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This Club Hops

Cape Cod Girls' Pint Out club introduces women to craft beers at local restaurants.

Adorned with decorative pint glasses brimming with hops, a sign welcoming visitors to The Nor’East Beer Garden in Provincetown one evening in September boldly defines the mission statement of those on hand for the festivities. Read more…

Modern History

Forgotten furniture and abandoned antiques get a second life at Modern Vintage Design Studio in Sandwich.

No piece of furniture is as alluring or romantic as the vanity table, an artifact from a bygone era. Vanity tables, with elegant drawer pulls, large mirrors, and intricately carved legs, were once a staple in every bedroom, places where women spent hours primping. It’s not hard to imagine that every vanity was once the scene of an interesting personal story. Read more…

A Fresh Catch

Ashleigh Bennett Whether sheltered indoors or at one of the outdoor picnic tables nestled in the shade, Catch of the Day is a quintessential Cape Cod seafood experience. Chef and manager Jason Kew informs us that the seafood is delivered fresh daily. With that tip, I begin with generously portioned Wellfleet Littlenecks ($7) from the raw bar and my guest orders Fried Calamari with Marinara Sauce ($9), a perfectly breaded, mouth-watering taste of things to come. For dinner, I order Grilled Striper (market price), served with cilantro-lime aioli on top of linguine with garlic and parsley; my guest orders the Cajun-Blacked Swordfish ($19.50), served with roasted corn salsa and sweet potato fries. Both dishes are tender, well-seasoned—and very fresh. The restaurant offers a full range of weekly specials as well as a lengthy beer and wine list with plenty of local brands; the light-bodied Truro Vineyards Cape Blush paired wonderfully with our meals. The restaurant, which includes a seafood market, is open through Wellfleet OysterFest weekend.

Catch of the Day, 975 Route 6, South Wellfleet at the light to Marconi Beach 508-349-9090; www.wellfleetcatch.com

Eye Candy

Ashleigh Bennett Vivid colors are the first thing that catch your eye. Inside the O’Donnell Art Gallery in New Seabury, paintings and prints of golden beach scenes, fields of bright orange poppies, and striking blue coastal panoramas adorn the walls of the gallery, creating a visual archive of summer life on Cape Cod. Rebecca O’Donnell and her husband, Gene, opened the gallery in an old candy shop in the Popponesset Marketplace. “I’m very lucky that this used to be a candy store. Everyone already came into the place,” O’Donnell says. “Now we just offer them a different type of candy.”

Growing up in a family of artists, O’Donnell began painting many years ago. She got her start painting note cards for the Popponesset Marketplace Country Store; when they started selling well and she realized their popularity, she decided to open the gallery in 2004. The gallery is known for the annually changing colors of its walls; this year’s shade, an intense cobalt blue, inspired a series of paintings as well. In one recent work, O’Donnell moved toward a more spare style by depicting a sky with a solid shade of blue—a great contrast to a richly detailed foreground.  “This way the viewer can imagine that there is a bird in the sky, or a boat,” O’Donnell says. “People aren’t as involved with what is in the background, and they love it.”

Ashleigh Bennett

Working primarily with a mix of watercolors, acrylics, pencils, and oil paints, O’Donnell draws her inspiration from her surroundings. “I love this place,” she says. “That’s really my motivation.” Her homegrown paintings document the changes on Cape Cod. For example, authorities recently prohibited boaters from anchoring off of Popponesset Spit, which opens up to Popponesset Bay. One of O’Donnell’s paintings depicts the catamaran-filled waters in a scene that captures memories for those who treasured this place in days gone by. “I love it when people look at my paintings and say things like, ‘Oh, that used to be my house!’ or, ‘I remember that!’” she says.

Ashleigh Bennett The gallery does not represent other artists, but O’Donnell does feature other items made by local artists and family members, including a stunning line of pearl and semi-precious jewelry hand-crafted by O’Donnell’s daughter in law. On occasion, the gallery hosts a book signing by a local author, or a show featuring local artists to promote the gallery and the works of others in the local arts scene. “It’s nice to be a part of the community I live in,” says O’Donnell. “I like to get the word out about art events, and promote local arts.” She paints with a group of artists every Monday morning, and this summer the group rented one of the Hyannis Harbor Artists Shanties for a week. The shanties project gives artists who don’t own shops a chance to get used to the feeling of showing up for work, and paint in the company of others. “We’re doing a lot as a group,” says O’Donnell. “We even had a show together this summer.”

O’ Donnell says opening the gallery has contributed to her growth, both as a person and as an artist. It’s been a lifestyle change, but one she doesn’t regret.

“Having the gallery has helped my artistic abilities snowball,” she says, then smiles. “Otherwise, I’d be holed up at my house with a lot of paintings and no one knowing who I am.”

The O’Donnell Art Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day; weekends only Labor Day through Columbus Day.

For more information, log on to www.odonnellgallery.com, call (508) 477-8057, or visit the gallery at Popponesset Marketplace in New Seabury.

One Fish, Two Fish

Life October 2010 Looking for a way to spice up your table this summer? These fish pinch pots ($44 for a set of four) from Jobi Pottery are sure to be welcome additions to any home. Hand-made in a variety of colors and glazes reminiscent of vintage Fiestaware dishes, these bowls are adorned with one or two hand-painted, whimsical fish at the bottom. The pinch pots are perfect for sushi condiments, desktop organizers, organizing jewelry, or as a decoration. Each bowl is made by Susan Urtzman in her Truro studio, using original molds from the shop’s beginnings in the 1950s. Jobi Pottery also makes matching mugs, dinner plates, mugs, serving bowls, sushi plates, and more. To see the rest of the collection, visit www.jobipottery.com.

Traces of Time

Nickerson Archives at Cape Cod Community College There is no sign of life beyond a lone lighthouse on the barren, moon-like expanse of Monomoy Island in 2010. All you can see are dunes, ponds, waves, and marshland. Monomoy is officially considered wilderness by the United States Government, yet rare evidence of Cape Cod’s past remains. It is hard to imagine that over a century ago, the fishermen’s village of Whitewash on Powder Hole Harbor graced these shores. Once known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” Monomoy is rich with stories of shipwrecks, U.S. Military exercises, and even wild and wooly mooncusser legends.

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Splendor Under Glass

Life August 2010 Finely wrought, glass “sea bubbles” capture the alluring movement of the swirling blue and green waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and hold a bit of the Cape and the Islands wherever they are displayed. Each four 1/2 inch ball is filled with sand and seashells, resembling a sea bubble caught in the ocean waves. The ocean balls are crafted by local glassblower Michael Magyar, at his studio in East Sandwich. No two are alike; each one has a different design, color, and size. The ocean balls are part of the Cape Cod Sea Bubble Collection and can be custom-made in a variety of sizes, colors, styles and even can be engraved at no additional cost. Ocean balls are $58; for more information visit the Glass Studio on Cape Cod, 470 Route 6A, East Sandwich, 508 888-6681, www.glassstudiooncapecod.com.