Archive for the 'Area Events' Category

Celebrate Historic Preservation Month – Ball Square and Davis Square

May is Historic Preservation Month in Somerville.  Two events are offered this Sunday, May 17, 2009 in two of my favorite neighborhoods – Ball Square and Davis Square in Somerville Massachusetts.

Walking Tour of Ball Square Somerville

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 this Sunday. 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, May, 17, 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.

History of the Davis Square Branch Library

Architectural conservator, Sara Chase, will give a talk on Sunday afternoon titled A Jewel In the Crown: The West Branch Library.  The West Branch Library on College Avenue in Davis Square is a Carnegie Library and 100 years old this year.  I love this little library and look forward to learning more about it.

The lecture, tour of the library and light refreshments are free and open to all. 

Sunday, May 17, 2009, 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm. 

50 College Avenue, Davis Square, Somerville MA.

A vintage postcard of the library in Davis Square in 1909, the year it was built, is below. It looks just about the same today. 

Hattie wrote on the back to her friend Gertrude:  “Our new library about ten minutes walk from the house.  Our cards have been transferred and we now take books from here.  It is much smaller than the Somerville library and the collection of books of course is not as good but then the (walking part) is very much better.” 


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Cambridge Bike Tour – Literary Cambridge By Bike

bicyclistsNext Saturday’s bike tour – Literary Cambridge By Bike – offers the opportunity to indulge in two of my favorite things – exercise and literature.  OK – one of my favorites.

But for those who want a chance to explore Cambridge by bike, the ten mile tour gives cyclists the chance to travel as a group through the city accompanied by Cambridge Police Bike Patrol officers.  There will be several stops along the way for brief talks about Cambridge literary landmarks and free refreshments at the end.

The bike tour is sponsored by the Cambridge Bicycle Committee, a group the Cambridge City Council formed in 1991 to work to improve conditions for bicycling in Cambridge.

The Bicycle Committee has a reading list of books, mainly novels, that are set in Cambridge.  Harvard figures prominently in many of them.  Books on the list include:

  • The Good Mother, by local author Sue Miller, set in Porter Square
  • Linda Barnes’ series of detective novels feature private detective Carlotta Carlyle who calls Harvard Square home
  • The Memorial Hall Murder one of Concord author Jane Langton’s books in her series featuring Detective Homer Kelly 
  • Matthew Pearl’s The Dante Club (one of my favorite books) in which Longfellow, Lowell and Holmes (Oliver Wendell not Sherlock) try to solve a series of 1865 murders 

For the reading list and more information about this tour and previous tours see the bike tours of Cambridge website.

The Literary Cambridge by Bike tour will take place Saturday, May 16, 2009

The starting point is the plaza between the main entrance to the High School and the construction site for the new Cambridge library between Broadway and Cambridge Street.

The program begins at 10:15 am and the tour starts at 10:30 am.

In case of inclement weather the rain date is May 17, 2009 at the same time, same place.

There is no charge for the tour.

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Medford MA Friends of the Library Book Sale

Book SalesLocal book sales are an excellent way to pick up good books for little money while supporting your local library at the same time.

I became an aficionado of book sales for a while when I dabbled in reselling books online.  Nothing like a bit of packing and shipping and standing in line at the post office to remind me of how much I love selling real estate.

Nevertheless I did spend quite a few evenings or early mornings at local book sales and highly recommend them as a way to augment your library on the cheap.

The Medford MA Friends of the Library will be hosting a book sale at the Medford Public Libary at 111 High Street, Medford, Massachusetts.  The sale will take place on:

  • Saturday, May 16, 2009 from 9 am to 3 pm
  • Sunday, May 17, 2009 from 2 pm to 5 pm
  • Friends of the Library members’ preview sale on May 15, 2009 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

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When she’s not buying books, Elizabeth Bolton is a real estate agent in Cambridge MA serving buyers and sellers in Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Medford, Somerville, Watertown and nearby communities.

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Graduation Dates – 2009 College Commencements in Cambridge and Boston

Graduation DayIt’s college commencement season. The colleges around Cambridge and Boston play a large role in making the city such a lively and vibrant place to be.  And nothing’s more exciting than graduation day.  It’s always fun to spot new grads in their robes accompanied by proud family members. 

And if you’re not lucky to attend the commencement you can’t help but hope to catch a glimpse of the honored guest here to provide words of wisdom to the new grads – Larry Bird, Smokey Robinson, Matt Lauer, Gwen Ifill, Ted Koppel and Steven Speilberg are among those scheduled to speak this year or to receive honorary degrees.

Boston and Cambridge hotels will be full. Soon after, the last of the UHauls will pull away from curbs lined with discarded furniture.  The summer is a quieter time in Cambridge and Boston – there are parking spaces to be found, the lines for brunch are shorter, and the subway’s not quite as crowded.

So when are the 2009 graduation ceremonies?

Cambridge Commencements

Saturday, May 16, 2009.  Lesley University Commencement. Speakers will include Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot and Arthur creator Marc Brown.

Thursday, June 4, 2009.  Harvard Commencement.  US Energy Secretary Steven Chu will be the principal commencement speaker.  The day before, June 3rd, Matt Lauer (heart be still!) will be the Class Day Speaker.

Friday, June 5, 2009.  MIT Commencement.  Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick will be the guest speaker.

Sunday, June 7, 2009.  Cambridge College Commencement.  Speakers will include Diana Chapman Walsh, former President of Wellesley College and Callie Crossley.

Boston Commencements

Saturday, May 9, 2009.  Berklee College of Music Commencement.  Smokey Robinson will be commencement speaker and Linda Ronstadt is among the honorary degree recipients.

Friday, May 15, 2009.  Simmons College Commencement.  Simmons grad Gwen Ifill will be the undergraduate ceremony speaker.

Sunday, May 17, 2009.  Boston University Commencement.  US Representative Michael Capuano will deliver the commencement address and honorary degree recipients include Larry Bird (my favorite!) and Steven Speilberg.

Sunday, May 17, 2009.  Suffolk University Commencement.  Ted Koppel and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley will be the speakers.

Monday, May 18, 2009.  Emerson College Commencement.   Blair Underwood will deliver the undergraduate address and US Congressman John Lewis will deliver the graduate address.

Friday, May 29, 2009.  UMass Boston Commencement.   Senator John Kerry will deliver the principal address.

Medford Commencement

Sunday, May 17, 2009.  Tufts University Commencement. Governor Deval Patrick will deliver the commencement address.

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Caring for Your Old or Historic House – Arlington MA Lecture

Arlington MA Antique HouseDid you just buy an old house that needs some TLC?  Not sure where to start with projects in your older home and want to do things right? If you’re looking for tips on caring for your antique or vintage home, an upcoming lecture at The Arlington Historical Society is just the ticket.

Sally Zimmerman, Preservation Specialist at Historic New England (formerly SPNEA, the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities) will speak about:

  • Tips on retaining the old house details we love
  • Period appropriate paint colors
  • Resources for old house maintenance, restoration, and enhancement 

Resources from these Arlington organizations will also be available:

  • The Arlington Preservation Fund, Inc.
  • The Arlington Historical Commission
  • The Arlington Historic Districts Commission

When:  Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 7:30 pm
Where:  Arlington Heights Nursery School, 10 Acton Street, rear entrance
Admission: Free!

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Movies Filmed In New England – Free Movies in Somerville

Film SeriesThe main branch of the Somerville library on Highland Avenue is having a film festival this spring featuring movies set in New England.  What a great idea for a series!

Here’s the movie schedule:

Thursday, April 9, 2009: Mystic Pizza (1988), a romantic comedy about three teenage girls working in a pizza parlor in Mystic, Connecticut. Starring Julia Roberts, Lili Taylor and Annabeth Gish. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009: The Verdict (1982) stars Paul Newman as a down at his luck Boston attorney.

Thursday, May 14, 2009: Fever Pitch (2005). Native New Englanders, the Farrelly brothers, paean to Fenway Fever stars Drew Barrymore as the girlfriend of a rabid Red Sox fan played by Jimmy Fallon.

Wednesday, May 24, 2009: Mystic River (2003). Directed by Clint Eastwood and with a cast filled with big names including Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, and Laura Linney, Mystic River was nominated for six Oscars and won for Best Actor (Penn) and Best Supporting Actor (Robbins). This dark tale about a childhood tragedy that shadowed three friends into adulthood was set in South Boston and adapted from the book of the same name by local author, Dennis Lehane.

Thursday, June 11, 2009: Next Stop Wonderland (1998) stars Hope Davis and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Set in Boston (the Wonderland stop is the Blue Line MBTA stop in Revere by the dog track), this quirky, sweet movie tells the story of two people whose paths cross repeatedly until a chance meeting finally brings them together.

Wednesday, June 24th: The Cider House Rules (1999), an adaptation of the John Irving novel of the same name, was set in Maine and filmed in Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine. Toby Maguire stars as an orphan who follows in the footsteps of the doctor, played by Michael Caine, who runs the orphanage where he grew up. Also starring Charlize Theron, Paul Rudd and Jane Alexander.

Movie showtime is 6:30 pm.  Admission is free. Somerville Library, 79 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA.

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Free Fun in Cambridge – Local Events in Cambridge MA – March 27 – April 3

Join the MIT Jugglers in Cambridge MATrying to fill your calendar in Cambridge?

Here are some free upcoming events  in Cambridge, MA: 

The public is welcome to join the MIT Student Juggling Club for juggling.  Free lessons and no experience required.

Friday, March 27, 2009 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Building 10 at MIT under the Great Dome, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA.


Many Rivers to Cross – Reggae, Marcus Garvey & The Harlem Renaissance, Revisited. Address by Lesley University master’s degree candidate Kevin Alymer based on twenty-five year’s of research.

Saturday, March 28, 2009 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. Lesley University, University Hall, 1815 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA


Feminist critic and Princeton professor, Dr. Elaine Showalter, will discuss her new book,  A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx, the first comprehensive history of American women writers.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 7:00 pm at the Harvard Bookstore, 1256 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA. Free admission.


Lecture at Harvard’s Peabody Museum:  Starting at Standing Rock: Following Custer and Sitting Bull to the Little Big Horn by Nathaniel Philbrick.

Friday, April 3, 2009 at 5:30 pm at the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA. Free admission.

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Belmont Events – East Coast Movie Premiere – Stolen Holidays

Film Series in BelmontThe second film in Belmont World Films Spring series, Image + Identity, is a French film, Stolen Holidays, about a retired school teacher who refuses to return her grandchildren to their parents after a daytrip.  This is the East Coast premiere for Stolen Holidays.

Belmont World Films is a nonprofit organization that showcases quality international films, documentaries, animation, and shorts from countries around the world.  Movies are shown at the Studio Cinema, a single-screen theater near Waverley Square.  There are six movies in the spring film series, shown on Sundays at 7:30 pm. 

When: Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Where: Studio Cinema, 376 Trapelo Road, Belmont

How Much: $8, $7 for seniors and students

For more information call Belmont World Films at 617-484-3980.

Check back often for more things to do in Belmont.

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