My friend C has lived in the funky little Pawtuxet Village in Rhode Island for the past 13 years, in a historic neighborhood of old Victorians, many of which sport enviable front porches. C, being an outgoing person, knows many of her neighbors and a walk from her house down to the cove often involves a stop or two to chat with someone sitting on their porch or tending their yard. Those who aren't long-time RI locals (who never leave this tiniest of US states if they can possibly help it) are often artists who went to the renowned RISD in Providence or writers like my friend C. She also has family roots in the state, though she picked out her neighborhood from the air while flying into TF Green (if you're in her yard in summer you can be fully engulfed in jet shadow as one passes overhead, like a field mouse under a coasting hawk).
When I visited on Saturday, many of the houses were still decked out for their annual Gaspee Days parade, which happened earlier in June. It commemorates the 1772 looting and burning of the British revenue schooner HMS Gaspee in the Pawtuxet River, leading up to the American Revolution. I had never heard of the incident before C moved there, but it is a Big Deal in the area, and they are already planning next year's events. C told me she just got on the planning committee for the first time.
I used to visit more often when I lived in Grafton, which is a bit closer than where I am now, and I was single and footloose. With D away this weekend, and my weekdays about to be consumed by the new job, it was a nice opportunity to visit with C. We had a delicious lunch at L'Attitude, walked a bit, then took separate cars to go to a backyard barbecue at a friend's place about 20 minutes away (not to eat again, though!). That was fun, too, as there were several people I knew and hadn't seen in many years - although, thanks to Facebook, we'd been keeping up with each other in the meantime. They're all appropriately oddball Rhode Islanders -- artists, writers and geeks (brought together by their science fiction devotion) -- smart, interesting and unpretentious. I had a great time. I left for home just before sunset, taking advantage of the long summer daylight.
Here are a few more pix of Pawtuxet Village, including a few from a previous visit.
It's looking to be a hot week in Boston. D has invited a few people to a 4th of July barbecue on his deck (last chance as he'll be moving next month), but it will not be especially comfortable out there. I'm recommending it start as late as possible to wait for shade and hopefully some cooling. I have today to myself, trying to get projects wrapped up and the house in order before my free time shrinks. Then we'll go food shopping tomorrow and prepare for the party, then maybe go see some of the pre-4th Pops rehearsal over on the Esplanade, and figure out a plan to find someplace cool to go during my remaining free days.