I said goodbye to two friends this weekend who are moving off-Island. They have both been here a long time and they are pursuing greener economic pastures, one in Canada and one in Boston. While economics are not the only reason for their moves, it does play a large part in both of their decisions. They are both talented, intelligent people who are an asset to the Island, and it saddens me that the Island is losing them.

I know it’s no great news flash that it is expensive to live here, and while the American dream of owning one’s own home is going down the tubes everywhere it seems particularly out of reach here, where the average home costs $600,000. The Vineyard is a beautiful, magical place, but who can blame people when they decide that the cost of being here is just too high? I’m always curious how other people keep their heads above water here, especially in Aquinnah, where there is so little industry. I work, what feels like around the clock in the summer time and it still doesn’t feel like there is “enough” in the bank at the end of the season. How does everyone else manage?

Well, enough downer talk — let’s get down to summer fun. Beach stickers for Philbin Beach are available at Town Hall. They cost $35 and Carolyn is selling them from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, Monday through Saturday.

7a, Nonie Madison and Dan Sauer’s new venture in the former Garcia’s/Back Alley’s space, opened last week. I have heard nothing but good things about their food and it seems that they are instantly popular.

At the library, Cathy and crew have planned an event for nearly every day that they are open in the summer. On Saturday, the Spindrift Marionettes will perform “Catkin,” a Celtic myth, at 11 am, and there is of course no admission.

The first author talk of the season will be Geraldine Brooks on July 12 discussing her book “Caleb’s Crossing.” The event will be held at the old town hall from 5 to 6:15 pm, and refreshments will be served.

Even if you don’t come to one of the programs, stop by the library to say hi to Jojo Vanderhoop, the new assistant there.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center is open Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm for house tours of the restored 19th century farmhouse of Edwin DeVries Vanderhoop. On Friday at the Center there will be a traditional weaving and finger weaving demonstration that is free with the price of admission. You can call the center at 508-645-7900 for all the information on their upcoming programs.

And this Saturday night the Aquinnah shop will be hosting live music. Local musician Joe Keenan will perform from 6:30 to 8:30 pm — on the deck if it’s fair, inside if it’s not. Come on in for some dinner, a great view, and some good tunes.

This Saturday from 12 noon to 4 pm is the 23rd Annual Strawberry Festival at the First Congregational Church in West Tisbury.

Noah Manning had a very successful Justin Beiber-themed birthday party this past Saturday, complete with a drum set, microphone shaped cupcakes, and of course lots of screaming kids.

Professional mountain bikers and sometime Aquinnah residents Mary McConneloug and Mike Broderick are back on the Island after an intense season of racing. They are here for a week or so (long enough to celebrate Mary’s birthday on Friday) and then they are back out on the road.

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