Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Everything in its right place

I was a fan of the print version of Arthur, and just wrote about its (hopefully temporary) demise on my music blog a couple of weeks ago. In the meantime, I've grown fond of its blog, Magpie, which is still going strong. The focus of both is broad: mostly ultra-indie music, but there's also a fair amount about theater, psychedelic culture, visual art, politics, and other loosely interconnected subjects--dubbed "homegrown counterculture" in a shout-out to an earlier wave of organic gardening and wispy bearded folkie singer-songwriters (both of which are now popular again with The Kids Today).

Even so, I was taken by surprise by this Magpie entry exhorting readers in frigid NYC to visit the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (especially on a Tuesday, when it's free).

For one thing, given the mag's neo-hippie vibe, I had always assumed it was based out west somewhere. But what really took me aback was the sight of a site I've always linked to music suddenly addressing another, more recent passion of mine. Talk about crossover! It's funny: since at least the late 70s I've devoted my energies to trying to bring things together, to blur or ignore boundaries, to search for connections (between people, between ideas) instead of differences--but when I started blogging, it seemed wiser (or at least simpler) to separate out my diverse interests (music here, gardening here, one kind of performance I'm involved with here, a personal/political account of getting married here, and so on) rather than trying to lump them all together. And then along comes something from the music pigeonhole advising me to "spend some time communing with the cacti, ferns, and bromeliads." Crazy!

As luck would have it, I'll actually be in New York next week, though a bit too busy on Tuesday for a visit. But after paying a too-brief visit to Buffalo's equivalent a few days back, I'm awfully tempted to find some way to the BBG during my stay. I was only there once, back in the early 80s, and was even contemplating a return trip the other day.

Who knows--maybe they even sell CDs in the gift shop.

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