Boston

The streets of Boston were obviously not laid out by a zealot of Roman order.

The streets of Boston were obviously not laid out by a zealot of Roman order.

In fact, I’m convinced it was a drunken vicar, standing on a high vantage point, who – between sips of his Guinness – pointed with his finger to where things ought to go.

Nine days I’ve been in Bean Town, and not once have I found my way back to the inn without aid from my cellphone. A tardy lane change can put you only a few blocks from your intended destination –– but a complete sightseeing tour of half the city is required to get back where you initially wanted to go.

And god help ya if you find yourself heading down one of those dreadful tunnels. There’s no shadow of doubt we travel through alternate dimensions of time and space while inside one of those.

More photosBut what a lovely city, really.

Much of old Boston still exists at the base of the skyscrapers. The sturdy brick walls and embellished cornices of the original edifices are like anchors to the glass and seemingly frame-less modern buildings which might otherwise float up off the ground.

It’s nice to sit along the new promenades bordering the harbor. The city provides plenty of comfortable teak chairs and benches to relax on. I can easily spend an entire day watching the boats passing by. But I can’t help thinking what it might have been like in days of old – before schooners became sightseeing vessels filled with tourists taking selfies. Is that what the seagulls cry about – as they bank around in the wind overhead – are they alarmed about what’s no longer there?

At the North End is the Boston Public Market. For people watching, it doesn’t get better than this. A permanent building is filled with interesting vendors. And outside is a colorful farmer’s market, extending  for several city blocks in both directions under tents.


Newport RI

Newport is an amazing place. It’s impressive because of its expansive green lawns; abundance of cemeteries; huge mansions; big trees; mega yachts; and one of the largest registered collection of 18th century buildings in the nation…It also has the longest damn stoplights I’ve ever waited on!

I knew this entry for Newport was going to be easy, because I was able to think the entire thing out while waiting at a stoplight.

Newport is an amazing place. It’s impressive because of its expansive green lawns; abundance of cemeteries; huge mansions; big trees; mega yachts; and one of the largest registered collection of 18th century buildings in the nation…It also has the longest damn stoplights I’ve ever waited on!

If you come to Newport – watch your speed. All roads into town are 25mph, and the cops have them very well canvased.

When you look into the history of Newport, it becomes truly awe inspiring. Founded in 1639, the town has risen to the most prominent on the eastern seaboard several times. Although the facade of tourism is beginning to dominate its outward appearance, it will be a long time before they completely excavate the dirt from under it that is so deeply steeped in history.

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The 12 meter, Enterprise, looking a little neglected.

I’m here looking for work. Newport never lost the prestige it acquired during the America’s Cup years, and it remains the pinnacle of the yachting world here on the east coast.

I dutifully do my rounds twice a day, visiting the Newport Shipyard and the Melville Boat Basin, hoping to discover a boat in need of a captain – which is chore that is nothing short of totally enjoyable.

Although the industry changed considerably since the days I was walking the deck, it’s become disheartening as much as promising. Nothing but rock stars now populate the boats, making me feel a bit tarnished in comparison – like I’ve got a peg leg, a hook for a hand, and missing an eyeball.

What’s promising is – the industry exploded. What was considered a big boat in my day is now mediocre. And the ports and boats are vibrant and full of life.

Seeing where the industry’s come to, I’m experiencing pangs of regret. And though I’m sure that working on the boats still has all its downfalls, I feel sorry I ever got off them…C’est la vie, eh?

Great Barrington/Stockbridge

Perhaps of all the American artists, Norman Rockwell is the most indelible.

Perhaps of all the American artists, Norman Rockwell is the most indelible.

He captured the essence of American life and distilled it into a thing we were able to emulate.

Regardless what the elites of the art world, I will never agree he was merely an illustrator. How can Chuck Close or William Kooning be considered fine artists – and deny Norman Rockwell the same title?

The museum in Stockbridge, CN is well worth visiting. It’s located on a beautiful property in an interesting area.

The collection of Rockwell’s is not hugely extensive, but, between the paintings and visiting his actual studio, which was relocated to its present location, it was a greatly satisfying dose of Rockwell.

And don’t forget to have breakfast or lunch at the Red Lion Inn – the long table in the rear of the dining room is the very location and table where he painted, Freedom From Want.

THE FOUR FREEDOMS

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