leisure 07.9.12

Out of Town
Flickr Pool Picks

Even if you just got back into town, the heat and humidity may have you thinking about getting out of Dodge. As much as we love New York, we're here to make the case.

Why should the people of Oregon and Idaho tell you about Hells Canyon? If we lived in there, we wouldn't either. This National Recreation Area, straddling the two states, is over 650,000 acres and includes the deepest river gorge in North America (hence the area's name). 900 miles of trails, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, plus a wide array of wildlife: coyotes, owls, elk, bighorn sheep, bald eagles, even cougars.

Shaw said, "Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week." In that spirit, the Shaw Festival started modestly in 1962 in Canada's Niagara-on-the-Lake, and has grown in stature ever since. It's the only theater specializing in Shaw, his contemporaries, as well as plays about the era in which he lived. [Photo: David Cooper, actress Tara Rosling in Misalliance]

Ah yes, once again it's time for a full moon: the 33rd Annual Moon Amtrak takes place July 14 in Orange County's Laguna Niguel.

Through August 19, Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs 1851-1939 is at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.

Qiviut, a much-loved Scrabble word, is musk ox wool, also much-loved since it's warmer than sheep's wool and softer than cashmere. About 45 miles north of Anchorage is the non-profit Musk Ox Farm where they're helping reintroduce the musk ox into the area (it had been extinct in this part of the world). You can visit the the sixty Oomingmaks (bearded ones) at their lovely home in the Matanuska Valley, learn about the sustainable agricultural practices used there, buy a great wool hat, and most of all, spend some time in the company of these extraordinary creatures.

They're very serious about bad art at MOBA, the Museum of Bad Art, located in three spots around Boston. The result is a stringently curated tour of talentless creative forays from the last fifty or so years. Even if you don't go, the website is worth a visit, both for the artwork and the accompanying text. One reads, "This joyous, frightful circus romp is emblematic of, and yet somehow transcends, Unknown's entire body of work." [Pictured: Sunday on the Pot with George]

New Hampshire
We love some of the 'bad' art curated above. If you've had your fill of bad art, though, you can always throw a little good art into the mix. In Cornish, New Hampshire, you can visit the lovely house, studio, and grounds of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

Rock Hall, a 10,000-square-foot manor house in Colebrook, Connecticut, designed by Addison Mizner (Sondheim's recent Road Show featured Mizner as a character), with grounds landscaped by Olmsted's firm, has been recently restored into a luxe bed and breakfast. Four rooms, swimming pool, tennis court, among much else. From $325 a night, including full breakfast.

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