Project Summer

Project Summer: Week 9


JULY 19: I was lazy today, but not so lazy that I didn’t take a picture at all. Hooray! I biked into downtown OB, near the harbor, on a Friday night to see what I could see. It was, as per usual, very busy. Cell phone photo.


JULY 20: The reason I have been biking is because my twelve-year-old car, with its 270,000 miles on it, died last week. I bought a new (well, new-old) one off-Island but couldn’t bring it back right away because there was no space on any of the ferries. So I kept using my friend’s bike to get around. I took this photo when I was on my way to my morning job in Vineyard Haven (doing baking things). The sun was actually far more pink, but my cell phone can only capture so much.


JULY 21: This morning when I was getting ready to head off to Vineyard Haven I spotted this girl on my street! It made me glad to be biking, because if I’d been in my car I would never have gotten the photo. You would think the deer would retreat into the state forest with so many people in Oak Bluffs in the summer, but apparently they can make it work. Cell phone photo.

JULY 22: Saw this gentleman while standing in line for the bus in Vineyard Haven. I just loved his festive blue double-bass backpack. Cell phone photo.

JULY 23: I was helping out with photography for a massive coastal erosion project the paper did this summer, and was trying to get high enough up to show just how narrow the barrier road is that separates the ocean (on the left) from the pond (on the right) is. I didn’t really succeed, but I did get a nifty motion blur photo.

JULY 24: Bridge jumpers at Second Bridge (next to you watch Jaws, look for it! It’s the bridge the shark swims under to get in the pond). This came out very well considering I took it from a moving bus.

JULY 25: I started work on a long enterprise story today, and was in Menemsha at the Copperworks when I saw this creation of Scott McDowell’s. When you turn the crank, the big fish “eats” the other one. It’s all handmade, and very nifty.


JULY 21:

Project Summer: Week 8

JULY 12: I went to the Edgartown Library to pick up a few books I had on hold, and there was a concert happening on the front lawn! Cell phone photo.


JULY 13: The next day, I photographed another concert, which featured a guitarist from Boston (my go-to writing music in the newsroom), a drummer from the James Brown Band and a session musician for Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers. The light was absolutely terrible; I shot this at 1/13 of a second, ISO 3200. Yipes.



JULY 14: July 14 was perhaps one of the longest days I’ve ever had. I woke up to go into my morning job at 5:30, a half-hour earlier than normal, so I could leave early to go to a freelance assignment, which was fluke fishing. I was on the boat from 7 a.m. to about 3:30 p.m., but the last three hours were basically spent sitting on the floor of the boat completely and utterly seasick. Those open water waves will get you. After we got back, I made it home to get some food in my belly, then had a late afternoon assignment covering goats, and then had a housewarming party to stop by. I think I got home for real around 8 p.m. This photo is from pre-seasickness on the fluke boat.


JULY 15: Tonight I covered a Chamber Music Society concert at the Old Whaling Church. I got scolded for moving around too much while the musicians were playing, even though I was up in the balcony most of the time. Oh well. Look at that sunset!


JULY 16: This week’s selectmen meeting in Tisbury drew a much larger than normal number of people, all there to discuss the view at the Tashmoo Overlook. I did not know such things as “viewshed easements” existed before I started covering town government.


JULY 17: I took this while walking home from the bus stop in Oak Bluffs and thought it was interesting because I’d never actually stopped to look at the Camp Ground and the Tabernacle from this little hill. I was also kind of surprised that nobody else was on this path. A little slice of breathing room in OB!


JULY 18: I got off the bus in OB and was immediately struck by a very pressing question: what the heck are those guys doing out there in the water? Is it a meeting? An exercise class? I have no idea, but I’ve recorded it for posterity.

Project Summer: Week 6

JUNE 28: My favorite time of summer is when the snap peas are in season. Just-picked peas from Morning Glory Farm (or Norton Farm) are about as good as it gets.


JUNE 29: Pancake breakfasts are a staple fundraiser here, especially for off-Island trips. The Little League All-Stars held one on a drizzly Saturday morning to raise money for their trip to Baltimore and the Cal Ripken Stadium. The breakfast took place at the Federated Church in Edgartown, and one of the players decided to tinker around on the piano in the parish house. Renaissance boys!


JUNE 30: Photographed a reception for a very neat event today–the Trustees of Reservation, a land preservation group, and the Vineyard Artists’ Association hosted a Paint-Out, and artists went out onto beautiful Trustess properties across MV to paint what they saw. Some of the projects that were later exhibited, like the above one, had been created in advance but were no less interesting. This is a rendering of a Trustees overland vehicle pass, created by Brian Kirkpatrick, an artist I met my very first summer here.


JULY 1: I went roaming around the Oak Bluffs Harbor this evening and came across these cute dogs on their boat in the water. I asked their owners if I could take a photo, and the girls tried to pose the Yorkies…but that didn’t work so well. Cell phone photo.


JULY 2: I worked on a massive enterprise piece about the Steamship Authority, the ferry line that is essentially responsible for keeping the Island afloat, for more than two weeks. You can read the piece here. It was a fantastic project to work on because I got to write and photograph it, and it was very fun to ride around on the boats and search for new ways of seeing something that Vineyarders see…pretty much every day. This was taken in Woods Hole, as the Island Home comes in to dock.



JULY 3: An outtake from the Steamship project. This was taken at the Oak Bluffs terminal.


JULY 4: We don’t get the Fourth of July off in the newsroom–but we do get to cover nifty things like the Edgartown parade. I’m including two photos today because one is of our sweet Gazette vintage truck! My coworkers handed out more than a thousand free newspapers over the route, and had a blast doing so. The first picture was an outtake that never made it into the paper because the float went by before I could get the girl’s name (sigh).  FUN FACT: This is the fourth year that I’ve shot the parade, which is a little crazy to think about.

Project Summer: Week 7


JULY 5: A disproportionate amount of these photos are from Oak Bluffs, because that’s where I live, and at the end of the day it’s my go-to location for photos. I stopped by the Inkwell Beach on my way home from work on Friday to take a nap and read my Sports Illustrated (it was supposed to be the reverse order, but I was tired…), and took this picture while I was there.



JULY 6: Right around this time of the summer you started to see a lot of fundraising events show up on the MV calendar. One of them was the Sail MV seafood buffet and auction, which I had never covered before. I do, however, cover the sailing team that Sail MV funds, and it was nice to see how much money was raised for the kids on the team this evening. Since I was covering the event I couldn’t partake in the tasty buffet part, but that lobster looked pretty tasty…


JULY 7: More work from the Steamship project. I decided to ride the ferries on the Sunday after the Fourth, when everybody would be traveling back to the mainland–I’d never seen the boats that crowded before. People were sitting in the windowsills below decks! But the best part of this ride over was definitely these guys. I saw the carrier when everybody was lined up to leave, and thought there would be a cat inside, but nope- ferrets! So I had to take their picture, and happily one of the photos made it into the final edit. Ferrets on a ferry is almost as good as goats on a boat.


JULY 8: The Tisbury Street Fair is a crowded affair; it feels like the entire Island is packed onto Main Street to eat fried dough and shop the sales. But midway through the event, people backed up to give Johnny Hoy and Bluefish space to perform.


JULY 9: I left work for the day without having a photo under my belt (it was ‘Write Steamship Story’ day), so I took the long way home and stopped by the East Chop Lighthouse. The lighthouses–there are six on the Island–are very popular locales for family portraits, and that’s just what was happening when I showed up.


JULY 10: Another day, another last-minute photo taken. It helps when one of the Black Dog tall ships is anchored offshore, though.


JULY 11: I got a last-minute assignment to go photograph Jim Belushi (he’s a summer resident here) doing improv with the local teen troupe here. I wrote a piece on the IMP teens earlier this year, before they participated in the Chicago Improv Festival, and they are damn funny, so it was fun to watch their zaniness bounce off Belushi’s energy.


Project Summer: Week 5

JUNE 21: After yet another week of rain, the sun came out for the first day of summer! I am posting two photos today to make up for the Week Three’s Thursday failure. The first was just a people-watching moment at the Inkwell, the second an enterprising kiddo from New Jersey who collected shells and rocks, painted them in festive colors, and sold them to earn money for the arcade. He made quite a few sales, too–helps when your product is low-cost yet pretty.


JUNE 22: I went to the Little League championship games today, which were a ton of fun. There’s both a minor league and a major league game, and they both have their selling points…pretty much anything can happen in the minors (like this ball in the above photo), and the scores are generally much higher because nobody has quite mastered pitching yet. The majors are much more polished, and typically are all about pitchers’ duels, although that didn’t happen this year. In both cases, the number one team from the season walked away with the championship. No upsets!


JUNE 23: Rise dancers present their teachers with thank-you bouquets after their annual summer performance. The show is long, but the dancers are immensely talented and the choreography and costumes wicked impressive. I finally maneuvered into a decent seat in the auditorium right at the end of the show, so this was one of the photos I  liked best.


JUNE 24: I wrote a story this week about fast food on Martha’s Vineyard, and since there are no actual franchise fast food places here, I went to a lot of clam shacks. This was at the Quarterdeck in Edgartown, where they have fried Oreos…


JUNE 25: This week was a bit of a slam for me, and I forgot to take photos on Wednesday AND Thursday. So today gets three photos, all from the clam shacks project. The first is at Nancy’s in OB, on the harbor, the second a delicious lobster roll (YUM), and the third a photo of James and Faith and their daughter at their shack up on the Aquinnah cliffs. Portraits are not exactly my strong suit, so I was very happy with how the last one turned out.

Project Summer: Weeks 3 and 4

JUNE 7: The Vineyard Sound, an all-boys a cappella group that performs throughout the summer all around the Island, had their first concert today during the Chilmark School Community Lunch. The lunches take place four times a year, and the kids invite members of the community to come eat with them. The meal itself is made almost entirely with local ingredients (I think the quinoa was the only exception), with all the veggies coming from the school garden.


JUNE 8: And here’s where the farm-to-table starts- the West Tisbury Farmer’s Market, which opened today. This year opening day was rainy and grey–as much of the ‘summer’ has been so far, but all things considered, turnout was still good.


JUNE 9: I knew I was going to make another exception to the ‘no photos from my personal life’ once high school graduation rolled around, and here it is! My youngest cousin (who was born and raised on the Vineyard) got her diploma today! I am beyond proud of her, and so excited for her to take on college next year. It is also totally crazy that all of my cousins and I are now finished with high school.


JUNE 10: One of my beats is the town of Tisbury, and on Monday the selectmen had a disciplinary hearing for a police officer (she’s not in this picture). The hearing was closed to the public at her request, so I had to wait three hours outside the town hall for the session to conclude so I could get the decision. I wish I had taken a photo of the skunk friend I saw (twice!) while I was waiting around, but this will have to do.


JUNE 11: The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks opened their season today, initing all of the Little League kiddos to come for free. The college players are incredibly generous to the younger kids, signing hats and baseballs, and just taking the time to talk. This particular game got rained out (surprise!), but there are 50 more this summer, so I’m sure the kids will be back.


JUNE 12: We have some pretty nice sunsets here–not just in the summer, but throughout the year. Most people will say that the up-Island towns–Menemsha, Aquinnah–have the best sunsets, but I think that West Chop can hold its own.


JUNE 13: WOMP. I knew Thursdays were going to be the most difficult today to take a photo, since that’s a major deadline day…and today I didn’t get any in. I am making up for today next week, on JUNE 21, the real first day of summer. There’ll be two photos on that day.


JUNE 14: Flip-flops outside of the Nashua Hotel in Oak Bluffs. Cell phone photo.


JUNE 15: Seniors Natty and Jackson walk off the ferry boat after helping the Vineyard to its second straight state title in boys’ tennis. The Vineyard had never won any sort of state title in tennis until last year, and, because the team was all juniors and a sophomore, all of the players were back this year. As one told me, there was no reason not to win again. I took the bus up with them to Worcester to the final match, and when we all got back they were greeted by a (very noisy) fully reception from the emergency departments, with fire and police sirens blaring and wooping. I’ve been photographing the tennis postseason since I started at the paper four years ago, when a few of the kids had just made the team, and feel incredibly lucky that I’ve gotten to cover a state championship winning group throughout its entire career.


JUNE 16: Travel soccer is big here–one of the great mysteries of the Vineyard is how travel soccer, lacrosse, AND baseball manage to field full programs with such a relatively small youth population–and the Under-18 team had its first playoff game on Sunday. I was at the farm most of the day, but swung by this game on lunch. Most of the players are actually Under-16s, playing up, so that’s pretty cool.


JUNE 17: Saw this on the bulletin board at the cafe where I work in the morning. It’s great advice (for anybody, guy or girl)! Also, I like the “Guy With Pick Up” business card up in the corner. Cell phone photo.


JUNE 18: Ocean Park bike rack, completely full on a Tuesday afternoon. Must be vacation time!


JUNE 19: Story time at the Oak Bluffs Public Library includes playing with a parachute. The library is right up the street from my house, so I go there at least once a week, but this time I was there on assignment working on a story about the new children’s librarian.


JUNE 20: Noepe is the name the Wampanoags gave to the Island, and I learned last night, at this writer’s retreat party I was photographing, that I have been pronouncing it wrong my whole life. The difference an umlaut makes!

Project Summer- Week 2

MAY 31: Members of the girls’ varsity tennis team celebrate their first postseason win and final home game of the season with victory cupcakes. The tennis teams here are always the last squads standing in the spring (see JUNE 4).


JUNE 1: Saturday was National Trails Day, which the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank celebrates with a Cross-Island Hike (this year it was from Katama to Lambert’s Cove). I could only do half of the hike because I had an afternoon assignment, but my friends walked all 20+ miles! The photo is of the far side of Sengekontacket Pond; on the horizon you can see the barrier beach that separates it from the Atlantic Ocean.


JUNE 2: Here’s one of my favorite things about working for a small newspaper on a small Island: this is Jack, the high school valedictorian–and tri-sport captain, and future Sharks baseball player (see JUNE 5). I photographed him during my first staff assignment for the paper (second photo down) and, because I cover high school sports, have been reporting on the various athletic accomplishments since then. And it was great to be able to pull everything together into the valedictorian profile, which ran this week.


JUNE 3: ABC Family has filming a “reality” show called The Vineyard here for the past several weeks, and every time we see the cast and crews out and about we try to go photograph them In Action. On Monday, they were out quahogging on Sengekontacket (for reference, this is the opposite side of the pond from that in Saturday’s photo).


JUNE 4: The boys’ varsity tennis team has lost exactly one match since June of 2011. They were undefeated and Massachusetts Division 3 state champions last year; the starting seven lineup has been the same for the past two years. It’s pretty impressive, to say the least.


JUNE 5: The high school baseball field is also the home of the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks, a summer collegiate wooden-bat league. This year they did serious upgrades to the facilities, including new seats behind home plate (from Camden Yards, no less), and lights! The Sharks have never been able to play night games because of the lack of lights, which has hurt attendance, since during the day…everybody here wants to go the beach.


JUNE 6: Local duck eggs at Morning Glory Farm! I worked at Morning Glory eight years ago–as did my now-coworker Remy, as did several of the Island farmers who are just getting their businesses started. Cell phone photo.

Project Summer: Week One

I’m starting a personal project this season!

In grad school, I did a 30-Day Challenge, where I took one photo every day for thirty days. My friend Erin has done a photo a day every year for the past six years. That’s a little too much for me, so I’m keeping it focused to summer.

My start date for the project was last Friday, May 24, and I am going to continue until Wednesday, September 3. I started last Friday because that was when people started to arrive for the Memorial Day holiday. On the flip side, September 3 is two days after Labor Day, when The Season ends.

My goal beyond actually making myself take a photo every single day this season is to try to capture what exactly summer is here on the Vineyard. That means I am going to try to avoid taking photos from my own life (I already broke this when I took a photo at the alpaca farm the other day). There are plenty of other things here to photograph besides my cat and my dinner–for those photos, you can always check my Instagram!


MAY 24: The Tisbury School celebrates the Friday before Memorial Day with its March to the Sea, when the students walk down to Owen Park and drop flowers off the docks in honor of the dead. This year it rained, so they did the ceremony in the school gymnasium with the assurance that the flowers would make their way to the sea after the storm stopped.



MAY 25: Still raining when I went in for my day at the alpaca farm. Their back pen had a huge puddle form in it (to ruin the image a little bit, that puddle always forms right over their poop piles), and I liked their reflections. This has been an interesting weekend so far; it’s been chilly, so people are actually buying alpaca hats and things at the store, and then wearing them out. Cell phone photo.



MAY 26: In mid-May, the ferry starts to run between Woods Hole and Oak Bluffs. For most of the year, it only goes to Vineyard Haven. The Oak Bluffs docks are much more exposed to the wind and weather than the VH ones, which are within a harbor, hence the seasonal-only trips.



MAY 27: After the morning Memorial Day parade, which goes from the Foreign Legion building to Pine Grove cemetery, the town of Tisbury hosts a picnic at the Waterworks Park. Even though this is a holiday-weekend event, it’s something a lot of Islanders come to. One family told me they like it because they can come relax after all of their MemDay guests have left.

EXTRA BONUS NOTE: My very first assignment for the Gazette was the Memorial Day parade, four years ago.



MAY 28: Unless I have a meeting or other assignment, I drive by Ocean Park on my way home from work.  Today I saw these three Labs–one of each color, one old, one mid-age, one young–romping around with their owner (who I actually knew from an assignment two years ago. small world). I stopped to take their photo, and after a bit the two guys showed up with their Frisbee, which the dogs loved.



MAY 29: Another rainy May day. This is our new roundabout, as taken from the window of the bus as we were going around. The roundabout was wildly controversial when it was first proposed as a solution to traffic problems at one of the key four-way stops here. Then they actually installed it (in the process, the only light on MV was eliminated), and now everybody seems fine. I’m curious to see if it actually improves traffic flow over the rest of the summer.



MAY 30: Geneva and Calvin in their new bedroom after the ribbon-cutting of their home, part of the Island Housing Trust’s affordable housing community. The green, energy-efficient townhouse is part of a duplex project I’ve been following since they first broke ground two years ago, and the final product looks wonderful. Permanent, affordable housing on MV, particularly for younger people, is a huge challenge, and it’s always fantastic when projects like these are completed. In typical this-Island-is-very-small fashion, Geneva is also one of my co-workers at my morning cafe job. Hooray for new houses!