Monday, August 14, 2017

Roster Change In the Fenway

From Dave Brigham:

New and old Boston, captured in one off-center photo.*

Fenway Gulf is located a few short blocks from the home of the Red Sox, in a neighborhood that has changed drastically in the last decade. Pierce Boston rises behind the "Gulf" sign, one of several high rises recently completed or under construction. For a look at what the future apartment/condo site once looked like, read this article from the Boston Globe and check out the picture at the top of the page. A D'Angelo's sub shop once stood here, as did other businesses, including one that rented studio spaces for bands.

So, what's to become of the erstwhile gas station property? And why do I care?

I have a personal connection with this place. You see, I actually bought drinks and snacks there with my son -- one time! We were on a Pokemon Go walk in the area and got, you guessed it, thirsty and hungry. So this spot means a lot to me. Or rather it did. On one occasion.

Anyway...for the cool price of $16.9 million, the corporate parent of Star Market bought the site earlier this year. A Boston Globe article at the time indicated the company planned to bulldoze the gas station to expand a parking lot for the adjacent grocery store. But with so many high-priced condos rising all around the area, I have to believe something more than a parking lot will end up here. The Star parking lot has been too small for decades, it's true, but with car-averse/sharing millennials moving in and working in the area I doubt there's enough need for increased parking.

As always, stay tuned.

*I hoisted my phone over a fence, so cut me some slack.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

This Old House of Blues

From Dave Brigham:

The crazy guy sitting behind the drums and bashing the cymbals with his acoustic guitar could have spit on me. I was that close. My friend Jeff and I were transfixed as Hasil Adkins belted out insane songs like "The Hunch," "She Said" (more famously covered by The Cramps) and "We Got a Date," in which he yowls about cutting his girl's head off.

This was the one time I saw a show at the original House of Blues in world-famous Harvard Square. Opened in 1992, the Cambridge, Mass., club was intimate and got pretty sweaty the night that Adkins, a rockabilly cult favorite, played. The place served good food, and in addition to great blues music, was known for a gospel brunch on Sundays.

Anybody who's seen a band at any one of the 11 current House of Blues locations might be surprised that the building in the above photo was the original club. I went to the L.A. one nearly 20 years ago, and it was nothing like the cozy space in Hahvahd Squayah. The original spot was shuttered in 2003. The company opened a new franchise in Boston, near Fenway Park, several years ago.

A steakhouse named Brother Jimmy's moved into the spot, but closed in 2008. An outlet of the Tommy Doyle's restaurant chain moved there afterwards. In late 2013, the Hasty Pudding Club, a Harvard-affiliated theatrical society best-known for its Man & Woman of the Year parades and ceremonies, moved its clubhouse into what is officially known as the Hyde-Taylor House.

From, about the house:

"In 1846, the current house was built by Isaac Hyde in the Greek revival style. In 1900, George Mendell Taylor purchased the house where he both lived and gave piano lessons, beginning the performing arts tradition that has continued to this day. The building took on a new persona in 1950 when Geneviève MacMillan opened the first French restaurant in the Square. The restaurant, Club Henry IV, was frequented by the likes of William Faulkner, Thornton, Wilder, and Joan Miró. Geneviève had interests that lay far beyond her restaurant. She dedicated her life to collecting African art, promoting diversity and learning about one another's cultures, and establishing fellowships and grants to further these goals. She began a legacy of philanthropy and education that, like Taylor's, has been passed down through the building's history. In 1965, the area's first discotheque, La Discotheque Nicole, opened in the basement of Club Henry IV."

Pretty cool.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Price of Gas: UPDATE

From Dave Brigham:

That right there is a damn shame. First of all, you should know that nobody was hurt when this massive apartment complex in Waltham, Mass., went up in flames in mid-July. Slated to open next year, the luxury development featured several buildings four or five stories tall. Constructed of wood apartments above a concrete ground floor, the buildings had yet to receive sprinkler systems, but had passed inspection the prior week, according to the Boston Globe.

I wrote about this site in early 2015, before construction began, before, in fact, I even knew what was going to be built here (see February 7, 2015, "The Price of Gas"). The former site of the Waltham Gas Light Co., this spot between Cooper and Elm streets was vacant and polluted for quite a long time. The Edison on the Charles complex is being developed by Lincoln Cooper Street LLC. It was one of several new developments in or near downtown Waltham to rise in recent years.

It's unclear whether the developer will attempt to rebuild. The cause of the fire hasn't been determined. Stay tuned....

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Circling Buzzards Bay

From Dave Brigham:

The heat and humidity weighed heavily on me as I slogged along Main Street in Bourne, Mass. Overhead, vultures traced lazy arcs, awaiting my demise. But I was determined, damnit, to take pictures and live another day! Fans of the Backside of America demand dedication and excellence.

I was traipsing through Buzzards Bay, the village of Bourne that's on the mainland side of the Cape Cod Canal. Every year I spend a week in Pocasset, another Bourne village, with my family. Perhaps you read last year's vacation installment -- October 3, 2016, "Bourne Supremacy." For other Cape Cod-themed posts, see the bottom of this page.

Buzzards Bay was allegedly named by white guys a few centuries back who hadn't brushed up on their ornithology. Spying a large bird near the bay's shore, they assumed it was a buzzard and so called the large body of water after it. Turns out the creature was an osprey, according to Wikipedia. I can attest there are osprey aplenty in this area of the Cape, although evidently the birds were endangered for many years due to pesticide usage, again according to Lord Wiki.

Osprey Bay has a nice ring to it, but it sounds too much like a fancy lady's clothing store to me. Buzzards Bay sounds tough.

Speaking of tough, I bet there were more than a few hard-assed folks in leather jackets, chaps and "MOTHER" tattoos hanging out at the Port O' Call back in the day. And that was just the ladies! Bada bing, bada boom! I'll be here all week....

Seriously, though, this place was a biker bar back in the late '80s, according to this newspaper article from September 2015. The place had cleaned up its act leading up to its closing two years ago, thanks to a new owner. Speculation that the nearby Mass Maritime Academy might develop the site has yet to be realized.

Like many working class hangouts, the Port, as it was known, had its fans and its detractors. On TripAdvisor, which had listed the Port O' Call at one time as a "Must See Attraction in Buzzard's Bay," one commenter had this to say:

It's not even there Anymore. But when it was there it was disgustingly dirty. It's definently not an attraction. Far from it. The place is frequented by not the most up standing customers. Nothing was ever cleaned and it smelled horribly rotten.the back parking lot was a place for shady dealings. Wink wink.The interior was dank smelly and condemable to say the least. Yes the drinks were cheap but I'd rather not have to wear a hazmat suit to have a drink. Completely disgusting.

To be fair, one of the regulars quoted in the article above called the bar "the Cheers of Bourne."

Across the street from the bar, at the entrance to the maritime school, sits the Buzzards Bay train station. Built in 1912, the station is used by the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (in collaboration with the Mass Bay Transportation Authority) for its Cape Flyer summer train from Boston to Hyannis. There is an old interlocking tower on the site as well. The building is used by the Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber of Commerce.

Adjacent to the train station is the beautiful Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge, which is usually in the "up" position to let boats and ships pass, but which is lowered when the Cape Flyer and other trains pass through.

A short waddle away is the National Marine Life Center, which includes a hospital and education center. And some cool artwork on the outside.

On the opposite side of the street sits one of numerous empty storefronts.

I believe there was a pizza place next door up until early 2016. While there are several restaurants and bars along this stretch of Main Street, there are a lot of teeth knocked out of the Buzzards Bay smile. But why would this place be different than any other town?

This place sells golf carts and services vehicles of all types, I think. Looks like the kind of place where Ward Cleaver might have bought a Packard. 'Twas built in 1941.

Continuing east on Main Street, I saw this building.

Built in 1938, it's a small retail facility that seems as if it's been empty for quite some time. It's currently on the market for just under $400K if you're interested. It has town water and sewer. What are you waiting for?!?!

I focus a lot on the decrepit, abandoned and rusting on this blog, but not everything on the backside is falling apart. I showcased a nice mural above, and now want to share a military memorial.

Staff Sergeant Matthew Pucino was killed in Afghanistan in 2009. This clock is a beautiful monument to his service, and that of others in the armed forces.

As regular Backside readers know, I have a little bit of a thing for churches. For an atheist like me, this is a strange attraction. I rarely go into churches, but often find myself drawn to the simple and sometimes elegant architecture of houses of worship. If you tack a sailor in a boat over the front door, I melt into a puddle of swoon.

And what a cool history this church has! Formed in 1938, St. Peter's (named for St. Peter the Fisherman) was without its own building until 1947, when the minister procured an abandoned church and had it shipped by barge from Hull, Mass., to Buzzards Bay. To read the whole story, check out this article.

I also got a squishy feeling inside when I saw this place.

The Bay Motor Inn was built in 1920 and looks great for being nearly 100 years old. I imagine this place has gone through some ups and downs and probably seen its share of oddball tourists and maybe the occasional serial murderer. But it gets good reviews online.

The penultimate stop on this part of my Buzzards Bay/Bourne tour was this sign.

ABB Moonwalks, thankfully, is still in business. Just not at this location. As you might suspect, the company rents bouncy houses, obstacle courses, water slides and more. I'm waiting for them to strike a partnership with The Paddy Wagon Inflatable Pub.

Speaking of booze....

I love the look of Bourne Bridge Liquors. Built in 1962, it has that Midcentury Modern look that the kids love today. And check out the hanging lamps and cool map on the inside, courtesy of Retro Roadmap.

After loading up on beer, wine and Goldschlager, why not head to church?

Here I go with my church thang again. I love how humble this Christadelphian Chapel appears. Who knows, maybe the inside is filled with funhouse mirrors, a meth lab and a shooting range. The building is listed at one real estate web site as having been built in 1900, and on the Town of Bourne site as 1940. I'm guessing the building is 117 years old, and perhaps the Christadelphians took it over 77 year ago.

I wrapped up my latest Bourne sojourn along Route 28, just south of the infamous traffic circle that greets visitors to the Cape.

When I first visited Pocasset probably close to two decades ago, this driving range was active. Been a while since any budding Jordan Spieths or John Dalys have aimed for the ball-scoop cart at this place.

Guessing this is the Buzzards Bay Garage guys' chop shop for boosted golf carts.

Just a chip shot away sits the former Cartwheels II amusement emporium.

Inside these hallowed halls my wife, kids and I once played video games and ate cheesy, salty foods. And on the track below, we raced go-karts until the treads flew off into the safety netting that separated us from the thousands of cheering fans.

And lastly, we donned our knickers and competed fiercely on the miniature golf course that is slowly beginning to look like, well, an actual golf course. The British kind, with high grass, windswept vistas and royalty lolling all about.

I am joking, but it comes from a place of sadness. With so many retail and entertainment options fading away into the digisphere, what will become of brick-and-mortar anything? What jobs will students, foreign workers on visas, -- hell anybody! -- do if all that's left is to pack dry goods onto delivery drones or consult via Skype every time someone's phone gets overheated from too much Snap-Face-Tinder-texting?

You know who's never online? The Honey Dew bear.

Started in 1973 with a single shop in Mansfield, Mass., Honey Dew Donuts has grown to 145 shops in New England. The company competes with hometown heavyweight Dunkin' Donuts and that fancy-schmancy Seattle coffee junta, so obviously once in a while a joint shuts down. This place has been vacant for at least a baker's dozen years. Funny I never noticed it before.

A place called Bruno's Burgers was supposed to open on this site a few years ago, but I guess the grass-fed beef was greener in some other location. The temporary sign for the burger joint is still there.

Here are some other Cape Cod posts:

July 26, 2015, "Cavalier Attitude About Motels."

August 5, 2010, "Dark Side of the Motel." The motel was torn down recently; only the sign remains.

July 28, 2010, "Two Hearts Beat As One."

Sunday, July 9, 2017

College Kid's Worst Nightmare

From Dave Brigham:

Last time I checked, there were something like 579,000 colleges in Boston, each with approximately 971,000,000 binge drinkers enrolled. So why did Martignetti's Liquors in Brighton go out of business?

Incorporated in 1908 as a grocery business in Boston's North End, Martignetti Companies received the first retail license for beverage alcohol in Massachusetts in 1933, after the repeal of Prohibition, according to the company's web site. In the ensuing decades the company grew its retail and distribution business around New England.

Martignetti's opened in Brighton in 1963. The store closed this past March, the final of the company's retail outlets to shutter. But don't cry in your beer for the company, which a while ago set in motion a plan to focus completely on distribution rather than direct retail.

According to PropertyShark, the 1.84-acre site that the empty store sits on and which includes a large parking lot, is valued at $4.4 million. I haven't been able to find out who owns the site, or what might become of it. As always, stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Next Stop: Wonderland?

From Dave Brigham:

Located across from the above-ground Science Park trolley stop on the MBTA's Green line, this little building may lead to a fantasy world where the Kingston Trio's "Charlie on the MTA" plays all day and night; Alice, the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter still use tokens; and the trains actually run on time.

I checked it out one day while on a subway excursion with my son, Owen. I'd spotted this odd brick building numerous times, and just had to take a closer look. Situated on the very busy corner of Storrow Drive and Martha Road, directly in front of Whittier Place Condominiums and the Clubs at Charles River Park, this squat edifice contains mysteries, of that I'm sure.

My best guess is that this is an entrance to the subway tunnel that goes underground just a short distance away, heading toward North Station. A Wikipedia article about the former Tremont Street Subway indicates that "[t]he northern portal at Canal Street was replaced in 2004 when the subway was extended beneath North Station to a new portal next to Martha Road."

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to a tea party.

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Walk Through Weston's History

From Dave Brigham:

This historic home is the gateway to the Kendal Green Historic District in Weston, Massachusetts. Known as the Hobbs-Hagar House, it was built in 1786 by Isaac Hobbs Jr., one in a long line from that family to live, work and employ folks in the old farming town that more recently has become a swanky Boston suburb.

"In 1729, Josiah Hobbs purchased 122 acres along North Avenue at the heart of the Kendal Green Historic District, including water rights to what is now known as 'Hobbs Brook,'" according to the Weston Historical Commission. "The Hobbs Tannery, which may have been established as early as 1730, was among the first tanneries in the Massachusetts colony and was so well-known that it was a custom in early days to locate houses and people in Weston by their distance from the tannery."

Across North Avenue (aka Route 117) from the Hobbs-Hagar House sits the Isaac Hobbs House, built in 1758 by Isaac Hobbs Sr.

(Isaac Hobbs House.)

Down the backyard slope is Hobbs Brook, where the Hobbs family operated its tannery for more than 100 years. Members of the Hobbs clan also operated a slaughterhouse and a factory making shoes, belts, boots and other leather products, according to the Weston Historical Commission.

"Probably because of the presence of the tannery, boots and shoes were the principal articles manufactured in Weston by the late 1830s, according to John Warner Barber’s Historical Collections. Barber reported that in 1837, 5,606 pairs of boots and 17,182 pairs of shoes were manufactured in the town, a figure thought to represent about the peak of the leather industry here. The firm of Hobbs and Hagar continued the shoe factory until about 1850 and the tannery closed shortly before the death of Nathan Hagar in 1860." -- Weston Historical Commission

(Approximate location of old Hobbs tannery.)

Over the past two years, I've driven through the Kendal Green Historic District hundreds of times, on my way to and from my son's school. The area was named in 1885 by a Hobbs relative, Gen. James F.B. Marshall, commemorating his grandfather, Rev. Samuel Kendal, according to the Town of Weston web site. Driving by is all well and good, but you know my mantra: get out and walk! So I recently did just that and found more than I'd expected.

A few doors down from the Isaac Hobbs House is a house that served as the area's general store and post office for decades.

(Former general store/post office -- the sign by the door on the right indicates as such.)

A quick jog past the general store once sat the Drabbington Lodge (later known as the Westonian Inn).

(Former circa-1899 inn, now an assisted living facility.)

Across Route 117 (most of the district sits along this road) from the old inn sits a building that confounded me for years.

All concrete, with wooden doors and locked up tight, this building sits more or less in the front yard of a really nice home with an in-ground pool (thanks, Google Maps!), separated by a small grove of trees. Initially I figured it was an old garage for a house that had been torn down, or was perhaps hidden behind trees across the street. But after a Google search I learned that this is a fire station erected in 1908. I can't find anything online about what's inside, or why this building was saved. Since it's concrete, I imagine it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to move it somewhere else.

Back across North Avenue is the beautiful Whitney Tavern house.

(Whitney Tavern house.)

Even the Weston Historical Commission doesn't know much about the tavern, stating on its web site, "18th and early 19th century travelers may have stopped for refreshment at the Whitney Tavern at 171 North Avenue, reputed to have been built for William Whitney, who married Martha Pierce of Weston in 1706. Little is known of the early history of the tavern except for a brief caption in Lamson’s History of the Town of Weston, which says that Mr. Whitney, who owned and occupied it as a tavern, once kept the famous 'Punch Bowl' tavern in Brookline."

(The lot next to the Whitney Tavern house is empty, but judging from this wall, I'm sure there was a nice house here at some point.)

Hopscotching to the other side of Route 117, we see this wonderful Shingle-style home. It was built in 1890 by Francis Henry Hastings, who had recently overseen the construction of the Hook & Hastings organ factory just up the road.

When I learned there had once been an organ factory -- three stories high, with an 80-foot-long center section and two 100-foot wings -- amid the farm houses and regal Colonials on Route 117, I knew I had to walk this district, take photos and do a lot of research. I relished the opportunity.

Unfortunately, there is nothing left of the old factory, which was demolished in 1936 after Hook & Hastings went out of business. Homes have been built on the former site, so suburbex enthusiasts can't even walk the grounds looking for clues of any sort. Hastings Hall, a building near the factory used by employees and the public, is long gone, as is a one-room schoolhouse that Francis Hastings attended. For a great history of the factory, read this article by the Weston Historical Commission. To see a photo of the factory, along with other pictures of the Kendal Green Historic District, and to read more about the area, check this link.

Nevertheless, I found plenty of remnants of the organ factory days, and other leftovers from days gone by.

(126 Viles Street, a duplex, and one of two houses built in 1897 for workers of the organ factory that still stand in this location. The entrance to the factory was close to this spot, I believe, which is why my focus was on the driveway rather than the house.)

(The former Hook & Hastings factory playing field, near where Hastings Hall stood. The hall was demolished in 1944; the field now belongs to town of Weston. I walked around in the woods behind the field, to see if I could cross Stony Brook and poke around the edges of the neighborhood of expensive houses that replaced the factory. No dice.)

Across from the field sit six houses that were built in 1895 for factory workers, and a seventh that Hastings purchased for same. I was impressed by how well maintained these cottage-style houses are. While these homes are much smaller than the typical Weston house (median home value in this tony town: $1.465 million), the residents obviously have pride of ownership in these historic and somewhat unusual homes.

(Houses on Brook Road that were once factory worker homes.)

While many of the houses in the historic district are beautiful and maintain a sense of history about them, there are some that are simply average, and one that is quite rundown.

(Large shed/small house on property with a circa-1880 main house that is also in poor condition. I went to a yard sale here some time ago. The people were quite nice, but it seems they have a bit of a hoarding problem.)

Not only did Weston have an organ factory a long time ago, but the town also was home to the Weston Dog Ranch. This is the kind of fact I love digging up, er, well, finding online thanks to the Weston Historical Commission. A German immigrant named A.A. Lederhos, an ornamental iron worker by trade, began boarding dogs during the Depression to earn more money, according to this fantastic article, which I highly recommend you read (there are great photos, too). Lederhos designed an iron archway with the words "Weston Dog Ranch" and workers at his company, E.T. Ryan, built and installed it on the property, at 248 North Avenue.

Well, you know how the story goes, don't you? The house, garage and dog runs stayed intact and in business in one form or another, through a few owners, for many decades. In 1994, however, a developer bought the property, bulldozed everything, subdivided it and built 10 homes that back up to the railroad tracks.

(The approximate location of the former Weston Dog Ranch.)

Once I'd hit the northern end of the Kendal Green Historic District, I doubled back to the corner of North Avenue and Church Street, where the Hobbs-Hagar House is located, and took a short walk to the west to find this quaint old train station.

I've been unable to find much information about this place, which appears to be a private residence, despite sitting adjacent to an active commuter rail platform. The Weston Historical Commission indicates the station, now known as Kendal Green but formerly called Weston Station, was built in 1901.

The outer reaches of the historic district feature another old train station.

This station was also once known as Weston, but was located on a spur that split in nearby Waltham. Built in 1881 and closed in 1971, the station was once part of the Massachusetts Central Railroad. I believe this building is also privately owned, and may have been a home at one point. For more on this part of the Mass. Central Railroad, specifically the tracks going through Wayland, Mass., see August 1, 2016, "I Rail Against Trails (Not Really, But I Don't Want Every Set of Abandoned Train Tracks Converted for Cyclists and Roller Blades)."

Finally, there is the Church Street bridge going over the long-abandoned tracks next to this station.

At some point I hope to walk along this railroad right-of-way, as I know there is an old trestle heading toward Waltham, and who knows what else going westward. Stay tuned....

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Road to Ruins

From Dave Brigham:

If I'd had more time in New Mexico, I would have visited a pueblo on feast day, when food is offered and religious ceremonies are held. I know next to nothing about Native American cultures, but being in the Land of Enchantment, and seeing Indian artwork, clothing, jewelry and people made me want to learn a little something about the place I was visiting.

Welcome to the third and final installment in my New Mexico series. Previously I wrote about the place I lived with friends back in 1988, and some of our hangouts (see May 24, 2017, "The Land of Enchantment"); and shared photos and a brief write-up about an early morning walkabout in downtown Albuquerque (see May 25, 2017, "Duke City Downtown").

This post is about the Jemez National Historic Landmark (also known as the Jemez Ruins, which is how I will refer to the site). In planning my two-day visit to New Mexico with my friends Andy and Pete, with whom I'd lived in Albuquerque for a short time in 1988 after a road trip, I added a few potential historic ruins to my list. I zeroed in on Jemez because it was closest to Albuquerque. I would love to return to the beautiful deserts of New Mexico to see other ruins, and to witness some native ceremonies.

The drive from Albuquerque to Jemez was stunningly beautiful. The majestic Sandia Range was off to our east, its green peaks set off nicely against the brown earth all around. Once we got off the interstate, our views changed to red rock cliffs, miniature canyons and a mesa off in the distance. There were cacti here and there, along with the odd horse farm and broken-down service station.

The scenery was otherworldly for this boy, raised in the green forests, quaint towns and urban sprawl of New England. Here's an idea of what we felt like:

During the three months I lived in Albuquerque in 1988, I went up the Sandias once, with Andy and Pete, and visited Petroglyph National Monument with Pete and another road trip buddy, John. Those were the only sights we saw. So I was determined to get out of the city on my return trip, and get a better feel for the culture of New Mexico.

A few miles short of the Jemez ruins, we stopped at a camping and cookout area with amazing red sandstone cliffs as a backdrop. We walked around a bit, marveling at the ease with which you could write your name on the rocks. The trails beyond the cliffs were off limits to tourists, as they are sacred to the people of the Pueblo of Jemez.

The road to the ruins...hold on. I need to do this:

OK, thanks for indulging me. On either side of the road to the Jemez ruins we saw glimpses of the pueblo: small adobe houses, a fry bread/burger joint that unfortunately wasn't open; a few dogs lazing in dusty front yards; a school and some businesses; and two men ascending a small hill, one of whom was carrying a small flaming torch.

This sign served as quite a greeting to the ruins, and the Southwest in general. The Jemez site includes a former village, church and convent.

The above photo shows the ruins of a home, which was later used as a Spanish inn, according to a web site run by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. The former mission church, below, must have been an amazingly imposing sight in its time.

(View through a window of the old church to a small ridge on the opposite side of the road.)

I expected the ruins to be larger, but nevertheless I was humbled. I was so out of my element among the remnants of cultures I know nothing about, out there in a desert landscape that just blows my mind. The terrain was familiar from old Westerns, but yet I felt like I was in an alien world. I felt good slowing down from my East Coast pace, the heat sizzling on my skin as we strolled through the ruins.

Directly across the street from the ruins stands the beautiful Mary, Mother of Priests Catholic Church.

Part of the Congregation of the Servants of the Paraclete, the church was built in 1962. Read more about the history of the church and the congregation here.

On our drive back to Albuquerque, I had to stop at the former Big Chief Service Station on Route 550.

Here again, looking at this sign, and at the abandoned adobe station, I felt like I was on a movie set. There just is nothing that looks like this place in New England, with its hand-painted sign and big skies everywhere.

(The cover art for Pete's first solo album, perhaps?)

(Andy goofing around with Big Chief.)

Over the years of exploring on behalf of this blog, I've learned to check out things from as many angles as possible. I knew I had to take a look at the backside of the backside. Boy am I glad I did.

Isn't he perfect?