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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What Market Street Vision Plan?

The land in question on the corner of Market and Broad is state owned land, which has been sold to the only bidder, All Care VNA. It is the opinion of this blog, that this decision was the wrong one. If it's a done deal, it's a done deal, but the City and State need to recognize that this undoes a lot of the progress we've made over the past 4 years.  

Not too long ago, our state invested in a nice little study of our Downtown area which produced a Market Street Vision Plan. It's actually very well done.
http://www.mass.gov/Ehed/docs/dhcd/cd/gateway/lynn.pdf


On Slide 18 they explain the Framework from which alternatives would be considered, there are 8 points on the slide, corresponding to 8 areas of Downtown. Here they are:

1. Market Street: Reinforce Market St as a vital retail street w/ active ground floor uses such as retail/commercial with mixed use on upper floors.

2. The Triangles: Create a more unified district of mixed uses by infilling key sites with new development, renovating buildings, and enhancing the streetscape

3. Gateways: Better utilize gateway opportunities to reinforce downtown identity

4. "Market Square Development" Attract signature mixed use development to downtown.

5. Broad Street: Create a strong street edge and enhanced corridor deifnition.

6. Central Square: Support/enhance the existing vitality of Central square

7. Munroe St. Support and enhance the existing character of the district

8. Civic Uses: Support Civic Uses and events in the downtown area.


To be fair, the All Care VNA building hits on area 1 and 3 directly. So, let's take these points one by one.

1. I almost felt insane as I was writing number 1 above. No retail, no active ground use, no mixed use. To top it all off, let's place a fence around it to make it even less of a welcoming space.  Let's not forget they are leaving their current 2nd floor space on Market (a perfect use of that property).

3. Gateway should reinforce downtown identity....  I guess if we have embraced this, then Downtown identity shall be defined as "Health Care"  or "The Medical District" or "Nursing Capital of the North Shore." Any of those have the ring we're looking for as a label for our downtown?

OK.... let's skip on over to slide 34 for a second....

This would be the "Action plan" of the Market Street Vision Plan. In case everything else was too difficult to read, I assume most in City Hall at least read this page. And to be fair, there are some at City Hall who are quietly on our side on this. I'm hoping they get louder....soon!!!

So.... primary goal of the vision plan is to enhance property values within the downtown study area. I'm sure you all can't wait to let your real estate agents know that we now have an expanding Health Center on Union, Willow Labs, and our very own VNA. If that doesn't up those property values and rents, I don't know what will!

Point 1 on the short-term action plan deals with a zoning change. I believe this is really what the city is voting on on Tuesday April 13th. Changing this area from industrial to whatever is necessary to put All Care there.  The recommendation of the plan is to upgrade the retail and commercial presence along Market and Washington Streets. It's funny, I don't see anything in this plan about developing Downtown into a medical ward. Maybe I missed a chapter?

You can read it for yourself, but be warned..... The more you dig in to this one, the angrier you're going to get. I think our State let us down by selling to the first bidder.  Will our City continue to let Downtown Lynn slip out of our grasp?

Bedtime reading, anyone?
http://www.mass.gov/Ehed/docs/dhcd/cd/gateway/lynn.pdf

-Corey

All Care VNA - Some facts from the President Shawn Potter

I was able to speak with Shawn Potter, President of All Care VNA. Thank you to whoever let him know about us. Apparently emailing his own Media email address is not as effective as you readers letting him know personally :-)

I wanted to share with you some facts I was able to get about the space being developed.

1. No cafeteria in the plan. This is GOOD!

2. They are combining workers from 2 buildings in Lynn with 75 new employees from Wakefield for a total of 350-400 employees in Lynn (not sure why the range, but I guess we can assume those 75 from Wakefield will be new to us). 275 employees live in Lynn, MA. This means some new foot traffic for the Downtown during the day to patronize our Downtown eateries and retail outlets.

3. They service nearly 10,000 citizens in Lynn, MA

4. They will be making a payment in lieu of taxes (Non-profits are not required to pay anything in the state of MA). The amount is not finalized nor public at this time.


There is no commerical space planned. There are designs available at City Hall. Not sure how to get my hands on those, but if I can, I'm told I can share them with you.  I know they will be displayed on April 13th at City Council.

Just the facts for this post. See you all on April 13th.

He left me with a question that I believe has a short-sighted answer if you ask the City of Lynn or State of MA.  If it's such a strategic location, why hasn't anyone bid on it in the past 20 years? Let the comments begin!

-Corey

Rain = Commuter Rail Fail

Lynners stay away from commuter rail this evening. Bus shuttles already getting in on the fun commute. Blue line to Central Square bus seems ontime-ish.







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Sunday, March 28, 2010

All Care VNA Building Downtown

All Care VNA currently has two locations in Lynn, MA. Above the Century Bank on Market and somewhere near City Hall. They are a non-profit home health care organization that is diligently serving our community in many services including during recovery from an illness or injury, end-of life care, in-home care, and social activities. I am very supportive of their cause and I wish them the best of success in the future.

Now on to why I Care about All Care!!!

On April 13th, there will be a public hearing about their new space. I've written to the media email address and they've apparently ignored me. If they weren't such a caring org with better things to do then answer me, I'd be a little more upset. (I mean come on, even the General Manager of the Daily Item found time to email me back. I wish Phil ran All Care VNA, someone I actually WANT to talk to.)

I'm hoping this isn't just the beginning of All Care VNA's response for Downtown Lynn's other residents.

The reason this concerns me is that their new space has little utility or benefit to the new Downtown Lynn. One potentially great side effect is it will cover up the hideous MBTA garage, but that is hardly forward thinking.

It has zero plans for bottom floor commercial use. This is a new building coming into Downtown which will be empty at night and produce little foot traffic ever.  It will have no compelling pull from the nearby Lynnway or even Broad Street traffic.

My only hope is they NOT put a cafeteria inside so that the employees never come out to support our lunchtime establishments. My second hope is that it match the brick color and architectural design to something historic Lynn and/or be a compelling modern design. I hear it will be in line with the Lynn Museum including a black iron fence around the exterior to keep us OUT! :-)

It will create an alley of sorts where the MBTA buses will be in and out throughout the day. At night, the city has assured us, this alley won't be crime ridden.  The city also hopes it will cause more commercial to open in the spaces under the MBTA garage. I'm not sure why that would happen now that a box is in front of it, but I guess time will tell.....


April 13th - City Council. I'm told there will be presentations to show the design and usage of the space in detail. I hope you are all in person at City Hall to see it for yourself and then decide whether you will be in favor or in opposition and be heard! I will be there!



-Corey

Exploring Downtown Lynn: Munroe Street

Over the next week I'm going to make good on my promise to start making my way over towards Market Street in our Exploring Downtown Lynn series. I hope you will be pleasantly surprised with the amazing developments on Munroe Street.






The first block contains one of the coolest buildings that wraps around from Central Square. There is a clothing store on the corner followed by a hair salon (We have about 80 of those down here), followed by a jewelry/fine gift shop, and ending with one of the best Mexican food places on the North Shore, Tacos Lupita. I have not been there in a long time, but I hear from others they are still very very good.



The Food Project is very cherished by the folks who live downtown. Not only did they beautify this store front with a white on green sign, they also developed a beautiful garden on Munroe where residents can have small gardens to grow their own plants and vegetables.  Come check it out this summer. It's a very nice addition to the community.



Across the street are a few more hair salons and some storefronts that are available for rent (not too many left on Munroe).




OASIS development was the developer behind this entire stretch of Munroe and I believe had a lot to do with the public garden I mentioned above. They are an amazing group and we hope they will decide to develop more of Lynn over the coming years.




Beden Hardware is on Munroe. Their hours make it difficult for the residents to shop here, but if you are around during the week, during business hours, they seem to have a great selection.  For all you complaining about Lowe's and Home Depot, this is where you should be shopping, if you're not already.



There are some great residential buildings on Munroe. I love the look of the Munroe Lofts' facade.




Another gem for lunch or dinner is Pho Lynn. Great food and great service. I need to get over there again soon and do a better review for you all. I loved it the last time I was there. I have several friends who perform at Lynn Arts occasionally and this is where they always meet up for dinner before a show.




This may be my favorite loft building in all of Downtown Lynn. A very unique slim design. The lofts are very spacious front to back and they have a great exterior facade.





You've all heard me raving about Juan's sandwiches at Fernando's. If you haven't gone yet, you really don't know what you're missing.



So, what are you waiting for? Come back and re-discover Munroe Street.

Next up: Oxford Street

-Corey

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Downtown Lynn Take-Out Palooza!!!


It's BIG!!! It's HUGE!!!! It's the Downtown Lynn Take-Out Palooza!!!!! I might put this down as BEST DINNAH EVA!!!!!

Ok, so the truth is we had a toddler over and take-out was the best option. I was so happy when Turbine said they do take-out!!!!!

Top Left: Blue Ox Fries
Top Right: Dito's Diet Cokes

2nd Row (Left to Right)
Blue Ox Burgers, 
Blue Ox bread with maple butter,
Blue Ox mixed green salad

3rd Row (Left to Right)
Turbine Caprese Skewers, Turbine Hummus Plate, Turbine Spicy Coconut Soup

4th Row (Left to Right)
Turbine Caprese Skewers, Turbine Sweet Potato Ravioli

Fantastic. Blue Ox has always done a fantastic job with take-out. Turbine has these great small take out bowls for their small plates. Awesome presentation. Tasted just as good. I miss my glass of Lefage though :-(

YUMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!



Super Walmart and Lowes coming to Salem on 107

I know you guys like to duke it out on this topic ;). I encourage you to name yourself and not remain anonymous.

Walmart will be expanding. They will be blasting out the entire hill behind Meineke. Lowes will go up behind meineke and next to Walmart. The camp fire camp at the top of the hill will be moved (I hope lowes is paying for that).

Woods, rocks, land gone. Jobs created, more tax revenue for Salem. This good or bad? I really don't have a strong opinion as long as they are not screwing over Camp Fire.

-Corey


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Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'll have a double espresso chai latte venti black tea mochalade please!

Starbucks in Central Square? Say what?

I heard today someone is really trying to make this happen, somewhere near the Lynn Item building.

This is HUGE!!!! We need to find out who is behind this and get our encouraging support to them. I think Starbucks would do very well down here and there would be an extreme pull of people from Lynn Shore Drive and Broad Street to get a morning Latte Mochachino tall double shot of WHAT WHAT!!!

Bring it on barristas!

-Corey

I've never loved Rye bread as much as I do now!

If I were being a responsible blogger, I would have gone somewhere different for lunch today, but I couldn't resist. I don't take time off from work that often, and I just had to go back to Fernando's on Munroe Street. This time I got the Russian Roast Beef. Incredible! I didn't think I liked Rye bread. I almost changed it, but my gut told me to trust the master of sandwich making, Juan Gonzales.  The combination of everything in this sandwich came together so well and the Rye bread was absolutely the correct choice.

Heads up to all you Downtowners. Juan needs our help. He is planning a few things that are extremely positive for the Downtown area.

1. Block Party. This is going well and he has support from Lynn Arts, looking for some community support and hopefully can get through all the permits at the city. If you're an entertainer, reach out to Juan and get involved in this event.

2. Outdoor seating. This really needs to happen. For some reason the Health Department won't allow him to put them in the parking lot beside the building. Something about "line of sight." Ummm... how do restaurants with roof decks and tables out back get away with it? Selective enforcement yet again? They think there will be a public hearing on this at City Hall in May. I will try and keep my eyes open for that so we can rally around him and help make this happen.

For more on Juan and his restaurant, Fernando's, see my original post on the most fantastic Cuban sandwich in the world! And I can say that.. since I've never had a cuban sandwich before...ummm...oh well. I'm still going to stand by that comment.


-Corey

Thoughts on the Council Meeting from 3/23

City Hall was busy Tuesday night with it's regular agenda of Committee hearings and the full Council session. One of the committee's struck our attention this week as they were going to potentially set down an amended ordinance for public hearing dealing with home occupations. A lot of us Downtowner's have businesses of some kind or another that occur within the lofts and have no impact on our neighbors. The proposed ordinance was taking some older vague language and making the home business of one employee, no client visits, and no sales from the property a lot easier, while making a home business with 3 employees impossible. I believe the ordinance makes a lot of sense for those in the more suburban areas of Lynn. I think it makes zero sense Downtown. I hope they will consider the downtown area as an exception and have number of employees and client visits as a condition of the permit with numerical restrictions that make sense for the building and home office in question.

The council once again did the right thing. This was tabled in order for the councilors to get a bit more feedback before setting down for public hearing.

The ordinance committee also discussed a new ordinance that has been led by Dan Cahill. This is phenomenal work by Cahill, Girl's Inc, and the Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce and my hats off to all involved. There will be a public hearing on April 13th for this ordinance that will prohibit the sale of drug paraphernalia within our Lynn stores. That's right... you poor business owners won't be able to sell blunt wrappers and rosebud glass tubes. Your kind of business is definitely not a part of our vision for Lynn. So if that's how you've been staying open, along with whatever else is in your back room, good riddance. I just hope the Lynn PD and ISD is able to enforce this for real.


Wow. That's a lot of great stuff that happened before the actual Council session even started. Council was just as good. I'm feeling kind of dirty praising these guys so much today, but hey, everyone has a good day and they deserve it today.


No Communications
No Public Hearings
No Public Hearings to Set Down (The ordinance hearing above will be a hearing in committee, it will not be heard at council. You can attend all committee meetings and their times and locations will be posted on downtownlynn.com by Friday night)


When we got to New Business, Councilor Cyr and Councilor Trahant both got vocal on asking Swampscott and Aggregate Industries to do the right thing and help out the Lynn neighbors who were so badly effected by water damage that Swampscott and Aggregate could have prevented. Be interesting to see how this plays out. It doesn't sound like a declaration of war YET, but we'll see how Swampscott responds. I hope they do the right thing and come through with some support for these Lynn residents effected by their ignorance in not dealing with this known problem with Foster's Dam.


Great meeting. Great focus on doing what's right for the citizen's of Lynn.

Ended with some random questions about the abandoned car lot on the Lynnway. Still not sure what to make of that. Time will tell what they do with that valuable land. I still don't want to see Lynn sell that piece of the puzzle until we have a few more ducks in a row on the Waterfront.


Minutes should be posted on Lynn's website within a few days I hope. THe minutes from the previous meeting on March 9th are already up.

April 13th will be a busy session. Lots of public hearings. Be sure to attend! It's gonna be a blast!!! :-)

VNA All Care building is on the schedule. This building has no commercial storefronts in it's plan and thus will add to our non-existent foot traffic at night as well as provide downtowners with no additional value. It also is a prime pull location from NSCC and the Lynnway and having no commercial on the bottom floors is an extreme mistake. Whether or not it can be filled now is irrelevant. If we believe in the future of our Downtown, this prime location should not be wasted! I've reached out to VNA All Care for comment, but have not heard back.


-Corey

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

One Step Closer to Common Cause - Now Where's Our Budget!!!!

Downtownlynn.com was forwarded a press release from the office of City Council President, Tim Phelan.  

The minutes for City Council meetings will now be posted on the city's website!!!!!!!


My post on Your Council President was only one week ago! This is phenomenal. Granted, it's a very easy thing to accomplish, but I'm still very impressed with the turn around and the willingness to listen and react.

This is a fantastic step forward for open government and the City of Lynn. There is a placeholder on the council page at http://www.ci.lynn.ma.us/electedofficials_citycouncil_page2.shtml.

No minutes yet... but we'll give them at least 48 hours to get these posted. Since the release says the minutes are publicly available upon request at city hall, I assume they will be posting all of those previous minutes online as well. Hint, Hint.

I have contacted the Mayor requesting the city budget to be made available to us online. Her office has told me the request has been forwarded to her. I am waiting for a response. More to come!


Kudos to the entire City Council!


Here's the release:



PRESS RELEASE: LYNN CITY COUNCIL 3-24-10

 

Lynn City Council President Timothy Phelan, on behalf of the entire Council, announced today increased public access to all formal City Council minutes.  "In an effort to keep our Government transparent and open to the public, effective immediately, from this date forward, all official minutes of City Council Meetings will be posted and available on-line on the City Council page of the City of Lynn's web-site at www.ci.lynn.ma.us ", Phelan stated. "While the minutes have always been public records, this will make access to them much easier and efficient. In today's busy world many people don't have the time to come to City Hall to make a request for these records. Now people can see what their elected officials are doing from the convenience of their computer."  Last year Phelan created a Twitter account to provide the public additional access to the Council’s public meeting schedule and all Council meetings are currently televised. "Hopefully this information will not only provide the public helpful information but potentially spur ideas and involvement as well" Phelan said.    

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What do Turbine and Wasabi have in Common?

Steve Hanley and the folks at Turbine Wine Bar will be hosting Vinnin Square's Gourmet Garden Tuesday night, March 23rd! They will be serving sushi all night in addition to Chef Dorothy's fantastic Turbine menu. If a success this week and next, it may become a regular event. Get out and support this initiative. I think it's genius!





















Turbine Wine Bar
w/ guest Gourmet Garden's Sushi Chef
56 Central Square 
Lynn, MA 01901

Monday, March 22, 2010

RAW Art Works and Young Professionals

If you haven't been a part of a RAW event, you don't know what you're missing. They are pretty good at throwing a party. I've attended their yearly BASH fundraiser in the RAW Art Works space each spring that I've lived here. Sarah and I have a painting we love in our bedroom that we got from a RAW student. It's a fantastic organization and a great place to get involved if you are a young professional who happens to be in and around Boston on March 24th at 7PM. Tell them http://downtownlynn.com sent ya! I unfortunately have rehearsal that evening so will not be there, but the invite list is already growing. It's going to be quite the event and it's FREE. 




Tax Cuts for Lynn Residents Who Don't Work for Lynn

Fine!!! If you want residency, I want a tax cut. ;-p

One of the points I hear over and over again on the pro-residency side is: We pay taxes to the city of Lynn, so the jobs should go to us.

What??? Does that really make any sense? If it does, then I want a tax cut for not taking any of my money back.  For those of you taking me seriously, stop. Seriously Phil, cut it out.

Speaking of Phil  --- According to the Lynn Item, our Mayor has a meeting on April 22nd with 6 individuals who allegedly do not live here, but work here. The city charter mandates that you move here within 6 months of taking any city job. School workers are exempt from this. Why?


Now, the poor Mayor is stuck on this one. She has to uphold the city charter, and I actually hope she does...... BUT, I hope this meeting is the start of uncovering to the public why the city charter is WRONG and is hurting the City of Lynn from drawing on a larger talent pool for certain open city positions.  I want it clear that I am not saying that any of our current city workers are not working out (a lot of them are doing amazing work for this city).  I'm simply convinced that as new positions open up and/or are created, we could bring in some experience from the outside and get some new ideas and we'd be very happy with the results.


This Just In: Outsiders Taking Chance on Downtown Revitalization and Opening Shop


EXTRA EXTRA: Swampscott resident proud and dedicated member of East Lynn Community Association

Breaking News: Several young professionals are moving to Lynn lofts from STILL overpriced Boston, Watertown, Cambridge, and Somerville


Several People who live outside of Lynn, love Lynn!

It's a big part of why I moved here. It's a big part of why people who live in Marblehead, Swampscott and Nahant are opening shop here. It's a big part of why a Swampscott resident is still a board member of the ELCA as per Lynn-Side Edition's post yesterday. Why do we believe our city is so horrible.... that if this is lifted ......... there will be a grand exodus? I don't!

I see new people moving in each day. I'm not seeing a lot of traffic the other way. Actually the only person who's left our building recently, was a city employee. I see great homes being built and occupied in the hills of Ward One. I don't see these staying empty even if a few of them do choose to leave. Furthermore, if they do flock out of here, how invested were they in this city to begin with? Why force them to stay? Why make them resent their employer? How is that going to make them do a good job? Hold them accountable for doing a great job for the city. If they are doing a great job, it doesn't matter where they live.

Maybe we should start forcing those of us who live here to also play and shop here. No longer will we allow residents to pay taxes and then not use our parks and stores that they are helping to fund. If we catch any Lynn resident shopping at the North Shore Mall, we'll have to take that Nordstrom bag away and call a meeting with the Mayor.

Oy! We could be making progress, instead we have to constantly meet about the archaic. It's time to bring Lynn to the next level and open her up to outside ideas! Mayor Kennedy, I'm hoping you will be vocal on this one! Educate us! Looking forward to reading some quotes from you on April 22nd.

I know we've entertained this debate on this blog before. I want you to really think about this before just writing the same things down. Also, take the poll on the top right corner. You are completely anonymous. No games please. I'm interested in how you really feel on this.

-Corey

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Downtown Lynn: There's an App for That!

When I was a kid growing up in Peabody we always used to play Foursquare before school and at recess.  Literally four squares and a kickball where you would smash the ball over to any other square so that it hit the ground inside the square and went past the other player (if you were lucky). When someone got the ball past you, you would be OUT and everyone would move up a square and a new person would come in at Square One. Simple and an effective way to get everyone involved in the game and you were the coolest kid if you could hold on to that 4th square for a long time.

Recently, I've started using the Foursquare App on my iPhone. The app is a way to check in at locations throughout town and let others know you are there. The objective is to become Mayor and stay the Mayor of the location. Over time, businesses have started to offer deals to the Mayor or poaching techniques where you check in at one place and it pops up a message that another place is offering a free drink if you decide to go there instead. :-)

At first it was silly for me using it alone, checking in to places I eat at lunch time and random spots around Lynn, but now it's become a way of socializing that I hadn't understood until I started getting more local friends. I see trends when a bunch of Downtowners start checking in to Turbine or The Blue Ox. It helps me decide where to go and in some cases has got me to leave my house to go see some peeps.  Casa Molina was a place I didn't even know about until one of my friends on Fourquare checked in there last week.  On Saturday or Sunday morning we now know when some of our friends are at Christopher's or the Capitol Diner just based on their checkins and can use that info to decide on brunch.

More of us need to start using this tool and seeking each other out. My handle is cojackso. I just recently started following Emmanuel I since he was  the Mayor of everything! Something I intend to CHANGE! It's on Emmanuel I.

Heatmap of my checkins:



Check it out on Foursquare.com

-Corey

Uses for the Item

I finally found something the Item is good for. How do you use your Daily Item?




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Where were you?

Friday night at Lynn City Hall was an amazing night.  Performers and speakers born and raised in Lynn alongside our brothers and sisters from Haiti, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. It was something special. The bands were all completely amazing. Kids from Lynn Classical were fantastic. Great spanish rock band,  steel drums, and the Mayor's husband sang in his band, Shuffle Mode. The only issue I had with last night is that you were not there. While our numbers were small last night, it was a special group of people. A celebration of Haiti and our Haitian Lynners in their time of need. A refrain often repeated last night was "We are wounded but we are alive!!"

So, tell me, why weren't you there?

It had two Lynn Item articles. Oh right, you all stopped reading that paper. I was just joking when I recommended that. The bloggers have been all over it for a couple of weeks. The same number of unique people were in City Hall last night that visit this blog every single day.  The tickets were $10 and children under 10 were free. It was held at a family friendly hour. There were tons of people on the stage, their friends and family didn't even seem to be there.

Are we all invested in the success of Downtown? Do we care that Jamie Marsh and his team bled to bring back the Lynn Auditorium to you? Do we want the Mayor to be successful in bringing all of our cultures into combined events like this one? We stand 90,000+ strong and about 100 of you showed up last night. 

Now, I know what you're thinking. "Get over yourself, Jackson".....

That's fine, I expect you to be defensive. But I am just looking out for our baby and you should be too. Downtown Lynn.... The New administration and Mayor's office.... Jamie Marsh and the Lynn Auditorium.... can only be as successful as we make them. It's up to us!

Now, get your ass online.... and order those Emerson and Lake tickets.

I wasn't there for the beginning slide show, McGee's speech or the Mayor's speech, but there are awesome pictures on the City's website as well.


I shouldn't even share these with you because you've been so bad, but here's what you missed ;-)


Friday, March 19, 2010

City Council Agenda for March 23rd

Not much to this weeks City Council Session. I will post this every week as soon as I get it. It's also available on the City's website under City Council without commentary. :-)

I hear the transfer from reserves on every meeting. Does saving for a rainy day work if it's always raining? These aren't large numbers but something to watch over time I would think.

I've included the committee meetings that are happening prior to council on Tuesday. There is an ordinance mentioned on here but it's not the same as the nuisance ordinance, at least I don't think it is. I've requested the full text. I will let you know.



Meetings Prior to the Council Meeting:


Renewable Energy Committee, 6:00 P.M., Room 402

Discussion with a Representative from DOER and the Green Communities Division regarding their programs and services, and Other Business.


Ordinance Committee, 6:30 P.M., Room 402

Discussion and/or to Set Down for Public Hearing a Proposed Ordinance Amending the Zone Ordinance of the City of Lynn (Home Occupations); and Other Business.


License Committee, 7:15 P.M., Room 402

Discussion re: Minor Licenses and Other Business.


Public Property Committee, 7:30 P.M., Room 402

Discussion re: Request from St. Pius School and Walk for HAWC to

hang banners at various locations, and Other Business.


Finance Committee, 7:45 P.M., Room 408

Discussion re: Financial Transfers, and Other Business.



City Council Meeting, 8PM


March 23, 2010


Communications - NONE




Public Hearings - NONE



Public Hearings to be set down: - NONE



Unfinished business


From Finance Committee meeting of March 9, 2010:


Ordered that the City Comptroller be and is hereby authorized to make the following appropriation transfer:


From the account of Veteran’s Dept. Expense:

To the Account of Unpaid Bills of prior years: $6,000.00


From the Account of License Committee Expense:

To the Account of Unpaid Bills of prior years: $435.75


From the Account of Reserve Fund:

To the Account of DPW Overtime: $8,671.83


From the Account of Police Department Expense:

To the Account of Unpaid Bills of Prior years: $27,137.01


From the Account of Health Insurance Trust Fund: $74,000.00

To the Account of Unpaid Bills Prior Year (Police): $31,040.26

To the Account of Police Expense: $42,959.74


Committee Reports:


Renewable Energy

Ordinance

License

Public Property

Finance


New Business:

Where's the online budget?

While we're starting to work on the fiscal budget, why not put last year's online? I believe that was a campaign pledge. Put the budget online and get ideas from the public on areas of improvement or on where to make trade-offs.

Common Cause Massachusetts has recently awarded a ton of local communities for their transparency. Our goal needs to be to win this award NEXT YEAR or we failed.

This maps so well to my conversation with Mr. Phelan (not the feather part). It also maps directly to a campaign pledge from Judy Flanagan Kennedy. I hope this is being worked on in City Hall.

Agendas->Minutes->Budgets->Bylaws

This isn't hard. Just takes a leader to believe it's important. Note to Mayor and Council - It's important! Let's get it done.


http://www.commoncause.org/site/pp.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=4847587

Over 50% of MA complies. Lynn does not. Time to stop hiding, let's let it out.

Congrats to the following towns for valuing their citizens. Lynn will join you next year:

Acton, Agawam, Amesbury, Amherst, Andover, Arlington, Ashburnham, Ashby, Ashland, Attleboro, Avon, Ayer, Barnstable, Becket, Bedford, Bellingham, Belmont, Billerica, Bolton, Boston, Bourne, Boxborough, Boylston, Braintree, Brewster, Brockton, Brookline, Burlington, Cambridge, Carlisle, Charlton, Chatham, Chelmsford, Chelsea, Chicopee, Chilmark, Cohasset, Concord, Dartmouth, Dedham, Dennis, Douglas, Dover, Dracut, Dudley, Dunstable, Duxbury, East Longmeadow, Eastham, Easton, Edgartown, Egremont, Essex, Everett, Falmouth, Fitchburg, Foxborough, Framingham, Franklin, Freetown, Gardner, Georgetown, Gill, Gloucester, Grafton, Great Barrington, Groton, Halifax, Hamilton, Harvard, Harwich, Haverhill, Hingham, Holden, Holliston, Holyoke, Hopkinton, Hubbardston, Hudson, Ipswich, Kingston, Lakeville, Lancaster, Lenox, Leominster, Lexington, Littleton, Longmeadow, Lowell, Lunenburg, Malden, Mansfield, Marblehead, Marlborough, Marshfield, Maynard, Medfield, Medway, Melrose, Methuen, Millbury, Milton, Montague, Monterey, Nantucket, Needham, New Bedford, Newburyport, Newton, North Adams, North Andover, North Brookfield, North Reading, Northampton, Northbridge, Northborough, Northfield, Oak Bluffs, Orange, Orleans, Otis, Paxton, Peabody, Pembroke, Pepperell, Plympton, Princeton, Reading, Rockland, Rockport, Salem, Salisbury, Sandwich, Saugus, Scituate, Seekonk, Sharon, Sheffield, Shrewsbury, Somerville, South Hadley, Southampton, Southborough, Southwick, Spencer, Springfield, Sterling, Stow, Sudbury, Sunderland, Sutton, Taunton, Topsfield, Truro, Upton, Uxbridge, Walpole, Waltham, Wareham, Warwick, Watertown, Wayland, Wellesley, Wellfleet, Wenham, West Boylston, West Springfield, Westborough, Westford, Westminster, Weston, Westwood, Weymouth, Wilbraham, Williamstown, Wilmington, Winchester, Woburn, Worcester, Wrentham, Yarmouth.





-Corey

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lynn Auditorium: Haitian Benefit Concert


I'm looking forward to visiting Lynn Auditorium on Friday night to take in some great local bands. It looks like a lot of different groups will be playing. I think I saw somewhere that a comedian will be performing as well. Should be an interesting night. For $10, you can't go wrong. Great cause and a great way to support the city at the same time. Come downtown a little early so you can check out Blue Ox, Turbine, Tatiana's, Pho Lynn, or a host of other places I've yet to try.  The great part is the night ends at 10PM. That means you get 3 hours (wish it were 4) to come and party with us Downtown at Blue Ox, Tatiana's or Turbine. I will be at the concert. I'll be the guy with the obnoxious camera. Come say hi or smack me in the face or whatever it is you would like to do to me (within reason, Phil!).
I'll probably end the night at Tatiana's to catch Syracuse's slaughter of Vermont if it's on the screens there.  I graduated from Syracuse so I'm a bit excited that they're a No. 1 seed this year. We don't have too much to be proud of in Football any more. I graduated with Donavan McNabb and Marvin Harrison. It's been kind of dismal since then. So, basketball is our only hope.  Fingers crossed.

See you all Friday night at Lynn auditorium!!!




Horizon's Edge Casino Cruise is run by Aliens

So, I don't know if you've ever been on this boat out of Lynn but it's quite the experience. Just about the smokiest casino you've ever been inside. Horrifyingly bad music on the top deck while everyone is sitting there falling asleep while we head back to shore at the end of the night.  Top it all off with some very scary and very drunk folks wanting to pick fights in the parking lot and then those same people drive drunkenly home. On the flip side, being able to cruise out of Lynn is a highlight. I wish we had better options similar to the Spirit of Boston or something like that. I hope with the new waterfront, we draw in some of that potential. The sign has been painted over in black and I know they had tax issues a while back so I'm not sure you will get the pleasure of casino cruising out of Lynn this year.

I check Google blogs and twitter for "Lynn, MA" fairly regularly. Usually the stuff that comes up is home sales and random bloggers. This one though was quite the find.  You might want to read it and then come back to get the full comedic effect.

http://naturalplane.blogspot.com/2010/03/ufo-witnessed-from-casino-cruise-ship.html

So, no wonder they weren't paying their taxes. Also, when they were trying to get them to pay up, no one could find the boat. It wasn't in either port it's known to dock in. Obviously it was back up at it's home planet.  This blogger has explained everything.

So, let the conspiracy theories begin. Perhaps the whole waterfront project is a brainwashing exercise by the aliens to get us to give them more land. Maybe our councilors are part of the alien empire and that's why they're trying to move all those cars out of the abandoned lot. Would this be one of those feather things? (For more on feathers, please read my post on Your Council President).

Just in case any of my readers are actually in to this kind of stuff, I'm just joking. Unfortunately, I have to say that these days, or I seem to get people mad at me (right, Phil?).  Oh my god. I just thought of something. Maybe the Alien's are running the Item. Maybe Phil is just trying to exclude my blog from being able to advertise in his paper because he thinks I might expose the Alien's Waterfront project. It's all becoming so clear now.

Ok, I need to stop. I just wanted to share that link. For the record, I'm very excited about the Waterfront potential even if it is run by aliens. I don't care, as long as it increases our property values.

Thought I'd throw in a little humor for my return readers. I really do appreciate you all. Readership is growing by leaps and bounds lately. Yesterday 100 unique people stopped by and most of you came back the same day. That's a lot of eyeballs everyday.  Keep reading and more importantly, start talking! I want to know what you think.

-Corey

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

MBTA troubles

Looks like you'll want to check mbta.com before heading in or out of Lynn tonight.




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Your Council President

I'm pleasantly confused.

About two weeks ago, I submitted some feedback on the city website regarding council agendas and minutes. I was annoyed that they were not available in a timely fashion online (minutes are not provided at all). My other main beef was regarding my poem, "Anyone?" from a previous post. The fact is that no one is ever there to speak in favor or in opposition. I contest a big part of it is due to no one knowing what is going to be discussed during that council session.  The council is for the most part conducted in a vacuum.  This request for an improvement to their web content, got me scheduled for a meeting with Councilor Phelan today after work.  Seemed extreme at first, so it felt a little like he has been reading this and was calling me in for a chat. :-) It turned out to not be like that at all, or was it exactly that? This is my confusion.

My hope is that we can provide more transparency about what will be talked about at future council sessions.  For example, we already know that April 23rd is a public hearing for the new VNA All Care building at the corner of Market and Broad. So....... is our goal to do the right thing for the entire surrounding community, or keep it as quiet as possible so it gets through easily.  I only know about this because I was paying extreme attention to the council video from Seth. The other way to find out is to read the small print legal notices in the Item on the day that they post it. While I look at these everyday now, I doubt most people do.

I'm hoping that they will include me on agendas and anything press worthy in the future so that I can let you all know when something might be of interest to us. I've already received a note from the Council secretary about being added to this distribution, so that's a nice step forward for us.

The meeting was completely diplomatic. I can't tell whether or not he has read this blog. He said he hasn't, so we'll go with that, but he kept bringing up things that I've blogged about. I told him no one trusts politicians and he made an important statement. "This used to be an honorable profession." He's right and I will be the first to admit that I need to try harder to honor these guys when they deserve it. These are fathers, husbands, mothers, wives and they all have full time jobs on top of the public service they are providing to us. I'm not giving them any excuses, but it's something for perspective.  

I found it really amusing that every time I thought I knew something about a decision made in council, I didn't really know the reason. This is mostly due to being misinformed by the Lynn Item. A lot of this is the city's fault. They deal with the press in a very ad hoc fashion. It makes complete sense why the Lynn Item gets everything wrong, since it seems they need to have an in to get a story. This completely explains the insanely biased Clancy machine the Item used to be.  If we really want open, transparent government, we need to change this approach to the press.  I suggested that the events that happen behind the scenes that lead to certain decisions be made public during council sessions for the record. He didn't seem all in to that idea, but ..... baby steps.


He brought up @lynncouncil on twitter. You all should follow this user. There was a tweet on March 12th. Before that, the last one was December, but if people are watching I expect they'll pay more attention to it.  When it goes silent, direct message the account. Someone will get an email somewhere.

All in all, Phelan seems like a real good guy. I told him nothing I say on here is to be taken personal. I joke around a lot which sometimes gets lost on these guys. He told me about the movie Doubt, when the priest asks the nun to go up on the hill and slice open a pillow and let all the feathers fly out. When she returned to the priest the next day, she asked what to do next. The priest said, you know those feathers? That was a rumor. Now go and collect all the feathers. Of course, this was impossible.


So, I hope you can see why I am pleasantly confused. I can't tell if what happened today was sincere or calculated. I'd be letting some of my readers down if I told you I thought it was sincere. I'd be letting others down if I told you I thought it was calculated, not to mention giving myself a little too much credit.

SO... I'm going to remain pleasantly confused and give him some time to prove one of those correct. I don't think I have any feathers to collect, but as the story goes, it's too late anyway.

-Corey

Emerson & Lake come to Lynn Auditorium

While I have no idea who these guys are, when I mentioned this at work a few guys lit up and starting singing to me. So, I assume there are many more of you out there who would love to spend an Evening with Emerson and Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer.


Now that The Blue Ox is open on Sundays, you'll be able to take in a great dinner followed by a show at the beautiful Lynn Auditorium.

This Just In: People Get Paid to Work for Lynn

I'm not sure if the Item has a point or is trying to make a point with the two-day profile on Lynn's municipal salaries. Today they have singled out the school department in what seems like a profile of normal salaries for jobs requiring that level of education. As a matter of fact, every salary they've mentioned has been well below what I would consider a decent wage for a senior level position of any kind. So.. I say three cheers to our municipal workers. It's not the salaries that are the problem (where we have problems).

I would think the Item would want to do some more comparisons to the state average or similar communities to Lynn in size and income levels. They do not do this, leaving us to wonder... is this a lot of money... or not enough? Our superintendent of schools, for example is at the 75th percentile if compared to Superintendents nationally. This came from salarywizard.com.  If education is one of our issues in Lynn, shouldn't we be doing our best to compensate the right talent. It's not the salary that's the issue. We are the ninth largest city in a state with a high cost of living.

I have to share with you my favorite quote from today's paper. It's one of the finest examples of investigative journalism I have ever seen.:


"The amount spent on salaries in 2009 was $90,730,031, compared to $85,051,514 in 2008, which City Treasurer Richard Fortucci said represents a 6.7 percent increase." *

Wait.... let me read that last part for you again:


"which City Treasurer Richard Fortucci said represents a 6.7 percent increase."*

Well thank god we got to the bottom of that. This is not a dig at Fortucci, by the way. The poor thing was probably asked that question. How would that interview have gone? Maybe something like this:






Reporter: Hey, Mr. Treasurer, do you know that the school department salaries went from 85M to 90.7M in one year?


Mr. Treasurer: Um...Yes.


Reporter: Do you know what percentage that is year over year?


Mr. Treasurer: Well, umm.... don't you have a calculator or something back at your office?


Reporter: I do, but percentages always kind of confuse me. 


Mr. Treasurer: Oh, well I could probably do this in my head, but maybe you could just use your computer when you get back to your office?


Reporter: Hmmm.... yeah...about that... They just gave me this pencil and notepad.... Gonna need you to give me that percentage. It's my right due to the freedom of information act. 


Mr. Treasurer:  Whatever! Let me think...... 6.7 %


Reporter: Thank you. That's all for now.



This is not news. Yet, some of our public will be fooled with the clipart of big money held by an iron fist and headshots of the senior leaders of Lynn which bring on the feel of mugshots.  The only news here is that the people who work for Lynn and still getting paid to work for Lynn. Way to go, City Payroll Department. 

I personally would like to thank all of you for your service to Lynn and honestly, I don't care how much you make. All I care about, is that you're doing your job. 

Thanks Phil. Keep up the good work. 

-Corey 


Kaminski, Robin (2010, March 16). Lynn schools shell out $90M in salaries The Daily Item. Retrieved March 16, 2010, from http://www.itemlive.com


Monday, March 15, 2010

Turbine on Wicked Local

Great review of Turbine on Wicked Local from March 5th. I disagree on the first sentence. Blue Ox does not need to move anywhere. These places compliment each other so well. A perfect night in Downtown Lynn would be to visit both of these establishments in either order. Drink and small plate at Turbine, followed by meal and dessert at Blue Ox OR Dinner at Blue Ox followed by dessert and a nightcap at Turbine. No moving over. They need to join hands. I'd like to see a special where you could get something at a discount if you bring a receipt with today's date from the other place. 

http://blogs.wickedlocal.com/artsy/2010/03/05/turbine-wine-bar-now-open-in-lynn/

Lynn Restaurant Association Blog

I found this blog tonight and added it to the Blog roll. I thought it was worth mentioning here so you can take a look. Pretty cool blog to learn about some of the work the association is doing in Lynn as well as a resource for restaurant owners in town. Look forward to reading this one as more and more restaurants open up in Downtown Lynn. Where's the BBQ joint? That's one rumor I really want to come true.

http://lynnra.wordpress.com/

Review of The Blue Ox from a Cupcake Loving, Web Developer from Boston

Not too much nice to say about our beloved Downtown, but something we need to hear from outsiders and improve upon. She's also not looking hard enough. I do like what she has to say about Matt and his gem of our restaurant. We do love our Blue Ox.  Thanks for visiting Downtown Lynn, Anita. Come back and try out Turbine before heading over for more Clam Chowder at the Ox.

http://anitapatel.com/?p=436

GE Lands Big Contract

Should mean good things for our friends and family working hard at River Works.

"$326 million boost to a previously awarded fixed-price contract, exercising an option to purchase 80 F-414-GE-400 engines and modules, as well as 2 spare engines for the U.S. Navy."

http://www.americanbankingnews.com/2010/03/15/general-electric-receives-326-million-addition-to-u-s-air-force-contract/

-Corey

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wine Tasting Tonight for Friends of Lynn Woods

I mentioned this event a few weeks back. They are more then likely out of tickets at this point, but if you're looking for something to do, it wouldn't hurt to try to get in to this event.  Kevin Kennedy will be on the piano all night. Some great wines and a fantastic cause. If you haven't seen my post on Lynn Woods, please read it. This should be our most treasured resource along with our beach. All of our property is worth more because we have this great natural treasure so close to our homes. See what you can do to help them out on their site.

I know Earth Day is coming up and they will be having a clean-up on April 24th. If you get there early, before 9AM, you might get a free t-shirt.

If anyone goes to this event tonight, let me know how it went. I have to go support Reading High School and their production of The Elephant Man, otherwise I would be there.

-Corey

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thoughts on Council from 3/9 - Anyone wish to speak in favor?

Thank you to Seth (Current Mayor of Lynn City Hall on Foursquare) and Lynnhappens.com for recording the council meeting and posting online.

This week was fairly uneventful. The council is doing a great job on cleaning up our city, including Councillor Cyr. He gave a shout out to the Neighborhood Development Association who is doing great work all around Lynn in securing property and cleaning up many areas. That's an organization I need to look in to a bit more. They really do seem to be making a big difference.

Relative to Downtown, they set an All Care VNA building on the corner of Market & Broad up for public hearing on 4/13. I'm assuming this is the new buildng that is potentially going up in front of the MBTA garage. I really hope it's going to include some commercial on the first level. Great for NSCC and to pull people off the Lynnway and in to Lynn. If it's just a modern box, it's not going to serve us much better then the ugly garage behind it.

Cahill brought up some big project on the Lynn/Salem line. Wonder what that is? Anyone know?

The Harding Street lot came up again. They voted to stop towing cars there and move all the cars out of there to another lot. Not sure who pays for this? I'm going to assume they are doing the right thing for the sake of the power line project?

In closing, I'd like to write a poem inspired by Lynn City Council. I call it:

Anyone?

Anyone wish to speak in favor
Anyone wishing to speak in favor
Anyone in favor


Seeing no one wishing to speak in favor
Close the public hearing for those wishing to speak in favor


Anyone wish to speak in opposition
Anyone in opposition
Anyone wishing to speak in opposition


Seeing no one wishing to speak in opposition
Close the public hearing for those wishing to speak in opposition


Anyone know what we were going to be talking about today
Noone knew what we were going to be talking about today
Nobody knew
Noone
Seeing no one knowing what we were going to be talking about today
Close the public hearing for those not knowing what we were going to be talking about today


Move to adjourn. 
SECOND!!!


-Corey

Shoes and Brews!

Check out the beer tasting at Lynn Museum on Thursday night. Proceeds go directly towards their annual campaign which could be matched by a MCC challenge grant. If they can raise 283K, the MCC is going to match that amount dollar for dollar. I think they are getting close but still need your help. This is a real fun way to support the museum.

Check out Lynnhappens.com for more details on the event. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Sandwich to End All Sandwiches - Fernando's Cuban!

Fernando's
23 Munroe Street

Word has been spreading about Fernando's around the streets of Downtown Lynn. The last time I was at Turbine, Downtowner Mike Crounse, tipped me off to Fernando's Cuban sandwich.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here you go:


When I saw the plantains, I was so happy. They were so incredibly delicious. Followed one of those with a bite of this sandwich. I would have to say, this is one of the best meals I have ever had.

The Executive Chef, Juan Gonzalez, had me try a piece of Coconut Flan for dessert. WOW! They make this fresh every day. Incredible!

 Juan seems like a great guy. He named the restaurant after his little 5-year old boy, Fernando. How cute is that? Juan has worked all over North/Central/South America including Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, and the United States. In Boston he has worked in restaurants owned by Georgio Armani as well as The Hyatt Regency, Marriott, and Davio's. He's looking to bring some more of what they offer in Boston to Lynn. More outdoor options in the summer months (Tables, umbrellas, oysters, ceviches).

There is beginning talk of block parties on the last Saturday of each summer month spearheaded by Fernando's on Munroe. Stay tuned for more information.

Head to Munroe Street the next time you're near Lynn at lunchtime. Say hi, and tell them downtownlynn.com sent ya!

Happy Eating!

-Corey

Dito's Corner Store

So, I'm kind of jealous. As my  readers know, I've had trouble getting a tiny ad into the Lynn Item for this blog. (This post is not going to get me any closer to that end, but that's ok with me.) Dito's Corner Store puts a few pieces of paper in their windows and they get the front page above the fold.  For those of you who have not read the paper today, The Lynn Item posted a story called  "Signs of Discontent."  I'm not even sure what that means.  Maybe they are trying to summon thoughts of Shakespeare? Anyway, The point of the article was that Tim Phelan's brother's Vincent and Michael Phelan's new tenant, Dito's Corner Store (deep breath...)  had handmade signs in their windows, which is against the city sign ordinance.  Maybe I should try hanging downtownlynn.com signs in my windows (or, better yet, in my brother's tenant's windows...) and see if I get a story out of it. Does ISD have jurisdiction over what I hang on the inside of my windows? They so perfectly face the Lynn Item offices. It could be a lot of fun. Honey, if you're reading this, I'm just kidding! Sort of ....

Anyway, back to my point. If you read the article, you can see it's clearly someone out to make a point to Tim Phelan. The only problem is, that instead of causing any problems for our Council Prez (that's our professional newspaper's nickname, not mine), it was mostly a distraction for Dito and his business. City Hall, not on their own merit, but on seeing the Item article, was down to the corner of Washington and Broad first thing this morning. They even circled the building three times to make sure the business owner didn't put the signs back up. Come on? .... Really people?

After reading this article, I knew I had to go patronize Dito's store after work. It's nice and clean, very open, and he has great plans for beautifying it both internally and externally as soon as he gets his feet off the ground. His parents are from the Dominican Republic. He grew up in New York and is settling in to this new business because he loves talking to people and thinks Lynn is a beautiful city. He's right....and we need more business owners like him that are going to take us to the next level. For the time being, this market is clean, dust free, and has products on the shelf that haven't reached their expiration. Time will tell if it stays that way. I am convinced that that is his intent. We need to support people like this. At the very least, we need to interview them before posting an article this detrimental to the success of their venture. Read the post on local blog, Livinginlynn for more on this frustration.

You all should support Dito and his new corner store. He's a great guy and he has the right ideas and the right location to stick around for a long time.

They offer free delivery for orders over $20 to folks in the Senior building across the way on Washington Street near the Sand Bar and the big mill building which is on the other corner of Washington and Broad.

Welcome to Downtown Lynn, Dito!!

-Corey

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Lynn Woods - Hidden Gem

Someone, to remain unnamed, told me to watch out for needles and wear thick soled shoes. This person could not be further off from the truth. Lynn Woods is a complete treasure. The entire thing is run by Lynn Park Ranger, Dan Small and an army of volunteers. Dan is almost as much of a hidden gem as the park is. He led us through 2 miles of terrain along Birch Pond and up to Cedar Hill for some magnificent views of the Lynn Waterfront and the Boston skyline. 


Along the way he came across an area where a deer had slept the night before.

 

We were shown several areas where we could come pick blueberries later in the year.  There are also several edible mushrooms in Lynn Woods. You can even head on up there and take some free fire wood home with you.  



There are several of these ponds along the way. This one is home to a yellow-spotted turtle. 


  
  


This place is entirely city funded. They need your help. Go to the wine tasting fundraiser on March 13th, but more importantly go up to the woods, walk around, meet Ranger Dan Small, and discover this wonderful treasure of 40 miles of trails, 2200 acres of adventure, right here in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Lynn Woods Reservation - City Website
Friends of Lynn Woods - Website

Turbine

56 Central Square

There is a casual elegance to Turbine that I've only ever experienced before in Manhattan. When Boston tries to do these things, it ends up being pretentious and you feel awkward going inside. Sometimes I think that may be the intent.  At Turbine, you feel like you are part of something and it's special. It's a different kind of crowd then any other I've seen out in Downtown Lynn. It seems younger and hipper.  It feels like the young professional we all knew was living here was finally given a place to hang out.

Unlike the former tenant, the service at Turbine was instant. We were greeted once we got back towards the bar and were offered seating, tastings, and menus. Since we wanted to try the food, we sat in the high tables in the back of the room. I would probably recommend the short tables in the front for eating but we wanted to be in the action.

Since we had eaten dinner, we ordered a few light options, cheese plate and hummus plate. We were offered 4 cheeses from a list of 7. We ended up with some of the most delicious Fontina cheese I've ever tasted, a fantastic Gorgonzola, and a pretty much as-expected brie and goat cheese. It was exactly the right amounts of everything.  Sarah tried the "naked" Chardonnay and loved it. I had a Pinot Noir which was equally as good.   The hummus came with some tabbouleh and amazing olives on the side. The hummus is made from scratch on the premise and is to die for.  Dessert was deadly. We were full but we couldn't resist. Cannolis filled with an almond ricotta. It was the most amazing thing I've ever put in my mouth. They have a great selection of gelato flavors as well.

People have been raving about the pulled pork biscuits so I'll be trying those on my next stop to Turbine. They have a lot of vegetarian options and a good selection of entrees if you want chicken, beef, or pork. They really came up with a simple menu that can cater to all. This is true of their wine list as well. The beer list is also very strong, but lacks a good IPA. The only thing I miss about Gulu being gone is the Dogfish 60-minute. To make up for that, the owner put a gluten-free beer on the menu when he heard that some residents Downtown have that dietary restriction. How's that for being a part of your community as a business owner?

Thank you Stephen Hanley!!!!

It was great to see folks there from Sloan, Machine Lofts, 7 Central, and others. I finally got to meet the Blogger of all Bloggers in Downtown Lynn, Marcus. He doesn't blog anymore, but when we all first moved here about 4-5 years ago, his blog was the only place to get information about what was going on down here. He's passed the torch on to several new bloggers that were all originally inspired by his actions and his voice. I hope someday, he'll join us again.

Anyway, great night, great connections, great friends, great community, great owner, and....oh yeah.....GREAT WINE!!!!   

Check it out this week. They are open at 5:30 Tuesday-Saturday. They seem to close the kitchen between 9 and 10 depending on how busy it is. The bar tends to stay open until you stop drinking or 1AM, whichever comes first.

Enjoy!

-Corey

Saturday, March 6, 2010

TODAY: Lynn Woods Walk

Today is the first Saturday of the month which means a walk through Lynn Woods with a Park Ranger and several Lynners. I'm going to be able to go to this today. I haven't been up in Lynn Woods since I was a kid. I'll take lots of pictures.

If you're looking for something to do, come join us!


Message from Seth at dtlna.org:

"We're going to meet at the Pennybrook Road entrance at 11am, just as we did the last time. Please bring your friendly dogs and trail maps. Perhaps we'll go for the peak with the steel fire tower this time. I haven't heard specifically about trail conditions, but I have a hunch there will be mud.

Feel free to bring your friendly dogs."



See you there!


-Corey

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Jamie Marsh and Lynn Auditorium

Jamie Marsh continues to impress me. I got to finally meet him as we walked through Lynn Auditorium with a potential client for Lynn Auditorium, a theatre friend of mine. While I hope the deal works out and we bring this opportunity to Lynn, that wasn't what I came out of the experience with.

Similar to his commitment to making High Rock Tower a treasure, and assisting the new Downtown Lynners with their challenges when we first settled in down here, he has such an appreciation for what makes Lynn Auditorium so special.   While not important to the deal with the client at all, he focused us in on the spiral staircase back stage left, the antique lighting console hidden behind the new rigging on Stage Right. He has such a focus on why this auditorium is important to Lynn, on an economic development level, but more importantly, on an historic level.  Without Jamie Marsh, I have a hard time believing that Lynn Auditorium wouldn't just fade back into oblivion.

His stories of the renovation and the mysteries uncovered during it are classic and need to be written down somewhere. 

The auditorium is an interesting egg. I wonder if anyone has quantified the impact of a show downtown. I know Tatiana's, Blue Ox, and other restaurants downtown love it when there's a show in town.  Would it be worth it for the city to really invest in that place and put some folks on it full time? I personally would love to see that place have something going on every weekend.  Even if it's a loss for city hall, it's such an extreme win for Downtown Lynn.

Start going to everything you hear about at Lynn Auditorium. I don't know if I'm supposed to mention the band he just signed, so I'm not going to, but if you're 40 to 50 years old, you are going to be real happy. You got to patronize these things when they come through.  Dinner at Blue Ox, a show at Lynn Auditoium and all of it for about 50% less than what you would spend on the same night in Boston. You can't beat living here.

Next time you're in City Hall. Stop by Room 311, Community Development, and thank Jamie for all he does above and beyond his 9-5.

-Corey

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Haitian Emergency Benefit Concert

On March 19th at 6:30PM, Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy is hosting an emergency benefit concert for Haiti. Kevin Kennedy's band, Shuffle Mode, is one of the acts. This is a great way to see Kevin play, while supporting a great cause.

Lynn Auditorium
3 City Hall Square
Lynn, MA
Friday, March 19, 2010, 6:30 – 10am

Haiti Emergency Benefit Concert: March 19, 2010
6:30PM - 10:00PM
A Special Benefit Concert: $10 Children Age 10 and Up Are Free

Tickets Available at Lynn Restaurant Association Members and on Show Night at the Door! Featuring Live Music From: Shuffle Mode Gilenny, Felipe Jorge, What's Up, Cristal Jammer, The Tony Gallo Group and many more! Hosted by Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy Visit the Lynn Memorial Auditorium Website For More!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Turbine is OPEN

I am sitting in a bar in Dulles airport or I would be there. If you're reading this on Tuesday night and it's before ten head over to Turbine.

Show them we appreciate new business in Downtown Lynn.

Congratulations to Stephen and the crew at Turbine Wine Bar. Hope it was a great night!!!!



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 1, 2010

Beer Tasting and Live Music at The Lynn Museum

$10 for Beer Tasting featuring the Southampton Publick House of Long Island, NY
$7 for Lynn Museum Members.

Live music features all local bands including Lynn's own Dena Capano on bass guitar. 

I'm hearing proceeds go to the "Challenge Grant." I'll let you know more about the grant on Wednesday when I'm supposed to get the details from the museum.  This sounds like a real fun event.

From their Facebook page: "Why spend $50 for a beer tasting in Boston when you can sample a variety of delicious beer for $10 in your own backyard? Sweet deal- plus awesome bands, 50/50 raffle, snacks and more."

March 11th 7-10. doors open at 6:30.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#!/pages/Lynn-MA/Lynn-Museum/81424171857?ref=ts



-Corey

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