From Santa Barbara to Cape Cod, a fabulous holiday

parisdiaArchitecture, Art, Books, Movies2 Comments

At the Miramar hotel in Montecito, the Amtrak train to San Francisco rides through the bar

The two long weeks I spent in the US were the best holidays I’ve had in many years and flying from the Pacific in L.A. to the Atlantic in Boston, was a romantic experience. Both airports are on the water and I almost felt like I was sailing. My trip started in Santa Barbara where jacarandas were in bloom in every street and I loved having lunch at the Miramar in Montecito where an Amtrak train comes through the garden every couple of hours. How can a luxury brand hotel build a bar on the beach along a railroad track? It was actually very entertaining. We roamed around the polo club where Prince Harry plays regularly and had delicious sandwiches at THE food shop “Wendy Foster” where all the stars meet incognito. The very rich mix with normal people and seem to enjoying it.

Wendy Foster in Montecito is the place where you meet the locals

I went to see like everyone else “Barbenheimer”, meaning “Oppenheimer” the three hour long and very slow film on the creator of the atomic bomb, which I did not like and “Barbie” which I laughed a lot at and was very surprised by. So many articles have appeared about it and its grossing more money (1 billion $) in two weeks than even Harry Potter that Great Gerwig its director and her patent Noah Baumbach must be hiding from celebrity for the whole summer. Pink Fever was so high in the US, that when I wore a very old worn out pink polo shirt, I was accused of wearing Barbie clothes…

Margot Robbie is irresistible as Barbie

So I left the film industry and the very famous of Santa Barbara for the artsy and food of Cape Cod. There I started out with the Pilgrims in Plymoth (with no u) where the bark covered houses fascinated me. The reconstructed site of the landing of the Mayflower in November 1620 is very moving when you think of what America has become today. Actors speak with an old-fashioned English accent and explain what crops and tools they used. We are back into fantasy land. After a delightful night in Duxbury nearby and few gin and tonics, we made our way to Chatham to eat the best lobster roll in New England. There I had a passionate discussion with a farmer from Kentucky on the distress of having deers eat the corn crops before they grow.

The best lobster roll is on the Pier in Chatham, Cape Cod

We moved on to Dennis where we had more drinks with Joe and Victoria Klein who bought a house dating from 1660. Joe, the author of super best seller “Primary colors” has resumed a political column “Sanity Clause” on Substack which is very entertaining. They live very near illustrator Edward Gorey’s charming house where you can see the numerous New Yorker drawings he made and the excellent poster for the New York City ballet. The modesty of his house is precious at a time when even the historical sheds are being enlarged and ruined.

Edward Gorey’s house in Yarmouth Port

Our final destination was Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod and the art gallery there as well as a couple of architects were another wonderful surprise. Always a colony of artists since 1996, Provincetown is easily accessible and still has wonderful galleries. In the “Gems from the permanent collection” at PAAM established in 1914, Robert Motherwell painted “Provincetown Bay” in 1987-90, Helen Frankenthaler in 1960, Edward Hopper of course, Alex Katz, etc.

The main gallery at PAAM in Provincetown

Back in Boston, I indulged on a hot afternoon in the air conditioned reading rooms of the Boston Athenaeum Library which has wonderful works by Allan Rohan Crite and a fascinating self portrait by Polly Thayer Starr but mostly all the books you want to read  at arms length. On the way there from Beacon Hill, my eye was attracted by the proud statue of General Hooker, a hard drinking ladies man who gave his name to the prostitutes. All of that week was punctuated by Trump’s appearance in court and indictment which some followed passionately.

The proud statue of General Hooker in front of the Massachusetts State House

There were more lobsters in Marblehead on the North shore, which I reached on the delightful Salem ferry (50 mns form Boston) and I flew back to Paris, rejuvenated by this US adventure.

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2 Comments on “From Santa Barbara to Cape Cod, a fabulous holiday”

  1. It’s truly fascinating to hear a french man’s perspective of America, particularly Santa Barbara. I am an American woman who recently left Southern CA (LA and SB) for the south of France. I imagine I come off as dewy eyed and rose colored glasses about my new hood as you do in this account. What you experienced is all true of course, just not jaded and colored by understandings of the local and national politics and climate that made me flee!

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