Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 29 July 2011 00:00
Walking down Main Street in Rockport, Massachusetts, we viewed a quaint seaside community. The shops are filled with art items, ice cream, fudge, summer clothing, craft jewelry, and oceanview seafood restaurants. Miles of scenic beaches and wooded glades are nearby.
Next we visited Gloucester, MA, known as America’s oldest seaport. Along the coast we viewed the patina-clad fisherman statue at the helm of his ship. We also spied a statue of a waiting wife with two children beside her, watching for the fisherman’s ship to come in.
Gloucester is rich in history and has whale-watching excursions; it is also a center for art and music. We went to see a performance of A Most Happy Fella at the Gloucester stage. Frank Loesser, famous for Guys and Dolls and Where’s Charley wrote many memorable tunes for this operatta-type show. Included were Standing on the Corner, Big D, and Happy to Make Your Acquaintance. The cast and the performance were both outstanding.
Also in Gloucester, we were treated to a tour of the Sleeper-McCann Seaside Home. Henry Davis Sleeper, an interior decorator to the wealthy, constructed Beauport, his summer home, in 1907. Walking through, we were treated to many portraits of George Washington, a kitchen of the early 20th century, and uniquely decorated rooms. Sleeper died in 1934 and the McCann family preserved Beauport as Sleeper left it.
All our meals on this weekend were derived from the sea. A real gastronomical experience came from an unpretentious restaurant called “The Causeway.” After an hour’s wait, we were seated. The dish of the day was “Lobster Pie.” A light crust covered pure chunks of precious lobster meat in a delicate, buttery sauce. For $20, it was a delicious bargain. Don’t forget the fried clams and onion rings.
A trip to nearby Salem, with its history of witchcraft, took us past the Witches Statue and the House of Seven Gables. We went to the extraordinary Peabody Essex Museum. One of the exhibits was a Chinese house- the Yin Yu Tang ancestral home, with a courtyard brought over from China brick-by-brick and shingle-by-shingle. It was so authentic, with audio-speaker enhancement, that it felt like taking an actual trip to a home in China.
Then it was back to Boston by train and our reliable Bolt Bus for a four-hour trip to 34th Street and 8th Avenue. It was a great trip, with great food, interesting sights and good company. Till we meet again!