Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Weddings at the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites

The Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites wants to host your wedding or special event!

They would like to bring your vision of a perfect day to reality. From intimate to elaborate, the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites is at your service. Their catering staff is dedicated to orchestrating all avenues to create an unforgettable wedding day just for you.

Contact Allyn Gamble, Catering Sales Manager, to help plan your special day at 978-619-1110.

Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites
Historic Pickering Wharf
225 Derby Street
Salem, MA 01970

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Lobster Shanty Opens on Wednesday!

I just love April 1st.

Here's another seasonal opening for you to celebrate: The Lobster Shanty will kick off the new season at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, April 1st.

Here's an update on their menu for the new year...

New, Old Menu
Last year we did some experimenting with the menu at the Shanty. As a result we've taken all of your favorites from every menu and put them on one awesome summer menu.

Our great burgers, including the Clyde and the Millionaire, are back. We've kept the wings, and improved our chicken tenders.

The lobster mac & cheese? You know it!

We've added some funky new Black & Tan onion rings and a 16oz hand-cut rib eye steak!

Come on now, you want more? Ok, we're diving in and making our own fresh mozzarella cheese - curds, whey, the whole shebang. We love our cheese at the Shanty, oh yes we do.

Oh, and we're bringing back the clambake. Chowder, corn on the cob, sausage, steamers and buttery lobster! Get your feast-on New England Style.

Yummm. And yet again, I find myself hungry after writing a blog post. You'll find The Lobster Shanty on Artist Row, at 25 Front Street, Salem, MA 01970.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Massachusetts Welcomes You

Yesterday was the annual Massachusetts Governor's Conference on Travel & Tourism. It is a great opportunity for those of us in the industry to do some networking, learn about travel industry trends (for example, of the 26 million travelers in the US, 65% are driving to their destinations), and get to see the new Massachusetts ad campaign.

You can see the new ad at Massvacation.com. It's funky and original. The music is by the Brian Setzer Orchestra, if you're curious.

While you are on Massvacation.com, don't forget to download - and use - your MassValue Pass. It's valid through Tuesday, March 31 (the spring MassValue Pass will be available in mid-April). It's good for discounts throughout Massachusetts, including Salem and the North of Boston region.

Visit Salem.org for complete listings of things to do, places to stay, eat and explore. In the meantime, here are the Salem businesses who offer discounts on the MassValue Pass.

*Please check with each individual property for additional restrictions or blackout dates

Hawthorne Hotel
25% off winter rates for standard rooms.

The Salem Inn
Stay one night, get a second night 50% off.

Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites
25% off select suites.Offer only valid Sunday-Thursday.


Historic New England Phillips House
50% off two regular adult admission tickets.

The House of the Seven Gables
Purchase one adult admission and get one child admission free.

Salem Witch Museum
25% off admission.


Nathaniel's Restaurant at the Hawthorne Hotel
25% off one dinner entree when two or more are purchased.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Volunteers needed for Spring Garden Day at the Phillips House!

Volunteers are essential to the survival of non-profits, historic houses, museums, and heritage sites. Here is a great opporutnity to volunteer your time by spending a spring day outside in the gardens of the Phillips House on Chestnut Street.


Salem, MA
Saturday April 18

Join Historic New England and Plant Creations of Groveland for a day at the Phillips House to begin a light yard clean up and spring planting based on the Phillips family’s records. Bring your own tools. A light continental breakfast is provided.

There is no need to RSVP or to come for the entire morning. The staff would be thrilled if you stopped by to just rake a pile of leaves or plant a few flowers. This is a great opportunity to bring your children or grandchildren by the house and spend the morning out-of-doors while learning a little more about Salem’s resources. A free pass will be provided to all participants to tour the house that day or in the future.

The staff of the Phillips House has been researching Anna Phillips’ seed catalogs and orders from the 1920s-1930s in order to begin the process of creating a more accurate landscape based upon the Phillips family’s time at 34 Chestnut Street. Historic New England’s property care staff will be undertaking a cultural landscape report this summer, adding to the wonderful history that already exists for the Phillips House.

About Historic New England
Historic New England is the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive regional heritage
organization in the nation. It offers a unique opportunity to experience the lives and stories of New Englanders through their homes and possessions. For more information visit http://www.historicnewengland.org/.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring Springs with Attraction Openings in Salem!

Ahhhhh.... spring has sprung! The attractions that have been sleepy and, well, closed all winter are dusting themselves off, taking a big stretch, and opening for the 2009 season. Huzzah!

Here are four that are looking forward to welcoming you beginning April 1:

8 Central Street (Tickets available on board and at the Trolley Depot, 191 Essex St.)
Enjoy a historically accurate one-hour journey through five fascinating centuries. Free same day shuttle. 10:00 am - 5:00 pm (The last full tour departs the National Park Service Visitors Center at 4:00 pm.)

You can get a combination ticket to the next three attractions and save $5.00 per person...

16 Lynde St.
Award winning live re-enactment of a Witch trial followed by guided tour of the Dungeon. Open daily 10:00am to last performance at 5:00pm, April through November.

197-201 Essex St.
The stories of 1692 are told through a live presentation followed by a guided tour downstairs where you will see 15 life size scenes depicting these stories. Open daily 10:00am to last tour at 5:00pm, April through November.

274 Derby Street
A guided tour through the Museum where you will view historical artifacts, experience the adventures of New England sea-robbers, board a pirate ship and explore an 80ft cave. Open daily 10:00am to last tour at 5:00pm, April 20 through October, weekends in April and November.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Peabody Essex Museum Celebrates Sensational India!

This is an incredible line-up of events at the Peabody Essex Museum celebrating Indian culture - check it out...

Saturday, April 4 - Sunday, April 5 2009

The Peabody Essex Museum celebrates the art and culture of India in its many splendid forms with a weekend-long festival ─ Sensational India! Join us for this two-day event in our galleries and performance spaces where we’ll present India’s remarkable visual and performing arts. Expect remarkable dance, music, film, food, hands-on art activities and more. Find a moment of respite in our new exhibition ReVisions, Indian Artists Engaging Traditions – featuring works of painting and sculpture contemporary Indian artists and the masters who influenced them. Families, hear tales from India read by storytellers, learn your fortune from a parrot and make your own finger puppets!

All events included with museum admission. Program reservations by calling: 978-745-9500 x3011.

Sensational India! is made possible by Samir and Nilima Desai; The Desai Family Foundation.

Gallery Talks: ReVisions, Indian Artists Engaging Traditions
10-11 am, ReVisions Gallery
Reservations by April 2
Led by exhibition co-curators Susan Bean and Kimberly Masteller

Adult Cooking Demonstration
A Taste of India
11 am–noon, Bartlett Gallery
Reservations by April 2
Chef Shruti Mehta creates traditional Indian dishes and shares the secrets of this aromatic cuisine. Her demonstration and stories link the art of cooking with everyday life in India.

The Jungle Book
1967, 78 minutes
11 am–12:30 pm, Morse Auditorium
Reservations by April 2
For all ages
Set in an Indian jungle, this song-filled adventure follows a boy named Mowgli on his way to the man-village with a variety of animal friends, including the lovable bear Baloo. Afterward, make your own finger puppets.

Musical Performances
Carnatic Ensemble
Noon–12:30 pm, Atrium
Durga Krishnan, a renowned veena player and director of the New England School of Carnatic Music, performs with her accomplished students. The ensemble includes flute, mridangam, veena and violin players, and vocalists.

Indo-American Fusion
12:30–1 pm, Atrium
The Bangalore Ensemble shares the sounds of Indo-American fusion, based on Hindustani (North Indian classical) music.
You couldn’t believe what you were seeing — dancing so rich, so deep diving! –The New Yorker

Dance Performance
Nrityagram Dance Ensemble
1:30–2:30 pm, Atrium
Nrityagram of India transports viewers to enchanted worlds of magic and spirituality with the sensuous flow of Odissi, one of the oldest of India’s classical dance forms.

Indian Classical Dance and the Arts of India — A Conversation
3–4 pm, Morse Auditorium
For adults
Reservations by April 2
Susan Bean, curator of South Asian and Korean art, and Surupa Sen, artistic director of the renowned Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, discuss the interconnections between dance and other art forms in India, from music to poetry, architecture and painting.

Musical Performances
4–4:30 pm, Atrium
Shuchita Rao and students from the New England School of Carnatic Music present Hindustani music with vocalists, harmonium and tabla players.

Fusion of Jazz and Carnatic
4:30–5 pm, Atrium
The KrishnaRasi group presents of Indo-American fusion, based on Carnatic music, with jazz keyboard, veena, mridangam and tabla.


Gallery Talks: ReVisions, Indian Artists Engaging Traditions
10-11 am, ReVisions Gallery
Reservations by April 2

Brick Lane
2008, 101 minutes, directed by Sarah Gavron
11 am–1:30 pm, Morse Auditorium
For adults
Reservations by April 2
A young South Asian woman arrives in 1980s London, leaving behind her beloved home for an arranged marriage and a new life. Trapped in a small apartment and loveless marriage, she struggles to accept her lifestyle and maintain her traditional ways.

Dance Workshop
1:30–3 pm, East India Marine Hall
For teens and adults
Reservations by April 2
Learn the technique and nuances of movement in Odissi from Nrityagram dancers. Dance training is not required.

Dance Demonstrations and Performances
Traditional Indian Folk Dance
1–2 and 4–5 pm, Atrium
Dressed in lavish, traditional costumes, young members of Boston Bhangra perform lively agricultural folk dances from the Punjab region of India.

2:30 pm, Morse Auditorium
Award-Winning Author and Actress Madhur Jaffrey R
eservations by April 3
Regarded by many as the world authority on Indian food, Madhur Jaffrey is an award-winning actress and best-selling cookbook author. At PEM she discusses her newest work, Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India, an appealing account of an unusual childhood and a testament to the power of food to prompt memory. The book includes recipes for more than 30 delicious dishes that are recovered from Jaffrey’s childhood. A book signing follows the lecture. This program made possible in part by the George Swinnerton Parker Memorial Lecture Fund.

About the Peabody Essex Museum
The Peabody Essex Museum presents art and culture from New England and around the world. The museum's collections are among the finest of their kind, showcasing an unrivaled spectrum of American art and architecture (including four National Historic Landmark buildings) and outstanding Asian, Asian Export, Native American, African, Oceanic, Maritime and Photography collections. In addition to its vast collections, the museum offers a vibrant schedule of changing exhibitions and a hands-on education center. The museum campus features numerous parks, period gardens and 24 historic properties, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200-year-old house that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States.

HOURS: Open Tuesday-Sunday and holiday Mondays, 10 am-5 pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

ADMISSION: Adults $15; seniors $13; students $11. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $5. Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang.

INFO: Call 866-745-1876 or visit our Web site at http://www.pem.org/.

Salem Arts Festival Call for Proposals

This just in from Salem Main Streets...

Salem Arts Festival Extends a Call for Proposals due April 15, 2009

Salem Main Streets along with representatives of many of the city’s cultural institutions are in the final planning stages for the first Salem Arts Festival. The festival is to take place from June 5-7, 2009.

A Call for Proposals has been released. The Salem Arts Festival is looking for participation from artists and performers in a diverse range of media for this three day event. The Festival will celebrate painting, photography, sculpture, dance, music, writing, film, new media, performance, theatre, poetry, culinary, etc. The event will support local artists by providing them a free venue to interact with the community. Many of the activities are planned to take place in downtown Salem.

The Call for Proposals is available by calling Jennifer Bell at the offices of Salem Main Streets at (978) 744-0004, ext. 15. The proposal is also available for download on the Arts Festival website at www.salemartsfestival.com. The deadline for all entries has been extended to April 15, 2009. Artists and performers – in all genres – and especially those from Salem, are encouraged to apply. The festival also wants to encourage applications from artists interested in guiding children’s activities. Acceptance of proposals will be dictated by time and space requirements, as well as appropriateness to the festival’s goals. Art will be juried by a representative of the Peabody Essex Museum.

The Festival organizers are thrilled to have received a most generous $1,500.00 grant from the Salem Cultural Council to help organize and publicize this inaugural event.

About the Salem Arts Festival

The Salem Arts Festival will promote the arts in downtown Salem through a collaborative festival for residents and visitors providing opportunities to highlight the existing artist community and encourage general community participation in the arts. The Festival will run Jun 5-7, 2009 in Salem at a variety of venues throughout the downtown including a juried art exhibit street fair, gallery shows and live performances. The Festival will include elements for the sophisticated art patron as well as for the art novice including interactive events for children. It will engage participants of diverse backgrounds and ages by reaching out to current art patrons, local students, and the community at large.

The Salem Arts Festival is being organized by Salem Main Streets, the Salem Arts Association, Salem State College, Gordon College, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Film Fest, American History and Music Festival™ and Salem Sounds along with input from Salem High School Arts Department and the Salem Common Neighborhood Association.

About Salem Main Streets

Salem Main Streets' goal is the revitalization of downtown Salem as a vibrant, year-round, retail, dining and cultural destination through business recruitment, retention and the promotion of downtown Salem.

For more information:
Jennifer Bell, Salem Main Streets, (978) 744-0004, ext. 15 jennifer@salemmainstreets.org

Monday, March 23, 2009

Boston City Guide Examiner: Sixty2 on Wharf hits the spot in Salem

This is a very nice review about Sixty2 on Wharf, which is one of many fantastic restaurants in Salem.

Boston City Guide Examiner: Sixty2 on Wharf hits the spot in Salem

Posted using ShareThis

Salem LitFest this Weekend!

The Salem Literary Festival opens its doors this weekend, March 27-29, with a terrific line-up of events all weekend. This is a great opportunity to interact with authors, play games, be inspired, and take in some great local theater!

Friday, March 27
6:30 pm - Festival Kick-Off Event! Thursday's Theater of Words and Music with special guest Hannah Tinti at The Hawthorne Hotel.

6:00 pm - A Soiree in Salem Reception and Special Exhibition Viewing at The Salem Athenaeum.

8:00 pm - A Soiree in Salem Lecture: Rosamond Bowditch Loring - Boston Bookbinder, Decorated Paper Maker & Modern Woman at Hamilton Hall.

8:00 pm - The Salem Theatre Company Presents An Evening of Pinter at The Griffen Theater.

Saturday, March 28

10:00 am - Mark Karlins and Starring Lorenzo, and Einstein Too at Cornerstone Books.

11:00 am - Henry Cushing's Dilemma: Children's Storytime with Peter Van and Beth Blanchard at Cornerstone Books.

11:00 am - SCRABBLE Tournament at The Salem Athenaeum.

12:00 - 5:00 pm - The Marketplace at Old Town Hall. Come and meet authors as well as representatives from small presses and literary magazines.

12:00 pm - Dreamstarters with Jennifer Karin at Cornerstone Books.

12:00 pm - Noon Workshop: Poetry Prompts with Salem Writers Group at Old Town Hall

1:00 - 3:00 pm - Meet Kat Black at Old Town Hall.

1:00 pm - Author Erin Dionne and Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies at Cornerstone Books.

2:00 pm - Writers' Workshop with Brunonia Barry: Creativity and a Sense of Place at Old Town Hall.

2:00 pm - Author Jan Elizabeth Watson and Asta in the Wings at Cornerstone Books.

3:00 pm - Children's Book Illustrator Giles Laroch at The Salem Athenaeum.

4:00 pm - Author Adam Braver (Mr. Lincoln's War) and his new novel November 22, 1963 at Cornerstone Books.

5:00 pm - Quick Fiction's Afternoon Delight at The Front Street Coffeehouse.

7:00 pm - Salem Arts Association Lit Bop at The Art Corner.

7:00 pm - A Tribute to John Updike at The Salem Athenaeum.

8:00 pm - The Salem Theatre Company Presents An Evening of Pinter at The Griffen Theater.

Sunday, March 29

11:00 am - Brooks Sigler and Five Finger Fiction at Old Town Hall.

12:00 pm - Papermaking with Donna Albino at Cornerstone Books.

1:00 pm - The Particulars of Publishing: A Writer's Workshop at Old Town Hall.

1:00 pm - Family Movie: The Princess Bride at Cornerstone Books.

2:00 pm - The Salem Theatre Company Presents An Evening of Pinter at The Griffen Theater.

3:00 pm - Workshop: Writing with the Senses at Cornerstone Books.

3:00 pm - The Best Women's Travel Writing 2009 at Old Town Hall.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Discover the magic of our new "Discounts & Deals" page!

We have an FAQ page on Salem.org, that is fairly well visited, and I hope it is very helpful to everyone. It's missing a question, though. The most frequently asked question we receive here at Destination Salem is: Where can I find coupons, discounts, and value passes?

Travelers are terribly savvy, and you know there are deals to be had.

Well, in the spirit of customer service and making coming to Salem as easy as possible - we have added a new page to Salem.org! Discounts & Deals features current packages and discounts being offered by all types of businesses and activities in Salem. There are accommodation packages, dining deals, shopping discounts, and discounts for upcoming theatre in Salem.

Check it out! And check it out often, because it is changing and being updated almost every day.

And if we are missing your most frequently asked question from the FAQ page, let me know. We can add to that page, too!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ye Old Pepper Companie

In the spirit of Women's History Month, I have an excerpt from The Salem Women's Heritage Trail for you today. And it's about candy, so you know it's going to be a sweet story. (Couldn't resist - sorry.)

So, here's today's tale about Salem's "Gibraltar Lady" and the first commercially produced candy in America:

One of the most enduring remnants of Salem's great East India trade era is the "Gibraltar," a candy made famous throughout the world by the Spencers of Salem and currently available at Ye Old Pepper Companie, 122 Derby Street. Salem lore has it that Mary Spencer and her son Thomas sailed from England sometime around 1806 and supposedly lost everything they owned in a shipwreck, eventually finding their way to Salem. A kindly citizen was said to have donated a barrel of sugar to the Spencers who began making the tasty-paper-wrapped, lemon confection in a house at 56 Buffum Street in North Salem. Mary Spencer at first sold the candies on the stoop of the First Church in Town House Square (the current site of Rockafellas restaurant), but was soon able to acquire a cart (now owned by the Peabody Essex Museum) and a shaggy grey pony she used as she made her sales calls. Eventually, Gibraltars, originally called "Gibraltar Rocks" because of their hardness found their way to the farthest corners of the globe on Salem vessels. No Salem ship, it has been said, would dare leave port without a supply!

The confection business was sold around 1830 to John Pepper, who continued making Gibraltars on Buffum Street. Today, you can buy lemon and peppermint Gibraltars at Ye Old Pepper Companie on Derby Street. The business is owned by descendants of George Burkinshaw, who worked for John Pepper in 1830.
Credit for this information goes to Bonnie Hurd Smith and Jim McAllister, two historians who did all the work and made it easy for me to share the story with you. Visit Bonnie's web site to order the Salem Women's Heritage Trail.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Salem.org has a new look!

Today's blog post is primarily intended for those of you who subscribe to the blog, receive it in your emailbox, and thus may not have visited Salem.org recently.

It's time to come back over for a visit.

We've done a bit of early-spring cleaning and spruced the place up. We hope it is more user-friendly and that it loads on your computers and phones easily. The calendar is fresh and new, and full of great things to do every day of the week.
We have listings for attractions, museums, shopping, dining, and tours that make it easy for you to sort through all of the options that exist to make a vacation in Salem great. And you can access the 2009 visitor guide as a PDF, or request a printed copy.

So, take a look and enjoy this new virtual visit to Salem. And don't be a stranger - we are always adding new content, fluffing the pillows, and getting Salem ready for your visit. Whether you're coming for a week or an afternoon, we look forward to having you for a visit.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Peter's Episcopal Church

Destination Salem is working with a team of students from Salem State College this semester, and they are going to be developing some information on the Heritage Trail (that's the red line painted on the sidewalks), Culinary Salem, and sites in Salem that are Green or going Green.

As they develop their content, I'll share it with you. Today I have information on St. Peter's Episcopal Church to share with you. It's a beautiful church, and it has a great history that goes back 275 years.

Here is the information Ronnie Porter from Salem State College has given me on this historic and lovely church:

St. Peter's Episcopal Church is a stunning historical church that wears its heart in its big red doors. Upon entering St. Peter's, visitors are instantly captured by its beauty. The stained glass windows, the aged boxed pews and St. Peter's shrine are just a few of the remarkable delights. The history of St. Peter's is what makes this Salem destination most appealing.

Phillip English, who was accused of witchcraft during the hysteria of 1692, founded St. Peter's Episcopal Church in 1773. In 1740 a bell from Gloucester, England, was placed in St. Peter's. It is the oldest church bell and it still rings every Sunday during worship, to celebrate weddings, and as an instrument of remembrance for a church member who has passed away. In 1774, after the Tea Party and Boston Massacre, St. Peter's became the State Church of the British Crown during the Revolution.

Renowned navigator Nathaniel Bowditch and the founder of the Second Corps of Cadets, Samuel Abbott were original members of the church.

Recently, St. Peter's has made a conscious decision to become an inclusive congregation. St. Peter's stands by their belief that "We are all one in Christ." This means that all are welcome, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation.

For more about the history of St. Peter's Church, visit their web site at http://www.stpeterssalem.org/history.html.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Easter at the Hawthorne Hotel

Check out this menu for Easter Buffet at the Historic Hawthorne Hotel! It sounds absolutely devine and delicious. Make your reservations soon!

Easter Sunday Buffet at the Hawthorne Hotel
April 12, 2009 ~~ 10:30 am-7 pm
For Reservations Phone (978) 825-4311
Adults $39.95 Children (3-12) $14.95
Ham-What-I-Yam” Carving Station
Easter Ham, Country Style Mustard Sauce
Slow-Roasted Prime Rib of Beef, Double Jus
Garlic and Rosemary-Roasted Leg of Lamb, Mint Jelly
Easter Bunny’s Favorites including Carrots, of Course!
Baked “Eggs Benedict” Bread Pudding
Scrambled Eggs (for the Morning Reservations)
Crisp Bacon and Sausage Links
Cheese Blintzes with Fruit Compote
Carbonara-Style Cavatappi Pasta with Peas, Bacon, and Carbonara Sauce
Baby Carrots with Tarragon Butter
Spring Peas and Pearl Onions
Potato Gratin
Forty Cloves of Garlic Chicken
Baked Swordfish with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Peter Cottontail’s Choices from the Garden
Steamed Asparagus Salad, Shallot Vinaigrette with Fresh Herbs and Lemon Slices
Smoked Salmon, Capers, Red Onions, Creamy Dill, Rye Bread and Crackers
Field Greens with Grape Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Shredded Carrots,
Bleu Cheese and Balsamic Dressings
Napa Cabbage, Mung Bean Sprouts, Toasted Almonds, Tomato & Mango, Sweet and Sour Dressing
Assorted International and Domestic Cheese Display, Crackers and Breads
Baby Shrimp, Snap Peas, Shell Pasta Salad with Dill Sour Cream Dressing
Penne Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken, Smoky Bacon Dressing,
New Potato and Green Onion Salad with Black Olives and Hard-Boiled Eggs, Dijon Vinaigrette
“Easter Bread Basket” Fresh Breads, Muffins, Cinnamon Rolls and Hot Cross Buns
Seasonal Fruits, Grapes and Berries
We Saved the Best for Last, Our Easter Desserts
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Double Chocolate Layer Cake, Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with Whipped Cream,
Key Lime Pie, Boston Cream Pie, Cheesecake with Berry Sauce, Lemon Cream Torte,
Raspberry Cream Torte, Mini Pastries, Assorted Cookies, Brownies and Congo Bars.
18 Washington Square West Salem, Ma 01970

Tell me you're not starving after reading all of those yummy choices...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What's Coming in Salem

I just prepared a list of select events happening in Salem this spring, and thought I'd share them with you. Things will start warming up in Salem in April (which is not to say that the current Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection exhibit at the PEM is not hot, it is, so come see it. And come to Literally Salem at the end of the month, and take advantage of many opportunities to hear and see some great contemporary writers including Hannah Tinti and Brunonia Barry), and then it's nearly summer, and Salem really shines in Summer.

So, make plans, I say. Mark you calendar and discover the magic of arts, culture, great dining, celebrations and fun - fun - fun in Salem in 2009!

Remember, this is a very short list of events in Salem - visit the calendar at Salem.org for everything that's happening. There's a lot happening. Something for everyone, I daresay.

Special Events in Salem, Massachusetts
April – July 2009

April 4
Sensational India!
This two-day festival will make connections between the rich Indian art and culture represented in the PEM collections and India’s remarkable performing arts — traditional and contemporary — in its many exciting forms. The celebration will include art, dance, music, film, food, hands-on art activities and more. Families activities include tales from India read by storytellers, fortunes told by a parrot and rangoli art projects.

April 5-9
Spring Restaurant Week
Take this opportunity to experience Salem’s great dining options! From casual to creative cuisine, and everything in between, Restaurant Week will offer special prix fix pricing at dozens of restaurants.

April 16-18, 23-25, 26
The Pirates of Penzance
This beloved Gilbert & Sullivan musical comes alive on the Salem State College Mainstage. Tickets: $20 general/$15 seniors.

May 22 (through November 1)
Salem Ferry Opens for the Season!
Considered by many to be the best way to travel between Salem and Boston – this 55 minute ride aboard a high-speed catamaran will transport you along the Massachusetts coastline in climate-controlled comfort! Take advantage of Cruise & Dine and Cruise & Shop specials offered in both Salem and Boston. Free parking at the Blaney Street pier in Salem. The ferry docks at Central Wharf by the New England Aquarium in Boston.

June 5-7
Salem Arts Festival
Discover the magic of Salem’s arts scene this June! All media will be represented through special events, gallery exhibits, and art installations in Salem.

June 13 (Through September 7)
Exhibit: The Golden Age of Dutch Seascapes
The Golden Age of Dutch Seascapes, an exhibition of works from the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK, follows the rise of seascape painting from 1550 to 1700.
Through major works by Dutch and Flemish artists, the exhibition explores the major themes of maritime painting, from atmospheric to allegorical and nationalistic imagery. Works by Simon de Vlieger, Hendrick Minderhout and Caspar van Wittel explore methods of employing painting as a means to catalog foreign conquest and trade as the Dutch became a significant presence on the world’s seas.

June 18-21, June 25-27
Rumors by Neil Simon
Salem State College opens its summer theatre season with this classic Neil Simon production on the Mainstage.

July 4th
Salem Celebrates the 4th!
This is the way Independence Day should be celebrated! Families picnic at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, games and crafts for kids, a Pops! Concert featuring the 42-piece Hillyer Festival Orchestra, and stunning fireworks over Salem Harbor and the Tall Ship Friendship. Free.

July 16-19, 23-26
The second production in Salem State College’s 2009 Summer Theatre Series. Come see why Salem loves its summer theatre!
(Photos credits: Peabody Essex Museum, Leighton O'Connor, Scott Lanes)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Celebrate Women's History Month in Salem

National Park Service Celebrates Women’s History Month in Salem with a Presentation by Bonnie Hurd Smith

Salem Maritime National Historic Site will host Boston Women & the Law: a Virtual Tour through Four Centuries of Boston Women's Legal History at the Salem Visitor Center on March 22 at 2:00 PM.

Women's struggles to achieve legal rights and participate fully as voters, attorneys, and judges is a centuries-long story that is still playing out today. From Quakers and "witches" who were hanged in colonial Boston to the state's first woman Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, there are dozens of colorful stories to tell—some of them with ties to Salem!

Join Bonnie Hurd Smith, author and creator of the Salem Women's Heritage Trail, for a virtual tour of the walking trail she created for New England Law | Boston during its Centennial year in 2008.

Learn about the women who were early religious dissenters, abolitionists, suffragists, attorneys,
judges, and elected officials, as well as those of both sexes who advocated for female education,
equality, and economic independence.

This program will be held at the Salem Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty Street, Salem at 2:00 PM on March 22, 2009. The program is free and open to the public. Smith’s book will be available for purchase through the National Park Service’s non-profit partner, Eastern National, and she will be glad to sign books after the talk. For more information, please visit Salem Maritime’s web site at www.nps.gov/sama, or call 978-740-1650.

Friday, March 6, 2009

60 Seconds on Salem!

Last month a production crew came to chilly Salem to film a piece that will be broadcast through the Armed Forces Network to the Navy. Even in February, Salem looks great!

The video is filmed at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Salem Witch Museum, The House of the Seven Gables, The Witch Trials Tercentenary Memorial, and on Chestnut Street in front of the Phillips House.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Salem Film Fest Award Winners

This just in from Salem Film Fest...

It's official!
The two best documentary films of the Salem Film Fest have been chosen and will be screened tonight, Thursday, March 5 at CinemaSalem.
The Jury Award-winner, IN A DREAM, will screen at 5:30 this afternoon. This film has also won Audience Awards at several festivals, including the San Francisco International.
Here's a quick synopsis of this ravishingly beautiful documentary: Over the last thirty years, artist Isaiah Zagar has covered forty thousand square feet of Philadelphia with grand-scale mosaics. When Zagar's son Jeremiah picks up a camera to document his father's career, he is confronted with the reality of the man in front of the lens. In A Dream is an unblinking look at a celebrated artist who may not always be the husband and father his family needs him to be.

The Audience Award-winner, LIFE. SUPPORT. MUSIC. will screen tonight at 7:30. This tale of tragedy and a family's loving, courageous, and ultimately triumphant response to it represented one of the most intensely emotional movie theater experience for many in the audience who first viewed it last Saturday night.

We hope you'll take advantage of tonight's opportunity to see these two brilliant films, which derive much of their dramatic power from the fact that they're documentaries, presenting the real stories of real people.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Spring Fling in Salem!

The Ides of March: not a good time for Julius Caesar, but in Salem, it is a time to adorn a toga, grab a goblet and celebrate the return of Spring!

On March 21st, Salem Massachusetts will host the second annual Spring Fling: A Garden of Earthly Delights sponsored by Magic Hat at Old Town Hall in the heart of this beautiful, historic seaport. The Festival, which is fashioned after the Bacchanalia - a religious festival in honor of the wine god Dionysus or, as the Romans called him, Bacchus - will kick New Englanders out of a long hibernation and jumpstart Spring by indulging in the finest wines, craft beers and mouth watering food from North Shore restauranteurs.

Historically, the Bacchanalia was held in mid-March and priests and priestesses adorned with garlands of ivy would carry wine, honey, and cakes throughout Rome, celebrating and expressing themselves freely through music and pleasure.

This modern day version - Spring Fling - will feature a tasting of over 50 fine wines and international and local craft beers. The event, sponsored by Magic Hat, also features local breweries Ipswich, Cape Ann, Harpoon and Cody Brewing. Wine professionals will be on hand with an assortment of vino from the US, Europe, South Africa, South America and Down Under. Truly a party fit for Bacchus!

Salem Restaurants such as The Old Spot, Finz, Sixty2 on Wharf, Rockafellas, Cafe Grazziani, The Lobster Shanty, The Upper Crust Pizzeria, Gulu Gulu, AJ King and more will tickle and tantalize your palate with delectable culinary delights! North Shore Artists will be offering an eclectic variety of art to please your eye and warm your home! Local favorite, Machine 475 will be performing live and free chair massages will be provided by Living Well.

Meet familiar characters from myth and legend and enjoy the goddesses and nymphs that wander the "Garden of Earthly Delights." Seek out The Oracle of Delphi to hear your fortune. Roman attire is encouraged! Experience the intoxicating power of this celebration on March 21st from 1 - 4pm at Old Town Hall on the Pedestrian Mall in Salem, MA.

ECONOMIC CRISIS? CALL DIONYSUS! Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door and are available at pmousse.com, localwineevents.com or by calling 978-745-2900.

Salem Spring Fling is presented by Magic Hat, Pamplemousse (Purveyor of Fine Wines, Beer, Kitchen and Homegoods) The Picklepot (A New England Craft Gallery, Gift Store and More!), The Salem Art Association and the Salem Restaurant Group.