Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Waiting Game

Waiting for the bus--on Nicollet Mall, 1973 (Donald Emmerich)
We return to our summer series, Poetry in (Slow) Motion with a poem that concerns that unavoidable condition for the subway or bus passenger, waiting. Waiting for a train or bus to arrive, or waiting for the one you're on to get moving again. Bertolt Brecht's "Changing the Wheel" (tr. Michael Hamburger) seems a good antidote or at least poses a good question for the would be commuter:

I sit by the roadside.
The driver changes the wheel.
I do not like the place I come from.
I do not like the place I am going to.
Why with impatience do I
Watch him changing the wheel?

The photo above is from the Environmental Protection Agency's DOCUMERICA series, which set out to "photographically document subjects of environmental concern" (compiled 1972-1977).

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tornado Alley?

Driving back from Maine, fog gave way to light rain, then downpour crossing into New Hampshire. WBZ radio reported a tornado warning for southeast Essex County, MA. Rarity of rarity this far east. Sure enough, a tornado did indeed cut through Revere, damaging hundreds of homes (Globe story here). Driving southwest on Rte. 495, on the other side of the county, the tail end of the storm was visible ahead, giving way to a beautiful summer day.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mountain Beach Road

Another Richard Tuttle print pairing. When Pressure Exceeds Weight (2012), from the retrospective at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, and Seawall Beach on the Phippsburg peninsula in midcoast Maine. Unless you have a permit, you can only get to the beach by walking over Morse Mountain. It's not much of a mountain, and the walk takes only 40 minutes or so, but it keeps the beach from ever having more than a few people on it at a time. (The greenheaded horseflies also discourage the human population.)

Here's the beach:
And here's the road that brings you there:

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Not a Road?

Above, central image from Richard Tuttle's print series, Dawn, Noon, Dusk: Paper (1), Paper (2), Paper (3) (2002), which I saw yesterday at a beautiful retrospective of Tuttle's prints at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. The title suggests it portrays noon. And there is absolutely no suggestion the blue line represents a road. Still, I couldn't help associating it with the setting sun seen from Rte. 209 as it winds into Popham Village, Phippsburg, Maine.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Swimming Hole Road

Parker Head Road on Maine's Phippsburg peninsula. For the first time in my experience there's a sign at the head of the road: "Detour. Road closed. Local traffic only." I've driven it many times but never walked it until today. Or part of, that is, we never made it to Parker Head. Here the road approaches a narrow bridge that connects a pond with the Kennebec River.
The bridge is equipped with steps into the water on the pond side for locals who use it as a swimming hole--like the mother and daughter who arrived with their towels just as we were passing.
It is also equipped with a a fish ladder for local alewife. Good for people, good for fish.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Beach Road Getaway

Here's the road that runs between Weekapaug Beach and the salt pond behind it. The beach is for Weekapaug (one village of Westerly, RI) residents only. But if you get on before 8 and off before 9, as I did yesterday morning, you can enjoy it free of hassle--and of other people, by and large.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jailhouse Road

Church Street, Norwich, Connecticut. One of a handful of streets that comprise Jail Hill. Early on, a community of free Blacks, brought to Norwich originally by the vicious "triangle trade" of slaves, sugar, and rum. Later a pulpit for abolition of slavery and an important stop on the Underground Railroad. The building on Main St. below is the Dunkin' Donuts I worked at in high school, long out of business. How exactly does a Dunkin' Donuts go out of business anyway?