Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Gloucester Project (part 1): Charles Olson, Polis, and Finding out for Yourself

In class over the next couple of days you will take active viewing notes on a documentary, Polis is This.
(If you miss a day you can find the documentary broken into six parts here.)

After watching and taking the notes on the Polis is This: Charles Olson and the Persistence of Place you should be able to discuss the concept of polis, Charles Olson's relationship to the concept of polis, Charles Olson's relationship to Gloucester as a polis, Charles Olson's ideas about the relationship between education and polis, and Charles Olson's ideas about the relationship between writing (particularly poetry) and polis.
For homework Monday night (May 13) you will read and annotate an essay called "To find out for yourself" that I wrote as part of a feature on Massachusetts poets (including Charles Olson). The text is an expository essay about the project you're about to begin, so it's a good place to start to find answers to your questions about both the big concepts and the specific details.

After reading and annotating "To find out for yourself," you should be able to discuss the relationship between Charles Olson and the Gloucester project, the relationship between the project and former students, the relationship between competing ideas about what it means to be from Gloucester, the relationship between visible and hidden aspects of Gloucester culture, and the relationship between Gloucester and you.
By class time on Friday (May 15) do the following in the comment box below.

Write down three aspects of Gloucester's polis (culture, arts, politics, economy, history, ecology, geography, geology, etc.) that you'd like to know more about and explain why. (Or, perhaps you'd like to focus on a geographical part of the polis: Lanesville, Annisquam, Dogtown, downtown, Portuguese Hill, East Gloucester, Ravenswood, Magnolia, West Parish, etc.)

Write two things you know about Gloucester's polis that other people may not know.

Write one substantial paragraph about your relationship with Gloucester's polis.
Thursday (May 14) you'll read and annotated a prompt and a packet containing different views of Gloucester. Be prepared to discuss this in class on Friday (May 15).


  1. 3 Things I would like to know more about
    1.History- The fishing Industry. Though it has been a constant fact throughout my life, I know very little general history, like what we fish and have been fishing and what boats are for what. I have never had that family history to look back on in the area to give me that information.
    2. Culture-The different cultural and ethnic communities in Gloucester and their relationships to each other and to those who do not fit in any category. We have very close-knit communities of one type of people in Gloucester but Gloucester as a whole is also usually very tight-knit and i want to know how that happened and the way it is now.
    3. Economics- The economic development of Gloucester as it has gotten more socioeconomically diverse is interesting to me because it is one of the things that makes us different from many communities around us.

    2 Things I know about Gloucester's Polis that other people may not know.
    1. In relation to education in other states Gloucester Public Schools are fantastic.
    2. Rev. Sun Myung Moon, leader of the Unification Church, spent a lot of time in Gloucester, and the Church owned some waterfront property

    1 Substantial Paragraph about my relationship with Gloucester’s Polis
    I have loved growing up in Gloucester and how beautiful it is never ceases to stun me. Whenever I am away I miss the ocean. I love the geographic relationship of Gloucester to the rest of Massachusetts. It is on the commuter line but it is not a suburb, we have our own identity while still being close enough to a large city to visit. We are unique in so many ways and have a rich history I am proud of. I have mixed feelings about the culture of Gloucester. My family is not from Gloucester and while I have never felt unwelcome or unliked, I have felt different and less connected. Even though people are welcomed to Gloucester, I feel they have to work hard to integrate themselves into the community because Gloucester has had a similar population for so long, like families who have known eachother for many generations., This is also a good thing and makes Gloucester different from larger communities. The other thing I dislike about the culture of Gloucester is its unwillingness to change, change can be good or bad but if you reject it off the bat, it is not a considered decision and we will never get to know. I relate to Gloucester in a mostly positive way but the negative is always floating behind it.

  2. There are various aspects of Gloucester’s polis that I would like to know more about, including our politics, geology, and history. I would be interested to know more about the city’s politics because beyond knowing the name of our mayor and a couple members of the school council, I do not know much about our city’s government. I find politics interesting, and connecting an interest to my own town would make me appreciate where I’m from as having a presence. Secondly, knowing the history of the city’s politics would add to that. Thirdly, I think knowing about the geology of Gloucester would be cool. I know about our quarries, but I really want to know what resources our city has offered because it’s a part of our reputation I don’t know much about and feel I should.

    I think many kids are not aware of our city’s art presence. So many kids focus on the generalization that we’re a “fishing city”, when there’s a huge art presence going along with that that really defines our culture. Secondly, there are many historical sites that bring tourists to Gloucester, including the Fitz Henry Lane House, that many towns and cities simply don’t have.

    I’ve lived in Gloucester all of my life. Despite many young adults announcing their plans to leave “the island”, I take pride in knowing I’m from a city so rich in culture. Most kids, I’ve come to learn, can’t say that they’ve grown up in a place that has so much historical significance and uniqueness. Our city is a major fishing port. We have a historical presence. We have an incredible art community. We have charm. Citizens of Gloucester are passionate about maintaining the quaintness one feels strolling down Main Street. There is so much inspiration for all disciplines, right here. I have no special relationship with the community aside from observing this; Gloucester is a beautiful city.

  3. 3 Aspects of Gloucester Polis

    1.) Fiesta- In the essay “To Find out for Yourself” the St. Peter’s Fiesta was mentioned as the overwhelming favorite for topics for the Gloucester project. So why choose it? Fiesta has so many exciting aspects and, yes, grungy downfalls that I am determined to find a view that hasn’t been done before. I want to find out what really makes Fiesta tick and how the yearly Gloucester festival seems to an outsider. I’m not Italian but I certainly enjoy the festivities and I would love to know what Fiesta was like years ago, because from what I’ve heard it wasn’t always about the rides and games.

    2.) Dogtown- I live less than a mile down the ride from Dogtown but I’ve never understood what makes it significant enough that it is always mentioned in conversations. I used to ride my bike along the paths and even now I go for walks in the quiet calm the atmosphere gives off. I know there have been rumors of ghosts and that it is haunted but I don’t know why people think so. What sets dogtown apart? What makes it tick? As a resident of Gloucester and a member on Cherry Street (the street Dogtown is on) I thinks it’s finally time to find out what’s so special about Dogtown.

    3.) Fitz Hugh Lane- It’s time to open my mind to art. I form opinions about art and artists before bothering to know what they’re about or what they have painted. I have never excelled in painting or drawing but by studying the paintings of Fitz Hugh Lane and his life I could develop an appreciation not only for my city but for art as a whole. Why is he important to Gloucester and what makes him so memorable?

    2 Things about Gloucester’s Polis that Others May not Know
    1.) In East Gloucester there is a professional stage company known as Gloucester Stage Company. It was founded in 1979 and stages five to eight plays each year.
    2.) Located in West Gloucester Hammond Castle is a favorite destination for tweens and teens alike during the fall as each October a haunted house is put on. During the year tours can be given to see the artifacts from John Hays Hammond Jr’s life.

    My Relationship with Gloucester’s Polis

    Gloucester will forever be a part of my life as it has, thus far, influenced and shaped the person I am today. I am proud of my hometown despite it’s flaws, the accusations made against us, the residents, and the criticism we’ve taken from the media and outsiders. I use “we” because Gloucester and its people are two in the same. It’s a funny little place because people can feud or fight yet there is an unspoken unity among residents. We remain tough in the face of critique and we protect our identities. It’s comforting and exciting to be a part of such a tight-knit community but that being said I need to get out. I want to see what else is out there beyond the two bridges in and out of my small island. I need to meet other people and to see other things but that’s not to say i will never come back. I could never forget the crazy old Italian men sitting outside the St. Peter’s club and the greasy pole will always keep me coming back. I am not anchored to Gloucester but I am not free from it either. It is my hometown. It is where I went to school and where I explored in my summers. It is where I have had some of the best times of my life as well as produced the greatest pitfalls in my existence. It is home.

  4. 3 Aspects:
    1- St. Peter's Fiesta
    Fiesta has always been a part of my life. Ever since I was little I remember strolling through the sticky, dirt covered paths that reeked of beer and greasy friend food. But how did this festival begin, and why? And what makes us as so excited for it year round? These are the things I hope to learn while researching.

    2- Perfect Storm
    The Perfect Storm (a true book that was eventually made into a movie) is a story im not familiar with at all but I feel as if I should be. Everyone my age seems to know of it, but never actually read the book or watched the movie. I feel like it would be very beneficial to learn more.

    3- The Paint Factory
    I often reminisce to the time I went to the paint factory with my friends and witnessed when its huge, seemingly leaning and crusty red structure loomed high overhead. But what is the history of the Paint Factory, when was it built and how long was it in operation for anyway? I want to know more.

    2 Unknown Things:
    1- Pleasant Street Tea Company located on Pleasant Street in downtown Gloucester serves delicious smoothies and an amazing varieties of iced teas and muffins. It has become more and more popular over the years.

    2- Gloucester is rich in abundance of wild blackberries and raspberries in West Gloucester around certain times each year.

    1 Substantial Relational Paragraph
    1- While Gloucester is sometimes ridiculed for certain occurences such as "The Pregnancy Pact" and its past use of heroin imports, i could not be more happy to call Gloucester home and the city I grew up in. One particular thing I am very grateful for is the change of seasons. We are very lucky to be able to experience all four seasons here in Gloucester. Even though I personally do not enjoy the scorching hot heat of the sun during the Summer months, without the change of seasons I would quickly get bored. For as long as I can remember I have been in love with the idea of Fiesta. Going on rides and eating too much shaved ice is something I receive sometimes too much pleasure from. Perhaps the most substantial thing that I can be proud of by growing up here are my friends. Without my friends I wouldn't be who I am today, and with them all having grown up here, we all can relate to Gloucester in one way or another. We all know the quickest routes to get places, when the best frozen yogurt places are open, who has the latest gossip, etc. Gloucester is a small town, but it is very intricately interwoven. Everything is connected in one way or another. I remember my family joking around that every one in Gloucester is related to each other. However true that may be, there is no question when people say Gloucester is a small town, and I wouldn't want to call any other place my home.

  5. 3 Things I’d like to know more about
    1.) Lanesville: Although I live there, there is so much about Lanesville that I am not aware of. Lanesville is a little part of Gloucester that people tend to forget about because it’s “Far away”. Lanesville has so much history about the quarries as well as the community. Lanesville has produced so many amazing artists in the past as well as today that are not as well recognized as “Gloucester artists.” Lanesville has its own special niche inside of the GLoucester community that I would like to learn more about.
    2.) Halibut Point: This historical point of interest is often overlooked when people come to tour Gloucester. It’s museum is about the size of a classroom and it is usually manned by one employee. But people don’t understand how extremely rare it is to have a quarry right next to the ocean. To have these two water bodies in such proximity of each other is a rare gift that we are lucky to have. This was once the source of a huge granite industry, which means part of our city is located around the world, yet we aren’t even aware of it. People take Halibut Point for granted and I think it’s beauty and rarity is underestimated.
    3.) Fishing Industry: I do not know a lot about Gloucester’s fishing industry because I do not have any family who are fishermen. Fishing is the biggest part of Gloucester and I think that beyond the surface of “the fishing industry” there are interesting personal fishermen stories that are probably fascinating. I just don’t know very much about the entire fishing culture so that would be really cool to learn more about specifics of Gloucester’s history.

    2 Things People Don’t Know About Gloucester
    1.) A lot of publicity about Gloucester is either negative about our schools or about our fishing industry. People don’t understand that we actually have a really good school system where kids do well compared to surrounding areas. We have a school system to be proud of, not ashamed of because of a few bad publicity incidents.
    2.) People link the word Gloucester with “fishing”, “fiesta”, and “Italians” but a lot of people forget about the other historical significance of Gloucester. Gloucester has such a rich art community as well as ethnic communities that aren’t Italian. People forget about the huge immigrations of Scandinavian people, in particular the Finish communities.

    1 Paragraph about my relationship to Gloucester
    When I was young, I thought Lanesville and it’s small community was all there was to Gloucester. When I went to middle school, I became aware of the other parts of Gloucester such as East Gloucester and downtown. Meeting new kids in O’Maley made me jealous of their huge Italian families where they speak the language at home and are involved in things like Fiesta, St.Peter’s club, and the fishing industry. All of a sudden, Gloucester to me meant only one thing: being Italian (which meant I didn’t fit in). When I got to highschool I started to see other town’s view of Gloucester. Going to sports games and having the other team asking if we know any pregnant girls made me ashamed of where I was from. But at my current age, I am starting to piece together all the things that make up Gloucester and my relationship to each one. I have my own special place in Gloucester and I am so lucky to live in a place so interesting both historically, artistically, economically, etc. Gloucester is a place that you will always come back to; the ocean, people, culture, and sense of community will always bring me back.

  6. History of Stage Fort Park: Stage Fort is historically rich and may have some interesting things about it that are not obvious. It would be interesting learning about a part of Gloucester that so many are familiar with. We know Stage Fort in our own way, but what it means to Gloucester symbolically or historically may be different.
    History and geography of the Blynman Canal: It would be interesting to study how the canal that gives Gloucester its distinct trait of being an island shapes it. There are the ways that it allows the passage of boats, which allows travel in one way, but limits it since a bridge is needed to either enter or exit the island. I think there are also some associations with living on an island, whether it be pride or the feeling of imprisonment that may play a role on how people view Gloucester.
    The division of ethnic groups in early Gloucester: Gloucester seems to be heavily influenced by the cultures and ethnicities that make it up. I think it would be interesting to see how the groups of people in Gloucester changed over time and contributed to its Polis, since the people within the community would heavily influence how the Polis is shaped. Also, I think there is an emphasis on Italian and Portuguese culture, even though Gloucester may be more diverse, so I think it would be interesting to see the types and amounts of people who make up Gloucester.

    Supposedly, the Blynman Canal, or the “cut” that makes Gloucester and island is man-made. Maybe this is common knowledge, but I did not hear of that until recently. If it is man-made, I find it interesting because some people have a certain level of pride from living on this “island.”
    Something else I’ve heard a few times, is that the man who posed for “The Man at the Wheel” statue is my great-great grandfather (or something like that), Clayton Morrissey. I’m still not sure if that’s true, but I would like to find out.

    I think it is interesting to see how the feelings of Gloucester are so seemingly divided. It seems that most kids want nothing more than to leave and go anywhere else, while adults who have lives here do not plan on leaving anytime soon. I can understand why there is a longing to get out, and a desire to stay, and I think that I experience a certain level of both. There are other places that are interesting, and as a kid, I think it would be understandable that one may want to go off and try new things, so I think that there is not necessarily a repulsion from Gloucester, as much as there is an attraction to something that could be better. I feel this attraction to go out into the world, but the nostalgic memories I have, and the of Gloucester make me want to stay where my roots are. I do not agree with those who outright declare that Gloucester is an awful place to live, since I have lived here my entire life, and feel at times that I am part of the community, and have feel a certain pride from living in Gloucester. I have no memories of growing up in any other place, and I think it is difficult to say whether or not I would feel the same way about some other place, as I do Gloucester. I think growing up in Gloucester does have a certain uniqueness, but I am not sure that there are not other places with the same characteristics, and as a result, do not feel that Gloucester is so different from a normal city. I just do not know about any other place, and I think that is why I have such fond memories I associate with Gloucester and its Polis.

  7. 3 aspects I would like to know more about
    1. Dogtown: Just finishing the book Dogtown by Elyssa East, I find myself very interested in learning more about the area of woods. I would also like to take a walk through the area and experience what East did and wrote about.
    2. Art: Was it just the rocky coast that intrigued artists to come and paint or draw the scenery? What were the other aspects that they found interesting enough to travel to Gloucester and display their talents?
    3. Culture: What influenced the different cultural groups like Italians and Portuguese, to migrate to Gloucester and what caused the separation between the groups in the early years of Gloucester’s history?
    2 things others may not know about Gloucester
    1. There is a world famous economist, Horace “Woody” Brock, who has a house in Lanesville.
    2. There is a Fresnel Lens from Thatcher Island’s South Tower on display at the Cape Ann Museum. The lens was installed into the lighthouse in 1861 and it is extremely rare.
    My relationship with Gloucester
    I moved to Gloucester just about three years ago. I visited almost every summer because my mom’s family, the Salah’s, live here. I was overjoyed to move because I often thought of Gloucester as a vacation spot and I was sure that the town could do no wrong. I found no flaws in the people, scenery or places I went, however that the just the viewpoint of a young girl. As I grew and moved to the city, I realized that Gloucester is not perfect. There are so many things that I’m sure everyone would love to change but without those imperfections Gloucester would not be what it has become today. As much as everyone tries to deny it, Gloucester will always be their home and even I, as a third year resident, now consider the city a place that I will say I’m from when I move forward into bigger and better things in my life.

  8. 3 Aspects of Gloucester’s polis
    I would like to learn more about Gloucester’s artists, or the artistic growth of the city as a whole. There are so many artists, writers, and actors in Gloucester, and I want to learn more about the history of the artists in Gloucester.
    I live on Portuguese Hill, so I am very curious about the history of my neighborhood and it’s history of Portuguese immigrants.
    The fishing industry has changed quite a bit over the years, and I am very curious about how these changes occurred. I know that there may be fish shortages, and that has impacted the environment, so I am very curious about this factor.
    2 things about Gloucester's polis that other people may not know.
    The famous artist John Singer Sargent’s ancestors came from Gloucester.
    The McDonald’s in Gloucester used to feature photos from Gloucester, and food inspired by Gloucester.

    Relationship with Gloucester's polis
    Although, I have not lived for many years in Gloucester it has truly become a home to me. I met very nice people, fell in love with the beaches and downtown Gloucester, and experienced the excitement of Fiesta. When I first arrived in Gloucester, I was not sure what to expect. My parents tried to excite me about moving to Gloucester by telling me about the beaches and Stage Fort Park, as we were preparing t when I was in the 5th grade and scared to leave all of my friends behind as I entered Middle School. After strolling through Good Harbor during the summer, I’ll admit that I started to get comfortable with the idea of staying in Gloucester. However, it was not until I visited downtown Gloucester that I fell in love with Gloucester. The several stores and restaurants packed in one little street, felt like home to me, and the store owners who have such a passion by what they sell and the services they offer, made me a believer in the allure of a small town. I have never been to a town where you can say “Hi” to the mayor as she is jogging down Stacy Boulevard, or seen hundreds of people flock to St. Peter’s Square on a hot summer night. I also never knew that countless pizza restaurants could inhabit one small town, or been to a place where eating lobster is a common occurrence. St. Peter’s Fiesta is truly quite an event to behold, for it is wild, fun and it brings the community together. When I first went to Fiesta I was a bit overwhelmed and excited, because of all of the people gathered there together to enjoy what the city has to offer. From the greasy pole, to the boat races, and the late night strolls through downtown Gloucester, to me Fiesta was an immersive experience into what it means to be from Gloucester. I have lived in Gloucester for almost seven years now, and my romantic sentiments of it have changed a little. I still appreciate the sense of community in Gloucester, but as the years go on I am less and less excited about Fiesta, because its rides and stands seldom change each year. After living on Willowood Road, now living on Perkins Street. I have realized that the streets of Gloucester change dramatically after a short walk. The Omaley Middle School, though not perfect, taught me valuable lessons about friendship and meeting new people. As I journey through Gloucester High School, I cannot help but reminisce about all the people who have changed, the town’s growth through the building of Gloucester Crossing, and how far Newell Stadium has come from being nothing more than a patch of grass and cracked asphalt. Because of my semi-nomadic lifestyle, I’d like to think that my identity will never be tied to one particular place, but will be developed through the experiences I have had in all the place I have lived. I still think that I have met several quality people in Gloucester, and that it will be one of the many homes that I will remember when I am older.

  9. 3 Things I would like to know more about

    Dogtown: Like some of my fellow peers I have just finished reading Dogtown by Elyssa East. I found this book very intriguing and would love to find out more about a place I have walked many times.

    Hammond Castle: I live very close to Hammond Castle and it would be very interesting to learn more about the things that happened there since it is so close to my home.

    Magnolia: I have lived in Magnolia all my life and know very little about the great amount of history that has happened here. It would be very interesting to learn about the things that happened in the exact place where I live.

    2 Things People may not know

    Clarence Birdseye, Gloucester native, invented the process of freezing foods to make them last longer in order to heat them up for later consumption.

    Vincent Teresa was hidden in Gloucester during the early 70's for being a government witness against mafia figures.

    Relationship with Gloucester:
    Gloucester has been my home all my life and with that has become a big part of my identity. Gloucester has shaped me into the person I am today, both the positive and negative aspects of the sea side city. But even though I have lived here all my life I still do not know everything about this city. People like to complain that Gloucester is so small, that they want to head out and find their freedom and become different people. But for the people who live here, including myself, Gloucester doesn't leave you no matter where you go in the future. While the island may seem small it is packed with history, everyone's history, and a lot of people willingly and unwillingly often ignore it. This seaside home will always be a part of me and as I further my knowledge of the city I hope it leaves an even bigger impact on my life.

  10. Write down three aspects of Gloucester's polis that you'd like to know more about and explain why.

    1) The arts: Growing up surrounded by watercolors and on occasion following my mom to her group of people who would water color places in Gloucester I had realized since and early age that Gloucester art has a particular "style". There are plenty of new artists coming in as well, but that old Gloucester-esc style still looms on, and it would be interesting to learn more about Gloucester style art.

    2) Stage Fort Park: This is one of the more popular topic according to James Cook's "To Find Out for Yourself" along with Fiesta and Dogtown. What really peaks my interest for Stage Fort is that it seems like an area that basically everyone in town always knows about. Stage Fort is the center and heart of our town, and what is even better is that there seems to be so much more about Stage Fort Park than what is seen from the surface everyone knows and loves.

    3) Shipwrecks: As a coastal port Gloucester excels at fishing. As the oldest sea port in the country we are bound to have plenty of sea-faring tales and shipwrecks. Broken ships seem cool as they create the lure and myths of Gloucester together along with the unknown of the sea.

    Write two things you know about Gloucester's polis that other people may not know.
    -During the fall season when the leaves begin to change, Gloucester, and most of the Northeast, get one last wave of tourists called "leafers". Leafers don't buy anything and their main purpose is to come stare at colorful leaves for a week.

    -Gloucester not only is the oldest Sea port, but it also has one of the oldest art organizations in the country. This organization was called the Folly Cove printmakers.

    Write one substantial paragraph about your relationship with Gloucester's polis.

    Growing up in Gloucester I have been able to see the child like wonder of what a magical place is like. The whole atmosphere of Gloucester when I was little was full of awe and amazement as I traveled the island with my nana and sometimes my mother. Today I still sometimes walk around Gloucester and sit and watch life go by on a nice sunny day. I have come to appreciate the unique culture almost oblivious an ignorant to the outside world as Gloucester tends to stick to a homier culture. Things change over time of course, but what hasn't is the lighting in Gloucester that has captured the eyes of many artists to attempt to recreate in their own master pieces whether poetry and light. I am glad to have been able to grow up in a place with so much artistic inspiration, and I am sure it will always be there in the back of my head reminding me and inspiring me later in life. I wouldn't mind staying in Gloucester, but at the same time I can only take in so much before the artistic beauty grow weary on me. Plus I would love to get away from the smoke and the stereotypes, but no matter where I go they will always exist. Therefore I am rather fortunate to grow up in such a decent place, but everyone has to say their goodbyes to their pasts at one point or another.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. 3 aspects

    1) I would like to know more about Hammond's castle and its history. I know about the events the place holds during Halloween but am not informed about other events all year around. I would like to know who built it and when and how it became a part of Gloucester's history.

    2) I would also like to know more about the fishing industry since I shamefully admit to not know anything about it. It has been such a big part of Gloucester that I feel the need to at least know some basic information on it.

    3) Fiesta is an event I would like to know more about. It became a tradition for me and my friends to go every year and I know the superficial story of it but I would like to dig deeper and know how it started and who started it and why.

    2 things people don't know

    1) There is an organization called TAG provided by The Hive on Pleasant St. that provides a way fro teens to express themselves and showcase their art either through volunteer work or as a business/profit for themselves.

    2) There is a Brazilian store next to Tedeschi's that has anything from Brazilian food to clothing. The little store is a way for Brazilians to still have access to their home goods when they miss it but also share a little piece of Brazil with Gloucester.

    Paragraph- relationship with Gloucester

    I haven't always lived here, but I feel as though as I have. I was brought here when I was young by my mom and had no choice on the matter. I was not thrilled when I first got here and had to learn a whole new language pretty much myself. But then I started getting to know the people, like Johayne who is till my best friend, and started to recognize and feel the community feeling everyone would talk about. As I first saw snow, I started to see what Gloucester was all about. It was something new and fun, but juts like everything else it became something I did no care much for. I actually despised it a little. I grew up and life was not easy anymore. What did change was that I did not feel new for once; I felt like I was finally a part of something instead of an outsider. I started to see how having a close community could be a benefit because there would always be someone to have your back. I loved how everything was close downtown and how we had such cool places like Tea Company and Cafe Bischo. I also loved that I found a place where the arts flourished and that I could express myself not only in school but got to work at The Hive with what I loved. I loved, I laughed, I cried, and I changed in Gloucester. I will never forget the streets where I lived with the nosy religious neighbors like I will not ever forget walking the High School halls with my friends. I will not forget taking walks down the boulevard because there was nothing else to do, or going to fiesta with my friends thinking it was the best thing in the summer. I will not forget any of these because it made me who I am today and it made me feel like any other Gloucester Kid. I finally belonged. These aspects are imprinted in me like a tattoo that is a permanent part of who I am. But everything that is good comes to an end and soon enough I will have to leave and grow up and know who I am supposed to be and do and all that grown up stuff. It is a bittersweet feeling but soon enough I'll leave for somewhere new where I'll make new memories but trust me when I say I will not be forgetting these.

  13. I would like to know more about Lanesville, its quarrying industry and the culture of lanesville. I feel really compelled to learn more about Lanesville's history because I've lived my whole life there. However, I know very little about this place that I've lived in.

    2 things that might not be known

    Walter Hancock, the famous sculpter, lived in lanesville for most of his life. Robert Frost wrote one of his poems behind his house.

    A large portion of Lanesville's population is Finnish.

    Although I'm neither Italian or Finnish I still feel a strong connection to lanesville. The people of lanesville are welcoming of my family even though we, unlike most lanesville families, haven't been here for hundreds of years. I've always gone to the lanesville parade every July 4th (even when technically, it wasn't allowed). While the parade downtown has become more orderly and commercialized, the lanesville parade is still completely bizzarre. Last year I joined the celebration and was banging pots with the rest of the lanesvillains. It was an experience I won't forget any time soon.

  14. 1. Magnolia
    2. History of Magnolia (It wasn’t always a part of Gloucester, just within the last 100 years)
    3. Art of Gloucester (what, how and why people always come to Gloucester to paint, who, when was there a specific time)

    1. The music community because of my dad.
    2. Magnolia, not too many people that live in Gloucester know all about Magnolia or the beach and the trails, Ocean Lawn etc.

    I have an interesting relationship with the polis of Gloucester. I was born in Geneva, New York, my mom in Rochester and my dad in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It wasn’t until I was 6 months old that we moved to Magnolia. Unlike quite a few of my friends I’m the first generation to live here. Not growing up on the island I never really considered myself an actual Gloucester citizen, and up until a few years ago I even wrote Magnolia as my address. Like Charles Olson I have my “special summer place” in Geneva. My mother and her seven brothers and sisters own three teeny tiny cottages on the Finger Lakes that are my summer home, this summer will actually be the first time I don’t spend almost a month their. Sometimes especially when I was younger I considered Geneva my home, not only was I born there, but my entire extended family – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins – lived there. I spent every Christmas, Thanksgiving, Birthday, and summer away from Magnolia, away from Gloucester. It wasn’t really until middle school and my friendship with Emily (Russo) that I saw parts of Gloucester most people are more than familiar with. For the first time I went to the wharf, and saw her dad’s huge fishing boat; the huge Italian parties that filled up her entire house and backyard – with just family! Through her I witnessed little parts of Gloucester that are so culturally important, the closeness of family, and the fishing industry. Recently my dad has stopped touring nationally and has worked more locally finding gigs here in New England and around Gloucester and I was amazed to hear from him about the abundant art community here. In summary my relationship to Gloucester is a distant one - no “Glosta” accent here – and one that has only grown larger from the relationships I make here. My polis is made mainly from human connections with the people of Gloucester.

  15. 1) I would like to know more about dogtown because it is such a wide open land with rich history. After reading Dogtown by Elyssa East my interest of dogtown has grown. I am also interested in Lanesville, because while I grew up in Lanesville, I would like to know more about its history. I would also like to learn more about the history of Gloucester’s different High Schools, like the current location and Central Grammar. At one time we had a ton of schools, where did they all go?

    2) We have the oldest JROTC history in the country. There are also paths connecting everything through dogtown, like bayview to downtown Rockport, and the views along these paths are amazing!

    3) I have lived in Gloucester for my entire life. While I want to go on to serve our country, I will never forget where I originated. Gloucester has seen me at my worst and has brought me to my best. The people in this town and the school system are very unique. We have a wide culture, and I enjoy experiencing it all. Even though I have only been to Fiesta twice! Gloucester’s many great ceremonies have showed me the pride that the city displays in its history and those who are still creating it. Gloucester surely has changed me for the better!

  16. would love to know more about magnolia, the ecology around stellwagen bank, and the history of the fish packing plants (working conditions etc.) in particular.

    -I know a lot about the Maritime Heritage center having volunteered there for a summer. for example, the center as we know it is built in the old cape pond ice factory, they converted it into the museum because there was a problem with seagull droppings ending up in the ice. I also know that stellwagen bank is actually an underwater plateau, resulting in currents that push nutrients up into the water from the seafloor, resu;ting in a nutrient-rich and healthy place for sea life.

    Gloucester, to me, has always been a beautiful place with unsettling people. A lot of the time, I love walking on the boulevard and being able to smell the salt in the air and feel the midday sun, and hear the cries of gulls and gradual sloshing of waves on the beach, But then a group of disheveled men walk by, drinking and smoking and laughing and coughing and wheezing, or I hear a story about how my friend was followed home by a bearded man that smelled like sweat and alcohol, who asked her how old she was, smiling a nearly toothless grin.. It is then that I remember what the city I live in really stands for, and why I want a change.

  17. I would like to understand more about the history of art in Gloucester. I find myself as very interested in the multitude of painters who settled in Gloucester to access its natural beauty.
    I would like to better grasp the history and stories of early Dogtown and the people who lived there.
    As the 400th anniversary of Gloucester as an establishment looms nearer I always am interested in the history of the city.

    The painter John Sloan who focused many of his years of painting and working in Gloucester has several paintings on permanent exhibit in the MOMA in New York.

    I don't think many people truly know about the cities earliest year round inhabitants, the Dorchester Company who sent fisherman to begin a commercial operation in the 1620s.

    Not only have I been raised in Gloucester, but my parents have spent many, many years investing themselves in the community and better understanding the history and people in this community. I feel that I have been raised to have a heightened sense of wonder towards the natural beauty and historical impact of Gloucester and Cape Ann. The study of American History brings out passion for me, and being a member of such a historical community has been a very enlightening childhood for me. My father in particular has steered me towards a greater appreciation for the history and art Gloucester in involved in, and that has been a major personal family connection for me.

  18. I would like to know more about Gloucester’s history, such as the time it was formed and the early years of the city. Learning more about Ravenswood, who founded it and if it holds any secrets or mysteries, is another topic about the polis I am interested in. Lastly, I would enjoy discovering more about the history behind Hammond’s castle.

    Gloucester has many paths throughout the woods that are all over the island and mainland that are often used for scenic nature walks. Many marine organizations claim Gloucester’s fishing industry is detrimental to the fragile ecosystems. Although they are not aware that Gloucester has some of the highest restrictions on the fisheries to avoid over fishing.

    Although I have lived in Gloucester my whole life, I feel detached from it, my bond with the city not a hard one to break. Living in Magnolia has given me a life outside of the center of the city, it feels like a separate place and not a true component of the polis. My parents are not from the city and do not work in it either, this creating even more of a distance from myself and Gloucester. Living in Gloucester does not give me a connectedness to my parents past, it does not give me a connectedness to my parents lives. I do love the Gloucester because it is my home and always has been, but I do not feel attached to the city, I could make my home anywhere and fall in love with it too.

  19. 3)
    How do different artists portray Gloucester’s beauty through different mediums throughout Gloucester as whole? It would be interesting to know how different people see Gloucester and what they see, portrayed through sculptures, oil paintings, photography, or any other type of art.
    I would also like to learn more about how the fishing industry may have an affect on what comes out of Gloucester.
    Is there more art of a particular place in Gloucester compared to all of the others because it would be interesting to know what may inspire more in other areas of Gloucester.
    Some of the polis of Gloucester portrayed through art isn’t just from sites on land.
    Parts of Gloucester that are now used to capture beauty were once used during the American Revolution like the cannons at Stage Fort Park
    1) Growing up in Magnolia or any part of Gloucester you don’t originally appreciate what you see. As you grow up though you begin to develop a sense of appreciation for the beauty and art in Gloucester. When I was a kid my Dad would take me to work with him every once in a while. My Dad’s boss who has become an Uncle to me had an art gallery in one of his houses and one day my father took me to the gallery where he had to check something while my Uncle was away. I can remember that moment when I had walked into the gallery so clearly all of the walls had paintings on them and the colors were spectacular. I had asked my Dad where all of these paintings were from and he laughed a little and answered, “Gloucester”. I was in disbelief that all of those beautiful paintings had captured the beauty in the community that I never took the time to notice before. After that experience I began to open my eyes more as I began to recognize the places that the paintings had captured.

  20. 3.
    1. A place in Gloucester that I would like to know more about is Dogtown Common. It has always been a place that I was interested by, especially because I live fairly close to it. Reading Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town Dogtown has made me think about Dogtown in a different and mysterious way, which makes me want to know about the history of Dogtown.
    2. The geology of Gloucester is another thing that I would like to learn more about. I know some information about the granite industry and the quarries of Gloucester, but not very much. I would like to learn about how the geology of Gloucester connects to the culture of the city as a whole.
    3. The history of Gloucester is something that I am very interested in learning more about. Gloucester has such a rich history, and there is so much information that I do not know about. I am especially interested in learning about the years after Gloucester was first founded.
    1. Dogtown got its name because women living alone in the area used guard dogs for protection.
    2. Before the extension near the Rotary was built there were houses on the land. In 1956(or around that time) when it was being built the houses were picked up from the ground, placed on flatbed trucks, and transported to a street off of Washington street. My grandparents house was one of the houses that was moved.

    1. I have lived in Gloucester for my entire life, my parents and grandparents are from here as well. I grew up listening to my grandparents tell stories, like how my father’s father drove a fire truck when he was fourteen during the war, while the men were oversea, or how my mother’s father spent days, even weeks at sea as a fisherman. When I was a child, these stories fascinated me, and made me proud of my family and my heritage. As I have gotten older, I have become much more aware of Gloucester as a whole, and not solely the beautiful and machismo qualities that were told in the stories. On a spectrum from “Three Cheers for Gloucester/Gloucester sucks” as Mr. Cook mentioned, I would say I fall somewhere in between, but I prefer to think about the positive aspects rather than the negatives. Though there are many aspects of Gloucester that can be improved, I am fortunate that I have had the opportunity to grow up in such a unique and beautiful place. Throughout my life, I want to travel the world, however Gloucester will always be my roots.

  21. 3. I would like to learn more about The Perfect Storm. I'm actually not very familiar with the story and it is something that Gloucester is well known for, so I should familiarize myself with it.
    2. The decline of the fishing industry has also been puzzling to me. I want to learn more about how the industry was exploited.
    1. Dogtown has always been a mystery to me as well. I would like to learn about the histoy of it as well as what it is currently used for today.

    2. Even though people probably know about this, I know a good amount about the urban renewal of Gloucester. My Dad would tell me when I was little how at the Oval, there used to be a neighborhood of houses and that they were knocked down in order to make more room.
    1. "Serepent" beach near the cupboard has a small fresh water cove near it. Its not very big and its private, but its about 300 feet down the beach.

    1. Gloucester his my home, whether I like it or not. I don't appreciate the beauty as much because I live here and see it everyday. I hate winters here. They're cold, long, and seem endless. However, the spring, summer and fall make up for it. I love the fact that I can get in my car, drive five minutes down the road and arrive at a beautiful beach bustling with life. Sometimes I feel out of place here because I don't seem to fit the typical ethnicity of gloucester citizens. My parents also aren't from here, like many other kids my age. People will ask me who my parents are and not recognize the name, and sometimes it makes me uncomfortable. Also, the fact that I'm blonde, blue-eyed and extremely pale. I have no trace of Portuguese or Italian in my blood. I often feel like I shouldn't be living here, but I love Gloucester. I'm going to live at home in college, although I may not live here all my life. I have no intentions of running as far as I can from here, because it is still my home

  22. Three things I want to learn more about:
    3) I want to learn more about Dogtown. I can't seem to get enough of its raw nature and just how abandoned it is. Not only has Dogtown seen countless deaths and murders, but it is salvaged in between Rockport and Gloucester as if it's a precious jewel to be protected or something.
    2) Why did the two bridges connecting Gloucester have to be? Why did Gloucester become a man-made island? Was it necessary for some reason? I don't understand why Gloucester is separated.
    1) I want to know more about the artists and writers coming out of Gloucester and writing or painting about it, or artists traveling to Gloucester for a purpose. (Example: Olson and Hartley)

    Two things I think I know:
    2) Magnolia once had a hotel that was bustling with activity and was a hubbub of goings-on.
    1) The Magnolia pier has some pretty crazy pier tag going on during the summer.

    One thing, my relationship with Gloucester:
    1) Gloucester has been the city I always move back to. I lived in Magnolia and have always moved back. I've been to 10 schools, and lived in many more cities, towns, or villages than 10... But I always come back to Gloucester (Mag.)

  23. Three Things I want to learn more about
    3.) I want to learn more about the geology of Gloucester this summer i worked at ravenswood park and got the opportunity to walk through the woods everyday. My boss was a geologist so he would often tell us of the geography around us. I remember learning about the glacial eratics within Ravenswood and found it interesting, id like to learn about the geology of other areas in gloucester.

    2) I also would like to learn more about dogtown due to the many secrets behind the area. I have also heard of murders within dogtown which i find very fascinating.

    1) I would be interested to learn more about the early history of gloucester. I have lived in the city my whole life but i know very little of its origins.

    Things I Know

    Gloucester has a bustling drug problem with over 300 heroin addicts and the known cocaine importation due to crooked fishing vessels.

    Where H&S is there use to be a store that would sell produce and liquor.

    My relationship with gloucester

    I don't feel very connected with the majority of gloucester, i did not start exploring the city until i got into highschool. I do however feel very close with west gloucester and its beautiful scenery i always feel at peace when in west gloucester. I always feel safe because i know where i am and i know the nature of west gloucester

  24. Cody E.
    History, culture, and economy. I want to gain a deeper understanding of the supposed authenticity that many artists find in Gloucester and, though it must vary between minds, attempt to define it from my perspective. My goal is to understand how today’s milieu came to be, and how it has evolved.

    I doubt many other people know that a Union general from Gloucester was responsible for the Confiscation Acts during the Civil War (slaves were taken as contraband of war and used in camps). I am reminded by the mention of the triangle trade. Though this is one individual, I believe it may contribute to an explanation of the social attitudes that have developed in Gloucester.
    I also know that Gloucester is a city of a dying breed. At the democratic luncheon I attended, many politicians noted that Washington encouraged Gloucester to become more like Newburyport (no longer a fishing town, but a tourist town, as said by the politicians). Such attitudes extend the fierceness and defensive mentality that seems to resonate from the core of the city; such attitudes seem to be a defining aspect of the polis.

    Over the past year, I have re-examined my former beliefs about Gloucester. I was one of those that desperately wanted to leave, and I swore that I would never come back. I condemned the city as exclusive of non-Italians, as a place where football is religion, as a place where academics are ignored. Though I have not completely abandoned my prejudices, I recognize now the inaccuracies of my generalizations; I have grown to appreciate the unique character that Gloucester possesses, I have become thankful that I do not live in the depths of suburbia. Now I find myself connecting with Gloucester, noting its ability to wring thought due to its form. We are not like the rest of the north shore, we are our own island. Thanks to the land of narratives that we call gloucester, it seems that there is so much more to explore, to sift through, to discover. Gloucester’s own intense identity, as opposed to the homogeneity of the surrounding areas, serves to challenge and stimulate if used right. Yet my former beliefs were largely based on my perceptions of the possible negative effects of living in such a place: isolation can lead to an ego, and a poor perception of the surrounding world. Feeling excluded from Gloucester bubble, I deemed the city arrogant and ignorant. Once I ignore the bubble and focus on the city itself, I find that the combination of art, history, and geography combine to create a unique identity that is more broad than I ever could have imagined.

  25. 3) The history of Dogtown is both interesting and mysterious. The factual history I've collected from family, books, and hearsay proclaims Dogtown as an early sanction for settlers running from British naval attacks from the sea. Settlers choose Dogtown for its farmable land and concealment, and to this day it remains a crucial part of our history. The unknown, however, is what I find more captivating. The overwhelming accounts of supernatural phenomenons claimed by both locals who know the land and tourists looking to solve the mystery, proves too pressing to ignore.
    Another aspect I find important to Gloucester as a whole is family. The concept of family and treating others like family isn’t something alien to us, in fact we often welcome it, as this is a town that seems to value its togetherness, always extending help to others as if they were our own. Gloucester would be so foreign without family, especially for me, as someone whose entire family was raised here. For me, my friends, neighbors, and acquaintances are like my extended family, and therefore are treated as such, similar to what many families in Gloucester also do. Sometime the extension of the family has to do with the ethnicity of the people- for instance, if you’re Italian in Gloucester, you’re family- and other times its just the kind mentality of our people that allow us to extend a hand through the community.
    Lastly, I’m interested in the division of people based on their “insideness” or “outsideness”. For the insiders of Gloucester, the ones who have spent their whole lives here, the families are connected to our fishing heritage, the Italians, the Portuguese, do things come easier to them? DO these connections give them an advantage that the outsiders don’t have? The outsiders who moved here at one point in their life, the ones with the names that you’ve never even heard before, the ones who look different than the typical dark skin, dark hair, dark eyes. If so, how does this not only relate to our connections between not only each other, but between ourselves and the Polis?
    2) In nine years, Gloucester will celebrate its 400th birthday (founded by Dorchester Company in 1623).
    Compared to state, Gloucester has an incredibly low crime rate.

    1) My relationship with the polis is both diverse and well-rooted. My mothers family has lived in Gloucester for generations, and my father’s for only two after my great grandparents had immigrated from Sicily around the 30’s. Parisi is a very Gloucester name, so it isn’t surprised that my family is well known within the community and are easily recognizable among our neighbors. Apart from my roots here, I find that giving back to the community is a strong way to connect to Gloucester’s polis, which I do on a basis via the Interact volunteer club, National Honors Club, and the Environmental club at the High School. Contributing to the culture itself is also very important to having a strong relationship with the polis, and I find myself giving back often via the arts. Overall, I feel very in touch with Gloucester's polis- culture, history, tradition, family, volunteerism, etc.

  26. Three things I would Like to learn more about
    1.) I would like to learn more about the Moonies and their impact on Gloucester and how they became a part of our society. From class in our discussions I’ve heard about the discrimination of the Moonies not only by regular citizens of gloucester but also by political leaders.
    2.) I also find Gloucesters relations and connections to international conflicts such as wars intriguing. I would like to learn more about our veterans in our community and about their experiences.
    3.) I would like to learn more about gloucester slang, accents and how one another communicate within our city.
    Two things about Gloucester’s Polis
    1.) the fishermans statue was created by Sculptor Leonard Craske in the 1920s
    2.) The tradition of the greasy pole during St. Peter’s fiesta comes from Terrasini, Sicily
    My relationship with Gloucester’s Polis
    I grew up on wheelers point here in Gloucester so I feel a bit more isolated from the majority of the Gloucester Community. My family has been here in gloucester for most of my life but both in different neighbourhoods, My mother who was born in Derry, NH but went to school in Gloucester and lived in East Gloucester. My father was born in Gloucester and lived over on Exchange St. My parents were both from different worlds in Gloucester’s community and I have been born into a different community than them both. I've heard stories primarily from my dad from kids playing baseball in the streets to him working at Bigfords. My father clearly has a deep connection to Gloucester, I however feel disconnected in relation to Gloucester as a community. I have people around me with this connection and I want to see and have this connection.