Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Newport Revisited....

Let the record show that Newport RI is no kind of town in which to occasion a flat tire. From bitter experience I can tell you all a flat tire on my part occasioned the intervention of the local police to stay one step ahead of a mob of outraged gallery owners and incensed boulevardiers. Ah but the wealthy are different than you and I, they have more money as the old saw goes. And the very smell of money, like old fermented cherry blossoms virtually permeates the whole town despite every attempt by balmy sea breezes to chase it away even temporarily. Its a town proud of it's Yacht Races ergo NASCAR for Trust Fund Set. And yet I don't think a single one of the vast robber baron estates (ironically called "cottages" by their Gilded Age Owners) was built by any species we'd regard as an Honest Man. It is a town that is prideful and utterly unconcerned with it's own hypocrisy. Here is pictured The Marble House built by William Vanderbilt at the behest of his wife Alva, an outspoken turn of the century suffragette. Alva was a pistol, spent lavishly on the cause of women's rights back when the notion of enfranchisement was a joke...none of this prevented Alva from all but forcing her daughter Consuela to marry the cash strapped Duke of Marlborough in blatant display of 19th century Familial Force Majeure. Or take it another way, Alva the women's rights crusader happily denied her own daughter one of her few inalienable rights all to take sheer social climbing to a New Level. Newport Rhode Island abounds in stories like these...For truly the rich are as rampant in their whims as the poor, that is truly what unites them. Ah but the Cliff Walk is still a tonic for the soul, you can stride along and admire the profane works of prideful man and still worship the pulsing ocean like a proper cro-magnon. It is a beautiful town, but it has a terrible "object lesson" to it's beauty. But if you get a chance, do check out the Naval Warfare College Museum, it virtually starts with Themistocles and ends up with age of remote piloted drones and the Nuclear Navy. Hell thats worth a drive down to Rhode Island any old day.

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