Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fresh Start: Exploring Cumberland, Maryland


Unlike most things, moving gets a little harder each time you do it.  Apart from the sheer grunt work--packing, lugging, and unpacking--there's the aftermath: the wearying prospect of finding all the things you need to get by in your new life--a grocery store, a reliable mechanic, bookstores, a coffee shop, restaurants, and like-minded people to spend time with.

Still, there's something bracing about a fresh start.  And now, after finishing up a dietary internship in Morgantown, West Virginia, my sister Melody is getting one--a new job and home in Cumberland, Maryland. 

Nandi moves in
Since I happened to be in Western Maryland this weekend, the two of us went off on an expedition.  Our mission: to find the hot spots--places where Melody can spend her weekend afternoons, or do a little shopping.  This mission was more challenging than it sounds.  One of the ten poorest cities in the U.S., Cumberland's thriving businesses are few and far between. 

We headed for the city's historic district and found this pretty little pedestrian walkway:



Though quiet for a Saturday night, it did have some nice restaurants, galleries and stores tucked away here and there.  After some browsing and a very nice dinner al fresco, we walked toward the Potomac and discovered a park dedicated to the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpath.


A trail led us to the very edges of the city where the air smelled unimaginably green and sweet.


After that we drove back to Melody's new place on the outskirts of town to sit on her porch and watch deer graze.  

But first we said arrivederci to downtown Cumberland:

The hills are alive with new beginnings



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