Massachusetts


Jul 27 2010

Adventure in Our Own Backyard: Northampton to Greenfield, MA

Published by under Travel

A post from one of the newest in the Globe Corner Bookstore family, Sam:

We began the day just after sunrise by searching for breakfast and a much needed cup of coffee. Driving north from Northampton, we spotted the classic polished steel siding and large neon lettering of the Whately Diner, Fillin’ Station. This original eatery from the 1960s was packed with hungry patrons and was complete with working jukeboxes and a scalloped chrome back wall behind the bar. Grabbing the few remaining stools at the end of the counter, we enjoyed hot eggs and pancakes as well as the speedy service keeping our coffee cups filled. Our fellow breakfasters consisted of a diverse group of families, truckers, tourists and locals all in search of a quick meal. After our meal and a quick read of the local newspaper we headed back to the road north toward Greenfield.

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Oct 13 2009

The Last Fish Tale by Mark Kurlansky

Published by under Book Reviews

The Last Fish Tale by Mark Kurlansky

The Last Fish Tale by Mark Kurlansky

Like Mark Kurlansky’s other books, including Salt and Cod, his most recent, The Last Fish Tale, explores one subject in great detail. In this case, the book could have easily been called Gloucester.  The narrative explores local Gloucester, Mass from past to present, covering fishing industry issues it has faced and how the city has progressed since then.

This book was particularly relevant to me, as I spent three frigid months last winter living out of a motel there, working on day-fishing boats for my job as a National Marine Fisheries Observer.  Since working at The Globe Corner Bookstore, I appreciate being dry, not being covered in fish slime, and being on solid ground.  Still, I miss Gloucester.  So when I picked up this book recently, I was transported back to that unique town.

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May 11 2009

Curiouser and Curiouser -or- Cape Ann Adventures

Published by under Travel

Memorial to Fisherman--photo by Llalan

Memorial to Fisherman--photo by Llalan

The first stop on “Cape Ann Curiosities” in Lonely Planet’s New England Trips is Gloucester. Curious is not the first word I would use to describe the town, but maybe they couldn’t resist the alliteration. I probably would have gone with charming or simply lovely. My parents would have gone with, “It’s time to move here.” The main street, lined with budding trees and locally-owned businesses, winds down to the ocean and the iconic fisherman statue and memorial. Facing the ocean were old houses with widow’s walks around their roofs. Given the number of fisherman lost at sea who are honored at the memorial, Gloucester has known its fair number of widows.

The next “curiosity” we visited was an artists’ colony in East Gloucester. We walked down one street populated only by artists who were more than happy to show and explain their works to us. Even the

Cape Ann Brewing Company--photo by Llalan

Cape Ann Brewing Company--photo by Llalan

shops themselves were artsy, each one decorated to match the personality of the artist living there. And there was something for everyone: paintings for my mother, jewelry for me, miniature replicas of ships for the boyfriend, and real ships bobbing at the docks outside for my dad. My parents’ desire to move there increased manyfold. Our visit to the Cape Ann Brewing Company further convinced Dad and me that it was time to order a U-Haul.

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Apr 30 2009

Summer is Just Around the Corner

Fun at the Beach

Fun at the Beach

Weather-wise, it was perfect in Boston this weekend. Everyone seemed to be in a fantastic mood, people broke out their summer clothes, neighbors were sitting on their stoops, invitations to barbecues were popping up, and people were seriously starting to plan trips to the beach. Thanks to the weather forecast, I now know that the sun will disappear soon – most likely on my next day off from work – but that shouldn’t stop me or anyone from planning their next beach adventure. One must be prepared to take advantage of every weather-permitting opportunity. My godson Andy, who is featured in the photo, is always ready and willing to head to the closest beach. All he needs is his hat, shorts, sunscreen, adult supervision and he is ready to go. All the adult supervisors need to know is where to go. Continue Reading »

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Sep 19 2008

State By State: A Panoramic Portrait of America

Published by under Book Reviews,News

State By State: A Panoramic Portrait of America

State By State: A Panoramic Portrait of America

I have never known the correct word for someone who lives in Massachusetts and I have never really bothered to find the official name. Is it Massachusian… Massachusettite? The only thing I have ever heard was not very flattering and is something usually yelled at people driving on the Mass Pike.  When asked, I usually start to trip over the word and then just say, “I live in Boston, but I will always be a Washingtonian at heart.”

Yesterday, I was checking out a book new to our shelves: State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America. It is a compilation of 50 writers writing about 50 states with the lofty goal of “explaining America to Americans.” Inspired by the WPA American Guide series of the Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s, the editors of this project commissioned 50 writers, cartoonists, a cook, and a musician to write an essay about their home or adopted home state. (Washington DC is covered in the afterword.) The list of contributers is impressive and includes Dave Eggers (Illinois), Ha  Jin (Georgia), Susan Orlean (Ohio), Anthony Bourdain (New Jersey), and Carrie Brownstein (Washington State).

Each essay is preceeded by some general information about the state (which is great for trivia nights at the pub), such as the state’s capital, nickname, official flower, geographic center, and what to call the residents. That is where I discovered the answer to my question, and now I can say with some confidence that “I am a Bay Stater!”.

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Aug 14 2008

Biking Boston with Rubel BikeMaps

Boston BikeMap by Rubel BikeMaps

Boston BikeMap by Rubel BikeMaps

Each day I bike a very modest distance to work: a straight shot down Mt. Auburn Street – no turns and few stops. Thanks to recently installed city bike racks, nine times out of ten I can “park” directly outside the store’s door, and there’s even a bike lane on our block to ease my transition from street to sidewalk. In short, no fuss, no muss.

So, while I admittedly do not have use for a bike map on a daily basis, I still find Boston’s BikeMap, published by Rubel BikeMaps, to be a useful and remarkably well researched guide to biking in and around Boston (i.e. Brookline, Watertown, Somerville, Lexington, and more).

Here’s a brief list of features I’ve found to be particularly handy:

- All area bike shops are starred in red on the map and then indexed with addresses and phone numbers.

- Contour lines based on USGS topographic maps show hilly areas (aka, areas to avoid when already tired).

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