Chilmark: Vineyard contingent in NYC


I forgot to mention last week that whenever I am in NYC I seem to run into more Vineyarders, whether we have known one another or not. When attending lighting designer Phil Sandstrom’s birthday celebration, I met The Yard’s board member, choreographer, teacher, and performer Liz Keen and two friends of Islander Roberta Kirn’s from her days at Sarah Lawrence. Liz (Roberta’s dance teacher at SL) said she looks forward to returning for her next Vineyard summer and her work with The Yard. Speaking of which, Executive Director David White was honored this fall for creating the Bessies, the first awards recognizing choreographers and dancers. David has always been a key supporter of modern dance, performance art, and works for which few venues existed. Thank you, David, for bringing dance to all the Island schools and making alternative performance part of the lives of everyone on the Vineyard.

In the meantime, if you happen to be in NYC and find yourself in the East Village, stop into Katinka at 303 East 9th Street, Tuesdays to Saturdays from 4 pm to 7 pm, owned by jazz musician Billy Lyles and his wife, designer Jane Williams. Not only are the prices nearly the same as when they opened in 1979, but Jane has worked with the same villagers in India for the past 35 years, producing beautiful garments. The store is an eclectic wonderland on a block filled with many fun shops to explore. You can’t beat the prices or the company. And even though I grew up in NYC, it was the first time I ever visited Katinka.

My older son returned from a holiday trip to New Hampshire with his girlfriend, bearing a gift from Zeb’s General Store in North Conway Village. The same famous schooner captain Zeb Tilton from Chilmark — who knew? And yes, they ship.

I have known Joe Massua’s smiling face greeting me at the Chilmark post office for the past two and a half years, but some of you have known him for the past 29 years. I want to thank Joe on all our behalf for taking such good care of us as he officially retires today, the last day of 2014. Enjoy your newfound peace, Joe.

If you are looking for a local early-evening celebration of New Year’s Eve, drop by the Living Room Studios at Pathways Gathering Space, 9 State Road (Chilmark Tavern) from 7 pm to 9 pm to be amidst “Early Arts Resolutions, Conversation & Refreshments” while enjoying the music of Mait Edey, Matt Stamas, Kim Hilliard, David Stanwood, and more. Dress should be your vision for the New Year; laid-back, outlandish, fantabulous, incognito, or everyday arts. This event is free. Remember to stop in for gifts made by local artists and jewelers as well as publications from local authors and Vital Signs’ great togs for infants by Keren Tonneson, open every day except Wednesdays from 12 to 4 pm.

Tom Dresser will be talking about his latest book, “Music on Martha’s Vineyard: The History of Harmony,” on Wednesday, Jan. 7, at 5 pm at the Chilmark public library.

I can hardly believe how fast 2014 has gone. When I come home to Chilmark, I’ll admit sometimes I am anxious, but as soon as we hit North Road on our way from the ferry, I can’t wait to be home and, in fact, wonder why I ever questioned coming home and remember I didn’t want to leave in the first place. Yes, home, in a sense of home I have had nowhere before in my life. I am thankful to live in Chilmark and on the wonderful and quirky Island of Martha’s Vineyard. Happy New Year to one and all.

“Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.”

— Neil Gaiman