Wollaston Beach in February

people walking on Wollaston Beach

The sunset was stunning tonight. Driving by Wollaston Beach. Looking at the sky and the water. The colors took my breath away. I was reminded again why I love Quincy.

Just a few moments drive from home and I’m by the water. I got out and walked around. The wind was biting cold, so I didn’t stay out for long. But I enjoyed these serene scenes.

Wollaston Beach with lights in the distance

Lights twinkling in the distance beyond the soft sand. Breathing in the fresh air. Noticing that it’s still light after 5:00pm.

sunset colors on Wollaston Beach

No filter needed. Sometimes reality is beyond beautiful.

Photo Exhibit: As We Rise

Over the past few weeks, I’ve posted about my day trip to Salem. Strolling around the city during the holiday season and enjoying a local cafe.

The reason for the trip was to see the photography exhibit, As We Rise, before it left the Peabody Essex Museum. It was wonderful and I’m so glad that I got to see it before it ended on December 31st. The description of the exhibit on the website truly intrigued me.

“Explore Black identity through a compelling compilation of photographs from African diasporic culture. Drawn from Dr. Kenneth Montague’s Wedge Collection in Toronto, a Black-owned collection dedicated to artists of African descent, As We Rise looks at the myriad experiences of Black life through the lenses of community, identity and power.

Organized by Aperture, New York, the exhibition features more than 100 works by Black artists from Canada, the Caribbean, Great Britain, the United States and South America, as well as throughout the African continent. Black subjects depicted by Black photographers are presented as they wish to be seen , recognizing the complex strength, beauty and vulnerability of Black life.”

The exhibit shows ordinary Black people living their lives and reminded me of my own family photos. The exhibit acknowledges the importance of these pictures. Yes, we as a people have been through a lot. There has been struggle. And the struggle continues.

But we are just like any other people. We live our daily lives and have families and friends. We take pride in our work.
We enjoy the simple things and glamour. We are bold and beautiful.

It feels wonderful to see these people just being themselves and living their lives, just like me. It means something to see oneself, depicted in this way. It means something to see oneself portrayed at all. To show that we existed and continue to exist. And that we will exist.

I remember as a kid watching TV shows like Star Trek and being happy that there were Black people in the future. To a certain extent, it’s silly. It wasn’t real. Even so, it mattered.

The text in the picture above, “Identity as Seeing Ourselves” resonates with me in a similar way.

“These photographs are not only about seeing ourselves and our place in the world, but also picturing where we are going.”

This picture above, which represents refusal, is quite interesting. Not something I would display at home. But I like the idea of us as a people being able to have control over whether we are seen or not and how we choose to be seen.

And last, but not least, As We Rise shows Black people at rest and leisure. I loved this portion so much! What’s the point of life if not to enjoy ourselves and relax at least some of the time? Have we not toiled enough?!

An Instagram post by The Nap Ministry for the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. says it best.

“The teachings of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have been a North Star in my life since I was in elementary school and obsessively wrote every paper for any class on him until college. I’ve read everything he has written and his work grounds my ethos as a Black Liberation Theologian. As the country honors his legacy and celebrates his birthday, I am deep in meditation about leisure for Black People.

Leisure and the right to simply exist without the constant weight of having to be a tool for production is something Black people have been denied for centuries. It is our divine right to simply be and embody leisure as a human right. These photos of MLK, Jr. on vacation in Jamaica in 1965 are a balm and deep breathing. Radical inspiration for our rest practices. We Will Rest!!”

Roseadela’s in Salem

Roseadela's front counter

When I visited Salem recently, I took inspiration from a vlogger who often shares her many day trips from where she lives in Seoul.

I’m not a morning person. For me, that means that I like to lounge around at home and have nice slow mornings, even if I get up early. On weekends, it takes a lot for me to leave the house in the morning. But that’s what Cari does! It would also mean that there would be less traffic for the hour long drive from Quincy, so maybe I could get there quicker.

Also, I usually avoid driving in the rain or snow. It rained the night before, but there were only supposed to be passing showers in the morning and it would dry out by the afternoon. So I figured I’d go. I really wanted to see the art exhibit, As We Rise, and it was going to close the next day.

Neither of my assumptions ended up being true, but I’m still glad that I went. The exhibit was wonderful and will be a separate post. I was stuck in a couple of downpours while driving and there was way more traffic than I expected. But as I walked around Salem, it was great!

breakfast at Roseadela's

I hate rushing through breakfast, so I didn’t eat before leaving home. When I arrived in Salem around 10am, I was starving and needed caffeine. There was plenty of street parking, but I chose a parking garage near the museum. When I came out of the elevator on the street level, I saw a small cafe and shop called Roseadela’s. It’s the cutest place with such cozy vibes!

There was so much to choose from for a sweet or savory small breakfast. I ended up getting a simple egg and cheese sandwich and a latte. Both very good and hit the spot!

I ended up coming back again when I was going to get my car to leave. I would have loved to buy just about everything in there. Since that was not possible, I picked up a few things that I really liked to gift to some people. They have an online store as well where you can purchase some of their many offerings.

Roseadela's shop wall

The photograph on the wall is stunning and I asked the owner about it. It looks like it’s from another time and place. But it’s actually her and her daughter posing at a photography studio located in the same building!

Stopping at Roseadela’s was a great way to start my half a day in Salem and I was ready to head to the museum next!

Christmas in Salem

Christmas in Salem

When most people think of Salem, Massachusetts, the first things coming to mind are probably Halloween and the witch trials. But Christmas? Not so much.

Well, Salem does Christmas quite well and has its own unique twists.

The plan hadn’t been to visit Salem for the Christmas season. But I just learned about an art exhibit there that was ending today, so I visited yesterday. That will be a separate post. Along with possibly one or two other posts. There is so much to see and do in Salem!

I visited a couple of adorable coffee shops and wanted to try so many more. I worked in Salem in the early 2000s, but didn’t spend much time wandering around like a tourist. It was fun to do and end the year on that kind of note — like a full circle and healing moment.

This time spent in Salem was also an Artist Date. Time spent alone getting out of my daily routine to help increase my creativity. I have to say that these dates really work.

There was a magical air to everything. With the whimsical Christmas decorations and the witchy history of Salem itself.

The historic Hawthorne Hotel was beautifully decorated. Keeping with the more traditional touches for the season. I also noticed the South Korean flag out front. I have to admit that I don’t know the flags of most countries, so it was interesting to me that it was one that I knew. It’s quite distinctive and I like the symbolism.

Since I was curious about why it was being flown, I asked the front desk. I was told that they change the flags everyday, in order to be more inclusive and welcoming. What a great idea! It was just random that I happened to be there the day this flag was out front.

In keeping with my always being on the lookout for signs from the universe, I’ll take it as a good sign that maybe I’ll get to visit South Korea sooner rather than later.

And on that note, this is the last post of 2023, so Happy New Year!

Christmassy in Quincy

Thomas Crane Public Library Christmassy
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! It’s even feeling Christmassy too.

One of the things that I want to do regularly is take pictures of the ordinary. What I see day to day or even year to year.

The picture above is the main Quincy library. It’s a gorgeous building all the time, but even prettier when it’s decked out for Christmas.

Quincy ice skating rink
This afternoon an acquaintance and I had planned to go skating at the new skating rink in Quincy. There was a few hours wait, so we ended up not going.

Since it was unseasonably warm, we decided to walk around to catch up and enjoy the outdoor Christmassy vibes.
Quincy Town Hall Nativity Scene

We strolled by the Nativity scene at city hall and even saw the little baby Jesus statue! He was often stolen from the manger like some sort of item listed on a Christmas scavenger hunt, so I was surprised that he was there. Hopefully the display will remain intact this year.