Friday, October 22, 2021

Little Guinness in Providence

Once again on our way to visit the offspring. Impressed by it's recovery from light leaks, I set out with Little Guinness. At the Appleton airport, despite being almost noon, our airplane must have dead-headed in from Chicago. Foreshadowing our future flights, it just sat on the tarmac for twenty minutes with several United employees with dayglo vests deplaning before they moved it over to the Jetway for boarding.

The overhead bins on commuter jets are smaller than on big airliners and United pre-emptively gate checks your bags. That would be fine except you have to stand around halfway down the jetway waiting to get them back while the people who checked luggage walk past to get to their connecting flights.

There was plenty of time waiting at O'Hare. We landed on the F concourse near the main connecting hallway and this gate was right where it connects to the B concourse so we had hardly any walk at all. This was just after we got there. By boarding time the place was packed.

The weather looked a little unsettled, but the radar on Weatherbug only showed some mild showers.

We boarded on time and even pulled away from the gate a little early. About the time we got to the first taxiway we were informed that there was a "little disturbance" over this side of Lake Michigan and all eastbound flights were being held til it cleared. That only took ten minutes but it took two hours to get our turn on the runway again including a complete circuit of the extensive taxiways.

Boston was crawling with marathoners and their families, so we went down to Providence. Our first stop was this picturesque galleria for lunch at a restaurant we picked because of it's punny name, Rogue Island, but it was temporarily closed.

Half way down the hall, we encountered a bookstore dedicated to local notable author,  H.P Lovecraft.

They make no bones about not being a normal place. I've always thought Lovecraft was trying to be scary by just making up weird names for things. Andy characterized his style as "horror by capitalization." Other than ours for Biden-Harris, my favorite campaign sign on our block last year promoted Cthulu for President. The slogan was "Why settle for the lesser evil"

Then we headed to the Art Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design.

The special exhibition gallery held Defying the Shadow - works by black artists that "oppose a historical narrative of dispossession and domination that continues to violate the humanity of Other-ed bodies." Most of the exhibit was photography.

The galleries on the lower floors are in one building and on the upper floors in another. This is the view out of the window in the passage that connects them.

In addition to four other institutions of higher learning, downtown Providence is the center of government of the state of Rhode Island. Built in the early 20th century, The Providence County Courthouse occupies a plot of land that had some judicial function since 1723 and now also houses the Superior Court of the State. Providence is where the idea of separation of church and state began after Roger Williams got kicked out of Massachusetts and started his own colony.

Crossing back over the Providence River, I was struck by the seemingly random placement and disparity in scale between the small 19th century building and the minimalist modern monsters looming over it.

Providence is one of the oldest colonial cities in the country. I'm always fascinated by the parade of historical styles on the relatively narrow streets.

Finally, lunch at the historic (from 1933) Congress Tavern. The friendly waitress, whom Kristin said had the most archtypical Rhode Island accent she'd ever heard, kept us entertained with commentary on the wedding that was being set up across the courtyard.

We also had to visit a couple of microbreweries. This one still had their pandemic seating on the sidewalk. It was right across from a photographer's studio whose sign said "Film • Photography." I got a little excited until I looked him up. He was using "film" in the sense of motion pictures.

Our evening adventure was the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular at the Roger Williams Zoo.

They're not kidding about the spectacular.  Six thousand individually carved pumpkins are on display, sometimes decorating a fifty foot tall tree. The show goes on for a month and they replace the pumpkins as they wilt.

The event includes lighted displays on the lake with spooky boat rides and a zip line over the water.

The first night we were there, in the wee hours of the morning,  I broke the flush lever on the upstairs toilet. It turned out it had been modified with discontinued non-standard parts and the entire flush mechanism had to be replaced.

Andy jumped into action and after three separate trips to the hardware store, returned it to working order.

After being told about four times that there wasn't enough room for anyone to help, I went outside to take pictures. One last pink rose of the season.

The action in the vegetable garden is pretty much over and cleaned up, but one last egg plant remains.

A basil plant is still very vigourous. Mine never get this big because I'm always after them to deal with the mid-August flood of fresh tomatoes.

The next day we went to one of their old haunts in Quincy for lunch. I got a Guinness to honor my little camera but ran out of film before I could get a close up of it.

Little Guinness has a hand-drilled .17mm pinhole 24mm from a 24x36mm frame.

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