Showing posts with label fall river. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fall river. Show all posts

Monday, April 24, 2017

Borden Flats Lighthouse Hotel

One of my favorite lighthouses around is in Fall River. This is odd, because I tend to romanticize lighthouses as isolated things on the end of a lonely beach. In that regard, it's odd to see one while I'm eating Popeye's chicken in the car.

Borden Flats Lighthouse sits at the mouth of the Taunton River, where it empties out into Mount Hope Bay. If I were a better photographer, you'd see how cool it looks there, but that's why you can read this for free.

Borden Flats Lighthouse was erected in 1881. It, and the flats it sits on, are named for the famous Borden family of Fall River. The Bordens may have had a daughter turn up in the news at some point for some reason or another, I'm not sure....

I think the Borden family may have been into hotels, because the Lizzie Borden house is now a B&B. The Borden Flats Lighthouse, which looks pretty much like a lighthouse to me, is actually a hotel!

The actual good pictures are lifted from the Borden Flats Lighthouse website.

Fall River, a bustling textile town in the 1800s, got a lot of shipping traffic, as well as steamboat ferry action. Mount Hope Bay is rather shallow, and Borden Flats were ship-wrecking treacherous. It was formerly marked by an unlit beacon. $25K was set aside for construction of the lighthouse.

It went into action on October 1, 1881. It had a kerosene-fed fourth order Fresnel lens, and you know that I have no idea what that means. It got a modern plastic lens in 1977.

It was electrified in 1957, automated in 1963, and the fog bell was replaced by an electronic foghorn in 1983... a mistake in my view, but I also don't live near/have to listen to it.

The 1938 hurricane didn't topple Borden Flats Lighthouse, but it did give it a Pisa-style tilt that you notice once someone points it out to you. They built an additional caisson around it to keep it from having a ruined-castle style look.

In 2000, the lighthouse was auctioned off to Cindy and Craig Korstad, who are in the Buy Lighthouses And Turn Them Into Hotels business. I think they dropped $53K on it, then many K more renovating it.

It stands 50 feet tall, it has a 250 mm white light that flashes every 2.5 seconds, The foghorn goes off every 10 seconds, or- as Elwood Blues said when showing his apartment to Joliet Jake- "so often you won't notice it after a while." It is an active US Coast Guard aid to navigation, and is of the "Spark Plug" variety.

It seems to be tastefully decorated, and it looks delicate enough that I will be on the "Don't touch anything!!" prohibition orders from my photographer when we tour it.

That's right... you can tour it for $20 a pop. You can also stay the night, for rates as low as $299 a night off-season.

Here's what I can learn about it from the website without calling the people like a real reporter does:

- Swimming is "strongly discouraged"  as this is both a shipping channel and not too far down the coast from where the last fatal shark attack in Massachusetts happened. The current is around 7 knots, and the lighthouse is surrounded by large, diver-paralyzing rocks.

- It runs off solar panels, so having Chief Brody kill the shark by tricking it into biting the electric wire running to the lighthouse isn't a viable exit strategy.

- Just like when it was built in 1881, the lighthouse has a DVD player and can get local stations on the TV. It lacks WiFi.

- The best access is from Borden Light Marina, the trip takes 5 minutes. I'm not sure if they ferry you over themselves. It would be a heroic swim, especially while carrying luggage.

- BYOB allowed, no smoking inside.

- You call 911 for emergencies, unless you know the Sea Mafia or perhaps even Aquaman. They say that the Justice League only keeps Aquaman around in case trouble arises at the Borden Flats Lighthouse.

- The Coast Guard has 24/7/365 access rights to the lighthouse.

- Sunsets are amazing from the lantern room. I'd imagine that the rest of the day is pretty nice up there, too.

- The lighthouse, like every other one, is haunted. The ghosts seem to be a giggling little girl, a classical music fan, and one of the keepers entering the lower floor while you're on an upper one.

- If you dream of buying a lighthouse, understand that there is Herculean maintenance involved. "You can't buy it and visit it once a year, your investment will wash into the sea." Much of the hotel revenue is poured back into the lighthouse via renovations and maintenance.

- Two guests only, and no pets allowed... even seals.

- The picture below is from US Coast Guard, circa 1900:

Monday, January 30, 2017

Boston Slang, Deep Cuts

We stumbled across the Glossary Of Boston Slang on Wikipedia a few moons ago, and we thought we'd rifle through it and draw some items to your attention.

A few things need to be addressed before we start.

1) The glossary, which by name implies that Noah Webster pored over it, instead has that edited-by-teens look.

2) Your author, although born in Boston and a former resident of Dorchester and Quincy, is very very Irish Riviera. I moved inland once, and went back to the shore in 5 years. This geographic isolation will show in the slang that I recognize.

3) Many terms mean one thing in the city and another thing in the suburbs. Both forms are generally and technically correct.

4) We intend to treat several terms as either Retired or Redundant, both by Prominence rather than Obsolescence. They have been beaten to death in many a meme, and someone who assumes that a Massachusetts audience is just learning these words is most likely a Californian.

Among these terms are:

Wicked Pissa
Fenway Frank
The Cape
Tonic (which may have died out here anyhow)
The Pru
The Pike
Marsh Vegas
The Hub
Regular Coffee
The T
The Irish Riviera
The Dot (We almost included "Dot Rat" below, but it got the chopping block)
The City Of Sin
The Vineyard
Bang a U-ey
The People's Republic
The Green Monster

The elimination of these overused terms means that my own list below will be of the Deep Cuts, Junior Varsity, 200-level class... and I'm OK with that.

5) We may or may not tangle with where-is-it-prevalent questions regarding sub/hero/grinder and other linguistic mysteries... kinda depends on how much filler I need, to be frank. (Ed: Frank is actually the author's brother)

6) I may come across as a rube to some of you, especially if you are older or more urban than I am. It's all good, and I will take enlightenment in the comments.

7) While we may use a town nickname or two to get a laugh, we already did a Local Town Nickname article.

8) I'm not working with Boston Accent versions of regular words. I'm looking more for local patois.

Let's look over some terms, shall we?

Swamp Yankee

The word "Yankee" means different things to different people. Our French editor tells me that the term is used in Europe (the French spell it "yanqui," which makes us sound like a Sasquatch type creature) to describe all Americans. The people of the American South use "Yankee" to describe anyone northern, even someone from New York. Northerners ascribe it to New Englanders. New Englanders ascribe it to northern New Englanders, and Maine/Vermont/New Hampshire will all just point at each other when you say it.

There is less wiggle room as to what a Swamp Yankee is.

Basically, it is a rural Yankee, although it goes deeper than that. Depending on who you ask, it can mean "old country family that is no longer elite or monied," "anyone from SE Massachusetts or Rhode Island," or "a term that Irish and Italian newcomers to a rural Massachusetts town use to describe the long-term residents."

"Four or five old country guys, sitting around a general store, having a lying contest" is a good description of the Swamp Yankee. Since even the rural towns are growing and becoming more diversified, the term describes an older and older man every year that passes. The term may even fall out of use, and pretty much has for a lot of people.

Although pejorative ("Yankee" implies industriousness, while "Swamp Yankee" aims more towards a bumpkin), it is very much like like the racial slur "ni**er," in that Swamp Yankees can call each other that name with love, but a city guy might get stomped if he says it in the wrong crowd.

This very magazine was almost named something with Swamp Yankee in it, but many definitions of the term stress a connection to English ancestry, and I'm as Irish as an 11 AM third beer.

Irish Battleship

Speaking of the Irish, this term has nothing to do with the Navy.

An Irish Battleship is simply a triple-decker house in the Irish parts of Boston.

There are some fun stereotypes to work with. Irish families tend to be large, so a triple-decker could spill out 30-50 people if they have bunk beds and so forth. These houses tend to be tall and thin, so as to allow the developer to fit more of them on a street. This gives the appearance of a warship when viewed from the front.

There's a reason that they call it an Irish Battleship instead of an Irish Freighter and so forth. The Irish like a good battle as much as they like a good bottle. I don't have the actual quote in front of me, but I heard something once along the lines of "your average Irish criminal has little use for things like Fraud, Embezzlement and Price-Gouging... but if there is some Fighting to be done, he is apt to have a hand in it."

With 40 people who may quite likely be inter-related in each house... if you mess with someone in their own yard, the whole battleship may come out after you.

The triple-decker is how housing was constructed in Irish neighborhoods during that time PJ O'Rourke described as "before city planners discovered that you can't stack poor people who drink."


The term "tuxedo" has no distinct connection to New England, and is in wide use everywhere. However, our little part of New England has very distinct uses of the term.

The term "Portuguese Tuxedo" or "New Bedford Tuxedo" refers to the practice of wearing a sport coat over a "premium soccer warm-up suit."

The "Fall River Tuxedo," on the other hand, is when you wear a sport coat over a hooded sweatshirt.

The "Irish Tuxedo" is when you're wearing shorts and a winter coat at the same time.


This sounds like a racial slur, but it actually refers to little goblins who supposedly haunt the swamps of the Bridgewater Triangle.

The term is from the  Wampanoag language, and Pukwudgies play a role in their folklore.

They primarily haunt the Hockomock Swamp, and have turned up in references as far east as Silver Lake in Kingston.

Whoopie Pie

A chocolate cake sandwich with creme filling. It was invented in Massachusetts, and has since spread nationally.

Whoever invented the Devil Dog pretty much just looked at a Whoopie Pie and figured out how to slim it down and make it mass-profitable. Devil Dogs were trademarked in the 1920s, as were Whoopie Pies. Both has been around for almost a century before they were trademarked, and they were known informally by their current names.

Also known as a BFO, aka Big Fat Oreo or Big F*cking Oreo. The Oreo, however, is a cookie, not a cake.

Southerners in northern bakeries will often mistake this for a Moon Pie, and are disappointed when they discover that there is no marshmallow or graham crackers in it.


This game is actually a Massachusetts variant of Ringolevio, a Brooklyn street kid game that evolved from a British game called Bedlam. "Relievio" is a spelling distinct to Massachusetts, however.

It is a much extended form of Tag, involving teams and jails. It is thought to have migrated into Massachusetts from Brooklyn, with minor name and rule changes as it bled into the former resort communities that now form Boston's suburbia.

This was the sh*t back when I was a kid on Duxbury Beach. You have two teams, and each has a jail at an opposite end of the neighborhood. The teams would chase each other around, capture each other, and jail each other. You could spring your team from jail by barging into the jail without being caught.

The Notorious B.I.G. referenced the game in Things Done Changed, calling it "Coco-levio" and referencing the "Coco-levio one two three, one two tree" capture line. He was from Brooklyn, and the same game was called Relievio (with a "one two three RELIEVIO" capture line) around the same time in Duxbury. George Carlin (a bit older than Biggie and I, and a Manhattan kid) referenced "ring-a-levio" in his act several times.

Biggie points to the decline of the game's prevalence as accompanying a period of social decay, but it fell out by mere demographics in Duxbury. Once the 40 kid neighborhood mobs of the Baby Boomer 1960s and 1970s fell off to the bare dozen kids of a Generation X neighborhood in the late 1980s, you didn't have enough manpower for Relievio. Most kids would just default and play the needs-less-kids Flashlight Tag. The same demographic fate is what basically killed baseball for white kids.

White Man

I doubt that this term is in widespread use at all, and I only included it because it made me chuckle.

It's a term for the very Caucasian town of Whitman, Massachusetts.

Wokka Wokka Wokka...

Triple Eagle

This is a term for someone who went to:

1) Boston College High School

and then

2) Boston College

and finally

3) Boston College Law School.

Dee Wee

A variant of DUI, with the last two letters being pronounced as a French website editor might pronounce "yes."

I like Dee Wee because:

A) Massachusetts drinks hard enough that a Driving Under The Influence term needs not only a nickname but an acronym,


B) Someone, somewhere was too lazy for the three letter acronym, had to shorten it... and it caught on.

C) It rhymes.


"Townie" belongs in the Retired category, and I only mention it here because it means different things to different people

Ideally, it refers to someone from Charlestown. However, you can lay the term on someone from Southie or even parts of Dorchester without losing any effectiveness.

Once you get out into the sticks, far enough that the urban connotation is no longer necessary, it means "the locals from that town." It is often used in college towns to differentiate between the local punks and the ones who are in the dorms.

I dated a girl from Charlestown (she ruled... she had 5 kids from 4 men, all of whom were in jail for robbing armored cars, and the principal of the school that I taught at- who grew up in the neighborhood-  told me "She's a wonderful girl, sweet, never misses Mass... but if you just even take her out to dinner, she'll be pregnant before the check comes.") once. When I brought her to Duxbury Beach for a bit of ucking,  we crossed some unknown line between Charlestown and Duxbury where she stopped being the Townie and where I became the Townie. Offhand, I'd draw that line at about where the Route 128 Split is.

From The "U" When It Was Only A "C"

Many people from Massachusetts- myself included- went somewhere like Salem State, Framingham State, Worcester State, or Bridgewater State. Shoot, I went to a pair of 'em.

At some point, the state switched those schools, formerly known as Bridgewater State College and so forth, into universities. Thusly, Salem State College became Salem State University.

Universities are more prestigious than colleges. Someone like me, who has a Bridgewater State College diploma up on the wall, can front like I was smart enough to get into a University just by saying "I went to Bridgewater State." This works even if, say,  I was a moron, who BSC only let in the door because I was an orphan with a Pell Grant in each hand.

It can backfire, as there is a Bridgewater State Hospital for the criminally insane (it once housed the Boston Strangler) in the same town which is also called "Bridgewater State," but the right man can work that to his advantage in most social situations.

However, if you catch someone fronting on their Framingham State College education like they went to a University, you can shut them down by going "You went to the 'U' when it was only a 'C.'"


This is another one that should be retired. However, the author lives near a bunch of these, has written about them at length, and knows that someone reading this article as a prep guide prior to a Massachusetts visit may need to know some things. The centre does not hold.

What everyone else in the world calls a "traffic circle" or a roundabout" is called a "rotary" in Massachusetts. There is actually something called a "rotary" in real life, but it isn't what we have in Massachusetts. We use the term incorrectly, and great and potentially lethal differences exist between how one drives in a rotary, a roundabout and a traffic circle.

The funny part is that rotaries/traffic circles/roundabouts fell out of favor in the US, and were gradually phased out to the extent that they are now nearly extinct... except in Massachusetts, where they are still prevalent. That's right... the people who don't know the rules now define the rules.

The even funnier part is that, as far as I can tell, there are no rules in a rotary other than No Left Turn. The best way to deal with it is to treat it like stealing a base.... get a lead, pick your spot, explode full-speed, slide through the base...

Stacey, our French writer, uses a sudden zero-to-seventy snap of her wrist to illustrate the same method, and it looks very much like the motion one would use to start an outboard motor.


An indiscriminate number used on Cape Cod to answer the "How many dishwashers/painters/movers/laborers/whatever are on Cape Cod?" questions that sometimes arise during regional planning discussions.

Much like other intangible terms like "the code of the West" or "la plume de ma tante," it is a term that, as Hunter Thompson once said, "can mean just about whatever you need it to mean, in a pinch."


We tend to assign Piracy to places like Somalia these days, and perhaps rightfully so.

However, there was once a time when America was more like Somalia than Somalia was. Cape Cod, which is a mess of little islands, hidden coves and known-only-to-locals currents, was prime ground for piracy, privateering and smuggling.

Smugglers like darkness, as they often depend on rowing ashore without anyone noticing. When the moon was shining, it increased the chances of being seen. Hence, they would "curse" at it.

"Curse" becomes "Cuss" very quickly on the lips of people who are famous for not pronouncing their R sounds.

"Mooncusser" was a prominent enough term on Cape Cod that it was in solid contention when newly-formed Monomoy High School was kicking the mascot idea around a few years back.

Peking Ravioli

This one snuck up on me. I had no idea that this term was not used outside of Massachusetts. The rest of the world calls them pot-stickers, dumplings or- properly- Jiaozi or Guotie

The term arose from Joyce Chen's restaurant in Cambridge, and it was named "ravioli" in an effort to lure in Italian customers. Attempts by Chinese restaurants to lure in Italians and Irish-who don't consider a meal to be a meal without bread- are also why the Hung Lo Kitchen in Yourtown, Massachusetts still throws some bread in with your order.

The meal itself dates back to the Song Dynasty, and versions of it have been found even further back.

New Bedford

New Bedford rules, and one of the reasons she rules is because she has about 10 nicknames. Even your author, who studies and writes about junk like this for a living, doesn't know all of them.

Nicknames include New Beddy, New Beige, Beige, New Beffuh (born of the same mom as Meffuh/Medford, I'd bet), New Betty, Baby Lisbon, New B and even The Whaling City.

You have to wave these around very carefully, as what might get you a laugh in one bar might get you a chain-whipping in another. With the exception of Baby Lisbon, you never know which is which.


This is a term for a worker of Irish descent who is in Massachusetts illegally.

There is a layered meaning to the term, with "green" working along the lines of "new, naive, inexperienced" as well as the green of the "green card"... which a true Greenie wouldn't have, anyhow.

However, the main thrust of this term is the Irish reference. I'd recommend knowing but not using this one, as it could get you stomped by a roofer in many a pub across our reading area.

Mike Greenwell patrolled left field in Fenway Park for many a season with this nickname, and I have no idea if he knew about the meaning.

Shanty Irish

While we're on the subject, this term falls into the same pejorative region.

It is not a term in itself, as it needs something to modify. It is very much like how "wicked" is used in Massachusetts.- no one ever says "wicked" in a stand-alone sense. The heading should technically be "Shanty Irish ____," and only isn't because I needed an extra paragraph.

You can use it in front of "house," "town," "family," and whatever else you might want. A guy who I used to work with, who no doubt had a grouchy wife, used to bemoan the "shanty Irish bone" that the Good Lord in all his wisdom had cursed him with. He used to volunteer for extra shifts a lot.

Upper/Lower/Mid//Outer/Up/Down/Out/On/Off Cape

Cape Cod is easy to get around on. Two roads cut right through it. If you get lost, it's a husband's dream... if you just keep driving and your wife doesn't yell out the window for directions, you'll hit Route 6 or Route 28 again soon enough.

So, to make it more confusing, locals have a dozen different terms for navigation that make perfect sense to them and will drive a New Yorker insane. This is before we get to the rotaries (see above).

Upper/Lower/Mid/Outer Cape Cod is easy to explain. Trains used to run out here from Boston, and the terms are born from the towns' relative placement on the list of train stations.

Upper Cape = Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee, Sandwich

Mid Cape = Barnstable, Yarmouth and Dennis

Lower Cape = Brewster, Harwich, Chatham

Outer Cape = Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, Provincetown

Parts of the Lower Cape appear higher on a map than parts of the Upper Cape do, but try not to worry about that right now.

Other navigational aids on Cape Cod:

"Off Cape" means everything on Earth once you cross the bridges (Sagamore and Bourne). It is used how "Outside The Asylum" is used in Douglas Adams novels.

"On Cape" speaks not of a region, but of a direction. You might tell someone asking for your ETA that you "just got on Cape," or you someone in Dartmouth may tell a tourist to "just take Route 6 to the bridge, and follow it on Cape."

"Out on the Cape" is how Cape Codders speak of people further out (east, sometimes north, sometimes even south... as long as it correlates with Route 6 or Route 28) on Cape Cod than they are.

"Down the Cape" is a) how someone from the mainland refers to someone from the mainland who moved to Cape Cod, i.e. "Steve moved down the Cape," or b) how Cape Codders move along a directions-seeking tourist once they determine that they will find either Route 6 or Route 28 soon enough, i.e. "Get on Route 6 and just keep heading down the Cape." Option B only works west-to-east, except when it is working south-to-north.

South Shore vs South Coast

These two terms should mean the same thing, but. uhm, welcome to Massachusetts! Remember, this is where a single road is concurrently 95 North, 93 South, 128 North and Route 1 South.

The South Shore is considered to be Boston's southern coastal suburbia, and it runs roughly Quincy to Plymouth.

The South Coast is the Greater New Bedford area, and was called so until a weatherman invented "South Coast." It runs from Wareham to Fall River or so.

The town of Bourne's mainland area forms the hinge on the imaginary door between these two, and is the only town that touches both regions. Bourne sort of serves the same Latvia/buffer zone purpose with Cape Cod and the rest of the world.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

South Coast Fall Foliage

A lot of people think that the South Coast isn't a Player when fall foliage in New England is discussed. You may be one of them... and don't try lying to me, because I can see you. Stop looking at me like that!

I'm here to tell you that the South Coast represents hard every Autumn. You may have to wait longer than you would with Vermont, and you may not have any mountain vistas like New Hampshire does... but you can have a nice foliage drive if you keep your expectations realistic. 

Like any Natural Beauty scenarios, it's best if you get out of the cities and into the sticks. This is pure Tree Math, folks... cities tend to not have a lot of trees. We'll discuss that a few pictures down from this one, but know that I love and respect New Bedford and Fall River. One of my favorite views in Massachusetts is when you're heading west on 195, you round the corner, and New Beddy is laid out before you. It's just not my favorite view when I'm writing Fall Foliage articles.

When whoever that guy in the Veteran grave there was earning his resting place the hard way back in 1863 or so, there was almost no chance of him knowing that- one day- his grave would end up in a look-at-that-rain-falling picture on an obscure regional website written by a stoner with a bad camera. It'd be like going back 100000 years and having a caveman say "Take the Patriots and the Over." I don't know what the people of 1863 did for fun, but I bet it didn't involve driving around taking Foliage pictures. The Internet must have sucked in the Civil War. 

I would have 100% stopped to pick blueberries if they were open... I get pulled over by the police a lot, and it'd be fun to see the cop get to my car window and be confronted by a friendly photographer with dyed-blue lips/teeth/cheeks/fingers. "Uhmmmm.... you're all set, guy... the town line is over there, why don't you go cross it?"  

Weather was all over this article. I went out during a tropical rainstorm (I think it was when Tropical Storm Nicole was getting sucked up into a trough and all of her rain hit us last Saturday), which isn't the best time to shoot pics of tree leaves... but it was when I had the free time to do so. The rain also kept people off of the roads, which makes things easier for me.  The preceding drought did me no favors, as droughts tend to hurry up the peak of the season. I'll discuss that whenever the Middleboro 4H picture comes up. It also kept me from getting out of the car for pictures, like it did here in New Bedford. Nice tree, though... especially for a city.

Fall River has trees with foliage, too... but, being Fall River, that tree appears to be incarcerated. Note that I am applying the Apocalypse Now method to my driving-in-a-car-style photography... "Never get out of the boat." My photography is better if I'm not soaked. 

I got out of the car for the Mattapoisett River shot. Mattapoisett is where the last fatal shark attack in Massachusetts went down, but I was safe this far up the river... especially because I was standing on Route 6 and shooting down from a little country-road bridge.

Not the best shot in the world, but the article needed some Red. I was impressed that I managed to crop the bank out of the picture in a snap-shot while I was driving. 

Power lines are also the bane of the in-the-car photographer. This was another shot out the window, one where I failed to crop the power lines out. You can also sort of see the sun, so I can only blame laziness. 

The basic route was out of Bourne, through Wareham into Marion, and then up Route 105 until I was more Plymouth County than South Coast. Think I'm lying? There's the 105 sign... and you can't fake that. 

I hooked down Route 79, cut through the Freetown State Forest (I drove into the 4WD part in a Dodge Stratus standing about 3 inches off the ground, passed a man in a truck with huge tires leaving that area, and briefly saw him just smiling at the about-to-get-stuck Dummy... fortunately, I grew up on a beach with 4WD-only areas, recognized his Look, and banged a U). I then made it to Route 6, and have this photo as proof. I took 6 back into Buzzards Bay.

I think this shot is from a South Shore article, and may actually be southern Pymouth. See for yourself in this South Shore foliage article, or maybe in this Early Season South Shore article. We may also do a Cape Cod foliage article, they haven't peaked yet. Ignore the dates on these pictures, my camera is funny. These pictures are from about 8 days ago. Sorry, I was busy.

The South Coast was heavy on the Orange and Yellow. I had trouble finding Red, and came to regret passing on some Wareham/Marion red foliage while being overconfident that I would find more in my travels.

This tree is a certified MVP candidate. It's a shame that I drove up on it during a Biblical downpour. Look, even the leaves fell off of it in a cool manner! I pulled off the road and blocked a side street to get this pic, and the tree was so lovely that the guy who I didn't realize I was blocking drove around me, rolled down his window and- instead of cursing me- said "She's a beauty, huh?" I think it was in Freetown... if you think otherwise, let me know. You most likely know better than I remember.

Marion, home to both this picture and the first picture in this article, was laid out by someone who was into fall foliage. Every street has a Fall Foliage canopy. I detoured into Marion because a girl at the Trowbridge Tavern heard I was shooting foliage and said "You should go into Marion, the stuff is hanging over every street." Marion, Middleboro and Halifax easily could support their own articles if I decided to go By Town instead of By Region

This one is from the Freetown State Forest, an undisputed corner of the spooky-as-f*ck Bridgewater Triangle. This was just before I ran into the 4WD guy smirking at Trish, my Dodge Stratus. If I had snapped a picture of his smirk, he'd be in a million "So, you're really about to do that?" Internet memes by this time next year. He'd be like that Willie Wonka meme pic, or the one with Kermit the Frog drinking his tea.

Gotta love this tree... it's like Paul Bunyan or Shaq took up Bonsai as a hobby.

The non-orange trees nearby are very jealous of this bright orange one that gets all of the media attention. They should stop hatin' and try to foliage harder or something.

One of the supposed benefits of living in a city is that you don't need to buy a rake... and then this happens.

I was all psyched as I pulled up on this bright red tree, which hs been the MVP of previous foliage articles. The sun even came out. However, Massachusetts had a bad drought all summer, and droughts do to foliage season what smoking does to smoker life spans... sort of shaves X amout of days off of it. I missed this tree's peak by a short enough time span that the leaves under it hadn't blown away yet. To make things worse, some carpenter was parked in front of the building!  

Working in some more red here, although there's a small chance that this might be Duxbury. I do a lot of driving, I take a lot of pictures, and misunderstandings occur.

I'm pretty sure that this is Acushnet, and is that not one spooky-looking motheruffing tree? It looks like it was used to hang witches. The homeowners- who I like already, for both the tree and the stone wall in the foreground- should have gone All In and had some Amityville Horror attic eye-windows installed. I honestly don't know if I would trick-or-treat that house.

While lacking red (red leaves may fall off earlier, I don't know), the South Coast has plenty of Orange, which is the main Autumn color anyhow.

I could have gone into the guy's yard to get a shot without the power lines, but I'm already imposing myself on him by aiming a camera into his yard. While I'm not even 5% tough, I'm not a small man, and most non-tough people would want to have a gun when confronting me... which is No Problemo on the ol' South Coast, especially in the sticks. The homeowner deserves his/her privacy, and a guy shooting pictures of Pretty Trees doesn't deserve to catch a slug... so I just snap pics out of the car window, thank you. 

I think this is just me zooming in on the same foliage from the Southern Plymouth shot, but if you've read this far... why not have some more foliage?

Here is me having some Level Horizon problems that hack photographers encounter as they learn their craft... but dude has a stockade fence, a stone wall, a foliage tree and Ol' Glory, so he's in this article, hater. He's in there like swimwear. OK, it looks like the tree has a pet house, but my man made up for that with some pure Stone Wall Patriotism.

As we have pointed out in our South Shore foliage articles, the South Coast doesn't really have any moutains that I can get those Vermont-style calendar shots from. This is Sea Level foliage, player. We're doing the best that we can for you.

This tree rocks a nice Jamaica-flag style green/yellow mix, and we'll throw it in the article.

This is either Carver or Plymouth, out in the Myles Standish State Forest area. The MSSF was a little weak for foliage, as Pine dominated. Lovely ride, though... the kind of road where you see a man walking down the street with a shotgun, and you just sort of nod hello to him. I decided not to snap a picture of him, sorry...

This is one of my Chill Spots, aka Little Sandy Pond in Southern Plymouth. Although I left my house to do this article, the true starting point was here.

I ascribe my "Never get out of the boat" theory especially hard around cemeteries. I didn't even stop the boat, let alone get out of it. I try not to f*ck around anywhere near Bridgewater Triangle cemeteries.

I had to go length-wise to get this tree.

Here's another house I won't be trick-or-treating at. Frodo Baggins might answer the door wearing the One Ring. This looks like the Shire, but it's actually Dartmouth, and the spookiness is lowered by the proximity to the Mall. You can never get too scared by a haunted house when you know that you can be at the Chuck E. Cheese in a good five minute panic run.

I'll tolerate some Blurry if it gets me some more Red, and I hope you will too.

Let's not resent a little Green as the main course for a picture in the foliage article.

I like that someone clustered these trees, you see a cool burst of color as you speed by in the Trish Stratus. I was working with poor light, but it was a nice bunch of trees, trust me.

I was gonna ask the guy if he would move his beater car out of the way so I could get me some Big Leaf/Barn House action, but that laooks like the house of a man who owns a shotgun. It adds character, I suppose...

Much love to the South Coast!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

South Coast Gas Prices, 7/21/16

Life doesn't play fair, and the Man is always trying to get one over on you. There's not much that you can do about it, as the Man is the Man for a reason, and that reason is not gender-exclusive. Sometimes, the best thing that can be done is to lessen the intensity of the beating.

As a man who has both studied military history and who has gone toe-to-toe with a few run-stoppers in my lifetime, I can tell you that many battles are won and lost by Logistics. That's one of those Army words that can mean whatever they need it to, and it has wide-ranging civilian implications. The short definition is getting to the right place at the right time with (or, in today's case, for) the proper supplies.

Logistics broke several of history's fiercest warlords, men such as Napoleon, Hitler, the Crusaders.... America would be British today were it not for the inherent Logistical Flaws involved with running America from England. Russia would be Nazi or French. Japan would be Mongol. All of Korea would be North Korea, even South Korea.

That's what we're here today to help you with. No matter how hard I work today, you're going to pay about double what you were paying for gas at the turn of the century. Sorry about that. However, if you can shave a few shekels off the Damages, it adds up over a year.

We're going town-by-town, giving you the lowest and highest gas prices you can find there. It's pushing noon on Thursday, July 21st. The prices are whatever has been reported since Monday.

We publish this on Thursday so that you can stumble across this article and fill your tank before they jack the price up to eff over the tourists on Friday.

You don't want to get treated like a tourist in your own home town, babe... that gets old fast. The best way to avoid that is to know your town. C’est ma raison d’etre......

NATIONAL AVERAGE: $2.182/gallon of regular unleaded


BEST PRICE, MASSACHUSETTS: $1.88/gallon, at both Diamond Fuel and Whitman Gas, South Ave, Whitman
WORST PRICE, MASSACHUSETTS: $3.57, Shell, Sparks Avenue, Nantucket

WORST PRICE, USA: $5.88, some station in Orlando, FL

BEST PRICE, USA: average of $1.82 in South Carolina




NO PRICES REPORTED: Rochester, Acushnet, Freetown, Dighton, Berkley

Best: $2.19, Maxi Gas, Cranberry Highway and Speedway, Main Street
Worst: $2.25, Mobil, Cranberry Highway

Best: $2.19, Cumberland Farms, Wareham Rd
Worst: none reported

Best: $2.29, Gulf, Fairhaven Road and Mobil, County Road
Worst: none

Best: $2.06, Valero, Bridge St
Worst: $2.29, Manny's Service Station, Adams St

Best: $2.04, Joe's Gas, Nash Road
Worst: $2.39, One Stop Gas, Kempton Street

Best: $2.04, Cumberland Farms, State Road
Worst: $2.39, Shell, State Road

Best: $2.08, Cumby's, State Road
Worst: $2.34, Pine Hill, Pine Hill Road

Best: $2.12, Cumberland Farms, Airport Road
Worst: $2.39, Shell, Plymouth Ave

Best: $2.08, Cumby's Grand Army Highway
Worst: $2.39, Shell, Wilbur Road

Best : $2.09, Sunoco, Wilbur Ave
Worst: $2.26, Columbus Express, GAR Highway

Best : $1.97, BJ's, Highland Ave
Worst: $2.21, Valero, Newman Ave

Best : $1.99 Exxon, Anawan St.
Worst: $2.00, Cumby's, Anawan St.

Best : $2.03, Sunny's on Lawton Ave, GeKo's on Somerset Ave, Super Petroleum on Dean St.
Worst: $2.39, Mobil, County St.