Tag Archives: Cape Ann

Musician Carlos Menezes- one of world’s greatest middle school band teachers!

O’Maley bands and choruses killing it. Great job Gloucester!

And no wonder. Listen to this teacher and share: Carlos Menezes delivers an awesome introduction inspired by his students and the extraordinary Charles Allan Winter WPA-era mural at City Hall.

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Packed and happy house

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$2400 Gloucester liquor license up in the air “feels like the lottery” and suggestions by Brian Hamilton

Another Gloucester Licensing Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday May 9, 6PM at the City Hall Annex on Pond Road. Once issued, will it be flipped or will it be held?
Here are some scenes from last week’s liquor license meeting at City Hall. Setting local caps on liquor licenses is outlined here Massachusetts laws. Those in favor of caps feel the policy laws help residents weigh in on whether additional local licenses are desirable, and prevents favoring new business at the expense of established businesses including some that spent tens of thousands on permits. Those against it maintain that it’s arcane, random and a hindrance to economic development. There are year round and seasonal licenses issued. For example, Gloucester Cinema & Stage, the Cave and Topside Grill have seasonal liquor ones. It’s a rarity here. Holyoke added 13 additional licenses in 2015. This interactive Google map of MA liquor licenses dates from that time. You can use  +-  keys on the map to zoom in to Gloucester as in screenshot below.

Brian Hamilton’s thoughtful input at the Licensing board meeting last week:

 

BEAUTIFUL CAPE ANN FOGGY DAYS

Greater Yellowlegs foraging in the marsh.

I have loved this past month’s atmospheric and textured, misty April weather. Do you recall an April as foggy? I don’t. Whenever out and about and a spare moment was mine, I grabbed my camera and had a go at capturing beautiful fog-shrouded Cape Ann.

Piping Plover

Trying out the new teleconverter–note the little tiny figure fishing on the breakwater in the photo on the left, which was shot at 18mm, and then with the 400mm lens plus tele.

Same focal lengths with Ten Pound Island.

And then the sun came out.

MOTHER ANN

First named Tragabigzanda after a Turkish Princess, Cape Ann was later renamed by King Charles in honor of his mother, Queen Anne. The granite rock formation at the tip of Eastern Point looks to me like the silhouette of a figurehead on a ship’s bow. Historically though, Mother Ann is thought to represent either a reclining Puritan woman or Anne of Denmark, the mother of King Charles.

I have been experimenting with different focal lengths with the new 1.4 teleconverter. The first photo was taken at 400mm with the teleconverter. I am not sure if the fog or the lens is creating the softness but I think it’s going to be lots of fun nonetheless, especially for wildlife.

CAPE ANN WINGED CREATURE UPDATE

Featured: Brant Geese, Black-capped Chickadees, Black-crowned Night Heron, Blue Jays, Cardinals, American Robins, Mockingbirds, Savannah Sparrows, House Finches, Red-breasted Mergansers, and Common Grackle.  

Beautiful iridescent feathers of the Common Grackle.

Spring is a fantastic time of year in Massachusetts to see wildlife, whether that be whale or winged creature. Marine species are migrating to the abundant feeding grounds of the North Atlantic as avian species are traveling along the Atlantic Flyway to summer breeding regions in the boreal forests and Arctic tundra. And, too, the bare limbs of tree branches and naked shrubs make for easy viewing of birds that breed and nest in our region. Verdant foliage that will soon spring open, although much longed for, also obscures nesting activity. Get out today and you’ll be richly rewarded by what you see along shoreline and pond bank.

Male Red-winged Blackbird singing to his lady love.

Once the trees leaf, we’ll still hear the songsters but see them less.

Nests will be hidden.

Five migrating Brant Geese were foraging on seaweed at Loblolly Cove this morning.

Red-breasted Merganser Bath Time

Gloucester downtown harbortown cultural district: Partner Updates | March 2017

Read dishy brief updates from downtown, marketing opportunities from MOTT, and trending topics from across the state. The arts scene in Gloucester and Cape Ann has so much going on and sets such a high, high bar for the state. We needed a calendar and GMG did it! Reminder: If organizations want to be featured on the essential GMG calendar and weekly arts round-up, they should email their listings to James Eves! Triple check the calendar before planning any major scheduling dates. 

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What’s New March 2017 updates link (if embed doesn’t show)

*= Founding Partner    Yellow =  NEW partner March 2017      Bold blue= updates

More save the dates — creative placemaking, smart cities, sustainable cities, cultural districts, smartgrowth

Sneak peek inside the Braga’s new Italiano Restaurant and Bar opening soon in Gloucester’s Little Italy…and they’re hiring

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Hugo, Marcus, and Richard (owner R S Construction)

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The Bragas’s highly anticipated second stand alone restaurant, the new Italiano Restaurant and Bar, will be opening at 64 Main Street well before people flock to our coast this summer. The former space of La Trattoria is being transformed by RS Construction which also built the Dunkin Donuts in Magnolia and the Azorean’s gorgeous bar expansion and function addition. The new restaurant has been under major construction for months because the build out is much more than a revamp.  The small kitchen is GONE. The entire former function space in the back is a brand spanking new kitchen.
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In a city of incredibly good eats how do you make yours stand out?

An excellent reputation helps: the Bragas opened Azorean in 2007 which quickly established a legion of loyal customers with its unique and exceptional cuisine. Besides quality, hard work and experience how about that awesome historic West End location. Italiano Restaurant joins a tipping point where Gloucester’s West End meets Boston’s North End. Italy Magazine I propose your next article in the series, Where to find Italy in America?- Gloucester’s West End! Come visit!
Tonno. 2 Main Street
Virgilios Italian Bakery. 29 Main Street
Short and Main. 36 Main Street
Pastaio via Corta. 11 Center Street
Caffe Sicilia. (978) 283-7345 40 Main Street
the Cave 44 Main Street
Cape Ann Olive Oil 57 Main Street
Cafe Dolce, 3 Main Street
Plus Sclafanis Italian Bakery is quite nearby, two book stores and Pop Gallery 🙂
The Braga’s new Italiano Restaurant team is hiring. Contact:
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ITALIANO RESTAURANT AND BAR 64 Main Street, Gloucester, MA
c/o Braga Management
132 Washington St
Gloucester, Massachusetts
Call (978) 283-4339
dbraga7827@aol.com
Where to find Italy in America - Boston's North EndWhere to find Italy in America-New York's Mulberry Street Part 1

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! Women’s Equality Cape Ann (WECANN) official t-shirt. Staying active and alert! #wecann #gloucesterma

Buy one or buy ten and help support desperately needed scholarships!

CLICK BELOW TO GET YOURS TODAY!!

https://www.booster.com/capeannlowvscholarships

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Jessica Marie says “YES YOU CAN, YES WECANN!”

Women of Essex exhibit at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum opens this weekend

Slated to run in conjunction with National Women’s History Month, Women of Essex Stories to Share, will be on display most weekends from March 18-April 29. The show is hosted by Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum. Lee adds:

“The motivation for this exhibit was the recognition that, while our emphasis at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum has been on shipbuilding and the men involved with it, there were many significant roles of women in the community. Hence the exhibit Women of Essex – Stories to Share. This exhibit features about a dozen women that we are featuring individually in this first phase of the project. To help scope this effort, we are focusing this phase on women who are no longer with us. These include the women that were instrumental in building the first meeting house, one of the first woman auctioneers in the country, a female professional baseball player, a woman who was a motivator behind several town projects, several individuals active in the arts, and even an enslaved woman. There will be collections of several other groups of women, namely teachers and restaurateurs, an Essex mainstay.”

www.essexshipbuildingmuseum.org

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Motif Monday New England architecture: religious conversion

So many titles! This Old Church. When a house of worship is a house. I wonder about the people and the history behind their unique architecture, and smile thinking about dedication and reverence. What were the maddening, fascinating and funny stories of the houseproud chapters?

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Read more

Fantastic Summer Program at Harborlight

I know that those of you with young children are in the midst of trying to plan their summers.  Be sure to explore all options!  Harborlight has some pretty fantastic summer offerings for your child.  Their Beverly campus is very conveniently located if you should find yourself commuting out of town over the summer weeks and just a short 15 minute drive from Gloucester.

If you are looking for exciting and varied summer options for Grades PK-7 please look through their catalogue of summer offerings.

Harborlight offers one-week sessions beginning July 3rd and ending August 25th for Grades 1-7 and two four-week session for PK-Kindergarten aged children.

Elementary aged children may Sign up for one week, or sign up for all eight! 

READ ABOUT ALL OFFERINGS AND FIND ALL PERTINENT INFORMATION HERE

FIND THE ENROLLMENT CONTRACTING AND TUITION HERE

Here are some of the descriptions for Children ages 3-5 and Grades 1-7.  

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Celebrate the 4th:  Visit Trustees of the Reservations and Audubon properties to see “America the Beautiful.” Come back to campus for old-school picnic lunches on the lawn, BBQ, and yard games.  Make patriotic t-shirts, crafts and recipes. Spend the week designing and decorating a patriotic float and take it on parade on Friday!

Ready, Set, Chef!: Take a journey in the life of a restaurateur.  We will explore what it takes to create the concept of a restaurant and what the space and menu will look like.  We will travel to different restaurants on and around the North Shore learning to cook, create, serve, and run a restaurant. Students will launch their own pop-up restaurant on Friday and will be open for business.

Marine Heritage:  Explore Cape Ann’s rich marine heritage.  Join the marine science crew aboard the Sea Station’s vessel Endeavor.  Set sail on a lobster boat, visit touch tanks and learn about ocean life in a fun, hands-on learning environment.

Rock On!:  Join the band and hone your music performance and ensemble skills in a creative and fun environment. Experiment with and learn about instruments from around the world. Improvise during a percussion circle, create through sound-painting activities, and learn to express yourself through music.

History Alive:  Walk the streets that hummed with the actions of the revolution, puritans, accused witches, artists and writers. Be a Colonial! Learn how to make traditional colonial foods, try colonial crafts, games and visit some of the places made famous during the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the American Revolution. Be a part of history.

A Day at the Museum:  Learn about the history of art through trips to some of the North Shore’s most intriguing museums.  We’ll provide a sketchbook.  You bring a bag lunch, water bottle and your imagination!

Biking and Hiking:  Explore nature as we hike and bike the great outdoors!  We’ll study wildlife, compete in nature scavenger hunts and enjoy geocaching activities while gaining greater appreciation for the natural world.

Break a Leg!:  Let’s put on a show!  Enjoy the rehearsal process while learning more about stage directions, improvisation and character development. On Friday, family and friends are invited to the performance!

Small Swell:  Entering grades 4-8 .   Catch a wave this summer! Learn balance, coordination, timing the waves, falling and getting back on the board in this fun, educational program that is ideal for children of all surfing abilities.

Art Walk:  Stand in the footprints of famous maritime artists and see the harbor through their eyes.  Create your own art inspired by the seascapes and working waterfront before you.  Walk Gloucester’s “Harbor Walk”, complete a scavenger hunt challenge, and stop along the way to sketch, paint, and draw.  Visit the Cape Ann Museum, snack by the water, and return to campus excited to continue the creative process in both the indoor and outdoor art studios.

Coast and Compass:  Entering grades 4-7 .   Enjoy some great summer adventures as we kayak, hike and hit the beach. The highlight of the week will be our legendary two-night trip to the Isle of Shoal’s Star Island where you can hike, play tennis, jump off the dock, roast marshmallows over an open fire, and learn the local lore of the island!

Authors’ Corner:  Become an author and illustrator! Share your love of books with friends as we read, write and illustrate our own work. Learn the craft from guests who are professional authors and artists. Children will come home with a finished product of a picture book, poetry collection, play, or graphic novel.

I Survived!:   Entering grades 3-7 .     Ever wondered how to start a fire, build shelter, search for food, and stay safe in the wilderness? Learn some of the basic skills taught in the Army Ranger School program and then apply your knowledge as we rough-it during a two-night camping trip in New Hampshire.

Animal League:  Come spend a week with Iris the therapy dog and her friends! We will wash, groom, train, walk and play with dogs! Meet a real dog trainer and learn a few tricks yourself. Bake healthy dog treats and learn about various breeds. Have a community “dog wash” and we will give all money earned to our local dog shelter when we visit there. Bring your dog or borrow one of ours for “Bring our Dogs Day” on Friday.

Game On!:  Let’s play some games!  Tennis, soccer, bowling and mini-golf are among the fun activities planned for this session.

And, as the standard Summer Session Day ends, children who wish to sign up for more hours will enjoy Get in the Game: 3:00 – 4:30 daily from 7/3-8/25

Get moving as we explore the wonderful nature of games and sportsmanship. Fine- tune the skills necessary to challenge yourself in a variety of mental games, beach and lawn games and physical challenges. In the circuit of games and strategies presented, many skills will be enhanced, strategies developed, and missions accomplished.

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The New and Improved Aqua Room at Cape Ann’s Marina Resort

We’ve been a little bit lost for the last several months while the Aqua Room at Cape Ann’s Marina Resort has been undergoing some pretty sizable renovations.  With the windows and doors covered, exactly what had been going on inside has been quite a mystery. Which, I’ll admit, has only added to the excitement for two little swimmers that I know well.  Finn, in fact, may or may not be guilty of peeking through little gaps in the window coverings to try to get a sneak peak.

Well, the wait is over.  The Aqua Room is now open. And…just in time for a long weekend!  I had the opportunity to take a look around on Monday afternoon and was completely impressed with the changes and improvements that have happened!

Some of those improvements are noticeable the second you walk through the doors. Whiter, brighter walls and new windows help let natural light in. The bar has been built up has undergone quite a facelift making it an even more appealing place to sit with friends. The brand new jacuzzi is gorgeous and the new pool deck is spotless. The pool itself has been completely resurfaced and has new tile.  Colored lights under the water’s surface change from blue, to green, to red, to white giving the pool a sleek and polished finish. The restrooms and locker rooms have undergone improvements including some geared to the youngest swimmers. All of this is easy to spy and looks beyond great.

What isn’t easy to see, but is equally…if not more…important, are the major steps that have been taken to ensure that the aqua room environment and pool water is the best it can possibly be year round.  With a brand new, state of the art, pool filtration system, the perfect combination of saltwater and chlorine treatment for the water, new heating, and even a brand new sound system, they have thought of it all.

We have always loved stopping by the pool for a swim and lunch or dinner.  The Aqua Room has been a staple on our list of easy get togethers with friends and hockey teams…and the absolutely perfect escape on rainy or stormy days.  We clock some serious time there and always have a great day.

Day passes, punch card passes, and individual and/or family memberships are available to fit everyone’s needs and budgets. The pool is open daily from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm. The children’s pool hours have also been extended to Fridays and Saturdays 11am-10pm; Sundays-Thursdays 11am -8pm.

Mile Marker One continues to serve both lunch and dinner at the tables surrounding the pool and now includes new menu items as well. In addition, COMING SOON, will be the newly enclosed year-round River Deck dining area overlooking boat slips and the Annisquam River.

I am so excited to start spending some lazy afternoons in the company of good friends while watching the boys swim and play with their best buddies.  I am thankful for the measures that the owners/management of Cape Ann’s Marina Resort have put into renovations that will help build community in such a clean and safe environment. We are fortunate to have the Aqua Room as an option for family entertainment….now more than ever.

 

Lobster Trap Tree – 2012 -2016

The first one I saw in 2012 was amazing and it gets better every year! From the days of stacked traps and colored lights we now have a wider base with doorways opening the inside with cantilevered traps opening up the center of the tree for a great view from inside, a look at the dome and viewing a light show of Christmas Colors on the floor. (The lightshow with its colored moving dots of light brought back memories of college…but that’s another story!) The stack is tighter and now the traps are color coordinated Yellow and Green by level and the colored lights have given way to energy efficient white LEDs.  The yearly engineering advances allow for more and more hand painted buoys from the kids at Art Haven. Hard to imagine anything more spirit lifting than just walking past the tree, not to mention spending some time in it and around! I met two photographers who were waiting for the light to go down and then were going from Gloucester to Rockport, ME and Portland to capture some other trap trees. Their take? Others might be a little taller but none are better than Gloucester’s tree!

PIGEON COVE FERMENTS GRILLED CHEESE

During Sunday’s podcast we met Kristen and Dylan of Pigeon Cover Ferments. Their sauerkrauts are out of this world delish. Don’t be turned off when we write sauerkraut; theirs is certainly not your run of the mill grocery store sauerkraut. Pigeon Cove Ferments sauerkrauts are simply fermented cabbage made with a variety of seasonings, hand made and in small batches  As theirs is not prepared with preservatives, Pigeon Cove Ferments sauerkraut is wonderfully flavorful and is also vitamin C and probiotic-rich.

It is so exciting to see the growing food industry emerging in Gloucester. When purchasing Pigeon Cove Ferments products you are also supporting other local businesses because Dylan and Kristen source all their vegetables from local farms, including Aprilla Farm, Seaview Farm, and Cedar Rock Gardens–hundreds and hundreds of pounds of cabbage for example. Their salt comes from Atlantic Saltworks, which is based out of Gloucester and produces salt from the Atlantic Ocean.

I have to take a second round of doxycycline for tick bite related illnesses; adding probiotics to my diet couldn’t have come at a more timely moment. Immediately after sampling at the podcast, I purchased several jars at Common Crow. The sales person could not have been more complimentary of Pigeon Cove Ferments products. Today I made a grilled cheese with the caraway and pepper flavored sauerkraut. The crunchy kraut contrasted beautifully with the creamy warm cheese. I think I feel better already!

To learn more about Kristen and Dylan listen to our podcast and visit their website here Pigeon Cover Ferments.

Review: Just ahead of its theater release, Hollywood premiere in Beverly for Manchester by the Sea

Meg Montagnino Jarrett introduced the movie, Manchester by the Sea, from the Cabot stage in Beverly, MA, this past Thursday evening, the first public screening in Massachusetts. Members of the audience worked on the film, and dignitaries such as Senator Bruce Tarr and Mayor Romeo Theken were invited. Montagnino Jarrett is a local film producer who worked on behalf of the MA Film office to bring these kinds of projects to the area and is the official liaison for Rockport and Gloucester. Manchester by the Sea is directed by Kenneth Lonergan who appears in a biting scene.

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Should you see it because of the setting? Yes.

I didn’t recognize this as being such a typical Massachusetts or even an American story. I registered quality and pathos– a modern day Greek tragedy so thoughtfully sculpted it will be understood across the globe, whether you’ve set one foot in this state or not.

You can however walk right home: the sense of place is rendered as carefully as an artist can, as much– or more –than the characters and script. Impressions of the gray and brown landscape long shots were so right. I thought about winter scenes by local artists, like Stoddard’s murals at Sawyer Free Public Library. Residents can tally scenes, wardrobe, and dialogue filled with local references to Cape Ann communities: the harbor, Ten Pound Island, Rose Marine, Seatronics, local New England homes, the ‘Edward Hopper’ Herrick Court staircase, Richdale mart, property alongside East Gloucester elementary, signs along Highway 128, Manchester Essex school, Willow Rest, hockey scenes and Viking posters. Don’t worry, unless you are the talented location scouts celebrating at this premiere– which they were, Cabot has a bar and snacks–audiences won’t find each and every recognition flicker with just one screening. There were far too many, and oft times veiled. Besides, if you possess a beating heart you will be squeezing your friend, looking away, or grabbing Kleenex at least a couple of times.

Does it deserve Oscar buzz? Yes.

Manchester by the Sea is a beautiful and searing movie.

The film is a meditation on grief, love, and life. You’ll find flaws. That’s subjective and feels real, too. It’s meticulously crafted and directed. Casey Affleck, Kyle Chandler and Michelle Williams are vivid; all of the cast and crew will be impacted by having been a part of the movie.  The movie will fuel your eyes and perspective while you watch, and hover around your thoughts and conversations days later. Walking away from the theater, I said American cinema verite. My mind wandered to more mood and art: crisp short stories; poetry; two films, House of Sand and Fog and In the Bedroomnot direct comparisons but as other powerful clutch ups. On the drive home we shared family stories and discussed edges of tragedy. Life and art can be devastating.

I made a mental list of movies that made me crumple beyond the pale. This one wasn’t exactly that for me, thankfully, as the lights came up quickly!  But it was memorable as all get out, and as art. Are there movies that have made you cry, yet you’d watch them again; or sad movies you haven’t forgotten?  I think this might be one for many viewers.

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Part II: more on the making of the film, locally 

UPDATE ON GLOUCESTER’S LITTLE SEAHORSE

Love the fins!

A post shared by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Thank you to Tony and Abbie for allowing me to come by and get some footage of the spunky little seahorse. This is the fourth seahorse Tony has found, the second this week. He finds them feeding on tiny crustaceans in his lobster bait traps. I think this is a female. If you look closely in the above Instagram and compare with the diagram below, she does not have the male’s brood pouch.

Lined Seahorses are not strong swimmers; they ambush their prey by camouflaging themselves, changing color to blend with their environment. They are found in shades ranging from deep brownish black to gray to green, red, and oranges. Lined Seahorses feed on small crustaceans, fish larvae, and plankton. Their mouths are without teeth and instead of biting, use a sucking action to draw in food. Because a seahorse has no stomach, it must eat constantly.

Seahorses live in habitats where there is an abundance of vegetation to hold onto, for example, eel grass and seaweed in southern New England. On temperate shorelines they may curl their tail around mangrove roots and corals. It seems logical that Tony’s bait traps make a convenient feeding station, providing both food and a place on which to latch. Although rare, sightings as far north as Nova Scotia have been reported. Cape Cod is the tippy end of the Lined Seahorse’s northern breeding range.

Fun fact about Lined Seahorses: Scientists report that the males dance for their mate every morning as a way to bond.

The Lined Seahorse population is in decline; their species status is listed as “vulnerable.” The reason for the decline is not only habitat destruction, but sadly and preventably, because they are a popular commodity in the trinket trade.

A reporter from NECN and NBC contacted Tony and the story may be airing on NECN.  Let us know if you see the episode. Here’s a video Tony’s wife Abbie made, posted on GMG in 2010.  The seahorse in this video was caught in December, in Ipswich Bay, in 40 degree waters.

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Anatomy of a seahorse from Google image search

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