We took the summer highways to Rhode Island

The New Jersey Turnpike is a good one, having full twelve lanes, six of them exclusively for cars. The price of gas the cheapest anywhere out here, though the full service pumps were strange.

When you approach the City of New York an imperdurability of access and wellworn pavement tangles through the marshes to it. The George Washington Bridge ushered us across, and then we went under the dim and ancient steel that supported above us other highways, through the now narrow underways above which went the people of the Bronx with their groceries, walking from their errands, or going on bikes.

Connecticut was full of delays and full of diners. There we ate, watching the taciturn cook gradually produce exceptional, good food, but grudgingly, in steady and competent protest. The sun shone, the beach beckoned while he chopped chicken salad. The diners surprisingly cater to every present whim: vegan, organic, punic and intolerant to all but sandblasted millet. In Connecticut you can eat at a diner or MacDonald’s or Dunkin’ Donuts, and that, I think, is it. A retrograde place, and no wonder it is full of clamoring progressives.

Deeper into the realms of the New English we went, into the land of Roger Williams. Little Rhode Island with disproportionate miles of shoreline, where the scattered highways wind through town after town set between harbors full of boats that toss at anchor on the sparkling summer seas. My niece call’s the old-fangled apartment building where one of four is her abode: Apple Blossom Cottage.

So we went down to the sea, and leapt on the rocks the ocean surged over, foaming and fountaining. The wind picked up, the fog arose out to sea that day and then left, the waves rolled higher in the afternoon, but in the morning the spray of high tide showered the rocks where a horseshoe crab rotted.

Portuguese chowder there was, though not enough. Two bowls would hardly be enough. And it came in all its surroundings: the informal restaurant, the ordering in line, the waiting to receive, the leisured eating, the steady bustle of those who purchased raw seafood to take home, those who crowded the restaurant, the day preceding full of sun and waves, seagulls, ropes and wooden wharves, the rocks and sand and scattered bungalows, the winding Newport streets of Rhode Island.

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