Susan, Peter & I took a daytrip by commuter rail to Salem a week ago Sunday. It was a fun adventure, especially for our three-year old train fanatic who looked out the window and narrated our journey all the from North Station to Salem.
Our first stop was lunch at Reds Sandwich Shop where the friendly waitresses (and customers) doted on Peter and the plates were full of tasty food. Next stop was the Peabody Essex Museum. After getting admonished by a guard for standing too close to the maritime art we went to the family-friendly, hands-on Art & Nature gallery. Here there was the art of optical illusions, toys, puzzles, books, and a build your own bird station among other treats. I was able to explore some of the other galleries and was impressed by the mix of American and Asian fine arts and decorative pieces, deliberately overlapping to show the cross-pollination of cultures in Salem’s history. Particularly impressive was the FreePort [No. 001] exhibit in the East India Marine Hall where a staid gallery of ship’s models and figureheads is transformed by animations projected on all surfaces. The video below should give the essence of the experience but one really needs to walk into the room for the full effect.
The PEM is an impressive museum and there was a lot more to see – including a special exhibit of Dutch art – but we were all pretty tired by then. As a special treat for good behavior in the museum I took Peter to Ye Olde Pepper Candy Company, reputedly America’s oldest candy story. Peter picked out a package of gummy fish and we ate them on the wharf overlooking historic houses and ships. Salem is a charming town and has a quite to bit to offer especially if you can avoid the cheezy witchcraft exploitation industry.
We had a light supper and then caught a double-decker commuter train back to Boston which made it double exciting.
Earlier journeys in-and-around Boston: