Contributing Editor

Art of the Cape & Islands, 2013

published by Cape Cod Life, Publications, Inc.

 

Profile of Sarah Hinkley:

To understand what Sarah Hinkley’s paintings are all about, the best thing to do is drive out to a bay side beach (Chapin perhaps), at low tide, get out of the car and just gaze for a moment, blurring your eyes a little bit—at the sand, the flat, steel stripe of water under blue sky and hazy white sun. Says Hinkley, “It's really about color.  The other stuff is just an excuse to get the color down there and to make the color work. I like these washed out, dirty, really pale browns, a washed out cobalt green that looks almost blue—sundrenched colors that have been really washed out from the sunlight over time.” Growing up in Cummaquid, she spent many days out on the Cape’s beaches. “Chapin beach, low tide, was always one of my favorite places. When all you see is sea and sky. That palette is a big inspiration.” 

 

 

Profile of Joan Peters, Osterville

Cape Cod HOME, Summer 2011

 

The best time to visit Joan Peters’ eponymous shop in Osterville would be one of those cold, raw, dreary New England days. This may seem counterintuitive—better to visit an interior designer when the natural light is ample and available, right? Trust me—the breath of fresh air and sunshine that will embrace you as you open the pale pink door will be all the more poignant contrasted with the drudgery outside. For if there is one thing you should know about Joan Peters’ style, it is all about sunshine, light, and color; drudgery has no place to rest here and cannot even be seen beyond the embellished window panes.  

 

Spice it up!
Asian Restaurants on Cape Cod

Cape Cod View, July 2012

 

Whenever I start to feel a cold coming on, there is one thing I crave: Vietnamese Hot & Sour Soup. This delectable broth is a spicy melange of ginger, garlic, fresh vegetables, and chicken, topped with a punch of chopped cilantro and amply seasoned with chile peppers. It is a mouth and eye watering experience that is just the right kick for a weary immune system.  

 

Thankfully, when these cravings come on, I do not have to travel thousands of miles to delight in these flavors. The Cape has a small but exemplary sampling of authentic South and Southeast Asian restaurants. The stories of these restaurants are as spicy and flavorful as their signature dishes. If you are planning to dine out but have already had your fill of steamed lobster and fried clams, give one of these restaurants a try. 

WRITING PROJECTS

 

I love a good story.  Since 2009, I have worked as a freelance writer for local, Cape Cod-based publications.  With a formal background in visual arts and interests in gardening and food, I've covered a little bit of everything from art, architecture, landscape design, weddings.  Below is a sampling.

Real Weddings

Southern New England Weddings, 2015

 

Alexandra and Nicholas Stotik are serious Disney fans.  “For both of us, going to Disney is a chance to live in another world for a little while.  It is an escape,” explains Alexandra.  It is also where the two took their first trip and eventually got engaged. “It has been a huge part of our lives and our relationship,” says Nicholas, “it is our home away from home.” 

 

The biggest challenge for the couple was deciding where to get married.  It had been Alexandra’s dream to marry Nicholas at Disney.  The conundrum was the distance.  “We knew that some of the most important people to us wouldn't be able to travel,” recalls Alexandra.  Nicholas proposed a solution: a small, private ceremony at Disney and later, a full wedding and reception back home.  Flash forward to November, the day before Alexandra’s birthday: the two were exchanging vows on a beach with Cinderella’s Castle glowing over the water.  “It was very low key, no frills, just our parents,” says Alexandra, “I was lucky that Nicholas offered that.” 

Profile of Taylor-Bray Farm

Cape Cod Magazine, May 2015

 

On the side of Route 6A in Yarmouth is a small, washed out sign that reads “Bray Farm.”  It is easily missed.  A turn at the sign brings a traveller down a rambling road, at the end of which sits a humble farmhouse and an ancient barn standing on stones, nestled among green fields and set against graceful sweeps of marsh grasses reaching out towards Cape Cod Bay.  This is Taylor-Bray Farm.  Stepping onto the grassy pastures is like stepping into an earlier century to a vision of Cape Cod that has, for the most part, vanished.

 

 

The average day is quiet and peaceful, with the sun and wind the only visitors.  Since the Farm is free and open to the public, one often sees others picnicking on the grass or walking the boardwalk out into Black Flats marsh.  All year-round residents are non-human: two Scottish Highland cows, two Nubian goats, two Mediterranean miniature donkeys, seven Navajo Churro sheep, and a bustling flock of chickens.     

 

 

A Church Fit for a Lord

Cape Cod Magazine, March 2015

 

You can tell a lot about a town from its churches.  Newport, Rhode Island, for example, is notable in that there are no churches flanking its original town green. Given Newport’s history of religious tolerance and flexibility, it is fitting that its many different places of worship are scattered throughout the town and no singular denomination is given priority by being located in the center.

 

 

Falmouth’s historic Village Green features two distinctive churches, the gleaming white First Congregational Church, and St. Barnabas Memorial Episcopal Church, which celebrates its 125th birthday this year.

 

 

With its striking stone walls and gothic spire, St. Barnabas rests peacefully on an expanse of lush green lawn overlooking the pond where Falmouth’s first colonial residents got their fresh water.  The church’s stately architecture and idyllic, pastoral backyard stand in sharp contrast to its controversial beginning.   Its creation story features a quirky cast of characters, a clashing of elite egos, and the all too familiar push/pull between locals and summer residents.

Profile of Paul Bowen

Art of the Cape & Islands, 2009

published by Cape Cod Life, Publications, Inc.

 

Whale bones. Clay marbles. Fish boxes. These relics and reflections of Cape Cod's history have been transformed by artist Paul Bowen into a unique language of forms. Bowen, a consummate collector, has amassed a large collection of

beach finds and has a studio full of rescued materials: driftwood, old barn doors, wooden drums-and a cherished stockpile of beautifully textured paper taken from

old journals.

 

Bowen, a native of Wales, first came to Cape Cod in 1977 when he received a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. The first year extended to a second and, eventually, he settled on the Cape. Provincetown has been his home for over 30 years, and despite a recent move to Vermont. Bowen continues to cultivate his strong ties to the Cape.

Profile of Jennifer Morgan

Art of the Cape & Islands, 2010

published by Cape Cod Life, Publications, Inc.

 

One of the best things about visiting an artist's home and studio (which for Jennifer Morgan are essentially one and the same) is that you see how artistic sensibilities,

passions, and ideas manifest themselves and influence one another. In Morgan's case, her house in Harwich, which she designed and built herself, is the perfect expression of her love for minimal, industrial materials, patterns, and surfaces. Morgan laughs and proudly says that visitors either love it or hate it.

 

While visually, it is definitely not your typical Cape style house (no quaint cedar shingles, wide pine floors, or low ceilings), her living space is bright and warm and places all the things she loves about Cape Cod (the light, the quiet, and the open space) to best advantage. The most stunning features of the house are two-story windows on the south side which provide passive solar heat and light in all seasons.  Morgan chose building materials such as steel and concrete which fit her self-described urban aesthetic and are efficient and low maintenance. "I'm so lucky! I'm not really a beach person, but I do love the country," she says. "So I wanted to create an industrial New York City loft floating over a meadow. That's essentially what I got, but I love that it's a little more cozy."

 

Ocean Wed

Cape Cod Life, May 2012

 

Most people who live on Cape Cod year-round already have a certain reverence for the physical beauty just minutes from their door.  When it comes to weddings, no fancy trimmings or extraneous bells and whistles are necessary to celebrate the spirit of this place.  All you really need to do is show up and let the timeless, intoxicating fusion of ocean and sky work its magic (a little prayer to the weather gods never hurts either).

© ​amanda wastrom/ alfieds@gmail.com