"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
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