Heidi Isern

writer. thinker. whiskey drinker.

September 2010

My Mother’s Minneapolis

Location: Minneapolis/ St. Paul Mileage: 5,160 Food: Beer at Palmer’s Bar Music: “It’s a Beautiful Day” by White Bird With my last formal interview behind me I drove onward with a new destiny, to drive back across the north to recapture my family’ past.   I started in Minneapolis/ St Paul, a place where my mother had fled her conservative parents to dive into the Mecca of 1970’s hippie counter culture. 

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From a Barrel Racer to a Sculptor

Location: Chicago Mileage: 5,160 Meal: Spicy kielbasa and rice (I made a worthwhile exception to meatless fare) Music: “Sweet Home Chicago” by the Blues Brothers Driving across Ohio and Illinois requires patience.  The incessant roadwork prohibits speeding, multiple tollbooths deplete wallets, and there is wind so fierce it threatens to steer you off the road.  However, if you can get past the distractions, and take the time to look out

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An interview with Singer/Songwriter Clare Burson

No travel details to display; An interview from a concert past, memories of melody in NYC When a friend in New York suggested I go to Joe’s Pub to see his friend perform, I agreed.  Clare Burson was releasing a new CD, titled Silver and Ash, as a tribute to her grandmother’s escape from Holocaust Germany.  Anyone that dedicated an entire album to such a monumental event, needed to be

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Upstate New York: The Four Seasons

Location: Hamburg new York (outside of Buffalo) Mileage: 4,750 Meal: Car snacks of apples and protein bars Music: “November Rain” by Guns N Roses (thank you Al for the reminder) I left Fulton to head west, spending the night in a random roadside hotel near Buffalo, New York.  Many think of Ani DiFranco when they think of Buffalo.  Many do not think of my own musical time spent here; my

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Fulton, New York

Location: Fulton New York Mileage: 4,610 Music: “Forever Young” by Alphaville Meal: Café sandwich and salad I drove out of Manhattan, narrowly missing zigzagging pedestrians and lane un- abiding taxis.  Although I could have stayed longer in the grand city, it was time to hit the road again. My car, now littered with west village leaves and parking tickets, had stayed idle for too long. I headed upstate into the

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Interview with a Mexican-American, Re-Inventing

Location: New York City Mileage: 4,338 Meal: Rosé Prosecco, courtesy of Carolina Music: “A Kiss to Build a Dream on” by Louis Armstrong Perhaps it was the humidity, or the heat seeping up people’s bodies from the hot sparkly cement, but the hardness of New York City melted away.  People’s eyes softened and their hearts opened.   If you were able to get them to sit still for even a second,

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From a horror flick to a love poem

Location: New York City Mileage: 4,338 (yes, I am still in Manhattan….) Meal: Vegetable Omelet Music: “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles When Melissa first called me telling me that she would love to participate in my project, her voice radiated such a genuine enthusiasm and hospitality that I couldn’t believe that I was still in the overcommitted city of Manhattan. I met Melissa uptown for a healthy

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Interview with a Salsa Dancer

Location: New York City Mileage: 4,338 Meal: Ultra Vegan Salad Music: “Everybody Salsa” by Chocolate Before I discovered Salsa dancing at age 19, I was convinced I was a dance pariah, born with two left feet and rhythm comparable to an eplileptic attack.  Dances in high school mortified me; my awkward body felt much more comfortable plastered to a wall of a gymnasium than pretending to feel graceful in some

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An Uncaged Bird

Location: New York City Mileage: 4,338 Music: “Born on a Train” by the Magnetic Fields Meal: Mozzarella salad and prosecco When I met with an agent about my women writing project she told me that although the stories were pleasing vignettes, they were also very separate sketches that stood alone on a wall.  If I wanted to make my project a success I would not only need to tie my

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Life is a Piece of Cake

Location: New York City Mileage: 4,338 Meal: Yummy Nut Cupcake Music: “Simple Things” by Belle and Sebastian There is no reason to cook in New York City.  In addition to kitchens being the size of a cigarette carton (and often smelling similar), delicious ready made food is abundant. From restaurants to deli’s to street vendors, it is impossible to starve in New York. After a month of eating roadside undistinguishable

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