The Oak Bluffs founding Land and Wharf Company did the job so well in building the fledgling new town that by 1877 Oak Bluffs had become widely thought of as Martha’s Vineyard. That’s why a number of us decided not to leave, some stay half of the year, some come summer and many more for the first time each year.

Welcome to paradise for first timers and welcome home if you’re returning.

A writer for Porter’s American Monthly, enamored, called it “America’s newest watering place. Oak Bluffs exceeded our anticipation...the walks along its borders having no equal, within our knowledge, except that of the Cliffs at Newport. The cottages are numerous, large and attractive...spacious, tasty and expensive mansions.”

Well, Victorian writers had a tendency towards hyperbole but we understand.

There are several new things needing your attention and different from years past. Several will require time to enjoy.

The North Bluff project combines a wooden boardwalk between the steamship dock and the harbor, well worth a visit bookended by stops at the Lookout Tavern, the harbor side restaurants, and the new fish market behind Jim’s Package Store and gas station.

The new fence lining Town Beach and the Inkwell heading south beside Ocean and Waban parks is worth at least a modicum of time as is the new sidewalk along Dukes County avenue from Tony’s market to the harbor.

Niantic Park is open with its many improvements, from the playground to the basketball courts. I understand the courts were christened by long time baller and present candidate for sheriff, Marc Rivers and his friend Coach Schofield. The timing was immaculate for Battle in the Bluffs, the newly expanded weekend led by Oak Bluffs kids Ian and Kia Minor who make it their business to give back to the community. The All Star game is Friday, July 1, and the youth basketball clinics run all summer long. Saturday events feature connective workshops and a barbecue and fashion show.

On Sunday there’s fun for all at the Barn Bowling and Bistro celebrating the fifth annual BITB, as they call it.

Erin and Ava Goldson, Nick Crews, Ariel Weekes and his sisters Rykiel and Aixa and a group of Oak Bluffs 30-somethings have devoted their attention to the Vineyard Arts Project, hosting its annual soiree in Edgartown at 215 Upper Main Street Saturday, July 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets for the fundraiser are $35 and you can be sure it will be the coolest event/hot ticket of the day with twin DJ’s AndrewAndrew. For more information visit

Folks raised right find ways to assist, and we should be proud of the service these young folks provide during the short time they get to enjoy the Island.

Zita Cousens opens Cousen Rose Gallery for the 37th year with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 2, and the Hon. Jeh Johnson, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security speaks at Union Chapel on Sunday, July 3.

Former police chief Joe Carter is taking part in the historic Frederick Douglas reading at the Edgartown Federated Church, 45 South Summer Street on Tuesday, July 5 at noon. That should be impressive given Mr. Carter’s new acting chops. Stop by the Edgartown Diner for chicken and waffles afterwards for lunch.

Next Friday, July 8, the Oak Bluffs Library hosts an educational workshop on leadership sponsored by the Inspiring Leadership Institute and All Children Can Learn, LLC. The free workshop is for teachers and educators seeking to elevate their careers and move into school leadership. The six and a half hour event is free, and lunch will be provided. For more information see or call 877-221-0749.

Jesse Williams, one of the cast members of TV’s Grey’s Anatomy ignited the BET Awards last week with an impassioned acceptance speech on racial politics when he received the annual Humanitarian Award. Mr. Williams is a board member of, the social justice organization founded by frequent visitor Harry Belafonte that enlists the support of influential artists and individuals to elevate the voices of the disenfranchised and promote justice, peace and equality. Mr. Belafonte’s youngest daughter Gina Belafonte and musician Max Roach’s son Raoul Roach are co-directors of the organization. They have been visiting the Island for some time and anticipate hosting an event here to further the cause. Their goals are close to the heart of my daughter, Kharma, a social media maven who has apparently been well raised by my wife. It’s heartwarming to see Oak Bluffs’ youngsters working hard to give back.

Happy Fourth of July; seems we seceded from the British just in time.

Keep your foot on a rock.

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