Thanks for gathering with us
By Helena Touhey
From the Editor ~ Nov/Dec 2022
Greetings, dear readers, as we enter the holiday season and our third installment of the relaunched Newport Life.
This issue, at its heart, is a tribute to gathering inall its forms — for meals, for music, for art and artful
conversations, for community and connection, for giving and receiving support, for making new memories and honoring old memories, for sharing unique experiences and, yes, for the exchanging of gifts.
As life would have it, the day Andrea McHugh sent in herstory about food and grief and honoring the absence of loved ones — especially during the holiday season — with cherished dishes and favorite recipes, happened to be the same day I received word that my own beloved grandmother had passed.
As I read the story, I was fully immersed in my own grief. I found myself recalling something my grandmother used to make, with relish: milkshakes. Then I found myself sifting through photos and videos on my phone, looking for a recording of the last time my grandmother made a milkshake — ever the journalist, I had filmed the moment, aware that it might be the last time I had her frothy concoction. And there she was, in her kitchen, standing over a blender, whirring together ice cream, cool whip, chocolate syrup and milk, a moment captured in time, a memory of food and family preserved forever — a milkshake I can make anytime, for anyone.
A week earlier, I met friends at The Tavern on Broadway for dinner and music. It was a Wednesday evening, and as we shared pizza and caught up, everyone agreed we missed the city’s live music scene in recent years and are grateful to those who are bringing it back — with renewed energy. Jim Gillis, in his story, shares the voices of some local musicians who made it through the pandemic and are happy to once again be in front of crowds. And at the opening reception for Joseph Norman’s new exhibit at the Newport Art Museum, where he expressed gratitude for Newport and the community here — one that helped support him in his early days of making and selling his art — I watched as organizers added several rows of chairs as more and more people arrived, all eager to once again convene in a gallery for art and conversation.
I hope you enjoy the stories in this issue and take inspiration from our gift guide. I also hope you are able to spend some time this season in an environment as cozy and warm as our cover shot (yes, that fire is real!). Many thanks to The Vanderbilt Hotel for letting us stage a few scenes in the stately dining room, which dates to 1909 and is the perfect setting for an Old Fashioned or glass of wine (both of which are among our suggested gifts…).
As always, if you’re out and about and think of us, be sure to tag #MyNewportLife, so we can follow along on your adventures this season. Email notes are always welcome, too. However you celebrate this time of year, I hope it is merry and bright and that you can gather in a way that is meaningful and nourishing.