Change. We talk about it. We try to anticipate it, but somehow it always rattles us for good or ill when it finally arrives. And now it’s arriving on the Lynnway with Christie’s demolition and with news the Porthole Restaurant is going to close. I tried the fried pickles only once or twice at the Porthole but I always liked the model ships and all the other nautical stuff hanging on the walls or on display in the dining area and the function room.
The Porthole is one of those places where people from Lynn marked the big moments — sad and glad — in their lives. It hosted graduation parties, gatherings following funerals, birthdays and more speeches by elected officials than probably anyone can count. And now it’s going to follow Christie’s into oblivion to be replaced by a new building and by — you guessed it — change.
Speaking of nautical stuff, anyone know what happened to the giant ship’s horn once mounted on top of the former rental business on North Shore Road? A sign on the building’s roof claimed it once tooted high atop the SS United States when the luxury liner plied the high seas before finding a home in the Philadelphia Naval Yard where it sits today, a ghost ship still evoking an elegant but bygone era.
Summer’s here in name, maybe not spirit, but in all other respects. Why are getaway places in New Hampshire called camps and ones on Cape Cod are cottages? I love the stories about people taking a trolley up Lynnfield Street in days gone by to Lynn Woods or “camps” on Sluice Pond. Are some of those old summer homes along the pond still standing?
Speaking of summer, an informed source fondly remembered the days when beach-goers flocked to the shores of Lynn and Nahant and grilled outdoor meals on the now-extinct fire pits managed by the also long-gone Metropolitan District Commission. I’ve even heard stories about people sleeping overnight on the beach.
I’m happy to see the Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce taking on the “revivification” of the Grand Army of the Republic hall on Andrew Street as its latest campaign. It’s sad to see that great building full of history look like a never-ending construction project with heavy beams crisscrossing its facade. The GAR has enjoyed excellent stewardship from its board and curator Bob Matthias, but one of Lynn’s treasures now needs all the help it can get. By the way, who knows what “revivification” means?
Thanks to Michael D. Golding for sharing how the A&P formerly at Broad and Market streets offered customers “rollout” baskets shuttling the groceries they purchased out to their cars.
“As a young boy I was amazed by this process,” he said.
Remember the days of penny candy? I’m told the corner of Chatham and Timson streets was the site of a store that sold penny candy. Were there any others around the city? By the way, is there anything that costs a penny anymore?