Calm before the Storm

Despite the all-Irene coverage in the media, it was bright and sunny here in Salem yesterday, all calm before the storm.  I took a bike ride around the city, and it was business as usual.  I did not see a mass exodus of boats from the harbor, though one of my favorite annual events, the Antique & Classic Boat Festival at Hawthorne Cove Marina, was canceled along with lots of other weekend activities.  The coming storm does look huge and destructive, but late summer hurricanes are generally not that much of a threat to the North Shore, as the entire Gulf of Maine is protected from southern storms (as opposed to noreasters) by the presence of Cape Cod.  Even the New England Hurricane of 1938, the standard by which all other hurricanes are judged here, left the coast north of Boston relatively unscathed compared to the devastation in southern and western New England.  Here is a late eighteenth-century  Italian view of a very protected northern New England coast, from Grace Galleries:

Antonio Zatta, Atlante Novissimo, 1778

And here are some very random images of the last Friday in August in Salem, beginning with my garden.  The white “David” phlox has been hanging on forever, but I expect the storm will bring it down a bit.

Boats in and out of the water at the Hawthorne Cove Marina, off Derby Street.

The arrival of the Salem Ferry from Boston. The Ferry’s Sunday schedule is canceled.

The beach at Juniper Point in the Willows.

I love this little shop, which has been the site of a succession of short-lived businesses.  We’ve been waiting for this “amazing pizza” all summer!

The audience in the garden at the Salem Athenaeum, awaiting a production by Rebel Shakespeare.   “The Tempest” was advertised, but we got “The Taming of the Shrew” instead, which was just fine.  The players.


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