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Beyond the Pale - A 'pale' is a fencepost. The English Pale was a boundary in Ireland marking out the part of Ireland under direct English rule circa 1450 (which included Dublin and environs). Those that lived 'beyond the pale', outside of English rule, were considered out of control and uncivilised. You decide...

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Letters from the Americas 2005 (part 6) - New England


Happy as pigs under a blanket (or words to that effect)

I DON'T WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD, I'M JUST LOOKING FOR A NEW ENGLAND

Get a memo out to the Kennedys, there's a new Irish Mafia in town and we're claiming New England...

The whole trip was like a tour of the flimography of our youth. (Yes, I said that, I'm that pretentious).

Forget the beack, check out the tunnel
Our first port of call was Newport Rhode Island, the smallest state in the Union with the largest wallets. It was unanimously our fav stop. Yachts, mansions, Kennedys, Rockefellers, cobblestoned streets, ye olde worlde cutsey wootsey little stores, beaches (with tunnels!), jetties, cliff walks, money talks, and old family bling.... as a former UCD Commerce student/D4 head my collar was stiffening spontaneously as I wallowed in the dream of wealth and drew up blueprints of potential summer houses. Myself, Jessica Fletcher, and the Ghost and Mrs. Muir are already signed up for the next Real World Rhode Island :o) FILM REF: High Society (Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby) 

Woah, we'll need sat nav
Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse
Next stop, Portland Maine. Myself and the girls, in our early youth, had bonded over our addiction to Steven King books, as we crossed the stateline right into the heart of Steven King territory, it was like a homecoming of sorts. We did have a funny moment on the way to Maine, we stopped to ask the way and expecting a long winded palaver Lian took out her pen and paper to capture these complex directions (see pic). Portland is a quiet spot, the city is very small, and unusually for an American city they have managed to keep all big brand names such as McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, etc out. Instead they have a lot of quirky local stores that add a lot to the city's charm. I grew up with my Dad quoting the poems from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow so it was cool to walk the streets of his hometown and get a feel for the inspirations of his poetry. The harbour, plethora of lighthouses and the exquisite Cape Elizabeth are impressive. I found it amusing that the somewhat sleepy baby of a city was also home, for a time, to the infamous Bette 'Come up and see me sometime' Davis. FILM REF: Misery

Which way is the screen?!
We upped anchor and headed to Lake Winnepesauke, unfortunately we hit our first bout of bad weather here, so spent most of the time holed up in the spooky motel run by a dead ringer for Cher! The area is considered the oldest resort town in America, the lake itself was gorgeous and hypnotic. We also got to accomplish a life long dream.... we went to a drive-in movie !! The whole experience was tremendous, we were like kids in a candy store, and in true blue American fashion it was a double-bill, all part of living the American dream. On our return home from the movies we encountered a beast on the road, I kid you not, it had dragged itself out of the lake and was lurching across the road, slimy, shiny, black and heading our way. We didn't stop to get clarification but we're all pretty sure it was straight out of a Steven King novel -it was a Tommyknocker! FILM REF: What about Bob


Roll out the barrel

Our last stop was Litchfield Connecticut, very posh, some great hiking trails and a vineyard of all things! We had breakfast in some side of the road cafe with nothing around for miles and found ourselves in a greasy spoon dedicated to the world of British pop/rock/punk; Oasis and The Clash posters adorned the walls, Blur emanated from the stereo. Loved it. America, it will always surprise you. This was especially surprising as the main players on New England radio stations are Phil Collins, Elton John and A LOT of country. By the end of it though we were knowin' when to hold 'em, knowin' when to fold 'em, workin' 9 to 5 and singing the prison blues. FILM REF: Mystic Pizza

Back in the USSR...wait, USA
We arrived back in NY yesterday, having clocked up 800 miles we were hardened motorists at this stage, left hand drive, right side of the road, automatic car, easy von peasy. That is until you hit New York, at one point in an attempt to change lanes, we found ourselves moved out of one lane but no-one would let us into the other lane so we essentially had established ourselves as an panic stricken immobile island in the middle of a sea of rushing chevys and cadillacs. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, so I rolled down the window and in my best jersey girl impression pleaded with other motorists 'hey pal, give us a break, we're drivin here'... I didn't actually do that, I don't have the guts or the hoopy earrings to carry it off.


Shaken not stirred...pips on the side
NYC musical diner
Last night was Lian's last night, so we gave her a rousing girly send off by heading to the famous, Stardust diner, a 1950s diner with full on singing staff, then on to Broadway for Mama Mia (yes I am a gay man trapped in a woman's body), and we capped the night off with red apple martini's in the Mandarin Oriental hotel.

Off in a few hours to Halifax Canada

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1 comment:

  1. LOVE it - great memories, chuckling away to myself here :)

    ReplyDelete