Image courtesy of Jenschapter3
I went to New York City this week and was once again amazed that both Martha’s Vineyard and this booming metropolis are both definitively islands. At first glance, it seems like all they have in common are their water boundaries…but on this trip, I started to notice other similarities.
1. Community. I spent a good chunk of my time in Brooklyn where the community atmosphere is strong – but, also in Manhattan, where everywhere you look, community groups have bonded to together to create neighborhoods, festivals and events. There’s Chinatown, Little Italy and Curry Row.
The Vineyard, of course, is the same. Though we’re smaller, so you might need to just call our whole lot Lobster Lane. All you have to do is look in the paper to see like-minded people creating space to help and support each other essentially, living in community – sharing music, art, fundraising, food and celebrating this place we live.
2. Kindness. This may be a shock to people who don’t know the city well because there’s a longstanding ‘New Yorker’ reputation of non-connectivity and even an urban coolness. But across the board, every cab driver, every restaurant hostess or waiter, every person on the street who I stopped for directions – all of them were so nice, so full of smiles and so glad to help.
I don’t need to tell you that this is what you’ll find on the Vineyard as well…in droves. You know, good, old fashioned, slow moving, island time.
3. Nooks and Crannies. Sure you can buy a map or take a bus tour, but to really see NYC, you have to hang with a native. They find these streets and these restaurants that will just blow your mind. But, one of my favorite things about the Big Apple is this: you walk into a smallish ‘store’ front and behind the door is a huge hotel lobby, and behind that a restuarant – fires are blazing and space beyond imagination.
On the Vineyard? Same things. First of all, any Vineyarder can help you find the best things (like back door donuts every summer) and the best way to get around the island without hitting traffic (a real coup). And, just like in Manhattan, you might turn down a seemingly small and plain road, and it quickly opens up to miles of gorgeous forest, beautiful houses and incredible ocean views. I’m always blown away with how much there is to see here – and how hidden away it really is.