Monday, August 03, 2015

Vacation Day 5-7: Fiddles and Foghorns


Friday we left our lovely cabin in the woods and drove the long way to spend shabbat with friends of friends in Sharon, MA. We found a little river (Miller's River) in some little town (Erving) next to which to eat our lunch. We detoured a bit to south Worcester to buy a few things, and as a result we passed through Rhode Island on our way.

As a side note, on our way to the theater on Thursday night, we briefly passed through New York (going from Vermont to Vermont). That means that, together with our Maine trip next week, we have hit six states.


Sharon is a quiet town. While not entirely free of scandals (I won't link to it), it is considered one of the best places to live in America, particularly considering wealth and diversity. There are seven synagogues and as many churches and a big mosque. Our hosts live right near a woods and a lake.

Our hosts Lisa and Marc, and their kids Ezra and Eitan, were great, and the experience was exactly what I wanted. They started as strangers and ended up as friends. It is comforting to be back in an Orthodox community for shabbat after traveling during the week.

The Young Israel is looking for a new Rabbi. The shul not only has a kiddush club, it has an entire refrigerator and shelf marked "reserved for the kiddush club", with padlocks. After synagogue, someone got up and said that sometimes you have to say things that should be blatantly obvious, so here goes: don't murder people you disagree with. (I leave Israel and everyone starts killing each other. Cut it out.)

We played some Taboo and took a brief walk near the lake. Shabbat went out late. After shabbat we headed out to other friends of my kids to sleep over.


Sunday morning we went with these friends to Rubin's for breakfast (overpriced and only so-so).

Then we went to Faneuil Hall and the other markets downtown, since we were told that they are within the nexus of "what to do" in Boston for a few hours on a Sunday. The good part of the area was the street performances. We saw a comic juggling/acrobat team The Red Trouser Show performing in front of Quincy Market. They were a little long-winded but funny and talented enough. We saw a mother and two daughters stringed instrument trio Tatu Mianzi (two violins and a cello) performing on the side of Quincy Market. They performed competently and energetically in the sunshine and they smiled a lot. I watched them while Tal was shopping. The bad part was that the entire place was endless retail, tourist shopping ... not all crap, but mostly. And statues of basketball players.

Historical Boston and its freedom trail starts not too far from there. See that if you're into historical things.


We picked up more kosher food and headed to Portland. Saarya went off to discover many interesting things (including a Jewish museum or something) while Tal and I attended the Girls Night Out tour with Rachel Platten, Colbie Caillat, and Christina Perri.

Tal was the one who decided to go, and I love Colbie, so I joined her. I had not heard of Rachel, and I had listened to some of Christina's songs and not been overly impressed.

Rachel was a good performer with some solid songs. We enjoyed her small set. It will take a bit more time before she looks completely natural on stage. She is on her way, if she can keep writing good songs.

Colbie was delightful. I thought she sounded and looked a little more smooth - less quirky - than her album voice/photos, but Tal disagreed with me. Anyway, she was a solid performer with a list of solid songs, including her new ones. I can't say much more about her ...

Because Christina blew me away. Christina is an incredible performer with the most amazing voice I have ever hear in person. Either she didn't sound anything like her recorded music or I just never listened properly. Wow. She looked a little odd. She is covered in tattoos and her songs are often painful (becoming less so over time), but on stage she is constantly smiling and dancing around like a sixteen year old. Between songs I heard her giggling. Nevertheless, of all the musicians I have seen on stage (including Alanis, who walks like a duck, and Rhianna, who performs like a stripper), Christina was the most natural and entertaining.

The concert was outdoors on a pier, with large boats coming into and out of the harbor with an occasional fog horn. When they did, the singers shouted out to the people on the boat, and in one case the boat honked back at them.

The weather has been beautiful; could hardly have asked for better. I understand that Israel has been boiling. So sorry to have missed it. :-)

We found our next AirBnB location on a little island on the coast of Maine, and, while I haven't seen it in daylight yet, so far it is gorgeous and perfect.

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