Remember the Men & Women Who Fought for Us

Memorial Day Weekend on Nantucket has come to be regarded as the start of the party season on the island.  The Friday afternoon ferries were filled with people carrying cases of Bud Light and looking for the nearest beach.  Harbor Square was packed with partiers. The 200+ sailboats of FIGAWI  arrived Saturday for a weekend of fun.

Nantucket Island is a summer resort — we welcome vacationers and partiers.  But let’s pause for a moment this weekend and remember the reason behind Memorial Day: it’s our time to honor all American men and women who have died while serving our country.  As we enjoy the beginning of summer, remember those who died so that we have the freedom to live as we do, and say a prayer for those who are still fighting.

Sunday, May 27, join Post 8608 VFW and Post 82 American Legion in honoring these men and women. At 1 p.m., the procession will march from American Legion Hall to Steamboat Wharf for a short service. They will then continue to Prospect Hill Cemetery, and return to the American Legion Hall for a gathering.

 

Talk about Talk

by Guest Blogger H. Flint Ranney

Whatever has become of good public speaking?

Do schools even bother to teach it any more?

Watch a White House press briefing, visitors speaking at a Board of
Selectmen meeting, or some other event where speech is extemporaneous. Look
at the TV news panels where talking heads are analyzing the latest events.
Observe how some speakers, without a written text or a Teleprompter in front
of them, have difficulty avoiding what might be called thought-spacers, also
known as discourse particles: “um” and “uh.”  In jolly olde England, these
sound like “em” or “erm.” Too often we also add meaningless utterances such
as “you know,” “I mean,” and “like.”

Maddeningly, some speakers will respond to a question by starting right out
by saying “I mean,” or “You know” before saying anything else. Then the next
minute or two will be filled with so many “you knows” that it’s hard to
count them. Try it. It’s not always a spaced out “you know,” but often a
barely noticeable “ya know” prefacing and attached to, another word.

The thing is, until something has actually been said, or an opinion
presented, we DON’T know. Throwing your shoe at the TV will not reduce your
frustration level if you are even paying attention to the twaddle. Count the
number of “uhs” and “ums” in a one-minute period, even in a single sentence,
and you’ll be surprised. These have probably become the most popular
“non-lexical vocals” in the English language, cluttering some 20 percent or
more of our unrehearsed speech, public or otherwise.

How has this happened to us? Maybe it is because we are all so busy and our
brains so disordered with an overload of miscellaneous information that we
can’t just utter words in a continuous intelligible flow. We have to pause
and think of what to say next, and embarrassed by “dead air,” as they say in
broadcasting, we add fillers to keep listeners from interrupting us. Or
maybe we have just lost our train of thought for a few seconds.

Schools seem to be too occupied with programs on diversity and preventing
student loss of self esteem (no grades given out because it’s unfair for
someone to get an A unless everyone gets an A), that teachers probably
cannot find time to encourage kids to speak in cohesive sentences.

Ah, yes, and there are some people who can talk, and talk, and talk, even
entire paragraphs, without a single speech disfluency. One might observe
that these luminaries tend to be older, wiser, and may have a natural public
speaking gift.

But ever an optimist, I’m like hoping that public speaking will improve
over, um, time, if, I mean, you know, uh, the public learns, ya know how.

Food, Wine, and Fun on Nantucket

by Sarah Teach, reprinted from YesterdaysIsland.com

Fine wines won’t be the only palate-pleasers illuminating the 2012 Nantucket Wine Festival on May 16-20. Veiled beneath the shadows of the much more renowned Grand Tasting and Harbor Gala dwell perhaps the greater gems: the series of Wine & Food seminars that offer an inside scoop of some of the tastiest foods made by the country’s most innovative chefs. This year’s festival presents nine different seminars, each one with its own distinguishing culinary focus. Simon Shurey, Events Coordinator of the Wine Festival, says, “The people who go to the seminars are the ones who really care about food.”

Shurey’s personal recommendation is “The Greatest Chef You’ve Never Heard Of,” which will feature Damon Baehrel this year.  (Incidentally, we hadn’t heard of him.)  Baehrel’s restaurant in Earlton, NY, has a wait list that is more than three years long; but come to “The Greatest Chef You’ve Never Heard Of” and you will get to try his extraordinary cuisine right away!  Shurey also touts the seminar featuring Cheese Master John Greeley, who is Co-Chair of the American Cheese Society Competition Committee. Greeley, also known as “the Big Fromage,” will host tastings of the inimitable cheeses from France’s Rhône Valley.  During the seminars, chefs welcome questions and engage actively in dialogue with attendees, offering an intimate look at food and wine pairings.

But the yum doesn’t stop at the seminars.  The luncheon symposia program continues this year, promising to serve up outstanding cuisine and education at some of Nantucket’s best addresses.  During each of these three exclusive wine-and-dine events, the first hour is devoted to learning from several specially selected world-class winemakers.  After the educational hour, attendees will be served an exquisite four-course luncheon highlighting the very wines that were just discussed!

In between the big events, there are plentiful prix fixe meals served at local restaurants, all offering superbly paired cuisines and wines sure to please any gourmet enthusiast.  While most Festival-goers this weekend will simply say “Cheers!” you are invited to the more exclusive group that can exclaim, “Bon appétit!”

Mother’s Day Nantucket-Style

If you’re lucky enough to have your mother here on Nantucket Island rather than across the pond in America, there are a number of activities you can enjoy with her tomorrow.

We venture a guess that every mother on Nantucket, on at least  one Mother’s Day, has attended The Rotary Club of Nantucket’s Mother’s Day Breakfast.  It tends to be a fun jumble of pancakes, families with young children, and sticky kisses, and it benefits the Rotary Scholarship Program.  This year, it will be held from 8 to 11 am at Faregrounds Restaurant, and tickets are just $10.

If your mom wants to sleep-in for Mother’s Day, consider brunch.  Starting at 11 am, there are several options: Fifty-Six Union, which promises a brunch fit for a queen (508-228-6135); Galley Beach, which offers indoor and outdoor options (508-228-9641); and Brant Point Grill (508-325-1320), where brunch begins at 10 am and includes a variety of buffet stations.

After brunch, Mom can enjoy a matinee of TWN’s “Noises Off” at 3 pm in Bennett Hall, 62 Centre Street.  You will want to leave the little ones at home for this hilarious adult farce full of doors slamming and on- and off-stage intrigue.

You can end the day with a family dinner Italian-style at Fusaro’s, now offering a Special Sunday Supper of “macaroni with all-day Sunday gravy,” a slow-simmered sauce loaded with beef, pork, Nana Jean’s meatballs, and sausage served over rigatoni. Just 14.95 for all-you-can-eat starting at 4 pm.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

a piece of the inside trACK…

by guest blogger Holly Finigan

Ever find yourself stuck in a Nantucket eatery rut, always going to your “tried and true” spots, not realizing tried can quickly turn into tired?

Here, local blogger, bartender, often-about-town-socialite, (but sometimes Miacomet-Hermit-Crab) lets you know her go-to’s, when you have a specific dining goal in mind.

You’re on a “I’m trying to impress you” date. You want a little romance. You want to “wine + dine” and you don’t want to run into everyone and your ex-boyfriends mother. Where do you head?
You call ahead and you make a reservation at American Seasons. Entering into their 25th season on 80 Centre Street, you’ll find candlelight dining with a menu to stir up your senses and a wine list to satisfy even the pickiest of vino-snobs. The tables are intimate and between the light sounds of Norah Jones and Jack Johnson in the background, and muffled conversations of the two- and four-tops around you, you’ll find enough reason why everyone loves to get away from it all in this right-on-the-edge-of-town-gem. Bonus! On a date with someone who doesn’t like the feel of a dining room? Check out their adorable 5-seater bar, where you can eat and enjoy all the magic while you get a little more interaction with the other barflies.

You’re on a pseudo-date, but you mostly want the action. You want to hang out and flirt with your server just as much as you want to share food and cocktails with your friends. You want the music loud, the energy pumping, and you don’t care if you can’t linger at your hot-spot of a round-top table. Where are you going?
You’re headed to LoLa 41 on 15 South Beach Street. Here you’ll get your sushi, your burger, and your cocktails quickly and you’ll soak in the scene while you see people spy enviously at your coveted table. You are in and out in 90 minutes, but that doesn’t keep you from getting your drink on and keeping the sashimi a-comin’. Finish your night with their signature dessert, the tres leches. (Condensed white milk cake, housemade caramel sauce, whipped cream, and fresh strawberries!) Or if you’re in the mood for a classy red-bull and vodka to get you going to the next spot, order their legendary Espresso Martini, which is considered dessert to lots of people out here.

You’re out with your family. You have grandparents, grandchildren and the grandness of a party of 12. You need to find a place that is kid friendly but also want to make sure you can dine well and have the oldens and youngsters be comfortable. Where does the taxi drop you off?
So you are going to head out to Madaket Milies on 326 Madaket Road. They take reservations for parties of 8 adults or more in the summertime, so there is a little perk of getting “in” before you get all the way “out” there. You’ll find a kids menu with quesadillas and chips and salsa along with the gamut of gourmet fish and steak tacos, fried clams, lobster rolls and big salads. Sip on their margaritas or their infamous “Madaket Mystery” and toast to another gorgeous day with the family as you watch the sun go down at this new island favorite. (note: open super seasonally, so call ahead.)

You’re out and about for drinks and light apps and you’re looking to bar hop in town at the summers hottest “see and be seen” spots. How do you go about this?
Here is how the ultimate Nantucket bar crawl works. You start out at Galley Beach to watch the sunset with a glass of champagne and your friends all around you. You get the urge for a change of scene once the sun goes down so you grab a cab (especially if the ladies are in heels) and get dropped off at the Wharf. You head into the Straight Wharf for a Goombay Smash and try to squeeze yourself in at the bar for their lighter bar/grille menu fare. You then pay your tab and walk down to the end of the wharf to check out CRU, (formerly the Ropewalk) and the newest restaurant on the Rock, destined to be a hot spot with the restaurant savvy partners of Jane Stoddard, Carlos Hidalgo and Chef Erin Zircher. Here you can have a great glass of white wine while you order off their oyster bar and get a new feel of this old island establishment. You end the night at the always-pumping back bar at Ventuno, where the tables are pushed to the outskirts and the entire awning is filled with all your friends and soon to be new buddies. You’re all packed in like sardines, listening to hit tunes as the Ketel-sodas and Bud lights are flowing around like Nantucket water. (And after that inevitable last call, you dial a taxi again for that necessary cab ride home!)

You’re in the mood for a really, really, really good dessert and an after dinner drink. You want to see a little bit of the scene but you aren’t into a full night out on the town. Where can you go for a little lounge feel?
You go directly to DUNE restaurant on 20 Broad Street. With a great selection to satisfy any sweet tooth, DUNE mixes up all kinds of house made concoctions like a cheese plate with four different cheeses, drizzled in honey and garnished with figs and candied walnuts. Or is you’re in a more sweet than savory mode, try their trio of decadent chocolate mini portions, or a blueberry mint creme brûlée.  You’ll also find a a handful of homemade ice creams with flavors like pear-honey, chocolate-bourbon and my personal favorite, bacon-maple which needs to be tested out on every bacon lover in the world.

With all the shifting and changing of our island eateries, 2012 is sure to be a banner (and oh-so-delish) year on our Nantucket!

Holly Finigan has worked all over the island, from slinging drinks behind the bars of LoLa 41, Corazon del Mar, and the Brant Point Grill, to writing about her love for the island in the Inquirer Mirror, Mahon About Town, and on her popular blog the Nantucket blACKbook. You can read more of her writings at www.hollyblACKbook.blogspot.com or check out her website about all things hip and fresh at www.nantucketblACKbook.com.

When she is not writing amongst the dunes at Tristams Landing or gabbing with her girlfriends at Centre Street Bistro, you can find her bartending upstairs at Ventuno in what she affectionally refers to as “Holly’s House.” Want to chat Nantucket with Holly? Email her at holly@nantucketblACKbook.com.

 

Great American Main Street

Travel+Leisure announced today that Nantucket is on their list of “America’s Greatest Main Streets.” To be on the list, a Main Street had to be “a distinctive Main Street—one with grand architecture, eclectic small businesses, and community-oriented features like a park or theater. Often it thrives thanks to locals who have made a conscientious effort to fight the general decline of Main Street.”

Here’s part of what they said about Main Street, Nantucket: “Lined with grand Greek Revival buildings, elm trees, and countless benches, the street’s mix of chic boutiques and old-fashioned storefronts (selling needlepoint belts, saltwater taffy, and anchor-shaped door knockers) leads right down to the busy harbor, once the world’s whaling capital.”

We think that Travel+Leisure chose well and would add that all of Nantucket’s downtown deserves recognition.  We applaud the Main Street businesses who remain open year-round to serve the island, despite the difficult economics of doing so.  Among these are the Nantucket Pharmacy, the Nobby Shop, Mitchell’s Book Corner and Nantucket Bookworks, Centre Street Bistro, Sweet Inspirations, Darya Salon, Petticoat Row Bakery, Jared Coffin House, Rose & Crown, Congdon’s Insurance & Real Estate, Murray’s Liquors, and all three banks..thank you for keeping Nantucket’s downtown alive and welcoming year-round.

 

 

 

To see more of Nantucket: http://www.nantucket.net/