Who’s the handsome opera singer that electrified the West End Gloucester Block Party? Giovanni Formisano!

Mystery musicians and tenor soared through melodies on the West End by Caffe Sicilila and Short and Main, Gloucester, Massachusetts, for the downtown block party.  I hope to add their names so I can credit the beautiful impromptu arias! Snippets of  and ‘O sole mio

*post updated September 4th thanks to Good Morning Gloucester readers! Giovanni Formisano is the mystery tenor — remember that name!- and an excerpt from New England Tenors Weekly:

A native of Torre del Greco (Naples) Italy, Tenor Giovanni Formisano, began his vocal studies in the United States. After joining the Opera Workshop at the Longy School of music in Cambridge Massachusetts, Mr. Formisano participated in various Opera programs such as the “Key West Summer Opera program” under the direction of Soprano Donna Role, the “Richard Crittenden Opera workshop” and the “New York Summer Opera Scenes” under the direction of Metropolitan Opera Conductor Joshua Greene. Mr. Formisano quickly gained recognition for his Italianate, legato and full lyric sound and was featured in roles such as Rodolfo in G.Puccini’s “La Boheme”, Alfredo in G. Verdi’s “la Traviata” , Ruggero in G.Puccini’s “La Rondine” and Cavaradossi in G. Puccini’s “Tosca”. 
Because of his upbringing in the Naples area of Italy, Mr. Formisano also specializes in the Neapolitan song style and has participated in various concerts highliting this very quality…” as highlighted in the New England Tenors Weekly


street ‘o sole mio





Poster annotated TBD (quite the smokescreen)

gloucester ma block party events_20180831_TBD.jpg



Get down to the next block party!

Here are scenes from last night’s Downtown Gloucester, MA, Main Street Block Party, the first of 3. Congratulations to the organizers, volunteers, and City for hosting a great party downtown. We ate at Short and Main — busy, fresh and fantastic.  We met friends who went to Topside–heard wonderful reports, there and from other eateries. Downtown was bustling and joyous thanks to stores with open doors, live bands (who was that super band outside Short and Main?), Gloucester Stage’s youth actors, and buskers. Our last stop was frozen yogurt at Cafe Bishco  because why not? It had outdoor seating, too.

You have two more chances to get down to a block party: Saturday August 12 and Friday September 1.

Strike up the band! Happy kids on Main Street downtown Block Party Gloucester MA



Schooner Festival, Downtown Block Party, Gloucester Stage YAW, casual tiki at Watson & the Shark, POP Gallery, Bookstore, and dancing at Dogbar

20160902_205850Mixin’ Matt at Watson &the Shark–Short & Main’s 2nd floor lounge  has a super cool steampunk vacation vibe that made waiting for an outside table for a group of 10 easy. Will be great in the winter months, too

John Singleton Copley’s epic, Watson and the Shark, 1778, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Downtown block party – fire juggling, Gloucester Stage YAW, and YMCA games were great stops


Three Graces, the check in at Mayor’s Reception 




Catherine Ryan submits City Arts and Gloucester updates for September

Hi Joey,

With Mayor Carolyn Kirk and the City’s leadership and support, here are some September updates for City Arts & Gloucester covering the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, Community Development Downtown Work Plan, Harbortown Cultural District and the Committee for the Arts.

From now through October 15th submit a design for a Cape Ann license plate!

· The single most successful MA specialty license plate is…the one celebrating Massachusettsother Cape. The Cape and Islands plate, created in 1996, features an image of Eastham’s Nauset Lighthouse and the cliffs of Siasconset and Aquinnah. It has raised $20.1 million and was ordered for 45,000 cars in the state. At that time, the Registry of Motor Vehicles allowed backgrounds. The new image space requirements are smaller squares to the left of the number.

· Feeling competitive? There are currently more than 216,641 specialty license plates in circulation in the state now, according to the Registry. The five top sellers?

image024 $20,000 million


image025 $18.3 million

image027 $7 million

image028 $4 million

· What do you think the 2 letters should be?

· For more information on how to apply, see GMG announcement https://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/cape-ann-chamber-launches-drive-for-special-cape-ann-license-plate/

News from Community Development and the Downtown Work Plan

The Downtown Work Plan group continues! Come to City Hall for the third and final public meeting Tuesday September 17, 2013. Like the others, this meeting will also be held in the Kyrouz Auditorium at City Hall and run from 6-8PM. You can check out the results from the 2nd public presentation on line http://www.gloucester-ma.gov/index.aspx?NID=760&ART=2142&ADMIN=1. It is a large file and may take a couple of minutes to load. Community Development will also post the other presentations to the website as well. If you have any comments or questions, email Community Development Director, Tom Danieltdaniel@gloucester-ma.gov

Enjoy this August 8, 2013 Boston Globe article on Mayor Kirk’s  efforts for Community Development for downtown Gloucester. You can see it here

News from the downtown Harbortown Cultural District

Mayor Carolyn Kirk has committed the City’s major support as lead partner for our two Gloucester Cultural Districts!

Visit www.gloucesterharbortown.org

2/3 of the Harbortown partners have filled out a survey to prioritize goals with a focus on arts and culture. Other partners will complete theirs as they meet with their committees/boards. Example of one of the questions (‘in progress’ screen shot)


Harbortown partners and stakeholders attending the August meeting at Cape Ann Museum were lucky to hear an outstanding update from Director Ronda Faloon:

Reaching Out and Strengthening Within, Cape Ann Museum’s recently announced Capital Campaign will raise funds to make essential and innovative changes, dramatically improving the Museum’s ability to care for its nationally significant collection, as well as to tell the Cape Ann story and the pivotal role it has played in the American experience. Dynamic new interior and exterior spaces will be created. Outdated systems will be updated and underutilized spaces will be maximized to provide secure, more cost-effective and visitor-friendly settings for the collection. The Campaign will also support efforts to make the Museum’s collection more accessible by digitization, allowing it to be viewed on a redesigned website. Whether you are a physical or virtual visitor, the Museum hopes to transform your experience. http://www.capeannmuseum.org/support/capital-campaign/

We also participated in a special hands-on discussion and workshop about the goals for our district which was facilitated by Rebecca Borden Art Haven’s interim director. Art Haven and Cape Ann museum are founding partners of the Harbortown Cultural District.

News from the Committee for the Arts

On behalf of Mayor Kirk and the City of Gloucester, we’re in the process of updating the Committee for the Arts page on the City website and all these logos are at play!

 image042image043 image044image045 image046

The Committee for the Arts is pleased to announce that James Owen Calderwood’s temporary public  artwork, his abstract ‘Fish Net’ street mural covering Parsons Street, is the first of three 2013 HarborWalk public art awards to be completed.

INSIDER gHW ARTWORLD NEWS: New Parsons street signs are being designed and produced by Tricia O’Neill, Signs Unique, of Gloucester. Tricia is currently collaborating with world renowned British born contemporary artist, Matthew Ritchie, on his new mural commission for the Institute of Contemporary Art /Boston and Rose F. Kennedy Greenway’s Dewey Square. We are thrilled for Tricia and grateful she is helping with the gHW. AND Red Sox fans have long seen her sign work there!

INSIDER BLOOMS: Along with James’ wonderful net mural, also look forward to some lighting, a new fence on the west side of the street, and tucked along its edge, an additional patch of gHW butterfly and sustainable gardens with more of Kim Smith’s planting design!  You can see the relation of mural/fence/garden spot and more from Kim’s fabulous Good Morning Gloucester posts



The end of September heralds the 12th year of Trails and Sails weekends. This year, the third and final Block Party is timed perfectly with the first Trails and Sails weekend. Gloucester’s Committee for the Arts is thrilled to take part in these weekends.

WALK Parsons Street to experience James Owen Calderwood’s Parsons Street mural for the 2013 HarborWalk Public Art Challenge



Send us your photos!


Leaping © Cruz Ferreras

Thank you, Marty Luster! https://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/great-public-art/


Stop into City Hall and cherish our City’s major murals.


Over the 2nd weekend of Trails and Sails, July 27-29th, the Committee for the Arts is also hosting 3 special days of mural celebration and recognition! Art conservator, Peter Williams, who recently completed the first phase of mural restoration at City Hall, will be speaking about restoration and Charles Allan Winter on Friday September 27 at 7PM in City Hall. Mark your calendars for his lecture:  “A Restorer’s Intimate View of Paintings and Murals by Charles Allan Winter”. Sign up too for guided tours Saturday and Sunday by Gloucester artist, historian, scholar, independent curator, adjunct professor, and former Committee for the Arts member, Susan Erony!

For more information on the restoration and photos see GMG posts including https://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2013/03/09/the-gloucester-committee-for-the-arts-announces-13200-in-new-private-donation/

Last Minute Block Party Updates – Win Cool Prizes

Here’s a new feature for tomorrow’s (SAT) Downtown Block Party: Win Cool Prizes!
The Block Party’s new Marketplace at the Cape Ann Savings Bank Plaza between Hancock and Porter Streets (see map) has a new game called Glosta-opoly played on a brand new Monopoly-style board created by members of Art Haven.  

You can play the game for free and win wicked-cool Prizes including CDs by top local artists including Chelsea BerryJulie DoughertyMichael Thomas DoyleAllen EstesTom HauckOrleans “Still the One Live”Renee & JoeT Max, plus a limited edition Celebrate Gloucester 2010 2 DVD set, limited edition Celebrate Gloucester 2007 Staff T-Shirt, hats & shirts & pens from Gloucester Engineering, jar openers and shot glasses from Ryan and Wood, creations and services from the Teen Artist Guild, gift certificates for From Dust to Dawn Cleaning services from Holly Ciancola and Whitmarsh Lock and Safe, energy bars and candies from Sunny Variety, Mardi Gras beads and glow sticks from Cape Ann Lanes, free car washes from Maplewood Car Wash, gift certificates from downtown merchants and more . . .

Revised Entertainment Schedule
There have been a couple of minor changes to the entertainment — click here for all entertainment by stage.  Click here for all musical entertainment by time.

Don’t sweat the parking.  I’m always surprised when I hear people complain about parking in Gloucester.  Honestly, I’ve never had trouble finding a parking space — not even during Fiesta.  Last night I went to the Harbor Loop Concert.  I got there after it started on a beautiful summer night in the height of the tourist season when every local hotel is full and what do you know?  I found a parking space on Rogers Street at Harbor Loop!  In fact I had my choice of at least half a dozen free (after 6) spots on Rogers within earshot of the music.  Plus there were plenty of spaces at I4-C2.  So don’t worry about the few Main Street parking spots that are not available during the Block Party.  Trust me.  You won’t have a problem finding a space within a couple minutes walk.

Tonight’s Hoola Hoopla

hula hoop

Tonight’s the night for the Hoola Hoopla at the Block Party! The fun will start at 6 with the little kids and wind up at 8:30 when the adults finish! Bring your hoops and your hips and show Gloucester what you got!

A huge thank you goes out to Toni at Tara Montessori, Rich at Iron Rail Gymnastics, and Jen at Metamorphosis Fitness for lending us hoops. And to Carmine at Friendly’s for donating the prizes. Real community spirit!

Glosta  on shirt 2 copy

I will have the GLOSTA -phobic T-shirts with me for $15 each. Sizes L and XL.

Come join the fun at the corner of Main and Center St.!

A Big Thank You to Iron Rail Gymnastics Academy

Rich Healey, director of Iron Rail Gymnastics, is graciously lending us hula hoops for the Block Party Hoola Hoopla Saturday night. A huge thank you goes out to you, Rich!


There will be an Iron Rail performance at 6:00 near CVS on Main St. during the Block Party. Be sure to check it out!!

GLOSTA- Phobic T-Shirts for sale at Block Party

Glosta  on shirt 2 copy

The new order of t-shirts are in! Several people have asked how they can get them.

You buy one at the Block Party next Saturday night! The shirts are $15 and come in L and XL.

Anyone else who wants a shirt, click here to send me an email with your order.and how to contact you so we can meet up.  If you need it mailed to you, it will be $2 more.

I only have 30 shirts so get yours ASAP!

Thanks!                                                     —-Sharon

Block Party next weekend!

topbanner block party

September 19, 2009
6:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Main Street Gloucester
from Pleasant Street to Washington Street

Come One Come All
FREE Downtown Block Party.
Get ready to dance and play.

Some Activities you can enjoy:

See Photo Slide Shows from past Block Parties
All musicians, performers, and organizers are donating their time. If you would like more information contact Joey Ciarimataro at 978-815-5595.

For more info, click here.

Downtown Block Party Movie Poster

Pass It Around (and I don’t mean the cannabis)

Downtown Block Party Movie Poster, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

Coverage from the Gloucester Daily Times-

Saturday is Block Party time on Main Street

By Ray Lamont
Staff Writer
Gloucester’s 2009 downtown Block Parties, pushed back a month by the rains of June, finally kick off this Saturday, bringing outdoor dining, music and arts presentations, Saturday night shopping and — business owners hope — thousands of locals and visitors to five blocks of Main Street, from Pleasant to Washington streets.

The celebration, coordinated by the Downtown Gloucester business group and sponsored by Rockport National Bank, aims to build upon the two Block Parties held last year, which were held on Saturdays in August and October and whose success even seemed to even surprise organizers.

“After the first one, we heard everybody — businesses, people on the street, everybody — asking us ‘Please, do another one,'” said lobster buyer and distributor Joe Ciaramitaro, who’s also well-known as leader of the popular blog goodmorninggloucester.com. “We got lucky (with the weather) in October, and, again, it brought out so much spirit.”

Saturday’s Block Party will once again feature al fresco dining outside the Main Street restaurants, live music and other entertainment presentations outside Elliot’s at the Blackburn and along Main Street near Center Street.

The party will also give one section of Main Street something of a new look for the night. Ciaramitaro, who has become one of the driving forces behind the event along with Cormorant Shop proprietor Janice Lufkin Shea, noted that this week’s Block Party is being coordinated with the seARTS organization, and artists will be displaying their work along the Cape Ann Savings Bank construction area.

Saturday’s Block Party, slated to run from 6 to 11 p.m., actually marks the first of three such events this year, with others to follow onAug. 15 and Sept. 19. Initial plans called for four, but the opener on June 21 was called off because of rain and the forecast for heavy storms, and with St. Peter’s Fiesta running the following week, could not be rescheduled.

This week’s Block Party has a rain date; the following Saturday, July 25, if necessary. But Saturday’s forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the high 70s and a 20 percent chance of rain. Organizers note that means an 80 percent chance there will be no precipitation.

Saturday’s arts and media presentations will include showings of award-winning film documentary “The Greasy Pole” (see related story), and live music performed by local bands, singers and songwriters.

One of the party centerpieces remains the outdoor dining, which gives diners and restaurateurs alike the chance to enjoy a European sidewalk cafe atmosphere in the heart of America’s oldest seaport. Elliott’s at The Blackburn, Valentino’s Pizzeria, La Trattoria and Pizzeria, Dog Bar, Jalapeños, Passports, Espresso and Ambie’s Sausage Stand have all been granted expanded site licenses for the night to set up outside dining areas.

“We’re putting up a European-style fence (around the outdoor tables),” said Peter Cusenza of La Trattoria in Main Street’s West End. “I want to it look very Italian.”

“I can’t wait,” he added. “I think it’s going to be great. These block parties generates so much happiness. It means more people, more tourists — and more money — for everyone.”

While the Block Parties deign to attract some tourists — the first one last year was scheduled to coincide with a cruise ship visit — Ciaramitaro noted that last year’s events primarily drew thousands of local residents.

“I think these can take our whole city to a whole new level,” he said. “It’s local people seeing old and new friends, seeing their downtown, walking the streets.”

He added that some in the organizing Downtown Gloucester group want to see the idea expanded next year, perhaps even to converting Main Street into a pedestrian area on summer weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Even with the lineup of musicians, street performers and other entertainers, he said, there is no question what provides the biggest draw.

“It’s our downtown itself,” he said. “It’s the beauty, the history, the energy of it. Our downtown is the star.”

Downtown Block Party #2 Info

We cleared the first step with the liquor licensing board last night with a 3-0 yes vote pending  City Counsel giving their blessing.

If approved by City Counsel it will include another block, from  Pleasant Street intersection down through the West End.

We will have 5 different slideshow/movies.  Dun, and Jim B will be featured along with the work of Mark Teiwes, and a presentation by Chad Carlberg from Bait and Tackle Productions. (I may have a short movie in there as well)

I’ll let you know more as the info comes in.