One weekend in the summer of 2016 my wife and I traveled to an area in Wisconsin known as the “Driftless Area”. It’s the southwestern corner of the state which was not glaciated during the last ice age which results in a beautiful landscape of rolling hills and deep river valleys that work their way toward the Mississippi River. This is the area where the great American architect Frank Lloyd Wright grew up and built his own home and studio, Taliesin. I remember coming to this area as a child and camping at Tower Hill State Park, canoeing on the Wisconsin River with my dog and hiking up to the shot tower overlook.
We based ourselves in Wisconsin’s 3rd oldest city, the former Cornish mining town Mineral Point, home to a thriving artisan community and steeped in Wisconsin history. The town is full of historic stone buildings, quirky artisans, and a handful of good local restaurants and bars. We stayed at the Tuckpoint Garden Suite we rented through Shake Rag Alley. It’s definitely one of the coolest places I have stayed. High stone walls from the 1800’s and finished with restored and reclaimed items, attention to every detail was considered when making it. There’s even a short book on the history of the building you receive just for staying there.
Here are some of the pictures from the trip:
While traveling to New Orleans for the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, I was especially excited to witness the Mardi Gras Indian groups and the Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs that form an important part of New Orleans culture and identity. The similarities to these traditions and Junkanoo in The Bahamas are apparent. It is interesting to see these traditions in a cross-cultural context. Any Junkanooer could easily jump into a second line and fit right in.
My wife and I recently traveled to New Orleans to attend the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. After living in the Caribbean for a number of years, it was interesting to note some of the similarities between the cultures. I especially was interesting in seeing the Mardi Gras Indians perform as well as some of the brass bands and second lines. No one I asked was familiar with Junkanoo in the Bahamas, even though the traditions have striking similarities. Walking around town, we gained a little glimpse on this amazing and vibrant city. It’s truly one of America’s cultural gems.