Peck's personal Web site
breaks from poring over the newspapers as the Bushies implode
may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a
good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught
up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
autumn trip to the USA
to the embarrassing parts of it, though)
and the Blue Hills of Milton
in Brookline, to be a little bit more precise, which is sort of wrapped
around by Boston, "embraced" as it were. We're here to reconstitute
our nuclear programme after the two-week environmental meetings in Uganda, a little
welcome relaxation at Kristin's house (above). It's 23 November 2005.
is Jamaica Pond in Boston, at the Brookline frontier, a 24-hectare (60-acre) glacier
leftover that caters to joggers, strollers and pram-pushers, fisherfolk (it's
stocked annually), and convalescing survivors of meetings of the Conference of
the Contracting Parties.
around the Jamaica Pond takes 30 minutes, 1 hour, or 2 hours, depending upon how
recently the meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties pounded its
final gavel. This year we're in the one-hour range.
Pond was a productive hub of the ice-cutting industry in the 19th century, much
as Detroit was for automobiles in the 1950s. But its industrial significance passed
away, alas, leaving millions of poor ice-cutters out of work and their promised
pensions lost in the bankruptcy courts; much as Detroit . . . well, never mind.
Pond was officially designated a Park in 1894, and maybe such a bright future
awaits Detroit. It's also said to be the USA's first reservoir, whatever that
means, drinking-water presumably, but in any case it's way way too late for Detroit
in that regard. (This narrator was privileged to witness Lake Erie and the
Cuyahoga River catch fire in 1969.)
a Park, but part of Frederick Law Olmsted's "Emerald Necklace" chain
of public parks stretching through Boston, created in 1892. (We're also very fond
of Olmsted's World's End near Hull and we convalesce
there regularly as well, and of course Olmsted's Central Park in NYC is okay,
spots on the water are actually ducks, or at least some kind of birds that don't
mind sitting in water that's on the point of a phase change into a solid.
a better view of the ducks, or whatever they are. Now let's go for a hike. Where
shall we go?
maybe something closer to home -- the Blue Hills
Hills Reservation is in Milton, just south of the Boston town line. Here hikers
stride confidently up the "Skyline Loop Trail", following "blue
blazes" through the Department of Conservation and Recreation's nearly 3,000
hectares (7,000 acres) of scrub woods and marked trails, 200km worth of trails,
in fact, and the distinctive grey rocks sticking up out of the ground everywhere,
quintessentially New England.
lost already, hikers Kristin, Jodi, and Sir Charles himself pause in their scrutiny
of a well-placed map of the region, but learn little.
or lookout at the top of, is it "Great Blue Hill"? Probably, nothing
seems to be higher anywhere in the neighborhood, and if so, we've now ascended
to nearly 190.5 meters above sea level. But there are reputed to be 22 hills in
these "highest mountains in New England south of Maine", and it's possible
that we're on the wrong one.
where we are now, wherever that may be, on 25 November 2005, that's Boston just
over there, and the sea beyond it.
a lovely building, but it's a bit like an Escher drawing, there's no actual inside
of it, it's all part of the outside. Like a "Klein bottle" that's inside
itself. At least you can get out of the wind for a while.
Great Blue Hill, or whichever hill that was, with grey rocks all about. The Red
Indians who lived here before President Bush's ancestors invaded and made a mess
of things were called the "Massachusett", it's said, because they were
the "people of the great hills".
hills are quite pretty (and so close to downtown Boston!), but if the Massachusetts
were really the "people of the great hills" they were setting their
sights awfully low.
that may be, the Blue Hills Reservation was purchased by the Boston parks commission
in 1893 and still provides an oasis of near-natural relaxation well out of the
range of the gunfire downtown.
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 31 January 2006, revised 15 November
2007, 14 August 2014.