American hippies in England
Living with the Albrechts: Meet the family who provide sanctuary for the homeless
“We’re quite tolerant but we won’t tolerate abuse – physical violence, verbal violence or threats”
New Government figures reveal that 56,210 households are currently classified as homeless across the UK– a rise of nine per cent from the previous year. But charities fear the scale of the problem could be even bleaker than the official statistics indicate. Shelter believes there are many more people who have not come to the attention of local authorities – the ‘hidden homeless’.
One family has decided to take matters into their own hands by inviting homeless people to stay in their sprawling farmhouse in Hertfordshire. This is their story:
Scott and Maria Albrecht have taken in 250 homeless people over seven years.
The couple live on a rented farm with their two youngest children, aged 19 and 16. Sharing living space with them at present are 18 homeless women and children and a few volunteers who lend a hand managing the house and land. More…
Scenes from Hippie Christmas in Madison
It’s not just trash picking; it’s a necessary civic service
In mid-August, the Great Migration begins. Student leases end and begin. And the piles of rubble on the curbs begin to grow. To many, Aug. 15 is moving day, but those of us who aren’t afraid to pick through others’ trash have dubbed it “Hippie Christmas.”
Some years, this auspicious trash-picking opportunity slips right past me, but this year, it’s time to get intentional about scavenging. I make a date to troll the piles and dumpsters on the night of Aug. 14 with Marina Kelly — a Madison-based interdisciplinary artist and Hippie Christmas veteran — who says she’s nabbed most of her home furnishings and art “from the garbage.”
As luck would have it, I spot my first treasure in the afternoon — when I’m returning home from shopping with my son Leo, 14. We’ve been looking for a new couch for the boys’ room, and we noticed one in a pile of broken entertainment center parts right near Mermaid Cafe on Winnebago. It’s lived-in leather, perfect for the lads’ attic hideout. Of course, it won’t really fit in the back of a Prius, but through strength of will, we shove it in the hatchback, Leo clutching its armrest while I drive the two blocks home with the flashers on.
At 8 p.m., I rendezvous with Marina and another artist, Ginger Lukas, just a few blocks east of the Capitol. Ginger says she makes installations from materials found in the garbage, and she’s wearing a headlamp, which — along with Marina’s flashlight — will become important as the light wanes. We can hear jazz musician Chuchito Valdes banging away on the piano, wrapping up his Jazz at Five set, drums echoing off the asphalt. It’s a perfect night for scavenging, cool and clear, with a sliver of moon. More…
Christine McVie to rejoin Fleetwood Mac on stage
Singer Christine McVie is to rejoin Fleetwood Mac at two shows on their forthcoming European tour, her former bandmate Stevie Nicks has confirmed.
McVie was part of the group from the 1970s to the ’90s, writing and performing some of their biggest hits.
Nicks told BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour that McVie, who left the group in 1998, would perform one song at two concerts.
The tour begins with two shows in Dublin on Friday 20 September followed by a further three in London. More…
Paul McCartney Shares ‘New’ Album Tracklist
Singer included tracks from four different producers
Paul McCartney has shared the tracklist for New, his first LP of all-original material since 2007’s Memory Almost Full. The 12-track album, due out on October 15th, includes the buoyant title track that McCartney released as a single last month among songs produced by Paul Epworth, Mark Ronson, Ethan Johns and Giles Martin (son of Beatles producer George Martin), who gets an executive producer credit.
“The original idea was to go to a couple of producers whose work I loved, to see who I got on with best,” McCartney said in a press release. “But it turned out I got on with all of them! We made something really different with each producer, so I couldn’t choose and ended up working with all four. We just had a good time in different ways.”
McCartney said the result was an album with an array of sonic styles. “It’s funny, when I play people the album, they’re surprised it’s me,” he said. “A lot of the tracks are quite varied and not necessarily in a style you’d recognize as mine.” More…
Redefining freedom: Copenhagen’s Freetown Christiania
The unconventional lifestyle of this self-governing community fuels open debates in Danish social and political circles. An excursion to Copenhagen’s gated Christiania reveals particularised laws, habits, culture and abundant art
Emerging from the row of graffiti-covered walls
, a wooden sign above the entry to Copenhagen’s Freetown is the first landmark of this original venue. It reads simply “Christiania”. The car is denied entry; it would conflict with one of the nine laws of the local community; taking care of nature is on Christiania priorities’ list, not to mention that the town’s tiny alleys cannot accommodate automobile traffic.
But Christiania is much more than a one-of-a-kind living space surrounded by nature and graffiti murals. The community’s understanding of freedom challenges the Danish authorities; over the four decades of its history, a number of violent clashes took place between the Christianites and police or gangs.
Covering an area of 34 hectares (0.34 sq km), Christiania is located within the city’s fortifications: parts of the chains of the city ramparts, a defence ring dating back to the 17th century, and the military barracks of Badsmandsstraede, which until after World War II housed the Royal Artillery Regiment, army material, ammunition, army laboratories etc More…
LSD memoir trippier than the drug itself
Before “Breaking Bad,” back in the good old days of Berkeley, the drug everyone talked about was bubbled and cooked in glass beakers and was called LSD. The best LSD on the market was called Owsley, named for the man who made it refined and pure and popularized it through the Grateful Dead.
Owsley Stanley is gone; he died in a car accident in Australia in 2011. He is recalled in a memoir, “Owsley and Me: My LSD Family,” by his former partner Rhoney Gissen Stanley, who remembers him both fondly and fairly. Gissen Stanley’s blunt and witty prose recalls the tumultuous 1960s in Berkeley and Richmond, as well as her own participation in the manufacture of the drug that symbolized the decade.
Gissen Stanley and co-author Tom Davis describe the kaleidoscopic experience of tripping on acid while having sex with “Bear,” as Owsley liked to be called. The real trick of a memoir is for the author to reveal herself with one hand, keeping the reader focused on the other, looking always into the heart of the story. Gissen Stanley is not a great magician; the woman telling the story is the star of the show, and Owsley is just the sideshow moving in and out of the narrative with a sheet of tabs and an undying libido. More…