October 14, 2011
Between my years on the boat and my weeks in Massachusetts, I seem to have forgotten my 27 years of "southern." First Randal and then my sister pointed out to me that I’d written you’ll when I had meant y’all in the previous email. It’s funny what I remember and what I forget. I can count to ten in Chinese but can’t remember Turkish numbers. I want to say the Turkish "gunaydin" to people rather than "good morning." It gets confusing.
We’ve just come from Boston where we had been visiting with our friend Martha and her daughter Jessica. Martha has a drawer full of spices and made a wonderful soup of potatoes, garbanzo beans and artichoke hearts with lovely spices and a squeeze of lemon. We visited lots of wonderful used book shops and the Pompeii exhibit at the Science Museum…but that’s all for another email. This email is about our visit with friend Carol in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. Tomorrow we will cross into Ontario, Canada to visit with friends of Randal’s from his "around the world" bike trip. They live on an island in a lake and we’ll get there by dinghy!
The Red Sox have turned into a soap opera which will make for interesting reading and a whole slew of new Red Sox books I’ll one day read. In the meantime I’m reading Dogtown by Elyssa East. Dogtown is an area of woodlands near Gloucester, MA named for the dogs that once belonged to Revolutionary War widows. East was lead there because of her fascination with paintings by Marsden Hartley. It is the winner of the 2010 LL Winship/PEN New England Award in Nonfiction. I had stumbled across it on the shelves of the Hilton Head Public Library so set out to find it in a book store as we traveled. I found it in The Strand!
Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey with Carol
Our friend Carol lives in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. It is a lovely small town surrounded by beaches and marinas and just a 45 minute, or so, drive to Manhattan. We visited Manhattan, walked the beaches, and boiled some lobsters for dinner. We had been promised a lobster dinner in New Bedford, but Randal really likes lobster so when Carol suggested it, he jumped at the chance. In Manhattan we visited the Strand book store with 18 miles of shelves and also The New York Costume Shop which is irresistible even for sightseers like us who hand out candy rather than dress up to collect it.
Relaxing at Carol’s house.
The Roanoke Valley Library Association made up t-shirts for several years. This “vintage” one is from 1995. In SAMS one day a woman ran up to Randal to say how important librarians had been to her and a woman in Hilton Head also made a comment. Hurrah for Librarians!
Manhattan street scenes.
Go to the theater or go to the New York Public Library guarded by the “Literary Lions.”
Look above the word “first” and you will see a blue shirt and white hat. It’s Randal. Carol can be seen over the word “her.” Cameras had been set up to broadcast passers-by.
The Strand Book Store
“In 1927, Ben Bass opened Strand Book Store on Fourth Avenue, home of New York’s legendary Book Row. Named after the famous publishing street in London, the Strand was one of 48 bookstores on Book Row, which started in the 1890’s and ran from Union Square to Astor Place. Today, the Strand is the sole survivor.”
One could spend hours and hours browsing the shelves. I found my copy of Dogtown. I was hoping that The Strand would have some unique books about Cyprus but they didn’t partly because there don’t seem to be any of those “Tuscan Sun” or Year in Provence” kind of books written. Randal and I might have to write one!
We visited the NY Costume Shop last year because Carol needed a costume. This year we just went for the fun of it. Carol grew up on Staten Island and went to NYU so knows Manhattan. The company where Carol works had offered her a position in the Philippines for two years and that’s when we had all met.
New York cabs have TV screen so you can follow along on a map or watch a program about places to visit in the city.
Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
Lots of places for boaters and fishermen here.
Point Pleasant Beach really is a lovely town and from her house Carol can walk to the beach or walk to the small center for shops and restaurants.
The statue behind us and the plaques on the railing are dedicated to mariners lost at sea. We paid our respects.
The ocean was somewhat riled up that day and though no one was swimming there were surfers in wet suits taking advantage of the surf.
You can see fishing boats reflected in the window so you know fish here is fresh!
Carol and friends from the waters of Maine or maybe Nova Scotia.
Randal having lobster feast # 1.
We said good-bye to Carol and journeyed on to Cotuit, MA to visit with a Roanoke bicycle buddy who now lives there with her daughter. That story will have to wait for another day.