To the Editor:
The crowds are mostly gone and the foliage is just starting to turn with the swamp maples and other trees tinged with bright red, orange and yellows. Tourist season and even the Islander’s summer is almost over. It is time to come shopping up-Island! Further, you can get some of the best fish and shellfish in the world before and/or after you do some shopping — for upcoming birthdays, significant events, or even the usual holidays (dare I mention Christmas before Halloween)? There are still some sight-seers, even a few swimmers, and the Derby is over. However, there is still good fishing and wonderful shops remain open so stop at the Allen Farm Shop (all sorts of wonderful wooly things including vests, blankets, and of course, lamb and eggs) on South Road (“over south”) then take the Cross Roads over southwest to Menemsha.
On Basin Road Doug Seward’s Creekside Gallery is often open on sunny weekend days. And Ben McCormick’s Under the Surface is also open on sunny days. Scott McDowell’s and Annette’s Copperworks with lots of lovely coppery things, wampum jewelry, antiques and art is open daily. Next door is the Foc’s’le Locker (see more below) which is open Thursday through Sunday afternoons and then walk across the street; Colin Ruel and Nettie Kent’s Gallery is open Thursday through Monday — Colin has wonderful paintings of local scenes including fishing boats, Vineyard Sound, birds and fish, and a lovely painting of the Allen Farm. He has been making knives from forged metal and reclaimed exotic woods (gorgeous). Nettie’s gold jewelry is delicate and exquisite! They also have long billed sword fishing hats and secession flags.
Around the Bend and along the docks you can buy snacks from Menemsha Texaco or a meal such as fish sandwiches and a portable clam boil and the like from Stanley’s Menemsha Fish Market. At Larsen’s, Betsy will be open until Halloween and selling all sorts of good things to use for supper, for gifts or to stock up your freezer. (Fresh made fish cakes, stuffed quahogs and scallops, chowder base, etc.) and you can stock up on sushi making supplies, “chowdah mugs,” great sweat shirts and hats! If you want to stock up your freezer, call ahead!
On the way home take North Road, Tabor House and then Middle Road so that you can stop at Mermaid Farm for raw milk, cheeses, yogurt, Lassis and lamb, beef, greens such as pea shoots and kale, eggs and butter and lots of other things (maple syrup. crackers, ice cream). Today there were fruiting shiitake logs, and some small elderberry bushes to plant. If you go down North Road stop at North Tabor Farm for vegetables, and they may have chickens — fresh or frozen.
Now to The Foc’s’le Locker, well, as most you know, that is my shop. This will be the last year and I will close at Christmas time. Thus, everything has to be sold. There will be the usual generous discounts (as always) for Islanders plus volume sales — bags of fine old paperback British mysteries or several vintage sweaters. Come and make a deal. I still have a lot of Island and/or Islands related books, maritime books, fiction and mysteries, quirky garden and architectural books, cookbooks, kids’ books, postcards and notecards, knitting books and notions, all the wonderful vintage sweaters and vests (excellent condition and very special) and a lot of ephemera! There is also a box full of “useful stuff” such as sail twine, reflective tape and arm bands. small flashlights, and etc.
In fact, the business (inventory, some consulting. and even some part-time shop assistance, and shop furniture) are also on offer at a very reasonable price. This would be a wonderful business for a digital savvy, energetic person to conduct via the internet as well as in a shop.
If you are looking for a special title, please ask. I relish the challenge of book searches and enjoy finding new books to recommend. If you need help, please stop in (bring me a cup of hot tea) or give me a call at 508-693-6397. Foreign books printed in English are not a problem – though most other languages may defeat me.
I hope to see you in Menemsha.
Thanks for reading this far.