Thursday, August 25, 2016

Boston & environs: A portly day

We started in Milwaukee. When I went through security and emptied my pockets, I forgot I had two rolls of film that I didn't want to go through the radiation in checked baggage.  They got caught by the full body scanner (knee replacement, ya know).  The TSA guy asked me what they were.  I think that's just part of the procedure. He was old enough to have seen film before. He took them over to the electronic sniffing device just to make sure.  We put them in Sarah's purse on the way back so that didn't happen again.

For days Weatherbug had been predicting 50 to 70 per cent chance of storms for our departure time, and the expected storm had been moving across Wisconsin all day at what seemed to be a variable rate.

Got boarded and the storm held off so, out on time though.

Andy and Kristin thought going to Maine was a good thing to do on a hot summer day in Boston.

First stop for lunch was in Portsmouth, N.H.  Very historic town, but also some rather new looking hip passages. That's the restaurant to the left, but no one was outside in the heat.

The restaurant was Friendly Toast, which also has a location in Cambridge.  They describe it as eclectic, but that actually means they exhibit a large collection of often kitsch memorabilia.

We sat right next to this rather long fellow.

Which foreshadowed our next stop. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's childhood home in Portland, Maine.

Not the best day to tour an authentic 18th century house, except the authentic cooling systems like opening windows weren't used and all the windows were covered by shades to protect against UV damage to the furnishings which were the actual ones from the family. Kind of seered the experience into your brain somehow though.

Lovely garden in the back, begun by Longfellow's sister, Anne, who lived there with no modern renovations until 1901, when she gave it to the historical society.

The Historical Society is just off Monument Square. Even after all these years it's still a little odd to see pictures of what was a rather busy street deserted by a 6 second exposure.

Before the internet, time and temperature signs used to be the only other way to find out how hot it is was other than by calling on a land-line phone. Must still be a big deal in Portland because they have a whole skyscraper named the Time and Temperature Building.  Anyway, this device changed on a one second cycle.  I tried to get two temperature appearances and one time so you could see it was 98 degrees (F), but it didn't quite work. (Duh, I could have just covered it with my finger when the time was displayed?!)

We figured we would at least imagine it was cooler in the Scandinavian Import Store.  Actually, Andy needed a lefse-flipping stick. Kind of interesting trading being-raised-with-Norwegian-traditions in the Northeast and the Midwest stories with the owner.

Proceeded to the also cooly named Portland Hunt and Alpine Club, a cocktail and inventive appetizers establishment nearby for refreshment.

Kind of rustic decor, but with a sophisticated menu. Inspired by the Scandinavian experience Sarah and Andy had browned butter-washed Acquavit cocktails. The very tasty flatbread with slabs of locally sourced blue cheese and honeycomb hors d'oeuvres seemed appropriate too.

While we were there the hot humid air we had been sitting in met with some colder air from inland and clashed overhead, dropping an impressive amount of rain.

There was a break so we headed out again.  Here's the view of the harbor with the still threatening clouds.

Headed down to the Portland Museum of Art which had an enlightening exhibition of women in modern art and abstraction in the early 20th century..

The museum had a rather impressive collection for a regional institution. Didn't display any photography, but I saw my second painting by Steichen.

While there, the rain started up again - a little more consistently this time.  This scene out the third floor windows reminded me of impressionists paintings of evenings in Paris, but the long exposure erased the taillights which gave great highlights to the scene, and the overexposed sky disguises the gloomy aspect of the weather.

All with the Populist. .15mm pinhole 24mm from 24x36mm frame.

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