Rebecca Townsend

Good Things in Truro - Some New, Some Not So New

There're a couple of new businesses in North Truro on Highland Road: Salty Market now occupies the former Dutra's Market. The space and has been renewed and they offer a variety of excellent sandwiches, wines and small-batch production items, along with a good selection of groceries. A few doors down, past the ever-popular Village Café, you'll find Chequessett Chocolate. They feature beans-to-bars chocolate, sourced organically, roasted on-site and blended into delicious chocolate items.

At Truro Vineyards, you can visit their brand-new distillery (only the second to open in the Commonwealth since Prohibition) where they are producing a delicious spiced rum called Twenty Boat Rum, dedicated to rum-runners on the Cape during Prohibition. The spice blend for the rum, incidentally, was made at Atlantic Spice Company, just down the road from the Vineyards, and always a great place to shop for spices, kitchen items and cookbooks.

If you haven't been in a while, have dinner at Montano's Restaurant on Route 6. They feature home-made pasta in a variety of delicious preparations and a very nice selection of wines by the glass. You can also get Truro-raised chickens at Hillside Farms, along with their great selection of produce, for a great stay-at-home meal.

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                    Some Ideas for When You Aren't at the Beach

                    Some Good Eats on The Outer Cape by John F. Guerra, 3Harbors Truro

                     

                    I've been a full-time Truro resident since 2000 and am a veteran of the restaurant business in Provincetown. I thought you might enjoy some great food-related suggestions for what to do when you're not at the beach. Truro Vineyards has a lovely tasting room for wines made on site from their own grapes, as well as fruit grown on Long Island and California. The rosé is especially good on a warm summer evening. You can also get some delicious nibbles from the Blackfish food truck at the Vineyard and have a picnic with your just-purchased bottle of wine! Truro has a wonderful new Farmer's Market every Wednesday morning in Veteran's Park just across Truro Center Road from the 3Harbor's office. Look no further than Savory and the Sweet Season for a huge selection of ice cream and delicious pizzas.

                    I love to bike to Wellfleet along Old County Road. Take a pack with you so you can bring back great produce or seafood from Hatch's in the town parking lot. Stop at the bustling Wellfleet Market for other provisions. Mac's Shack is deservedly popular (superb oysters and sushi), as are Winslow's Tavern (sit on the terrace or upstairs at the atmospheric bar room and take in some great food and live music on weekends) and The Wicked Oyster (which does a great breakfast too).

                    Back on Route 6, you can fuel up at Sunbird, near central Wellfleet. They do delicious sandwiches and salads, all made with locally-sourced organic ingredients. Jamie Sparrow, Sunbird's delightful owner, honed her craft in some of San Francisco's best restaurants. If you're heading south (toward the rest of the Cape), stop at the ever-busy PB Boulangerie for anything from a coffee and superb pastry to a full meal, served with French flair. In Eastham itself and convenient to the bike path, is Karoo Restaurant, which features very tasty South African food and wines. A final spot that is always fun is The Beachcomber on Ocean Drive in Wellfleet. It was named one of the Best Beach Bars in the U.S. by a national publication. It's truly special, with great music, beer and oysters but only open between Memorial Day and Labor Day.   Have a wonderful and tasty time!

                     

                    Living on Cape Cod...A Walk in the Park by Jim Chudomel, 3Harbors Truro

                    My wife and I try to walk every day. Since we live close to the Bike Trail, we tend to make good use of the stretch between Wellfleet and Orleans. It is a good place to get regular exercise. In the summer lots of folks use the BT for different things. Walkers are welcome despite the fact, as I was once told by a speeding biker in spandex shorts, "...the Bike Trail is for Bikers!!" Most bikers are generally polite and will let you know when they are coming up behind you, with a "passing on the left" courtesy call. Be prepared for the out-of-the-ordinary biker who wants to speed past you without regard for your (or their) safety. It happens occasionally, especially in the summer when bikers, unfamiliar to the protocol and courtesy, will shout obscenities and give the one finger salute.

                    For those reasons, we have sought out different walking trails from the standard BT trip. There are several paths that run perpendicular from the Bike Trail through the Cape Cod National Seashore, with some ending out on a dune some 80 feet up, looking out over the ocean. While walking on fire trails in the CCNSS, I have seen coyote, fox (both red and gray), deer, snapping turtles (rather large in size), red hawks, snakes (many varieties), all types of amphibians, especially those wonderful spring "peepers". The dunes are such fragile places to walk, I hope you will avoid the strong urge to go down the sand dunes to get to the beach. I can assure you that going down an 80 foot sand dune has its own special risks to your physical wellbeing, not to mention never being able to get back up.

                    Last week I found a great website for hiking trails out at this end of Cape Cod. All I had to do was GOOGLE "walking trails on Cape Cod". The website www.cctrails.org came up as a selection. It proved to be a powerful site for identifying new trails that anyone might like to explore. Since we live in Wellfleet, we chose the trail "Bound Brook Island". The trail guide came with a very good turn-by-turn narrative to the entire 5 mile walk. It had a beach walk, a walk through the woods, amazing bay views, and walks along a simple, old country road. The site also has a GPS map you can print out and photos of where trails begin, end, and diverge. I never would have attempted this exploration without the help of the site and the directions. The site has many other trails to explore with the support of clear, easy to follow directions. My advice is to print out the directions and the photos to help you along the way. Don't forget to bring a back pack with snacks, water, and your cell phone.

                    Happy walking!

                     

                    Some Walking and Nibbling by Nick Norman, 3Harbors Truro

                    Nick Norman is a big walker and there are many trails throughout the Cape for some terrific hikes. "A perennial favorite of mine is the Cranberry Bog Trail found at the end of North Pamet Road. The vistas of the ocean and out along the Pamet River valley are tremendous," (you can park on the road if you have a Truro Beach sticker or around the corner in a National Seashore lot). Another favorite walk is the Provincetown Breakwater ("plan on wearing shoes with good support: the walk is longer than you might think"). Wellfleet has a terrific walk out at Great Island too: "It's a fascinating hike through forests, dunes, marsh and sea."

                    "I love to cook so I don't eat out a great deal, however I really like Saki in Ptown for truly great sushi, Victor's for good food and a fun atmosphere and, of course, Blackfish up the road from our office here in Truro for imaginative seafood, (and they have central air at last!).

                     

                    Fun on Two Wheels by John F. Guerra, 3Harbors Truro

                    There are some wonderful bike routes in Truro--not surprising given that so much of the town in the Cape Cod National Seashore. I mentioned above about riding Old County Road into Wellfleet, but Old County also runs through Truro. Starting at our office in Truro Center, for example, head left past the Post Office and up the hill on Depot Road. Take a left when Depot and Old County intersect for one of the prettiest, lesser-travelled rides in town. You can take Prince Valley or Pamet Point roads to get back to Route 6 or turn right onto Ryder Beach Road. There is ample parking there--and you don't need a beach sticker for a bicycle!

                    If you continue down Depot Road, you can take a left on Mill Pond for a very scenic little spin by the Pamet River, before rejoining Old County. The Pamet Harbor parking lot is at the end of Depot Road. The beach here is nice and at low tides, the tidal flats are full of interesting marine creatures.

                    You can also start left from our office and take a second left through the Route 6 underpass. This will lead you to either North or South Pamet Roads, with Ballston Beach at the end.   Access is much easier from South Pamet, though there are nice walking trails near the end of North Pamet Road. Collins Road, a right off South Pamet where it curves on the way to the beach, is a nice shady ride which rejoins Route 6 about 3 miles later.

                    If you turn right from our office, you can go up the hill on Castle Road. Follow Castle Road, making a left after Tom's Hill onto Corn Hill Road to get to Corn Hill Beach.

                    None of these rides is more than 10 miles, but you can combine them for a longer jaunt. These are all great alternatives to riding on Route 6 itself--an especially good idea given the summer traffic.

                     

                    Good Things in Truro - Some New, Some Not So New

                    There're a couple of new businesses in North Truro on Highland Road: Salty Market now occupies the former Dutra's Market. The space and has been renewed and they offer a variety of excellent sandwiches, wines and small-batch production items, along with a good selection of groceries. A few doors down, past the ever-popular Village Café, you'll find Chequessett Chocolate. They feature beans-to-bars chocolate, sourced organically, roasted on-site and blended into delicious chocolate items.

                    Some of the fine creations from Chequessett Chocolates

                     

                    At Truro Vineyards, you can visit their brand-new distillery (only the second to open in the Commonwealth since Prohibition) where they are producing a delicious spiced rum called Twenty Boat Rum, dedicated to rum-runners on the Cape during Prohibition. The spice blend for the rum, incidentally, was made at Atlantic Spice Company, just down the road from the Vineyards, and always a great place to shop for spices, kitchen items and cookbooks.

                    If you haven't been in a while, have dinner at Montano's Restaurant on Route 6. They feature home-made pasta in a variety of delicious preparations and a very nice selection of wines by the glass. You can also get Truro-raised chickens at Hillside Farms, along with their great selection of produce, for a great stay-at-home meal.

                     

                     

                    Living in the National Seashore

                    ccns

                    We live in a very special place within the Cape Cod National Seashore, a place people like to keep to themselves.  We had already lived in Truro (two-thirds of which lies protected within the Seashore) for five years and had never even heard of these special woods which straddle  Truro and Wellfleet.  One gorgeous September Sunday, we were returning from an emergency visit to the vet and saw signs for an "open house."  We decided to have a look, especially as the signs reminded us that our dear friend (and now 3Harbors colleague) Nick Norman, was hosting the "open house."  Driving into the woods, we were instantly captivated by the quiet beauty all around.  Though it was the weekend just after Labor Day, it felt as if we had the whole of the Outer Cape to ourselves.  We saw the house, made an offer and, long story short, are now relishing over eight years of "living in the Seashore."

                    Despite the quiet (a half dozen cars a day down our road during the summer is practically grid lock!), we discovered what a lively and interesting history had our woods.  During an impromptu visit our first summer, a former resident regaled us with stories about boozy clothing-optional parties back in the 60s and 70s.  We also heard from new neighbors about the illustrious writers and thinkers who'd been denizens of the woods over the decades.  The modern chapter of life in what we now know as the National Seashore began in the late 1920s, when Jack Phillips inherited 800 acres on the Wellfleet-Truro line from his uncle.

                    Phillips, a direct descendent of Boston's first mayor and  the family which founded Phillips Exeter and Andover, moved year-round to a cabin on Horseleech pond in the early 30s. He had spent time in Paris studying painting under Leger and became friendly with artists and proponents of European Modern Architecture. With the onset of World War II, many of these intellectuals fled the Nazis and landed in Cambridge.  Some also found their way to Cape Cod and purchased land from Jack Phillips.  Emigré architects Serge Chermayeff and Marcel Breuer built Modernist dwellings.  Activist publisher and economist Dwight MacDonald, historian Arthur Schlesinger, the critic Charles Jencks and artist Paul Resika also had simple cottages in the woods.  They were all part of a summer colony which was a veritable who's who of post-war "creatives".

                    In the summer, the ghosts of these amazing people mix and mingle with a sprinkling of latter-day journalists, painters, and academics.  Brainy conversation still thrives at lively but very low-key parties, where chatter is just as likely to center on history, art and geopolitics, as it is on food, fashion or fishing.  We treasure the sounds of splashing water and laughter from the kettle ponds which punctuate the sunny languid days.  In the winter, the shorn trees exhibit every shade of gray, and the days alternate between quiet snow and endless howling wind.  Even so, the underlying effect of the long winters is not of loneliness but of a profound, almost enchanting solitude.  You always know the loveliness of summer and summer visitors will return.  But in the winter, the whole of this special world is yours alone.  In any season, though, we are grateful beneficiaries of those responsible for creating the National Seashore in 1961.  We do our best to protect these woods as they nurture us--just as they nurtured those who came before.

                    ~John Guerra

                    (For more information on the modernist tradition in the Wellfleet woods, please visit the website of Cape Cod Modern Home Trust at  www.ccmht.org.)

                    I Just Bought a House!

                    Yesterday, I bought a house in Truro. It needs a ton of work, inside and out. Today, I'm somewhat overwhelmed but still excited. I never thought I would be able to pull it off. When it comes to buying or selling your own place, it's just as hair raising an exercise for a Realtor as it is for anyone else. Fortunately, I had some help.

                    When the house first went on the market, my colleagues and I at 3Harbors saw it on an MLS Agents' Tour. Before the door had closed behind us as we left, my colleagues, Gregg Russo and Jim Chudomel, each said, "This is the house for you, Anne."  Even though it was cluttered with old furniture and the Seller's dusty belongings, and even though the kitchen and bathrooms were crying out for help, the house has wonderful light streaming in, good bones, a cozy, gracious feeling and the perfect layout for me.

                    Immediately, the fun began.  Jim offered to serve as my Buyer's Agent, the best help I could have. Without him in the middle, I might have taken the tough negotiations too seriously. Ross Sormani at Seamen's Bank helped me work out the loan that included the construction work necessary. Mark Kinnane at Cape Associates worked with me to write up a proposal for the work.

                    Today, alone in the empty house as a new home owner, I am on a new adventure. Stay tuned.

                    ~Anne Hartman, 3Harbors Realty

                    kitchenfront of house

                    Comments

                    1. James on

                      YAY! Again, congratulations, and we're along on the ride with you, dear.
                      • Jeff Smith on

                        I look forward to seeing the progress!!....I really like the house and miss it already....ENJOY!

                        Renting, With Confidence, A Private Home For Your Vacation

                        What had started as a 'Mom & Pop' business is now a $22 billion dollar industry according to the North American Press Syndicate. More and more Americans turn to private vacation homes for a kitchen, more space and most importantly, value according to travel industry think tank PhoCusWright.  It's no wonder consumers lament feeling adrift in a 22 billion dollar industry.  Who can you trust if not your dear old Mom and Pop?

                        Your vacation is important and with Americans getting less of them, a broken promise of value and comfort is particularly painful.   Too many vacationers lament over using web-based listing service.  These services provide less accountability than a local market does over its community notices board.

                        Here's what you need to know:

                        1. Don't Doubt, Scout:  Acquire good information about the destination and house. Professionals like, 3Harbors Realty ensure you have updated pictures and accurate descriptions. You can feel good about the home you've chosen.
                        2. Know who you are dealing with:  If you book with an owner, verify their credentials and use a secure payment method. Here at 3Harbors Realty we've verified ownership. We maintain accurate accounting and payment methods, confirm availability and administer damage deposits with efficiency and expertise.
                        3. Secure Enjoyment:  You can have security during your vacation by working with an established local company who is a stake holder in the success of your vacation. At 3Harbors Realty we are on hand to help ensure your vacation is a good one, we've already started and will be here with you until the end.

                        We may not be your Mom and Pop but I bet we are a lot easier to talk to.

                        Comments

                        1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

                        The "Hotelization" of Vacation Rentals

                        As noted recently in the travel blog Skift, the vacation rental home industry's biggest flaws is inconsistency, which can be ameliorated with expert advise and administrative organization.  One area that vacation rental owners need to focus on more is the "hotelization" of their rental...from decor to operations.  This change, this way of thinking is driven by consumer demand and the consolidation of listing services, brokerages and online cusotmer reviews, all of which, until recently, have been out of the control of the individual owners.

                        HomeAway, the nation's heaviest hitter in vacation rental websites, recently acquired VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner).  On HomeAway and VRBO's heels, boutique and national brokerages have migrated to the same "in the cloud" rental management software.  This software pushes data directly into HomeAway's server automatically as agents list and book properties.  This streamlining, combined with consumer reviews, has forced individual vacation rental owners, who are managing just one to several properties, into more time and money to try to keep up.  One problem with this streamlined system, has been the topic of reviews, both postive and negative, by renters.  Vacation rental homeowner's have demanded control over reviews, citing that since they are paying for this service, they shall be given the right to either show or not show reviews to the public, while the ominously titled site Vacation Rental Judge promises to fill the void left by a missing review, therefore, consumers demand for better quality and service will not go unheard.

                        Vacation rental owners, now more than ever, need good advisement and representation, and can achieve this by going to a trusted rental agent.  Reputable rental agents can and will assist you by marketing your property properly, renting your property and can handle all the administrative organization.  Those who avail themselves, will see 2013 as a booming vacation rental season, and those who don't, quite simply, won't.

                        ~Steve Lent, rental agent, 3Harbors Realty

                        Comments

                        1. Louise Briggs on

                          I love the term you found, "hotelization". I've been doing this for several years for the property that you list for me and my tenants have been very happy. They are especially happy with Steve's "beyond the call of duty" representation. When I had occasion to rent a vacation house I realized how much time was taken from my holiday to supply the bare bones house with basic necessities. I decided that I never wanted my tenants to have to do this. Now I offer paper towels, trash bags, toilet tissue, all soaps (shower, laundry kitchen), disposable razors, Q-tips, cotton balls, spices, and more. I also offer WiFi and a free Netflix streaming account for my tenents use. My motto is to give the client more than they expect and it has paid off with many loyal return tenants. Thank you, Steve, for being such a great agent. - Louise