Sunday, September 09, 2007

still squeezing out some sultry days tho autumn clearly imminent. near 100 and humid yesterday. last week we cleaned windows and in doing so took the a/c out, for how hot will it get from now on? okay, so we misjudged that. late afternoon we headed north toward a seafood festival in Hampden Beach that we heard about. an all weekend affair. during the ride up we saw towering clouds and weird light, and some rain. New Hampshire's seashore is just a little more extensive than that of Kansas, so all the usual seashore delights are packed into a modest area. Portsmouth, which is pretty swish and historical, will show you some fancy good times, grand homes and even artistic expression. Hampden Beach is a squalid playground, like Jersey's boardwalks, teeming and chockablock. the festival had attracted a crowd. we could've parked free and taken a shuttle in but wanted to pass thru. past, that is, the $10 municipal parking and $20 free enterprise opportunities. much car traffic and the streets were full of meandering pedestrians. we last ventured here in the winter, during a snowstorm, with a hard bitter wind blowing. it was a ghost town. now (but not for much longer)... people were still on the beach tho lightning flashes could be seen in the distance. and the panoply of delights that caught the eye: karaoke 7 nights a week, tattoo parlours (ooo, parlour, how grand), legal fireworks stores. and I believe you could find yourself a beer here and there. and fried clams. this area is part of the war zone between Taxachusetts and Live Free or Die. no sales tax in NH, and the state run liquor stores supposedly can save you money. also tobacco products are taxed less. I'm not sure you always save by going north, but if you are there for your much needed supply of fireworks, I guess it can all work out. it really was the body electric going on, people in a parade of eat, drink and be merrie. it looked like too much work: we gave the festival a pass. which is okay with me, fish is anathema for me. I can eat fish, and sometimes can even 'like' it, but I just don't want to. we moseyed to the town of Hampden, which is more sedate, pretty even. oh, I didn't mench the resort we passed. it appeared to be an inn, with a donut shop attached, perhaps a restaurant too, all packed in this little building. you'd never need to leave. and don't forget the $200,000 1 bedroom condo sort've near the beach and definitely near every manner of available noise and fun time ruction in the area. we ate at a restaurant we'd hit the last time thru. it is an inn of considerably more extent than that resort. there was a 35 minute wait at the main dining room, which meant that Erin would completely die from hunger before even seeing a menu. they said we could try the lounge, which indeed, after a moment's wait, offered up a table. the lounge was your basic sports bar, with 6 tvs tuned each to different college football games, and 1 Red Sox game. same menu. I don't know how it became the thing to serve up such hyper distraction--the tiresome thump of 'Benny and the Jets' serenaded us as well--but it's de rigueur. I rather like it, in small doses. swift-footed Ellsbury Jacoby lofts a 1st inning fly to leftfield, then sparky Dustin Pedroia pokes a sharp single past the 3rd baseman then David 'Big Papi' Ortiz strokes one into the stands of Camden Yard, where everyone seems to be wearing Red Sox garb. but someone went yard on Dice-K on about his 5th pitch and our scrappy team went down in defeat. not that we were there beyond that meatball that Matzusaka served up. the temperature dropped 20 degrees whilst we roamed. flickers of lightning and barely discernible thunder thru the night, and much needed rain. poetry is everywhere.