Today I was warned to be careful on one of the roads heading south of the outer banks. I was told to be cautious because the water was close to both sides of the road. Naturally I thought the warning was to be careful not to drive off the road into the water. Turns out the warning was for Alligators. Just a week ago they toted off a 90Ib dog. Thats not so far off from a 115 Ib young lady… Welcome to the south Ma’am.
I’m all about trying new foods when I go to a new place but hushpuppies are one thing I can’t get in to. It might have something to do with the fact that it is just a blob of cornbread that has been deep fried. Or maybe it’s that they serve it with butter. Whatever it is, people here hold it very close to their hearts, and are often quite astonished when I politely decline. I haven’t had honeybuns yet but they seem to be some sort of cinnamon bun like pastry, with honey I assume.
The iconic cliff walk in Newport, RI can at times be compared to a line of marching ants. Hundreds of people marching along the coast because their guidebook told them to do so. Most of them forgetting to look out over the ocean. It makes moments like this refreshing. Wild with enthusiasm and fuelled by ferocious ocean wind, these two boys echoed their fathers cheers as their kites cut through the damp ocean air.
Cambridge is home to the infamous Harvard University. To be honest I was a bit disappointed. I think I expected a castle, or something that would exude scholarly life. Instead I had to actually stumble upon gems by accident. Like this one. The rare book and manuscript library. Now, I will be the first to admit I don’t know much about books. But they are fascinating and I guess I faked it well. I was invited to the scholars tea and got to rub shoulders with Harvard Professors and researchers and watch their eyes mist over as they talked about all the lovely books they mull over daily in the bowels of that building. One of the librarians took me to the sections normally closed off to the public and showed me some of the oldest books in existence. I learned that often books were bound in a certain way to match an owners collection. Sometimes the collectors would have an important note or manuscript that they wanted to keep so they had a book box made for it so they could keep it in their library and it would match the rest of the collection. There were areas in the library that a writers collection was kept intact and displayed all together, so you could see what they were reading and what inspired them to write. Unlike the other libraries at Harvard, the rare book library is available to be used by the public. Requests can be sent in and you can go in and sit down for as long as you like. I heard mention of some digital resources too, but haven’t had a chance to explore them yet http://hcl.harvard.edu/libraries/houghton/collections/early.cfm
My time in Boston was most memorable for the heat. I was there during a heatwave and found myself dashing from one patch of shade to another. Wandering aimlessly through little italy, most likely with heatstroke, I stumbled upon this strange scene. It seems that in Boston, when it’s 100 degrees Fahrenheit on a holiday, the most appealing thing to do is cram yourself beside a hundred other people behind bars at a pool beside the ocean. I feel sorry for the people in Boston who have been enveloped so much by the city that they genuinely think this is the best escape.
I met a fellow from Cambridge at the fireworks in Boston who was reading a book on writing. His forte was filming, but his side project was improving his writing skills. I showed my admiration and he shared his collection of books that someone had recommended. I thought I would share because I feel like many of us have this same ambition. We talked about reading and writing, we got lost, we people watched, and we hugged good bye like good friends.
People act like colour is a spectacle here. It’s strange, I don’t get it, coming from Canada I’ve been conditioned to see past it, and for that I am very, very thankful. Stereotypes are perpetuated by everyone here, including street performers who bluntly drop comments as part their street act. I get that it’s meant to be funny, but it really just comes off as distasteful. Please stop it Boston, you’re stronger than that.