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2009 Cambridge Discovery Days – Focus on Architecture

Attention old house enthusiasts and local history buffs! This year’s Cambridge Discovery Days will focus on architecture.

Vintage Postcard of the Cambridge Home of James Russell Lowell

Vintage Postcard of the Cambridge Home of James Russell Lowell

Each summer, Cambridge Discovery Days offers a variety of events, lectures and tours on two successive August Saturdays. This year’s dates are August 8, 2009 and August 15, 2009. There’s a wonderful lineup of free events sponsored by the Historic Cambridge Collaborative.

Cambridge Discovery Days – Saturday, August 8, 2009

Some of the offerings on August 8th include:

  • 10 to 11:30 am The Poet and the Civil War: James Russell Lowell.  Tour meets at the Longfellow House at 105 Brattle Street (also offered on August 15th, same time and place)
  • 10:30 to noon A Walk Down Tory Row.  Meets at the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House at 159 Brattle Street
  • 11 to noon What Style Is It?  Meets at the Cambridge Historical Society, 159 Brattle Street
  • 1 to 3 pm Buildings at Fresh Pond I: Homes, Hotels and Ice Houses.  Meets at the Water Purification Facility, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
  • 4 to 5:30 pm  Mount Auburn’s Notable Architects.  Meets at the cemetery entrance gate, 580 Mt. Auburn Street

Cambridge Discovery Days – Saturday, August 15, 2009

Events on August 15th include:

  • 10 to 11 am  The Cambridge Houses of William Dean and Elinor Mead Howells.  Tour begins at 41 Sacramento Street
  • 11 am to 12:15 pm  New Ideas from a Quiet Neighborhood.  Tour begins on the steps of the Longfellow House, 105 Brattle Street
  • 11 am to 1:00 pm  “Baby, Let Me Follow You Down”: Folk Music in Cambridge.  Tour begins at the Johnston Gate to Harvard Yard
  • 1 to 3 pm  Buildings at Fresh Pond II: Club Houses, Homes, Railway Stations & More.  Tour begins at the Ranger Station at the Water Purification Facility, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
  • 2 to 3 pm  Inman Square, Historically Speaking.  Tour begins at the plaza at the intersection of Cambridge and Hampshire Streets
  • 2 to 3 pm  The Women of Central Square.  Tour begins in front of Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue

This is just a sampling of events – there’s a very full schedule on both Saturdays.  There are also activities for kids scheduled on both days.

The City of Cambridge website has more info and a full schedule of events available for download.  You can also call the Cambridge Historical Commission at 617-349-4683 for more information.

The 2009 Cambridge Discovery Days – Focus on Architecture is free and open to all. Events take place rain or shine.

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Medford Public Library Lectures- Not To Be Missed

Medford Public Library Lectures   I love attending lectures and with the many colleges in Cambridge, Boston, and nearby there tend to be a lot of them to choose from. With the students away for the summer the schedule thins out however.  The Medford MA Public Library Lecture Series is one of the best around and it’s still going strong in the summer months.  Here are some of the upcoming offerings:

The Charles River and Boston Skyline from the BU Bridge in Cambridgeport

The Charles River and Boston Skyline from the BU Bridge in Cambridgeport

Exploring the Hidden Charles – Michael Tougias

The Charles River is an integral part of the landscape in many towns and cities in Eastern Massachusetts.  Learn more about the Charles River with Michael Tougias, author of Exploring the Hidden Charles.

Michael Tougias will speak at the Medford Public Library on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at 7:30 pm

The Boston Harbor Islands – Christopher Klein

I’m looking forward to learning more about the Boston Harbor Islands at Christopher Klein’s lecture.  Klein is the author of Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands: A Guide to the City’s Hidden Shores.

Christopher Klein’s presentation at the Medford Public Library is scheduled for Tuesday, August 4, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Baked Beans and Fried Clams: How Food Defines a Region – Lecture by Edie Clark

Edie Clark has long been one of my favorite Yankee Magazinecolumnists. The food listed in the lecture description “baked beans, Indian pudding, fried clams, and lobster rolls” sounds like it was pulled from the menu at the Willow Pond Kitchen, a local institution where I waitressed through college and graduate school.  I look forward to hearing Edie Clark’s take on what these classic New England dishes say about us.

Edie Clark will speak at the Medford Public Library on August 10, 2009 at 7:00 pm.

Tour the Peter Tufts House

Not a lecture but a house tour.  The Peter Tufts House, built in the late 1600s, is one of the oldest brick houses in the United States.  The Medford Public Library with the Medford Historical Society is sponsoring group tours of the house on:

  • Tuesday, July 28, 2009 at 7:00 pm
  • Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 7:00 pm
  • Thursday, August 18, 2009 at 2:00 pm with an overflow tour at 3:00 pm if needed

Tours are limited to 10 attendees.  Tours will meet at the Peter Tufts House at 350 Riverside Avenue, Medford, MA

Register for a tour by calling the Libary at 781-395-7950.  Admission is free.

The Medford Public Library lectures are free of charge.  Pre-registration is not required.

The Medford Public Library is located at 111 High Street, Medford, MA 02155.

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Antique Auto Show in Lincoln Massachusetts

I spotted this antique auto while on a tour with a real estate buyer. Perhaps they'll take it for a spin to the car show in Lincoln this Sunday.

I spotted this antique auto while on a tour with a real estate buyer. Perhaps they'll take it for a spin to the car show in Lincoln this Sunday.

There’s just something about antique automobiles that transports me (ha! no pun intended) to an earlier time. My favorite antique auto show takes places this weekend in Lincoln Massachusetts.  It’s often brutally hot at this time of year but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the mild weather continues.

The annual antique auto show is held at the Codman Estate in Lincoln.  The car show is held rain or shine. 

Over 200 antique cars, classic cars, trucks and motorcycles will be on display on the grounds.  There’ll also be entertainment by the New Liberty Jazz Band, tours of the museum, food concessions and fun for the family.

Admission: Free for children under the age of 12 and for members of Historic New England (formerly SPNEA); $5.00 for nonmembers; $10 per antique auto including passengers

Location:The Codman Estate, 36 Codman Road, Lincoln MA 01773

Hours: 8 am to 2 pm on Sunday, July 19, 2009

The antique auto show in Lincoln MA is fun for the whole family – hope to see you there!

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4th of July Fireworks and Celebrations In and Near Cambridge

4th of July fireworks near Cambridge

4th of July fireworks near Cambridge

Here’s the current 4th of July fireworks and celebrations info with the 2012 info.

If you’re a fan of fireworks like me – this is our week!  Weather permitting (and all bets are off after the last month) there are a number of places to view fireworks on the 4th of July in and near Cambridge.

Here are the firework displays and festivities scheduled for towns and cities within a few miles of Cambridge:

Cambridge Has a Front Row Seat to the Fireworks in Boston

For those who don’t want to brave the massive crowds in Boston there are plenty of options to see the fireworks from the Cambridge side of the river.  Many taller condo buildings or buildings with roof decks around Cambridge offer prime viewing spots for the Boston fireworks.  If you’re not so lucky to live in one of those buildings or want to be closer to the action, the banks of the Charles River between the Mass Ave Bridge and the Longfellow Bridge provide a front row seat.  The bridges are also popular, but crowded, places to view the fireworks.  There will be food concessions and restrooms along the Charles in Cambridge.

The 36th annual Boston Pops 4th of July concert and fireworks on the Esplanade in Boston begins at 8:30 pm.  The restricted area for seating opens at 9 am on the 4th. The fireworks begin at 10:30 pm and last until 11 pm.  The show is televised on WBZ, Channel 4.

With all the cloudy and rainy days we’ve had you have to wonder about the weather.  If worst comes to worst and the event is rained out on July 4th, the fireworks only will be rescheduled for July 5 at 9:30 pm, weather permitting.

Somerville Fireworks

The fireworks in Somerville are scheduled for July 9, 2009 in Trum Field after being rained out on the 2nd.  Trum Field is on Broadway between Magoun Square and Ball Square.  There will also be entertainment by the Somerville Sunsetters.

And on the 4th of July Prospect Hill Park in Somerville offers a great vantage point to view the Boston fireworks.   Prospect Hill Park is at the intersection of Prospect Hill Avenue and Munroe Street in Somerville above Union Square.

Friday Night Fireworks in Lexington MA

Carnival and Fireworks in Lexington

Carnival and Fireworks in Lexington

Lexington will have another early bird special fireworks display at the Lions Club Carnival.  The Carnival will be open on Friday, July 3, 2009 from 1 pm to 11 pm with fireworks scheduled to go off after sunset.

The carnival is being held at the Lexington High School in the Waltham Street parking lot behind the high school.

The carnival is scheduled (weather permitting) for:

  • 6 – 11 pm on Thursday, July 2nd
  • 1 – 11 pm on Friday, July 3rd
  • 1 – 11 pm on Saturday, July 4th
  • 1 – 7 pm on Sunday, July 5th

4th of July Celebration in Waltham Massachusetts

Waltham is holding a family-friendly party on the 4th in Prospect Hill Park from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday.  Food, drinks, pony rides, animal shows, free children’s rides, music and more.  Prospect Hill Park is at 314 Totten Pond Road in Waltham.

From 5:30 to 9:30 pm on July 4th there will be a concert with the Reminicents at Leary Field off Bacon Street.  Fireworks are scheduled for 9:30 pm.

For more information you can call 781-314-3100

4th of July Celbebration and Fireworks in Newton

The party in Newton kicks off at the Newton Centre Playground with fun activities for kids from 10 am to noon.  There’ll be a Pet Parade, a Teddy Bear Parade, a Decorated Doll Carriage Promenade, Foot Races, and best of all – free ice cream!

The party continues at the Russel J. Halloran Field and Sports Complex at 250 Albemarle Road in Newtonville.  From 11 am to 10 pm there’ll be an open air market, crafts for sale, recorded music for dancing, food concessions and amusement rides.  The fireworks are scheduled for 9 pm.

Arlington Celebrates the 4th of July

Fourth of July festivities in Arlington MA will be held at Robbins Farm Park (aka Skyline Park) at 1 Eastern Avenue from 7 pm to 11 pm on July 4, 2009.  Enjoy refreshments, musical entertainment by the John Penny Band, and a chance to watch the Boston Pops Concert and fireworks on a giant screen.

So – from the big screen to the river bank – you’ve got lots of fireworks viewing opportunities in and around Cambridge – have fun  – and happy Independence Day!

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Tour the Medford Wind Turbine on Monday

Tour the Medford wind turbine

Tour the Medford wind turbine

The wind turbine at the McGlynn Elementary Schoolis a beautiful addition to the Medford skyline.  I did a double take the first time I spotted it from the Route 93 onramp by Medford Square.  And often when I’m on a real estate tour in Somerville I can see it in the distance.  When you’re on the hill above Porter Square – Spring Hill I think it is – you can catch a glimpse of it on certain streets.

On Monday, June 29, 2009 you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the Medford wind turbine.  After a welcome from Mayor McGlynn, Patty Barry, Director of the City of Medford’s Energy and Environment Office, will give a presentation on the wind turbine project followed by a site tour.

Online registration is required – here’s the link to register.

The Medford wind turbine tour and presentationwill take place on Monday, June 29,2009 from 3:00 to 4:30 pm at the McGlynn Elementary School, 3002 Mystic Valley Parkway, Medford, MA 02155.



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Union Square Somerville – Ethnic Food Markets Tour

Shop in Union Square - Ethnic Markets Tour

Shop in Union Square - Ethnic Markets Tour

Union Square in Somerville MA  is a hotbed of ethnic markets that feature food and ingredients from around the world.

The ArtsUnion Project of the Somerville Arts Council is sponsoring two more of their popular tours of ethnic markets in Union Square.  So if you’re bewildered by the offerings or want more ideas to spice up your cooking – take advantage of this inside look at Union Square stores including:

  • Capone’s Foods, 14 Bow Street
  • Casa de Carnes, 38 Bow Street
  • Halal Market, 380 Somerville Avenue
  • La Internacional Market, 318 Somerville Avenue
  • Little India, 77A Bow Street
  • New Bombay Market, 359 Somerville Avenue
  • Pao de Acucar & Brazilian Buffet, 57 Union Square
  • Reliable Market, 45 Union Square

Each tour will visit three markets.  Tour participants will get to explore the markets, have a chance to meet the store owners if they’re available, and be briefed on the other markets in Union Square that you pass by.

The tours are popular and attendance is limited.  Reserve your spot before the tour sells out fills up.  Call 617-625-6600 ext. 2985 or email [email protected] to reserve your space in a tour.  If you leave info in your message about how many people will attend on which day you’ll be notified about where to meet.

Tours  are scheduled for:

Thursday, July 9, 2009 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm

Thursday, July 23, 2009 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm

There’s no charge for the tour but bring your wallet – there’s lots of tasty food to buy!

 Take the Union Square Somerville ethnic food market tour in July – take a look at Union Square Somerville real estate right now!


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Dancing In the Streets – City Dance Party in Cambridge

dancing-girlThere’ll be dancing in the streets this Friday night as the City of Cambridge celebrates with its annual Dance Party.

Each year since 1996, when the first Dance Party was held during Cambridge’s 150th anniversary celebration, hundreds of people have gathered to dance the night away to tunes spun by DJ Joey Demers. 

The annual City Dance Party is scheduled for 7 to 10 pm on Friday, June 26, 2009.  The event is held in front of Cambridge City Hall on Mass Ave between Inman and Bigelow Streets.  Mass Ave will be shut to traffic by City Hall and a light show will play across the crowd.

Free admission and open to the public.

Participants who use public transportation are encouraged to take the subway since the #1 bus will not run down Mass Ave during the party.  Starting at 6 pm the #1 bus will terminate at Central Square until 11:30 pm when full service resumes.

There’s sun in the forecast for the end of the week – if that’s not an excuse to celebrate I don’t know what is!  Put on your dancing shoes and boogie on down to the Cambridge City Dance Party.



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Walking Tour of Ball Square Somerville

This Walking Tour of Ball Square Somerville was originally planned for May 12, 2009 as part of Somerville’s Historic Preservation Month.  The tour was rained out and had to be rescheduled.  Truth be told (it wasn’t raining at 10:30 that day so I went in case the tour was taking place) it didn’t seem to be the best day for a tour starting by Tufts since Tufts’ commencement was that day.  The new date is Sunday, June 14, 2009.

Vintage Postcard of the Powderhouse Near Ball Square in Somerville MA

Vintage Postcard of the Powderhouse Near Ball Square in Somerville MA

Walking Tour of Ball Square Somerville

On Sunday June 14th Ed Gordon, President of the New England Chapter of the Victorian Society of America, will lead a tour of the Ball Square and Powderhouse area of Somerville. 

On the From Powder House Pickles to Ball Square Brick Yards walking tour  of historic homes and sites you’ll learn about the history of the neighborhood and of Tufts University, see some of the most handsome multi-families built in the area, get to see the inside of a home or two, and finish with light refreshments at the Field House at Nathan Tufts Park.

Cost is $10 ($8 for members of the VSA).

Sunday, June 14, 2009, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. 

Meet at the Field House at Nathan Tufts Park at the corner of Broadway and College Avenue.  The Field House is at the far end of the park, away from the Powderhouse rotary, and can be accessed on foot from Powderhouse Boulevard.  Somerville parking restrictions aren’t in effect on Sundays.

Hope to see you on the Walking Tour of Ball Square in Somerville!

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