Vampire Weekend Mom | The New Yorker
A few years ago, at a party in Washington, D.C., I started a conversation with a small, dark-haired, middle-aged woman standing next to me at the dessert table. She said her name—Najmieh Batmanglij—and I recognized her as the author of one of my favorite cookbooks, “Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey,” the dog-eared paperback from which my husband had just that week cooked a cumin-scented rice polow with lentils, dates, and currants. Najmieh and I talked a bit about the Persian cuisine she’d been studying, writing about, and preparing for years, and eventually the conversation turned to our kids. I mentioned that mine, then ten and thirteen, were into music. She mentioned something about her son playing in a band in New York. “What’s it called?,” I asked. “Who knows? Maybe I’ve heard of it.” “Vampire Weekend,” she said. Uh, yes, I ‘d heard of it. Anybody who listened to indie music at all had. They were four clean-cut Columbia grads who’d met in college and quickly created one of the most distinctive sounds and styles in contemporary rock—brainy, winsome lyrics peopled with characters out of a Whit Stillman movie or a Salinger story; a catchy, sunny amalgam of Afro pop and Anglo-American New Wave. (A friend of mine’s toddler had taken to singing, “Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?” from the backseat of the car.) Najmieh’s son was Rostam Batmanglij, the band’s multi-instrumentalist, co-writer, and producer.
It was the Fall of 2010; Vampire Weekend had released its second album earlier that year and had been touring for most of it. Najmieh said that she and the moms of the other band members—Ezra Koenig, Chris Baio, and Chris Tomson—had stayed in regular e-mail contact. Their correspondence dated back to the early days of the band, when Vampire Weekend had toured in a secondhand van that the moms all worried about.
There were two children in the Batmanglij family, and Rostam’s older brother, Zal, was a filmmaker in Los Angeles. I hadn’t heard of him then, but a year later Zal would make his directing début with “Sound of My Voice,” a creepy, well-wrought psychological thriller about a Southern California cult, which Zal co-wrote with his friend from Georgetown University, Brit Marling, who also starred in it. Zal’s forthcoming movie, about an eco-terrorist group and the young woman who infiltrates it as a corporate spy, also stars his co-writer Marling, along with Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page, and Patricia Clarkson.
That was the last I saw of Najmieh until a few weeks ago. With Vampire Weekend about to release its third album, “Modern Vampires of the City,” on May 14th, and Zal’s movie “The East” due out at the end of the month, I started thinking about the Batmanglij family and the particular alchemy that might have produced two such creatively successful children. I asked Najmieh if we could meet to chat about it, and she invited me for tea, which meant, since she was hosting, not just tea, but an array of Persian treats—warm baklava she’d just made, a tray of white mulberries and pistachios, little cucumbers, which Najmieh peeled and salted while we talked. It wasn’t exactly that she was dispensing parenting advice—the conversation was looser and wider-ranging than that. Still, after talking with her, and later with Zal and Rostam, it seemed to me that some of the attitudes Najmieh and her husband, Mohammad, held about family life were inspiring enough to be distilled into a little list. Since it’s Mothers Day weekend, and this is the Internet, here goes:
Model creativity by being creative yourself, and in so doing, give your kids a realistic sense of how much work is involved.
“My parents never really explicitly did anything to suggest that being a creative person in terms of your occupation is the goal,” Rostam told me on the phone from his apartment in DUMBO. “They never forced anything down our throat. They led by example. I have a lot of memories of my Mom up at 2 A.M. with a copy of her cookbook and some ancient manuscripts and another copy of her cookbook marked up with black Sharpie, just covered in comments. I feel like I have some of that, always wanting to make things better, revise and revise, when I’m producing a song.” Her books, he said, “keep getting better and better. It’s like one book she’s been working on for twenty-five years.”
(Najmieh’s “Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies,” published in 2011, is her most beautiful yet; its design was inspired by her sons, who told her she needed an update and had to include more practical information—what pots to use; where to buy ingredients; what kind of salt was best—for a new generation. The cover will remind fans of a Vampire Weekend album—no surprise since Rostam designed both—with its white borders, and airily-spaced, white Futura font.)
Rostam’s experience suggests a possible benefit to working at home where your kids can see some of what you do and how you do it. In his case, he eked out an extra creative bonus. His mom was sometimes so caught up in her cooking that she neglected to switch out the two CDs she had in her kitchen for years, and that Rostam remembers playing on repeat: Paul Simon’s “Rhythm of the Saints” and the soundtrack of the movie “The Big Night” (lots of bouncy Louis Prima and Claudio Villa). “When you get to the point where you know something in-and-out like that,” Rostam said, “it starts to sink in and affect who you are.”
Vampire Weekend matures on ‘Modern Vampires’ – DU ClarionFrom left, Chris Baio, Rostam Batmanglij, Ezra Koenig and Chris Tomson of Vampire Weekend stoically enjoy a bite to eat, clad in their trademark East-Coast Prep attire. Photo courtesy of WolfPackRadio.com.
Vampire Weekend has always been unique in the sense that there’s both a lot to love and a lot to hate about them. On the plus side, you’ve got a band with razor sharp hooks, solid musicianship and a highly versatile lead. On the other hand, Vampire Weekend’s lyrical themes, which often revolve around a sort of “woe is me” Ivy League emotional detachment, have served as a bit of a lightning rod for those who find the group more than a little bit pretentious.
No matter which camp you previously landed in, Vampire Weekend’s much-anticipated third record, Modern Vampires of the City, is an impressive piece of work. It’s the band’s most mature record to date, and consistently uses more traditional instrumentation in a way that feels strikingly new for the band. And although it’s not nearly as immediate as sophomore effort Contra and occasionally has some ill-informed electronic experimentation, this is Vampire Weekend at its absolute best.
The record begins unassumingly, with opener “Obvious Bicycle” immediately re-introducing Ezra Koenig’s charming voice layered over slow percussion and a somewhat regal-sounding piano. Where the group’s last two records have opened with highly immediate tracks, “Bicycle” is given some more time and space to grow, and for the first time, Vampire Weekend almost sounds old-fashioned. It’s a wonderful opener that owes itself to more traditionally American influences than anything Vampire Weekend’s delivered before, and is a strong demonstration of the truly mature and confident group at work here.
The best that Modern Vampires has to offer combines Weekend’s knack for clever hooks and tight orchestration with more traditional instruments. “Unbelievers” uses a ‘60s rhythm to great success, while “Don’t Lie” and “Finger Back” showcase old-school rock organs in place of what would probably have been synths on the group’s prior releases. Perhaps one of the best moments on the record is the piano solo towards the end of the mid-album “Hannah Hunt,” which feels like a nod to Springsteen’s best—in general, the use of piano on this record is fantastic.
The more mature aesthetic on this record makes it tough to pick an immediate standout, but if the record does have one, it’s probably the late-album showstopper “Worship You.” Opening with a feverish guitar line and snare beat, Koenig quickly pops in, spitting out some breakneck sixteenth-note verses. While some may find the approach grating, you’ve got to appreciate the sheer technical mastery of it, and the chorus later opens up as the most beautiful moment on the record. You can really see the sonic landscape on this track, and it feels like something Vampire Weekend could never have come up with before.
The only really questionable moments on this record occur when the band over-uses vocal manipulation, as it does on “Step,” “Diane Young” and “Ya Hey.” All of these are nice enough songs, but when Koenig’s already effervescent vocals are fed through a vocoder, it just sounds irritating and completely takes you out of the moment.
The good news, however, is the specific nature of these downsides also makes them quite easy to avoid, especially when practically everything else on this record is done quite well. Modern Vampires of the City is an almost uniformly strong third record, one that revisits some of Vampire Weekend’s signature techniques but also takes the group out of its East Coast polo-wearing niche. It’s the group’s most mature and thoughtful work to date, and ironically, its more traditional approach feels like the band’s most innovative move yet.
Maverik Music Monday: Hosted by Billy Bitter
Editor’s note: And we’re back with Music Monday sponsored by Maverik Lacrosse! This week we’ve got a very special guest: DJ Billy Bitter! Billy needs no introduction. You know about his awesome college lacrosse career at UNC, you know he just signed with Maverik, and you know he loves music!
Check out the interview we did with Billy below and listen to his favorite tracks for pre-game, post-game and relaxing. Recommend a good song to him in the comments section, and you could win a brand new Golden Boy Tee from Maverik Lacrosse. Billy will pick the winner next week!
UPDATE: AND THE WINNER OF THE GOLDEN BOY TEE IS…
Parker for his recommendation, “Sleepy Head by Passion Pit”[fvplayer src=”https://youtube.com/watch?v=5bfseWNmlds” splash=”https://i.ytimg.com/vi/5bfseWNmlds/hqdefault.jpg” caption=”Passion Pit – “Sleepyhead” (Official Music Video)”]
Nice work, Parker! Email your mailing address to [email protected] and we’ll send out your tee!!!
So, Billy, if you could spend the day with 1 musician, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Tiesto. He is the greatest DJ of all time. I would really love to learn how he creates some of the best music in the world.
What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
The best concert I have ever been to was Dave Mathews Band at Jones Beach Theater in Long Island. My sister got me seats about 10 rows back right along the water. The music was great and the atmosphere was even better.
When you score a goal for the Denver Outlaws, what song should the announcer play?
The song I would love to hear after a goal would be ‘Ready 2 Go’ feat. Kele by Martin Sloveig. The name of the song says it all and I love the build up.
If Maverik is making a Billy Bitter commercial, what song do you pick as the theme? Why?
If there were a Billy Bitter Maverik commercial I would want ‘The Riddle’ by Random Rab to be the background song. I heard this song in a TGR ski movie a few years ago. I like its relaxing beat.Billy and his Wonderboy.
What’s your favorite Maverik Lacrosse product and why?
I remember seeing the first Maverik product in high school, the Wonderboy. For some reason it stood out to me over all the other shafts at the store. I’ve always loved the unique designs the Maverik team comes up with every year.
So far, what’s your favorite part of being affiliated with Maverik?
The best part about working with Maverik is being around such a wonderful group of people. Everyone that I work with is a pleasure to be with. I am really happy to be given the opportunity to work for this company.Billy ready for battle.
And now, Billy’s favorite tunes:
“Levels (The Boy From Ipanema Vocal Mix)” by Avicii[fvplayer src=”https://youtube.com/watch?v=Ned9Qrq8FZw” splash=”https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Ned9Qrq8FZw/hqdefault.jpg” caption=”Avicii – Levels (Ipaneema vocal mix)”]
This song just gets me fired up every time I hear it. Avicii always comes through with a sick beat and the vocals work perfectly with it.
“Tonight” by Danny Byrd feat. Netsky (Cutline Remix)[fvplayer src=”https://youtube.com/watch?v=S5Zq65ceoes”]
This song is really unique. It has a lot of cool sounds in it, and when the beat drops it gets the juices flowing.
“Never Be Alone (DJ Viduta Mix)” by Deepside Deejays[fvplayer src=”https://youtube.com/watch?v=qOjB-hSsG2s”]
We listened to this song after every game we won at UNC. I love the sound of the accordion in the background, it reminds me of that hit song ‘Stereo Love’.
“Throw Your Hands Up” by Qwote feat. Pitbull[fvplayer src=”https://youtube.com/watch?v=t_Ka492_T1A” splash=”https://i.ytimg.com/vi/t_Ka492_T1A/hqdefault.jpg” caption=”Qwote Feat. Pitbull – Throw Your Hands Up 2011 HD”]
This was another post victory song at UNC. Its a fun song that gets a lot of the guys even more excited after a big win.
“Penguin” by Avicii[fvplayer src=”https://youtube.com/watch?v=c7BGxDbH9Zo” splash=”https://i.ytimg.com/vi/c7BGxDbH9Zo/hqdefault.jpg” caption=”Avicii – Penguin (Original mix)”]
This is just a feel good song with a cool piano rhythm. I enjoy listening to this song on long car rides. I can’t wait until they release the final version with vocals!
“I’m Going Down (iTunes Session)” by Vampire Weekend[fvplayer src=”https://youtube.com/watch?v=DhVaYkKNsK0″]
I like this band a lot. They have really good songs for the summer time.
LAS READERS: Recommend a song to Billy in the comments section below, and you could win a brand new Golden Boy Tee from Maverik Lacrosse. Billy will pick the winner next week!Billy’s 2012 setup.
Michael J. Fox Reflects On Life With Parkinson’s In ‘No Time Like The Future’ : NPR
TERRY GROSS, HOST:
This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. My guest, Michael J. Fox, has written a new memoir that’s about his recent life years after he was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease back in 1991 when he was 29. Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological disorder which results in tremors, muscle spasms, balance and coordination problems, diminishment of movement and can also affect mood, sleep and lead to fatigue. Michael J. Fox became famous in his 20s, before Parkinson’s, for his role on the hit sitcom “Family Ties” as a young conservative who went in the opposite direction of his liberal parents and idolized President Reagan.
“Family Ties” ran from 1982 to ’89. In the middle of its run, in 1985, Fox starred in the international hit “Back To The Future.” In the second half of the ’90s, he starred in the TV sitcom “Spin City,” playing the deputy mayor of New York. His other films include “The Secret Of My Success,” “Doc Hollywood,” “Casualties Of War” and “The American President.” He’s played characters with Parkinson’s or other similar conditions on such shows as “Rescue Me,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “The Good Wife.” He’s won five Emmys, four Golden Globes, one Grammy and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. He also founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which has raised over $1 billion. His new memoir is called “No Time Like The Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality.”
Michael J. Fox, welcome to FRESH AIR. Congratulations on your book. It’s a pleasure to have you back on the show.
MICHAEL J FOX: Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here.
GROSS: The pandemic started just in time for you to write your epilogue. And you write that now everyone is experiencing something you’ve experienced, which is protecting other people from yourself. Can you explain how that applies to you?
FOX: One, in a really basic level, I’m not in complete control of my movement, so at various times, especially if I’m slightly overmedicated, which can happen, my movements can get quite out of control, and I can – you know, I say in the book, I love my mother too much to give her a hug. My 90-year-old mother – I’m cautious approaching her because I move furtively and quickly and sometimes quite violently, almost, in a way, and I could knock her over. So I’m careful when I’m around people and aware of the spacing between me and them.
And so that also relates to what was happening during the pandemic. People are aware of their spacing. I’ve been aware of my spacing for years now because of that. So when you have Parkinson’s or you have a condition like this – chronic condition – you’re always doing the math on how it factors into what your present situation is. So you’re always careful and always calculating in a way that we’ve all learned to be in reaction to this crisis.
GROSS: I – so I think also, like, there’s a sense of vulnerability that you’ve probably felt that everybody is feeling now.
FOX: One of the most interesting things about – on a personal level about that, about what was unfolding with this virus is, when it first happened and people were going to quarantine, I called my publisher and said, hey, how am I going to write this book? This world is shutting down. And he in his wisdom said, well, that’s perfect time for you to write the book – when the world is shut down and you can just concentrate on it. There was something to that. But at the same time, as I say in the epilogue, I’m looking at my life with a dental mirror, going in every facet of me, and meanwhile, the world is falling apart. It felt kind of strange. So I felt compelled to write that epilogue to – I always say to people, read the epilogue first.
GROSS: Right. You know, what are the limitations you face now physically?
FOX: Because of the back – the complication of the back surgery, I have a loss of strength in – less strength in my legs and my limbs and my trunk and my core. So you add that to the spasticity of the Parkinson’s, and it makes for a kind of marionette-ish beginning to every day. I’m kind of all akimbo and not very steady on my feet. So I have to – it takes about an hour for me to get functional in the morning so I can go out. And I – my office is in the same building as my apartment, but I have to go outside because of the unique thing (ph). So the building is not connected. There’s no contiguous way to get from the building into the – into my office. I have to go outside and walk around the corner, which, when I first bought this apartment, was a very small trip, but now it’s a hell of a commute.
GROSS: What about speech?
FOX: Well, speech is clearly – I’m – I can be halting. It can be like right now; it’s fairly clear and robust. But it’s – words come to me faster than I can speak them. I’ll go to say something, and before I arrive at the right word, I’ll arrive at a word that’s not quite what I want to say, but that won’t be loaded up and ready to go. So I’ll put that one out, and then I’ll have to follow up quickly with the one I meant to say. And that can get you into trouble sometimes.
GROSS: What’s the process been like for you of trying to, you know, over the years come to terms with the fact that you have a condition that is progressive, that – you’re not going to heal from it and suddenly not have it anymore?
FOX: Well, that’s the crux of the book, is that with Parkinson’s, I kind of, after 30 years, had – have established kind of a detente – like, an agreement. It takes up the space it takes up – and then allowing that it gradually was increasing over time in its dominance or its majority over my situation. But Parkinson’s itself, I had figured it out. I’d found a way to let it take up the space it took up and to use the other space to drive in and to do other things and to live my life. And although it wasn’t ideal, it was working.
And in that, I gained a certain amount of optimism, and comfort, and security and confidence because I was doing well. And then I had this accident with – when I had the spinal cord – I had a tumor on my spinal cord, had that operated on. And it had to – I had to do it in order to avoid paralysis, which was certain without surgery.
GROSS: Let me just stop you for a second, you know, for our listeners who haven’t read the book. You had a tumor wrapped around your spinal cord that was choking your spinal cord. And unless you got that tumor removed, you would’ve been paralyzed because it would have just kept strangling the spinal cord. And it was an incredibly complicated, delicate surgery. And it took a long time to recover from that, requiring a lot of physical therapy, relearning how to walk. And then you’re finally done with the main part of the physical therapy. You’re able to walk again. And then you fell. It was a day your – most of your family was out on Long Island in…
FOX: Martha’s Vineyard.
GROSS: Yeah. They were in Martha’s Vineyard, and you were home. And one of your daughters had come with you, but you basically sent her back to her home and said, I’m good; I can do this by myself. And then you fell, and no one was there, and it was a really bad fall.
FOX: It was a low point. When it happened – so as you say, my daughter came back with me from Martha’s Vineyard. The rest of the family stayed there. She had to go to work the next day, so she asked me if she could stay and get me off to – I was going to do a cameo the next day on a film, on a Stefon Bristol film for Spike Lee on Netflix. And I was just going to do a one-day cameo, which I was really chuffed about. I was really happy about it – that, again, another symbol of independence and reclaiming my identity from this onslaught.
I told you that I was fine. I’d done it a thousand times. It was no problem. I woke up the next morning and strolled into the kitchen like a normal person. I stepped wrong, slipped on the tile and shattered my humerus, my left arm. And I crawled over to the phone. I summoned my assistant, who called an ambulance. And as I waited for the ambulance and I waited for my assistant to show up, I lie crumpled on the kitchen floor, just excoriating myself for being such a jerk.
And I felt for my daughter. I felt for – I knew what she was going to feel like. She was going to feel a tremendous amount of guilt for not having convinced me to let her stay. I felt bad for the surgeons who had done so much work, and I might possibly have undone it. I felt bad for my family who had treated me so well and cared for me so much while I was going to through this rehabilitation. And it just was – it was a time when I all of a sudden really – I said, you know, put a shiny face on this. Make this happy. Make this – where’s the optimism here of this? These lemons you can’t – I’m out of the lemonade business. I can’t make this anything better than what it is, which was just terrible. And it was a real low point for me. And I – it put me on a quest to get back to a place where I feel I am now and where I was before, where I tend to see the better side of circumstances.
GROSS: Well, you know, you write at some point, you started to question the optimism that you tried to maintain over the years and the optimism you tried to convey to others and realized that you hadn’t given equal weight to your failures. What do you mean by that?
FOX: Well, I think I was so concentrated on what was going right that I hadn’t – not that my failures were overwhelming but to just admit that there’s another side to things that as much as I always say, see the positive side of everything, I had to learn how to become a realist and an optimist at the same time. To be a realist is not to say that you can’t be an optimist, but you have to confront reality in order to really understand. So I liked to reflexively say, oh, it’s going to be OK. It’s going to be fine. Well, maybe it isn’t. And maybe because I have such a platform and I have so many people that pay attention to what I say, I mean, am I responsible for, like, offering an optimisms panacea and the glig (ph) when – you know, it’s one thing for me to talk about my situation. But to encourage people to compare it to theirs, come out with the same outlook that I have, maybe that was commodifying hope.
GROSS: So if you’re trying to adjust your optimism to recognize failure as well and not paint an unrealistic – an unrealistically rosy present or future, where does that leave – like, what’s the narrative in your head now that you tell yourself?
FOX: Well, it kind of put together over events that transpired afterwards and also events prior – episodes in my life – culminating in the passing of my father-in-law, Stephen Pollan. He was a very important mentor to me and an important person in my life and in the lives of a lot of people. He was someone who was full of gratitude and positivity. And I would meet, and I would talk with him. I talk in the book about the time I had a conversation with him about my feelings of guilt as relates to Tracy, my wife, and what she had – she hadn’t bargained for this, that I was going to have this chronic illness so soon in our marriage. So I’d go to him and talk to him about it. And he’d always say, listen, kiddo, it gets better. It gets better. And I always take that with me. It gets better. What his secret was – was he found gratitude in everything. He found gratitude – in every situation, he found something to be grateful for. And I realized, as I was writing and making notes and going through this experience, that gratitude makes optimism sustainable. With gratitude, you can find a way to be optimistic. If you have no gratitude, you can’t recognize the hope in the circumstance.
GROSS: You like taking risks. And you write, risk is part of who I am. It’s encoded in my DNA. And when you were young, you wanted to prove that just because you were short, it didn’t mean that you didn’t have strength and fortitude. So that – you were game for doing anything. So what are some of the more, like, reckless activities that you engaged in as a young man or as a teenager?
FOX: Well, just by virtue of my size, I – playing any organized team sport in Canada – which for this peaceful, passive, lovely country that everybody imagines it to be, really engaged in some violent blood sports, including hockey and lacrosse. So I played both of those. And I was always easily by a foot the shortest on any team I played on. And then I – and I was good, so my curse was that I was pretty good. So they put me with the best players who were all, like, when I was 13, were shaving and, you know, like, had wives. A couple of them had wives. They were, like, grown-up men. And so I just got battered. I said to my mother one day – she said, how are you doing with the lacrosse? It’s a little rough. Are you OK? I said, yeah, I’m fine. I’m having a great time. What concerns you? And she said, I can’t get the blood out of your uniform.
FOX: And it was just always things like that. I think we were just reckless. You know, in the wintertime, we’d grab on to the bumpers of cars driving in the snow and ski along behind them, much the same as Marty McFly did in “Back To The Future” with his skateboard. We’d just – always taking risks. And I don’t know what it was, whether it was boredom with our working-class Canadian lives or whether it was just me particularly. But it culminated in me leaving high school early and then going to Los Angeles to be an actor, which was probably the riskiest thing of all.
GROSS: If you’re just joining us, my guest is Michael J. Fox. His new memoir is called “No Time Like The Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality.” We’ll be right back after a short break. This is FRESH AIR.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. Let’s get back to my interview with Michael J. Fox. His new memoir is called “No Time Like The Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality.”
So your wife, Tracy Pollan – she was also on “Family Ties.” She played your girlfriend. Did playing boyfriend and girlfriend on TV lead to being real boyfriend and girlfriend lead to being husband and wife?
FOX: I developed a crush on her right away. When she left the show – the day she left the show, we were in the parking lot getting into our respective cars. She was getting into a rented Volkswagen, and I was getting into my Ferrari. And she called me over and said she wanted to play me a song. She played me a James Taylor song called “That’s Why I’m Here,” which was ostensibly about John Belushi. And one of the lines was, John’s gone, found dead, died high. He’s brown bread, later said to have drowned in his bed. After the laughter, the wave of dread, it hits us like a ton of lead. That’s why we’re here. And I instantly knew what she meant. She had only known me for a short time, but I was partying too hard. And I was really on a crash course to something bad happening. And as I got back in my Ferrari and got on my cellphone and turned on my quadraphonic stereo, I realized she was right. I was going down the wrong road. And I ran into her a year later. She auditioned for a film I made called “Bright Lights, Big City.” And I said, how’s so-and-so, your boyfriend? And she said, we’re not going out anymore. And I said, you want to have lunch? And within two years, we were married.
GROSS: You were diagnosed with Parkinson’s two years after you got married. Were you worried it would break up the marriage, that everything – like, all of the givens that you got married under were no longer givens?
FOX: It was shocking when I was diagnosed. I was diagnosed completely out of the blue, unexpectedly. I thought I had a sports injury, and I saw a neurologist at the recommendation of my physical therapist. And he very quickly and without much emotion pronounced I had Parkinson’s and that I would – not to worry, I’d still be able to work for about 10 more years. And I was just – you said I was 29, so that was pretty shocking.
And I had made my way shellshocked back to the apartment and met Tracy and told her, admittedly somewhat tearfully, this had been pronounced. And she didn’t blink. I could tell right away she was with me, and she was with me through whatever happened. And, you know, what was tough about it was, with Parkinson’s, you don’t know what to expect because it was a twitching pinkie and a sore shoulder that brought me in there, and that was the basis of the diagnosis.
GROSS: Were you afraid that she wouldn’t stick with you after that, that she’d kind of cut out because your life was going to change, and you were going to need help?
FOX: Well, I didn’t know – we didn’t know what we’d – what I’d need. It was like a truck coming down the street, and I knew it was going to hit me, but I didn’t know how fast and how soon. I knew the symptoms would get worse. And I didn’t know – I didn’t expect her to stick around for that. I thought she had every right to say, I can’t – it’s too much for me, and we have a young son, and I can’t take that on, and I – and she’d already given up her career to a certain extent to get married and to have Sam. And it was just too much to ask of her. And I would’ve expected – I would have been completely fine if she said no. I would have understood. But she didn’t blink. She stayed with me.
GROSS: But you say it was your drinking that really threatened the marriage because you were drinking a lot even at that time when you were diagnosed. So how was that threatening the marriage?
FOX: I mean, it was silly. I was a cliche cartoon of a 25-year-old with success in Hollywood. I had a Ferrari. I had a house in Laurel Canyon. I had all of the trappings. And then I met Tracy, who convinced me that it was all going to be the end of me, and I should calm down. And so I calmed down my behaviors, but I still drank. And then I get diagnosed. I had no way to meet it. I had no way to cope with it. So I just doubled down on my drinking. And that very quickly put pressure on the marriage in a way that Parkinson’s hadn’t ’cause Parkinson’s was not something I – it was not bidden; it was not created by me, and Tracy understood that. It was just something that happened. But the drinking was a choice.
And to make a long story short, she came upon me one morning lying on the couch, sleeping off a hangover with a spilled beer on the carpet beside me and my son crawling all over me. And she was on her way to the theater. She had a play to do, a matinee. And she just looked at me and said, is this what you want? The boredom in her voice shocked me and scared me more than anger would’ve. And I immediately knew that moment had changed my life. And I knew (ph) that – never had another drink, and it’s been 28 years.
GROSS: You know, one of the things you say about your wife, Tracy, is that – you say, it’s not that she feels my pain; it’s that she acknowledges my pain and would do anything to relieve it. I think that’s such a nice distinction. Can you talk about that a little bit?
FOX: Well, Tracy knows – she knows from being with me that she can’t assume she knows everything I feel. She doesn’t know everything. She might know 90% of what I feel, like, in ways that no one else can understand what I’m going through and what I’m feeling. But she knows she can never – in the same way that I can meet with the world’s foremost neurologist or neuroscientist or neuroresearcher or neurosurgeon, and I know more about Parkinson’s than he does because I have it. I mean, I’ll always have the edge, if you will.
And in the relationship, it’s really important, I say, that the person who’s the healthy part of the equation realizes that it’s not a choice I’m making. It’s the experience I’m having. And then she’s so natural at just being a part of that experience and not trying to effect it or change it but just to understand it and to cope with it and to make me feel OK with it.
GROSS: Well, let me reintroduce you here. If you’re just joining us, my guest is Michael J. Fox. His new memoir is called “No Time Like The Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality.” We’ll be right back after a short break. This is FRESH AIR.
(SOUNDBITE OF OSCAR PETERSON’S “SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN”)
GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. Let’s get back to my interview with Michael J. Fox. His new memoir is called “No Time Like The Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality.” It’s about his recent life and the impact of Parkinson’s disease, which he was diagnosed with back in 1991 when he was 29. Fox starred in the ’80s hit sitcom “Family Ties” and the ’90s hit sitcom “Spin City.” He starred in the 1985 blockbuster film “Back To The Future.” His other films include “The Secret Of My Success,” “Doc Hollywood,” “Casualties Of War” and “The American President.” After his Parkinson’s symptoms progressed, he took roles on TV shows portraying characters who had Parkinson’s or conditions with similar symptoms.
So you say you had to learn to stop covering up, that you had Parkinson’s. Were you diagnosed before or during your starring role on “Spin City,” the TV series?
FOX: “Spin City” was when I – I had had Parkinson’s for seven years and told very few people about it, except my family. And I was traveling around doing films early on in my diagnosis and was away from my family. And it was putting stress on the family in a way that we just worked our way through it to revisit it again during my (unintelligible) which was tough. So I said, I’m going to go back to New York and I’m going to work in New York. And so I did “Spin City” in New York and I’d started in ’96. By ’98, I was having trouble hiding my symptoms on the show. And so I went public with it. And that caused another whole cataclysmic change because now the public knew I had Parkinson’s. They put me in a different position in the community and I found myself all of a sudden the spokesperson for the community and changed my life.
GROSS: Had you hidden Parkinson’s from the people who you worked with on “Spin City,” including the creator, Gary David Goldberg?
FOX: No, I shared with Gary – at that point, I was very comfortable. I could hide symptoms in a number of ways that I developed. So I felt confident that I could do it. And he said he would know – if I hadn’t told him, he wouldn’t have known that I had it. It was still very – I was a little stiffer, a little slower, a little less facial expression but still a viable version of Michael Fox that could be put to work. And so we really began to do (ph) the show with confidence that I’d be OK. And I really was OK when I left the show. It was more – in 2000 when I left the show. It was more just a feeling that I was – I had another purpose, that I wanted to start this foundation and ramp up spending on neurological research. And so it just was a pull. So it was quite a journey that I went through in the ’90s.
GROSS: So in the ’80s on “Family Ties,” you played, you know, a young man who is very conservative, idolizes President Reagan. You were very different than your parents, who are very liberal. Your father, in fact, ran a public TV station on the show. That was always fun for me (laughter) to see. Your politics are very different than that. They were then, I think, and they certainly are now. Something you say in the book makes me think Nancy Reagan either donated to your foundation or loaned her name to it. What was her relationship to it?
FOX: She – based on her experience as the spouse of a person with Alzheimer’s, she saw the value in exploring stem cell research. And so while most conservative Republicans opposed stem cell research and President Bush was very active in trying to shut it down, she came on to our side and stood side by side with us in support of it. So it was real surprising. And I was really proud of her for doing it.
GROSS: What was it like for you to work with her after having, when you were younger, played somebody who, you know, idolized her husband but that’s not the way you felt in real life?
FOX: So there are things that I had disagreements with that I just didn’t relate to. But I played this guy who loved him, and so I had to find the lovability in him and he loved the show. And he – I say in the book, he – actually his office put forward the idea that he appear on the show. And our hugely liberal producing staff and writers said he could be on the show if he showed up for every day of rehearsal, every day of camera blocking, every bit of research, every bit of pick-ups of a scene that went wrong, he had to appear in front of the studio audience – all this list of impossible demands. And of course, he didn’t do it. But then “Back To The Future” came out and there were references to him in “Back To The Future.” And so he started to associate me with this positive feeling toward him and he invited me to the White House and I had a kind of a conundrum there. I had a dilemma for a while whether I was going to go. And then I thought, well, I respect the office and I respect the rare nature of the invitation. And so I took him up on it and he was genial host. And so I had to separate the Alex Keaton relationship to Reagan, my relationship to Reagan as a political person and my reaction to Reagan as – he was grandfatherly and nice and very sweet to me.
GROSS: How closely have you been following politics now and the Trump presidency?
FOX: Too close.
GROSS: What was your reaction when he kind of mimicked and mocked the journalist who had – I can’t remember what his condition was, but he had a lot of tremors and coordination issues.
FOX: It was a gut punch. But at that time, his cruelty toward other people and other groups was already established. I mean, from the minute he said Mexicans are rapists and just this litany of garbage that came out of his mouth, by the time he got around to mocking disabled people, you think I would be inured to it, but it really pissed me off. And then you just go to people’s acceptance of it. And it was an arrogance that I don’t deal with on a day-to-day basis. I mean, no one in my life other than my president had been that mocking of a condition. I mean, even though we don’t share the same condition, but the symptoms are close enough that I took it personally. And it presented (ph) another part of our whole community, the whole disabled community. It was just shocking for someone who’s supposed to be the paragon of morality and humanity and empathy to be that far from the mark.
GROSS: The subtitle of your new memoir is “An Optimist Considers Mortality,” and I’m wondering what your thoughts are when you think about death, which is hopefully a long ways away, you’re only 59. But, you know, the title of your book is about mortality. What are the things that most worry you or that other people worry about that you don’t when you think about mortality?
FOX: Well, other people worry about – as relates to me, they worry about the sharp, sudden falling and hitting my head or do something that’s going to result from my Parkinson’s, not the kind of associated decline into just nothingness and dementia and expiring, which is also a possibility. But I just think about, like – when I consider mortality, you can boil it down to one thing for me. The last thing that we run out of is future. It’s the future. I mean, this is the last thing to go. Everything goes and then our future goes because once we’re gone, we have no future. So to try to get anything more from that, to try to understand it beyond that, I don’t have the energy to. I’m trying to just get by every day and do what I need to do to – I mean, my wife worries about me stepping off a curb in front of a truck or something just in a spasm of movement. My day-to-day existence is so unpredictable, I guess what I’m saying, that I can’t – I don’t have any energy left to predict the future. And I just exist in this kind of appreciation for what I have and this gratitude.
I write in the book about being at a concert with my wife, and the whole concert, she danced. She danced to the music. And I just watched her dance, and I just realized that’s it. And then the band was Vampire Weekend, and they’re singing a song – the lyric goes I don’t want to live like this, but I don’t want to die. And I thought about how many times I said, I don’t want to live like this. And I didn’t mean it in a way like I don’t want to live like this. I don’t want to live like this. I don’t want to live under these conditions. But I don’t want to die. In other words, this is good. I mean, this is – compared to the alternative, this is great. And for every bad thing that happens, good things happen. For every tumble I take, I get to see my wife shake her ass at the concert and be with my daughters who were there and wearing silly Vampire Weekend bucket hats and just enjoying that I got a wheelchair ride to my chair so I didn’t have to work through the crowds and that I was OK with being in a wheelchair, which took me a long time to get used to and I use occasionally. And it just – life is just better than the alternative.
GROSS: You know, you say that the last thing to go is the future, but some people believe that there is a future after death, that there’s an afterlife. Do you and did you ever believe that?
FOX: If I get to the bottom of the Cracker Jack box, then there’s a prize, I’m happy. But if there isn’t, I just enjoy the Cracker Jack. My happiness here doesn’t depend on something that it’s awaiting me after it. I don’t have a complex orthodoxy. I have a vague spiritualism that tells me if I live a good life, good things will happen. But I don’t have any expected reward or expected afterlife or anything like that. I just want to make the most of this life and make as positive of an impact I can on people around me and be grateful for their love and attention and try to do something, you know, worthwhile and not counting on getting a do-over.
GROSS: Michael J. Fox, thank you so much for talking with us and thank you for being so generous with your time.
FOX: My great pleasure.
GROSS: Michael J. Fox’s new memoir is called “No Time Like The Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality.” After we take a short break, Maureen Corrigan will review a newly reprinted novel from 1948 by Betty Smith, who also wrote “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.” This is FRESH AIR.
(SOUNDBITE OF CARL VERHEYEN’S “GOOD MORNING JUDGE”)
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Accidental fame – The Downey Legend
Downey High School’s English teacher, and former lacrosse coach, Scott Witkin, starred as a lacrosse player in the movie, American Pie, in 1999.
Mr. Witkin talks about how his experience with working in the film industry was a great time but happened on accident.
“I was playing lacrosse for the Guinness Lacrosse Club,” Witkin said, “and one of the players asked me if I wanted to be in a movie, so of course I said yes.”
In the movie Mr. Witkin acts as a lacrosse player for a team. It was a low budget movie compared to the other Hollywood movies, so when they needed players he was happy to do it. While shooting the movie he met Seann William Scott and Eugene Levy. Other times he has also had small encounters with Robin Williams, Morgan Freeman, and Samuel L. Jackson.
Audree Banuelos, 11, a former student of Mr. Witkin, explains why she thinks it is interesting to have a teacher who was in a movie.
“I think it’s really cool, because it shows me that you can do anything you set your mind to,” Banuelos said. “I would also want to watch the movie because it would be interesting to see my teacher doing something else besides teaching.”
Andrew Secaida, 11, another former student of Mr. Witkin, says he enjoys the stories his teacher tells the class about his experience in the movie.
“I like hearing stories about how he got the job and the people he met while shooting the movie,” Secaida says. “When I first walked into his class I did not know he was in American Pie so it was a bit shocking.”
Witkin has taken other small roles but the most significant one would be his role in American Pie, he never set out to become an actor but it was a fun chapter in his life.
Mr. Witkin currently teaches freshmen and junior students. He states that becoming a teacher allowed him to do what he loves the most, working with students on the field and in the classroom.
Villa Maria Academy’s Margie Carden is Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week – PA Prep Live
The senior attack, who set a school lacrosse record for the fastest to 100 career goals (in 39 games), has 281 career points (as of April 22) and is leading the Hurricanes this season in both goals and assists. A four-year starter for the Hurricanes, Carden was a starter on the 2018 PIAA Class AA state champions, and the 2019 state runner-up. Off the field at Villa Maria, she is a member of the National Honor Society, a piano student and a Peer Minister. Next fall, she will be attending Tufts University, where she will play lacrosse.
Q: What did you work on most during the past off-season? What were your pre-season goals for the 2021 Villa Maria lacrosse season?
A: This offseason I really worked on my dodging, shooting, and 1v1 attack. I tried to get outside as much as I could to spend time on the bounceback, use the foot ladder, and get in a lot of shooting reps before the season was underway. My pre-season goals for the 2021 Villa Maria lacrosse season were to assist people inside of the eight, be more of a threat in transition while getting the ball up the field, and to collectively as a team get better each time we play together.
Q: Tell us a little about your lacrosse training during this past COVID pandemic year, the biggest challenges you faced as a lacrosse player due to the COVID pandemic, and how you dealt with those challenges.
A: This past year has been very different in terms of lacrosse training. I worked to keep my fitness the same as in season by doing sprints or running with my stick, and would urge my siblings to come outside with me as much as possible while we were in quarantine to keep the fun spirit of the game. The biggest challenge I faced as a lacrosse player during the pandemic was the loss of such a crucial season. I was heartbroken because I had such strong aspirations for the 2020 season, we had a very talented senior class and I knew we could do big things with them after our first and only scrimmage. Another difficulty was figuring out where I wanted to play for my next four years in college. When COVID hit I hadn’t decided on a school, so it was hard to navigate that process and look at schools during a pandemic. During this time I learned to appreciate each time I had an opportunity to play, whether that was a practice or a game, because I never know when it might be my last.
Q: What is your favorite memory (to date) of your Villa Maria lacrosse career?
A: This is such a hard one, there are so many great memories I have with my Villa Maria team, from winning big games to just hanging out before practice. I would say that my favorite ones have been our underdog wins. My freshman and sophomore years, we faced off against really big and well known teams, Carroll and Radnor, to get into the state championship game. At that time Villa hadn’t won a district championship, and didn’t have as much recognition in being a championship program. We pulled off a pretty dominant win in both state semifinal games to secure our place. The moment after the games when I took a step back and realized for the first time that I would be playing for a state championship that weekend with a great group of people is indescribable. All your hard work has finally paid off and a dream that felt so far away at the beginning of the season was right there, the excitement and thrill in the air after those games has always been my favorite.
Q: Tell us a little about your start in lacrosse. Who have been your biggest lacrosse mentors, and what was the most important thing each of them taught you about lacrosse?
A: I started playing lacrosse in second grade, and loved the sport since the minute I picked up a stick. My favorite thing to do would be to play pickup lacrosse in the backyard with my brother, sister, and neighbor, just to set the picture there was no out of bounds and I often ran in the creek to avoid being checked by my brother. My current high school coach, Allie Mongan, has been a big mentor for me. She has taught me the value of teammates and how to be a leader. She has shown me that in lacrosse your actions on the field are just as important off the field in order to be not just a good team, but a great one. I have tried to emulate her positive, but very down to business attitude this year to reach the potential I know we have. My other two biggest mentors have been Bob Mongeluzzi and Tom Dwyer. They have helped to transform the way I play on the field, and are constantly working on furthering my lacrosse IQ, which many people forget to highlight in developing a player. They have a clear passion for lacrosse and respect for the tradition of the sport which in turn has helped grow my own love for the game!
Q: You wear uniform jersey No. 3 for Villa Maria lacrosse – was there a reason you chose this number?
A: I have worn No. 3 since my freshman year. I view 3 as my lucky number because I’m a triplet, born on 03/03/03, and 3 has always showed up in weird ways throughout my life. Also 3 is lucky in its own way – 3-leaf clovers, Holy Trinity, etc.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation the day of a game.
A: My pregame preparation for the day of a game is to, first, the night before lay out my bags and uniform to make sure I have everything – I have learned my lesson by forgetting my skirt one too many times! Sorry mom! Throughout the day I drink lots of water, and try to eat food that is going to make me feel good throughout the game. I always make sure I have my lucky orange scrunchie because I am superstitious, and throw my hair up in a simple ponytail because that’s all I really know how to do. I like to listen to music and dance with my teammates before warmups in a dance circle to loosen my nervous jitters and get excited.
Q: What do you think you might like to major in at Tufts University?
A: I am undecided as of right now, but am hoping to pursue a degree in economics and minor in language or philosophy! I would love to one day write a book and work for women’s rights.
Fun facts – Margie Carden
Favorite book: The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig.
Favorite author: J.K Rowling.
Favorite TV show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Favorite movie: “Any of the Harry Potter movies.”
Favorite athlete: Allen Iverson.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: Come With Me Now by Kongos, or Honey by 070 shake.
Favorite team: Philadelphia Eagles.
Favorite piano song to play: Don’t Stop Believing, by Journey.
Favorite place to visit: Lake George, N.Y.
Favorite pre-game meal: Cool mint chocolate chip Clif bar and a Gatorade.
Person I most admire, and why: “I admire my Dad the most because he has taught me how to work hard, and find a passion for something that I love and then run with it, whether that be on the field or off the field. He has always told me to not care about what others may think of me and to go with my heart, not the crowd.”
Family members: parents Dan and Nancy, older sister Isabel, other triplets Luke and Jackie.
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, an athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)
Peach Pit brings upbeat authenticity in sophomore effort ‘You and Your Friends’
“You and Your Friends” by Peach Pit. (Courtesy Columbia Records)
In the vast sea of break up songs, all but some fall into the murky, generic depths of an oversaturated subject matter.
As they dig into the agony of heartbreak all too introspectively, they fail to truly achieve memorability, instead becoming the anthems of one-note indie darlings. Rising high above this pattern comes Peach Pit’s “You and Your Friends,” a welcome invitation to dance these trying times away with giddy, heartbreak-infused jams. On the Vancouver four-piece’s sophomore record, they forgo the veil of melancholic arrangements held by many of their indie predecessors, bringing a lighter approach to the familiar break-up album formula in one the year’s most authentic projects yet.
Known for their shoegaze-style dream pop, complete with distorted guitars and echoing vocals similar to their contemporaries in Mac Demarco or Beach Fossils, Peach Pit, a collective of former high school friends, has never been a total reinvention of indie rock. However, they’ve carved out a unique image for themselves in a genre where everything looks the same; their turtleneck sweaters, breezy lyrics and DIY attitude (as evidenced by their Instagram bio, which dubs them a “wedding cover band.”) Not quick to take anything too seriously, Peach Pit’s latest record fits the band’s aesthetic perfectly, filled to the brim with down-to-earth, yet impactful lyricism.
The album opens with the energetic “Feeling Low (F*ckboy Blues),” an up-tempo track that feels straight out of Vampire Weekend’s discography. Lead singer Neil Smith’s gentle vocals contrast well with the slamming, distorted guitars, giving the song a unique emotional edge similar to the Foo Fighter’s “Everlong.” It’s the type of composition to shout out of a car window with friends, adding to the ever-growing list of Peach Pit songs that perfect the balance between lo-fi and soul.
The album then jumps into the emotional meat and potatoes of the project, delivering song after song of insight into the spite that comes with heartbreak. It gives an honest attempt of clever metaphors to supplement the doldrums.
On “Black Licorice,” Smith likens himself to the titular confection, singing “all the people that I know / Would rather leave me in the bowl,” and on “Figure 8,” he croons “Watch her figure 8 with that style / All good things of it are most likely gonna go / Watch her skate away.” Both of these tracks remain easily danceable, with thumping basslines and crashing drums perfect for the mosh pit. Even when recounting pain, Peach Pit can’t stop themselves from having some fun with it.
Throughout the whole album, the group gives bite-sized glimpses into the inherent sadness that only comes through when you are a teenager.
On the gentle “Brian’s Movie,” Peach Pit gives a surf-rock melody that describes the cold distance felt when your best friend gets a new girl. Humming about the “sidelong view of her walking you home” over woozy guitars, the album is at its most personal yet. However, “Shampoo Bottles” provides the project’s hardest-hitting lyrics, delving into mundane reminders of an ex-partner, nostalgically detailing “Your cellphone charger’s still hanging from the wall / Haven’t chucked it all like you’d think / Though you haven’t been around in weeks.”
Keeping with the theme of beauty in the normalcy and extremes in heartbreak, the album’s title itself rings true: any of the project’s 12 tracks could be instantly relatable anthems to a group of friends, as it perfectly espouses the truths behind the bumps and the pains that come with young love. Peach Pit’s everlasting normality makes them special, especially when they wear their hearts on their sleeves this hard. After all, there’s plenty of joy to be found in the small things these days.
Peach Pit is working on re-scheduling their spring tour. Details can be found here.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Ben Berman at [email protected]
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★ Top 12 Tourist Attractions in Stockholm – The 2019 Guide ★
Stockholm is often called the “Venice of the North”, Stockholm is located on several islands and peninsulas at the outflow of Lake Melar into the Baltic States, where a deep entrance is formed here.The charm of its surroundings lies in the mixture of land and water – the skerries bordering the coast, the cliffs rising from the sea, the intricate design of the waterways that encompass the city. World-class museums, theaters, galleries and gorgeous parklands await, and traveling around couldn’t be easier. An excellent underground rail system, Tunnelbana (T-bana), takes you almost anywhere in the city. A highly efficient and regular bus network fills in any gaps between destinations.Alternatively, take the time to go instead, as Stockholm is a stunning city that swallows on foot. The city also has an efficient cycle path network. Locals proudly refer to the city as the “Levandian city” or “living city” as most of the cosmopolitan population still lives in the city center. A short flight out of town, you can explore the UNESCO-listed palace Drottningholm and other interesting tourist attractions on day trips.
See also: Where to stay in Stockholm
1 Gamla Stan (Old Town)
Gamla Stan (Old Town)
Acquaintance with the 1200s and overflowing with essential attractions, sights, cafes, authentic restaurants and boutiques, square Gamla Stan (Old Town ) – a living museum. For many, this is the first stop on their exploration journey. There is certainly no better way to instantly absorb the Stockholm feel and grab hold of the city’s culture.There are many souvenirs and gifts in the Old Town, and you will find yourself in medieval times as you wander through a bewildering maze of tiny winding streets. Mysterious vaults and ancient frescoes are hidden behind the picturesque facades. If you are visiting in winter, be sure to take the marvelous Julmarknad (Christmas Market) , an experience like being in a fairy tale. Stockholm , Nobel Museum, and Royal Palace are all located here and should be held high on any sightseeing itinerary.If you visit Royal Palace be sure to catch a change of guard.
2 Vase Museum
The incredible battleship Vaza was intended for the pride of the Swedish Imperial Navy, but in anticipation of the titanium disaster centuries later, plunged on its maiden voyage in 1628. In 1961, there was an amazing rescue operation and now you can admire this magnificent time capsule, 95 percent of which is completely original.The three masts on the roof of the museum are not just a tourist draw; they have been reconstructed to the exact height and characteristics of the original masts. It is the most visited museum in Sweden and rightfully so. More than a million people a year come here to enjoy various exhibitions and watch a film in the history of the ship. Admission is free if you are under the age of 18.
Address: Galärvarvsvägen, 1411521 StockholmOfficial website: www.vasamuseet.se
Tranquil oasis in the city center, island Djurgården attracts tourists and locals during the long summer months days and short nights.The park is part of the Royal National City Park and is an ideal base for walks and picnics, as well as home to some of Stockholm’s best museums and other attractions. Scattered around are pleasant cafes, restaurants, eateries and hotels. You can hire bicycles to explore the forest trails, or if you’re feeling adventurous, take the waterways by canoe. The popular Vase Museum and Abba Museum are located here, as are the open-air museum Skansen and the Gröna Lund amusement park.A fun way to get there by ferry from Gamla Stan or Slussen (like on T-Banja). Alternatively, hop on the tram from Norrmalmstorg , take the bus, or walk from the city center (15 minutes). Drop Djurgården Visitor Center For more information.Official website: www.visitdjurgarden.se
4 Skansen Open Air Museum
Skansen Open Air Museum
The oldest open air museum in the world, Skansen, on the island Djurgarden, is beautiful attractiveness for families, especially for children with small children.Not only will you treat the authentic taste of Sweden as it once did, but the beautiful Skansen Aquarium and Children’s Zoo .Over 150 different buildings and houses have been collected from all over the country and collected here. The exhibition features a variety of urban areas, including a manor house, a bakery, a beautiful Seglora wooden church and pottery, all animated by costumed staff. The zoo is home to moose, bears, lynxes, wolves and seals. You can visit the aquarium for an additional fee and see over 200 different animals from all over the world, including many species of monkeys.For traditional Swedish buffet visit Solliden Restaurant.
Address: Djurgårdsslätten 49-51, 11521 StockholmOfficial website: http://www.skansen.se/sv
5 Royal Palace (Sveriges Kungahus)
Royal Palace (Sveriges Kungahus)
A visit here can be self-sufficient. Located at the water’s edge at the periphery of Gamla Stan, is the official residence of the King of Sweden Interestingly, the Queen’s residence is elsewhere, on the beautiful island and UNESCO World Heritage Site Drottningholm (Queen’s Island ), about 45 minutes away by ferry from Stockholm and an easy day trip.Rich in flavor of the once mighty Swedish Empire, the palace is one of the largest in Europe, with over 600 rooms and several museums. Familiar with the 18th century and Baroque style, the palace contains many precious stones. Here you can see Queen Christina’s Silver Throne and visit Antiquities Museum , Armory , Tre Cronor Museum (Three Crowns) and Treasury . Don’t miss the daily guard shift.
Location: Gamla StanOfficial Website: www.kungahuset.se
6 Editorials Photo
Fotografiska Bernt Rostad / photo modified
Fotografiska is Stockholm’s Museum of Contemporary Photography and hosts an eclectic mix of exhibitions throughout the year. The complex includes a cafe, restaurant, shop and gallery, and from the top floor you can enjoy one of the most enviable views of the city. The museum has seen a huge increase in visitor numbers in recent years and is now recognized as one of the world’s best photography spots.Eco-friendly restaurant, the restaurant located on the top floor is considered one of the coolest restaurants in the city (especially popular with the locals). The gallery also hosts contemporary live and club music throughout the year.
Address: Stadsgårdshamnen 22, 11645 StockholmOfficial website: http://fotografiska.eu/
7 Town Hall (Stadsuset)
Town Hall (Studsuset)
The Town Hall is located on the water’s edge and crowned with three golden crowns.The City Hall is one of Stockholm’s most iconic buildings and stars in countless images and postcards in the city. Having met since 1923, the hall opened on the same Swedish date on the eve of the summer solstice. Housed inside are assembly rooms, offices, works of art and civic democracy mechanisms. The prestigious annual Nobel banquets are held here. Recipients first get along at Blå hallen (Blue Hall) and then move on to the formal ball at Gyllene salen (Gold Hall), which has no less than 18 million mosaics decorating its walls.A special pleasure is the opportunity to view the city from the famous tower.
Address: Ragnar Östbergs Plan 1, 11220 Stockholm
8 Boat Tours
Sightseeing Stockholm by Boat
The sea flows through Stockholm’s arteries, and during the summer months the city is literally flooded with boats of all shapes and sizes. Many residents of the city own summer houses on islands skärgården (archipelago) and spend, if not all summer there, then most weekends.It all makes Friday night like no other. With all of this in mind, to experience Stockholm from the water is a must for any visitor. Take a ride under the Stockholm bridges or for an hour or two Royal Canal . There are also hop, hop options with a valid ticket lasting 24 hours.Official website: http://www.stromma.se/stockholm/
9 Moderna Museet
At Moderna Museet you can dive into one of Europe’s foremost art collections from the 20th century to the present day, which features works by artists such as Picasso, Dali, Derkert and Matisse.The museum exhibits everything from contemporary classics to contemporary art, including films, photographs, drawings, prints and whimsical outdoor sculptures. On the picturesque Scheppsholmen Island , the Moderna Museet was designed by the Spanish architect Rafael Moneo. The museum features a program of temporary exhibitions, a children’s workshop, a shop, a library and a pleasant restaurant with a beautiful view of Djurgården and Strandvägen , Guided walks.The second gallery of the museum is located in Malmö.
Address: Exercisplan 2, 11142 StockholmOfficial Website: http://www.modernamuseet.se/stockholm/en/
10 Royal National City Park
Royal National City Park La Citta Vita / photo modified
The right to movement (allemansrätten) is an indelible part of the Swedish psyche. Royal National Urban Park is a 27 square kilometer green space covering six miles long and surrounding Stockholm and encompassing three royal parks: Jurgarden, Haga, and Ulriksdal .It is the world’s first national urban park where tourists and locals flock to rest.Elks, foxes, deer and many winged beauties, including rare birds, live in the forest. Interesting things to do include visits to museums, castles, theaters, sports facilities, and historic houses. Nature lovers will be in heaven exploring desolate areas with age-old oaks, streams, lakes, swamps, tempting swimming spots and rocky hills. It is truly difficult to believe that you are in the middle of a thriving capital city.Official website: www.nationalstadsparken.se
If this is a designer design in Stockholm, look no further. Östermalm is the most exclusive area in the city. Exclusive international labels rub shoulders with high-end Scandinavian designs. At Biblioteksgatan, there are many flagship stores and designer boutiques, and the surrounding area around Stureplan offers a variety of chic shops – some with high prices. Art and interior design lovers will love Svenskt Tenn and Malmstenbutiken , at the beginning of Strandvägen near Nibruviken.Many of Sweden’s finest antique dealers are located around Kommendörsgatan neighborhood. Be sure to stop by Östermalmshallen for the absolute best in Swedish fresh food and produce.
12 SkyView: The Globe
SkyView: The Globe
SkyView, located on the southern outskirts of Stockholm, takes you to the top of the world’s largest spherical building. Ericsson Globe , one of the modern attractions of Stockholm.From 130 meters above sea level, an unforgettable view of the entire city awaits you. Tours aboard the gondola take about 30 minutes and depart every ten minutes, but be prepared for long lines during peak hours. After the trip, sightseers can visit the restaurant and gift shop.
Address: Globentorget 2, 12177 StockholmOfficial Website: www.globearenas.se
Tips and Tours: How to Make the Most of Your Visit to Stockholm
- Sightseeing Tours : A convenient and flexible way to see the city’s attractions is a guided tour around Stockholm city hop-on-hop-off.Accompanied by audio commentary, this double-decker bus tour visits 14 different attractions and you can hop at any of the stops. If you prefer to explore Stockholm by bus and boat, Stockholm on a day sightseeing tour is a great option. This 2.5-hour tour begins with a 75-minute audio-guided bus tour that includes attractions such as the Royal Palace and Vasa Museum. It ends with a one-hour scenic boat ride through the royal park of Jurgarden and the city’s picturesque archipelago.
- Stockholm at Night : For a more discreet glimpse of the city, consider The Original Stockholm Ghost Walk and History Tour, a 2-hour city tour with a lantern, where you will hear a spooky tale of spirits, vampires, myths and mysteries as you strolling Medieval streets of Gamla Stan.
- Day Trip : If Swedish Vikings and medieval history excite you, the Viking History Tour is a must.On the way, you will see the runestones at Tabi; discover ancient inscriptions at Granby; and stroll through the medieval streets of Sweden’s oldest city, Sigtuna.
- Save Money : While Stockholm, like most Scandinavia, can be expensive, good value can be found if you know where to look. One way to save a few crowns is to eat your main meal during the day and choose something lighter in the evening. A Dagens rätt or Dagens (daily special) lunch is a great way to experience authentic Swedish fare for a fraction of the cost you pay in the evenings.
- Sweet Treats : Swedes love coffee and cakes, and they even came up with a verb for it – Fika. “Fike” – drinking coffee, eating something small (and usually sweet), and chat. Be sure to indulge yourself as the cakes and pastries are delicious.
Where to stay in Stockholm for sightseeing
- Luxury Hotels: Situated on the waterfront, opposite the Royal Palace and the Old Town, the aptly named Grand Hotel has housed famous and Nobel laureates in its elegant suites and Michelin-starred restaurants …Those who prefer a modern Scandinavian style will enjoy the Nobis Hotel at Norrmalmstorg, a public square in the city center. A short walk from the Gamla Stan and just two minutes from the train station, the Sheraton Stockholm Hotel is a reliable chain option in a fantastic location.
- Mid-Range Hotels – Hilton Stockholm Slussen is a 5-minute walk from Gamla Stan Street in the trendy Södermalm district. The hotel offers beautiful views of the city, as well as the modern Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, which shimmers in the city center, less than three kilometers from the Royal Palace and Old Town.Travelers seeking a more historic setting should consider the Sven Vintappare Hotel in the heart of Gamla Stan, immersed in 17th century charm.
- Cheap Hotels: Perhaps the most unique budget hotel options close to historic sites are on the water – literally. Rygerfjord Hotel & Hostel, Red Boat Hotel & Hostel and Loginn Hotel are boat hotels with cozy rooms within walking distance of the Old Town. For those who prefer a hotel on land, First Hotel Fridhemsplan offers a variety of room options, including family rooms, a five-minute train ride from the city center.
More delightful Swedish destinations and day trips
Sweden is known for its vibrant cities and quaint towns. From Stockholm, you can head to the picturesque village for fun day trips including a visit to the university town of Uppsala. This 35-minute flight from the capital, the magnificent island of Gotland, is a popular travel destination in Sweden. On the western side of the country, Gothenburg has a milder climate than Stockholm and more European mood, while south of Gothenburg, both Helsingborg and Malmo are just a short flight from neighboring Denmark across the Oresund Strait.
Stockholm Map – Attractions
Happy Birthday! The blog is 4 years old: unknownrussia – LiveJournal
Greetings from the USA! Today, August 27, I remember that my blog is exactly four years old. In 2012, I published my first story about my love of flying. There were many words, thoughts, emotions. This is the only way I write – with a sense of expressiveness. I know this annoys some, but I am not the kind of person who can accept such an answer as “because” to any question, and I do not like people who cannot clearly explain why they feel something or something. then they believe.“Because” – such an answer is never acceptable in any situation, even in love, in my opinion.
We need to think about what we choose in life and understand why we act this way. It is not always easy and pleasant. This requires serious thought and other scary feelings that people are afraid of or are too lazy to move forward with. It’s always easier to go with the flow. We are all constantly in a certain development, at least I believe that this is the case if you really live, and not just exist.
I want to thank all the readers who have been with me for 4 years. Many come and go, some of you I had the pleasure of meeting in person, however, most I know virtually. However, there is a sense of connection and closeness with all of you after exchanging thoughts, views and opinions over the years.
Sorry for not writing anything lately, because there was no motivation. I have just returned from a wonderful trip to the province of Alberta, which is in Canada, as well as Montana, and in about a month, my big trip to Georgia will finally begin.
I wish you all a pleasant weekend! And thank you again for your support, loyalty, humor and the fact that you have always encouraged me to do something – in every sense! 🙂
Original made by peacetraveler22 at Gravelly Point Park http://peacetraveler22.livejournal.com/3696.html, Arlington, VA.
Since childhood, I have admired airplanes. And not in the sense of their mechanical and engineering structure, but the fact that they make it possible to study and observe. For me, planes symbolize freedom, emotions and something new.There are human emotions in every flight. There are people who are excited and excited to see a loved one, meet an important client, close a business deal, or come to some exotic place. And also there are, on the contrary, rude and grumpy, those who leave their family and loved ones get tired of business travel. If you take a closer look, it is sometimes easy to determine which category a passenger falls into.
There is an interesting and unique park called Gravelly Point located along George Washington Alley in Arlington, Virginia.The park cannot be reached by metro, and I doubt that many foreign tourists even know about its existence. It’s worth a visit, however, because there is probably no longer a place in the US where you could be that close to flying planes. The park is located just a few hundred feet from the airstrip at Reagan National Airport in Washington, and even after 9/11, the location is absolutely accessible to everyone.
I often visit the park and all the time I meet people who are waiting to see the planes.
Here is the main attraction. The runway at the front of the park is intended for both landing and takeoffs. It all depends on the direction of the winds. All the time I was here, I only saw the planes land. As you can see, while standing on the ground, the bottom of the plane is about a hundred feet above you. You can feel the roar of the engines and the power of the engines, the tremors of the earth as the plane flies right over you.
Here you can see how close visitors to the park are to the Reagan airport runway.
The main interest of the park is aircraft observation. However, on weekends, people play sports such as soccer, software, and lacrosse. Very beautiful landscape with the Washington Monument and other beauties in the background.
The Vernon Mountain Trail, which runs right through the park, is very popular with those who cycle, run or just walk. Here you can always meet people on bicycles, families who go for a walk or come to a picnic, etc.etc.
When I feel anxious or stressed, I bring a blanket to the park, sit on the edge of a hill or beach and admire the beautiful scenery. On this day, the sky was special and combined both white fluffy clouds and gray ominous ones. A very dramatic and peaceful landscape. Of course, I got caught in the pouring rain while running to the car, but it was worth it.
If you are ever in this area, please take a moment to visit this park.You can google it by name and see nicer pictures than mine. The park is open at night and, in my opinion, is a very romantic place for dating. Bring a blanket, some wine or other drinks with you, and just admire the airplane lights approaching and flying right over you in the night sky.
Translation: Victor D
News from movies, anime, games and TV series | Page 1886 to
The mystical thriller “Stranger Things” continues to attract everyone’s attention and does not skimp on the return warmth – in addition to the first official frame and teaser of the sequel released a week ago, the creators shared with the public a few more pictures and plot details. The fact that when the second season of “Stranger Things” will be released was also mentioned – the premiere of the nine-episode sequel should be expected at the end of October.
It is known that events will unfold a year later, in 1984, after the release of “Ghostbusters” on the screens, from which, judging by the copies of the costumes of the fighters against evil spirits, the main characters were fanned. The scene is the same – Hawkins, Indiana. After being rescued from a gloomy world, Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) returned to friends and ordinary life, however, according to project co-author Matt Duffer, this is not entirely true:
From time to time, Will has visions of the Reverse. The question is how real they are.He is now experiencing something like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Joyce (Winona Ryder) tries to take care of Will and Jonathan and starts dating her high school friend Bob (Sean Astin), because she realizes that her sons need a good example and a person who could replace their father. Sheriff Hopper (David Harbor) has to keep order in the city and hide from everyone the truth, which was shared with him in secret. Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Mike take the deaths of Barb and Eleven hard.And life in Hawkins will also stir up the appearance of Billy (Dacre Montgomery) and Max (Sadie Sink) – brother and sister. The girl quickly makes new friends, but with the guy everything is much more complicated, and Matt Duffer transparently hints why:
Stephen King makes great villains in human form. Evil in the real world is often more destructive than supernatural evil, so we wanted to introduce such a character in our story.
The filming process is in full swing, until the release of the second season of “Stranger Things” is even more than six months, so we have patience and entertain ourselves by watching a teaser and fresh footage.
5 physical traits that give out personal information …Armed with just a pair of eyes, a ruler, and a little bit of a sense of decency or reverence, you can find out a lot of intimate details about any person. But why stop there? Here are five of the most mind-blowing guesses you can make about anyone’s personal life just by looking at it.
None of the following is 100 percent accurate. You should not use the information provided to make unfair assumptions about people.This is all just fun for the researchers …
1. Someone’s honesty can be judged by their cheekbones (sometimes)
Suppose we’ve never watched Star Wars. If you saw a picture of this guy without knowing anything about the context around him, would you say that he is good or bad?
The fact that he is a villain is written right on his face. But why?
Moreover, in real life you sometimes come across people whom you don’t trust right away – it’s just that something in their faces makes them look like dubious individuals.Perhaps this is their way of standing in a dark alley, wrapped in a cloak with a standing collar and pointing a gun at your head. Or maybe you just don’t like something in his face.
It turns out that scientists have figured out what this “something” is.
Cheekbones. While chiseled-faced male models can be helpful in selling you lingerie, in real life, guys with wide cheekbones give people the impression of being untrustworthy. And obviously not without reason – according to research, their owners are actually less honest on average.Anyway, according to experiments.
Researchers at the University of St. more likely to have expected it. All they had to do was look at their faces.
Researchers see a possible reason for this phenomenon that wider cheekbones do not form until puberty and are a sign of how big a person will be.Larger men tend to be more aggressive and less likely to feel compelled to obey social norms — it’s easier to “prick” someone if you know what to kick in the neck if he complains. Even in activities where aggressiveness is encouraged, such as in professional sports, researchers have discovered that “broad-faced … players spend more time on the penalty bench.”
These researchers do not point to the fact that Darth Vader was designed to have abnormally wide cheekbones, but seriously, take a look at this:
And is it we who got carried away, and not the creators of the Billy doll from “Saw” with the same success gave her such cheekbones?
And is there any surprise that Christopher Lee made his career playing villains?
His next role? Governor of Texas.
Please keep in mind that the statistical differences are subtle, and this is only applicable to understanding why we have mixed feelings about people with this face shape. Please do not rush immediately with a knife at the first comer with wide cheekbones and do not make assumptions that he is always lying. In this case, you may already be the bad guy.
Plus, with his 2.16 m and 190 kg, the most you can do is get on his nerves.
2. Want to know how often a guy has sex? Look at his photo in infancy
If the noisy teenage comedies of the 80s with a theme “below the belt” taught us anything, it was only that losing virginity is almost a matter of life or death. Statistically speaking, there is a fairly reliable way to determine in practice whether a guy is a spoiled female attention, a womanizer or a forty-year-old virgin.
Finding out how much he weighed as a child.
Staff at Northwestern University in Illinois studied 770 men from birth until they turned 22. From what they deduced that children who gained weight faster, had earlier sexual activity, had more frequent sexual intercourse and reported a higher number of their sexual partners. In addition, their life in the future was more saturated with sports.
According to the researchers, the cause may have to do with something called the gonads-pituitary-hypothalamus system, a triumvirate of glands that is responsible for a whole bunch of things, including the production of sex hormones.The rapid weight gain that makes babies more well-nourished after birth and up to six months of age also determined the same rapid increase in sex hormones years later – an increase that occurred before their skinny potty friends experienced it.
And if numbers mean anything, then reaching puberty prematurely, at the start of their sex life, they receive from God what he gives to those who (or who?) Gets up early.
3.A bigger boyfriend is more likely to be gay
The ratio of the length of a person’s fingers and the direction of curl of a person’s hair are good indicators of an increased likelihood of being gay. The difficulty with such measurements is that they are rather difficult to carry out if you do not carry them out under the guise of a manicurist / hairdresser. On top of that, if you get this close to a man’s fingers and scalp, you may already be more than sure which way the wind is blowing.
The good news is that there is another measurable parameter that is easier to see from a distance and, in terms of statistics, is a good indication of sexuality. The bad news is … okay, there you go.
This is the size of the penis. In blues, they are usually larger. So it looks like it will need to be checked in the dressing room.
By the way, this was a massive study. Between 1938 and 1963, the Kinsey Institute for the Study of Sex, Gender and Reproduction conducted a study of 5,122 men.First of all, the guys were divided into two groups: heterosexual and homosexual. The men then measured their worth in five different ways. In all five measurements, gay men reported larger penises than heterosexual men.
That’s right, guys. Length, circumference, all personal belongings. When erect, a gay man’s penis is, on average, a third of an inch longer than a normal guy’s. It is also thicker. Perhaps even more interesting, the large gay penis seems to deviate from the universal average length of 6 inches (15 cm), while the average male of the traditional orientation is actually just a little shorter than this size.
The only thing is that no one took the roulette wheel to check the household of other participants (they measured only their own), so we don’t know if the numbers were 100% correct. However, today’s researchers argue that there is no reason to believe that blues would exaggerate their size more than straight people. So even if the numbers may be exaggerated as a whole, the difference still raises practically no questions.
4. You can determine which sports you can perform best by measuring certain parts of your body
Understandably, you can look at a big fat guy and say that he will have a biological advantage in sumo wrestling , or a dangerously underweight young girl, and know that, most likely, you should not challenge her to a friendly competition on uneven bars.But it’s not so simple when it comes to common physical activities like swimming, running, or lacrosse. That is, unless you know what to expect.
The location of your belly button can help you decide whether you will perform better at running or swimming. We have no idea how this affects the game of lacrosse, but to some extent we are confident that lacrosse was invented in the 90s for advertising Tommy Hilfiger, so now it is a moot point.
When it comes to the navel, the first thing most of us notice is whether it is correct (retracted) or tragically deformed (convex). Who is interested in something else? Are we the moral guardians for I Dream of Jeannie? It turns out that the direction of the navel matters a lot less than its position on the belly. Because this dirty cavity, this breeding ground for bacteria that we call the navel, is actually the center of gravity of our body.
This is important because a higher center of gravity gives you an edge when running, while a lower one is beneficial when it comes to swimming. As one researcher puts it, “motion is inherently a continuous process of falling forward, and mass that falls from a higher point falls faster.” So when we see West African runners doing everyone on the treadmill in international competition, their success is not based on some superficial, racially biased theory.All we’re seeing is a latent height advantage that comes from finding their navels 1.18 inches (3 cm) taller than their white counterparts.
And when we notice the absence of an equally glorious galaxy of black swimmers, it is because the lower center of mass gives white a longer body, allowing them to create a larger wave that helps them swim faster. As for the Asians, they have the same proportions of the position of the navel as the whites, but they are also smaller in stature, so they are in a significantly more disadvantageous position in the pool.
5. You can find out to what extent a man is capable of fertilization by measuring him … ahem
If you had the opportunity, would you like to know in advance whether your potential husband was a breeding plant in one person or a warehouse unexploded ordnance? What if we told you about a way to find out, which involves measuring a tiny area of a man’s body that is best left to where the pant legs of his underwear converge?
Think about it, ladies.The man who will be the father of your unborn child can sit next to you right now. You just need to strip him naked, force him to squat, lift his scrotum and spread his legs. Wait, it might be easier if he did a handstand naked, and you grabbed his ankles and … – no, perhaps we’d better explain what we mean.
Measure the distance between his anus and scrotum. The shorter it is, the weaker the seed. The perineum is longer – the sperm is stronger. Let it be embroidered on your pillow.
We know this because the researchers got down on their knees and took their measurements in places where no ray of the sun can reach. Real scientists, men and women, who had years of scientific practice behind them, were forced to make their way to the dark side of the bag, lift it from the road, attach a measuring tape to the anus and start measuring. Twice. Once to the anus from the underside of the scrotum, and the other from the top of the shaft of the penis.
And what is the normal crotch length? About 2.04 inches (5.2 cm) or the length of a woman’s thumb.Any measurements with a lower result – and your ejaculation may end “in the subfertile range”. Or, in medical terms, men with a shorter perineum have “lower rates of sperm concentration and motility, as well as sperm quantity and quality.