Illustration by Jon McIntosh


The Ultimate Martha's Vineyard Quiz

Think you know your way around Martha's Vineyard? Call yourself a full-fledged Islander? Well, put down your sunglasses, pull out your pencil, and take the test from our August 1999 issue.

In our seemingly never-ending quest to determine Vineyardness, we, as a public service to you, the reader, assembled the first-ever Martha's Vineyard Magazine Martha's Vineyard Quiz back in 1999. A combination of questions testing your knowledge of Island culture, community, and inside dope, this quiz is nearly 99.8 percent effective at rating one's Vineyardness — and a pretty good time capsule of Island life pre-Y2K. So grab the kids, grab the spouse, grab the dog, and give it a whirl. Nervous? Good. It may help.

1. The first time someone suggested a trip to Martha's Vineyard, you:
a. Thought, "Wow, I've heard that's a wonderful place for a summer vacation!" (10 points)
b. Thought, "Wow, I've heard that's a wonderful place to build a home!" (5 points)
c. Thought, "Wow, I've heard that's a wonderful place to build a subdivision!" (0 points)

2. When you board the ferry in Woods Hole, the first thing you do is:
a. Walk outside the deck to smell the fresh salt air (5 points)
b. Walk inside the food galley to smell the fresh "boat dogs" (10 points)

3. Your idea of a Vineyard status symbol is:
a. A house with a water view (2 points)
b. A key to a private beach (4 points)
c. A beat-up Ford pickup (6 points)
d. Waders (10 points)

4. You think Menemsha is:
a. An authentic, still-vibrant New England fishing village (8 points)
b. A Disney theme park built in 1995 (0 points)
c. The best place in the world to buy fresh fish (8 points)

5. Your idea of a good flick at a Vineyard movie theater is:
a. An action-packed summer blockbuster (2 points)
b. An intellectually stimulating Oscar contender (4 points)
c. One that was released in the past 12 years (8 points)
d. One that reaches the ending without melting on the screen (10 points)

6. When you see a $60,000 SUV parked on Main Street, you:
a. Secretly wish it was yours (0 points)
b. Secretly let the air out of its tires (10 points)

7. When you get pulled over for speeding by a Vineyard police officer, you:
a. Apologize profusely and pray you get a warning (5 points)
b. Complain that you’re going to be late for a croquet match in Edgartown (1 point)
c. Ask, “Wanna beer?” (0 points)
d. Tell your cousin to stop hassling you and speed away (10 points)

8. Your version of a Martha’s Vineyard summer lasts from:
a. Memorial Day until Labor Day (5 points)
b. Memorial Day until Columbus Day (5 points)
c. Memorial Day until Thanksgiving weekend (5 points)
d. January until March (10 points)

9. When you pick up the Vineyard Gazette, the first thing you do is:
a. Check the town news to see how your friends are doing (5 points)
b. Check the sports news to see how your friends are doing (5 points)
c. Check the court news to see how your friends are doing (10 points)

10. When you go to the West Tisbury agricultural fair, the first thing you do is:
a. Tour the Ag Hall to see the winning exhibits (8 points)
b. Head to the midway to take a ride on the “Sizzler” (6 points)
c. Run for the animal shed to see the Island livestock (6 points)
d. Look for a tree to wipe the cow dung off your shoes (10 points)

11. Your idea of getting dressed up for dinner on the Vineyard is:
a. Coat and tie, or dress (1 point)
b. Nice shirt and pants, or skirt (3 points)
c. Socks (5 points)
d. Shoes (10 points)

12. Your idea of a Vineyard celebrity is:
a. Walter Cronkite (5 points)
b. Spike Lee (5 points)
c. Carly Simon (5 points)
d. Everett Poole (10 points)

13. The worst time you ever had on the Vineyard was:
a. The month you rented a house and it rained the whole time (2 points)
b. The day you spent nineteen hours trapped in the standby line (4 points)
c. The two weeks you spent with Hillary after the whole Monica thing (10 points)

14. If someone who has never been to the Vineyard asks you about the Island, you:
a. Gush endlessly about the Island’s natural splendor, eclectic stores and charming people (5 points)
b. Immediately suggest hooking them up with a real estate agent for a tour (2 points)
c. Politely explain that a horrific toxic waste accident has ruined the Island for the next 4,000 years (10 points)

15. When you read in the paper that someone has built a Vineyard summer home for $5 million, you:
a. Call your contractor and order an immediate $5 million addition (0 points)
b. Wonder how much Mad Martha’s ice cream you could buy with $5 million (4 points)
c. Stop worrying about where you’re going to crash this winter (10 points)

16. Your fondest Vineyard memory of President Clinton is:
a. Shaking the President’s hand outside the Harbor View Hotel (2 points)
b. Getting the President’s autograph at the Harbor View Hotel (5 points)
c. Watching the President wave to people at the Harbor View Hotel (7 points)
d. Kissing the President goodbye at the Harbor View Hotel (10 points)

17. Your favorite holiday on the Vineyard is:
a. Memorial Day (1 point)
b. The Fourth of July (3 points)
c. Labor Day (5 points)
d. The day after Labor Day (10 points)

18. Asked to explain the difference between the Vineyard and Nantucket, you:
a. Discuss the various geographic and cultural variances between the two Islands (2 points)
b. Curl into a fetal ball, chuckle madly and scream, “The DIFFERENCE?! The DIFFERENCE?!” (5 points)
c. Feebly admit that you like Nantucket better (0 points)
d. Slap the interrogator over the head with a day-old cod (10 points)

19. If you want to hang out with the beautiful cool people you go to:
a. The bar at Balance (2 points)
b. The dance floor at the Atlantic Connection (4 points)
c. The harbor master’s shack in Menemsha (8 points)
d. Dippin' Donuts (10 points)

20. You think a good place for an eight-bedroom, five-bathroom summer house with a swimming pool, tennis court, and horse barn is:
a. The south shore (0 points)
b. The north shore (0 points)
c. Behind the Edgartown A&P (3 points)
d. Hell (10 points)

21. In your mind, no Vineyard dinner party is complete without:
a. Grilled fish and steamed mussels (5 points)
b. Fresh sweet corn from Morning Glory Farm (5 points)
c. A couple of editors from The New York Times (2 points)
d. The cops arresting someone (10 points)

22. Your idea of an excellent night on the town is:
a. Putting on a blazer and heading to the yacht club (2 points)
b. Grabbing the kids and taking them to the Flying Horses (5 points)
c. Grabbing the kids and taking them to the Ritz Café (10 points)

23. Your best friend who lives on the Island year-round is:
a. A retired bank executive (2 points)
b. A self-employed Internet consultant (4 points)
c. A waitress at The Black Dog (6 points)
d. In prison (10 points)

24. The last time you attended a Vineyard town meeting, you:
a. Marveled at the preservation of old-style New England governance (2 points)
b. Tried to pass an amendment allowing you to build a golf course in your backyard (1 point)
c. Asked, “What’s a town meeting?” (0 points)
d. Fell asleep midway through the nine-hour septage/sewerage debate (10 points)

25. The last time you went nude to a Vineyard beach was:
a. 1976 (2 points)
b. 1876 (2 points)
c. I never went nude to a beach (2 points)
d. I am currently reading this nude on a beach (10 points)

26. When you walk down Main Street in Edgartown, you:
a. Affectionately compare it to places like Rodeo Drive and Newbury Street (1 point)
b. Wonder how much money you’ll spend in all the boutiques (2 points)
c. Ask, “Where the hell is the hardware store?” (10 points)

27. When you’re driving and you see a hitchhiker on the side of the road, you:
a. Accelerate and try not to make eye contact (0 points)
b. Slow down, taunt the hitchhiker, and speed away (0 points)
c. Pick them up and take them where they want to go (8 points)
d. Pick them up and take them someplace better than where they want to go (10 points)

28. The strangest thing you discovered during a Vineyard beach walk was:
a. A piece of sea glass shaped like the Island (2 points)
b. A perfectly preserved conch shell (4 points)
c. A family of day-trippers enjoying themselves (10 points)

29. Your idea of essential Vineyard reading is:
a. Martha’s Vineyard, Summer Resort by Henry Beetle Hough (5 points)
b. Up-Island by Anne Rivers Siddons (5 points)
c. Illumination Night by Alice Hoffman (5 points)
d. The menu at The Bite (10 points)

30. You think the Vineyard in February is:
a. A tranquil, snow-laden version of Heaven (5 points)
b. Almost like a close-knit small town (5 points)
c. Closed (0 points)


If you have a pet named Chappy, Aquinnah, or East Chop, give yourself 5 points.
If you have a child named Chappy, Aquinnah, or East Chop, give yourself 10 points.
If you have the autograph of a Vineyard celebrity, give yourself 1 point.
If you’ve been stiffed for a tip by a Vineyard celebrity, give yourself 10 points.
If you’re sad about the approaching end of summer, give yourself 5 points.
If you’re ecstatic about the approaching end of summer, give yourself 10 points.


Score between zero and 40: Thanks for visiting! Enjoy the Cape.
Score between 40 and 100: Need some work. Visit in the off-season sometime.
Score between 100 and 175: Pretty good. You can now cut in line at Cronig’s.
Score between 175 and 250: Excellent! They’ll never allow you on Nantucket.
Score 250 and up: The perfect Islander. Start searching for Mayhew or Wampanoag roots.