The slow march of "peak" color.
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Today, the damp wind outside the Smart Set office has a not-so-summery edge. It’s got us all talking about fall food and fashions (soups and sweaters, respectively) and looking forward to October days with a little less rain and a little more sunshine. To best take advantage of those days, let Jesse Smith be your guide to a little-known branch of the autumn tourist industry.

Not everyone sees fall as so gloomy, or fall foliage viewing as so formless an activity — state tourism and environmental agencies, for instance. Where you see red and orange and yellow, they see green, and they’re all scrambling to grab as much as they can from what are affectionately known in New England as leaf peepers. It sounds like a pretty dog-eat-dog industry. •

Read It: Peepin’ Ain’t Easy by Jesse Smith

Get in touch with The Smart Set at editor@thesmartset.com.
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And I enter my 30s.

Late fall is kind to us in Boston, partly cloudy and near 60 degrees. Everything is supposed to be dead, the foliage succumbing to the arriving winter, but life hangs on, the trees still with multi-colored leaves, the green grass, a few blooming roses in the garden. This morning I am running on a course around the Boston Fens, a large park with a community garden, a soccer and softball field, a basketball court, and arching bridges going up and over the small bodies of run-off water from the Charles River. The weather is breathtaking on this, my fourth birthday in New England and the only one on which I have been able to run outside. I was going to write an essay similar to this one last year, but it was far too cold to run outside and running on the treadmill beneath the overhead TVs displaying news about… More…

The slow march of "peak" color.

 

Toward the end of every summer, I start telling myself that this will be the year I’m finally taking that trip to view fall foliage. The prospect of an autumnal jaunt is really about getting through the despondence of that season’s end, I think, because I never do make such a trip, and I honestly don’t even know what it would mean to go on a fall foliage trip. Do you stick to roads? Hike? New England sounds nice, but that’s awfully general. How much time should one allot for looking at changing leaves? Would three days fly by, or would an hour feel like a lifetime?

Not everyone sees fall as so gloomy, or fall foliage viewing as so formless an activity — state tourism and environmental agencies, for instance. Where you see red and orange and… More…