Monthly Archives: September 2017

THANKS TO KEN WHITTAKER AND GLOUCESTER’S PIPING PLOVER VOLUNTEER TEAM

A huge thank you once again to our city’s conservation agent Ken Whittaker and the amazing team of Piping Plover volunteers who, with their kind dedication, helped one little chick survive Gloucester’s busiest of beaches.

Ken met recently with some of the volunteers, to review ideas and suggestions for next year, and to give volunteers thanks, as well as the fun caps pictured above. Left to right; Chris,  Ken, Carol, and Hazel.

Little Piping Plover Chick Three Days Old

Does the #MBTA new design for the #Annisquam River bridge look like a prison tower to you?

MBTA Gloucester bridge sim

The tower and the scale of the concrete column brought to mind the opening scenes of Dr. Zhivago with Alec Guinness looking for his niece. Here’s a TCM film clip to give you some idea of what I mean despite cutting off right before the pan up to the guard tower.

Dr Z still

 

Here’s how the Annisquam bridge looks today.

20170909_080624

Mostly great gorgeous marsh.

Its scale suits the site and often disappears. American artist Edward Hopper painted a close up in 1923.

landscape-with-bridge-watercolor-whitney1

There are four significant Edward Hopper artworks that are related to the commuter train he took from NYC to Gloucester, MA. I sent the images to Fay Spofford & Thorndike for their reference as in my professional experience any architects and engineers that I’ve worked with were keen on historic links. They couldn’t have known this one. Until I corrected the records in 2011, the Hopper watercolor was misattributed as an unidentified landscape, likely Maine or Massachusetts. It’s definitely Massachusetts–the Annisquam River train bridge in Gloucester, MA, to be precise. If you live here, you know that scene by heart. Hopper captured most every gateway to Gloucester. A 2012 photograph by Allegra Boverman reporting on bridge damage for the Gloucester Daily Times, zoomed in just so, helped me illustrate the match.

Catherine Ryan identifying Edward Hopper Annisquam River Bridge

I also shared the exciting Hopper news and connections with then Mayor Kirk, community development, Senator Tarr, the Gloucester Daily Times, and the Boston Globe. I wasn’t speaking to them about the design as I felt the state and the architects and engineers would be on that.

I have no idea when that distinct yellow shack–a mini me Cape Ann motif– was no longer there: perhaps it could be recreated, or a nod to the A Piatt Andrew bridge could be referenced with some planning? Maybe some of the diagonals of the old structure, or some other New England elements at the abutment sides could be incorporated into the design?

A couple of years later, I found an old Good Morning Gloucester post by Fredrik D. Bodin. There’s no mistaking that two level shack! I wish I could have spoken with him about the Curtis photograph.

a8767_017wm FRED BODIN little yellow house motif like and new england building on right

I don’t suggest that the treacherous bridge needs to be “preserved” or want to impede progress.  However, if there is a small way that the design can tip its hat to Hopper, Gloucester, New England…why not? It is a landmark, a beacon for Cape Ann.  It’s very exciting that the project is going out to bid. I hope the winning firm mitigates the design to temper any possible prison comparison. Leave the pier-column design but adjust the tower? Can it be both structurally sound and inspiring?

Colonial Wrestling Alliance debut show at Mile Marker One

Yianni and I heard about the Colonial Wrestling Alliance debut show at Mile Marker 1 at the last minute. Being avid wrestling fans we decided to check it out. 

We were astounded and amazed at the skill of the wrestlers and all involved in bringing the kind of entertainment that Gloucester deserves. 

I “liked” The Facebook page today so I won’t miss future events. Here’s what it advertised about last night’s show,

Gloucester’s own Mr Chad Epik of Colonial Wrestling Alliance presents: Fish Town Beat Down on Friday, Sept 8, 7:30pm under the tent at Cape Ann’s Marina Resort & Mile Marker One. Titles matches, tag team bouts, a battle royal & much more! Tix are only $12 at the door & proceeds benefit Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team. 

Appearing: Josh Briggs, Ace Romero, Middlesex Express, The Era of Violence, Foxx Vinyer, Theodore J. Liftington, Crispin Coles, Remy Blackheart, Delilah Hayden, ElkMania Promotions, Derrick Conway, Beau Douglas, “The Maniacal” Jack Krueger, & more 🙂

Check out these videos we took last night…

Seaside Garden Club Kicks off their Season with Books in Bloom and a Plant Swap!

Cape Ann Community

Books in BloomThe Seaside Garden Club kicks off their season with Books in Bloom and a Plant Swap on September 12th at the Manchester Community Center.  Doors open at 7:00 pm for social time and the program begins at 7:30.  Light refreshments will be served.  All are welcome, guests $5.  Annual membership is now open for $30.  Sign up now to get your name in our yearbook and enjoy some terrific programs. The club meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month through June.
Members are creating floral arrangements (can work in pairs) inspired by a book of their choosing. This is similar to the Art in Bloom at the Museum of Fine Arts. Have fun, get creative and expose the hidden artist inside. You can chose any kind of book as your inspiration: fiction, nonfiction, children’s, cookbook, travel book, any book that strikes your fancy.  We’re asking those who do arrangements to donate them for…

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