Newport Day 3

Late tonight because I attended a fabulous benefit concert. Details on that will follow all the other items that have accumulated since last week. And thanks to everyone who said great stuff about the Ann Petry Fan Page.

Here’s our third day in Newport. After some coffee and a muffin from the hotel we walked up a couple of blocks to Annie’s. On the way down, the elevator stopped on the second floor and a woman sort of hesitated. I asked if she was getting on – she didn’t answer, was talking to someone over her shoulder. Finally she entered. Then a little girl appeared. The woman was leaning against the back of the elevator, and the little girl was sort of hovering. I asked the girl if she was coming with us and held the door so it wouldn’t close. She finally entered, too, and hid behind the woman. Larry was standing nearest the two of them and after we got off he said, “Oh, my God, she was so drunk!” It was 10 a.m.

We left the woman weaving back and forth on the sidewalk and walked up the hill. Annie’s was delightful. We thought the hostess and waitresses might be Latinas, but a look at the menu featuring Portuguese potato kale soup made us realize that they were from Portugal or one of its former colonies. It was too early for lunch, but our breakfast selections were terrific: Larry had two eggs, bacon, home fries, and toast. I had a broccoli and Swiss omelet, toast, and home fries. Neither of us finished our food.

We came back to the hotel and I went for a longer walk up Thames Street past the other breakfast option, Ocean Breeze Café, which was much farther than Annie’s. Then I turned up Upton Street (I think) and walked past The Elms, which was apparently threatened with demolition but rescued. The information made me think of the area where Jackie Kennedy helped with the renewal, which allowed the low-income residents to move back into their homes. Not sure where that was, but I’ll be the poor folks are long gone.

I walked down Bellevue, past Stop & Shop and CVS, which turned out was right across the street from Annie’s. Then back down Memorial Boulevard to America’s Cup Boulevard to Farewell Street (I think) where I encountered J. Crew, Banana Republic, and two sets of people who asked me for directions because they thought I was a local. On the way back to the hotel, I passed a store called Tourist Trap. They don’t hide their stuff around here!

After I returned Larry and I sat out on the balcony at the end of the hall hoping someone would clean the room. We saw working boats and tourist taxis or excursion boats that passed each other on the opposite side of the harbor. We also watched a huge white tent next to the hotel where people began gathering around noon. We finally ascertained that the banner said Ocean Tech Expo. And the ProJo, which I found at Starbucks in the afternoon, said it was a conference for marine types. The governor was planning to attend and a band played from about four to eight or nine.

In the p.m. I read more of my Times mags and we tried to take another walk but it started to rain. I returned to Starbucks for tea. Lunch consisted of an orange and a muffin from the hotel breakfast because I was saving room for dinner.

Dinner at the Clarke Cook House lived up to its previous level. We did not sit out over the water this time, which was fine since the weather wasn’t conducive to outdoor dining. This time we looked down on the little alley next to the place. I started with a truly disappointing Caesar salad, made more so by the lack of a knife to cut the few larger green pieces of lettuce. Profuse apologies followed but did not compensate for the watery tasting dressing and mostly yellowed interior bits of lettuce. Larry said his shrimp cocktail was excellent, though it still didn’t measure up to the mega shrimp at Max Fish (“Blue Points Rock” and previous entries). We observed the next table and realized our waiter had neglected to describe the two specials – King salmon for $34 and rack of lamb for $33. We weren’t planning to order either. Nor did he mention the bottle of wine for $3,295.

Larry wound up with sirloin tips, and I had filet of salmon with fennel, etc. Entrées were definitely up to previous standards. This time we skipped desserts.

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