Sunday, June 6, 2010

On Walden Pond, etc.

All this week I'll be in Maine, working on a book proposal and hobnobbing with some fellow writers, among other things. In order to get here, I flew into Boston and had a pleasant layover with some old friends, Megan and Dan. My first night in Beantown Megan took me to see a beautiful green spaces in the heart of the city. Here's the first, Post Office Square, in the pouring rain (hence the view from inside the shelter of a coffee shop):

And then a spectacular greenway:

Which included these adorable steam-spewing robot-like sculptures:

Here's my friend Megan, who, as a professional historian specializing in landscapes, makes the best sort of tour guide a visitor can have, since she's chock full of not only the trivia, but some interesting thoughts on the meaning of it all. Sadly, I got her with her eyes closed:

This was followed by a delicious meal involving a beet salad. It was the first time I've ever had such a thing, and I must say I was rather shocked at the result the next morning. In fact, I was convinced I was dying, having never seen anything quite like that before, and demanded a trip to the local emergency room. Before Megan and I went, however, we decided to stop off and take a tour through the Walden Pond. Here's me, before death, posing with Himself:

And another of me in front of the site of the original house:

Walden was charming, with all kinds of kayakers, and swimmers, and hikers, and fly-fisherpeople. I like the fact that it isn't an untouchable shrine, though I will admit it probably takes away from the ability to "feel" the ghostly presence of Henry David. On balance, I think I'd rather have the boaters and bathers than a ghost, though, and I suspect Thoreau would as well.

Oh, and the ER doctor diagnosed me with "beets" and thus I lived.



  1. I had a good laugh over the beet issue. Many years ago I ate an entire can of beets. I love beets, they are low in calories and high in nutrients. The next day I too thought I was dying. I went to my doctor - in a panic! He took samples, asked questions, and finally burst out laughing. Laughing? What could possibly be so funny - I am dying of a strange and horrible disease!!! "No", said he, "You ate beets - lots of them". :-D

    Great pictures of Bean Town. That rain looks positively scrumptious. Here in the Sonoran Desert we haven't seen any of that wet stuff in months.


  2. ST, Ahhh, Boston ... oh, sorry that's another time and story. Anyway the green space is great but I really want to know what all was in the beet salad, I've got a load of beets coming in this year and have never thought of using them in a salad. Thanks for sharing you wonderful time in, ahh Boston ... - G

  3. Oh, the beets...scary, aren't they? Glad that's all it was and it all came out fine in the end. Tee hee. Love the visit to Walden Pond, and that it IS an approachable place, not a hands-off shrine.

  4. Lindy--I have to admit, I had a good laugh about it, too, once we all figured out what was going on. and I agree 100% about the rain. In fact, it is raining as we speak here in Maine, and as such, I have decided to work on an old, unfinished essay about rain for the book proposal...

    Gary--BOS sounds intriguing, good sir...The beet salad was delicious. The best part was the creamed goat cheese that dressed it. A perfect blend of salty and sweet.

    Jodi--Quite alarming. Quite. :D

  5. Gross. TMI TMI TMI. I'd love to go to Maine. Why didnt' you invite me? I tell you what. (on a slightly different nature writing note, arent' you tired of every eco book being compared to Walden? I am.)

  6. That Boston rain looks wonderful. Also glad to hear I'm not the only one who's gone to a doctor for "beet disease" (though I ultimately had to diagnose it myself!).

  7. I wouldn't know about "beet disease", I can never get them past my throat before the gag reflex kicks in. They are the only vegetable I don't like. It could be I am clinging to one last thing of defiance from the childhood dinner table.

    Now lobster, that's a different story. Enjoy your trip.


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