Taste of the Vineyard Bucket List

I have been living and working on Martha’s Vineyardfor nearly 15 years now. The list of things to see and do on this island is literally never ending. Some may prefer the natural beauty the island offers, others the social activities. While I tend to favor the former, I recently attended one of the latter. The experience will be described in the following recollection, to the best of my ability.

A friend of mine recently shared that she had a “bucket list” of things she would like to do before she leaves the island. On that list was the “Taste of the Vineyard Gourmet Stroll”, which is an annual event in Edgartown. (http://www.mvpreservation.org/p.php/preservation/happening/taste-of-the-vineyard-gourmet-stroll?_f=w) The shindig is actually a benefit for the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust. I am not familiar with this organization beyond what I read on their website, but it all sounds well and good. Now the “proceeds” are derived from the tickets, which cost $150 this year. For someone that spends less than that each month on groceries, it seems a bit much for several hours of “tasting”, but not for the Vineyard. But I digress.

The day of the event I was “gifted” a ticket. Well I’m not one to let a free meal go to waste, so I was on the phone (okay I was texting) to my aforementioned friend; she already had her ticket. Plans were made; wear this, be there then, text me when you arrive. Now, I rarely go to Edgartown. Parking on a normal day “in season” is a fiasco and this would just be worse. If you know the street layout you can park and walk a block or two and still be able to make a left turn at the end of the event and escape the town without hitting gridlock. Aside from that, I rarely iron a Brooks Brothers shirt for dinner, let alone don a tie, but I did for this. I know… imagine that.

Okay, so the line to get in was long and chaotic; poor planning mingled ticket holders with the “will call” attendees. Most guests dressed to impress, others not so much. Gold lame’ to ripped jeans, it was all there. (Hey, it’s the Vineyard way.) Once we were “in” the venue (tents with temporary flooring) it was quite apparent that every one of the several hundred ticket holders was in attendance. The place was PACKED. It reminded me of riding the 4/5/6 subway line on the Upper East Side during rush hour, except here those random hands you feel from time to time brushing up against you are merely reaching for food samples, I assure you. Then there was the noise. I’ve never been to a big city night club, but I can imagine this was on par; you needed to press your head against the person you were speaking to for then to hear you. This was not even near the dance floor, where the band was blasting the entire time.

Yes, there was food. Yes, there was beer and wine. Dozens of vendors with samples for all; as much as you could handle, or should I say get your hands on. The shuffle of people around the venue was like a conga line with tapas and alcohol. By the way, how can you go wrong with cheese and puff pastry? After ninety minutes or so of trying to sample while acknowledging people I knew, I retreated to a spot near the dance floor. Aside from a spell outside to give my eardrums a rest, I remained a safe distance from those people dancing and singing in front of the stage, just people watching. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves; a few even a little too much. By ten o’clock it was all over, crossed off the Vineyard bucket list. I wonder what’s next on that list…?


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