Today’s a grading catch-up day for yours truly. But before I attack The Piles, I thought you might like a quick sports recap from right here in Keene, NH.

At the beginning of August I blogged about the leveling of some birch trees along the bike path that skirts several factories on the way into downtown. At various points thereafter, I posted additional photos of the ongoing construction.

Well, sports fans: this just in. Those birches weren’t leveled to make a megamart or even another parking lot. Nope, those birches laid down their lives in the name of basketball.

Would it surprise you to hear that I smiled when I saw Keene’s newest basketball courts sprung up right in my own neighborhood? Part of me smiled at the ironic timing: just as nature’s thoughts are turning toward frost and (soon enough) snow, the City’s thoughts are turning toward summer sports. Yes, I know that college and professional b-ball seasons start in the fall…but blacktop basketball is different. Have you ever tried dribbling in the snow? Outdoor basketball is a fair weather sport, so Keene’s basketballers (and a particular Keene blogger who happens to like shooting hoops) will have to hit the courts before the snow flies. Anyone up for a game of H.O.R.S.E?

Elsewhere around town, locals are wearing their sports affinities on their sleeves, er, shop windows. If you deal in frames, it makes sense to show off your wares by proudly displaying framed portraits of the 2004 Boston Red Sox behind a “Beat the Bums”-emblazoned window. Keene’s baseball loyalties are almost equally divided; there are enough transplanted New Yorkers here (including the owner of my favorite upscale restaurant) to make watching a playoff game in public a potentially risky endeavor. (A word to the wise: whereas Margaritas is Sox-friendly, a restaurant like the Stage is proudly pro-Yankee. So although the Stage pours a better Guinness, watching a ballgame at Margs won’t give you indigestion if you root for the Good Guys.)

Kathleen for one is fed up with the current Red Sox/Yankees hoopla. Meanwhile, Numenius has recently found religion, and Greg sees epic overtones in the current series. As for me, I love New York City and have Dharma friends who live there, but at the end of the day, my affection for New York is, like that girl‘s, just a fling. Although I wasn’t born in Beantown, my past with Boston is oh-so-real. I might not wear my sports affinities on my sleeve, er, shop windows…but the camera (like my blogroll) never lies.