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Nantucket Slump

nantucketslump

The NYT had a feature article on the front page last Wednesday with the headline, “In Summer Hideaway for the Rich, Slump Is Visiting, Too.” I instinctively knew the article to follow was about Nantucket. Where else? The Hamptons, maybe, but they wouldn’t be described as a hideaway. Given our interest in, and attachment to, Nantucket, I jumped to the text. (See also the accompanying slide show, from which the above photo is taken.)

I wrote about Nantucket on the second day of this blog’s existence. We were just back from our third annual Labor Day visit. Still under its spell, I was in the midst of my annual fantasy about moving there full time. Well, that’s not going to happen, but if we were ever serious, the article makes clear that this would be a good time to buy our Nantucket home.

We’re planning to visit again in September, arriving as usual on Labor Day. The past three years, the timing of our arrival was connected to Joel’s annual move into new housing in Boston, just before school started. But this year he won’t be in Boston. So we could go any time. Or not at all. We intend to stick to our usual schedule, though. Our sense is that Labor Day week is a perfect time. The summer residents depart as we arrive, but the restaurants and stores aren’t shut down yet, so everything is open and the island is relatively quiet. Plus, the weather is good. Or at least we’ve been lucky that it has been for the past three years.

One thing about Nantucket — in contrast to nearby Martha’s Vineyard, which has its share of wealthy people, but from a diverse range of professions — the Nantucket housing boom in recent years has been closely associated with people in finance, hedge funds, and so on. It’s less accessible by ferry than the Vineyard, but easily reached by private jet from New York. And its airport, at least until recently, was the second busiest in Massachusetts after Logan, thanks largely to that private airplane traffic. The NYT article touches on this. It’s not obvious that we’re meant to be at such a place. And maybe we’re not. But we love it.

Then again, maybe the tide is changing. The lead headline at the NYT website tonight, from tomorrow’s paper, is a report that Goldman Sachs is expected to announce on Tuesday a profit of more than $2 billion for the last quarter. Things could be picking up.

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Categories: Economy, Travel
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