Saturday, November 28, 2009

They're Talking About Lynn -50s - Klemm's Bakery, Lane's Drug Store, Kresge's Luncheon Counter

My parents grew up in Lynn and met at Lynn English High School. My dad worked at the chicken store downtown, right across the street from where I live today. I'm hoping to get a good article from him on that. My mom just recently wrote down some of her memories of Downtown Lynn. When my parents come visit my loft, they always look out the windows and fondly reminisce on their time spent down here. Here's some of what she remembers:

Memories from the 50s from then Highlands resident, Charlotte (Hersey) Jackson

"I have a lot of great memories of growing up in Lynn.  Downtown was very special to me. In those days, we lived in the Highlands and we were allowed to go to the downtown area and felt safe.  I remember my girlfriend Cathy and I walking down the hill on many a Saturday to Klemm's Bakery which was then in Central Square.  They made the best tuna sandwiches and the best french fries. Cathy and I would get them both and share.  

Klemm's is on the right white sign, black letters

After Klemm's, we would go to all the stores; Woolworth's, Kresge's, Bell Shop, and TW Rogers. We would just look, of course, we had no money. What little we had, we had already spent eating.  

Sometimes during the week we would go to Kresge's if my sister Doris was working at the luncheon counter. She would give us free french fries :) I don't know if she was supposed to, but she did.  She looked so cute. She had to wear a uniform with a small hat and apron.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  

Lanes Drug store was another hang out and everyone went there to get vanilla cokes. I remember the counter because they had the kind of stools you could spin around on.

     As Tricia also mentioned in her post, there was a record store near Silsbee and Union that we all went to buy our 45s.  It was a very narrow store and it was always packed with everyone getting there #1 release for that week.

 I have lots of memories and I am happy to share these with current and former Lynners."

Thanks to my mom, Charlotte (Hersey) Jackson for her memories. If you want to contribute to this series, please contact me at

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Faithful readers, thank you so much for visiting The recent election really brought things to a new level. Before this year, I was lucky to have 2 visitors on any given day. I've had over 700 visitors in the past month. I think it's a sign that we've finally got the momentum and energy behind downtown to really start making it happen. We all had a dream or a vision when we moved here. It's going to be up to us and the new administration to take it the next step. We have a new councilor with a lot of energy. We have a new Mayor who has pledged to open up the government and involve more of us in the process. We have some new businesses opening and new residents moving in. We have a lot to be thankful for... Here's my list of what I'm thankful for as a downtown resident. Leave a comment with your list.

10.The fantastic residents of Downtown Lynn that make eating, shopping, and owning property in Downtown Lynn completely worth it.

9. Capitol Diner and State Rep. Bob Fennel and his killer pancakes.

8. Lynn Arts for bringing us Third Thursday's and Meet Me Downtown

7. RAW Arts and their fantastic fundraisers including this year's incredible event at Zimman's

6.  Dunkin Donuts, Tres Virtudes, Flavaz, East Coast Karate, Columbia Insurance, Free Wind Travel, and Omar and Oscar for filling the storefronts on our block of Central Square.

5. Jamie Marsh and his absolute love for the City of Lynn and focus on important landmarks.

4. Seth and for tirelessly taping and posting all election debates, city council meetings, and everything else they do to keep us informed.

3. State Rep. Steven Walsh and all he does to directly impact downtown's re-birth. The fight for the Blue Line, the Waterfront, the power lines, cultural events downtown, are all him. Thank him every time you see him.

2. The Blue Ox and, of course, The Blue Ox BURGERS!!!

1. Mayor Elect Judy Flanagan Kennedy and her approach to open and community inclusive government.

Onward!!! A special thank you to our troops for defending our country and protecting our right to speak and live freely. I'm very thankful for all of you for caring enough to read and contribute to this blog and the other blogs of Lynners. Together, we're going to make this downtown the Blue Line's Central Square.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

End Homelessness on the North Shore One Family at a Time!

Get your tickets before Tuesday, 12/1!!!!

I really believe in the mission of this organization and am joining the board of directors in 2010. The Inn Between and The Inn Transition are two facilities run by Citizens for Adequate Housing. This organization provides the needed services for family and children to get the necessary support to improve their situation and get back into affordable housing.  It is far too easy to become homeless, especially in today's economy. Ever know someone who has had to lean on family in tough financial times? What if that family wasn't there? You can help by supporting Citizens for Adequate Housing at their annual Gala at the Ferncroft in Danvers on December 4th.

To purchase tickets:

by phone, please contact our office at (978) 531-9775 and speak to Judith Murray, ext. 11 or Betsy Leeman ext. 17 .

by email, please click here.

E-mail me first, if you know me.

Visit them on Facebook and read this short story of a family that found a home this October.

A Reason to Celebrate - Homeless Family Finds a Permanent Home

October was a month to celebrate. We knew that taking the Baez family into our privately funded community room was going to be a big challenge because of the many presenting barriers. However, we chose to take on the challenge. The family came to IB in April of 2007, a mother, whom we will call Maria, and two children, then 11 and 14. As soon as they moved in we knew that this was a very hard working mother who was very determined in growing and moving ahead. She soon decided to take advantage of the offer of a volunteer to teach her English. She went through all the levels of “Sed de Saber” (Thirst for Knowledge), an English learning program that proved very effective for this mom. I will never forget the day that she came to me to tell me: Ana I just came from my medical visit at the hospital and for the first time I did not need and interpreter!

Maria learned that she could take a training to get a license to do home child care. She took the course and eventually acquired her certification with the idea to eventually care for children in her own home. Meanwhile she cared from children of families close to her.

Maria suffers from Sleep Apnea and her sleeping arrangements here were less than adequate. While here, she underwent painful surgery which proved to be not successful. We aided her in acquiring medical equipment to help her sleep, but it took a long time and many visits to the hospital before she could get the right machine and the right attachments. Eventually she did, and was finally able to sleep several consecutive hours at a time.

The children were both doing poor in school, but were soon matched to our School on Wheels volunteers for help with homework. This proved to be a life saver for Maria who was very busy trying to earn a living and did not have the time, or the skills to aid her sons. The oldest son just stopped by yesterday to show me his grades; they have improved and we are proud with him.

As you may imagine, staying in shelter for such long amount of time proved difficult and painful. We saw this family go through a lot or crises and meltdowns. We saw many tears and many instances of desperation and deep depression, but with some words of encouragement and her tenacity, she never gave up the fight.

In October, CAH made the decision to offer her one of our affordable apartments on Holten St. till her housing offer came through. We felt Maria was really at the end of her resistance and a time of respite would aid her sanity. Two weeks later the offer for permanent housing finally came; she was offered a three bedroom apartment in Salem, where she now lives.

We rejoice with this family and together with them celebrate. They are going to be able to celebrate Christmas in their own place for the first time in a very long time.

CAH made a big difference in this family’s life and feel a great sense of pride for the labor we did.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

They're Talking About Lynn- 60s/70s - Warner Theatre, TW Rogers, Youth Week Parade

I'm really excited to get this series kicked off with this first post from my Aunt and lifelong Lynn resident, Tricia (Cahill) Jackson. Tricia is married to my Uncle Rich and lives currently near Austin Square. Some great tidbits in what she was willing to share with the Downtown Lynn blog readers. I wanted to restate that my aim is not to re-create the past, but to start a dialogue about our great Downtown area - not only what it used to be for so many, but what it is and can be for us today. These memories can give us new ideas on how to continue to define our Downtown Lynn. I'll leave the rest of this post up to my Aunt Tricia.

Memories from the 60s and 70s from lifelong Lynner - Tricia (Cahill) Jackson

I've been thinking about this off and on all day. My first thought was how much I dislike the fact that some people are always moaning about how much has changed downtown. Everything has changed so much whether it's downtown or anywhere else- some good and some bad.

I have a lot of memories of downtown and all of them are good- maybe I'm too young to feel bad that the old Lynn is gone but here are some memories I have from 1964 until about 1973. I barely remember the movie theaters downtown although I remember going to see a Phyllis Diller movie in the square with my older brother Jim and I saw Mary Poppins and Dr. Doolittle at the Warner theater. I must have been pretty young. Mary Poppins was released in 1964 so I was 6 years old.

Warner on the right, TW Rogers in the distance on the left

Back in the late 60's and early 70's there were still a lot of stores to shop in and it was a right of passage for a girl to go to TW Rogers with her mother to get her first bra!! Other milestones celebrated downtown - I had my first slice of pizza that wasn't from Monte's. If you've ever had pizza at Monte's, you'll know what I mean. Georgia's pizza at the corner of Union and Green Street was the place to go for the kids from East Lynn. When I was about 12, I was old enough to walk with my friends to Sasone's for a meatball sandwich and fries. Sasone's was on Blake Street. It was downstairs from McClellans if I remember correctly. We were pretty impressed with the table top jukeboxes they had. There was a record store on Union St near Silsbee Street and and we would go buy 45's on the way home.

When I was in junior high we used to go to Gordon's Dance Studio on Friday nights. Gordon's was on Central Ave on the 3rd and 4th floor in the building across from where Lynn Community Health Center has their office now. The lessons were from 7-9 and cost $2. We learned everything from ballroom to line dancing to what were popular dances then - like the stomp!!

I remember when I was young sitting on the steps of St Joseph's Church to watch the youth week parade. My father worked at Hood's Milk in Charlestown and would rush home after work to see the parade. For some reason, it was held early evening in the middle of the week. Back then, Lynn hosted the World Open drum and bugle competition at Manning Bowl and all the bands that came to compete would stay in the gyms at the schools. The youth week parade was held while the bands were in Lynn and it was a 2-3 hour parade!!

Lastly, I remember Santa arriving by helicopter to the Item Building. We would watch the helicopter land and then rush to City Hall to see Santa come by on a fire truck.


Great stuff. A big thank you to my Aunt Tricia and to those of you who have sent me your postings. I plan on posting one a week. If you want to contribute to this series, please contact me at


Friday, November 20, 2009

Flu Shots at Lynn Tech

City of Lynn H1N1 Vaccination Clinic
Lynn Tech Field House

Saturday, November 21st - 10AM - 1PM

This initial clinic must be limited to the following groups only:
- Children 6 Months to 18 Years of Age
- Pregnant Women
- Household Contracts of Infants Under 6 Months of Age

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hackathon09 - Lynn computer nerds, you out there?

I wonder if Lowell Gray ( or any other tech companies in Lynn (are there any?) would host one of these. I'm sure we have other techies that might attend who live in the city.

It's all about opening up government to the citizens and using technology to drive that effort. If you can get free community led efforts around this, that would be a great way to do it in the face of budget cuts.

What do we think, Downtown Lynners?

Take Mayor Elect, Judy Flanagan Kennedy's idea of putting the budget online. Maybe there are interesting ways of presenting that data to get our public involved in processing and submitting ideas for improvement. What else would be useful from an open kind of Lynn local government?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Judy wins.....again!!!

Kevin Kennedy reporting on Facebook that Judy Flanagan Kennedy won the recount! Numbers unclear...think it's by 30 or 34, but by slightly more then the original number. Mayor Clancy has congratulated her and all is as it should be.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

They're Talking About Lynn...

I am finding more and more when I tell people I live in Downtown Lynn, they have a special memory of the time they spent down here in their youth. Whether it be at one of the three movie theatres, or one of the many department stores, or simply hanging out on Central Ave or Union Street, they all have a unique memory or two to share. I'm starting a series on this blog where I will feature someone's memory of Downtown Lynn each Monday. I've already collected a couple. My goal is to connect the positives of the past to the possibilities of the present. I think we can learn a few things from these memories. My goal is not to re-create the Lynn of our past, but to spark dialogue about what a downtown area is (and has always been) about.

If you have a special memory you would like to share, please contact me.

1,2,3 Recount

Hopefully they know how to count to 27. That will be the number of votes Kennedy wins by after the recount. These systems are pretty accurate. There should be very few challenged ballots. I'm hoping to catch the end of it in person. If I'm there and they let us, I'll be blogging.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New review of the Blue Ox from NorthShore Magazine

Spot on as usual. These reviewers always capture the details of these menu items so well. Take a look and then get on over to Oxford St. and dine at The Blue Ox.

Re-build the Capitol Theatre

Is that a good idea?

Primary use local regional equity theatre. Could also be used for Film screenings for RAW, foreign language films to embrace film culture from Latin America, Russia, and independent film in the states. Lectures from the Lynn museum. Dance recitals from Lynn arts dance studio. Comedians who can't quite get the 2200 seat Lynn auditorium filled. Concerts similar to what north shore music theatre used to provide.

Now if only we had a sugar daddy to re-build it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mayor Shinn has challenged the election!

No surprise. With a 27 vote margin, I would expect anyone to challenge. Judy Flanagan Kennedy also got the necessary signatures to put her challenge in as well. This insures that both sides are present and can voice objections to ballots, etc. They are hoping to get it done all in one day, Wednesday November 18th.

Prediction - Kennedy beats "Chip" by 27 votes.


City of Lynn Concepts

Check out local blogger, Aikaterini Panagiotakis, and her ideas for how to improve Lynn Shore Drive and bring more traffic in to the downtown area.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Start a business in Downtown Lynn!!!

Now is the time to get in to Downtown. I'm seeing pretty substantial growth just in the past few months. We got a new candle store, a karate studio, and a brand new wine bar. This adds to the fantastic Blue Ox restaurant, Pho Lynn, Capitol Diner, Campus Coffee Shop, Omar and Oscar Jewlers, Flavaz Ice Cream, and Dunkin Donuts already in Central Square.

4.5% loans from EDIC. Check out the site if you're a startup or a small business looking for a location.

Turbine coming in December!!!

I heard from Stephen at Turbine Wine Bar. Looks like they are planning a few soft openings in early December and will officially open their doors mid-December. Hope the neighbors get in on one of those soft openings!!! ;-)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

250 to 500

The magic number is 500 for Downtown Lynn. This has been brought up to me one on one and I've heard it in political speeches for this year's election. I'm not sure why 500 is the magic number, but it can't be a bad thing to start driving more residents into the downtown area. So why did you move here? What makes you stay?

For me, it's my neighbors and the potential I see in the neighborhood. There's something great about the fact that we love to hang out with the people who live in this neighborhood. It's the 19 minute commuter rail trip into Boston. It's proximity to Nahant beach. It's my family history. It's the cool loft setups that would cost a fortune in Boston that have price tags in the 200s and lower here.

So, 250 people is not a lot of people. How do we get them to move here?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Building Bridges Thru Music, Inc.

I happened upon a very small blurb in the Lynn Item print edition about this organization. They have a performance on Sunday night at Lynn Arts from 6-9 PM. It looks like an interfaith group performing gospel, jazz, and blues. Sounds cool. I wonder if they're good?

The website has a calendar which when you click on the event tells you to see the website for more info (ummm?). Lynn Arts has nothing on their site about the event either.

I guess I'll be the online source of how to get tickets. :-)

Tickets are $12 in advance or $14 at the door. Call Ginny Makkers at 781-962-0022 or Doreen Murray at 781-953-1849.


Go visit the Lynn Museum

The Lynn Museum is having a live auction and food tasting on Saturday night. I won't be able to take it in as I have a performance that night out in Acton, but let me know how it is if you go.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

8 More Days!

The Clancy campaign has until November 13th to ask for a recount. No word from City Hall on whether or not he will ride that wave. I wouldn't blame him to be honest. He was quoted in the Boston Globe today saying:

"I haven't decided," Clancy, an eight-year incumbent, said this afternoon. "It's not a lot of votes, and it's a pretty accurate system. But we'll see."

Apparently he's giving the Item the silent treatment. Now they know how 8043+ of the citizens feel.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One Vote!

It seems a bit cliche, but one vote really does matter. The difference today was 27 votes. That's basically one vote per precinct. One vote per precinct. Incredible, when you put it in that context, isn't it?

Without the scare tactics from the Mass Dems regarding Judy Flanagan Kennedy's good name, or the completely out of context property tax mailing, this would have been a landslide. I still view it as one.

By the way, I think the Mayor violated section 7-3 of the city charter by turning this into a partisan race, but I guess we'll let that slide. It seems lately that the charter is up to interpretation anyway. :-)

This blog used to get 10 visits per month if I was lucky and I think those visits came from one or two readers. This month, the blog got 300 unique visits. This election has given Lynn's citizens a voice, as any good election should. We've been trying to be heard for a while now, and tonight, we were heard loud and clear. I want to personally thank Judy Flanagan Kennedy for giving us this chance.

Big challenging road ahead, but this mayor is going to take us with her down that road, and that is going to make all the difference.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Judy wins!

Thank you to everyone who voted today. You truly made a difference. Only 27 votes decided the next Mayor of Lynn.

From the Lynn Item:
"With 28 of 28 precincts reporting in the Lynn's mayoral race challenger Judith Flanagan Kennedy has beaten incumbent Mayor Edward J. Clancy Jr. by 27 votes, 8,043-8,016."

Congratulations to the Kennedy family and the citizens of Lynn. Half of you don't realize it, but we're in for a great four years. Now let's get involved.


2 hours left for you. For me, it's off to rehearsal

Since my show opens on Friday, I must depart Lynn with 2 hours to go before the polls close. The air is very uncertain. Will the voters choose Judy to continue the great progress we have all brought to Lynn, or will they choose Chip to continue the fight against city hall for a better Lynn.

We shall see tonight! Seth will be posting results on for those not able to get LynnCAM on their TV.

Thank you Seth.

Good luck Judy, Eugene, Dan, Maria, Brendan, and all the other candidates. This was a great election and a great dialogue. I hope we can keep the momentum going in the coming months.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Vote Tuesday, November 3rd!!!

Polls are open from 7:00AM-8:00PM.

Where do I vote?

For rides to the polls, please call headquarters at (781) 586-0200.

Good luck to all the candidates! Please get out and vote. It really does matter!!!!!

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