Witch hunting

Trip Start Aug 21, 2010
Trip End Dec 31, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Monday, December 6, 2010

Our school this morning was right in the middle of Salem, MA, of historical notorious Witch Trial fame. Witches must hibernate in winter, however, seeing as how none of the museums are open today. If something isn't closed because it's winter, it's closed because it's Monday. Funny how we so commonly are in places on their off day.

Ordinarily we would just head out of town from the school and make the long drive to our next hotel for the night. But Salem has more sights to see than other towns, and we really aren't in a rush to go get stuck in New York City traffic. As it was, by the time we'd have lunch and hit the center of Manhatten, it would be 5:00 on the nose. Not the time to navigate the city. So we've decided to kill time in Salem for a few hours and just attempt to cruise through the city later in the evening.

During the assembly, I did a quick Google search to find Salem's Chestnut Street, dubbed one of "the most architecturally beautiful streets in America." Cool. I know Kelsey in particular likes architecture and old houses. And the street was a convenient two blocks from the school. We parked on one end, and walked the length of the street taking pictures along the way.

When we got too cold (which wasn't long), we headed back to the van and searched for lunch. Our GPS showed "The Soup Factory." Soup sounded pretty good right about then! As we approached the block that the Soup Factory was on, we took advantage of a street parking space and walked the rest of the way. En route, we passed Gulu Gulu and peeked in the window of the cafe/restaurant. The atmosphere and decor inside was very ecclectic and appealing, and the panini that sat on the man's plate right there under the window was even more attractive. We pretty much decided then that that was the place we really wanted to have lunch. But since we wanted to check out our options, we walked around the corner to the Soup Factory. We looked at that restaurant and a few others along the way. They looked nice, the food would probably have been good, but nothing had the draw that Gulu Gulu had. 

And now here I sit, after eating our paninis, in Gulu Gulu (French for "glug glug"). We're just sitting here, reading and typing, putting off our impending venture into Long Island. Across the street is an authentic witchcraft and voodoo supply store. I think some of those patrons just ordered food out of here. Hm.
This historic district of Salem reminds us heavily of New Orleans. But it makes sense. This cafe in particular is modeled after European coffeehouses, and New Orleans tries hard to be like France in general. That Bohemian style art-culture appeals to those ecclectic artsy folks who feel like they're on the fringes of society. Throw some local art on the walls, serve some espresso with some quirky names, and you've got a gypsy's veritable home away from home. It's a very friendly place to be. Tolerance is a virtue in these types of places, since those who find themselves comfortable here don't feel tolerated elsewhere.

So here in Gulu Gulu in Salem, MA, we've had a pleasant reminder of New Orleans, complete with berets, piercings, cobblestone, even a dash of voodoo across the street. For the next few hours, we'll call it home.

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