Inn Street, downtown Newburyport, 1974 (press image to enlarge)
Courtesy of the Archives at the Newburyport Public Library.
Inn Street, downtown Newburyport, 1974 (press image to enlarge)
Two views of Newburyport’s Downtown, Pleasant Street from two different time periods.
Church of the First Religious Society in Newburyport (Unitarian), Newburyport, MA
Boston Public Library, Print Department, 1929
Leon H. Abdalian, photographer
Newburyport’s Pleasant Street from upper Inn Street, March 1, 1974
Courtesy of the Archives at the Newburyport Public Library.
And this Sunday, October 28, 2012, author and architect Jonathan Hale talks about his 40-year love affair with Newburyport, “Newburyport is a Work of Art: Why its Architecture is Rare and Irreplaceable.” The program is sponsored by the Newburyport Preservation Trust, and it is at 4 p.m. at the Custom House Maritime Museum, Water Street, Newburyport.
I am now going to piss off Newburyport preservationists! Ooops!
The final report of the Newburyport LHD Study Committee (LHD = Local Historic District) is absurdly fair. The five members did backflips to accommodate feedback from the community and from the Newburyport City Councilors. Backflips, cartwheels, you name it, right from the get go. And despite all of that, on an up and down vote it’s not going to fly. That’s just the existing political reality.
The leading member of the “Say No to LHD” group, its heart and soul, who got up in the first informational meeting a year a go, disrupting the entire meeting and storming out, vowing to stop the LHD, has done a remarkable job. It’s definitely a “Wow.” It appears that the end most certainly justified the means. Trashing people’s reputations and character, personal attacks, threats of law suits (most recently in a comment in the Daily News), presenting information early last winter (good tactic starting early) that was and is simply not true, has worked. Congratulations.
The final version of the LHD ordinance has finally gone to the Newburyport City Council, a meeting will take place this Thursday, October 25, 2012, Newburyport City Hall at 7PM.
As I see it, the political realities. (The boundaries of the proposed LHD are High Street, the gateway to the city, and downtown Newburyport from Winter Street to Federal Street.) Lob off the North End of High Street at the Kelly School, and put those folks out of their misery.
There is unanimous support along the South End of the “Ridge” to Willis Lane (which is roughly across the street from Fruit Street). Shorten High Street from Willis Lane to the Kelly School, maybe include St Paul’s Church on the other side (but, good grief, don’t cross the street!).
And protect downtown Newburyport. After all that HUD Federal money, please, does anyone dispute that the restoration of downtown Newburyport is the reason that Newburyport has become the thriving place that it is today? Really, not to protect downtown, good grief.
When Governor Deval Patrick came for a visit at Cafe Di Siena (February 2010), I asked Newburyport City Councilor Tom O’Brien if he would vote for the Newburyport LHD, and his response (this was before all of the hullabaloo), “Of course Mary, there’s been too many tear downs.” This statement was witnessed by Newburyport City Councilor Barry Connell, who with a wink and a smile by both Newburyport city councilors, pretended to write down this vote for the LHD by Councilor Tom O’Brien on the back of his hand.
So why not have have a “No Demolition” zone/overlay for the entire Newburyport Historic District, that would also include “interior demolition for exploratory purposes,” which, for example, lead to the unfortunate creation by a developer on Pine Street, for which the neighbors are suing the developer and the Newburyport Zoning Board of Appeals.
Can the Newburyport City Council come up with the equivalent of the “Wisdom of Solomon?” Can they do it in one night?? And what will they say, now that they get the chance have to have a say. It will be really fascinating to watch.
I’ve been trying to figure out this recipe for a year and a half and have finally come up with a recipe that works (this is not the traditional Brazilian Cheese Bread recipe, that boils the milk and oil first).
One of the crucial things that I found out, is that there are 2 kinds of tapioca flour, fermented tapioca flour that rises (not sold at this point in the United States) and regular tapioca flour that does not rise (the tapioca flour that is sold in the United States). So having figured that one out, the trick is to use gluten free baking powder to get this delicious cheese bread-balls-tiny loafs to rise.
Traditionally Brazilian Cheese Bread/Balls are round, for some reason I like mine looking like little loafs, so that’s what I’ve pictured here.
Brazilian Cheese Balls/Bread are traditionally chewy on the inside, this version is much more like regular bread - a eureka moment.
And this version is lactose free. The cheese, mozzarella and parmesan are lactose free and I use lactose free milk. You can use regular milk.
Tapioca flour has the consistency of cornstarch, and after a certain point, it’s impossible to mix by hand. So what I’ve done is added enough tapioca flour to be able to mix, and then knead the dough with extra tapioca flour.
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 Cup milk (I use 1%)
1 1/2 t salt
2 t gluten-free baking powder
2/3 cup canola oil
3 cups tapioca flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
Extra tapioca flour for kneading the dough
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix cheese, salt, baking powder, then add eggs using a fork until the eggs are mixed into the chess, salt and baking powder mixture. Stir in milk and then add the oil, and you can still use a fork. Add tapioca flour, mix with a spatula.
Put in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes, to let the dough bubble (it bubbles!!) and to set. The longer it sits, the firmer it will be. There will be a little oil on the top, don’t worry, it will be kneaded into the dough.
In a large bowl (you could do it on the counter, but the flour is so fine it gets everywhere, hence the recommendation for a bowl) put about 1/4 of a cup or so of tapioca flour (see photo).
Take a third of the mixture, with part of any of the oil that is on top, and put the dough in the bowl with a spatula and coat it with the tapioca flour (see photo).
Take square of parchment paper and put the dough on the parchment paper and knead it. (Again, you could knead the dough on your kitchen counter, but this just makes it a whole lot easier to clean up.) Add more flour if needed (no pun intended), and knead it into the dough, until it is firm (see photo). It will be greasy, don’t worry, it’s one of the things that makes it taste good.
Take enough flour to make about an inch and a half ball of dough. Roll the dough in your hands and then roll into a tube shape about 2 inches (see photo). A third of the dough makes about 15 little “loaves.”
Cover a cookie sheet (roughly 15″ x 10″) with parchment paper. Put the little loaves on the parchment paper (see photo) and put the cookie sheet into the 350 degree oven. Then take a look in about 15 minutes (it should take a total of 20 to 25 minutes, oven temperatures vary).
At 15 minutes the little loaves should be rising. Watch carefully for the next 10 minutes. Often the loaves at the end of the cookie sheet will brown before the inside loaves. Take out the loaves as they become golden and place on a piece of parchment paper to cool. You want the loaves golden (see photo) but not too brown.
Let loaves completely cool and then place in a container (see photo). Place open container in refrigerator to cool some more. When the loaves are cold, put the lid on the container and freeze.
To eat (if you haven’t eaten them all right then and there) you can defrost them in a microwave.
The loaves have bubbles, holes, just like real bread, and people that I have served them to just can’t stop eating them!! So they are great for folks who aren’t gluten free at all.
Makes 45 - 50 small “loaves.”
Another breakthrough gluten free eureka moment for moi, and hopefully for you too.
(To see why in the world The Newburyport Blog has a recipe for Gluten Free Brazilian Cheese Bread-Balls-Tiny Loaves, please press here.)
Folks who read The Newburyport Blog love old postcards. Here’s one of Newburyport’s Market Square, with the trolley, the old firehouse that is now the Firehouse Center for the Arts, is in the background (press image to enlarge).
A friend and I were talking yesterday, and they asked me what did I think of the new NRA’s proposal for Newburyport’s waterfront.
And I said, “I don’t know.”
And they said, “I don’t know.”
We’ve both lived in Newburyport for over 30 years and watched the ongoing NRA waterfront saga.
We both agreed that for the “Citizens for an Open Waterfront” (COWs as they have often been referred to over the many, many decades that this has gone on) having an open waterfront is a religion. And there are many, many folks in town that I know, like and respect very much, that feel fervently that nothing ever should be built on that piece of property.
Mayor Holaday was elected some 3 years ago over James Shanley in part because she was for an “Open Waterfront.” She won, and I thought at the time, Ok we can finally get on with that idea.
But the “new” idea proposed by then candidate James Shanley (now chair of the NRA, appointed by governor Deval Partrick), of having limited building on the NRA parcel to pay for the open space has gained, yup, traction.
I got out the old photo I have courtesy of the Historical Society of Old Newbury, or as it’s known in Newburyport as “The HIST,” of the NRA lots, c 1920, way before Newburyport’s Urban Renewal took place (click image below to enlarge), and there is no open space at all in what once existed before the bulldozers came in the late 1960s.
And my friend and I compared it to the new proposal by the NRA (click image below to enlarge), and we both agreed that there was a fair amount of open space, and that it looked reasonable.
NRA plans, 2012, courtesy of the NRA, press image to enlarge.
NRA site plan, aerial view, courtesy of the NRA, press image to enlarge.
I guess the question now is, “What is considered open space on Newburyport’s waterfront’s NRA lots?” Lots and lots of open space, or open space, but less open space, with a plan to pay for it (and a park would be wicked expensive).
And for me, will this NRA saga finally be resolved, which I would like a lot, or will it never be resolved in my lifetime, and continue to be a Newburyport political third rail? Hang on to your hats, we’ll find out.
A couple of more images, courtesy of the NRA, for clarification:
An aerial view of the NRA lots as they are today, courtesy of the NRA. Press image to enlarge.
Delineation of the property boundaries, of the NRA, the Waterfront Trust and the Ways to the Water as well as an approximate low water mark. Courtesy of the NRA, press image to enlarge.
To see the entire presentation of the new plans for the NRA lots, given at the Firehouse on September 12, 2012, press here (takes a while to load).
I remember exactly where I was on 9/11, just like everyone else in America.
It was a bluebird day, much like today, and I was walking on my way to vote, it was voting day, when I met someone I knew on talking on their cell phone looking perplexed and confused and shaking their head. And then I remember walking down to the Tannery to pick something up, and everyone in the shop being completely silent, everyone was looking straight ahead and not saying a word.
It wasn’t until I got back home to my studio that I found out what was happening and then watching on TV seeing the unthinkable. New York City is where I was born and raised, seeing the collapse and the lower part of Manhattan being engulfed. Luckily my family was located. It was 3 months before I could semi function after that. The country was utterly traumatized.
I always have thought as an artist, that subconsciously painters and other people in the arts work through traumas, and it wasn’t until after I painted a series of paintings, that I realized that they were about 9/11. The 2 paintings here are 2 of what turned out to be a series. 2 fence posts, or columns, reminiscent of the twin towers, with life growing between them, showed up over and over in the paintings that I did in the years that followed, as America recovered from the anguish of that day, and started to bloom once more.
These roses and fences were found and can still be found in the South End of Newburyport, in Newburyport’s Historic District.
Here is Kathleen O’Connor Ives’, Katy Ives’ win for the Democratic primary election for Massachusetts State Senator for the First Essex District by the numbers:
Our very own Kathleen O’Conner Ives, our Katy Ives WINS the Democratic Primary election for Massachusetts State Senator for the First Essex District!!
Kathleen O’Connor Ives of Newburyport 4,065 votes
Timothy Coco of Haverhill 3,264 votes
Bill Manzi of Methuen 3,277 votes
Source, The Boston Globe
Katy Ives with Mike Costello, Massachusetts 1st Essex District State Representative on election night with the election totals!!
The best, safest, gluten free takeout food in Newburyport is from David’s Fish Market over the bridge in Salisbury (one of the best seafood markets ever).
David’s Fish Market has been a family owned and operated business for over 50 years. It was started by Arthur David and is now run by his grandson Gordon Blaney.
David’s will boil you a lobster or lobsters, and it doesn’t get any fresher or any better. The lobsters can be hot or cold. Just give them a 2 hour notice (and remember to pay by cash or check, no credit or debit cards).
My favorite is cold lobster, one of my mother’s most loved meals, served with gluten free Hellmann’s mayonnaise and a little lemon, or a really good sauce/dip I recently came up with.
Sauce/dip for cold lobster:
Cook frozen chopped spinach, which is wicked healthy (microwave works great), drain and remove as much moister as possible (I use paper towels).
For one serving: 2 Tablespoons of cooked chopped spinach and mix with 2 Tablespoons of Hellmann’s mayonnaise, which is gluten free. A few drops of gluten free Tamari Sauce (possible alternatives to Tamari sauce - soy sauce or worcestershire sauce). That’s it, for some reason this combo is amazing.
And going to David’s is fun. You get to go over the Merrimack River on Rt 1 and it’s an old time fish market where you can see the fresh fish coming in and being prepared in back, like being filleted kind of prepared. You know it’s fresh. And if you live in Newburyport and the surrounding area, or are coming to visit, it’s a place not to be missed.
When I first moved here 30 some years ago, there used to be at least 3 independent local fish markets, David’s is the last one standing, and it’s awesome.
If you take a look at Kathleen O’Connor Ives and any of her running mates, whether Democrat or Republican, Katy Ives stands out. A twinkling star in the midst of “same old, same old.”
And taking a look at the photo of Katy and her husband Jeff, I was struck by something. Sometimes women candidates have support from their husbands, some enthusiastic, some grudging, but looking at Katy and Jeff there is something different. It’s a whole new generational different.
Jeff is the man behind the woman, literally in the photo of them together. This is a whole new generational “thing.” It transcends feminism. It’s as if a woman running for public office is not only not an issue, but not even on the radar screen. For 100’s of millions of women who have worked and been ambitious in their various fields, this is what they would like from their spouse. And the photo doesn’t lie, it’s how Jeff and Katy actually are.
This is a new political verity, this is what generations of women have wanted. It may be why consensus building is so natural and second nature to Katy. It may be why members of the Newburyport City Council, progressive or conservative trust her. It may be why she does what she thinks is best for her constituents, and often surprises people with her independent Newburyport City Council vote.
This is the sort of human being, a shining human being, that I would like to see as my new Massachusetts State Senator for the First Essex District.
So vote this Thursday, September 6th. And if you do not know where to vote press here.
This is worth watching, really. A friend of mine sometimes says to me that what I need to do is, “get some gratitude in my attitude,” when I have what I sometimes call “that little itty bitty shitty committee” in my head.
That’s sort of what this is like (and I usually hate things like this), but actually, really and truly, it’s scientifically proven, you betcha, really.
I “discovered” this fellow, Shawn Achor, and “The Happiness Advantage”, while channel surfing on PBS last night. And it sounds like PBS will feature it lots more.
So I tried some of the recommendation today and came up with 3 things that I was grateful for, (not hard), smiled at least three times (not hard), and was nice to the Blue Cross Blue Shield person on the phone, and the person at the bank.
I figure in this wild partisan world if I smiled at people on my walk (this is just NOT done where I come from, New York City, and New England, well, we’re not on the whole, exactly too warm and fuzzy), maybe this guy might be right, maybe it could have a ripple effect.
Worth watching - the 12 minute version.
The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor (Press image to start).
On September 4th of this year it will be 3 years since I’ve been on a mandatory Gluten Free diet.
There are 2 products that did not exist when I was first diagnosed, and thank you General Mills and Kellogg’s, your products are very much appreciated. The other two products did exist.
I thought I would give those who come to the Newburyport Blog looking for help on Gluten Free (weirdly there are now 1000’s of people who land here - and as a btw, welcome to the Newburyport Blog) a heads-up on what has helped make a gluten free life much more normal and enjoyable, because Gluten Free can be such a maze to figure out.
Gluten Free Chex Cereal
Gluten free Chex Cereal has been a total game changer. Before they first created mainstream gluten free cereal, I had come up with a Cream of Rice (tasty) concoction, but was so relieved to have a “normal” breakfast. The Chex Cereals are now being advertised on TV, and believe you me, every gluten free human being out there is mucho grateful. (My personal favorite is their Corn Chex.)
Almond Meal - Flour Cookies
The almond meal cookie recipe that I came up with was one of the biggest game changers (1000’s and 1000’s of people come to the Newburyport Blog looking for almond meal cookies, and now weirdly, at the moment, it ranks high on Google for “almond meal cookies,” go figure).
Gluten Free processed snacks taste gross. The almond meal-flour cookies are quick and easy to make, and they taste delicious and “normal,” as well as being really good for you. I use Bob’s Red Mill, which can be found in Newburyport at Natural Grocer and Market Basket. The recipe can be found here.
Kellogg’s Gluten Free Rice Krispies
Put the gluten free Rice Krispies into a plastic bag and pulverized them with a rolling pin. The Rice Krispies are an amazing substitute for breadcrumbs, not easy to find if you are gluten free.
They make an incredible coating for things like chicken and fish, and are fantastic as a filler for things like meatloaf and meatballs. It rivals, and in some ways surpasses regular, normal, traditional breadcrumbs or crackers. I don’t know what Kellogg’s does, but it’s a game changer. A recipe for fish (which is also amazing with chicken) can be found here.
San-J Gluten Free Tamari Sauce
Regular soy sauce has wheat in it (an awful lot of things do). San-J makes a Gluten Free Tamari Sauce which is a lot like soy sauce and can be used in making Chinese and Japanese dishes, but its subtle flavor makes it even more versatile. I use it in place of worcestershire sauce (which could be gluten free, and also contains other things that for some, may or may not be digestible) and it makes eating life, again, more normal and enjoyable.
San-J Gluten Free Tamari Sauce can be found at Natural Grocer and Market Basket in Newburyport.
Medicaid pays for 60 percent of people in nursing homes (and that includes people in Newburyport).
“..his (Paul Ryan’s) budget would impose immediate cuts to Medicaid, the health-care program for the poor that funds nursing-home care and other benefits for 6 million U.S. seniors.” - Bloomberg Businessweek, Brian Faller, August 14, 2012
“Among the victims someone’s grandparents who, without Medicaid, won’t be able to afford nursing home care… Many are poor children. Some are middle-class families who have children with autism or Downs syndrome. Some are kids with disabilities so severe that they require 24-hour care. These are the people who count on Medicaid.” The Wall Street Journal, Aug 17, 2012
So if your spouse, parents or grandparents are in a nursing home, and their care is paid for by Medicaid, and Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney get elected, they plan on cutting Medicaid ASAP. And what happens to Middle Class families? It would look as if they would be faced with the draconian choice of letting their loved one not be cared for, or quitting a job to provide full-time care. What does that do to the finances of the Middle Class, it would throw them into chaos, which is what one of the things that Medicaid (and as a btw… under President Reagan, Medicaid legislation was passed so that spouses would not go bankrupted - Reagan’s spousal safety net) is meant to prevent, here in Newburyport, locally, and all across America.
Newburyport preservation quotes:
“There may have been a time when preservation was about saving an old building here and there, but those days are gone. Preservation is in the business of saving communities and the values they embody.”
—Richard Moe, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Maybe my hyperventilating over Governor Romney’s running mate (see previous post), Tea Party darling, Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh endorsed, Paul Ryan, has something to do with my first-hand local experience with the “slash and burn,” “take no prisoners,” “malign all opposed” politics of the folks who do not want to preserve Newburyport’s historic assets, the proposed Local Historic District (LHD), led by a member of Newburyport’s very own Tea Party, and I gather fan of the John Birch Society.
On my walk around Newburyport this weekend, I ran into a friend who wanted to know what I thought of the article in the Boston Globe about the progress of Newburyport’s Local Historic District’s (LHD), and the LHD’s slow winding path getting to the Newburyport City Council. And in the course of our conversation, I said something to the effect that, “People wonder why, at this point, I’m not doing more.” The response was, “Well, you got the shit kicked out of your, everyone knows that.” For which the person got a hug.
Fox News Opinion on the web has a piece called, “America’s coming civil war - makers vs takers,” predictably the wealthy, the makers, pitted against everyone from seniors, to folks who need help with student loans to go to college.
Our local “Say No to LHD” folks definitely feel like that same strident, militant mindset… heck, it is that same militant mindset. The LHD, in their minds, equals “social engineering,” yes, this is true (I hate to even link to the actual factual proof, because it gives the John Birch Society such pleasure. How do I know that, because that particular post went viral, via the John Birch Society’s Facebook page - I wish I was kidding).
Yes, and anonymous townies, threatened by “newcomers,” joined in the fray (and townies who no longer live here, or live/visit here periodically). But it is our own John Birch tea party folks who are still willing, if not proud, to give their names to the cause of stridently and militantly destroying Newburyport’s hope of having a Local Historic District. (They also, as I understand it, complain loudly to their city councilors, the mayor, the press, when a pro-LHD human being loses it, the person in question, I believe, has been identified.)
Do I have first hand experience with the hatred of the ideological Right? Yes. Do I know that they will deliver on their promise? Yes. Does that make me worry about Governor Romney’s pick for Vice President, that it isn’t all fluffy talk, that delivery of this far right ideology is very real? Yes, you betcha.
“The property, built in 1810, is assessed at $810,700, according to city records. It is a Georgian-style residence with nine rooms (four bedrooms) and two fireplaces. Size of the house is 2,723 square feet, and the structure has unobstructed views of the inlet across Water Street. Several smaller buildings are also on the property…
Abutters at the commission meeting suggested that an owner could get that much or more if owners tore it down, and offered a clear lot to a buyer who might build a larger structure.
The application requests a permit for “demolition of a single-family home, garage, barn and shed…”
“Newburyport’s equivalent of the Tappan House tear-down in Newbury.” - a reference to a significant historic home in Newbury that was bought for 1.6 million dollars and demolished to build a pool (information about the former Tappan House can be read here).
The entire story in the Newburyport Daily News can be read here.
The photo of 284 Water Street is courtesy of the City of Newburyport, and the photo and historic write-up of the home can be read here.
Current photos of the property can be seen here.
And a YouTube video of 284 Water Street can be seen here.
“Sure, we can still have homeowner’s rights and the proposed LHD provides for this. But more than ever before, the City of Newburyport is under pressure to develop real estate for profit, not just for its people and the quality of life. This city has become a destination specifically because of its historical support for preservation, not despite its history.”
Peter Erickson, Newburyport Daily News, Viewpoint can be read here.
Peter Erickson is a former chair of the Newburyport Historic Commission and has lived on High Street for 24 years. Peter Erickson’s family home on High Street. Photo courtesy of the City of Newburyport which can be seen with the entire write-up about the property here (photo was taken in 1980).