Life in New England

New England teases us with history, landscape, and weather then grips our imagination -M. Taggart

Mapio.net Turners Bridge.jpg
Gill/Turners Falls, MA. Travel North on the Connecticut River just a few miles and you’ll find you’re in New Hampshire on one side, and Vermont on the other. In the middle of the river, it’s up to you. (photo credit mapio.net)

 

UMASS campus
UMASS campus. Amherst, Massachusetts. I know a number of my friends have witnessed the wind that whips by the library in the winter. (photo credit google images/hercampus.com)

Portland ME Harbor (visitmaine)
Portland Harbor, Maine. Portland is quickly becoming a destination. It’s rustic New England docks are being mixed with Brew Pubs and diversity. Go there and possibly take a harbor cruise all the way to Nova Scotia. (photo credit google images/visitmaine) 

 

 

Green River Bridge Greenfield
Green River Bridge. Greenfield, MA. This covered bridge was all but destroyed by flooding during Hurricane Irene. This road is one of many leading to the hills of Western, MA. (photo credit google images/charlie kellogg)

 

Clydes's Cider Mill
Clyde’s Cider Mill located in Stonington, CT. Sept 1st brings the opening of the Cider Mill. Little known gem- just to the left and down toward the back entrance of the basement is a whiskey/cider distillery. They allow you to sample and purchase half and full gallons. A great hot toddy for September evenings on the porch in New England.  (photo credit/westerly sun)

 

Sandy
Misquamicut Beach Westerly, RI. Among the most southern portions of New England. It’s difficult to explain to people how Hurricane Sandy created the ocean to rise and swallow the beach front property. The ocean redeposited the sand dunes onto Atlantic Avenue. The hurricane literally changed the face of the beach.(photo credit Bill Van Siclen/ProvidenceJournal)

 

Appalachian Trail
100 mile wilderness, Appalachian Trail, Maine. So..you’d like to hike the 100 mile wilderness? This is truly Up-Maine and is strikingly beautiful- The Gateway to the North. A warning though is this: some who hike the 100 mile wilderness are never seen again. (photo credit youtube/will wood)

 

Thank you for reading and Cheers!

I invite you to learn about my self published book.

https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/my-book/

Or read the reviews via the amazon link below.

https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Be-Sally-Based-Events-ebook/dp/B00DYAJ2ZW?ie=UTF8&keywords=don%27t%20be%20a%20sally&qid=1433349895&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

About the author: When asked where he is from, Matt has replied, ‘I’m from mud.’ Matt grew up in the farmlands of Western, MA. He’s lived in numerous locations within New England. -Read on. It’s good for the brain.

A Pub Walk – New England Pubs

I enjoy pubs. I enjoy reading. I combined them and learned I am addicted to reading while at pubs. Listening to the drone of public speak, mixed with arguments or laughter, I’ve found a gem of solitude and happiness. I have even met great friends.

In New England we have a number of hidden pubs. When asked how to get to one of these gems, some might answer, ‘You can’t get there from here.’

First, The Book Mill. Seated on the bank of a river in Montague, MA. Before this converted mill housed a pub (The Lady Killigrew Cafe), my brother and I would walk this river and watch our father fish for trout. Get there early and grab a seat overlooking the river. Outside seating overlooking moving water stirs imagination. Go here. They have good beer and oddly enough good rice. There’s even a bookstore next door.

Outside Brew

bookmill1

 

Next up- The BridgeSide Grill, Sunderland, MA. Ah, Yes! I cannot write this without mentioning some good friends. I would embarrassingly stay at this cozy family friendly hide-away until closing time. At times I would help them vacuum. These were my bachelor days and the owner and staff were incredibly kind to me. They never kicked me out while I read and drank their beer and held up a seat for hours. In fact, I miss doing that to them. I lived close by. I walked there. And I would walk home. The BridgeSide Grille has a nook style bar and outside patio. I once was able to talk the owner’s son into selling a piece of art work he’d created. His painting was once hung on the wall of the bar. I really should give that back. When visiting BridgeSide be sure to also drive to the top of Mount Sugarloaf. BridgeSide Grille is located just on the over side of the bridge.

B Side Bridge

 

And moving on- Rhode Island has many pubs. One of which is The Twisted Vine in Westerly, RI.. Along with a great name, Pat and her employees were amazing to Megan during her pregnancy. The Twisted Vine has a NYC feel with the comfort of New England. Exposed Brick, properly lighted, with wood floors and a fire place- you cannot go wrong enjoying a drink here. Especially in the winter. Seat yourself in one of the high back leather chairs near the fireplace and enjoy a cocktail named after a famous author, such as my favorite, Ernest Hemingway. Just before Christmas I once walked into The Twisted Vine to find a Christmas party ongoing. It was packed. There wasn’t one seat left at the bar. Everyone was dressed very well. I was wearing a hoodie, blue jeans, and boots. I was even wearing my beat up Boston Red Sox hat. In my right hand was a book. I turned to leave. While walking toward the door, someone grabbed my elbow and said, ‘Where do you think you’re going?’ Pat, the owner, had observed me leaving. She wasn’t about to let me feel out of place. And it worked. She placed my butt in a seat and told me to enjoy and read. And I did.

I took the picture of The Twisted Vine’s floor just after Pat had them sanded and urethaned. Pat had seen me walking down the street and waved me in to have a look.

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porter

And instead of my sub par photography I’ll post a picture that shows how gorgeous The Twisted Vine is.

Vine.JPG

Vine O

 

And lastly, simply because I’m running out of time to write, The Haversham. Also in Westerly, RI. Within The Haversham you’ll find a large sports pub. You literally can’t get there from one side of the road. You must first fight the Rhode Island road system before being able to enjoy one of the best sports pubs in the area. And when you do, ask for Shane. That man you will not forget. He may, or may not, be slightly crazy. Which I consider to be a word of wisdom and I’m flattered when I’m given the compliment.

It’s simple- if you want to watch a Patriots game and shout at the top of your lungs while drinking beer, this is where you need to be. You will have a rowdy good time. I’ve taken too many pictures of myself cheersing a new friend while at the Haversham. I’ve read numerous books and talked at length about authors, town happenings, and even politics and religion.

H Q

And slightly crazy Shane. The beach is just down the road.

Crazy S

I use the term ‘Pub’ loosely in this article. Each establishment I’ve written about has it’s own brand. I call them ‘Pubs’ because I hold that word close to my heart. To me, it’s an expression. A compliment. When I ask a friend if they’d like to go to a Pub it is because I would like to create a memory over a pint. I would like to charge forward and dive into a conversation that might never be forgotten. I want to cheers to them and to the moment and take a long pull just as Hemingway may have done.  And remember- Don’t ask permission to live your life. Live and be well doing it.

Thanks for reading. If interested in reading more you’ll find information on my self published short story via the link below.

https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/my-book/

Cheers.

 

Odd Walking Thoughts

We watch the father watching the girl. He didn’t think he was seen. His eyes traveled her body and was certainly seen. The father turned to his wife who turned away. She asked their son if he’d like go for a walk. The beach was busy. The boy said yes and forever I go.

New England – More Than a Region

New England bands culture with devotion. Where the four seasons are to be experienced and enjoyed, not endured. -M. Taggart

IMG_0044 (1)
Kennebunkport, Maine. Bush Senior’s estate overlooks the ocean. Kennebunkport is a beautiful sea side town. Visit the shops or brew pubs and enjoy the views.

Waiting
Watch Hill, Westerly RI. Fog helps to set the mood. The child will not see whom he is waiting for again.

Maine Snow
Shapleigh, Maine. A man climbs a snow bank during a snowstorm (2014). The region had been hit by several snow storms. People in Maine are known for enjoying all four seasons. Apparently night time snow bank climbing counts.

brimfield-tornado.jpg
Brimfield, MA. The 2011 tornado badly damaged this New England town. Visit Brimfield’s massive antique show.  You can view the tornado damage and help the town by having lunch or staying the night. Here’s where to find info http://www.brimfieldshow.com

Emily-Dickinson-Homestead.jpg
Amherst, MA. If you enjoy poetry, visit the Emily Dickinson house then visit downtown Amherst. It’s not a large town, but it’s just big enough to make an afternoon out of it. And if you’re researching colleges, there are five within minutes of one another.

Maple Syrup.jpg
Maple syrup lines, New Hampshire. (source: Flickr user glass_house)

Wine Country
Jonathan Edwards Winery. North Stonington, CT.  Take a drive into the hills of Connecticut, you won’t be disappointed.

Lobster Maine
Perry Long’s Lobster Shack, Surry, Maine. Find more info here http://www.mainetravelmaven.com/my-favorite-maine-lobster-shacks/

block
Block Island, RI. Go here. Just, GO, Here. Take the quick ferry ride and find this beach.

New England consists of six states. Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Click the link below if you’d like to read a short story which takes place in the valley-farmlands of Western MA.

https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/my-book/

Cheers! -M. Taggart

The Noble Seagull – Flash Fiction

Written by M. Taggart

Fiction:  This short story is much about unconscious societal behavior.

Copyright 2015 by Matt Taggart, aka -M. Taggart

The Noble Seagull

The sand was hottest when his feet left the shelter of his beach towel.  He placed his toes in the sand to feel its sting.  The sun was high and bruising.  His mother had lathered him with sunscreen lotion.  He smelled like a hospital room.  His mother was sitting in a beach chair next to him.  She was on her phone talking to her sister.  Her voice arched upward when needing to alert her sister just how much she understood.

He watched a grey and white seagull walk toward a bag of chips not far from him.  The bag was left open by a family that had gone to swim and be in the waves.  The seagull had a large puffed-out chest and dark flecks of color around its eyes.  It was a large bird.  He liked the bird and noticed the size of its webbed feet.  Its feet look very sure of each step even if its eyes did not.  He wanted to ask his mother what seagull feet were called but she was still on the phone.

Now other seagulls were flying overhead and squawking at the one below.  He watched as they circled and then dove down.  His bird flapped its wings at the approaching competition.  It was as though he were watching a dance.  Though, he knew this dance wasn’t an ordinary dance.  If the family came back, they’d surely chase the seagull away and he wouldn’t eat the chips.  If another bird pushed him away then his bird would need to find another bag and start the process over.  Just now his bird strained his neck and opened his large wings while he pulled a number of chips from the bag.  The seagull snapped at the chips and they were quickly gone.  Its darting eyes now found a number of his brethren had landed near him and were coming closer with agitated motions.

The boy looked from the mass of seagulls surrounding the bag of chips to other families lying on spread out blankets and beach chairs.  Each family had brought food.  Some of the food was kept cool in plastic coolers with ice in them.  Others brought food in plastic bags that didn’t need to be cooled.  Near the sand dunes were overflowing metal trash barrels.  Seagulls were pulling at the plastic bags to break rotting food loose.  People ran and jumped into the ocean and smiled while splashing one another.  Fathers asked daughters to come out deeper where the big waves were.  Mothers dared their sons to pick up seaweed and wear it on their heads.  The seagulls walked and flew in between them all.

His seagull flapped its wings and charged another while squawking then dashed quickly back and clasped the end of the bag then lifted; each remaining chip now lay in the sand.  A great chorus of squealing birds erupted.  The boy thought he read sadness in the bird’s eyes. A strong sea wind flipped a number of the noble seagull’s feathers backward.  The onslaught was too much for any one bird to defend.  He snatched a few large chips and took flight.  He watched the seagull soar into the air and wanted to know where it would go.  He thought the bird flew with dignity and he hoped he would live a long life and not become too cold during winter.   The bird flew near the overflowing metal trash barrels and then over the top of the wooden steps leading to the beach bathrooms and then was gone.

A thrashing took place over the upturned bag of chips.  Only a few oily crumbs were left in the sand.  The birds fought over the empty bag.

‘Get out of here!  Nasty sky-rats!’ his mother shouted.  She held her phone away as not to yell loudly in her sister’s ear.  ‘Honey, those are nasty birds.  They are scum.  Get up and chase them away.’ His mother went back to talking with her sister.  She hadn’t known he made a new friend.  She didn’t realize he thought his bird was noble and walked with sure steps.  He didn’t ask what the seagulls webbed feet were called.

 

(Note: I’m considering a second chapter.  Feedback would be appreciated.)

If you enjoyed this short story you might also enjoy my self published short story found via the link below.

It Hides Itself with Seasons – New England

It’s crisp with crunching leaves then humid with summer nights.  Its snow is deep and winters long with flowers growing wild in the spring.  It hides itself with seasons.  New England.  -M. Taggart

Shelburne Falls, MA, across from the famous bridge of flowers. This hidden town is worth a visit. Photograph courtesy of Robert Ford. http://fineartamerica.com/featured/fall-colors-shelburne-falls-massachusetts-robert-ford.html
Shelburne Falls, MA.  Home of the famous bridge of flowers. This hidden town is worth a visit. Photograph courtesy of Robert Ford. http://fineartamerica.com/featured/fall-colors-shelburne-falls-massachusetts-robert-ford.html

Westerly, RI. A well known path by locals.
Westerly, RI.  A well known path by locals.

Hills of CT- Roughly 30 minutes from Mystic, CT.
Roughly 30 minutes from Mystic, CT.

Montague, MA. Long before this old mill was transformed into a rustic pub it was among my father's favorite fishing holes.
Montague, MA.  Long before this old mill was transformed into a rustic pub it was among my father’s favorite fishing holes.

Rangeley, ME. You can't get there from here.
Rangeley, ME.  You can’t get there from here.

Somewhere near Greenville, ME. A bit of a hidden spot where George has taught me to fly fish.
Somewhere near Greenville, ME.  A bit of a hidden location where I was taught to fly fish.

Ninigret Park. Charlestown, RI. Photo taken from one of the paths overlooking the salt water pond.
Ninigret Park.   Charlestown, RI. Photo taken from one of the paths overlooking the salt water pond.

Gill, MA. My home town. Tom Brady once sent his Realtor to view the estate on settled on top of this hill.
Gill, MA.  My home town. Tom Brady once sent a contact to view the estate settled on top of this hill.

Block Island, RI. Where I accidentally fell in love.
Block Island, RI. Where I fell in love with a silhouette.

copyright M. Taggart.  Feel free to share this article by forwarding the link.

You can find my self published book via the amazon link below-

Ocean Early

There’s something about early morning and the ocean.

This morning, I drove to the corner market place after realizing I was out of coffee filters. I was early; the store wasn’t yet open. I drove another three minutes to the jetty. The light was nice and I fought with my broken phone to take this picture. I thought others might like to see.

Cheers-

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