CELEBRATE KLEZMER AND ALL THINGS YIDDISH
You don’t have to travel to Amherst to celebrate the 40th anniversaries of the Yiddish Book Center and the Klezmer Conservatory Band. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, both institutions have joined to present “40 Years in Yiddishland: The Yiddish Book Center celebrates the Klezmer Conservatory Band,” a 90-minute video broadcast that will include a historical overview of the band’s history, along with rollicking-good concert footage from over the years. Video excerpts will include acclaimed productions such as “A Jumpin’ Night in the Garden of Eden” (1986); “The Fool and the Flying Ship” with Robin Williams (1991); two PBS Great Performances specials; tribute greetings from well-known KCB collaborators, including Itzhak Perlman and Joel Grey; and more. Sign in Jan. 24 at 2 p.m. via Zoom, or live stream on the Yiddish Book Center’s Facebook page. www.facebook.com/YiddishBookCenter. To reserve a virtual seat in the Zoom audience, which allows you to submit questions, registration is required. 413-256-4900, www.yiddishbookcenter.org.
BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS, BEST NEWS
The Frick Collection in New York City is undergoing extensive renovations, meaning you won’t be able to tour the magnificent art in its Gilded Age mansion any time soon. (Bad.) However, you’ll soon be able to visit Frick Madison, the institution’s temporary home in the Marcel Breuer-designed building on Madison Avenue, formerly home to the Whitney Museum of American Art and most recently The Met Breuer. (Good.) Until that opens, and the pandemic subsides, you can view the Frick’s celebrated works online with its popular YouTube series, Cocktails with a Curator. (Best!) Offered every Friday night at 5 p.m., enjoy happy hour with a curator who remotely offers insights on one historic artwork. Suggested cocktail and mocktail recipes are selected to complement the work being discussed. Scheduled on Jan. 29: cocktails with El Greco’s Vincenzo Anastagi. Additional video series are linked on the museum’s website, including Travels with a Curator, What’s Her Story? and Frick Five. Free. www.frick.org.
ALL-INCLUSIVE WILDERNESS RANCH DEBUTS
In a time when “socially distant” and “wilderness experiences” have become travel buzzwords, the Canyon Madness Ranch aims to catapult to the top of the buzziest destination lists. Debuting in April, and located on 14,000 remote acres in Northeastern New Mexico — a two-hour drive from Santa Fe, and a five-hour drive from Denver — the ranch provides equestrian pursuits, firearm-related sports, and a wide range of wilderness activities including archery, hiking, bouldering, river kayaking, canoeing, ATV/UTV rides and more with certified or professionally trained guides and instructors. The 18,000-square-foot Teepee Lodge offers luxury accommodations for up to 16 guests in eight suites with balconies cantilevered over the edge of the river 800 feet below. Culinary offerings feature organic farm-to-table bounty, and exotic meats including buffalo and ostrich. Opening rates: $3,500 per person per week (7 nights/6 full days), includes lodging, activities/excursions, food, and beverage (wine, beer & sake): Three to five nights: $700 per night. canyonmadnessranch.com.
KING CAKES FROM NOLA FOR AT-HOME MARDI GRAS
Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans won’t be the same this year (no parades or large gatherings allowed) but you can still let the good times roll with a traditional King cake delivered to your door for Feb. 16 at-home celebrations. A cross between a coffee cake and a French pastry, the King cake is an oval-shaped cinnamon roll with colorful, sugary icing. Thought to have been brought to New Orleans from France in 1870, the traditional colors of purple, green, and gold resemble a jeweled crown honoring the wise men who visited the Christ Child on the Epiphany. Lucky for us New Englanders, several bakeries in Louisiana will ship their cakes, made from fiercely-guarded family recipes, to the chilly north, including Randazzo’s Camellia City Bakery (www.kingcakes.com); Cannata’s (cannataskingcakes.com); and the Cajun Pecan House (cajunpecanhouse.com). Perhaps order one from each? And then visit your favorite bakery in person in 2022.
TRAVEL PASS OFFERS FUTURE SAVINGS
We may not be traveling for quite a while but that doesn’t mean you can’t start dreaming and planning now. With future journeys in mind, global tour aggregator Travelstride has launched FlexiPass, a three-tiered voucher program valid toward the purchase of packages from a curated roster of 23 trusted global and local tour operators, providing options to visit hundreds of destinations across every continent through 2023. Once purchased, travelers can choose a journey to match their travel style from the broad selection of about 2,000 packages, or create a custom itinerary. For the best savings, purchase FlexiPass before Jan. 31 for the 2021-2022 season. Travelers can redeem their pass for a specific trip with one of the partner tour operators by Jan. 1, 2023, and must travel by Dec. 31, 2023. Tiers/savings: $750 pass priced at $625; $1,500 pass priced at $1,200; $2,500 pass priced at $1,900. flexipass.travelstride.com.