Enjoy the tour.
While the Federal Government debates the rules of drone use by businesses, one Boston firm, Boston Virtual Imaging, has forged ahead with the new technology to create stunning photography in Boston. This video provides a bird's-eye view of The Hub buried in snow. February 2015 is the single snowiest month in Boston history and is on track to beat the all time seasonal record of 107.6 inches of snow. As of this writing only 2 more inches was needed.
Enjoy the tour.
Are you tired of booking hotel rooms for your stay on Cape Cod? Is the thought of renting someone else's cottage getting old? If so, it may be time to consider buying your own place on the Cape.
You'd have plenty of company. Approximately 50 percent of all properties on the Cape are second homes, with owners living as close as the other side of the bridges, to as far away as Europe. According to the National Association of Realtors, here are some essential considerations:
1. Market Conditions
The Housing Industry was the epicenter of the Great Recession and in some markets, homes erased approximately ten years of value growth. After prices bottomed out in 2012, they've crept up slowly and consistently, an incremental improvement financial analysts like to see. Last year buyers across the country spent a median price of $168,700 on a second home which they purchased primarily for enjoyment than to diversify their investment portfolio. The 2014 median home price on Cape Cod is $365,000.
2. Total Cost
Think about the annual costs of your primary home and realize you'll have approximately the same financial burden with a second place. Besides the purchase price, there are property taxes, homeowner's insurance, maintenance, furnishings as well as the optional services of a property manager and your transportation costs to get there. On the other hand, if the majority of your vacations will be spent at the house, you can deduct the cost of what you used to spend on hotels, cottage rentals, meals out, etc. When I purchased my second home in Harwich and rented it to vacationing families when I was back in Syracuse raising the family, the costs that were not covered by rentals were wiped out when I factored in what I used to spend when I came to the Cape and rented other people's cottages. In other words, aside from occasional capital expenses, for the 12 years I owned the home before relocating here, my house was free.
According to the NAR, the average distance of a second home to primary home is 170 miles. Indeed, most of those surveyed cited a two hour drive or direct flight as essential in order to use the vacation home enough to justify the costs.
Unless you expect to spend significant time tooling around in your second home, you'll want to create a team of service providers to keep the place going. Ask your realtor for recommendations of quality lawn-cutters, a tree service, electrician, plumber and handyman. If you want the house polished for your arrival, hire a housekeeper to come at regular intervals. Condominiums eliminate the exterior chores, for super-easy living. Landscaping, trash removal, roofing, and sometimes shingles and windows are covered by the monthly Homeowner's Association (HOA) fee.
5. Area Attractions
Cape Cod is all about the beaches and every visitor has their favorite area. In addition to the various beaches, there are villages, restaurants, golf, fishing, nature trails and harbors, all of which celebrate the coastal life. In other areas of the country, university towns tempt second-home owners with a lively intellectual scene of bookstores, theatre and coffee shops. No one area will have every type of offering, but with some thought you'll identify the region that has most of what you want.
Many second homes are initially furnished with hand-me downs from the primary home. Friends offer items in exchange for time at the house. Craigslist has thousands of used furnishings listed each day, and of course there is the fair-weather garage sale. Today, second homes do not require a trip to furniture store with a big fat check. On the other hand, it takes time and a pickup or large SUV to move used furniture around. While shopping for a second home, ask your realtor if the sellers would consider including the furniture as well.
7. Rules and Regulations
Unless the vacation property lie within a gated community or homeowner's association, the use of a second home is no different than a primary home. However, if you wish to purchase a condo and rent it out for the weeks you are not there, be sure to check with the condo association rules and regulations. Most have significant restrictions on rentals and pets.
Once you decide on where you wish to be and how you plan to spend your time, a vacation home can be the backdrop for family memories, cash from rentals, and an eventual retirement landing place down the road.
You might also like:
Self-employed Face Challenges with Second Home Financing
Planning a Trip to Cape Cod? Start with Street View
There are other varieties of hydrangea too -- vines that climb fences and the sides of houses, lace caps in colors ranging from white to various shades of blue, and the fall blooming hydrangeas with their ombre effect.
While Ottawa Canada has its tulip festival and Rochester NY celebrates it's lilacs each year, Cape Cod has not had a festival to honor it's iconic hydrangeas. Until now.
This summer from July 10th through the 19th, hydrangeas will be on full display with public tours of private gardens, lectures and other activities throughout the entire 70 mile long stretch of the Cape. The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce is organizing the event which benefits Cape Cod non-profit organizations.
To learn about the flowers themselves, vintagegardens.com has extensive information about the history and care of these beauties, including some mythbusters. Did you ever hear you can alter the color of hydrangeas simply by changing the chemical content of the soil? No so, according to Vintage Gardens.
It should be noted that the tough winter of '14 took its toll on hydrangeas throughout the Cape. Some plants did not survive and those that did offered a mostly sparse bloom last summer. This winter is proving to be even snowier and colder. The plants get some protection from a blanket of snow at the base now blankets the base, however it remains to be seen how the exposed stalks which hold this summer's buds will deal with the extreme cold this month. Forecasters say it is the coldest we've seen in 15 years. Ouch. And not just for the plants.
Here's hoping the hydrangeas come through this and provide us with a much-needed burst of color for the Inaugural Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival in July.
You might also like:
Hydrangeas Battle Back from Rough Winter
Dreaming of a Blue Christmas on Cape Cod
I am pleased to announce a new Cape Cod home for sale, 28 Russet Rd. in Brewster, offered at $584,000. This striking 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom home sits on nearly an acre of woods and mature landscaping with color in the yard that blows up beginning in early spring and continues past the first frost.
The property is in Deerfield Estates, a polished enclave of Capes, colonials and ranches, all featuring classic Cape Cod styling. You are just a third of a mile to freshwater beaches--canoe canoe?-- and three miles to the gentle ocean waters of Cape Cod Bay.
Wonderful 28 Russet Road is immaculate and dearly loved by the original owners. It features hardwood floors and fully carpeted enormous finished lower level with ground level access to the yard and outdoor shower. The kitchen and family room with vaulted ceilings bring the light in and skylights feature the constellations at night. Wood-burning fireplace cures the chill, ceiling fans cool things down. Main floor laundry all make this home ideal for year round living or a second home.
Watch the tour below and go to the property website to learn more. Then contact me for a private showing of this terrific opportunity to hang your shingle (get it? Shingle?) on Cape Cod.
Buying a house on Cape Cod is an approximately six-week process from the time of selection until closing. Cash deals are typically faster, occurring in as little as two weeks and as much as four.
What happens during those weeks? Other than beginning to think about how to furnish the thing? Watch this animated feature for the answers.
Tempted? Tell me your criteria and I'll send you some listings to consider. No pressure. For real.
It has been quite a few days on Cape Cod. The snow began falling around noon on Monday January 26, picked up in intensity by 7 pm and for the next 30 hours blew like crazy. My Cape Cod friends all said they couldn't sleep because the winds were so loud all night. The next day my Syracuse bestie, Carrie Lazarus of WSYR TV asked me to upload a video for her news audience of what I was seeing out my window. That explains the Syracuse sweatshirt in the video below.
By daybreak today, the snow finally stopped and then the cleanup began. The trouble is, the small army of pickup trucks contracted by the town were no match for the 23 inches of snow that officially fell in Harwich. This would be a job for the big boys. And there aren't many big boys in Harwich -- at least not the plowing kind.
Luckily for me, there's a nurse who lives in my neighborhood and because that nurse was needed at work, the big municipal plows arrived on my street at noon. My wonderful neighbor named Bert snowblowed the heck out of my driveway and liberated me from my home.
Click on the word 'playlist" below to reveal the videos. I'll add to them in the coming days as Cape Cod continues to dig out.
As the storm enters its 28th hour, snow totals and damage reports are adding up. There are breaches in the seawall in Marshfield and the dunes in Truro, flooding in Scituate and Sandwich, and closest to my heart-- the beach stairs at Nauset Light Beach in Eastham are washed away, again.
I have taken my four children to the beach at Nauset Light since they were babies. Just last month at Christmas time, my three grown boys visiting from other cities went to the parking lot at the beach on a stormy--though not a blizzard, day. The few dozen steps descending the giant dune from the lot were intact.
They're configured differently than they used to be on our Cape Cod vacations in the 1990s. Back then they went straight up and down, a workout even for the fit. It was so worth the effort. Here we were on a chilly evening in June.
Through the years those stairs got washed away in winter storms and were rebuilt by Memorial Day, over and over again. .On calm summer days it was difficult to believe the seas could ever be so angry and so high as to slap the sturdy structures from their footings. But while the stairs lasted two or three years at least back then, now they don't make it through a single winter anymore.
As soon as crews can get there, they will rope off the dangerous step to nowhere and begin the wait until spring when new steps will bring the visitors down to the sand again.
The low-slung bathhouse used to sit far the from the edge of the sandy cliff. Now, you can imagine the day when it, too, could fall into the surging seas. There used to be a scenic rose-lined walkway between the parking lot and the edge of the dune but it was washed away before my children were born.
Cape Cod is melting away and it is winter's fault.
As a cross section of trunk shows the age and history of a tree, you can tell a lot about a geographical region by the architecture.
Modern life on Cape Cod goes back to the 1600s and while there are very few surviving examples of homes of this vintage, you can find many homes dating to the 1700s throughout the Cape.
From those early "Cape Cods" on Cape Cod, to the minimalist cottages in the Wellfleet woods and the Craftsman Revival of today, the Cape is host to a variety of architectural styles that reflect its growth.
Enjoy this video powered by Paul Freehauf Productions and Kinlin Grover Real Estate, and see if you don't have a new appreciation for the lovely homes you pass by.
The median net worth of homeowners crushes that of renters, according to a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. Authors concluded that in 2013, the median net worth of homeowners totaled $195,400 while the net worth of renters totaled just $5,400.
There are several reasons for this. Homeowners must set aside money each month to save for a down payment, usually 20 percent of the cost of the home. And once they're in, they must pay the monthly principal and interest, some of which comes back to them when the house sells, and some of which is tax deductible each year. Renters on the other hand, lack the incentive or ability to "invest" in their residence once the monthly rent is paid, according to the study.
The Harvard study concludes the federal government should push for ways to make homeownership more affordable, by protecting the Dodd-Frank law that protects consumers in real estate transactions, and by encouraging companies to increase employment and income.
The number of owner-occupied homes remains at 64.3 percent, down from the peak of 70 percent in 2004.
You might also like:
A House is Sold and a Surge of Memories Floods the Heart
The Six Steps of Buying a Home
“They have all the classic elements—a bottom, a middle and a top”, says DaSilva, “but they are also fun, playful and casual. They make a witty statement”.
And they mess with what you think you know about classicism. They’re what you see in the middle of the night on the front porch of where you live in your dream even though your real house doesn’t even have a porch.
And that is the point. The columns “have multiple meanings”, says DaSilva. “They’re an exaggeration of a column. They’re a comment on a column, in addition to actually being a column”.
And all those narrow fluted vertical lines? From the street it looks like someone drew them with a Sharpie.
“The front of a house reflects the personality and the preferences of the owner”, DaSilva says. “It projects their point of view to the world”. DaSilva says some clients want nothing to do with classicism, while others embrace the imagination behind this post-modern design element turned nearly inside out.
They’re bulbous like Boulanger, imaginative like Gaudi, light hearted like Gehry but without the lightheadedness. Polhemus Savery DaSilva columns are whatever you wish them to be as long as that wish includes some fun. Isn’t that what time on Cape Cod is all about? Money is serious business. Some of what you can do with the money shouldn’t be.
The elegant world of Polhemus Savery DaSilva has an aesthetic remarkably consistent in a portfolio where no two projects are alike. That the firm pulls off such variety using the same few essential elements of shingles, shutters and super-scaled weathervanes, is quite a feat and something that keeps them in high demand on Cape Cod and beyond.
John DaSilva has written two books on this unique brand of coastal home design, and he’s currently working on a third. The first two are available in somewhat short supply on Amazon.com. He’ll place his ideas on your coffee table for all to interpret and critique.
Several years ago, on a drive through western New York State with my then 14-year old son, we drove past an Indian casino—a hideous misfire of poorly proportioned chaos. My artistic Christian with a sophisticated eye could not unlock his gaze as he searched for words to describe the thing. “It kind of hurts to look at it”. Bingo, no pun intended.
The further from beauty you get, the more it hurts to see it. When you happen upon the pudgy columns of Polhemus Savery DaSilva you also realize that the closer you get to beauty, the better it feels.
As of this writing the winds are dying down. We've been beaten up for more than 24 hours.
North-facing beaches took the worst of the winds. I went to the bayside in Brewster at the height of the storm and shot this video from Point of Rocks Landing and from the Sea Pines housing development on the water.
I saw sporadic wind damage to signs and fences, and a few big branches on roads and lawns, but on the whole the Cape sailed through another blow.
The wind will be annoyingly loud halfway through the video, so you might want to turn your speaker volume down a bit.
You might also like:
Wild Turkey Encounters On The Rise
Today I was mentioned in an article in the Cape Cod Times about wild turkeys on Cape Cod. Reporter George Brennan told me he googled the subject and came upon an article I wrote last year on turkeys in my yard, so he called me. Thank you for including me, Cape Cod Times!
Cape Cod Wild Turkeys Show No Concern for Ahem...Thanksgiving
Cape Codders hoping to blend into the background in the upcoming film "The Finest Hours", came to Monomoy Middle School today for an open casting call.
The line of locals was steady in spite of the rain and an approaching nor-easter-- conditions similar to the night of February 18, 1952 when the Pendleton broke apart in heavy seas 6 miles off the coast of Chatham.
The improbable rescue of 32 crewmembers floundering in towering waves by just four men with the Chatham Lifeboat Station, is referred to as the "greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history". That rescue boat was just 36 feet long and made of wood.
Today, in the center of the school gymnasium were three rows of folding tables and chairs, and men and women of all ages filling out applications. Three film staffers offered a brochure of information, along with two pages of basic questions to be answered-- name, address and phone number, height, weight and measurements for waist, hip, inseam and hat size. Staffers requested a photo, and if one was not provided, they offered to take a cellphone picture of the applicant. One of the women made the periodic announcement that all shooting in Chatham will take place from 4:00 pm until 4:00 am. That's right. If called, we'll work all night each night for as many as 12 nights in a row.
Film crews are currently shooting scenes at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, and will relocate to familiar locations in Chatham the first two weeks of December. Residents have been warned to expect street closures around the Chatham Fish Pier, the Coast Guard Station and Coast Guard Beach and Stage Harbor while filming takes place.
There were casualties on the Pendleton. When the ship broke apart the captain and seven crewmembers perished in the bow section. But the courage and sharp skill-set of the Chatham lifesavers defied the odds to bring 32 men back to shore alive.
"The Finest Hours" stars Chris Pine, Casey Affleck and Holliday Grainger, and is scheduled for release at the end of 2015.
Happy Halloween and BOO.
It's time to celebrate fright for all its many reasons, and one of the best ways to do that is with a house inhabited by spirits.
With residences on Cape Cod dating back to the 17th century, we have many homes with dark secrets. Here are some of the infamous ones.
1. Barnstable House, Barnstable
It's difficult to keep track of the many ghosts of Barnstable House, but the most famous of all is "the waiter". How do you know he's a waiter? From the towel draped over his arm. We don't know his name, nor do we know what he is trying to tell us by roaming around the house, but he's old. His clothing dates to Colonial times.
There are two other ghosts of note in Barnstable House; a woman in a nightgown who occupies the third-floor, and former owner Captain John Grey who slams doors. Fires start by themselves in the fireplaces, but none of the known spirits accept responsiblity for those.
2. Burgess House, Brewster
In 1855 Captain William Burgess died from sickness on the Challenger clipper ship. In spite of 50 subsequent marriage proposals, his wife Hanna stayed true to her deceased husband for 63 years until her death. Is it she who walks so heavily that her footsteps are heard throughout the house? Or is it the Captain? One of them rearranges wall art throughout the house.
3. Dillingham House, Sandwich
This is our "celebrity" haunted house, having been featured in many books and publications, and for good reason. It has a sad history. The history of the house actually dates to 1650 in Sagamore. At a time when homes moved about almost as commonly as people, the house was moved to Sandwich in 1800 by the grandson of the original owner. Unfortunately, that grandson Branch Dillingham killed himself, leaving his wife and nine children destitute. Today visitors report the sound of children's voices and footsteps running around the house, rocking chairs rocking themselves and door latches opening and closing.
4. Fairbanks Inn, Provincetown
Another oldie. The Fairbanks Inn was the forerunner of the Seamen's Savings Bank -- Provincetown's first financial institution. Wealthy homeowner David Fairbanks converted the parlor rooms on the first floor to his bank in the early part of the 19th century. Today guests of the inn claim a Revolutionary War soldier floats among the 15 rooms at the inn. His connection to all the money in the house is unknown.
5. Highfield Hall, Falmouth
This popular tourist attraction and charity venue belies the festivities that take place at the mansion all year long. My daughter and I attended the holiday open house last December and had no sense of a malevolent force some visitors claim to see. Specifically, an angry female apparition in high heels has been known to chase people down the elegant grand staircase beginning in the 1950s. If there is such a spirit, volunteers do a marvelous job of decorating the evil away with lovely Christmas trees throughout the home every December. Other special events take place at various intervals during the year.
6. Orleans Inn, Orleans
The Snow family is ubiquitous in Orleans but many shoppers at Snow's Home Center don't realize that Aaron Snow's manse built in 1875 has a life all it's own. With it's history as a business, a boarding house, an inn and vacation home, there was also a prolonged period prior to the turn of the century when the place was unoccupied, allowing spirits to enter and settle in. Guests hear voices and report feeling chilled in cool spots in the home, even on the hottest of days. Flickering lights and doors that open by themselves add to the eerie atmosphere.
Whether you purchase a chic little cottage by the beach, a rustic cabin in the woods or an oceanfront heritage home, the homebuying process is pretty much the same.
The Federal Aviation Administration today approved the use of unmanned drones for six Hollywood Film Companies, opening the door for more widespread commercial use in the future.
Other drone applications include agriculture, news gathering, and retail deliveries. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos made headlines last year by revealing the company is experimenting with retail package delivery by drone.
The real estate industry is poised to pounce on drone technology, which will enhance existing google earth and street view imagery to feature a property relative to it's surroundings. Officially, the National Association of Realtors has cautioned members not to use drone technology until the FAA adopts new rules to govern commercial use. Hobbyists are exempt from laws banning unmanned aerial devices, while businesses are prohibited due to concerns about safety and privacy.
Some realtors and commercial photographers ignore current laws and shoot eye-catching imagery from above. Overall however, the real estate industry watches from the sidelines for fear of fines or lawsuits. The following video from a drone enthusiast in Hawaii named Justin Edwards demonstrates the tremendous potential for drone use with real estate. Right around January I'll be checking flights to take me where this drone is flying.
Today's ruling was prompted by pressure from the Motion Picture Association of America which states it can shoot aerial photography with greater safety and for less money than traditional helicopters. "Transformers: Age of Extinction" and "Skyfall" were filmed with drone technology overseas, where regulations are less stringent.
There are limitations with the ruling. The film makers must notify the FAA in advance of filming, they must fly lower than 400 ft., and use a licensed pilot to fly the drone.
A Chatham fisherman with more than 30 years of experience ran aground on a sand bar off the coast of Lighthouse Beach this morning. Captain Bruce Kaminski cited mechanical trouble for the failing to navigate the shoal at low tide. He was uninjured.
The 40 foot Never Enough was towed to shore by the Coast Guard and Harbormasters from Chatham and Harwich.
Our friends at the Cape Cod Times online produced this video of a tough day on the job for Kaminski.
Here is an excellent perspective of the U.S. Coast Guard boats docked and ready for patrol and rescues.
The second-story observation deck yields an hour-- at least, of entertainment. It's better than TV. While you wait for the next fishing boat to come in and unload, you can view the harbor, the open ocean beyond, shore birds, magnificent coastal homes, and....
....blubbery gray seals who feast on the leftovers thrown overboard, before becoming lunch for the great white sharks lurking on the other side of the sand bars.
As one who feels a whole year lasts about three months, it's hard to believe summer is over on Cape Cod. The proof lie in slightly diminished traffic for the first time since June. The sun sinks lower in the sky and casts different shadows in the house and yard. Pink roses which gave way to blue hydrangea last month, yield to the yellows of the black-eyed Susans now.
With the hectic pace of a popular tourist destination slowing down, I can catch my breath and observe things that passed me by just a couple of weeks ago, namely:
1. On Cape Cod, courtesy rightly takes the place of traffic lights. For two months of the year we have the volume to warrant the additon of thousands more traffic lights, but for the other ten months traffic flows freely. The best way to keep traffic lights at bay is to gradually slow to a stop so that someone turning left from the opposite lane can turn and release the traffic backed up behind it.
2. Sometimes all you need is 500 Million dollars. I saw that embroidered on a dish towel while shooting video at Popponesset Marketplace for my youtube channel. Every time I think of that, it makes me smile.
3. We have unique employment needs on the Cape. I saw a job posting on craigslist seeking help at a Barnstable oyster farm. "Should be able to lift approximately 50 lbs repeatedly. Understand that most work is in a marine environment, hours vary with tide. Will need waders. Part time days."
4. Bicycling on sidewalks may be against the law in Massachusetts and elsewhere, but it shouldn't be and I am pleased whenever I see bicyclists using the sidewalks to stay clear of traffic. It would not be fun to be a pedestrian hit by a bike, but far less so to be a bicyclist hit by a car. The U.S. in general and Cape Cod in particular must plan for the increasing use of bicycles in the coming years, and that includes amending the sidewalk ban at the very least-- or better still, creating dedicated bike paths separating us from vehicular traffic.
5. You can't have too many weekly farmer's markets, and this year the granddaddy of Cape Cod farmer's markets will expand through the winter months.
6. The most desired Cape Cod real estate profile I encountered all summer was for a "walk to village" location. Everyone is so sick of the traffic getting here that they want to park the car and not get in again until it's time to go home. The villages of Falmouth, Harwich Port, Chatham, Wellfleet, Barnstable and to a lesser extent, emerging Dennisport and a more spread out Yarmouthport, are top destinations for this. Of those, Harwich Port is closest to the beaches too. It's no coincidence there is an attachment between Harwich Port and Naples, Florida. In both towns you can see the ocean at the end of a side road in the village.
7. Sharks are replacing dinosaurs as the next big thing. The Discovery Channel's Shark Week programming was a ratings winner. Great Whites, several of which are tagged and named off Cape Cod, are celebrities. Did you know Katherine has spent the month of August hanging in the waters off Beaufort, North Carolina and Little River, South Carolina? You didn't? Then you're not sucked into the Ocearch shark tracker like the rest of us.
8. Cape Cod needs more sushi places. There, I said it.
9. Opponents of a third bridge over the Cape Cod Canal oppose it because "we don't need a third bridge bringing more people to Cape Cod". They don't realize it would take people off the Cape too. Bring it on.
10. I hope the traditional spectacle of locals waving from the overpasses in a sarcastic send-off to the summer people is done for good. That's just plain rude.
There goes summer. Bring on autumn.
Families, retirees, school officials and dignitaries gathered under a late summer sky to cut the ribbon on the new $49.4 million Monomoy Regional High School today.
Under construction for 18 months, and with boxes still stacked from ceiling to floor in some classrooms, the guidance office and media center, school administrators say the gleaming facility will be ready when students arrive for the new school year Thursday, September 4. 700 boys and girls from Harwich and Chatham in grades 8 through 12 will attend Monomoy. Students from outside the two towns can apply under Massachusett's School of Choice option.
I shot some video during the community open house which followed the ceremony. You'll see the front of the school grounds still very much a construction zone as the old Harwich High is demolished and the landscaping takes shape. Enjoy.
The house was vacant except for the stubborn items that are usually the last to go before a sale. Rusted paint cans on dusty basement shelves, an unplugged refigerator old enough to feature thick, rounded corners in the garage, and something in the attic that came with the move in 1986 and which was likely untouched until now-- a box labeled "Bud: King of Beers" filled with stacks of old vinyl records. The contents were deemed valuable enough by the seller to give her pause before bringing them to the car for disposal.
Because music leaves such a permanent stamp on the brain, Julie, the heir and seller, sensed these records would trigger old memories of growing up as a family on Cape Cod in the 1970s. They did that, and more. In that old cardboard box, softened to velvet by years of humidity and heat in the attic, Julie found the sounds of her childhood and her parent's too.
We found "Circus Magic Songs and Fun", with a clown on the cover some would consider creepy today.
With no google or youtube back then, people turned to records to learn how to do something. There's an LP-- which means "long-playing", titled "Curt Gowdy Tells You How to watch Pro Football." That was technologically advanced back then.
There was also an unusually thick and heavy cranberry red record called 'Little Black Sambo", somewhat controversial today for what some think are racist overtones, but at one time a popular children's story. I don't even think that record was vinyl. My parents had some old records like that which were likely manufactured out of shellac.
As Julie went deeper into the box, we went even farther back in time. She found from the 1940s what looked like a large photo album, with a dozen paper sleeves featuring the music of Glenn Miller.
Long before there were television informercials of Time-Life CD collections, there were "books" of records like this one. I was transformed to my parent's own collection of 1940s music in the built-in colonial style cabinets in the livng room of our home near Tatnuck Square in Worcester.
The "Reader's Digest" record label. A precursor to "books on tape".
My favorite find was a piece of paper Julie found folded between the records. She recognized her mother's handwriting. It was instructions on how to dance the "French Hully Gully" and the "Cha-Cha".
What a poignant reminder that the Greatest Generation wouldn't think of stepping onto a dance floor without knowing the steps. At weddings, I watch with envy the older couples who are the only ones who know what they're doing on a dance floor.
While Julie is the seller of the home, I am the real estate agent who represents the buyer. Technically we are on opposite sides of the deal. But over the course of an afternoon, as my client worked with a home inspector to check on the mechanics of the house, Julie and I connected over an old cardboard box of record albums; relics of our youth with sweet memories of two sets of parents now gone to the heavens.
Here's a tip that Cape Codders like to keep to themselves. Jackknife Cove on scenic Pleasant Bay in East Harwich has clean, gentle water, beautiful views and lots of activity to watch. And it's absolutely free, even in the high-season months of July and August. You heard that right. Access and parking are free.
Everything has a price of course, and the "cost of admission" to Jacknife Cove is a steep, pitted little road at a treacherous angle off fast moving Rt. 28 with limited visibility in all directions. Finding your opening in the traffic to make the turn might force you onto the little road so fast that you bottom out the car. Crunch, grind, ouch.
Even after you finesse the entrance, the bouncing doesn't end because the parking lot is not so much a lot, but hard-packed sandy-gravel with deep, water-filled potholes. SUVs have no problem with this lunar landscape but sedans get more grinding and scraping of the bottom.
Sounds appealing, doesn't it? Well, it's worth it. Once you are in place you are within feet of a blissful little stretch of sand, between the little sailboats of the Chatham Yacht Club and the kayaks and canoes turned upside down on the other side of the sandy stretch.
In front of you lie Pleasant Bay, filled with sailboats and small power boats, jet skiis and small craft powered by strong arms. Beyond lie the ever-improving Wequassett Resort and Cape Cod homes both large and small. You never run out of things to look at from your perch on the sand. In spite of this harbor location, water is crystal clean so little children can swim comfortably and safely.
Do you have a kayak or paddleboard of your own? Bring it over and launch from here. Some friends of mine take their stand-up paddleboards and cruise all the way to the open water at the opening of the bay.
If you go to Jackknife Cove, there are no conveniences. Bring some food and an empty bladder. It's also unmarked. From Rt. 28 look for the small opening opposite and south of Bay Rd. And to get you in the mood, I shot a brief video. Enjoy your "trip" to Jackknife Cove.
View my listing located just one mile from Jackkife Cove, 58 Williamsburg Ave., E. Harwich 02645
Responding to erosion at some beaches on Cape Cod Bay, and growth in others, Brewster town officials propose a new beach access road and bike path extension in a neglected state park between Linnell Landing and Crosby Roads.
An article in the Cape Cod Times reveals the town is negotiating with the state to create the new public recreation area in state-owned land bordered by the roads and scenic route 6A.
Chris Miller, director of Natural Resources in Brewster, states beach frontage between the two beach roads is growing at a rate of 6 to 12 inches per year, yet access to the sand between them is limited to the few who can find parking at the end of the roads and who hike toward the center point north of Weathervane Way.
As the photos show, the proposed new road and bike path begin at rt. 6A at the Cape Repertory Theatre, wind through 275 new parking spaces in three lots and end near the Crosby Mansion. In addition, the existing lot at Linnell Landing would be reconfigured to allow a drop-off area for beachgoers and gear. The bike spur would extend from the existing Cape Cod Rail Trail that runs just south of Rt. 6A.
Town officials say they are responding to complaints from homeowners on Crosby Rd. and Linnell Landing Rd. who say daily beach traffic is unreasonable. At the same time, the homeowners oppose the addition of 275 parking spaces in their town.
Town Selectmen say they will seek public input on the proposal before putting it to a vote. No time frame has been revealled for the process.
You may also like:
Dennis Oysters: So Special you can See them from Space
The Truth about Property Tax Rates
Closing costs are rising faster than inflation, according to a new survey from Bankrate.com. The cost of obtaining a mortgage is up 20 percent since 2010, with Texas leading the way. Closings cost an average $3,046 in the Lone Star State, followed by Alaska ($2,897), New York ($2,892), Hawaii ($2,808) and Wisconsin ($2,706).
The least expensive states for obtaining a mortgage are the District of Columbia ($2,402), Ohio ( $2,392), Missouri, ($2,387), Tennessee ($2,366) and Nevada ($2,265).
Massachusetts places in the middle of the pack with the 17th highest closing cost in the country. The national average is $2,539.
Lenders' origination fees account for the greatest portion of the total. Title searches and appraisals make up the remainder. Bankrate.com's Holden Lewis blames tight new government regulations for the spike in closing costs.
WARNING: Extremely relaxing images. Do not view while operating machinery or equipment.
One sunny afternoon in July I dedicated an hour to recording video of roses on Cape Cod. The four week season was slipping away and I did not want to pay for my procrastination with another year of waiting for the first blush.
Roses are very happy here. Abundant sunshine, gusty ocean breezes and sandy soil combine to make the Cape a most hospitable environment. Roses bloom all summer long but it is that initial wave of growth at the end of June that stops traffic. You've got to stop and smell the... well, you know.
Roses are everywhere on Cape Cod. Hot pink rosa rugosa with it's spicy old rose fragrance lines beach parking lots. Climbers rest atop arbors and split-rail fences. Some roses refuse to be contained behind the pickets that incarcerate them. They find the light between the slats and reach out to wave hello to all who pass by.,
I hope you enjoy the roses I discovered throughout our Cape Cod neighborhoods. If only there was an app for scent.