Monthly Archives: March 2011

Did You Know (Harp Seal)

Photos by E.J. Lefavour

That Harp seals spend relatively little time on land and prefer to swim in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans? These sleek swimmers cruise the chilly waters and feed on fish and crustaceans. They can remain submerged for up to 15 minutes. Harp seals are sometimes called saddleback seals because of the dark, saddlelike marking on the back and sides of their light yellow or gray bodies.

Both sexes return each year to breeding grounds in Newfoundland, the Greenland Sea, and the White Sea. On this turf males fight for their mates, battling with sharp teeth and powerful flippers.

When the mating ends, females gather in groups to give birth. Young harp seals are born on the ice, and mothers identify their own offspring from the multitudes by their smell. The young seals are famous for their snowy white coats. This fluffy fur is highly valued and has drawn hunters to the Newfoundland breeding grounds for two centuries. During the past several decades these grounds have become the scene of a human conflict between sealers and outraged environmentalists and animal rights activists. Modern hunts are better regulated than in the past, but the harp seal remains perhaps the most commercially important seal, with hundreds of thousands killed each year. (From National Geographic)

This harp seal seemed to have no interest in the cold water and appeared to be enjoying his/her sunbath on the dock, and was also really into posing for the camera.  In the first shot, he’s giving a big smike and wave to everyone out there in GMG land.  Maybe he’ll stick around Cape Ann where he’ll be safer. 

My grandfather grew up in Newfoundland near Piss Pot Rock (really, that was what it was called), and was a sealer when he was a young man.  (There, that dark secret from my mother’s family history is out of the closet).  He went on to become a longshoreman after he immigrated here, and stopped killing poor defenseless creatures.  After falling into the hold of a ship and breaking himself up, he became a fry cook at his sister and brother-in-law’s awesome restaurant, Wes Parker’s Fried Clams in Wakefield; closed after everyone died off or got too old, but they did have the best fried clams.  Anyone remember them?

E.J. Lefavour

www.khanstudiointernational.com

Seasonal Openings 2011: Part I

This is my pre-seasonal opening post. I request any restaurant, clam shack, or pretty much anything which has been closed for the winter on Cape Ann to post a comment here as to the exact date they will open. Add some extras, how many seasons, what’s on special that first day.

At least one week prior to April 1 I will post an updated list. To wet your appetite I have two conformations of opening days:

Friday, April 1, Topside Grill opens. The dining room is completely renovated but the martinis have not changed. Opening Day party with music by John Jerome. Then Tuesdays are always Oyster night.

Saturday, April 2, Top Dog of Rockport opens for the eleventh season. A clam roll at a picnic table outside. That is my official start of the season. Or a Bad Dog with Chili Cheese Fries.

Those are the only two I have definitive dates. Last year’s announcements included, The Rudder: April 15, The Cupboard: May 6, Popo’s Gourmet Hot Dogs, Nate’s at Front Beach, Surfside Subs on Thacher Road, and Capt Carlo’s all around April 27 with Lobster Pool of Rockport and Lobsta Land both sometime earlier. So is Lobsta Land year round forever now? Don’t you wish all of these places did that?

Signs of Spring, Signs of the coming summer. Mister And Misses Bathroom sign at the Rockport Information booth is my first sign of spring. What’s yours?

GMG Question and Answers- EJ Khan

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Yep, our own EJ Khan gets into the act-

How long have you lived in Gloucester?  Since September 15 (about 5-1/2 months)

What is your favorite season In Gloucester?
 living here I’ve only fully experienced fall and winter, and have enjoyed both; but summer is definitely my favorite season.

Do you have any secret outdoor spots in Gloucester where you go to “get away”?
   Cambridge Beach at low tide when I can climb up onto the rocks overlooking Wingaersheek Beach, Ipswich Bay and Annisquam Light.
What is your favorite pizza joint in Gloucester?  I haven’t had pizza in Gloucester yet, so can’t say

What is your favorite sub shop in Gloucester?
  I seldom eat subs

What place would you go for a romantic dinner in Gloucester?
  The Market Restaurant on Lobster Cove

What is your favorite bar in Gloucester?  I don’t generally go to bars.

What is your favorite breakfast joint in Gloucester?
 Willow Rest

What is your favorite local event in Gloucester? So far, the Rocky Neck Plunge, but I haven’t been here long enough or experienced enough to have a favorite.
In the summer do you prefer the beach or to be on a boat? Beach
Who is your favorite local artist? I love Sharon Lowe’s photography, Paul Frontiero’s rocks, Manny Simoes videos, and Brian O’Connor’s photography to name a few.  To me, artist denotes musician, painter, sculptor, photographer, videographer, actor, poet and more, so it is difficult, if not impossible, to come up with a single favorite.  As an old Master Gloucester artist, I love Fitz Hugh Lane’s work.

Which is your favorite local beach? Lighthouse Beach
Who has the best chowder in town? Haven’t tried enough places to say, but for my taste, probably me.

Excluding GMG what is your second favorite local blog?  Don’t get to spend much time exploring other blogs, but do enjoy Kim Smith’s

Do you prefer haddock chowder or clam chowder?   I like clam chowder with haddock or cod.  Or fish chowder with clams and shrimp.  Or corn chowder with shrimp and lobster.   I generally make my own, so can have it however I want it.  Plain old haddock chowder or clam chowder don’t excite me that much.

What is your favorite Gloucester neighborhood?  Annisquam so far, since it where I live and have gotten to know the best.  I like Rocky Neck alot too, but also really like the Main Street of Gloucester, and the working fishing port section, although that’s not really a neighborhood.

What is your favorite local band? since I don’t go to bars, and the performances I have gone to weren’t local artists, I haven’t gotten to hear any local bands yet.

GMG Artist Spotlight.

notes from the clay studio

About Me

I’ve been a graphic designer, a technical illustrator and a painter for over 20 years, but when I touched clay for the first time, I was thoroughly captivated and haven’t looked back since. Clay is an art form that combines everything I love: the relationship between form and function, design, fine craftsmanship, color and texture. I like the wet clay stage best: the rawness and true nature of the material exposed and the wonderful, supple way the forms feel in my hands. Once the work goes through the bisque and glazing process, some amount of control is lost. Often things don’t make it through the firing, not in the way one hopes anyway. It’s always a risk, but that’s where Alchemy comes in and sometimes if you’re lucky you get something truly remarkable and unexpected, another aspect besides the ”Zen of Centering” that attracts and holds my attention like no other medium. The best part of the process is opening the kiln at the end of a firing and taking out each layer of kiln shelves, revealing a treasure hidden underneath and cementing the surprise factor that has captured me so well.

click here for the melynn allen Website.

Sober Connections Presents “Don White and the Loomers!”

Saturday, Mar 12 7:00p
at The Cape Ann, Gloucester, MA

A night with the Legendary and Multi Talented Don White with his Band “The Loomers”.

This night Promises to be a great show! A Don White performance touches the soul, lightens the heart, creates laughter where there was gloom. A must see event!

This is an Family Friendly Alcohol Free Event presented by Sober Connections. read more