2015-09-17 / Opinion

Bring on Fall


Just as many of us had begun to appreciate the loveliness of summer in Newport, the fickle season began to desert us. Of course, the seagulls never leave, but the Gulls baseball players left town for their respective colleges in August and their home, Cardines Field, sits lonely and dark, night after night—a sure sign that Newport’s high season has, well, headed elsewhere.

Our children returned to school not long after the baseballers left town. But this year’s start of school, like many before and, in all probability, many in years ahead, was marked by labor unrest over unresolved contractual issues in both Newport and Middletown. As we write this, Newport teachers and the School Committee head for arbitration to let a third party try to achieve what they could not.

Sad, really, how two parties populated by smart people cannot seem to get together and resolve their differences without intervention.

We look out the front window of our newsroom on to Broadway and see workers still cleaning and fixing the exterior of City Hall. That’s a summer job still in progress. Similarly, we see some sidewalks rebuilt and others still in transition from old to new—the new Broadway “streetscape” continues to unfold slowly but, we hope, surely.

For the record, fall officially begins on Wednesday, Sept. 23, but you don’t need a calendar to sense that autumn is upon us. Broadway’s many trees still sport green leaves. However, for some trees there is just enough yellow mixed in to tone down the brilliant green that marks the height of summer. Alas, those days are done.

But take heart!

Many of those who live in Newport 12 months each year rejoice as Newport’s streets become less congested after Labor Day.

And, we are lucky that Newport, better than many resort towns, maintains its vigor 12 months a year. In September, for example, we have the Newport International Boat Show that begins on Thursday, Sept. 17, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 20.

As the event's advance material tells us, the boat show encompasses 13 acres of the city’s “famed waterfront” with boats ranging in length from 16 feet to 100 feet, “ready for boarding and review.” On land, we are told, will be marine products and services to “enhance the boating lifestyle.” Even better, the event organizers will donate a portion of the last day’s ticket receipts to Clean Ocean Access, a Rhode Island non-profit organization dedicated to cleaner oceans.

Then, on Sept. 25-27, The Elms, Rosecliff and Marble House host the 10th annual Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival. Besides samples of fine wine and food, the event will bring together Martha Stewart and Jacques Pepin, acclaimed chef, cookbook author, and cooking teacher, in a paired presentation.

So, we say, bring on fall. Newport says, “Welcome!”

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