By early May many of us on the Island had been vaccinated and could finally drop our shoulders with a sigh of relief that maybe life could start to return to … life. All of a sudden, we had to jump feet-first into summer planning. We started to see friends again, and boy did we miss them! Island businesses pivoted from caution to preparing for a full-fledged season ahead, masks off, ready or not.
This was a life-changing year one way or another for each of us. We discovered what mattered — friends and family — and what didn’t. We’ve seen lots of people who changed their lives dramatically: moving, quitting corporate life, ending a long-term relationship, or finding new magic with the one they loved.
It was a year to create a new business or change how you ran your business. The restaurant business was gutted worldwide and is probably undeniably one of the most dramatically changed industries. Many are gone forever, and the ones that held on are marching full steam ahead with new ways of doing things. Cities and towns everywhere, including here on the Island, relaxed what now seem like archaic rules — allowing outdoor dining wherever possible. (What a great idea, right? It is beautiful here, why not eat under the stars? We even realized we could do it in the cold.) Our former reluctance to drive all … the … way … to … town for takeout evaporated during the pandemic as we looked for ways to support restaurants run by our friends and family. This year altered our routines and opened our eyes to what is real hardship and what might be instead our own self-imposed limitations. We craved “normal” or what we thought was normal, but even that changed.
Our Island farms have continued to be remarkably industrious and have expanded, creating a more sustainable food chain, encouraging open land, local food, clean live soil, and an extra-long growing season. Check out Molly Glassgow’s photos of hoop houses — those structures that support a longer season. There’s more: Geoff Currier’s tale of the Black Dog’s founding 50 years ago, a visit to Seaweed’s on Kennebec Ave., a self-imposed “Guess the Chef” game from Molly Doyle, and Done!, where IGI’s Rebecca Haag celebrates all we have to be grateful for here on Martha’s Vineyard — dinner from Larsen’s while watching a Menemsha sunset, enjoying Manhattans with friends at Beach Road, and all the incredible people who work hard to make sure all Islanders eat well.
Bon appetit, and happy summer.
— Tina Miller and Jamie Kageleiry