From Home to Home, and Back, Day 22: Block Island, Part 1- New Shoreham

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The small island that lies between Rhode Island’s southern coast and Long Island’s eastern tip has elements of both New England and New York.  New Shoreham, the village on the north side of the island, is the business and administrative center of the island, and is home to most of the 900 or so year-round residents.

It is to New Shoreham that regular ferry boats come, each day, year round, from Point Judith (Galilee), RI, New London, CT and Montauk, NY.  I took the 11 AM from Point judith, arriving in New Shoreham at noon, on Friday the 13th.   It turned out to be a fine day, and no one was brandishing a scythe.

I spent the day on foot, exploring much of the eastern portion of the island, from New Shoreham  to Rodman’s Hollow and Black Rock Point. This post shows New Shoreham, and Ocean View, its town park, overlooking the sea to the east.  

Here are some views of North Point, as we steamed towards the island’s Old Harbor.

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Around noon, we came into New Shoreham.

 

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The Visitors Center greets one and all.

 

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I enjoyed lunch at Finn’s, choosing an al fresco table.

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Old Harbor Inn is one of nearly two dozen establishments where one could spend the night.  I, of course, was a day traveler.

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The island’s sole rotary is in the middle of New Shoreham.

 

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Another Cape Cod style structure is the chapel on the hill.

 

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Just east of the chapel is Ocean View, with its meditation pavilion and short, but scenic trails.

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Here are the stairs to nowhere.  Actually, the area is a remnant of a small farm house, from the 18th Century.

 

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A small cenotaph memorializes a fisherman from New Shoreham.

 

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From the overlook, one can see Ballard’s Beach and jetty.

 

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The inland trail takes one around to a small farm, run by the town’s public school.  Ruins abound, of the abandoned farm.

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The children decorated and laid these stones.

 

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From Ocean View, the path took me past some other small farms.

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Next:  Part 2, East Side resorts to the Payne Overlook.

 

 

 

 

From Home to Home, and Back, Day 20: September 11 at the JFK Presidential Library

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I have been intending to visit the John F. Kennedy presidential Library, in Boston’s south side, for a long time.  Having been to Ground Zero two days prior, I decided to head to the museum that honours our 35th President, as a 9/11 activity.

There were several views of the Boston skyline, and of the Boston Harbor islands, from this peninsular vantage point.

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Inside the Library itself, photography was prohibited, in the exhibit halls, but not in the Flag Hall.

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Outside, one may see the pleasure boat, which the President and his family enjoyed so much at Hyannisport.

 

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The exterior is also imposing.

 

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Finally, my fellow travelers and I viewed some beach-type vegetation, in the Cape Cod style garden.

 

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This was my last full day, in the Boston area.  On Day 21, Thursday, I headed down to southern Rhode Island.

Next:  Block Island, Part 1:  New Shoreham

From Home to Home, and Back, Day 18: The Trees of Brooklyn, The Towers of Liberty

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I made two very distinct stops, during my first visit to New York City in nearly 20 years:  The headquarters of Slow Food USA, in Brooklyn and the emerging Liberty Towers in lower Manhattan, on September 9.

Slow Food USA is an outgrowth of a movement which began in Italy, several years ago, as a reaction to the proliferation of fast food restaurants in Rome and the cities of the north.  Today, many countries have Slow Food movements, promoting the gathering of people around a carefully-cooked meal, preferably one with fresh ingredients.

I joined the HQ team, arriving at the tail end of their lunch break, as the younger members began to move back towards their desks.  The following photos show the area of Brooklyn near the Headquarters, and the office itself.

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Once back outside, I took a few moments, while walking along Brooklyn’s busy streets, to admire a community garden, across the street from Slow Food, and a few tall buildings, en route to the subway.

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Below are some views of Santa Maria SS Addolorata Catholic Church, in a still heavily Italian neighbourhood.

 

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A few other spires caught my eye, from a distance, just outside Mocha Bagel Shop, near the Carroll Street subway.

 

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Upon arriving in the area of Ground Zero, I sought solace in St. Paul Chapel.

 

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Memorabilia of the horrible day are on display in the Chapel.

 

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I found looking at the site, a good deal less daunting than I had anticipated.  It is still jarring- a work in progress, where once, there had been majesty and strength.  Now, at least, there is resilience.

 

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Somehow, whenever I feel trepidation, or any other time I have needed it, one of these shows up- on the sidewalk, on the trail, or in a rock formation.  This one is of oak bark, and I found it on a Brooklyn sidewalk.  Someone looks out for me, all day, every day.

 

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From Home to Home, and Back, Day 17: Connecticut Interlude

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On Thursday, Friday and Saturday of my first week in Massachusetts, I basically kicked back, visited with a childhood friend, and attended a Navy Band concert at Breakheart.  On Sunday, Sept. 8, I drove down to Killingworth, CT, to visit with a member of the Baha’i community in the New London area.

Tom S. is a Renaissance man and has as many ideas in his head, as I have hairs on mine.  Here is a look at his garden-bounded home.

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I will long remember this Sunday, in the serenity of Connecticut, as turmoil starts to build in my life, once again.

From Home to Home, and Back, Day 14: A Trip Back to Lynn

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The place I  knew as “downtown”, to which I ran errands for my mother by taking the bus, to which we went to the ocean for a swim, where we often went hiking in the woods, was Lynn.  One of the earliest towns in Massachusetts Bay Colony, a bastion of Puritanism, Lynn became, in the Industrial Age, known as the “City of Sin”, for its gin mills, pubs and houses of ill repute.

The city is now moving forward with recognizing its heritage, and is taking steps to expand a long inchoate Museum of History.

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It was to Lynn Woods, though, that my feet needed to go, and so, after a half-hour walk around the museum, I headed five miles west.

The Preserve has wide bicycle paths, a small rose garden and a shore along Lily Pond.  Mostly, though, there are the trees, and rocks, that are the legacy of a glacial period.

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Once arriving at these two rock gateposts, know that you have arrived at the park’s western limit.

 

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Views of Lynn’s Walden Pond (not to be confused with the eponymous body of water in Concord, MA), are off to the north.

 

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Of course, there is no connection between my Penny and this bridge, but it touched my heart, anyway.

 

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This encounter with my youthful past reminded me that there are good things, marvels, in anyone’s life, at any stage.

Mesa Verde’s Wetherill Side, Part 2- Step House

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Here are several more specific scenes of Step House, which is the self-guided portion of the mesa.  Long House, which I will visit sometime in the future, is only accessible via guided tour.

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Then, it was time to climb back out of Step House Canyon.

 

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In the end, a lone bird made the statement that nature is the most resilient of forces.

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So, another fine visit to Colorado came to an end, following dinner at Jack and Janelle’s, in Cortez, on August 1.  Ironically, another such visit will end on Thursday.

Mesa Verde’s Wetherill Side- Part 1, The Gate to Step House

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Wetherill Mesa, on the west side of the park, is one of the more patience-building areas in our National Park system.  This is because it’s off-limits, much of the year, and is only open 6 hours a day, when it is accessible.

I recognize the reason- the narrow road, with sheer drop-offs in spots, would be horrific places to end one’s life.

Here are some scenes from this final stop on my earlier spiritual quest, on August 1.

This is in two parts.  First, from the gate to the trailhead for Step House, one of two preserved ruins at Wetherill.

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A hawk graced the sky overhead, on that warm day.

 

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Much of the area was ravaged by wild fire, in 2011.

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Much of it is coming back, however.

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There are a fair number of pictographs and petroglyphs, along the approach to Step House.

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Next: Step House’s Preserved Ruins

From Home to Home, Day 13, Gloucester, Part 3: The Hillside and North Harbor

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Gloucester’s Italian and Portuguese communities tend to live on the hillside, west of the harbor.  Government structures are also found there.

I started my journey away from harbourside, by crossing to the Botanic Garden, in the median.

 

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On the west side of the street is this memorial to Gloucester’s WWII veterans.

 

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To get up into the neighbourhood, it is necessary to cross this canal bridge.

 

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There is a mini-version of Boston’s North End here, in on Gloucester’s West Side.

 

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Culture is well-represented.

 

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Here are a near and a far view of Gloucester City Hall.

 

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I tend to stay out of museums, when the weather is nice, but here is the Cape Ann Museum of History, for another day.

 

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Maritime Heritage Center is also a must, for those who seek to understand a hard-working seaside community.

 

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I ended my day by contemplating this roof cupola.

 

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I am always proud of my New England heritage, so these three posts on Gloucester show what matters to me, in terms of nature, community and honest work.

 

 

Chimney Rock National Monument

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This abandoned settlement, east of Mesa Verde, predates the larger sets of ruins by 300-500 years.  The settlement was built by people known these days only as “Ancient Puebloans”. They are regarded as the ancestors of those who built Mesa Verde and of the modern Zuni,  Keresan and Tewa peoples, of New Mexico.

Here are some scenes of the area, taken during a guided tour, on August 1.  All tours begin and end HERE.

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Then, visitors pile into their vehicles and follow the guide, up the road.  Scenes like this may be had, from the upper parking lot, near the first ruins.

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Here is an example of an unexcavated house site.

 

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It was pretty hazy on that day, but one could get a sense of the ruggedness of this area.

 

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Here’s a semi-excavated site. ^  Below, is a marker, used by the ancients, for astronomical positioning.

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Here is one of the granite formations near the first set of dwellings.

 

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Now, we are at the major set of structures, including the kivas and larger dwellings.

 

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This limestone bench made for a good resting place, for some of the disabled members of our tour group.

 

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This alcove, on the south side of the Great House, was intended to provide support for the structure.

 

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here are some shots of the Grand Kiva, the major ceremonial site in the complex.

 

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These granite formations are among those which give Chimney Rock its name.

 

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Once I had finished here, one more goal remained on this spiritual journey:  Wetherill Mesa.

From Home to Home, and Back, Day 13: Gloucester, Part 2- Stacy Esplanade and Stage Fort Park

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Gloucester is a walking town, though if it hadn’t been, I’d have made it so.  As it is, Stacey Promenade, named for a local hero, guides one along the harbor beach.  South of the beach, Stage Fort Park has trails that wind around, the cliffs above Gloucester Harbor.

Here we go- scenes from the afternoon of September 4.

Meet Gloucester Harbor.

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There are two stand-out statues along Stacy Esplanade.  The first is the Fishermen’s Memorial.

 

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A shoutout is here, to George O. Stacy, for whom the Esplanade is named.

 

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The second important statue commemorates the wives of fishermen.

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Once the Esplanade ends, Lucy Brown Trail begins, and takes one into Stage Fort Park.

 

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This remarkable cliffside path reminds me of Golden Gate park, in San Francisco.

 

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These cannonades are reminders of the War of 1812.

 

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One may sit for hours here, and contemplate the sea.

 

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Along any beach in New England, there are small forested islets.

 

 

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Looking across Gloucester harbor, one sees abandoned factory buildings, where fish used to be processed.

 

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Wind power is a growing focus, along the coast.

 

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Kelp is a major product of the northeast coast.  Altogether now, “EEEWWW”! 😛  Seriously, tough, this product is great for pregnant women, seeking to keep their iron intake up.

 

 

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There are stairs aplenty, for those needing aerobic exercise.

 

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Octopus Head Rock sits atop an eastern cliff in Stage Fort.

 

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I spotted the turret of Hammond Castle, across the way, on the far south side of Gloucester.

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Atop Stage Fort Park, the Girls’ Track Team, from Gloucester High School, was having a practice.  Since I don’t photograph other people’s children, without their parents’ permission, my focus went to reminders of Gloucester’s place in Colonial America.

 

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Gloucester, like most small towns, has a gazebo in its main park.

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Finally, Stage Fort Park’s southwest corner has a statue of Triton, mythical son of Poseidon.

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Next;  Gloucester, Part 3, the Interior of Downtown and the North Side.