Monday, April 23, 2012

If it's Saturday, it must have been Gloucester

On Saturday we didn't have any obligations, so our exploratory jaunt was in a different direction.  East to Cape Ann.  Instead of bazillions of little towns like Cape Cod, it has only a couple that I'm familiar with.  One is Rockport, most known for being an Artist Colony, and the other is Gloucester, which, it turns out, ALSO has an active Artist Colony, but which is primarily known for having an active fishing fleet.  It is here that The Perfect Storm was filmed.

The memorial was quite touching.  This plaque summarizes the loss of life and ships.  there are nine additional plaques of the same size which list the names of the men who died by year.  I don't think anybody should have been a sailor in the 1820's.

Between the plaques were these decorative anchors.
A sign indicated that this is Ten Pound Light on Ten Pound Island.  I have no idea why it was limited to ten pounds!.  (There is a hung of granit near by from an earlier lighthouse that MUST weigh at least 50 pounds.  Anyway, the sign indicated that Edward Hopper painted it many times, and since the other Ashcan Painters hung out in Rock Neck (a spit of land just behind Ten Pound Island), I'm thinking THEY probably painted this too.  It felt inspiring to stand where Hopper, Glackens, Chase and who knows who else probably stood.  (I hope they had rocks on their easels though, because even on a calm day, my hair was whipped around like a loose sail.

My favorite fishsticks.  SO much older than me! 
There is a wide variety of domestic architecture around the bay.  Even the old houses can be "typical" Cape houses, or Victorian, or Georgian... and then there are modern versions that include Craftsman styles, eclectic and cobbled-together.  Even though I think Gloucester has fallen on harder times due to fishing limits, the part of the town we saw was pretty lively.  (There was a NYT article about Whole Foods refusing to buy any more cod and Goucester fishers' reactions).
This little boy had the entire beach to himself.  It isn't a private beach, and I'm sure it is crazy crowded in the summer.  I think he was millions of miles away in his imagination.  (His father is just out of the frame.  Sadly a 2 year old toddler went missing from a Rockport Beach on Friday... and since the weather got rainy and blustery the authorities weren't able to continue the search.  It was reported that Rockport is notorious for rip tides... although initial reports indicated that the 2 year old was being watched closely enough by her mother (who turned away to retrieve a ball for an older sibling) that foul play had not been ruled out.  I think about the mother a lot.)
Around the bend from the harbor are some pretty magnificent seaside homes.
And then, in the shelter of the harbor, there are many potential marshy/swampy places.

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