Monthly Archives: December 2006

Nantucketers in the News

Island piano player Jamie Howarth told me he had been working on some Grateful Dead original recordings, his secod commercial application of software he created to clean up old recordings better than anyone else has yet been able to do.

When Frank Conroy passed away, Jamie contacted me to ask if I had any old tapes of the Frank Conroy Band at the Roadhouse from 78 to 80. I did, some beat up old cassettes recorded probably right from the recorder with no external mic. Jamie processed about a dozen songs in just a few days, in time to be given to Frank’s family after the service. What I could not bear to listed to before, I now play when I want to think of those halcyon Roadhouse nights of straight ahead jazz.

I picked this up on YACK today – I’ll summarize.

On Jan. 23, Warner/Rhino will release a 3-CD set of music recorded at the Dead’s 1976 New Year’s show at the Cow Palace, San Francisco, restored by Jamie Haworth. But even sooner, Live At The Cow Palace, New Year’s Eve, 1976 will be streamed in its entirety New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day beginning at 3:01 AM.

You can read more in an article written in the Independent by Mary Lancaster about a year ago.

I checked out some of the previews online, and the sound is warm and silky. Makes me want to roll one. Thanks Jamie.

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Pi Pizza Opening

The long awaited and much anticipated Pi Pizza is reopening tomorrow, that’s Saturday, December 30th, for lunch and dinner, at 2 West Creek Road, the former home of West Creek Restaurant. Halle-pizza-lujah.

I’ve been dropping in every few weeks for the past 6 months, hoping to feel the heat and smell the wood-fired brick oven; Pi always appeared to be just a few weeks away from opening. But as owner Evan Marley explained to me, he wanted it to be right, and as he plans to be there (West Creek) and here (Nantucket) for the “rest of his life”, what’s the rush.

Actually called Pi Pizzeria, Evan made his island reputation at Fahey and Fromagerie’s several years ago, and then to an even wider audience at the Nantucket Wine Festivals. He’s been working on his own place ever since. But not just pizza at this one – Italian dishes such as (fill in the blank) cacciatore’s and parmesans and spaghetti and __________, all accompanied by a fully Italian wine list.

When you walk in, the take-out counter is to the left, dining room center, and an expanded (from West Creek days) cozy bar seating maybe 8.

Joining Evan is Maria Costanzo, who will be running the take-out half of the restaurant, head chef Patrick Matecat, who worked with Evan at Fahey’s, and Kerry Carven as bartender, formerly at 21 Federal and still Director Big Brothers Big Sisters.

More after I’ve had a chance to go, but don’t wait for me. Get on over to Pi Pizza.

Nantucket News

THE NEW FAST BOAT
Flint Ranney has sent along this photo of the new SSA fast ferry Iyanough on trial runs rounding Brant Point.


ONE RESTAURANT OPEN ON CHRISTMAS DAY
Stubby’s at 8 Broad Street will be open on Christmas day from 6:30 am – about 8-10 pm with coffee, hot chocolate, tea, and pastries, as well as the regular take out menu.


Nantucketers in the News

Island piano player Jamie Howarth told me he had been working on some Grateful Dead original recordings, his secod commercial application of software he created to clean up old recordings better than anyone else has yet been able to do.

When Frank Conroy passed away, Jamie contacted me to ask if I had any old tapes of the Frank Conroy Band at the Roadhouse from 78 to 80. I did, some beat up old cassettes recorded probably right from the recorder with no external mic. Jamie processed about a dozen songs in just a few days, in time to be given to Frank’s family after the service. What I could not bear to listed to before, I now play when I want to think of those halcyon Roadhouse nights of straight ahead jazz.

I picked this up on YACK today – I’ll summarize.

On Jan. 23, Warner/Rhino will release a 3-CD set of music recorded at the Dead’s 1976 New Year’s show at the Cow Palace, San Francisco, restored by Jamie Haworth. But even sooner, Live At The Cow Palace, New Year’s Eve, 1976 will be streamed in its entirety New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day beginning at 3:01 AM.

You can read more in an article written in the Independent by Mary Lancaster about a year ago.

I checked out some of the previews online, and the sound is warm and silky. Makes me want to roll one. Thanks Jamie.

Pi Pizza Is Open

The long awaited and much anticipated Pi Pizza is reopening tomorrow, that’s Saturday, December 30th, for lunch and dinner, at 2 West Creek Road, the former home of West Creek Restaurant. Halle-pizza-lujah.

I’ve been dropping in every few weeks for the past 6 months, hoping to feel the heat and smell the wood-fired brick oven; Pi always appeared to be just a few weeks away from opening. But as owner Evan Marley explained to me, he wanted it to be right, and as he plans to be there (West Creek) and here (Nantucket) for the “rest of his life”, what’s the rush.

Actually called Pi Pizzeria, Evan made his island reputation at Fahey and Fromagerie’s several years ago, and then to an even wider audience at the Nantucket Wine Festivals. He’s been working on his own place ever since. But not just pizza at this one – Italian dishes such as (fill in the blank) cacciatore’s and parmesans and spaghetti and __________, all accompanied by a fully Italian wine list.

When you walk in, the take-out counter is to the left, dining room center, and an expanded (from West Creek days) cozy bar seating maybe 8.

Joining Evan is Maria Costanzo, who will be running the take-out half of the restaurant, head chef Patrick Matecat, who worked with Evan at Fahey’s, and Kerry Carven as bartender, formerly at 21 Federal and still Director Big Brothers Big Sisters.

More after I’ve had a chance to go, but don’t wait for me. Get on over to Pi Pizza.

Television: Nantucket Food and Wine

Artist and designer Malcolm Brooks has teamed up with Plum TV to produce a
new cooking show entitled “Nantucket Food & Wine”, featuring chefs from Nantucket
restaurants and catering companies. Several half hour pilots have already been shot
and feature chefs Tom from the Club Car, Tim from Cinco, and Matt and All from
Company of the Cauldron. Each chef will create his or her favorite appetizer and
entrée.

The host of the show is Mark Donato of Sconset Market and Nantucket Wine Festival fame. 8 to 10 additional shows will be shot this winter and spring, which will air next summer with local and national sponsors.

LoLa 41

A little LoLa vignette: The other night, all the bar stools had been removed from the bar side for a private party. As the party was winding up, I was standing at the bar as the staff was bringing the bar stools in from the cold. One landed just to my right. As I started to slide into it, one of the staff, Fernando, tapped me on the shoulder and pointed me to the stool on my left. “The other one is still too cold,” he told me. You can’t teach that stuff.


Jessica Mehringer Benefit

For more, go to MahonAboutTown.com.

On Saturday night, a few hundred of Greg and Jessica Mehringers friends gathered to raise money to help pay their medical bills and living expenses while Jessica goes through testing and treatment for cancer. When all was counted, the total raised came to over $100,000, in certainly one of the most successful and generous fund raisers I’ve seen here, with virtually no expenses. Special note must be made of the Rose & Crown owners and staff, who this year alone have hosted events raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for islanders in need.

For more photos, see this week’s Nantucket Independent, and go to MahonAboutTown.com.

This new site makes it easier to purchase photos of Island events. 100% of all proceeds for all photos sold of this event will be sent to the Mehringers.

Please forward this email to any of your friends at the event who are not subscribers.

Nat Philbrick Writes

Last week a column by Nat Philbrick appeared in the New York Times and International Herald Tribute, reprinted here with permission.

Rocks of Ages
By NATHANIEL PHILBRICK

Last week, I went to see Bob Dylan at the Nassau Coliseum. It turned out to be a terrific rock n roll show. I must admit, however, to being somewhat distracted by how Mr. Dylan and his band were dressed. They wore hats and rather elegant suits, and it was in the midst of “Like a Rolling Stone,” as Dylan stood before the keyboard howling out the refrain, that I had what I’ll call a Thanksgiving epiphany.

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve spent the past four years researching the history of Plymouth Colony, but at that moment Mr. Dylan and his band reminded me of the Pilgrims. Not the actual Pilgrims, but the cardboard caricatures we come to know in elementary school, dressed in dark suits, with buckles on their hats and shoes. It was then that I remembered that almost precisely 31 years before, in 1975, Bob Dylan launched his legendary Rolling Thunder Revue in, of all places, Plymouth, Mass.

No one living has a better appreciation for the sneaky and unnerving power of American myth than Bob Dylan. In the fall of 1975, the United States was gripped by what the playwright Sam Shepard, who had been hired to work on a film about the tour, called “Bicentennial madness.” With 1976 fast approaching, America was obsessed as never before with its origins, and as Mr. Dylan knew perfectly well, there was no better place to launch his tour than the mythic landing ground of the Pilgrims.

Mr. Shepard did not end up contributing much to the film, but he did publish a log chronicling the tour’s first six weeks. Included in the book is a bizarre photo showing Mr. Dylan and several fellow musicians peering over the side of the Mayflower II, a reproduction of a 17th-century vessel berthed at Plimoth Plantation. A stiff breeze is blowing, and two of the party are desperately hanging on to the brims of their cowboy hats as the front man of the Byrds, Roger McGuinn, speaks on a huge, 70’s-style portable phone.

But perhaps the weirdest and wackiest portion of Mr. Shepard’s log describes how Mr. Dylan and his pals recreated the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. As the poet Allen Ginsberg sat beside the iron fence that surrounds the rock, chanting and chiming his set of Tibetan bells, Mr. Dylan haphazardly piloted a dinghy to the Plymouth shore.

Last week at the Nassau Coliseum it occurred to me that Bob Dylan is a lot like Plymouth Rock. Just as he emerged full-blown onto the New York folk scene of the 1960s, claiming a shadowy and, it turned out, apocryphal past, so did Plymouth Rock suddenly come to the attention of the American people in a manner that smacks of dubious self-invention.

There is no reference to a rock in any of the Pilgrims’ accounts of their arrival in Plymouth Harbor. Not until more than a century later did 95-year-old Thomas Faunce claim that his father, who did not arrive in Plymouth until three years after the Pilgrims, told him that the Mayflower passengers first stepped onto an undistinguished boulder at the edge of Plymouth Harbor. Thus was born the legend of Plymouth Rock.

Before the American Revolution, a group of patriots known as the Sons of Liberty seized upon the rock, literally, as a symbol of the unyielding righteousness of their cause. They decided to move the rock from its original location at the edge of the harbor to the center of town. Unfortunately, as the Sons of Liberty extracted the rock from the sandy muck of the harbor, it broke in half. Leaving the presumably Loyalist half behind, they carted their half of the rock to the town square.

Decades later, the rock was moved to a different part of town, only to be dropped once again and broken in half. All this time, souvenir hunters had been picking away at it. By the time the two quarters were reunited with the piece that remained at the edge of the harbor, around the time of the Civil War, the total size of the rock had been diminished by approximately half.

Today, the ornate granite edifice that enshrines what’s left of Plymouth Rock serves only to mock what is now a virtual pebble with a cemented seam running across it. Mount Rushmore, it isn’t. Indeed, Plymouth Rock has been deservedly called the biggest letdown in tourism.

And yet the rock is, as far as I’m concerned, a wonderful metaphor for what we Americans do to our history. We slice it, we dice it, we try to put it back together again, but in the end it is just there: a sadly diminished thing that, despite all the abuse we have heaped upon it, retains an enduring connection to a past we can never really hope to recapture.

Bob Dylan is a legend who has received his own share of knocks – whether it be from acoustic purists at the Newport Folk Festival or from his own motorcycle. Last week at the Nassau Coliseum, he proved that no matter what the passage of time and the constant touring have done to his vocal cords, he can still deliver songs like “Highway 61 Revisited” and “All Along the Watchtower” with a feral abandon that has grown only more powerful with the years.

And so, on this Thanksgiving Day, I am going to give thanks not only for turkey, family and football. I am going to pay homage to the staying power of two American icons, Bob Dylan and Plymouth Rock.

Britney Dumps KFed over Triple Eight

Well, not exactly, but just 8 hours before Britney dropped the divorce filing bomb on Kevin Federline, he is pictured here at the Kevin Federline launch Party with Triple Eight Vodka at Stereo in NYC Nov 3rd.