A True Pub Experience on the North Shore

Bring your kids to most Bars on a Sunday at 4PM and 9 out of 10 people look at you like you are a bookie checking in on the scores. A true Pub to me is one that goes beyond serving drinks and plays a vital social role in the community. It caters to the locals, but welcomes new patrons with open arms. I have not been there at other times, but the Sunday Irish Session (4PM) at O’Neills in Salem fills that void.

Sundays is a time you can come watch the games, listen to some good Irish music and even bring  the kids. I don’t know if the guy who told us to seat ourselves works there or was just part of the welcoming committee.  The wait staff brings a perfectly poured Guinness and dodge the 3 year olds doing the jig. They do this while all having smiles on their face. I like their Irish offerings and recommend their Guinness Stew with a Guinness or a Magners pint!

What other places have a Pub feel around town? I went to Stone’s Pub and immediately felt right at home. They really made us all feel welcome. Kitty O’Shea’s (Beverly) is another favorite Irish Pub in the area. Others?

Thanks – Paddy Ryan

Barbara Bragg McAllister Has Some Nice Things To Say

Hi Joey,

I have to thank you again for GMG. I am delighted with the City Hall Tower series and Our Lady of Good Voyage Statue series, and thrilled with the pictures you posted of “snowy” Gloucester. I rode with you down Main Street after the storm while it was still snowing. I look at names in your blog such as Lufkin, Ryan and Silva. I know these names and they bring back sweet memories of my childhood in Gloucester. Through your pictures and videos I can experience Gloucester without physically being there (althought I am there in spirit). You bring me the heart of Gloucester and surrounding areas every morning and I adore you for it!

THANK YOU SOOO MUCH and my very best wishes to you and your beautiful wife and daughters and he rest of your family for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011.

Barbara Bragg McAllister

http://www.goodmorninggloucester.com Do you get it?

New Coffee Shop in Rockport

In a post last week I mentioned Rockport’s lack of year-round restaurant options, especially downtown, so it was exciting to walk along Main Street just a few days later to see that a new coffee shop has opened up  in the location of the old Rockport standby, The Coffee Shop. (I was always so impressed that the owners of The Coffee Shop had the gumption to give their business that name, as though it was the ultimate coffee shop – which actually was the case for many locals and visitors – that I always referred to it as The Coffee Shop).

The new coffee shop on Main Street is named Brother’s Brew Coffee Shop, and is owned by a member of the Brackett family, who have a seasonal restaurant next door.  The highlights about Brother’s Brew, besides the fact that it is extremely charming?

  • The very cool chrome-and-vinyl-stools and laminate counter are still there.
  • The menu includes many old favorites and has expanded.
  • The business is open on Sundays.

That last one is big news y’all.  Locals and visitors can wander in throughout the entire weekend, which is a big deal for anyone paying attention to the dining options downtown, and an expansion of the hours that the previous coffee shop kept.  And there is even the possibility of opening at night when an event is taking place at the Shalin Liu Performance Center a few doors down.  While this won’t solve the problem of lack of adequate places to dine in the evening (or in the daytime),  it will at least contribute to a culture of liveliness downtown, with a few places keeping the lights on, so to speak.Oh – and before you go there in person to buy some coffee and a treat for yourself, be sure to head over to the Brother’s Brew Coffee Shop facebook page and connect with them online.  The page posts daily specials and other coffee shop news, so you’ll be the first to know when the doughnuts are fresh and the soup’s on.

Seth Muise Has Some Nice Things To Say

Hello my name is Seth Muise. I was born and raised in Gloucester. I left there right after graduation in 2000 and joined the Army. All my family still lives there. I absolutely love you blogs and website it always makes me feel like I’m back home! I just wanted to Thank You for all you do! No matter where I am in the country or the world you always give me a piece of Gloucester!


Did You Know (Lobster Traps)

Photo by E.J. Lefavour

Did you know A lobster trap or lobster pot is a portable trap which traps lobsters or crayfish and is used in lobster fishing. A lobster trap can hold several lobsters. Lobster traps were traditionally constructed out of wood but they are now usually plastic coated metal. An opening permits the lobster to enter a tunnel of netting. Pots are usually constructed in two parts, called the “chamber” or “kitchen”, where there is bait, and exits into the “parlour”, where it is trapped from escape. Lobster pots are usually dropped to the sea floor about a dozen at a time, and are marked by a buoy so they can be picked up later.  A piece of bait, often fish or chum, is placed inside the trap, and the traps are dropped onto the sea floor. A long rope is attached to each trap, at the end of which is a plastic or styrofoam buoy that bears the owner’s license number. The entrances to the traps are designed to be one-way entrances only. The traps are checked every other day by the fisherman and rebaited if necessary. One study indicated that lobster traps are very inefficient and allow almost all lobsters to escape.  Yet, this inefficiency also allows younger lobsters to escape and breed, thus reducing the possibility of overfishing.  In other words, we only get to eat the not very smart lobsters that couldn’t figure out how to get out of the trap.

In the 1950’s, during the Great Lobster War, my father, Willis Lefavour, and his partner, Bob Winchell, did an underwater shoot in the Damariscotta River for Salt Water Farms in Damariscotta, Maine, of lobsters entering traps.  Their photographic documentation proved the previously unknown fact that lobsters enter the trap head first.  Before that it was not known for sure how they entered.  Since lobsters swim backwards, it was thought that they could have entered either backwards or head first.  For the shoot, they used ASA 10 film and kept their light meters in mason jars.

E.J. Lefavour


Calling All Local Artists! 2nd Annual “Messy Art Night” is Friday, February 4th

The Essex PTO is searching for local artists to participate in the second annual Messy Art Night on Friday, Feb. 4th from 5-8pm.   Do you know anyone who would enjoy sharing their talent and love of art with kids for an evening? It’s a fantastic event that’s open to the public.  I’ve attached a brief summary that you can forward on to people who might be interested.  Thanks for the help and I hope you will come to the event.  It’s so much fun!  — Jess

MESSY ART NIGHT INVITATION–here are the details:

It is time for the second annual Messy Art Night in Essex on Feb 4th!   Last year’s event was a huge success.  Over fifteen local artists showed off their work to 150 excited kids and parents, taught them to try new techniques and helped them have fun making their own art.  It was amazing!  We hope you will join us this year!

We have two goals for the night:

  • To publicize the vibrant art world in and around Cape Ann
  • To inspire Essex residents to create their own art by trying a variety of artistic mediums and techniques.

This year, Messy Art Night is scheduled Friday, Feb 4th from 5-8pm. All of the festivities will be held in the cafeteria and hallways of Essex Elementary School.  We expect 200 people to attend and move freely from station to station talking with artists and trying out a variety of techniques. The price for the evening will be $5 per person, which we expect to cover our costs.

If you would like to participate this year, please let me know before January 14th. Also, if you know of any other artists whom we should invite, please let me know.  We would love to expand our offerings!  If you have any questions, please feel free to email jyurwitz@gmail.com or call me at 978-768-0142.  Thank you for your interest!

Jess Yurwitz Essex PTO President

My Year In Review as a GMG Author


One Year ago this Month I started posting on GMG.

It’s been an interesting year. Sometimes an idea for a post comes easy other times it’s hard as hell. Joey brought me on board to bring a little edge to GMG and take some heat off him when he “F”s up. We’ve had a few “moments”, but he learned to deal with my meltdowns pretty well.

But I did warn him in first official post. 


Here’s another one of my first posts praising Joey’s Devotion to GMG.


Repost from January 2010;

You Gotta Love Him!

No Matter What He’s Doing,

Joey’s Always Working Hard To Bring You Great Content!

Thanks Joey!



My new favorite term (via northshorewaterman)

Did you expect anything less from Maxfield? Read on and join the discussion at the site.

Listening to NPR in the car the other day  (don't panic…it was Sarah's car and within a few minutes those pussies had me ready to jump out of my skin), and there was a great term being thrown around: Information cascade. According to Wikipedia, an information cascade  occurs when people observe the actions of others and then make the same choice that the others have made, independently of their own private information signals. Because it is usu … Read More

via northshorewaterman

Atwood On The New Dining Initiative At Alchemy

Heather Atwood writes-
The half-block space on Duncan St. in Gloucester, that to the unschooled looks like a basement entrance to the CVS around the corner on Main St., has always been a restaurant to love. For years it was The Glass Sailboat, where everyone in Gloucester, from the fish piers to Bass Rocks, stopped in for good coffee, a homemade muffin, and maybe some homeopathic remedies from the Common Crow across the room. The place grew up a little, got liquor and music, and became the Sunny Day Cafe. While people mourned the old Sailboat, The Cafe was accepted in a community that doesn’t even like its vacant lots to change.

Check out the rest of her blog post about the Exciting New Dining Initiative At Alchemy-


“The Cafe was accepted in a community that doesn’t even like its vacant lots to change.”
Wow! Pretty Ballsy Atwood!

After reflecting a bit on that comment I’d say that in defense of the community at large that they would like to see change on vacant and unproductive lots but all too many times the vocal minority of people who oppose everything get their way. It’s far too easy for them to manipulate and stymie progress through the insane permitting process on the waterfront.

To our current Mayors credit it seems she is involving the public big time on the I4 C2 lot. I just hope the people whose proposals do not get incorporated don’t try to stand in the way of the proposals that do.