Americas, United States, The Northeast

New England, the quaintest corner of the country

No Comments 30 August 2010

New England, the quaintest corner of the country

The region of New England is comprised of the northeastern states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.  As its name implies, it was home to several of the earliest British settlements in the Americas. The Monkey made various trips to parts of New England, visiting everything from its select universities to its ski areas. Here are a few of those images, from the period between 1999 and 2004.


West Dummerston covered bridge, Vermont, United States
Two things the wonderful little state of Vermont is famous for are covered bridges and cold weather. Here the Monkey takes in both. Covered bridges appear in many parts of the northern United States, but are most heavily concentrated in the northeast. The explanation as to why these 19th Century bridges were covered is quite simple, and in a way it becomes clear from this photo. By shielding the supports and roadway of the bridge with an easily-replaced roof, the important parts of the bridge were protected from the worst of the elements, and thus the structural integrity of the bridge was guaranteed for longer periods of time.

West Dummerston covered bridge, Vermont, United States
The Monkey stopped by the West Dummerston Bridge on his way to Vermont’s ski country. At 85 meters, the West Dummerston Bridge is the longest covered bridge in Vermont.

Pumpkin patch, Connecticut, United States
New England is famous for its fall foliage, and visitors come from far and near to see the autumn leaves change colors. The experience is enhanced by the sight of church steeples and old houses amongst the trees. In this photo from Connecticut, the Monkey enjoys another autumn tradition: a trip to a farm to select a suitable pumpkin for Halloween festivities. Probably of Asian origin, the pumpkin was a staple crop of some indigenous groups in the Americas. It was these people who introduced the gourd to the Pilgrims, European settlers who arrived in what would become New England in 1620.

Monkey in deep snow, Vermont, United States
February in Vermont can be pretty cold, especially at the top of a 1200 meter mountain when the icy wind picks up. Here, the Monkey does his best Roald Amundsen impression atop southern Vermont’s Stratton Mountain.

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
The Monkey sits in the quadrangle of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701, the school is part of the fabled Ivy League, a club of old, elite U.S. universities including Harvard, Columbia, and Princeton.

Harkness Tower, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
No, that’s not a jolly old Oxbridge school, but rather the Harkness Tower of Connecticut’s prestigious Yale University. The school’s anglophilia sometimes reached absurd levels: not content with emulating Oxford and Cambridge’s gothic architecture, Yale’s early leaders even poured acid on some of the buildings to give them a more ancient, weathered look. A less amusing example of Yale’s one-time reactionary attitudes is the fact that women were only granted full admission in 1969, while the tradition-oriented Oxford and Cambridge went “coed” in 1920 and 1948, respectively.

Skull and Bones, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Part of Yale’s lure derives from its variant on college fraternities, the invitation-only secret societies. This is the “tomb” of the most famous Yale secret society, Skull and Bones. Those looking to place blame for lackluster U.S. leadership might start here: many of the country’s top political and corporate leaders have been “Bonesmen,” including 2004 presidential candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry. The Monkey refuses to divulge any information pertaining to his relations with Skull and Bones.

Book and Snake, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
The Monkey climbs the fence surrounding the Greco-Roman “tomb” of another of Yale’s secret societies, Book and Snake. The windowless tombs add to the mystique of the societies, where rituals involving sexual shenanigans and general debauchery are rumored to be frequent activities.

Gay Head Cliffs, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, United States
The Monkey visited Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, in November 1999. This island off the southern coast of Massachusetts was once a whaling community and is now home to a fair share of well-to-do folk. In the summer season, its population swells with vacationing mainlanders attracted to its combination of quaint, Victorian towns and natural beauty. Playing off its resort status, Martha’s Vineyard even served as the shark-terrorized beach town in the 1975 film Jaws. The colored clay cliffs at Gay Head seen in this photo are one of the island’s more scenic natural settings.

Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts, United States
Off Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, is the smaller island of Chappaquiddick, where the full force of the open Atlantic comes crashing against the sandy beaches you see in the distance here.The tiny island is best known for the 1969 “Chappaquiddick Incident,” when Massachusetts Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy crashed his car off a bridge into the dike you see here. His passenger, 29-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned, while Kennedy survived. Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, and the incident left a permanent mark on his reputation, but did not end his political career. The bridge the Monkey is sitting on is a replacement for the one Kennedy hit.



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United States

   FAST FACTS


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Population:

303,824,640 (2008)

Land area:

9,161,923 sq. km.

Capital:

Washington, DC (pop: 606,900; 2005)

Economy:

In 2006, the United States ranked 10th in the UNDP Human Development Index and 1st in total GDP, with a per capita GDP of $44,155.00. Public debt accounts for 60.8 percent of total GDP, while 12 percent of U.S. nationals are beneath the poverty line.

Main language(s):

English, Spanish

Monkey's name:

The Monkey, El Mono

Fun fact:

The United States was a pioneer in representative government, though representation has always been limited. At first, only landowning white males could vote. Black males received the vote in 1870, while women of all races had to wait until 1920 for the vote. Even today, the Democratic Party (born circa 1800) and the Republican Party (born circa 1855) exercise a de facto stranglehold on all political institutions—a situation unchanged in over 150 years.



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