As I sit here on the eve of the first day of Spring, watching the snow fall, I’m reflecting on the choice of this year’s maps. As the dregs of winter provide some of my most productive periods of sustained work, two new maps are rounding into finished form. Similar to those of the Florida Keys, these maps reflect suggestions/requests from some of my correspondents and also respond to some visceral “aha” moment in my own head. Still a bit of self-reflection on why Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard resonated for me seems appropriate.
These iconic New England island islands are rife with history, both from the country’s earliest days and more recent. Beautifully sited south of the Massachusetts/Cape Cod coastline, they face out to the Atlantic Ocean and have launched thousands of ships from their well-protected harbors. Long at the center of the lucrative whaling industry, the islands were home to industrious and prosperous sea-farers and their related supporting groups. While whaling has long ago ceased as an activity, the idyllic qualities and prime location of these isles has continued to attract a truly American mix of A-list celebrities and politicians who seamlessly mesh with the regular folks who give these places their pulse. These discreet summer retreats, even for a number of US presidents, provide such enjoyable activities in a maritime setting that is quite removed from day-to-day drudgery yet easily reached by plane and boat.
I guess I want to visit again soon…and mapping is the next best thing!