Memo to self: It’s time to go back

We visited Lowell, Massachusetts, last summer and toured the national park that preserved its historic mills and canals. It was a delightful day that also included some first-class cheap eats – the Viet Thai restaurant and Sowy’s Hispanic bakery, both on Merrimack Street near City Hall are delightful.

If you’ve been wondering about the location of the photos accompanying the Big Inca postings the past month and a half, they’re mostly from that outing. I could have shot much, much more if I weren’t trying to observe things through my own eyes first.

Our highlight was a boat tour that took us through a working canal lock, raising us to the level of the Merrimack River on the other side of the gate. That leisurely route took us out on the river above the dam and falls and then back to downtown – a 90-minute excursion in all. Think of it as an American industrial Venice.

This time we intend to hit a couple of museums that aren’t part of the park – including the National Textiles Museum, which houses many of the famed calicos made in our own city, and the streetcar museum (after all, the streetcar is also a legendary sandwich in my newest novel, What’s Left.)

Another draw, if you’re interested, is the huge folk festival every summer. And there’s always the Jack Kerouac trail for devoted readers.

Now, to view the trip though the canal lock, just click on the photos for the big view.

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Tombstone angels

Colonial Puritan headstones present an evolving emblematic reminder of fleeting nature of mortality, moving over time from harsh stylized eyes of judgment to the bare bones of the human skull to more humanized features before turning to images of Grecian urns or weeping willows. The images came to be known as Tombstone angels, for good reasons.

Here are some examples from a burial ground in downtown Concord, Massachusetts.

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