Sunday, May 4, 2008

Bagpipe Camp

This weekend I left my beloved Manhattan!

Sometimes life on the island is true love and sometimes I guess it is the Stockholm Sydrome, but with Manhattan standing in. Manhattan has a Project, Stockholm has a Syndrome. Neither is nice.

You don't realize how much you need to get out until you are out. I have most definitely fallen in love with my captor, but it was nice to be upstate in the country - something I only truly appreciated once I was there.

The bagpipe band I am playing in had a piper's retreat at the Marist Bros. Retreat House in Esopus, New York which is the on old Jacob Astor Estate in the Hudson River Valley. If had more money than got and a swank place in town I would have built here as well. Beautifully laid out overlooking the Hudson.

We had this GIANT old 10, 000 room house to ourselves. To offset its charms it had the feeling of a slasher movie weekend where 10 unsuspecting youths go out to the country and get picked off one by one by a guy who hates bagpipes because they somehow caused the death of his mother when he was a child. But other than that is was truly wonderful.

We practiced hard and then enjoyed ourselves. I got to walk around the estate and down the to the river. The boathouse has its own stone fireplace in it! And who doesn't love a riverside gazebo? And the trees. The trees reminded me of the ones I used to look at in the Sierra Club magazines of my youth. So green and full of light. I knew there East Coast trees. They were not California trees.

Back in town in the early evening. It is always surreal to come back from any place where the hustle and bustle of the city continues and does not care that you just saw deer. It is a spinning playground amusement that you just have to get back up to speed to jump back on and once again you are back in love and blinded by the motion of it all.

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