In spite of the beautiful weather in Fire Island, we found the lighthouse lost in a dense fog that made it invisible if you walk just a little bit away from where we took this picture.
Category Archives: USA
Even if we came a number of times in Martha’s Vineyard, we never went to Chappy, the way the locals called Chappaquiddick Island. We just stand on the harbor platform in Edgarton watching the tiny ferry crossing to Chappy, carrying just three cars and all the passengers and bikes that can fit for a 3 minutes ride. The line for cars snakes through Edgarton and the wait can be even two hours. But the pedestrians and the bikes hop in the first available ferry that comes every 3-5 minutes.
The only cars in Chappy look to be ones on the ferry so it’s practically no traffic on the island that has just one paved road that goes through the forest towards the beaches. If you go the entire way to the end of the paved road the round trip should be around 8 miles. On the way, you pass the only store on Chappy, your only source of coffee, soft drinks and ice cream.
But if you leave the paved road and continue to the beach on Cape Pogue Road you cannot avoid stopping in front of the Mytoi Japanese Gardens, an unexpected presence of ponds, bridges, tori and stone lanterns besides all sorts of trees, all different, that are spread on a sizable surface fenced in the middle of the forest. Close by is the famous-infamous Dike Bridge featured in the movie with the island’s name, which tells the story of Senator Ted Kennedy’s car accident where Mary Jo Kopechne, his passenger in the car, died trapped inside the vehicle that plunged off the bridge into the tide-swept Poucha Pond.
On the other side of the bridge are the beaches of Tom’s Neck where all cars with deflated tires drive on the sand to several locations on the beach, the main attraction of the island. The cars get parked near the ocean and the owners bask in the sun all day near their vehicles.
In Provincetown, you feel that everybody has all the time in the world. People are always joyful and you can easily enter any place and strike an unexpected conversation that may stretch to an hour. It’s so refreshing to see this especially when you come from New York!…
The gay capital of the US is enjoying the sunny days of summer when the town is full of tourists and locals alike. The Commercial street always has some kind of chariots that advertise the nearby theaters’ shows and the restaurants are full.
It’s a pleasure to walk the streets and admire the well-tended gardens full of flowers in bloom and watch the relaxed residents reading books and sipping rose in lounge chairs.
And if you feel overwhelmed by the hassle and bustle of the Commercial Street, you can walk all the way to the Provincetown Causeway, a dike made out of large rocks in the bay, and walk all the way to the other side, more than a mile of scrambling rocks, and end up on the almost deserted Wood End beach where you can stroll for a couple of miles without meeting anybody.
We biked both these trails last year on the way to a hasted visit to Cape Cod. At the time, we did not have time to finish the trails and neither to research their interconnectivity that all the posters around them are mentioning. This time we had a little more time and we started on Blackstone river trail and rode till what proved to be its end in Woonsocket. The trail is represented on the map as going all the way to Worcester. MA, many more miles up the road but talking with the local bikers proved that it is just a faraway “future plan”.
Actually, both bikers we spoke to wished the locals have been more honest about the trail map because the trail ends clearly in a large parking place in Woonsocket. From there you have to ride for about 20 minutes through the town center on four-lane roads with full traffic just to get to the other side where I was told that there are just 5 more miles of built trail. Both were saying that it is not worth to ride through town to get to the other side and it’s better to return and bike towards the East Bay Trail.
So we did as they said trying to look for the connection to the beautiful East Bay trail but unfortunately, the situation was the same. You had to bike through a number of towns in order to get on the other side so we gave up and drove on the highway to India Point Park where we left the car and rode the 30 miles round trip to Bristol enjoying lunch at the same pleasant Behive Cafe in front of the Colt State Park.
If you ask some people in Fair Harbor when they started to celebrate Bridgehenge they may say that is a tradition started in antiquity when the Crabtree Bridge that connects Fire Island to Long Island was not the union built metal bridge of today but an ice bridge…
But others may say that the tradition is way newer even just a few weeks old… But in any case, I posted several years ago from the inception of this beautiful tradition of sun celebration so I can witness that it goes for at least four years, if not the promised millenniums.
Bridgehenge is a fun celebration of the day when the sun sets right on top of the Captree Bridge, an event attended by all the Fair Harbor citizens in their agora, the ferry dock, close to the well-known institution that is “Unfriendly Ice Cream” shop.
And being such an antique celebration of sun-worshipping it has to be hosted by a Grand Priest and a Grand Priestess and all citizens are purified, if this may still be possible, with burning sage. And all are blessed by music and dances performed by the 5 to 95 years old residents.
All are requested to write in chalk on the dock their wishes. But what to expect in a barefoot community of bike riders who pass one another by announcing “I am on your left”? All are liberals and many of the wishes are directed to you-know-whom.
Because the origin of the celebration is stemmed in antiquity, the feast comes with its own sacrifice, which is done each year by the same charming resident who is able to sacrifice herself but resurrect like the sun, so she is recyclable.
She runs between the citizens who are holding tall their palms, or actually some reed instead of palms – don’t forget we are on the East Coast, not the West Coast, so no palms here – and dives in the deep of the ocean like a siren.
And the sun did also its amazing daily trick and set right as planned on top of the bridge in a spectacular sunset admired by all, all barefoot and with a drink in their hand, in one of the hottest days of the summer.
After the celebration a late bike ride in pitch dark for the ones who do not rent a house on the island under the spectacular light of the Fire Island lighthouse avoiding the roaming deer.
For the 4th time, and two consecutive times, the USA became a world champion in soccer. The team led by the incredible Meghan Rapinoe defeated Holland in the final in Lyon after a spectacular match played in fair play and without the theatrics often encountered in men’s soccer. I watched many of the games of the women World Cup and I could say that the sometimes lack of technical skills was fully compensated by open games with fewer fouls, no faking and dynamic matches that were way more interesting that many played by men. Congratulations ladies!
And also, congratulations to Meghan Rapinao and her teammates for stating that they do not want to go to the White House for celebrations. The orange moron does not deserve your presence. We stand with you!