Today is the 9th Anniversary of Designerblog. I have no interest in twitter, but do a lot on Facebook which I hear has made blogs obsolete. Nevertheless, I still feel blogs are irreplaceable for telling a story or revealing a life. I have loved blogging, still do, and am looking forward to many more years. Thank you to all of you who read Designerblog, especially to those of you who comment and become part of my life.
We spent the weekend with friends on the Rhode Island coast. Gary and Steve have a beach house in Westerly, one block from the beach and in walking distance of a reserve for birds surrounding a brackish water pond. There snowy white egrets and osprey nests. Like Fritz and me they both cook (very well) and like to explore. They'd suggested spending a day on Block Island, a place Fritz and I had always wanted to visit.
The ferry out of Point Judith on the west coast of Narraganset Bay takes just an hour to Old Harbor, Block Island. There was fairly heavy fog on the mainland that lasted for about half of the crossing, before giving way to a clear, hot day. The National Hotel, above, dominates the harbor, one of two Victorian-era grand hotels still in operation.
The other is the Surf, a "shingle-style" building typical of much of the look of the Island. We had lunched when we came on shore and spent the next several hours strolling the town, stopping for ice cream or cold drinks when necessary.
Old Harbor is an old New England town. Houses are close together and in summer flowers are everywhere. We stopped into shops and art galleries.
On the way back to Point Judith five jet skiers shadowed the ferry like dolphins, racing ahead and crossing the bow, then dropping back to leap over the boat's wake, regroup and surge ahead again.
All five, far from sight of land and about to cross the bow for the final time and race back to the Island.
Gary and Steve live in a comfortable old neighborhood full of some interesting houses, like this plain little two story with an unexpected gazebo on its entrance landing.
This was a modernization job that went wrong somewhere long the line.
Not all of the houses were small. A short drive and we were into the great old summerhouse of the super-wealthy of the late 19th-early 20th centuries.
The scale wasn't quite like the famous Newport "cottages" made of marble with grand ballrooms, dining rooms for a hundred and servants' quarters for a small army. But they have a presence of their own.
And Westerly can boast its own grand hotels. The Ocean House has an interesting history. Like so many of these enormous wooden structures, it burned to the ground one day, a pile of charred ruins all that remained. But the hotel was rebuilt in fireproof materials, an exact replica of the original building.