Italy Day Four: Positano

Woke up late to a large breakfast served on the terrace off our room. Complimentary breakfast comes with the room which consisted of bread, butter, croissant, coffee and yogurt. For an additional 4 Euro you can get bacon and eggs. The bacon was THICK cut with no visible fat and the eggs seasoned and scrambled. The coffee black, strong and dark as the ace of spades.

Headed into the heart of Positano and had some pizza then hit he beach all day. I listened to music, the Mrs read. She may be into her fifth book for all I know as she’s totally engrossed from morning til dark in her nook.

Some observations-
The men here wear their pants tight as can be and use an incredible amount of hair gel. These dudes would make Justin Beiber blush the way they primp. Somewhere in the middle of the frumpiness of the way we dress in the states and the way the men in Italy coif themselves is probably where my happy medium exists.

There are also a few things that Italian men are quite comfortable doing in public (and when I say in public I mean right up in your grill while you are holding a conversation with them)-

Picking their noses and readjusting their nutsack and/or penis. It is amazing to me how you can be talking to someone and they go right into a knuckle deep nose pick like it ain’t no thing. All I can think of when this happens is “Really? You’re really just gonna dig right in there while we exchange pleasantries?”

The nutsack and/or penis readjustment thing is altogether different than the nosepick thing though. They aren’t pretending it isn’t happening while in your company.

It’s more of a “Yeah I know you’re right in front of me but I’m gonna push my junk around in my way too tight jeans. You see, it’s my penis down there. Yep I’ve got a penis and it’s right here in my way too tight jeans. Have you noticed I’ve got a penis in my way too tight jeans? Because, you know if you didn’t I can do some more readjusting of my nutsack and/or penis just to drive the point home.”

The beach here in Positano is made up of dark sand and bluish gray tumbled stone. The rounded stones make for an interesting place to rest, not nearly as uncomfortable as one might think. We rented two beach chairs from a guy $15 Euro and got in a much needed rest day from the go-go of Rome.

Dinner was at
La Tagliate

You take a bus up to the top of the mountain. A stunning outdoor room with an equally stunning view. You don’t order from a menu. They bring course after course, Sista Felicia style trying to take you down in a food coma because you simply can’t resist any of the culinary delights. It is owned by one family and they all work there. It gets Trip Advisors #1 rated restaurant in Positano and it lives up to the billing. They sent a car for us and dropped us off and it was a good thing. It took about a half hour to wind our way all the way to the tippity top of Positano and once there the view down was absolutely breathtaking.

First course- legumes and roasted eggplant, cheeses including the creamiest most delicious ricotta I’ve ever eaten (Felicia this made that Ricotta from Detroit taste like Dog Poop, or at least what I imagine Dog Poop tastes like) , then salads, breads, pastas, then plates of pork, steak, rabbit, and chicken. Locally made wine which was going down sooo smoothly, then lemoncello and grappa. Then dessert of profiteroles and “mama’s special cake”. Stuffed, I mean STUFFED. The brother and sister were always coming by the table to talk and laugh and make sure everything was to your liking. Every course was three to five different items.

The bill comes and it’s only $70 Euro. I asked if it was a mistake because honestly just what we had to drink I would have thought could have justified $70 Euro let alone the car service and the food.

Let me be clear- This was no semi-clean roadside dive, this was the nicest place we’ve eaten by far since we’ve been in Italy. Even though you read in travel guides that tipping is not expected we dropped an extra 20 Euro because I couldn’t consciously leave there without showing my gratitude.

This would be the absolute best place for a rehearsal dinner. The family is hilarious and gets the whole room jumping and in the party mood. They were pouring shots and doing them with us and more. Fun, beautiful, friendly, great service, great food, great room, great view- No Brainer must visit if you ever come to Positano.




Rockport Beach and Dump Stickers Now Available

Today was the first day for stickers and Rubber Duck made it in early with no line and no waiting. Bring car registration and a tax bill (if your registration is not Rockport) along with a check or cash to Town Hall Conference Room A (that’s downstairs).

Monday and Friday from 10AM to 2PM during the month of May and June. Learn something new every day: as a residence be sure and bring a dime for the meter in the Town Hall lot. Quarters do not fit.

So early we headed over to Bean and Leaf for a treat and a coffee.

John Coonley (father of Josh) showed the Rubber Duck around while Haley hid because she was having a “bad hair day” (Rubber Duck could not tell). Find Bean and Leaf on Twitter the web and Facebook so you can find out the secret word and good promos.

A new Beach Sticker on your car and almost ready for summer. Now all we need is Mister and Misses Bathroom Sign to go up at the Rockport Info Booth and it’s official.

Call for Horses and Fun Loving, Art Appreciating People

“A horse is the projection of peoples’ dreams about themselves – strong, powerful, beautiful – and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.”  ~Pam Brown

. . . the same can be said about a visit to Rocky Neck, so let the games begin.

Khan Studio and the Good Morning Gloucester Gallery at 77 Rocky Neck, G3 on Madfish Wharf will be reopening for the season on May 15th, and will be open Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 9:00pm and Sunday from 9:00am-9:00pm.

The first guest artist show of the 2012 season, titled Spirit of the West featuring photography and paintings by Judith Monteferrante and Roger Salisbury, will run May 15th-June 7, with an opening reception on Saturday, May 26th from 7:00-9:00pm   This evening will also be the grand reopening celebration for Khan Studio, as well as the opening reception for the Best of Rocky Neck Members Show at the Rocky Neck Gallery, 53 Rocky Neck from 5:30-8:00pm. 

 On Sunday, May 27th, the weekly Mug Up tradition will resume.  Every Sunday morning from 9:00-11:00, Khan Studio and the Good Morning Gloucester Gallery hosts a fun and always well attended Mug Up coffee hour.  The gallery provides coffee and deviled eggs.  Everyone is welcome and invited to bring along some Mug Up fare to share.  Wear a cowboy hat and bring along your horse if you have one, and come enjoy meeting new and old friends, and your favorite Good Morning Gloucester contributors and FOB’s.

E.J. Lefavour

10 to Be Recognized for Their Contributions to Make Gloucester a Better Place

             Ten individuals have been chosen to receive the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church’s “Gloucester Citizenship Awards” for 2012, for the contributions they make to their community and their neighbors through volunteer efforts, carried out quietly and persistently, without thought of remuneration or recognition.

            The seven women and three men were selected by the church’s Social Justice Committee from more than 40 nominations submitted by members of the congregation and the public.

            The awards will be presented at a public ceremony at the church on Sunday, May 20, starting at 7:00 p.m. 

            The Gloucester Citizenship Awards were begun in 2006 as part of the celebration of the bicentennial of the iconic Universalist Meetinghouse, the oldest standing church in Gloucester and home of the first Universalist church in America.  The congregation is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

            The awards have been continued as a way this congregation can recognize contributions to the community that actions embody the best of the spirit that guides Unitarian Universalism: open-hearted giving to others, solely for what those gifts mean, for no pay, and often with no public notice.

            This year’s ceremony is being made possible in part through sponsorship by the Cape Ann Savings Bank, the First National Bank of Ipswich, and the Rockport National Bank.  We thank them for their generous support.

            The public is invited to attend. Along with the recipients and their families and friends, scores of friends of the church also are also being invited to help celebrate the good works that these people do.  Dress is informal.

            The women and men who will be honored this year are:

Patti Amaral – A founder of the Clean City Initiative, constant and relentless coordination of  citywide cleanup days, and longtime leader of the Gloucester Clean City Commission  and instigator of that commission’s Carry In/Carry Out policy at city beaches.

Marie Blanding – For her management in the 1980s of an urgent effort to preserve the tower of the Universalist Meeting House, saving one of the city’s most important historic buildings for the enjoyment of others for generations to come, and for many other community contributions.

Barbara Kaplan – A constant force for justice on Cape Ann through the Essex County Community Organization, an essential supporter in the founding of the “Chill Zone” program serving at-risk youth in Gloucester, and an unflagging advocate on behalf of affordable housing in our community.

Lucille LePage – A true friend to many in ways almost too numerous to express, including visits to those who may be lonely or need a lift, a willingness to do errands for those who cannot do so for themselves, and always, a supportive voice ready to offer a thoughtful observation that can improve their lives.

John John Nicastro – For the formation and management of the JJ Nicastro Foundation, which provides support to college-bound students, young athletes, and promising actresses and actors; for financial help that enables young men and women to take part in school sports, and numerous other contributions to the community.

Micaela O’Connor – For exemplary service to fellow students at Gloucester High School through her active peer support for fellow students in the classroom, and for her leadership in Students Against Destructive Decisions, the GHS Gay/Straight Alliance, and other organizations,

Margaret “Peg” O’Malley – As founder and leader of Partners for Addison Gilbert Hospital, an unflinching force for preserving essential health care services for Cape Ann residents. For 16 years, as the health care landscape has undergone wrenching changes, Peg and Partners have “kept the heat on” to ensure that Gloucester’s hospital would not forget its purpose and its roots.

John Prybot – For selfless dedication to helping others – through his work with various health programs, in Pride Stride, and at Action, Inc.; for ensuring that papers of the poet Charles Olson would be preserved for use of all; from his position at the Sawyer Free Library, the extraordinary help he offers Spanish-speakers in Gloucester – and much, much more.

Bob Quinn – With persistent dedication, Bob for more than a decade has been taping events in Gloucester for broadcast on Cape Ann Cable Television. the Gloucester Lyceum and the Gloucester Museum to public board meetings, his service is invaluable to those unable to attend in person and provides an important archive for the future.


Maud Warren – Through her leadership in the Cape Ann Interfaith Commission, Maud has worked to alleviate homelessness, hunger and isolation – including through the founding of Harvest Meals and, separately, a program that delivers sandwiches daily to others in need.

Meet Chris Muskopf

Chris Muskopf and the newly planted Tulip Trees at St. Peter’s Square

Friday late afternoon I took a stroll along the Harbor Walk to have a look at the newly planted gardens. I heard a friendly hello from behind and there was Chris Muscopf, primary architect and project manager for the Harbor Walk, stopping by to check on the gardens, too. Chris was later meeting JD MacEachern and they were on their way to a running race at Good Harbor Beach.

Chris Muskopf and JD Mac Eachern

Chris lives in Jamaica Plain with his wife and young daughter and rides his bike, or runs, to his job at Cambridge Seven Associates nearly everyday, rain or shine. I’ve gotten to know Chris a little bit over the past year and he is an all around great guy, with a wonderful sense of humor. Chris is working tirelessly, and always with much enthusiasm, to make the Harbor Walk a success. Stop in and see the work in progress. I think you’ll agree, the Harbor Walk is coming along beautifully!

Oh yeah, he can sing gospel too …

Our friend Henri Smith just posted a recording of his band performing Just a Closer Walk with Thee at the First Parish Church in Manchester on May 6 that raised money for The Grace Center in Gloucester.  This is one more example of Henri’s versatile voice and his almost magical ability to inspire a crowd.  Listen the the song here.  You can see Henri and his band open for the Aaron Neville Quintet featuring Charles Neville on June 28 at North Shore Music Theatre (get tickets here).

It’s an unusually good week for music on Cape Ann and it starts early.  Here are just two highlights for tomorrow: Pete Lindberg with his friend Tristen (from Nashville) at Minglewood; and last week’s gimmesound Artist of the Week Frances Fitch performs the harpsichord her husband Greg Bover built at Shalin Liu.

See the full music lineup here.

Tristen~The Pete Lindberg Band and The BFs ~ Tuesday night @ Minglewood

I have not doubt in my mind that this is going to one awesome event. A very good mix of musicians bringing you music from Indie pop, Rockabilly, good ole Country, Folk and Rock and Roll.


ROLLING STONE reviews Charlatans at the Garden Gate

“Her strength seems to reside in her ability to be musically versatile. Utilizing various orchestrations, Tristen weaves a glistening web of thoughtful and extremely mature melodies that tremble with undeniable power.”
— American Songwriter

“Pop hooks and pure inspiration”
– NPR All Things Considered

Her addictive debut is full of such moments: catchy refrains with multiple meanings, ear-tugging melodies with hidden hooks. She flaunts a philosophy major’s palette amidst echoes of vintage rockabilly and girl group pop: Gods battle, queens bid their rule, girlfriends enable druggy lovers.

— Rolling Stone

Bill Hubbard Shows His!

Bill Hubbard Shows His!

3rd Submission in the Series “Show Me Yours and I’ll Show You Mine”

This was a great idea until I tried to take a picture of my “corner” and came to the reality that I actually have four.  My wife is an artist and a writer.  I paint.  We live in a 2 bedroom apartment which has her sketches and my paintings on 8 walls of three rooms.  I even have a painting in my bathroom.  So, I’ve attempted to  show it all in two pictures.  For the last few months I’ve been painting out side quite a bit but now, the the advent ofhot weather, I’m back in my corners till fall.
I try to paint with a pallet limited to Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Deep Red,  Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue and Permanent Rose and get away with it when I’m outside and have limited space.  However, in my corner I’ve found good use for Daler & Rowney’s Flesh, Yellow Ochre and Ivory Black.  I paint mostly with large bristle flats and rounds but, for detail utilize a few sable points and a couple liners for rigging.
My mother taught me the rudementaries of oil painting and I took several of Bob Benham’s adult ed courses at GHS.  I also fished with Emile Gruppe and was fortunate to be invited to tag along for a number of his outings back in the 1960s.  I lived on Cape Cod and fished and painted with watercolorist, Anton Stetzko who introduced me to waer colors.  When I moved here to Florida I started seriously to paint again and took up Acrylics which I now mix with pen.
Visit my artists website and Blog at:

Pleasant Street Tea Company art reception

Last Friday, there was a very nice art reception at the Pleasant Street Tea Company. Here are some photos of the event.

The location of the Pleasant St. Tea Co.
Artist Rocky Delforge with some of his work on display
Donna Marie Therrien with some of her wrok
Donna Marie Therrien with fellow artist Ramani Rangan
Ben MacAdam stands by his work
A good number of people turned out right from the start
Brad Byrd creates ambiance
It’s great to be able to meet the artists and find out more about their artistic history.

The exhibit will be up until the end of June.  You can also check their work out on line:

Rocky Delforge:

Ben MacAdam:

Donna Therrien:

Chickity Check It! The American Eagle Newsletter

Rosalie Parisi forwards the link-

The American Eagle used to offload whiting and groundfish here at our dock back in the day.  It was an eastern rigged dragger which most of the Gloucester fleet was back then and Captained by Rosalie’s father Captain Joe Piscitello. 

The American eagle was bought from her father and converted into the boat she is now, a schooner.  You can read all about it here-



and now this is what she looks like-


View From Our Hotel Last Night In Rome In The Heart Of Rome’s Commercial Fishing Port: Hotel Tibor

Looking out the front window of our room we got to see the Rome Dragger Fleet. Behind our Hotel, Hotel Tibor there are fish processing plants and open fish marketplaces, and along the boardwalk next to our hotel and in front of the commercial docks there are lines of Seafood Restaurants. The one we ate at last night reminded us of The Causeway. Large fresh portions obviously landed from the boats tied up right in front of us, a family run joint and very reasonable prices.

Inside our hotel facing the boats they had a restaurant Latitude 41.  the similarities were wild.

What was particularly cool was to see the boats way over here using the same types of net reels and doors as they do here in the states.  I’ll post more pictures of the boats soon.  I was taking pictures of the way the dragger fleet had their decks set up thinking that FOB Joe Testeverde would like to see.

Beautiful spot!

View from our room at Hotel Tibor

Directly behind Hotel Tibor are the fish processing and open fish markets




Directly in front of Hotel Tibor the commercial fishing docks and Coast Guard Station


Behind Hotel Tibor fish processing and open fish markets



Hotel Tibor View Panorama



View from our room.