Monday, May 26, 2008
This ship is docked at Yorktown, and for a fee you can take a 3-hour cruise on it. Or, you can just take a picture of it from the beach and watch it go up and down the York River, which is what I did. I like to explore new options and live dangerously like that. Plus, it was really windy and there's no way I was setting foot on that thing without some serious anti-sea-sickness medication.
This weekend I went to Yorktown for a couple of nights. For someone who lives in Mathews, it's a rather odd destination for an overnight stay, because it's only 30 miles away. 30 miles in most directions from Mathews doesn't get you anything very different as far as landscape and civilization are concerned, but the one direction 30 miles does make a difference is south.
Without boring you with the details of the differences between Anything Majorly South of Mathews and Anything in Any Other Direction, I can just sum it up concisely with a few choice words: restaurants, shopping, human activities that do not involve the solitude of grass cutting, animal feeding, house maintenance or beef jerky.
Yorktown used to be The Place to go for two very important reasons: The Spectrum and Nick's Seafood Pavilion. (Were you going to say the battlefields and the backdrop to America's freedom from England? Really? Because that wasn't even on my radar screen. Never has been, it's very strange. I've lived here over forty years and have yet to set foot on the battlefields. It isn't that I don't respect the history or have any desire to learn more about all that fierce, courageous fighting, it's just that, well, I've seen the battlefields from the car and, um, they look just like my back yard. Only with tourists from New York and Pennsylvania milling around hollering at each other regarding every possible offense imaginable that has ever been inflicted upon them. And when and where they'll eat next. Sorry, that's not relevant here. Back to Yorktown.)
The Spectrum was a nightclub located directly under the Coleman Bridge (which connects Gloucester Point and Yorktown). It was the closest nightclub to Mathews, and as a teenager I was known to enjoy an evening or two there. I would sip my water and quilt quietly in the corner while such fantastic bands as Slapwater played and my friends danced and sang on stage. (Again, to be clear, I was in the corner working on my quilting. And any sister of mine who says I've never quilted before is not to be believed.)
Nick's Seafood Pavilion was the most incredible restaurant I've ever been in. Owned by a Greek couple, it was known far and wide for its fantastic food (lobster dien bien was my favorite, and their salads were ice cold with the best dressing ever). The decor in Nicks' was definitely eclectic, a tad extreme, and very ornate. There were elaborate chandeliers, statues everywhere, intricate mosaic tiles (I might be making that up, but let's just go with it for effect) and beautiful linen tablecloths. Many a special occasion was celebrated there and it truly was an institution.
Alas, Nick's and the Spectrum are no longer. They were torn down to make way for the new Riverwalk Landing, which is a very nice beach front establishment with several restaurants, some places to shop and a lovely sidewalk that meanders from the beach up the shoreline for about a mile.
So, for Memorial Day, in honor of our nation's fallen, including those who fell at Yorktown, even though this would be a better topic for Independence Day, just never mind that, we have Yorktown, scene of some very historic battles, many lost lives and two lost institutions.
Happy Memorial Day.