Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How to Succeed in Economic Stimulus, Without Really Trying

"Spending money for an experience — concert tickets, French lessons, sushi-rolling classes, a hotel room in Monaco — produces longer-lasting satisfaction than spending money on plain old stuff," The New York Times reported in an article on changing consumer habits (thanks to Consciously Frugal for her thoughtful blog post on this article).

What a concept that we could enrich our minds and souls, while stimulating the economy - by spending money on experiences. Some news stories leave the impression our economy is doomed if Americans don't head to the mall in droves. Is that what our economy is based on? I hope not.

With that, here are some of the experiences I had, providing an economic lift in the process, on a recent visit to Woodstock and Phoenicia, New York.

I experienced a cool night of 1920s and 30s inspired New Orleans-style jazz music. I saw Tuba Skinny busking at the Woodstock Flea Market last June, became smitten with their music, and am full fledged in love with it now. I have spent many a hot summer night listening to their two wonderful albums, which I whole-heartedly recommend.

I stayed at an adorable bed and breakfast, the Phoenicia Belle, just 15 minutes from Woodstock. Bonus points for cruelty free toiletries (including Kiss My Face) and emphasis on organics.

You can select what you want for breakfast (which I love, reducing food waste). Each guest had a choice of cranberry muffin, plain or vanilla yogurt, homemade granola, toast with jam and butter, orange juice and coffee or tea.

The pot of fragrant Earl Grey: fair trade and organic. Heavenly with cinnamon raisin bread with raspberry jam, fresh fruit and orange juice.

Take your cup with a book or newspaper and read it on their lovely porch. At night, you can take a bottle of wine to the porch and enjoy the candlelight and peace away from the hectic pace of daily life.

Just moments away, the river. One can go tubing, rent a bike (or bring your own), or just take in the view.

Support not malls, but the second-hand market. Check out this New York Times article on the Brooklyn Free Store.

I purchased this blue and white cup for $3. These prints bring me back to eating dinners at my grandparents' house as a child.

I supported a charity: the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. The farm was booming with visitors, including many young children who had their first encounters with farm animals and learned some of the realities. I'll devote a proper blog post to my visit here later on.

I indulged in a cruelty-free veggie dog, topped with mustard and sauerkraut, $2.50 at the Woodstock flea market on Sunday afternoon.

Guess who I stumbled upon again? A perfect ending to the weekend.

Tuba Skinny, He Likes it Slow


ConsciouslyFrugal said...

Thanks for the shout out, Sister! You always have the prettiest adventures. Thankfully, this time I remembered to bring a snack with me to your blog so that I wouldn't drool too terribly. :)

Catherine @ The Vegan Good Life said...

Thanks for the compliment and sharing that article.

No going hungry on this blog – I think food is one of life's great pleasures to be savored daily.

Candles by Nature said...

Glad to see you were in my neck of the woods! I love going to Woodstock, it's always a great time. Next time you're upstate you should stop in Delaware County...Andes and Delhi are some really cute villages that I think you would enjoy.

Catherine @ The Vegan Good Life said...

Thanks for the tip! I've never been to those places and am always seeking new destinations. Even just doing this overnight trip was so revitalizing to the soul.

Candles by Nature said...

I know what you mean! My boyfriend and I are always going on overnight trips. We can't really take enough time off to do a "full vacation" but I think the long weekends are even better...just a little taste of something different to keep you revitalized for awhile :)

ParisBreakfasts said...

Love your new blue cup and saucer!
Though the little medicine bottle would have been hard to resist as would the veggie-dog

Catherine @ The Vegan Good Life said...

Merci, Carol! It's hard for me to resist blue and white anything when it comes to dishes. I try and keep a far distance at thrift/antique shops so I don't over-indulge!