Archive for the 'Area Events' Category

Farm Share Fair in Cambridge

Sign up for a CSA share at the Farm Share Fair

Sign up for a CSA share at the Farm Share Fair

This Thursday there’s a Farm Share Fair in Cambridge where you’ll be able to sign up for a CSA share from farmers who deliver in the Cambridge area.

CSA stands for community supported agriculture. Farmers sell shares in their season’s produce. Each week you’ll receive a box of seasonal vegetables (and in some cases other farm products such as meat or fish). Shares are delivered to local drop off sites.

It’s sort of a fresh vegetables subscription.

Shareholders purchase their shares in advance of the growing season. Shares typically run from June through October.  Prices vary and shares can be bought in different sizes. A typical share might cost on the order of $30 per week for approximately 12 to 15 pounds of fresh produce.

Come by this Thursday to meet the farmers. More than a dozen farms are participating. Be sure to bring your checkbook!

Don’t worry if you haven’t been home for dinner.There’ll be pizza and spring rolls available for purchase as a fundraiser.

The Farm Share Fair is sponsored by theMOVE, NOFA/Mass and Somerville Climate Action.

The Cambridge Farm Share Fair is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011 from 5:30 to 8:00 pm in Harvard Square at the Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.

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Antique Appraisal Night In Medford

Antique Appraisals In Medford

Antique Appraisals In Medford

An Antique Appraisal Night will be held at Medford City Hall to benefit the Medford Historical Society on Thursday, January 20, 2011.

Wondering what that special piece you inherited is worth?  Stop by City Hall where Kaminski Auctions will appraise items.

The cost is $10 for one item or $25 for a limit of three.

If your antique or collectible is large you can bring a photo instead.

No jewelry, coins, stamps or books will be appraised.

Admission is free and appraisals will be done on a first come, first served basis.

The Antique Appraisal Night will benefit projects of the Medford Historical Society.

7 – 9 pm.  Thursday, January 20, 2011. Medford City Hall

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L Street Bath House New Year’s Swim

My brother Ted has lived in South Boston for years but this was his first L Street Bath House New Year’s swim.  He sure picked the right year for it – the temperature was in the 50s though the water was in the 40s.

The L Street Brownies New Year’s Day swim tradition started over 100 years ago. Women have been part of the swim since the 1980s.

The unseasonably warm temperatures drew a huge crowd – estimated at over 1000. The lines were longer than any of the Southie residents we spoke to remembered seeing. In fact, Ted was in and out of the water long before my parents and I made it through the bath house.

It was enormous fun though to see the crazy getups and watch people as they jumped in Dorchester Bay.  It was a glorious day and we had fun fantasizing about buying a house facing the ocean.

As for swimming? – maybe next year…

Here’s a slide show of the fun at the L Street Bath House New Year’s Swim:

L Street Brownies New Year Swim 

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Somerville Illuminations Tour 2010

The Somerville Illuminations Tour - Dec 18, 2010

The Somerville Illuminations Tour - Dec 18, 2010

Somerville Illuminations Tour 2010   Christmas lights are one of my very favorite things. Many homeowners in the city go all out and the display can be dazzling.  More houses on my street have lights than don’t.  What a treat from our neighbors who pay that hefty electric bill!

Somerville Illuminations Christmas Lights Tour

Some Somerville homeowners really do it up with extraordinary displays of Christmas lights and figures.

Each year the Somerville Arts Council has a trolley tour of the best Christmas lights displays in Somerville. 

This year’s Illuminations Tour is scheduled for  Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tickets went on sale on December 1st and the 45 minute tour typically sells out.  Tickets are sold for set times and for a particular trolley.  Trolleys leave from City Hall and tour times run from 4:30 pm to 9:15 pm.

Tickets are sold only at the Blue Cloud Gallery in Ball Square, Somerville at 713 Broadway.  Tickets must be purchased in person and paid for by cash or check only. 

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for Seniors and children 12 and under.

The Blue Cloud is open Mon – Thurs from 11 to 7, Fri & Sat from 10 to 6, and Sun from 11 to 6.

Somerville Illuminations Bike Tour

This year the Somerville Bike Committee is holding a bike tour of the Illuminations route.  The tour leaves from City Hall concourse at 7:15 pm on December 18th.  Participants must wear bike helmets and have bicycle lights.  There is no charge to participate.

The bicycle ride will be canceled in the case of heavy wind, rain or snow.  The Illuminations Tour by trolley will be held even if there is rain or light snow and typically is only cancelled if there is a snow emergency.

Whether you’re traveling by bike or trolley be sure to bundle up – and enjoy the ride!

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Holiday House Tours This Weekend and Next

Holiday House Tour

Holiday House Tour

December might as well be called Holiday House Tour month in Massachusetts –  at least two dozen Massachusetts towns are holding holiday house tours over the next two weekends – December 4 and 5 and December 11 and 12.

A few towns have been holding house tours in December for years and now many other towns have jumped on the bandwagon.  I could do with a lot more tours in spring or fall and fewer tours in the cold, busy days of December but what’s a house tour enthusiast to do? 

Fans of house tours probably can’t fit in more than four so how to choose?  I try to find tours with plenty of properties for the price and my preference is for older houses, not new.  I’m not really interested in Christmas decorations – it’s good houses I’m after.

Towns’ tours are sometimes better one year than another so the quality of a tour can be hard to predict.  Some tour organizers don’t like to repeat houses so the pickings get a bit slim after a number of years.  My thought is that a beautiful house is worth a return visit – I won’t complain!

Here are my picks for December 2010 holiday house tours in Massachusetts:

This weekend:

The New Bedford house tour was wonderful the year I went.  New Bedford has a wealth of antique houses and an active preservation group that sponsors the tour. The 19th annual holiday house tour in New Bedford is scheduled for December 4th and 5th.

Neeham is celebrating the 300th anniversary of its founding this year so the Needham Women’s Club chose to focus on historic houses with six dating from 1755 to 1910.  The Needham Historical Holiday House Tour is on Sunday, December 5 from 1 to 4:30 pm.

I give up – there are too many tours to choose from!  Salem is always a good bet, the house tour in Lowell is focusing on Lowell lofts which sounds like fun,  Stockbridge, the 28th annual holiday house tour in Nantucket (that’s tonight!), or the Springfield Tour of Historic Homes all sound like great tours.

Next weekend:

The Newburyport House Tour is celebrating its 17th year and will have ten houses in five towns on tour this year. We’re planning on doing the Newburyport house tour on Saturday, Dec. 11 from 10 am to 4 pm. 

I’ve been on the house tour in Milton several times and it always makes my short list.  There isn’t much info on the website from the sponsors, the Forbes House Museum, but this post has the scoop about the tour scheduled for Sunday, December 12 from 1 to 4 pm.

There are plenty of other house tours -from Western Mass to Cape Cod – you’re sure to find one close to home.  So bundle up and head out on tour!

Here’s the full schedule and links to all the holiday house tours

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America’s Kitchens – Nancy Carlisle Lecture in Arlington

America's Kitchens - Lecture by Jane Nylander

America's Kitchens - Lecture by Nancy Carlisle

America’s Kitchens – Nancy Carlisle Lecture in Arlington  On Tuesday evening, November 30, 2010 Nancy Carlisle, curator at Historic New England (formerly the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities or SPNEA) will speak at the Arlington Historical Society’s meeting on America’s Kitchens.

Carlisle is the co-author of America’s Kitchens published by Historic New England in 2008. The lavishly illustrated book traces the history of the kitchen  through the centuries.  Historic New England also had a traveling America’s Kitchens exhibit that toured museums around the country.

This talk promises to be a fascinating look at the evolution of this important room and the role it plays in our families’ lives – especially in this era when “gourmet kitchens” with granite counters and all the stainless steel bells and whistles are considered essentials by so many home buyers.

The lecture is scheduled for 7:30 pm at the Arlington Heights Nursery School at 10 Acton Street, Arlington (off of Appleton Street near Mass Ave.).  Admission is free for members of the Arlington Historical Society or $3.00 for non-members.

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Window Restoration Workshop

Original window in a Cambridge bungalow

Original window in a Cambridge bungalow

Window Restoration Workshop  Your old windows have a lot of life in them yet! 

A good fitting old window with a  tight storm window is very comparable to a replacement window in terms of energy efficiency.  And a replacement window is never comparable to an original in terms of architectural integrity or life expectancy.

Your original windows can last one hundred years or more and after restoration can last one hundred more. That’s not the case with replacement windows. We often see inspectors pointing out problems with replacement windows during inspections even though the windows are only a few years old.

There are companies that can restore windows for you or you can learn to do it yourself.  The Newton Historical Society will be hosting a workshop on Saturday where you can learn to restore your own windows.

Window restorer Ryan Pirro will lead a hands-on workshop. You’ll learn how to weather strip and repair your windows.

The workshop is co-sponsored by Green Decade/Newton.

Cost is $30 or $15 for members of Green Decade or of the Newton Historical Society.

The workshop is scheduled for Saturday, November 6, 2010 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

You can register and pay online or contact Green Decade for more information at 617-965-1995.

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Best Places to Trick or Treat in Cambridge

Cambridge Halloween trick or treatingBest Places to Trick or Treat in Cambridge  Halloween is coming up and maybe you’re wondering what are the best neighborhoods for trick or treating in Cambridge – where you’ll find the most fun – and the best candy.

I love getting trick or treaters and each year as I filled my candy bags with multiple treats hoped that my house would become a Halloween destination spot. But I’ve come to terms with the fact that my street can’t begin to compete with some of these top Cambridge neighborhoods on October 31st.  Here are some of the Best Places to Trick or Treat in Cambridge

East Cambridge Trick or Treating

East Cambridge is a popular trick or treating neighborhood.   The blocks bordered by Fulkerson and First Street and Cambridge Street and Charles Street are thickly settled and make for a really good ratio of candy to blocks walked.  A big part of the draw is the haunted house on Charles Street.  The Vendettis have been decorating their house for Halloween for more than twenty years. Hundreds of children visit the Halloween house – it’s not to be missed. There’s no admission charged but last year Mrs. Vendetti asked kids and their parents to bring a canned good for donation to the Sacred Heart Food Pantry.  Vist this Halloween wonderland on Charles Street between Sciarappa Street and 5th Street.

Halloween on Dudley Street, Cambridge

The homeowners on Dudley Street in North Cambridge do it up for Halloween.  Residents spend weeks preparing for the event – choosing a theme and planning decorations.  Dudley Street between Cedar and Reed Street is closed to traffic and hundreds of trick or treaters throng the block.  The theme last year – you can see some of the Halloween houses in the slideshow below – was Las Vegas.  A resident’s video about Halloween on Dudley Street shows the amazing creativity and fun you’ll find here on October 31st.  Dudley Street in North Cambridge is hopping on Halloween.

Crescent Street Cambridge Halloween

Another Cambridge hotspot on Halloween is Crescent Street in the Agassiz neighborhood between Porter Square and Harvard Square. Crescent Street is one block long and runs from Sacramento Street to Oxford Street.  Residents move their cars and the street is blocked to traffic and lined with jack-o-lanterns carved during a neighborhood party the day before.  Like Dudley Street, there’s a theme each year – this year it’s “Monsters.”  All are welcome and one homeowner estimated that more than 600 children trick or treated on Crescent Street last year. The Halloween party on Crescent Street is the place to be for trick or treaters  from 5 to 8 pm.

Halloween Open Houses at Cambridge Fire Stations

Cambridge Fire Stations will be hosting Halloween Open Houses from 2 to 4 pm on October 31, 2010.  Kids and parents can visit their neighborhood fire station to view the fire trucks and get free glow sticks and trick or treat bags compliments of the Cambridge Fire Department.  Candy has been donated by Cambridge Brands.

Do you know any other best places to trick or treat in Cambridge?  Let us know! 

Here’s a slide show of Halloween decorations on Dudley Street last year:

Dudley Street Halloween slideshow

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