Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Tanks for the Beer, Long Trail"

In late July of this year while in Vermont I had a chance to stop by the "Long Trail Brewery" and tour their bottling operation which is quite automated although there were a crew of humans who were stapling together cardboard boxes for the cases of beer. I wonder why they didn't automate the making of the cardboard cases but they probably wanted some people around in case the beer assembly line went "haywire" so someone could shut down the beer production if needed. After visiting the brewery I had a "Long Trail Beer" along with an assortment of a dozen "chicken wings". under the watchful eye of the stuffed moose head. "Tanks for the beer,Long Trail".

"Driftwood Chandelier Eye View at the Crue"

During my recent Nantucket Island visit I had lunch at the Crue Restaurant located right on Nantucket harbor at 1 Straight Wharf. They have an interesting "driftwood and glass chandelier in the dining room so I took a picture and also a photo of the lobster roll and fries meal I had with a "pumpkin flavored beer". I guess the meal photo would be close to what the chandelier would see looking down from the ceiling if it had eyes. The Crue restaurant has a wide variety of different oysters on the menu but these Oysters were priced at I believe $3.50 per oyster which was more than I was willing to pay unless they would guarantee a pearl in with the oyster. Yes, to me, $3.50 per oyster seemed too much even with the "million dollar view location" as believe it or not for that price they don't even heat up or cook the oyster as they expect you to eat it raw.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Nantucket Street Scenes (The Best Island in the World)

Nantucket Island, former whaling capital of the world, has preserved many of the former sea captain homes in the downtown area. Preserved as well are the cobblestone streets. Here are a few photos of the downtown area. The brick Pacific National Bank has an interesting mural in the lobby area but they wouldn't let me photograph it. I was thinking maybe they though I was doing advance work on a potential bank robbery (not that I would) but then thought they probably wanted to protect the privacy and identity of their customers.

National Geographic has named Nantucket Island "the best island in the world". Now. I don't know if that would be my opinion not having been to all the world's islands but it definitely is a nice place to visit. I know a million dollars doesn't go too far on Nantucket and I have met many "caretakers" during my home insurance inspections that appear like "regular people" who meet me for inspections for home owners who have seasonal and second homes on Nantucket. They tell me, "Oh, my property is probably worth two million or so, but I don't want to sell as I like the lifestyle over here and it is a good place to raise my family". The problem with selling your property if you live on Nantucket and want to stay there is that most other properties are of similar price range so you can only realize your value if you decide to leave Nantucket and live somewhere else.

Nantucket is pretty well kept up with minimal litter and no real "slummy or shanty town areas". There is a land bank in place where a percentage of each real estate transfer at the "closing "is assessed and the monies collected from this transfer assessment are used to purchase land for conservation so that the island doesn't become overly developed. This makes each property on the 14 mile island retain a high market value.

My only concern if I were to live on Nantucket would be the planning needed to leave the island whether by boat or plane as you just can't drive off Nantucket unless you have one of those "amphibious cars" which I don't think I would trust as Cape Cod is about 30 miles away and you wouldn't want to risk getting "swamped" by a big wave. I suppose if you had a helicopter at your disposal you could come and go as you please.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cromartie Gallery Nantucket Revisited "Hard Edge Realism"

I revisited the gallery of James Cromartie renowned for the painting style known as "hard edge realism". (See the You tube video below". I first met Mr. Cromartie in August of 2009 on a trip to Nantucket that year. I decided to go to his gallery/studio again this September but to my surprise I couldn't seem to locate at first his studio as I wandered aimlessly around the Nantucket waterfront with a couple of friends from the Montreal, Canada area who had never been to Nantucket. I thought to myself "Hmm, why can't I seem to find the gallery? I guess I better see if one of the other gallery owners can steer me in the right direction". I found out from one such gallery owner that Mr. Cromartie  had moved his studio/gallery to "Old South Wharf". We found the gallery and above you can see photos of one of his completed paintings and his latest "work in progress". Mr. Cromartie wasn't at his studio for this visit but the fellow at the gallery did mention that there is talk that a documentary is in progress for the "Discovery Channel " for the review of James Cromartie's "Hard edge realism" style of painting. In the above paintings one can note the attention to detail of virtually every blade of grass as well as the shadow created by the grass and flowers and the sun.

Now, I'm not a painter myself, but, it sure must take a steady hand, trained eye for detail, patience, and a tiny brush to complete these paintings which are almost photographic quality. This master artist has been living on Nantucket year round for approximately 35 years and has had a definite impact on the art world with his "hard edge realism" style of painting.

Cromartie's Nantucket - TRAILER

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cranberry Fudge

I fly over to Nantucket Island from Hyannis on Cape Cod fairly often for insurance inspections. I only seem to take the "slow boat" to Nantucket about once every 5 years lately as I took the boat over in August of 2009 and then in September of 2014. Each time I take the Hyline boat to Nantucket I find myself going to"Aunt Leah's" Fudge shop for some cranberry fudge. Here is a photo of the two selections I chose; cranberry walnut and chocolate cranberry. The fudge isn't cheap ( $9.99/ for 1/2 pound) but it sure is good. The cranberry walnut fudge with the walnuts is good for your heart and I'm told cranberries have "anti-oxidant" properties which are good I guess for combating "free radicals" in your body. Aunt Leah is a "fudge packer" so, if you want to try some good fudge, they can ship some out to you from their web site or give them a call.

"Nantucket Seagulls Down On Their Luck"

I find it quite sad that on an affluent island like Nantucket there are poor seagulls that are "down on their luck" and reduced to begging and asking for help outside the downtown Nantucket shops. Just look at these two poor birds who appear too weak to even sit on the nearby bench or steps. They both look like they are suffering from jaundice with their yellow faces, beaks, and eyes. They both look "green around the gills" and also seem to be suffering from poor circulation with their blue and purple legs. These poor gulls also seem to have lost a lot of their feathers and appear to reduced to not much more than skeletons. They do seem to retain the ability to write a legible note and maybe they should pick themselves up off the ground and try to get a job as a calligrapher or something. I told these seagulls they should consider going "off island" to either a big city where there is plenty of food scraps on the streets or head down to the beach where they can try to catch some crabs, little fish,  mussels, or clams. Unfortunately, these seagulls appeared too weak to even get up off their feet. Downtown Nantucket is just too clean and free of trash and discarded food scrap that these these seagulls are literally starving to death. For my part, I tried to feed them some popcorn but they were too weak to even swallow. So sad. At least they still have their purple hats to protect themselves from the sun.