Things to Do in Martha's Vineyard

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An Oasis in Edgartown

BY RICK | 08 October 2009

park

No matter how much we love the Vineyard, there are times when it becomes so hectic that we need a break from the break we took here.  Crowds, heat, and noise conspire to drive us into sensory overload thus unraveling our reasons for coming here in the first place.  Edgartown, as much as I love it, is as prone to this phenomenon as any town on the Island.  (Though Five Corners at unloading time still sets the standard for MV insanity.)

 

While genuine isolation can be found up-island, on Chappy, and a few other places even during high season, there are times when I don’t want to travel that far to escape the hustle, bustle and tussle.  Fortunately, I know of the perfect outdoor oasis.  I share it here at the risk of exposing my secret.  (Let’s keep it to ourselves, shall we?)

 

Sequestered nicely between North Water Street, Summer Street, Winter Street and MainStreet, there is a block of quiet, calm and cool to be found right in the center of otherwise frantic Edgartown.  Behind the shops on those streets, a grassy respite awaits the overheated, overindulged tourist.

It’s just a small park with the usual accoutrements: grass, trees, benches and brick walkways.  Somehow, though, even on the steamiest of days, the shading oak trees keep this park cool and the surrounding buildings filter out the tumult of the streets.

 

This space has everything you’d need for a picnic… including ants.  (Nothing is perfect.)  My tastes, however, lean toward the decidedly more quiescent.  An ice cream cone or bag of “penny” candy is the perfect repast for me while I lounge in the shade.

 

Birds sing in the trees, oblivious to the craziness just a few flaps of the wing away.  A passing squirrel may shyly scamper by seeking his own shelter.  There are no bikes to dodge or mopeds to lag behind.  Just an occasional pedestrian passing through. There are no souvenirs, no food for sale – nothing to spend money on at all.  In other words, it has everything I need for a fleeting vacation from my vacation.

 

I never linger too long in this park.  Somehow, that would spoil the effect for me.  I simply sit or lie on the lawn, cool down, recharge, then head out to do battle once more with the madding throng.

 

I require an extra long break if I’m coming from Five Corners, though.