NATICK, MA

December 18, 2022

DECEMBER VISIT HOME

It’s that time of year again. December is the time I make the pilgrimage to my hometown to visit my mother. She waits for her children to show up during the holiday and we all oblige. My older brother had already put a beautiful arrangement in front of her grave so I was thankful he still carries enough guilt to save me a trip to the florist.



I suggested the trip to my youngest brother and made it sound like so much fun that he jumped in the car without thinking and off we went. I should mention a Zen moment. A hawk was sitting on my car in my driveway and flew to the fence when we got closer to it. I’ve always associated a hawk with my deceased father so it seemed like an appropriate time for the hawk to show up right before we were heading to where it all began.



One of the stops on my list of things to do in Natick was to go by the falls and take a photo. I had heard from someone somewhere out there that they were getting rid of the falls but I have no idea how that’s possible or if it’s even really happening. I’m just glad I have the photo so that when I die my family can sell my computer at an estate sale and someone from the Cape will buy it and wipe out every photo, including the last known picture of South Natick falls.



Our first stop was naturally Casey’s Diner. You really can’t visit Natick without getting a few all arounds. Seriously the best hot dogs this side of the planet. I know people have been saying the hot dogs have changed over the years (me included) but today they were the hot dogs I remembered from my past. I ate three of them and I’m only telling you that to win your respect for being honest.



I failed to get a photo of Casey's so I stole one from the internet. Photo credit goes to the Natick Report.


Lookout Farm was another stop but not because I have many memories of it growing up. We never really went there much when we were younger and I don't know a lot about it but as an adult I love it and their red barn is always a reason for me to stop. The last time I was there a hawk was sitting at the top of the barn and I had hoped to see it again but it didn’t happen. How many hawks should I be allowed to see in one day anyway? 





We made our rounds at the cemetery (we have about a dozen people we visit) and if you know my brother at all you’ll know that I did all the talking to the dead. It’s exhausting and I could have used his help but I do admire his patience and lack of interruption. 

We took some time to drive by the old homestead. We lived next to the entrance to Kennedy Middle School and Brown Elementary School on Mill Street. The middle school is brand new and amazing but I immediately missed the old dumpy one I went to. At the risk of sounding like an old lady who can't keep up with the times…the original school worked fine for me. Why they gotta go and do all that?



Photo credit to the project management company at Compass Project Management


Side note: Now that the middle school has expanded, my brother and I thought they physically moved the entire elementary school closer but it’s just an optical illusion. Although we’re still not sure.

Side note #2: My brother made the astonishing announcement that he would move back to Natick if he could  and it just made me sad that people don’t live where they want to because life gets in the way.


I ended the day back on the Cape and it was a yellow-purple-pink-blue kind of a sunset but the clouds were not letting the sun take center stage. And that was perfectly fine.

I read a line today in The Untethered Soul that said..."the sun doesn't shine differently on different people." I wanted to share that this holiday season as I know people can get depressed, and although I have many moments of melancholy while I'm in Natick, I never waver from knowing that I'm not alone and that we are all, equally, in this thing called life together. 

Natick has my memories. Cape Cod has my soul.

Happy Holidays!






 

 


NEW YORK CITY

November 20, 2022  •  1 Comment

NEW YORK CITY IN NOVEMBER - 

With tickets to the Titanic Artifact Exhibition in hand, my sister and I headed to NYC together for the first time since covid handcuffed us to our houses. We also went to see a play at Wagner College on Staten Island (a leader in the field of performing arts) where a friend's daughter had a lead role in their theatre production of The Gentlemen's Guide and Grace was brilliant! We ate at the Stone House Restaurant on Staten Island and it was perfection!

We didn't book a room in advance in NYC as it was a Thursday in mid-November and we figured we wouldn't have a difficult time finding a room. We were (kind of) right. We ended up grabbing a room at the DoubleTree on 29th Street at midnight and no, I don't recommend it. I won't do a hotel review but let's just say the bed was comfortable so it served its purpose. Just don't book it.

If you're like me and you've watched the Titanic movie over 20 times, you will love this exhibition. It's everything you would expect and more. It's a basic museum style format with wall portraits and display cases but there's an audio narrative that explains every artifact and every family portrait and the whole thing is about as close as you can get to feeling like you were a part of the whole Titanic experience.

I will say that the set-up of the tour drove me crazy. I don't think they expect people to stay in line but everyone does because we're decent people but I'm giving you a tip right now that this is a time where you don't have to follow the herd. The exhibits are numbered and most people go from 1 to 43 without veering off the path but go ahead veer. 

Worth $31 to see real Titanic relics.

This is a letter from a passenger who most likely died from hyperthermia (which was how most people died) and not from drowning. It broke my heart that his sendoff was "goodbye" and not something like "yours truly." I'm so happy he at least got to say goodbye. And his sister Anna lucked out.

 


MOMENTS FROM THE WEEKEND



Walked past a chef taking a break with a Red Bull and a cigarette and gladly let me take a photo. True New Yorkers are always "all in" with pictures.


A chef takes a break with a cigarette and a Red Bull


There are just too many shapes and designs in NYC for me to keep up with. This was part of a staircase inside a store. Such an unexpected, beautiful piece of artwork that kept me thoroughly entertained.



What came first...the lot or the idea for the building? The Flatiron Building is a tourist attraction for photographers (hence the photo) and lovers of architecture. It was built in 1902 to fit the spot. 



The Union Square GreenMarket is an amazing outdoor market with the freshest of everything. Local farmers bring fruits, vegetables and just about any homegrown goods (no marijuana...sorry) and it's excellent. I bought an apple but didn't want to carry perishables around all day so didn't buy anything else.

I really wanted the bouquet of flowers that were only $10 and were gorgeous but I controlled the urge. I would love to have this market outside my door on Cape Cod. Everything from honey...to gourds...to turkeys was available.



I found an "island" on the island of Manhattan that I never knew existed. It's clearly newer and it is fantastic! My sister was shopping in Chelsea Market so I followed the sun which took me to Little Island

If you get sick of looking at buildings and pavement, this island is filled with winding paths and lush landscape and it's a perfect spot for sunset (the High Line that runs above the city was just too damn windy and cold to walk along so this worked out perfectly. The trees act as buffers). 



You can't really go to NYC without stepping your tired little feet into Central Park. We walked 19,000 steps on Friday and 18,000 on Saturday so we had to push ourselves to walk in the park for a little while. It was worth every tired step.



We finished our day with some light shopping in the Nolita and Soho area. It was a Saturday before the holiday and the weather was decent so there were plenty of people out and about. Too many for me since I'm not a big shopper and I hate crowds. Strangely, my sister wasn't really in the mood to shop so I now know there is a God.



Tidbit - We stopped at Rays since a celebrity started the restaurant and it has country music so we thought it would be fun. We pictured ourselves doing the Cotton Eye Joe all night but it was full of young, loud, stoned people so we didn't stay (and not because I'm old. It was packed). 

The guy at the entrance offered me a toke but I declined. Somehow a pandemic has taken the sharing of wet stuff from a stranger's mouth right out of me. My sister was already in a taxi so I had to run along anyway. Nice that he was so friendly though. 

Tidbit #2 - I wanted to go to Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn but my sister said no. I just want to get that noted.  

Fact - I never have enough time to spend in New York City.

 


 


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