Living in a coastal community as do we here on Cape Ann, the weather plays a formidable role in our everyday lives. I consider each day to be uniquely beautiful, although with a storm approaching that has been given the name “Bomb Cyclone,” the word beauty may not be the first word that comes to mind tomorrow morning.

Yesterday morning as the full Wolf Moon was setting, the sun rose clear and brilliantly on the icy rafts forming at Smiths Cove, sea smoke swirled around Ten Pound Island Lighthouse, and the Harbor was rough with whitecaps.

Today the sun rose over the backshore through a bank of low lying clouds shading the light in hues of violet, red, orange, and yellow and this thought was on my mind, ‘red in the morning, sailor heed warning.’ Fishermen were shoring up their boats, house builders furiously hammering, and the grocery stores were as mobbed as the day before Thanksgiving.

See you on the other side of the storm. Please stay safe and warm

Backshore January 2, 2018

Snow Emergency/Parking Ban Declared for Weds. 1/3/2018 (8PM) to Fri. 1/5/2018 (7AM); Schools Closed Thursday 1/4/2018

Cape Ann Community


Snow Emergency/Parking Ban Declared for Weds. 1/3/2018 (8PM) to Fri. 1/5/2018 (7AM); Schools Closed Thursday 1/4/2018

Tonight, Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018the City of Gloucester has declared a snow emergency and parking ban on all city streets starting at 8 PM due to an upcoming severe snowstorm with blizzard-like conditions. In addition, Gloucester public schools will be closed tomorrow.


Effective at 8:00 PM tonight, Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018 until 7:00 AM Friday, January 5th all vehicles are banned from parking on city streets. Residents may park in all municipal and school parking lots, but please remove all vehicles from municipal and school parking lots before the parking ban expires at 7:00 AM Friday.

School parking lots will be the first areas to be ticketed and towed once parking ban has concluded. Violators of this emergency declaration will be at…

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Reminder! Cape Ann Narratives of Art and other special museum events this January

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From the Cape Ann Museum – Entrance to the museum is free in January for Cape Ann residents. Some programs require registering and tickets.

3PM Saturday, January 6 Quick Steps & Ballads prior GMG post

10AM- 12PM Saturday, January 13  CAM KIDS LEGO STUDIO. See prior GMG post

3PM Saturday, January 13, 2017 Cape Ann Narratives of Art in Life- A Discussion at the Cape Ann Museum

“The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present Cape Ann Narratives of Art in Life: A Discussion on Saturday, January 13 at 3:00 p.m.  This program is free for CAM members and Cape Ann residents or with Museum admission. Reservations are not required. Call (978)283-0455 x10 for more information.

Join Martin Ray and several of the artists featured in his new book Cape Ann Narratives of Art in Life. Ray’s work explores the artistic talent that local residents have brought to their occupations. Whether one is a writer or woodworker, pastor or painter, mayor or musician, Ray classifies each as an artist, and celebrates the mastery that is exhibited in his/her craft. Panelists include Anne Deneen, pastor; Nan Webber, theater director; Brian King, musician; and Stephen Bates, musician/sculptor.

During the month of January the Cape Ann Museum opens its doors to all Cape Ann residents, in an effort to encourage membership, but also to bring the greater community into closer contact with their art, history and culture. This program will do just that, shedding light on locals who take pride in their craft with unwavering commitment and dedication. Does pursuing one’s vocation make one an artist? You decide.” Image credit (book cover): Martin Ray, 2017.


10AM -12:15PM, Wednesdays, January 17-February 7, three Wednesdays– print workshop with Mary Rhinelander

Visit the museum event’s page to see the plentiful programming

Down the lane: Fitz Henry Lane art shuffled from Gloucester Sawyer Free library to Cape Ann Museum

You may have noticed that the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library is sporting noticebly thinned out collections, and it’s not just the books. Three Fitz Henry Lane paintings were moved across the street to the Cape Ann Museum: Gloucester Harbor (gifted to the Library by Judith M Todd); Sawyer Homestead Freshwater Cove, Gloucester; and Coasting Schooner off Boon Harbor, ME. Additionally, a portrait of Sawyer and a Bertha Menzler Payton painting are no longer on view.


Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library installation views- BEFORE (Lanes installed) / AFTER (Lanes removed)

Installation view two FITZ HENRY LANE paintings GLOUCESTER HARBOR left and SAWYER HOMESTEAD right at Sawyer Free Public Library ©C Ryan IMG_183127
Past the crowd, on the far walls installation view showing pair of Fitz Henry Lane paintings (Gloucester Harbor on the left and Sawyer Homestead Freshwater Cove on the right). A Carlton T Chapman painting is under the clock. Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library
Installation view two Gruppe paintings former site of two Fitz Henry Lane paintings at Sawyer Free Public Library ©C Ryan_111423
Gloucester, MA. Gloucester Lycecum & Sawyer Free Public Library December 2017 pair of Emile A Gruppe paintings installed (formerly site of two Fitz Henry Lane paintings)


You can click on the photos to read captions. The photo pair below show Lane Coasting Schooner replaced with a painting from the Addision Gilbert Hospital collection, a portrait of Sawyer and his wife


Library vs Museum

Lane painting installation views comparing Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library vs Cape Ann Museum

More photos from both collections


Cape Ann Museum is just across the street and it’s the world’s most vital Lane collection. Still, I wish the paintings could remain at the library. I lament my industry’s inability, all of us, actually– to find a way to make stewardship affordable for repositories just like this one. I’ve been thinking about the pros and cons of making copies for the library. When access to originals is difficult or impossible, copies can be a boon. For example the Madonna atop Our Lady of Good Voyage is a replica. The original is held at the Cape Ann Museum and affords close observation that was impossible from the street. The copy preserves the impact of the site. Two dimensional  poster reproductions and painted copies are rarely more. Mostly, I advocate for originals. Here, original art was replaced with original art.

The gifts were for the library and Gloucester, in varying degrees of partnership with the library since Sawyer’s private endowment upon his death in 1889. The provenance paperwork for the Lanes can be deciphered differently depending upon context.

The Lanes leaving the library made me think about the James Prendergast Library collection deaccession, for operating funds and a new vision, rather than a relocation just across a city square. That library is located in Jamestown New York. The board consigned 44 paintings to two auction houses for November 2017 sales. The update is that several works did not find purchasers, failing to meet presale estimates. The board rejected lowball offers following the public sales, and the art remains with the auction houses to be sold in future to-be-determined sales. The New York Attorney General office denied a purchase offer that would have held the art in Jamestown, ruling instead for public auction.  A makerspace was crafted from three extant rooms where a children’s computer coding Scratch class was offered at the time of the sales. Jamestown had cut annual funding for its library by $300,000. (see prior GMG posts November 20 2017 and auction results)

I was hoping the Lanes might be featured prominently and safely with any interior buildout proposals at Sawyer Free library, like this installation at the Currier (which was a temporary build out for a museum exhibition), and the library’s other works. The Matz gallery is pretty perfect for changing exhibits of local artists.

Installation view ALBERT BIERSTADT The Emerald Pool Currier Museum of Art Mount Washington exhibit January 2017 © c ryan.jpg


Wednesdays with Fly Amero at the Rhumb Line ~This weeks special guest:Tony Frontiero – 7pm 1.3.2018

Dinner Specials Each Week!
Wednesday, January 3rd – 7pm
My Musical Guest: TONY FRONTIERO!









Happy New Year, everyone! We kick off 2018 with one among
many of Gloucester’s very gifted sons, Tony Frontiero. If you
haven’t gotten the chance to see him perform, now’s the time!
He’s got the whole package goin’… singing, playing and song
writing. Plus, he’s such a handsome dude! ~ Fly
Dinner with great music!
*Each week features a special, invited musical guest
The Rhumb Line Kitchen……now features Janet Brown with some new and healthy ideas!
Plus a fine, affordable wine menu!
1/10 – Sasquatch

1/17 – Quentin Callewaert

1/24 – Chick & Ellen

1/31 – Lynne Taylor

Looking forward……to seeing you there 🙂

Workshops for All Levels this Weekend

Cape Ann Wellness


It looks like a blizzard will bury us tomorrow followed by another bitter cold weekend. This makes it a great weekend to get out of the house and into Treetop Yoga Studio. Besides our regular class schedule, we have a range of inspiring workshops available for all levels this weekend:

Restorative and Sound Healing – Clarity for the New Year

Elaine O’Rourke will guide you through an amazing blend of restorative yoga with sounding healing. This elixir is the perfect offering to embrace the New Year. Subtle guided imagery and contemplation will help clarify your intentions. When we can quieten the mind, the creative energies can flow with a natural ease. Register Here.

Email header Restorative + Sound Healing

The Building Blocks of Yoga with Erin Carney

This 4 week course (January 6-27) is a slower-paced program that offers a detailed description of all of the basic yoga postures, or asanas. Through this…

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A Wonderful Opportunity! The Urchin Exchange is For Sale

I dare say that opportunities like this don’t come along often.

The Urchin Exchange is a children’s and women’s consignment boutique that is adored by a vast number of shoppers and consignors alike….from Cape Ann and beyond.

While her devoted cliental and consignors were saddened to hear that Melanie will be selling the Urchin Exchange, I know I speak for everyone when I say that we wish her the very best as she pursues new career goals.  The Urchin Exchange has grown exponentially since its inception just three years ago.  For many, the Urchin Exchange is a first stop when looking for clothing staples, something fun to complement a wardrobe, a gift, or the perfect item!  Likewise, more closets than one could count are cleaned out seasonally and brought to the Urchin Exchange to be discovered and loved by a new family.

GMG’s own Joey C. once wrote, “This is not your average children’s consignment joint. This is super fresh, super high end totally perfect killer clothes for your kid at stupid cheap prices. I Wish The Urchin Exchange Was Around When My Girls Were Little.” And, that was before Melanie expanded to include women’s clothing as well.  Speaking of women’s clothes..The Urchin Exchange was also the Winner of Northshore Magazine’s BONS 2016 award for “Best Maternity Clothing”

Thanks to Melanie’s dedication, care, and business savvy the Urchin Exchange is a viable and growing business that now happens to be a fantastic opportunity for someone else to lead.  Honestly, I’m sad that I can’t consider it myself.  If you ask me, it would be a PERFECT business for two friends to run together.  Maybe two people who have other obligations and would like to share the responsibilities and hours that come with owning a business?  It is, however, manageable for one perfect buyer as well!

The Urchin Exchange is completely TURN KEY!  All inventory, shelving, clothing racks, mannequins, the computer system, steamer, wireless speaker, and more are included in the price of the sale.  Oh, and then there’s the faithful cliental!  What more could you ask for when considering becoming self-employed and owning your own business?  The asking price, by the way, is $39,900.  Make Melanie an offer!

Melanie is willing to train and assist the right potential buyer as the business changes hands.  Don’t miss this amazing opportunity if you think you may be interested!

The Urchin Exchange is located in the highly visible and frequented shopping plaza at 214 Eastern Avenue, Gloucester.  The plaza will no doubt soon be fully occupied…which, along with its convenient location and large parking lot, makes it even more perfect!

Visit the website here:    The Urchin Exchange

For more information email Melanie at or call 978.283.3300 .

Also check out their Facebook page…while there you will get a feel for how many people turn to the Urchin Exchange when filling (or purging) their wardrobes:  The Urchin Exchange Facebook Page



2018 Essex Heritage Partnership Grant opportunity is now open

Essex National Heritage area.jpg

Essex National Heritage Commission preserves and promotes the historic, cultural and natural resources of Essex County, MA. The organization’s annual partnership grants have primed several projects in Gloucester and throughout Cape Ann. REGISTER by February 16, 2018 for the latest round of Essex Heritage Partnership grants: twelve $2000 awards will be granted.

How to Apply

  • Log In or Register  to apply online. Applications will be accepted ONLINE ONLY.
  • Applications are due no later than Monday, February 16, 2018 by 11:59 PM
  • Read the 2018 Partnership Grant Program Description (pdf)
  • Please anticipate being in attendance at the Essex Heritage Spring Annual Meeting at Saugus Town Hall on Thursday, April 5 in the event that your organization is awarded a grant
  • Contact Charles Smith to Gain Grant Applicant Status.

Backyard Growers January Events: Fermentation Workshops

Cape Ann Community

2018 Fermentation Workshop

Join Backyard Growers as we partner with Pigeon Cove Ferments at our two-part fermentation workshop learning all about the benefits of fermentation!

Part 1 will be held at Backyard Growers where we will learn more about lacto-fermentation and the benefits of incorporating fermented food into our diets. All ages welcome.

PLEASE NOTE: this workshop will be at Backyard Growers’ office: 271 Main St, Gloucester, MA 01930

Part 2 will be held at Pigeon Cove Ferments kitchen where participants are fully engaged in the sauerkraut making process and will leave with their own jar of homemade kraut. All ages welcome.

PLEASE NOTE: this workshop will be at Pigeon Cove’s kitchen: 10 Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA, 01930

If you have any questions, contact: or 978-281-0480

Hope to see you there!

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