Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cronies 2, Citizens 0

He did it!!! Clancy got his buddies their jobs one day before it was too late.  I was beginning to doubt the Crony-izer.  I should have known. He'll do anything to keep us from moving forward the way we want to move forward. Thanks, Honorable Mayor for doing one last dis-honorable thing before leaving office. We appreciate it.

Whether or not these two are the right ones for these positions is irrelevant. Police Chief Kevin Coppinger is probably the right choice. Deputy Fire Chief James Carritte, we will never really know. Time will tell on this one. The point is, he should have left it alone and let our Mayor-elect do her due diligence and bring forward the right choices for those two positions. Instead, it was a race to the finish and Clancy clobbers the Citizens of Lynn in a record finish!

With all due respect (or rather, all the respect you are due) - Adios Clancy!


Well said, Mr. Collins......

Is Henry Collins new at the Item?  He apparently wasn't there during the past year of Mayoral debates.

I just recently subscribed to the $10/month online Item so I can see everything, not just what they choose to put online. It's a good investment and less wasteful then piles of paper stacked up in my recycle bin. Allows me to see the ads too, which is good to stay on top of what else is going on in Lynn.

On the 29th, Henry Collins wrote an opinion column entitled "Kennedy has vision for Lynn."  In an interview with Henry at the Item, Judy Flanagan Kennedy is right on message. Still talking about getting SROs back into the schools and using the money saved in just the Mayor's office salaries to pay for at least one.  Still talking about a pavillion of sorts to create a Lynn "destination" not a "drive-by" (pardon the pun). She is also talking about getting public on crime. This is awesome! Clancy always stayed quiet when things were bad and worked behind the scenes to improve things. Kennedy has pledged to take a more "Menino" style and be public about our faults as we work together to make them better.  I like the answer she gave when asked if her approach would be more Clancy or more Menino. Ummmm.... that's a softball question!!!!   Let's see, should I be like the mayor who re-invented one of the greatest City's in the United States, or like the mayor who thought his city was in neutral for 8 years and offered no public voice to improve it. Let me think on that and get back to you.

I agree with you Mr. Collins. Kennedy has vision for the City of Lynn. I only wish you realized this during the campaign and gave her the fair coverage she deserved from the city's ONLY "news" source.

Perhaps we're all turning a corner... Onward to January 4th!!!


What will we see first - Turbine or Universal Health Care?

A bunch of downtown Lynners and I went to The Blue Ox tonight. On the way there, we noticed some people in Turbine. Looks like hardwood floors are down and that's about it. I still see signs of construction in there. They are telling me it's days until we see open doors. I am starting to feel like I'm being lied to..... I predict a grand opening in Summer of 2010 at this rate.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

East Coast Karate, a unique place for children with autism

We stopped in to 25 Central Square yesterday, the new home of EAST COAST KARATE & Aerobic Fitness Center. This place is not just another karate studio. When they mentioned they have programs for children with autism, that sparked my interest.  I don't have children, but I know this is a fairly common occurance for families today. This is something more people need to know about.

From their website:

"East Coast is proud to offer specialized karate classes to children diagnosed with autism, PDD and other challenges.  Classes will be taught by Master Hopkins and Mary Panagopoulos, a special educator for the Lynn Public Schools.  Mary has worked in many different classroom settings throughout her 27 years of teaching. She has worked with children with autism spectrum disorders since 1999. Class size will be small (6-8). Karate uniforms are to be worn. The students will learn respect, discipline and self control as they work on focusing skills and coordination. Karate improves their overall strength and cardio while they are having fun!!"

They also have several classes for us Downtowners who don't get home from Boston until 6-6:30. Combat Punch Out at 7PM on Monday and Wed nights as well as 9AM (ouch) on Saturday mornings.  They also run a Cardio Combo class at 9AM on Sunday mornings.  Grab a quick Cardio class before that trip to Capitol Diner on Sundays. Bob will be confused as we all start to lose weight eating his food. :-)
More importantly then anything they offer, my first impression of these folks excites me. It was the kind of excitement for what they offer, that this downtown really needs. The place looks fantastic. They all were incredibly friendly and happy to see us. They look to have people in there every night. Let's help this place become a smashing success.

Call them today at 781-595-8779 and sign up for a class, start on that life-long dream to be a martial artist (they have programs for adults, children, and even TODDLERS). If you have a child with autism, get them into the specialized karate program today. 

Check out their website for even more detail.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

What are you doing New Years....New Years Eve?

There are plenty of places to ring in the New Year in Downtown Lynn. I wanted to make sure you all are aware of at least two options:

The Blue Ox - Regular dinner menu. You won't have to pay a fortune to have a fantastic meal. The Blue Ox burgers are $11. Try and get a burger for $11 in Boston on 12/31.  There will be a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Call 781.780.5722 for advance reservations. I imagine they will fill up very fast if they are not already.

Tatiana's - I just spoke with Tatiana on the phone. I think they will remain open until 1AM and in her words "There will be a party, but we don't know what yet"  So, go to Tatiana's and hang out with friends. Watch the ball drop on the big screen and bring in the New Year with fellow Lynners.

My wife and I have never done the whole First Night Boston thing. So, we're doing that this year. For others who want to do the same, here are some important details.

First of all, you can buy your first night buttons right here in Lynn. We got ours at Tedeschi Food Shops right near the intersection of Summer and Western Ave.  They also sell them at Shaw's on the corner of Market and State St.  They are also available at two other Tedeschi locations: 210 Lewis Street and 625 Boston St.

North Station is 19 minutes from the MBTA Central Square commuter rail stop in Downtown Lynn. On New Years Eve, they have regular weekday service to accomodate the extra traffic heading in to Boston for First Night.  They also have several options for getting home late that night including a 12:10 AM Rockport train, a 12:45 AM Newburyport train, and a 1:00AM Rockport train. The main fireworks in Boston are on the common at 7PM, so you can also head in, catch the ice sculptures and fireworks and take an earlier train home. There will be several on the normal schedule.

 If you have a New Year's event in a Downtown Lynn establishment that you would like me to publicize here, please leave a comment and/or email me at

 Have a Happy and Safe New Year!

- Corey

Saturday, December 26, 2009

So... what did you get for Christmas?

A friend of mine has been sitting up in Ward One bidding on collectible Lynn, MA postcards. Last night she gave me an album full of them. It is such an interesting slice of history. They are mostly from the early 1900s and they read very similarly to the modern day text message. It wasn't about being on vacation or "wish you were here" type messages. It was like twitter, but instead of instantly knowing what was on these people's minds, you had to wait a few weeks while the horses and trains got the message over to you. Messages about arrivals or departures at certain destinations. Messages about people's illnesses and how they are progressing. Messages apologizing for not writing a letter, only a postcard. I included both sides of our favorite card. I really hope she got her ice cream :-)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone has a safe and very Merry Christmas. My wife and I celebrate both holidays, so I get twice the presents!!! Well not really, but I like to think that. I got a new electric menorah as one of my Christmas presents.  Feels like Christmukah! My wife bought me a new 50MM 1.4 lens for my Nikon. That means another photo walk around Lynn soon. Any other photographers out there that would be into a photo walk?

Merry Christmas!!!!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Parade comes to Downtown Lynn

On Christmas Eve, the City of Lynn has its' annual Santa Parade. Starting at 5PM Santa and several other vehicles begin making their way all around Lynn. I found it difficult to figure out where I could catch it if I live downtown, so I think from what I see on City of Lynn website and what the Item reported, it kind of circles us. The most convenient spot to watch seems to be Broad Street at 6:30. I would get there a little before that to catch it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fox 25 Visits The Capitol Diner this morning!!!

The Invite of the Century!

Ok, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. The decade...... absolutely. 8 years of shame is over. Clancy the Clown jokes will cease. I will no longer have a Mayor to compare to Music Man's Mayor Shinn.

I just received the most glorious looking piece of mail I've ever received from the City of Lynn.

I will hopefully be live blogging from the event if I can figure out an efficient way to do that. At the very least, I'll post a few times.  Look at how fabulous this invitation looks. The heading on the bottom half just seems to fit the new City of Lynn. I am so excited for the change Judy Flanagan Kennedy is going to bring to this beautiful city.  If only Darren Cyr and Stephen Duffy's names weren't on this piece of paper, but alas, you can't have everything.

This invitation is a tribute to all of you! We made a difference in the outcome of this election in order to secure a better future for the city we all love. Whether you agreed or disagreed with the outcome, you were here. You were listening to a new point of view. You heard the truth! You voted your heart and we now have a chance at an open government. A government of the people, by the people and for the people and not just those people who are the Mayor's friends. All the people of Lynn.

Speak up, be heard. She's listening!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Turbine Wine Bar ....... Emminent Arrival

The people at Turbine are telling me we're days away from seeing that door open. I really hope The City of Lynn is not causing the delays on this one. We need to get these downtown businesses open quickly. Once I know anything, I will share it with you. Has anyone heard any details on this place? Anyone seen inside yet?


Saturday, December 19, 2009

They're Talking About Lynn - What have we learned?

I was in Barnes and Noble the other day and couldn't resist buying a Lynn book from the "Images of America" series. If I was thinking, I would have held off and bought it over at the Lynn Museum. Great gifts over there for any Lynners with last minute christmas shopping to do.

The book got me thinking about the series we've been running on this blog, They're Talking About Lynn. It's really fun to talk about this town and its' rich history. The Downtown is remembered so fondly by all who were a part of it from the 1800s to about 1980. I believe we're starting to build fond memories again of this area thanks to the revitalization efforts of the past 5 years.

So what have we learned?

I've been picking up on a few common threads.

#1 A reason to hang out! The Blue Ox has been the most compelling reason to get people from Ward One and Ward Seven over here. RAW Arts seems to do the best job at getting folks from those Wards as well as Lynnfield, Marblehead, and Swampscott. It's great that they do their fundraisers right in the heart of Central Square. The recent added event at Zimman's was also brilliant. I'm sure 70% of that crowd was floored at the fact that we had a store like that in Downtown Lynn.  So, how do we give people more of a reason to come down and hang out here?

#2 Food, glorious food.... All night cafeterias, the smell of fresh chocolate being made, the smell of cooking rotisserie chicken. The Blue Ox, Pho Lynn, and Tatiana's are probably the most popular reasons to eat downtown. We need more to get a critical mass of people flooding here every night to eat.  A friend of mine is a big wig at the 99. He used to always tell me, that they would watch for where everyone else was flooding. You actually want an Applebees and a Chilis right next door. It's good for everyone if there are options. Just get the cars and people coming in to the area, then worry about competing against each other for their business.  The demand is still there.  I heard you have to get booked 2-4 weeks in advance at The Blue Ox now for a reservation during a popular weekend slot.  This blog gets more searches for Turbine Wine Bar then any other term since the election. People want more things to open. They want more of a reason to come downtown. The Felix Discotec is one of the most popular bars I've seen down here in a long time. Every weekend it's completely packed. Not my speed, but I'm glad business is doing so well for them.    So, what should be next to open? Doesn't need to be a sit down restaurant. There is a lack of reasons to come here for lunch as well. Big Belly's was awesome, but not enough business, I guess, to stay open. Are you hungry? What are you craving?

#3 Entertainment - We have the renovated Lynn Auditorium now. I think with some more energy and focus you could book a lot more there now with the North Shore Music Theatre closed.  The problem is no one can fill 2,200 seats. We still are lacking a medium sized venue. We need a 500-900 seat theatre for touring comedians, small music acts, and a regional professional theatre.  This venue could also show art films, films from the RAW kids, etc. Maybe it's a venue that connects the Museum to the Lynn Arts building. How about even an outdoor amphitheater for summer acts.  We could build one of those over by the Lynnway looking out on the skyline of Boston. What do you do for entertinment at night? It's not about movie theatres anymore. So, what is it about?

Some of these are ideas I've shared with you before. Some are new. But, honestly, who cares what I think? I want to know what you think?


Friday, December 18, 2009

Why Did You Use ANY of the Overlay?????

I just watched the first 80 minutes of the city council meeting from this past Tuesday where they voted on the tax levee for 2010. I'm kind of confused at what I saw. I have six pages of notes, but I'm a little tired as it is one in the morning, so I'll keep this as brief as I can.

So basically, what it boiled down to, was we had enough free cash 4.67M to balance the budget. Clancy the Clown suggested we also throw 1M of our reserve into the fray to reduce the tax burden by 1.1% for all taxpayers in Lynn. A completely absurd proposal. I listened to several financial experts tell me this during the meeting. I even listened to them tell us all that using any of this overlay was not necessary. Using the 350K that we did, was NOT necessary to balance the budget. Are you listening? No town, worth it's weight in financial practices, would have done what our council did on Tuesday.  My company, if it were able to tax us, certainly would have used it's full tax levee power to bring in the right level of revenue to a business (in this case, the City of Lynn) that sorely needs it.  This is such incredible short term thinking to dip into our overlay in the amount that we did.

I guess it was smart of Crowley and Kennedy to propose a compromise under the 500K mark, but it almost seemed too easy.  Are we at the point where a two hour meeting on something this important is too long? Why didn't we debate the merits of using ZERO more? They seemed to outweigh the negatives and seemed to align with the views of the Mayor-elect.  This will not continue in 2010 because there will be cuts to useless people in our city that have been on the crony train for 8 years. Why it had to continue in 2009 when our free cash covered our obligations, I don't know if I will ever understand.  You almost can't complain about the added tax burden. It's almost negligible when you look at the total number. Compare that to the possibilities of the entire city of Lynn getting on the path to a better bond rating and it makes no sense for us to care about $36 dollars on our tax bill for the year.

That's what we're talking about. With the 350K relief we got, I heard $18 being thrown around as what I am going to save. BIG DEAL! I would rather live in a city that has a chance with Moody's and the Department of Revenue.

At one point Councilor Cahill asked about the total we could possibly borrow at our current rating. The answer was more then we could afford to finance. He seemed all proud about that, but isn't that NOT the point. Isn't it about the percent charged on the debt we do have, not about getting the opportunity to borrow more. I fail to understand the point of your question, Councilor Cahill.

In 2002 we had a reserve of 4% or 8.2M. Today we're getting close to 1%. Dangerous ground folks. IN the face of local aid and 9C cuts, we're gonna get screwed if we keep spending this cash.

I hope Kennedy remains true to the promises she made on Tuesday. Get the waste out of this government and return us to sound fiscal practices and STOP using this cash.

Ok, now all you taxpayers can yell at me in the comments! I'm one too and I will gladly pay more.

I'm actually kind of upset the Sommerville option got shot down so fast. Let Ward One-derful subsidize some of this city. They won't all shop Downtown...fine.... pay for it in another way.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Tina Turner in Lynn

Ok, so it was the 70s and there was some sort of venue near where Building 19 is today! @81Anna tweeted that her father found photos to prove it. I'm still hoping they'll send me one. Any of you remember this event? What other big acts were playing downtown or on the Lynnway?

When I was poll checking this year, I sat next to this older woman who had some great stories about jazz greats who used to come through Lynn including Dizzy Gillespie. Her dad owned some music store on Munroe Street.  I really should start carrying around a recorder.

Maybe Seth's idea of getting a real music scene up and running in Downtown Lynn is not so far fetched and is just the history that is begging to be revived

Sunday, December 13, 2009

54 Central, 3A is for sale!!!

Be a part of all this. 54 Central Square, Apt 3A is for sale. Only $239,000. A Complete steal. We were in the unit above this last night and I can tell you, your neighbors will be awesome. Take a look at these pictures. Something like this in Boston would be close to a million. Come to Lynn. 19 minutes to North Station by train. Minutes from Wonderland via bus or car.

Reach out if you are thinking about moving here and have any questions or concerns. 


Saturday, December 12, 2009

They're Talking About Lynn - 50s - Central Square

This post really excites me. As I look out the windows from the top floor of a Central Square loft, it's so much fun to think about the history of this great downtown area.  So intrigued by the potential of the lot across the street (currently a Mayo parking lot) and the empty square next to Lynn Arts. So much potential. Who will tap it first? Let's see how this post inspires you.

More from Cathy (Brooks) Kibbey on Central Square

I remember Central Square very vividly.  There was so much going on there.  Just before you took the curve of Union Street to enter Central Square was Connolly's Chocolates.  Clearly on Union Street but just before you took the curve.  It was the best candy store around.  But it was so much more than candy.  It was gourmet before gourmet became a common buzz word.  As soon as you entered the shop painted in pale yellow there was the sweet smell of chocolate followed by display cases of hard and soft chocolates on the left and an extensive  display of fudge on the right.  All these treats were made on the premises.   Each selection of chocolates was was personally selected by the buyer and wrapped by a salesperson and placed in a cream covered box with the Connolly's  logo andfasrened with a gold ribbon.  Each season they specialized in special candies.  At Easter they had large chocolate covered eggs with various fillings.  Just a few doors down from Connolly's and just on the curve to Central Square was Kennedy's Egg and Butter Store.  There you could purchase fresh eggs, butter, freshly churned peanut butter, and freshly ground coffee.

As you entered the square there were  a variety of stores. Several small jewelry stores, pawn shops, The White Tower (not to be confused with White Castle), Klemm's Bakery (as mentioned previously in a blog), Arnold Stationary and the Waldorf  Cafeteria.  I remember in the mid fifties going to the Waldorf Cafeteria with my mother, aunt and cousins for lunch and then waiting outside for the bus to take us to Boston to see The Lady and the Tramp at the Majestic (now the Wang). 

Across the street in the square was Essex County Bank. But before that, it was Hunt's Restaurant.  Always crowded and always family fare.  Bissett Jewelry store seemed always to be there.  Buddy Bissett was the jeweler and his sister-in law assisted him.  You could always get a square deal from Buddy. 

Memory doesn't provide me with more information on that side of the street.  However, there was Orlannoff's Luggage and Leather Store next to Bissett's which you could always get  quality monogrammed  wallets or luggage.  

Still in the square and under the railroad pass there was a cluster of stores leading to Exchange Street.  One was Jake Bluestein's Poultry Shop which was situated at the bus stop.  It was a Kosher poultry shop with rotisserie chickens rotating in the window.  The aroma was phenomenal!  By the time you took the Highland Circuit bus home your appetite was peaked. There was  a smoke and newspaper shop, which was not uncommon for the times and another Pawn Shop.  Then there was the Pine Crest Lounge.  Dimly lit with booths and offering a variety of specials.  The luncheon specials usually tasted good for the right price.  There was the customary smell of stale beer, and just enough darkness to hide a multitude of sanitation sins.  Ah, those were the days before hand sanitizers and sneezing into your elbow.  The Capitol Diner was as good then as it is today. It is wonderful that some things never change...when so many good things do.   A taxi stand was situated under the railroad as well, but I seldom ever got to ride in a taxi when the bus was right across the street for only 15 cents.     

If you were out of work and/or  just hung around Central Square you got the handle as being a "Central Square Bum".  Clearly not a complimentary reference.  However, there was lot happening there and if you were a "bum" what better place to hang around?


I completely agree Cathy. It sounds like a wonderful place to hang around and we're starting to see the seeds of that return to being a true hangout. With Blue Ox and soon Turbine, Lynn Arts, Capitol Diner, Campus Coffee, and Charlie's we're returning Central Square to it's rightful glory.

When you talked about Buddy, I couldn't help but think of Omar and Oscar today. Fantastic service and great jewelry. I never feel like I am getting a bad deal there.

When you talked about the bus to Boston to see a show, I immediately think about the recent City Council meeting where they discussed a shuttle service to Boston, Foxwoods, Mohegan, and NYC.

Great stuff. Keep em coming Cathy. We're all enjoying your memories very much. Thank you for sharing your memories of our dear Central Square. 


Happy Hannukah

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Want To Live in Lynn...And It's OK if You Don't....

Residency seemed to get almost as much air time as crime in the debates for the Mayoral race. It seems silly to me that we require city employees to move here in order to work here. Will someone explain to me why this is good for the city?

My opinion is that the best person for the job is the person for the job. It doesn't matter where they live if they have a passion for their work.

I've heard the argument that if an employee of the city has pride in their city, then why wouldn't they want to live here from many people. Well, that's all well in good, but you can't very well just uproot yourself from the home you've built with your family just because you got a new job in Lynn.

Maybe I'm missing some crucial part of this debate. Anyone want to bat this one around with me?

Better yet, want to help Lynn by getting this out of the city charter?

From the chater:

Section 8-11    City Residence Required
Every person who is appointed to a city office, and every person who is employed on a permanent full time basis by the city not a resident of the city at the time of such appointment or employment shall, within six months following such appointment or employment, establish his ordinary and usual place of residence within the city or such appointment or employment shall be deemed to be vacated or forfeited."

Elected officials should live here. That's fine. I can even "sort of" understand the requirement for public safety to live in or at least near the city. Why extend this to all full-time employees. We're limiting our potential hiring pool big time!! 

Ok, now, yell at me.... I can take it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mona Lisa Sand Drawing

Check out Lynn-Side Edition. This post is cool stuff:

The truth on Turbine...

So yesterday this site experienced a spike in traffic. Most of you were searching in google for Turbine Wine Bar. 

I can only say what I've been told and what I see, which seem to be two different stories.

What I've been told is they are going to open mid-December, which would mean next week! What I see is very little progress over at the place in question.

No doubt it is going to open. Before 2010, I doubt it!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Kind of Developers We Need

As most of the older readers of this blog know, I have some problems with one of the developers who has done work downtown. For the sake of this post, they shall remain nameless.

I recently found this link and mention of Oasis Development
These are the type of developers we need to provide incentives to, so that they keep up with their positive improvements to the Downtown area.

Check this out! I noticed this garden over the past summer, but I was never really sure what it was. This is cool stuff.  Get in on the action for next growing season.

Contact The Food Project!


Random Acts of......Violence!

Blog can't be all roses, when people are randomly shooting off AK-47s in local chinese restaurants. We obviously have an issue when no one who lives Downtown wants to go West of Oxford Street or anywhere near Union Street. It's a bit like Dorchester where you feel very safe in one area and completely vulnerable a street later.

So what's up?

How do we stop these random acts of violence?

The first one last week was outside of Charlie Chan's on Union Street. A homeless woman and a man in a fight. 2nd Man comes out of restaurant and tries to stop the fight. Man gets stabbed.   The second incident was Saturday night. Man refused alcohol at China Lion on Market Street. Goes to car, gets AK-47 and Glock. Goes back to restaurant and starts firing at the ceiling.  Customers wrestle him out of the restaurant and get the weapon away from him.   These are two of the most public streets in Lynn. I'm not sure why these assailants feel they can get away with this. Both were apprehended.

What would deter these people from acting out these moments of lunacy? Do we need more police presence during late night hours on Union and Market. I find it hard to believe those are not well patrolled during those hours.  Do we need more awareness of the price you will pay if you act on your anger and rage?

Is this just the price we have to pay for living in an urban environment or is there something that should be done. I'm no expert. Perhaps you are? What do you think?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Downtown Sees It's First Snow....

They're Talking About Lynn - More 50s - Olympia, Warner, Central Square, Paramount

 In the last "They're Talking About Lynn", we heard from Charlotte (Hersey) Jackson and her memories of walking down from the highlands with her girlfriend, Cathy.  I was very happy to receive this post from Cathy just days after that last post hit.

More from the 50s from lifelong Lynn resident until 2009, Cathy  (Brooks) Kibbey

As I was mentioned in the last blog I think it is only fair to put my 2 cents in.  I am Charlotte's friend Cathy.  Lynn was no small potatoes.  Besides having Union Street as a main thorough fare, there was also Market Street and all the connecting streets in between.   We'll talk about some of the other streets on another blog.  Let's talk about the theaters.  Today with computers, DVDs, and other forms of entertainment available to  the youth, young people may find a game of dodge ball, hope scotch and hide and seek boring.  However, when all those little games we played became boring to us, going to the movies was one of our biggest treats.

  Lynn had 3 popular movie theaters during my childhood in the 50's.  However, before that there were more than just those 3.  At the turn of the twentieth century (between 1897 and 1915) there were 5 new theaters opened in Lynn including the Olympia.  That was before my time.  My mother talked often of the other theaters and the impact they had on her life. The 3 largest and most popular theaters that I remember were The Capital, The Warner and the grandest of all, The Paramount.  If you got to go to the show  on a Saturday by 12:00 noon, children ages 12 and under paid 25 cents for admission which included a double feature, cartoons and a news reel. They were always packed.  Back in those days there were ushers with flash lights to show you to your seat or make sure you weren't making out in the dark.

  The Warner usually had lines around the corner.   On the opposite corner  to the Warner was McClellan's dime store.  They sold a big sleeve of Popcorn for only 10 cents which was a definite "must"  if you were interested in munching during the show.  Under Mc Clellan's was Sassone's Italian restaurant with its red and white checkered table clothes and Chianti bottles with candles in them.  I can still remember the aroma of their  sauce as it  traveled through the side walk grates while waiting to go to the show.  Maybe we can talk about the restaurants at another time.  This is just about the theaters.

  I think the Paramount was the largest.  Definitely, it was the grandest.  The very best movies came there.   Next to the Paramount was the New York Bakery which sold doughnut holes in a large bag for 10 cents.  If they only knew what Dunkin' Donuts knows today. Sometimes I would go down Union Street a bit and get a bag of freshly roasted peanuts from the "Mr. Peanut " store.   The glass window had a mechanical Mr. Peanut who tapped the window all day long.  There was a permanent scratch on the window where his cane hit.  Inside was an assortment of nuts, all freshly roasted or being roasted.  My personal favorite were the red skinned Spanish nuts.  They were also the cheapest.  Nothing matches the feel of holding a warm bag of peanuts followed by the aroma and eventual eating.  At 10 cents a quarter pound it was another must for the show.   The inside of the Paramount was very plush and had gold leaf everywhere and ornate chandeliers and mirrors.  There was a huge balcony.  Downstairs was a smoking lounge as well as the men's and ladies rest rooms.  Did I say rest rooms?  The ladies room was elegant.  It was actually a suite of rooms.  First,  a lounge section, separate from the main lounge,  with sofas and chairs.  Connecting to the ladies lounges was a room filled with individual vanities, mirrors and velvet vanity stools, and connecting that room was, of course the actual restroom.  Many a little girl went to those vanities and pretended to be the movie stars on the screen upstairs.  Of course they also has a ladies room attendant.  I don't know what she was suppose to do, but she never looked happy about the little girls loitering around and giggling.  The decor throughout the Paramount was Art Deco and the colors were creams, black and china red.  The only drawback to the Paramount children's matinee was if you were not accompanied by an adult you were delegated to sitting in Aisle 1.  Drats!!  Of course they could never pull that off today.  Even as a child I thought it was unconstitutional, but that was the kind of weird kid I was.

Finally, The Capital.  Just a little history.  It was opened in 1910 and was originally called The Central Square.  It offered high class vaudeville and live entertainment.  But I only remember the 50's.  Although the Capital showed such great films as West Side Story, during my youth it had the reputation of showing horror films and movies which had already  made the circuit.  It was an elegant theater in it's own right, but the least popular.  It was flanked by a shoe store, now the Visitors Center and on the other side Stiliano's restaurant..  Ah, there it is again...... food.  So many memories tied up in food.  No wonder many of us looked like the Campbell Soup Kids.

These memories, although below the surface of consciousness, came back to me so vividly when I read the last blog.  I don't live in Lynn anymore, but did my whole life until recently.  I was always proud to be a "Lynner". 


Thank you Cathy for sharing your fond memories of entertainment in the Downtown area. If you want to contribute to this series, please contact me at

Bill Cosby at Lynn Auditorium...TONIGHT!!

Still tickets left to see Bill Cosby at Lynn Auditorium tonight, Dec 5th. One night only!. If you haven't been to Lynn Auditorium in the past year, go check out the newly renovated, 2200 seat auditorium located in City Hall. It's worth checking out regardless of what the act is. Tonight just happens to be a great venue with a great, classic act.  Come downtown, catch dinner at the Blue Ox, Pho Lynn, or Tatiana's and then head over to the auditorium for a night of good old-fashioned Cosby at his best.

For more on Lynn Auditorium and the other performances coming up, see their website or visit City Hall sometime and take a look. .

For tickets, visit Ticketmaster


This holiday season, we need to all look at the organizations around the North Shore doing pretty amazing things for others. Right here in Downtown Lynn we have RAW Art Works, Girls Inc, Straight Ahead Ministries, and the YMCA among others.  Consider a gift to one of these amazing organizations as part of your holiday shopping spree. There is also Item Santa, run by the Lynn Item, which needs all of our help.

My wife and I, along with a few friends, went to the Citizens for Adequate Housing (CAH) Gala tonight. A woman took to the podium with her story of how the Inn Between, run by CAH, saved her life. She found herself in an abusive relationship, landed in a shelter for battered women, and truly thought that she was going to die there. She met with CAH, and got herself in to the Inn Between. She was able to turn things around. Get a job. Build up confidence in herself. Today she owns her own business, is happily married and has three beautifully cared for children. A success story in every way. CAH is truly ending homelessness one family at a time. I am joining the Board of Directors for this organization in 2010 and I would appreciate you looking into how you could become involved in helping this organization either financially or in whatever way you can.

Finally, a lot of us have pets downtown. I love seeing you all with your dogs out by the clock in Central Square. Sometimes I wish I had a dog, so I could get to know you all better. I think if I put my cat on a leash you all might find me odd and not talk to me anyway. Plus, for those of you who know my cat, you know this would be pretty much impossible to get a harness on her.  Anyway, the shelters are having a real hard time this year. The Northeast Animal Shelter on Rt. 107 in Salem is a no-kill shelter and could really use help. Consider adopting or helping them with their efforts this holiday season.

Tis the Season folks... If you can, open up your hearts and your pockets....

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A little light is shed on Central Square....

It's that time of year. The tree is lit. That means there aren't enough days left in the year to get my Christmas shopping done.  Did anyone participate in the festivities today? I'd love to hear how it went. Did you enjoy Lynn Arts, The Lynn Museum? Anyone head out to dinner at The Blue Ox, Pho Lynn, or Tatiana's?

Merry Christmas Lynners!!!

Don't Forget the Tree Lighting today!

Lynn Happens has a great break down of the day at

I, unfortunately, will not be around for the festivities. Make an ornament for me!

735 Visits

Around election time was at about 300 unique visits for the previous 30 days. The site is now at 735 unique visits for the past 30 days.  Keep it up readers. Start talking more. I've opened up comments to everyone so you don't need to login anymore. I want to hear from you. Why do you read What is it missing that you hoped to find here?  You sick of me picking on Clancy? Too bad... that won't stop even when he isn't Mayor. Say it with me... January 4th.... January 4th!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

T-Minus 2 Cronies!!!

Quick Clancy, you got one month left, and two cronies to go! You're running out of time!!!!!

Clancy is trying to get the Chief spots of our Police and Fire Departments filled before he leaves office. This seems especially shady in the light of the controversy that brought Carritte up the chain of command. If Carritte is the right man for the job, then it should be obvious to a few more people.  Why are we so unable to put obviously qualified people into the running for these very important positions?

I smell something fishy and it's not Lynn Beach....   January 4th can not get here soon enough!!!


Tree Lighting in Central Square

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Kind of scary that December is here already. This Thursday they will light the tree at City Hall at 5PM and then have trolleys available to bring folks over to Central Square. Lynn Arts and Lynn Museum will have various activities for the kiddies and entertainment. This would be a great way to experience downtown if you haven't been here in a while.

After the tree lighting in Central Square and some shopping at Lynn Arts, take in some of the shops downtown. Get some great deals on jewelry from Omar & Oscar, get a gift for the home from Zimmans, buy a fitness class at the new karate/fitness studio. Get some Dunkins gift cards. Better yet, get some Blue Ox gift certificates. I think they are 10% off right now. While you're at The Blue Ox, sit down for some Blue Ox Burgers and a beer.

....a perfect night to experience the new Downtown Lynn.

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