Originally Posted by Blader54
Anti-hero: great bike and food porn!! You really have a knack, both in the kitchen and behind the lens!
I'd be interested to hear your take on the Vineyard. Most people I know find it beautiful, and at this time of year, peaceful. The tourists must be gone, so what's it like?
My arrival at the Vineyard had an instant impact on me. Part of it was due to the beauty and tranquility of the island, but I think for the most part it was a respite from the persistent stress I’ve gone through moving from big city to big city. When I set out months ago, I figured this trip would be a big adventure and that the interesting sights, different smells in the air and the constant change of scenery would offset all of the negatives. And that is still true, but when I arrived in the Vineyard the toll became clear. Moving from place to place in such rapid sequence for such an extended period of time is not easy. The resources required to adapt to challenging, new environments deplete. If not given sufficient time to recover experiences like Boston result. I just couldn’t (and didn’t want to) engage the city. I wanted to retreat and withdraw.
So in that respect, Martha’s Vineyard is a true haven. It’s popularity might be more related to what it doesn’t have to offer vs. what it does. I imagine someone living in a Vermont would like MV far less than someone from LA or NY or Philly or Boston.
As for specifics—the island is picturesque, quaint, quiet and peaceful. And parts of it could pass for Ireland. It’s verdant and lush, foggy and rainy (this time of year), contributing to a European countryside feel. Restaurants are plentiful, ranging in prices from $ to $$$$, with lots of bakeries, sandwich shops and gourmet grocery stores selling espresso and pies. Grocery stores dot the roadside (most are fairly small), and houses are charming, whether modest or grand.
I had originally expected the island to be filled with an agonizing mixture of slack jawed tourists and Martha Stewart types, but was relieved to find few of either. You can tell who is visiting from who the socialites on the island are, but it’s subtler than you’d expect. Occasionally you’ll hear the at-home-wife pontificate about the difficulties of organizing her yoga schedule around her kids lacrosse and equine activities, but overall everyone is fairly relaxed and human. (Take the stress out of people and they become far more tolerable!)
Getting around requires a form of transportation, but there are lots of Scooter, Jeep and Mini rentals for those who don’t want to bring their own car over on the ferry. The only challenging part about navigation around here is the absence of street signs for main roads. Most minor side roads are marked, but never the one you’re on. Big signs point to areas of the island (Oak Bluff, Tisbury, Vineyard Haven, etc.), but if you’re trying to verify that you’re on Barnes or State, you’d better have nav on your cell phone!