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Go east, young man

Yesterday afternoon, I decided to reward myself with a little trip. I'd just finished working six straight days, so I took a little trip. And since lately the motto for New England seems to have been "April showers bring May showers... which bring June showers," I figured I'd take advantage of a nice, sunny, summer day, I'd head east.

Of all the states that have a seacoast, New Hampshire's is by far the shortest. We have a scant 13 miles of the Atlantic shore we can call our own, so we have to make the most of it. But I'm not much of a beach person, so I just skittered up and down the coastline, taking in the sights.

One of those sights is the source of much of New Hampshire's electricity, the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant. I couldn't get very close, but it is quite visible from Route 1A, one of the main roads to the beach. It's also a lot clearer than my cheap camera can depict.

Since New Hampshire's short shoreline is squeezed in between Maine and Massachusetts, it's heavily developed commercially. Since we have no sales tax nor income tax (something both states have), we get a lot of cross-border shoppers. In fact, our border communities are renowned for their aggressive touting of "tax-free New Hampshire" in their ads.

Seabrook, being just across the border from Salisbury, MA, is no exception. Route 1 is jam-packed with stores, strip malls, and all sorts of other commercial developments. My favorite, though, has to be this place.

Let's see... adult club (with "nude ladies"), head shop, pawn shop, tattoo parlor, fireworks store, and comic book store. If this place doesn't have SOMETHING that appeals to you, you live a very quiet life.

New Hampshire has some rather quaint notions about fireworks: far more are permitted than in other states. In other words, if you want them, get them. But if you blow your legs off with them, don't come running to us. Every summer, Massachusetts puts on all sorts of "public service" announcements about how dangerous they can be, including the inevitable demonstration of a firecracker going off in a mannequin's hand. Every summer, they announce a crackdown on Massachusetts residents bringing home and setting off fireworks that the Bay State bans. (Unless, of course, you're a scion of a powerful political family, and set your 16-year-old son on fire with illegal fireworks, in which case you're let off with a stern warning.)

But here in New Hampshire, you're on your own. The store has its own warnings, and gives out safety brochures with each sale, but if you wanna blow yourself up, that's your business.

It was only a few hours I spent over on the seacoast, but it was a nice, pleasant time, some much-needed "away" time -- and once again, a reminder of how lucky I am to live on this side of the borders.

Comments (18)

That freekin' plaza is one ... (Below threshold)

That freekin' plaza is one stop shopping!!!!.

Here in Michigan we have odd firework laws. Pretty much anything that goes into the air or goes boom is a no-no...BUT...you can buy the stuff just about anywhere as long as you tell them you are taking it somewhere else. In my 37 years i've never heard of anyone getting busted for bottle rockets and firecrackers. If you want the real GOOD stuff (4"+ mortars, 1/4 sticks, M-80's etc., you have to do some snoopin' but it's out there)

I don't care if the idiots ... (Below threshold)

I don't care if the idiots using fireworks blow themselves up, but I draw the line when they start threatening my house and my cars with their fireworks that they don't know how to use properly.

I lived in Amesbury about 1... (Below threshold)

I lived in Amesbury about 18 years ago, which is a stone's throw from Seabrook. We were all given calendars with an escape route in the event of a nuclear emergency. In a moment of complete liberalism, I joined many others in throwing our calendars over the fence at the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant. In the event of a nuclear emergency, we were toast and we knew it. Calendar my ass.

Anyhow, Seabrook really is an interesting place. I suggest you all avoid it. Rumor has it the government had to come in during the 50's and deal with rampant inbreeding. If anyone can verify this, I'd appreciate it.

*sigh* Here I am t... (Below threshold)


Here I am talking about inbreeding and my 8 year old son comes out of his room wearing a pair of farmer jeans and nothing else. No shirt, no shoes. Be right back - I have to go feed the chickens.

What, no little shopping tr... (Below threshold)

What, no little shopping trip to Kittery, Maine?

I live in Northern Michigan... (Below threshold)

I live in Northern Michigan. Every year groups of people tie their boats (over 100 boats total) together on a large river (Au Sable) and party next to a bluff while a local electician shoots off an excellent firewoks display overhead. Last year he was busted by the State Police because the River Boat advertised the event to its customers, so the display was less than spectacular. But this year the electician tells me he has another great show in store for us. I look forward to it every year. Thankfully the fine he received wasn't enough to deter him.

This is as close to an open... (Below threshold)

This is as close to an open thread as I've seen in a while: nuclear power, pornography, tattoos, fireworks, taxes, pawn shops, weather, Kennedy's, comic books and a ubiquitous duck.

I think this one deserves an award ;-)

While I was thinking of making some sort of quip about a glowing naked Kennedy with a Howard the Duck tattooed on his left buttock running around in the heat throwing illegal fireworks while threatening to increase taxes on pawn shops, I looked down to see a smear of peanut butter on my pants that had been transferred there from the breakfast table edge I had just cleared, complements of one of the two ladies of the house.

Thus I offer this evolved expression:

"Peanut-butter For Odin!"

No Peanut Butter for Odin. ... (Below threshold)

No Peanut Butter for Odin. It'll make his tongue stick to the roof of his mouth.

OH - I'm sorry, I thought you said ODIE.

I always thought Taxfree, N... (Below threshold)

I always thought Taxfree, New Hampshire was a real place. Alas, it lives only in the hearts of the faithful.

Indiana finnaly decided to ... (Below threshold)
Brian the Adequate:

Indiana finnaly decided to end the hypocrisy this year.

Up until this year, it was illegal to use much of anything beyond sparklers and fountains within the state. However, you could buy just about anything as long as you signed a paper swearing to a) take the fireworks out of state and use them "in accordance to local law" or b) go to one of the three small designated areas inside the state where use was legal.

Of course since the actual location of the designated legal zones were deliberately inconvenient and none of the border states (with the possible exception of Kentucky) allowed fireworks use, the law was completely ignored.

This year, the legislature finally bowed to reality and legalized use.

Of course they slapped on a 5% safety fee (bonus sales tax) on all fireworks.

JayTea,We actually h... (Below threshold)

We actually have 18 miles of land bordering the Atlantic.
Wouldn't want people thinking we have less of a shoreline than we actually do.

And what the hell is that o... (Below threshold)

And what the hell is that on your dashboard?

Hey Jay...is this it?... (Below threshold)
I buy comic books and firew... (Below threshold)

I buy comic books and fireworks in that plaza (but that's all). The guy in the fireworks store asks you how much you want to spend then says, "I'll set you up." I am always amazed at how much amazing explosive stuff you can get for your money there. We have a summer party with fireworks every year. I'm about to write a story for the Sunday Portsmouth Herald on the mainstreaming of tattoos.

and you can buy fireworks y... (Below threshold)

and you can buy fireworks year round? i'm jealous. over on the left coast of the country, here in washington (or at least my part of the state), we can only buy them for a week or two before the 4th of july, and they can only be set off on the 4th, 5th, and 6th. that, and any of the good stuff (i.e., anything that goes up in the air) is pretty much illegal, so none of the stands sell it. luckily, that's nothing that a trip to the local indian reservation won't cure. i personally don't agree w/ that whole "sovereign nation" thing, but i'm going to take full advantage of it as long as its around.

I got four words for ya:</p... (Below threshold)

I got four words for ya:

"Live Free or Die!!"

" In the event of a nuclear... (Below threshold)
John S:

" In the event of a nuclear emergency, we were toast and we knew it. Calendar my ass. "

And like most liberals you were misinformed. Due to its proximity to a SAC airbase (Pease) the Seabrook nuke was expensively redesigned to withstand an accidental direct hit by a F-111 fighter bomber carrying an ARMED nuclear bomb. The outer retaining wall is some 15 feet thick, the inner retaining wall is almost 40 feet thick. In terms of safety, it's the most grossly overengineered project in human history.

John, Candy is a dear perso... (Below threshold)

John, Candy is a dear personal friend of mine. You risk invoking her tremendous wrath (born-again Christian home-schooling mom who's also an accomplished web designer, bartender, teacher, and ex-Masshole who grew up on the mean streets of Melrose), and she WILL kick your ass if you call her a "liberal."

That being said, as far as Seabrook goes, it was an incredibly stupid place for it. Regulations clearly stated that it had to have evacuation plans for nearby communities, and not only did they stick it practically right on the beach, but had at least one Massachusetts community in their area -- and that was one community that the NH government had ZERO influence over to get them to comply. It should have been situated far enough away from any state borders, or not built at all.

And even if a waiver was obtained, it should have been done BEFORE construction started, not long after.

I'm speaking as a pro nuclear power guy, and I believe Candy is pro nuclear too. But for all of Seabrook's solid construction, its building was marked with piss-poor management of the legal and political issues -- and, like it or not, those were important as hell, too, as witnessed by it bankrupting PSNH in the process, forcing its sale to Northeast Utilities. Hell, I've lost track of exactly who owns Seabrook now.







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