Last night, we were invited for a holiday gathering on the edge of Woodstock, NY. The peaceful little cabin nestled in the Catskill Mountains is Jennifer’s little slice of heaven. It’s miles from the congestion and chaos of her work days in tribal Manhattan. A simple black stove keeps the boho chic loft cozy and warm. Dimly-lit candles added flair to three sliding glass patio doors leading to a wrap-around porch.
We arrived early to help Jennifer prepare steaming pots of superfood called Kitchari. The ayurvedic dish was complemented by a traditional coffee pot of spicy mulled cider and a festive table of local cheeses from area farms. Save room for the homemade apple crumb pie, Jennifer said.
What a week to discover that I’m both lactose and gluten intolerant. No matter. Kitchari helps with digestive issues, my friend assured me. The sticky porridge of mung dal and asafoetida helped kickstart my gut. Hey, you can’t visit a town steeped in a history of experimentation and counterculture without trying something therapeutic, right? Bottom line: It was delicious!
Jenn’s neighbors and friends included established poets, young writers, eclectic musicians, and green thinkers. It was an atmosphere of creativity spanning generations including even a few millennials. We had come together to commune for a few hours in one of the most famous time-honored towns in the world.
Jen’s hippie chic party reminded me of the futurist geodesic dome exhibit I admired at the Ford Innovation Museum in Detroit early this month. The museum is so much more than VW buses! While Bob Dylan music played overhead, I peeped in at an alternative lifestyle dedicated to energy-efficiency, a novel concept back then, and admired cinderblock-built shelves filled with revolutionary reads by guys like Timothy Leary and Aldous Huxley.
“Back to the Land” was the rallying cry for youth frustrated with their inability to change “the system” explained the exhibit’s kiosk. A yellow-covered journal included pages on recycling straight-legged pants into bell-bottoms and building lamps out of discarded junk like a TV picture tube or roller skates. Much of the information is still pertinent to today’s conscientious thinking.