Sunday, August 24, 2008


What a gorgeous day at The Breakers, former summer cottage (HAH!) of the Vanderbilts, darling, on Bellevue Avenue in Newport. We were standing right here near these clipped hedges [I prefer my topiary in the shape of barnyard fowl, though, thank you] as a young European gentleman said well, it's nothing like you'd see in France or Europe.


Now that I've had my one trip to England, I do grudgingly admit the truth of the fellow's statement. The Europeans do grand very well.

Still, Newport is charming and lovely and I wanted to smack that guy in the face (not the guy shown). I especially like the black wrought iron fences that enclose many of the mansions, keeping out the peasants. I wonder who could afford to live in one of them now. Probably no one aside from Warren Buffett
or someone like that. And why would he want to?

Excuse me, Mr. Buffett, the fax machine isn't working again. Something about the telephone lines being eroded or corroded. And the shower is a bit wonky today. We'll get someone right on it, though. Why don't you sit outside and look at the ocean? (Mr. Buffett shown here just prior to his Low-Impact Fully Dressed Aerobics class.

Newport is part Gilded Age grandiosity and part feisty old fishing port. I kept looking for Hammersmith Farm, where JFK and Jackie were married on my birthday. Would that entitle me to a free tour? Here is an old photo.

It's not on Bellevue Avenue and I can't help wondering if Jackie felt a bit, well, declasse as she was growing up. Wonder if she would have started the pillbox hat craze if she'd been from BA.

This is called the Forty-Four Steps and they descend from the famous Cliff Walk, which winds along the rocky coast, halfway up to the "cottages." Supposedly, the old-time servants used to come down here and cause a bit of a ruckus, singing old Irish ditties that reminded them of home. How they could have reveled here is a bit problematic since the cement landing is so small. One person could have done a fabulous break dancing routine, though, and certainly trysts could have occurred and you'd have plenty of warning if someone was about to intrude (44 of them).

Side view of some historic building which I forgot to write down.

View outside of Hendrika's Cafe, which I did write down.

My companion trying to steal silverware at Hendrika's.

And me, doing what I do best.

Only a week left of The Dream, dear reader.


A bientot




At 6:26 AM , Blogger Kay said...

You look very cool - that is a lovely photo of you!
That European was sooo rude. I am of the opinion that when you are in another country, politeness is as appreciated as if you are visitng another's home. But that's just me. I would be very polite about your beautiful mansions - as you would be I am sure about our colonial attempts at grandness!
Mmmm that ice cream looks delish! :)

At 6:56 AM , Blogger Becky Motew said...

Well thanks, Kay. I know I would LOVE to see New Zealand, were that it could ever happen!!! In truth, the guy was speaking privately to his wife, but he said it right in front of us. grrrr.

At 5:28 PM , Anonymous Joanharvest said...

I love Newport and have spent a lot of time there because I used to live about 20 minutes from it. I've been to all the mansions many times over the years and I particularly love Belcourt Castle. That European doesn't know squat. You can't compare these "summer cottages" to the older mansions and castles in Europe. That is like comparing apples to oranges. They are two different categories and if he had done any research on it he would know that. Oh well, one more dumbass for my list.

Barbara said you guys had a great time. That's wonderful. Isn't my sister a hoot?


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