Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Eastern Shore Journal: The Floating Opera

watercolor of St. Michaels Harbor by Hallie Cohen
You catch the ferry from the town of Oxford across the bay to Bellevue. By the way there’s also a Cambridge, Maryland, the home of John Barth and the setting for one of his early novels, The Floating Opera.When Oxbridge academics are referred to, watch out. It might be Maryland's Eastern Shore rather than England that’s being discussed. Which may say something about scale and temperament. Royal Oak is another nearby town and the arcane quaintness of these high flown names is reflected in landscapes which are dotted with lost harbors, in which solitary boats tethered to wooden bulkheads line antique docks. The Eastern Shore’s particular topography naturally lends itself to numerous private secluded basins. A town like St. Michaels has a more developed harbor and if you stay at a local redoubt you’re likely to be able to look out your window and take in the parade of maritime traffic. However, even on a slightly larger scale, there’s a solicitude and feeling of removal that’s unlike anything you’re likely to find in a typical seaside resort. It’s hard to get away in this age of connectivity, but the towns built around inlets on the Eastern Shore are truly havens as well as harbors.

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