Thursday, March 22, 2012

It's Beautiful Out... Guess We Should go to Salem?

What happens when the great weather comes out? People start to flock out of the office buildings and look for a great outdoor spot to eat lunch and enjoy happy hours all across Massachusetts. Today, for my wife's birthday we wanted to stay in Lynn but there is one place with outdoor seating and not all could agree on lunching in Lynn. So we headed to the many options of Salem and Marblehead with outdoor seating.

Throughout the past 6 years I've had many discussions with restauranteurs about this. It always seems to be a block by city hall. Some odd health code restriction that they have line of sight? In Boston they have roof decks, outdoor tables in back patios and even in alleys alongside their side walls. Certainly no line of sight there. Since we're taking Boston's lead on taxi driver language lessons (oy!) maybe we should look to less restriction on outdoor seating too (bit more productive I would say) and open us up to more interesting opportunities for our restaurants to increase their seating in the warmer months and keep the good weather business IN LYNN.


TONIGHT! The CHARLIE DANIELS BAND at the Lynn Auditorium!

Tickets available at door or at

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March at the Lynn Museum

Opening Thursday, March 22
Reception  5-7pm

The Museum, in collaboration with Light of Cambodian Children, Inc., and the Lynn Community Health Center, are proud to announce the opening of a truly special exhibition: More Than a Number. Join us for an evening of light refreshments while reflecting on the history of Cambodia and contemplating the events of the past as we open the exhibition to the public.

The reception launches the six month display of this monumental exhibition on view through September 30, 2012. More Than a Number is supported in part by funding from a Mass Humanities Project Grant. Admission to the reception is free for museum members and students and $5 for non-members.
  LCC logo 

baseball book cover 
A talk by Sean Deveney 
Thursday, March 29 at 7pm

Sean Deveney, local author and Lynn native, will be speaking about the "Social Upheaval and the 1918 Red Sox". The year 1918 was a tumultuous time in America; World War I was being fought with tremendous casualties on both sides, there was much economic uncertainty, and the world did not know what to expect from the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. No where was the tumult as great as in Massachusetts and in Lynn.

Sean Deveney is an award winning reporter. He has covered numerous major championships, including the NBA Finals, World Series, Super Bowl, NCAA tournament, and PGA Championship. He has also written about major sports figures such as Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Roger Clemens. Mr. Deveney has worked as a reporter for the Sporting News and is the author of The Original Curse which is about the 1918 World Series between the Cubs and Red Sox.

 This event is free to members and $5.00 for non-members.

MCC announces Lynn's Central Exchange Cultural District

MCC Designates State's First Cultural Districts
Arts Centers in Boston, Gloucester, Lynn, Pittsfield & Rockport Launch New State Initiative (Boston, MA) The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) today named five vibrant, diverse centers for arts and cultural activity across Massachusetts as the first state-designated Cultural Districts. They are:
  • The Fenway Cultural District in Boston
  • Gloucester's Rocky Neck Cultural District
  • The Central Exchange Cultural District in Lynn
  • The Upstreet Cultural District in Pittsfield
  • The Rockport Cultural District
MCC's Board voted unanimously today to approve this first group of state-sponsored Cultural Districts during its meeting at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the Fenway. "Our Cultural Districts Initiative shines a brand new spotlight on the breadth and depth of creative activity happening in every corner of Massachusetts," said Anita Walker, MCC's Executive Director. "Each of these communities has something very special to offer a visitor &mdash whether they are coming from across town or across the globe. With this designation, these cities can now take their cultural life to a new level."

 A cultural district is a compact, walkable area of a community with a concentration of cultural facilities, activities, and assets. Districts attract visitors to enjoy and experience a range of cultural and commercial activities.

MCC's Cultural Districts Initiative came out of an economic stimulus bill passed by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2010. It is designed to help communities attract artists and cultural enterprises, encourage business and job growth, expand tourism, preserve and reuse historic buildings, enhance property values, and foster local cultural development. Each district will have new signage, online profiles on the Mass. Office of Travel and Tourism and MCC websites, and other amenities.

 The Initiative builds upon one of the great strengths of Massachusetts: the distinctiveness and authenticity of its communities. Cultural Districts will help cities and towns identify, support, and promote their unique identity and sense of place. It also advances MCC's long-term effort to harness the power of the nonprofit arts, humanities, and sciences to improve quality of life in Massachusetts cities and towns. Recent data from MassINC showed that using the arts and culture to enhance the quality of life enjoys broad public support in eleven major Massachusetts cities, and that residents who participate in cultural activities develop more positive perceptions about their community. More than 100 communities statewide have expressed interest in establishing a cultural district since the guidelines went public last year.

Supporters from each of the newly designated Cultural Districts successfully petitioned their local governments to endorse their plans, and then worked with the MCC and local partners to define the objectives and geographical contours of their district. Hundreds of nonprofit leaders, local business and civic groups, working artists, and citizen activists contributed to this process. The result is five distinct, well defined creative hubs. Descriptions of each of the first Mass. Cultural Districts follow:

Designated Massachusetts Cultural Districts:

Fenway Cultural District, Boston
A walk through the Fenway Cultural District in Boston puts you at the doorstep of the world's most acclaimed cultural destinations: the Museum of Fine Arts with its new Art of the Americas wing; the incomparable Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and its new performance venue where every seat is in the front row; and Symphony Hall, home of America's favorite orchestra, the Boston Symphony. And you haven't even scratched the surface. Art and history lovers will feast on the best of American culture and still come back for more. Dine in a museum courtyard, or duck into an authentic ethnic restaurant. Other top destinations include Fenway Studios, the New England Conservatory, the Boston Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, Massachusetts College of Art, Simmons College, and the Massachusetts Historical Society. All are easily accessible by public transportation.

Gloucester's Rocky Neck Cultural District
There's something special about the light here. Find out why artists from around the world are drawn to one of America's first artist colonies: Gloucester's Rocky Neck. Stroll through artist galleries and studios nestled on this Cape Ann peninsula. Talk to the artists and watch them work. Grab lunch on the water overlooking a working fishing harbor. Rocky Neck is one of America's oldest art colonies, supporting an impressive number of year-round working artists. The district is home to numerous galleries and restaurants as well as the critically acclaimed Gloucester Theatre Company. Venues offer a calendar of special events like Nights on the Neck and the Rocky Neck Artist Ball. A dynamic new cultural and visitor center is also in the works.

Lynn's Central Exchange Cultural District
The core of this city may be one of Massachusetts' best-kept secrets -- a fusion of contemporary artists and multicultural cuisine and the authentic bricks and mortar of a city steeped in a history at the forefront of America's industrial history. Mingle with the artists and entrepreneurs who are drawn to the myriad of street activities, performances, and museums. Lynn's Central Exchange Cultural District includes historic museums, multiple performance spaces (like LynnArts' Neal Rantoul Black Box Theater), galleries like RAW showcasing young artists, numerous artist studios, WFNX Radio, ethnic restaurants and marketplaces reflecting the city's diverse population, and a resurgence of new restaurants like the Turbine Wine Bar.

Upstreet Cultural District, Pittsfield
How do you decide among the 50 restaurants, wine bars, and cafes that populate the Upstreet Cultural District? A calendar chock full of events and celebrations that regularly fill the street with vendors and artists that will tempt your aesthetic and culinary taste buds. This vibrant district will lure you into its amazing theater scene and to its family-friendly Berkshire Museum. Upstreet is home to dozens of visual, performing, and literary artists and numerous cultural institutions, including the Barrington Stage Company and its Musical Theatre Lab, the Hancock Shaker Village, and the beautifully restored Colonial Theatre. The district also boasts a number of locally-run retail shops, art galleries, a diverse selection of ethnic restaurants, and a year-round calendar of events and celebrations like 3rd Thursdays and the WordXWord Festival.

Rockport Cultural District
From the tip of Bearskin Neck and the iconic Motif #1, to Rockport Music's world-class Shalin Liu Performance Center with its stage overlooking the Atlantic, you'll have a once in a lifetime experience in Rockport. Shop in more than 40 art galleries. Grab a cup of coffee while watching the waves. Find out why international visitors make this a regular destination. Rockport's district boasts over 40 individual artist galleries and studios, as well as cultural institutions like the Rockport Art Association, one of the oldest active art associations in the nation.

About the Massachusetts Cultural Council
The Massachusetts Cultural Council is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and sciences, to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities.
The Council pursues this mission through a combination of grant programs, partnerships, and services for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and individual artists. MCC's budget for the current fiscal year is $10.8 million, including $9.1 million from the state of Massachusetts and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bank of America, and other sources.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring Workshops at LynnArts


All Workshops (unless noted*): $20 LynnArts members | $25 non-members
All materials included | No artistic experience necessary
Pre registration is required, please call or register online | 781.598.5244 |

Joy of Junk
Saturday, April 14, 11AM-2PM

Instructor: Regina Millis
This is Recycling, elevated! Using discarded/found materials of all types, we will create beautiful, three- dimensional wall art. Not just a "glued-macaroni" craft project, we will be using solid design principles, such as composition, movement, and unification. Participants should bring in any found materials they find interesting to add to their designs. Ideas include: Bubble wrap, plastic, foam packing, ribbon, yarn string, paper, cloth, light wood scraps, bark, twigs, shells, broken jewelry…the possibilities are endless!

Polymer Clay Beads
Saturday, April 21, 11AM-2PM

Instructor: Sandra Golbert
You will learn how to prepare and use this exciting material to make enough beads for a necklace or bracelet, and one pair of earrings. Sandra will teach participants all the different rolling techniques and methods of marbling, stacking, millefluer, canes and more to create numerous bead designs.

Finances for Creative People
Saturday, May 5, 10AM-12PM

 Instructor: Kim Feeney Zollo, CFP, AIF | Maloy Financial Services
 This workshop demystifies financial planning and shows you that achieving financial success is not a magic trick but rather a process and a discipline. Come and learn the foundation for financial wellness and get started on your way to pursuing your financial goals. We’ll discuss managing debt, why you need an emergency fund, setting goals, the differences between saving and investing, and the many ways to save for your retirement. What it really comes down to is developing awareness and skills so that you are able to recognize what is right for you, finding your unique balance. A healthy relationship to money and self leads to taking the right actions to achieve the financial success and wellness you desire.

Saturday, May 12, 11AM-2PM
Instructor: Robin Samiljan
 During this workshop, we'll review all materials in your brand new, take home R&F Encaustic Starter Kit, review proper use of electric griddle palette, heat gun and torch, review basic guidelines for successful encaustic painting (discuss different ways of creating wax collage using photographic image transfers, oil pastels, found objects, pigmented wax and almost anything you can think of...) and, of course, create paintings together!  *$100 LynnArts members | $105 non-members

This Just in from the Lynn Police ... in England!!!

Lynn has certainly been making some national headlines lately. Most of it stemming from the recent fight put up on Youtube involving almost 30 female students and of course the now famous lesbian t-shirt debacle.  Mix in the other news associated with living in an urban environment and I get my share of google alerts every morning. Most make me shake my head, some get me angry, but every once in a while I get a good laugh.

The laughs always come from the headlines of our mother country and our namesake, King's Lynn in the United Kingdom. Yes, google is not smart enough to realize that the Lynn our ancestors decided to name the city for is not the same as the Lynn we all know and love. And so, I get their google alerts of high crime and mischievity. Like this one, just this morning.

Fakenham: Ornate lamp stolen from bedroom

AN ORNATE paraffin lamp was stolen from a home in Fakenham.

It was taken from the bedroom of a home on Mill Court last Friday. The lamp is described as approximately 18 inches tall, with a metal base in the design of the Eiffel Tower.

It has a brass wick turner and a mauve glass bowl with a floral engraved design.

Detectives would like to speak to anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area in the weeks leading up to the theft.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact DC Emma Cross at King’s Lynn police station on 101 (calls cost 15p) or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Imagine someone calling the Lynn, MA police department with this report? :-) Even for King's Lynn this is a bit much of a news story. I love the "weeks leading up to the theft" comment. As if this was a grand plot to get the lamp from the home in question. 

I do hope the family gets their lamp back and I sincerely hope it makes the news.

Ah, to dream of simpler times.





Friday, March 9, 2012

Let's Go To The Movies...

Coming up next week on March 15th is the last in a three part series on The Urban Hero at The Pulse @ JB Blood as they screen The Fighter. It's been such a pleasure to see all the elements come together to produce 3 great nights in Downtown Lynn. Resident of DTL, a film educator and writer, reaches out to Centerboard, an organization ramping up its arts component, and they combine together in an abandoned space to create "The Pulse" on 20 Wheeler Street.

The Pulse is more of a symbol than a place. They took an empty storefront (2 really) and created life inside. Gave it a purpose. Gave people a reason while driving by to pause and notice action.

I hope you will come to the last in the series in which Centerboard with Dr. Nick Parker present The Fighter. It's FREE. There are refreshments including some yummy popcorn. There is a wonderful discussion led by Nick at the end of each screening. The discussion on the 15th will focus in on gender and the urban hero. It's an incredible night.  You don't have to worry about missing the first two, it's not important to the conversation.

The room is small and fills up quick. I urge you to RSVP today at eventbrite. All the details of the film and discussion are there as well.



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What's going on?

I'm amazed at how many readers still stop by each day even though I am a loser who never writes to you anymore.  Ran into Jamie Marsh out on the streets of Lynn today and he kind of reminded me why I shouldn't be so quiet. There's a ton going on and I know some of you rely on this site and to keep you in the know. Seth has been going gangbusters over at Lynn Happens. If you are not a follower of that site, you need to be.  I have to be honest, I haven't felt much like writing lately. This city sometimes has a way of beating you down. What's great about being a Lynner is that it never works.

So what's new? Well, Arts After Hours is really taking off and we are very happy to be producing our first family friendly show this May, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Tickets are already on sale and the team is coming together to begin rehearsals on April 9th.  I will be performing professionally over the next few months in Stoneham Theatre's The Full Monty. It's kind of funny, this very funny yet poignant musical was the example I used at City Council when the council was debating the Adult Entertainment Ordinance aka The Moral Code of Lynn, MA.  Since I can't take my clothes off in Lynn, I'll have to do it Stoneham. I know you're all dying to see me naked.  Now's your chance.

Lots of great development is happening Downtown. All Care VNA is all moved in to their new space, RCG is developing out 24 Central for Lynn Community Health Care's expansion. It also is looking to fill two more floors of new tenants. 33 Central is now safely in the hands of the EDIC, has a new roof and architect, and should get going any month now. The Mayo Group still sucks and is holding many properties hostage. Some things never change after all.   I hear the developer that owns the vacant lot near LynnArts is looking to finally move on building out some interesting open space and possibly expand the Museum park out a bit. That would be very cool!

Centerboard has taken up shop in the JB Blood including building out the two vacant storefronts in to "The Pulse" which houses several classes, meetings, rehearsals, and art shows. They've begun doing pop-up dinners on the 4th floor of the JB Blood using an abandoned industrial kitchen and amazing dining room looking out at the ocean. Just a glimpse of what could be possible on the actual waterfront. Check out their latest event on Thursday, March 8th, Pop-up and Kickstart to help fund their next public art project in Central Square.

The Auditorium is going gangbusters with Pat Benetar coming next month. They are real close to getting air conditioning in the place if the city can figure out a path to get the rest of the money (DO IT). What's good for the auditorium is good for every single restaurant downtown. Year round programming can only mean good. DO IT! CITY COUNCIL!!! MAYOR!!! DO IT!!!

There is the usual circus at City Hall including firings, hirings, and a debate about whether cab drivers should learn English. Always amazes me the battles we choose to fight. :-( I would encourage the council to drop this one and focus on our real problems.

Quick note to the Lynn Item. Steve Walsh is a good man and he is doing real good things. He has done them for Lynn and he will continue to do them for Massachusetts. Stop the freaking non-story about him doing what every other freaking politician does in this screwed up system. Seriously, STOP! It's not news, it seems more like a reporter must have a personal problem with Steve.

There! I think I'm all caught up now.

So, what else is going on in this awesome city? Fill me in for once.


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