Sunday, January 25, 2015

Doing Dartmouth

Last weekend we drove to New Hampshire to see my cousin who seems to have landed the best of both worlds: a research job at an Ivy located in an adorable New England town. Not a lot of fancy jobs in small towns these days, we're happy/proud of him.

Here we're walking around Brook's big old backyard of his centuries-old farmhouse. This was my first time driving north of New York City. On the drive over, I added three more states to the tally of ones I've been to (Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts). As a West Coaster, I'm not sure the novelty of being able to drive in five states in one day will ever wear off.

The small towns here are so different from the ones I know in the West. They all have pretty, steepled churches, central greens, and all kinds of lovely old houses. As we drove through the States, we also drove through accents. Those too are much more concentrated here. 

On Sunday, we walked all around the Dartmouth area, which made me want to be an undergrad again, carrying around a bunch of books and coffee, studying the weekend away. 

In the afternoon we stopped by a bar for beer and a scotch egg, and admired all the post-church bar goers in their sport coats and knit sweaters. Definitely preppier Sunday attire than how we do in Oregon.

We went out to Mexican food in the evening and caught the end of the Seahawks-Packers game from the fourth quarter onwards, easily the most exciting football I've ever seen. And it was nice to be three Northwesterners celebrating in Patriots territory...

Also on Sunday, we toured this old Shaker house (compound?) in Enfield, New Hampshire. Before last weekend, I mostly only knew Shakers as celibate makers of nice furniture. (There are only three of them left now). 

The docent told us how industrious they once were and what a boon to the local economy all the Shaker activity was. Shakers were also exceptionally progressive about gender roles, design, and adopting new technology - not things I expected to hear about a strict religious sect.

From what the guide said, their numbers started to wane around the Industrial Revolution, when new technology meant there was less to be gained from communal living. 

More of Brook's backyard

James photobombing my nature shot.

It was a fun trip. We're excited to get out see more of this part of the country.

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