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Friday, July 22, 2011

Upset stomach at the beach

654 Charlestown Beach Road, aka "The Pepto-Bismol House."
My husband and I like to visit the beach at 5 p.m. so we can bring the dogs along and spare our aging skin the UV exposure. We're sort of lazy, or I guess you could say slaves to habit, and so we always walk straight down toward the water and park our chairs on the western edge of the beach and face the setting sun. And we often end up speculating about why anyone would paint their house Pepto-Bismol pink.

I know you know which house I'm talking about. My husband's theory is that the owner is heir to the Pepto-Bismol fortune and the choice of color is an homage to the source of the money that allowed them to buy the house. My theory is that it's a really clever marketing campaign for Pepto-Bismol, to turn people's stomachs and suggest the cure at the same time.
Oceanside view of Charlestown Beach Road in winter.
The rest of the houses blend in with the landscape.

Now ordinarily, I wouldn't dream of singling anyone out like this, except I checked the tax database, and as it turns out the house is owned by a limited liability corporation in Ossining, New York. Yes, the dreaded New Yorkers strike again. And I have noticed New Yorkers appear to be fair game around here. Maybe it's their idea of a way to make the house easy to find for summer renters? "Just look for the house that's the color of Pepto-Bismol," the agent says.

As I've said already, wind turbines don't trouble me. Dave's Coffee's sandwich-board signs barely register on my consciousness as I'm cruising down Route 1. But the Pepto-Bismol house brings to mind the old Sesame Street refrain, "One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong …" You wanna talk dark skies? The pinkness of that house radiates outward from the satellite image of it in Google Earth. Since our town council is fond of writing ordinances micromanaging things like trees and lighting fixtures, why not a simple ordinance requiring owners along the beach to use colors appropriate for the landscape? That would improve the quality of life of beachgoers almost as much as the new pavilions, I'd bet.

Author: Linda Felaco