En Route to Idaho — Day 5 : Rock Springs, Wyoming – Twin Falls, Idaho
We made it to Idaho! Not yet in Boise, but close since we are 128 miles away. Today we drove 403 miles (649 Kms) from the high desert land —just above 7,000 feet (2134m) above sea level. We bid farewell to I-80 that had taken us all the way from some 5 miles beyond the Holland Tunnel in New Jersey & on route 30 Pierre readjusted to driving on a classic two lane blacktop! We were on the lookout for wild life since there was many warning sign about deer & elk roaming;the temperature being 5ºf (-15c) the fauna kept under cover except for a very low altitude majestic soaring bald eagle. We crossed the border at a place called Border, WY!
Outside Rock Springs
Read the signs!
For months I had made plans to visit the Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot & we did! The small museum is mostly about the industrialization of the potato in Idaho. They pride themselves on displaying info that goes “From the original potato planted in Idaho, to the largest potato crisp made by the Pringle’s Company in Jackson, TN”. The famous Idaho potato is a Russet Burbank, developed from the heirloom Early Rose parent plant by Luther Burbank in 1872.
There is a lot to say about the origin of the Potato, but I will limit myself to repeat what you certainly already know, namely that the potato originated in Peru and was unknown to the Europe until the Spaniards brought it back to their country of origin. I am saving the rest for my class at BSU! Driving down to Twin Falls we could see miles and miles of the winterized fields of spuds & their storage facilities. Both Pierre & I had hoped to find a nice organic, local baked russet potato with all the toppings for our dinner, but no such luck — a shame, as we are looking forward to break our diet! — We usually don’t eat potatoes but when in Idaho do like the Idahoans!
Pierre running away with a cute Idaho girl!
She let Pierre go in exchange of my red hat
Potato God Nazca Culture c.400 A.D
Originally we had planned to drive to Pocatello to get closer to Boise but I asked the lady at the museum what scenic location she would recommend us to see on the way south. She highly recommended the Shoshone Falls, located at the edge of Twin Falls, on the Snake River. The falls are higher than Niagara Falls (At 212 feet). Great suggestion to get to see another spectacular scenery.
Lunch was to finish up what was left in our cooler. I made lettuce wraps with hummus, red bell pepper, fennel, cheddar — lovely!, while dinner was a brown rice bowl & a salad at the very mediocre restaurant of the hotel.
I have many more videos & pictures to share but tonight we are fried & starting to think about our new life in Boise Idaho!
En Route to Idaho — Day 4 : North Platte, Nebraska – Rock Springs, Wyoming
It was very rewarding to jump in the car at 7:28AM with ambient temperature at 7ºF /-14ºc & embark on another spectacular drive. First the sun rose in our backs as we left Nebraska & then huge gorgeous clear skies welcomed us into Wyoming.
Considering equipment for next trip
Would like to try the frying pan & the oven
Can you get the one book I would consider?
The biggest beef jerky display I have ever seen.
This is the proof it is a real truck stop
Shortly after our gas-&-trucker-materials pit-stop, we made a further stop at a look-out to catch the views. We were surprised to meet up with a very famous tree that grows out of a boulder of pre-historic rock. The Tree Rock is located right between Cheyenne and Laramie plumb in the middle of Interstate 80, literally hugged between its east- and west-going lanes.
The tree grows out of a crack in a pre-Cambrian pink Sherman granite boulder formed anywhere from 1-4 billion years ago. (The granite that is, the tree is somewhat younger, but that species of pine can live as long as 2,000 years.)
As read on one of the The Tree Rock —a.k.a “the lone tree”— tourist-info tablets, the transcontinental railroad tracks of the Union Pacific Railroad lie a short distance to the west, as lies the Ames Monument, erected to commemorate the highest point of the railroad’s route honor the Ames brothers. I remembered very well that Augustus Saint-Gaudens had chiseled the bas-reliefs —from Quincy, Massachusetts, granite! — & architect H. H. Richardson designed the pyramid (as well as the Albany City Hall!) I have worked on several project on Augustus Saint Gaudens & even though this is not my favorite work of his, I was delighted to find his work here, since I have seen almost all ASG public works.
We continued our journey towards Rock Spring thru more beautiful landscapes where the speed limit went up to 80 miles p/h! I will never forget the golden pale yellows of the endless prairies illuminating the snow, the light blue sky & the pinkish granite boulders.
Our picnic at the Ames monument was a little less fancy today —since we are starting to run out of provisions— but was still nourishing: hummus, bread, cheese, apples & nuts. Tonight we went out to dinner at a local restaurant (attracted at first by the name, The Coyote Creek Steakhouse) where Pierre had a decent sirloin, turned down all five of the offered potato-versions, settling for green beans while & I had a bison burger — sans buns but with more green beans.
Today we also passed the 2000 miles marker. One more day on the road before Boise. Tomorrow through Pocatello to give a thought to Pierre’s old friend Ed Dorn & on to Blackfoot to visit the potato museum.
Day #3Des Moines, Iowa – North Platte, Nebraska: 400 Miles 644Kms We left Des Moines a little after 9AM since we opted for a lighter driving day . It was 19ºF /-7ºc when we left Iowa. The light fog wrapping the windmills was beautifully quixotic. The fog had cleared by the time we reached Nebraska and clear skies accompanied us to North Platte.
We filled up the car & had breakfast before leaving so we stopped only for lunch. No rest stop extravaganza today, au contraire we opted to lunch at the Mormon Island State Recreation Area conveniently located off I-80. Named for the winter stopover used by Mormon emigrants heading westward we enjoyed lunching by the frozen lake and watching some locals ice fishing.
We then headed to North Platte where we had a blast visiting the Buffalo Bill residence’s outdoors grounds since the location is closed for the winter. On this Sunday afternoon North Platte was a pretty empty town and very few of its 24 000 inhabitants were visible. But the world’s largest Rail Yard sure was! After spotting the longest train we had ever seen going through town, we decided to visit the train yard and got there right on time to climb to the top of the The Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center & what an amazing view!
This location was chosen because of its close proximity to the Platte river and to Grand Island. Nebraska’s been a railroad center since the Union Pacific Railroad first reached here in July 1866 & that first train rolled through what was known at the time as “Hell on Wheels” town. Today Bailey Yard, named for former Union Pacific president Edd H. Bailey, is the world’s largest train yard. Covering a massive 2,850 acres, each day Bailey Yard manages 10,000 railroad cars. Of those, 3,000 are sorted to make sure the cargo reaches its final destination. We sure did see some action from the Golden Spike Tower. We watched a gorgeous sunset and went to find our motel for the night.
Again we were able to make our lunch, dinner, coffees & teas. Lunch was a tuna fish salad into which I mixed the last of the grains — faro, rye & oats mixture — diced daikon, carrot, celery, red pepper, dressed w/ PJ’s Meyer lemon vinaigrette. Pierre had cheddar I had goat cheese with bran crackers,nuts & a clementine. For tonight’s dinner we finished the lentils as a soup, made a salad & used the last of PJ’s dressing, Blue Iowa Maytag plus apples & walnuts for dessert. Tomorrow a longer ride: trying to get to Rock Spring Wyoming!
And now if you have travel so far with us you might want to watch a freight train passing by for almost 3 minutes — and that is not even the full train. Mesmerizing!
Day #2Maumee, Ohio – Des Moines, Iowa: 558 Miles or 898 Kms
After drinking Pierre’s prepared cup of warm water with lemon & cayenne pepper water & our travelling green magic juice we hopped in the car at 7:50am to resume our journey West on I-80.
When we stopped for gas in Greenfield, Indiana we were reminded that if we wanted a soda, we should ask for “pop”! The lady at the Hardee’s was eager to take our order but we had our solid breakfast of pumpernickel bread, butter & cheese & we made coffee in the car.
Second stop was in Morris, Illinois & the R-Place Restaurant with its collection of antique toy displays, including a wonderful puppet show kept me busy filming & photographing for a while. I did ask for 4 quarters to play the puppet show. The clerk was proud to tell me that the puppet show grossed $80 per month, that was 320 plays.
Again we didn’t get any food though I considered the Strawberry Pillows for a solid minute — but by looking at the thing intensely I could almost taste it & that was enough to feel the sugar rush!
We left Illinois, crossed the Mississippi, & drove into Iowa.
I had noticed on the Waze app that the World’s Largest Truckstopwas coming up on I-80 at the Walcott Exit. We stopped there & lunched on Romaine lettuce with carrots, celery, left-over pork roast, sardines, cheddar dressed with Pierre’s delicious Meyer lemon & olive oil vinaigrette & concluded with our usual plain yogurt with cinnamon, stevia & grilled seeds.
Then we had molto fun visiting the amazing World’s Largest Truckstop. We didn’t make it to the adjacent truck museum but we had a lovely time talking to several truckers who were trying new truck seats. Pierre joined them for a tryout of new-fangled special rubber seating. We exchanged our destinations & they advised us that road conditions between Cheyenne & Idaho can be very bad & told us to make sure to have a full tank of gas when starting this portion of the trip. Another trucker & his wife from New Orleans gave us the price of some of the chromes on display. “A $1000 for that apron. I’m gonna put some on my truck soon”. The sword & knife window display was open & a family was deciding what kind of knife to buy; a lady bought a mini gun. Pierre checked out the library section & considered buying a Louis L’amour Western audio book but since we had just started listening to the Lewis & Clark journal diariesavailable free here, we decided to pass.
Settled into our comfy Sterling Hotel suite —with terrible internet, after a quick trip to the Wholefood to pick up a salad & some cheese (a chunk of excellent! Iowa Maytag Blue — same family making blue cheese since 1941!) we had dinner, i.e. yesterday’s lentil salad turned into a stew to which I added some grains (farro & oats), followed by apples, nuts & cheese — the Iowa maytag, of course. & now some zzzz before heading to Wyoming. From here on out the route is new, for Pierre too who had driven this part of I-80 only to turn south here in Des Moines to visit with Ken Irby in Lawrence, Kansas. But that was in 1987, & this is today. Onwards! Let the wagons roll…
January 1 2016
Nice first day on the road to Idaho. Smooth ride with with very little traffic . We left Bayridge, Brooklyn at 7:56 & got to Maumee, Ohio 5:58PM. We drove 566 miles (910 kms) out of 2475 miles (3983 kms) to get to Boise Idaho. We crossed New-Jersey, Pennsylvania & two third of Ohio.
We made our coffees, teas, lunch (Braised d’Artagnan Berkshire Pork; Lentil Salad; Greens, Goat Yogurt w/ Cinammon/Stevia & Roasted Seeds) & dinner (Red Miso Soup with Oats,Rye & Farro; Pumpernickel Buttered Bread; Hard Boiled Egg, Carrot & Celery, Cheddar w/ Apples & Cashew Nuts.
We listened to France Culture, NPR, John Coltrane, Matthew Ship, Michael Bisio & Cheikha Rimitti.
Below is the photo reportage, stay tuned!
A Happy New Year to Y’all! May the force of health & creativity be with you!
Given our family’s nomadic proclivities, permit us a little résumé of ‘15 & a preview of ‘16 as we are readying ourselves to drive to Boise, ID at dawn on the New Year’s first morning. (We will therefore, sadly, not be able to take part in the 2016 annual Poetry Project Marathon readin’ & eatin’ fest for the first time in many years.)
2015 started with a late January trip for readings & performances to Israel & Palestine, that took us into February, followed in March by a trip to the West Coast, then in April we were in Minneapolis and after a few weeks home in Bay Ridge we lit out for two months in Alt Europa, specifically the South of France: Nicole had a show of her artwork in the Galerie Edouard Paradis in Marseilles, then at the May/June cusp a literary festival “Les Eauditives” in Barjol to celebrate the publishing of the French edition of Bi-Valve by Plaine Page, followed in early June by a collaborative performance at the “Jardin des 5 sens et des Formes Premières” in Aix-en-Provence, followed in turn by readings in Paris around the marché de la Poésie.
On 30 June we landed back in Nueva York & five days later flew off to Durango, Mexico to the Encuentro Internacional de “Escritores José Revueltas,” to celebrate the publication of Pierre’s Mawqif: Poemas y ensayos (Selected poems & essays). We then happily spent the remainder of the summer here with moult visits to Coney Island beaches.
Above is a 4 minutes résumé of Nicole & Pierre’s summer
Pierre would fly off to Paris & Luxembourg in early September to get to work on the first of his shows as resident author of the Luxembourg National Theater— a show that premiered in early late October to excellent notices form the Luxembourg media. Meanwhile Nicole had also returned to Europe & we both did readings and talks at the University of Mulhouse, and in late October a joint reading in Toulouse under the aegis of our good friend Serge Pey. It was fun once again reading in the Cave Poésie a place we had worked in many years earlier.
Nicole had already spent a few weeks in October in Luchon in pre-production of Things Fall Where They Lie a film she then shot during the first ten days of November: an amazing, tiring, inspiring experience with Nicole as director & Pierre as gofer & an excellent team including Steve Dalachinsky & Yuko Otomo, Eric Sarner and Katalin Pataki as protagonists and crew including Asa Westcott, Zia Anger, Agnès Mathon, Jean-Louis Peyrafitte & in co production with Ecran Sud. While Nicole stayed in Luchon for an extra week to wrap things up, Pierre went off to Paris to be interviewed for a film on Osip Mandelstam & Paul Celan & was thus in that City on Friday 13. We flew back to New York on the 22nd. Also in 2015 Nicole had great the opportunity to perform with Michael Bisio, Connie Crothers, Steve Swell, Jason Hwang, Trio Erms, Denis Brun, Armoire Normande, Yoshiko Chuma. And we are now preparing our 4-months move to Boise Idaho.
2016 Preview: At BSU Nicole will be teaching two courses, on on food and culture called What Do We Eat? Why Do We Eat It? Where Does It Come From? How Do We Cook It?& another one: Poetry Perfromance Practice, while Pierre teaches a grad seminar on poetry & poetics. We have already done out best to surround us with friends: in early February Jerry & Diane Rothenberg will be coming in to go to both our seminars & for Jerry to do a talk & reading; in late March Habib Tengour will come in from Paris for a 2-day conference Pierre is organizing around Arab literature & translation (More details t..b.a.).
While Nicole will be off to the Coast at some point for performance & readings, Pierre will be doing a talk & reading at the U of Oklahoma in March or April. We will both be performing at The New Orleans Poetry Festival on April 16.
Meanwhile, son Miles, who finished his first feature film, As You Are, in November, on which his brother Joseph is producer & post-production editor, had the film accepted at the Sundance Festival in the US drama section competition. We will drive down to Park City from Boise to witness the premiere on January 25.
During the first week of May we will drive back (the Northern route through the Dakotas) to Nueva York, where after 10 days or so we’ll switch suitcases and then Pierre will be off to Luxembourg for work on the second play, a 3-act drama, that will premiere at the LNT on 14 June, while Nicole will wing it to Luchon where she has a one month one-woman show of her art plus performances June1-30. Après, on verra… Home in Bay Ridge would, we are sure, feel very, very welocme by then. dreaming of Coney Island beaches…
Don’t worry, the car has been perfectly winterized, fitted out with 4 brand-new Michelin all-weather tires. We will of course keep you updated on the various twists our paths will take in 2016. We are planning to give updates of the road trip on Facebook/Blogs/Instagram….follow us!
Bona anada, feliz anno nuevo, bonne année, e schei’nt neit Jo’er, a nappy ewe’s ear, & however else you want to say it,
Now in Paris. I was still in Bagnères-de-Luchon, my hometown, during the November 13th massacre. Pierre was already back in Paris & I was relieved to hear that he was safe from the horror. At this point it looks like all our family & close friends are safe, though stories of friends of friends killed come up every day. Trying to think empathy vs sympathy.
The week before I wrapped the shoot of my new film Thing Fall Where They Lie. Most likely one of the most intense weeks in my life! It was a rich, surreal & beautifully crazy busy time with my exquisite cast & crew. The cast: Yuko Otomo, Steve Dalachinsky, Eric Sarner, Katalin Pataki. The crew: Pierre Joris, Zia Anger, Asa Westcott, Agnès Mathon, Jean-Louis Peyrafitte. We also had some great local talent & volunteers join our cast & crew. Our base for food, beverages & lunch interviews was Salon NºThé where the sisters Chantal & Kitou Doumenq took good care of us. Do not miss the diaporama below!
The film takes place in Bagnères-de-Luchon, this small town in the French Pyrenees where I was born & raised. A place where celebrities have come & gone since Roman times. They come to take the waters in the summer & enjoy winter sports in winter. Two of these visitors never left & never will. They both died prematurely in Bagnères-de-Luchon & had to be buried in the town cemetery. They are both “under investigation” in this film. From November 1-8 2015, we had a true cinéma vérité expérience. Everyone played along beautifully & together we embraced uncertainty. We filmed layers of temporal, spatial and cultural information combined with particulars about the two deceased, mixed with my biographical and cultural inscription in this matrix. I am looking forward to start the editing process and will keep you posted for sure. Meanwhile, here are some stills of the amazing week, the most beautiful way in which I have ever seen my hometown!
SUNDAY OCTOBER 4 at 8:30PM I am so much looking forward to this event. Please join us & bring your friends!
For the third installment of Cabaret Hérétique, I have invited Michael Bisio (bass) & Connie Crothers (piano) for a voco-musico-poetico-visual-comestible improv performance. The focus will be sentience as the core concept of our improvisation.
I am thrilled to be performing with Michael Bisio’s extraordinary tonal beauty & intensity of his very personal musical language of his double bass, & legendary Connie Crothers’ magical and brilliant piano promising spontaneous composition balancing traditional patterns & free improvisation.
Bowery Poetry Club 308 Bowery, New York, New York 10012
TICKETS: $12 online, $15 at the door http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2080887
Bio: Michael Bisio, bassist/composer, has eighty-five recordings in his discography, twenty -four of these are split evenly between leader/co-leader, ten of them document his extraordinary association with modern piano icon Matthew Shipp. Michael has been called a poet, a wonder and one of the most virtuosic and imaginative performers on the double bass. Nate Chinen in the New York Times writes : “The physicality of Mr. Bisio’s bass playing puts him in touch with numerous predecessors in the avant-garde, but his expressive touch is distinctive;…” As a composer Michael has been awarded nine grants and an Artist Trust Fellowship.Collaborators include Matthew Shipp, Joe McPhee, Charles Gayle, Connie Crothers, Whit Dickey, Ivo Perelman, Barbara Donald, Newman Taylor Baker, Nicole Peyrafitte, Rob Brown, Sonny Simmons and Sabir Mateen. http://michaelbisio.com/
Connie Crothers, pianist, has lived her musical life as performer, recording artist and teacher releasing the feeling—her source—into the music which realizes her range of expression, her virtuosity based in her love of the instrument and her desire to discover everything she can hear and imagine through spontaneous improvisation.
Connie was selected for a week residency at The Stone, from August 19 to 24 2014. She performed twelve sets, each set with a different lineup of musicians. “Concert in Paris,” a solo CD of selections from a solo concert performed in Paris, was released on the New Artists label in August. Earlier in this year, her quartet, with Richard Tabnik on alto saxophone, Ken Filiano on bass, Roger Mancuso on drums, released “Deep Friendship,” New Artists, their concert at William Paterson University. The quartet celebrated the [Connie Crothers bio continues…]
CD release in a performance at Roulette in Brooklyn. She often appears at the Vision Festival.Feature articles have appeared in Jazz Inside, Knack (Belgium), Jazz Podium (Germany), Cadence, The Village Voice, All About Jazz New York.Connie Crothers studied with and taught in association with Lennie Tristano. He wrote, for her first record, “Perception”: “Connie Crothers is the most original musician it has ever been my privilege to work with. ”Connie was a guest on Marian McPartland’s radio show “Piano Jazz.” She was honored by the Jazz Museum in Harlem by being featured in their series “Harlem Speaks.”In the centennial issue of Cadence, she was selected for the list of the most important and influential musicians in the last twenty-five years of the 20th century. http://www.conniecrothers.net/
Thank you to the inspiring audience who came.
Voilà! two extracts of the performance: the beginning & the end with the great Michael Bisio.
Thank you to Pierre Joris for the screen capture.
See you soon for more soon & as they say: Stay tuned!
Above is a 3 minutes résumé of Nicole & Pierre’s last three months! Thank you so much to all the friends we met, reconnected, showed & performed with during May June July 2015 — they were truly inspiring times!
Back in NYC after super exciting, intense & rich times in Sète, Bourg d’Oueil, Marseilles, Cannes, Tourves, Celles, Chateauvert, Aix en Provence, Paris, Germ en Louron & finally Durango Mexico —see slideshow résumé below. And now looking forward to the next gig with magnificent Michael Bisio on bass, we will explore some Champs/Songs on Saturday July 18th at 6 PM at Cornelia Café. The brick vaulted cellar is the perfect place to cool off, the food is tasty, good wines & cocktails available.
Saturday July 18 2015 6PM (ends at 7:30) $15 w/a drink
Nicole Peyrafitte & Michael Bisio
at Cornelia Café — 29 Cornelia Street – New York City
“Poetry Chansons Improvisations accross continents & languages with Nicole Peyrafitte’s nourishing, sensual, campy and scintillating multi-layered vocal range & texts, & Michael Bisio’s extraordinary tonal beauty & intensity of the very personal musical language of his double bass”