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*Is it worthIt?

Posted by admin | Posted in currentVintage, Events, Fashion, Food, Nantucket, travel, Vintage, Wine | Posted on 28-07-2009

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Is it worthIt?  That’s the question you have to ask.  You have to be discriminating.

This past week was an eventful one for me, as per summer usual.  I flew to Boston to see Rent, threw a benefit fashion show at Jetties Beach, hosted several wine tastings and dined out too many times.

Often after a busy few days, when I am starting to feel a little weary, not to mention pudgy and broke, I wonder, Would I do that over again? Was it worth it?

In the simplest terms, most things in life can be classified as either “worth it”, or “not worth it”.  Worth the time?  Worth the effort? Worth the $? Worth the calories? Worth sharing with others?

Of course, what’s “worth it” to me often differs greatly with others, and with the public at large, but here’s how I spent my time last week and what I will and will NOT be doing again…

*Seeing RENT for the 4th time:
worthIt!
Original leading men Anthony Rapp and my (heartthrob) Adam Pascal are back in the show for a limited run in Boston.  Story is a little dated, but the music is timeless and the talent was there to pull it off.  Plus, I just really, really love that show!

vg ee cp 2

Virna, Elisabeth & Chad Pierre at Nantucket Tree Fund event

*Waiting in line for Adam Pascal at Colonial Theatre stage door:
NOT worthIt
He was a no show, although Anthony scribbled on my playbill.

*Late Night dining at Sonsie, Newbury St:
Food: NOT worthIt
Pizza awful, salad fine
Experience:  worthtIt
Handsome Bartender Andy set up a blind tasting with 3 flights of wine…too bad wine list is pretty mediocre
Highlights were Tariquet rosé; 07 unknown Pinot Noir, 05 Charles Krug Merlot, 06 Two Hands “Gnarly Dudes” Shiraz

*Nantucket Tree Fund Benefit at Jetties:
worthIt!
Toes in the sand, beautiful models in currentVintage fashions, dancing to the AWESOME Third Bay Project all for $85.  No one will miss this party next year.

Brooke pucci

Brooke in currentVintage Pucci

*Judith Ivey in “The Lady with all the answers”:
Double worthIt!
Tony-award winner previews her one-woman Off-Broadway show about Ann Landers for the Nantucket Comedy Festival—how lucky are we?  So proud currentVintage was a sponsor.

*Dinner at Town:
worthIt
Outdoor patio with comfy, loungy cushions.  Pear margarita = yum.  Papaya shrimp salad, chicken vindaloo, butter-soft steak, Nan & Papadums

*Dinner at Corazon del Mar:
worthIt
Another great margarita.  Sea scallop ceviche is orgasmic!  Also tasty are fluke ceviche, savory arepitas, short rib tacos, yucca “fries”.  Great music, rocking setting upstairs.

corazon

The happening bar at Corazon del Mar, Nantucket

*Dinner at 21 Federal patio:
worthIt
Gruet sparkling rosé, portabello mushroom pudding, fried oysters & cherry soufflé for dessert!

*Sauvignon Republic Wine Tasting at currentVintage:
worthIt!
(Perhaps we’re a little biased here)
One grape, One producer, Three continents = an excellent opportunity in terroir tasting.  The knowledgeable and charismatic Carolyn Walsh shared insights, suggested pairings and offered guidance in nuance one would likely miss otherwise.  This was so good we will repeat it in August and possibly September.

*Various 6-8 Cocktail Parties:
NOT worthIt
It’s one thing if you live a summer of leisure, but the 6:00 time slot just doesn’t work for us working stiffs.  I would much prefer a dinner w/ friends than mingling, especially if said dinner reservation is after 8:00.

*Morning run on Washington St Beach:
worthIt!
Ok, it’s not very far, but running from the creeks to town along the harbor is unbelievably beautiful…and pretty easy.  20 minutes of cardio rewarded with a Juice Guys smoothie and a walk home = the perfect way to start the day and reminds me why I live on Nantucket.

creeks photo

View from my morning run

*Diagnosis: Benefit Burnout

Posted by admin | Posted in currentVintage, Events, Fashion, Nantucket | Posted on 21-07-2009

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currentVintage Fashion Show for A Safe Place

currentVintage Fashion Show for A Safe Place

Having just attended or hosted or participated in or donated to 20 or so non-profits in the last month, I think I could be diagnosed with the debilitating condition we shall call “benefit burnout”.

Symptons are emotional and physical and include, but are not limited to:

*Confusion over what day it is
*Large drycleaning bills
*A drawer full of gift certificates for random services purchased under duress at silent auctions
*Alcohol poisoning
*Empty checking account

Seriously, I bet Nantucket is rivaled only by New York and Palm Beach in its volume of fundraising and charities, and I say this in the most complimentary way.  It is amazing how many non-profits are supported by this tiny island and its year-round and summer communities.  And a community it is, in no small part due to to the prevalent non-profits!

In the last few weeks, there have been benefits small and large for literally dozens of cultural, health and service organizations. The Nantucket AIDS Network celebrated its 20th Anniversary in Roaring 20s Style.  The Nantucket Artist’s Association hosted a “Surreal” Evening.  The Maria Mitchell Association held “An Evening with the Stars” at their observatory.
And on and on…One fete is more lavish and inventive than the next.

currentVintage is presently involved with THREE non-profit events in 8 days!  The “Flora & Fashion”  Show we did in the garden at Marilyn Whitney’s last Friday was a lovely evening;  instead of just another cocktail party, there was the added pageantry of a fashion show of summer looks on the lawn—everyone there was completely enchanted—something different and a wonderful way to raise funds for A Safe Place!

This week, we’re throwing a party for the Nantucket Tree Fund!
In memory of Martha Walters, a Boston and Nantucket legend and tireless tree advocate, we are staging a rock-n-roll fashion show with Cheryl Fudge and Blu.  There will be hearty apps & beverages and live music—at the beach! How do you beat that for $85?

My vote for the most creative goes to the Nantucket Arts Council.  They’re hosting a “Blind Wine Tasting” in a private home this Saturday, 07/25, and the winner wins a case of wine—6 bottles from the tasting and 6 collectible bottles from currentVintage.  The 50 people who get to participate will have an amazing experience and the NAC will raise $5000 in a few hours.

I am sympathetic of Benefit-Burnout, but that’s no excuse!  These organizations depend on summer fundraisers for a huge chunk (if not all) of their budget.  Only through generosity will the non-profits continue to provide their various services.  When you think about Nantucket without its gorgeous Elm trees, behavioral services or flourishing arts, it looks like a very different place.  I for one, don’t want to go there, so buy tix, show up, have fun and  SUPPORT LOCAL NON-PROFITS!!!

*What I REALLY meant to say at the “Interesting Women of Nantucket” Breakfast

Posted by admin | Posted in currentVintage, Events, Nantucket | Posted on 14-07-2009

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Elisabeth English of currentVintage

This morning, I attended an annual breakfast with some of the most amazing women alive, let alone on Nantucket.  I so enjoy this opportunity each summer–it beyond stimulating hearing about all the incredible projects and life achievements that these extraordinary ladies share.  The one drawback of attending the event is that I have to say something about myself.  Even if it wasn’t about myself, I am sure I would stumble, but talking about ones “achievements” in this company is so humbling I could throw up.

The very first guest mentioned that she had just published another book on soldiers with head injuries and was starting her own TV network.  Not TV show, but TV network.  wow.  The second guest has made some major motion pictures and written a few off-Broadway shows.  Down the line we went, including many authors of many books, others in film and TV, and a few involved in curing cancer…and I say this all without the slightest exaggeration.

And so it came to be my turn.  And instead of seizing the moment and sharing about my store, currentVintage, and the vision behind it, and what makes it special, and how much we do for nonprofits on a weekly basis, and so on, I think I merely muttered that I had a store in town somewhere and then passed the baton to the next wonder woman…thanks goodness the hostess likes me or I surely would not be invited back.

Instead, however, of going on about my feelings of inadequacy, I will now move on to the point of this experience:  women are wonderful.

Our hostess opened by declaring, “I love women” and I concur.  Women can be so supportive and what’s more important than support?!  Words of encouragement and consolation?  A vote of confidence?  One story shared was of a moment in one woman’s life when she called a friend for advice, and, in that moment, she could have been tamped down or encouraged.  That friend chose to encourage her in her aspiration and that led to a new career in her 40s in which she excelled—as a comedian.

There were recurring themes of support and motivation, courage and parenting.  There was the heartbreaking–and warming–intimacy of one who had lost her husband last year;  she said that without the strength and love of the women in her life she would never have gotten through it, and it was clear by the intensity of her emotion that she meant it.

I ran a marathon a few years ago, which was a pretty big deal to me, since I wasn’t much of a runner.  I never would have gone through with it if wasn’t for the unanimously positive encouragement I received from every single woman I consulted.  I asked a dozen or more if they thought I could do it, and they all answered (without even knowing me very well) emphatically yes.  I later understood they just wanted me to have the same experience of running a marathon that they did.  The power of a support group cannot be overrated.

I wish I was a better public speaker and so I will work on it.  I’m pretty good at social media–I write a dynamic newsletter each week, I get our message out on facebook, I tweet, I blog.  For now, I just take pride in the fact that I showed up, because only by showing up do you get to have the experience.

Anyway,  what I REALLY Meant to say to the girls was that my store is a big part of my life and through it, hopefully, we affect a lot of people & organizations in many small, personal and sometimes meaningful ways…

Click here:  Elisabeth English talks about currentVintage on Plum TV

My (So-called) Charmed Life

Posted by admin | Posted in currentVintage, Events, Fashion, Food, Nantucket, travel, Wine | Posted on 07-07-2009

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Last night (bratty as it sounds), I tweeted that I was forced to choose between a sunset cruise on a Hinckley picnic boat and a catered moonlit dinner on our deck.

As it turned out, I didn’t get to do either, but I did drop by a friend’s boat on Old South Wharf and have a glass of Ferrari Carano chardonnay before heading back to work.  Plan C was not half bad; in fact, it was great!  It’s a charmed life on Nantucket.
Just looking back at my calendar the last week or so makes me smile with wonder and exhaustion…
Attended Kathie Lee and Frank’s Spiritual Heritage luncheon at the Sconset Casino and met them after at the Chanticleer…dinner at 21 and American Seasons…photo shoot singing at the Club Car piano…filmed a currentVintage wine tasting with the Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown at Cheryl Fudge…a Burgundy dinner with summer friends on Old North Wharf…watched the 4th of July fireworks from the gorgeous yacht “Snowgoose”…

Elisabeth & Mark on Old North Wharf

Elisabeth & Mark on Old North Wharf

Of course, this scenario of a life of leisure belies the fact that I also worked 80 hours in 8 days, hosted two in-store wine tastings, restyled the store three times for events and trunk shows, and rang up wine and dresses like mad during what can only be described as “the first-four-consecutive-days-of-summer-sun-4th-of-July frenzy”.  Not that I’m complaining…How wonderful to have a deluge of $ instead of the deluge of raindrops!

It’s a charmed life in a charming place.
Granted, Nantucket is a very special island of cultural history and natural beauty and that is what attracts the visitors and the media, but what is so wonderful is how many interesting and talented people adopt Nantucket as home or second home.  I don’t really know the Giffords, but I do know they have given generously of their time and money to many local causes and community events, not the least of which was the spiritual weekend I attended.  It takes real devotion to wear your religion on your sleeve and I found them to be genuinely inspiring and not the least dogmatic.
And how wonderful it was that the Travel Channel chose to focus on Cheryl Fudge instead of the usual Topper’s, celebrities and Gulf Streams?  Cheryl is my friend and a designer who fashions one-of-a-kind pieces out of recycled fabrics.  Her ‘Fashion Camp” is an inspired idea that brings out the creative best in kids and grown-ups.  The Travel Channel was here for two days, filming Samantha Brown on various adventures, including a ‘Sconset bike tour with my darling, Mark Donato.  The Fashion Camp shoot involved Samantha designing her very own preppy Nantucket tank while enjoying a rosé wine tasting by currentVintage.  What a wonderful example of the talent and creativity Nantucket’s artist’s and merchants have to offer?

currentVintage Fashion Camp wine tasting for Travel Channel

currentVintage Fashion Camp wine tasting for Travel Channel

Brant Point sunset

4th of July Brant Point sunset

Of course, it’s not a walk in the park for everyone here, and with population growth and economic recession come a host of issues the island has not had to face in the past…but I prefer to accentuate the positive. Sorry to rub it in, but I have to say that I am just so blessed to live in such a beautiful place with such an amazing community. Na-nah, na-nah, naa-nah.

Travel Channel's Samantha Brown & Plum TV's Mark Donato

Travel Channel's Samantha Brown & Plum TV's Mark Donato

Meursault "Les Genevrieres" & friends on Old North Wharf

Meursault "Les Genevrieres" & friends on Old North Wharf