Step by Step

What to do, where to go, what to see, what to read, and more.

Vineyard Artisans Festival

May 25 – May 26

Island artists and artisans showcase their pottery, jewelry, woodcrafts, and more at the first Vineyard Artisans Festival of the season, held at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury. 

Oak Bluffs Pride Parade 

Ray Ewing

June 8

Organized by the Oak Bluffs Association, the third annual Pride Parade brings together LGBTQ+ Islanders and allies for an afternoon of self-expression and celebration.

Juneteenth Jubilee

June 19 – June 23 

The third annual Juneteenth commemoration kicks off with a multi-day festival featuring art, music, a Gospel brunch, and lectures by leading scholars, held at various locations around the Island.

Where to Go

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission’s annual cross-Island hike is not for the faint of heart. Held every year on the first Saturday of June (this year, June 1), participants briskly traverse the Island via ancient ways, public trails, and easements. The exact route varies each year, but typically comes in at around twenty miles long. Organizers warn: this is not a guided nature walk. The pace is tight, the terrain is rough, and the day is long, so bring a water bottle, plenty of snacks, and sturdy shoes. Be on the lookout for ticks too. Those little buggers come out in force this time of year. 

Of course, once you’ve packed your knapsack, tucked your pants into your permethrin-treated socks, and gotten out on the trail, you’ll be glad you made the trek. For the 2024 itinerary, visit 

What We're Listening To

The thrumming of buzz saws, the humming of drills, the staccato clang-clang of hammers – it’s music to the ears. At least, it is when those sounds are emanating from the Portuguese-American Club in Oak Bluffs and not, say, from your neighbor’s backyard. Following two years of fundraising, the community-minded bar and club has raised more than $18,000 to build a proper stage for its weekly live music performances. According to John Stanwood, an Island musician who frequently performs at the club and helped design the stage, the high-ceilinged room was notoriously one of the most acoustically difficult venues on the Island. No more. In addition to the new stage, the club plans to install soundproofing panels, lights, and a sound system. 

What to Read

The Lost Letters from Martha’s Vineyard by Michael Callahan (HarperCollins, 2024) 

It’s not every day that history, mystery, old Hollywood, and the Island collide, but novelist and Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Callahan isn’t concerned with everyday matters. Instead, he sets his sights on a series of yesterdays that take the reader on a gripping journey from 1959 to present. The book begins with a revelation of hidden identity: while rifling through her belongings, Kit O’Neill learns her recently deceased grandma was, in fact, a Hollywood starlet who mysteriously disappeared. She sets out in search of answers, only to find that all roads lead to the Vineyard.

Morning Pages by Kate Feiffer (Regalo Press, 2024)

Kate Feiffer is many things: an acclaimed illustrator, a beloved longtime Island resident, and a much-respected children’s author. Now she adds one more descriptor to that list. For the first time in her career, Feiffer has written a novel for adults. The long-awaited debut delves into the life of a woman trying to juggle her professional and private lives. Inevitably, those worlds collide as she cares for her ailing mother and distant son while producing a play that will (hopefully) turn her career around. It’s a heartwarming, sometimes hilarious meditation on writer’s block, expectations, and the push and pull of constantly shifting identities. 


$1 million - Cost to rent a Chilmark home on Nashaquitsa Pond for four weeks. The home boasts:

11 - Bedrooms

13 - Bathrooms

5 - Acres of property, including a spa, fitness center, and pickleball court.

“Even though there were Russians in American jails, the Russians don’t seem to be all that keen on having them back.” 

– Chappaquiddick artist Elizabeth Whelan on why negotiations to bring her brother Paul Whelan back from a Russian prison have stalled. The U.S. government says Whelan, who was arrested in 2018 on charges of espionage, is being wrongfully detained. He was excluded from a previous Russia–U.S. prisoner swap in 2022.

What to Watch

Forget camping out at the Chilmark General Store. This spring, you can spot some of your favorite Island bold-faced names at home. The lineup begins on Hulu, where comedian and Chilmark regular Amy Schumer recently debuted the second season of her hit show Life & Beth. The semi-autobiographical series is loosely based on Schumer’s marriage to Island chef and farmer Chris Fischer. 

Over on HBO, Larry David’s offbeat sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm returned for its twelfth and final season, featuring a cameo from fellow seasonal resident and small-screen royalty Ted Danson. 

Finally, on Paramount+, West Chop summer resident Amor Towles’s bestselling novel A Gentleman in Moscow (Viking, 2016) has been adapted into a TV miniseries. Stay tuned: Towles is also in talks to adapt his third novel, The Lincoln Highway (Viking, 2021), into an upcoming film.

What You Missed

The Miracle of Spring

Snowdrops and crocuses and pinkletinks singing, the first blush of yellow on goldfinches winging, these are a few of the things that you missed. The twelve (or was it fifteen) straight days of rain and the fifteen (or was it twenty-five) straight days without sun? Not so much. 

One Big Tourist

For the first time in two centuries, a gray whale was sighted in waters surrounding the Vineyard. The whale, said the researchers who observed it diving and surfacing some thirty miles south of the Island, was most likely on an extended cruise from the West Coast of America, where the species is common.

Speaking of Whales

To protect highly endangered right whales, which are native to local waters, federal regulators propose to limit the speed of large vessels when the whales are likely to be present. The Steamship Authority formally opposes the measure, claiming it would have to cut 14 percent of its trips to the Vineyard and warning that the “tourist and hospitality economies will suffer with a downturn in the number of passengers carried to the Islands.” More whales, less traffic…
the horror!

Speaking of Natives

It wasn’t looking good for Wilfred, lying there on the path with crows climbing on him and pecking at him mercilessly. That’s how Rebecca Sanders, who works at Whippoorwill Farm in West Tisbury, found the barn owl, who was most likely suffering from ingesting rat poison. After a month in off-Island rehab, Wilfred was returned to Whippoorwill, where owner Andrew Woodruff had built him a fine accessory dwelling up in the top of the barn.