My family started coming to Martha’s Vineyard in 1960. My grandmother was friends with another Vineyard family, the Manleys, and rented their home on Canonicus from 1960-62. In the spring of ’63 they purchased our family home on Pequot Ave.
Growing up, I always felt like the location was amazing. We are just a block or two from town, the basketball courts, the beach and ocean park. From the time I was nine through the end of high school, I spent summers on the island with my grandmother. Those were the BEST times. As a kid in Oak Bluffs, there were always lots of kids around to play with. To this day most of my best friends are connected to the island.
Nia & Family
My kids are the 4th generation in the house and planning for our stay is a family ritual. Over the years, we have taken almost every mode of transport possible to the island, but our favorite is to take the car ferry out of Woods Hole. For us, the process starts in January. This year, ferry reservations opened on January 12. For some reason, I had it in my head that they opened at 9am. Imagine my surprise when I checked Facebook and a friend had already posted that they got theirs. I jumped out of bed, grabbed a computer, and freaked out for 20 minutes as the site kept crashing from all of the traffic. At 6:30 am on the first day tickets were available, half of the boats were already sold out. After sweating it out, success! We had tickets for summer of 2016.
Everyone has their own preferred way to travel, mine was formed as a kid. Our family ritual is to leave the house between 2 and 4 am to catch one of the first boats of the morning. As we drive, there are landmarks that build our excitement for the ride – hitting exit 93 and finally crossing the border into RI; the giant bug in Providence; the Bourne Bridge. Once we pass the Palmer Ave. lot, and have the last few minutes to go, our excitement is almost at a fever pitch. Finally we round the corner and you can see the ferry. After the long drive we can’t wait to get up on deck, breathe in the salt air and get the first glimpses of the island. It’s time to exhale – we’re headed home.
Lobster rolls for dinner!
In part two, Nia will share her picks for super chill fun and food on the island.
Nia Rhodes Jackson grew up in Queens, NY and now lives in CT with her husband and three children. In August, you can find her in Oak Bluffs, rocking on her porch, laying on the beach or eating a lobster roll. During the rest of the year, you will find her planning events and programs for a park conservancy.
It’s hard to believe that the summer is already starting to wind down. If you’ve spent any time on the Vineyard this summer, you know it’s been nonstop, and that’s certainly been true for us as well.
Once again, we had the privilege of participating in one of our very favorite events: The Battle in the Bluffs Basketball Tournament. This year, BITB and LegendaryMV held a fundraiser to benefit Niantic Park--specifically the basketball courts--which benefit so many of MV’s youth. In fact, Legendary co-founders Jon and James met at those very courts--without them, Lengendary MV may never have come to be, and then who would be here to help you keep it Legendary all year round?? This year, the courts at Niantic are in need of restoration, and so the Tournament was moved to the middle school. We held the fundraiser at The Barn, Bowl, & Bistro and we were able to raise $1,000 to put towards the restoration of the court. A successful event and a ton of fun later, we’re glad they were able to host us this year, and are looking forward to being able to take the Tournament back to Niantic, once the court restoration is complete!
Ian Minor (BITB founder), Jon (LegendaryMV co-founder) & Mike Sawyer (co-owner The Barn)
Right on the heels of the South Beach Party (if you want to live vicariously through us, (you can read about it here), Legendary MV had its second-ever trunk show to celebrate MVAllston's One-Year Anniversary. Owned by our good friend Erica Williams, MVAllston is the very first boutique to carry our whole line of clothing. If you haven’t checked them out yet, head on over to 21 Kennebec Ave Oak Bluffs, MA 02557 and get acquainted with one of the chicest boutiques on the Vineyard--you’ll thank us later.
Awesome display set up by our very own Kharma Finley-Wallace!
End of the night after a successful trunk show
James(co-founder), Erica (owner MV Allston), Jon (co-founder), Fred & Boss Lady
The final stop during the week of the 4th was at Art 4 Art, a part of the Vineyard Arts Project. Art 4 Art is always a must do for great food, friends, and entertainment. In the past, we raffled off a LegendaryMV sweatshirt as a part of their fundraiser to support the arts on the island. If you didn’t make it this summer, get it on your radar for next year! It's definitely where you can break out your most Vineyard summer styles.
Photos courtesy of the Vineyard Arts Project
Nick, Ava, Rikyel, Cecily having a blast at Art 4 Art!
The Weeks Family, always good seeing them every year. And co-founder of the Vineyard Arts Project, Ariel Weeks (pictured far right)
The end of July brought along another one of our favorite events--the African American Cultural Festival, put on by the Cottagers, a 501c3 of African American women homeowners on the Vineyard. Every year they bring together some of the best local entertainment and vendors for a fabulous festival showcasing MV’s African American culture and heritage. LegendaryMV was there, of course, and to make things even better, we were set up right next to our good friends, Ilao and Chuck of www.neverleavemv.com, and Kehinde Howell, founder of I’m Bluffin-- a clothing line dedicated to Oak Bluffs. Great friends, a great day, and meeting a ton of new customers and 1st timers to the Vineyard--couldn’t have asked for anything better!
HQ for the Cottagers in Hartford Park, Oak Bluffs
Built on Stilts is MV’s very own dance festival that takes place over two weeks in the middle of August. It’s a great event that we highly recommend adding to your calendar next summer, and this year, we were especially excited to see our friend Tiffany Brown perform along with a number of other incredibly talented dancers. To catch some of Tiffany’s brilliance on a regular basis, you can find her teaching hip hop to MV’s youth over at Rise Visual Performing Arts. Stop in and say hi! http://risevpa.com/
Finally, who could forget HBO's Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival? This is seriously one of the biggest DO-NOT-MISS-IT events on the Vineyard, attracting some of the best talent in film and even celebrities, like Spike Lee. This year, Dream Hampton was one of the featured filmmakers with her documentary, Treasure, a riveting look at the Detroit Trans Community’s fight for justice. Spike Lee was on hand to lead a discussion on his documentary, Chiraq, and Rain Pryor showed a documentary as well. To keep posted on next year’s event, keep up with the MVAAFF here: http://www.mvaaff.com
Now that we’ve completely exhausted ourselves recapping all of that, it’s time to head into Columbus Day for one last send-off to the summer. We will be selling at the Last Hurrah, a large scale potluck right on the wall of the Inkwell, food, fun and family! Make sure if you are on the island you stop through, what is everyone else up to?!
Just in case you still didn't know exactly where Oak Bluffs was on a map
If there is one event that almost every single person who visits Martha's Vineyard experiences, it's The Ferry. In most cases, the adventure to the Ferry is the best part, and is the source of hundreds, probably thousands of nerve-racking stories just trying to catch the boat. And all to often, missing the boat.
Let's back up and explain "the process" for those who may not be familiar with how to actually get to the island of Martha's Vineyard. The Ferries to Martha's Vineyard leave from multiple locations in the northeast, but one of the most well known docks is Woods Hole, MA.
Just departed Woods Hole headed to Oak Bluffs, whew we made it!
The Ferry from Woods Hole will take you straight to Oak Bluffs or Vineyard Haven (about 4 miles from Oak Bluffs). If you come by car, you will have to park at one of the many lots within a few miles of Woods Hole, take a shuttle bus to the ferry terminal, purchase a ticket for $17 round trip. Then you are off to your adventures in MV!
OB bound, sitting front and center on the Island Home Ferry
This is the first blog in our series of guest bloggers sharing their experiences surrounding Oak Bluffs and Martha's Vineyard. We want to share a story from someone who we know very well...okay it's Jon's mom. She writes about the stress of the adventure from DC to MV a few years ago.
By Leigh Hamilton
It’s May and time for the 8 ½ hour pilgrimage to Martha’s Vineyard. Three months earlier I purchased the most important item, a ticket from the Steamship Authority for the last boat at 9:45pm. The ferry ride is my favorite part of the trip. Once the car is settled in the belly of the boat, I can wander on deck with a warm cup of clam chowder and enjoy the breeze from Nantucket sound. It’s the reward for driving 470 miles to Cape Cod from Silver Spring.
The trip started on a Friday and armed with an iPod, cell phone and an EZ pass, my miniature schnauzer and I left home at 10:40 am, plenty of time to make the Ferry. The day was perfect, clear skies and dry roads. We drove north on I95, went through the Baltimore tunnel and crossed the Susquehanna River. It was a wonderful start to a very long drive.
With Garfield by my side and Bob Marley singing “One Love” life was good. We passed familiar markers at the cruising speed of 80 mph; Delaware Bridge, check, NJ Turnpike, check, the split at exit 8, check. It’s 1:15 and there’s still New York to travel through, no problem, the boat doesn’t leave until 9:45.
Just past Newark Airport, the traffic came to a crawl. Shit. It’s 2:30 on a Friday afternoon, New York rush hour has begun and I’m still in Jersey. I tuned to 1010 WINS and WCBS 880 for traffic reports. NJ Turnpike, jammed, GW Bridge, jammed, Cross Bronx Expressway, jammed, even the alternate route was JAMMED! 7 hours and 15 minutes until the boat sails and I’m inching through Jersey. A sea of red lights stretched out before me with no relief in sight.
In 30 minutes I moved 10 feet and panic set in. I tried a Zen exercise, take three deep breaths and relax the hands. Garfield was panting too, was he in a Zen space? The digital clock read 3:00 and I returned to the radio frantically searching for traffic updates. The reports didn’t change, bumper to bumper through the Bronx and Connecticut. Take three deep breathes and relax the fucking hands, it’s not working. Missing the ferry is not an option.
I finally crossed the George Washington Bridge at 4 pm, still hopeful that I will make the last boat. With Euro Club music playing I navigated traffic on the Cross Bronx Expressway like a true New Yorker, cutting people off, changing lanes and giving hand gestures. I took alternate routes to avoid traffic on the Connecticut Turnpike and stopped once to walk the dog and gas up. I was a woman on a mission and determined to make that boat.
It was 7:30 when I reached Mystic Connecticut, plenty of time if I do 90 mph and the police don’t stop me. I danced from lane to lane with Digital Underground as my partner. Providence, check, New Bedford, check, the Bourne Bridge, check. I did it! I crossed the bridge to Cape Cod at 9:20. Home free with 20 miles and 25 minutes to spare.
Route 28 was the final stretch, and I could taste the boat’s clam chowder. With the goal close at hand I chanced driving 75 mph in a 55 mph zone. Went through the first rotary and then the second.
When I was a few short miles away flashing blue lights appeared in my rearview mirror. Shit, the cops! As the state trooper sauntered to the car I blurted out, “I’m trying to catch the last boat!” He checked the Maryland tags, asked for my license and tried to surmise if I was drunk. I don’t know if it was the crazed look in my eyes or empathy for possibly missing the last ferry but he let me go. With fingers crossed I proceeded to the destination that was 3 minutes away.
As I rounded the bend in Woods Hole the ferry’s horn announced its departure. When I got to the dock the ticket office was dark, the crew was leaving and the boat was sailing to Martha’s Vineyard. After driving 470 miles like Danica Patrick, I MISSED the damn boat. Garfield sensing my anguish, crawled in my lap and licked my cheek, I smiled. Well, at least I’ll make the 6am boat tomorrow and the clam chowder will taste just as good.
I recently found some old pictures of me and my son on our Vineyard trips. Take a look!
1982 Jon and his mom on the Ferry after a long trip
So in case you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, summer is off to a legendary start here on the Vineyard. We officially kicked off on the 4th of July with Soul Patrol’s annual South Beach Party, which is in its 20th year.
We did The Wobble, played a lot of beach volleyball, and welcomed a ton of old friends back to the island. It was amazing.
The talented Ilao Finley Jackson and Kehinde Howell of So Focused Photography were there, and grabbed a ton of great shots. There were a lot of people reppin’ Legendary MV. We love you guys!!
Blake and Jon
Our amazing friend, Dara, rocking the Legendary Racerback
Josie, representing Legendary Oak Bluffs
Sabrina and Quinn in Legendary style
Overlooking the party from our first beach pop-up store!
In case you missed it (or if you just want to relive it), our good friend Nick had his drone out to capture an aerial view of the party. Check out the full video here:
While we look forward to the South Beach Party every year, this year was particularly important to us for a couple of reasons.
First up, Legendary MV launched our very first beach pop-up! It felt particularly special as this was the 20th Anniversary for Soul Patrol’s summer kickoff tradition. We hope this doesn’t sound like we’re bragging on ourselves, but we’re so pumped, because it was a huge success for us. Not only did we get to introduce Legendary MV to a ton of new friends (in truly legendary style, no less), but we saw more familiar faces than we can even count. Thank you guys so much for your support--it means the world to us. Of course, we tried to grab pictures with everyone who stopped by.. sorry if we missed you, we promise to get you on the blog next time!
We love them for their lightweight, super-comfy fit, and classic style. Through our rigorous product testing process, we’ve determined that they look great on literally everyone who has tried them on. To give you just a little taste:
Legendary junior style..
The best part? Summer’s just getting started, so there are plenty more beach parties, pop-ups, and new styles to come.
Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram to stay in the loop on what we’re up to and where to find us next. And of course, don’t forget to tag us in any of your Legendary shots! On IG @legendaryMV #LegendaryMV #LMV15
We pride ourselves on the quality of our apparel. We don't offer it if we don't believe in it. Legendary has operated on the principles of quality and integrity from day one. We continue to do so.
We know our brand. Sounds simple, but, it's important to us. Legendary puts an emphasis on quality, integrity, clean design, authenticity, and engagement. We understand who we are and work hard to produce apparel that empowers you. That's the Legendary difference.
Two years ago, Legendary was the first and only apparel company to take the beach. Legendary was the first on Martha's Vineyard to produce the lace-up hoody. We originated the social club. Other Legendary firsts include the 3/4 length hoody aka the slub, Legendary five panel hats, the black socks, the zig-zag beanie, etc... We don't say this to brag. We work had to bring you original and engaging apparel. It's what we believe in.