Dreaming of a Great Blue Christmas

Dreaming of a Great Blue Christmas

The period between July and December is typically the longest stretch away from the Heron that I’ll make in a normal year. So, me and Nate always look forward to taking the early-winter journey up to New York for the Blue Heron Winter Party. It’s now a bit of a tradition, where we see all of our GBH family and re-connect with the festival.

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Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Another delicious year in the Smarto Household for Thanksgiving! This was my first significant block of time at home since I moved to my new apartment in East Liberty, so I was looking forward to spending some quality time with my family (and enjoying a home-cooked meal like only Mom can make).

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Halloween Party 2012

Halloween Party 2012

We haven’t had a Halloween costume party since the legendary high school party that ended when the cops showed up (I guess we shouldn’t have hired that Ska band to play after all.) But since we are a few years wiser than the last time, we decided to throw a huge Halloween rager.

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Cicada Hatching Timelapse

Cicada Hatching Timelapse

A common occurrence around my house that happens when Nathan visits; I sit on the back-porch with him while he puffs on a cigarette. Usually, being very knowledgeable about insect species, he picks off a few from the porch lights, tells us a few things about the creature, and lets it go back in to the wild. But tonight, he found something fairly unique.

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Summer Hookah 2012 at Nelson Ledges

Summer Hookah 2012 at Nelson Ledges

Nelson Ledges Quarry Park has become a little serene getaway for my festival-buddies and I. I first heard about the Ledges from my friend Jeremy, and have been to a few festivals here before, but this was my first ‘Hookah’ weekend – a festival with headliners Ekoostik Hookah. In a very impromptu decision, that involved only about a half-hour of packing, my friends Nathan and Lanie hopped in my RV and we headed west towards Ledges.

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Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix

Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix

Last weekend, I finally made it to my first ever Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh. An event many of my friends have gone to, I have never had the chance to go until this year.

Since 1983, the PVGP is a race and car show that draws about 200,000 spectators. With over 2,000 cars on display, it is an opportunity to see rare and exotic domestic and imported automobiles.

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My Road to Philadelphia

My Road to Philadelphia

The pursuit of Italian Dual Citizenship feels like a long process of two steps forward, one step back. The tightly woven fabric of complications intrinsic to Italian bureaucracy, American bureaucracy, fading historical records and difficult language barriers creates an insane obstacle course that one must navigate to obtain their second passport.

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Great Blue Heron 2012

Great Blue Heron 2012

For a man of such potent verbosity, I’m curiously at a loss for words after the 2012 Great Blue Heron Music Festival. Because this music festival has lodged itself so deeply in my ventricles over the past several years, after the festival is over, I surrender to a torrent of emotions that range from deeply, almost manically jubilant, all the way to homesickness and longing after the watermelon is smashed (a tradition marking the end of the festival).

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Everything I Learned About Translations

Everything I Learned About Translations

This month, with Blue Heron poking its fingers deep in my pockets, I had to alter my approach to translations a little bit.

Originally, I had intended on asking Audra DeFalco to translate my documents. When she gave me the estimate, it was more expensive than I hadexpected. However,  I’m compelled to tell you some wonderful things about Audra even though I eventually ended up using a different translator.

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