Today is the first day of track and field at O’Maley Innovation Middle School. On this 120th anniversary of the first day of the modern Olympics (thanks Google Doodle), may our student athletes be inspired by James Brendan Connolly. Before he was a Harvard spurner, a Veteran, a Gloucester Master Mariner, a sea tales chronicler and beloved writer, James Connolly was one of 14 American athletes (5 were Bostonians) to compete in the international Games of the I Olympiad in Athens, Greece, 1896.Twenty percent of the international competitors were from the United States.
Connolly medalled. Twice. On the first final of the opening day, Connolly won what is now the triple jump and came in 2nd in the high jump. He sailed home a champion, the first Olympic medal winner in 1500 years. This recognition no doubt helped his byline and he rapidly gained a reputation as a fantastic writer. The Boston Globe published his first war correspondence, “Letters from the Front in Cuba” where he served with the Irish 9th Infantry of Massachusetts. His career soars after writing about Gloucestermen from his days working in Gloucester. I’ll let Connolly take it from here, it’s so good:
Did you see? Wonderful John McElhenny’s My View article to the Gloucester Daily Timesthanking great work by the CPA committee and residents? And more this week in the Boston Globe? Nice to be the successful model. “In Gloucester, residents have leveraged funding for 80 units of affordable elderly housing in an old grammar school, replaced historic lead glass windows at the Cape Ann Museum, and restored Depression-era WPA murals at City Hall.” Read more of the Boston Globe article here
Since April is National Poetry month it seems extra fitting to pause on the Charles Allan Winter mural–which by the way is notoriously difficult to photograph in that site. Nice job by photographer Pat Greenhouse / Boston Globe.
In 1931, he and his wife Alice Beach Winter, also a successful artist, came to live in Gloucester year round having spent summers since 1914 and building their Mt. Pleasant studio in 1922. Poetry was the third mural Winter completed in Gloucester.
Boston Globe correspondent, Wendy Killeen, lists Berklee in Gloucester in her weekly Arts/Entertainment column that appeared in the Globe North today. Excerpt below:
JAZZ ON TAP: Berklee in Gloucester launches its season with a performance by The Jim Odgren Quintet at The Gloucester House on Thursday.
The series of concerts features professors from the Berklee College of Music in Boston and some of their top students. Proceeds benefit the Gloucester2Berklee Scholarship Fund, which helps send students from the city to the music college.
“Given all the Berklee students and alumni who live here, we feel that Berklee is somewhat responsible for Gloucester’s burgeoning music scene,” said Peter Van Ness of gimmeLIVE, producer of this season’s Berklee in Gloucester shows. “Normally, you’d only expect to see these concerts in a big city. You get to catch the best players in the world today as they train the best players of tomorrow.”
The jazz quintet is led by Berklee professors Jim Odgren on alto saxophone and Dave Santoro on acoustic bass. They are joined by Berklee student musicians Roberto Giaquinto on drums, Davis Whitfield on piano, and Lucian Gray on guitar.
The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance; $15 (cash only) at the door. Call 978-525-9093 or visit gimmesound.com.
This town’s last national burst of buzz came from the movie version of “The Perfect Storm,” in which desperate fishermen going farther and farther out in search of dwindling stocks of swordfish were swept into the abyss by a hurricane. You may soon hear about Gloucester again, as visionary leaders chart out what they hope is a perfect scenario of renewal. There are still hundreds of working fishermen here, but officials now talk of Gloucester becoming a cluster for a much broader “marine economy.” Picture an aquatic Silicon Valley — a center of research on the “wired ocean” and a workshop for entrepreneurs developing products based on discoveries from the deep.
Wendy Maeda/Globe staff
Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk demonstrates how QR codes enable an interactive smartphone tour along the city’s HarborWalk.
“This is what’s happening to the city, this is where we’re going,” vows Mayor Carolyn Kirk. “Come hell or high water, we’re going there.”
Touring the city this week, there was ample evidence that Gloucester can build on its seafaring heritage, even as it seeks to develop economic niches beyond fishing.
GLOUCESTER — Among the weathered docks and fishermen’s shacks of this renowned port lives another Gloucester: a world of sea serpents and seafaring stories, world-renowned artists and beloved cultural icons.
The problem has always been how to find it. The working waterfront that supplies the city’s lifeblood also presents a maze of piers and industrial lots that are as difficult for visitors to navigate as they are crucial to Gloucester’s economy.
Next month, the city hopes to solve that problem with the opening of Gloucester Harborwalk, a 1.2-mile loop that brings to light previously hard-to-find historical and cultural lore and reunites the city’s main streets and its seaport. It does so with a network of 42 markers that is accompanied by a virtual tour that can be downloaded onto a smartphone.
City officials see the Harborwalk as a way to lure visitors who stop by for lobster, whale watching, or a trip to the beach into longer stays that will help drive the local economy.
When most people visualize Gloucester, they imagine a fisherman casting his nets, or the white sands of Good Harbor Beach, or the excitement of spotting a whale as it rises from the ocean’s depths. Now, thanks to many active artists and art organizations, Gloucester is on its way to reestablishing its reputation as a center for the arts.
The city made the grade as a popular arts destination in an article appearing in the summer edition of AmericanStyle magazine. Gloucester was ranked third in the small-city category with other cities that had a population below 100,000. The top two spots were taken by Asheville, N.C., and Santa Fe, respectively.
In the Boston Globe’s Caffeine Poll in which they ask the question Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks they omit a hugely important category (well to me it is anyway)-THE INDEPENDENT COFFEE SHOPS!
Click the map for the Boston Globe Poll-
Personally I prefer Starbucks over Dunkin Donuts as I find DD to be weak and the people rarely make it the way I want it at DD and every once in a while I get one that tastes like burnt plastic. But over both of those choices I would take The Lone Gull, Cape Ann Coffee or Pleasant St Tea and Coffee Company.
To leave the independent coffee shop out of the options for the poll I feel the poll is hugely flawed.
What about you? I’ll add the right poll in here-
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