A perfect game in Cooperstown, NY

"New Zealand?" asks the man with missing teeth as he fills up my car with gas. "How dare you," I joke. "Try again."
" No."
" Not REGULAR England?" he says aghast. Yes regular England - NORTHERN England I explain. Where the beer comes from. "I bet they drink it warm", he says and waves us goodbye.

Otsego Lake or Glimmerglass
They aren't drinking beer at the Ommegang Brewery today - a thirsty drive out on the beverage trail (no really)  ended in disappointment when we're told it's closed to the public for a music festival. Steve Earle is playing there tonight. We decided not to comment on his habits and promised to come back. Our homeland security officer at the border has recommended a brew which we must try. Not sure if this will affect our ability to get back into Canada or not. More tomorrow.

Batting range at Cooperstown
Cooperstown is a delight and full of baseball nuts. Not only does it house the National Baseball Hall of Fame but in 1839 it is said Abner Doubleday invented the game in a cow pasture here. That pasture is now Doubleday Field and a mecca for baseball fans.  At the batting range small boys are competing to throw the fastest. A machine is measuring their speed. Every other store has a baseball connection (where are the opera stores?) but despite this sporting motif the town retains its charm with historic clapboard homes and great views onto the Otsego Lake. The local chamber of commerce has produced a Ladies Guide to Cooperstown - a leaflet listing stores for the non-baseball-inclined.

Susquehanna River 
Council Rock Park at the head of mouth of the Susquehanna River is the perfect place for a picnic on the lake and not many people seemed to know about it. We bought sandwiches at Danny's Market (the Oh Yeah sarnie is worth a try) and took the five minute walk down to the water. This little river eventually flows into the Chesapeake Bay 444 miles away. One of the US' longest rivers. 

At the store called Chocolate, on the corner of Main Street and Chestnut ,they sell days-of-the week chocolate bars but they are out of Tuesdays and Fridays. Friday I understand but Tuesday?

Practising our bullfighting at Glimmerglass
Tonight was a hot night. A good night for Carmen. It began for us with other opera lovers as we picnicked on the grass before the show. Interesting to see how many red dresses were worn by women in the audience. We got in the mood with our shawls anyhow. Shawls plus a couple of beers which inevitably ended with some photographs. The production did not disappoint. Adam Diegel from Korea as Don Jose was outstanding though I wanted to see him grab Carmen a bit more.  I love the moments in opera which make your spine tingle and eyes tear up and Adam did it for me tonight.

We stayed at www.creeksideny.com.

Read next post: Beer, baseball and opera boffins.


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