Unbranded, while with nary a female in sight, except Donquita the spunky donkey, paints a beautiful portrait of four young men trying to uncover themselves and their place in the world by reclaiming the modern American west with eighteen tamed mustangs. With their ragtag herd, they ride from Mexico to Canada (a longstanding dream of this author, I will admit.) It is not an easy ride, or one without loss, but it is worthwhile.
March 11, 2016
Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “April showers, May flowers,” or something like that? Well, April’s come early and we need some waterproof shoes, stat.
The PF Flyer Hi Press boot is chic enough footwear for city days but its heavy-duty rubber can handle serious wet and muck, too. The styling of this update comes from the 1930’s and PF’s heritage, when a small tire brand called BF Goodrich decided to diversify beyond tires and use their rubber to make the Posture Foundation insoles, and the rest is footwear history, with notable stops in basketball, lifestyle, and films like Sandlot along the way.
As someone who likes my shoes functional and great looking these weather ready boots are a win! When I opened the box on a particularly nasty day of New England “wintery mix,” I promptly fell in love with the balanced look of industrial elegance and decided to wear them to a business pitch meeting. Then, I took the pup for a mucky walk in the woods. See? Versatile.
The leather upper with the suede color pop on the heel balances out the serious rubber base, while the light wool inner lining adds a nice coziness. I love the simplicity of only 2 eyelets for the laces, allowing for a streamlined classic look to the shoe. (Full disclosure, I used to work at New Balance in Apparel R&D, parent company of PF Flyer.)
Another huge plus; the PF HiPress boots seem particularly comfortable especially since waterproof shoes can so often be so uncomfortable. (A caveat: they do seem to run a bit large, as a unisex shoe line, and as someone who is often between sizes, so I definitely recommend ordering at least ½ size down.)
I am thrilled to have a chic, comfortable and compact boot that works in the wet and dry weather. Yay for an all terrain, life-ready shoe! Five stars.
December 24, 2015
Late December I received an urgent email on a Saturday afternoon while sitting in a design talk at MIT. PAWs New England, an extraordinary group that rescues dogs out of high kill shelters in the south and brings them to the north, needed an emergency transport driver on Tuesday.
The trip from Memphis to New Hampshire was 1,350 miles and would involve four animals, although the van was later described “not unlike a raft leaving the Titanic” so that number was bound to go up. The transport needed get underway in 72 hours so that the animals could make it to New England for the holidays. Is it possible for you to go? they asked.
Within minutes, my mind was made up. I can’t resist an adventure or a good cause, and PAWs holds a special place in my heart: my dog, Mia, was my “foster failure,” the joking term for a happily adopted foster animal. (As I was no longer able to foster I continued to volunteer as a photographer in the extensive network that is the lifeblood of organizations like PAWs.) It was close to Christmas and most people were busy, but I took the call as an opportunity to go big and embrace the holiday spirit. While the logistics were complicated, the choice easy.
The intricate machinery of the whole ordeal clicked into gear almost immediately: flights, vans, routes, and travel advice all swirling in my head. Like so many groups bringing animals from shelters to safety for a chance at a new life, PAWs is an extremely organized network of volunteers all over the east. As my mother said, critical groups like this create an Underground Railroad for dogs. Given the current kill rates in many shelters — as high as 80-98% — the name is not far off.
I arrived in Memphis on Tuesday evening to attend a volunteer dinner and was swept into the rescue world of the south: intense, harsh, and moving. Originally, I was told I would drive four animals north, but Kelly, the co-founder of PAWs had warned me that there might be more. Even so, standing before my Christmas-red mini van on Wednesday morning observing 12 animals in crates being loaded in with Jenga gamesmanship expertise, I was a bit shocked. The final count (which I repeated throughout the trip for fear of losing an animal along the way as fatigue bore down) was eight puppies, two dogs, two kittens, a partridge and a pear tree. My crew traveled all the way up to New Hampshire, a total of 1,350 miles, with the goal of finding each creature a home for Christmas.
For the Misadventures Article "Homes for the Holidays click here"
To learn more about Paws New England click here