Eric on The Road

Journeys into the offbeat, off the beaten path, overlooked and forgotten - by Eric Model

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Simple Gifts: The Shaker Way to Cook and Eat (NPR)

From NPR:

by D. Cameron Lawrence

The Shakers — a religious group that splintered from an English Quaker community in the 18th century — did sustainable way before sustainable was cool. They left behind recipes for simple, wholesome food prepared with exactness and imagination.

New Podcast Posting: What Would Murrow Do ?

April 25, 2008 would have been the 100th birthday of Edward R. Murrow. A pioneer in broadcast journalism both on radio and television, his spirit looms large on media news more than four decades after his passing.

In a conversation with Rick Buselle of the Murrow School of Communications at Washington State University, we speak of the legacy of Murrow. We also contemplate what Murrow’s response to challenging times might teach today’s breed of broadcast journalist.


A foodie's guide to Montreal (AP)

From The Associated Press through USA Today:

By Michele Kayal For The Associated Press

Montreal may sound like Paris, but it tastes like poutines.

When you come in Montreal, you feel that the food is more about us, about Quebec philosophy and Quebec roots," says pioneer chef Normand Laprise "It's our produce, our chefs."

New Map Highlights Appalachian attractions by car (AP)

From the Associated Press through USA Today:

By Michael Felberbaum, Associated Press Writer

A new driving-tour map developed by National Geographic and the Appalachian Regional Commission features 28 suggested routes, all reflecting the diversity of the 13-state region that stretches from southern New York to northeast Mississippi.

The routes include scenic staples like the Blue Ridge Parkway through North Carolina and Virginia, and lesser-known car trips through historic towns, back roads and artisan trails.

Yankee magazine picks five best New England diners (AP)

From The Associated Press through USA Today:

DUBLIN, N.H. (AP) — Yankee magazine's 2008 Special Travel Guide hits newsstands May 6 with all kinds of recommendations for enjoying summer travel in New England, from places in Connecticut for art-lovers, to moose-watching in Maine, to 244 "Editor's Choice" selections, broken down by state and region.

The issue also includes a feature on New England's five best diners. The list was compiled by Richard Gutman, curator of the Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, and author of three books on the history of diners.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Podcast Posting: The Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

There’s a stretch of road, 13 miles (21 km), now abandoned that was once part of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It was bypassed in 1968 when a modern stretch opened to ease traffic congestion. The reasoning behind the bypass was to reduce traffic congestion at the tunnels. In this case, the Sideling Hill Tunnel and Rays Hill Tunnel were bypassed, as was one of the Turnpike’s travel plazas. The bypass is located just east of the heavily congested Breezewood interchange on exit 161.Today, the “Abandoned Turnpike”, as it is commonly known, has become a popular tourist attraction.

We speak with Brian Troutman, an expert on the subject who maintains a wesbite on the topic:

You can catch our conversations at:

Beermakers feel the chill (Montreal Gazette)

From The Montreal Gazette:

by Mike King, The Gazette

Costs surge; Profits squeezed by soaring prices for key ingredients.

Those wacky Flyers fans (Montreal Gazette)

From the Montreal Gazette:

by Dave Stubbs, The Gazette

Fans in Philadelphia can get pretty loopy, taking their hockey as seriously/obsessively as they do. And they love their Flyers nearly as much as they hate the guys in the other uniforms.

Monday, April 28, 2008

How 'Dallas' Changed the World (NPR)

From NPR News:

All Things Considered
April 27, 2008

Big oil, big buildings, big hair — the TV series Dallas made its glittering debut 30 years ago this month. Neither its namesake city nor TV has been the same since. Andrea Seabrook talks with longtime Dallas TV critic Ed Bark about the show, the city and "Who Shot J.R.?"

Branson, Mo., sticks to the tried and true to beat recession (AP)

From The Associated Press through USA Today:

By Marcus Kabel, Associated Press Writer

BRANSON, Mo. — "Stick to what you know" could be the motto for Branson this year as the Ozark resort town focuses on its wholesome country, pop music and family entertainment roots, plus recent upgrades in shopping and hotels, to ride out the national economic downturn.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Maple Syrup Season in Nova Scotia (


by Ruth Daniels
April 7, 2008

Forget about Groundhog Day, Wiarton Willie or Punxsutawney Phil, the true harbinger of Spring is the running of the sap –- sugar maple sap to be exact (and no, not all maples give great syrup).

(Ruth Daniels is a food blogger and cookbook author based in Atlantic Canada).

Friday, April 25, 2008

Street play - A Getaway to Portland, Oregon (Baltimore Sun)

From The Baltimore Sun:

By Stephanie Shapiro Sun reporter
April 20, 2008

A budget trip to this progressive city find colorful sidewalk scenes, bohemian shops and cheap public transportation.,0,2496121.story

No cooking the books here (Boston Globe)

From The Boston Globe:

By Kathleen Burge
Boston Globe; April 20, 2008

The Traveler Restaurant, whose towering sign is familiar to every driver along I-84 just south of the Massachusetts border in Connecticut, gives away about 100,000 books each year. Until recently, diners were allowed to choose one free book to take home. Now, they can take away three as the fame of the restaurant's mission has spread, along with book donations.

5 destinations in and near Ottawa for a great cup of tea (Ottawa Citizen)

From The Ottawa Citizen through

by Laura Byrne Paquet

According to the latest Statistics Canada figures, the average Canadian drinks 52 litres of tea a year. That's less than the 86 litres of coffee each Canadian knocks back annually, but it's still a litre a week. Here are five of the best local places to quaff it in Ottawa -- along with tips on tea destinations further afield.

Also on Ottawa:

Ottawa's green spaces define the city (

Five Ottawa bookstores worth browsing

Canadian cuisine a smorgasbord of regional flavours (CanWest News Service

From The Montreal Gazette through CanWest News Service:

By George Pandi , For Canwest News Service

"....Cuisine Canada, a patriotic foodie movement, has been promoting a national culinary identity to counter the global fads..."

"...Canada has many regions each with their own climates and many microclimates. Each of these inspires chefs differently; their creations vary. You'll have to travel to taste them because, thank heaven, they don't work for chains with identical menus coast to coast...."

"....Eating Canadian is an exploration -- the country is too big to have a single national cuisine. To paraphrase former prime minister Joe Clark, Canada has a cuisine of cuisines. Not a stew pot, but a smorgasbord...."

Also see: What makes Canadian cuisine distinct? Four top chefs speak out

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Passing: Joe Feeny, Tenor on "Lawrence Welk Show' (LA Times)

From The Los Angeles Times:

Joe Feeney, 76, an Irish American tenor who was one of the featured performers on Lawrence Welk's television programs, died April 16 at a Carlsbad, CA hospice, said his son Chris, a member of the L.A. Opera company. Although he never smoked, the elder Feeney was diagnosed with emphysema about a year ago.

Feeney appeared on "The Lawrence Welk Show" from 1957 until production ended in 1982. His repertoire of popular numbers included traditional songs such as "Danny Boy" and "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing.",1,4208384.story

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Stitching Up the Future (WSJ)

From The Wall Street Journal:

By Meg Cox
Wall Street Journal
April 12, 2008; Page W1

The Revived Art of Quilting Brings a Kentucky Ghost Town Back to Life

For a Day, Chicago Becomes a New York Kind of Town (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Jack Curry
Published: April 23, 2008

On this day in the Windy City, there was wall-to-wall baseball, with both New York teams - Yanks & Mets in town on the same day to play the Chicago teams (Mets vs. Cubs in a National League day game and the Yanks at the White Sox at night).

" The El-way Series".

Naturally, the Cubs and the Mets fans flocked to Wrigley, but there were some Yankees and White Sox fans at the first act of this rare two-act play. The last time the Yankees and Mets both played in Chicago on the same day was in 1980.

10,000th win inspires few cheers from Cubs (Chicago Tribune)

From The Chicago Tribune:

By Paul Sullivan Tribune reporter
8:42 PM CDT, April 22, 2008

Although the Cubs stand one win away from becoming the second major-league team with 10,000 victories after Tuesday's 8-1 thumping of the New York Mets, no one in the organization seems the least bit interested.,0,6465124.story

Montana lures National Folk Festival to Butte (AP)

From The Associated Press through USA Today:

By Susan Gallagher, Associated Press Writer

HELENA, Mont. — The National Folk Festival comes to Montana this summer, bringing the event's mix of "music, dance and tradition from across America" to historic Butte in Big Sky country.

The three-day festival changes venues every three years. For the past three summers, it was held in Richmond, Va. The National Council for the Traditional Arts chose Butte over 22 other cities that bid to host the multicultural event for the next three summers.

The dates for this year's festival are July 11-13. The 24 acts, which will perform on seven stages, will include Washington's Wylie & the Wild West, a Western music group featuring Yahoo! yodeler Wylie Gustafson; Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas from Louisiana; the Alex Meisner polka band from Pennsylvania; and New York's Yuri Yunakof Ensemble, performing Bulgarian wedding music.

There is no charge for admission to the festival, which features continuous performances, participatory dancing, children's activities, ethnic foods and craft exhibits.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Shameful Black Eye for Montreal

I love Montreal, and I love the Canadiens. But for the behavior described below, there is no excuse. There was no excuse back in '93 when Canadiens last won the Cup. There is even less reason this time - yes it was the 7 game, but , afterall it was a first round series (Not that rioting would be legit after a win ro loss in the Finals). The vicgtory over Boston was exciting and nerve wracking (Congrats to the Bruins and especially their coach Claude Julien for a heroic season and series. You have earned our admiration and respect). The lack of respect shown by some in Montreal after the game is just revolting (and while we are at it, maybe we could cut outr the booing of the U.S. anthem. I'm as alienating by the last 8 years as anyone, but that should provide license to boo the anthem).

It is a black-eye for the city and all who love it:

Rioters run amok in Montreal after playoff victory - 16 arrested after post-game melee

Morons disguised as hockey fans
by Pat Hickey, Montreal Gazette, April 23, 2008

Hockey hooligans give real fans a bad rap
by Mike Boone, Montreal Gazette, April 23, 2008

A sad state of publicity for our town
by Bill Brownstein, Montreal Gazette, April 23, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

American Hamburger (WNYC)

From WNYC:

The Leonard Lopate Show
April 21, 2008

From German “hamburg steak,” to McDonalds and White Castle, to grass-fed patties on brioche buns – the history of the hamburger has been intertwined with the history of the U.S. Josh Ozersky explains how the hamburger became an American icon. His new book is The Hamburger.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Out West, in Utah's Butch Cassidy country (LA Times)

From The Los Angeles Times:

By Susan Spano, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
April 18, 2008

With five national parks, Utah's concentration of grand Western scenery is unrivaled in North America, and it's also where Robert LeRoy Parker, alias Butch Cassidy, was born.

Getting real in Newfoundland (Globe and Mail)

From The Globe and Mail:

April 19, 2008

Forget pampering. Or It lists. A growing number of travellers are on the hunt for 'deep authenticity,' flocking to destinations like Newfoundland to get away from such trappings. The only problem: When you can't understand the locals — or crack their inner circles. But one tour company may have a solution. Call it a concierge service with a twist.

Old Tractors Don’t Die, They Just Ride in Parades (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: April 20, 2008

WHAT do you call 460 antiquated farm tractors clattering across the highways of rural Iowa, covering 140 miles at the killer pace of 11 miles an hour over three days of June?

Some people might call it a traffic jam, but to the folks who look forward to it every year, it’s the annual Great Eastern Iowa Tractorcade, and it brings out an eclectic collection of old farm tractors, along with equally old farmers and collectors of all ages nostalgic for the days before big agribusiness put eight-wheel monsters into fields of corn and soybeans.

Profile: Marni Nixon: The "Real" Voice in 1960's Film Musicals (CBS News)

From CBS News:

Sunday Morning
April 20, 2008

In 1964, Time magazine outted Marni Nixon as the singing voice behind Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady,” Deborah Kerr in “The King and I,” and Maria in “West Side Story.” Long an open secret in Hollywood, Marni Nixon and her four octave, pitch-perfect soprano voice was finally getting her due as “the ghostess with the mostest” for her uncredited roles in three of the most successful movie musicals in history. Charles Osgood spends time with Marni Nixon, the voice of Hollywood.

Also see:

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Habs screw up Passover plans (Montreal Gazette)

From The Montreal Gazette:

The Gazette

"...Because our hometown heroes came up short against Boston on Thursday night, the Children of Israel have to choose between Passover and Game 6 of the playoffs...."

"Back in the day when the Canadiens routinely either won the Cup or advanced deep into the playoffs, the celebratory Passover meal often would coincide with a playoff game. With an 8 p.m. start, however, and a seder supervisor who knew how to read through the ritual prayers at a fairly brisk clip, you could usually catch most of the second and all of the third periods. But when the puck drops at 7 this evening, Passover celebrants will be just warming up".

"None of this would be an issue if the Canadiens had knocked out the Bruins in five games. But they didn't. And now we all have to deal with the consequences".

p.s. - Canadiens lost the game 5-4 - forcing a Game Seven on Monday; there is no seder that night.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Mill museum saves Willimantic's hard history (Boston Globe)

From The Boston Globe:

By Ellen Albanese
Globe Staff / April 13, 2008

Interpreting eastern Connecticut's textile history through the eyes of those who built and worked in mill communities in the late 1800s.

Amid the Ghosts of Alabama (NY Times)

From the New York Times:

Ghost Towns are thought to be a part of the American West. In fact, they are to be found elsewhere.

For instance, check out an entry on this blog (earlier this week) about a ghost town in Western Canada.

Here is an article about ghost towns in the American South:

By Sarah Kershaw
Published: April 18, 2008

Michigan offers lighthouse enthusiasts a working vacation (Traverse City Record-Eagle/US Today)

From the Traverse City Record-Eagle through USA Today:

For five years, numerous history buffs from across the country have been drawn to Leelanau County by a unique lighthouse-keepers program.

Sonics to Oklahoma City: Deja Vu All Over Again

The list is getting longer: Brooklyn Dodgers, Milwaukee Braves, Baltimore Colts, St. Louis Football Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Royals, Minnesota North Stars, Quebec Nordiques, Winnipeg Jets, and of course the Montreal Expos.

Now add the Seattle (Super) Sonics.

Another good sports town loses a team and unjustifably takes the blame for the actions of greedy owners.

Get a feel for the local side in this story of betrayal (Also check all the links):

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Gangster museum opens in Hot Springs, Ark (AP)

From The Associated Press through USA Today:

By Jill Zeman, Associated Press Writer

The new Gangster Museum of America memorializes Al Capone and other gangsters who took a break from big-city life to enjoy Hot Springs' soothing spas and blind eye to illegal gambling and prostitution.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pucks, Goals, Anthems & Playoff Pageantry (You Tube)

It's my time of year. The Stanley Cup Playoffs. And even better when the Montreal Canadiens are playing well -as is the case now.

One of my favorite parts of the game is before the game starts - the anthems. Here's a sampling. Although this one took place during the regular season (February 19) it was one to remember.

This video is one of the U.S. and Canadian anthems performed by a brass emsemble from The Montreal Symphony Orchestra at the Bell Centre:

Here's another favorite in Edmonton, where Oiler fans sing O Canada:

Then, of course, there is the late Roger Doucet. Here is the tail end of a 1979 rendition of O Canada (If you stay with it, you'll catch Danny Gallivan and Dick Irvin - the best hockey broadcast team of all time - calling a Canadiens-Toronto playoff game):

And, finally, south of the border, one can't forget Kate Smith singing God Bless America during the 1970's. At the time, she was a good luck charm for the Philadelphia Flyers. I didn't much like the Broad Street Bullies back then, but sure loved Kate (even in diminished voice):

Ghost town continues to draw crowds (The Edmonton Journal)

From The Edmonton Journal via

by Dave Halliday ,
Edmonton Journal

Three Valley Gap ghost town and chateau is still reinventing itself, faithful to its founder's dream.

Whoop-up's lost stand (Vancouver Sun)

From The Vancouver Sun via

Chapter of Old West history is relegated to an afterthought

Passing: Animator Ollie Johnston, Last of "Disney's Nine Old Men" (LA Times/NPR)

By Charles Solomon,
Los Angeles Times, April 16, 2008

Ollie Johnston was best known for his work in features. He created the character of Bambi and worked on numerous other films, such as 'Pinocchio' and 'The Jungle Book.',1,3876118.story

This remembrance from NPR's Bob Mondello on All Things Considered:

New Podcast Posting:The Legend Surrounding Rome

This international podcast features Jeremiah Tittle in a conversation with the knowledgeable Benedetto Langiano, who not only organizes events for the Gruppo Storico Romano, but leads the annual procession dressed as Marcus Valerius Longinus Britannicus of the LEGIO XI CLAUDIA pia et fidelis through the streets of Rome in Italy celebrating the birth of the Eternal City each April. Benedetto explains with great detail the legend surrounding the birth of the capital city of Italy. His pride in Rome and Italy in general is palpable as he describes the events which take place each year.

For more information and to see Benedetto adorned in the historically accurate legionary uniform, visit

For the podcast, go to:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jazz Fest comeback is music to N.O. ears (USA Today)

From USA Today:

By Rick Jervis, USA TODAY

NEW ORLEANS — To Angelo Brocato, the upcoming New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival isn't just about good music. It's also an important harbinger of the city's recovery.

New Podcast Posting: The Smallest Post Office in the USA

There’s a unique post office along Route 41 in Ochopee, Florida, which has become a tourist destination unto itself.

This closet-sized, 7×8-foot building used to be an irrigation pipe shed for a tomato farm. It was pressed into service after a fire destroyed the Ochopee general store — which also housed the post office — in 1953.

The town, which sits on the edge of the Everglades, and which reportedly has a population of 11, has been happy with it ever since.

We speak about it in this Conversations on the Road podcast with Gene Wooten, who owns the building. Our conversation also gets into some other local flavor, including a culinary dish called Gator Tails.


New Podcast Posting: The End of Prohibition After 75 Years

April 7, 2008 marked the 75th anniversary of the official beginning of the end for Prohibition. On the date in 1933, legal beer production resumed in the United States, sparking celebration among brewers and imbibers alike. Historian William Rorabaugh, author of Alcoholic Republic, puts the event into historical context in this podcast.

It can be found at:

Also, make sure to also check out Mr. Rorabaugh as he spoke with NPR’s Robert Siegel on this subject on All Things Considered:

Once upon a time, only the players wore the Tricolore (Montreal Gazette)

From The Montreal Gazette:

Mike Boone, The Gazette
Published: Monday, April 14

"I hate to rain on the merchandising parade. And if I do, you can always whip out your red Canadiens umbrella".

"But really, the CH logo is everywhere. And its Orwellian omnipresence is beginning to freak me out".

"...I have to double-check with Red Fisher, the Living Legend of Sports Journalism, but it seems to me that through most of the team's glorious history, the Canadiens sweaters one saw at a Canadiens game were worn by Canadiens. The only ones wearing red in the stands were Forum ushers. Between shifts, Maurice Richard and the other immortals gazed out at a sea of black, blue and grey topcoats".

"Dressing for hockey meant furs for the ladies, fedoras on the gents. If the referees made a bad call, Toe Blake would protest and toe rubbers would rain down on the ice".

Monday, April 14, 2008

New Visitor Center Opens at Gettysburg (WITF/NPR)

From WITF (Harrisburg) through NPR:

by Tim Lambert

The new facility looks like a nineteenth-century barn, but is filled with audio and video presentations. The visitor center cost about $125 million and offers a dozen galleries — with one devoted to each day of the 1863 Pennsylvania battle.

Say Hey, Giants Fans Show Their Wistful Side (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Richard Sandomir
Published: April 14, 2008

The members of the New York Baseball Giants Nostalgia Society know this: Their team’s history is just as rich as that of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Silence Replaces Bids and Moos at Stockyards in Suburbs (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: April 14, 2008

Times have overtaken the stockyards in South St. Paul, Minn., for reasons too obvious to dispute. Higher costs. Farms lost to suburban sprawl. The smell.

Slurp! Oyster-eating champ downs 35 dozen (AP)

From The Associated Press via

NEW ORLEANS - Patrick "Deep Dish" Bertoletti looked down at the litter of empty oyster shells in front of him and savored the sweet taste of victory. For Crazy Legs Conti, the bitter taste of defeat could be washed away only by beer.

The Acme World Oyster Eating championship belt — leather, with a silver dish featuring an oyster on the half-shell — hung on Bertoletti's skinny hips. The 22-year-old Chicago resident took the title Saturday by slurping 35 dozen of the big bivalves in eight minutes.

A dozen professional eaters who compete in Major League Eaters events year-round squared off at the French Quarter Festival on Saturday.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Digging the Oysters in Charleston (Washington Post)

From The Washington Post:

by Patricia Howard
April 13, 2008

In the marshy environs of Charleston, we had oysters on the brain. How could we not? The South Carolina city is flanked by the Cooper and Ashley rivers and is fronted by the Atlantic Ocean. And since our visit was in an "R" month (February), we set out to sample as many oysters as we could in a couple of days.

A Longtime Tenant in Ruth’s House (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Vincent M. Mallozzi
Published: April 13, 2008

Miriam Chan, who was 6 when her family moved to Manhattan from the Bronx, has been around to celebrate all of the Yankees’ 26 World Series championships.

Still Charming, but More Costly, After All These Years (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By George Vecsey
Published: April 13, 2008

The Fenway experience has been extremely yuppied-up in recent years, a uniquely American blend of the sacred and the profane.

The Morning Skate: Lunch With A Legend (


By Stu Hackel
April 13, 2008

If anyone alive is more steeped in hockey tradition or hockey culture than Dick Irvin, that person is purely fictional.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

'Feasting on Asphalt,' Town by Town (NPR)

From NPR News:

Weekend Edition Sunday
March 30, 2008
Liane Hanson

For food commentator and author Alton Brown, the best roadside food ranges from alligator tail to "koolickles" — dill pickles soaked in cherry Kool-Aid.

Brown found his eclectic picks after he spent 26 days on a motorcycle, tracing the course of the Mississippi River. Along the way, Brown and his crew visited big-city restaurants, small-town diners, barbecue joints and even an alligator farm, where he discovered Louisiana-style grilled alligator tail served with lemon and butter.

His book about the journey, Feasting on Asphalt: The River Run, is a companion to the six-part Food Network series that aired last fall.

Part cookbook, part diary and part memoir, Brown's book features 40 original road-food recipes, along with stories about the people who dish out the flavorful fare. Brown and his crew start the 1,000-mile journey in the Mississippi Delta on the Gulf of Mexico and end near the river's headwaters in Minnesota.

Make sure to check out the accompanying recipes:

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Special Time for Dedicated Fans (Montreal Gazette)

It's playoff time for players and fans alike. That means not just the games on the ice, but also a tie to places, games, players, and loved ones no longer here.

This tie from past memeories to current dreams is best scene in these profiles of two long-time Canadien fans as presented by the Montreal Gazette:

* "All She Wants is one last Stanley Cup"
From The Montreal Gazette through

"The Gazette's Jason Magder has a nice piece in Friday's paper about a Toronto area grandmother who is stricken with inoperable liver cancer and the one thing she wants to see while she is still is a 25th Stanley Cup for the Canadiens".

"Maria Sousa has supported the Canadiens since she emigrated to Toronto from Portugal 48 years ago and has raised three generations of Habs fans. They all got together in Toronto on Thursday to watch the Habs beat the Bruins."

"The Canadiens have promised to send her a card signed by captain Saku Koivu, a cancer survivor himself, to try and raise Sousa's spirits".

Now that's fan loyalty
ALAN HUSTAK, The Gazette
He's seen the greats. Arthur Boosamra has had season tickets since '46

Long-distance love affair
FAR-FLUNG hockey enthusiasts will do anything to catch their beloved Canadiens - even if it means travelling three hours to watch a taped replay of a game.

A little piece of France just off Newfoundland (Vancouver Sun)

From The Vancouver Sun via

By Lin Maxwell

Located 25 kilometres off the south coast of Newfoundland, the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon remain French territory, and have a give off a European feel.

Lost, then found, thanks to the locals (Vancouver Sun)

From The Vancouver Sun:

By Tiffany Anderson , Special to The Sun

Road trip provides list of tales.

Battle rages over Revolutionary War museum at Valley Forge (AP)

From The Associated Press through USA Today:

By Joann Loviglio, Associated Press Writer

A battle continues to be waged over a proposed Revolutionary War museum complex on private land within Valley Forge National Historical Park in Pennsylvania, with opposing sides at odds on whether the development will enhance or harm the site.

Passing: Marvin Sylvor, "Merry Go Round Man" (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Glenn Collins
Published: April 11, 2008

"Mr. Sylvor dotted New York City parks with painted ponies and went on to help populate the world with galloping steeds, flying manes and sparkly gold trappings".

Vermont Towns Try to Find Their Roads Less Traveled (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Abby Goodnough
Published: April 11, 2008

Volunteers are poring over record books to find evidence of every road ever legally created in their towns so that they can be added to official maps, ensuring that they remain public, or turn them over to land owners.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

12 Unusual Food Museums (


By Harriet Baskas

Japan has a Ramen Museum, China has a Watermelon Museum, Italy has an Olive Museum and Germany has a Museum of Bread Culture. But you don’t have to hop on a flight to tour exhibits devoted to America’s own tasty treats. As you map out a spring or summer road trip, here are a dozen food-related museums to help you snack your way across the U.S.A.

If It’s in Texas, the Texas Country Reporter Has Seen It (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Ralph Blumenthal
Published: April 10, 2008

Not much escapes Bob Phillips, 56, a Lone Star Charles Kuralt, who has logged more than 35 years on the state’s back roads and may be the most-traveled man in Texas, starting off as a gofer for a Dallas television station while he was a college freshman.

There are, by one gazetteer’s count, 8,438 populated places in Texas — many more than in California or New York — and the burly and affable Mr. Phillips knows them like few others. “We cannot find a town that we have not been in,” he said. “We have not produced a story in every one, but we have traveled through every one and been on every paved road in the state of Texas.”

Singers Try Out for Minor-League Glory (NPR)

From NPR News:

All Things Considered, April 9, 2008

Across the country, minor-league baseball fans are auditioning to perform the national anthem at local games. The Potomac Nationals in Woodbridge, Va., recently held try-outs at a shopping mall. The P-Nats, as the team is known locally, has 70 home games.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

New Podcast Posting: Where They Toss Typewriters

In Springfield, Missouri each April during Administrative Professionals Week (f/k/a Secretaries Week), some of these vital “gatekeepers” ascend a fifty-foot cherry-picker to throw office objects (over the years ranging from classic typewriters to computer terminals). Overcoming gender and environmental iisues, this event is now in its 18th year.

In this Conversation on the Road podcast, Dave Roberts of host radio station KGBX describes what takes place at their annual Typewriter Toss and how you can take part.


New Podcast Posting: Recalling the Life and Death of MLK Forty Years Later at the Lorraine Motel

On April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King was killed at the Lorriane Motel in Memphis. The site, preserved as it was then on the exterio,r has been transformed inside. It is now the National Civil Rights Museum.

In this Conversation on the Road podcast, Allison Fouche of the Museum speaks with us about this special day at the Museum. She also provides some context for the observance - describing what happened at the site after the King Assassination and after all the pain what the site has come to represent.


Too little, too late for Toronto Broadcasting Corp. (Montreal Gazette)

From The Montreal Gazette:

April 9, 2008

"Wonders never cease. I see that the CBC-TV hockey brass will be leaving their Toronto offices in the centre of the universe to do English-language broadcasts of every Habs game against the Bruins, in Montreal and Boston, during the opening round of the playoffs. And they will continue to cover the Canadiens as far as they go in their hunt for the Stanley Cup. Isn't that special?.."

"..... Fact is....that many Montrealers - anglos, allos and francos - have long since given up on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada. Where were they during those long, lonely winter stretches? Not here. About the only times they deigned to broadcast the Canadiens in recent years came when they played the cursed Leafs...."

"....In short, they gave us up for dead in these parts. Frankly, we don't need the Toronto Broadcasting Corporation to feed our hockey frenzy any longer....."

"....In the old days, when Stanley Cup parades were de rigueur annually in Montreal, we were treated to the "cannonading" linguistic stylings of play-by-play man Danny Gallivan, with astute colour commentary by Dick Irvin. Almost all Habs home games on a Saturday night were broadcast in English on the CBC back then - not just the playoffs...".

CBC Sports responds (and bloggers respond to CBC Sports):

Canadiens and non-Toronto fans answer the CBC-HNIC corporate statement:

Opening Days Part 2: Bill Shea & Bill Buckner Remembered

Shea Stadium and Fenway Park were the scenes. Two one time icons were given their due. Both storeis made folks feel good. The opening day honorees: William Shea who helped bring National League baseball back to New York and Bill Buckner who was unfairly made teh poster boy for the Red Sox loss to the Mets in 1986 (and by extension the perpetuation of the "Curse of the Bambino".

Both are interesting stories for very different reasons:

Buckner's appearance marks end of an error (Boston Globe):

On the last Opening Day at Shea by George Vescey (Mets’ Nostalgia Brings Up Bad Memories) (The New York Times):

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Music, food and crafts flourish at New Orleans Jazz Festival (AP)

From The Associated Press through USA Today:

By Mary Foster, Associated Press Writer

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest — that smorgasbord of music, food and fun — allows music enthusiasts to plan an itinerary around everything from musical lectures and demonstrations to impromptu parties.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Ready to Go Nowhere Overnight? (Washington Post)

From The Washington Post:

By Andrea Sachs
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 6, 2008;

Eat and sleep on the rails at the Red Caboose Motel in Ronks, Pa.

New Podcast Posting: Spring Pilgrimage - A Celebration of Season and Traditions

In Columbus, Mississippi Spring is just not Spring. It is Pilgrimage time.

The annual Columbus Pilgrimage is an award-winning event with a reputation as one of the best and most authentic historic home tours in the South.

But Pilgrimage is more than tours of the many well-maintained antelbellum mansions.

We speak with Nancy Carpenter and Brenda Caradine, both anchors in the Columbus community about the tours, and what the Pilgrimage has come to represent.


The stage is set (Globe and Mail)

With the Leafs out, we figured that someone in Toronto would not necessarily have a horse in this race. So, we refer you to the Globe and Mail's summary on the upcoming Stanley Cup playoffs:

From Monday's Globe and Mail
April 6, 2008

Canadiens, Senators, Flames seek to bring Stanley Cup back to Canada as the NHL's first-round playoff match-ups are set.

The schedule:

Virginia's Garden Week combines history, architecture (AP)

From the Associated Press through USA Today:

By Zinie Chen Sampson, Associated Press Writer

In its 75th year — no tours were held during World War II — Historic Garden Week continues to combine Virginia history and architecture with the beauty of spring blooms and greenery. More than 200 gardens and homes will be open April 19-27 for the event, which drew about 30,000 visitors last year, Historic Garden Week executive director Suzanne Munson said.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Quebec City wants fire-ravaged armoury rebuilt (CBC News)

From CBC News:

April 6, 2008

A day after the Quebec City Armoury was destroyed in a four-alarm fire, Mayor Régis Labeaume was calling on the federal government to rebuild the landmark building.

The armoury is located just outside the walls of the Old City and is home to the Voltigeurs de Québec riflemen, a Canadian Forces reserve unit that's also the oldest French infantry regiment in the country.

Pierre Labrie, the general manager of Quebec City Tourism said the armoury's location on the main access road into the old city make it a "landmark and focus point."

"It's part of the signature of any aerial view of old Quebec City and upper town," he said.
Built in 1884, the armoury boasted the largest suspended wooden ceiling of any building in Canada. It also contained First and Second World War memorabilia, along with artifacts of the Riel Rebellion.

The museum housed personal and regimental souvenirs, various types of arms, papers, archives, flags and pictures, said Labrie.

Passing: Charlton Heston (Washington Post)

From The Washington Post:

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 6, 2008

Charlton Heston, 83, one of the most prominent and politically active movie stars of his era, who won an Academy Award and played the hero in many major epics, died last night (April 5) at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Coming All the Way Back (Washington Post)

From The Washington Post:

Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell on the Caps:

"A Capitals story that shamed most hockey fairy tales, a dream that seemed almost too silly to speak for months, came true in the pandemonium of Verizon Center last night. A team that was the worst in the NHL on Thanksgiving day, but climbed and clawed for months, finally reached the playoffs on the last day of the season with a 3-1 victory over Florida."

Post article on the game:

Saturday, April 05, 2008

A National Park Lodge With Golden Gate Views (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: April 6, 2008

"San Francisco's first nationalpark lodge will open at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge. Cavillo Point, the Lodge at the Golden Gate ( is in Fort Baker, a military post established in 1897 and part of the Golden Gate National Parks".

Winds Of Change (Only A Game)


Only A Game
April 5, 2008

"Sure, the Chicago Cubs haven’t won it all in a century. But the one thing fans of the loveable losers always have is their beloved ballpark, Wrigley Field. However, with the Cubbies and their yard up for sale, fans are beginning to worry that this historic park could be on the verge of a face-lift, or even a name change. Yolanda Perdomo reports from Chicago, where the fans want to make sure nobody messes with history".

Schlitz hopes it's not out of beer drinkers (Chicago Tribune)

From The Chicago Tribune:

By Mike Hughlett Tribune staff reporter
April 4, 2008

The one-time best-selling beer is coming back to Chicago next week in traditional brown bottles, and with its traditional 1960s recipe.,0,2834589.story

A Life By the Sea (Montreal Gazette)

From The Montreal Gazette:

Montreal Gazette

The recent loss of four from a trawler has brought attention to Îles de la Madeleine - an rugged and isolated area near the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which is known for its fishing industry and its stunning scenic beauty (as well its controversial sealing industry).

And check out this gallery:

Montreal's Regional Comfort Food (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: April 6, 2008

Over the last few years, there has been a surge in quirky restaurants that are extensions of their chefs’ personal tastes and dedication to Montreal’s regional ingredients.

Slide show:

Friday, April 04, 2008

Heard on the Radio: Recalling the Life & Death of Martin Luther King 40 Years Later

On April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King was killed at the Lorriane Motel in Memphis. The site, preserved as it was then on the exterior has been transformed inside. It is now the National Civil Rights Museum.

We hope you can catch this "Hidden America" segment in which Mark Walsh & David Goodfriend of Left Jab speak with Rev. Jesse Jackson. He was Dr. King's side at the time of the killing. He returned to the Motel turned Museum on April 4, 2008, from where he spoke to Mark & David. It was a powerful interview on a powerful day.

If you miss the interview during the broadcast of Left Jab (on XM Satellite Radio, Saturday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. (Both times Eastern) on Channel 167), you can catch it as a podcast at (Go to archives).

For information on the National Civil Rights Museum:

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Texas man turns John Wayne memorabilia into museum (Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune through USA Today)

From The Mount Plesant Daily Tribune thorugh USA Today:

By Lou Antonelli, Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune

Harry Brown has built a home for his extensive collection of western memorabilia and named it the Legends and Lawless Museum.

Newseum opens window on journalism in 'bigger, better' way (USA Today)

From USA Today:

By Maria Puente, USA TODAY

The Newseum, the giant, costly new temple that celebrates newsgathering, is reopening with grander ambitions than mere entertainment.

Don't forget to take the accompanying virtual tour at the USA Today piece.

Louisiana’s Creole Country, Colorfully Preserved (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: April 4, 2008

"Come April, the streams and sloughs, bogs and bayous of central Louisiana bloat from rejuvenating spring rains, watering a landscape in full flower. Deep in the Kisatchie National Forest, wild azaleas blaze trails with pinkish-white clusters, sassafras trees glow brilliant green and hikers stride through glades dotted with the lavender blossoms of blazing star. Kayakers rouse turtles that belly-flop off sunny logs with splashy kerplunks. Pileated woodpeckers wail out their shrill, laughlike calls".

Arizona Backroads at the Border (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: April 4, 2008

The southern part of the state has quirky characters, scenery and some roads less traveled.

Maclean's studies 'curse' of Leafs (Maclean's/

Our friend Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette, who does such an outstanding job on the website gave this heads up about this Maclean's magazine article:

"Worth a note, even if it's a free ad for Maclean's magazine..."

Quoting from Maclean's:

God hates the blue and white – at least, that’s what the citizens of Leafs Nation would like to believe. After 41 years of failure, supernatural explanations start to seem pretty attractive, especially when hard facts are just too painful to face. The list of disappointments could fill volumes, and now this: For the first time in Leafs history, they’ve been eliminated from the playoffs for a third consecutive season. It’d be tempting to say the team has hit rock bottom, but it’s not clear they’re done digging.

It’s not bad luck. It’s not a curse. The Toronto Maple Leafs’ mediocrity is all about economics. This week, Maclean’s deputy managing editor Steve Maich provides a point-by-point deconstruction of the Leafs' legacy of failure: how 40 years of constant internal disarray, short-term thinking and cultural decay has yielded massive profits and little else worth celebrating. In this portrait of a team that’s built to fail, Maich reveals why building a chronic loser is harder than you think.

Here's the Maclean's article:

But don't miss the Maclean's cover - the image may be found at the link listed above.

Van's new vibe (National Post)

From The National Post:

by Joanne Sasvari, Financial Post
Published: Saturday, March 29, 2008

Vancouver's hospitality boom defines a new sense of luxury.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Bluebonnets are blooming in Texas (AP)

From The Associated Press through USA Today:

By Kelley Shannon, Associated Press Writer

Bluebonnets are blossoming, signaling the arrival of spring and ushering in Texans' annual love affair with the famous wildflower.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

'Time has come' for Stanley Park tree (Globe and Mail)

From The Globe and Mail:

April 1, 2008

Opponents shout 'shame, shame' as Vancouver Park Board commissioners vote to fell 1,100-year-old red cedar as a safety risk.