High Summer 2014

At My Window

By Emily Kennedy, EDITOR

High Summer 2014

Every day, maybe ten times a day, in our second floor suite on the corner of Main Street, Vineyard Haven, I make the modest trek from my desk to the water cooler and back again. (Sometimes, if I’m on a phone call, the paces swell into the dozens.) It’s a short little walk, thirty feet at best, but its greatest feature is the set of three towering windows that open (somewhat precariously, I should mention) out onto the street below. I call these the Richard Scarry windows, after the intricate, dynamic illustrations of Busytown that I used to love as a kid. It’s the ideal place to watch the day unfold: tourists dominoing off the ferry on the hour; Islanders queuing up by the post office at lunch; tiny skate-boarders whizzing by, burritos in hand; and the occasional someone I know approaching the building.

At the risk of sounding like some awful B-movie villain overlooking my domain, this window-view is often how I prefer to experience this, the height of the high season. There’s something quietly satisfying about feeling involved in all of the goings-on without feeling at all implicated in their happenings.

Though this is hardly a traditional desk job (something my desk-bound friends are quick to remind me). We have photoshoots of pickles on our rooftop (pages 8-9) after all, and visits to hidden kitchens in dreamscape backyards (pages 60-63); and, sometimes, I even find excuses to drive up to 7a, or Chilmark Tavern, or Behind the Bookstore, and not just to buy myself lunch. But, on the busiest office days, it’s the stories the writers tell me, and these three windows, that keep me feeling rooted to this rock. (Hey, remember the ocean?)

I was on the phone the other night with one of a group of friends who had visited for the 4th of July weekend. I wanted to talk about all of it—hours spent at Great Rock Bight, and escaping the rain into the Oak Bluffs arcade on the real 4th, and running along State Beach towards the fireworks on the 5th, and watching the World Cup at a bar with our backs to the water… and that one perfect meal that we ate, that one meal where we all got different, you know, fish things, but, wasn’t it just the best meal that you can remem—

“It wasn’t that good,” he cut me off. I could hear him scoffing all the way from Brooklyn.“Oh, don’t tell me about New York again,” I bit back. “I’m just saying,” he said. “It was lovely company, but it wasn’t the greatest meal.” I was silent, all of the way in Vineyard Haven, and he laughed. “Okay,” he said. “I’ll concede—it was pretty good.”

He’s wrong. It was the best.