Last week, a brief visit to St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland. A small city perched along the eastern edge of North America. The sea and woods close by. A harbor tucked into a natural bowl, protected, a narrow channel the only entrance by sea. A boom town, oil fields replacing fish banks, population and commercial development on the rise. A skyline dominated by the Rooms Museum, designed to echo the architecture of historic fish stores. A tapestry of old and new, nature and development, graffiti and public art. On the waterfront, a statue by Luben Boykov, two columns rising, negative space creating the silhouette of a codfish. Early supper at the Ship’s Pub, fish and chips and Quidi Vidi iceberg beer. An evening walk along Duckworth and Water streets, stone and brick buildings bathed in the pink light of sunset. A busker’s festival, thin crowds swelling periodically to watch performers. Cobbled George Street chock full of pubs and bars, occasional music spilling out of open windows and doors, the promise of more music to come after midnight, past my bedtime. Up the hill in Bannerman Park, the Folk Festival drawing the crowd. A steep maze of residential streets, all bendy-curvy, with brightly colored, weatherbeaten wooden houses, hugging each other close, rising up from narrow sidewalks. In the morning, a stop at the Georgetown Bakery, a neighborhood institution, to fill the car with fresh, fragrant loaves. Another detour, a few wrong turns, to find the Farmer’s Market, in its infancy, hope for sourcing locally grown produce. Fresh greens and herbs to go with cod, salty-sweet, fresh from the ocean, a gift from neighbors and friends. Twenty-four fun hours in the big city, but already missing the rugged headlands of English Harbour.