Tag Archives: Massachusetts

Family Trip, Provincetown, Cape Cod, September 2019

Provincetown Public Library

“When it was built in 1860 as the Center Methodist Episcopal Church it was reputed to be the largest church of Methodist denomination anywhere in the United States. It cost $22,000 to complete and could seat 900 people in its 128 pews.” Courtesy of provincetownlibrary.org.

Thank you Kate and Peter (and Raven, Aunt Judy, Roxie, and Roly Poly) for a week of family, fun and sun!

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Whales and Baby Whales at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

Kate, Peter, Raven and I embarked from Provincetown on the Dolphin fleet whale watch boat piloted by the amazing Captain John to the waters of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary teeming with humpback whales, baby whales, and dolphins, all of which were feeding before sunset (the golden hour), a few days before the equinox, September 2019. This trip made me really feel how awesome it is we have protected parts of the ocean, a trend I hope will grow exponentially, big thank you to everybody whose work contributes to the noble cause of protecting the oceans, and our friends the whales therein.

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Student Prince Cafe And Fort Restaurant, Springfield, Mass.

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The Student Prince exceeded my expectations by more than football field! The experience of the restaurant included perfect, personal table service by our server Jeff, who in addition to knowing every ingredient, every dish, it’s inspiration and origin, and how it’s best enjoyed, was our guide thru the 400 years of history on hand at The Fort / Student Prince.

There is no possible way to say enough good words about Jeff, who gained our trust and steered my girlfriend away from her comfort zones (salad, burger) towards the German classics the restaurant is rightfully known for. Her bratwurst and my prime rib (the Sunday special – I would definitely recommend!) were both amazing – bravo to the kitchen on the Sunday in early September 2019 when we visited.

I totally understand why Andre the Giant used to love to eat at the Student Prince. The amazing German food, the awesome selection of beer, the professional, witty, knowledgeable servers like Jeff. For a time traveling nerd like me, I have to add: Bravo for the preservation of the beautiful historic dining rooms and artifacts, really giving a deep sense of place and time to the experience.

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Mount Tom State Reservation, Holyoke, Mass.

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Seeing that we were already on a “recreational adventure” to the great state of (legal recreational marijuana) Massachusetts, we stopped for some natural highs at Mt. Tom State Reservation on the drive home to Connecticut. I remember night skiing, under the lights, when I was a youngin’.

The drive we took (yes, we were drive-hiking on this visit) thru the park just before the sun started to set, was filled with so much natural wonder and memorable scenery and greenery that even I, an avowed (and par-for-the-course, lazy) pothead, am compelled to write this 5 star review, if only so that more of my fellow nutmeggers may have the same experience.

The most strenuous climb was handled by the Prius, but the most scary climb was up the wooden observation tower, with views over seemingly the entire Western half of the state of Massachusetts. If it was still open, and winter, and I still had the gear, and the weather was perfect, it was conceivable that I could still ski down, I told my girlfriend.

And then we drove home thru (and with!) the trees.

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Nick’s Nest, Holyoke, Mass.

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This past summer Raven and I dined at two restaurants in Western Massachusetts that have been open for so many years that my grandparents had actually dined there back when they were dating in their youth: the Student Prince and Nick’s Nest. And what I learned is that both of these badass places have been stayin’ alive by the strength of their unique and delicious offerings, upon which nostalgia is just the mustard on the dog.

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This paragraph is for hotdog lovers. Coming from somebody who loves roadfood in general, hotdogs in specific, and has a laser-like focus on eating hotdogs, for a decade in Chicago, and two plus decades on the East Coast: you have to go to Nick’s Nest for the hotdog. The Nick’s Nest dog is has a unique golden buttery umami-ful flavor profile, with a gentle snap, on toasted bun, that’s in complete harmony with their signature chili.

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The cheese fries are awesome. What else is there to say? Nick’s Nest is old school counter service. The speed of the hotdogs means although you are able to eat for a full meal, the efficiency may make it feel more like a snack. I’m not a doctor, but I would prescribe at least a minute of breathing deeply after each hotdog is ingested, to allow the brain to best absorb the gentle snap of hotdog satisfaction.

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And then order some ice cream.

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Glenn Smelting

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For dinner, Glenn had procured some steamer clams from Maine. He fed them some cornmeal, a trick to help clean away all the sand and grit. They were delicious in drawn butter.

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Glenn also used the cornmeal for pan-fried smelts. At the East Coast Grill, we called them “fries with eyes.”

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I fell into the trance of Glenn’s stove-top cooking and captured some of the magic on video.

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Scumpas

etta air plants terrarium winchendon glenn kostick glass 3rdarm handblown

We made it up to the wood stove in Winchendon just in time, as the snow and arctic air enveloped the Northeast.

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Glenn brought down a trove of Kostick family photographs and we spent the evening looking back at funny relatives!

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Fishing with Glenn, part 2

glass terrarium 3rdarm glenn kostick winchendon massachusetts

Going home makes me realize how much I love my elders. I wish it was possible to visit Glenn and his world more often.

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Glenn graciously gave us a green terrarium and small plant to bring back for Aunty.

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Ham Shack

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Glenn has the antennae and control room to operate a ham radio, a skill he has mastered over years of practice.

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He said, “Believe it or not, I get nine on air tv channels with this old antenna. No cable bill here. Note the mast mounted preamp on the right. Channels 2,4,5,7,25,38,44,56,and 68.”

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Up on the Roof

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Etta and I climbed to the widow’s watch above the third floor of Glenn’s house, to watch the August sun set.

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She offered me her chicken bone but I was full.

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