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Robin Catalano

Robin Catalano believes in the power of storytelling to connect communities and cultures. She’s applied her creative approach to writing for magazines, books, blogs, websites, and a wide variety of marketing projects, and has published more than 75 articles and 1,000+ blog posts. As an editor, she has worked on more than 350 books for publishers including Penguin Random House, Workman, and Simon & Schuster. She has also served as a book coach for independent authors, helping them take their ideas from concept to print. An avid traveler and travel writer, Robin lives, reads, and writes voraciously in upstate NY.

This Land Is Our Land

Photo of indigenous American dancer in traditional ceremonial attire: The Land On Which We Dance Inside/Out Performance; photo byGrace Kathryn Landefeld.

An Arapaho proverb says, “All plants are our brothers and sisters. They talk to us, and if we listen, we can hear them.” It’s an elegantly simple explanation of the interconnectedness of life on and with earth—a central belief in most, if not all, indigenous traditions.

The Sea Is All About Us

A whale watch in Gloucester is a don’t-miss. Here, a humpback dives for a meal; still from video by Floren Garcia.

Based on outer appearances, you might be tempted to lump Gloucester in with other picturesque coastal areas of the Northeast. But this would be a mistake. Photo by Robin Catalano.

Dance Review: A.I.M by Kyle Abraham

Photo of a group of eight dancers, in a cluster formation, all in the same pose, leaning backward: A.I.M in "Drive"; photo by Grace Kathryn Landefeld.

Kyle Abraham is looking for something. The multi-award-winning choreographer and MacArthur Fellow brings his company, A.I.M by Kyle Abraham, and his signature search for identity and struggle with personal and societal emotional trauma to Jacob’s Pillow this week; photo by Grace Kathryn Landefeld.

Dance Review: Umanoove and The Happiness Project

Photo of dancer dancing in large clear plastic bag:The Happiness Project runs through July 21, at Jacob's Pillow; photo by Grace Kathryn Landefeld.

At Jabob's Pillow this weekend, The Happiness Project explores the energy humans dedicate to social and material gain, asking questions about motivations and suggesting outcomes.

Photo by Grace Kathryn Landefeld.

Weekend Travel Pick: Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival

Image of Hot Air Balloon. Caption: Ever wonder what a hot air balloon ride feels like? Why not treat yourself to a tethered launch? You might get hooked on the feeling! Photo by Robin Catalano.

A few facts you might not know about hot-air balloons: it’s hot—as in, skin-prickling hot—riding directly beneath their burners. Hot-air balloons also rise off the ground a lot faster than you’d think, and can vertically travel 10 feet or more per second.

Phoenix Rising — 48 Hours in Portland, Maine


If you've never been to Portland, Maine, you'll be amazed at how this just-right sized city hums with activity in the arts, dining, entertainment, and (of course) miles and miles of gorgeous views.

The City of Portland, Maine rises above the waters of Portland Harbor, which is filled with sailing vessels and pleasure boats. The landmark Time and Temperature building can be seen, reading 5:39; photo by Benjamin Williamson.

Game of Thrones Has a Serious Girl Problem

Composite image of familiar "Game of Thrones" faces Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Maisie Williams as Arya Stark, and Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen; HBO.

Like most of the civilized world, I’ve zealously planted
myself in front of the TV on Sunday nights for the past eight years to watch Game of Thrones unfold. I’ve largely
enjoyed it, at least up until the rush-to-the-finish seasons 7 and 8, which
have packed far too much character development and time hopping into a handful
of episodes (how did Jaime Lannister and
Arya Stark get to King’s Landing so quickly?), in an effort to tie up loose
ends dangled but not yet resolved by author George R.…

I Am Going to Leave Her Here

The lush, stone-walled Italian Garden at The Mount provides a respite from Northeastern summer heat and humidity; early morning photo by Kevin Sprague.

The Mount as Edith Wharton’s Feminist Manifesto

The lush, stone-walled Italian Garden at The Mount provides a respite from Northeastern summer heat and humidity; early morning photo by Kevin Sprague.

The Pillar Profiles:
Lindsey Schmid

Editors Note: What does it mean when we say that someone is a “pillar of the community?” How you answer depends a lot on your experiences and intersections with the people who, in your mind, help support and strengthen the areas of local life that are most important to us. In this new series, we’ll surely tread some well worn paths in search of those personalities. We’ll blaze new trails looking for emerging leaders, as well as expand our vision of where to look for these pillars of our community.…

A View from the Tracks: Day Tripping in Chatham & Ghent, New York

A lonesome balloon glides silently above field and forest near Tice Hill in the Ghent dawn; photo by Zach Neven Creative, Columbia County New York.

The morning
sun reflects off the remnants of a hard crust of snow with a luminous quality that
makes the towns of Ghent and Chatham, New York, appear suffused by stage
lights. It’s been a long winter—about six months’ worth, by most people’s
accounts, though they use much more colorful language; like the Inuit and their
multiple words for snow, residents of upstate New York have a remarkable array
of vivid, sometimes profane, epithets for the season. On this 50-degree day in
March, the first hint that winter is finally releasing its skeletal grip on the
region, people are emerging from their woodstove-warmed saltboxes and Cape Cods,
primed and ready to enjoy the landscape and a sun no longer obscured by clouds
heavy with the promise of more white stuff.…

May the Road Rise Up to Meet You: St. Patrick’s Day Festivities in Albany & Troy

Albany pulls out all the stops in their St. Patrick's Day festivities, including the parade, which starts at 2:00 p.m.; photo courtesy Discover Albany.

On a swell of
immigration that began in the 1640s and continued all the way through (and
beyond) the Great Famine of the mid-nineteenth century, Irish immigrants made a
place for themselves in large Eastern United States port cities like New York
and Boston. But as jobs became less plentiful, many branched out, heading up
the Hudson River from New York City and landing in the newly prosperous
manufacturing centers in Troy and Albany. According to
Discover Albany, thanks to this influx, the city currently boasts the
fourth-largest Irish population in the country.…

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