|Work goes ahead, behind piles of dirty snow in the harbor|
Following my enjoyment of his biography of Charles Dickens, I’ve been re-reading Stephen Leacock’s delightful Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, the portrait of an imaginary Canadian town and its imaginary inhabitants so lifelike that Leacock’s readers had a hard time beliving he’d made it all up.
In regard to the present work I must disclaim at once all intentions of trying to do anything so ridiculously easy as writing about a real place and real people. Mariposa is not a real town. On the contrary, it about seventy or eighty of them. You may find them all the way from Lake Superior to the sea, with the same square streets and the same maple trees and the same churches and hotels, and everywhere the sunshine of the land of hope.
Mariposa (the imaginary place) is a small North American town--yes, Canadian, but not so very different from Michigan--on the shore of a lake, its population swelling in summer owing to an influx of tourists, so perhaps I may be forgiven if, as I read, I picture various buildings and people in Northport. (It's hard for me to believe Leacock's book was published almost 100 years ago, in 1912, since it feels so current to me.) We do not have Church of England in Northport, but we have churches, and instead of a 20-mile-long lake, we are on the shore of Grand Traverse Bay, an arm of Lake Michigan, but if you know Northport and were to read about Mariposa, I’m sure the latter would seem familiar.
Northport, however, is a very real place. And despite one of the cruelest winters in living memory (not only for snow accumulation but for sustained brutal cold), never have I seen so many building projects going forward at one time. Here, then, is today’s gallery of what’s going on, beginning with the caboose down behind the Depot, with --
|Big renovations ongoing at the old Ship's Galley|
|Peek inside galley|
|New brew pub still under wraps|
|Downstairs at Lelu....|
Do you know what you're looking at? Can you believe your eyes? At last, at last, the hotel is coming into being! Nine rooms at the corner of Nagonaba and Waukazoo, right across the street from Dog Ears Books and only a short walk to marina, harbor, beach and picnic grounds! Please excuse all the exclamation points, but I've been waiting years for this. Talk about something the town has needed!