Northern Composure

When the sun moves high in the summer sky, David Rakoff drinks in the refreshingly affordable tonic of Canada’s maritime provinces.

  1. It was a murderous summer heat wave that gripped New York City. The newspapers carried grim stories of people essentially cooked to death in their un-air-conditioned apartments. Con Edison, the power utility, was sending agents door-to-door, begging people to turn off appliances to forestall an inevitable blackout. Al Gore's direst predictions seemed to be coming true. How to escape this inconvenient truth? By getting out of Dodge, of course. But if my Northeastern home was now the climatic equivalent of Atlanta, what did that make New York's local oceanic respites, the Hamptons and the Jersey Shore? The Everglades?

    The only solution was to go north. Hoping to avoid the throngs of vacationers who yearly overrun Cape Cod and Maine, I settled on the Canadian Maritimes. I had always wanted to see that part of my native land, my desire based almost entirely on a postcard I had received as a child depicting the lighthouse at Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia. Possibly the most famous image of East...

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