White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Decorations, Mayflower Society House, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

I enjoyed a recent visit to the The Mayflower Society House for their biennial event at which time they painstakingly and lovingly decorate in seasonal finery and invite the public to see it during two weekends in December.

The Mayflower Society was established in 1897 and exists to honor the Pilgrim ancestors who arrived here aboard the sailing ship Mayflower in 1620, and to join together the people who share that heritage.

The Mayflower House was built in 1754 by Edward Winslow a great grandson of Pilgrim Edward Winslow. It is located in downtown Plymouth.

When I walked in the door I was transported to another world.....shown above, the dining room bedecked for a feast....

....and bedrooms reflecting the spirit of the season...

....and the trees all hung with care.........

.......and yes, St. Nicholas was also there.......

.... and flights of fancy with a swan in the bath.....

....and teddy bears sitting down to tea .....

....and finely crafted dolls......

....and doves in a glass bowl.........

......and distorted old window panes......

.......and tree decorations of extraordinary detail.....

.... and speaking of a swan, local author Deanna Penkus Nealey was present with her delightful book about our own local swan drama....

.....and golden cherubs sang and played.....

......and carolers were dashing through the snow, in a one horse open sleigh.  

But most of all, the Mayflower Society House decorations transported me briefly to a simpler place and time where, during this season of peace and love and harmony, when, just for a moment, all things are possible.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Gray Day, Plymouth Harbor, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Cold, windy, dark, gray days have their own special beauty.  Shown above is the northernmost tip of Long Beach in Plymouth as viewed from the harbor.

One of the few houses on Long Beach.

This gull seems to have befriended a reed/weed that looks like a small bird with long legs.

A downed tree looks increasingly like ashen bones.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sunset, Morton Pond, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Picnic anyone? Nope, me neither -  it was 35 degrees F with a light breeze.

Morton Park, managed by the Plymouth Recreation Department, is a 200-acre site adjacent to Billington Sea and Little Pond.  It's a popular summer destination for swimming, kayaking, and wandering.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Vegan Pizza, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

This is another post in my occasional series about "what do vegans eat?" Simply put, everything except animals and animal products. 

For this meal, I started with a cornmeal crust pizza shell, spread a layer of tomato/pasta sauce, added some Italian herbs/spices, red pepper flakes, black beans, green peas, scallions, a veggie patty cut into cubes, and vegan "cheese" (a cheese-like product made from tapioca and arrowroot).

After baking at 425, I added sliced tomatoes, avocado chunks, and chopped spinach.

Of course, I realize this isn't a very "normal" pizza. (A man I used to work with called it sacrilege when I put avocado on pizza - only three-cheese and pepperoni are acceptable in his world). This was more of a situation where I opened the fridge and said, what's left in here that I can throw together and call a pizza?  The answer as you've probably guessed is - pretty much anything without animals! 

For more posts about what this vegan eats, type "Vegan Food" in the search box in the right side column of this bog.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

On the Bluff, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Walking along the bluff in Manomet is always a visual treat - on this day, blue sky, puffy clouds, a horizon that stretches forever, boats resting for the winter - makes me glad to be a walkin' man.

This view of Stage Point at low tide on a calm day helps to illustrate the difference.......

....that is obvious at a higher tide when the wind is howling out of the East creating an endless series of rollers crashing into the sand. It was the strength of wind where you can lean forward toward the water and be held up by the force. High and low tides here vary typically by about ten feet. Seems a lot to me but, not so much compared to Canada's Bay of Fundy about 400 miles north. They experience a tidal variation of about 50 feet! 

A quiet side yard.

A beautiful house down a sand/gravel lane. And no, I did not Photoshop the bird into the picture but, I did Photoshop out three electrical power lines. I always hate to see power lines cutting through beautiful vistas - on the other hand, I always hate to be without electricity - yep, a bit of hypocrisy in action.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Priscilla Beach Theatre Restoration, Priscilla Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Priscilla Beach Theatre enjoys a welcome break in the wind and cold and rain and clouds that have been lingering during the past week.  The beautiful granite steps have been installed into the hillside main approach to the theatre.

The outside decking is under construction now. When finished it will wrap around both the southwest and northwest sides of the theatre. The decking also serves as an inclined ramp to afford access for the differently abled.

Priscilla Beach Theatre, which just completed its 78th year, is the oldest barn theatre still in operation in the United States. The ongoing restoration work by owners and guardians Bob and Sandy Malone will be completed in time for next summer's performance season. "Fiddler on the Roof," and "Chicago" are already scheduled.

This update is the latest edition of a multi-part series which I began in May 2014 to chronicle this extraordinary project to restore a precious part of our American theatrical heritage. You can read my other blog posts about the construction progress and stage performances by typing "Priscilla Beach" in the search box in the right side column of this blog.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Three Benches, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

On this cold, bright December day, these three sunny benches are unoccupied at the main library in Plymouth. I always enjoy this view in low winter light - arches, angles, lines, and shadows. Now, if I could just get the tree branches in the background covered with snow......

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Tree Lighting, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Thousands of folks turned out for the annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in Town Square in downtown Plymouth.

Adjacent Court Street was also closed to automobile traffic and crowded both for the Tree Lighting and the 5K foot race through town.

A ukulele band entertained.

Once the tree had been lit, attention turned to the nearby finish line on Court Street.....

....as the runners started arriving.

These four images were an attempt to create and capture blurred motion. Eh. Better luck next year. (And yes, that runner was wearing a tutu).

Not everyone got to roam the streets and have fun.  Some were stuck inside and could only watch longingly through the window.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wandering Around, North End, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The North End neighborhood is the city's oldest residential area. It boasts a rich history, parades, narrow streets, and cobblestones. The North End is home to many Italian Americans and hearing Italian spoken on the sidewalks and in shops is common.

Down an alley, down the stairs, and around the corner, a wonderful Italian bakery makes fresh bread in variety.

The Catholic Church has a strong presence in the community.

Popular with locals and tourists alike, Mike's Pastry is a modern landmark. Cannolis, anyone? Story is that back in 1992, then-candidate for President Bill Clinton stopped by here when campaigning, vowed to return if elected, and then did return to buy 75 cannolis for his flight crew on Air Force One.

The "Connah Store," is the Boston accent translation of what normal people would say as "Corner Store."  Notice the Gelateria next door - another touch of authentic Italy.

It was easier to wander around and take a little more time to compose an image on a cold damp December weekday. Being an off-season tourist has advantages.  Here's a link to my blog post on a sunny summer day last July.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Visit intoTown, Downtown, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Faneuil Hall, a marketplace and meeting hall since 1742, is dwarfed and framed by the adjacent modern glass and steel structures of today's downtown Boston.

Aside from the expense of going downtown, choosing whether to drive in and pay big bucks to park, or, park less expensively at an outer lot and ride the subway in, I always enjoy the vibrancy and grit and sophistication and history that permeates Boston's many neighborhoods/communities. This particular wander is around the Faneuil Hall Marketplace and nearby on a cold overcast December weekday. Not many people out and about.

The red bricks of the Freedom Trail glisten in the light rain.

I did see a few kids and moms out and about enjoying the day.

This is a full color image - it was a very drab day.


And speaking of dwarfed by modern skyscrapers, the Old State House sits proudly, echoing its past as the center of Boston society in the 18th century. In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed from the balcony for the first time for the citizens of Boston.  A reenactment occurs each year on July 4th. I enjoy hearing the words - sparks of the revolution. 

The eating area in the Quincy Market building is strangely quiet with so few tourists in town.

I don't know who that bear is but, he earned a selfie with this visitor.

The bigger than life statue of former Mayor Kevin White is located outside Faneuil Hall.

Smoking in the rain - tough habit - glad it's not one of mine.

Even in the rain and cold, Boston is always a great city to wander.