Posts Tagged 'Sag Harbor history'

Sag Harbor As Inspiration This Holiday Season

It’s that deep water port that makes all the difference. It’s what sets Sag Harbor apart from its flatland farm-town neighbors. It’s here where whalers, sailors, tradesmen, sturdy women, and visitors from four corners streamed through our little village bringing the exotic to our local shores. With them came the flavors and faces of distant ports. After whales vanished, busy factories drew workers to fire bricks, wind ropes, polish silver and solder watchcases. More recently, it drew painter Whitney Hansen from Santa Barbara and photographer Ann Chwatsky from New York City. They and countless other writers, painters, photographers, musicians came to find and create a community of artists of various stripes.  “It’s not just the light, ” Ann Chwatsky said during a talk  she and Whitney gave this fall at the bookshop, “but knowing that every day artists are at work in their studios here.” It’s that artists’ energy that gives her inspiration.

For 35 years Canio’s Books has been continuing the tradition of supporting and cultivating the East End’s creative community. With holiday shopping in mind, we offer suggestions for the aspiring creative on your list: For a recommendation about excellent books on writing, check with Maryann; for a sample of beautiful and affordable art and photography books, check with Kathryn. Both are offering workshops this winter, and a gift certificate to one of those would make an inspired holiday present. Our collection of local interest books is arguably the largest on the East End with lots of new titles plus some recently acquired out-of-print collectibles. Everyone knows to come to Canio’s for poetry, but we also have a hand-picked selection of literary novels and non-fiction by local writers perfect for winter reading retreats. Artwork and handicrafts by locals are also available.

We wish all our customers, friends and family a bright and inspired holiday season. Please join us at our holiday reception, Saturday, December 19 after a reading with acclaimed fiction-writer Simon Van Booy at 5 p.m. Peace & good reading to all.

Melville Lives!

We like to imagine Herman Melville walking down Main Street, Sag Harbor. He’s just climbed off a whale ship, steadying his land legs along Long Wharf and he’s looking for a suitable watering hole. He might find his way into Murf’s Tavern for a pint. Maybe he’d try his hand at the pirate ring toss. While we can’t say for sure “Melville slept here,” we know Sag Harbor’s rowdy reputation somehow reached Melville’s writing desk in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. See chapters 12 & 13 of Moby Dick. Long famous for having hosted marathon readings of that great American novel, Canio’s Books recently hosted a mini-marathon. On the occasion of Melville’s 189th birthday (August 1, although we were about a week late), we invited local Melville enthusiast and green architect Bill Chaleff to read selections from the master’s works. We heard selections from “Billy Budd,”  “Benito Cereno,” and from “Bartleby.” Despite the August heat, Bill kept his thick beard in place, a true sacrifice for the sake of literature. Sag Harbor’s performing plumber Terry Sullivan led us in a round of sea chanteys. (Terry’s new folk CD Hold On has just been released. ) Next year’s celebration, the 190th, promises to be even bigger. Whale ho!


Canio's Books is located at 290 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963. You can drop an email to info@caniosbooks.com, or even check out some of our stock online. Thanks for visiting our blog!

Vanishing Landscapes