Cara Bayles

Cara Bayles lives, writes, and works in the Greater Boston area.
Rustic North

Inman Square, April 19th, 2013

The Bradford pears in bloom on Cambridge Street shed perfect white petals that flit down to the sidewalk and across the hoods of Humvees and police cruisers. In two weeks, the trees will rot and smell…

Rustic North

Cigar Store, Connecticut

Everything can be traced back to its origins in the smoke shop: the walls (hewed from oaks of the Naugatauk Forest), the owner’s suit (fine Italian wool), and the patrons, even the ones who only spend…

Rustic North

Sugar Shack, New Hampshire

The proprietor and tour guide wears a leather jacket with a sheepskin collar and a green hunting hat with its flaps down. He leads the New York family through the sugar shack, or sap house, or…

Rustic North

Suffolk Downs Racetrack, East Boston

Logan Airport sits on the water’s edge, and the planes departing north and west glide low over East Boston. They loom, casting bird-shaped shadows as they screech above Broad Sound and across the Atlantic. They slip…

Rustic North

Wellfleet Oyster Fest

You celebrate and consume us. You wear images of us on your shirts and wave banners with our name over your streets. You devote one day to us. You honor us. We are a mighty clan…

Rustic North

Serbian Festival, Somerville, MA

Inside the tent, the crowd’s murmur roars in tune with the ocean that separates them from the continent where their grandparents are buried. There is laughter and gossip and declarations of disapproval and the smell of…

Rustic North

Apple Orchard, Harvard, MA

At the orchard, the trees twist into gnarled poses. They seem feral and stubborn, yet they sit in perfect formation, organized by name and breed: Royal Gala, Fuji, Jonagold, Crispin/Mutsu, Honeycrisp, Paula Red, Rome Beauty, Baldwin.…

Rustic North

Estabrook Woods

When I say “New England,” you know what I mean. You think of the states’ names, maybe. But half of them are gestures to people who were forced from their home (Connecticut, Massachusetts) or reflect a longing for a land left behind (New Hampshire). They are…

Memoir

Wonderlust

Braintree was just a bedroom community, home to the big movie theater and the southernmost stop on the Red Line, but when I was a kid, its name evoked a sense of wonder. I envisioned an…