Cape Cod LIFE, May 2016

Welcome to Main Street in Falmouth

Cape Cod Life  /  May 2016 / , , ,

Writer: Matthew J. Gill / Photographer: Charles Sternaimolo 

Welcome to Main Street in Falmouth

Cape Cod LIFE, May 2016

Cape Cod Life  /  May 2016 / , , ,

Writer: Matthew J. Gill / Photographer: Charles Sternaimolo 

Main Street Falmouth

Photo by Charles Sternaimolo

For two days last August, photographer Charles Sternaimolo and I explored Falmouth’s lovely Main Street, attempting to capture the color and charm of the village for the photo essay on the following pages. We took in some great sights and met a lot of interesting people along the way, including a waiter from Macedonia, bowling fans from New Jersey, and a few Falmouth firefighters who chatted with us about their work—until an alarm sounded, springing them into action.

Our time in town was a blast, but the working conditions were steamy, so we rewarded ourselves with some nice Main Street meals. One of the many culinary highlights was the Quarterdeck Restaurant’s Megansett crab salad sandwich. Like many things in Falmouth, it was phenomenal!

Savoring breakfast—and a little fun in the sun

For breakfast we stopped in the Pickle Jar Kitchen, a popular eatery now in its fourth year of business. The restaurant was crowded inside, and on the outdoor patio patrons enjoyed eggs and waffles served with sunny temps in the high 70s. I tried the Blueberry Muffin French Toast, which was delivered by Mihail Gorgiev, our amiable waiter from Macedonia.

In front of The Homespun Garden next door, New Hampshire residents Judi and Greg Harisiades modeled some of the shop’s funky sunflower chairs. Their daughter had just competed in the Falmouth Road Race and they were enjoying all of Cape Cod’s wonderful offerings: dining, beaches, sightseeing and more.

Classic cuts and chords

As we opened the door to Main Street Barber Shop, Antonio DePalma of Boston was in the chair getting a trim. Doing the job was Mark Morin who co-owns the business with his wife, Linda. As of last summer the shop record for most cuts in a day was 87, split between the hair-cutting couple. One fun detail of this shop is while waiting for their turn patrons can strum a few chords on an acoustic guitar, which is readily available to customers for that purpose. The guitar is played “all day long,” says Morin, who recalled a special visit by an autistic boy who was overjoyed with the chance to jam.

Fun and games at the Falmouth Library

The Falmouth Public Library is a beautiful spot and quite a draw in summer. During our time in town, we interacted with many people congregating on or near the front lawn, from readers and walkers to kids playing hacky sack. We met Carolyn “CeCe” Carpinella who was lounging in the grass with her tablet and coffee. We also watched siblings Grace, 5, and Gabriel Chellakumar, 7, play chess on the built-in board by the street. Vacationing in Mashpee with their parents Lori and Solomon, the family lives in New Jersey in the town of Chatham. On Yarmouth Road. No joke. The family visits Cape Cod every year and enjoys bowling at Ryan Amusements; they don’t have candlepin in Jersey.

In the mood for something sweet?

Ghelfi’s Candies makes more than 200 different kinds of chocolate, and a variety of other sweet and sour selections. “I grew up making candy,” says the company’s owner Scott Ghelfi. Scott let us observe as he cut 30-pound beds of fudge—Oreo, marshmallow and chocolate walnut—into palatable portions. Enthusiastic employee Maureen Ferrier also showed us several fresh creations including a tray of sea-salted chocolates and some milk chocolate sand dollars.

We really relished this meal!

Near the east end of Main, Mike Bullard warmly welcomed us into Doggz & Hoggz, his appropriately named eatery. Now in its fourth year, the restaurant was super clean and the food was tasty. We tried the jumbo dog with cranberry apple relish; Mike—they call him “the Big Dog” or “the Top Dog”—came up with the recipe. Next time, I’ll try the Poor Man’s Surf & Turf, featuring two dogs and a quahog for $8.99. Doggone it, they even do catering. Open April through December.

Welcome to Main Street in Falmouth

Photographer Charles Sternaimolo

Wonderful artwork, colorful characters

Browsing at the Falmouth Art Market, which meets on Thursdays in summer in front of the Gus Canty Community Center, we met several local artisans. Among them was Carl Sheffer, a retired executive who sells his travel photographs while enjoying a nice pipe in the sun. Another artisan, Chico, sells necklaces and other jewelry made of wampum. He sands down the shells to reveal the pretty colors beneath the surface. “Every piece I picked up one mile from here on Menahaunt Beach,” he says. A few booths down was potter and woodcarver John Russo. “What’s not to love about Falmouth?” Russo says. “I like being on the water and in the water.”

Impressive recipes, unique name

Inside Bear in Boots Gastropub, we met owners Gates and Kate Rickard, who named the business after their kids—well, their kids’ nicknames that is. Charlie, who showed a strong personality as a baby, is called “Bear;” Alex, or “Boots,” is known for his big feet; and Eva, who often hides stuff around the house, goes by “Squirrel.” The restaurant glows with a warm, family feel, and the owners are knowledgeable about their craft. They age a variety of meats in-house including pepperoni and wild boar; they’re experimenting with suvi cooking—where water is maintained at a consistent temperature throughout—and at the bar they serve some tasty sangria infused with oranges and strawberries.

A star was born on Main Street

Did you know that Katharine Lee Bates, the writer of America the Beautiful, was born on Main Street? It’s true. Take a walk by 16 Main in the west end to view the attractive home where Bates once lived, and learn a little about the famous writer and Wellesley College professor.

The colorful Carousel of Light

We stopped by the colorful Carousel of Light on a few occasions. Local artisan Lance Shinkle intricately hand carved and painted each of the ride’s 20 horses, and they each have names like Pearl, Butterscotch and Poseidon. Who is Lance Shinkle, you might ask? For starters, he’s the gentleman who can often be seen riding his motorcycle around the Upper Cape. You can’t miss him—the bike looks like a lion! Carousel staffer Sue Lefcourt told us “real men ride carousels,” so we gave it a spin. Manager Beth Juaire provided lots of interesting details on the carousel’s history, and was quick with the one-liners. To me, her family joke—what did Juaire today?— is a Cape Cod classic.

A gathering spot for scholars & artists

In front of Eight Cousins Children’s Books we marveled at the awesome “Alphabet Chair” that Falmouth artist Sarah Peters created for the store. In town to visit their grandparents, siblings Jaidin, 11, and Tia Russell, 10, read perfectly for the role of chair models. Upstairs, we met Jackie Schon and Meghan Miklavic at The Paint Bar. A Falmouth resident, Jackie owns the store with her mother, Jill, and they offer painting instruction classes for kids during the day, and for adults at night.

Main Street Falmouth Photo Gallery

Photography by Charles Sternaimolo

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Matthew J. Gill

Matthew Gill is the former editor of Cape Cod LIFE and Cape Cod ART magazines. A graduate of U-Mass Dartmouth, Matthew has worked as a journalist since 2003 and has written on topics ranging from the sinking of Nantucket’s whale ship Essex and the history of the Barnstable-Falmouth Thanksgiving football rivalry, to the Cotuit Rowing Club, Provincetown’s Art’s Dune Tours, and more! A relative newcomer when it comes to the Cape, Matt and his wife Melissa just celebrated a Cape Cod-themed wedding.