By Arch. Anushi Garg
Once upon a time, there was a small island in the Atlantic Ocean called Nantucket, which flourished due to the whaling industry. This was a town situated many miles away from the mainland of the United States, off the coast of Maine.
The present-day townscape in this New England town takes its visitor back in time. The handsome maple trees and manicured privets provide a serene backdrop to the unpainted grey cedar-shingled houses with brick chimneys. The late-seventeenth to mid-eighteenth century buildings have somehow managed to survive the tides of modern times and remain intact. A visit to the historic houses uncovers Nantucket’s rich cultural heritage. All the houses here have their names written on quarter boards (ornate name boards for homes) and remind us of the architectural styles and traditions the town has seen over time.
The cobblestone streets and brick sidewalks are a delight for pedestrians and cyclists alike. There are no traffic signals, which are a welcome escape from streets of the modern world. The cranberry bogs, vineyards, and elms set out an ideal landscape in this quaint town.
However, parts of the island have recently been affected by erosion along the shoreline. Measures are being undertaken to address this issue by replanting vegetation in these areas. Many residences and one lighthouse have consequently been moved to other locations for their preservation.
Various groups on the island are working together extensively to keep the old traditions and culture of Nantucket alive. Through their initiatives, summers on the island are bustling with people and opportunities to explore its rich cultural heritage and biodiversity. Watching affluent American vacationers swarming in on their boats at the wharf is a very distinctive sight in this town.
There is something simple, harmonious and beautiful about this surviving grey lady of the sea that makes everything picturesque and romantic.