GO! The Inflight Magazine of AirTran Airways is featuring a wonderful article about Gloucester in its latest issue. Among those interview were our good buddy Joe Ciaramitaro from Good Morning Gloucester and Peter Prybot, the lobsterman/writer who died recently after going into the water. It's a terrific article. You can read about it on Joe's blog and at their web site:
The Old Town & the Sea
Find your sea legs — and claws, and tails — among the clam and lobster shacks and restaurants around Gloucester, MA, a place steeped in maritime history and atmosphere.
BY JOHN O'CONNOR —
Myfirst memory of Gloucester is of waking to fog as thick as a milkshake, hanging on the gunwales of small boats, rolling among the lobster pot buoys, then breaking suddenly over the harbor as the sun rose like a big boozy grin. The rest of the day is a blur of fried clams, beer and shrieking across the water in a 13-foot Boston Whaler, teeth rattling, making a mental note to strike “sea captain” from my list of future occupations — but nonetheless having an insane amount of fun, as if at a waterpark run by very respectable pirates.
That was four years ago. My girlfriend, Emily, had brought me to her family’s summer home in East Gloucester. It was all very foreign to me back then. I was raised in the Midwest, so I’m accustomed to land.
I used to get queasy watching The Love Boat. Emily, on the other hand, comes from a noble, seafaring race of strong-legged New Englanders. Seamanship, I learned, is a kind of Freemasonry, with initiation taken (in my case at least) by choking back vomit while bouncing past the breakwater.
But I found my sea-legs, sort of, and Gloucester soon disclosed all of its ample, brawny charm. It became an almost mythological place to me, a Venice on the North Atlantic: the fieldstone houses, the tiers of fishing boats lashed to the wharves, green hills sloughing down to the harbor, schooners tacking along on mysterious errands, not to mention lobsters up to my eyeballs, peerless striper fishing and — best of all — fried clams! I mean, I’d never even seen a fried clam until college, and then not one you’d gamble on. In Essex County, which encompasses Gloucester and the mollusk-rich sands of Ipswich, clams are freshly plucked and batter-fried by the pail-full; at places like Clam Box of Ipswich, Woodman’s of Essex and JT Farnham’s (also in Essex), they’re consumed in the manner of a lion tucking into a zebra. And the lobsters in local eateries like The Lobster Pool in Rockport are of Rabelaisian grandeur: fat, succulent and plentiful enough to toss in the juicer each morning without the wallet thinning much (though, as tempting as that might sound, I’d advise against it). The standard approach works great: elbows squared, head down, bibs fastened by the yard.