THE BUZZ: August on Martha’s Vineyard is like a smorgasbord of culture, sun and fun. From fundraisers to festivals, there is an overflow of interesting things to do. The beauty of it is that you can also decide to do nothing at all!
Home base was in Oak Bluffs sharing a house with friends Sonia Banks and Diane Glover, as well as my nephew Daniel Kennedy. Thank you Karen Cole for a beautiful home. I loved the kitchen and even made some of my famous vegetarian minestrone soup. It was a good location for our purposes – close to the social action and the beach… as well as the Stop & Shop. I also taught yoga on our deck which was simply divine!
We did get to the other side of the island – to Aquinnah – for a birthday party. It is much more expansive and quiet – closer to where President Obama and his family stays in Chilmark. They came to town while we were there so there was a buzz on the island and a lot more traffic and security.
Most days, you could find us on the beach – State, South or Inkwell. Early mornings and some evenings, we were on Circuit Avenue for food mostly at Linda Jean’s for my Healthy Starter egg white omelette, Fat Ronnie’s for a veggie burger (no bun) or my lemon ginger tea at Mocha Mott’s which is an organic and fair trade cafe. We swung by Back Door Donuts but I stuck to my gluten-free ways. Sonia and Diane went to town on the glazed donuts, while I was enjoying the impromptu serenade by two young and quite talented musicians.
I snagged some beautiful items at C’est la Vie – one of the few African-American owned stores on the island. A charming Frenchman runs it. I bought a handful of unique bags, earrings and shirts. My sister Sheila Kennedy was one of the early co-founders of Goodhair.com and will LOVE the natural hair emphasis and the bag I got her!
Diane and Daniel took a walking tour of Martha’s Vineyard led my author/historian/educator Robert C. Hayden. Native Americans – the Wampanoag – were the original inhabitants of the island in the 1600s, and the island has been home to African Americans going back to the 18th century.
We ferried in which always provides a gorgeous view and I flew out to get to Tao’s 96th birthday party back in New York. Check out the pictures, as well as the coverage of the Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival, Martha’s Vineyard Summer Madness Music Festival and Conference, and the Harlem Fine Arts Show on Martha’s Vineyard.
I hadn’t been to the island for a while given my international travels as a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum but now I’m back there to stay – with the whole family in tow next time if we can coordinate schedules. I will not let too much time pass before another visit and perhaps even a regular (or even permanent) writing retreat. As my Italian friends would say, Ci vediamo presto… see you soon!!
FILM: We attended the Run & Shoot Filmworks 12th Annual Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival. I ran into friends and colleagues I haven’t seen for a while such as sisters Adrienne and Sharon Lopez, and author/filmmaker Nelson George. We also saw Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Check out pics/coverage.
MUSIC: We also helped out with the Martha’s Vineyard Summer Madness Music Festival and Conference. It is produced by MV Soul Concepts, LLC which includes my dear friend Norman B. Hall. Daniel assisted producer Jill Newman and got a picture with Lauryn Hill which was certainly his highlight. Check out pics/coverage.
FINE ARTS: We also popped our heads in the Harlem Fine Arts Show on Martha’s Vineyard. The Show featured art from around the world – 20 plus galleries and artists from the African Diaspora. They also featured a Golf Classic, an art lecture series, a youth empowerment day and Jazz and Blues Summerfest. Read more about it.
Also, check out pictures and coverage from the Nantucket Yoga Festival where I accompanied my (now) 96-year-old yoga master teacher, Tao Porchon-Lynch.