Marisa and I are now returned from this year's pilgrimage to Salem, MA. I suppose "pilgrimage" would be a more appropriate term for a Wiccan making a trek to the Witch City, for whom it could be a religious trip, but for us it's more about homage to our anniversary and our favorite holiday. Salem is the Halloween Capital of the World, after all.
And if you don't believe it, have a look at some of the pictures I've taken there in the last few years. Click here to see more than 70+ photos.
Halloween aside, Salem is chock full of cool histories, from the literary (author Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter while working at the Customs House at the wharf†) to the maritime (Salem was the launching point for thousands of trade ships that spanned the globe). Old colonial houses, witchcraft hysteria history, museums galore, specialty shops, and festivities/fun houses all month long every October.
Bottom line: cool town, worth visiting at least once in your life—especially in October. For my wife and me, we've gone every year ever since our first pass through the day after our wedding on Halloween '04.
I have one gripe, though, and this isn't about Salem as much about plenty of native New Englanders: Not everyone is obsessed about baseball. Got that?
While we were buying tickets for one of the fun houses, the ticket seller asked where we were from. When we told him the Bronx, he said, "Man, can we stop with the Yankee fans today?"
I couldn't care less about the Yankees or the Red Sox. Even if I was a football or baseball enthusiast‡, I just can't be passionate about laundry. It's not your enthusiasm that bothers me, sports fanatics. It's your assumption that everyone else must be just as enthusiastic that does. (It would be like me going up to complete strangers and asking, "So what's your favorite race/class combo? Do you prefer low-level play or epic gaming?") Yes, yes, it's all in good fun. But is there a list I can put my name on to opt out, please?
The closest sports rivalry I've participated in (peripherally) was Army-Navy, but that's only because I was raised under the doctrine that the Navy was evil. You'll have to take that up with my parents, who will no doubt confirm it. But probably not their parents, who were shipbuilders and yeomen affiliated with the Navy during World War II.
Anyway, thank you Mom and Dad for making this year's Salem trip much more enjoyable!
† Not to mention the house which was the loose inspiration for his novel House of the Seven Gables.
‡ I seem to have been born without that sports-fragment of the XY chromosome.