Have you ever had a passion and a desire to look closer at what is around you?
Do you feel led to immerse yourself in local community and culture? I have found that more than anything else in the world I desire to connect with the essence of everything that it means to know and understand what it means to be local. It is my belief that it is the expression of people through the arts, through music, and through agriculture that demonstrate the ability to capture the culture and the character of an area. I find myself wanting to understand the context of how entire towns, villages, and cities came to be and to study and understand the voices of the communities that surround me.
These days I find myself visiting local cafes, restaurants, bistros, bars, shops, galleries, and museums to simply have the opportunity to learn about people and places, and to understand the chords that connect everything together.
It is my hope that this blog will serve as an extension of those passions and desires, and that I will better understand community and to learn what it means to support local in every way possible. I believe that art, music, and food have the unique ability to showcase dynamic and personal expression from both people and places.
I hope to take you along my adventures and to share with you what I experience. I welcome your comments and would love to chat with you. Who knows? Perhaps one of these days you will meet me while I am visiting your town, shop, or cafe.
Thank you for coming along the journey and for taking the time to read my blog.
~ Benjamin J. Woelk
I am a graduate from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) where I was involved in a Graduate studies program in the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies.
RIT allowed me the unique ability to put together a customized degree program in my efforts to study community and focus on urban and community development initiatives. My course concentrations allowed me to major in Public Policy, Tourism, and Marketing with special focus taken in the Arts and studying local Agriculture.
My hope is to discover a working model to sustain neighborhood and downtown development through creating centers of cultural vibrancy and economic vitality through utilizing local assets in the Arts and Agriculture.
I love to travel mostly by car along slow winding back roads whenever they can be found. I also love to hike, and spent two months living in the Swiss Alps to engage this passion. I love vintage clothing, any really any reminders of day’s gone by. I have an avid interest in all things having dealing with the sea. It is a dream of mine to one day own a sailboat. I also hope to open a cafe (if not multiple cafes) where community can thrive and to assist in the creation of gathering places for people across my state, my country, and even the world.
I have been a long time resident of Rochester, NY but have also lived in Oneonta, NY where I attended State University of New York, College a Oneonta where I received my B.A. in Music Industry. I also briefly lived in Seattle, WA where I interned with Tooth and Nail Records. Seattle holds a place in my heart and was the first place that introduced me to both the world of specialty coffee and one of the greatest historic examples of a farmers market in the country with Pike’s Place Market.
In the Fall of 2009 I spent time living in Huemoz, Switzerland a small alpine village just outside the city of Aigle where I studied philosophy and theology and lived in a community hostel known as L’Abri for several months.
This blog is now an extension from my original program of study that I initiated through an independent study with Dr. James Myers, Director for the Center of Multidisciplinary Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
It is currently being rebranded as a Slow Road blog (my company) specializing in telling the story of place.
To view my work please visit www.slowroadtravel.com