1. Isaac Bont our Marketing Director recommends Samosas at The Vegetarian in downtown St. Croix Falls. He says, “The Vegetarian is a real gem of a restaurant in St. Croix Falls. There are plenty of average to decent food choices in St. Croix Falls, but the Vegetarian feels unique and special in its cuisine choice of vegetarian/vegan Indian food. Whether you've had Indian food before or not, I can recommend their Vegetable Samosas to anyone. These are among the best samosas I've ever had at any Indian restaurant (I've been to lots, probably my favorite type of food) and it shocks me every time how delicious they are.
2. Our Marketing Intern, Emily Kessler (btw, Emily is the person who posts our FF’s and adds all the cool graphics and basically makes it look awesome) says, “My fave for July is the podcast 1619 produced by the New York Times. It's sort of like a crash course in the history of slavery and racial oppression in the United States. There are six episodes (each an hour long) so it doesn't take long to listen to, but it's packed full of really life changing information. I listened to it in one day. It's not light and fluffy- it deals heavily with racialized violence, sexual assault and death so TW for anyone sensitive to that material. But it's packed full of rich, engaging conversations, and features a beautiful audio landscape. Overall, it's a great starting point for anyone ready to educate themselves on racial oppression in the United States.
3. Arts Ed Director Brooke Smith says, “I am coming up on my One Year Vegetarian Anniversary, yay!! In honor of this, I wanted to recommend something that has gotten me through many a lonely night when I haven’t wanted to take the time and prepare a full vegetarian dinner for myself. My July Festival Fav is something that anyone who has walked down a grocery store frozen food aisle will know and love: a Roma 4 Cheese Frozen Pizza! Approximately 50 cents cheaper than its counterpart, the Jack’s Original Thin Crust Cheese, Roma’s budget friendly variant keeps all of the delicious, cheesy, greasy flavor you’d expect of a frozen pizza. Pop one of these bad boys in the oven and after 10 minutes (I leave mine in a little longer than recommended to get it extra crispy), you have dinner and the following day’s lunch!
4. Jason Richards our Executive Artistic Director has fave new music to share! “Two of my favorite bands have recently released new albums. One is Waxahatchee with her release of Saint Cloud. This has been on loop at my apt. Saint Cloud is her fifth studio album and she just keeps getting better. Also check out American Weekend, my favorite album by her. Here is a review from Rolling Stone about the new album, Saint Cloud. She is on Twitter as well, @k-crutchfield. Check her out.
A) Bowl and Pitcher Trail in Riverside State Park: Spokane, Washington (fee)
I was lucky to do this hike in January with a bit of snow left on the ground. With majestic views of the Spokane River, which was a glacial blue in color, and the surrounding rock outcroppings (which look like a bowl and pitcher), this hike is breathtaking good fun.
There are four waterfalls within this park, but I only managed to see three on my trip. Hooker Falls was the smallest (good for a foot soak), but Bridal Veil and High Falls were awe-inspiring and soul-filling (and often the settings for major motion pictures such as The Hunger Games). It's possible to visit them all on a single day, but worth spending more time to really explore the area.
C) The White Cliffs of Dover: Dover, England (no fee to walk or access; transportation fees possible)
On my bucket list for a long time, I was able to visit Dover this past December. The trick is to have your taxi drop you off at the halfway point and walk towards the visitor's center, but you can also choose to be dropped off at the light house and walk the full length. Just wear good shoes that can get muddy and be sure to download a map before you set off. It was a moderately challenging walk but absolutely breathtaking.
This is a stunning hike near some sheer rock faces which stretch down to a beautiful lake. While it's only a 2-mile trail around the park, there are so many spots to stop and enjoy the scenery, that I never made it all the way around. It was a delightful place to work up an appetite as there are several delicious restaurants in Coeur d'Alene.
E) Moses Cone Memorial Park: Blowing Rock, North Carolina (no fee)
There are 25 miles of gently sloping trails all around the impressive Moses Cone Manor. You can choose anything from an easy, paved stroll around Bass Lake to a more strenuous hike across fields and forests up to the Flat Top Fire Tower (where you are rewarded with spectacular 360* views of the Blue Ridge Mountains). As many times as I have been here (I've lost count), I still have not hit all the trails. This part of the country is especially magical in the fall.”
6. Our Technical Director Peter Weber recommends the movie Booksmart.
Peter writes, “This coming of age comedy features two girls who are focusing on become top of their class and have missed out on all the classic high school experiences outside of school work. On the eve of graduation, the pair try to fit four years of high school hi-jinx into one night. The goal of their quest is to make it to the big party of the year. Can they do it or will they miss out?”