Tuesday, December 30, 2014

One More Poster

A reader mentioned a poster citing statistics of the beneficial impact of shopping locally. Revitalize Maynard Collaborative did have one of those, but there was concern that people wouldn't be able to read it if they were rushing by. Perhaps we need to think about having these tabletop in some of the local cafes.

Here's that poster.

Monday, December 29, 2014

If You Don't Use it, You'll Lose it!

If you ask most Maynard residents why they like living here in Maynard, in their top-three list they'll probably say, "It has an amazing little downtown." Like me, you're probably one of those people. But the unfortunate thing is that as much as people believe in having a vibrant downtown, they fail to realize how important they are to it. It's like the old adage, If you don't use it, you'll lose it. Indeed many of us have been around long enough to have seen businesses come and go, and we always feel badly when it happens, probably because we realize that we failed to show up.

The people of this community—residents, business owners, and people who work here—are so essential to the downtown. Their/your/our presence is what truly makes the downtown, not the buildings.

I'm going to ask you to do something. When you're home, and you're about to make an online purchase, ask yourself whether or not what you're about to buy is something that's available in our community. If you're not sure, it's time to find out. Go be in Maynard's downtown, a place you love so much. Walk around and get to know your merchant neighbors—they'll be so glad that you did. And I'm sure that if you do, you'll find out that there's a lot more here than you ever realized, whether it's that item you didn't know you could get, or meeting someone that you never would have met.

Recently the Revitalize Maynard Collaborative made up some mini posters for shops to hang in their stores. Maybe you've noticed them. I wonder which of these resonates most with you.

See you downtown!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

From Here to There: Hair Styling in Maynard

Back in September I "reported" that the Mascarelli building was getting a new tenant, and that the new tenant would be Porfino. Well, if that was the case then, it's certainly not the case now.

Flawless Hair Design has knocked down the wall and expanded to take the entire space that was Mascarelli's. It's looking really good from the street, and between that spot, the tear down of the parking deck, and the Fine Arts Theatre, you'd think that the Summer Street section of our downtown was competing for "Most-Improved Street" in town.

The other switch is about Porfino (the upscale barber shop on Nason Street). Enzo, the owner, is buying the Maynard Barber Shop on Main Street. Bobby, the current owner of the Maynard Barber Shop has been recovering from surgery and was looking to take it easy, so this deal will work out well for him—when Enzo moves his business over to the Maynard Barber Shop, Bobby will work for him. And between them both, they'll be able to serve more clients—Bobby works early, like 6 a.m. (I think that's what he told me), to cut hair for people before they head off to work. Enzo will come in later and Bobby will take a break.

So now we just need to find out who will fill what will become an empty location on Main Street. I've heard the rents are a little higher there, so it may not be immediate.

That's the scoop on some of the local hair business.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

December ArtSpace Gallery Exhibit to Showcase Other, Local-to-Maynard Artists

This weekend is ArtSpace Maynard's 2nd Saturday, a monthly event that is the kickoff for the next gallery opening, and a mini open studios. The show this month will be highlighting the work of twenty-three Maynard-based artists. In the nearly fifteen years that ArtSpace has been operating, I believe this is the first show of its kind.

In the seventeen years that I've been living here, it seems that the arts community in Maynard has been steadily growing. I'm going to guess that, unlike Kevin Bacon, you're probably a mere step away from knowing a Maynard artist directly (or perhaps a mere blog post away).

The current exhibit demonstrates the talent that lives within our community, and I hope you will come out to celebrate these artist's abilities with us. If you are a local artist, come and connect with your people.

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 13, 5–7pm  (Mini Open Studios will begin at 4pm)
Gallery Hours: Wednesday–Saturday, 11–3pm

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

How do You Pronounce "Huipil"?

We're all tempted to call Maynard's muy bueno Mexican restaurant something that rhymes with "people", but that would be incorrect. The correct pronunciation is "we peel". The 'h' in Spanish is silent, while the 'il' at the end forces emphasis to the end of the word. But however you like to pronounce it, I like to pronounce it delicious!

So what is a "Huipil"? You might be able to guess by some of the decor. My internet search gave me this: A huipil is the most common traditional garment worn by indigenous women from central Mexico to Central America. It is a loose-fitting tunic, generally made from two or three rectangular pieces of fabric which are then joined together with stitching, ribbons or fabric strips, with an opening for the head and, if the sides are sewn, openings for the arms.

Along with their delicious, authentic Mexican menu, you can also get Coca Cola with real sugar in it, and other Mexican sodas. And not only do Alma and Alonzo own and run this place, but they also choose to make Maynard their home. We are so glad to have them. 

Google Maps Has an Old View

I happened to be looking at satellite view of Maynard  on Google Maps when I decided to do a street view. I guess they haven't updated in a while. I'm home and it's late, so I'm not quite sure how many of those buildings were demolished to make way for the Walgreens. Sigh.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Maynard's Downtown: Two Different Ends at the Sip & Stroll

I braved the rain to make it to my first ever Maynard Sip & Stroll! You're wondering how such a Maynard aficionado could have missed it these last few+ years. It was easy, the ArtSpace Holiday Sale would get out late, and I'd be too hungry and exhausted to make it. But this year the show ended a little earlier on Saturday, so I swore I was going to go.

With all that rain coming down, I wasn't quite sure where to go, so I just started near the beginning and ended near the end—simple enough, no? And I wanted to make it a point to go into stores that I haven't been in before, stores that I've heard people say marvelous things about. I'm so glad that I did. 

My first stop was Collector's Paradise (35 Nason St.). I've only seen the shop from the outside, and only in passing. It's worth a visit—you'll likely find something that reminds you of your youth. The owner's name is Bernie. He's a bit of a joker and, of course, an avid collector of all kinds of things. I was amazed at the number of different things he has in there and how very organized it all is. Star Wars?—oh yes, lots, and still in the original packaging. Vintage Battleship—yup. There are also skeleton keys, board games, still-in-the-wrapper Pez dispensers, blue-glass bottles, a display of vintage, cast-iron pans, and a gazillion other things! You can be sure that whatever you get in there would only otherwise be obtained through a vigorous Ebay bidding war. 

My last visit on my sipping tour of shops was to Bon Marche. Are you wondering where that is? Well shame on you and me as well! This is a lovely little antiques gift shop that is at 41 Main Street, after Willy's Philly's, but before Aubuchon. 

Annie and Paul Smith are the owners. I spent half an hour talking to them—really lovely people. While there I was shown their collection of millinery embellishments, which I invested a few dollars in. They are from Carlisle and were telling me how much they love our downtown. The specifically mentioned that they have felt a lot of support from the business community. I brought up how there seems to be some kind of mental hurdle that people need to make to get them to walk beyond Halfway Cafe to go anywhere—myself included. They agreed, but said they are really looking forward to Jimmy MacDonald's building across the street being completed and having more life come to their end of Main Street.

Annie and Paul were gracious and didn't point out to me that the Sip & Stroll had actually ended. When I realized, I did my best to say a quick goodnight, grab a picture of them in their space, and let them go home. I then grabbed my umbrella, ran into a friend outside and we went and had a cup of peppermint hot cocoa at Serendipity Café, where live music was still playing into the night.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The ArtSpace Holiday Sale is this Weekend, December 5, 6, and 7

Art is just... special. It just is. And giving a gift of art says that you kind of went out of your way to get something particularly wonderful. Lucky for you, the ArtSpace Maynard Holiday Sale this weekend.

Here's what's really cool about it. There are going to be more than fifty area artists coming to ArtSpace to share their varied works with you—beautiful things that they've created in their own unique styles. Unlike when you buy something off a shelf, at the Holiday Sale, if you like something enough to buy it, you're going to see what that means to the artist who actually made it. And they can answer your questions about their work. And if you ask to have your picture taken with them, you can make them feel like a rock star.

Not everyone can afford to give gifts of art, but even if your budget's a little tight, come by and warm the place up with your presence. There is going to be a silent auction of various artists' works, and you might end up with something at a price you might not have been able to get otherwise. Grab a snack and a glass of wine while you're at it.

So if you want a little break from what has become "traditional" shopping, head over to the ArtSpace Maynard Holiday Sale this weekend. Everyone will be happy to see you there—especially me. I'll be there selling my hats and chatting with visitors.

Fri. Dec. 5th: 5-8 •  Sat. Dec. 6th: 10-5 • Sun. Dec. 7th: 12-5. ArtSpace Maynard is located at 63 Summer St., Maynard.
You can "like" the ArtSpace Holiday Sale on Facebook.