The Clam’s Tournament of Shitty Parking Lots: Round 2!

Ding ding ding! Here comes the second round of the Clam’s Tournament of Shitty Parking Lots! The voting for round one has been tallied. Some lots went home losers, some have epic staying power. We’re getting closer to crowning the ultimate worst goddamn parking lot in town. Join us, as we decide which it will be.


St Peter’s Square vs 7/11 Bass Ave

St Peter’s Square: Unsurprisingly, St. Peter’s Square beat the Second Glance lot by a wide margin. I guess Second Glance’s weird-shaped lot with badly marked lines was absolutely no match when it came to the sheer batshit mayhem that is St. Peter’s Square. St. Peter’s offers up a giant helping of road rage when six drivers enter and only one finds a space (naturally, the last guy who pulled into the parking lot, with Connecticut fuckin’ plates). There is always some beefy dingus who can’t park his Ford F65000 with duallies without taking up more than one spot here. Try leaving when the bar empties out at 1. You can’t, because a girl in a white skirt and wedges is having sex with a guy who has no sleeves on his Nike t-shirt right on top of your car’s hood.

7/11 Bass Ave: This time, St. Peter’s is up against the 7/11 on Bass Ave. This 7/11 somehow beat out 7/11 on Maplewood, which is a pretty big upset – I mean, the Maplewood lot had everything to offer – daylight heroin deals, a bunch of non-working cars and boats and people squatting in the rear, and people who back up entirely without looking.  But, the masses have spoken, and 7/11 Bass Ave is the winner. Unless you have found inner peace, this is the most frustrating lot in the summer. Beach traffic is already insane around that corner. No one will let you back out into the street. No one. And god fucking forbid you have to turn left to go towards Good Harbor. Fuck it, it’s easier to pick a new pope than it is to get out of that lot.

[polldaddy poll=8145640]

 Tedeschi’s vs Dogbar Public Lot

Tedeschi’s: Surprisingly, Tedeschi’s beat out the apocalyptic hellscape that is the Shaw’s Railroad Ave lot. We here at the Clam could have bet actual money that Shaw’s would win the battle of the apostrophe-laden foodsellers, if we had any actual money. In Shaw’s, we lose a contestant that was a perennial entrant into the police log hall of fame. However, Tedeschi’s is also an epic shitshow of a lot, and we can’t deny it its day in the limelight.

Has anyone ever seen that lot freshly paved? Once, in 1988, maybe? It has potholes that could house a family of otters. People get super mega ‘roid pissed if you back out in the wrong order, but no one can even tell who was first on account of all the KENO receipts that blow onto your side mirrors at inopportune times.

Dogbar Public Lot: WHY IS THIS LOT EVEN IN OUR PHYSICAL REALM? Have we gone over this? It’s relatively useless and needlessly frustrating because of its diminutive size and questionable angles. Raise your hand if you’ve never accidentally backed into the extra-large dumpster on your way out. PUT YOUR HAND DOWN, YOU’RE LYING.

One time before 8PM I saw a drunk middle aged lady with a bleached blonde perm, a leopard print crop-top and a cigarette walk full-bore into a car’s hood here, so the lot has that going for it. I mean, let’s not forget that this lot directly abuts the Haus de Mitch, so on a Friday or Saturday eve there’s all manner of inebriated folks milling about the lot, exclaiming that they FUCKING HATE DOUG before punching the aforemetioned dumpster or they HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM RIGHT NOW SERIOUSLY REBECCA WE HAVE TO STOP.

[polldaddy poll=8160412]



A Veritable Clam Jam

Welcome back to reality, folks. Holiday weekend’s over. Back to being a mere cog in the machine for The Man.

But the party keeps going here at the Clam (we are looking into commissioning some kind of clam-shaped disco ball to ensure constant partying). We have some awesome stuff to announce.

First off, we have bumper stickers! These 5×5, vinyl works of art are perfect for your car, laptop, bike, small child’s forehead, or re-filed IRS tax return. They are $2 (TWO DOLLARS) and the money we raise goes to fund the Clam’s hosting because let’s face it, Jim and I aren’t exactly going out back into our sheds full of money and huffing deeply to breathe in the enchanting cash musk.

Worth every penny.

Worth every penny.

You can buy them online here, or you can stop by Big Mike’s Bikes at 57 Washington, where we have them on the counter. Along with stickers, we also have T-shirts ready! We have a selection of new and pre-worn upcycled shirts that are hand-screened by KT. Some she was a few beers deep while doing and those are cheaper than others. But most are pretty rad. We even have kids’ shirts! We’ll have more and more as time goes on. Again, stop by Big Mike’s Bikes, or click here.

They come pre-sidewaysed!

They come pre-sidewaysed!


In MOST EXCITING NEWS EVER, we will be teaming up with the Eastern Point Lit House for Clam Night! 

Join the Eastern Point Lit House in wasting an otherwise productive Saturday with an evening of snarky discussion on August 2 from 8-10 p.m. Meet the Gloucester Clam’s editors and contributors and hear about how the Clam got its start (spoiler alert: a dare), the challenges and opportunities in satire and humor blogging, and share your ideas for future stories. We will be selling Gloucester Clam stickers, as well as handmade tote bags and T-shirts.

For a suggested donation of $10, pizza, beer, and slapstick comedy will be provided. 21+!

RSVP here! 


As always, thanks for the support, loyal Clam fans!


No Snark Sunday Independence Weekend Double Bonus: Drone Fiesta and Farmers Market

First off, this:


To all the folks who approached us worried that the drone could be used to “carry bombs” or “steal privacy information from teenage girls cell phones” – um, yeah. I guess that’s technically feasible, though sort of a long-way around to achieve those goals. Really what this drone is best at is catching amazing shots like you see above. It’s a drone of love, people. Not one of hate.

Longform Shoutout of Awesome: The Farmers’ Market

The other day we realized we’d been to Farmer’s Markets in over a dozen places. This is weird because we’re not over-fond of vegetables ourselves, but we eat them because Mrs. Clam has strongly inferred that if we die an untimely death she will take the insurance money and use it to woo ponytailed yoga-men who wear bike shorts in public, so pass us some delicious salad thank you very much.

We found this scarier than the 'shower scene' in Psycho

We found this scarier than the ‘shower scene’ in Psycho

We just seem to wind up at them. In Brooklyn there is one where you can buy all kinds of weird foodie ingredients from a guy no doubt named “Kyle” and the whole thing radiates hipster rays visible to the naked eye. Troy New York has one in an abandoned parking lot next to an abandoned factory across the street from a typewriter and adding machine repair shop. In Eugene Oregon we once tried to buy lunch at a farmer’s market, but the proprietor of the stand was in a meditative trance and unable to serve us. San Francisco has several, both Portlands have them, Ithaca has a permanent setup for theirs, and we’ve been to similar concepts outdoors in the snow in northern Europe where they served hot spiced wine and comically enormous pretzels. In Asia and the Middle East outdoor markets are just called “shopping”.

Just look at these crazy hippies in Napoli selling produce on the street like...Italians have for thousands of years

Just look at these crazy hippies in Napoli selling produce on the street like…Italians have for thousands of years

Here in the States it’s no longer just a hippie thing, either. They are all over the place now, mostly clustered in cities and towns with large numbers of technology, education, science/medical and creative class workers (see The Clam’s previous essay on maintaining an essential hipfrastructure here).

The fact that we have one in Gloucester (June 12-Oct 9, Stage Fort Park) shows what we frequently talk about on No Snark Sundays and many other days, that the incredible quality of life we enjoy in Gloucester rests on the back of the many dedicated people who make cool shit happen. Here’s some fun facts about our Farmer’s Market that show we roll with the heavies when it comes to being a cool place to live:

Over 75 entirely local vendors (full list) Look, we go to the Basket, we like the Basket even. But anytime we can give money to our neighbors over the Demoulases who I’m sure are very nice but whom we have never met personally, we’re going to go ahead and do that.

No condos Local agriculture means open land. What would you rather have on that bit of open land nearby, some locally grown crops and livestock or some swell condos and McMansions? Hey man, up to you, it’s cool. Whatever you want. But just remember that every bushel of local corn equals a square meter of productive farmland somewhere nearby. You would rather that it be in Iowa? Up to you.

A bumper crop of enblandedness

A bumper crop of enblandedness

A check on the ‘Great Places to Live’ algorithm When people look at where to buy houses and locate business operations they add up things like schools, public transportation, crime rates, numbers of restaurants and other services AND farmers’ markets. Seriously, it’s on the spreadsheet. This affects things like property values and Gloucester’s perception as a dynamic or stagnant city. Having an active farmers market is a positive indicator the same way having healthy buds and leaves on a plant shows it’s thriving.

Healthier people The farmers market takes SNAP, WIC and Senior Market Coupons. The Open Door, Pathways and AGH have partnered with them to get better food into the pantries of the people who need it most (let’s remember that nearly 1/3 of our population here is on some kind of assistance, a fact-checked number that never ceases to make us shudder in disbelief). So now not only does that federal assistance stay in the local economy rather than going to the Shaws corp or 7/11, instead it goes to food that actually nourishes our people rather than crank them full of empty calories. The trickle-down effect reaches to kids in school who know what a vegetable looks like and elderly folks staying healthier. Add to it the partnerships with Backyard Growers and the school garden programs and suddenly you have made a real difference in the overall health of the city.

Chemical free We hate to mention this, but has anyone noticed how some events devolve into drunkfests? We at the Clam are certainly not ones to chide, but it did seem a little over the top at the Horribles parade when the dudes next to us had to drink a couple of 12 paks of Heineken Light and get into slurry arguments with ex-wives, girlfriends and presumably dealers as they passed by.  We’re not opposed to people having fun by any stretch, but one of the great things about the market is that it’s blissfully free of the kind of curse-filled drunken shouting that can be something of a downer at other public events. I’m guessing that the number of arrests at the farmers market is low and will likely stay that way until someone passes a law against snazzy, hand-stitched waistcoats.

Put down the pipe, you're coming with us, Baggins

Put down the pipe, you’re coming with us, Baggins

Hello, I’ll be your farmer today One of the many things to love about Gloucester is knowing everybody. It creates a sense of accountability and “we’re all in this together-itveness” You know your plumber, your mechanic, the folks who own the shops and restaurants (although some of our lady-friends tell us this is exactly why they choose a gynecologist from out of town). The same should be true of the people who grow your food. They are actual people with families and, lets face it, in many cases just simply breathtaking facial hair. Everyone should be able to admire the epic beard on the person who grows their food, that’s like a fundamental right.

It's a start, guys. It's a start.

It’s a start, guys. It’s a start.

As we said, we’ve been to these things all over the country and in different parts of the world. None, not one of them in any place we have traveled is in an off-the-hook freaktabular location as ours. Even when we went to one in Norway it was in a somewhat ratty church parking lot for some reason, not over next to the Fjord. To be fair, though, it was also the only one we’ve been to where there was a booth selling whale sausage.

Ours is so well attended (1,500 people/week) and flat-out gorgeous I hear the Governor and some heavy hitters are coming to our market sometime this summer to talk about how farmers markets are a ven-diagram of pure win that weave small business, local agriculture and healthy eating initiatives into a productive enterprise and largely free-market solution to a ton of difficult problems, all with a minimum of support. For example, if the farmers market prevents just one heart attack by helping a family eat better (remember what your doctor always says: “you gotta eat better and exercise more”), if it helps one kid focus better in school because they ate a salad an not a donut or if it is part of the equation that gets just one business to locate here providing jobs and income for the town, then it’s worth every penny of the bare-bones support it needs to run.

Also there is frequently pie. And local musicians playing free family-friendly stuff. And a different kid’s activity every week. Look, we just can’t list it all, just freaking go, OK? Remember, there is pie. Everything else is just bonus.

In short, farmer’s market = everybody wins. The city, the people, the vendors, everybody. So a bellowing Clam-Goat “Bleat of Victory” to the Gloucester Farmers Market. Huzzah folks, you know who you are but Niki Bogin especially.


Oh, and Correction: Everybody wins but people who sell razors. Epic beards on some of those dudes. Just epic.


[image below just to give us a better reference image on facebook]



Happy Independence Day Clammers (Oh by the way you are all walking in the Horribles parade next year)

So happy America’s Birthday, everybody. You know what you’re getting it next year? You’re going to put on a rainbow-colored afro wig and blast children with a super soaker from the back of a dump truck wearing flashing ‘America’ sunglasses.

Everyone within the sound of my electro-voice needs to be in the Fishtown Horribles Parade next year. Everyone, all of us. We went last night and clearly it’s one small step from being just a bunch of khaki-clad politicians wandering around with people wearing their T-Shirts. It was as if Kim Ill Sung left North Korea and was put in charge of a regional insurance carrier.

Notes in the bullet points you demand from us, at knifepoint:

A HUGE clam “Eff Yah!” to those who did turn out and who did something cool I’m gonna miss folks, but overall Smith Hardware had a great float. So did the Y, Art Haven, Lego Lady Liberty, people dressed as schooners,  the hockey kids, the cheerleaders, the Farmer’s Market, the “Sad Parade”, Anisquam Players doing Peter Pan, bagpipers, calypso band, dancers, gymnasts and great marching bands. Dude squirting people with a hose from the cement mixer, huzzah to you sir. You are our hero. Large elephant that was on Route 114 when we were a kid, great seeing you there. Anyone generally loony and costumed, we salute you. CLAM HUZZAH TO YOU ALL!

That elephant is totes hipster

That elephant is totes hipster

Veterans If you’re a veteran, you can be in any parade ever forever. That’s the rule. Jesus, we should be carrying those guys in sedan chairs considering what a lot of them have been through. Veterans, including Veterans for Peace, always get to be honored in any parade.

The church with the big cross float Some people complained about this, but I’m like “At least they were there and doing stuff with a well made float”. If we were there with a huge Star of David or a Flying Spaghetti Monster or somebody had a huge statue of Ganesh we hope folks would be cool with that.

Isn't there an Italian restaurant that can sponsor this?

Isn’t there an Italian restaurant that can sponsor this?

But you need to have a fricking float! Look kids, I’m as lazy as the next person, if there is a next person (I can’t bother to look). But you gotta do something more than just tape a hand-drawn paper sign on the side of a Chrysler and call yourself a float, unless your float is “World’s Most Craptastic Parade Float” in which case, again, huzzah.

When they throw candy, it hurts

When they throw candy, it hurts

Politicians, WTF  The biggest complaint of this year was the hordes of politicos in matching T-shirts. Look, we know a bunch of the folks in the political groups, we know a couple of the candidates themselves even and they are great people doing important work. The pols we know are good folks and I mean that on both sides of the political aisle. But it seems like the Horribles Parade without any other content to break it up has morphed into some kind of odd whistlestop tour. Next year there needs to be a simple requirement: If you political float is more than one car and ten people then you and your folks need to randomly pull items out of a community-supplied chest full of feather boas, lighted headwear, sparkly platform shoes, masks and your entire group must perform at least one (1) choreographed dance routine every 200 yards or fewer.

Bruce Tarr? We're all thinking of Bruce in this, right?

Bruce Tarr? We’re all thinking of Bruce in this, right?

“But Jim, I’m your friend Steve from Australia. Surely you don’t mean for all The Clam’s entire readership to be in the parade? I’m 15 thousand miles away.” Shut up Steve and get over here. EVERYONE is in the parade next year. Everyone. It’s going to make the Haj look like the line for carob-covered kale popsicles at Fiesta. You can be on a float called “Longhaired Aussies Who Love Jimmy Buffett For Some Reason.” Book now, it will be cheaper.

So there will be a Clam float everyone can be on? Yes and no. There will be a Clam float. Oh yes, mark our words, if we are out of jail and still able to show our faces on the streets The Clam will be there, along with family and one or another close followers selected for their ownership of large construction vehicles and access to hepatitis-free circus monkeys we can dress up as strippers. But one additional float will not be enough. We need tons of people out there to turn this thing around.


What should I do? Thinking is hard! This part is actually simple: what is your “Thing”? Are you a Trekkie? Do you love Game of Thrones as apparently everyone on the entire Internet does and won’t shut up about?  Do you have a bizarre fetish involving kitchen utensils? THIS IS YOUR TIME! It’s the freaking Horribles Parade. Here, we’ll help: Close your eyes and shake your head a little. Now open them. The first thing you see is what you’re going as next year. Apparently I am dressing up as the classic board game Yahtzee, which we were playing last night after we got home. Fine. Who can lend me a professor hat? See? Simple as that.

When we were young every year Perennial Mayoral candidate Dan Ruberti would come out in his K-Car done up in some weird way. He was a UFO one year. He was a gladiator another. His floats consisted of tin foil and stuff he found.  Shep and the Artspace folks would do something semi-comprehensible. There was a family where Mom and Dad were the Cut Bridge and their kids were little boats. There was that lady who was a flower or a rocket or…something? Yes, yes and yes. More of that.

Ironically, as it stands Rockport gets the horribles concept better than Gloucester. Sorry, but this is true. No matter. See everyone next year.

Clam, out.


Suggestions for Next Year’s Fiesta

While enjoying the brilliant and beloved spectacle of St. Peter’s Fiesta this annum, we here at The Clam took a moment to ponder what could possibly be added to make Fiesta better. It was hard. Fiesta is amazing on its own. But, here we are.

1. Blessing of the Monday Morning Post-Fiesta Street Sweeper Fleet. Let’s not kid ourselves- this is a job fraught with danger. You ever seen what happens when half a ton of green, white, and red confetti gets stuck in those bristles? We’ve lost the limbs of good men that way. Poor Ed, never did get used to making an Old Fashioned with one arm.

Not pictured: carnival ride vomit stuck to bristles.

Not pictured: carnival ride vomit stuck to bristles.

2. Ceremonial Fishing All The Grease Out Of The Water. Do you know how much you can get for locally crafted artisinal, reclaimed crisco/red grease mixture? How do you think everyone in Bed-Stuy repacks the bearings in their fixies? If we get kids to do it, we can keep labor rates down and keep more of the sweet hipster cash for ourselves. This grease has a story, man, and that story is something we can sell to people who wear stupid hats.

This fucker would totally buy artisinal grease.

This fucker would totally buy artisinal grease.

3. Annual Fixing The Fort’s Potholes Ourselves Thankyouverymuch. Everybody that lives in the Fort gets a shovel, beach sand, some Cape Pond Ice, crushed bits of concrete fallen from the facade of Good Harbor Fillet, and lobster shells and packs in those potholes best they can. It’s better that way than if a hotel ever moved in and paid for new infrastructure, when you think about it. Let’s leave it this way forever!

Hmm, needs more fear of change.

Hmm, needs more fear of change.

4. The Let’s Watch the Joan of Arc Statue This Time and Make Sure Nobody Fucks With It Parade: Self explanatory. How did no one see this happen when there’s four mounted state policemen around the corner and approximately seven thousand people hanging out on porches directly facing the statue? I think it’s a conspiracy. Additional note: “Going on a bender” is supposed to be euphemistic, fuckers.

Fiesta Aliens. It's the only explanation.

Fiesta Aliens. It’s the only explanation.

5.  Red Solo Cup Race: This event will take place at approximately 11:32 PM on Fiesta Friday. A police officer will descend upon an underage drinking party (on purpose or accidentally on his way to get an Ambie’s sausage) and all patrons located inside said party will race to the exits as fast as possible. Slowest one gets court on Monday and is grounded for, like, the whole summer.

And they were so close to losing their virginity (JK).



Perhaps if we wish upon a greasy pole long enough, we can make some of these new Fiesta traditions come true. One can only hope, right?