My First Article is Up for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism!

View of Downtown Cultural District from Smith's Cove ©Kim Smith 2013 copyMy first article for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism  was posted today. The article is part one (highlighting fall and winter) of a two part series about our Harbortown Cultural District. Part two showcases events that take place during the spring and summer, for example, the Feast of St. Joseph, St. Peter’s Fiesta, and the Schooner Festival, and will appear early this spring.

MOTT Article
Gloucester HarborTown Cultural District
Part One
By Kim Smith

I stand on a rooftop facing east toward Gloucester Harbor. Brisk autumn breezes and fresh salty scents lend color to the air of the moment. I can see far out to the Dog Bar Breakwater and Eastern Point Lighthouse, and still further beyond to the white diamond-studded sparkling sea. I see a single seagull arcing through the sky followed by hungry bevies chasing vessels. But it is the view of the harbor’s inner beauty that causes me to standstill and absorb all that I see. The beauty is in the mix of large fishing ships and smaller lobster boats powering through the water—coming and going—in and out to sea; the beauty is in the mix of flat-topped boxy ice buildings, the old Paint Factory, hipped-roof homes, and fish shed peaks; the beauty is in the mix of ships’ masts and riggings, hulls painted shiny red, ochre, and marine blue, new wooden docks and weathered wharf pilings, and everything playing to a soundtrack of gull cries and ships’ engines.

Surrounding the harbor is a blanket of golden hills, made rugged from granite outcroppings formed of earth’s crusty movement long ago, glowing golden from the angled sun’s light and brilliant fall foliage. Saffron tree ribbon circling the harbor runs into silhouettes of neighborhoods with bright sandy beaches that meet ultramarine water. I turn to the west, and looking north and south are the densely packed rooftops of nineteenth- and twentieth-century gables, pitched in shapes and sizes manifold, their architecture mirroring the many cultures and centuries that have shaped this city’s skyline.

This is my adopted city, Gloucester. Like many New England cities and towns Gloucester has riches thought unique to their community, but unlike many hometowns Gloucester’s richly varied and thriving cultural community is grounded from the inside by a framework created from families long associated with her working waterfront. Abounding in maritime heritage, Gloucester is the oldest seaport in America; Gloucester is home, too, to Rocky Neck, the nation’s oldest art colony. For over four hundred years her beauty and bounty have attracted fishermen and artists alike. Along with Rocky Neck, Gloucester’s Harbortown Downtown district is a designated Massachusetts Cultural District; Gloucester is the only city in Massachusetts to boast two such cultural districts! Throughout the four seasons visitors from near and far travel to Gloucester to enjoy her beautiful shores, take part in her fiestas and festivals, dine on fresh seafood, meet her friendly people, and explore her arts, architecture, and entertainment.

Read More HereGloucester Harbor Olive Kitteriedge Film Trucks ©Kim Smith 2013 copy

31 comments

  • Congrats! Beautiful prose and gorgeous pics, well done!

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  • OMG – I’m so impressed/excited! What an amazing job. Congrats and Thank you for ALL that you do for Gloucester! Yippee. Cindy of the Giant Foodie Fork

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  • Hi Kim,
    I hope for the article about spring and summer events that you will include the Cape Ann Artisans Studio Tour, now in its 31st year. http://www.capeannartisans.com
    I enjoy all of your posts and would love to have you visit my pottery studio – 428 Washington St in Gloucester.

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    • Hi Marty and thank you for your kind words. I think the Cape Ann Artisans Studio Tour would make a great post all of its own, don’t you? And I would love to visit your pottery studio!

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  • OMG – I thought that JOEY wrote this – don’t mind me, worked a 12 hour day in Boston OUTSIDE; frozen and obviously brain dead as well. Beautiful article, Kim.

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  • Looks like a beginning of a beautiful friendship. Thrilled for you and MOTT, and Harbortown. Well done, Kim, congratulations! catherine

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    • Thank you Catherine–and thank you with all my heart for your encouragement and for letting us all know about the meeting where we could make contact with the representatives from MOTT.

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  • Having been a freelance photographer for Yankee, Yankee Guide to New England, and to New York State, you have the two talents they desire: Photography and Writing. Keep up the good work my friend.

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    • Oh Fred, thank you. Means much coming from you and I appreciate your friendship very much. Very great to know that you wrote for Yankee–excellent photography, always, and quality writing.

      I took the photos that are posted with this blog post. The photos in the part one article posted on the MOTT website are not mine.

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  • Marcia Moran Janes

    You are a true artist just as surely as all those endeavors you write about. Photos, prose, gardens, nature, films…stellar contributions every time. Enjoy your inspiring work.

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  • How perfect ~ your words have captured the essence of Gloucester. Adopted daughter ~ you have done a fine job ~

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  • Congratulations, Kim!
    You’ve described our Gloucester beautifully and have enticed many to come to our shores to sample our hospitality. I really enjoy your prose and perspective, both lens and pen. Keep up the good work!! Interesting and entertaining. Best, Sue

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  • that’s awesome! congratulations

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  • Well done, Kim! You are a tour de force!

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    • Thank you Sarah. Very much appreciate your saying that!

      PS. Thank you for the wonderful recommendation for the Folly Cove designed Christmas scene block print. I gave it to my Mother-in-law on Christmas morning and she just absolutely adores it–a very special gift and very much appreciated recommendation!

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  • Beautifully written, you are an artist painting with words.

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  • Kim – You did a great job here and very good article with the hyperlinks I get a sneaky feeling the pictures are very close to the home front. There was a diner in this area we used to go to after a movie have to see if I can find the article or ask my source of information from 1935 – 1968 Mom :-)

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    • Thank you Dave. I wonder, perhaps Fred has a photo of the diner.

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      • Thanks Kim :-)
        It looked a bit like the Dinner in Steve McQueen’s the blob and there was an article about it a NewsPaper or on-line I think I found it here You know Capt Joe’s PodCast Googel -Googel
        http://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/page/20/?pages-list

        The Portside Diner located in the Danversport section of Danvers, Mass. is celebrating 50 years in the town. (The Portside is Worcester Lunch Car # 813 and was originally known as the Cape Ann Grill and was delivered to it’s first operating location at 214 Main Street in Gloucester on June 8, 1948. It replaced a smaller diner, WLC # 800 which had been delivered on the previous year. Apparently the original owners Augustus Mulrenin and Henry Schluter had done very well with the first diner and felt that they needed a larger one within a short time to handle the crowds)!

        According to reports, after the smaller diner was sold as a used diner to a customer in Westminster, Mass. the newer larger diner was brought in but unfortunately for the owners was not able to attract the patronage they hoped for. Within a few years this diner was bought by one Roland Michel who was able to turn things around. He ran the diner until 1959 when he moved his business to an even larger diner just up the street and sold this one. That is when it was moved to Danvers.

        Tuesday, Steve Repucci clued me into the story that the Danvers Herald recently ran on April 15th about the diner’s 50th anniversary, here is the story written by Christine Marmen….

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  • Well stated, Kim. As a Summer/Fall visitor to New England I find Gloucester to be the crown jewel for so many reasons as you have aptly described, but mostly I enjoy the people there; you are special folks.

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  • Pingback: Round Up of Top 2013 Local and National Art Stories: Aplomb | GoodMorningGloucester

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