Thursday, May 30, 2013

"Hopewell" is another name for the American Dream

"Hopewell" is what we need to do to make our dreams come true. Keep hoping, dreaming, and most of all working at it.

Hopewell, NJ was quite a photographic trip: this is the third of four in a series. There were so many great houses and great shops! I recommend a visit. Support an independently owned coffee shop and stop in at the Boro Bean (see previous post).  

An appealing porch -- I just had to get close and take a picture.

What a house! Glad I don't have to chase dust bunnies through it.

In downtown, I saw this great book store. I bought a used book, Penelope Fitzgerald's "Innocence," for $9, just because I support indy bookstores. 

The owner sat in an easy chair, reading, of course.

An unusual planter outside a tony gallery. Corrugated tin as an accent.

Another artsy planter.

A rocker and child's toys at a nearby antiques store.

Another view of the planter. You can see unusual art through the plate glass window behind it. Is it an interpretation of a giraffe? What's your guess?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

American Dreams Came True in Hopewell, NJ

You won't believe how many great places there are in Hopewell. For some reason--maybe rich farmland--people settled in this Central Jersey town and were prosperous enough (American Dream again) to build fabulous houses.

My camera was crooked, not the house! It's now the library, just as quaint as can be in a quaint town.

These books represent a large percentage of the total books in the library. Look at the table and chair nestled in the corner. What a great place to work!

See what I mean by "fabulous?"

A different style.

These were all taken earlier this spring. You can see the season has progressed nicely since then.

Same house from a different angle. Note the third-story little square room under the steeple. What a writing space!

Another exceptional house.

A beauty in its own right.

Neat and sweet.

This house has a hexagonal writing room under the steeple! Which would you prefer, square or hexagonal?

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Great Coffee Shop for American Dreaming

I meant to go to Hopewell, NJ for two decades, and I finally just up and did it. I was rewarded by an interesting town crowned by a unique, independently-owned coffee shop. I love Starbucks, and I'm grateful that you can spend $2 and sit and work with their free wifi for eight hours, if you wish, and nobody will ask you to move. But I frequent independent shops whenever I can, because they have a tough time competing against Starbucks and tend to go out of business when Starbucks is near. 

American Dreams get worked on and talked about and encouraged to come true in coffee shops all over the country. Love 'em!

How about you? Do you make a point of patronizing independent coffee shops? How about indy book stores? Comment below.

This is the milk-and-sugar station of the Boro Bean in Hopewell, NJ. At last, something different from Starbucks!

A close-up of the art on the wall of Boro Bean.

A detail, in case you want to know the artist's name.

Here's the owner.

A reading nook at the Boro Bean.

A sign on the front door.

A reading rack.

The unique sign out front.

A dog waits for his master to come out with his coffee. Wouldn't you love to sit on this porch with a cuppa and a friend?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Beautiful Place I Never Heard Of

Hi, fans! I apologize for missing our date last Thursday. Life interfered with getting something amusing ready for you. But I have plenty of pictures of American towns and cities to show you. So let's get started.

Blawenburg, NJ: I never heard of it until I drove through it on my way to Hopewell, NJ, which you will see beginning on Thursday. These pics were taken just a few weeks ago -- you can see how spring has progressed.

The Reformed Church is a major feature of Blawenburg, NJ.

I love the severity and plainness of the church.

Here's a detail of the front door.
Let's enjoy this magnolia, blooming just down the street from the church.

A home opposite the church, with wild brambles and forsythia.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Beautiful Places in Westerly, RI

The American Dream: Having An Adventure

"Life is an adventure, or it's nothing at all." -- Helen Keller

My adventure in life took me to Westerly, Rhode Island, just over the border from my mother's house in Mystic, CT. There are some beautiful places in Westerly, including American Dream houses, that you gotta see.

A church.

An historic house.

Notice the scrolls at the top of each column on the porch.

I'm always looking for writing rooms. There's one at the top of this house!

A beauty, on the edge of downtown.

Notice the wood trim around each window, even the attic windows, where the servants lived.

The Westerly public library.

One entry to the library.

A reading room.

The staircase to the second floor of the library.