Tag Archives: Bananas

Going “Bananas” for vintage clothes

Among the many second-hand stores in Gloucester, some are “generalists” (the church and charity-affiliated thrift shops, Main Street Arts and Antiques, etc..) and others are specialized in things like books, music, or clothes. Today we look at one that specializes in vintage clothing and accessories: Bananas (78 Main St)!
_Bananas façadeI have heard from many people that this is the go-to place for vintage clothing, jewelry and accessories for theater productions, but Bananas also sells contemporary clothing. I picked up a nice pair of suspenders here not long ago.

The store hours are 10-5 Monday-Saturday., 11-4 Sunday.  Click here to see a GMG interview with the proprietor, Richard Leonard, from four years ago.  Most of the time when I go in, I see local artist Debbie Clarke behind the counter.  Her beautiful work has been seen on this blog on more than one occasion.

I can’t help but mention that frequent GMG contributor and all-around nice guy Fred Bodin’s gallery is practically next door.  But then again, there are so many cool places and GMG contributors and friends in close proximity downtown, that if I were to list them all, I’d end up making a map of downtown Gloucester… And I mean that!

- Matthew Green

Bananas Saturday Night Steppin Up For City Hall Photos From Michael Miller

girlsmarianne

Hi Joey,

A woman I know from Bayview, Marianne Spencer, invited me to Saturday night’s Bananas Benefit Extravaganza, and here are my 

photos from that event:  http://finedesign.net/photo/index.php?/category/22

Michael Miller

Click for slideshow-

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Bananas 2013 City Hall Fundraiser Pics

Speechless.


David Cox was there with the big camera and as he didn’t have two monkeys climbing all over him during the performance I’m guessing he’s gonna have some fantastic photos to share over the next couple of days.

Stepping Up for City Hall – a Bananas Fundraising Event

Good Morning Joey,

Event visionaries Kathy Slifer and Jan Bell along with the amazing Maggie Rosa have once again teamed up to provide an exciting event of fashion and fun to benefit our City Hall restoration efforts. They have enlisted the mastermind of style, Richard Leonard, and his Bananarettes, to produce an elaborate and high class revue, Stepping Up for City Hall. You will feel you have been transported to Broadway from the minute you step into our historic Kyrouz Auditorium, and you will leave uplifted and entertained. Tickets on sale now for the two limited-seating shows, Saturday evening May 4th and Sunday afternoon, May 5th at Bananas. All details are contained in our attached flyer. Don’t miss out – tickets are selling fast!!

—- Friends of City Hall

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Here are the reviews from the last one this team put together-

Glam O Rama Reviews and Props From Maggie Rosa and Erika Hansen

Posted on November 19, 2009 by Joey C

From Maggie Rosa-

Gloucester has many treasures –  two of them were celebrated in a unique way this past weekend as vital contributors to the vibrancy of Gloucester’s downtown.


At the invitation of Kathy Slifer and Jan Bell, maestro and treasure RIchard Leonard staged one of his renowned Bananarettes shows in our treasured City Hall as a fundraiser for the restoration of CIty Hall.  During the two shows, one on Saturday evening and one on Sunday afternoon, the genius of Leonard to excite and tantalize with a hint of naughty but nice thrilled all in attendance.

City Hall was transformed from the center of city government to its second function, the center of our community. During its almost 140 year history City Hall seen circuses, Buffalo Bill shows, many parties and the 375th City Anniversary Sculpture Show but as Maggie Rosa, Chair of the City Hall Restoration Commission, remarked during the shows “Nothing, nothing can match the excitement of a Bananas show in City Hall – truly an historic event in an historic building.

From Erika Hansen-


Joey, you totally get how important this event was!

As you know, I have been looking at things that “lift my heart, open my mind and take my breath away” and the Banana Glam O Rama Fashion Show at City Hall did all those things and more!

I am intimidated to even take a stab at recording it, out of fear that I am not doing it justice, but I can’t resist your plea so here goes:

As Jackie Hardy commented, from the moment the lights dimmed and the music started, there was a palpable feeling that we had been transported to Broadway.

And then the first set of gorgeous women glided onto the stage looking like a 30′s Hollywood extravaganza come to life.

The production values were incredible:  everyone and everything looked and sounded stunningly gorgeous against the dramatic backdrop of City Hall’s Kyrouz Auditorium.  (And the silhouettes underneath the “Build not for today alone, but for tomorrow as well” quote were astounding!)

As a producer/director, Richard Leonard channeled Florenz Ziegfeld and Busby Berkeley; as a performer, he channeled Maurice Chevalier and Nelson Eddy.  Most importantly, he added his own inimitable flair and essential Richard Leonard-ness to all of the above and gave us the show of a lifetime!

Each routine was masterpiece:  from Carmen Miranda to Marilyn Monroe & Jane Russell to (yes!) Tom Jones…and all points in between.

It was a perfect mix of costumes, beauty, talent, humor, music, history and culture.

A special shout out to my sissy, Elise, whom many thought was a dancer by the way she moved so gracefully across the stage.  She epitomized 30s glamour and as Sue Ferhmann said (looking striking and elegant herself  in a classic tuxedo), it doesn’t hurt when you look like Elise!

And to Maggie Rosa’s very apt assessment that this event was a celebration of 2 Gloucester icons: Richard Leonard and City Hall, I add a third:  Margi Green’s legs!  Her already popular Relax and Lengthen stretching classes at the Arts & Wellness Center (222 Eastern Ave.) will now have waiting lists I’m sure!

I could go on and on (but I won’t!)…instead I will just leave you with this point:  my daughters, who were mesmerized for the entire performance (although my younger daughter did cover her eyes with her program during Tom Jones‘s gyrations!), were so inspired that they promptly acted out their own version of the spectacular Sisters act they had just witnessed (nuns (!) singing the song made famous by Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen in White Christmas).  As event visionary and organizer Kathy Slifer put it, “that’s what it’s all about!”

Banana Glam O Rama Pics From David Cox

Posted on November 19, 2009 by Joey C

Rubber Duck is Done

Christmas Shopping.  Done in 60 minutes. Bananas, Fred Bodin Photo, The Cave, then a speed run in Rockport to finish it off at Tuscan Designs and stocking stuffers at Tucks Candies.

If you screwed up, don’t have that killer gift then go to Rockport and hit the last store on the right before you turn to Front Beach. Grab anything. They go with everything and you can put pasta on them, olive oil in them, then hang them on the wall when you’re done because it’s art. Rubber Duck doesn’t even clash and the blue really shows off her eyes.

IMG_0332 IMG_0334 IMG_0336

Started today at 1PM and got to the dock to pick up lobsters by 2PM. Martini time.

2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series Bananas

The fourth year of the GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Video Series where we walk up and down Main Street and try to capture as many retailers as we can and highlight their best gift ideas one a day every day leading up to Christmas.

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2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series Premier Imprints
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series The Cave

2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series Lone Gull

2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series Kids Unlimited
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- Harbor Loop Gifts
2012 Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- Pleasant Street Tea and Coffee Co

Main Street Saturday Night

 Main Street photos from Toodeloos!, Art Haven, Supreme Roastbeef Diner, Dress Code, and Bananas. Click any photo to see slideshow.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Everywhere you go;

Take a look in the five and ten, glistening once again

With candy canes and sliver lanes aglow.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,

Toys in every store

But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be

On your own front door.                                                 Meredith Willson (1902-19840)


Click any photo to see slideshow.

Meredith Willson (1902-1984) was a composer, songwriter, playwright, and conductor and was best know for writing the book, music, and lyrics for The Music Man.


Banana’s Window Display Tribute to Liz Taylor

 

From deb Clarke;

Liz Taylor Tribute Window, Bananas

Liz Taylor Tribute Window
78 Main Street
Gloucester MA
Concept:  Richard Leonard
Design:  Debbie Clarke
Structural Design: Katherine Worth
Katherine changed the windows to a spring medley last Monday.  Richard dropped a note to find some photos of Liz for the window.  I found the pics, framed them, draped the window base in black, found some white diamonds and a horse for our Velvet Brown.
best,
deb

Deb Clarkes “BIZAAR DAZE”

From Debbie Clarke;

Kerry and Mom with their Found "Art Rock"

Here’s Kerry McNally and her Mom in front of my work at the Bazaar. We were so busy I was lucky to get any pics at all. I thought the folk on goodmorning gloucester would enjoy seeing pics from a ‘sales person’s point of view’. There were so many peeps and every now and then, I got to see some of my friends (Loretta and Adara, my friends from Gloucester’s Unitarian Universalist Church).

I would like to thank the readers of gmg that came down to the bazaar to see my artwork, and search for Paul’s ‘rock art’. I know of one other family ‘team’ that printed out directions to locate your rocks. Many folk thought they were supposed to find the rock, have a picture taken to document the event, then move onto the next clue. This might be a future development of your ‘rock art’ project Paul.

Deb Clarke's Art on display

also: I sold three paintings at the Bazaar! (thank you to Richard and Sabine for allowing me to use some of their bazaar ‘real estate’). This was the most financially succesful bazaar for me, as I have been putting my work on Bananas’ sidewalk for several years. Thanks to word of mouth and the shout out by goodmorninggloucester, lots of folk came to see bananas and my work! I generated sales inquiries, networked like crazy, sold a lot of vintage, and had a lot of fun! Thank you to the folk that volunteered on behalf of the Chamber to organize the event.

                                                                                                                                  Deb

http://debbieclarke.blogspot.com/

BANANAS, ROCK!!!!! Breaking News Update!

Drats! I’ve Been Out smarted again.

The clues I gave must’ve been too easy.

I think it was the Banana Splits TV Show Theme Song that Gave it away.

Here’s The  photo of Kerry, and Her Mom, Karen McNally After Winning the “Bazaar Art Rock Contest”.

They are the Winners of a ROCK! An “ART, ROCKS!” Rock.

They Figured out all the clues and Found their way to the Vintage Clothing Store “Bananas” to claim their Prize.

Here’s the Emails I received from Kerry and Her Mom Karen;

Hi Mr. Frontiero,

I would like to let you know that I found your awesome rock at Bananas!
My mom and I are very excited!!!!

I love painting, and I have been collecting art work from different states. I would love to add your rock to my art collection.
We walked around main street, this afternoon, telling your story of the painted rocks.

My mom had fun solving the riddle, and I couldn’t believe that I actually found one of your amazing rocks!

Thank you!

-Kerry McNally

From Karen; (Kerry’s Mom)

Your artwork, and how it was discovered, has been Kerry’s main topic of discussion with friends and family since Saturday.
The excitement of it’s find has not diminished, and I don’t think that it ever will!

Kerry says “Thank you for the great adventure”.

Thanks!
-Karen

I’m Humbled. Well Honored is probably a better word. :)

For my Rock to Be included in Kerrys Art Collection.

Thanks so much Kerry for the Inspiration!

 Big Thanks go to my Friends at BANANAS for hosting the contest.

Thank you Richard and Debbie!

 Can anyone name all 4 members of the Banana Splits?

 

Banana’s Mystery Item REVEALED!

Banana’s Mystery Item REVEALED!

louise brooks in 1924

 
 
From, deb Clarke;
1920′s American Dancer/Film Actress/Writer  Louise Brooks may have worn panties very similiar to the panties hanging from Bananas’ tin ceiling while dancing a fan dance in Paris, or in film, or with the Ziegfield Follies.  our feathered panties are from a long closed 1930′s Miami Beach nightclub.  the g-string guess was pretty close, but these babies are many strands away from a ‘g’.  btw: her helmet haircut became the iconic hairdo of the times.  perhaps Betty Page copied Louise’s ‘doo’.  
more info on Louise Here:
best,
deb. 

bottom of a fan dance costume from a 1930's Miami Beach Nightclub.

http://debbieclarke.blogspot.com/

Banana’s Mystery Item!

Can you Guess what this is?

From deb Clarke;

Banana’s Mystery Item!

These photos are of one of the most frequently commented upon item at Bananas.  Can you guess what the item hanging from the ceiling is?  Here are 2 views. Sorry, it’s not for sale.  It is from the store’s private collection.
 
best,
                    deb.
 

Can you guess what it is? View 1

Bananas Mystery Item. view 2

Visit Bananas to get a better look  at it;

 78 Main Street, Gloucester, MA 01930(978) 283-8806‎

Also visit Bananas Facebook Page by clicking the link below

 
 
 

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=68449294214

GOOD LUCK!

 

http://debbieclarke.blogspot.com/

A few words about my martini

Hedge commented in my “Seasonal Openings Part II” if I could add something about the martini I had at the Top Side Grill last Tuesday during Oyster Night. The comment box was not big enough for my thoughts on martinis.

What is wrong with the world today: bad martinis

The popularity of the Cosmopolitan and all these other Apple, lemon drop, fruity drinks that use a martini cocktail shaker is what is wrong with the world today. Order a martini and it may arrive looking like a gin/vermouth martini with olives but if the bartender used a shaker which they had previously used on a Cosmopolitan I can do a really good imitation of John Stuart (Daily Show) spraying my drink all over the wait staff. Even a few molecules of apple flavor are enough.

What is right with the world today: good martinis

A place that will dedicate a martini shaker to only gin/vermouth martinis. (Vodka contamination also acceptable.) Top Side Grill obviously does that. The fact that the martini glass is big enough so I don’t have to order two more doesn’t hurt. Three olives is one olive overkill but since they came with a red sword I would remove no points. They also followed the correct recipe:

6 parts gin, 1-2 parts vermouth, olive garnish

Jokes about waving a vermouth cap over the shaker, using a perfume atomizer, or saying the word vermouth while shaking is for idiots. It ain’t a martini if it does not have dry vermouth (Noilly Pratt is good) in it. The “dry” has nothing to do with the amount of vermouth.

Shaken or Stirred?

More nonsense. The molecules of gin and vermouth do not have a sense of direction nor do they get dizzy. But there is ceremony to be made around making a martini and I certainly have mine.

Joey posted about the chrome martini shakers at Bananas far enough in advance of Christmas so that both of my children gave me one. Both are like that one in the middle with the red Bakelite handle vintage 1930-40s before plastic was invented. Bakelite uses cellulose.

1) Fill shaker one third full with ice.
2) Add about one jigger of vermouth directly onto ice so it freezes.
3) Add gin until ice almost floats. (about 6 jiggers)
4) This step 4 is optional and completely opposite of my rant about the flavored drinks but a teaspoon of Rose’s Lime Juice for variety can be added here. (This drink is now named after me in a bar across the street from the Sacramento State House. At least that’s what we were told as they kicked us out.)
5) Replace top, screw on little spout cover also, grasp by spout and handle and swirl vigourosly. Do not hold anywhere near the bottom as that will start to get covered by frost. About 3-5 minutes. When the frost forms your martini is ready to be poured. With the frost on the outside you can leisurely have one martini and freshen it up to twenty minutes later and the amount of water added is still perfect. But finish the shaker by 30 minutes or it becomes too dilute. Hurry hurry.

These shakers have a convenient strainer built in.

That’s it. Oh, Richard Leonard, owner of Bananas also told me how to clean the chrome. Soft Scrub only. I’ve used them daily since Christmas Day and they are still gleaming and have not needed the Soft Scrub yet but heavy usage during the summer might change that. A last photo of one of mine along with two martini glasses also Christmas gifts from my children. I even got to open this one a week before Christmas.

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