We headed to Marcel’s house in Gloucester MA the day after my birthday. The first thing we did when we arrived was crack open a few beers and begin our weekend.
The second thing we did was set up our tent in the back yard, at the bottom of the hill, above Goose Cove the salt water pond. It’s a perfect location to wake up on the water with the conservation forest beyond. The back yard is terraced with gardens on each level and privacy walls created by tall creeping bamboo plants on either side. At the bottom of the hill beside where we camped is the sauna now made famous in the Gloucester Times as the heat source which drove “several men to skinny dip” in Goose Cove. The yard is private, the dock and cove apparently are not, and the police were called to investigate. My favorite part of the report is that “A resident told police that he would tell his guests to remain clothed.” But nowhere does it say the resident would remained clothed… and no sooner had we delivered the Michaelangelo’s David cooking apron, that we go him in Italy, than did Marty appear on the front porch with only his apron and butchers knife set. Technically, I guess, he was not naked.
Summer in Gloucester is amazingly beautiful and one of my favorite places anywhere. The entire area is idealized New England at it’s best. The light is gorgeous and has famously attracted painters for centuries… well at least one century and a half. The current center of art in Gloucester is Rocky Neck where there is a row of painter’s studios mostly working in coastal themes. When someone asked us why we’d take the time to visit Gloucester when we’re on a cross country trip to some of the most beautiful national parks in America I gave the honest response, “you just can’t underestimate the value of a visit to Gloucester on any grand tour.”
When I was reviewing the photos from the visit, I was struck by something which is readily apparent. The enjoyment of food is always happening in an easy and casual way at Marcel’s place. It may have something to do with his Italian-American heritage, but whatever it is, Marty makes it look very easy to grill a large piece of beef loin to perfection, and serve it with a few simple yet perfect sides. On Saturday, Marty brought his mobile gas burner over the Wingersheek Beach and cooked a feast of tacos for everyone in a 80ft radius. He’s like that. One of his friends brought a big bag of scallops and when grilled they were a delicious addition to the carne and pollo tacos. Later that night the large beef loin was grilled and the photos speak for themselves about the result.
To belabor the point, Gloucester is one of my favorite places anywhere, and I’m sure one large factor is the company. I look forward to seeing the cast of characters that assemble at Marty’s each summer and this time we had the pleasure of hanging with our hosts Marcel and Kristine, Boston Pete Casper, Avery LeMeux, Andrew, Rob and Taylor as well as the half-dozen or more folks that stopped in for just one drink.