Friday, April 6, 2012

Red Chair Travels

The Red Chair Travels to Brewster Cape Cod for a two day adventure.

It has been really fun to take the chair to many of our favorite locations in Brewster and then to contemplate that location as if we were the chair.    As a photographer, I often get on the ground or look for a high vantage point to get a different sense of the picture before me and this type of engagement with the world was enhanced even more over the past two days while escorting the chair.  Who would realize that a chair would give back so much in such a short time, a reminder to all of us that given our busy and hectic lives there are simple lessons for us in all the objects around us.

You will be well rewarded for following this "too" long a post to the very end.  I found  something psychedelic to finish the post with that should bring a smile to almost every soul.  So stay with me on our travels through Brewster.  

We have additional photographs in a higher resolution scale at this photobucket site

The Chair's First stop in Brewster was at Brewster By The Sea, residence of the Spoiled Rotten Labradoodle Harrison.   The poodle side hates to be told what to do and the lab side wants to please you at any cost, hence the grimace.

Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast Labradoodle

As we go across New England, we see adirondack chairs on many lawns and decks and there is seldom anyone seen in them.    The Red chair brings us many lessons about chair design and purpose, for me the major thought is : we need to go back to building things to last.   Most of the Adirondack chairs are soft wood with so many joints, crevices, and angles that they do not withstand nature's assault for more than a few years.   The picture below is our tribute to the relative permanence of the red chair.    Of course, Billy Collins hits the right spot with a contemplation on chairs as well.

The Chairs That No One Sits In

By Billy Collins
You see them on porches and on lawns
down by the lakeside,
usually arranged in pairs implying a couple

who might sit there and look out
at the water or the big shade trees.
The trouble is you never see anyone

sitting in these forlorn chairs
though at one time it must have seemed   
a good place to stop and do nothing for a while.

Sometimes there is a little table
between the chairs where no one   
is resting a glass or placing a book facedown.

It might be none of my business,
but it might be a good idea one day
for everyone who placed those vacant chairs

on a veranda or a dock to sit down in them
for the sake of remembering
whatever it was they thought deserved

to be viewed from two chairs   
side by side with a table in between.
The clouds are high and massive that day.

The woman looks up from her book.
The man takes a sip of his drink.
Then there is nothing but the sound of their looking,

the lapping of lake water, and a call of one bird
then another, cries of joy or warning—
it passes the time to wonder which.


The most beautiful spot in Brewster and perhaps all of Cape Cod is Paine's Creek and Stony Brook Valley.  The first Western visitors to Brewster found a very large Indian settlement in this valley, by some accounts nearly as big as present day Brewster.    Fertile and protected with great fishing and hunting.  My Flickr account includes dozens of photographs of Paine's creek at various times during the year including sunsets.  This time of the year the herring are running and the sea gulls are never happier.   We will see the herring later on!!!

In the meantime, traveling back on 6a in Brewster we see flowers everywhere. 

One of the most popular spring time celebrations on Cape Cod is the annual Brewster in Bloom festival.  Over the years the festival organizers move the date to earlier or later in April with the hope of hitting the season correctly.   This years festival was set for late April and the early spring has helped set a positive mood all over town.  Our chair loves this field of dreams.

There are theatrical types all over the Cape and Brewster is no different.   Tucked way back in the woods is the Cape Rep Theatre.  Now playing, "Footlitght Fantasies" 

 Headed east on 6a and then north on Crosby Lane, to check out the  Crosby Mansion and what do I see?

 Brewster By The Sea Guests.  One good red deserves another good red.  Our guests were driving around Brewster checking out sites and they see me with the red Chair at the Crosby Mansion
  •  "Albert spared no expense for the three story, 35-room "summer home" overlooking Cape Cod Bay. Built in the grand style of Chicago's Gold Coast Mansions, the home featured a 60-foot tower with cupola (later destroyed in the 1938 hurricane), 17 fireplaces with imported tile, a French inspired salon, two-story billiard room, marble sinks and floors in the baths and gas lighting. "

The Crosby Landing beach has a beautiful board walk, currently 2 feet under the winter drifted sands, that I take all of our wedding couples to for part of their wedding photography album. 

Many of the weddings we have photographed and hosted are here at Crosby Landing.

Coming off the beach, the moon is rising in the east against a beautiful blue sky.  

Back to the center of town.   The old timers come and sit on the benches at 6 am every morning at the Brewster General Store and it is only later in the morning that they relinquish their seats to this lovely reminder of all that is good about spring.  Since 1866 the Brewster General store has had 5 owners (an average of nearly 30 years per owner).    When I was a kid still rings true to form in Brewster at the general store and the Red Chair fits in perfect with that notion.

Now we are talking,  Having fun with the bunnies of the Brewster General Store..

type rest of post here!! Right behind the Brewster General Store is our second inn, The Captain Freeman Inn
A wonderful 1860's Sea Captain's home that retains nearly all of the orignal architectural and detail.  A wrap around porch gives these chairs plenty of shelter and much usage, even in the cooler seasons.

 Heaven for a chair is a covered porch.

So I am minding my business and then Aphrodite wanders over. 

Now we are headed to the Brewster Grist Mill and  upper Stony Brook Valley. 

There were herring and no sea gulls.    Most unusual. 

Our final stop is the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, Wing Island, and Cape Cod Bay.
John Wing has been the subject of quite a bit of history research .   As you walk out to the bay, through the salt marsh, the thought of how tough our ancestors had it comes first and foremost.  We would never think of walking to the island without the boardwalk and yet they would choose to live in the middle of the marsh on an island.  There are a man made canals throughout the marsh, evidence of the old saltworks that sustained Brewster for a short time.   

We were told that the osprey nest had been largely destroyed by the winter storms this year and they normally would not have to rebuild as much.   The Red Chair got to observe both mom and dad bringing choice bits of material back to the perch.

Wing Island,  This vista, coming off of Wing Island onto the bay is a really breathtaking overview.   

A few years ago a very large rock was rediscovered behind the Brewster Wind Mill in Drummer Boy Park.  It reminds me of the fun times as a child I had growing up in Wyoming.  We could run off at any time and play on the rocks / cliffs and our parents let us be kids.   We fear for our children at every step of the child hood now and I see very few children crawling over this big rock to get that magically unique look at the world around us.   Our chair however, has no such fears and I encourage all that read this to bring your children, your grandchildren and even your inner child to Brewster to climb on a Whale of a rock.