For two days last August, photographer Charles Sternaimolo and I explored the shops, restaurants, and cultural venues that make up today’s Main Street in Hyannis, and we met many of the characters that bring it all to life. We walked the length of the street a few times during our photo shoot, attempting to capture the essence of the community through our photos and interviews.
We met people from countries around the world—Bulgaria, Russia, and Slovakia to name a few—and others from just down the street. We saw color and creativity on display everywhere, from the flowers outside the Brazilian Grill to Talk of the Town Gift’s hot air balloon decorations. We enjoyed great meals at Main Street restaurants, learned a lot about the area, and had a good time in the process. We hope you enjoy this photo essay on Main Street in Hyannis—and be on the lookout for the next installments (Provincetown and Chatham) in our next two issues.
Sometimes the best photos . . . just kind of happen
Part of the fun of an assignment like this is the slice-of-life stuff, the people you bump in to, the scenarios you don’t expect, and the photos you couldn’t have dreamed up. Early on our first day, we saw two men working on the clock tower at First Baptist Church. That was pretty timely, if you ask me. Next, we came across 6-year-old triplets getting temporary tattoos. The boys—Kaychaun, Dantae, and Isaiah—were visiting Wings on Main with their aunt. The artist doing the job? Polin Alexsieva of Bulgaria. Then, just around the corner, we met Sophie Mitrokostas, who was walking her poodle, Lulu, along the Village Green, and no, she wouldn’t mind posing for a few photos. We couldn’t have planned it any better.
One mile of merchants
If Hyannis is the melting pot of Cape Cod, Main Street is the fondue. From end to end, there’s a mile of shops, salons, and galleries galore. Shoppers can find pretty much anything here, from clothing and candy, to skateboards and souvenirs. Popping into Puritan Cape Cod, Rick Penn, the company’s president, brought us up to the roof so we could get a high-end view of the street. Back inside, Puritan’s Anne Bellino was game for an impromptu photo shoot, modeling some new styles including AG Jeans, a Vince blouse, and an Eileen Fisher cardigan.
The Kennedys, the Cape League, and more
Inside the JFK Hyannis Museum—dedicated to everything about the nation’s 35th president—we met Jennifer Andreozzi, and her sons Nicholas and Lucas, of Bristol, RI. They were on the family’s annual Cape Cod vacation and checking out the museum’s “Jack and Bobby” exhibit. Jen Pappalardo, the museum’s operating supervisor, gave us a great tour of the place, which also houses the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Hall of Fame exhibit. One person we did not bump in to is Sergei Khrushchev, the son of former USSR Premier Nikita Khrushchev, who visited the museum in 2014.
Creativity on display
On the west end of Main, we stopped in The Little Beach Gallery where we met owner Jen Villa. The gallery exhibits the work of 60 different artists, and many of the pieces have a nautical theme: buoys, seagulls, and a fun fish made from a snowshoe. What’s Villa’s view of the village? “It’s a mile long of incredible diversity and charm, and every summer it reinvents itself.”
We stopped in a few other colorful shops, including the Poor Man’s Art Gallery and Soho Arts Company, and on each of our trips up and down the street we always paused to appreciate the cool whale sculpture outside Black Whale Gallery.
Make your next reservation . . . on Main Street
Hungry? If so, Main Street has a lot to offer. We enjoyed a great kick-starter breakfast at The Egg & I, coffee at Rendezvous Café & Creperie, and a lobster-roll lunch at the Federated Church of Hyannis, which was celebrating its 58th year of Fridays-in-summer fundraisers. There, we met two Hyannis residents, Geri Brown and Betsy Hendricks. “I like the improvements that have been made [to Main Street], Brown says. “I think it’s very welcoming, not just to tourists but to families as well.”
Hendricks says she loves the flowers on Main Street, and the food at Alberto’s Ristorante. Taking her lead, we dined at Alberto’s that night, savoring some sangria, chicken and eggplant Parmesan, and the attractive views from the patio.
All along the waterfront
A brief walk through the Village Green, or down Ocean, brings us to the lively Hyannis waterfront. Here, travelers hop on ferries to both Nantucket and the Vineyard and it’s a busy, exciting scene. We met Allan Hansen of Chicago, who had just returned from Nantucket, and was happy as a clam. “Just like the brochure said it would be,” he says.
The area has much to offer within walking distance of the ferries, including great seafood restaurants, the Cape Cod Maritime Museum, the pastel-colored HyArts Artist Shanties, and Aselton Park. On Tuesday and Friday nights in July and August, free concerts are performed in the park. We took note—for we were in town on a Friday.
A couple of Cape Cod characters
Simply put, there are many fun and interesting folks on Main Street. At Cape Cod Harley Davidson, we met Karen Luby-Drew. She says the store draws visitors from around the world. “They want the shirts that say ‘Cape Cod’ on them,” she says. “It’s very nice to meet people from all over—we have all kinds on Main Street.”
Across the street at the Joke Shop, we met employees Grant Sherman and Cameron Pierce. They modeled the store’s popular “Billy Bob” hat featuring wild “Billy Bob” hair. “The joke shop is unique,” Cameron says, “because it brings in all walks of life.” Grant adds that in 2015 a group of monks stopped in and tried on a few masks, and that was quite a sight.
These guys really took us for a ride
While on Main Street, we regularly observed and heard the Cape Cod Duckmobiles tour going by, so we had to try it. On the entertaining and informative tour—which brings passengers along Main, down Ocean Street to the water, into and around the harbor, and back—driver Paul Frongillo and narrator Amanda Ross were a comedy team rivaling Laurel and Hardy. “Let’s see if this old duck starts,” Frongillo said while turning the key. “Yes! Once again into the breach!”
En route, Ross informed us that Main Street boasts 242 shops including 42 restaurants. As the boat entered the water, she announced that “emergency snorkels” were available up front. “And,” Frongillo added, “there’s just about enough for everybody.”
A nightcap at the Beech Tree—and Behram Haliti
Busy during the day, Main Street really comes alive when the sun goes down. We stopped at the Beech Tree Cantina and sat at the one-of-a-kind outdoor bar that’s built around and below a magnificent beech. What a spot—and the margaritas were tasty, too.
Moving on, we saw a crowd outside Wackenhammer’s Clockwork Arcade & Carousel. In summer, the place is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and we noticed the colorful carousel was never short on riders. Vendors were set up nearby, including Behram Haliti of Kosovo, who was selling colorful bubble makers. Here for the summer, Haliti said he was enjoying his time in Hyannis; meanwhile, a dog passing by was fascinated by the bubbles, and did his best to have them for dinner. The point of playing real money casino games is to play at the best real money casino sites online, hoping that you can somehow win some cash.
Main Street Hyannis Photo Gallery
Photography by Charles Sternaimolo