Category Archives: Northeastern States

New York City

October 17-20

I took Amtrak from Boston and met my sister, Jennifer, at Penn Station in NYC. The Airbnb apartment we had reserved in Hells Kitchen was so bad we left immediately and have submitted an appeal for reimbursement. Jennifer got online and quickly found us a nice room at the Manhattan at Times Square for less money. We stayed on the 22nd floor and were thrilled to discover a deck outside our room. Nice.

Surprise, while in Time Square we ran into a couple I know from San Francisco, Dan and Marie, who I haven’t seen in several years. We had them over for drinks on our deck; they brought Lebanese leftovers including very delicious Brussels sprouts. I enjoyed our visit and look forward to getting together back home.

According to Jennifer’s fitbit, we walked about 26 miles during our three-day visit. I had wanted to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, but it’s closed due to construction. Instead we took a ferry to Brooklyn and walked back across the Manhattan Bridge. I loved the views and took photos in between rumbling trains. The Freedom Tower makes a beautiful addition to the skyline; I like how it reflects the sky and clouds.

The next day we walked the High Line, an elevated railroad track that has been converted to a park: a delightful variety of gardens, art, benches, and views. That was also the day the temperature dropped and an icy wind blew, so we walked briskly.

After dinner, a variety of food from mediocre Cuban to yummy Italian, we saw a show each night. Partway into the musical Once I started to feel déjà vu and by the end I realized I had seen it in it’s original movie form. Overall pleasant; I loved the voice of the lead woman singer, Jessie Fisher. Cinderella was our favorite: great cast, great sets, great music, and a few small twists on this familiar story. We left This is Our Youth after intermission; maybe it redeems itself in the second half, but we were both falling asleep.

We also got to MOMA, where I saw Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs. It was interesting to read about how he transitioned to this art form and to see the 3D originals rather than reproductions. On our final morning, I went to the 9/11 Memorial, while Jennifer went shopping at nearby Century 21. The museum, built around remnants of one of the twin towers, tells the history of the World Trade Center and has lots of displays about the event and aftermath. I viewed a short time lapse video of the ongoing reconstruction. Overall it was sad and I didn’t stay long.

After shopping, we headed back uptown to collect our luggage, stopping at a deli to pick up food on our way, and took a cab back to Penn Station for a train to Richmond.

Tip: If you’re near there, get your discount tickets at the Seaport TKTS booth; it opens earlier and the lines are shorter than at Times Square. If I weren’t going to the theatre, I wouldn’t stay near Times Square; it’s literally wall-to-wall people. Next time I’ll avoid the weekend.

A Bit of Boston

I spent a rainy day in Boston, transitioning from the wilds of the coast to bustle of the city, heading next to NYC. I stayed at an airbnb in Roslindale where I was able to leave my car, and took the Orange Line downtown. I walked across a bridge to the Institute of Contemporary Arts museum where I saw a beautiful fiber sculpture show and enjoyed watching the end of The Visitors, a music video installation. After lunch at Durgin Park, adjacent to touristy Quincy Market, I took the train a couple stops back so I could walk through the Boston Commons. It was quite pleasant, until the drizzle turned to downpour. I returned to my room to dry off and finally uploaded my first post for this trip (leaf peeping in Vermont).


Cape Cod

Cape Cod is a narrow arch of land longer than I realized, 64 miles from Cape Cod Canal to the point. I spent five days on the outer cape. Miles and miles of beaches, many of them deserted at this time of year. Sea breezes, sometimes soft, sometimes biting, especially after sundown. The sound of seagulls and waves rhythmically lapping the shore. If you avoid touristy Provincetown, this is a very peaceful place.

We stayed in a tiny cottage in a place called Beach Point, where the cape is narrow and low (wouldn’t want to be here in a hurricane). There was a very lovely boardwalk leading through the dune grasses to the beach, where I walked a couple mornings, once when the tide was low. Though WiFi was promised, there was none, so my technology fast continued.

October 11-13 Art Class

We attended an art class called “Layered Media: Expanding Your Vision” at the Truro Center for the Arts; a more descriptive title would be “Oil and Cold Wax, the Lisa Pressman Method”. It rained the first day, so it was a good day to be indoors, though the classroom was so cold I kept all my layers on. I wasn’t familiar with the materials or techniques, so it was a bit of a struggle and initially I created a muddy mess. I’m drawn to abstract landscapes and organic forms that evoke nature, but I’ll need to practice more before I’m satisfied with the results.

Each day after class we picked a different beach for a walk. The light here is amazing and the water was beautiful. One day I ate a lobster dinner at Moby Dick’s. It’s only the second time I’ve eaten one; I apologized to mine and promised not to eat another. On another day, I had a delicious, rich, expensive dinner a Mews.

October 14-15 – Sea and Shore

Arlyne departed this morning. After dropping her off at the tiny airport to pick up a rental car, I went to explore a few sections of Cape Cod National Seashore. This long park is scattered around the cape. I love the grass-covered dunes; I wonder if this is what San Francisco looked like before the dunes was covered with buildings and roads.

I hiked each morning, and then headed back to Provincetown in the afternoon. Since it’s Women’s Week, I checked the program and selected one activity each day. On Tuesday, I went on a sunset sail in Cape Cod Bay aboard the Bay Lady II. There were less than a dozen passengers, plus one dog, and the weather was perfect. On Wednesday, I attended a half-day memoir-writing workshop, which has triggered an interest to find a writing group when I get home.

Leaf Peeping

Ahh, I’ve finally got WiFi and can begin catching up with my blog. My trip to the East Coast started with a fall color sampler.

October 7 – Getting to Vermont

As is typically the case with travel, the first day was spent getting “there”.  A cab picked me up at 4:00 a.m., and then we stopped a few blocks away to pick up Arlyne, a long time friend and neighbor. We met decades ago when we were both on the parent board where our sons were in school (trying to budge an entrenched administration). Her boys now live on the East Coast so we decided to take an art class and see a little foliage together before heading in separate directions to visit relatives.

I seem to be a bit jinxed when it comes to personal belongings and travel because I managed to drop my retainer trays after eating breakfast at the airport. Fortunately, I had the next set with me and was able to cram them on, though they are very tight. We rented a car in Boston and headed out just in time to hit commute traffic. They would have had to give us all tickets if they enforced the sign stating Minimum Speed 40; we were going much slower than that for the first hour or two. It was dark by the time we reached our cabin outside Barnard, Vermont.

October 8 – A Pleasant Fall Walk

While Arlyne toured a nearby farm and museum, I went for hike in Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, the only national park in Vermont. Apparently the peak color in this area came a week early and recent rain and wind knocked most of the red leaves off the trees. I thoroughly enjoyed my walk, on both trails and carriage roads, through the green and yellow forest. The names of the trails on the signposts did not match the names on the map, but the lines were drawn correctly so I was able to find my way.

We had lunch in Woodstock. Not the Woodstock, but the one in Vermont; it’s confusing to have so many common names for cities in nearby states. It was market day and I bought some really delicious garlic and pepper cheese and tasted maple butter.

October 9 – Slow Route to Weston

The 50-mile scenic drive from Barnard to Weston (Hwy 12 – 106 – Fletchville-Tyson Rd – Hwy 100) took us most of the day, thanks to stops for covered bridges and other scenic spots. My favorite was a short walk to Buttermilk Falls. Columbus Day weekend is obviously the peak for fall tourists; every town we went through was setting up for a harvest festival, arts and crafts fair, or some other special event. I was glad to be there a few days early and avoid the pending crowds.

We spent a couple hours in charming Weston before heading back north to our cold cabin. It’s been in the 50’s during the day, 30’s at night, and the only heat we have is a wood stove. Fortunately there’s a good supply of wood and kindling so I’ve been building a fire each night. I jumped up and lit one this morning too, otherwise it was too chilly to get up.

October 10 – Getting to Cape Cod

Another day essentially spent in travel, with a well worthwhile detour to western Massachusetts to see the Norman Rockwell museum. I learned a bit about Rockwell’s life, he lived nearby, and saw his studio, relocated a few miles from where it once stood. I was impressed with the values that he depicted in his later work. Along the Mass Pike, as I-90 is called in this state, we saw some beautiful red trees, but there’s no getting off that speedy toll road. Once again we reached our destination in the dark.