Friday, August 29, 2008

Harvest Festival at the Hawthorne Hotel

I'm a huge supporter of locally-grown foods, eating local, and supporting the farmers who are preserving our historic landscapes through working the land.

The Hawthorne Hotel supports locally grown and/or locally-sourced meat, chicken, fish, cheese and produce through its Harvest Festival. Menus change depending on what products are available, which guarantees the freshest meals that are prepared by the excellent and creative chef at Nathaniel's.

To ensure you don't miss out on Harvest Festival, make a reservation at 978-825-4311.

Thanks to Juli Lederhaus, general manager at the Hawthorne Hotel, for her blog post that led to this blog post! (Sometimes blog rolling just isn't enough...)
Photos: A mini-appetizer of locally-grown orange cherry tomatoes with onion confit, and yellow watermelon with summer fruit granite (a kind of fruit ice) was so light and refreshing. It was the essence of summertime.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Of Witches & Seafarers

The Salem Wax Museum at 288 Derby Street, in Salem is a destination that takes the visitor through Salem history with the help of scenes created with wax figures that were produced in London. Scenes include Roger Conant discovering Salem, Bridget Bishop being tried during the Salem Witch Hysteria of 1692, and Elias Hasket Derby representing Salem's great sea captains of the 18th Century.
The tour of the Wax Museum is self-guided, with placards at each scene to explain the stage of Salem history represented before you. At the conclusion of your exploration of Salem's historical scenes, you head downstairs into the "Souvenir Factory." The Souvenir Factory is a unique addition to the Salem Wax Museum experience, because it gives families an opportunity to create something to take home from their Salem experience. There is a gravestone rubbing station, candle making, spin-art, a make-your-own stuffed Salem bear station, and wax hand creations. Prices are different for each souvenir, but none were more than $20.

Also at The Salem Wax Museum is the Salem Witch Village, which is an interior tour of the history of witches and witchcraft, and Frankenstein's Laboratory - a haunted house. in the dungeon of the Wax Museum. I have it on good authority from a 7-year-old that Frankenstein's Laboratory is "really cool, funny, and scary."

The Salem Wax Museum also offers Candlelit Tours, and in October it is transformed into the Haunted Neighborhood.

Photos: One of the scene captions from the exhibits; Making a grave rubbing in the "Souvenir Factory."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Historic Pedicab Tours - A Great Way to Go!

Last week I experienced Salem in a whole new way - from a pedicab. Joel Carron took me along for Historic Salem Pedicab Tours' Lace Reader Tour. Now, I was a person who had seen the pedicabs peddling around town for the past few years, but has never availed myself of their services. Joel has changed my perspective, however - pedicabs are a great way to see Salem!

Historic Salem Pedicab Tours offers a few different tours - a McIntire District Tour that highlights the architectural splendor created by Salem native Samuel McIntire, historic tours customized to your wishes, and The Lace Reader tour. I climbed aboard for The Lace Reader tour in front of City Hall last week, and we were off.

Joel let us know that there are some challenges with this tour because of Salem's one-way streets. The funeral procession, for example, would be a great addition to any pedicab tour - but it traveled up and down Cambridge and Chestnut Streets the wrong way, which works great for pall bearers, but is an illegal maneuver for a pedicab. Joel did a great job improvising despite this challenge.

We traveled past The Witch House, The First Church, and the Ropes Mansion (which may be the next best thing to seeing Eva's gardens), stopping briefly to discuss the significance of the three sites. We cut down to Broad Street and Joel talked about the Broad Street Cemetery, where the Whitney's fictitious plot is located. Joel also talked about the Pickering House across the street, which was continuously occupied by 10 generations of Pickerings. The Pickering plot really is in the Broad Street Cemetery, which gave a nice touch of reality to a tour that is about a work of fiction.

Along Chestnut Street we paused to hear about some of the most significance doorways, architectural details, to ponder which house held the man who watched the procession pass by, and to talk about the significance of Hamilton Hall. We then left the Chestnut Street neighborhood and headed toward Roger Conant (and, yes, we what Beezer and Anya saw) and Salem Common. Joel talked about Eva's fictitious house and it's possible location as we headed down Orange Street toward the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, where the tall ship Friendship is located, and where Eva's boathouse would be.

The tour concluded as we passed by Pickering Wharf and headed back toward the center of Salem. It would be very easy to customize this tour to begin or end at the Salem Ferry landing, where Towner arrived in town, and the MBTA Commuter Rail station, which is close to The First Church.

The greatest thing about this tour for me was the book-club style discussion we had while we were traveling through the streets of Salem. It was a beautiful day, perfect for sight-seeing, and the speed of a pedicab is great for taking it all in. No matter how many tours of Salem I do, there is always something new to learn. The Historic Salem Pedicab Tour was no exception!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A new road, which means new directions

Alright, everyone, this is important. If you're driving into Salem and plan to take Rte. 1A South into our bewitching seaport, you need to be aware of some changes to the traffic pattern.
The "Bridge Street Bypass Road" opened a week ago, and I must admit that I have developed a certain fondness for this beautiful new road that travels along Salem's North River, connecting downtown Salem with the Beverly/Salem Bridge (AKA Veterans Memorial Bridge). There is far less traffic on Bridge Street, which is great for automotive travel.
Here's what you need to know while GPS systems and online mapping programs catch up with Salem's progress:
If you are coming into Salem via Rte. 114 or Lowell Street/Boston Street and eventually connect with Rte. 1A south, you now have to turn right at the intersection after the St. Peter's Street intersection. There is a sign that indicates a right turn for Rte. 1A south, or stay straight for Rte. 1A North.
If you are coming into Salem from Beverly, after crossing the Veterans Memorial Bridge, you should turn left onto Bridge Street if you want to access the Clipper Ship Inn, Coffee Time Bakeshop, or any of the businesses on Bridge Street. This is also the direction to go if your destination is Pickering Wharf, Winter Street, Salem Common, Winter Island or Salem Willows.
If you are coming from Beverly into Salem and your destination is Salem Center, Summer Street, or Chestnut Street you should stay straight on the Bypass Road.
If you end up on the Bypass Road by accident, fret not. Heading north, you can turn right onto Bridge Street at the light before the bridge. Bridge Street will bring you back to Salem Center quite quickly (less traffic, you know). If you are driving south and find yourself on the Bypass Road unintentionally, turn left at the light onto Rte. 1A and you will find yourself coming up a hill to the familiar intersection with Winter Street where 1A South turns Right.
Either way, enjoy the Bypass Road. As I said, it's a lovely drive along the North River.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Phillips House & Peabody Essex Museum

This is, perhaps, my first blog-inspired collaboration! The following discount program was conceived after reading my blog post earlier this month about dining at the Peabody Essex Museum...

Dine at the Peabody Essex Museum Atrium Cafe or Garden Restaurant (use the discount coupons below!) and then visit the The Phillips House on Chestnut Street. If you show your meal receipt, you will save $1.00 off your admission to The Phillips House.

The Phillips House is
located on picturesque Chestnut Street in Salem. A gorgeous Federal-style mansion, it is the only home on Chestnut Street that is open to the public. It contains a family collection that spans five generations.

At the Phillips House, you will see artifacts from near and far, hear the stories of the Phillips family, and experience over two hundred years of history in the New England tradition.

Now is a great time to visit the Peabody Essex Museum, too, as less than a month remains for you to experience this summer's highly-acclaimed exhibition, Wedded Bliss, the Marriage of Art and Ceremony, which is on view through Sunday, September 14 at the Museum.

Wedded Bliss explores weddings as the inspiration for the creation of art through a connective and comparative lens. 130 paintings, sculptures, photographs, decorative objects and multimedia from around the world, highlight the complex beliefs and emotions surrounding the matrimonial experience. From the 18th century to the present, these works reveal the diversity of creative response to weddings, as well as changing attitudes and customs over time.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Antique & Classic Boat Festival

The Antique & Classic Boat Festival returns to the Hawthorne Cove Marina in Salem this weekend!

Although the boats are the main attraction, the Festival features the New New Orleans Jazz Band, New Liberty Jazz Band and Three Sheets to the Wind, among other performers. A crafts market includes artists, print makers, ship modelers, woodcarvers, booksellers and purveyors of other interesting wares. The Blessing of the Fleet and Parade of Boats round out this festive weekend.

Visitors can expect to see old favorites at the show, as well as many new old boats. The APHRODITE, a celebrated torpedo-stern commuter owned by Charles Royce of Greenwich CT, and Billy Joel's tradition-inspired commuter VENDETTA have both been invited this year. These supremely elegant, swift vessels represent the epitome of luxury yacht building in America in the early 20th century.

The Antique & Classic Boat Festival is about people as well as boats. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with boat owners and captains. Featured vessels may include antique and classic sailboats, powerboats, runabouts and hand-powered craft.

Festival organizer Pat Wells has said, "...we simply want to gather together the grand old craft and all those who love them."

Date: August 23-24, 2008 (Sat., 11 am-5 pm; Sun., 11 am-3 pm)

Place: Hawthorne Cove Marina, 10 White St., Salem, Massachusetts

Admission: $5.00, children under 12 free

Information: 617-422-1703, 617-666-8530,

Go car-free from Boston!

Combine a wonderful ocean ferry ride with a visit to the Boat Festival next door to Salem's Blaney Street dock. The 45-minute high-speed catamaran connects Salem with Central Wharf, alongside the New England Aquarium, in Boston. Or take the train and a Salem pedicab or trolley.

Salem Ferry Information: 978-741-0220;

MBTA Information:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Schooner Fame Events


Join the crew of Fame this Friday, August 22, at 6 PM for an evening sail with the Jolly Rogues!

The Jolly Rogues are an “auditory flashback” to
the music of the 18th and 19th centuries. They go from one great sea shanty to another, with tunes that makes you sway and join in the singing. Members of The Guild of Historic Interpreters, they present a great selection of seafaring songs, all of which are light-hearted and pleasant. Join us for a wonderful evening of good-mood music!

Regular ticket prices apply for this special sunset cruise. Beer, wine and grog available!


On Wednesday, September 10th the Fame and Salem Maritime National Historic Site will be co-hosting a lecture by David Hodgdon, who has written a book about the adventures of his ancestor, whose Salem schooner was captured by the British during the War of 1812.

These lectures, sponsored jointly by
Fame and Friendship, take place at 7 PM at St. Joseph Hall, 160 Derby St., Salem. They are free, and the Hall is handicapped accessible. For more information, call 978-729-7600 or 978-740-1660.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Newsday writer is "Bewitched by Salem"!

Many thanks to writer Aimee Martin who's article about Salem appeared on the front page of the travel section of Newsday in the Long Island, New York region.

Here is the lovely article:

Bewitched by Salem
October is high season, but there's plenty to do year-round
Special to Newsday
August 17, 2008

Fortunately or unfortunately, Salem, Mass., is known around the world for its infamous past. It was the location of the macabre Salem witch trials around 1692, which resulted in the deaths of 20 innocent people and the imprisonment of hundreds more.

Today, practicing Wiccans are a vibrant part of the city's fabric, composing an estimated 10 percent of its population of 40,000, and witch museums, psychic readers, haunted houses, ghost tours and New Age gift shops lure 800,000 visitors to the historic seaport each year.

More than a third of Salem's visitors arrive in October, says Kate Fox, executive director of Destination Salem, which has become the city's recognized "fifth season."

Once the nation's sixth-largest city, Salem has a world-class art museum, a secret staircase buried within the walls of the House of the Seven Gables that begs climbing, and street after street of exquisite mansions that showcase early American architecture. Down at Derby Wharf, visitors can climb aboard a reconstructed 1797 merchant ship and learn about Salem's heyday as a prosperous fishing, shipbuilding and maritime trade center. Best of all, they're all worth exploring during the four "other" seasons of the year.


A visit to Salem deserves at least two days. Here are a few spots to stay:

16 Winter St., 978-744-8304
Rates: $125-$175
Situated in the Historic District, this elegantly restored 1845 inn is one of Salem's finest examples of Greek Revival architecture. Antique furnishings complement the modern amenities.

18 Washington Square West, 978-744-4080
Rates: $104-$309
Historic, full-service hotel with 93 rooms, reproduction 18th century furnishings, a tavern with fireplace and upscale dining room.

22 Hardy St., 978-741-1703
Rates: $125-$200
A stone's throw from the House of the Seven Gables, this 1808 Georgian Federalist style house has comfortable guest rooms decorated with country antiques, a roof deck with expansive water views, and free wireless Internet access.

225 Derby St., 978-740-8788
Rates: $119-$309
Newly built and next to Pickering Wharf, these are Salem's most luxurious accommodations, with 86 guest rooms and an indoor, heated pool.


Whenever I visit my friend Jer, who lives in neighboring Swampscott, the first place we head is downtown Salem to explore the Peabody Essex Museum ($15, 161 Essex St., 978-745-9500,

The romantic in everyone will appreciate the artistic inspiration of weddings in "Wedded Bliss: The Marriage of Art and Ceremony," on view through Sept. 14. It includes paintings (by the likes of Picasso, Chagall and Winslow Homer), sculptures, photographs and several centuries of wedding gowns. While you're there, check out the Yin Yu Tang, an authentic 200-year-old, 16-bedroom merchant's home brought over from China and reassembled at the museum.

Also downtown, Salem Common is great for strolling. Hotels, quaint bed-and-breakfasts, trendy restaurants and shops that go beyond the witch paraphernalia can be found along the brick-lined streets. With its fine examples of Federalist mansions, some say Chestnut Street is one of the most beautiful streets in America. The only home here open to visitors is Phillips House ($5, 34 Chestnut St., 978-744-0440,, which is filled with Federalist-era furniture, Chinese export porcelain and ship portraits.

If historic mansions are your thing, then a visit to the fabled House of the Seven Gables is a must ($12, 115 Derby St., 978-744-0991, Guided tours take you through New England's oldest mansion (1668), which inspired author Nathaniel Hawthorne to write his legendary novel of the same name.

Next, head to Derby Wharf and the Salem Maritime National Historic Site (160 Derby St., 978-740-1660,, where you can watch a free film about Salem's past in the Orientation Center and sign up for $5 tours of the Custom House (1819), where Hawthorne once worked and wrote "The Scarlet Letter," or the Derby House (1762), home of America's first millionaire, shipbuilder Elias Hasket Derby. The West India Goods Store sells stick candy, books and nautical tchotchkes. A short stroll down Derby Wharf leads to the Derby Lighthouse, where you can take in the sea air and enjoy views stretching to Marblehead.

If you're hungry after all that and want to buy souvenirs, the adjacent Pickering Wharf (978-740-6990, is a harborside "village" lined with boutiques, art galleries, antiques shops and restaurants. The Fame, a replica of an 1812 privateer, also sails three times daily ($25, 978-729-7600, from there.

About a mile-and-half outside downtown is Salem Willows, a quirky (and slightly run-down) Victorian-era seaside park that's a sure hit with families (open April to October, 978-745-0251, salem It features a beach area, picnic grounds, a historic 1866 carousel, vintage arcade and kiddie rides, and a row of restaurants serving old-fashioned treats such as saltwater taffy and lime rickeys. Here, you can get a chop suey sandwich at Salem Lowe Chinese Food (978-744-6132) for $1.71, and enjoy buttery popcorn at E.W. Hobbs (978-745-7691), the self-proclaimed home of America's first ice-cream cone.

If you still must go in October
OK, OK - so Salem IS the Halloween Capital of the World and its annual Haunted Happenings Festival, complete with a parade, costume balls and walking tours, will be held from Oct. 2 to Nov. 2. For a free guide, visit

After experiencing all the haunted hoopla, take a reflective moment at the Witch Trial Memorial (Liberty Street, between Charter and Derby streets). This symbolic, award-winning memorial sits behind the Old Burying Point Cemetery.


Waterfront seafood restaurants are aplenty, but upscale Italian, Thai, Indian and Mexican cuisine can also be found.

107 Essex St., 978-825-9911
This is the type of romantic Italian trattoria where you're tempted to order a carafe of red wine and eat spaghetti. Affordable specialties include tagliatelle with veal, peas, artichokes and mushrooms in a light cream sauce.

15 Central St., 978-745-3527
If you want to know what's going on in Salem, this is where locals gossip and politicians cut deals while eating pancakes the size of manhole covers. Open for breakfast and lunch only, the restaurant is housed in the Old London Tea House (1698), the meeting place of the patriots before the American Revolution.

62 Wharf St., 978-744-0062
At this newly opened Pickering Wharf bistro, the Mediterranean-inspired menu features locally sourced and all-natural ingredients. Cocktails made with house-made purées draw a lively bar crowd, too.

231 Essex St., 978-745-2411
A nice menu, outdoor dining and one of the few places in Salem with nightlife. Depending on the night, you can dance to a 30-piece big band or take Latin dance lessons.


Ye Olde Pepper Companie
122 Derby St., 978-745-2744
yeoldepeppercandy.comSaid to be America's oldest candy company, dating back to 1806, the store sells chocolates but is famous for its centuries-old recipe for Gibraltar mints and Black Jacks, an old-fashioned molasses stick candy.

105 Essex St., 978-741-1809
Romance is in the air at this boutique housed in the childhood home of artist Sophia Peabody Hawthorne, wife of Nathaniel. In homage to their passionate love story, proprietor Marie Cardillo sells his-and-hers Nathaniel and Sophia fragrances.

Wicked Goodz
6 Central St., 978-745-3119
Off-the-wall goodies include Last Supper lunchboxes and pirate shower curtains.

Artemisia Botanicals
102 Wharf St., 978-745-0065
Essential oils, teas, soaps and bulk herbs.

10 Front St., 978-741-2323
Make the jewelry you want to wear.


Salem is roughly 4½ hours by car from Long Island. To break up the drive, take the 80-minute Cross Sound Ferry ride from Orient Point to New London, Conn. (631-323-2525,


On foot: Salem's "Red Line" is painted on the city's sidewalks and creates four loops connecting the most important stops and neighborhoods.

By trolley: Narrated tours of the city are available through City View Trolley Tours (978-594-0969, and the Salem Trolley (978-744-5469, Both offer a hop-on-and-off option.

By pedicab: Historic Salem Pedicab Tours offers transportation for two adults via foot-pedaled "green" pedicabs. (978-744-0223,

Photo credit: Salem is a city that celebrates its past. (Photo by Coleen Bruce / National Parks Service / August 14, 2008)
Copyright © 2008, Newsday Inc.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More on the Lace Reader

If you haven't gotten to see Brunonia Barry yet, she'll be back in the area this Friday, August 15, at the Barnes & Noble in Peabody at 7:00 PM. In addition to Brunonia Barry doing a reading and signing, the event will also feature lace readers from Artemesia Botanicals in Salem. Artemesia Botanicals is currently the only store in Salem that offers lace reading.

If The Lace Reader hasn't provided enough inspiration to visit and explore Towner's Salem, perhaps this post from the She is too fond of books... blog will motivate you. Dawn, the blogger, used The Lace Reader map of Salem produced by Harper Collins and links from to find the sites highlighted in the book.

If you don't feel like walking, but you want to take in the sites of The Lace Reader, fret not - you have options! Historic Salem Pedicab Tours offers Lace Reader inspired tours for one or two people.

If you are looking for more blogs to fill your time - check out Brunonia's, aptly named The Bru-Haha.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Atrium at the PEM

When is the last time you ate at the Peabody Essex Museum? The Atrium is open to the public for free - it's a beautiful space to spend some time eating, and shopping in the gift shops. The Hawthorne Hotel operates the two restaurants in the PEM - the Atrium Cafe and the Garden Restaurant.

I don't want to appear sexist (because really, I'm not), but the Garden Restaurant at the PEM must be one of the best spots for a ladies' lunch. It is a delicate, delicious dining experience in a glorious garden at an art museum. Match that up with a day of architecture and decorative arts at the Phillips House on Chestnut Street, the Wedded Bliss exhibit at the PEM, and shopping along Pickering Wharf, Derby Street, and Essex Street, and you have the ultimate excursion for the feminine mind.

If any men out there disagree with me, let me know and I will gladly stand corrected. In the meantime, use the 10% off coupons in this post and grab a quick lunch in the Atrium or sit down for a meal at the PEM. You'll have a vacation within your vacation.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Essex Street Fair this Weekend

It looks like the weather is going to cooperate, which will be a nice ending to a damp Heritage Days. I've talked to a lot of people who plan to head down to the Essex Street Fair today and tomorrow (Saturday, August 9 and Sunday, August 10). Don't be misled by the name - the Essex Street Fair is a great sidewalk festival that takes place along Essex Street (of course) and on Pickering Wharf.

The fair is fun for all ages, and many bring their dogs along, too. You will discover crafts, jewelry, paintings, stained glass, and other unique items. Street performers, face painters, and musicians will entertain crowds.

10 am - 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, contact the Salem Chamber of Commerce at 978-744-0004.

That's not the only thing going on this weekend - The following events are also scheduled for downtown:
  • Art Exhibit – 10AM-4PM – Old Town Hall. Salem Arts Association presents Freeze Frame: Shake, Rattle & Roll – photography by Tom Uellner.

  • Salem Arts Association Concert – 1PM-3PM – Derby Square. Entertainment to be announced

  • Sun Tae Kwon Do Academy Demonstration– 3PM – Essex St. Pedestrian Mall/Armory Park Area. Come watch this Korean martial art, which literally means "The Art of Hand and Foot." Watch children as young as six years old demonstrate their skills and then see their mothers and fathers do the same.

  • Salem Theatre Company Free Outdoor Performance – 3:30PM – 4:30PM - Derby Square. IMPROV on the BRICKS. Members of the Salem Theatre Company will lead improvised interaction with fellow actors and the audience during the performances. With actors anticipating ideas and support from the audience one is guaranteed a different show each night. For more information, contact 978-790-8546. Don't forget to bring your chairs.

  • The Galleries at Artist Row – 4PM-7PM. Open galleries reception – take a stroll through Artist Row and see what our talented artists have on display.

  • Salem Jazz & Soul Festival, Berklee Summer Series Concert - 5PM – 7PM - Derby Square. Berklee students Manami Morita perform. The “Berklee Summer Series” presents promising and accomplished students from this world renowned jazz institution.

Discover the magic of the Essex Street Fair this weekend. And if you're unable to join us this weekend, the Salem Chamber of Commerce presents a haunted version in October - the Haunted Biz Baz, which will be October 11-12. Check out for more Haunted Happenings events and for a calendar of events happenings throughout the year in Salem.

Photo credit: DMoisan

Friday, August 8, 2008

Witches Cup Bike Race

Professional cycling makes its return to Salem on Wednesday, August 13th! The 2nd Annual Witches Cup Bike Race takes place around Salem Common this next Wednesday. There will be an amateur men's race at 5 p.m., an open women's race at 6 p.m. and a professional men's race at 6:50 p.m. The Witches Cup is a criterium - a short, fast bicycle race requiring the ability to corner rapidly, sharply and repeatedly accelerate hard from turns on the straightaways. The races can last anywhere from 45-60 minutes and the top racers average 35-45 mph.

Join fellow fans and racers at the after hours party from 8pm-Midnight hosted by The Upper Crust Pizza, Gulu Gulu Café, and DJ RadioScotVoid.

The Witches Cup is hosted by Salem Cycle and Comprehensive Racing.

Photo credit: Henry Zyszynski (that's the historic Hawthorne Hotel in the background!)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Best of the North Shore!

Congratulations to the following Salem businesses that have been recognized by North Shore Magazine's Best of the North Shore issue:

BEST BRUNCH - Nathaniel's in the Hawthorne Hotel, Salem. A veritable smorgasbord of culinary delights await brunch-goers at the Hawthorne Hotel. Perhaps the best Belgian waffles and Eggs Benedict on the planet. Cap off with the sounds of jazz. What better way to begin the day?
Readers' Choice: Emerson Inn, Rockport; Lyceum Bar and Grille
BEST BREAKFAST/DINER - Red's Sandwich Shop. Good food. Reasonable prices. Just two reasons why locals favor Red's for the place to enjoy the best breakfast in town. Blackboard specials announce delicious ways to begin the day. Always home cooked and served with a smile!

BEST MARTINI BAR - Strega Restaurant and Lounge. If "Sex and the City" were to film a local spot for the gals to clink glasses and drink a dirty or dry martini, it would be Strega. Always bubbling with fun, flirty, and bewitching martinis.
BEST CAFE - Gulu-Gulu Cafe'. Who knew when the Gulu-Gulu opened in Salem, it would be such a hit? A great place to curl up with a book and grab a salad, crepe, panini or coffee and dessert. It comes alive on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings with music and entertainment
Readers' Choice: Front Street Coffee House

BEST BABY CLOTHING STORE - Chulamama Maternity and Baby. The store for hot mamas also has the best stuff for babies. Private label baby clothes, cutting-edge European baby strollers and eco-friendly selections are just a few reasons Chulamama is the go-to place for the wee folk.
Readers' Choices: Crunchy Granola Baby

BEST COSMETIC STORE - Rouge Cosmetics. Sure, Rouge is pretty in pink but it's so much more than a boutique to buy cosmetics. The staff will help you select products that are good for you. Great lines for skin and make-up like Darphin, Caudelie and Paula Dorf.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Floating Art in Salem

This has to be one of my favorite blog posts this summer. It is certainly the first time I have been able to promote floating art. And who doesn't like floating art?!

Salem State College Art Professor Ken Reker has created the Waterworks Project. Wanting to make it as easy as possible for the public to view art, Reker encourages installations of mixed media works in public places. With that in mind, artworks that were fabricated in Reker’s Form and Design and Sculpture-Mixed Media classes were put on display in front of Meier Hall at Salem State College last month. On August 2nd the imaginative works, which include a kiddies pool turned into a turtle, a starfish made up of plastic water bottles encased in netting, and a pontoon decorated with pinwheels and several window frames, moved to the Hawthorne Cove Marina on Derby Street.

This public installation will be at Hawthorne Cove Marina, 10 White Street, through through August 16. It is free.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Salem Heritage Days

Salem's annual Heritage Days kicked off on Friday with the Salem Maritime Festival. For the next week, the days are filled with activities that appeal to young and old, the two-legged and the four-legged. While Heritage Days was developed as a celebration for residents, there are many events that residents and visitors alike will enjoy.

Here is a partial list of events. For the complete schedule, visit the City of Salem's website at

Sunday, August 3

Tour-A-Truck – 11:00AM-1:00PM
Salem Willows
Youngsters get a chance to climb on a fire truck, explore the insides of an ambulance and see how it feels to sit behind the driver's seat of an 18-wheeler.

20th Annual Salem Maritime Festival – 12PM-5PM
Salem Maritime National Historic Site
Join the staff and volunteers of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site for the 20th Annual Salem Maritime Festival on historic Derby Wharf. Free family fun will include children's activities, traditional music, Rain Forest Reptiles, horse-drawn wagon rides, sea side kite flying, craft demonstrations, and more. The tall ship Friendship will be open for free, so come aboard and meet her crew. For more information, contact 978-740-1660 or visit

Mementos of Celebration – Noon-4PM
Old Town Hall
Visit the Salem Arts Association's annual PEM Companion Exhibit shown in mixed media, decorative arts, painting, photography, sculpture and textiles. For more information log onto

Ameri-Canine Dog Show – 4PM-6PM
Salem Common
Is your dog the next Bark Obama or John McCanine or perhaps Howl-Lary Rodham Clinton. Dog owners come enter your four legged friends in categories such as: Most Petriotic USA Costume, Best Speaker, Tug of War, Presidential Race, Space Program, Canine-idates meet and greet and Best Liar. In the end, the audience will vote for the Ameri-canine president. Entry fee: $5. Registration begins at 3:00 p.m. (rain location: South Harbor Garage). For more information contact Donna at 978-744-2615.

Monday, August 4

Young Dance Company – 8PM-10PM
Salem Willows Shell
A Heritage Days favorite, come see the Young Dance Company perform their exciting 2008 dance production. Don’t forget to bring your blankets and chairs, relax by the ocean, and enjoy.

Tuesday, August 5

Salem Super Scooperbowl - 6PM-7:30PM
Salem Common
We all scream for ICE-CREAM! Indulge your sweet tooth in this Ice Cream Scooperbowl. Sample flavors from many of the North Shore's finest creameries and ice cream parlors. Bring the whole family. $5 Adults / $3 Kids. Proceeds to benefit Salem Main Streets. For more information contact the Salem Chamber/Salem Main Streets at 978-744-0004.

Willows Summer Concert – 7PM-9PM
Salem Willows Shell
Enjoy the last concert of the season by the North Shore Concert Band as they perform their Salute to Summer.

Wednesday, August 6

Lip Sync Night – 5PM-6:30PM
Salem Willows Shell
We're doing it again…The City of Salem's 2nd Annual Lip Sync Night. For more information, please contact Eileen Dunn at 978-744-0180, ext. 20 or

Dance Enthusiasm Performance – 7PM-9PM
Salem Willows Shell
New This Year – Salem's Dance Enthusiasm Dance Company has won numerous awards at competitions across the U.S. Most recently, they have returned from the International Dance Challenge in Florida where they won first place in the Entertainment Challenge, so don't miss this brand new addition to Heritage Days.

Comedy Night – 7PM-10PM
Moose Lodge – Grove Street
Get ready to laugh with featured comedians Paul D'Angelo and
Bob Seibel. Tickets are $10. You can purchase tickets for the comedy night at the Boys and Girls Club at 13 Hawthorne Blvd (978-744-0915) or at the Salem Park, Recreation and Community Services Department at 5 Broad Street (978-744-0180).

Thursday, August 7

Salem's Best Pizza Competition – 6PM-7:30PM
Salem Common
Come decide which Salem restaurant has the best pizza. Bring the whole family. We will award the top adult and kids pick. $5 Adults / $3 Kids. For more information contact the Salem YMCA at 978-744-0351.

Movie on the Common – After Dark (8:30PM)
Salem Common
The City of Salem~Park, Recreation & Community Services Department presents~(movie TBD), so bring popcorn, a blanket or chair and enjoy.

Friday, August 8

Kids Night – 5PM-7:30PM
Salem Common
The Salem YMCA will transform the Salem Common into a paradise for children with moon bounces, rides, games and arts & crafts. $3 per child will pay for unlimited rides. For more information contact the Salem YMCA at 978-744-0351. (rain location: Salem YMCA, Sewall Street)

Saturday, August 9

Haunted City "Junior" Triathlon – 8AM

Dead Horse Beach, Salem Willows
Junior Triathletes come compete in Salem's youth triathlon. Boys & Girls ages 5-17 come test your endurance and courage to compete. Registration begins at 7AM. Fee: $25 (pre-registration) $35 (post registration). Register on-line at Proceeds go to the Salem Park, Recreation & Community Services Department for youth programs. For more information, visit or contact Brandi Dion at (978)~204-8588.

Essex Street Fair – 10AM-6PM
Essex St. Pedestrian Mall
Fun for all ages this street festival has something for everyone. Crafts, jewelry, paintings, stained glass, and other unique items will be featured along the Essex Pedestrian Mall. Street performers, face painters, and strolling musicians will entertain crowds. For more information, contact the Salem Chamber of Commerce at 978-744-0004.

Art Exhibit – 10AM-4PM
Old Town Hall
Salem Arts Association presents Freeze Frame: Shake, Rattle & Roll – photography by Tom Uellner.

Salem Arts Association Concert – 1PM-3PM
Derby Square
Entertainment to be announced Check for updates.

Salem Theatre Company Free Outdoor Performance – 3:30PM – 4:30PM
Derby Square
IMPROV on the BRICKS. Members of the Salem Theatre Company will lead improvised interaction with fellow actors and the audience during the performances. With actors anticipating ideas and support from the audience one is guaranteed a different show each night. For more information, contact 978-790-8546 or visit Don't forget to bring your chairs.

The Galleries at Artist Row – 4PM-7PM
Open galleries reception – take a stroll through Artist Row and see what our talented artists have on display.

Salem Jazz & Soul Festival, Berklee Summer Series Concert - 5PM – 7PM
Derby Square
Berklee students Manami Morita perform. The “Berklee Summer Series” presents promising and accomplished students from this world renowned jazz institution.

Sunday, August 10

Essex Street Fair –10AM-6PM – Essex St. Pedestrian Mall
Fun for all ages this street festival has something for everyone. Crafts, jewelry, paintings, stained glass, and other unique items will be featured along the Essex Pedestrian Mall. Street performers, face painters, and strolling musicians will entertain crowds. For more information, contact the Salem Chamber of Commerce at 978-744-0004.

Salem Jazz and Soul Festival Downtown Concert Showcase
Two concerts in two locations. The Nat Simpkins Band featuring Henri Smith at Derby Square, 1 – 3 p.m. The Boston Horns, at the Museum Place Mall fountain, 2 – 4 p.m. In the event of rain these concerts will be held at the Museum Place Mall.

Art Exhibit –12PM-4PM – Old Town Hall
Salem Arts Association presents Freeze Frame: Shake, Rattle & Roll – photography by Tom Uellner.

Phillips House Antique Car Meet – NOON–3PM
34 Chestnut Street
Join the Phillips House and the North Shore Old Car Club to see vintage and antique cars on historic Chestnut Street.~ Enjoy Gatsby-era music, light refreshments, and tours of the Phillips House and carriage house.~ Free admission.~ For information, call 978-744-0440 or visit

Salem Theatre Company Free Outdoor Performance – 3:30PM – 4:30PM
Derby Square
IMPROV on the BRICKS (see description above)

ALL WEEK SPECIAL: Attention Downtown shoppers- merchant 1 hour validation stamps are worth double in the Church St. Lot and both garages, so spend a little bit longer enjoying downtown. *restrictions do apply*

Keep checking for updates