Nantucket’s “Wash-Ashores”

Editor’s note: The demographics of Nantucket have changed considerably since I arrived here for the first time in 1969. This spring, I attended a lecture at the Nantucket Historical Association’s Food For Thought Series at which Peter Morrison presented his analysis of the changes. I was so impressed at the clarity and importance of his work that I asked him if he could adapt the presentation for Mahon About Town. Here is the first in a series of graphical snapshots of a changing Nantucket.



Nantucket’s “Wash-Ashores”

One becomes a Nantucketer either through the lottery of birth or by choice. It’s a distinction with particular relevance for Nantucket, which attracts so many seasonal residents and temporary workers each year. This annual conveyor belt of people carries a select few whose fond attachments will eventually trigger a decision to make Nantucket their home.

How is this demographic amalgam remaking our community? The 2010 Census provides numerous insights into Nantucket’s changing demography. In this issue and those to follow, I’ll highlight how Nantucket’s Wash-Ashores are transforming our community.

This week’s focus: Nantucketers’ off-island origins. Nantucket is evolving into an immigrant entry port. The Island is very much a microcosm of demographic changes underway nationally.

Census 2010 counted 10,172 full-time Nantucket residents – persons who claim Nantucket as their “usual place of residence.” By the Census Bureau’s most recent (2008) measure, 15% of us are foreign-born, nearly double the 8% in 2000 (see chart 1 above – “More Foreign-Born Nantucketers”).

Islanders hailing from Caribbean and Central American origins account for about one in 10 of Nantucket’s foreign-born residents. Topping the list: roughly 400 Jamaicans and 400 Costa Ricans. Others include the 150 Eastern Europeans (mostly Bulgarians), plus about a dozen Nantucketers from each of the following origins: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, New Zealand, South Africa, and Vietnam.

Most foreign-born newcomers settling on Nantucket are not (yet) citizens, but their decision to put down roots here as a resident signals a clear intent.


Peter A. Morrison tracks demographic trends nationwide and here on Nantucket. Retired from RAND Corporation in California, he has been regular seasonal visitor since 1985 and settled on Nantucket in 2005. Peter serves on Nantucket’s Finance Committee and Energy Study Committee and as a director of the Nantucket Shellfish Association.

Nantucket’s Ethnic Mosaic


Nantucket’s Ethnic Mosaic

Peter Morrison

Nantucket’s full-time residents (those claiming Nantucket as their “usual place of residence”) numbered 10,172 as of April 2010–just a few hundred more than lived here in 2000. The vast majority of that increase reflects the arrival of hundreds of persons of Hispanic origin who’ve settled here in the past decade, broadening the racial and ethnic mosaic that characterizes our resident population. Here are some details (see chart below):

~ Nantucket’s full-time resident population includes 959 persons of Hispanic descent, more than quadruple the number a decade earlier.

~ Asian full-time residents number 118, double the number in 2000.

~ The number of African-Americans appears to be slightly lower, partly because more African-Americans report themselves under multiracial racial categories rather than exclusively African-American.

~ Indeed that multiracial category emerges as a more prominent one among youthful Nantucketers.

The student body in Nantucket’s public school system reflects the Island’s expanding Hispanic population. Hispanics’ share of NPS enrollments has risen from barely 3% in 2000 to an all-time high of around 13% (see chart).

Nantucket’s future is creeping in on tiny feet!


Peter A. Morrison tracks demographic trends nationwide and here on Nantucket. Retired from RAND Corporation in California, he has been regular seasonal visitor since 1985 and settled on Nantucket in 2005. Peter serves on Nantucket’s Finance Committee and Energy Study Committee and as a director of the Nantucket Shellfish Association.

2012 Nantucket Film Festival Program


Highlights:

“Brave” is the Opening Day Film; this year’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is the Opening Night Film, “Sleepwalk with Me” is the Centerpiece film, and “Your Sister’s Sister” is the Closing Night Film.

Rory Kennedy will receive the award for Special Achievement in Documentary Storytelling for “Ethel”.

Lucy Alibar and Behn Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) will receive the New Voices in Screenwriting Award.

Nancy Meyers will receive the 2012 Screenwriters Tribute Award, and longtime friend and collaborator Diane Keaton will present.

Festival passes are currently on sale on the Festival website, with individual tickets on sale on May 24.


2012 Screenwriters Tribute Award

Nancy Meyers’ first screenplay was “Private Benjamin”, starring Goldie Hawn, which earned Meyers a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy and an Academy Award; nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Meyers made her debut as a director in 1998 with the Disney classic “The Parent Trap”.

Meyers filmography includes:
~ “Irreconcilable Differences” (writer)
~ “Baby Boom” (writer)
~ “Father of the Bride” and “Father of the Bride II” (writer)
~ “Something’s Gotta Give” (writer, director, and producer)
~ “The Holiday” (writer, director, and producer)
~ “It’s Complicated” (writer, director, and producer)

Diane Keaton won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy for “Something’s Gotta Give”, and was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Erica Barry in the film.

“It’s Complicated” starred Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin, earning Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture.

Past Nantucket Film Festival Screenwriters Tribute honorees include Paul Haggis, Barry Levinson, Harold Ramis, Judd Apatow, Robert Benton, Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, Steve Martin, Charlie Kauffman, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, James Schamus, Walter Bernstein, Paul Schrader, Jay Presson Allen, and Ring Lardner, Jr.

Other Awards

Rory Kennedy will receive the Special Achievement in Documentary Storytelling for her “Ethel”. The film is a personal portrait of her mother Ethel Kennedy’s political awakening, the life she shared with Robert F. Kennedy, and the years following his death when she raised their 11 children on her own. Ethel Kennedy will be will joining her daughter Rory at the Festival.

“Beasts of a Southern Wild” writer Lucy Alibar and writer/director Behn Zeitlin will receive the New Voices in Screenwriting Award. As Zeitlin’s directorial debut, their film took audiences by surprise at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and was sought after by many distributors before landing at Fox Searchlight Pictures. The film is set for a June 27th release.


2012 NANTUCKET FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP

AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY

Director/Producer: Alison Klayman; Producer: Adam Schlesinger

Ai Weiwei is China’s most famous international artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. Against a backdrop of strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media, blurring the boundaries of art and politics. With unprecedented access to the artist, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures.

ARCADIA

Writer/Director: Olivia Silver; Producers: Julien Favre, Thomas Silenn, Jai Stefan, Jeremy Bailer; Cast: John Hawkes, Ryan Simpkins, Kendall Toole, Ty Simpkins

Winner of the Crystal Bear for best feature film in the Berlin International Film Festival’s Generation competition, Arcadia is a coming-of-age story set in a cross-country landscape. Twelve-year-old Greta embarks on a 3,000-mile journey in a dented station wagon. Greta’s father insists that her mother will soon join them, but between stops at fast food joints, shoddy motels, and a poor substitute for the Grand Canyon, Greta realizes that not everything is as it seems.

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

Director Benh Zeitlin Produced by Michael Gottwald, Dan Janvey & Josh Penn. Executive Produced by Philipp Engelhorn, Paul Mezey, Michael Raisler. Cast: Quvenzhane Wallis and Dwight Henry

In a forgotten but defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, a six-year-old girl exists on the brink of orphanhood. Buoyed by her childish optimism and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural world is in balance with the universe until a fierce storm changes her reality. Desperate to repair the structure of her world in order to save her ailing father and sinking home, this tiny hero must learn to survive unstoppable catastrophes of epic proportions.

BRAVE
Directors: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman; Co-Director: Steve Purcell; Producer: Katherine Sarafian; Story by: Brenda Chapman; Screenplay by: Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell and Brenda Chapman & Irene Mecchi; Story Supervisor: Brian Larsen; Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson

Set in the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland, Brave follows the heroic journey of Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of royalty. Determined to change her fate, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land, unleashing chaos in the kingdom. When an eccentric Witch grants Merida an ill-fated wish, the ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late.

BROOKLYN CASTLE

Director/Producer: Katie Dellamaggiore; Producers: Brian Schulz, Nelson Dellamaggiore
A squat concrete building on an inner-city block, Brooklyn’s I.S. 318 doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside something special is happening: Hundreds of students learn to play the complex game of chess. Despite student poverty and budget cuts, the school boasts the best junior high chess program in the nation. Brooklyn Castle follows five teens over one school year as they face challenges both on and off the chessboard.

$ELLEBRITY

Director: Kevin Mazur; Producers: Tricia Nolan, Kevin Mazur, Jeff Vespa

Renowned celebrity photographer Kevin Mazur provides an all-access pass to life behind the velvet rope and in front of the camera. Candid interviews with Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, Elton John, and many other stars reveal the blurred lines of privacy, pliable journalism, celebrity, and fame. At once sobering and entertaining, $ellebrity examines an obsession run rampant and conveys what it feels like to be consumed.

CERTAINTY

Writer: Mike O’Malley; Director: Peter Askin; Producer: Will Battersby; Cast: Adelaide Clemens, Tom Lipinksi, Valerie Harper, Tammy Blanchard

“Welcome to your engagement encounter,” booms Father Henry at the start of a Pre-Cana retreat-the mandatory course for couples looking to be married by the Catholic church. Among the participants are skeptical Dom and eager bride-to-be Deb. If it means not paying for another venue for the wedding Dom can bear a weekend of icebreakers, workbooks, and sleeping bags. Certainty proves that love, faith, and being 27 are not always compatible.

CHASING ICE

Writer: Mark Monroe; Director/Producer: Jeff Orlowski; Producers: Paula DuPre Pesmen, Jerry Aronson

With a team of young adventurers in tow, photographer James Balog travels across the brutal Arctic, risking his career and well-being in pursuit of the biggest story facing humanity. Deploying time-lapse cameras, Balog records the world’s changing glaciers. It takes him years to see the fruits of his labor-a set of hauntingly beautiful videos that capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate.

CHICKEN WITH PLUMS

Writer/Director: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi; Producer: Hengameh Panahi; Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Edouard Baer, Maria De Medeiros, Golshifteh Farahani, Eric Caravaca, Chiara Mastroianni, Jamel Debbouze, Isabella Rossellini

Teheran, 1958. Finding no instrument worthy to replace his broken violin, a renowned musician looses himself into melancholic yet joyous dreams that take him back to his youth. As the pieces of the puzzle gradually fit together, the poignant secret of his life comes to light, and the wonderful love story that inspired his genius and his music is revealed. Based on the poignant story of the Marjane Satrapi’s great-uncle, Chicken with Plums is a mesmerizing and exotic tale of love, music, and inspiration.

DETROPIA

Director/Producer: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady; Producer Craig Atkinson

Detroit was the birthplace of the middle class, an industrial utopia where anyone who worked hard enough could experience the “American dream.” Today, Detroit is on the brink of bankruptcy while the entire country watches to see if this storied metropolis has the courage, creativity and grit to reinvent itself rather than implode. Detropia is a cinematic tapestry of a city and its people-who refuse to leave the building even as the flames are rising.

ESCAPE FIRE: THE FIGHT TO RESCUE AMERICAN HEALTHCARE

Producer/Director: Matthew Heineman, Susan Froemke

Escape Fire examines the powerful forces maintaining the status quo of a broken healthcare system-a system designed for quick fixes rather than prevention, for profit-driven care rather than patient-driven care. This eye-opening documentary interweaves the dramatic personal arcs of patients and physicians with the stories of leaders battling to transform the system. And it reminds us that the answers to our crisis are at hand and offers potential solutions, or “escape fires,” to fix it.

ETHEL

Writer: Mark Bailey; Director/Producer: Rory Kennedy; Producers: Jack Youngelson

Ethel relates the remarkable story of Ethel Kennedy, told by those who know her best: her family. The film is a personal portrait of her political awakening, the life she shared with Robert F. Kennedy, and the years following his death when she raised their 11 children on her own. Intimate, funny, and deeply moving, Ethel offers a rare look inside a political dynasty strengthened by compassion and wisdom forged from both hardship and triumph.

FUTURE WEATHER
Writer/Director: Jenny Deller; Producer: Kristin Fairweather; Cast: Perla Haney-Jardine, Amy Madigan, Lili Taylor, William Sadler, Marin Ireland, Anubhav Jain

When 13-year-old Lauduree’s single mom runs off to California, Lauduree decides to manage on her own in her rural home. But her grandmother Greta, a caustic nurse, has other plans. Thrust together, the two women must learn to trust each other. Featuring an outstanding performance by newcomer Perla Haney-Jardine, Future Weather is a compelling coming-of-age drama that explores the sorrow of saying goodbye to what we love.

GOATS

Writer: Mark Jude Poirier; Director: Christopher Neil; Producers: Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Eric Kopeloff, Shannon Lail; Cast: Graham Phillips, David Duchovny, Vera Farmiga, Ty Burrell, Justin Kirk, Keri Russell

At 15, grounded and intelligent Ellis leaves his flaky mother and the only father figure he has, Goat Man, in the foothills of Tucson to attend his father’s alma mater, an East Coast prep school. As Ellis reconnects with his estranged father, he finds his life out West thrown into stark contrast. Based on a novel by Mark Jude Poirier, Goats wittily reverses the standard coming-of-age formula in an honest portrayal of life with awkward moments and unresolved endings.

HELLO I MUST BE GOING

Writer: Sarah Koskoff; Director: Todd Luiso; Producers: Mary Jane Skalski, Hans Ritter; Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Blythe Danner, Christopher Abbott, John Rubinstein, Julie White, Dan Futterman

Divorced, demoralized Amy’s prospects seem unpromising when she must move back in with her parents at age 35. As Amy’s patience with the situation dwindles, a bold 19-year-old ignites her last bit of passion. Fresh and original, Hello I Must Be Going is a modern, unconventional love story infused with sex, humor, and compassion-everything Amy needs to get on with her life.

THE HOUSE I LIVE IN

Writer/Director/Producer: Eugene Jarecki;Producers: Melinda Shopsin, Sam Cullman, Christopher St. John

Over more than 40 years, the “war on drugs” has resulted in 45 million arrests, making the United States the world’s largest jailer. Yet drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available today than ever before. The House I Live In captures heart-wrenching stories from people at all levels – the dealer, the grieving mother, the narcotics officer, the inmate. Their stories combine to pose urgent questions: What caused the war? What perpetuates it? And what can be done to stop it?

THE INTOUCHABLES
Writers/Directors: Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache; Producers: Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky, Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou; Cast: Francois Cluzet, Omar Sy

Surprisingly funny and full of heart, The Intouchables tells the true story of an unlikely friendship between two men from radically different backgrounds. Fresh out of jail, Driss applies for a job as a caretaker to paraplegic aristocrat Philippe, hoping to get rejected and continue receiving welfare. But Philippe hires him. With standout performances by Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy (who won a Cesar for Best Actor for the role), The Intouchables was a box-office phenomenon in France.

LEMON

Writer: Charles Olivier; Producers/Directors: Laura Brownson, Beth Levison

Three-time felon, one-time Tony Award winner Lemon Andersen is a pioneering poet whose words speak for a generation. When he lands back in the projects, living with thirteen family members and desperate for a way out, he turns to the only things he has left-his pen and his story. An inspiring and beautifully crafted documentary, Lemon follows one man’s harrowing attempt to bring his life to the stage while battling demons from his past.

LIBERAL ARTS

Writer/Director/Producer: Josh Radnor; Producer: Brice del Farra, Claude Del Farra, Jesse Hara, Lauren Munsch; Cast: Josh Radnor, Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins, Allison Janney

When 35-year-old Jesse is invited to speak at the retirement dinner for his favorite professor, he’s glad to leave his uninspiring job and broken heart behind and escape New York for a few days. Jesse believes his best days are over, and once he’s on campus, college nostalgia hits him hard-although not as hard as the beautiful Zibby, a precocious theater student.

THE LIST
Director/Producer: Beth Murphy; Producer: Sean Flynn
Filmed over four years, The List is a poignant portrait of a modern-day Oskar Schindler who sets out to redeem a nation that has largely betrayed its Iraqi allies. Leading reconstruction teams in Iraq, Kirk Johnson discovers that many Iraqi colleagues are targeted as enemy collaborators and hunted by radical militias. Bound by moral responsibility and a sense of honor, and frustrated by a U.S. government bureaucracy that fails to protect them, Johnson takes matters on his own hands. Presented in collaboration with Facing History with Ourselves.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC: THE ARTIST IS PRESENT

Director/Cinematographer: Matthew Akers; Producers: Jeff Dupre, Maro Chermayeff
Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present follows glamorous art-world icon Marina Abramovic as she prepares for a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. The show would be a milestone for any artist, but for Marina it is also a chance to legitimize performance art. With unprecedented access, this documentary takes a mesmerizing cinematic journey into the world of radical performance and offers an intimate portrait of a magnetic woman who draws no distinction between life and art.

NOBODY WALKS
Writer/Director: Ry Russo-Young; Writer: Lena Dunham; Producers: Jonathan Schwartz, Andrea Sperling, Alicia Van Couvering; Cast: Olivia Thirlby, John Krasinski, Rosemarie DeWitt, India Ennenga, Justin Kirk, Dylan McDermott

Nobody Walks follows Martine as she enters the seemingly idyllic life of an open-minded family with two kids and a relaxed Southern California vibe. Martine’s arrival sparks a surge of energy that awakens suppressed impulses in family members and forces them to confront their own fears and desires. Exquisitely orchestrated, the film links characters in an intricate dance of lust, denial, and deception.

PEOPLE LIKE US

Director: Alex Kurtzman; Writers: Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jody Lambert; Producers: Roberto Orci, Bobby Cohen, Clayton Townsend; Cast: Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde, Michael Hall D’Addario, Philip Baker Hall, Mark Duplass and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Inspired by true events, People Like Us, is a drama/comedy about family. Sam is called home where he must put his father’s estate in order and reconnect with his estranged family. In the course of fulfilling his father’s last wishes, Sam uncovers a startling secret that turns his entire world upside down: He has a 30-year-old sister Frankie whom he never knew about. As their relationship develops, Sam is forced to rethink everything he thought he knew about his family-and re-examine his own life choices in the process.

PRETTY OLD

Writer/Director/Producer: Walter Matteson; Writers: Josh Alexander, Matthew Prinzing; Producers: Josh Alexander, Daniel J. Chalfen

When thirty women ages 67 to 84 descend on Fall River, Massachusetts to compete in the 30th edition of the Ms. Senior Sweetheart Pageant, hilarity and heartbreak ensue. Under the doting attention of pageant founder Lenny “Low Price” Kaplan, the women share intimate experiences, discover newfound passions, and stir lifelong insecurities that challenge misconceptions about aging. Executive produced by Sarah Jessica Parker, Pretty Old is a profound look at what it truly means to age beautifully.

QUEEN OF VERSAILLES

Director/Producer: Lauren Greenfield; Producer: Danielle Renfrew Behrens

With the epic dimensions of a Shakespearean tragedy, The Queen of Versailles follows billionaires Jackie and David’s rags-to-riches story to uncover the virtues and flaws of the American dream. The film opens on the triumphant construction of the country’s biggest house, a sprawling, 90,000-square-foot mansion inspired by Versailles. But then the economic crisis brings progress to a halt and plays out over the next two years in a riveting film fraught with delusion, denial, and self-effacing humor.

RED LIGHTS

Writer/Director/Producer: Rodrigo Cortes; Producer: Adrian Guerra; Cast: Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Elizabeth Olsen

Dr. Margaret Matheson (a superb Sigourney Weaver) has made a career of exposing paranormal hoaxes, but when psychic Simon Silver (played magnetically by Robert De Niro) announces that he is coming out of retirement after 30 years, she is reluctant to confront him. Matheson’s young colleague, however, becomes obsessed with investigating Silver. Thick with a mystery backed up by incredible performances, Red Lights takes the audience on a thrilling ride.

ROBOT AND FRANK

Writer: Christopher D. Ford; Director: Jake Schreier; Producers: Galt Niederhoffer, Sam Bisbbee, Jackie Kelman Bisbee, lance Acord; Cast: Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Liv Tyler, Peter Sarsgaard, Jeremy Sisto, Jeremy Strong

In the near future, aging curmudgeon and retired jewel thief Frank lives a solitary life until his son installs a caretaker robot against his wishes. At first, Frank stubbornly rejects the new arrival, but soon he realizes the robot has the ability to pull off highly calculated heists and a most unusual criminal duo is formed. Smart and heartfelt, Robot and Frank is ultimately a poignant story about family, friendship, and technology.

SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN

Writer/Director/Producer: Malik Bendjelloul; Producer: Simon Chinn

A bootleg recording by an artist known as Rodriguez found its way to apartheid South Africa, where it became the anthem of the white resistance. Rumors circulated about Rodriguez, including a bizarre tale of on-stage suicide. Two South African fans decide to track down the real Rodriguez. Featuring Rodriguez’s soulful melodies, Searching for Sugar Man is a heartwarming portrait of the greatest ’70s rock icon who never was.

THE SHEIK AND I

Director/Producer: Caveh Zahedi

Caveh Zahedi is commissioned by a Middle Eastern Biennial to make a film on the theme of art as a subversive act. Told that he can do whatever he wants except make fun of the sheik who rules the country and finances the Biennial, he decides to do just that. In The Sheik and I, Zahedi turns his camera on the Biennial itself and gleefully presses every culturally sensitive button he can find with both hilarious and unsettling consequences.

SLEEPWALK WITH ME

Writer/Director: Mike Birbiglia; Writer: Ira Glass, Joe Birbiglia, Seth Barrish; Producer: Ira Glass, Jacob Jaffke; Cast: Mike Barbiglia, Lauren Ambrose, Kevin Barnett.

Highly autobiographical and wildly funny, Sleepwalk With Me follows a self-deprecating bartender as he juggles a burgeoning career as a stand-up comedian, a too-serious relationship with his girlfriend, Abby, and a severe sleepwalking disorder that causes him to act out his dreams. In this startling debut, Mike Birbiglia takes his successful one-man-show to the screen with wit, charm, and poignancy.

SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE

Writer/Director: Nancy Meyers; Producer: Bruce A Block; Cast: Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Amanda Peet, Keanu Reeves

Diane Keaton shines in a role in this heartfelt comedy penned by the recipient of this year’s NFF Screenwriters Tribute, Nancy Meyers. Keaton plays Erica, a divorced New York playwright who arrives at her beach house to find her young daughter, Marin, cavorting with Harry, a perennial playboy whose libido belies his age. After Harry develops chest pains, Erica reluctantly nurses him back to health-and gives him romantic heart pangs.

TAKE THIS WALTZ

Writer/Director/Producer: Sarah Polley; Producer: Susan Cavan; Cast: Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Luke Kirby, Sarah Silverman

An intelligent, perceptive take on marriage, Take this Waltz leads the audience, laughing, through an examination of the effect of long-term relationships on love, sex, and self-image. Margot and Lou have been happily married for five years, but their steady domestic life shatters when Margot meets Daniel, a captivating neighbor. At a crossroads, Margot will have to choose between the comfort of her marriage and the mystery of a new relationship.

TIGER EYES

Writer/Director: Lawrence Blume; Writer: Judy Blume; Producers: Lawrence Blume, Judy Blume, Mark Ordesky, Ileen Maisel, Lawrence Elman; Cast: Willa Holland, Amy Jo Johnson, Cynthia Stevenson, Tatanka Means, Elise Eberle, Russell Means

Forced by her grieving mother to move to Los Alamos, New Mexico, Davey feels lost. Then Davey meets Wolf, a mysterious NativeAmerican climber, and their intense relationship brings her back from the edge. Tiger Eyes marks the first major motion picture adaptation of the work of author Judy Blume, renowned chronicler of the charged emotional private lives of teens.

UNDER AFRICAN SKIES

Director/Producer: Joe Berlinger; Producer: Jon Kamen, Justin Wilkes

Upon release in 1986, Paul Simon’s historic Graceland album was met with political crossfire: Simon was accused of breaking the U.N. cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end apartheid. On the album’s 25th anniversary,Simon reunites with the band and embarks on an exploration of its turbulent birth. Featuring interviews with musical legends and anti-apartheid activists, Under African Skies discusses both a singular artistic achievement and the role of the artist in society.

THE WELL DIGGER’S DAUGHTER

Writer/Director: Daniel Auteuil; Producer: Alain Sarde; Cast: Jane-Pierre Daroussin, Sabine Azema, and Kad Merad

Daniel Auteuil makes his directorial debut with this sun-soaked tale of a working-class widower raising six girls at the start of World War I. When the eldest daughter becomes pregnant after a brief affair with a wealthy young pilot, her father is torn between his sense of honor and his devotion to her. Beautifully capturing the bucolic charm of the South of France, The Well Digger’s Daughter features a star turn by the luminous Astrid Berges-Frisbey and an impressively fleshed-out performance by Auteuil.

YOUR SISTER’S SISTER

Writer/Director: Lynn Shelton; Producer: Steven Schardt; Cast: Emily Blunt, Mark Duplass, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mike Birbiglia

With raw, funny, and emotional performances from an all-star cast, Your Sister’s Sister explores the complexities of relationships with remarkable humor, sensitivity, and warmth. When Iris offers her family’s cabin to a grieving Jack, she doesn’t know that her sister, Hannah, is already there, struggling with a broken heart. After the initial awkwardness, the pair bonds over a bottle of tequila, which leads first to hilariously embarrassing sex, and then to serious consequences when Iris unexpectedly shows up the next morning.


QUEBEC CINEMA SIDEBAR

CAFE DE FLORE

Writer/Director/Producer: Jean-Marc Vallee; Producers: Pierre Even, Marie-Claude Poulin, Jean-Yves Robin, Nicolas Coppermann, Vanessa Fourgeaud; Cast: Vanessa Paradis, Kevin Parent, Helene Florent, Evelyne Brochu, Marin Gerrier

Nominated for an astonishing 13 Genie Awards, Cafe de Flore is a love story about people separated by time and place but connected in profound and mysterious ways: Jacqueline, a young mother to a son with Down’s syndrome in 1960s Paris, and Antoine, a recently-divorced, successful deejay in present-day Montreal. A richly satisfying, crowd-pleasing balancing act, Cafe de Flore blends love and humor, redefining compassion in places where it is seldom encountered.

INCENDIES

Writer/Director: Denis Villeneuve; Writer: Waljdi Mouawad; Cast: Lubna Azabal, Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette

When their mother’s will implores twins Jeanne and Simon to deliver letters to the father they thought was dead and a brother they never knew existed, the siblings travel to the Middle East to reconstruct their family’s hidden history. During the journey, they discover the tragic fate of an exceptional woman. Adapted from a Wajdi Mouawad play, director Denis Villeneuve’s Oscar-nominated drama Incendies flashes back to intense scenes set during Lebanon’s civil war in the 1970s.

SEDUCING DR. LEWIS

Writer: Ken Scott; Director: Jean-Francois Pouliot; Producers: Luc Vandal, Roger Frappier; Cast: David Boutin, Lucie Laurier, Raymond Bouchard, Dominic Michon-Dagenais, Guy-Daniel Tremblay

Residents of St. Marie-La-Mauderne are promised a new factory that would give the tiny fishing village a much-needed boost, provided they lure a doctor to take up full-time residency on the island. When a young physician from Montreal is forced to spend a month in the village, the townsfolk go overboard to persuade him to take the job, although their devious methods may backfire. A refreshing comedy, Seducing Dr. Lewis is one of the most popular Quebec films of all time.

STARBUCK

Writer/Director: Ken Scott; Writer: Martin Petit; Producer: Andre Rouleau; Cast: Patrick Huard, Julie LeBreton, Antoine Bertrand

Middle-aged David discovers that when he was donating sperm to make ends meet, the clinic experienced a processing error. As a result, he fathered 533 children, and now 142 of them are suing the clinic to learn the identity of their donor. Curiosity leads David to meet his progeny anonymously, changing his life forever. A lighthearted comedy, Starbuck was the audience favorite at the Toronto International Film Festival and Quebec’s number one box office earner last year.


For further information on the 2012 Nantucket Film Festival, please visit www.nantucketfilmfestival.org.

The Boarding House: A Grande Dame Dons Gold Lamé

By Marie-Claire Rochat

The Boarding House opens tonight for its 20th season. Prepare to be wowed.

There’s a new chef in the kitchen (Stephen Maucarelle, formerly of Minneapolis’s Victory 44, will take the helm) and some new paint on the walls of the dining room. If you’re thinking that doesn’t sound like a big deal, get ready for a surprise: while the fresh new take on the cuisine of this beloved corner eatery will delight your palette, the fresh paint will awe your eyes.

For the last month, Latvian-transplant and 15-year resident of Nantucket, Evita Caune, has been elbow-deep in plaster. Drawing on a centuries-old art form used first by the ancient Egyptians and later by the great architects of the High Renaissance, this gloriously rich and textured finish is created by applying thin layers of buttery plaster with a trowel, then burnishing the surface to create a smooth and seamless finish. It’s hard work, admitted Caune recently, as we stood in the middle of the dining room – she, weary after a day with trowel in hand – and I, stunned by the reflection the lighting cast on the glossy, Burnt Sienna-colored walls. The effect, even without the tables, chairs, proper lighting and waiters’ stations in place, is truly extraordinary. Different seating “zones” have been created through the interplay of different finishes: there is an embossed stencil over a banquette which is bathed in soft, candle-like light and, in the “owner’s corner,” a silver and gold leaf design romances diners. The whole effect is warm and inviting and cozy and intimate – and fantastically chic, too.

For the artist, the opportunity to showcase her talent in the main dining room of this popular restaurant is sweet reward after years of supplementing her decorative painting career with house painting. For Boarding House owners Seth and Angela Raynor, the chance to re-decorate the dining room of the “firstborn” in their mini restaurant-empire (which includes The Pearl and Corazon del Mar), became a necessity after a major disaster last summer.

When the ultra-cool, 475-gallon, salt-water fish tank on the floor above the Boarding House dining room ruptured last July, the room was destroyed in a matter of hours. Insulation was coming down in clumps, recalled Seth, and it didn’t take long before the floor was buckling and the electrical wires were corroding. Island-based Arena Construction worked miracles and The Boarding House was serving diners 12 days later. It was the quick fix they needed, but the dining room lacked the aesthetic the Raynor’s wanted. They knew that they would re-do the space when the restaurant closed for the season.

The result of that re-do is stunning. Inspired by trips to Burgundy and Montreal over the fall and winter, the design was very much a collaborative effort between owners and artist, explained Angela.

Seth and Angela are thrilled with the result and are quite sure that Boarding House devotees and first-timers alike will be share that feeling when they walk down the stairs from the bar for the first time. Cheers to a very good year!

Photos after this message.


Marie-Claire Rochat is a Nantucket-based writer, public relations consultant and real estate agent. Favorite topics to write about are design, art, fashion, food – and people who have an interesting story to tell. Hobbies include running, skiing and poking around New York or Boston whenever possible, as well as spending time with two busy children, Mia and Stefan. Her new column will be a regular feature in Mahon about Town.

Cru Oyster Bar


THE CRU OYSTER BAR

The Cru Oyster Bar will open this May at the end of Straight Wharf in the former location of The Ropewalk, with Jane Stoddard, Carlos Hidalgo and Erin Zircher as owners.

The idea for the three to collaborate and open Cru evolved from a shared vision to create something new and unique on the island by combining their different experiences and strengths.

I sat down with Jane and Carlos recently to find out more. My first question was what kind of a restaurant would Cru be. Their answer: “fresh and pristine seafood with a new take on New England classics, an upscale clam shack, gorgeous and casual.” The Cru press release calls it “casually elegant cuisine in a visually stunning waterfront location overlooking Nantucket harbor.”

As one of the few island waterfront locations, Jane and Carlos want to complement rather than compete with other waterfront restaurants, and will offer something new without redundancy. Cru will cultivate a lively nighttime bar scene, with Saturday and Sunday brunch.

WHY “CRU”?
Jane explained. “We were initially drawn to the name for the French meaning “raw”, and with our desire to have a strong wine program, the wine connotations of “premier” quality also spoke to us. The wine reference to “first growth” was also appealing because it’s our first project together. The play on the word ‘crew’ has also been fun to watch evolve.”

THE CREW

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Erin, Jane, and Carlos

Jane Stoddard initially moved to Nantucket to work with Grace Grossman, and eventually took a job with Juice Guys Care, the non-profit arm of Nantucket Nectars, where she played an integral role in essential island fundraisers such as the Ozone Surf Classic, Iron Teams Relay, and Circus Flora.

After Juice Guys, Jane served as the development director for the Nantucket Boys & Girls Club for more than three years, responsible for public relations, fundraising, event planning and promoting the benefits that the club provided to the island.

From 2008-2011, Jane worked with Angela and Seth Raynor as the general manager and director of operations for the Boarding House, Pearl, and Corazon del Mar.

Carlos Hidalgo had frequently visited Nantucket for many years, moving here in the spring 2010 to work as the manager of The Boarding House and The Pearl, which he did through the end of 2011.

Before he came to the island and at the age of 24, Carlos owned and ran the multiple award-winning Bomboa in Boston from 1999 to 2006. Some of the awards Bomboa received included the Wine Spectator “Award of Excellence” from 2000-2005, Food and Wine’s Top 10 New Chefs in 2001, and Bon Appetit’s Best Latin Restaurant in the Country 2001. People Magazine named it Boston’s “sizzling dinner spot to go and to be seen” in 2001, and the Food Network named it Best Cocktails in America in 2000.

The wine director and sommelier will be Jenny Benzie, also formerly at The Pearl. Jenny is the owner of Pour Sip Savor, “an assemblage of sommelier services in Palm Beach, Nantucket and Beyond”, with a “free wine tasting guide so you can sip like a pro.” Pour Sip Savor also offers social tastings, corporate wine events, wine brand ambassadors, wine cellar and collection management, wine program development, service hospitality training, and a wine newsletter. Jenny is based in Palm Beach in the off-season.

DESIGN
Carlos wants the place to feel like an old yacht with driftwood, mahogany, brass and teak. The physical layout will remain basically the same, but with most of the furnishings changing.

The first room will feature a larger bar than in the past, a raw bar, and communal tables.

The middle room will showcase the broad wine selection, and will include a fireplace and new bathrooms.

The actual bar in the “back bar” will be slightly smaller than last year, with two U-shaped banquettes filling the space on the left when you walk into the room.

Susan Stacy and Jim Gauthier from Boston’s design firm of Gauthier Stacy are the designers for the project – Stacy was the interior designer of the Great Harbor Yacht Club. BPC Architecture is the on-island architect team. The renovation work is being done by Jay Hanley’s Blue Star Construction.

FOOD

Erin Zircher, chef de cuisine for 8 years at The Boarding House, is Cru’s executive chef, and as a partner in the restaurant, is excited to be opening her own place. Jane describes Erin’s style as “Mediterranean combined with a French bistro palette, with a fresh take on New England classics”.

A graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, Erin’s culinary skills have been featured in the Wine Spectator, Zagat’s, Fodor’s, Rachel Ray, Nantucket Today, The Cooking Channel and Boston.com.

The Cru menu will highlight fresh local produce and pristine seafood. Signature dishes will include local summer flounder meunière and a Provencal-inspired seafood stew with Nantucket striped bass, saffron and Pernod.

To give you a feel for what the menu is likely to include, other items expected to be offered, subject to change of course, are:
~ A large selection of oysters featuring at least 12 varieties from east and west coasts
~ Seafood towers of oysters, clams, shrimp and other seasonal seafood
~ New England clam chowder with house-made oyster crackers
~ Local lobster rolls served either warmed and buttered or chilled with herb mayo on house-made brioche rolls
~ Cape Cod mussels steamed with Muscadet and lemon thyme, served with hand-cut frites
~ Native grilled lobster with spicy sausages, Chatham littlenecks, local potatoes and sweet corn salsa verde
~ Black angus sirloin with roasted fingerling potatoes, Pumpkin Pond Farm arugula and béarnaise.

The wine list will be broad in varietals, countries and price points, with a substantial champagne list to compliment the seafood focus. And, of course, there will be hand-crafted speciality cocktails.


ESSENTIALS

Cru should be open by May 10, in time for the Nantucket Wine Festival, and will close in mid-October, then open again for Stroll. The restaurant will serve lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, and will be open all afternoon serving most items on the menu, including takeout, from 11am to 11pm.

www.facebook.com/crunantucket

508.228.9278

crunantucket@gmail.com

Nantucket Restaurant News 3.21.12

Bartlett’s Farm has applied for an annual license to sell wine and beer for off-site consumption.

I contacted John Bartlett to get an idea of what he’s planning out there:

We will offer wine and beer as an additional offering and are not removing
any products to make room for them.

We have approximately 7,500 square feet
of total retail area in the farm stand. We will dedicate approximately 90 square
feet of existing retail space for the sale of wine and malt beverages for
off-site consumption.

Exactly what we’ll carry is still in the works, but we want to have a nice small selection of domestic and imported wines and beers that complement the food we’re growing and cooking. We’re thinking around 12 whites, 12 reds, and a couple of sparkling in a median price range.

Our focus will be more on the wine, but there are some great craft beers out
there that people love with food so we want to serve that customer as well. We’d love to carry Cisco products.

I see this as an extension of our
existing business and also a service to our customers. My staff is really
enthusiastic about me moving forward with this and I’m working closely with
my Head Chef, Neil Hudson to put it all together.

If the Selectmen approve the license, the application will then go to the State for approval. I hope to have the license in hand by June 1st.


Co-owners Chris Morris and Michelle St. Martin, formerly of Arno’s at 41 Main, have applied to the Board of Selectmen to operate The Pit Stop year round at the Trading Post on Nobadeer Farm Road.

Michelle and Chris plan to offer “family style barbeque, southern fried chicken and all the fixin’s available by take-out or ready to go items in the hot box. Bulk delivery and on site catering is also available. Breakfast sandwiches will be served daily in the hot box starting at 7 am.”

Expected to open in April, The Pit Stop will be open daily from 7 am to 8 pm, closed on Sundays.

The Trading Post is still serving takeout Thai food on weekends, presumably until The Pit Stop takes over.


Tess Anderson, owner of The Hub, has applied to the Selectmen to provide take-out light food and beverages at The Hub, including coffee, cappucinno, lattés, muffins and light pastries, cookies and fruit. All else will remain the same at The Hub.


Pazzo has applied to the Selectmen for an entertainment license for live instrumental music (guitar, saxophone, and keyboard) and a vocalist, as well as a dj.


Wendy Hudson of Bookworks to Run Mitchell’s Book Corner

ReMain, a part of The Schmidt Family Foundation and owner of the building that is home to Mitchell’s Book Corner, has announced the formation of Nantucket Book Partners by Wendy Hudson, the owner of Bookworks on Broad Street for 18 years. and one of the organizers of Nantucket’s first Book Festival this June 15th-17th. Nantucket Book Partners will run both Mitchell’s Book Corner and Bookworks as full-service, year-round bookstores.

“At ReMain, we like to incubate new endeavors that inspire and support the next generation in a changing marketplace, and we also want to support downtown’s key institutions to help ensure they are in place for the long term,” said Wendy Schmidt, founder of ReMain and president of The Schmidt Family Foundation. “Since we purchased Mitchell’s in 2008, the bookselling business has seen unprecedented market shifts in the explosive popularity of e-readers and the success of online giants like Amazon.com. Independent booksellers in every market are working overtime to develop sustainable business models for their stores. Here on Nantucket, we are exceptionally fortunate to have two independent bookstores, and now, for them to combine forces while maintaining their individual characters is a realistic approach for successfully engaging this industry-wide challenge.”

Mary Jennings had been running Mitchell’s since the retirement of Mimi Beman four years ago. Mitchell’s was founded in 1968 by Henry “Mitch” Mitchell and Mary Allen Havemeyer and later run by their daughter Mimi Beman, who passed away in 2010.

“I truly believe that collaboration rather than competition is the best course for the island’s bookstores,” Wendy said. “Mitchell’s Book Corner and Bookworks will each retain their own unique personalities, but by functioning cooperatively we’ll be able to strengthen both entities and offer even more for the island’s readers.”

“The idea is to retain the best parts of each beloved store while expanding what we offer through less duplication and more cooperation. One web site, one events and offsite program, one point of sale system (sharing customer loyalty, gift card, and inventory information), yet two unique destinations that enhance downtown Nantucket. We plan to launch activities and outreach upstairs at Mitchell’s, operate with employee profit-sharing, create a volunteer program, and figure out many other ways to involve the community. Fun stuff.”

“This industry is in flux, but it has great potential if we approach it creatively in this special place. Embracing technology and listening to our customers will be the keys to success. We invite everyone to help us invent the next chapter for the stores, so please watch for new about a customer survey, dates for focus groups, and other invitations for feedback.”

The Nantucket Epicure: Thai House Restaurant


The Nantucket Epicure


By Mary Beth McCahan


Thai House Restaurant is Off to a Good Start

ThaiHouse

I unexpectedly found myself without dinner plans the other night and thought I’d take the opportunity to try out Nantucket’s newest restaurant, Thai House, located at 118 Old South Road across from the airport, in the space vacated by the Dancing Pickle last year. Thai House is operated by the Thairatana family, and they offer not only Thai specialties, but also a number of Chinese-, Asian Fusion-, and Japanese- inspired dishes, including a full sushi menu.

The layout of the restaurant hasn’t changed from the way it was when the Pickle was there – the kitchen is situated along one side of the building, separated by a counter, but open to customer observation. The opposite side of the building contains a small and nicely decorated dining room where table service is available. The place is bright and clean, and both times I’ve walked in (first to pick up the takeout menus and the second time to pick up my order), the room has been filled with appealing sweet and spicy aromas. Service, both on the phone and in person, was prompt, friendly, and capable.

ThaiHouse

ThaiHouse

For my first experience with Thai House, I decided to focus on their Thai dishes. I ordered a broad selection of items to get a good feel for efficiency, quality, and technique (yep, I have a lot of leftovers). My food was ready for pickup in about 20 minutes from the time I called, which I thought was pretty reasonable given the number of different things I’d ordered and the fact that there were several customers ahead of me. As I arrived, I ran into a friend who was getting takeout from them for a second time, which I took to be a good sign.

On the whole, prices were reasonable, portions were generous, and quality was good, with appetizing ingredients carefully and competently prepared. Flavors were bright and authentic, though in a few cases I felt that they could be better balanced, as I’ve noted in the comments on specific dishes that follow. Spicy dishes tend to be pretty hot as prepared, so if you don’t have a great tolerance for spicy heat, you may want to ask them to tone it down a bit when you order.

Of course, I never miss an opportunity for testing wine pairings, and this was no exception. Optimally, I would have balanced the heat in the dishes with an off-dry wine (like a Riesling, Gewürztraminer, or Vouvray), but since I didn’t have any around the house, I settled for an interesting white Nebbiolo I’d gotten last year from Beth English at Current Vintage (2009 Pietro Nera Chiavennasca Bianco La Novella) – though dry with distinct minerality, it contains floral and fruity notes that provided a nice counterpoint to the dishes.

Here’s what I thought about the specific items I tried:

Tom Kha Kai Soup (Coconut milk with galangal, lime, mushrooms, and scallion) – Rich, tasty, and satisfying, though with a lime tartness that was a little too strong and could have been better balanced with the other flavors in the soup. My enjoyment was also briefly interrupted by a couple of overly tough pieces of lemongrass that I’d rather had stayed on the cutting board.

Fresh Rolls (Lettuce and other fresh vegetables with fried tofu and noodles wrapped in rice paper and served with slightly sour peanut sauce) – While certainly fresh, I found these rolls bland and uninteresting, though the appealing peanut sauce helped to punch them up a bit.

ThaiHouse
Fresh Rolls

Crab Rangoon (Crabmeat with cream cheese wrapped in crispy wonton skin served with sweet and sour sauce) – I know, crab rangoon dumplings aren’t Thai, or even Chinese (word is that they may have been invented in the U.S. by Trader Vic’s in the 50s), but I wanted to try them because I haven’t found ones yet that I liked, and I thought I’d give Thai House a chance to change my mind. And they did. Usually when I’ve had them at other restaurants, they’ve been in thick wontons so overly fried that I could hardly taste the filling, but Thai House’s version were in lighter wontons that were lightly fried like tempura, creating a very nice balance with the creamy centers. Of course, fried things rarely do well in take-out situations, because they tend to get a bit steamed and soggy while waiting to be picked up, taken home, and eaten. But even with that complication, these were appealing (so much so that I broke my “working” rule and had more than just one). Next time, I think I’ll order them in-restaurant and eat them as soon as they come out of the fryer to taste them at their best.

Chicken Satay (Slices of chicken on a stick, marinated in coconut milk and light curry sauce, served with peanut sauce and sweet cucumber sauce) – The chicken was tender, tasty, and nicely grilled. An uncomplicated and pleasing appetizer.

ThaiHouse
Chicken Satay

Kung-fu Basil, with ground chicken (stir fry with basil, red and green peppers) – Simple, fresh, and flavorful, but very spicy (or so I thought, until I moved on to the green curry.)

Green Curry, with shrimp (rreen and red peppers, onions, zucchini, and fresh basil) – Good flavor, with nice, fresh vegetables that retained some pleasing crispiness and perfectly cooked shrimp (read: not overcooked, which isn’t easy to achieve with take-out). Sauce was on the thin side, but tasty. The spicy heat in this dish sneaks up on you, starting subtly but gaining significant strength as you continue eating. Definitely not unpleasant, but if you’re sensitive, you may want to ask them to tone it down a bit. I’ve had subtler, more sophisticated and better-balanced green curries in my time, but this one was definitely a contender, and I’d order it again (with less heat).

ThaiHouse
Green Curry

Velvet Salmon (steamed salmon filet sautéed with mushrooms, carrots, onions, red and green peppers, celery, and scallions, with ginger sauce) – A generous portion of salmon, in an appealing-sounding preparation, but it didn’t do so well in the take-out scenario. The plentiful vegetables in an aromatic and tasty ginger sauce were a little overcooked to begin with, and didn’t improve with the waiting time. And, piled as they were over the salmon, their heat resulted in an overcooked piece of fish, as well. A bit more careful planning on the chef’s part could correct this, of course, but if you like salmon, I think it might be better/safer to try this dish on a night you’re eating in the restaurant, rather than getting it for take-out.

Pad Thai, with pork (stir fried noodles with egg, ground nuts, bean sprouts, cabbage, carrots, and scallions) – Nicely prepared, with yummy and surprisingly tender pork.

ThaiHouse
Pad Thai

Pineapple Fried Rice, with chicken (stir-fried rice with egg, pineapple, onions, peas, carrots, and raisins, with a light curry powder) – I have to say that this is not the best pineapple fried rice I’ve ever tasted, but it had a certain je ne sais quoi about it that usually is possessed by the best comfort/hangover food. The chicken and egg were nicely cooked, but none of the other ingredients, on their own, were particularly inspiring (frozen carrots and peas, non-descript and slightly gluey rice, etc.). However, together, they created something that was strangely compelling. I’m not sure how it was achieved, because as far as I could tell, the chicken wasn’t grilled and nothing else in the dish seemed to have been charred, but the dish had an agreeable charcoal-ly flavor that balanced very nicely with the sweetness of the pineapple and raisins, as well as the other components of the dish.

Yum Nur Yang (sliced grilled beef mixed with onion, carrot, scallion, lemongrass, mint, ground sweet rice, lime juice and Thai spices with Thai dressing) – This one didn’t shine for me – flavors and textures just seemed very unbalanced. The steak was on the tough side, the dressing was too strong and tart, the vegetables were wilted (from heat, spice and acidity), and the spice was so hot that it came close to obliterating everything else in the dish. I was surprised about the lack of flavor and tenderness of the steak, because judging from the other dishes I had, the chef seems to have quite a way with meat.

ThaiHouse
Steak Salad

Steamed Jasmine Rice — The steamed rice that accompanied most dishes was unremarkable – not much aroma or flavor, and rather clumpy. It provides additional texture for the various dishes, but it would be more pleasing if it was firmer and fluffier, and a bit more aromatic.

Thai-Style Fried Banana (Deep fried, with grated coconut in sesame batter) – Really, what more can I say than, “What’s not to like about a fried banana?” If I’d had ice cream and caramel sauce, I would have been in heaven.

The Bottom Line

Thai House serves creditable Thai cuisine, offers a nice range of other Asian alternatives, and is definitely worth a try. It may not be Thai nirvana, but it’s good, authentic, and satisfying, and also provides a convenient lunch and dinner alternative for customers located mid- and East-island.


Mary Beth McCahan escaped from the corporate world a few years ago to write, enjoy life, and pursue her passions, which are centered on food, wine, and Nantucket. Her recently launched blog on those subjects, Nantucket Epicure, can be found online at http://nantucketepicure.com.

Nantucket Boys and Girls Club Summer Soiree

The Nantucket Boys and Girls Club Summer Soiree took place on Saturday, July 23, 2011 at the Nantucket Boys & Girls Club, It was the 4th annual event to benefit the Boys and Girls Club, with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and dancing. Photos by Gene Mahon, assisted by Amanda Morgan. More at MahonAboutTown.com.

Bid on Nantucket


New Island Business: Bid on Nantucket

Ed Tranter, pictured with his family below, has been visiting and vacationing on Nantucket for more than 20 years. I asked Ed what brought him to launch his new web business, Nantucket’s newest way to rent or list a home.

“The idea of BidOnNantucket.com came to me after my family had purchased a home here. Learning what the market was like for a homeowner who wanted to rent, coupled with the experience I gained from renting other people’s homes summer after summer for so many years, got me thinking. In addition to the fact that life today is very fast-paced and that people want to be in control and make quick decisions, they also want to save money. BidOnNantucket.com is designed to address all these concerns.”

“As a homeowner, when I realized that I didn’t have to involve a third party broker to close a rental deal, I could not only speed up the entire process, but also save the renter and myself some money. More specifically, there were available weeks during the year that were left unrented, and I wanted the opportunity to try to fill these weeks myself by speaking directly with potential renters. It was important to me to have control over renting my home instead of having it remain vacant, and I wanted the ability to negotiate a deal that would satisfy the renter’s needs and mine. If I had any questions for the homeowner, I could address them immediately.”

“The concept seemed like a win-win on both sides.”

Launched in March, 2011, BidOnNantucket.com is a real estate rental auction website designed to help Nantucket homeowners reach renters who are specifically looking to vacation on Nantucket.

There is no cost for renters. They sign up on the website for a user name and password and start bidding on their Nantucket vacation rental. Once a renter has registered, he or she may contact the homeowner directly, saving broker’s fees while getting a good sense of what the property is like – location, lease specifications, the homeowner’s rules and island amenities, etc.

For homeowners, BidOnNantucket.com reaches potential renters looking to vacation on Nantucket. Homeowners can communicate directly with their prospective renters, saving money and at the same time screening interested renters for those who will respect and take care of the property. The homeowner decides what level of contact he or she wants to have with a prospective renter.

BidOnNantucket does not get involved in how a homeowner prices the rental. Listing a home on BidOnNantucket does not preclude the homeowner from listing the property with a realtor, nor trying to rent the home themselves.

As a homeowner, there are two listing options:

~ “Featured Listing”, $99/month: the home will be one of four highlighted on the main page of BidOnNantucket.com for one month.

~ “Latest Listing”, free for one month: Sign up, follow a simple three-step process to list your home, and wait for potential renters to contact you – no upfront fees, no back-end fees when you rent your home. Homeowners can post up to ten photographs, include a detailed description, and choose the listing price.

Eventually there will be a small fee for a three, six, nine or twelve month listings, but BidOnNantucket.com promises to have the lowest rates of any rental site.

The homeowner selects the dates the property is available and decides how long the bidding window will remain open, then sets the “Starting Bid” price, the lowest price he or she is willing to accept. The renter cannot ” underbid ” the ” Starting Bid. ” The homeowner may also set a “Rent It Now” price, which is an amount she is willing to take for her property with no further bidding. If a prospective renter places a bid, the homeowner is notified. If a prospective renter is outbid, he is notified. When the bidding process ends, the homeowner contacts the chosen bidder, and the site will reflect that the home has been rented. All bidding activity that takes place can be viewed under “See Bid List.”

The concept behind BidOnNantucket.com has expanded to three other new websites:

http://bidonthecape.com/
http://bidonmarthasvineyard.com/
http://bidonskihomes.com/ Coming this fall.

BidOnNantucket.com has been gaining interest and traffic since it’s launch in March of 2011. The site will eventually offer advertising opportunities, and promises to never charge high rates for using the site.


WCVB Boston Channel 5′s “Chronicle” recently did a piece on BidOnNantucket. Watch it here.

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