We spent a week in Nantucket. The beaches were  beautiful. The town was charming. Fun vacation but I wouldn’t want to live there.  Not because it is a sleepy town in winter with 12,000  residents which swells to 50,000 in August. I love sleepy abandoned winter beach towns. No for me Nantucket is just too Nantucket.

Our house was near town- gray shingle  with white trim- Classic Nantucket.  Actually all the houses are gray shingles with white trim.  It is part of the charm which comes at the cost that even a blue door seems  like a subversive act. I can’t help but think of the planning and zoning codes that have emerged over time to keep it just so- preserve Nantucket. It also reminds me of our west coast version, Sea Ranch, where shed roofs and brown shingles have been codified.  It leaves me with an uneasy feeling both understanding the impetus of master planning seeking to keep a place defined apart from the sway of cheap  construction  but leading to a stylistic conformity.  For me the real charm of Nantucket isn’t in the architecture but in the 75% of the island in land trust- limiting development and preserving the coastline. Ultimately that is what will keep me charmed with the island.

PHOTOGRAPHY Alison Manchuck