Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Birth of a Lifestyle Leads to Birth of a Movement?

A number of years ago, I wandered my way to Wyoming, then Jenny Lake at the Tetons finally south into Jackson Hole for a shower, shave and some sourdough flapjacks from “Jedediah's House of Sourdough”.

I liked the look of the town and decided I had had enough of my past week of camping and wanted to sleep in a place that felt like home, despite my distance away from everything familiar. I was not quite yet the tourist-repellant anti-social butterfly of which you are now familiar. I soaked-up the glam and kitsch of the town’s cowboy culture for about a day, then searched out a week-long apartment rental. I found a space located upstairs from a restaurant on the main downtown drag. Boasting a kitchen, wrap around balcony and VCR, I settled into my first brief stint of acclimating myself to an unfamiliar town’s local culture. I shopped at the local grocery stores; I drifted in and out of the used book sanctuaries. I attended an opening, one evening and an artist talk on another, at the small contemporary Arts Council that was doing its damnedest to promote something outside the realm of “traditional western” art.

Spent half-a-day in a used record shop talking to a guy about Leo Kottke’s duet album with Mike Gordon, titled “Clone”. I learned that Krispy Kreme donuts cost $12 for a glazed dozen (don’t ask how much specialty donuts were) because they are delivered fresh every morning to a small convenience store in Jackson Hole, Wyoming from somewhere 200 miles northwest in Idaho. I discovered that the dollar menu at fast food joints is really a $1.33 plus tax (it is the same in Santa Fe).

I even visited a couple roadside flea markets and found that even the “junk” in Jackson Hole is over-priced. After a week of briskly cool mountain evenings spent on my private balcony, watching locals hide amongst tourists, I returned my apartment keys. I learned a few things about myself and traveling in that brief tenure: I could never afford to live very long in an over-priced tourist magnet of a town (I had to relearn that lesson in Santa Fe) and traveling somewhere to live like a local is so much more relaxing than walking around on an itinerary like a Japanese tourist. Hence, immersion travel was born…- DN

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello, I just came across your site when looking for a different dnorth artist site with the same name.
When will your next relocation to new territory be?
Is most of your traveling done within your area or do you leave the area all together for an estimated number of days?
I noticed you post almost every day, are you at the same computer or on a laptop with a sat. link?
Just trying to see what would make this qualify as a movement.
I hope you dont take my post to be mean in any way. I like the blue and white pic on your homepage.
It looks sharp. Happy Trails

danielnorth.com said...

I move every 2-3 years. While in a place, I explore the surrounding region and people like a “deep map” to reference William Least Heat-Moon from his book “Prairyerth”. I just moved to the southern Midwest in March so I have a bit longer here.

I try to post first thing everyday so I can get motivated for working in the studio or on-sight. I keep a laptop with me, so I can reply to comments and use my own WiFi … or “borrow” from somewhere nearby. As far as what qualifies this as a movement… a movement takes others and since I tend to believe that there is no such thing as a completely original idea… I assume by posting regularly I may find others working in similar veins … hence a “movement” evolves. - DN

JNix said...

Two years ago, spent a week in Jackson Hole for a education conference at the "Snow King Lodge". It was fun and an eye opener. I walked the streets of the tourist jammed world watching people crowding into the same Gap that they could visit at any mall in America and buy sporting goods that they could get at any sporting good store in the world for less of a price. Go figure on that one. I walked into the artist galleries and was amazed at the amount of none western art there. I did come across a bronze that I did fall in love with and looked at the price and thought why that is reasonable. Until I realized that the decimal was actualy a comma. Opps! Sorry It was not worth that much to me or anyone else I knew in this world. I guess I am not a high roller.
Smooches
John