First ImpressionsPosted: September 15, 2009
Here are a few impressions of my new hometown of Hingham, Massachusetts. Everyone knows it’s beautiful, quaint, “the prettiest town on the South Shore,” blah, blah, blah. So I won’t go into all that. It’s pretty obvious that Hingham is special. If you’ve never been here, come on down. You can join my mother-in-law for her monthly visits from New York. Yes, monthly. See you soon, Rosalie!
1. As I’ve run around town with my dog Delilah, I’m thankful for the many sidewalks. My knees are doubly thankful that they’re paved with asphalt rather than concrete slabs. Asphalt is more forgiving than concrete — which is the worst possible surface on which to run. Otherwise I’d be running in the street and this may well be a posthumous blog post as I would have been run over by one of your infamous Massachusetts drivers. (And this coming from a guy who learned to drive in Brooklyn! ) My only complaint, I mean observation, is that the poet Shel Silverstein of “Where the Sidewalk Ends” fame could have laid them out. They seem to end for no apparent reason which means playing Frogger (old video arcade reference) to continue my run.
2. I used to scoff at the guys who would wander around Manhattan with those “The End is Near” signs. I’ve got nothing against The Apocalypse, I simply didn’t believe them. But now that I’ve been to World’s End, the state park in Hingham, I guess they were right. The World’s End is near — about a three minute drive from my house. And with its stunning vistas of downtown Boston the end of the world as we know it is a lot more attractive than I thought it would be.
3. The Derby Shoppes. They do seem to have everything: from Panera to Barnes and Noble to The Gap. What’s amazing, besides the odd configuration of speed bumps (see Jeff Cutler’s “Heard in Hingham” blog), is the blaring classical music one encounters upon exiting your vehicle. As I walk through the parking lot I feel as if I’ve been transported to Red Square in Moscow during the height of the Cold War and they’re playing Russian fight songs over the loud speakers. The only difference is that instead of Red Army tanks and soldiers marching in formation, I see lines of SUVs and young mothers pushing jogging strollers into Crate & Barrel.
4. Evidently the town fathers (and/or mothers) do not believe in street signs. At least along cross streets. Half the time I drive around Hingham I have no idea where I am. Fortunately, this is precisely why God invented the GPS.
5. The town dump is the greatest place in all of Hingham. I can’t get enough of the place and, since I got my permanent dump sticker yesterday, I’ll see you there. But only Thursday through Sunday of course.
I’d love to hear your own impressions of the quirkiness of life around Hingham. We’re delighted to be here and it’s always fun to view a new (375-year-old) place with fresh eyes.