The Artist may no longer be present, but his house still is… here on the dunes of Fisher Beach, in Truro.
The house is a private property, not open to the public, but the walk on the beach was great, and the chance to follow in Hopper’s footsteps and see the landscape where he lived and worked for so many years (if you can ignore some the newer constructions along the way, that is), was one of the most inspiring moments of our Cape Cod trip.
From this site on January 18, 1903, Marconi sent the first two-way transatlantic wireless communication between the US and Europe, to Cornwall, England. It was a message from US President Theodore Roosevelt to British King Edward VII.
Wireless communication helped save hundreds of lives on board the Titanic in 1912 after a distress signal sent out by the ship’s radio operator was picked up by the ”Marconi Man” aboard the RMS Carpathia, about 60 nautical miles away from the Titanic. In turn, the disaster led to laws for improving radio communications and safety at sea.
The station was decommissioned in 1917 and most of the equipment that was not salvaged, has succumbed to erosion and fallen into the sea. Still, standing here trying to imagine what Marconi would have heard back then, was fascinating. And the walk to the adjacent White Cedar Swamp Trail, a welcome and shady break from the heat.
Edward Hopper spent every summer of his life in Cape Cod, from 1930 – the first time he visited – until his death in 1967. And while a lot will have changed from the time he produced some of his most distinctive works in Cape Cod, there is something unmistakably Hopperesque in this landscape.
Images of the Wood End Lighthouse which, seen from a sailboat, would have looked a lot like the one from ”The Long Leg”, Hopper’s painting of 1930; and Highland Lighthouse, which Hopper depicted in watercolour, again in 1930 – although the lighthouse has since been moved 450 feet away from the eroding cliff’s edge, to safer ground.
First things first: A walk along the 1,5 miles-long Provincetown Causeway, from Pilgrims’ First Landing Park to Wood End.
Crossing on low tide (check charts) is recommended, as parts of the breakwater may be submerged when the water rises. It takes about an hour just to walk its length, then about half an hour more to reach Wood End Lighthouse.
”Cosmic Latte, refers to the name of the average color of the universe, which in 2009 was determined to be more beige than what has been traditionally thought of as blue. Two American astrophysicists studied the color of the light emitted by 200,000 galaxies and created a cosmic spectrum, which they then blended according to the light spectrum visible to human eyes. Finch represents that specific warm, yellowish-white shade of light with LED lights (designed to look like incandescent bulbs), which are then arranged in the shape of the molecular models of the pigments needed to create this “cosmic latte” color: titanium white, Mars yellow, chrome yellow, and a touch of cadmium red.” [source]
”North Adams is still an ideal place to live and to bring up children. We have the mountains. In the summertime, it’s not as hot as in the big cities. You have the change of seasons. You can see the change of scenery on the mountains. You see the trees blossoming, which is a beautiful sight. In the wintertime, the woods have a tremendous attraction. There’s a lot of noise in the woods in the winter. You see the footprints of so many animals. Of course, we get accustomed to this and don’t notice it as much. But those people who left North Adams miss the mountains. That’s the first thing they mention when they come back.”
– Benjamin Apkin, 78 years old (1996)
From a series of interviews with local residents, gathered and edited by author and historian Joe Manning
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