Skip to content

winter at the beach

February 2, 2010

People who live outside of the Midwest can sometimes have a pretty ingrained view about those who live in these so-called flyover states, with the ultimate bewilderment directed at our lack of an ocean in easy proximity.  “Dude,” I recall one stoned Philadelphian asking me on a trip to Charleston, South Carolina in college, “I don’t get how you don’t live by an ocean.  It must be so trapping.”  This person hardly left his basement smoke den, let alone enjoy the offerings of the Atlantic that was nearly at his doorstep, but his point was clear: People outside the Midwest believe the land-locked interior of the US to be claustrophobic and confining and, therefore, not exactly progressive.  But I challenge any coastal dweller to dispute the size and magnitude of the Great Lakes.  I mean, they’re pretty great, forming the largest body of freshwater on Earth.  If you dropped someone without prior knowledge of America’s waterways in front of one of the Great Lakes and then flew them to the shore of the Pacific, this person would have none a clue about the difference.  You wouldn’t, either, if it weren’t for Google Maps or your third grade geography class.

So being quite thirsty Sunday afternoon while up visiting the family compound north of Chicago, I was incredibly pleased to find an abundance of fresh water – frozen or freezing cold, no doubt, and unlikely very clean – but fresh it was and if I were in a bind that body of drinkable goodness would have saved me surely.  The ravines that lead down to the shore are the perfect build-up to the icy denouement that is Lake Michigan on a freezing January day.






They had set up his typewriter on an adobe lamp-stand in the main
room of the house, next to a row of windows overlooking the hills.
Dylan stood while he worked, facing the machine like an adversary,
glowering at the keys.  He typed, using one or two fingers of each hand,
in gushes and waves.  The bottom half of his body seemed independently
engaged trying to rub away a bad rash.  He sipped black coffee constantly
until the afternoon, when he replaced his cup with a glass of red wine.

– David Hajdu, Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of
Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Farina and Richard Farina

Advertisements
2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2010 7:54 am

    They are pretty great indeed, gorgeous view! I had to laugh about your thoughts on the stoned philadelphian.

  2. Daniel Berlin permalink
    February 5, 2010 1:32 pm

    “If you dropped someone without prior knowledge of America’s waterways in front of one of the Great Lakes and then flew them to the shore of the Pacific, this person would have none a clue about the difference.”

    Yeah…take no matter that the Pacific Ocean has WAVES and the smell of air salted by the sea is an unrecreatable form of olfactorous zen.

    A-dawg…love you buddy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: