Walking the beat By Ellie Cook Spring looks possible On Monday, spring looks possible. Sun’s bright and warm; birds are singing; snowbound shortcuts are opening up and mud, glorious mud, is squishing underfoot. Readers may have noticed that I’m a sucker for clever signs, bumper stickers, graffiti. Seen inside Paradise Copies, by the kiddie play area: “Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free kitten.” On a car parked regularly by Radio Shack: “Come over to the dark side. We have cookies.” (This one
Walking the beat By Ellie Cook The sun is out The storefront at 184-186 Main St., where the restaurant Eclipse recently closed, is looking for new residents, according to the gently worded sign in the window: “This elegant building’s inner beauty is getting ready to shine again.” Look up: It is indeed an elegant structure. Also in the window is an artful exhibit of tiny bark-and-pine-cone houses, rough-hewn ceramics and peacock feathers. The sign indicates that William Turomsha is heading the project, with Tristram Metcalfe III as
Readuponit: Travel and Voracious Reading By Max Hartshorne I found my essential moment of this exciting trip through prosperous and friendly Colombia … It came while I looked up at the steep green hills of the Corcora Valley while standing on the back of an old Willy’s Jeep, driving down a tree-lined country road. Yes that was it. We were in a caravan of three Jeeps, and the beauty of the place and the mode of transportation made for a very wonderful Tuesday afternoon. The Jeeps came
Readuponit: Travel and Voracious Reading By Max Hartshorne We walked down a tunnel to visit the first of 14 stations of the cross, each a designer’s own interpretation of his particular moment of Jesus’ life. Blinking LED lights welcomed us with a rotating display of world flags in the tunnel. It’s the most popular tourist attraction in Colombia. It’s nearly 600 feet down underground. It was built in 1992 and the 127 miners who helped build it are memorialized with holes drilled behind a cross.
Readuponit: Travel and Voracious Reading By Max Hartshorne It's always exciting to be in the company of people who are high on living in a certain place, especially when they've changed countries just to live there. Saturday night we had a large table at the Hilton and Sandro Leopardi told us all about his life's journey that brought him to Bogota. He was born in Rome, then as a child moved to Venezuela. When Chavez took office, Sandro moved to Colombia and started his tour
Readuponit: Travel and Voracious Reading By Max Hartshorne It was a rather odd time to depart on a flight from JFK – 6:55 a.m. So I tried to nap and then left Deerfield at 1 a.m. for the journey to the airport and after a relaxing five-hour flight, we were driving along the streets of Bogota, Colombia. This is my third trip to this country and like the past two trips, my hosts were eager to dispel the fear that might have been building up, with
Walking the beat By Ellie Cook Blizzard of 2013 Despite the melt, we’re still a bit snowed in, with the blizzard of 2013 encroaching on corners all over town. The storm was a test of everyone’s patience. As a walker, I appreciated the homeowners and businesses that cleared their walkways immediately or within a day. Kudos to Smith College, always ready for a storm. The college’s sidewalks were open right away, despite difficult conditions. Neighbors on Chapel Street took care of business as soon as
Readuponit: Travel and Voracious Reading By Max Hartshorne Blogging is not for everyone. It’s hard to keep on doing this in my ninth year - the energy begins to drain away, and the number of readers goes down. It’s a cycle that’s hard to buck, and I’m trying now to be as invigorated as I was when I began this blog in November 2004. In life, it’s all about the ups and downs, the ebb and flow is scary but that’s all that is predictable.
Readuponit: Travel and Voracious Reading By Max Hartshorne Like everyone else in New England, I watched the approaching storm with trepidation. I did the mental checklist in my head, preparing as best I could, getting gas for the snowblower. I was confident I would be ready with my 1970s-vintage orange Ariens. We looked out our window at the street light, our regular snow checking vantage point, and as it poured down sideways, we settled in for the night. The next day I went
Readuponit: Travel and Voracious Reading By Max Hartshorne I often think of the advantages of not being as rich as Frank Sinatra once was. That’s because when you’re a tremendously wealthy singer and movie star, you don’t get the chance to do things that are very satisfying, even if they feel like work. Whenever I have painting to do, I think, Frank never got a chance to have this satisfying sense of accomplishment, of looking over the room you just painted and sighing that contented