Monday, October 25, 2010

A beach run and non-ghost photography (Daily Photo 10.23.10)

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On the last day of my weeklong stay-at-home vacation, Nik and I took the morning and went for a 6-mile run in Newport. We started out on Bellevue Ave., where all the rich folks have their mansions, and ended up on Cliffwalk, a 3-mile path along the Atlantic Ocean that's partially paved, partially gravel, and partially just boulders strewn along the coast.

We haven't done the whole Cliffwalk in years, because it was under construction for a while. We haven't seen this tunnel (by a Japanese tea house) in ages.

The path, as I said, hugs the beach. It's a lovely spot. Check out the run we did here, on Daily Mile. Or go check out more pictures Nik took and posted on our 4 Feet Running blog

At night, we stopped off in Providence and took a ghost tour of the East Side. It's an area Nik knows quite well since she went to school there at RISD. We both think ghosts are utter horseshit. But it's a great excuse to get out of the house and traipse around the most historic part of Providence at night. The tour guide was a swell guy named either Dylan or Dillon who was dressed like a '20s-era gangster (but no spats, sadly) yet carried a lantern.

This is a building which may or may not be haunted, except it isn't at all.

This was the home of H.P. Lovecraft, writer of weird and eerie stories, father of modern sci-fi horror fiction and creator of the Cthulhu mythos. It's said that the idea for a hideous, indescribably monstrous creature with a tentacled face and innumerable eyes and grotesque scaly claws and dragon-like wings so repulsive and horrifying that to gaze upon it causes abject terror and stark raving insanity came to Lovecraft after a night at Club Fantasies.

We were told to keep an eye out for orbs, poltergeists, apparations, and specters. I found none of those things, but I did see a ghost rider in the sky.

The tour guide was great -- very entertaining and game. He had an electromagnetic meter he used occasionally to try to contact spirits from the other world, unsurprisingly without even the slightest bit of success. Shit happens.

Nik and I mostly enjoyed the tour because it was more historic and macabre than ghostly. Every other story he told was about some damn fool falling down a flight of stairs -- barely any mention of ghosts. It's the thing we took away most from the ghost tour, actually: be careful around stairs. Don't skip down stairs backward holding a candle and looking into a mirror -- as it turns out, that's dangerous.

The 15 or so other people on the tour enjoyed it, too, except maybe a few who wanted more ghost shit.  Either Dylan or Dillon told a creepy and hilarious story about a young woman who went charging down this steep hill on the East Side on a runaway horse, only to get flung off its back, soar through the air, and land impaled on the iron fence in the left background. "The moral of the story is, don't try to fight physics because physics always wins," he said. Afterward, I heard a lady whisper, " she a ghost now? Or was there a ghost there at the time? I don't get it." She was utterly confused. Some people are just like that. You have to pat them on the head and move on with your life.

There are a ton more awesome non-ghost photos that Nik took: Check out her blog.

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