Dynamic duo – Follow your own path

Unbeatable pairing on the West End of Main Street Gloucester, MA.:

Richard Leonard’s Bananas, 78 Main Street, iconic vintage clothing store many decades in business.

Sargent House Museum, Main Street next to Bananas (entrance at 49 Middle Street), historic house and writing studio (desk) of Judith Sargent Murray, Gloucester native, born in 1751, author & playwright, equality advocate. John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), great American painter, her great grand nephew, contributed to preserving this architectural gem.

Merry Storefronts Winter windows: holiday Christmas displays Main Street #GloucesterMA 2020

Selection of Gloucester’s downtown storefronts in morning light and seasonal swag December 2020. 

Did you discover a great find on Ladies Night (all day) last week? 

Establishments include some of the bakeries, boutiques, galleries, restaurants, salons, service, & new shops Main Street, Center and Pleasant:

Banana’s 78 Main St (978)283-8806 (Lady Tannenbaum in the window)

The Brass Monkey 85 Main St (978) 879-4761

Caffe Sicilia 40 Main St (978)283-7345

Cape Ann Olive Oil 57 Main St (978)281-1061

Cape Ann Savings Bank 109 Main St

Charles Fine Art 196 Main St (978) 559-7762

Dogtown Books 132 Main St (978) 281-5599

Emerson’s Barber Shop 6 Center St. (978) 290-3477

Engel & Volkers 120 Main Street

Fireflies Boutique 100 Main St (978)283-1379

Franklin 118 Main St (978)283-7888

Jalapeno’s 86 Main St (978) 283-8228

Jane Deering Gallery 19 Pleasant St 

Local Colors Artists’ Cooperative Gallery 121 Main St (978) 283-3996

Main Street Arts & Antiques 124 Main St (978) 281-1531

Mark Adrian Shoe 103 Main St (978) 283-4343

Nelson’s 248 Main St (978) 283-5675

Oliver’s Harbor Restaurant and Bar 64 Main St (978) 559-7638

Pop Gallery 67 Main St (617)458-9345

Salon One 267 Main St (978) 479-9185 

Sample This 116 Main St (978) 865-3873

Sargent House Museum

Shop Loro Boutique (Center Street)

Super Cute Boutique 242 main St (978) 360-2499

TAJ/breakwater Roasters/Backyard Growers 3 Duncan St

Toodeloos! Toy store 142 Main St (978)281-2011

Matthew Swift Gallery 189 Main St (978) 491-7785

Blue River Diamonds 189 Main St

Village Silversmith 138 Main St (978) 283-8811

Virgilio’s Italian Bakery (978) 283-5295

Boston Globe seashore jaunt all #GloucesterMA | Beauport Museum, Halibut Point restaurant, Virgilio’s, Bananas

Gloucester in the news again this weekend about  a great road trip. See today’s Sunday paper- Boston Globe By Linda Greenstein

Read full article  here

to see more mentions from their itinerary.



Blooms and buildings- finding sunflowers at every turn downtown Gloucester, Mass.

Enjoying all these sunny sunflowers swaying downtown. Can you spot them all? Hint- Main Street and Pleasant Street (Patti Amaral’s garden stretch); on the West End of Main Street at legendary storefront Bananas; Washington and Granite Streets nearby Mother of Grace; and Centennial nearly bookended at both Washington and Western Avenue.


Sunflowers at every turn _ Main Street and Pleasant _ downtown Gloucester Mass©c ryan 2018 Aug 30. GIFSunflowers at every turn _ Main Street and Pleasant _ this one thanks Patti Amaral_ downtown Gloucester Mass©c ryan 2018 Aug 30 (2)




Buoy Pop Bananas

Clean streets and fun signs on a Main Street curve in historic downtown Gloucester.

Pop Gallery and Buoy pop up store “Buoys will be Buoys”

Bananas  destination vintage shop for four decades

downtown shops Gloucester signs_Pop Gallery, Buoy, Bananas_20180720_©c ryan.jpg


Across the street Trio’s new window sign heralds Fresh Seafood from Local Boats.

Trio Gloucester Mass_ 20180720.jpg

A new store: Adrift on Main at 284 Main St, plus a (mostly) vintage store guide

Plus a current Gloucester vintage store guide below the photographs

ADRIFT ON MAIN, 284 Main Street, Gloucester, MA (978) 515-7888

Adrift on Main, a new second-hand and collectibles destination, opened December 2016 on the east end of Main Street. Owners Ryan and Sarah Goyette reside in Byfield and chose Gloucester over their home town, Essex, and other north shore communities for their new store. Coaster sets are made by Sarah. Welcome to the neighborhood!





Gloucester MA vintage shopping guide

2016-17. Most are a mix of then and now objects, clothing, and collectibles; some with work by contemporary artists and artisans. Three mainstays:

BANANAS 78 Main Street


VINTAGE 211 East Main Street


–and —
Adrift on Main 284 Main Street

Alexandra’s Bakery and shop 265 Main Street, (978)281-0364

Alma’s Art and Antiques, 214 Eastern Avenue (formerly on Rocky Neck) now located in “The Commons Gloucester” marketplace

Annisquam Exchange (for the the historic buildings of the village, open seasonally) 32 Leonard Street

Cape Ann Auction 82 Main Street (formerly Fred Bodin’s Historic Photo)

Cape Ann Thrift Shop Trinity Congregational Church 70 Middle Street

DIVA 161 Main Street

Dogtown Book Shop 132 Main Street

The Dress Code 159 Main Street

Eastern Point Lit House 261 Main Street

Fireflies Boutique  100 Main Street

Gloucester estate buyers, 45 Main Street

goodlinens, 130 Main Street (featuring some reissued classics)

Lynzariums  flowers and … 186 East Main Street

Mystery Train Records 21 Main Street

Past Present Shoppe,  30 Railroad Avenue

Pop Shop 67 Main Street (vintage nod and inspiration)

RAD estate Jewelers, 45 Main Street

Second Glance (thrift shop of the Open Door) 2 Pond Road

St. John’s Episcopal Church Thrift Shop 48 Middle Street

St.Vincent de Paul Society of Gloucester and Cape Ann (donations for charity ‘Clothes Closet’ and food pantry at St. Anne’s)

The Urchin Exchange 214 Eastern Avenue, Unit 8, located in “The Commons Glocuester” just after Pond Road



Artist Jill Feron preparing to paint new restaurant Tonno’s window, which she reports will be opening in May.

Tonno Restaurant Gloucester MA ©Kim Smith 2015





Cat Ryan submits-

Main Street’s best-dressed list:

Fred Bodin’s masterclass in pirate chic layering, shopping super local over time from his longstanding retail neighbor, Bananas.



Going “Bananas” for vintage clothes

Among the many second-hand stores in Gloucester, some are “generalists” (the church and charity-affiliated thrift shops, Main Street Arts and Antiques, etc..) and others are specialized in things like books, music, or clothes. Today we look at one that specializes in vintage clothing and accessories: Bananas (78 Main St)!
_Bananas façadeI have heard from many people that this is the go-to place for vintage clothing, jewelry and accessories for theater productions, but Bananas also sells contemporary clothing. I picked up a nice pair of suspenders here not long ago.

The store hours are 10-5 Monday-Saturday., 11-4 Sunday.  Click here to see a GMG interview with the proprietor, Richard Leonard, from four years ago.  Most of the time when I go in, I see local artist Debbie Clarke behind the counter.  Her beautiful work has been seen on this blog on more than one occasion.

I can’t help but mention that frequent GMG contributor and all-around nice guy Fred Bodin’s gallery is practically next door.  But then again, there are so many cool places and GMG contributors and friends in close proximity downtown, that if I were to list them all, I’d end up making a map of downtown Gloucester… And I mean that!

Matthew Green

Bananas Saturday Night Steppin Up For City Hall Photos From Michael Miller


Hi Joey,

A woman I know from Bayview, Marianne Spencer, invited me to Saturday night’s Bananas Benefit Extravaganza, and here are my 

photos from that event:  http://finedesign.net/photo/index.php?/category/22

Michael Miller

Click for slideshow-


Stepping Up for City Hall – a Bananas Fundraising Event

Good Morning Joey,

Event visionaries Kathy Slifer and Jan Bell along with the amazing Maggie Rosa have once again teamed up to provide an exciting event of fashion and fun to benefit our City Hall restoration efforts. They have enlisted the mastermind of style, Richard Leonard, and his Bananarettes, to produce an elaborate and high class revue, Stepping Up for City Hall. You will feel you have been transported to Broadway from the minute you step into our historic Kyrouz Auditorium, and you will leave uplifted and entertained. Tickets on sale now for the two limited-seating shows, Saturday evening May 4th and Sunday afternoon, May 5th at Bananas. All details are contained in our attached flyer. Don’t miss out – tickets are selling fast!!

—- Friends of City Hall


Here are the reviews from the last one this team put together-

Glam O Rama Reviews and Props From Maggie Rosa and Erika Hansen

Posted on November 19, 2009 by Joey C

From Maggie Rosa-

Gloucester has many treasures –  two of them were celebrated in a unique way this past weekend as vital contributors to the vibrancy of Gloucester’s downtown.

At the invitation of Kathy Slifer and Jan Bell, maestro and treasure RIchard Leonard staged one of his renowned Bananarettes shows in our treasured City Hall as a fundraiser for the restoration of CIty Hall.  During the two shows, one on Saturday evening and one on Sunday afternoon, the genius of Leonard to excite and tantalize with a hint of naughty but nice thrilled all in attendance.

City Hall was transformed from the center of city government to its second function, the center of our community. During its almost 140 year history City Hall seen circuses, Buffalo Bill shows, many parties and the 375th City Anniversary Sculpture Show but as Maggie Rosa, Chair of the City Hall Restoration Commission, remarked during the shows “Nothing, nothing can match the excitement of a Bananas show in City Hall – truly an historic event in an historic building.

From Erika Hansen-

Joey, you totally get how important this event was!

As you know, I have been looking at things that “lift my heart, open my mind and take my breath away” and the Banana Glam O Rama Fashion Show at City Hall did all those things and more!

I am intimidated to even take a stab at recording it, out of fear that I am not doing it justice, but I can’t resist your plea so here goes:

As Jackie Hardy commented, from the moment the lights dimmed and the music started, there was a palpable feeling that we had been transported to Broadway.

And then the first set of gorgeous women glided onto the stage looking like a 30′s Hollywood extravaganza come to life.

The production values were incredible:  everyone and everything looked and sounded stunningly gorgeous against the dramatic backdrop of City Hall’s Kyrouz Auditorium.  (And the silhouettes underneath the “Build not for today alone, but for tomorrow as well” quote were astounding!)

As a producer/director, Richard Leonard channeled Florenz Ziegfeld and Busby Berkeley; as a performer, he channeled Maurice Chevalier and Nelson Eddy.  Most importantly, he added his own inimitable flair and essential Richard Leonard-ness to all of the above and gave us the show of a lifetime!

Each routine was masterpiece:  from Carmen Miranda to Marilyn Monroe & Jane Russell to (yes!) Tom Jones…and all points in between.

It was a perfect mix of costumes, beauty, talent, humor, music, history and culture.

A special shout out to my sissy, Elise, whom many thought was a dancer by the way she moved so gracefully across the stage.  She epitomized 30s glamour and as Sue Ferhmann said (looking striking and elegant herself  in a classic tuxedo), it doesn’t hurt when you look like Elise!

And to Maggie Rosa’s very apt assessment that this event was a celebration of 2 Gloucester icons: Richard Leonard and City Hall, I add a third:  Margi Green’s legs!  Her already popular Relax and Lengthen stretching classes at the Arts & Wellness Center (222 Eastern Ave.) will now have waiting lists I’m sure!

I could go on and on (but I won’t!)…instead I will just leave you with this point:  my daughters, who were mesmerized for the entire performance (although my younger daughter did cover her eyes with her program during Tom Jones‘s gyrations!), were so inspired that they promptly acted out their own version of the spectacular Sisters act they had just witnessed (nuns (!) singing the song made famous by Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen in White Christmas).  As event visionary and organizer Kathy Slifer put it, “that’s what it’s all about!”

Banana Glam O Rama Pics From David Cox

Posted on November 19, 2009 by Joey C

Rubber Duck is Done

Christmas Shopping.  Done in 60 minutes. Bananas, Fred Bodin Photo, The Cave, then a speed run in Rockport to finish it off at Tuscan Designs and stocking stuffers at Tucks Candies.

If you screwed up, don’t have that killer gift then go to Rockport and hit the last store on the right before you turn to Front Beach. Grab anything. They go with everything and you can put pasta on them, olive oil in them, then hang them on the wall when you’re done because it’s art. Rubber Duck doesn’t even clash and the blue really shows off her eyes.

IMG_0332 IMG_0334 IMG_0336

Started today at 1PM and got to the dock to pick up lobsters by 2PM. Martini time.

2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series Bananas

The fourth year of the GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Video Series where we walk up and down Main Street and try to capture as many retailers as we can and highlight their best gift ideas one a day every day leading up to Christmas.


2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series Premier Imprints
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series The Cave

2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series Lone Gull

2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series Kids Unlimited
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- Harbor Loop Gifts
2012 Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- Pleasant Street Tea and Coffee Co

Main Street Saturday Night

 Main Street photos from Toodeloos!, Art Haven, Supreme Roastbeef Diner, Dress Code, and Bananas. Click any photo to see slideshow.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Everywhere you go;

Take a look in the five and ten, glistening once again

With candy canes and sliver lanes aglow.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,

Toys in every store

But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be

On your own front door.                                                 Meredith Willson (1902-19840)

Click any photo to see slideshow.

Meredith Willson (1902-1984) was a composer, songwriter, playwright, and conductor and was best know for writing the book, music, and lyrics for The Music Man.