The '60s Nostalgic's Guide to Woodstock, New York

Woodstock 50 is no more, but you can still find traces of the original festival.

Woodstock's 50th anniversary festival may have been canceled, but that doesn't mean that you can't find ghosts of the '60s scattered around the hinterlands of Upstate New York.

The famous gathering actually didn't take place in the town of Woodstock. That honor is reserved for Bethel, a town about an hour and a half south. However, the town of Woodstock has successfully capitalized on the festival that took its name, fully committing to the hippie era's trippy, vintage aesthetic. On the famous Tinker Street and in the neighboring woods, you'll still find tie-dye, a few old hippies, and plenty of quirky attractions ready to send you spiraling back to a different era.

Just a half-day's trip away from Brooklyn, Woodstock is the perfect summer escape for nostalgics, art junkies, or anyone seeking a break from the city (or the state of the world in 2019). Though 1969 was a tumultuous time, it was also a period defined by joy and optimism, wherein young people truly believed in their vision of a better world.

That summer, Woodstock hosted 400,000 mud-soaked, acid-fueled hippies and fans of the counterculture, all gathered to celebrate love and music. In 2019, maybe we could all use a little bit of that optimism. Where better to find it than at the namesake of the world's most legendary music festival? Here are six sites that everyone who wishes they'd attended that festival can visit, if only to get just a little bit closer to that bygone summer.

Image via GRAMMY.com

Bob Dylan's Studio in Woodstock

Perhaps one of Woodstock's most famous residents is the man who wrote "The Times They Are a' Changing," and so many other rallying cries for those times. After a 1966 motorcycle accident, Bob Dylan set up shop in Woodstock and recorded over a hundred demos. His residency there drew George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, Allen Ginsberg, Joan Baez, and other luminaries, who all came up from the city to tap into whatever wellspring of inspiration that Dylan was accessing.

During his time living in Woodstock, Dylan recorded his Basement Tapes album in a rental known as "the Big Pink," a house that still stands in the town of Saugerties, about 5 miles east of Woodstock. Interestingly, Dylan didn't perform at the Woodstock festival because he believed it would draw too much commercial attention to his beloved woodland oasis.

Image via Troy Media


Bob Dylan & The Band - The Basement Tapes Complete Trailer (Digital video) www.youtube.com

Levon Helms Studio at the Barn

The famous Levon Helms Studios are not open to the public, unless you're able to attend one of its rare shows. Levon Helms was the Rolling Stones' drummer; later in life he set up shop at the Woodstock recording studio known as "The Barn" and recorded several Grammy-winning albums there. Over the years, fans including Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, and many others came to attend Helms' signature event—the hours-long jam session called the "Midnight Ramble"—a tradition that is still going strong in Woodstock today. Helms passed away three years ago, but his musical legacy remains strong.

Image via Amazon.com

Tinker Street

This street is the beating heart of Woodstock. Here, you'll find everything from gemstone shops to stores crammed with Woodstock souvenirs—one such being Woodstock Legends, a store that's packed with souvenirs from the '60s. You might also spot Volkswagen buses painted with peace signs, pottery shops, and the odd long-haired hippie.

Image via Pinterest

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

If you want to get closer to the actual grounds of the festival, then you'll have to drive about an hour and a half to get to the rural dairy farm where all the acid-fueled 24/7 concert-going actually took place. The Museum at Bethel Woods contains a permanent main exhibit, called "Woodstock and the '60s," which features a variety of multimedia installations and artifacts that will bring the festival to life.

The Museum at Bethel Woods Image via Bethel Woods

Opus 40

This sculpture garden showcases artist Harvey Fite's masterpiece. In 1938, Fink purchased an empty plot of land in upstate New York; and from there, he created a 6.5-acre sculpture known as Opus 40, which he continued to work on until his death in 1976. Today, his creation still stands, bearing quiet witness to the latter half of the 20th century. It's a winding labyrinth of stone, inspired by Mayan ruins, and it'll appeal to any nostalgic or nature-lover. The installation has inspired many artists over the years, including the band Mercury Rev (whose song "Opus 40" was inspired by the grounds) and the artist Amanda Palmer (whose video for her cover of Pink Floyd's "Mother" was filmed onsite).

Image via Flickr


Amanda Palmer & Jherek Bischoff - Mother www.youtube.com


Mercury Rev - Opus 40 www.youtube.com

The Golden Notebook

This little independent bookstore packs a punch. Founded in 1978, it hosts over 100 events each year, including the Woodstock Writers Festival, which draws numerous international writers to the premises each summer. Recent events have been attended by Neil Gaiman, Cheryl Strayed, and many other literary stars, and the franchise is heavily involved in charitable causes in the neighboring community. The bookstore makes the list because—let's face it, in this day and age, bookstores are vintage attractions. And like the best vintage attractions, bookstores can also transport you straight to the past, maybe even giving you a new perspective on the present.

Image via Nova Ren Suma

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Celebrate Endangered Species Day.

An endangered species is not a tragedy, because if a species is endangered, then they aren't yet extinct.

Sadly, there are millions of endangered species across the world, all facing threats that mostly stem from human activities. Still, it's not too late. Take a gander at these majestic animals, and then donate to a wildlife fund or environmental activism group of your choice.


Of course, nature doesn't need saving—humans do—and climate change and environmental destruction are threats to humans as well as animals, but if you need a reminder of the beauty and fragility of the natural world, check out these extraordinary species.



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Do Non-Melatonin Sleep Aids Really Work?

Objective makes a chocolate square.

I Can't Sleep.

I truly cannot remember the last time I had a good night's rest. Even before the stay-at-home orders, I was just a little ball of nerves.

But lately, it's been awful. I toss and turn, it's always too hot or even too cold, sometimes I make myself tea and read for a bit, but when I'm still up at 1 a.m., I reach for my phone and then I'm up until 3. My sister and I have a weekly call, and our small talk about our exhaustion turned into an hour long conversation about sleep.

I Thought I'd Tried Everything. Even Melatonin.

My sister asked why I hadn't gone for the old staple, melatonin and I reminded her about the time we traveled abroad, and it gave me the weirdest nightmares (the horrible kind where you wake up in your dream and you're still in a dream). Chamomile tea didn't work, nothing worked.

She said she had a friend who swore by something I definitely hadn't heard of.

They Were NOT Pills, Teas or Anything I'd Seen Before.

A company called Objective makes Fast Asleep, a sleep solution delivered as chocolatey treats. They're created with saffron and GABA. If going to sleep was as easy as eating a piece of these chocolatey, minty delights every night, I'd be sold.

What Exactly Was In It?

Cocoa contains caffeine, so I didn't know how this would help me sleep. After talking with my sister, I went online and saw that the calming, sleep-supporting ingredients cancel out any of the very little caffeine content.

Saffron, the spice, is apparently known to help with staying asleep, and their GABA is a fermented version of the neurotransmitter that's known to help you relax and fall asleep faster. In a study, 100% of customers saw improvement in their sleep quality thanks to saffron. One hundred percent!

Do I Try It?

A bag of 30 pieces was only $40, and they had a money-back guarantee.

They're keto-friendly and only 30 calories a piece, so not too decadent before bedtime.

They were chocolatey-minty, which is my favorite flavor, so I was sold. I ordered a bag to try.

The First Night, I Wasn't Impressed.

I took one piece (super yummy!) - 30-60 minutes before bedtime is recommended - but when I climbed in, I didn't notice a difference. I was worried I'd wasted my money.

However, once I fell asleep, I stayed asleep until my alarm went off, which hasn't always been the case for me.

I checked the site again, and noticed that many people didn't notice a real difference until the third or fourth night - it builds up in your system over time, so I decided to keep an open mind the rest of the week.

The Second Night Was Completely Different

Without doing anything differently from the first night, my second night was amazing. I felt calm and sleepy as I was getting ready for bed, and once I hit the pillow, I was out the whole night.

It had to be these sweet treats. The next day, I even felt more balanced and relaxed - Fast Asleep helps boost serotonin levels and reduce cortisol (the stress hormone), and I definitely noticed a difference in my overall mood and alertness.

I Already Ordered More.

Just In Case! There's nothing habit-forming about this product, so it's completely safe to take every night, and I honestly always want to keep it in the house. I'd also love to offer it to anyone staying over in the guest room, whenever we have guests again.

Now that I'm getting a healthy 8 hours of sleep every night, I feel more equipped during the day to tackle the things I need to do and deal with some of my daytime stressors. I finally had the energy to clean the kitchen, which had been bothering me so much for the past few weeks.

With Objective's Fast Asleep, I get real sleep and balance my levels, so I don't have to feel tired during my waking hours. Sleep in the form of chocolate squares sounds so weird, but oh my goodness, do they work.

Our partners at Objective Wellness are currently offering a 25% discount if you use the coupon code STAYHOME. Check them out here!

Food & Drink

The Best Apps for Craft Beer Delivery

Try beers from all over the world–from your phone.

With breweries and distilleries out of business for the foreseeable future, your favorite beer may feel particularly out of reach this time of year, especially with the weather changing. But don't let quarantine suck all the fun out of summer. Luckily, thanks to technology, a lot of craft beer is now deliverable straight to your door step. Here are a few of the best apps to help make sure you stay up to date on the latest trendy brews.

Tavour

Tavour

Simplistic and elegant, Tavour allows users to easily fill up a box of beer over a period of time before shipping. The app offers more than 650 different breweries both local and national and is perfect for those who like to experiment. It's easy to use, and their menu rotates regularly so you and your beer never grow stale.

TapRM

TapRM

TapRM offers a wide range of both craft beers and hard seltzers. While based almost exclusively in New York City, the app offers fast, same day delivery from some of the best beer brands in the world. They also provide a unique selection of beers to help you find your new favorite. All you need to do is download the app and place your order!

Drizly

Offering a stark variety of craft beer, Drizly allows its users to mix and match 12-packs, sixers or by the bottle. Their guarantee is that they can have whatever you order delivered to your house in less than an hour. You can even schedule your delivery for a specific time, with each delivery taking around 20-40 minutes.

Saucey

Saucey takes delivery very seriously. When you order with them they guarantee that they'll deliver in 30-minutes or less, or they guarantee two day shipping. Also, beer aside, their entire liquor cabinet is also up for grabs. From tequila and whiksey, to vodka and wine, nothing is off the table for Saucey.

Beer Menus

BeerMenus

For those who enjoy strictly local beers, BeerMenus features a tap list from local bars and a broader stock list from your neighborhood beer store. With that, you can make sure to create a list of your favorite beers in your neighborhood, so that when they're in stock you can be ready to go.