Whatever is going on in the rest of the world, people are visiting Bainbridge Island in droves. Yes, once again people wear their mask indoors, and we, personally, haven’t had an indoor restaurant meal since arriving, but there are lots of events, mostly outdoors, and well-attended.
Thanks to Jonathan’s internet research, we jumped right in. We arrived on a Sunday, shopped and unpacked on Monday, and got involved immediately. There was a concert in a nearby park the evening after we arrived, a Van Morrison tribute band, Backstreet Jellyroll (See the post’s banner photo). This was their first live performance in a year and a half and the group was energized by the crowd. Concerts continue with a different group every week while we’re here. The next night was another concert downtown, in Winslow. Friday night, was “First Friday,” with merchants open late, new public art pieces being installed, galleries offering wine, and restaurants doing a booming business, even with everyone wearing masks indoors.
We visited the Suquamish Museum, a gem of a tribal museum, just across the Agate Passage that separates Bainbridge Island from the mainland. Suquamish is a well-documented community that hosted the first European visitors to the region, including the eventual founders of Seattle. Treated badly, as many native groups were, the survivors managed to cling to a spot in Suquamish near the original location of the chief’s house. The museum has a relatively plain exterior, but the exhibits inside are impressive, and we spent quite a while reading and looking.
From the museum, we strolled toward the shore and visited Chief Seattle’s (Sealth) grave. It’s a peaceful spot overlooking the water. We continued to the shore and found ourselves outside the community house with the sounds of basketball coming from inside, and kids playing outside. Walking uphill to the car, we stopped for a breather at the Veteran’s Memorial flanked by large male and female-featured carved posts.
The two farmer’s markets, in Winslow, and just over the bridge in Poulsbo, are both held on Saturdays from 10am-2pm, and we hit both of them on our first Saturday in town. The peaches were perfect, along with lots of other delicious things. We’ve visited the Safeway and the Town and Country Market, “T&C” to those in the know. We bought halibut at a fish store, and picked wild blackberries to make both blackberry crumble and seedless blackberry jam. We won’t go hungry.
Sunday, we visited the Bainbridge Island Art Museum and I was impressed with the quality of the works exhibited. A lot of the objects were created by artists from the immediate area and the Pacific Northwest. The contemporary works were imaginative and inspiring. It’s an excellent small museum. Their summer art show and sale was on, and we browsed the booths outside the museum.
August is the month of local fairs and festivals. Every weekend a different group has an open house or art fair. We spent our second weekend visiting the five artist studios part of this summer’s Bainbridge Island Studio Tour (There’s another one in December.) At each studio, a number of artists set up their work, for a total of thirty-six artists in all. It was a lot to take in, and included some truly creative, interesting, inventive things. I stopped to chat with a woman about how she makes items out of metal clay that become solid metal after being baked in a kiln. Everyone was happy to talk about what they made and how they made it. Flocks of women my age fluttered around racks of colorful summer weight jackets and wraps, or admiring the soft scarves of merino/silk felt.
Capping off the first day of the artist studio visits was the periodic oyster night at the Eleven winery. We sat in the shade and tasted wines, sharing a dozen oysters. There were three kinds (Agate, Bayside, and ?). The oysters were harvested earlier in the day and had that perfect flavor of the sea.
There are a few more cultural stops to make, and we’ll continue to keep our eyes open for more activities, but we’ve now attended more fairs and concerts in two weeks than we have in the past two years, so for the moment we are content to slow the pace a bit.