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Passports is the Perfect Restaurant for Your Holiday Shopping Respite

When out and about checking off your holiday to-do list, stop in to Passports. The food is always prepared and cooked to perfection, with extra generous helpings, and the ambiance is warm, comfy, and inviting. 

Passports Restaurant India, Laila, Dawn ©Kim Smith 2014India, Laila, and Dawn

Today I met my friend Catherine there and we had a luxuriously long chatty lunch. Despite the hours spent catching up, Laila, our beautiful waitress, never once made us feel anything less than entirely welcome. Catherine had the sumptuous cobb salad, topped with chicken salad, and I had their wonderfully delicious Caesar salad, with perfectly grilled shrimp. Even Passports regular coffee is rich and full flavored!

Happy Dining and Shopping Main Street!

Passports Cobb Salad ©Kim Smith 2014Passports Cobb and Chicken Salad

Passports Caesar salad ©Kim Smith 2014Passports Caesar Salad

Shopping Local @ Blue River Diamond


Have you stopped by Blue River Diamonds on Main Street lately? The store is stocked with gorgeous jewelry, and the staff is incredibly helpful!  My son BJ was impressed with their selection, and was thrilled to find exactly what he was looking locally on Gloucester’s Main Street. Check it out for the holidays !    

Cape Ann Winter Solstice – The Tradition Continues Next Sat 12/20 – VIP seats still available

Last winter we started a Gloucester Tradition – The Cape Ann Winter Solstice – a tremendously successful kick-off to our Meetinghouse Benefit Concert Series, culminating in a memorable evening with 60s icon John Sebastian, the first ever Gloucester appearance by a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee.

This winter we continue the tradition featuring three of the area’s top acoustic artists: Boston rock star, Charlie Farren, of Joe Perry Project and Farrenheit, rising Boston Blues star, Danielle Miraglia (whom you may have seen at our Celebrate Gloucester benefit for The Open Door featuring James Montgomery this summer) and Gloucester’s iconic singer/songwriter Allen Estes.

Just like last year, a portion of the proceeds support the Meetinghouse Restoration Project.

There are still a few VIP seats left.  VIPs get premium seating in the first 5 rows of the center section, exclusive early entry and a commemorative VIP laminate.

Get tickets here.

Enjoy a festive night of original music, traditional holiday favorites and a few surprises as you help Gloucester’s Meetinghouse become a world-class concert and performance venue.

Here are some videos to give you a taste of what you can expect:

Ready, Get Centered Street, go! 1 Center Street is open for Middle Street Walk

Hi Joey,

Get centered during Gloucester’s Middle Street Walk this Saturday. One Center Street is open and filled with friends, social imagination, wellness and artistry! Glance at the list of tenants at Kate Seidman’s building—many GMG readers are already big fans and customers. 

1 Center Street, 3rd floor:
Ten Pound Studio silk painting studio with classes every Tuesday

Bradley Royds music recording studio

Jennifer Lee Levitz Studio and Reikki practice

1 Center Street, 2nd floor:

Loren Doucette, Art Showroom, Studio and Teaching Lab ( beginning Artist Way course to discovering recovering your creative self in 2015 along with private art lessons) 978-879-6588, Loren Doucette adds: “We are looking for teachers and students to be a part of this great creative cooperative space! Our goal and mission is to practice, teach and share creative well-being!”

Jeffrey Marshall, Art Studio. Jeffrey was invited to have a January show at the Cape Ann Museum and will be the First Cape Ann Artist of Distinction in Residency 2015 – for the Rocky Neck Art Colony

Goetemann Residency Program

Stephen Baglioni, LMT, clothed sports massage office,

Bob Tobin, weekly Kempo Karate classes (Wed & Sat)

Sarah Slifer Swift, rehearsal space, AND she runs Monday Morning Dance Rave 8:30-10am each week. Very fun!

Yoga with Peter Martin starting in January 2015.


Kate Seidman’s Art Room Boutique



Where: 1 Center Street (between Main and Middle)

When: Middle Street Walk 2014, 10AM-4PM

Who: Loren Doucette, Stephen Baglioni and Peter Martin are hosting an OPEN HOUSE as part of the Middle Street Walk. Stop by!

Kate has owned 1 Center Street since the early 1990s. Challenge for GMG readers: Do you know the prior occupant(s) and story of this historic building? Write in your comments if you know!

Family and Friends Day At POP Gallery

A Weekend of Family FUN!

After Saturday’s festivities with the Middle Street Walk and the Lobster Trap Tree Lighting in downtown Gloucester, be sure to come back down to Main Street on Sunday for Family & Friends Day from 12 to 5 pm! 

POP will serve FREE cocoa for the kiddies and Yule Fuel for mom and dad! Santa will also make an appearance at our store after 4 pm! 

We’re very excited to offer 20 % OFF select sale items and clothing! Plus, 10% off ALL PURCHASES of $50 or more!

There are many great gifts for young and old at POP, so make sure you come take advantage of this SALE at 67 Main Street, THIS SUNDAY!

Backyard Growers Final Stretch For Push For Global Headquarters

We need a Backyard Growers Headquarters

Help us expand our GARDEN EMPIRE!

Gloucester, Massachusetts, United States Food




BREAKING NEWS! Generous donors have stepped up to offer a 3:1 match to help us reach our $15K goal! For every $10 you give, our matching donors will give $30!
Backyard Growers has become RADICALLY AWESOME. Here’s why—In five short years we have evolved from providing a handful of neighbors with backyard gardens TO THIS:
  • Over 1,300 Gloucester elementary school students plant, harvest, and eat from their school gardens each year.
  • Built O’Maley Innovation Middle School’s first school garden with over 200 6th graders to support the science curriculum.
  • Built West Parish School gardens at Burnham’s Field. When West Parish moves, the gardens will join Burnham’s Field Community Garden, which will be managed by us!
  • Expanded the Gloucester Preschool garden, providing early hands-on gardening and healthy snack experiences to over 90 preschoolers.
  • Providing afterschool programs through Gloucester U at the high school, O’Maley Academy at the middle school, and at Beeman and Veterans Schools through the YMCA.
  • We now serve the entire Gloucester school district—from preK to high school. Other school districts have expressed interest in adopting our model!
  • Since 2010, 150 new gardens built in Gloucester for families, community groups, organizations, and schools, helping hundreds of people learn how to grow their own food.

What we need and how it will benefit the people we serve

Backyard Growers is a small, scrappy non-profit organization. We know how to do a lot with a little. Our main base of operations is my house. And when I say my house I mean my kitchen table, my small office, the hall, the living room, the bedroom, the basement, the yard, the driveway, and sometimes spilling out into the street. Backyard Growers also exists beyond my house! Thank you to The Open Door for providing space for our FoodCorps service member, and to the city and school district for storing some of our stuff.

All of this to say, we have officially burst our seams and are in need of an OFFICIAL BACKYARD GROWERS HEADQUARTERS. We are currently looking for a space. We need to raise $15,000 to pay for the first year of rent and associated costs. Our own space = centralized operations = more efficient program and operations management = strengthened programs/more people served/strategic organizational growth.

Commencing Countdown, Major Sean

That was my little tribute to Major Tom…in case you missed it.  Bygones.

I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the Curtis Family…Sean, Erin, Lydia, Brityn, and baby Henry for the excellent public service announcement they are kind enough to bestow upon the town of Rockport during the holiday season.

While, ahem ahem, it was a bit later than usual this year…it did not disappoint once finally arriving. Contrary to disappointing, actually, it is new and improved and really quite fantastic!

You see, the Curtis family has been helping to spread the holiday joy in the children of Rockport….and pure panic in the hearts of the grown-ups…for the past several years.

Formally, a giant snowman helped to count down the days, hours, minutes…and even seconds…until Christmas.  After taking an unfortunate tumble, the large cold one was placed on the DL (that’s the disabled list).  And, yes, I’m talking to you….the one who thought the World Series Trophy on our Christmas Card several years ago was a menorah.  (see below)

At any rate, with Frosty down and out, an even better (in my opinion) countdown clock has taken his place!  My boys get such joy out of seeing it each afternoon on the way home from school/work!  It is pretty awesome…even if it does cause me some major anxiety.

Image 2 Image 3


Can You Ever Have Too Much Fun? More weekend picks!

While actually writing my Thursday “Weekend Picks” post is not difficult, narrowing down the choices and trying to be mindful enough to find activities that appeal to different likes/tastes/hobbies can be.  That having been said, I won’t sleep tonight if I don’t add a few more activities to this week’s list!

The most near and dear is the fantastic Middle Street Walk!  Hopefully you’ve already read about its awesomeness in other posts here on GMG, but just incase you haven’t…. you should!  As Joey says, “It’s insane”  (and he means that in a good way).

Check it all out here!  It is really a not-to-be-missed day here in town!!! If you’re not in the holiday spirit yet…this is just the medicine!

Middle Street Walk website is here too


Also, The Gallows Hill Theatre in Salem is playing “A Very Grinchy Holiday Special”.  How awesome does this look!  Again, the Schraffts will be doing this for sure!    Gallows Hill Theatre



In addition, a friend of GMG was kind enough to remind me that Smolak Farms is always a great bet!  Thanks so much, Erin!  We’ve been there several times…and Finn’s class just had a pumpkin picking field trip there in October.  It is truly a great spot.  This month, in particular, they are offering great activities.  Cookie making on Tuesdays and Fridays, Tea with Mrs. Claus, and Santa’s Workshop (meet and greet, craft making, and more!) are highlights.  Be sure to check out their website and mark your calendars.  Next week, for example, they are offering a great Gingerbread House Workshop!

Smolak Farms


My Holiday Lights of Love

My favorite holiday decorations this year were on the Beauport Ambulance at Addison Gilbert Hospital’s “Lights of Love” cancer care fundraiser. Beauport was the major sponsor of the event. In the past ten months, I’ve been transported by ambulance maybe 50 times to medical appointments from hospitals and nursing/rehab homes, because I was incapable of sitting on a bus seat. This doesn’t include emergency rides, two of which were under life threatening circumstances. Ambulances, which I always thought of as an inconvenience while driving, are now my flashing “Lights of Love.” They may be saving someone’s life, and I say a prayer as I pull over to the side of the road to let them pass.Ambulance5292wm

Gloucester Stage Company Holiday Delights Dec 19-21


Purchase Tickets

A must-see holiday tradition
for the whole family!

GSC’s Youth Acting Workshop’s Holiday Delights is a year-end showcase of student talent from YAW’s winter, summer, and fall workshops.

The 2014 edition of Holiday Delights is the all-new journey of a young girl who discovers the spirit and the joys of the holiday season.


Conceived and Directed by Heidi Dallin 

Musical Direction Helen Greene
Choreography Carol Burnham
Stage Manager Annika Rosenvinge
Costume Design Lara Jardullo

Purchase tickets online or call the Box Office 978-281-4433
Adult: $15     Senior: $12
Student: $8   Child under 6: $6


Barry and Susan Weiner   CTI Cabling Technologies  Cape Ann Savings Bank

Community Stuff 12/12/14


The days continue to get shorter and shorter and for many of us, this is only part of what makes the winter holidays a challenge. Some of us will be spending the holidays without loved ones, perhaps for the first time. Some struggle with mental illnesses including depression and seasonal affective disorder. Others are alone either because they live far from their family or because they have no family left. And some are beset by more than one of these circumstances. These reasons don’t matter. The fact is that not everyone is joyful at this time of year. Christmas carols sound hollow, Hanukah lights don’t seem to dispel the darkness, and the rampant commercialism combined with financial insecurities make it difficult to be “merry,” as so many others seem to expect of us. But there is a place for you to come and dwell for a brief time in a meditative atmosphere that will also give you the opportunity to pay tribute to your grief and sorrow.

On Thursday evening, December 18 at 7pm, the First Baptist Church in Gloucester invites you to attend The Longest Night Service. Named for the winter solstice, the longest night of the year after which the days grow longer and the light returns, The Longest Night is a service of quiet music and candlelight designed for those who need a peaceful place to be, if only for a short time, in the midst of the noise and bustle that the holidays bring. The service is Christian in nature, but all are invited to join us and to participate at a level that is comfortable for you. There will be a time to light candles in memory of loved ones now gone, in hope for our community and our world, and in the promised joy of burdens to be lifted. You may light one candle or many, or none at all if you prefer to just sit and enjoy the soft light that expels the darkness one candle at a time. You will also be able to receive private prayer if you so wish. After this brief service, light refreshments will be served.

If you need some time apart, if you are seeking a reason to sit in stillness, if you need a safe place to cry, please come and join us. No expectations, no jingling bells or blaring carols. Just you, the candlelight, gentle music, and other people who understand the need to be quiet for a while. You are welcome here, whatever you might be facing right now.

The First Baptist Church in Gloucester is an American Baptist congregation located at 38 Gloucester Avenue. For more information please call the church office at 978-283-4808.

May the light of the season illuminate your dark places,

Pastor Cindy Antonuk

Thursday, December 18
7:00 PM
The First Baptist Church in Gloucester

The Longest Night

Sometimes called a Blue Christmas service, this is a time of reflection and light, music and prayer, designed for those who struggle to find happiness during the December holidays.  You will have the opportunity to light candles, receive private prayer, listen to contemplative music, and share light refreshments.
Please join us for this peaceful evening in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the season.  All are welcome.

“Blue Christmas” at St. John’s

Dear Joey,

This might be helpful to some of your readers.

For many people, Christmas and the days around it are more about pain than joy. Saint John’s Episcopal Church is offering a service Sunday at 4 pm that will give voice to those feelings and respond to them with prayers and a ritual of spiritual healing. All are welcome.