Monday afternoon, bundled into my down coat, gloves and boots I ventured out to do some errands in Ipswich. Cars courteously stopped for pedestrians crossing the street and at the intersection of Market and 133/1A the usual progression of cars criss-cross with driver’s halting to allow left turns in front of them and waving vehicles into traffic. People passed each other with a nod or smile. All very civilized in a wintery New England village.

Twenty-four hours later I’m sitting on the open porch of a small cantina wearing a sleeveless blouse and sandals. The narrow street is teeming with people, men in jeans and tee shirts, women in form fitting dresses or tight shorts and tops with spaghetti straps. They pass in two or threes, stopping every few steps to greet another person or group.

Loud music is playing from the shop next door adding to the sounds from a steady stream of motor bikes, four wheeled ATVs, and SUVs that pass in front of us. I see no discernible order. They zig-zag, around each other with abandon. Pedestrians stroll in the midst of traffic in the places where the sidewalk narrows to bypass a post or structure. In other places dumpsters occupy the sidewalk sending pedestrians into the traffic. In the midst of all the apparent chaos, dogs wander aimlessly. Although it is a one way street motor bikes are frequently weaving their way in the opposite direction.

I sip my drink and enjoy the ambiance of a different world.