Cape Ann Is Having a Moment

Join us in celebrating the evolution that is energizing this very special place

 My three favorite Cape Ann landmarks.

My three favorite Cape Ann landmarks.


Full disclosure: I grew up in Texas. But we’ll come back to that.

I have now officially lived on Cape Ann longer — 26 years — than anywhere else. I was born in Battle Creek, Mich., but spent the majority of my “formative” years in Dallas. I made stops in Oxford, Miss., Knoxville, Tenn., and Detroit on my way here. I even spent one of my Cape Ann years living and working in New York City.

I’ve gotten around.

But pretty much all of the really important things that have happened in my life have happened while I’ve lived right here: the births of my two sons, the purchase of my first house (and two more since), meeting a Beatle (George Harrison!), the 9/11 nightmare, the subsequent economic meltdowns, building a house (during one of those economic meltdowns), innumerable career highs (including going to work for Oprah Winfrey), starting my own business, and so on.

This is my home.

And if you’ve ever known a Texan, you’d know that we’re proud — often disproportionately so — of home. So given that that’s how I grew up, you can probably understand why it always bummed me out when watching (insert your favorite meteorologist’s name here)’s nightly weather report, only to hear: “the weather tonight on the Cape and Islands … .”

Wait, what ?

TWO islands, but only ONE cape? No, no, no, Mr. Harvey Leonard (that’s my guy) — unless, of course, you’re talking about Cape ANN. (He wasn’t.)

Hearing that, repeated night after night, really awakened my inner Texan — “no one’s going to diss my home” — and ever since, when I hear someone blathering on about their summers on “The Cape,” I cringe a little, knowing they’re most likely not raving about my cape. The Other Cape.

Well, guess what everyone: My cape is an awesome cape. And we’re here to show you why.

•  •  •

Things are changing here. There was really nothing wrong with the old Cape Ann, but we’re really excited about the new one.

A series of events has transpired over the past several years that have combined to tweak the chemistry of this area. Among them (and in no particular order):

▸ foodie-ism and mixology (and the subsequent surge in restaurant choices)
▸ coffee! (well, all caffeine, really)
▸ The Franklin Cape Ann (a legit Boston classic opening an outlet on Gloucester’s Main Street)
▸ Gloucester Crossing and Market Basket (fewer reasons to cross the bridge)
▸ the rapid growth and expansion of our local colleges (Endicott, Gordon, and Montserrat)
▸ some very accomplished chefs setting up shop here
▸ the rehabilitation of the Railroad Avenue area of Gloucester
▸ changes in Rockport’s ancient liquor laws
▸ Hollywood filmmakers (and Whoopie, and Sandler, and others) have fallen in love with this place
▸ the plethora of farmer’s markets springing up ... everywhere
▸ the rise of the indie-worker movement (people can now choose to live & work anywhere — and why wouldn’t they choose to live here?)
▸ and, of course, that new hotel ...

I realize that many locals shudder at — and often vigorously oppose— these kinds of changes. But we are firm believers that change, mostly, is good. It keeps things fresh. Keeps us from getting too set in our ways. It keeps our minds open. And it makes life a lot more fun.

If you don’t feel the same way, this probably isn’t going to be the website for you. But we’re going to bet on our theory that there are more intelligent, adventurous, and open-minded people here than not. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating the evolution that is energizing this very special place.

It’s Cape Ann’s moment. Let’s make the most of it.


Patrick Mitchell, Founder & Content Director

This website couldn’t exist without the hard work and generosity of its extremely talented contributors, for whom I am very, very grateful. Thank you Heather, Maureen, James, Becca, Jason, Shawn, Jonathan, Jack, Keith, and Alexandra!

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