In August, I had the chance to visit the infamous Martha’s Vineyard. You may know it as the whale shaped island off the coast of Massachusetts in the USA that is known for its beautiful summer vacationing and where Obama spends his summers. But, if you are like me, you’ll know it as the filming location for Jaws. My friend Jesse has vacationed here every summer since she was a child and (finally!) invited me along to spend a few days between work to check it out and as always, take some photos.
We drove down on a warm summer morning, leaving her house in Toronto for a 9 hour drive filled with a cooler full of snacks, an empty memory card for photos and a car with 8 seats packed full of beach balls, clothes and blankets. Since Martha’s Vineyard is an island, the 9 hour drive ends at a ferry port. You load the car onto a ferry which takes about 30 minutes and arrives at the wondrous exhibition of all things summer. Yes, Martha’s Vineyard embodies everything you hope a summer vacation place would. Margaritas, Beaches, Seaside Life, Boats, Sun, Laughter, and most importantly, food (lots of it too!).
There were two places that I explored the most during my (short) time there; Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. Let me explain by my definition of each. Oak Bluffs is the equivalent to Universal Studios’ City Walk. Lots of cheap alcohol and themed restaurants all packed from morning to evening with tourists from all over. A few rides here and there, some concerts, fireworks and entertainment overload. Edgartown is quite the opposite, its exactly like Universal Studios’ main park but the subsection where the Jaws ride used to live (RIP Jaws ride- you will always be my favourite).
Side Note: You know why the Jaws ride was my favourite? It was one of those fake guided tour rides where you explore Captain Brody’s home town and see the famous landmarks where Jaws killed people and things… yet it turns into a horrible, tragic accident where Jaws 2.0 (an animatronic shark who I was scared s***less of) comes out of the water multiple times and tries to eat your boat. After 3 or 4 visits to the ride, you know the lines, the story and the best scare moments. So, instead of looking out at the ride when you are on the boat, you would look onto the parents who would bring their young children (there was no minimum age to ride) and sit them at the side where the shark would jump up. Since you were trapped inside for the duration of the ride, you would watch as the parents had a moment of realization that this ride may not in fact be for their 3 year old child. Screaming inside and a lot of laughter from the back of the boat where my parents and I would reside and kick back. Now that’s all gone and everything is kid-friendly- blah boring… but I digress.
So, Edgartown is like the beginning of that ride where everything is peachy keen and perfect. Beautiful white picketed fences, manicured lawns, colourful flowers and colonial, traditional Americana houses group together to form a neighbourhood unlike any other in America.
Each wouldn’t really be able to exist without the other- Edgartown would be too pretentious and Oak Bluffs would be too touristy but because they coexist its the perfect place to let your wild side out at Oak Bluffs and have your morning coffee in Edgartown at one of the many quaint but beautiful shops about.
In each of my 4 days, I practiced different things with my camera. We biked everywhere so at most I carried a travel tripod, an ND filter, a body and my 50mm 1.4, 24-105mm f4 lenses. I used Jesse as my model (as per usual) and practiced retouching at night, some astrophotography and landscape shots for my stock photography collection.
I hope you can catch a glimpse of what Martha’s Vineyard is like from the photos below!