Finneran: A Few of my Favorite Things…
Friday, August 11, 2017
Other favorite movies are Casablanca, The Godfather I and II, Braveheart, Apollo 13, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Saving Private Ryan, Bridge on the River Kwai, The Maltese Falcon.............
It’s August. The clock and the calendar are moving relentlessly toward Labor Day and a new school year. We enter the final weeks of summer with the lingering hope of a strong finish---good books, good movies, good food, and good days with friends and family.
Thus today’s column is offered as a no-cost public service, filled with the suggestions of an old man........
Other good movies include Whiplash, Doubt, Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, Selma, Captain Phillips, Lincoln, and The Imitation Game. All are worthy of the rental, all are worthy of your time. Don’t forget the wine...........
A healthy habit forged ages ago was the summer reading list we all got at school. The habit itself usually takes true hold as we grow wiser, ever more curious, trying to make up for lost time. Those rebellious years when we only pretended to read the four or five assigned books are in the rearview mirror, consigned to that period in our life known as “the stupid years”. For boys, those years usually range from age 12 to about age 40.
My book list is steeped in political incorrectness for it begins with a few dead white European men, namely Shakespeare, Dickens, and Churchill. Macaulay too. Anything by Shakespeare and Churchill is rewarding. Revel in the language. They are brilliant. Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” is always worthwhile, even if it’s your fifth re-read. And Macaulay greatly influenced Churchill. Enough said.
Other good books are “Truman” and “The Great Bridge”, by David McCullough. “The Candy Bombers” by Andrei Cherny is an amazing and important piece of history. “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” merits a re-read as does “Moneyball”. Lauren Hillenbrand’s “Unbroken” should make your list. You can make it a very strong finish by reading (or re-reading) Frederick Douglass’ “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”. Now there was a man. Local author Steve Puleo has a few gems to his credit. Two with local flavor are “Dark Tide” (about the great molasses flood) and “A City So Grand”, my all-time favorite Boston book. It is a treat. As with the movies, don’t forget the wine...........
I have my issues with the Boston Globe but the sports section is not the problem over there. Rather, it is the jewel. Read Nick Cafardo on baseball. Always good. Read Bob Ryan on basketball. Always good. Read Ben Volin and Chris Gasper on football. Always good. And read Dan Shaughnessy on anything in the world of sports. Dan has found a way to become the bane of owners, players, and rabid see-no-evil fans, all while writing witty and well-informed columns. He’s not a cheerleader waving pompoms. He’s thoughtful and opinionated. It’s a good combination.
By the way, I miss Jackie MacMullan. Perhaps I’ll get my MacMullan fix by reading her book on Bird and Magic. I will not forget the wine....................
We move to the table as we consider the day’s feast. We are blessed with bounty. Wellfleet oysters, Cape mussels, dayboat scallops, fresh striper. Truly a heavenly banquet. Homegrown tomatoes! Awesome. Fresh picked corn on the cob. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the beach. The very best state dinners in Paris or Washington D.C. cannot match our fresh fare. How about peach cobbler? It can only be improved by making a combination cobbler---a blueberry and peach cobbler, served warm with vanilla ice cream. In fact, I’m off to the kitchen right now. Cobbler tonight.
Remember that time waits for no one. August is ticking away. And don’t forget the wine...........
Related Slideshow: 25 Things You Must do in New England Before the Summer Ends - 2017
Take a Wine Tour
Across New England
New England is home to some of the best wineries in the country from Newport Vineyards in Rhode Island to Westport Rivers Vineyards in Massachusetts.
You can hit them all on the Coastal Wine Trail.
The trail stretches from Cape Cod and the Islands through the South Coast of Massachusetts and Coastal Rhode Island and Coastal Connecticut.
Visit Worcester Art Museum
The Worcester Art Museum is offering free admission throughout the month of August, so take advantage.
“Free August” includes access for everyone to special exhibitions, the permanent galleries, and WAM’s August programming -- including Art + Market, tours, Art Carts, arms and armor demonstrations, and Nude Drawing in the Galleries.
Catch a Movie at the Rustic Drive-In
North Smithfield, RI
Call up your friends, pack a picnic, and sit in your car as feature films are projected along giant outdoor screens.
The audio plays right through your radio, so be sure to turn the volume up high as you snack on your candy and popcorn.
Visit Ben & Jerry's Factory Tour
Take a 30 minute tour of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream factory in Vermont and see where your favorite flavors of ice cream are made. It is ice cream season after all.
The factory is open year round and admission is just $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and kids 12 and under are FREE.
Participate in the Worcester World Cup 2017
The 2017 Worcester World Cup is set to take place from Friday, August 11 to Sunday, August 13.
The Worcester World Cup is more than a soccer tournament. It's a celebration of Worcester and a safe, friendly family event that people look forward to all year.
Ride a Hot Air Balloon at Great Falls Balloon Festival
Get up to Maine and hop into a hot air balloon during the Great Falls Balloon Festival.
Visitors will have the chance to take a balloon ride high above the ground and watch the sun rise or set.
The festival takes place from August 19 to August 21.
Catch a Show at Cape Playhouse Theatre
Take a ride to Cape Cod and visit the oldest summer theatre in the country, Cape Playhouse. Cape Playhouse was first opened in 1927 by Raymond Moore.
The theatre has been home to some of the biggest stars to ever grace a stage like Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart amongst others.
Providence WaterFire has grown to be an iconic Rhode Island event.
Starting out in 1994 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of First Night Providence, it has grown to run continuously, once a month, from May-November and boasts over 80 blazing fires in the middle of the Providence River.
WaterFire is a not-for-profit organization that aims to creatively transform Providence – and they do! Each event is accompanied with music by artists from around the world, varies food stands and art stands to browse as you stroll along the river.
Zip Line in the Berkshires
Need some extra excitement to close out the summer? Head to the Berkshires and get yourself on a zip line, maybe even do a canopy tour.
There are three different tour options, starting with the base area tour which lasts an hour or the Mountain Top or Valley Jump tour which takes three hours. Both of those are sure to shoot some adrenaline into your day.
Walk The Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail is a two and a half mile walking tour that connects 16 significant Boston landmarks.
Interior access to the Freedom Trail's sites is also free, except for the Paul Revere House, the Old South Meeting House and the Old State House.
The Freedom Trail is a great way to get exercise, explore Boston and learn about history, all at the same time.
If you buy tickets online they are discounted at $12 for adults, $10 for students and $6.50 for kids ages 6-12.
See Billy Joel at Fenway Park
The must see concert of the summer, Billy Joel at Fenway Park on August 30.
Billy Joel released his first hit song, arguably still his biggest hit, Piano Man in 1973 an since has become the 6th best selling recording artist and the third best selling solo artist in the United States.
Joel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992 and then the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.
Seeing Joel would be a great way to cap off the summer.
Walk the Newport Cliff Walk
The Cliff Walk is one of Newport’s most famous attractions is its gilded age mansions lining the coast. Entry to the mansions will cost a fee, but with the Cliff Walk, you can enjoy views of the mansions with amazing views of the water all for free.
The 3.5 mile long path runs behind the mansions on the eastern shore of Newport. It is a National Recreation Trail – the first in New England! The majority of the walk is easy, but be sure to wear good shoes; the sand can make the path slippery.
PHOTO: Connie Ma/flickr
Visit Acadia National Park
People have been drawn to the rugged coast of Maine throughout history. Awed by its beauty and diversity, early 20th-century visionaries donated the land that became Acadia National Park.
The park is home to many plants and animals, and the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast.
Visit Acadia and hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery.
The park entrance fee is FREE from August 25th to the 28th.
Besides that, admission is $12 while those 15 and under are FREE of charge.
Play Golf at Harbor Lights
Last weeks of summer, be sure to get those final rounds of the season in at Harbor Lights.
Harbor Lights in Warwick offers golfers a great place to tee it up.
Not to mention the amazing scenery and the great food at the Par + Tackle restaurant.
Go to Royalston Falls
If you want a little bit of late summer adventure, hike to Royalston Falls in Royalston, MA.
The hike itself isn’t too long, but it can be challenging. It leads you to a remote gorge created by prehistoric glacial meltwater and 45 foot plunging waterfall within a half-hidden ravine. If you’re up for the adventure, the destination is far worth the trek.
Walk, Run or Bike the Blackstone River Bikeway
Runs from Worcester to Providence
The idea behind the Blackstone River Bikeway was to create a bike path running 48 miles, from Worcester to Providence along the National Heritage Corridor. It links the Blackstone River and the Blackstone Canal connect with the East Bay Bike Path in Rhode Island.
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