Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives 2020 map #GloucesterMA 🚗☕🎄✨⛄Update 2 – Portuguese Hill, other stretch Essex Ave

NEW photos in this post include: the second stretch of Essex Avenue from Richdale heading up to Farnham’s; Portuguese Hill neighborhood; don’t miss Happy Santa indigo up on Perkins; Harrison; and sweet charm of Hartz. Check the map for updates. Still to come: East Gloucester, Annnisquam, Lanesville, Magnolia.

annual beauty Concord/Essex Ave

Holiday lights & cocoa drives Gloucester Mass as of Dec. 2, 2020

What a gift our neighbors have shared for the community! There are so many festive houses in Gloucester it’s easy to plan multiple merry excursions.

  • For families and friends, eyespy challenges could switch nightly. Can you find a Santa? A peace sign? Snoopy?
  • How about a Bring the Cuddlies Christmas Light Tour- children can help their toy friends see out the car window. This one may be a given: Happy to share photos of your precious travelers :).
  • Pick a specific route by color lights or house style.
  • Bring art supplies to sketch a view.
  • Older homes make it fun to wonder about what it was like in the past. For families that like Old Timey winter scenes–imagine New England Little Women, Little House on the Prairie, Winslow Homer, and Currier& Ives– pretend the car is a sleigh or horse and buggy. Find some dress up attire that looks vintage (or go all out and find some duds at Bananas). Add a hot water bottle for the feet. A towel or blanket can wrap around like a hand warmer muff. For fans of Louisa May Alcott, point to Braewood* on Essex Avenue (across from Pauline’s gifts) and Rocky Neck, where she stayed on Gloucester holidays. Picture a winter skating rink in front of the UU Church on Middle Street. *For more about the history of Braewood and Alcott in Gloucester, search “Braewood” in this prior post.
  • For the train and dinosaur train enthusiasts, all aboard! The express car might even time with the T or train.
  • Switch off date night driving so the passenger can enjoy a festive eggnog.

These are special outings just outside your door. Don’t miss them!

Illustration for Louisa May Alcott Jack and Jill, 1880 – distant town and harbor suggestion of Gloucester from a property like Braewood at the time

happy Santa indigo

More photos

Gloucester and Fiesta at Peabody Essex Museum

As I frequent museums and collections for work,  and Gloucester art abounds, I suffer bouts of ‘Gloucester acquisition affliction’ . Relative newcomers at PEM include a St. Peter Fiesta scene by Gifford Beal and one of Portuguese Hill by Olga Itasca Sears.  As much as I am fond of PEM– and I mean no disrespect to this august institution– I sorely wish the Cape Ann Museum had received the art or funds for acquisition. There are few major historic paintings of Gloucester (and the greater region) which remain in private hands. They include works by Winslow Homer and Edward Hopper. I’m trying.

While at PEM for special exhibits, I often check the permanent installation. Are the Frank Benson works and Norman Rockwell on view?  Check. I make a point to spend time in front of the Philip Reisman 1951 Tuna Shed, another Gloucester painting and one that Wicked Tuna fans may like to scrutinize.  Reisman was a masterful, versatile painter, and a smart gentle man. I was lucky to know and work with him. The Cape Ann Museum has examples of his Gloucester paintings in their collection and a binder of slides, photographs he took, many Fiesta. I remember labeling some.

I paused more than I ever have at the John Trumbull portrait of Alexander Hamilton. (Hmm. Have museums tagged works representing Alexander Hamilton? It would be a mastery of quick edits matched up to the Lin Manuel Miranda song.)

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GIFFORD BEAL (1879-1956), Fiesta of Saint Peter, Gloucester, c.1930                                              Oil on masonite, Gift of the family of Gifford Beal, 2006. Peabody Essex Museum.

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OLGA ITASCA SEARS (1906-1990). Portuguese Hill, Gloucester. ca.1950s. Oil on canvas. The Sheila W. And Samuel M. Robbins Collection. Peabody Essex Museum. (2015 acquisition)

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PHILIP REISMAN, Tuna Shed, 1951, oil on masonite. Gift of Louise K. Reisman. Peabody Essex Museum.

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#Hamilton, @ Lin_Manuel, #PEM                                                                                                     John Turnbull, Portrait of Alexander Hamilton, 1792, oil on canvas, gift of George A Ward, 1918, collection Peabody Essex Museum

I am looking forward to the upcoming Childe Hassam show opening July 16th at PEM. I went to see the Rodin exhibit.

Continue reading “Gloucester and Fiesta at Peabody Essex Museum”

Eugene Simas and Dorothy Schobert – A love Story from the Hill

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Portuguese Hill of course. A Story that has it ALL – War, Love, Italy, Portuguese and a Wedding Dress made from a parachute.

The link to this story (Written By Gary R. Mormino, Special to the Tampa Bay Times) is about two people connected by a war, from two different places, one from the mid-west the other, from right here in Gloucester.

Click here to Link to the Story or copy the following url:

 http://www.tampabay.com/news/perspective/the-birth-of-a-boom/2230741

(This story is also a tribute to Eugene’s mother Gertrude, who was a very special lady helping my family when we first arrived here in the US in March of 1954)