We have now been in Ohio for 3 days and this is the first time I have had to update the journey so far !
I haven’t made a daily post since 8th August, so the next 3 posts including this one will be retro posts to catch up. Hope this makes sense.
We set out from Canton, MA at 05.30am on Day 10, Sunday 9th & arrived in West Chester, Ohio at 21.04. The drive, including several stops for toilet breaks and food took fourteen & a half hours. This country is enormous. We travelled through 4 States – Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and finally Ohio. For some of the journey we skirted along the southern shores of the great lakes, namely Ontario and Erie. We crossed rivers, such as the Hudson and drove through Native American reserves, such as the Seneca Nation. I saw a bald eagle, a great blue heron, many vultures and several white tailed deer – all unfortunately dead at the roadside !
7th August 2014Canton, MA Another day, another drive – this time to Lowell, Massachusetts to take a look around the Lowell National Historic Park. We took a boat trip on the Merrimack Canal & some lunch at a Dunkin’ Donuts. We were meant to go on to the American Textile History Museum, but were pushed for time and the weather was threatening thunder and rain. Hope we don’t regret that ! Lowell is also home to the New England Quilt Museum. Lowell was the epicentre of the Industrial Revolution in the US and modelled its mills and production upon the industrial landscape of Manchester and other key mill towns in the UK. The architecture and canals are certainly reminiscent of that, as is the post industrial decline and renaissance through heritage and arts culture.
Club Diner in the historic downtown area. This diner was opposite where we took the tour today. We really wanted to go for lunch !!! Another time !
All Irish immigrant workers lived in an area of Lowell called Paddytown. Massive kerb and paving slabs suggest an industrial heritage. Something I would definitely aspire to try to achieve on a project somewhere.
6th AugustCanton, MA Visited a large thrift store – Savers – second hand & donated clothing and household goods. Really interesting displays of objects –
In the late morning we took off for downtown Boston and walked around the streets adjacent to Boston Common & Downtown Crossing. This liturgical suppliers caught my eye. This store is not the famous Sheehan’s of Boston but it was pretty interesting nonetheless. Actually, I now think that this store is called the Sisters Disciples Liturgical Centre at 43 West St.
A little further down the same road was this great book store – Brattle Street Book Shop – with external shelving, open to the skies. One of America’s oldest and largest Antiquarian Bookshops established in 1825. A new build project, Millennium Tower is a 60 storey development adjacent to the former Filene’s Store, which will now become a part of the development. Scheduled to be completed in 2016.
Mike’s Pastry in the heart of the Italian district is as famous an institution you can find…as if you couldn’t tell by the street scene & the level of noise in the shop ! More embossed tin tiles on the walls and ceilings. These look fairly new & I have seen suppliers advertising – must get a catalogue or some printed material about it.
The Earth & Planetary Sciences exhibition displays thousands of minerals and rocks to the most amazing effect.
I don’t think that I have seen anything quite as beautiful as this for a long time. This gallery was worth the trip in itself. The work was created by Leopold Blaschka and his son Rudolf. The commission started in 1886 and continued for fifty years.
A 42 foot long specimen of Kronosaurus in the Vertebrate Paleontology room.
Farmers Market in the contemporary public realm of The Plaza adjacent to the Science Centre and Memorial Hall. The Plaza was completed in 2013 by Stoss. It is built atop a covered underpass.
2nd August 2014Gloucester, Massachusetts Went whale watching today out of Gloucester, Massachusetts with the Cape Anne Whale Watch on the Hurricane II – and despite the rain and cold (very untypical weather), saw two Humpback Whales feeding. This is the second time I have been whale watching. The first time 14 years ago on my honeymoon I saw zero whales , so this is a great success by comparison. No photos of the whales however – it was raining hard and my mobile may have ended up in the ocean – so I erred on caution and simply experienced the scene as it happened in real time & not through a lens – an experience I would recommend! It may not make for the most riveting images of the day, but I can assure you I had a great day.
Actually on the wildlife front I had a great day all round ! – my tally for today is:
Canton, MA Planning for the day ahead: 1. May go to downtown Boston to visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum as it is free today. 2. I wanted to get up and walk somewhere as I could really do with some exercise – but then breakfast was too good to give up… So I will keep you posted on some images if any of this comes off… Well – we did drive into Boston – fairly heavy traffic all the way – unfortunately, queues around the block for the museum (we should have known better !)- so we just kept on driving and came back to Canton. Maybe a 2 hour round trip, but being driven around is such a treat – even that was enjoyable. Now back home & it is really humid , so I went for a long walk in the midday sum like any likeminded Englishman ! So hot – so sweaty – so stupid. Such a headache! Domestic architecture around here is wonderfully evocative of an America seen via the TV and from my childhood…Adam’s Family, Bewitched, even Scooby Doo !
90 Independence Street, Canton, Boston, MA. First full day in the US. This will be a day to rest. Sat on the deck in very warm breeze watching blue jays, red cardinals and 3 tiny humming birds , amongst other things chasing about the garden. Such a treat to do nothing but watch and listen. There is also something quintessentially American about the sound of trains as they pass through in the distance. Went on a visit to one of Rose’s friends. They have a black painted swimming pool, which appears like indigo – inky dark. Wish we could have been swimming in it ! Then off to Old Navy to get Nell some flip flops. Something has been killing grey squirrels here too. Steve says that four of the things have been found in the garden recently. One was still there on the lawn last night when we arrived. This morning only the tail was still there. We had a great journey over this time. We travelled via Dublin, from Heathrow. The advantage was that we cleared US Customs and Immigration in Ireland, which meant that we came into Logan via domestic flights, which really sped things up and wasn’t nearly so nerve wracking as usual. Heathrow Terminal 2 was a dream. Hardly anyone around, brand new with really helpful staff. The best check-in experience ever. Richard Wilson’s new sculpture is equally impressive, Actually it is stunning and has an air, both of modernity and fluidity as well as referencing the glamour & physicality of early passenger flight.