August 12, 2018. Brookline, New Hampshire.
I was drinking the terrible, watery coffee and eating the terrible, watery waffles in the hotel lobby, carboloading for the art gallery we had slated today. Allegedly, they had early Monets. The TV was too loud, so I had no choice but to hear every detail of developing vandal scandal wherein somebody hit Donnie Trump’s walk of fame star with a pickaxe.
Obviously, I chortled. Who didn’t? My mirth enraged a squadron of portly dads, who proceeded to talk too loud about “these goddamn Democrats”, presumably for my benefit. I do have big black glasses and a beard. You couldn’t blame them for jumping to conclusions. After they didn’t point directly at me to tell me what was wrong with my generation, they quieted down and proceeded into some light racism.
The news then heel-face turned into a story about the New Hampshire Food Truck festival that was taking place a mere 15 minutes from my very table. Well, that settled it. To Hell with Monet. Life is the true art.
The Girl eventually woke and I explained to her that culture can only be absorbed by immersion. She blinked at me blearily and said, “That’s nice.”
It was decided. We drove out to the New Hampshire Dome in Milford.
It was an imposing structure, but the trucks weren’t in it. When you consider what the trucks are for, it makes sense to not put them indoors.
The traffic cone rope and the tiny Hampshirians in their reflective vests pointed us up the hill, into the woods. The obvious choice.
We were not prepared for what we saw.
It was around 11 AM, and the expansive selection was still setting up; the juggalo-themed art tent wouldn’t arrive for another hour or so. We made a beeline to the Indochine Pavilion.
The critics, as you can see, were raving. The N.Y. Times called them “Good”! To maximize our food truck festivities and truly appreciate all that NH had to offer, the Girl and I decided we wouldn’t get any actual meals from these trucks. Chicken garlic on a stick are three of my favorite things, so we started there.
From there we proceeded to a local breakfast favorite, the fried manicotti.
And what New Hampshire foggy moor outing would be complete without the statewide signature favorite, Hot Ballz?
What are hot ballz, you may ask? A reasonable question. Imagine a hush puppy. Now, instead of spicy dough, fill it with mac and cheese.
That was about the time I had a heart attack. Bloated with cheese and grease, the Girl and I waddled back out of the moors and, unbelievably, decided our best course of action would be a hike along the Andres Institute of Art outdoor exhibit.
I liked the freaky baby head, but most of the installments looked like the little brass sculptures you find in every flea market. Not to denigrate them; that’s exactly where I found Sir Tetanus the Tintinnabulatory, and he has been a trusted friend and guardian for well over ten years.
It started to rain in earnest, and the exhibits were not arranged in an overly user-friendly fashion. If you wanted to see them all, you’d need to take the 14 mile loop. We didn’t want to see them all.
The Girl and I bade a fond(ish) farewell to New Hampshire, and marathon drove home, pausing only to hit a Dunkin Donuts and listen to a hefty local woman scream vitriol at a teenage counter attendant over their lack of donut selection. Imagine her horror if she found outthey’re just called “Dunkin Coffee” in Europe.
And so concludes this leg of the chronicle. Now that I’m financially stable, and so firmly rooted in Philly that I occasionally say “jawn”, it’s time to begin local exploration in earnest.