Mayor Romeo Theken instrumental in securing 3 million MassWorks grant for infrastructure upgrades #GloucesterMA

Mayor Romeo Theken was instrumental in securing funding, including a MassWorks grant, for another generational neighborhood infrastructure overhaul in Gloucester, Massachusetts. This soup to nuts improvement project– water, sewer, drainage, pavement, & utilities–impacts several streets including: Cedar, Millet, Sargent, Shepherd, Trask, and Warner. Some original sewer pipes were a century old.

gloucester ma infrastructure improvements coming to streets here_google maps

Gloucester DPW works in concert and alternates with various partners as the work is completed. While National Grid is up at bat currently with the utitlity upgrades, DPW is demobilized. The gas complany is replacing aged gas lines and mains, and improving services. It may have a wider scope than the city utility work.

photo caption: street work view down Millet Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts. City Hall and St. Ann’s in distance:

view down Millet St. Gloucester MA__thanks to Mayor, DPW getting $ past finish line _3 million all grant funded_ MassWorks_ infrastructure improvements_photo © c ryan 2020 Jan 14.jpg

photo caption: Millet and Warner Street , Gloucester, MA (Jan. 14, 2020)

Millet and Warner Streets_thx Mayor, DPW getting $ past finish line _3 million all grant funded_ MassWorks_ infrastructure improvements_Gloucester MA_ photo © c ryan 2020 Jan 14.jpg

Thanks to Mayor, DPW getting $ past finish line _3 million all grant funded_ mass works_ infrastructure improvements_Gloucester MA_photograph copyright © c ryan 2020 Jan 14 (2).jpg

National Grid marks street_thx Mayor, DPW getting $ past finish line _3 million all grant funded_ MassWorks_ infrastructure improvements_Gloucester MA_ photo © c ryan 2020 Jan 14

How are you enjoying this 68°crazy warm winter walk weather?

winter walk crazy warm January day_20200112_Long Beach Gloucester MA Rockport MA ©c ryan (2)

I didn’t notice yesterday but today, January 12, 2020, the ground smells like April. I found a sunny spot protected from the wind and stayed put reading outside, odd but nice. The former highest January temp on record was 62 degrees back in 1975.

Reminder | Bruce J. Anderson webinar January 15th and a nice message for #GloucesterMA #InspiringSiblingStory


The Bruce J Anderson 2020 application deadline is all heart: February 14, 2020 

That’s more than a month away, and the stellar team at The Boston Fund is hosting a Webinar next week to help with any questions.  They make it easy to participate.

Bruce J Anderson- an inspiring sibling story

Every year, we share the Bruce J Anderson announcement for its upcoming grant cycle which has supported wonderful local projects. After posting the 2020 call, Larry Anderson wrote a message for GMG readers about the fund honoring his brother and the family’s love for Gloucester and Cape Ann. It’s often difficult for families to get together in one place as years go by, and here six siblings gather again and again for something so positive. (I have another post in mind about sibling tributes which I’ll share with Larry soon.) Thank you so much for sharing the story and sparking ideas!

“Thanks for recognizing the Bruce J. Anderson Foundation. Bruce was my brother. He loved Gloucester, where he spent most of the summers of his life and where he lived and worked at the time of his death many years ago. His six siblings — three sisters, my two brothers, and I — have been fortunate to be able to keep his generous spirit alive through the modest but steady efforts of the foundation created in his name. We have been gratified to be able to support the worthy organizations you name, as well as many others on Cape Ann. We are always glad to hear from new community-minded groups. So please take advantage of the January 15 webinar offered by the capable, helpful folks at The Boston Foundation, who administer the Bruce J. Anderson Foundation.” –  Larry Anderson 

Photos above show happy results from their support — installation views at Cape Ann Museum from the travel exbibit Once Upon a Contest Selections from Cape Ann Reads

Next Week! About the webinar

A word from the Bruce J Anderson team at The Boston Fund

The Bruce J. Anderson Foundation, a supporting organization of the Boston Foundation, has launched its 2020 request for proposals.

Please find the request for proposals here,

and note the application deadline is Friday, February 14, 2020.

We will be hosting an informational webinar on Wednesday, January 15th from 12:00-1:00 pm EST. Those interested in attending can join us to hear about the Bruce J. Anderson Foundation’s grantmaking priorities, and the process for applying for funding.  Please note that this webinar is not mandatory and your attendance will not affect how your application is reviewed. If you would like to participate in the webinar, please accept the attached calendar invitation so we can know your plans for attendance.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Loren Van Allen at or 617-338-1621.

Open window

I noticed the open window because a bird hopped in. I didn’t stop to see what ensued but I was reminded about a GMG reader question: Who remembers Cher Ami and homing pigeons of Gloucester?

open window Puritan House_built by Tappan 1810_Gloucester Massachusetts_ Main & Washington Streets_photograph copyright © c ryan (5).jpg

There’s a 2nd  little pane missing on the Main Street side.


What’s in a name?

The 1810 brick building, Gloucester’s first, at the corner of 2 Main and 3 Washington Streets, now features Tonno Restaurant. The exterior has remained relatively unchanged since it was built in 1810 by Col. James Tappan. On the inside it’s been mixed use more often than not (various businesses, restaurants and lodgings). As a result it’s gone through a lot of rebranding: Puritan House, Tappan’s Hotel, Atlantic House, and Capt Bills are a few of the names associated with this historic structure. The Blackburn Tavern signs were added in 1978 for a restaurant.

Still Standing

The brick building at the other end of Main Street with Halibut Point Restaurant & Pub was Howard Blackburn’s actual tavern.

Howard Blackburn historic tavern_now Halibut Point Restaurant_20191231_Gloucester Mass. c ryan (1)

menu_Howard Blackburn historic tavern_now Halibut Point Restaurant_20191231_Gloucester Mass._ copyright c ryan

Fun fact: Col. Tappan taught young Daniel Webster.

So this is the Danvers RMV (plenty of room for another branch at #GloucesterMA Crossing)

RMV-Danvers Shopping Plaza_2019 December 26_Danvers Mass._ photograph © copyright C. Ryan.jpg

The new Registry of Motor Vehicles is situated in a long empty, 6,983 ft’ free-standing building in the Danvers Crossing Shopping Plaza, 8 Newbury St. (Rt. 1), Danvers, Massachusetts. The Hardcover and Costco are across the highway. Businesses sharing the parking lot include Ann & Hope, Dollar Store, David’s Bridal, and Monkey Joe’s. (I didn’t know there were still Ann & Hopes.) A number of vacancies remain. The shopping center was originally built out in 1990.

Prior to this move, the RMV had landed at Liberty Tree Mall. This new branch was expected to receive 500 visitors per day. It’s open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. rather than the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. broadcast ahead of time.  We have been a couple of times recently to this new one; they were quite helpful. (Make certain to arrive by 4pm on any given day or you’ll have to make a second trip. We learned this the hard way arriving for the first time at 4:35pm.) I never visited the RMV when it was in the mall. I have mostly been to the Revere location.

Reporter Paul Leighton followed the RMV Danvers relocation for the Salem News,

“The good news for North Shore residents is that the Registry of Motor Vehicles is finally planning to open a branch in Danvers after two years without one in this area. The bad news? The new place will cost taxpayers a lot more than the old one.

The registry announced last week that it had signed a 10-year lease to open an RMV branch in a former restaurant building at the Danvers Crossing shopping plaza on Route

The rent for the first year will be $350,616 — nearly 10 times as much as the $41,729 that the state paid in the final year of its lease at the Liberty Tree Mall.

A spokesman for the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, which handles leasing for the state, said the agency does not comment on lease negotiations.

Danvers state Rep. Ted Speliotis acknowledged the new lease payments will be much higher at Danvers Crossing. But he said that’s more a reflection on the great deal the state had at the Liberty Tree Mall.

Speliotis said the registry moved into the mall during tough economic times, when malls and other retail landlords were desperate for tenants. Liberty Tree even offered the space for free for the first three years, from 2010 to 2013.

“We were in the worst recession of our lifetime and the mall needed the foot traffic,” Speliotis said. “That was a once-in-a-lifetime deal.” Read the full article,  “RMV deal finally done, but taxpayers will pay” April 30, 2018: here

The Danvers RMV wasn’t busy the times we went December 2019. Still, it remains a bit of a slog* to get to that RMV (or Revere or Wilmington) from Gloucester. Having been to this new one, I’m not sure why there can’t be a branch in Gloucester as well, perhaps at Gloucester Crossing.

*Having to go 5x in the past two months plus needing to get there by 4pm makes it a slog. Revere and this are a toss up.

Gloucester Crossing

Photos below: Gloucester Crossing December 2019 looking in the direction of Starbucks (on right) and future pharmacy (free standing building on left, next to Aspen Dental)

Before the Danvers build out- What about a DMV at Gloucester Crossing post here

Restaurant comings and goings at both ends of town: Pier 23 Kitchen at 23 East Main closed and is for sale | Trio at 64 Main Street closed – new owners fresh start in the new year #GloucesterMA

Yes, that's a water inner harbor view_Pier 23 Kitchen restaurant for sale_23 East Main Street_Gloucester MA_20191230_photograph copyright © c ryan.jpg

Pier 23 Kitchen on 23 East Main Street closed. The restaurant is for sale: contact (978) 887-9895. Pier 23 owners and AJ’s contributed major upgrades and renovations at this busy spot. (Mooters, LaRosas, and Cacciatores preceded AJ’s at the Harbor.)

The new sign for Oliver’s Harbor Restaurant and Bar features tiles at each end and heralds a change in ownership at 64 Main Street. The Bragas sold Trio which they had reconfigured after opening Italiano Restaurant in the former La Trattoria space and completing a major renovation and build out replete with a new industrial kitchen. Last year they added additional outdoor seating.

Oliver's Harbor Restaurant and Bar coming soon_64 Main Street_ 2019 December 24_Gloucester MA photograph copyright © c ryan.jpg


64 Main Street on Gloucester’s West End as Italiano 2017 and Trio 2018:


There’s a school in the old school | Scatterday’s driving classes 85 Eastern Avenue #GloucesterMA

Scatterday's Driving School_85 Eastern Avenue office building_in the former Eastern Avenue neighborhood School_Gloucester Mass December 2019 © c ryan (5).jpg


Scatterday’s Driving Schoolis located on the ground floor in the office building at 85 Eastern Avenue, Gloucester, Mass., in the former Eastern Avenue School. Entrance is at the back. There are various learner permit and driver license packages. Some are concentrated full days; for those, Jeff’s Variety is a quick walk away for class breaks. 

Quick walk from 85 Eastern Avenue office building to Jeff's Variety _ Gloucester Mass ©c ryan

Jeff's Variety and sub shop_20191226_©c ryan

Thankful for Cape Ann Art Haven helping our kids hand paint these beautiful buoy ornaments | Lobster trap tree #GloucesterMA 2019

Great job artists! Thanks for sharing your buoys for our radiant community lobster trap tree

Lobster trap tree Gloucester Ma 2019 day_ buoys hand painted by community kids facilitated by Cape Ann Art Haven ©c ryan (9)
view back in direction Cape Ann Art Haven Main Street Gloucester MA


from stocking stuffers to that just right gift | goodlinens studio and homegoods Main Street #GloucesterMA

Dash of practical and plenty of modern whimsy designs make for great browsing and last minute shopping at goodlinens studio on Main Street in Gloucester. The store carries gorgeous linens plus beautiful kitchen, bath, office, and homegood products– hand made and sustainable plus good design.

Rush home with some presents | wonderful shopping at Alexandra’s Bread bakery #GloucesterMA

Great gifts and vintage finds at Alexandra’s Bread bakery and shop on Main Street Gloucester, Ma. Festive selections are folded in during holidays year round.

Candle lit on the first night of Hanukkah | Temple Ahavat Achim #GloucesterMa

December 22, 2019 the first light Temple Ahavat Achim Gloucester, Ma., 2019 – An additional (buoy) candle on the giant lobster trap menorah will be lit each night until full illumination on the 8th night.

Still more Holiday Lights and cocoa drives#GloucesterMA

Have you seen these festive lights December nights? Merry drives and cocoa Part 3 scenes all around Gloucester, Massachusetts, including a few extra GMG reader tips and requests:

Holiday Christmas lights 2019_ decorated homes_Gloucester MA_Dec 21 and Dec 22 _photograph © c ryan (11).jpg


photos below- Looking past Man at the Wheel on the left, through wreath, Beauport Hotel tower lit red and green 

Merry drives and cocoa nights 2019 (mobile photos #nofilter)
12/8/19 Part One here
12/19/19 Part Two here
12/23/19 Part Three (this post)

Merry drives and cocoa day 2019 (wreaths, traditional displays and/or mostly white lights) 12/13/19  here


1985 Holiday Lights decorated homes competition | throwback Gloucester Daily Times article #GloucesterMA from Pauline

In response to the recent Holiday Lights posts on GMG, Pauline Bresnahan shared a fun memory about a holiday lights competition sponsored by local realtors on Cape Ann in 1985. Her father, Philip McComiskey, won the most festive home category that inaugural year. This First Lighting Contest held by Lufkin & Brown Inc., awarded prizes in three categories.

Reporter Ken Fish wrote that “Midge Kart’s display on 729 Western Avenue, Magnolia – a combination of red velvet ribbon, Christmas lights and spotlights — won in the most traditional category…Philip McComiskey’s lighted trees at 514 Essex Avenue won the festive award…The creche at Lester Mountain Sr.’s home at 2A Pigeon Hill Ct., Rockport won in the religious category…”

Judges were Fitz Lufkin, Ruth Pino, John Kent, Sharon Surma, Diane Polley (author of Let’s Go! Animal Tracks in the Snow, a Cape Ann Reads Honor book), Susan Scola and AnthonyMilitello. Read the article for the fun details and bonus – find out who was awarded the honorable mentions!

Gloucester Daily Times article, “A Light Touch for Christmas: Light Displays”, by Ken Fish (click to enlarge the photos of the article or here for a Printable PDF “A Light Touch for Christmas” GDT article)