We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
There seem to be just a few things a 3-day visitor to Newport can do to get the most out of the visit. (Like a real travel writer, I like to figure out the essence of a place quickly. I know that is not really possible without friends who live there, so I may BS a bit.)
Here's what I figured out:
1. Take a stroll down Thames St. and look at the boats and all of the cool piers and pubs.
2. Bike or take a hike down Bellevue Ave. from town out to the end, or, better, continue on and make it a bike ride all the way around the Ocean Drive back to the harbor. It's only about 12 miles.
3. Walk a few segments or more of the Cliff Walk. Do it early in the morning and beat the rush.
4. Scout out the antique areas of town where the tourists and drinkers don't go, and there are no shops. The Point is one such neighborhood. Also, around Spring St. Probably plenty more nooks and crannies we didn't find.
5. If you must, check out the interiors of one or two of the grand "cottages." ("Cottage" means that they aren't really winterized. Summer places.) I don't really like them or want to see the insides, but it gives one an idea of what life could be like for an ambitious entrepreneur before the income tax, the corporate tax, and the SEC. And with 20-30 servants to keep things functioning smoothly.
6. Rhode Island seafood always seems to have a Portuguese spin on it. Even a bowl of steamers has hot peppers, red peppers, chorizo, and onions in it. Not bad at all, but not my favorite. Mrs. BD loved her grilled salmon with sweet barbecue sauce on a bed of pickled red cabbage. People say The Mooring has the town's best seafood. It is housed in the old Station #6 of the New York Yacht Club, which has moved to a quieter side of the harbor.
7. On a rainy day, I'd probably stop by the Tennis Hall of Fame, right on the main drag.
Photo from along the Cliff Walk, facing the Atlantic Ocean on the right. I think that is the charming Little Compton in the distance.
More random Newport pics below the fold.
The inner harbor on The Point:
View from inside The Mooring restaurant:
A tasteful cottage out along the Ocean Drive, overlooking the Atlantic and the Spouting Rock Beach Club:
Another very similar one, down the street:
The Ida Lewis Yacht Club - one of the most modest and yet most important and exclusive yacht clubs in the world:
Shingle style, right off Bellevue Ave. Nice, but why the ladder?
From across the inner part of the large harbor. Lotsa very nice sailboats:
A better shot of that Dunkin Donuts truck:
A little cove on the Ocean Drive:
This humble cottage is towards the southern end of Bellevue:
Typical street in the Point neighborhood. Nobody goes there. All 1700s:
Another street in the Point. Clearly just a typical New England turn of the century development. Regular America:
Another non-grand Newport house around Kay St:
Typically elaborate entry to one of the grand rock piles on Bellevue:
Folks watching the World Cup and drinking on Thames St:
Yep. Lots of things to see and do in RI. Wish I'd known beforehand.
I spent a long weekend in the parking lot of some donut place staring at a cell tower over yonder while making 911 calls and talking to the RI state police. (Testing for the E911 system for Sprint (2001)). A fun thing to do for hours at a time while the techs debugged the routing of the calls. zzzzzzzz
Went to some arboretum to look at some old rich guy's topiary. The old ladies gave me the fish eye when I showed up by myself to walk through this guy's garden. Apparently they don't get a lot of single old farts in jeans touring a garden by themselves. Hope it gave them something to gossip about the rest of the day.
I just wish I had gone to look at the boats. And the bars. That would have been a lot more fun than w-o-r-k.
You Northerners seem to have a language all your own!
"but why the ladder?"
Er, damn good question. And it not only looks like the ladder's painted to match the house, but is that a landing for it at the bottom? Best I can come up with is that someone wanted to add "Elopement-ready" to the description.
Just got back from a trip back east to visit family - we did the Cliff Walk. The ocean/bay, beautiful smelling flowers on one side along the cliffs, and old spectacular mansions on the other side. Absolutely a spiritual adventure. Bring your own water, a good camera, and take your time to enjoy this gift from God :)
Unfortunately, I then had to fly back home here to the brown mountains, houses, and sky of Phoenix - and 110 degree humid heat. All part of His plan I trust :)