Most summers we get to Block Island. This summer we made over there twice
-- in July with Jill & Eli we biked to North Light and in August we biked to Southeast Light with Barbara & Robert, friends from upstate New York (the ones whose New Year's Eve wedding we had attended).
The Providence newspaper had an article about Christmas shopping on Block
Island, about how all of the local merchants (those who had not already
closed until summer) were having a three day post-Thanksgiving sale with
significant discounts. That sounded interesting. Not that we had any great
desire to shop -- most of the store had Block Island souvenirs, jewelry,
Block Island t-shirts and sweatshirts, sports-related clothing (heavily
oriented towards water sports), photographs and art work, toys, more jewelry,
more Block Island souvenirs, etc. -- but Sunday was the final day of this
three day sale (following which almost all of these stores would be closed
until spring... during the day we heard the woman running a toy store telling
a local resident that she was also going to be open for the afternoon on
Thursday of next week and also the Saturday before Christmas, but that
was an exception).
|Water Street, the main shopping street, where a row of shops, restaurants,
and hotels -- mostly Victorian era buildings -- face Old Harbor. In the
summer this street is crammed with traffic -- automobiles, taxis, mopeds,
bicycles, and pedestrians -- but so quiet and empty a few minutes past
10 a.m. on the last Sunday in November. Since none of the stores were open
before 10 (and many not until 11 or noon), I doubt that many shoppers came
over on the 7 a.m. ferry. We came over on the 9:30 ferry, the high speed
ferry, along with perhaps fifty or so potential shoppers.
|In recent years the island chamber of commerce has been promoting the "shoulder"
seasons -- late spring and early fall -- as being ideal times for an island
visit, but we are now well past the end of the fall shoulder season. There
had been a small surge in tourists for Thanksgiving (nothing remotely like
summer, many of the hotels and inns are not heated and close in September)
and there will be people coming for Christmas & New Year celebrations.
|Beach grass along Corn Neck Road, overlooking the curve of beach, gentle
surf, and blue water under a dome of cloudless blue sky.
|A small Victorian house set back away from the road on Dodge Street. The
beach in the previous picture is behind this house -- they must have a
beautiful view. (And windows on the left side probably have a decent view
of New Harbor on Great Salt Pond.) It's that pink bench, however, that
caught my eye.
|This is a view down Dodge Street towards Old Harbor. Just about where that
car is, the road makes a ninety degree right turn and becomes Water Street.
You can see a ferry (partly obscured by the car) coming in to dock. We
were walking along Dodge towards the harbor when I saw the ferry come into
view. There was a parked car, however, blocking my shot, but I couldn't
get around the parked car right away because there was a car coming towards
me on the street... so by the time I got around the obstacles, the ferry
had continued to move and that other car managed to get in the way of my
ferry shot. Oh well, I suppose if I were a truly dedicated photographer
I would have come back in an hour or so to catch that ferry leaving. (Actually,
I did get a picture of that ferry leaving, but I was coming down Spring
Street from Mohegan Bluff at the time.)
|I liked this scene... the window of one of the shops on Water Street, with
their "Come in" sign in the window, a view of their lighted and
decorated Christmas tree, and a reflection in the glass of a ferry docked
at the harbor. (Yes, the same ferry as in the previous picture.)
|Southeast light (the one that had been moved back from the crumbling edge of the cliff about fifteen years ago).. Nancy wanted a picture of it suitable for printing large size so I took this at 3072 x 2304 pixel size. We've always gone there by bicycle, but this time we were on foot. It is a bit over a mile and a half from Old Harbor (up hill). Altogether I figure we covered at least seven miles from the time we got off the ferry at ten until we boarded the 3:30 ferry for the mainland.
|"Closed for the season." Hotels on Spring Street (less than half
a mile from the harbor), windows boarded up for protection from winter
storms, the afternoon sun casting deep shadows on the hillside lawns.