Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fifth of July Celebration and the Iconic Resort on Both the Ocean and the Narragansett: Newport

The Atlantic Ocean from the Boulders which make up the Cliff Walk
For some reason, when I clicked "Publish," it didn't seem to do that as it should have been earlier today. I then clicked it again and it worked so the time in which appears shouldn't have been what it should be as I saw the post before I clicked "Publish" the second time but only after the first time.

First things to be mentioned are that I finally got up at a time earlier than eight without going back to sleep, where I actually thought that the bus was coming one hour earlier as well as the weather clearing up! This is literally representative of the idiom, "the calm after the storm." The weather all of today was absolutely clear and sunny. This made me a bit disappointed as I thought that the timing of the thunderstorms and Arthur was absolutely not synchronized and came on America's birthday. I read a news article as this is the first ever recorded hurricane to hit the US on July 4th and it was also the earliest (in a calendar year) hurricane to ever hit the Carolinas. But moving on to the brighter side! The main gist of the story is that I did a tremendous amount of walking today with Bill, a friend from Vancouver and also another larger cluster of people. I do not know if I should regret seeing The Marble House or Rosecliff instead of The Elms but I was not disappointed nor slighted at the least. I just I had distributed the time in certain sections of Newport evenly. The evening concert and the making of ramen afterwards was incredibly fun on the fifth-floor lounge with a group of friends I spent time with while watching fireworks. And even more to join the fun but only for a short while as it was close to curfew.

On a note which has to do with visiting places that aren't in Providence, but in Newport instead was more exciting to me. I don't always think about the geographic distance from home except when I call people and talk to them back home. It is a bit incredible to be away for some time, especially because I ventured into territory without any familiar friends and family (alright maybe Alana and the cohort and maybe friends that I know back East but I rarely spend extended periods of time with) but it is an experience that I don't feel totally disconnected from people that are a part of life. Thus, I have never really felt homesick. I may become to bittersweet if I keep writing about this, and that is for the later blogs. Newport was a bit crowded for my taste as I started to walk down Thames Street to do window shopping and eating. I eventually stopped for some great iced coffee and a pastry that I divulged on-giving me sufficient energy to keep going. After walking and taking in the vibe of Thames some more, we took a turn on a street to lead us to Bellevue, a street with many of the Newport Preservation Society's mansions. I first chose The Breakers as it was definitely one of the more famous mansions and took a tour there after walking along the Cliff Walk. I had chances to see the backyards of the Rosecliff as well as The Marble House with its distinctive Chinese pagoda. The amount of people on the Cliff Walk was substantial given how narrow some sections can be and sections with dark tunnels and boulders that people must step on in order to make progress along the route. The scenery, though, was absolutely breathtaking where I was able to ponder upon life as well as the purpose of y role on this planet and just all the other aspects that come to our mind when you meditate. I did actually have some chances to relax and such but to so facing the great Atlantic Ocean just hit the spot.

Thames Street
After doing the Cliff Walk, Bill and I decided to take the street that can get us out to The Breakers. We later purchased a pass so that we can see two of the houses as there wasn't enough time warranted to view all 5 of the houses. I later went in and immediately saw the magnificent hall and staircase of the mansion built from the Vanderbilt family as a summer home. The elements of a traditional Italian place as well as Gilded Age technology was highly apparent in the house and it was also surprising to see how the tour also gave equal weight and focus to the lives and the quarters of the servants. I immediately fell in love with the interior of the mansion where I was almost like a child in a candy shop or a opera singer or a waltzer in the Wiener Staatsopen. Seeing all the different rooms and artwork in The Breakers was just outstanding and incredible for me to savor from seeing the intricacies of certain animal patterns to different styles from a basic 18th-century French interior of simplicity to the classic chandeliers and gold-plated walls giving a cluttered-Victorian impression made me appreciate the contrasting nature of the building. When the tour ended, it was already half past one, I then frantically tried to tour the downtown area and see some attractions like the International Tennis Hall of Fame to the National Museum of American Illustration. I really didn't have much time in those areas but I did see part of a tennis match as well as some great original paintings.  Seeing a little bit of Salve Regina University was awesome to experience in terms of touring facilities and the campus. I need more information and a tour to make more judgments but it is definitely comfortable and pristine with classic New England and Gothic European architecture.

The Elms backyard
 I later went to see The Elms which was more French in style and I din't have much time to see and to enjoy what was so special about the house, although I didn't admire the less ornate design with more subtle appearances as well as the rooms which featured how personal the rooms were on the second floor. What was especially interesting to see was how magic was part of the whole experience and how it was carved in interior design and architecture, where a secluded hallway to make one area function like an apartment, without needing access to the main hall and staircase as well as secluded corners and tinted windows to block any deliveries of food or supplies to make the experience seem more like it was automatic, another component of the Gilded Age and how the scientific and technological aspects bleeds into aesthetics and design - a component that it is rare and refreshing to soak in. I couldn't take pictures in either of the houses which was frustrating but I am happy that I was able to experience such necessary components of a Newport trip. I later went down Thames Street as well as the Waterfront to get a small bite of oysters and saltwater taffy with some New England lemonade. Strolling, admiring famous sites, and getting a great feel was great, although the congestion due to the three-day weekend as well as being the first day after a nasty hurricane probably were the main contributions. The VDub later that day was what filled me up.


The Fifth of July celebration was marked by a great performance by the RI Philharmonic Orchestra as well as fireworks. I regretted not buying any food there but I already ate dorm food, plantains, and watched the highly adrenaline-intensive World Cup match where it was so close for Costa Rica to win. My analysis of the game could possibly lead to combative responsive as well as extreme emotions where I will probably delineate my opinion by getting carried away, so I will not go into that. Some of the great tunes that me and a group of RAs made conducting motions to like "The Blue Danube Waltz" as well as "1812 Overture" was especially fun and carefree, where I reacquainted my love of classical music as well as my calling as a trombone and French horn player. Even if many of the tunes were well-known, it was still especially incredible to experience and to listen to. The orchestra was executed many passages quite well but I felt that some of the intricacies didn't provide such a sophisticated and sensitive timbre that I can see in many professional symphony orchestras. The conductor's style was something that I looked to, but I felt like he tried to act too much like Bernstein by doing sill jumps and expressions. Other than refinement observations, it was especially enjoyable. There was later a break where I used the filthy stalls and later joined a group of friends to view fireworks. The fireworks led me to enjoy a great time with friends, be patriotic for my country while trying to think about how this country can improve, especially on foreign policy and social inequality and domestic problems, as well as adoring how well these fireworks were and how more sophisticated chemical reactions as well as mechanics were used in comparison to any fireworks I have seen in the Bay Area. We later walked back with a rather large group of friends and we hung out in the lounge, made ramen, and other relaxed activities.

The crowd of people!

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