Yes, the road.

Yes, the road.
Eagle Nest, New Mexico. “People like to drive because driving is actually and symbolically an almost perfect mechanism for escape…there is probably no human being who does not have troubles, real or imagined, from which he at times feels the need to flee.” George R. Stewart.


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Brooklin, Maine, United States
We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and a 1986 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of 1997 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 28 years--we're recycling. I've published 3 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), THE O'BRIENS (2012), and CARRY ME (2016). Also 2 short story collections: NIGHT DRIVING(1987) and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). More of my literary life is at I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I'm an adjunct professor at Colorado College and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. In 2015-16 I was a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Autoliterate office is in Car Talk Plaza in Harvard Square, 2 floors above Dewey Cheatem & Howe. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right.

Friday, February 12, 2016

American Houses: Cambridge, Mass. The Brattle Street neighborhood

Sunny blue sky day and I finally took an hour off to bike around with the camera, shooting houses that interested me. They are all large in the Brattle Street neighborhood in West Cambridge. Large house in Cambridge used to mean "tenured Harvard professor" but usually these days that implies a much smaller house, in Belmont. I'm thinking many of the Brattle Street houses are occupied by the new elite of Cambridge, the execs and founders of the IT and other technology companies that dominate Kendall Square and Area 4 as well as the older generation from out on Route 128.  The oldest houses like the yellow one above are pretty much plain New England boxes, most dating from the 18th century. Plain and simple equalled virtue in the New England mentality--it was also cheaper to build--though square & wooden doesn't seem an ideal design solution for a climate that can be snowy and cold. The mansard roofs, as immediately below, were popular late 19th century.


 This row of early 20th c. brick houses on Sparks Street really stands out in the neighborhood which is mostly big deatched houses sheathed in clapboard. This rown which is very handsome looks like it could belong in the Back Bay, except the bay Bay houses always have bowes window--as do the houses on Beacon Hill. No, what this row really reminds me of our similar rows in Lower Westmount, Montreal.

Robert Frost lived here. Good fences make good neighbors but he was sharing a wall with his names; that immediate area I think Sparks Street is lined with twofers, conjoined houses.

 Arts & Crafts in a big way.

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