Sunday, September 23, 2012

Groove Armada (ft. Patti Page) -- "At the River" (1997)

If you're fond of sand dunes, and salty air
Quaint little villages, here and there
You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod

Those lines are from "Old Cape Cod," a song that was a top ten hit in 1957 for Patti Page.  It was subsequently covered by Bing Crosby, Jerry Vale, Anne Murray, Bette Midler, and many others.  If you're a fan of Mad Men, you heard it in the third episode of the fourth season of that show.

Groove Armada is an electronic music duo from London that has eight studio albums to its credit.  Its first single, "At the River," samples "Old Cape Cod."

Chatham is probably Cape Cod's most Cape Coddish town.  It has plenty of sand dunes and salty air, and it's as quaint as any Cape Cod village.  but it's usually full of tourists, too.  (It's not as full as tourists as Hyannis, and the tourists in Chatham are much more upper-crust than the proles in Hyannis.  But it's still much too busy for my tastes.)

Years ago, a spur line of the Old Colony Railroad's Cape Cod branched off from the main line (which ran from Boston to Provincetown) and terminated in Chatham.  That branch of the railroad has become a branch of the Cape Cod Rail Trail.  Because I always make a point of riding the entire Cape Cod Rail Trail, I ride my bike to Chatham each summer.  Otherwise, I stay clear of Chatham.

I took this picture of a flagpole surrounded by a handsome bed of black-eyed susans a few miles west of Chatham:

When the man who lived in the house approached me while I was taking this photograph, I was afraid he was going to go all Walter Matthau on me and tell me to get off his property.  Au contraire -- he was pleased that I wanted a picture of his Rudbeckia hirta.  

Here's a close-up of the black-eyed susans:

The rail trail ends north of downtown Chatham.  I turned south on Stage Harbor Road (which runs parallel to the beach but about half a mile inland) and then east on Bridge Street.  Here's a picture of Mill Pond from the Mitchell River Bridge:

The state transportation department wants to replace this deteriorating wooden drawbridge (which dates back to 1858 or 1871, depending on whom you believe) with a new one made mostly of steel and concrete.  They promise a "context-sensitive" bridge that would look like it was made of wood.  But local preservationists -- who say that the Mitchell River bridge is the last wooden drawbridge left in the United States -- want to rebuild the current bridge using only wood.

The debate has raged for several years, and if a final decision is delayed much longer, the town may lose $11 million in state and federal funding and have to pay for a new bridge itself.

Here's a picture of Stage Harbor and the "Not A Problem" from the approach to the drawbridge:

From the drawbridge, I continued east on Bridge Street until I came to the Chatham Beach & Tennis Club, which overlooks the Atlantic.  If you're a one-percenter and want your children to learn how to play tennis (preferably with other one-percenters), you could do worse than join the Chatham Beach & Tennis Club.

Where Bridge Street meets Main Street, is the Chatham Light, which was initially built in 1808.  (The current lighthouse structure dates to 1879.)

Across Main Street from the lighthouse is South Beach, which is open to the public.This is the view looking south from the beach parking lot:  

I then rode north on Main Street (which eventually bears northwest, away from the ocean, and takes you to Chatham's busy shopping district) and Shore Road (which continues due north along the harbor).

Here's the quarter-mile-long private beach of the fancy-schmancy Chatham Bars Inn, which caters to more one-percenters.  (They have a swimming pool and a restaurant here as well.)  I've never seen valet parking offered at the beach before:

A little further north is the Chatham Fish Pier.  Here's a picture of some of the Chatham fleet:

Here's a lobsterman loading lobster traps on to his boat:

The ride to Chatham and back was my longest Cape Cod ride -- it was a little over 22 miles all told.  

Here's the music video for Groove Armada's "At the River," featuring Patti Page and "Old Cape Cod":  

Here's Patti Page singing "Old Cape Cod."  The building shown at 1:11 of this video is the old Chatham train station, now a museum -- that's where the rail trail ends.

Click below if you'd like to buy the song from Amazon:

No comments:

Post a Comment