I have had four adventurous years since leaving the Concord area to attend school in upstate New York. But now that I’m back in New Hampshire interning for the Insider (and Monitor), I set out to rediscover the area where I grew up.
So, armed with a camera and list of Concord hot-spots, I met up with my friend and fledgling photographer Tim Berube to see what Concord has to offer. A lot can change in four years.
Our day of adventure began at Beaver Meadow Golf Course, where I broke out the snowshoes and set out to trek over the 2-plus miles of snow-covered trails maintained by Concord’s Parks and Recreation Department. The wind sweeping through Beaver Meadow quickly went from refreshing to bone-chilling, but the beauty and fun that comes with clomping around a snowy golf course in my giant snowshoes was undeniable. I would gladly go back with some cross-country skis or skates; it’d just be a little more enjoyable if I remember to bring a scarf next time.
Looking to warm up a bit, we popped into the League of N.H. Craftsman Gallery on North Main Street. The staff definitely seemed a little surprised to see two college-aged guys come in and start perusing the shelves, since most of the merchandise was well outside of our McDonald’s Dollar Menu budget – although it appeared to be well worth the price tag.
There are certainly some talented artists in this state, and it was really cool to see all their great work on display. Once I get wooden-bowl-buying-money, I’ll be back.
We then crossed the street (using the crosswalk, of course) to the State House for a tour. I’d been there once on a fourth-grade field trip to shake former governor John Lynch’s hand, and had a strange deja vu moment while looking at a large mural of the Civil War. We had a great tour, including stops on the House and Senate floors, as well as the governor’s office – and if you haven’t been, you have to check out the flag display lining the entryway.
There is a self-guided tour option, but I would highly recommend seeking out the great staff in the visitor’s center for a guided tour instead. You’ll get the inside scoop on the goings-on of the state government, as well as some juicy gossip on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln that I won’t spoil here.
Taking in all that knowledge was a taxing feat, so we headed back into the cold to grab a bite to eat at Constantly Pizza. As a college student, I have survived the past four years on stale, three-day-old slices of gas station pizza, so a fresh slice of quality pie does not go unappreciated. Constantly Pizza boasts a friendly staff, a great feta, spinach and ham slice, complete with a nice doughy crust, and prices that can sufficiently feed two 20-somethings for less than $10. Concord has a lot of great pizza options, but the next time I’m downtown and craving a slice, I’ll definitely go back to Constantly Pizza.
After filling up on some greasy goodness, we turned the corner and headed down to McGowan Fine Art (10 Hills Ave.) The remarkably friendly staff explained that they were in between exhibits, but still had a wide variety of pieces from various artists hanging on the gallery walls.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t understand fine art, but I did have a fun time realizing I better get my degree and a good-paying job to fill my future home with some of the pieces, all while appreciating the quality. As good as the art was, it was made even better by McGowan’s staff, who educated us on dangerous ticks and informed us about a really cool upcoming exhibit involving floral arrangements (Art in Bloom). I’m not really an art gallery guy, but I’d consider coming back to check out some of the innovative exhibits McGowan has to offer.
Last, but certainly not least, Tim and I hopped back in my car and headed over to Evo Rock + Fitness to try our hand at some rock wall climbing. I may have gotten a bit of a swelled head after scampering up the easiest route, but had a great time getting halfway up a harder wall and then falling back down after losing my grip. I used to be into rock climbing back in high school, and am now seriously considering getting back into the habit after seeing the great gym Concord has to offer.
I can’t imagine a better way to end my day adventuring in Concord than sitting atop a plastic wall, looking down at the world below.
Till next time, Concord.