We went to the bank yesterday, and felt like going for a walk afterwards. We headed down Boylston Street. It was hot, and we were bored, so we decided to walk on a beach instead. We were wearing shorts, so we were all set. I'd recently heard someone praise the beaches of Rye, New Hampshire, so we got in the car and drove there.
We got rear-ended on Storrow Drive as we were stuck in traffic. It was a powerful jolt; we got out to survey the damage. None. Phew. Back in the car.
As beaches go, the one we found in Rye wasn't so exciting. It had a stretch of pebbly, sandy shore, surrounded by an embankment of boulders and gravel that we had to climb to get from car to beach and back. It was low tide, and there was hardly a soul around. After we had enough of the beach, we decided to have dinner in Portsmouth, nearby.
Portsmouth was surprisingly crowded for a Wednesday night. Finding a parking space was as tough as it is in Boston. But there were more than a dozen empty tables at the Friendly Toast, a sight you seldom see at the Cambridge Friendly Toast. We ate toasted sandwiches with sides of pretzels in a 1950's formica booth, surrounded by kitsch.
We strolled around Portsmouth to digest, and headed toward the harbor. We heard a singer performing an old folksong I sang all the time during my hippie-guitarist teenage years, "The Wild Mountain Thyme."
"Who sings that anymore?" I thought. I only sing those old songs nowadays when I have a disgusting chore to do, like cleaning out a relative's refrigerator. Trying to remember the lyrics of English and Appalachian folksongs is distracting enough that I can get my cleaning done without retching. Mostly.
But I digress. As we got closer to the music, the singer began to sound remarkably like Judy Collins. And as we got to the concert pavilion, next to the harbor, we realized it was Judy Collins, performing to a big crowd on lawn chairs, flaunting her blonde mane and pure, gorgeous voice at 74. Who else would be singing that oldie — except maybe Joan Baez?
No wonder we couldn't find parking. We stayed to the end of the concert and heard "Both Sides Now," "My Father," and lots more. I was starry-eyed all the way home.
It was the best trip to the bank EVER.