Sag Harbor Sundays
Sag Harbor Sundays by Lorraine Manzo Angeletti “If you could live anywhere in the world where would you choose to be?” My immediate response to this question was Sag Harbor. During a Thanksgiving weekend in Washington D.C. , my daughter Marissa and I stopped in to Caribou Coffee. Inside was a huge chalkboard inviting customers to write their answers on the board. Bright fluorescent colored chalk filled the board with a variety of responses. Cities and countries from all over the world were represented; from Melbourne, Australia to Florence, Italy to the very city of Washington D.C. Marissa was in the process of applying to graduate school in Colorado. She wrote Boulder, Colorado in bold yellow across the board. I chose a strong red to visually articulate the passion I have for my favorite village – Sag Harbor, New York. As an artist and a writer, I know the power of the mind/hand connection. Creating what I hope to manifest in my life with a piece of art or a poem, works for me in surprising ways. Synchronicity was at work for both my daughter and myself. Six months later while Marissa was making plans to move to Boulder, I had a first date with a wonderful man at the Paradise Café in Sag Harbor. Little did I know that answering a chalkboard question would lead to a loving relationship with a man and a romance with the village of Sag Harbor. Driving over the bridge into the village of Sag Harbor, my senses are heightened. Surrounded by water glittering in the sunlight I feel a sense of expansion. I am transported to my oasis. Sag Harbor feeds my creative soul. Main Street with its historic architecture, quaint shops and amazing art galleries welcomes visitors to leisurely stroll through the village. Benches line the sidewalk inviting people to sit, relax and enjoy face to face conversation. Here in Sag Harbor one is reminded to connect with nature as well as to connect with one another. It was against this nurturing background that I fell in love. The village played an integral role in the development of my love relationship. Sag Harbor offers a variety of cultural events to enjoy .There is no “off season” for Sag Harbor. Adventures awaited us during each season of the year. Sitting by the water on warm Spring afternoons we enjoyed getting to know one another over crispy fish and chips from the Dockside restaurant. During the Summer we developed a special routine that I called “Sag Harbor Sundays”. We began our Sunday morning with a delicious breakfast at Golden Pear followed by cappuccino at Sag Town. Sag Town is more than a great coffee house. Sag Town invites their patrons to creative expression of all kinds. Musicians may play the guitar hanging on the wall. Sketchbooks are available for artists, as well as a book with prompts for writers. At Sag Town we felt as though we were celebrities. Each week we were warmly greeted by our favorite Barista. Rather than a paper cup, we were served cappuccino in large ceramic mugs. Our Sundays were our private time as a couple to talk and reconnect. Sag Harbor Sundays were the best of times for our relationship. The love we shared on those Sundays is archived by our writing and drawings at Sag Town. The Sag Harbor Art Walk was a highlight of the summer. We were inspired as we visited the art galleries. In addition to viewing the artwork, we had the opportunity to speak with gallery owners. Some of my favorite galleries include The Hooke Sculpture Gallery, The Grenning Gallery and the Richard J. Demato Fine Arts Gallery. At the Sag Harbor Music Festival, live music at venues throughout the town welcomed the Autumn season. The grey rainy weather did not dampen our enjoyment. Sharing events I loved with the man I loved, proved to be the building blocks for a strong partnership. As our relationship grew, we found joy in simple and silly pleasures. One Autumn Sunday while driving to Sag Harbor via Long Beach Road, we noticed what appeared to be two dogs standing on a rock out in the bay. Thinking it was odd, we continued on with our plans. We laughed at ourselves on the return trip when we realized that the dogs were actually two statues of wolves. According to an article in Dan’s Papers , the statues were in place to promote the upcoming Film Festival. In our private world as a couple, we had a language all our own. My man added to our vocabulary with the word “Woofs” to refer to the statues. The Woofs stood as our mascots to Sag Harbor Sundays. For us, they heralded the start of a delightful day. At first there were two Woofs. Following Hurricane Sandy we noticed that there was just one lone Woof remaining. During the holiday season a wreath was placed around the Woof’s neck. We tracked the Woof’s condition through the winter. After the blizzard we were glad to see the Woof still standing. The Winter snow added to Sag Harbor’s magic. Decorative white holiday lights dressed Main Street for the season . Ablaze with lights, the Sag Harbor Windmill stood out in sharp contrast against the quiet harbor. During the warm weather the harbor is actively home to boats, tall ships and commercial water vessels. Lacking this frenzy of activity, the view from the harbor gave rise to an open seascape stretching out to Greenport. The icy water seemed to be glad for the rest. During the Winter months, we enjoyed the view across the harbor, as well as classic films at the Bay Street Theatre. With the arrival of Spring, came the excitement of celebrating one year together. Rather than making plans for the future, as we had previously discussed , I was shocked by the sad truth. Our love relationship came to an abrupt end when I learned that the man I loved, had been living a duplicitous life. Without trust and honesty I could no longer continue. Still, I hoped the two of us could meet to talk and respectfully say good bye. Unfortunately, he refused to meet with me. Our relationship ended in a tense and difficult telephone conversation. Without closure, my heartbreak was magnified. While Sag Harbor facilitated the growth of our love relationship, the town would also play a role in its ending. I went to Sag Harbor a few weeks after our break up. I took the usual route down Long Beach Road. I looked for the Woof only to discover that he was no longer there. The mascot that had welcomed the two of us on our Sag Harbor Sundays was gone I grieved the loss of my love and the loss of the Woof. Following a wonderful yoga class at Yoga Shanti, I stopped in to Sag Town for cappuccino. When I asked for our Barista, I learned he had recently left the job. With these significant witnesses to our relationship gone, I realized that my love was truly gone. In effect, Sag Harbor provided the closure I so longed for. This was not the first time the village spoke to me. Two years ago, a painting of Bay Street Theatre beckoned to me from the cover of Dan’s Papers. Created in a Post- Impressionist style similar to that of Van Gogh, the painting had great energy. The marquis in the artwork advertised the show The Fifth of July. A significant date for me, as this happens to be my birth date. I took this as a sign that Sag Harbor is home to the birth of my artistic self. Inspiration abounds in Sag Harbor. Somewhere between Sag Town and the harbor, my creative voice would find expression. I took photos of the harbor view as reference for a landscape painting. Autumn leaves I collected became a pastel drawing filled with vibrant colors. Sipping cappuccino at Sag Town, I wrote a poem about my heartbreak. While my love relationship lasted just one year, my romance with Sag Harbor endures. Sag Harbor, New York is written across the chalkboard of my heart. The power of the mind/hand connection gifted me with wonderful adventures. Knowing that synchronicity works in amazing ways, I look forward to the future with great anticipation. Whether single or coupled, Sag Harbor remains the landscape of my dreams.