September 30, 2009

September 29, 2009

The Big Blue

"They that go down to the sea in ships,
That do business in great waters;
These see the works of the Lord,
And his wonders in the deep."

A few months ago, during our frustratingly abbreviated Northeastern summer, LSB and I headed north, up the coast, to Cape Ann. We were looking for vestages of old coastal New England--rusty ships, roadside seafood shacks serving fried clams and lobster rolls, local bars with nautical flotsam and jetsam nailed to weathered beams, and the big, blue ocean itself.

Mostly, though, we were looking for lobster rolls.

Sadly, none of these boats had names worthy of "The Deadliest Catch"

Our first stop was in Gloucester, where we ate delicious and enormous lobster rolls at Latitute 43: not exactly The Clam Box, but it had a nice view and came recommended by the friendly woman at the information booth.

Porchview of Rockport

After lunch we stopped by the Fisherman's Memorial Statue, then continued on to Rockport, where we window shopped, paused for ice cream, strolled along the beach, and bought some lemonade from Jackson before taking the scenic way home around the tip of the cape on Route 127.

September 19, 2009

Nostalgia by the Sea

Our regional meanderings during our first summer with the Hatchblack took us to Newburyport. After lunch at a cool-looking place on the water with terrible service, we stopped by Oldies Marketplace, which is exactly what it looks like: a big red barn full of the sort of stuff that would make a nostalgia junky O.D.

I think LSB is secretly terrified of these types of places, for fear of what I might try to buy: used books, antique furniture, old records, assorted glassware, art, and old posters and maps. All stuff that I would love to find a place for in our basement storage cubby (some guys have a man cave, I have a basement storage cubby).

September 09, 2009

The Subterranean Author's Club

R.I.P., H.D.T

Henry David Thoreau once quipped: "A man's interest in a single bluebird is worth more than a complete but dry list of the fauna and flora of a town." This quote has absolutely nothing to do with today's post--in fact, I'm not even sure I know what it means--I just like to use "quipped" whenever I have the chance (It also appears I'm stuck in a literary theme after the previous Shakespeare post).

View from The Cheese Shop

Nevertheless, LSB and I recently spent a pleasant summer afternoon in Concord, MA, which is only a few miles from Boston and home and final resting place of Thoreau, as well as, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott. They're all buried on "Author's Ridge" in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery a short walk from the center of town, where we shared an enormous sandwich in front of The Cheese Shop.

The Alcott's School of Philosophy

For some reason that I am unable to explain, I've always been oddly fascinated by cemeteries--especially really old, spooky ones. I've wandered through the haunted Greyfriar's Cemetery in Edinburgh; passed time in the "cities of the dead" in New Orleans; unexpectedly happened across Yeat's grave, under a huge, dark tree laden with hundreds of crows, in a small, rural churchyard in County Sligo; paid my respects to Jim Morrison (and Oscar Wilde) in Pere Lachaise, and spent many summer evenings drinking wine, listening to friends play guitars, and watching the stars outside the wall of a tiny cemetery near a small French village in the Pyrenees mountains.

One of several cool cemeteries in Concord

And now, I can add Sleepy Hollow to the list. Upon reflection, I guess it is kind of creepy that I have a list at all--in fact, I didn't even realize that I had a list until I started on this post. At any rate, there is no shortage of dead pilgrims, patriots, authors, artists, poets, and statesmen in subterranean New England, so I've found the cemeteries in the Boston area particularly interesting.

In spite of the fact that many of America's most famous writers (the Transcendentalists, no less) are buried on a hill a few steps from one another in a town that played a significant role in the history of our country (Lexington is next door and you heard about the shot, right?), the cemetery was mostly deserted and we were left pretty much alone to spend a few quiet moments with Henry, Ralph, Nate, Louisa, and others.