West Wharf by Michael Perry

Madison Art Cinema

Madison Surf Club by Tom Benincas


By Joan Horton

The fast pace of holiday season changes into sudden slowdown that is first appreciated, and then drifts into our quiet winter moments. Our resolutions almost forgotten make us wonder what’s next.

So, as Joan Rivers used to say, “Can we talk?” Let’s talk about how to enjoy a quiet shoreline town and still fill a calendar with plans. Surprisingly, it is not really that quiet!

At home, some quiet time and house cleaning may draw out infrequently used items. Remember those cross-country skis and snow shoes that haven’t been used for a few years? A slide into town or a walk on the Greenway Trail or Hammonassett might just be doable.

As a shop keeper I have noticed more people making day trips to Madison remembering how nice it was over the summer. They’re spending more time thinking and shopping local, and the results are a very beautiful and active Madison filled with shoppers and visitors from far and wide. They’re enjoying restaurants new and old, as well as good values for our local inns or the Madison Beach Hotel, and are discovering our New England village as a not-so-quiet jewel filled with more surprises and interests depending on the season.

Having a new approach to what one has taken for granted, some people were even saying this feels like a new Madison! They are excited to see the town shops all filled and we are hoping to keep the momentum of stores opened for shopping as weekenders and locals keep coming in. There are bargains for winter, and the first picks go to those who like to stay on top of the trends and preparations for the season to come.

How will we look upon the “new” Madison? What do we want to do? Food, movies, books, lectures, field trips walks on re-opened Hammonassett Drive. Instruments, activities at the Senior Center, mindfulness at the Mercy Center, happiness at the Scranton Library, dinners at Chef Paul Barron’s, the farm cooking classes, and dinner at the farm. The opportunities have us rethinking our talents and home economics classes young and old. Madison is bringing out creativity in all who come through it!

The wine shop continues their tastings and talks and sometimes painting and drinking. Arnold has updated the marquee on the theatre, a modern addition to the Madison Cinema whose acoustics were modernized a few years ago, but it will always have its own special old-time comforts. Our theatre along with RJ Julia are some highlights of the town that bring people from all over and makes us proud to be living here no matter what time of year. But we aren’t finished.

Turning the corner from Main Street, Wall Street lights up when the sun goes down. A magical wonderland that during the day appears to be a quaint row of houses, but the ground floors are filled with new and old familiar shops and restaurants. Leave your car parked and take a walk.

And who has the fortune to have two frames shops on one street who are always servicing local artists and collectors, each with different personalities. Although most people think of Madison as one street and now two, a short ride in either direction of the Post Road will bring more surprises of food, consignment, gardening and of course, in just a few turns there are the surprises of the shoreline! Staying in any of the hotels or inns, there are always bicycles and maybe some snow shoes. Always something to entertain no matter what time of year. And bring your dog if you will. This is a dog-friendly town. (Check with your lodging choice first, of course!)

As locals keep inviting guests to visit, some have already decided that they want to make Madison a permanent place to call home. The sea, the air and the light of this town help to keep all the seasons in Madison magical.