Tuesday, September 30, 2014
I like to assess a town by the presence or absence of benches for folks to hang out and relax. A city or town that offers people a place to sit demonstrates a certain welcoming public priority. Plymouth has many benches near the scenic waterfront area. The one above is in Brewster Gardens right next to the Peace Pole. There are thousands of Peace Poles around the world in at least 180 countries and are inscribed in multiple languages with the message "May Peace Prevail On Earth," all as part of the world-wide Peace Pole Project. Judging by the current state of the world, I think we need more poles.
Monday, September 29, 2014
Sunday, September 28, 2014
The surf is churned up with the cool easterly breeze on this early fall day.
The flags whip violently at the top of the bluff.
Morning shadows are longer since the sun doesn't climb as high above the horizon as it did in July.
This is the real proof that summer's over - the leaves beginning their annual show.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
It is a special day at Priscilla Beach Theatre (PBT). The barn restoration structural work has been officially completed by Colonial Barn Restoration, Inc. of Bolton, Massachusetts! While much remains to be done by overall project general contractor Kelleher Fine Builders, Inc. of Kingston, Massachusetts, finalizing the structural work is an important milestone in PBT's restoration. Now in their 78th year, PBT is the oldest barn theatre still in operation in the United States. The restoration will be completed in time for next summer's performance season - "Fiddler on the Roof," and "Chicago" are already scheduled. My most recent blog post on the restoration is at this link, or, you can type "Priscilla Beach" in the search box in the right column of this blog.
The box office, main entrance, and restroom complex are taking final shape now.
The box office and main entrance.
Although this area on the northeast wall will house the new restroom complex, it also serves a dual purpose of containing the building's new structural steel anchor system.
This is some serious steel bracing but, wait until you see what it is attached to both inside and out.
The steelwork is anchored into poured concrete more than four feet deep into the ground which will keep the entire structure firmly and forever connected to both itself and to the planet.
On the inside, the steel coming up from the lower left in this image is the same piece of steel that outside forms the bracing and is connected to the concrete footing/foundation as shown in the previous three images.
This view is from downstage center - you can see the two steel beams spanning the width of the theatre. I'm neither an engineer nor an architect but, for a barn that has already stood for 135+ years with just a wood structure, all this steel work seems mighty substantial.
The building-spanning beams are actually a steel sandwich with additional wood beams in between the outer steel layers.
Otherwise, back to woodwork, here's the view of the stage.
And the view from upstage right outward to the audience area. You may note that the production staff mezzanine at the rear has been finished also. And speaking of the mezzanine, here's a great tidbit of information........
This dark brown beam at upper right is beneath the mezzanine just inside the main entrance door. Although the beam is no longer a structural support, Priscilla Beach Theatre Owner and Guardian Bob Malone wanted it be retained and told me that it portrays a unique feature of connecting the theatre to its full past. Former owner Dr. Franklin Trask (who passed away in 2003 at age 96) was the owner and founder in 1937 of the Priscilla Beach Theatre with his wife Agnes. He would sometimes visit the theatre even after selling it in 1962. Dr. Trask's story is that the marks on that beam were from the horses chewing on it back in the days when it was a functioning farm with livestock!
Just for fun to wrap up this post, here's a GIF showing some of the construction evolution during the summer. I couldn't get rid of that black band at the bottom since the images weren't all the same size. Live and learn.
Put Priscilla Beach Theatre on your calendar for next summer - you will be WOWED by their productions of "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Chicago" as the premier performances in the newly restored Priscilla Beach Theatre.
Friday, September 26, 2014
King Richard's Faire is a renaissance-style fair held annually in Carver, a town about an hour south of Boston and about 15 minutes west of Plymouth. The promoter has an 80-acre wooded site where you can see acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, minstrels, dancers, puppeteers, fire eaters, tigers, and lions - and more. It's a fascinating re-creation of a time gone by, displayed well by the talented performers. There are multiple stages that offer period entertainment as well.
A rousing pipes and drum trio welcomed the guests outside the entrance.
This man, and the images that follow show just a few of the many performers.
And every 15th-century event for the king and queen must include a show of horsemanship.
I like the way the horse looks with his mane flying hither and yon but, I don't like that the rider's head is blocked by the flag.
For this image I got a clear view of the rider but not the mane. It's always something.
The moment of contact as the kind and queen watch from the reviewing stand at rear.
The peasants of all types and ages watch the action.
And some just don't want to hear any more of it and are probably about ready for a nap. Sounds like a good idea to me, too.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
On a bright clear day in Plymouth Harbor, I'll often wander by the vessel Mayflower II to see if the light looks "special." It did on this day. The Mayflower II is a replica constructed in the mid-1950's of the original Mayflower that carried the Pilgrims from England to the "New World" in 1620. The replica was built in Devonshire, England by private donations from folks in both countries and sailed to the United States in 1957. It is a very popular tourist attraction here in Plymouth.
(Panorama - click image to view in full width).
The original Mayflower journey in 1620 took 66 days with 102 passengers and crew of 25-30 in a vessel approximately 100 feet long by 25 feet wide. They arrived on November 11, remained living on board the ship until spring, and when the winter ended barely half the colony was still alive. Imagine all those people living in cold New England winter conditions in a space smaller than a tennis court.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
This is White Horse Beach on a perfect late summer weekday. Parts of this beach are private and parts are public. In any case, there was nobody there but me to enjoy it. That's both an advantage and disadvantage of being retired.
Same general view but after walking a little ways up toward Manomet Point.
I always enjoy this arcing view of both White Horse and Priscilla Beaches in the distance.
It was much different a few seasons back during a big storm.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
An unusually pretty sunset graced Bartlett Pond on this late summer evening.
A few minutes later, it evolved into this. It was a complete sensory experience:
sight - spectacular color and drama,
sound - the distant waves of the ocean crashing and rolling the rocks in the surf,
touch - the feel of the warm summer breeze on the skin,
smell - the salty air blowing in off the ocean, and,
taste - the pesky mosquitoes that kept flying into my nose and mouth.
Note: these were both smartphone images rather than a stand-alone camera. (Panoramas - click on the image to view in full width).
Monday, September 22, 2014
The newly opened Mirbeau Inn and Spa in the Pinehills community has planted what will one day become a Monet inspired garden in its courtyard. Granted, the plantings need a few years of growth to appear like Monet's actual garden in Giverny, France but, the green bridge is in place and time and tending will take care of the rest.
Their bistro is a great place for lunch - indoors or outdoors on the patio. They even served a vegan burger accompanied by chickpea flour french fries! And no, I don't know how one makes fries out of chickpea flour but they sure tasted good.
Someone suggested to me that "mirbeau" loosely translates as reflected beauty. This view of the pond just over the railing illustrates that idea very well.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
On Taylor Avenue. Those of us old enough to remember the television show Saturday Night Live back in 1977 can clearly recognize what this sign means - conehead crossing.
This classic Taylor Avenue view stripped of color gives a timeless beach cottage look.
It may be the end of summer but these windows boxes still look great.
And in nearby Manomet, early morning long shadows graced this pond-side view. Soon, the green will give way to fall color.