Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Duke's Street

Dog Street, Williamsburg
This is a view of the shops on the Duke of Gloucester Street in Williamsburg the day after Thanksgiving. Until I took this picture I never knew the correct name for this thoroughfare. Having hung around with William and Mary graduates, and having always heard it called Dog St., I simply presumed that was the correct name for it. If I thought about it at all, I presumed it was a dog-leg road of some sort, taking a short cut. But no, it's real, true name is Duke of Gloucester, not "Dog" Street, as I'd always heard it said.

Now having the full name in my possession it looks rather more grand than it did when it was merely Dog St.

We spent Thanksgiving here; ate at a huge and groaning buffet. My favorite part was the no-turkey. Having never been able to abide that bird, I happily picked up some oysters Rockefeller, and mussels, and roast beef and ham and tiny popovers in place of Yorkshire pudding. The woman serving the ham offered me a piece of crackling. It was the best part of the meal.

And there was stuffing/dressing, of course. I always liked what was in the bird, just not the carcass. A boy of about fourteen was next to me, helping himself to the stuffing. On his plate there were two piece of pie and he slopped a layer of sage stuffing over both of them. It made me wonder if he was simply preparing himself fro college food.

There were lots of fruits and vegetables, but those were my second course, after the meats. And finally, bread pudding for dessert. Something I never eat since no one likes it but me...the Baron had miniature ├ęclairs.

Since we were late leaving our reservations couldn't be honored so we ate in the grill rather than the main dining room. It was quiet and cozy and you couldn't hear the mob in the room next to us. The advantages which accrue to being late...sometimes.

One thing I noticed, which pleased me: the number of black families that were in attendance as guests. When I first started visiting Williamsburg twenty five years ago, I was struck by the fact that the only black people I saw were in some kind of hotel service uniform, even on the campus of The College. It was an un-nerving throwback and I'm glad to say that it is a scene which appears to have passed. There were white servers and black ones -- the maitre d' was black, our waiter was white --but there were black guests in abundance. About time, y'all!

The next day, the day of the picture, it was cold and windy. Not as bad as some Thanksgivings when we've had snow, but cold for Williamsburg. The wind pushed the shoppers into the stores and the sidewalk sales moved inside, too. It took the Baron's Boy fifteen minutes to get the lattes upstairs at Barnes and Noble. By the time he came down, I was already tired of standing in line to buy a book.

A first for me: I left B&N with only latte. We went to meet the Boy's boss at the Scotland shop and bought the Baron a winter tweed jacket while we were there. Good thing, too, as I noticed the camel's hair jacket he'd worn the night before was literally threadbare in spots. Men...

2 Comments:

At 10:36 AM, Blogger who, me? said...

I noticed on Saturday night an African-American family at our little neighborhood church chamber concert of Brahms and Dvorak. The father looked only as put-upon as many other husbands there. As you say, about time. Whosoever will...

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger Wally Ballou said...

You have to admit, "Duke of Gloucester Street" is more than a mouthful (even for those who can pronounce "Gloucester"). The acronym is irresistable in common parlance. It is funny you never got the full version, though.

There was a recurring locale in P.G. Wodehouse stories called Towcester Towers (pronounced "toaster", of course).


Since it is word day, here's something I am a stickler on: Acronym. It means initials pronounced as though thtey were a word - NOT just initials (that construct is sometimes called an "initialism"), hence:

Acronyms:

NASA
NATO
OPEC
PETA
LASER
RADAR

Not acronyms:

UN
FBI
CIA
GOP
ACLU
CWA
CYA


Depends on how you say it:

ROTC
AWOL
(and others I can't think of)

 

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