Category Archives: Associate Events

ASF Members & Friends invited to attend the Explorers Club “Tartan Turban” Talk Monday October 1st

The Explorers Club have extended an invitation for The American-Scottish Foundation®  Members & Friends to attend their upcoming lecture “The Tartan Turban”

Monday, October 1
6:00 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Lecture
The Explorers Club Headquarters, 46 E 70th Street, NYC

Member Ticket Price: $10
Guest Ticket Price: $25
Student Ticket Price: $5 with a valid student ID

Image may contain: one or more people and hat

John Keay, British historian, journalist, radio presenter and lecturer specializing in popular histories of India, the Far East and China, is widely seen as a pre-eminent historian of British India.

Keay will take one on a journey …
Like the travels of Marco Polo, those of Alexander Gardner clip the white line between credible adventure and creative invention. Either he is the nineteenth century’s most intrepid traveler or its most egregious fantasist, or a bit of both. Contemporaries generally believed him; posterity became more skeptical. And as with Polo, the investigation of Gardner’s story enlarged man’s understanding of the world and upped the pace of scientific and political exploration.

Before more reputable explorers notched up their own discoveries in innermost Asia, this lone Scots-American had roamed the deserts of Turkestan, ridden round the world’s most fearsome knot of mountains and fought in Afghanistan ‘for the good cause of right against wrong.’

From the Caspian to Tibet and from Kandahar to Kashgar, Gardner had seen it all. At the time, the 1820s, no other outsider had managed anything remotely comparable. When word of his feats filtered out, geographers were agog.

He witnessed the death throes of that Sikh empire at close quarters and, sparing no gruesome detail, recorded his own part in the bloodshed (the very same featuring as the exploits of ‘Alick’ Gardner in the ‘Flashman’ series).

Fame finally caught up with him during his long retirement in Kashmir. Dressed in tartan yet still living as a native, he mystified visiting dignitaries and found a ready audience for the tales of his adventurous past. But one mystery he certainly took to the grave: the whereabouts of his accumulated fortune has still to be discovered.

Using much original material, including newly discovered papers by Gardner himself, renowned historian John Keay will take us from the American West to the Asian East to unravel the greatest enigma in the history of travel.

Author of over 25 books and regularly contributor to a number of prominent publications in Britain and Asia. He began his career with The Economist as a political correspondent, and was a contributor to BBC radio.

Keay is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society & the Royal Literary Fund, and he has received several major honors including the Sir Percy Sykes Memorial Medal of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs. He read Modern History at Magdalen College, Oxford, and now lives in Argyll in the West Highlands of Scotland while traveling widely.

https://explorers.org/…/public_lecture_series_with_john_keay

Image may contain: one or more people, tree and outdoor

A Hundred-Year-Old Handmade American Flag Flies Home… to Scotland

When WWI American soldiers died off the coast of Isle of Islay, Scotland, a group of villagers brought honor to their memory with a handmade American flag.

Islay flag

Smithsonian Magazine this week spotlights the loss of over 200 Americans aboard the SS Tuscania, On February 5th 1918, seven miles southwest of Islay, Tuscania was struck mid-ship by a 2,000-pound torpedo launched by the German submarine UB-77.

Over 2200 young Americans were aboard. The British frigates accompanying them rescued many but 200 were lost, over 180 rescued from the seas by the people of Islay.

The flag is housed in the Smithsonian, but will travel back to Islay for the 100th anniversary of the tragedy.

“Islay’s populace, still mourning the deaths of more than 100 of its own men killed in war, felt deeply the tragic toll upon the U.S. soldiers who had come to help the Allied cause. The islanders resolved to bury the American dead with honor. For them this meant interring them under an American flag. But there was no such flag on the island. So, before the funerals began, they made a decision to fabricate one.

Using the encyclopedia as their guide, a group of four Islay women (Jessie McLellan, Mary Cunningham, Catherine McGregor, and Mary Armour) and one man (John McDougall) worked through the night at Hugh Morrison’s Islay House, gathering cloth, roughly cutting out 96 five-pointed stars (48 for each side) plus seven red and six white bars, and respectfully stitching together a rectangular Stars and Stripes 67 inches long by 37 inches wide.”

Read more from Smithsonian Magazine:

Where to watch and celebrate the Royal Wedding on May 19th : Breakfast Screening Celebrations announced by Jones Wood Foundry & The Shakespeare NYC

The count down is on to Saturday May 19th and the Royal Wedding of HRH Prince Harry of Wales (Harry) and Megan Markle

We are delighted to learn that two of The American-ScottishFoundation® favorite restaurants are opening early and hosting live broadcast viewing parties of all the Royal Wedding Festivities.

- The Shakespeare at 24 East 39th St. NYC – from 6.30am -

or the sister restaurant

- Jones Wood Foundry at 401 East 76th St. NYC – from 6.30am

 Reservations for either the Shakespeare or Jones Wood are $70.

The Wedding Breakfast menu has been developed by the restaurants Chef/Owner Jason Hicks, and is inspired by the couple’s favorite foods, as well as British and American traditional breakfast favorites

Upon arrival you will be greeted with a Mimosa – there will be a Champagne Toast to the Newlyweds, with same British bubbly – Chapel Down Brut – that Prince Charles will reportedly serve at his reception for the couple

There will of course be Wedding Cake and mementos of the occassion…!!

The menus mirror each other AND both events will conclude with Chapel Down Wine Tastings

- at the Shakespeare on their Terrace,

- and at Jones Wood in the Courtyard Garden

https://theshakespearenyc.getbento.com/store/product/royal-wedding/

Spot These 10 Cute Creatures in Scotland

Scotland is famous for its dynamic landscape, which serves as home to many different creatures. If you are interested in seeing wildlife, Scotland is the perfect place to visit! All sorts of different animals roam Scotland’s hills and fields, while various species of birds take flight through the skies, and sea-creatures dance through the waves!

The American-Scottish Foundation has compiled a list of ten different Scottish creatures to spot in Scotland. Keep your eyes peeled for these wee beasties!

Image via bbc.co.uk

Image via bbc.co.uk

1. Scottish Wildcat

The Scottish Wildcat is the only wild, native forest cat in Britain. These cats are very elusive, hunting during the night and hiding among trees and rocky cairns. Although it is uncommon to see one of these majestic cats, they may be spotted in the Highlands and in the far North and West of Scotland. Scottish wildcats are now one of Britain’s rarest mammals, as their species is sadly endangered. Spotting one would truly be a magical experience.


dd1e957996f5b1b88e6fc17a06393de9

Image via pinterest.com

2. Highland Cow

Highland cattle are a Scottish cattle breed famous for their long horns and shaggy coats. Although these coats come in many colors, red highland cows are probably the most iconic. These cows originated in the Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland, and have been around since before the 6th century AD. As they are native to the rough Highlands of Scotland, these cows are sturdy, able to withstand the harsh Scottish winters. No trip to the Highlands is complete without a glance of one of these shaggy “coos.”


Image via markcauntphotography.com

Image via markcauntphotography.com

3. Pine Marten

Pine Martens are difficult to spot, and are mostly found in the North of Britain. They tend to live in wooded areas, as they climb and live in trees. These brown and yellow critters are part of the weasel family. They are about the size of a cat, with a long, bushy tail and round ears. They are protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act to preserve the species. They may be found throughout wooded areas in Scotland, including the Ballachuan Hazelwood and Balnaguard Glen Reserves.


Image via mortongolf.com

Image via mortongolf.com

4. Bottlenose Dolphin

Out of all the Bottlenose Dolphins in the world, Scottish ones are the largest. There is a large resident group of these beautiful mammals in the North Sea, as well as smaller groups around the Hebrides. These sleek, grey animals are extremely intelligent, powerful creatures. The Moray Firth is one of the best places to look for them, particularly in the warmer summer months. Dolphin and Wildlife Watching boat trips are easy to find in Scotland, so don’t miss out!


5. Otter

Image via bbc.co.uk

Image via bbc.co.uk

Scottish otters are often hard to spot, even though there is a thriving population. This is due to the animal’s shy nature. These semi-aquatic creatures live by water, as they mainly hunt for food in lochs, rivers, or the sea. The thick-furred mammals are able to survive in water by closing their ears and nose while they swim with their powerful webbed feet. Otters may be found along much of Scotland’s coast, particularly on the west coast, as well as the islands. Although otters are elusive, if you keep a look out by the waterside, you may see more than one!


Image via photoscotland.net

Image via photoscotland.net

6. Red Squirrel

The red squirrel is the only species of squirrel native to the UK. Scotland is the home to about 80 percent of the UK’s population. As their name would suggest, these squirrels have bright, reddish coats of fur. They are smaller and sleeker than American grey squirrels, with large tufts of fur on their ears. They may be spotted throughout Scotland’s wooded areas, but they are most likely to be seen in the Highlands and around the Caingorms. If you are determined to see these iconic Scottish critters, there is a Red Squirrel Walk through Dalbeattie Forest in Dumfries & Galloway.


7. Golden Eagle

Image via wild-scotland.org.uk

Image via wild-scotland.org.uk

The magnificent golden eagle is a large bird of prey with a wingspan of over six feet. The majority of the UK’s golden eagle population lives in Scotland, as the birds prefer to live in areas with open, treeless land. Golden eagles can be recognized by the golden plumage on their head, neck and shoulders. Scotland’s landscape is ideal for golden eagles to hunt, and you just might spot one searching for prey over moorland and peat bogs, or swooping over the open land around the Highlands and Northern Isles. 


Image via dailymail.co.uk

Image via dailymail.co.uk

8. Atlantic Grey Seal

Atlantic grey seals are one of the easiest animals to find in Scotland. You may spot groups of these seals in many places along Scotland’s coast. The biggest grey seal colonies are on remote islands such as the Orkney and Shetland Islands, the Hebrides, and the Monach Isles. The seals go to these islands to breed, but outside of breeding season you may see them lounging on beaches and rocks all along the sea. If you are visiting the Scottish seaside on your trip you are likely to spot a seal. And if you’re really lucky you may even see a fluffy seal pup!


Image via urdutehzeb.com

Image via urdutehzeb.com

9. Shetland Pony

Shetland ponies might be small in size, but they are hugely famous! These charming ponies grow to be about 42 inches tall, and their soft coats come in many different colors. Their coats change by season- in the summer their coat is short and silky, while in the winter it grows twice as thick. These thick winter coats repel water and keep the ponies warm, even in the harsh island winters. You can still see herds of these sturdy little ponies roaming the hills of Shetland, where they have lived for over 4000 years. Visit Shetland to meet some of these adorable creatures!


Image via archies.info

Image via archies.info

10. Puffin

Puffins, often referred to as “the clowns of the coast,” are instantly recognizable by their bright bills and signature waddle. Puffins live by the sea, usually in burrows on the top of cliffs. They hunt for fish in the water, diving from the cliffs and swimming beneath the waves. Puffin nests can be found on cliffs and islands around the coast of Scotland, as well as in England and Wales. The best places to see these funny little seabirds in Scotland are Handa Island, the Isle of Eigg, and the Longhaven Cliffs and the Seaton Cliffs reserves.

New York Tartan Day Parade Grand Marshals

The History of the New York Tartan Day Parade:

The annual New York Tartan Day Parade began 19 years ago, in 1998, after the U.S. Senate passed Senate Resolution 155, which officially recognized April 6th as Tartan Day. This was followed by companion bill House Resolution 41, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2005. On April 4, 2008, President George W. Bush signed a Presidential Proclamation making April 6 National Tartan Day.

Tommy Flanagan – Image via nyctartanweek.org

In 1998, the first Tartan Day Parade, consisting of two pipe bands and a small but spirited group of Scottish Americans, was led by the very first Grand Marshal, Cliff Robertson.

Today the parade is a grand affair, featuring thousands of participants, including bands, dancers and clans.

On April 8, 2017, The Grand Marshal of the 19th Annual New York Tartan Day Parade will be Glasgow-born actor Tommy Flanagan.

The acclaimed actor has starred in Braveheart, Gladiator, and Alien vs Predator, as well as FX Network’s drama, Sons of Anarchy. He will be a starring role in the upcoming movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, Chapter 2.

Past Parade Grand Marshals:

From actors and screenwriters, to athletes and designers, the past New York Tartan Day Parade Grand Marshals have been talented Scots from all different walks of life.

Read about them here:

Sam Heughan, 2016

2016: Sam Heughan, Scottish actor best known for his role as Jamie Fraser in the Starz hit series Outlander.

2015: Co-Grand Marshals: Tricia Marwick, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament (2011-2016) and Graham McTavish, Scottish television and film actor with an extensive career including roles in Outlander and The Hobbit Trilogy. 

2014: Howie Nicholsby, Kilt designer and owner of “21st Century Kilts” in Edinburgh.

2013: Kevin McKidd, Scottish-American actor best known for his roles in ABC series Grey’s Anatomy and film Trainspotting.

Kevin McKidd, 2013

2012: Brian Cox, acclaimed Scottish theatre and film actor who works with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

2011: Bob Winter, Lord Provost of Glasgow from 2007 until 2012.

2010: Rt. Hon. Alex Fergusson, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament from 2007 until 2011.

2009: Alan Cumming, OBE, Tony, Emmy and Golden-Globe award-winning actor.

2008:  Lawrence Tynes, Scottish-born former kicker for the New York Giants, winners of Super Bowl XVII.

2007: Rt. Hon. George Reid, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament from 2003 until 2007.

2006: Brigadier Melville Jameson, Producer of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo from 1994 until 2006.

2005: Randall Wallace, Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Braveheart.

Sir Sean Connery, 2002

2002: Sir Sean Connery, Academy Award-winning actor and producer who was the first actor to portray James Bond in film.

1998: The late Cliff Robertson, Academy Award-winning actor with a film and television career that spanned half a century.

The Music of New York Tartan Week

New York Tartan Week is just around the corner and what a fantastic celebration it will be with people coming from all over the globe to experience a uniquely brilliant event which has something to offer everyone.

New York Tartan Week is a celebration of Scottish-American heritage culture and community and a brilliant experience which will see you wanting to come back each year for more!

Music plays a central role in celebrating that shared community and culture; the music traditions brought over by Scots have survived and thrived in North America to this very day.

It’s fair to say that the shared passion for music and culture has brought about real fusion and development of new style and approach whilst respecting the traditions of the past. Discovering new ways, paths and approaches has always been central to the Scottish-American identity and nowhere is this more evident in the culture and creations borne from our partnership and shared legacy.

Music, as with the Scots-American heritage itself has experienced real innovation and fusion over the past few hundred years and you can hear Scottish influences in everything from Appalachian, folk and even country music.

It’s fantastic that the old traditions are preserved an continued by many talented and passionate musicians across North America, some of which are performing at NYC Tartan Week this year alongside some musical guests from Scotland also! With live music performances all over the city there’s something for everyone and of course with a huge amount of pipe bands marching in the Tartan Week Parade on April 8th you can experience something truly unforgettable.

Musical performances at Tartan Week this year include:


April  3:
Kyle Carey
St Andrews Pub - 8pm (free)


April  4:
Emerald Rae
St Andrews Pub - 8pm (free)


April 5:
Little Fire 

Beer Authority - 6pm (free)

Wight Hot Pipes & Scottish Octopus
Connolly’s Pub and Restaurant - 8pm ($20)

Mike Ogletree
St Andrews Pub - 8pm (free)


April 6:
Little Fire 
Deacon Brodies - 3pm (free)

Tartan Day Observance 
The Highland Divas, St Columba School Pipe Band
Bryant Park 12:30pm

Kodak Ghosts
St Andrews Pub - 8pm (free)


April  7:
Mike Ogletree
Pre-Parade Ceilidh- 6pm

Little Fire 
St Andrews Pub - 8pm (free)

The Highland Divas & Guests
The Cutting Room - 10:30pm
(Tickets $25/30 adv)
  - Purchase tickets here.


April 8:
The Pipes and Drums on the Fountain Terrace Bryant Park  (Free)
11:35am – Lathallan School Pipe Band
11:55am – Oban School Pipe Band
12:15pm – Bonnie Brae Knights Drummers
12:30pm – St Columba School Pipe Band
12:45pm – Shamrock & Thistle

Post Parade Party
B.B. King Blues Club & Grill 4:00pm
Glengarry Bhoys, Gleadhraich, Scottish Octopus, Wight Hot Pipes, The Highland Divas
(Tickets $85 reserved/$65 general admission) Purchase tickets here.

James MacMillan – St. Luke Passion: New York Premiere
St. Bartholomew’s Church - 8pm
(Tickets $40 Balcony/$50 Prime Seating) Purchase tickets here.


– Jamie McGeechan
Music Reporter for the American Scottish Foundation

Celebrate Tartan Day with Walkers Shortbread

Friends and members of The American-Scottish Foundation®, join us in celebrating Tartan Day 2017 with “The World’s Finest Shortbread” - Walkers Shortbread!

Image via express.co.uk

Image via express.co.uk

Tartan Day is on April 6th – just days away! So why not celebrate with a biscuit or two?

Over a hundred years ago, the Walker family started baking shortbread at their bakery in the Speyside village of Aberlour, surrounded by the beautiful Scottish highlands. Today, Walkers products are now sold all over the world, using the same wonderfully simple recipe to produce that iconic Walkers taste!

To celebrate Tartan Day, Walkers Shortbread has a delicious deal for you!

IMG_1138 (5)  Arlene Brice BEEWith their exclusive Tartan Day code, you can receive free shipping, and four free twin packs of delicious shortbread Scottie Dogs, with orders of $25 or more!

Use the code TARTAN to receive your special Tartan Day treats!

This special offer expires on April 2nd, 2017, so place your orders now on the Walkers website, here.

To learn more about Tartan Day, and all the exciting events in store during NYC Tartan Week, visit The American-Scottish Foundation website!

Show off your Clan Pride at the 2017 Tattoo!

This year is Scotland’s ‘Year of Heritage, History and Archaeology, and the 2017 Tattoo is embracing this theme by featuring the Clans and Families of Scotland!

unnamedThe Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which takes place August 4 – 27, has just announced the clans which will be appearing as part of this year’s show, which is themed “Splash of Tartan.” The Tattoo and the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs have joined together to involve Scottish Clans and Families. Clan Chiefs have been invited to lead their clansmen to Edinburgh Castle, on their own special designated evenings, and to take part in the opening ceremony! Do you want to represent your clan at this year’s Tattoo? For a limited time only, visitors looking to book tickets to sit in their designated clans seated section can contact their Clan Chief directly! You can find out more details about your clan and chief at www.clanchiefs.org.uk or by emailing info@clanchiefs.org.uk. This promotion will end on 31st March, so act fast!unnamed-2

Whether you have Clan roots or not, if you plan to attend the Tattoo, you are encouraged to dress for the part! Put on your best tartan and tweed! Come August, Edinburgh is sure to be a wonderland of plaid!

Find your Clan’s date and time below, and purchase tickets for the Tattoo here.

Day

Date

Time

Clan/Family

Thursday

3 August

9.30

Macnab and Hay

Friday

4 August

9.00

Arthur and Murray

Saturday

5 August

7.30

Fraser and Gunn

Saturday

5 August

10.30

Hunter, Macdonald and MacKay

Monday

7 August

9.00

Macauley and MacMillan

Tuesday

8 August

9.00

Ewing and Macpherson

Wednesday

9 August

9.00

Broun, Maclean and Wood

Thursday

10 August

9.00

Henderson and Napier

Friday

11 August

9.00

Leslie, Moffat and Urquhart

Saturday

12 August

7.30

Donnachaidh and Oliphant

Saturday

12 August

10.30

Macneil, Macrae and Marjoribanks

Monday

14 August

9.00

Forbes and Wallace

Tuesday

15 August

9.00

Macleod and Mackenzie

Wednesday

16 August

9.00

Campbell and Sinclair

Thursday

17 August

9.00

Borthwick and Skene

Friday

18 August

9.00

Graham and Stewart

Saturday

19 August

7.30

Colquhoun and Matheson

Saturday

19 August

10.30

Currie and Maclea

Monday

21 August

9.00

Buchanan, Hannay and MacGregor

Tuesday

22 August

9.00

Kincaid and Maclaine

Wednesday

23 August

9.00

Agnew and Elliot

Thursday

24 August

9.00

Carmichael and MacThomas

Friday

25 August

9.00

Bruce and Durie

Saturday

26 August

7.30

Jardine, Macintyre and Maclennan

Saturday

26 August

10.30

Cameron, Clan Ranald and Maclaren

 

 

An Evening with Ian Rankin at Little City Books, Hoboken, NJ

Acclaimed Scottish crime writer, Ian Rankin, is bringing his famous detective, John Rebus to the Little City Books in Hoboken, New Jersey
on Monday February 6th at 7pm,

This is the first stop on Rankins US Grand Tour as he launches his 30th Rebus novel, Rather be the Devil.
Ian RankinASF Members and friends – you are invited to this special evening. There are limited tickets available (no charge) to this intimate evening which will include a reading, book signing, and Q & A session with a dram of whisky, shortbread, live music.
RSVP info@littlecitybooks.com

Rankin’s first Rebus novel, Knots & Crosses, was published in 1987. Today, the Rebus series is translated into twenty-two languages and the books are bestsellers on several continents!

Rankin’s Inspector Rebus novels are set mainly in Edinburgh, and are considered major contributions to the Tartan Noir genre, a form of crime fiction particular to Scotland and Scottish writers.

To learn more of Rankin’s work visit his website at http://www.ianrankin.net

HAPPY ST ANDREW’S DAY to one and all

st-andrews-day-saltire-waving

The American-Scottish Foundation wishes all our Members and friends a great St. Andrew’s Day. 

About Scotland shares a Greeting to the World for a
Happy St Andrews Day.  Delivered in an array of different languages from Mandarin to Arabic, Bengali, Hindu and Gaelic.

View here and then share YOUR Greeting using #ourstandrewsday. The Scottish Government will then be looking to share clips from your messages.

We share this powerful message from Scotland on this
St Andrew’s Day, that of friendship and unity among all people of the world.

A VERY HAPPY ST ANDREW’S DAY

eileen-donan-castle-on-st-andrews-day