Colonial-style Home, New England

The area around Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, is affluent and appealing. If you like, as I do, various flavors of American colonial style architecture floating in a rich broth – play on words intended – of manicured small town landscapes and privileged academia, you’ll enjoy a visit to Smith. Some of the buildings and homes are historic sites that were actually built during the colonial era. Others are relatively new structures, like the home pictured here, which apparently was built in the second half of the previous century.

I visited Northampton on a very gray, rainy day; travelers cannot be picky. The heavy overcast creates soft, but very saturated, colors. Working in this kind of light is challenging, and I enjoy it. I am a fan of doors and entrance ways as subjects; this image is an example.

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Warmth of the Sun, Amherst

I shot this picture as the sun broke through the clouds to bath the field and trees in weak late afternoon sunlight. The horse and pasture in yesterday’s post are just to the left of this scene. Both shots were taken from the backyard of my friend Kate’s home in Amherst. Kate chose the quiet beauty of this locale to settle in after her years in China. The welcome contrast between the tranquility of this Pioneer Valley landscape and the stress, congestion, noise and politics not of the good kind we both experienced living in Beijing could not be more stark.

This photo was taken in mid-September just as the trees in central Massachusetts were beginning to turn color. I was not able to organize my trip to arrive when the autumn colors were peaking. No complaint, just an observation. The fact is I love visiting this part of New England at any time of the year.

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South Station, Boston

South Station at the intersection of South St. and Atlantic Ave is one of Boston’s many landmark buildings. I took several photos that show more of the building, but none of them are worth posting, so I stuck with this image of the main entrance to the station. The entrance way today looks much as it did when South Station first opened in 1899. Completing this representation of urban America in 2022 is the ubiquitous homeless person with her worldly goods on a cart to the left of the center entrance. In a country as rich as the United States, there is just no excuse for the legions of indigent homeless trying to eke out an existence in our cities. You are a disgrace, America.

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The Old State House, Boston

I returned to Vietnam last week from a one month visit to the United States, my first trip in three years. It was great to see family and friends in Petaluma, California, Boston and Amherst, Massachusetts, New York City, Baltimore, and the Denver area. That said, and while the US is the country of my birth, I am glad I no longer live there. The United States has too much tension, anxiety, and simmering anger for my taste. Life where I am in Vietnam is a good deal more relaxed and laid back.

Boston’s Old State House served as the seat of the Massachusetts colonial government from 1713 to 1776 and, after the American revolution, was the seat of the state government until 1798. Now hemmed in by office towers in downtown Boston, this national and Boston historic landmark is the city’s oldest surviving public building.

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