the stories of a los angeles violinist


Added on by Jordan Martone.

joe & i recently took a trip to the east coast. no, we don’t intend to travel there nearly every fall but joe’s freakin relatives keep getting married. it’s really a lovely excuse to travel, actually. we made the most of this one. 

joe was raised in a little town in pennsylvania named bradford. it’s about an hour and a half away from buffalo, new york. joe has been dying to show me his town and for me to understand the small-town boy inside of him. i will admit, i was not super enthusiastic about flying across the country to the world’s tiniest town where there’s nothing to do but visit the zippo lighter museum. (yes, every zippo lighter in the world is made there. it’s the town’s pride and joy.) but joe is wonderful and made this trip special.


we flew into buffalo, new york on a red-eye. we landed at 5:30am and immediately hopped in the car and drove across the border to canada to see niagara falls. i’d seen the american side once before but this was my first time on the more beautiful side, and to canada in general! btw, i’m now converting to canadianism.... canadianity? canada was so beautifully majestic and quirky. plus they have a badass prime minister who is not at all orange...

also it was international coffee day and i happened to have my first authentic canadian tim horton’s coffee and a box of timbits and i can confirm the hype was WORTH IT.


i would highly recommend visiting the falls before 8am. it was absolutely amazing seeing the sunrise through the mist. no one was there to ruin our photos. (plus, parking was free.) it was quite romantic, really.


then we made the drive to bradford, pennsylvania. the town where stranger things was filmed. (not really, i just like to think so.) we drove past the tire park joe played at, toured his old catholic elementary school, and even visited his old house.  

i may have watched too many documentaries about drug addiction, because i was too shocked when i saw an actual drug deal going down on the sidewalk by the grocery store. the amount of people i saw without teeth was astounding to me. i was in the heart of drug country, heroin country, and i was hyper aware. the more i travel, the more i appreciate where i live. these depressed states battle different issues than california does and i don’t want to take my home for granted. 


on a lighter note, we attended a beautiful wedding in the pennsylvania countryside! joe’s cousin taryn married her sweetie in a gorgeous glass chapel surrounded by pine trees and it was a gloomy, overcast, fall day with no rain. just chilly enough for a sweater. joe looked dapper in his grey suit and we danced the night away with his parents, 2 uncles, 5 aunts, and 90-year old grandma. they are the kind of family that eats, drinks, and loves too much and i love every one of them. (even though aunt jeanne still calls me jolene.) 

congratulations, taryn and eric!  

i’m grateful that even though we are freelance musicians, we can still find a way to get out of town and see differemt parts of the world. (i honestly don’t know how we make it work.) travel is so extremely important to a life well-lived. it’s humbling, exciting, and eye-opening. please travel if you have the chance. and put your hunky husband in a well-fitting suit and make him dance to frank sinatra with you.