Monday, December 26, 2016

Halfway Cafe is changing?

I had heard that the Halfway might be rebranding and planning to serve tapas or other small plates. I'm not sure how much of that is true, but I did see this on Facebook today. Feel free to let me know if you've heard anything else. 

"Attention Maynard! There is a new business coming to town this January! The Brook Kitchen and Tap -Maynard will be taking over the space where The Halfway Cafe is currently located! Further details coming your way shortly-we can't wait to join the Maynard Family! 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Why SmARTroom is so great

SmARTroom celebrated it's first anniversary in Maynard a couple of months ago. Our daughter has had a membership from the beginning, and we've found that she gets more out of it than we could have imagined in the beginning.

Sure there are cool projects and great parties there. Our daughter has enjoyed the Glow-in-the-Dark party, building events, and 3D printing days. She's joined in community building projects, and Halloween parties, and just drop ins. They have S.T.E.A.M. programing, so kids can learn some science, technology, engineering, art, and math using fun experiments in a fun space. She loves all of those things.

As parents, sometimes we fail to see the truly creative resources that are right in front of us, but our kids don't. If I ask my daughter if she wants to go to SmARTroom, she doesn't hesitate to say yes. But if I asked what she'd be doing there, she'd casually say, "I don't know," and that's just as it should be. The not knowing what you're going to do is a creative adventure in the making.

If you take advantage of it, one of the unexpected and insanely valuable benefits of SmARTroom is the responsibility it teaches kids. They have a certification process for their space that, if you pass it, proves that you know how to be responsible for your behavior in a public space. With certification, you are allowed to be in the space without parental supervision. For kids, that's such a rite of passage—to be able to go and be in a place without Mom and Dad watching your every move. It allows kids to learn to be responsible for their community and to be respectful of property and others.

My daughter and her best friend are particularly pleased that they are allowed to walk there together. They can even take along some money and go to Serendipity to get themselves some food. Many of us remember that kind of independence but can't figure out how to let our kids have it. This is a great start.

And how about the benefits to us as parents? Because my daughter is certified to be independent, I have been able to time doctor's appointments and errand runs with her visits to SmARTroom. She doesn't have to trudge through the grocery store with me, and I get my shopping done faster. In the meantime, she's working on creative projects.

And how about this... imagine that your kid comes home from school with homework that they can't quite figure out, and you have to make dinner. If the timing works out, why not take them to SmARTroom? The staff there can help sort through the homework while you're mashing potatoes and chopping vegetables.

Once you realize what a service SmARTroom is providing, you might want to get an annual membership , but you could start with $10 drop in visits. Either way, I don't think you'll regret the investment. We are so lucky to have this valuable family resource right here in Maynard.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Yes! The Indian Restaurant Reopens! And...

This evening, during the Maynard Business Alliance's Sip & Stroll, I got busted for not having done a blog post about the Indian restaurant's reopening. I wanted to tell you, I really did. I've just been so busy that I didn't have much time. And I decided my shopping list was a more important post. So I know you'll forgive me. 

But yes indeedy, what was formerly "Savoring Indian Cuisine" (quite a mouthful to say), is now owned by someone else. I'm not sure of the name, something like Café India. I believe they may have even opened today. I'm looking forward to getting down there. If you had a chance to try it, I'd love to hear how it was. I'm sure they'll have some kinks to work out in the beginning, but hopefully they'll get things running smoothly soon.

We now have Asia strongly represented on Main Street—Vietnam, India, Thailand, and Korea. 

I also heard that there is going to be a cheese shop/beer and wine seller, perhaps with a slant toward some ethnic (Armenian?) foods. They have another location in Belmont. 

Let's be sure to make Maynard worth both of these business's effort, stop in and visit. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Here it is—Your Maynard Holiday Shopping List!

I can't possibly know what you have on your Holiday list, but I'm guessing that you may have overlooked a few of your Maynard shops. Here is a list that's going to keep you out of the stress of the mall and mere minutes from your front door. This is by no means a complete list, but I'm sure that as you go, you'll discover more than you imagined. If you have a great find could you post it in the comments here?

Christmas ornaments and decorations - Summer St. Fine Consign, 6 Bridges Gallery, Denault Studios, The Paper Store, Sugar Snap, Video Signals/Art Signals Studio
All things Maynard, sweatshirts, hats, personalization - CSA graphics
Vintage toys (G.I. Joe?) - Collector's Paradise, Summer St. Fine Consign
Red Sox or Patriots items - The Paper Store, Maynard Outdoor Store
A Swiss army knife - The Maynard Outdoor Store
Toys - The Paper Store, Collector's Paradise, Summer Street Fine Consign
A decorative candle - The Paper Store, Denault Studio
A beautiful hand-made mug - 6 Bridges Gallery, Earth Changes Pottery
A Jewelry Box - 6 Bridges Gallery, Summer Street Fine Consign, Denault Studio
A season subscription for local theater (plays) - ACME Theater
A hand-glazed platter from the kids - Video Signals/Art Signals
A pair of gold earrings - Richard Goddard, jeweler
Snow shoes - The Maynard Outdoor Store
Vintage kitchen gear - Summer St. Fine Consign
Harry Potter merchandise, wands - Charmed
A custom piece of jewelry - Richard Goddard, jeweler
Multipack movie passes - Fine Arts Theatre
Knitting or crochet classes - Island Yarn Company
Kids art supplies - The Paper Store
A pair of sunglasses - LOOK Optical, The Maynard Outdoor Store
A bicycle helmet, water bottle, and bike bell - Ray and Sons
A manicure - Crystal Nail and Spa, Royal Nails, Toast 'n Shine
A piece of local, one of a kind art - 6 Bridges Gallery, Denault Studio, Gallery 7, Earth Changes Pottery
Learning to work with art glass class gift certificate - Denault Studio
A pair of warm gloves - The Maynard Outdoor Store, Corner Closet, Raspberry Beret
A cyclists tire repair kit - Ray and Sons
A cast iron pan - Collector's Paradise
Therapeutic dance lessons - Two Left Feet,
Ice skates - The Maynard Outdoor Store
A pair of jeans - The Corner Closet, The Maynard Outdoor Store, Raspberry Beret
Tools - Butler Lumber, Parker Hardware
Semi-precious stones, pretty stones - Charmed
Wreaths -  The Flower Pot, Hawes Florist
Some lovely handmade jewelry - 6 Bridges Gallery, Denault Studio
A facial - Flawless
Handmade soap - 6 Bridges Gallery
Poinsettias - The Flower Pot
Spa day for your pooch - Scrub-a-Dog, Wags to Whiskers, Dirty Paws
Matchbox cars - Collector's Paradise
Martial Arts lessons - Metro West Kung Fu, the Concord School of Taekwon-do
Artistic eyeglass frames - LOOK Optical
A really cozy woman's sweater - Raspberry Beret
Stocking stuffers galore - Sugar Snap, The Maynard Outdoor Store
Handmade handbags - 6 Bridges Gallery
A tan - Toast 'n Shine Tan and Spa
A pair of pajamas - The Maynard Outdoor Store
Collector's coins - Collector's Paradise, Summer Street Fine Consign
A pair of binoculars - The Outdoor Store
Collector's memorabilia - Collector's Paradise
A special memento or photo framed - Gallery Seven
A new coat - The Maynard Outdoor Store
Drop-in kids play membership - SmARTroom
Comic Books - Excelsior Comics, Legends
Legos - The Paper Store
Action Figures - Excelsior Comics
A pile of books - Video/Art Signals, The Paper Store, Library's ongoing book sale
A new bicycle - Ray and Sons
Kids' books - Video Signals, The Paper Store, Library's ongoing book sale
Gift certificate for a personal trainer - Aim for Fitness
Gift certificate for a massage - Pathways to Wellness, Bailey's Therapeutic Massage, Massage Visits
Health club Membership - Anytime Fitness
And of course, plenty of gift certificates to any of Maynard's great restaurants

Start your shopping day with some friends, coffee, cinnamon buns or muffins from Serendipity Café or the Boston Bean House, and make your way around town. Then grab some lunch , finish up your shopping, and pat yourself on the back. You'll have avoided the mall and put money back into your own community, which makes more of a difference than you can imagine.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

I didn't know that business was in trouble!

When a business here in Maynard closes, and we're left with an empty store front, we find ourselves saying to each other, "If I had known they were in trouble, I would have shopped there more." Our local businesses can't wait for you to find out they're struggling for you to decide to shop locally. And if you went in to any of the businesses, they're not likely to complain to you—it's the same in so many other places, not just Maynard. Nobody wants to be a dark cloud, and they're all waiting for this economy to turn around, so they'll shrug and tell you they're fine.

We have lots of wonderful little shops here in Maynard. All you have to do is take the time to visit them. In the next few days, I'm going to try to do a post that is a holiday shopping list that you don't have to leave Maynard to fulfill.

If we all recognize how important making our purchases within our zip code is, both during the holidays and beyond, our communities will feel the benefit. And our businesses deserve it because having a vibrant downtown is a big part of what makes Maynard so great.

Recognize how much you matter to your community. I encourage you to give a gift back this holiday season—do as much of your shopping as possible right here in Maynard. It's what Maynard needs.

We Made Our Goal!

Not only did we make our goal, we surpassed it. Some contributed through the site, others sent us checks, but more than one hundred and thirty-nine people, from Maynard and beyond, helped fund our project. Thank you so much. 
As we move forward with the project, I'll try to post updates here.  

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Support the Maynard Honeybee Meadow!

Many of you know that I have been working with my friend Melissa to establish a Honeybee Meadow on an old empty lot at ArtSpace. More than a hundred of you have stepped up to pitch in in one way or another, and we truly appreciate it. This has been a really wonderful example of the community pulling together to make something happen, which always makes me happy. If you go to our Facebook Page you can learn more about what we've been up to.

If you were interested in giving but haven't had a chance yet, we have five days left in our Patronicity campaign.  If you prefer not to give online, but want to contribute to the project, you can write a check to the Maynard Honeybee Meadow Project and send it to 63 Summer St., Maynard.

Thanks again. I'll update you if we make our goal.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Living in a Creative Arts Community

I feel like I can say that as an artistic community, we recognize that art comes in all forms, that it often challenges, inspires, or makes us look at things in unexpected ways. It doesn't always make us feel good, but it makes us feel something. 

How much have you heard about the controversy over "Seagull Cinderella," the giant bird sculpture created by sculptor Donna Dodson, that usually resides on Summer St.? The sculpture seems to have offended people in New Bedford because she's a bird with a woman's torso. She's not even naked, and is completely stylized. Some citizens even signed a petition to have her removed from a summer display that she was asked to be part of. Artists from that area rallied to support both the sculptor and the sculpture, and the petition was eventually withdrawn. Well, her stay in that community is coming to an end, and thankfully it's time for her to return to her home in Maynard.

She has gotten lots of press, which is a good thing for both the artist and Maynard. It's a sculpture worth talking about. I think her notoriety adds to her story and in some sense, our community's own, of whether or not we want to challenge traditional conventions of art and beauty. And as Maynard is applying to get a Cultural District Designation, her presence becomes even more important. To quote the Mass Cultural Council's site, "The evidence is clear: A thriving creative sector is one of our Commonwealth's most powerful economic development assets. In support of this, the MCC’s Cultural Districts Initiative was authorized by an act of the Massachusetts state legislature in 2010, and launched in April 2011." 

People, bottom line, art is valuable to a community. It makes whatever space it's in become more interesting. A street is a street is a street, but put art on it... well, now we have something to talk about! I want to live in a place worth talking about, don't you?

There are certainly people here in Maynard that don't love her, and of course that's fine. But a few of us ArtSpace artists are planning her a welcome back parade. With this parade we'd like to send the message that Maynard is a home for artists, art lovers, and art, in all its forms. 

Please join us on Saturday, October 15th, 2:30pm for
the "Seagull Cinderella" Homecoming Parade. 

We're meeting at 2:30pm at the library, then we'll walk, hand in wing with the sculpture over to 6 Bridges Gallery, where there will be a pop-up show of artwork inspired by Seagull Cinderella. Some students of SmARTroom will be participating in the parade carrying an artwork that they are creating.

Your presence would mean a lot to the Maynard arts community, so I sure hope you'll consider being a part of this event. 

Maynard is such an interesting place, and I'm so glad to be here, and I'm glad you're here, too. "Seagull Cinderella" belongs here... with us.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

No Fireworks This Year

I hate to report sad news, I really do, especially when it involves our sweet town.

Did you hear that there wouldn't be any fireworks this year? Yup, it's true. Had the Oktoberfest beer garden and fireworks happened this year it would have been last weekend.

So here's my understanding of what happened. 1.) Rotary didn't get approval from Mill & Main in time (it's easy to forget that this event happens on private property). That meant that 2.) safety permits weren't issued in time. Which led to 3.) not being able to be contract a fireworks company in time. But a bigger, overall issue is 4.) that the Rotary Club, as a civic organization, doesn't have enough membership to handle the volunteer work that this project takes.

There are ramifications of not having the Oktoberfest event. The funds raised from hosting the beer garden are what pays for our Christmas parade. Don't panic just yet. My understanding is that, though there will be no Oktoberfest, the parade will still happen in 2016. It just might not happen next year.

So now we all need to start putting our heads together and try to figure out how to make these two very dear events happen in the future. We can't just let them slip away. And don't forget that it takes volunteers—lots of them—to make these things happen. If it's just a handful of people, they will get burned out and give up. If the call goes out for volunteers, consider adding your name to the list.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Artist Petting Zoo Happening September 24 and 25!

Come see artists in their natural environment. Dare to step into their unbarred cages where they make their art. Feel free to feed them (artists have a reputation for being extremely hungry). Whatever you do, don't miss the Artist Petting Zoo! Okay, it's really Open Studios, but tell the kids it's an artist petting zoo—they'll love it. 

I really want you to come and visit during ArtSpace's Open Studios. It's where I make my hats, and it's where I've found a very important Maynard community—the artist community. With about eighty artists working in the studio building, we're a pretty substantial group.

This year ArtSpace has had some changes. Aside from some important building maintenance, there were some changes in artists. One artist had to move out, and we miss her terribly, but we did gain about eight new artists, a few of them from right here in Maynard. We even had one of our artists move here from Stow to be closer to her studio. (Originally from New York City, she loves that she can walk to so many great places right here in our small town.) 

Two of our artists (Ingrid Goldboom and Jen Maestre) will be missing Open Studios because they're flying to Azirbaijan. They were chosen to participate in the Fourth International Exhibition "From Waste to Art" to create recycled art for a museum. The group responsible brings artists from around the world (this year there are 10 and only 2 from the US, our Maynard two!) to create art to highlight reuse and recycling. There will be a big event with high government officials October 2nd, and our Maynard artists will be there for about two weeks making pieces that will go on display there. We're all super proud of them. You'll still be able to visit their studios even when they're gone, so come and see why they would have been chosen for such a cool project. 

The annual show in the ArtSpace gallery has more art than every before. It's beautiful to see visual representations of so many of our artists, so make sure you stop into that part of the building. 

There are so many wonderful artists worth visiting, and I'd love to mention them all, but there's just not enough room. There are also so many artists that I can't know what new things they're up to. Instead, I'll make some suggestions of things you shouldn't miss:

Trina Baker: She and her husband, Curvin Huber, teach and do animation. 

Brenda Cirioni: Be sure to take a closeup look at her paintings.
Andrew Child: Had a very successful KickStarter and is publishing a book of photos of Cuba.
Priscilla Alpaugh Cotter: has been doing tons of illustration and has been working on some animation. She's always posting new work on her Facebook page
Catherine Evans: She did the community arts project that hangs on the fence across from ArtSpace. Now she's taking remnants from that project and turning them into something new. 
Gwen Murphy: You may know her for her shoe sculptures, where she turns old shoes into beings. She also reuses old bathroom scales in some of her more recent art. 
Sue Huszar makes sculpture out of bones. Seems strange, right? Some of it's really cute.
• There are free concerts at the end (5:15) of both days of the event, first with Berit Strong on Saturday, and Ron Hertz and his trio Shikaya  on Sunday. .

Stop in to my studio—I'd love to see you and show you my hats. While you're there, ask me about the ArtSpace Honeybee Meadow.

And don't be shy! Your questions let the artists know that you find something interesting in their work, so ask away!

Here are the details:

Visit the studios and view the work of more than 75 artists, both emerging and long practicing, including painters, sculptors, bookbinders, ceramicists, a milliner, photographers, print makers, illustrators, jewelers, musicians & 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 seeing these studios, visitors will see a group exhibit in the ArtSpace Gallery and join a backstage tour of the Acme Theater.


WHAT: ArtSpace Artists Annual Open Studios Event
WHEN:  September 24 & 25
HOURS: HOURS: The studios are open Noon to 5 p.m. both days. 
On Saturday, September 24th from 5:15 to 6:00 p.m. there will be a musical performance by ArtSpace resident Ron Hertz and his trio Shikaya, performing an eclectic mix of Jazz, Celtic and Latin music. On Sunday, September 25th from 5:15 pm to 6:00 pm there will be a concert featuring Classical Guitarist Berit Strong.

COST:  Free and Wheelchair accessible

INFO: visit us on our web at:



Saturday, September 3, 2016

Don't Miss the First Party in the Basin, the Water Ball!

Your first question might be, "Where's the Basin?" That's the nickname that people are giving to the parking lot where El Huipil and Babicos are. Remember it because I'm sure it will come up a lot in the next several years. Now that we've taken care of that...

Why is there going to be a party in the Basin?

Have you heard of the Maynard Cultural Council? You probably have, but just in case, let me give you a basic primer. The Maynard Cultural Council gives out grants to local organization (or people) that apply for funding for their community cultural projects. Applicants have to adhere to Massachusetts Cultural Council Guidelines as well as our local Maynard Guidelines, and preference goes to projects that benefit Maynard.

Here's what I heard from somebody, and I think I have this right... Over the last few years, the Maynard Cultural Council (MCC) has felt that the Maynard cultural community should get more funding. They have decided that, by raising funds at an annual event (this party), they could give applicants more money, and then more cool Maynard projects could take place.

"What kind of a party will it be?" 

I asked around and this is what I heard:
It's like a cocktail party, but just wine and beer. It's like an art opening with no art on the walls. It's a mix-and-mingle thing. There's no big central spectacle. We'll be projecting onto the big white wall, creating an environment that encourages people to see the basin as a place of potential. 

Be curious and interested. Attend to explore and see.
Play in the projectors' rays and make some beautiful silhouettes."

It seems that beer and wine will be served, and there will be munchies available, but not proper food. Kids are welcome, but they may not find anything other than making silhouettes to do. There is no ticket price—it's free to get in. Yup, I said it, FREE. The hope is that your love and appreciation for the people applying for grants will make you want to give a little something back in the form of a donation.

How can I join the party?

Here's the info on their Facebook page invitation

And why wouldn't you come? It's free. It'll be fun. It's just one more cool thing happening in Maynard that helps to support and emphasize our growing arts community.

the WATER BALL party
is a kick-off to the Council's WATER project challenge
is a fund-raiser to increase the Council's grant-making capacity
is a celebration of progress toward recognition of Assabet Village, Maynard's Cultural District

You can apply for a grant. 

Do you have a good idea that's going to have a positive impact on Maynard? Every year, the Maynard Cultural Council funds projects and events which enrich the cultural life of our town.

Apply for funding between September 1st and mid-October.
This year, the Council challenges all lovers of life on this planet to conceive and execute projects which express the myriad qualities and values of WATER. All compete applications received by the deadline will be considered. Your project doesn't have to have a water theme, but it would be nice if it did.

Let them know you're going!

Click on the link to the invitation above and let them know you'll be there. Bring your friends. Be part of the Maynard Arts Scene!

Friday, July 22, 2016

All the cones and construction

It sure looks like there's a lot of work going on in town with all the cones, fences, and trees coming down. If you haven't been paying attention, you might not know that the work on the long-awaited rail trail has begun.

The Assabet River Rail Trail is going to connect the communities of Marlborough, Hudson, Stow, Maynard and Acton, with paved trail that will make biking, walking, running and rollerblading safer. You'll be able to leave your car behind and self-propel your way to the Acton train station.

Areas that already acted as corridors through woodsy areas are going to be widened up and cleared of excess plantings (behind Maple St.), and areas that have no trail present will be created (along Railroad St.). The footbridge behind the post office is in for a major overhaul, as the bridge has to meet certain standards of safety. It is going to be widened to be about fifteen feet wide—able accommodate emergency vehicles.

Coming up in the first weeks of August you'll see lots of cones downtown. Maynard is participating in the states Complete Streets program. With Maynard being one of the most walkable towns in the state—you can get to a lot of places on foot—it only makes sense that the town should consider how people move around.

From the town's Web site: "A Complete Street is one that provides safe and accessible options for all travel modes – walking, biking, transit, and motorized vehicles – for people of all ages and abilities. Designing streets with these principles contributes toward the safety, health, economic viability and quality of life in a community by improving the pedestrian and vehicular environments and providing safer, more accessible and comfortable means of travel between home, school, work, recreation and retail destinations. More broadly, embedding Complete Streets principles in policy and practice help promote more livable communities.

Based on community input in our May meeting, the downtown streets of Main Street, Nason Street and Summer Street will feature temporary traffic configurations that will demonstrate how they could be redesigned to be more welcoming to all users. The temporary configuration will be made of moveable materials and will include elements such as curb extensions, bike lanes, and other features promoting non-automobile oriented circulation through downtown. The feedback gained from the program will help Maynard determine what future improvements residents would like to see in their community.The Town of Maynard is running a Downtown Street Improvement Pilot Project on Summer Street, Nason Street and Main Street from July 29, 2016 through August 3, 2016.

Town officials are requesting that people come experience these temporary configurations and let them know what you think! Please send your feedback on the temporary pilot project to:

While I was downtown I found myself thinking of the rail trail and imagining bikers detouring into our downtown for a coffee and a bite to eat. I hope the Complete Streets program is taking all that into consideration.

Be sure to let them know what you think!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Farmers' Market Kicks Off This Weekend, 6/25! Don't Miss the Parade!

Every year I look forward to Maynard's summer traditions—going to Erikson's, attending the Maynard Community Band's weekly summer concert in Memorial Park, and the weekly Farmers' Market. All of these have the feel of a block party, only with the Farmers' Market, it's a block party where I get to buy fresh produce and support local agriculture, yummy baked goods, and other interesting things (soap, flavored extracts, jewelry, books, and dog treats for example).

Maynard's Farmers' Market has had a very cool Opening Day event for the last few years. Aimeé Ledwell of SmARTroom has organized a costume parade that kicks off the market in style. People arrive at the market around nine o'clock to make a bit of costume at the costume making station, or they arrive already dressed up. At a little after ten o'clock everyone starts to line up to walk through the downtown (at 10:30) and back to the market. It's a fun family event and a great way to get to know other people in town.

For many years I would do chalk drawings at the Farmers' Market, but my bad back has made that less of an option. Still, sometimes I can't help myself and I'll show up to do a little work from time to time. The market does still provide a bucket of chalk and bubbles for people to use. The kids do a great job with that, unless they're occupied with one of the other great children's events taking place (Story Time, craft projects, hula hoops, etc.)

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the live music! Johnny and Laura of Serendipity Café organize all the great musicians for the market.

The Maynard Farmers' Market is designed in a diamond shape to create a bit of an arena in the center. That way people can socialize, those with children can let them play a little bit while they do their shopping, and those with dogs can let them hang out with their four-pawed peers. Chairs located near the music allow people to rest a little bit while catching some shade.

You can buy a magnet at 6 Bridges Gallery, 77 Main St.
We've got a great thing going on here people! I know many of you will take time to travel this season, but if you're around our beloved hometown, don't miss out on this popular weekly event. It should be no surprise that it was at this very event that I came up with my bumper magnet. Come to the Maynard Farmers' Market and you'll see that Maynard really is like a big neighborhood!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Bears? Moose? What's going on?

Not sure if those fires in Canada are pushing animals waaaaaaaaay southward, but last night I saw a posting that there was a bear spotted on Mockingbird Lane. And did you hear about the moose? I guess Michele Hudak of Vose Hill Road spotted a baby moose in her yard and even grabbed a picture, included here. Thanks Michele!

What in the world is going on?

  Here's a link that I got on Facebook about what to do about bears. I pulled some of the tips to share here:

How to prevent conflicts with bears
To avoid habituating the bears in your area, follow these steps.
• Make trash cans inaccessible. Bring them inside at night or buy a bear-resistant trash can or an enclosure for the container.
• Enclose your compost pile. Open compost piles, especially those that include kitchen scraps, are an irresistible treat in bear country. Burying compost won’t work because bears will easily find and dig it up.
• Recycle wisely. If you store recyclables outside, use enclosed bins. (Persistent bears will break into even ruggedly built bins.)
• Keep your barbecue grill clean and as free of drippings as possible. Move the grill away from your house when you aren’t using it, and clean it regularly with ammonia or bleach.
• Rethink your bird feeders. In the summer, birds can make do with naturally available foods. If you do set up feeders, install them away from your house.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The church has a new owner!

I've heard that the church on the corner of Main and Summer has been purchased and will remain a church. If the rumor is correct, the congregation is Presbyterian. I'm not much of a religious person, but I'm glad it's staying a church.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Yarn anyone?

Oh, I just love good news. Someone emailed me today, and it looks like Maynard will be getting a yarn store! So tell all your knitting and crocheting friends about it, and when the store opens in July, let's make sure they know we're glad to have them.

I absolutely took this image from their Web site
I got this from their blog, but here's a link so you can see it for yourself:
"The BIG, IMPORTANT Announcement
Posted on May 18, 2016 by islandyarn
I’ve had a stressful few weeks in the store that started with a letter from the landlord informing me that he was going to be doubling the rent.  I hope that NONE of you ever get such a letter.  It is no fun.  And as many of you remember, this is often the letter that means the yarn shop is closing.  So, I went right to work draining my cell phone battery and calling everywhere to try to find space that was affordable and had parking and even tried to explore some more “creative” options.  (Knit a store, anyone?)  And all I found were dead-ends.  Until, the perfect space came up….just down the road on Main Street in Maynard.

Take a deep breath.  It is much closer than you think….I’ve clocked it several times.  From the Market Basket in Waltham, 20 minutes.  That’s all.  And not 20 minutes of congested Waltham driving, but 20 minutes of  -open-the-windows-and-relax driving.  Gorgeous and easy to find.

Though I’m sad to leave our current space and certainly wouldn’t have chosen to go if I didn’t have to, I’m excited to put together the new space, and I know you guys are all going to love it!  And for those of you that can’t make it as often as you would like, bookmark us here!  You can always shop online and we’ll get your goodies to you (you can even drop me a call or email to get some guidance before you order).

We’ll have loads of information in the coming weeks, but as it stands now, Island Yarn will be moving to 189 Main Street, Maynard at the end of July."

You can follow Island Yarn Company on Facebook. Let's get those "likes" happening. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

This weekend, MCG celebrates 22 years of plant sales!

This Saturday the Maynard Community Gardeners will host their twenty-second plant sale. It's amazing to see that this tradition of getting the community gardening has lasted so long!

A dedicated small crew of MCG members manages to make it happen every year. It's part of their overall mission statement: “Dedicated to sharing a common interest in horticultural activities, promoting town beautification, and creating gardening opportunities for all.” The plant sale fulfills this mission across the board. Firstly, they get plants
to people, creating gardening opportunities. Secondly, the crew of MCG members at the plant sale will gladly spend lots of time talking to you about what kinds of plants would be suited to what you're trying to do. If someone doesn't know an answer to your question, they'll try to find someone who does. And thirdly, the part about town beautification—the money that MCG raises at the plant sale pays for all those beautiful planters that you see downtown during the warm months (that money also goes into paying for garden-related activities that are usually open to the public, but most of the money spent is town beautification).

The organization started in 1995, when a vacant parcel of land close to the downtown was slated to become a parking lot. Neighbors to the property fought against the proposal, offering to turn the empty lot into a public garden. And that's what they did! That is why Maplebrook Park exists, because people cared enough to make it something better. All these years later, the club is still caring for that garden; adding plants and pathways, pulling weeds, and dividing perennials. They've got a lot to be proud of. That garden is adjacent to the area where the plant sale is held every year.

If you've been eyeing your property and wondering how to bring a little extra life to it, head over to the plant sale this coming weekend, May 21, 9am-noon. Along with some annuals provided by a local grower, you'll find perennials—plants often dug from members own gardens, and a crew of people happy to talk to you about things that grow around here.

MCG Plant Sale 
May 21, 9am-noon, 
at the corners of Maple, Brooks, and Summer Streets

Friday, May 6, 2016

Don't miss the chance to be part of a public arts project!

While traveling in Portugal last year I saw an amazing art installation done on an art deco shopping mall located on a busy cosmopolitan street in the beautiful city of Porto (or Oporto as it's called in English). Hundreds of ordinary citizens (adults and children, alike) helped build the pieces that made the final installation. The result was an amazing explosion of blue tubes that moved with the wind. It was really cool. I wish I had been part of the project.

Public art changes the flavor of places. It's like a beautiful necklace, or better yet a hat ;-), that takes a basic outfit and turns it into something truly special. That's where Catherine Evans comes in. She's a Maynard Artist who creates, what I think of as "visual rhythms". Her art brings community attention to overlooked environments.

Catherine is getting ready to start a new project, but even better—part of the project involves bringing people together through art. Just stop right there. Doesn't that sound wonderful, the bringing of people together through art? I may not have been part of the Porto art project, but I can certainly be part of this one.

When finished, the work will be installed on the fence across from ArtSpace, and stay up through the summer, adding to ArtSpace Outdoors 2016, an outdoor display of sculpture. Maybe you haven't been by yet, but over the last few months, the ArtSpace grounds have become a wonderful display of form and color. We have some very well-know artists from New England and New York displaying their work here in Maynard. With these new additions, art now spills out of the studio building and into the community, which is just what Catherine Evans is trying to do with her project.

So how can you join me in being part of this? No artistic knowledge is needed. You don't need to be able to draw a stick figure or a straight line.  To quote Catherine, "Each person will express themselves differently in creating their piece. The coming together of those pieces, that is the beauty. And that is community. A big reason behind the project is to make art more accessible to everyone. And not just art done by professional artists."

Of course I love that.

You don't have to be a Maynard resident to be part of this. Artists of all ages are encouraged to participate. You could gather a bunch of your friends, bring your cups of coffee, tea, or juice  boxes and hang out putting these things together. Each participant will make a piece that will become part of the total project.

This project will be started and finished soon, so if you want to be part of it, get on board! One may participate at the following places on the dates listed:

At smARTroom
79 Main Street
Saturday May 7th, 5 to 7:00 pm
(during Maynard Art Walk)

At smARTroom
79 Main Street
Wednesday. May 11th, 7 to 9:00 pm
Saturday May 14th, 1 to 4:00 pm

At ArtSpace
63 Summer St.
Saturday, May 14th 4 to 6:00 pm
(at opening reception of ArtSpace Outdoors 2016)

If you have a large group that would like to participate (troop, club, group), but can't make the dates, drop me a note or message here, I'll try to put you in touch with Catherine as soon as possible so that she might be able to set you up with what you need to join in.

Catherine is still in need of old t-shirts and and CDs/DVDs to use in the project. If you have any to donate, please drop them off at smARTroom.

And don't miss your chance to appreciate more art at ArtSpace. There is a gallery opening for artist Richard Kattman's big, colorful abstractions from 5-7, and tour the outdoor art at ArtSpace and meet some of the artists. May 14, 4-6pm.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Fans of Film is showing "Il Postino: The Postman" May 10 and 11

Inline image 1I'm a founding member of the Fans of Film at Fine Arts Theatre, Maynard. We organized ourselves last year. Here's a post I did about what we were trying to do. This month is the last film in our first six-month series. The next six movies will start showing in June. So keep a lookout for them.

This month, we proudly present "Il Postino: The Postman".

Show dates and times are May 10 and 11 (Tuesday and Wednesday) at 7:30pm.

When exiled Cuban poet Pablo Neruda (Philippe Noiret) arrives on a tiny Italian isle, there's so much mail coming to the island that Mario (Massimo Troisi), an unemployed, uneducated lay-about, is hired as a postman. His job is simply to deliver Neruda's daily mail. Mario soon becomes a student of the poet, learning the art of poetry to woo a local barmaid (Maria Grazia Cucinotta) and sharing his experiences as a struggling working-class villager. A firm friendship develops, and the postman is a changed man.

Among countless awards, "Il Postino: The Postman" received five nominations and one Academy Award in 1995. The film's score, composed by Luis Enriquez Bacalov, won the Academy Award for Best Music (Original Dramatic Score). The film was also nominated for: Best Picture; Best Director (Michael Radford); Best Actor in a Leading Role (Massimo Troisi); and Best Writing (Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published). In the categories for Best Actor and Best Writing, Troisi received posthumous nominations. He had postponed heart surgery so that he could complete the film. The day after filming was completed, he suffered a fatal heart attack.

Please join us for this wonderfully romantic tale of love and friendship, set against the breathtaking scenery of the Mediterranean.

Fans of Film shows are every second Tuesday and Wednesday of the month at 7:30pm. Ticket price are $7.00 and should be purchased at the door.

We are an independent group of moviegoers whose mission is to promote the showing of exceptional films at our local theater. Celebrating the art of film-making by promoting indie, documentary, foreign and classic film.

All screenings are at: Fine Arts Theatre Place, 19 Summer Street, Maynard, tele: 978-298-5626

Monday, May 2, 2016

Time for the Russian Bazaar again!

I'm fairly new to the Bazaar Russe; I've only attended three times. This event is small town at its finest—delicious, fresh foods, mixing of ages, and banquet-table seating that will have you making a few new friends as you bond over pierogi. I did a couple posts about it last year. Here's the first one and the second one.

Here's this year's schedule:

The next Bazaar Russe will take place on
Fri, May 20  (10:00 a.m.- ­ 8:00 p.m.)
Sat, May 21 (10:00 a.m. -­ 4:00 p.m.)
at 15 Prospect Street, Maynard.

Traditional slavic food for eat in and take out will be available all day starting at 11:00 a.m. on both days.  Eat your fill of pierogi, blini, potato pancakes, borscht, stuffed cabbage, kielbasa, and more and then buy something to take home.  After you've eaten, browse the items for sale including imported Russian nesting dolls and crafts, Russian-style jewelry, handmade crafts and baked goods.

Free parking. Free admission. The bazaar is held in the parish hall of Holy Annunciation Orthodox Church.

Sample menu available here.

Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to both eat great food and tour the fairy princess church!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

So many things, so little time!

Sometimes I'm so busy enjoying Maynard's coolness that I don't have time to share everything that's going on. Now I'm forced to try to cram everything, so forgive me for the long post.

Photo: Andrew Child, ArtSpace
The scoop on the scoops! Erikson's opened for the 2016 season on April 9th, much to people's delight.

Business Hours:
Monday through Saturday 12:00-9:00pm
Sunday's 11:00 - 9:00 pm

Outside of the standards, here are some of the flavors that have been made over the last weeks:

Mocha Almond Fudge
Strawberry Cheesecake
Purple cow
Dark n stormy

Mill & Main
Mill and Main installed their new signage. Other things: I mentioned in March that Building 10 was razed (that's where the expected courtyard will be). The area is now being cleaned up for its new look. And the area that will be the sort of gateway to the pond is getting cleaned out.

In the past people have come in with plans for various projects. Then it either takes forever, or the plans never come to fruition. It's nice to see that Saracen Properties is diving into this.

I've heard that Battle Road Brewing will be finished later in the summer, and that the boardwalk around the pond may be finished the end of summer 2017.

Jimmy MacDonald's new project
I've given you scoop on Jimmy MacDonald before. He owns three apartment buildings in town. Some disagree with the brick aesthetic of the exteriors of his buildings, others love it. He sure has done the town good by getting rid of some major (even condemned) eyesores.
Most recently (through my own observations), it seems that Jimmy is remodeling a colonial-style property that is opposite the post office on Florida Street. I'm guessing it will be apartments again. It's looking good.

Do you remember the yellowish building that this was? I wish I had a photo to show you.

The Purple House is no longer purple!
I'm not the biggest fan of purple, or asphalt-paved yards, so I'd shake my head whenever I passed  the Purple House when driving round the back of the fire station on Rte. 27. Last year I did a post on purple houses in Maynard. Many of you were good enough to share some that I had missed.

A few months ago I was amused to see that there were others who agreed with me—there was a commercial sign in the window that read "We buy ugly houses!" Yesterday I grabbed a picture of the house, where you can still see the sign in the window. Now there are only patches of the color left. It will be interesting to see what else happens there.

The Murphy and Snyder building got a new window
In November we were all amazed as we watched the plywood get removed from the windows of the Murphy and Snyder building. Here was the post that I did. The joy was brief as we watched new plywood go up in the window. I feared that the owner had done it out of spite because he had been getting phone calls and letters, not to mention the guerilla citizen who had painted the plywood black. Not so! I was glad to see that it was just a lull in the work and that the window was finished during the winter. Hooray! I'm sorry I don't have a picture of that one to share. If I get one, I'll add it to the post.

The Corner Closet got their sign up
It's nice when things feel more permanent, so seeing the Corner Closet's sign on the building made me feel good. If you haven't been in there, there's lots to see. We often think of them as having women's and children's clothes, but there are lots of clothes for teenagers, and clothes (need a suit?) for men.

Photo: Dave Griffin, Confluence Visuals
Don't miss the Spring ArtWalk!
While I've got your attention, I may as well remind you about the Spring ArtWalk coming up on Saturday, May seventh, from five o'clock to seven o'clock. This will be its fourth year, and every year it just gets better and better. There will be music and art in many downtown locations and artists doing there thing outside. River Rock Grill, Blue Coyote, El Huipil, and The Halfway Cafe will be offering 10% off to ArtWalk guests.
In the past there has been an art giveaway based on a scavenger hunt. You can see more pictures from past ArtWalks by clicking here.

The Feline Film Festival is sure to be a good time!
I saw this on my Facebook feed and had to share. "TICKETS ON SALE!!! CaRMaH (Cat Rescue of Marlborough and Hudson)'s long awaited Feline Film Festival will hold their premiere at the Maynard Fine Arts Theatre on Friday, May 20 at 7 pm! Dress fancy or plain, and come join us! We expect a sell out, so order your tickets early—just $10, and all proceeds go to the cats!"

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid" author, Jeff Kinney speaking in Maynard
How cool is it that author Jeff Kinney will be coming to Maynard!!  Many thanks to the Maynard Public Library for helping to make this event happen.

Wednesday, May 4th at 6pm.
Fowler Middle School Auditorium
April 19 at 7:45pm

From the Friends of the Library:
"We're excited to announce that children's author Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series will be here in Maynard!! Jeff will visit the Fowler Middle School Auditorium on Wednesday, May 4th at 6pm.

Kinney is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series of books featuring a middle-school weakling named Greg Heffley, his friends and family. The first Wimpy Kid book was published in 2007 and became an instant bestseller. Now numbering 10 books, the series has more than 164 million copies in print. The books are currently available in 51 editions in 45 languages. In addition, three movies based on the book series have been filmed and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Musical premiered earlier this month.

Since initial publication in 2007, the series has gone on to win many regional and national awards around the globe including two Children’s Choice Book Awards and five Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards for Favorite Book. Jeff Kinney was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people in the world. Jeff lives with his wife and two sons in Plainville, Massachusetts, where he owns a bookstore, An Unlikely Story."
Full details here.

Big Band at the Fine Arts Theatre
You can see a big band orchestra perform right here in Maynard! The Hal McIntyre Band will be performing a tribute to Peggy Lee, with the vocal stylings of Jody Ebling, Thursday, May 26, 7 pm. Tickets are on sale now at the theatre. 

This might make a great Mothers' or Fathers' Day present!

I grabbed this from the Fine Arts Theatre's Facebook page:
Here's a little history:
"Billed as “The Band America Loves,” the original McIntyre Orchestra debuted at the Glen Island Casino in New Rochelle, NY in 1941, as well as headline venues including New York’s Commodore Hotel, Hollywood’s Palladium Ballroom and Chicago’s Sherman Hotel. During the war years the group regularly played overseas for U.S. troops as well. McIntyre continued leading the orchestra well into the 1950s (including an appearance backing the Mills Brothers on their 1952 chart-topper “Glow Worm”.) Hal died in a house fire at his home in Los Angeles on May 5, 1959. 

With permission from the McIntyre family, Don Pentleton continued the band. Don is the musical director and drummer. He is a veteran Big Band drummer who has also performed with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Guy Lombardo Orchestra, Skitch Henderson, Ella Fitzgerald and comedians Phyllis Diller, Pat Cooper, Frankie Fontaine, and George Jessel." -Maudslay Arts Center, 2015
General Admission: $28, Seniors, $25. Come down to the box office for your tickets.

My dear neighbors, with so many things happening in Maynard you are going to be busy. I didn't get to list everything that's going on, but I hope to see you at many of these great events!