Monday, June 19, 2017

Ribbon Cutting for the Maynard Honeybee Meadow 6/24, 2pm

Let me start by saying that this post is a little self serving, because I'm on the project, but I don't even feel bad about it because it's such a cool and wonderful thing, and so many of you helped make it happen. 

On Saturday, June 24th at two o'clock, there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Maynard Honeybee Meadow. So many local citizens pitched in to help make this project happen, and Melissa Ljosa and I so appreciate it. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out the link to the original campaign.

As we've been working, especially Melissa (she's the real powerhouse behind this project), we've been delighting when each flower opens, when we find Maynard Rocks hidden on the edges of the meadow, when people are enjoying the benches, or folks are just stopping to say hello.

The Maynard Honeybee Meadow before work began.
When we started this project more than a year ago, I feared that maybe it wouldn't live up to our dreams. Boy was I wrong. The various parts of the project that needed to be made were sourced locally from our own high school students, artists, woodworkers, and landscapers. Every person involved put in so much time and effort, and when I look at the meadow, I can't imagine it feeling complete with out each of their contributions.

But don't expect to see any bees yet, not unless they're coming from other areas. They can't go in until we've completed the work that we need to do. Also, if you visit the meadow you'll see a section of garden that is more established than the rest. That part was seeded in the fall and shows nicely how the meadow is developing.

We hope you will join us on Saturday. There is going to be some live music, and kids can work together to paint some toad houses that we'll be putting in the meadow. We're also going to have a ladybug release!

Where: 63 Summer St., behind ArtSpace Maynard. Limited parking is available at the back of the building, or you can park along Summer Street, but pay attention to all the no parking signs in the area.

If you're visiting the meadow, please don't pick the flowers., and please stay on the paths—there are many fragile seedlings that are trying to establish themselves. Keep dogs on the paths and out of the plantings, and clean up after them if they've left a mess. Thank you for helping us keep the meadow beautiful and safe.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Maynard: My Place, Your Place

I like using the word "place" when I talk about our town. The word can be used to refer to ones' home, as in, "Come on over to my place after work today." But "place" means more than that. My favorite of all the different and subtle meanings is the one that kind of means "where you belong"—your place. I have a place in Maynard.

If I handed you a map of our town, and asked you to circle your place, your home, you might find your street and guess as to where your house or apartment might be. But your place is bigger than that.

With our town's land area being about five square miles (including a golf course and conservation land), our ten-thousand citizens are packed in pretty tight. You know what that means, don't you? Sure it means that, if you're a home owner, you might be sharing your driveway with a few different houses, or that your house takes up at least fifty percent of your lot space. But it also means that you are part of a close community where running into other Maynardians (Maynardites?) is just what happens. Around here, if we aren't friends, then we do our best to like each other and get along. I wish the whole country could live like this.

With such limited space, every person who lives in Maynard should consider the downtown as part of their property, like a giant family room. It's the place where we can go and hang out with friends without having to make sure that all the dishes in the sink have been washed and all the clothes are picked up off the floor. It's where we get to see people without having had to make an appointment. In fact, I get to see people in town that I never get to see anywhere else. They've never been to my house, and I've never been to theirs, and yet I feel close to them. Heck, some even send us greeting cards.

So utilize all your property. Put yourself into the Maynard family room. Get connected to people here, because the more people you know, the more you'll realize that you're home, that this is your place.

We all have a place in Maynard.

Art's Specialties—two thumbs up!

I finally got to meet Art, the owner of Art's Specialties. I had hoped to get over there for the wine and smoked fish tasting that he had on Saturday, but I was traveling. I was so bummed. I heard it was nice.

I found myself in there with another Maynard friend on Sunday afternoon, looking for something I could make for dinner. I got some Italian sausage (really delicious, and not like any I've had before) and some spinach and asiago stuffed ravioli. Also delicious.

While I was there, I decided to buy a bottle of wine. It just so happens that the one I picked up happened to be one of the wines he had sampled on Saturday. He suggested a wine tasting, and like that he had three bottles of wine out for us to try. It was great. I loved my purchase and left with a few other things, too.

If you haven't been in yet, stop by. They are open late by Maynard standards, so though you can stop in during the day (yes, even on a Monday), you stop in after work if that works for you.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Strange Things Seen in Maynard, Episode No. 5, The Man With the Giant Rabbit

Have you seen the man walking around downtown carrying really big rabbit on his shoulder? I caught a glimpse of him a few times, but wasn't fast enough to grab his picture. Fortunately, Catherine A. helped me out.

It seems the rabbit owner only holds it as pictured when he's showing people how big it is. Usually you'll see him with it on his shoulder snuggled against his neck.

For a small town, Maynard's got interesting, and that makes me happy.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Art's Specialties—Open and Delicious!

I thought to myself, If they have smoked salmon cream cheese, I will be in a happy place. I walked in to Art's Specialties, the new specialty food shop that just opened on Nason Street that I had been hearing so much about.

The man working immediately stepped forward to welcome me. I asked about the cream cheese. Smiling, he pointed it right out to me. I picked up the package to inspect it. "To Die For" was the brand name, and before I even had a chance to ask, he confirmed what I had heard. "That is made right here in Maynard over on Main Street." People had told me that. How could I not have known? Can you believe it? This stuff gets sold all over the place, but had not been sold right here at home. I suppose it's because we never had the kind of place that would carry it. Now we do.

I walked through the shop, more and more delighted with every step I took. Alessandro let me sample some jelly. Among basic flavors, you could get beer jelly and wine jelly, which I tried. They were good, and I could see gifting them to someone I like. Then I sampled some lemon pepper olive oil. I could smell the lemon. The oil was tasty and light.

Other things you'll find: tea in bulk, a wall of hot sauces, spices, olives, appetizer sausages, prosciutto, cheeses, specialty vinegars, Mexican chocolate, bulk nuts, crackers, and more. I hear that they're going to try and get a bread supplier, so we might also have crusty loaves in our futures. Price wise, this is a specialty shop with many imported items, so don't expect discount store prices.

After gathering up a handful of items, I made my way to the checkout, where Alessandro (the manager) and I chatted for a bit. This is such an important part of any Maynard transaction for me. Yes, I'm there to buy something, but I'm also there to be part of something, part of the community, I guess. He held up his end beautifully.

Things I would suggest for them—tasting events! A vinegar tasting event—teach me about vinegar. Same for olive oil. A hot sauce tasting would be challenging, but might be amusing.

You can keep track of them on Facebook, but you should really just make your way downtown. If you're reading this blog, it's likely you live here in Maynard, so you're not much more than a mile from their door.

Right now, the store hours are Monday through Saturday 10:00–8:00, Sunday 12:00–8:00, but once they've been here for a little bit they'll probably tweak their hours.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Maynard and Stow Cultural Council Grant Recipients, the presentation

There were some technical issues at the 2017 Cultural Council awards ceremony that kept the members from being able to use this great slideshow of all the winners. At least we get to have it here.

Many thanks to Vivian Dao and Joseph Densen for putting this together. If anyone you know needs this kind of slideshow presentation, let me know and I'll put you in touch with them.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Cultural Council Grant Winners for Maynard and Stow

Earlier this week I had a post about the awards ceremony for the Cultural Council grant winners. Tim Hess (AKA Mr. H.) was kind enough to provide me with a list of all the recipients. Here they are:

Maynard Cultural Council Grant Recipients
Class of 2016 – 2017

Toni Ostrow, David Blodgett and Dan Villani
The Hip Swayers

For Untold Voices
Catroina Baker

For Origami Goldfish Art
Lisa Corfman

For his Civil Disobedience Lyceum Lecture
Jay DiPrima

For the Seagull Cinderella Parade
Donna Dodson
For Many Hands Working Together
Catherine Evans

for Down by the River
First Connections

For his travelling music series, Rollin’ on The River
Richard Maida

For the Summer Concert Series
The Maynard Community Band

Here for the Market is
Victoria Mangus

for a Summer Concert in the Park
Maynard Public Library

For Water Spirits Part One; Mill Town
Pamela Newton

For the River Mill and Moon Festival
Seth Wonkka

Stow Cultural Council Grant Recipients
Class of 2016 – 2017
For 2016/2017 Concert Series
Acton Community Chorus

For Concert by the Solstice Sackbuts
Alan Johnson

For The Children’s Garden
Ed Morgan

For 82nd Regional Exhibition of Art & Craft
Fitchburg Art Museum

For Scottish Country Dancing
Gregor Trinkaus-Randall

For Community Artistic Engagement
Hudson Area Arts Alliance d/b/a River’s Edge Arts Alliance

For Minecraft Madness!
Jim Manning

For Lake Boon Water Carnival Music Boat
Lake Boon Association

For SpringFest Silent Movie
Lewis Halprin

For An Interactive Sculpture at Frogpond Farm
& Plein Air Poetry Chapbook 2017/03/18
Linda Hoffman

For Spinning History; Heroines on the Home Front
MarIlyn Zavorski

For Maynard Honeybee Meadow
Melissa Ljosa 

For Nashoba Symphonic Band
Nashoba Friends of Music

For Summer Reading Program and Special Events
Randall Library

For 2017 Arts Buffet Festival
Rosanne Peterson

For Sounds of Stow 2016-2017 Concert Season
Sounds of Stow

For Hale Middle School 7th and 8th Band Music in the Parks Festival
Stow Friends of Music

For Especially for Me
The Discovery Museums

For Expressive Arts Therapy Programs
The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden

Congratulations to all the winners! Good luck getting all your projects done.