Tag Archives: Main Street

First, second, third or last Saturdays? Stage Fort Park party feedback

Last night was the annual Stage Fort Welcoming Center re-opening party (see photos.) It’s tradition for Gloucester businesses to take 30 seconds to share new business news. I wish I wrote down everybody’s highlights. I didn’t. Please write back here to share the 2017 season Gloucester updates and special offers you mentioned last night or would have mentioned if you could have attended! We’ll make sure to fan them back out. A few businesses are transitioning to second generation family members at the helm. It’s exciting and positive to hear their news. Guess who?

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Cape Ann Community Cinema and Gloucester Stage have some luminaries booked that will knock your socks off. Local fare accompanied the spiels thanks to Cape Ann Coffees, Gloucester House Restaurant, Beauport Hotel, Topside Grill, Captain Carlos, Castle Manor Inn Sea Glass Restaurant, and others.

We celebrate local culture, food and business daily in historic Gloucester.

That’s why GMG has a year round arts and events calendar, and another just for music. What if we decided upon the Same Saturdays once a month to call out some extra attention or add into special plans in the works? Gloucester Saturdays could be as simple as:  Participants would be invited to submit events ahead of time– pretty much along the lines of how everyone programs already. Restaurants. Shops. Galleries. Museums. Everybody. This recurring day would give some more time for people to plan ahead or work together. It doesn’t have to be rigid. It could encompass folks who want to open early (Lee’s!) or stay extra late (Short and Main Tiki bar!) We’re lucky to have a mix of operational styles.

But which Saturday? cue unofficial GMG poll (poll closes in less than a week)

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 Double check the recurring annual events page to see if any of yours are missing. Some month for a Gloucester Literary Festival has been requested for years. January and February may be good months to consider.

Here’s more about the Saturday option from Gloucester’s downtown Harbortown cultural district and other downtown news:

“what do you think? There are numerous requests about downtown Gloucester committing to staying open late, ONE night each month, YEAR ROUND. The most recent request is from Jo Anne Chirico, owner of goodlinens, added into a list with suggestions back when the district was formed and in response to the first survey. The discussion also recently came up in the tourism commission. Lanesville, Annisquam, and Magnolia could be featured with their own night leading into that Saturday ( if not that Saturday.) If it were a Saturday, do you have a preference for First, 2nd, 3rd, or last Saturdays? Let us know.  Boston has First Fridays. Plymouth, MA, offers “first Saturdays” as does Lowell (leans mostly arts related businesses). Hillsborough plans for Last Fridays (primarily art walks). Newburyport has special events and art walks 4 nights a year. Gloucester has the 3 block parties. Some towns that program around one night or series use a signifier to indicate which businesses participate (window cling/sticker/lights on/etc). Rockport has a great solution in using their lovely lanterns NIGHTLY in season, like so Each summer (June-September), enjoy Rockport at Night where galleries and shops keep their doors open from 4-8 pm. From Main St. to Bearskin Neck–the town’s merchants welcome you with hors d’oeuvres, wine, and beverages while you enjoy the renowned talents of this creative Art Colony (participating shops will have a lantern hanging outside)”

OPPORTUNITY FOR DISTRICT Forwarded from the Mayor: There is a $500 fall-winter festival grant from the MCC.  St Peter’s Fiesta received one for this summer! Email possible suggestions by June 1. We’ll toss the list back out and decide together if there’s one to put forth as the district, or maybe there’s one that’s just right for a partner, as with St. Peter’s Fiesta.

From the MCC: Festivals Taking Place September 1, 2017 – February 28, 2018
Online application available: June 2017
Preliminary funding decisions begin: September 1, 2017
Application deadline: September 15, 2017 at 5 PM (ET)
Grants announced: October 2017 “Applications to the Festivals Program will be reviewed on a “first-received, first-reviewed” basis. Regional diversity will be taken into consideration as part of the application review process.”

Nutshell: It is hoped that the cultural district name will be shortened to Gloucester’s downtown cultural district, not Gloucester’s downtown Harbortown cultural district. Also, the footprint needs to be revised to reflect all downtown.  We wanted both those things from the outset, and that is the feedback we continue to receive. Loud and Clear!

 

 

FOB and Visitors from Vermont

IMG_5071 A Special Friend of the Blog, and a frequent visitor to Gloucester from Vermont.  They were headed to breakfast at Sugar Magnolias, and were thinking of trying Italiano Restaurant either for lunch or dinner.  It is always a pleasure to meet such wonderful people that visit Gloucester.

 

 

 

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Edward “Hoppy” Hopkins part of Gloucester’s History

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Gloucester Smiles

Edward F. “Hoppy” is the son of  the late Edward B. Hopkins, the last person to be born on Ten Pound Island.  His grandfather Edward H. Hopkins was the Lighthouse keeper during the 1920’s.

“Hoppy” operates Ed’s Oil Burner Service.  Forty Years servicing Gloucester and surrounding area.

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bike happy then & now: 1885 Gloucester travel guide for cyclists & 2017 stylish new bike fleet at Beauport Hotel

Beauport Hotel guests can explore the city of Gloucester, MA, and Cape Ann…by bike. What a great perk for visitors!

Biking culture linked with tourism in Gloucester and Cape Ann hearkens way back…as in 1878. Scroll down to see historic tourist guides from 1881 and 1885 that catered to cyclists and visitors. The sights and recommendations are the ones we continue to celebrate.

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Lookout Hill and Stage Fort Park as seen here from the Beauport Hotel deck is just a close walk or bike ride away.

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Enjoy excerpts from an 1885 cyclist tourist guide

In and Around Cape Ann: A Handbook of Gloucester, Mass., and Its Immediate Vicinity. For the Wheelman Tourist and the Summer Visitor by John S. Webber, Jr with eleven illustrations. Gloucester, Mass: Printed at the Cape Ann Advertiser Office, 1885. Library of Congress collection

“…After months of labor–hard labor, too, for one unaccustomed to the work–I am permitted to send forth the present little manual on Gloucester and its immediate vicinity. The material here given is designed for the especial use of the touring wheelman and the summer visitor, and I have endeavored to describe–in a way perhaps peculiar–all the most important sights and places of interest to be found upon this rock-bound territory of Cape Ann

The streets about town are generally in condition for bicycle riding, though the surface of most of them is either cut up by thick patches of the coarsest gravel or a layer of loosely lying stones; the rider, however, can pick his way along without any very serious trouble. Main street is paved with square blocks of granite from Porter street to Hancock street, and from Chestnut street to Union Hill. Western avenue, or more frequently spoken of as the “Cut,” is a favorite street for bicycle riding; beyond the bridge take the deserted sidewalk on the left, and enjoy a very pleasant spin upon its easy running surface…

the first suggested itinerary- Bicycle rambles on Eastern Point

“And now let’s take our wheel for a short run along our harbor road to East Gloucester, and note the many points of interest on the way. The start is made at the Gloucester Hotel–the headquarters of all visiting wheelmen in the city–at the corner of Main and Washington streets;

Gloucester Hotel 1885 Washington and Main

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photo: cyclist on the bend passing brick building at Main and Washington now features Tonno Restaurant. Notice the chimneys and same stairs as when it was the Gloucester Hotel. “Special Rates Made to Wheelmen”

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“from thence the journey takes us over the rather uneven surface of Main street, going directly toward the east. In a few minutes we pass the Post Office on the left, and soon leave the noisy business portion of the street behind us, then, e’re we are aware of it, we reach and quickly climb the slight eminence known as Union Hill. Once over the hill the road has a downward grade, with generally a very muddy surface, but on through this we propel our machine to the curve in the road at its junction with Eastern avenue. To the right we follow the now well trodden thoroughfare and again pedal quickly up the steep incline before us. Now the machine is well taken in hand, and with a sharp look-out ahead a pleasant little coast over the gently sloping road is cautiously indulged in; down, down we spin, following the main road to the right over the well worn surface, an on, on we glide, past the dwellings of the rich and poor, directly though the business section of the settlement, until in a few minutes we reach the “Square,” so called, at the village center. Passing the pump at this place on our left, we continue the ride over the mud-covered highway, enjoying highly the magnificent stretch of harbor scenery before us. A short distance, and the first dismount is now taken at the foot of a rough incline known as “Patch’s Hill.” At this place are a number of prominent Summer cottages, among them being the Delphine House, Craig Cottage and Brazier Cottage, each affording first-class accommodations, with facilities for bathing, fishing, and boating in close proximity. Once again we bestride the slender wheel and continue on for half a dozen rods or more to the gate-way at the entrance to Niles’ Beach, which marks the terminus of the public way… 

Celebrity spotting famous authors

“…Our trip on the bicycle in this direction has finished, and so we sit awhile on the near-at-hand rocky bluff and watch the merry throng of bathers in their sportive antics in the cooling sea, and inwardly wish that we were among them in the refreshing exercise. At our back, as we sit facing the sandy shore, is the little Summer abode of the well known authoress, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps–the cottage in which she has already penned a great number of interesting works, and where she passes the greater portion of the long, warm  Summer days.

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photo caption: Elizabeth Stuart Phelps house

“Directly in front of us, at the further end of the beach, is the old mansion house of the Niles family, and still further on, at the extreme end of the rocky shore, is the tall stone column of Eastern Point Light. “The walk across the beach and over the narrow winding tree bordered path is well worth taking, and makes a pleasant 

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What’s behind the papered windows: 120 Main Street reveal on May 13th

After major renovations to 120 Main Street, HUDSON GALLERY joins a great strip of businesses downtown. The ambitious inaugural exhibition features MJ Caseldon (sound sculpture) and Donna Caseldon (painting). Scroll down to see images of their art work and here’s a link to the Press release for the two person show.

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Sawyer Free April 8 | John Ronan reads from his first new book of poetry in 8 years, and shares one here for National Poem in Pocket Day April 27, 2017

John Ronan presents Taking the Train of Singularity South From Midtown on Saturday, April 8, 2:00-3:00pm in the Friend Room. It’s Sponsored by the Gloucester Lyceum and Friends of the Sawyer Free Library.

John Ronan a poet, playwright, journalist and a National Endowment for the
Arts Fellow in Literature has done so much in Gloucester! Here’s a throwback article from 1978 about the Gloucester Broadside, a monthly 10 cent one sheet of quality poetry.

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Ronan developed the website resource dedicated to Gloucester poets, Gloucester Poet Laureate, also for Salt and Light: An Anthology of Gloucester Poetry, published spring 2010. He is the host of the Cape Ann TV program, The Writer’s Block.  He was pivotal in establishing the library’s annual Poetry without Paper Contest and poetry columns in the Gloucester Daily Times.

Students are encouraged to submit poems to the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library’s annual Poetry without Paper contest by April 30th!

April 27 2017 | POEM IN POCKET DAY: It’s free and simple to participate. Carry a Poem. Share a Poem. For more information, search for Poem in Your Pocket Day (PIYP Day) Academy of American Poets (www.poets.org) or New York City’s excellent web site, http://www.NYC.gov/poem. PIYP Day started in NYC in 2002 inspired by the Favorite Poem Project established in 1997 (first events April 1998) by Robert Pinsky, former 3x Poet Laureate of the United States. East Gloucester Elementary School initiated Poem in Pocket Day in 2011 (PTO enrichment).

The Ride of My Life

The signs say sixty

miles an hour, sixty

degree angles, eight

bucks for two minutes,

and Don’t Stand Up!

We pay the eight,

climb in the car.

The Big Guy who draws

down the lap bar

tight as a tourniquet,

says:  “Stash the glasses,

the pen in your pocket.

Stuff flies out.”

Cogs catch.  The cars

quake, start awkwardly

forward as my wife waves,

safe on West 10th

and others stroll Surf,

Coney Island tourists

not thinking about The Cyclone,

or the comic fate that leads

in the first place to Astroland,

no way not to be

in a roller coaster seat

at the top of the first drop and…

Ohmygod! Ohmygod! Ohmygod!

Up plummet of guts

plunging down, fist

full of fear in the heart-

sick final mind:

I am not on a metaphor,

I am going to die.

Followed by a slow coast,

an arc of confident calm,

balm of Brooklyn below and…

Ohmygod! Ohmygod! Ohmygod!

Death drop and keister

clench!  The easy scream!

…and the balm of Brooklyn below.

Ohmygod! horror, and hope…

Ohmygod! horror, and hope…

Slowly, slack in the lickety split.

Speed evens out

and the sine curve dies,

finally flat

in a fan turn to the ramp.

The Big Guy hovers

above the cars, smiling:

“Second ride’s five.”

-John J. Ronan

Cape Ann TV filmed John Ronan reading this poem, The Ride of My Life

I LOVED the Cyclone and I lost my prescription eyeglasses…and a shoe!

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Harry Shokler 1943 Coney Island original screenprint

John Ronan’s New Book: Taking the Train of Singularity South from Midtown

Taking the Train of Singularity South From Midtown

The Poetry Society of America recently featured  John Ronan’s wonderful civic poetry creed essay January 2017. Book tour events listed http://www.theronan.org/

POET LAUREATE: In Gloucester, MA, the Poet Laureate is dedicated to building community through poetry and encouraging a love of poetry among people of all ages. The honorary post for the City of Gloucester was created in 1998. There have been 4 Poet Laureates: Vincent Ferrini was the City’s first, then John Ronan served from 2008-10, Ruthanne Collinson served 2010-14, and Peter Todd served 2014-15. The Committee for the Arts helps to select a new Poet Laureate.

 

Spring cleaning: new checkout counters at Stop & Shop supermarket and signs at Leonardo’s Pizzeria Sub Shop

Stop & Shop 6 Thatcher Road Gloucester installed 3 Goldilocks options for the checkout counters: which one is your too easy, too hard, just right?

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Leonardo’s 273 Main Street sports a new canopy outside and programmable 3 screen menu inside

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