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“I read that column of yours,” he said as he finished his patty-melt during a busy LoLa lunch. “At first I thought, ‘what the hell does this girl know about Nantucket’?” he grimaced, looked away and muttered, “but I guess you do write good.”
As a new extra-cheerful year-rounder, I’ve recently realized there seems to be a little hesitancy from a few locals to other “newer” locals. I consider myself pretty “in the know” when it comes to this island. As a bartender, I often felt like people just sat with me to learn where to go and not go, and just thought the quick buzz was a bonus. But after a January here, I felt a little resentment from friends sarcastically naming me “hunkered down Holly” and letting me know by Facebook message that spending a week in St John and Christmas in the Bahamas made me that much less of a year-rounder.
I think we all can agree that Nantucket is quite the special place. Once you get comfortable here, you often find yourself telling the tourists what they want to hear while keeping all those “Nantucket’s best-kept secrets” to yourself. (Ahem! Maddequecham…) But as a winter resident, I’ve recently wondered if the locals are doing to me what I see done to summer people, keeping those little hidden gems to themselves. Maybe they think I’m just a winter tourist!
So I decided over the last month to do a little R&D of my own. Here are some of my new winter findings:
Holly Finigan’s winter hot spot is the Atheneum. Honestly, I’ve always thought this, but how amazing is our library? Free Internet! All the latest Islands and InStyle magazines! More movies than I could ever watch, even during the dullest of winter months! I took out two travel books and a new(ly) released DVD last Tuesday and it made my whole week!
I’ve found that I can have a $5 burger at three different restaurants, three different nights of the week. I by no means usually dine on a budget, but this makes it even more affordable to go out on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays!
She shops Saturday sales. Say that ten times fast! Sure, our stores may have some serious various hours and days, but how great are the sales downtown right now? With the holidays over, I finally feel like I can buy myself something. Oh OK, with half-off shoes and 40-percent-off jewelry, maybe I can buy myself some very nice things!
Petticoat Row. Yes, it’s the name of that beautiful bakery on Centre Street (yes! it’s year-round!) but also, the other Petticoat Row, whose monthly meeting I recently attended. After this women-in-business group’s gathering, I felt empowered by this extraordinary group of ladies who all flourish on Nantucket and want to help other women do the same.
You can see me driving Thelma and Louise style to get to that Cisco cliff for sunset. In the summer, it’s Madakat for me, but now Cisco has my heart and my gorgeous photos since that Jack Frost came to town.
Looks like three established dining spots will each have a new sister restaurant this year. I love being in the “know” here in Nantucket restaurant industry now.
My new Sanford Farm walk is now the Miacomet Pond trail. A beautiful walking trail directly to my favorite beach? I’m lacing up my sneakers right now.
And finally, you know what I’ve found? I smile. A lot. Not just because I love this island and have been happy to “hunker down” here while so many others have opted to globe-trot. It’s because I’ve found nothing more appealing than a work commute with no traffic, an afternoon stroll along the quiet cobblestones, and a pot-luck dinner and a Whales Tale with some good friends to celebrate our very own ACK TGIF.
And for all those out there who still think “what the heck do I know about Nantucket?” or those who wish to make me more in the Nantucket know … you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– “Finigan’s Findings” appears regularly in this spot and periodically in The Inquirer and Mirror