Updated: Sep 21, 2022
I had this idea for a show. 3 women, all transplants, at different stages in their lives, who took different paths and found their way to the beautiful North Fork of Long Island. All of whom share a mutual love for this little corner of the island and an urge to explore all the facets of what their NoFo (short for North Fork) life has to offer.
Not quite the Barbara Walters version of The View, and yet rather fittingly a more simplified laid back NoFo version. And that my friends is the story of how the NOFO Live Show was born.
We’d all “met” initially on instagram, so it was natural that the “show” be hosted here. Casually informal, we would gather LIVE and chat with each other - talking about our lives, our love for the North Fork, share tips from an insider perspective to all who visit the East End and connect with those lucky enough to call the area home.
On Friday May 21 2021, for the very first time, 3 gals (who were still relatively newish friends) threw caution to the wind and riding the faint cellular/WIFI signals of Southold town, hopped on for our first live chat. No format, no agenda, just an iPhone each propped up on our desks, we pushed a button, and the rest as they say is history.
Amazingly you all showed up. You watched, you listened, asked questions, made comments and shared your own NoFo experiences. Each Friday we talked about what brought us here, what we love about life here and what we are currently doing in it. 'Twas still in the thick of the pandemic when we began, so there was a lot of sharing about pivots, (my co-host Tracy @ms.tracykessler is the reigning queen of pivots) life changes and adjustments happening for all of us.
Before long we wanted to hear more from/about other locals and soon we included a 4th square in our Live chats. The list of guests on the show sprouted organically from those small businesses that us co-hosts frequented and loved, and grew as our audience shared more about what their North Fork recommendations were.
Even though we all live here full time now, each week we still learn so much more about the many many small businesses in the area. Farmers, vineyards, farm stands, artists, boutique stores, antique stores, chefs, restaurants, and activities to do in summer fall and especially in the low season of winter. Seems like everyone here has a story to share and we're here for all of it. We've added on a segment - same 5 different perspective questions, where we learn even more specifics about what everyone enjoys in the neighborhood. All of it really fuels my love and enlarges the gratitude in my heart that I feel for having found my way to this beautiful slice of paradise.
Who knows where the show ends up, and to be candid there's no destination. For me it's truly the journey of connecting and staying connected to the local community around us. The path continues to unfold as I walk it, and already we've had some forks in the road (pun intended lol). One of our original co-hosts for the first year ( Lauren @story.petals) ended up pivoting to take up a full time role (at a pretty super cool destination restaurant locally yay) and could no longer keep up with the weekly Insta commitment. Luckily we were all unanimous in our choice for a new co-host and Kelly @nofo_endless_summer dove head first into the 3rd square.
No training, no trial runs, no script. Speaking for myself, that's one reason why I enjoy doing the show. It's real real, our version of Insta world meets, real world. We enjoy each other's company on and off the show and when we are not virtually together on the screen (Friday’s at 9 am) you might catch a glimpse of us together enjoying many of the wonderful activities and events in the area. Sometimes we get together and even forget to capture a picture, can you imagine ! I mean if there's no photo did it even happen lol. If you spot us out and about, wave wildly at us (don't be shy) we love being a part of the community.
Social media gets a bad rep sometimes (rightfully so), and yet it's important to recognize that it can also be a powerful way to connect to a community and build meaningful connections. We've all found and followed accounts with their perfectly curated feed, filled with flawlessly edited photos and swooned over them, for a whole minute (ok sometimes two). And then our functioning brains remind us of the beauty that lies in the real version of life, without the need for filters (or Botox for that matter). Occasionally we brainstorm about improvements we can make (studio/fancy equipment or even a budget for that matter lol), for now however we are perfectly content with these unedited imperfect Live chat versions (although I really wouldn't mind some better cellular/WIFI signal- can you hear me now Verizon / Optimum / AT&T).
If you're inclined to catch up on any of our past chats and soak up more about the North Fork, replays also live on our YouTube channel (oh yeah we've made it to the tube baby). Meanwhile I’ll carry on with my possibly never ending love affair of all things North Fork and keep exploring, living & sharing it all LIVE every Friday at 9 am.
“See” you there.
Sunita is a blogger (is that a writer who adds photos?) who moved to the North Fork with her husband and their one eyed dog (Pirate Pepper) at the start of their empty nesting phase. She's working towards embracing minimalism (not even close yet) and living life in the pursuit of happiness. A lot of her zen comes from watching and capturing her daily sunset view that she shares on her instagram @nofostyle