Thursday, December 17, 2015

Maynard's Arts Community Keeps on Growing

Over the last year and some change, Main Street has seen a big increase in the filling of vacancies by arts based business. 6 Bridges took over the old Brazilian Market, I don't even remember what used to be where Denault Studios was, and smARTroom took over Tish's. It feels like there's something in the air.

When La Rosa nail salon left a few weeks back, we all feared another empty store front. Yesterday I was pleased to see some people inside doing a little work. I thought maybe there were people working for the landlord to get it ready to rent. I was wrong. Today when I went by, there were skateboards in the window, eclectic fabric, a Christmas tree that looks like it has been in a tussle with some spools of ribbon, and a motorcycle—yup, a real motorcycle.

As I went to get coffee and work my shift at 6 Bridges Gallery, acquaintances I ran into asked me if I knew what was going on, and who was moving in to the location. I didn't have the answer. But when my shift was done, I walked through the rain to go get a quick bite for lunch, and as I passed La Rosa I saw two young men stepping inside. I couldn't resist, so I knocked.

Let me introduce you to Ian and Dillon. They were nice enough to let the weird lady on the street take a picture of them. (Sorry the photos are blurry; it was chilly and I was in a hurry.)  These young guys are adding to the fabric of our arts scene. I didn't get to talk to them much because I needed to go, but they were very friendly. In the brief time that we chatted, I learned that they will be running it as a studio space. I think they said they're thinking of calling it "Dissonance Archive". If I'm correct, and I may not be, I think they said that they would be doing both audio and visual art.

Hopefully I'll get a chance to talk to them again soon, and get better details.

In the meantime, let's welcome them to the neighborhood! We wish them luck and we'll be watching as they transform their space to reflect their creativity.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Really Cool Art Show at ArtSpace Maynard “From Cave Drawings to Selfies: #painting people”

I missed the 2nd Saturday art opening at ArtSpace last weekend, and now that I've had a chance to see the show, I'm really sorry that I didn't make it. I would have loved to have met the artists. The work is phenomenal and the combining of the images of these two artists' is spot on. I heard that there might have even been some important people in the art world who attended the opening.

In a suggestion of an urban setting, Ann Strassman and Youngsheen A. Jhe paint images of people in all their raw and imperfect beauty, either juxtaposed with mannequins that seem to be imitating their stiff and impersonal posturing, or in deliberately incomplete settings where the negative space seems as important as the positive. Strassman's paintings done on unfolded cardboard boxes, use the surface to add another layer of depth and meaning to the work. The large scale format of these pieces is striking.

I am not doing this show any justice with my writing or my photo. You just have to see it in person. I think you'll be impressed.

This show will only be up through December 31st. If you have family in town for the holidays, this might make for a great visit. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, from 11:00 am- 3:00 pm. The gallery will not be open on Christmas Day. 

Here's the description that is posted on the ArtSpace Web site:

“From Cave Drawings to Selfies: #painting people”
Featuring Ann Strassman and Youngsheen A. Jhe
The ArtSpace Gallery is pleased to present an exhibit by Ann Strassman and Youngsheen A. Jhe.  The work of both women is contemporary using clothing, objects and architecture of current culture that reflects the choices of our times by depicting the human face and figure and how it has changed over the history and mankind, which gives the viewer a greater appreciation of this discipline.

I hope you enjoy this show as much as I did.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

I Heard the Vietnamese Restaurant is Supposed to Open on Friday 12/4

Yesterday ArtSpace artist Jen Maestre (you know her as the Pencil Woman) mentioned that she happened to be walking by the soon-to-open Gigi's Vietnamese restaurant and saw someone inside, so she walked in. She asked if they were open yet and they told her that they were planning on opening tomorrow, Friday, December fourth. They gave her some business cards (and maybe some menus) to share with people. Jen said she'd have them in her studio during the ArtSpace Maynard Holiday Sale this weekend.

The menu is available online. I'm looking forward to sampling some Vietnamese cuisine soon!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Free Screening of "Codegirl" at Fine Arts Theatre, Sponsored by Yieldbot, Monday, December 14th

I'm really proud that my husband and the company he helps run (Yieldbot) out of Mill & Main thought the subject of girls in technology was important enough to bring "CODEGIRL" to Maynard. And I'm so pleased that our local theater (Fine Arts Theatre Place) agreed. 

On December 14 at 7pm, Yieldbot is sponsoring a free screening of "CODEGIRL" at Fine Arts Theatre Place. 

"CODEGIRL" is a recent documentary that centers around an app competition (specifically the 2014 competition) that is held yearly worldwide that encourages girls to get into technology. My husband watched it during a brief period when it was being offered by Google on Youtube for free. He felt it was important and thought that we have a great chance to get even more people to see it.

Back in college he was part of a team that did a study that found that one of the big reasons that girls, even at a young age, don't go into technology is that they don't identify with the image of who they think is good with technology. This is slowly changing, and competitions like the one in the movie are doing their part by giving girls direct access to working with technology, working towards a goal, and being successful with it.

But the movie itself can play a big role as well, by giving visibility to these girls and their struggles and success. It reminds everyone that there's no reason they can't do it, and provides an opportunity for our girls to see these girls as an example and inspiration for what they can do if they want to.

We have a daughter, and we don't ever want her to believe that the things she might want to do could be limited by her gender. Whether or not you have a daughter interested in technology, the film inspires thinking. Reserve your free ticket now because this is an important topic. 

Here's a link to the trailer.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

ArtSpace Mourns the Loss of Artist Doris Carlson

I met Doris Carlson sometime in the early two-thousands, when I joined ArtSpace Maynard. What struck me about meeting her was how kind she seemed. Somehow she managed to convey compassion, a sense of humor, patience, and understanding, all with her gentle voice. I'm sure it's something that all who knew her loved about her. On Friday, November thirteenth, at age eighty-eight, she died in hospice from complications of cancer.

There are many artists that I admire at ArtSpace, but Doris was always on a special pedestal that my mind holds for people that I want to be like when I grow up. I remember her telling me about the decision she made to, when she was in her fifties and after her kids were grown, go to art school! I hadn't even had the courage to apply to art school as a young woman! With that little story she flipped a switch in my brain.

Now, one might think that a woman who had spent most of her days as what was then referred to as a "homemaker" that decided to go to art school might stick to some conservative approach to art; maybe painting some flowers and leave it at that. This was not the case with Doris. She once gave me and my (then four-year-old) daughter a tour of her home, the art she collected, and her own art. Each piece that she showed me opened a door to new possibilities. We stood before a highly textured and gilded piece that was lovingly framed and in a hallway. "Do you know what that is?" she asked. When I said that I didn't, she smiled and declared wryly, "Cocoa Puffs cereal! I have another one upstairs that I did that is Shredded Wheat!" And we laughed.

Doris was more than just a late-blooming artist with a playful personality, she was also legally blind. Macular degeneration had begun to rob her of her sight many years ago, but let me assure you that she never let this be the defining trait that people would remember her by. It was certainly a part of the last several years of her life, but mostly only because she couldn't drive herself places. And if she saw your shadowy figure in the hall, she'd have to ask you to tell her who you were.

When I would give friends tours of the ArtSpace building, along the way we'd come to some of Doris' work—bold patterns of stripes, glazed in metallic paints, angular and bulbous intertwining abstract formations. I'd tell my touring friends that she was legally blind, and they'd invariably express their sympathy. But by my judgment, Doris didn't feel sorry for herself. She hardly complained about her struggles, even when she found out she had cancer. Mostly she'd talk about the nuisance of symptoms, as if she were holding the thing in her hand and showing it to you so you could both nod and agree about it being a real pill. That's just how she was.

As do most artists, I often have doubts about my art. But when I had chances to talk to Doris, her spirit always left me feeling grounded and secure, like nothing was really impossible and things weren't such a big deal. Her story never got old, and she often seemed surprised by how much I loved hearing it. She didn't see herself as a maverick, and I'm not sure she ever grasped how much of a heroine she was to me.

She was loved by her ArtSpace colleagues and will be missed. You can still find her work on display in the hallway outside the studio space that she shared, the studio with the purple door. I hope you'll consider coming to see it at the next ArtSpace Open House.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Miracle of Miracles—the Plywood Has Been Removed!

If I hadn't kept my wits about me, I might have skidded off the road due to a miracle that I was witness to today. Maybe you saw it, too. As I approached the intersection of Powdermill and Waltham Streets, I saw a most wondrous sight. There were workers... replacing the windows... of the old Murphy and Snyder building!

Somebody pinch me.

Whether it was the letter writing campaigns, complaints to Town Hall, a trend toward improvements of commercial buildings all over town,  or Maynard's Guerilla Plywood Painter (GPP), the message got through to Mr. VanValey, the owner of that parcel of land.

And so...

Here ye, here ye!
From this day forward let us declare November nineteenth to be an informal holiday in Maynard! In this season of giving thanks, this one might be close to the top of the list.

Now, what do we call this holiday? "Bye-Bye Ply Day"?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Latest Show "Visual Narratives" at ArtSpace Maynard's Gallery

“Visual Narratives by Studio 7” Exhibit at the ArtSpace Gallery

Featuring the works of: Sara Arshad, Ruth d’Autremont, Caroline Lindeke, Nancy Mimno, Jane Paulson, Ann Schauffler, Pamela Wickham

Curated by Sally Santosuosso

Since pre historic times, artists of every culture, period and genre have crafted visual stories to describe their history, beliefs, values and important events.  Such stories spring from within our collective intellectual and imaginative experience. Stories are essential to convey and honor the nuanced spectrum of human life. The ArtSpace Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibit of 7 artists from Studio 7, representing an eclectic variety of collage, assemblage, painting, drawing, ceramics and fiber art as they share their vision of “Visual Narratives.”

The exhibit runs through November 27th.  Gallery hours are Wednesdays-Saturdays,11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Come join the art scene in Maynard!

The ArtSpace Gallery located at 63 Summer Street in Maynard and is free to the public and is wheelchair accessible.

For more information, please call (978) 897-9828 or go to and like us on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

So What's the Deal With the Brewery?

As I've been moving about town, I've heard a lot of people wondering what's happening with Battle Road Brewing Company, the brewery that's expected to take up a good portion of building five of Mill & Main. I figured I'd ask. I reached out to them on Facebook, told them that Maynard was anxious for them to open, and here's what they told me.

"Our brewing equipment has been ordered and is in transit as we speak. Demo has begun on the brewery/restaurant area and the second floor offices are complete. I don't want to give you an expected opening date because these things can (and often do) change quickly, however we are hopeful for early 2016. Cheers!"

I'll keep my fingers crossed that everything will line up for them and that things will go smoothly. We patiently await their arrival.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

"To Kill a Mockingbird" at the Fine Arts Theatre, Maynard

Fans of Film at Fine Arts Theatre, Maynard is pleased to present the first of its installation of films at the newly renovated Fine Arts Theatre Place in Maynard:

Join them December 8th and 9th for “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Widely considered to be one of the greatest films ever made, To Kill a Mockingbird earned an overwhelmingly positive response from critics and won three Academy Awards (including Best Actor for Gregory Peck). It was nominated for eight others, including Best Picture, and marked the film debut of Robert Duvall.

(Willow Bookstore will be in the lobby selling the two Harper Lee novels.)
Tickets are just $7.00. Check the Facebook page or the theater website. 
And stay tuned for more great films to come!

Films selected by the Fans of Film will be shown on the second Tuesday and Wednesday of each month, so mark your calendars.

Fans of Film at Fine Arts Theatre, Maynard—celebrating the art of film-making by promoting independent, art, documentary, foreign and classic films.

Fine Arts Theatre Place, 19 Summer Street, Maynard, MA
Tele: 978-897-8100

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Don't Forget—Bazaar Russe is This Week, Friday and Saturday

I don't have much time to post, so I'm just going to remind and send a link for the Bazaar Russe—happening this Friday and Saturday. Get some fabulous Russian food.

Here's a link to my blog post from the spring that gives more descriptive information.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Chance to Experience Live Music from a Bygone Era, Right Here in Maynard!

In celebration of his 100th birthday, the Fine Arts Theatre is hosting a Frank Sinatra tribute, replete with a live band. This traveling show is scheduled to be in Maynard for one night only: Thursday, November 5th, at seven o'clock. Steve Martin, America's favorite Sinatra vocalist, and a fourteen-piece orchestra will take over the stage of the theater to bring you music of this musical legend.

Imagine, right here in Maynard, whether we're young or old, we can jump back in time to experience the music of another era. For me, I'm enjoying imagining that our wonderful historical theater will be giving a sigh of contentment as it's reminded of the heyday of its youth.

Tickets are $28 general admission, or $25 for Seniors. They are available at the box office and must be purchased in advance, so be sure to get yours.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Many Thanks to the Guerilla Citizen

The community of Maynard owes a great deal of thanks to the guerilla citizen who took it upon themselves to take paint to the plywood that has been an eyesore in Maynard for nearly ten years. Person-Who-Did-This, if you're out there and listening, you are a town hero, and we truly appreciate what you have done.

Sorry my picture was poor quality. I was stopped at the light. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Open Table is on the Move

I got this today. Great news!


Open Table which has served the greater Maynard community for seven years is moving to a new location.  Beginning on Monday, November 9 we will be located on the first floor of the former Coolidge School at 12 Bancroft Street.  The town of Maynard under the leadership of Andrew Scribner MacClain, Assistant Town Administrator, has been instrumental in assisting Open Table in finding a new location and in making the former school available to us.

Open Table pantry serves an average of 100 families each week, providing them with meat, eggs, dairy products, fresh produce and baked goods in addition to package non-perishable food and household items.  An all volunteer organization, Open Table welcomes all comers to both the food pantry and to their community dinner which is currently served at the Sudbury United Methodist Church on Route 27 on Tuesday evenings at 6 p.m.  

While we are continuing to look for a permanent location in the Maynard area where we can provide both the dinner and the food pantry, we are extremely grateful to both the Town of Maynard and the Sudbury United Methodist Church for providing us with temporary locations where we can continue to offer this critical service to our neighbors.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Maynard Has a Toy Store

Have you ever lost your glasses and found that they're right on your head? Or maybe you're looking for something on your desk, and even though it's right there in front of you, somehow you keep missing it? That's how I feel about Maynard's toy store. What, you didn't know there was one?!? There sure is. It's right inside the Paper Store.

I think the problem is the name, and maybe even the history. "The Paper Store" says nothing about toys. And if you were a Paper Store customer years ago, then you'll think of pens, stationery, and the daily papers. But this place offers a heck of a lot more than that! Yes, you can get nice holiday cards. Yes, you can buy those really funky Christmas ornaments. Yes, they have lots of Vera Bradley bags. But when I went in there this week, I saw Patriots gear, funky socks, a big display of chocolates, books, picture frames—lots of things.

After stopping in I learned that they are carrying a lot of current books, and that if they don't have the book that you're looking for you can ask if they can order it for you. It will take a little longer, but this is your downtown—you don't need to give your money to Amazon. Keep it right here.

I didn't go into the Paper Store thinking that I'd be writing anything about the place. It was when I was in there, looking for stationery, that I realized just how many toys there really are. Legos, books, puzzles, art supplies and kits, stuffed animals, all kinds of great stuff. Again, if they don't have a product you're looking for, just ask if they can get it for you.

After my visit, I'd like to propose that they add a secondary name to their building—"The Maynard Toy Shop". They could hang it on the side of the building—on the wall that connects to the back parking lot. And they could hang one on the back of the building above the back door.

Everyone loves the fact that we have a real downtown. It's up to everyone to use it as much as possible. You don't need to go out of town to buy every toy gift. You can get it right here in Maynard.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Maynard Fest, Saturday, October 3, 2015, 9:00-3:30. Rain or Shine

Maynard Fest is one of my favorite times of year here. They shut down two of the main streets—Nason and Main— to make way for pedestrian traffic. Vendors, organizations and performers come from different parts of the region to help make this celebration really special.

People have asked bout Oktoberfest and Maynard Fest, and weren't they on the same day? Well, it's late, and I can't tell you what I've heard because I need some sleep. I'll try to tackle it sometime.

6 Bridges Gallery (which I'm a member of) invites you to come and make a bracelet for a few bucks with our artists. This project will be appropriate for kids or adults. Have your kids make them as presents to give to others. Artist Andrew Child will be spinning out cotton candy for a couple of dollars a cone—delicious!

While you're at 6 Bridges, pick up some Maynard Pride. There's something about living here—it just feels like we've got something really special—so special that you just want to wear that good feeling on your chest, or magnetize it to your bumper.

I hope to see you at the festival.

Oh, and thank you to those of you who have come up to me to tell me that you read this blog. It means a lot to me.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Lots Happening This Weekend in Maynard!

This is going to be a great weekend in Maynard, so spread the word to have people join in the fun.

• 9:00-1:00 Start with the Farmers' Market—live music and fresh produce and baked goods.

• Noon-5:00 Head over to ArtSpace Open Studios

• 3:00-8:00 Oktoberfest in the Mill & Main parking lot on Main St.

• 7:30 (?) Fireworks over the Mill Pond. I'm a little unsure about the start time of the fireworks, but it's the final event of Oktoberfest, and can only start when it gets dark. This is a great opportunity for little kids to see fireworks without having to go to bed at midnight!

• 10:00 The Fine Arts Theatre is playing "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" in honor of the 40th anniversary. Don't miss the scene!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

What's Up With Aubuchon?

I hate hearing bad news, and I hate reporting it, but here we are.

I caught wind of this one today:

"Aubuchon closed on Friday evening.  Windows are papered up, and the sign on the door says that they've moved to the Shaw's plaza in Stow in the same location where Ace Hardware used to be located.  Since the Stow Aubuchon was opened a couple of months ago, this is in reality a merging of the two locations.  Employees were not told ahead of time, in case you (like us) shopped there just a few days ago and weren't informed about the move."

Thumbs down, my friends.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Don't Miss ArtSpace Open Studios! September 26 & 27, noon-5:00

I'm lucky enough to be part of this ArtSpace, and I find that sharing my studio with the community can be energizing and inspiring. I do hope you'll consider attending.

ArtSpace, one of the largest arts centers in New England, invites you to attend its annual ArtSpace Artists’ Open Studios event on Saturday and Sunday, September 26 & 27 from 12 noon to 5 p.m. here at 63 Summer Street, Maynard, Mass.

Visit the studios and view the work of more than 70 artists, both emerging and long practicing, including painters, sculptors, bookbinders, ceramicists, a milliner, photographers, print makers, illustrators and writers.

Here we invite you to explore the artists’ world outside of the normal gallery experience.  Meet the artists, ask questions and see how they work in their own studios.

In addition to visiting these studios, guests are welcome to come to our Annual Artist’s Group exhibit in the ArtSpace Gallery and join a backstage tour of the Acme Theater.

HOURS: The studios are open Noon to 5 p.m. both days. There will be an Artists’ Talk on from 5:15 to 6:00 p.m. and a concert from 6:15 to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 26th by ArtSpace resident Guitarist Berit Strong. On Sunday, September 27th from 5:15 to 6:00 p.m. there will be a musical performance by ArtSpace resident and musician Samantha Linnane and her husband, Peter, performing as the Farewells in a free folk and American original music concert.

WHAT:  ArtSpace Artists Annual Open Studios Event
WHEN:  September 26 & 27
HOURS: Noon to 5 p.m. both days, with concert from 5:15 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 27th
COST:  Free and Wheelchair accessible
INFO:  visit us on our web at:

Friday, September 4, 2015

What's With All the Sounds of Gunfire in Maynard?

No need to worry!

From David Gavin on facebook:
For Maynard residents who may be wondering: there is law enforcement training ongoing at the Rod &Gun Club this evening. Do not be alarmed by the rapid gun fire.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Summer's Winding Down. What's Been Going On?

People have been away, enjoying summer for a few weeks here and there away from our beloved town. It's September now, and with School starting this week, families with kids are settling and getting ready to hit the books.

Many of you will come back to see some changes around here. Here are some of the things that I've noticed:

• ArtSpace Downtown is now called 6 Bridges Gallery.
• The church on Summer St., across from ArtSpace has sold.
• SmARTroom has leased a new spot on Main Street and will open sometime in September.
• George, the old fellow who owned The Corner Closet, retired. He was in his nineties.
• The very same Corner Closet has relocated to Main Street. (where Art & Soul was). Looks like they're going to be a great source for getting a deal on clothes.
• The Indian restaurant lost their liquor license because they had been closed for more than six months. I saw last week that the building was for sale.
• Concord and Nason Streets got paved. Some areas even got new sidewalks.

What else? What have I missed?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

smARTroom opens on Main Street

It's so nice to see once-vacant spaces get fillied. Have you walked down Main Street yet and seen the signs for smARTroom? Oh, it's colorful, which is as it should be, especially if you know one of the co-founders, Maynard's very own Aimeé Ledwell.

You may have walked by and wondered what the heck it is. Rather than me try to explain, I figured I'd just do the smart thing and just go to their Web site. "We are a small, local, learning center specializing in Art integrated with Academics, also known as S.T.E.A.M.  Our family-friendly makerspace is coming to downtown Maynard this fall. We will be open to all ages, with programming starting at age 3 and going up through adults. SmARTroom will offer classes for all ages, open studio time, birthday parties, corporate workshops, and more." If you follow smARTroom on Facebook you'll see, through their posts, the kind of inspiration they're going to share with the community.

Though they expect to open in September, they need some funding to really get their little non-profit off the ground with flair. They have started an Indiegogo campaign to help them get some of the funding they need for some supplies. If you have any connections to anyone that might be able to help them with the things they need, don't hesitate to stop in.  

Here's a link to their Web site, but don't forget to like them on Facebook. 

ArtSpace Downtown Has Changed its Name. Welcome 6 Bridges Gallery!

Though they just opened end of November, ArtSpace Downtown has decided that a name change sooner rather than later would be best. Why? "Well, we love ArtSpace and our association with ArtSpace Gallery and Studios. What we didn’t love was the confusion, and there was plenty of that. Often people looking for us ended up at the studio building and vice versa. That was a lot of explaining we had to do."

The new name is 6 Bridges Gallery, a name that came out of the fact that there are 6 bridges over the Assabet River in Maynard. You'll find those bridges on Waltham St., Walnut St., Main St., Florida Rd., Mill St., and Great Rd.

The logo graphic will be staying the same., so hopefully it won't take too long for people to catch on.

In case you haven't had a chance to check it out, here's a link to the Web site.

Full disclosure—I'm a member of this gallery, but maybe you already knew that.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Stratus is Moving to Mill & Main

I'm loving this opening line, "Stratus Technologies has leased 102,321 square feet at the former Clock Tower Place in Maynard..." 

Here's the article I just read about it. Great news!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Summer Kids Programs at the Fine Arts Theater

I was down a the Fine Arts Theater yesterday, showing it off to a couple of out-of-town friends, when a flyer caught my eye. They're going to be showing a different kids movie weekly, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at eleven a.m. throughout the summer. Just $5 a ticket.

Here's the lineup:

Tues., July 7, 11 a.m.: "Matilda"
Weds., July 8, 11 a.m.: "Matilda"

Tues. July 14, 11 a.m.: "The Smurfs"
Weds., July 15, 11 a.m.: "The Smurfs"

Tues., July 21, 11 a.m.: "The Karate Kid (1984)"
Weds., July 22, 11 a.m.: "The Karate Kid (1984)"

Tues., July 28, 11 a.m.: "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"
Weds., July 29, 11 a.m.: "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"

Tues., August 4, 11 a.m.: "Jumanji"
Weds., August 5, 11 a.m.: "Jumanji"

Tues., August 11, 11 a.m.: "The Muppets Take Manhattan"
Weds., August 12, 11 a.m.: "The Muppets Take Manhattan"

Tues., August 18, 11 a.m.: "Hotel Transylvania"
Weds., August 19, 11 a.m.: "Hotel Transylvania"

Stopping in to the theater will be a great day to cool off for a few hours on hot summer days. Maybe I'll see you there!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

"Clock Tower Place" No More! Let's Welcome "Mill&Main"

Photo of Ted Saraceno and Henry St. Hilaire taken
in early spring at Clock Tower Place
This evening the public got to hear the Saracen presentation about their proposed changes to the mill complex.

Let it be known that the buildings formerly know as "Clock Tower Place" will now be called "Mill&Main," emphasizing the new positioning of having the mill become more a part of the downtown.

The library's Roosevelt Room (the largest meeting room) was standing room only, with lots of people hanging out as close as possible in the lobby. Those present seemed very enthusiastic about what they were hearing, even breaking into applause and cheers several times.

Did you miss the presentation? If so, you can catch the same presentation made to the Board of Selectmen. It's available on the Town of Maynard Web site, click here and scroll down to it. There seems to be a little problem with the sound quality at the beginning, but you can still hear Henry St. Hilaire (of Saracen Properties) speak, it just buzzes a little from time to time.

Questions asked at the public presentation were different from those at the BOS meeting, so it might be a good idea, if you attended the June 11th presentation, to listen to the one on the town's site. It lasts about forty-five minutes, visuals and all.

At the public presentation, one man stood up and talked about how he and his wife are moving to Maynard from Sudbury, and how they felt like they bought at the exact right time because they could see that there are a lot of good things that are going to be happening here. I couldn't agree more.

There was a journalist in attendance who will be writing about the presentation, so I'll end here and let him do his job. I'll post a link to his article when I get it. In the meantime, you can keep an eye on the Mill&Main Web site for updated information.

Now, let's all start practicing saying Mill&Main. I wonder how long it will take for us to make it a local thing.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Followup on That Crazy Turkey

The female turkey is fine. She was examined by the animal control officer and released into the woods somewhere, where she promptly flew away. 

We're all glad to hear the news!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Strange things seen in Maynard, Episode 6: Any Turkey Can Use a Treadmill!

I was downtown around dinnertime Tuesday evening and saw a cruiser outside Aim for Fitness. People walking in that area seemed to be drawing toward the scene. I saw broken glass and a big hole in the top of one of the windows. Had some vandal thrown a cinder block? Did an over enthusiastic fitness buff push themselves just a little too hard? Nope. It turns out that a wild turkey had flown right through the window!

Animal control went in with a net to capture the wild bird, who, for a few minutes, had landed on a treadmill. According to my source, the turkey seemed to be unharmed. Hopefully she (maybe he?) is recovering from the shock and can get back to the wild soon.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Don't Miss the Saracen Presentation About Their Plans for Clock Tower Place on June 11th!

Photo taken in March when I saw some work happening.
Somehow, I was able to see the presentation that Saracen will be making about proposed changes to the Clock Tower Place property. How I managed to get to see it is a long story, and I feel very fortunate that I was given the opportunity. I'm very excited people—really, really excited.

Let me start by saying that I had heard that there was a tenant in the building who had trouble with past management and was getting ready to relocate out of Maynard. After Saracen came in, not only did they decide to stay, but they also signed a five-year lease. Somebody must be doing something right.

And a friend of mine and the company he works for (located in another town) went in to talk about potential space. He saw the presentation and told me that if Saracen can do what they hope to do, he'd want his company to be there. He's a good friend, so I can say with conviction that he's a person not easily impressed.

Given that Saracen is still discussing their plan with the town, I can't really tell you anything specific that I saw, but I feel like I can talk about it in broad strokes, so you get the feel for it. But really, you all should just be at the presentation to the public. Even my talking about it wouldn't nail it. That property is so huge that we had to go back and forth a couple of times on the visuals for me to understand the parts we were talking about.

My take on the presentation is that Saracen understands that Clock Tower Place should be more a part of our downtown. Part of the plan might include the removal of the iron fence that surrounds it. They're also interested in making the mill pond more of a feature than it is currently. That's about all I can say, really. I know it's not much, but the rest of the stuff I don't have the right to talk about, and really, it's something that is best understood with the visuals. So in broad strokes: they are looking to make the CTP campus more accessible to the community and more attractive to potential tenants, and the plans certainly seem to reflect that. I think we might all agree that that's something to look forward to right there.

The presentation to the public will be on Thursday, June 11th at 6:30 pm, and will take place in the Roosevelt Room of the Maynard Public Library,

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Update on the Bazaar Russe

It was totally awesome. 

Okay, to give more detail, we had lunch there on Friday. I had a hard time picking what we should eat, so I just picked a bunch of stuff. Everything was delicious. And I really loved that they had banquet tables set up and you could just sit with whomever. That made it fun.

Unfortunately, we didn't have time to take a tour of the church, but I hear they have these events twice a year. So come fall, I'll be stopping in again; for kielbasa, pieroshki, borscht, and so many other things, not to mention a tour of the Russian Orthodox fairyland-castle church.

Strange Things Seen in Maynard, Episode 5

Not all my "strange" postings are strange-weird, some are more strange-unexpected. This is one of those. I spotted this little beauty as I walked toward the corner of Main and Nason. I saw an acquaintance having a late lunch at Serendipity Café and said hello to him. Sal introduced me to his wife Terry. I said, "Look at that Volkswagon Bus, isn't it beautiful?!?" And Sal says, "I've been working on her for a while."

So, many congratulations go out to Sal for a job well done. If you see him around town, give him a thumbs up. Now I just need him to put one of my bumper magnets on it!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Denault Studios is Relocating

Denault Studios will be shutting their doors on Nason Street, but don't panic people—this is not bad news. It's actually really good news. In the last couple of years they've really expanded their studio classes, and they've run out of space (Working with glass is so, darn cool!). I was talking to owner, Michael Denault just yesterday, and he says that as of Friday, May 15th, they'll be closing shop on Nason, but they'll be moving to their new location on Main Street! They are taking the location that used to belong to Paint 'n' Pour (55 Masin Street), next to Sugarsnap. They expect to be open by next Wednesday, May 20th.

Those of us who are members of ArtSpace Downtown are really happy for them and we welcome them to our end of town. We're looking forward to having them join us and Gallery Seven when we have joint gallery openings—it's going to be a great time! We'll be sure to keep you posted so you can join in the artistic experience.

You can follow Denault Studios on Facebook. If you're in the area, congratulate them on the new space.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Enjoy Russian Food and Tour That Darling Little Church

Have you ever driven down Acton St. (Rt. 27) in Maynard and happened to look down Prospect Street? The first time that happened to me, we were driving along and I think a happy and surprised little "oh!" burst out of my mouth as we went by. I thought I must surely be hallucinating because it seemed as though I had seen a fairy palace at the end of that street. If memory serves me right, I might have made my husband turn around, and there it was, what I would later learn is the Russian Orthodox Church.

I have lived in Maynard for nearly eighteen years, and I have yet to go inside Holy Annunciation Orthodox Church. Not being Russian Orthodox, I felt like I didn't really have a reason to visit. They have their annual Bazaar Russe that falls close to my birthday, so somehow we keep missing it. But today a friend insisted that I must go. She said the food is amazing and that Father Robert gives tours of the church. How can I resist that? Really people, how? My friend Liz said that if you get there in time, you can even get some pierogi (traditional Russian dumplings) and other Russian foods to take home and freeze, but that you have to get their early or they run out.

So this year, I'm going to mark my calendar and head over there. The bazaar is being held on Friday, May 15th, from 10:00am– 8:00pm (food service starts at 11:00) and Saturday, May 16th, from 10:00am–4:00pm (food service starts at 11:00). I hope you'll join me in poking around the church and eating tasty food. Here's a link to the event, where you'll find a menu of food being served there, and a menu of takeaway items.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Fine Arts is Playing "Mr. Turner" 5/8-5/13

This from the Fine Arts. Please share and encourage people to attend so Mr. Trumble understands that these are definitely the kinds of films that the Maynard area can support. 

"Beginning Friday Night May 8th, the Fine Arts Theater will be showing a wonderful film by Mike Leigh., fantastic film maker. Check out "Mr. Turner" in beautiful 35mm. Limited release, playing for 6 days at the Fine Arts Theatre Place."

Monday, May 4, 2015

Strange Things Seen in Maynard, Episode No. 4

Maynard has not one, but two more than four purple houses! And they're less than a mile from each other. You can't really get more purple than the house by the fire department without starting to smell like grape soda.

Update, May 11, 2015: When I made this blog post, my Facebook page was suddenly bombarded with people telling me about the other purple houses in Maynard. If you know of a purple house in Maynard that I don't have here, let me know and I will add it. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

New Management at Clock Tower Place is Making Good Choices

My husband works at CTP, so he just casually mentioned this in passing. I thought it was worth sharing and a pat on the back. Saracen Properties, the new owners of Clock Tower Place, has started full recycling. Before companies located in the building could just recycle cardboard. Now they can recycle glass and metal, too. This is a great relief to my husband because, as his company continues to grow, his ability to bring home the recycling has become more and more difficult.

So a pat on the back to Saracen Properties for doing good. Hooray! And a pat on the back to Yieldbot for putting in the extra effort for so long.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Maynard's Spring ArtWalk is This Weekend—Saturday, May 2nd!

If you haven't made it to the Spring ArtWalk, what are you waiting for? This is the ideal kind of small-town community celebration that makes everyone feel good.

In various locations around town, you'll find art on display and music to listen to. I'll be at ArtSpace Downtown, where you can see the student work of three ArtSpace art teachers, plus ArtSpace's very own classical guitarist, Berit Srong performing with her students. You can also check out the chairs that we're auctioning to help raise money for the Maynard Public Schools' arts budget. Mr. Mark's new throne will be there, too. Stop in and write him a note that we'll give him when we give him the new chair.

ArtSignals Studio: Come paint-your-own pottery.
Excelsior Comics and Legends Comics: Don't miss Free-Comic-Book Day! Who doesn't love free comic books?
Look Optical: See ArtSpace artist, Dianne Pappas' work on display and music by Alex Kucich.
The Community School: Catch their art show and open house.
Explore Pathways to Wellness: This is where you'll enter to win a free work of art. Be sure to stop in and check it out.
Marquess Photoworks: Enjoy artwork by Natalie Gardner and Todd Fulshaw. Music by Indian Hill Cello Ensemble led by Cynthia Forbes and Jazz Trio "Brothers Rule".
Gallery Seven: See the show "Playing the Exquisite Corpse" while listening to the Egg Rock Quartet.
Serendipity Cafe: Hear Three Rivers Chorus while eating the best cinnamon buns around.
Studio Insitu: Get a peek at the architectural firm that's having an open house.
ArtSpace Downtown: See student work of Garro Studio and Silk and Clay Studio, while listening to the Classical Guitar of Berit Strong and her students.
Flash Mob in front of Serendipity at 6pm. Learn the dance moves and be part of the scene!
And throughout the downtown you'll find the student work of Acton Art.

Maynard Public Library: Later in the evening, at 7pm, the Maynard Public Library will have their "Arts Night Talent Show" put on by Maynard Hight School students.

Both El Huipil and The Blue Coyote are offering dinner specials or discounts.

Make it a point to be present on Saturday—the more the merrier!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What's Happening With the Old Church on Summer St.

The site of the former Saint George's Episcopal Church is right across from ArtSpace, so I couldn't help but notice when, about two weeks ago, dumpsters appeared on the property and it appeared as though workers were gutting it. When I went to check it out, they were gone.

Today, I saw men out painting the exterior of the building, so I made it a point that, once I dropped my things off in my studio, I was going to be nosey.

I met a man who told me he was the owner. Evan Gorman is his name. I told him that I keep this goofy blog about Maynard and asked him what the scoop was. They're getting ready to put it on the market. I asked him if he'd mind if I checked it out. I love old buildings. I know you all are as curious as I am, so I asked him if I could take some pictures. He was gracious enough to say yes.

I know of another old church in Maynard that was converted to a house. It's nice. I wonder if the same could happen here. I guess the only trouble is that the area in the photos would have to be the main living space—the only other area is the basement. I didn't bother going there.

Not sure when we'll see it on the market, but there's a bit of scoop for you. Maybe you've got a good idea for the space?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Are You Interested in Being Part of a Movie Club at the Fine Arts Theater?

Interested in being part of the conversation about what movies could come to the Fine Arts Theater? Yes? Me, too.

A bunch of people (myself included) are getting together with the owner of Maynard's Fine Arts Theater, Steve Trumble, to plan a movie club. Though we think block busters are great, as a group, we're hoping to advocate for the showing of some less-main-stream movies. The idea would be that the movie club would have a monthly (or bi-monthly) movie night, showing a movie of the club’s choice in the Fine Arts theater. Through the club, we'd like to ensure that the theater is getting lots of use, as well as increasing its exposure in the community—we want it to continue to thrive and be around for generations to come! 

If you want to join us in our efforts, please plan to attend a meeting on Saturday, April 25, 3pm, at Fine Arts Theater. We will be talking about how a club could be formed.  

If you have questions feel free to call 978-902-3952. Or see you on April 25 at 3pm at the theatre for this initial planning meeting.