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Ice Cream & Candy Bazaar

It’s becoming obvious to everyone I meet that I’ve been away from the Vineyard way too long.  Lately, I’ve been cranky, rude, short-tempered, and sleeping fitfully.  Those are not the real reasons they can tell.  I’m always like that.  I think it’s the fact that I announce to everyone I meet, “I’ve been away from the Vineyard way too long!!!”  Yeah, that’s a dead giveaway.
Pouting by Clarity-resized-600

Seriously, my mind meanders even more often than usual these days.  Though I sit staring at my computer screen, I dream that I’m relaxing on that bench on Edgartown Harbor munching on chocolate-covered pretzels bought from the Ice Cream and Candy Bazaar.  The gentle tide slaps against the seawall where a huge, graceful swan glides by hoping for a handout from an eager and enchanted child.  I lean back to let the sun warm my face while the Chappy Ferry fights the tide created by  the breach at Norton Point.

Alas, those days are buried deep in my past and cast even further in my future.  My year is broken up into two parts: the remembrance of Vineyard past (apologies to Monsieur Proust) and anticipation of Vineyard future.  That’s generally enough to keep me going, but I’m pushing it this year.  For a variety of reasons, I’ve had to forgo a couple of potential trips this year, so I’m left in withdrawal today.

What are the signs of MV withdrawal?  You come upon some sand on the side of the road and have an inordinate desire to strip down to your skivvies and lie on it.  When your child gets ready for a bath, you call out, “Watch out for the riptide!”  You start to mispronounce Katama.  You hear a horn beep in traffic and look for a ramp to board the ferry.

Let me clarify one thing.  I do have a life.  It’s just that visiting Martha’s Vineyard enhances that life. Even a short respite on the island is enough to recharge my batteries.  Just like one dog year is seven human years, two island days is equivalent to a week’s vacation elsewhere.  I don’t mean to disparage other vacation spots.  I think we all have our “special places”, our sanctuaries, where relaxation and peace simply come easier to us.  Guess where mine is?

(editors note: If you are missing Edgartown too much, check in on the webcam to keep an eye on the harbor)

 

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown

Chocolate eggs by sister72

Chocolate.  The mere word conjures up all manner of sensations: images, scents – even moods.  But most of all tastes.  It is part of our diet and part of our culture.  Consider the phrases that have entered the vox populi:

When the going gets tough, the tough get chocolate.
Chocolate: It’s not just for breakfast anymore.
Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.
All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt!

It’s bad for your waistline but a good source of anti-oxidants. And it tastes like heaven.  We rationalize and take the oh-so-good with the bad.

So what does all this have to do with Martha’s Vineyard?  Well, MV is a chocolate lover’s dream, with several places to go to meet one’s Recommended Daily Allowance of Brown Gold.  (Sorry, but the white stuff simply isn’t chocolate.)  Below, find a brief compendium of chocolate oriented destinations:

In Edgartown, the Ice Cream and Candy Bazaar reigns, partly for its selection of yummy chocolate treats but also for its location: right on the harbor.  (See my post from July for a paean to that place.)  Added bonuses are the ice cream and fun penny candy… none of which costs a penny. This is the Vineyard, after all!

Oak Bluffs holds a treasure in Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium.  One of four locations – the others being Falmouth, Northampton, MA and Bar Harbor – this place has a huge variety of chocolate and chocolate-covered delights, from truffles to turtles.  My daughter swears by the chocolate-covered gummy bears.  I’ll take her word for it since I am not gummiverous.  Ice cream is offered at the Circuit Avenue location as well.  That alone is worth the trip.

Finally, there’s Chilmark Chocolates.  As the name would suggest, this is a chocolate store.  No ice cream, no drinks, no penny candy, no web site, no scenic seating area, no room to move.  This place is all about the chocolate.  Period.  But it doesn’t need anything else.  The delicacies are all hand made or hand-dipped and they are all delicious.

One thing I love about Chilmark Chocolates is that they know we need them more than they need us.  They make that clear through a variety of means:  First of all, they are never open.  OK, that’s an exaggeration, but not much of one.  They are only open a few days a week, a few hours a day.  And they invariably close during the busiest week of the summer! (A side effect of the limited availability is the often unlimited lines.)  Second, their location up island is relatively remote compared to the likes of Circuit Ave., Upper Main Street, or Five Corners.  Finally, the store is really just a short corridor. Walk in one side and out the other.  There is nowhere else to go.

But there is nowhere else you need to go, because along that corridor is a glass enclosed display of the finest chocolate treats you are likely to find anywhere.  And they are surprisingly reasonably priced.

Finally, know that when you patronize Chilmark Chocolates, you are supporting a business that was created to (and still does) employ disabled workers.  What could be better than buying and eating the world’s best chocolate as your good deed for the day?

 

Where do you get your chocolate fix?

Photo by sister72

 

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown

I suppose everyone has their favorite Vineyard spot.  For some, it’s a place to appreciate the beauty of creation and be alone with their thoughts.  The less contemplative among us might, to lift a line from Ms. Lauper, “just wanna have fun” and so seek out a more active corner of the Island.  At the risk of exposing it to others, I’d like to share some thoughts on my special spot.

Down on Edgartown Harbor, behind a parking lot, a row of benches stand sentry on the dock.  Occupying one of those seats is, for me, the ultimate in Vineyard leisure.  Now, you wouldn’t think that a parking lot would lend itself to a relaxing respite.  However, with my back to the asphalt, facing the waters of Edgartown Harbor, I can forget what’s behind me… in more ways than one.

On my rude bench – though not so rude since the old corroding wooden benches were replaced – I lose myself in thought, soak up the sunshine, and absorb the ever-changing, diverting spectacle on the waters before me.

The sights are wonderful.  Launches come and go.  Ducks and even the odd swan swim up looking for handouts.  Mad Max sits patiently, riding the swells while awaiting its next set of patrons.  The On Time ferry does its curious commute from Edgartown to Chappy and back, all the while fighting the current created by the breach at Norton’s Point.  Sunshine sets fire to the restless harbor waters making them look like a troupe of dancing diamonds.

One of the most spellbinding sights I’ve encountered was a seagull cracking open a crab shell by dropping it over and over from high in the air onto the dock until the meat was easily accessible.  He earned that meal.

While the view alone is sufficient to stimulate my reverie, all my senses are involved.  The calls of the birds ring over the slapping of the waves against the seawall.  The aroma of fare being cooked up at a local eatery wafts over the scent of seawater.  The feeling of the hot sun on my skin is relieved by a cool breeze off the water.

To satisfy the taste sensation, however, I have to take matters into my own hands.  Thankfully, the wondrous Ice Cream & Candy Bazaar (an institution worthy of its own blog entry!) is conveniently located directly on the dock.  The picture is thus made perfect with an ice cream treat, a bag of penny candy, or – my personal favorite – a mix of chocolate covered pretzels and cookie dough.

And I don’t even have to drop it on the dock to get at it!

Image courtesy of Chris Vandyck

 

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown