The September equinox has come and gone, October approaches, and Basic Fall is here in force. You know what Basic Fall is. We all do. Summer tapers to a close until one morning you step outside and discover a blanket of freshly fallen pumpkin spice coating every item in Target. This seems to happen earlier and earlier every year and frankly it can start to make you plain fed up.
Unless you’re me! Because I love it folks! The fun police want to deride Basic Fall enthusiasts for being stoked on a season with the best weather, tastiest flavors, comfiest clothes, nicest aromas, and chillest events. But I am out here letting my Fall flag fly. Any of my friends in the studio can tell you that this year in particular I’ve been brimming with autumnal glee — I figure I probably ought to write down my big plans for spooky season.
Let me just say up front that at the time of this writing we’re not even through September and a couple of my more macho friends have already hassled me for enjoying a delicious Pumpkin Spice Latte. These are usually the same people who gripe about pumpkin beers. Life is too short to facetiously swear by black coffee and quadruple hopped IPAs folks. Take a ride on the spicy side. If you find yourself in the predicament of wanting to enjoy seasonal flavor but maintain a tough guy palate, I extend to you a cocktail recipe that I have been workshopping since last year. A drink requiring generous scotch and setting a smoldering flame in your kitchen.
Bonfire Old Fashioned
Dash Chocolate Bitters
Dash Orange Bitters
½ oz. Maple Syrup
3 oz. Blended Scotch Whisky
Light a piece of cinnamon stick aflame, then smolder it under an overturned rocks glass to collect smoke. Over ice in a mixing glass, stir ingredients to combine and slightly dilute. Being careful not to disperse the smoke too quickly, place fresh ice in the rocks glass and strain in the mixed drink. Garnish with orange peel, cinnamon stick, or a dehydrated citrus wheel.
Nothing like good music to set the right seasonal atmosphere. The Head and The Heart’s self-titled record feels pretty much exactly like fall to me, specifically this live acoustic performance of “Down in the Valley.” Already watched it a couple of times so far this season.
If you’re looking for something you can savor all the way through to Thanksgiving, then join me on an audiobook journey through Middle Earth. The Lord of the Rings is indisputably a perfect fall vibe. I just re-read The Hobbit and now I’m loving going through The Fellowship of the Ring. Can’t stop listening. (Related — this is the perfect time of year to read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Frankenstein, or anything by Edgar Allan Poe. All legitimate personal favorites. No I don’t have some cool unknown indie author to recommend. This is Basic Fall.)
Like a lot of designers I have too many posters and too little wall. But one of my favorite prints that usually makes an appearance around this time of year is an Andrew Bird gig poster by Eric Nyfeller. At the time I got it he was doing business as Doe Eyed—I believe the gig posters are sold out but you can still find some art prints available from resellers.
If I had more available wall space, I would definitely pick up this Cuyahoga Valley National Park poster from the Fifty-Nine Parks Project!
The Reason for the Season
And on that note, this Basic Fall I’m most looking forward to the beautiful change of landscape here in Northeast Ohio. We’re lucky to have a National Park right here! I’m going to take my family out on the trails. I think Fall is so nice because it kicks off a few months of spending special time with the people you care about. I love you Basic Fall.