Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Au Bon Pain robbery attempt

It is never good news when you see three people running through an alley way stripping off an outer layer of clothes. That's what I would think anyway if I were the security guard who witnessed Au Bon Pain robbers flee the scene.
Three men stormed through the back door as the shop was closing and employees were trying to leave for the night. One man had a knife. The employees were tied up, and the manager was told to open the safe. The manager got so nervous he forgot the combination and asked to sit down. He then bolted out the front door. Suspects had no idea what to do at that point so they also left, but through the back door. A security guard in Harvard Square saw these three men running and was able to give the police vague descriptions.

The suspects are described as one white man in his 20s with a medium build and two black males in their early 20s and taller than six feet. One black man is described as heavy set, while the other man has a medium build.
No one is safe anymore. I feel as if Harvard has become particularly scary.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Do some good this season

There are unlimited needy families and this is the season it usually hurts them the most. Innocent children not understanding the joy of Christmas due to some tragedy or another. Whether it be poverty, abuse, alcoholism, loss of parent(s).
There are unlimited trees in banks, BJ's, places of work, these trees are filled with children who would love to open a brand new pair of socks, or a sweater, something so simple would fill them with joy.
Help a family out this season, pick up a name off a tree. Tis the season to be giving. If you would like to help out some families, but are unsure of what I am talking about, here is a wish list for three different families.
Each of these families are receiving services from Respond Inc. a Somerville shelter for women and their children who are leaving abusive relationships. Unity Church of God is organizing/supplying these items.
To claim an item you can call the church: 617-623-1212 OR you can also pick up a wish list tag in the foyer of the church.
After purchasing items please mark them with Family number 42, 43, or 44 and drop off unwrapped gifts at the Church by December 16th.
If you live further away, but would still like to help, you can mail a check to the church. Make it out to UCG and add Respond in the Memo line. The donations will be sent to the mother's who will then be able to shop for their own gifts.

Since you may not receive a personal thank you. I will thank you. Even for taking the time to read this and understand that we may think we have it rough, but we have our homes, our happy holiday memories, and our safety.

Unity Church of God
6 Williams St.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Safe toys??

With all the breaking news stories, I feel like nothing is safe anymore. Do you question if your kids toys contain a dangerous amount of lead? Now that the boxes are gone, you see the "made in china label" and get a little nervous. Sen. Patricia D. Jehlen, state Rep. Denise Provost, and the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow is trying to help the Somerville community shop with ease by hosting a day of lead testing.
The testing will be done with a portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) meter. The meter is held against the product, and an X-ray beam analyzes and reports the elements in the product within 30 seconds.
Things to have tested include:
Anything made of vinyl such as children’s toys, shoes, raincoats, lunch bags, handbags, backpacks (for lead, cadmium).
Children’s jewelry (for lead).
Pillows, foam cushions, children’s pajamas (for brominated flame retardants).
Brightly-colored ceramics such as flower pots or old dishes (for lead, cadmium).
Office products with soft plastic parts such as staplers, binders, etc.
Electronics: computer parts, video game controllers, etc. (for lead and brominated flame retardants).
Other products can be tested as well.

Lead testing
Saturday December 1st.
Central Library
79 highland ave.
For more information call: Jehlen’s office at 617-722-1578.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Holiday Craft Fair

I went to the mall Friday, that's right. Black Friday. There were not as many sales as I had hoped. But then again, I didn't get out to the stores until 6ish. Lame in the eyes of serious shoppers i guess. So, I didn't get nearly as much shopping as done as I had hoped. Something that will be helpful to me as well as people who hate malls this time of year: Union Square Main Streets' Annual Craft Fair.

A press release from Union Square Main Streets said four craft markets and open studios at the fair will feature gifts including sculpture, jewelry, knitwear, photography, handbags, electronics, greeting cards, wreaths, and more. The Sherman Café and Bloc 11 will be on the scene if you get hungry. Local bands The Doctors Faux and Chris Mancini and the Pretty Pennies are set to headline live performances throughout the day.
Something else I always think about it to hit up artist co-ops. Family members usually enjoy home made gifts. It doesn't say anything about you needing to be the one to make them anymore. What are we third graders? I kid I kid.

Union Square Main Streets' Annual Craft Fair
December 1
Union Square Plaza and Toast Lounge

Holiday Trivia
: Black Friday is not the busiest shopping day of the year as most assume. It is usually the Saturday before Christmas. OR December 23rd if Christmas falls on a weekend.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Now Open - Joey's Thai Cafe

Drove past the old Benjapon location and noticed that Joey's Thai Cafe is now open. Seemed like it was a really quick transition to the new place. Will have to check it out soon.

>> Bye Bye Benjapon

Snowboarding Meetup

We have seen the seasons first snow (even if it was just flurries) which means snowboarding is right around the corner. If you are looking for some new people to shred with there is a Somerville Snowboaring Meetup Group getting together this weekend to catch a bad.

Saturday, November 24, 10:00 PM
Inman Sq.

>> The Somerville Snowboarding Meetup Group

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Wall in Central

Like many others I cut through the alley next to Central Kitchen quite frequently, of course I have noticed the artwork, thought it was cool, but it wasn't until I ran across this article that I knew what it was about.

What's even more dope is how the grafitti-like art is public, lacks a corporate sponsor and is wholly legal. Supine's piece is part of a huge project on the wall outside Central Kitchen (567 Mass. Ave., Cambridge) and in fact, the entire 81-foot wall is covered from top to bottom in a poster-painted 3-D graffiti-stenciled pastiche. The last week in October, Supine and 19 other artists met in Cambridge to create a public display of cutting-edge street art that defies description. More than a simple wall, the entire southeast-facing facade, from HVAC ducts to window sills (up to and including parts of the roof) are plastered and splattered with characters, words and colors. The art will remain there for all to see until the weather, or something else, washes it away.

"The wall is true in spirit," says contributor Celso (of the Endless Love Crew), "but the best work to me is the stuff that people are willing to go to jail for. It's more of a rush when you are painting in the dark, watching your back and trying to finish a work before the cops arrive."

Hargo admits that something may be lost from a "legitimate" mural of street art, "But," he says, "we tried to put it together in such a way that it wasn't quite as tidy as a gallery. Many decisions were made by the artists on the spot based on space constraints, some guys went over others -- like what happens on the street -- and in some cases feathers were ruffled. But in the end everybody realized that's the way it goes with street art."

Next time you are in Central, swing by its pretty cool.

The Wall at Central Square
567 Mass Ave, Cambridge MA

>> Off The Wall
>> Not Rocket Science

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Day After...

The day after Thanksgiving. One of two scenarios:
1. You hosted Thanksgiving and you have guests coming out of every nook and cranny, and you are unsure of what to do with them.
2. You went elsewhere for dinner, and now it is the next day, and your kids are bored and activities need to be planned.
I have the answer! Zoo Day! Franklin Park Zoo and the Stone Zoo are opening their gates for a Get in the Zoo Free Day. I mean the only other thing to do is shop, or go to the movies. Huge events, but shopping is not ideal for kids, and movies are not ideal for parents. This is definitely a win/win. What better way to work off that pound of turkey and extra piece of pumpkin pie.


Friday November 23rd

Franklin Park Zoo
1 Franklin Park Road

Stone Zoo
149 Pond St.

Brickbottom: Toys and Games

Artists utilize some child like items as inspiration in this exhibit.

Pieces in the exhibit may be handmade toys or games artists had given to their own children, or artwork inspired by toys, games and the concept of "play."
A partial lists of involved artists are: Jen Fries, Robert Goss, Pauline Lim, Gina Kamentsky, Charlotte Kaplan, David Kessler, Mark Luiggi, Rosamond Purcell, Randy Regier, Craig Robertson, Annie Silverman, Jessica Straus, M.L. Van Nice, and Ellen Weinberg.

"Toys and Games"
December 1st-22nd.
Brickbottom Artists Association
1 Fitchburg St.
Free entry as well as wheelchair accessible
Opening Reception: Sunday, December 2, 4-6pm

>>Brickbottom Gallery

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

La Hacienda

I could always use more shady in my life, as well as a good down to earth place to grab dinner and a beer. Just came across this review of La Hacienda in Somerville and it looks right up my alley.

But while it indeed is seen by many as simply a dive bar, it really is more of an Italian-American restaurant that serves a wide variety of dishes. The surprisingly extensive menu includes such familiar dishes as ravioli, lasagna, veal marsala, chicken piccata, shrimp scampi and the like.

While diners often come to La Hacienda to order full dinner entrees, what many others come here for is one thing, and one thing only: Bar pizza. The bar pies at La Hacienda are simply tremendous.
Added to my list of places to go - Check.

La Hacienda
46 Medford Street
Somerville, MA

>> La Hacienda Review

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pre Turkey Day Dancing

Looking for a night of dancing and burning all those calories before eating all day? Booty Vortex is at Johnny D's Wednesday night. Back in the day, this was the night everyone went out and about to hang out with old buddies from high school. Now that I am old and gray, I go to sleep. But I am not trying to stop you youngin's!

Booty Vortex
Johnny D's
Davis Square
Wednesday 11/21

>>Booty Vortex

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Last Call For Donnie Darko

Last chance to catch Donnie Darko on stage this weekend.

During the presidential election of 1988, Donnie Darko, a troubled teenager, encounters a six-foot rabbit named Frank, who tells him the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds. Donnie returns home to discover that a jet engine has crashed through his bedroom – and so begins one of the strangest and most haunting stories ever told.

A new adaptation of the 2001 cult film (which featured Drew Barrymore and shot Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal to fame), Donnie Darko is a mind-bending work of science fiction with a rollercoaster plot that leaps from metaphysics to time travel. Marcus Stern, director of The Onion Cellar returns to Zero Arrow Theatre to create this stage version of one of the most talked-about films of the past decade.
Through Sunday Nov. 18th

Arrow st and Mass Ave
Cambridge MA

>> ART - Donnie Darko

Friday, November 16, 2007

Breakfast in Somerville

I recently posted about Ball Square Cafe and Breakfast. In it I mentioned I had plans to go to Sound Bites next door, but was drawn away due to the line outside in the rain. My review was pretty great, so I find it only fair to now add Sound Bites point of view.

I went to Sound Bites on a Sunday morning. 9:30am in hopes to beat a rush. Surprisingly went well. As we were being seated I looked out and the line had formed down the building. There was only two groups ahead of us. Point! for being seated as a group of 6 in a timely fashion.
Point! When you are in line, you can take turns with your fellow breakfast eaters, to run in and grab a coffee from the self serve station and go back outside with it. They also have some pretty delicious flavors. Snickerdoodle, Chocolate Raspberry, Pumpkin Spice, as well as all the usual suspects.
NEGATIVE! They make your hot chocolate for you, which is completely acceptable, EXCEPT, they make it taste like hot water. I was so disappointed. I had to in addition get a coffee.
The food was delicious, I don't know if I can make it a point though because it was the same chef who started both.
NEGATIVE! They are quick to get you out. I like to linger and chat and take my time. Luckily the owner did not snap at us, they were just quick to take plates, but they asked every time if we were done before grabbing them. I had expected so much worse. What I think was funny was an obvious regular commented to the owner when he came to get their plates "You are not yourself today"
Which would I go to? It is hard because i got VERY different things each time. Once i got stuffed french toast. Another: an omelet with sausage. So both places have great food, I think I would alternate. The atmosphere is definitely chicer at Ball Square Cafe. Thats my two cents, now everyone else can decide which they prefer.

Here is the fun part, there is rumor to be feud between the two. The chef left to go next door and now they hate each other. I need facts people-who has them! Comment, please let me know.

>>My Ball Square Cafe review.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Beckett at 100

In case you are looking for some arts this weekend, Harvard has got it. three short plays by Samuel Beckett.
*Words and Music
*...but the clouds...

These rarely performed radio and television plays, though written separately over many years, collectively illuminate each other and Beckett's complex aesthetic methods. Prof. Scanlan will introduce the plays and their genesis as collaborative music/theatre/video pieces before each performance.
Directed by Harvard professor Robert Scanlon.
Beckett at 100
Harvard University's New College Theatre (formerly Hasty Pudding Theatre)
Thursday 11/15-Sunday 11/18
Th, Fri, and Sat. 8pm
Sun. 5pm
Tickets $25, $15 for Harvard University affiliates and seniors, $10 for students

Monday, November 12, 2007

Somerville schools

For those of you that have kids in the Somerville school system, or will at some point in the future, this should be of interest to you. There will be a workshop at the Kennedy school to discuss inclusion classrooms in Somerville schools. This could benefit kids with learning disabilities, behavioral problems, as well as create possible individualized plans to assist in the maximum educational experience. Parents, community members as well as guest speaker principal of Boston O'Hearn's Elementary School will be present.

This event is hosted by Somerville Community for Inclusion, a group created by
Somerville Special Education Advocacy Project (SSEAP), with sponsors Somerville
Public Schools and Somerville Special Education Parent Advisory Council (PAC).
Co-sponsors of the event include the Disability Awareness Group (DAGS), the
Haitian Coalition, the Brian Higgins Foundation, Somerville Early Head Start,
the Welcome Project, and Somerville Community Partnerships for Children.

Somerville schools discussion
Kennedy School
5 Cherry St. (Porter Square)
11/17 10a-12p

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bye Bye Benjapon

Apparently Benjapon's in Davis has closed down and will be replaced by Joey's Thai Cafe. The only thing that was really original about this place was the benjurioto or whatever those Thai burritos they had were called. Really could anyone ever be at a loss for a burrito in this area? As long as they have decent Thai Ice Tea and Pad Thai I'll be happy.

>> Davis Square Business Comings and Goings

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Laser Rock Show

Originally I was going to post specifically on Led Zeppelin, but who knew, there is a whole world of rock they are covering!

Laser technology takes over the Charles Hayden Planetarium dome for evening light shows that combine music and techno-artistry.
November 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30,
as well as Dec. 1, and 2.
Beatles: 5:30p
Led Zeppelin 7:30p
70's Rock (Boston, AC/DC Van Halen) 9:30p

Museum of Science
Science Park


Sunday, November 04, 2007

Brunch in Somerville?

Of course, I have heard great things about Sound bites, so I was headed over there. I found parking a few blocks away, and it was pouring outside. Stupid nor'easter in November. I had heard there would be a crazy line outside , but I thought, seriously? today? No way. I was wrong. The line wasn't long, but it was definitely outside, and did i mention it was pouring? As my friends and I stood outside for a few minutes we realized we were standing next to Ball Square Cafe and breakfast. It looked nice, but i think what drew us in was no line, and it was dry.
Entering Ball Square Cafe and breakfast was a great choice! Upon entering, the owner greeted us and pointed us to a table. They had granite/marble tables with a dark look. It had exposed brick, which i think is classy. In addition, they had black paper napkins. Now I understand they were still paper napkins, but the black added a little more to the class scale.
For food, it was delicious! It was not your regular diner menu. Think of it as omelette's for dinner. An omelet with peppers, spinach, and feta. Or how about some borsin? I myself chose the banana stuffed french toast. The portions are huge! I definitely over ate. Another bonus was get your own beverage. They had a coffee station with tea as well as a cooler with soda, juice and other cold drinks. The waitress will make espresso and hot chocolate, and it seems like home made whipped cream.
If you grew up in Somerville, you will know the owner. He apparently knows everyone! We mentioned we were from Somerville and he actually said "no you're not." He welcomed everyone that came in, and most of them by name. Very personable and friendly.
HIGHLY recommend this place. Have yet to be to sound bites, and i will make it there someday, but i just find it hard to stand in line for some place that they will yell at you, when there is a pleasant atmosphere just next door. Literally.

Ball Square Cafe and Breakfast
708 Broadway