I am heartbroken that James Hook burned down. It's like a kick in the gut.
It's like when you found out that as soon as you left the house, your parents threw away all the crap from your childhood - all the hand-drawn pictures, school papers, photographs, yearbooks, medals, ribbons, mash notes into the garbage- and then converted your old bedroom into a home gym.
Let me explain.
When I was a teenager I worked here:
Which is now the Barking Crab but back then it was just a lobster pound known as Neptune Lobster. Which explains why the word "Neptune" is lettered across the side of the building, and why there is a "Neptune Lobster Parking Only" sign affixed to the wall.
At that time it was all women who worked there. The Boss Lady (my mom! yay nepotism), the Deputy Boss Lady, Kimmmmayyyyy, Me, and the Evil Twin. The only boy was the four hundred year old watchman who lived on premises in a closet who had no teeth and called himself Wally. Kimmmmmmmayyyyyy STILL cries a little when she talks or thinks about him. That's a fact.
Neptune was directly across the channel from this place:
(Note: the smaller building on the right is a newer addition)
Anyway, most afternoons and on the weekends it was me n' Kimmmmmay hanging out and waiting for the lobster boats to come in to the docks behind Neptune. Then to kill the time between customers, we would grab the grotty old binocs and scope out the BOYYYYSSSS who worked at James Hook.
The office at Neptune was where the first window is in this picture:
And from those windows we would pick out the cutest guys of the summer stock. Considering how positively disgusting we smelled by the end of the day (kind of like the Super 88 on a 100 degree day when the power goes out) the truth was that the only other people we could hit on were other people who stank like we did, ie: other lobster sellers or the lobster men themselves. A pretty tiny pool really, especially since the lobster men were old back then.
But aside from that, they were always really nice to us. I remember going into shoot the poop with them when I would get stuck on the wrong side when the bridge when it used to open regularly. Those were some really fun times in my life.
That was before the Moakley bridge, when the Northern Ave bridge was still in use for both cars AND boats.
So to see it like this:
really breaks my heart. A part of my youth has been erased because even if it is rebuilt, it will be different. And while I reluctantly understand that these things happen, it still feels like a kick in the gut.
Even more though, my heart goes out to the Hook family. Never mind the past, it's their future that has been destroyed.
(Note: None of the photos in this post are mine, they are from Flickr. Click on them for more info)