Cape Ann, a neighborhood in the Massachusetts town of Gloucester is a lovely place and much like a number of old fishing villages gone upscale. It reminds me a bit of Provincetown without the WOW factor. Unfortunately the town has grown to the point that if you do not have a mansion on the water, it can be very touristy and rather uncomfortable to be in in the summer. The traffic can be intolerable if you get there on the wrong day or hour, but then again, much of Massachusetts can have intolerable traffic if you do not know the local time patterns. I drove 34 miles to my cousin's house and it took me 2 hours!
The town has become so upscale that even the people who have invested a million in their properties have had their views blocked by newcomers on increasingly vertiginous but choice spots building multi-million dollar houses.
I went looking for Norman's Woe. I was advised to park in a little turn-out and walk in. This was on a recent vacation from my new home far away. "Walk down the path and you can find a place to see Norman's Woe." I got down to the rocky shore, deeply cut with gorges and climbed along to see the reef a quarter mile away. I had to do some fancy footwork to get all the way up to a headland that would have had a great view. After skirting a few properties that were private, I was finally blocked by a fence that cut off any possibility of progressing without climbing into a deep gorge with the sea foaming into it. At last, after creeping as close to the shore as possible, and slipping on to my ass in the black algae, I could see just the tip of the reef behind the headland, and the only way I could have seen the whole thing would mean dashing across someone's private retreat.
I could have gone down to the shore at Hammond Castle, where there is a fine view, but it was closed for a private function. I do not get back here very often as I am so deeply entrenched in my home and the travel is very expensive. Perhaps another vacation will allow me to get a good look.