Friday, May 29, 2009

Mahi Mahi Cruises of Salem Harbor

Okay, so the weather right now isn't lookin' too hot for harbor cruising. But it's going to get better. It's going to get better TOMORROW, in fact! So, why not check out Mahi Mahi Cruises in Salem? The crew would love to have you, your friends, neighbors, family, business associates...
Mahi Mahi offers a number of cruising options at all times during the day - check these out at
  • Daily Narrated and Non-Narrated Sightseeing
  • Harbor Cruises
  • Lunch, Cocktail and Sunset Cruises
  • Father's Day, 4th of July Fireworks, Beer Sampling and other Special Cruises.
  • Private Charters for birthdays, graduations, weddings, business functions and more.
There's plenty of parking at Salem Willows, so don't fret about that (some of the spots are metered, so pack a few quarters, just to be safe).
I'm a firm believer that the best way to see any coastal community is from the water - it's completely different then driving along our highways and byways. As beautiful as scenic Route 127 is from Beverly to Rockport, you really can't see the private mansions from the road. Guess what? You can see them from the water!!
So, check out Mahi Mahi Cruses and get out on the water!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Salem Arts Fest is Hot & Cooking!!

The Salem Arts Festival is coming! June 4, 5 & 6 the City of Salem, Massachusetts will come alive with arts of all kind. The calendar of events is fantastic, and can be viewed online at

Here's a Culinary Arts highlight to whet your whistle:

Cooking Demonstration at the Hawthorne Hotel on June 4 at 6pm. Join Executive Chef Steve Nelson as he demonstrates Dueling Crabs!

Watch as he prepares these local Maine crabs in front of you and shows you the tricks of the trade. Then he will prepare a cold Crab and Avocado salad. He will show you how to cut the avocado, prepare the mold, use fresh micro-greens to arrange the salad and then how to make the dressing. We will be using local and organic flavors for these dishes. Learn from a pro! Chef Steve has been featured on Channel 7’s The Dish and in many magazines for specialties like his Pumpkin Bisque and Seafood Chowder.

Reservations are recommended.
$15 per person.
Please call, 978-825-4311.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Morocco, London and Salem

Salem State, World History Association bring educators,
world scholars together in a fitting place – Salem
June 25 – 28, 2009

SALEM -- Expected to attract nearly 300 scholars from around the world, Salem State, in partnership with the City of Salem, will host the 18th annual World History Association (WHA) Conference from Thursday, June 25 through Sunday, June 28.Previous locations for the prestigious gathering of world scholars have included Morocco and Queen Mary College in London.
Focused on the theme Merchants and Missionaries: Trade and Religion in World History, the conference workshops, some of which are free and open to the public, will take place on the Salem State campus as well as at several other locations, including downtown Salem, at nearby Endicott and Gordon colleges, and in Boston.

The WHA announced that it chose Salem State as this year’s conference host due to the college’s strong history and international programs, and for its location in the historically-rich city of Salem.

“Once at the forefront of our country’s evolution, Salem welcomes the opportunity to return to its role as the center of activity,” said Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, a 1989 graduate of Salem State. “Our city played a prominent role as the trade center of the western world during the early years of our nation, and we stand prepared to play the distinctive role of host of the World History Association’s annual conference focusing on merchants, missionaries, trade and religion.”

“This puts Salem on the world map for reasons beyond the witch trials,” said Salem State history professor Chris Mauriello, an organizer of the conference that will bring world-renown historians to the city.

“It’s an opportunity for Salem to be observed for its true historical value, as a rich maritime trade port,” pointed out Anthony Guerriero, president of the college’s alumni association which contributed $2,000 for the conference to include transportation to and from the USS Constitution in Boston.

The trip to the USS Constitution is one of several organized visits to historical sites that will feature Salem State College students as tour guides. Other tour-guided visits will be made to the House of Seven Gables, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, the Peabody Essex Museum, the Salem Athenaeum, and the Stephen Phillips House.

“The conference's keynote addresses, papers, panels, roundtables and workshops will range from antiquity to the present, and will span a wide variety of cultures as they address these broad topics,” said Alfred J. Andrea, vice president of the WHA.

K-12 educators can register for any of the many workshops and earn PDPs to keep their licenses current.

For a schedule of events, visit

Also, professors Chris Mauriello and Dane Morrison are available to provide more information and background. Mauriello can be contacted at or 978.542.7129. Morrison can be contacted at or by calling 978.542.7134.

Photo caption: The Salem Maritime National Historic Site on Derby Street will be one of the many destinations for attendees of the World History Association's annual conference in June.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A very happy group...

Last Friday I sat in on a performance at The Witches Cottage at The Griffen Theatre. It turns out the show I was "crashing" was being done for a group from Virginia Beach. The group - high school students on a band trip (pictured at the left) - was spending a full day in Salem, and they were loving it.

Their itinerary included:
- Lunch at Reds
- Time to shop and explore on their own (about 2 hours)

The group was certainly delighted by the show at the Witches Cottage, which included 2 parts: First there was a 1-man show (although I swear there were more actors involved then just Paul, which may be testament to his ability as an actor) that presented a couple of stories from the Salem Witch Trials, a ghost story from Gloucester's Dogtown area, and a story about a paranormal encounter that Paul, the actor, had at a nearby location that is not open to the public, and is not in Salem, so I'm not providing more then "a nearby location."

After the show, director Eric Rodenhiser came onto the stage for about 30 minutes of "talk back" interaction with the audience. Members of the audience were brought on stage to demonstrate different forms of torture and behavior that were used in 17th century Salem society, and Eric talked about witches and the myths and realities of witches.

The show was very creative, and it definitely catered to the 16 to 18-year-old sense of humor. The theatre is small - seating for about 80 - and if you book a private show, the cast has the ability to customize the show a bit to fit your needs. The show is also done nightly beginning Jun 5.

The flyer for the Witches Cottage invites you to "Experience Salem's supernatural side at The Witches Cottage Witchcraft and Ghost Show."

The Witches Cottage, paired with the Witch Dungeon and Salem's other museums and sites, creates a great itinerary that is filled with fun and history that will appeal to groups both large and small.
This group from Virginia Beach was staying in the Greater Boston region and doing day trips. If you have a group that would rather stay in Salem - check out The Hawthorne Hotel, the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites, or the Salem Inn.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What's the best way to visit Salem?

The Salem Ferry, of course!

If you're receiving this email through a feed, you may need to click through to the blog on to see the video that is posted. And do click through - it will make you so excited that this is Memorial Day weekend! And you'll want to ride the ferry... really, you will!

Check out the Cruise & Dine and Cruise & Play promotions offered through the Salem Ferry - they go both ways, giving you discounts in Boston and Salem... just for riding the Ferry. How cool is that?

One final note, and then I'll let the video speak for itself... stay in Salem (what a great weekend!) and take the Ferry into Boston for a day or an evening. Whether you're visiting from Hamilton or from Hackensack, it's a great weekend excursion that can be customized for romance or for family fun. Visit for more ideas and information.

Happy Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tourism Day in Salem - A Great Success!!

Destination Salem hosted Tourism Industry Day in Salem yesterday, and we had a blast! Here's a snapshot of our day -

9:00 AM, the Salem Ferry departed Long Wharf North in Boston. Note the new location of the Ferry, because we were all at Central Wharf next to the Aquarium wondering, "where's the boat?!" - it was on the other side of the Marriott Long Wharf, adjacent to the lovely Christopher Columbus Park. The new dock in Boston is really easy and convenient. Just don't look for the ferry at Central Wharf!

10:00 AM, arrival in Salem and a warm welcome from Representative John Keenan. Everyone hopped on trolleys, and we were off!

We visited the Salem Witch Museum, Witch Dungeon Museum, Peabody Essex Museum, and House of the Seven Gables - using the trolleys to connect to each site, and taking in highlights of Salem along the way... Chestnut Street, Salem Common, Salem Willows, Pickering Wharf... all places to return to later, on foot, when there is time for exploration!

We had snacks and water on the trolleys, which was a good thing because lunch wasn't until nearly 2pm!

BUT, lunch was served on the lawn at the House of the Seven Gables. Can you say stunning? Salem native and author Brunonia Barry spoke to the group, and a delicious lunch was provided by the following restaurants:

- Brother's
- Caffe Graziani
- Capt's
- Cilantro
- Coffee Time Bake Shop
- Finz
- Nathaniel's at the Hawthorne Hotel
- Rockafellas
- Sixty2 on Wharf
- Upper Crust

We called lunch "Salem Bites!" and it was appropriate! The nibbles were delicious.

After lunch, the group was set loose on Salem for a scavenger hunt that encouraged them to run around the streets and see just how walkable Salem is! For anyone who isn't being driven by the tourism day schedule, I would call after lunch "time to shop!"

The group visited...
- Bewtiched in Salem
- Crafter's Market
- Hex
- Life & Death Tours
- Maria's Sweet Somethings
- National Park Service Regional Visitor Center
- Quint Essentials
- Remember Salem
- Rita's Water & Ice
- Rouge Cosmetics
- Sophia's
- Treasures Over Time
- Trolley Depot
- Witch City Consignment
- Witch House
- Witches Cottage at the Griffen Theatre
And they did all of this in about 60 minutes (impressive, right?!). One of the concierge on the tour commented that they didn't realize the diversity of shops in Salem, and the scavenger hunt was a great way to get them in and out... and now they want to come back again and again.

And don't think I didn't notice the concierge who wasn't the scavenger hunt type - he had a lovely afternoon respite in one of Salem's watering holes! (This goes to show that there's something for everyone in Salem!)

Salem Trolley and CityView Trolley provided excellent transportation and tours throughout the City. Including a last minute double-back for a scavenger hunt team

We took the 4pm Ferry back to Boston, arriving just after 5pm... exhausted and delighted by a lovely day in Salem!
To see more pictures of Tourism Day in Salem, visit the Destination Salem page on Facebook!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Salem Old Town Hall

Today I'm passing on an excellent letter of grattitude from Tom Daniel at the City of Salem regarding the Partners in Preservation vote that has been going on for the past 5 weeks.


Thank you to everyone for your support of Old Town Hall! While we weren’t able to move out of second place, we did have a tremendous amount of support. This is a testament to the importance of Old Town Hall (and historic preservation) to the community. Congratulations to the Paragon Carousel for winning the popular vote.

Although Old Town Hall didn’t win the popular vote, it still may receive Partners in Preservation grant funding. American Express, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and an Advisory Committee made up of civic and preservation leaders in Greater Boston will determine which of the remaining 24 sites will receive funding. They will be announcing their decision on June 16.

We also have some great news to share about Old Town Hall:
  • First, this past Friday we learned that Old Town Hall received a $174,000 grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund. The fund is used to support building projects that increase tourism, create new jobs, leverage private funding, and expand arts and cultural activities in communities across the state. The grant funds will be used to make the building more accessible, repair damaged windows, and replace the heating system.

  • Second, the City is moving forward with repairing the restrooms in the basement. Once the work is completed, the public restrooms will be available whenever Gordon College’s building manager is on site.

The City’s partnership at Old Town Hall with Gordon College has been critical to both the Partners in Preservation and Cultural Facilities Fund grant applications. Gordon College’s regular presence in the building also means the public restrooms will be available more often than they would be otherwise.

And even more good news:

  • Later this month, the City will be putting seven tables and twenty chairs in Derby Square for public use during the day.

  • And last, thanks to Salem Main Streets, there are some great new events coming to Old Town Hall and Derby Square: The Salem Arts Festival will be held June 5-7, 2009. It is a free festival and has a tremendous line up. And the Salem Farmers’ Market starts Thursday, June 25, 2009—375 years after the first market was held.

So, although we didn’t come in first in the Partners in Preservation vote, we have a lot to celebrate—and hopefully even more good news on June 16.

Thank you—and your friends, families, and colleagues—for all of your efforts.


Tom Daniel, AICP
Economic Development Manager
Department of Planning and Community Development
City of Salem

Friday, May 15, 2009

If you have 2 nights to spend...

...and you've never been to Salem before, here's how to do it.
1. Check in to the accommodations of your choice! Whether you like the personal touch of a B&B, the elegance of a historic hotel or inn, or the modern amenities of a new property, Salem has an option for you. Visit for accommodations listings and information.

Park your car and leave it. You don't need it for your visit.

2. Get on a trolley. Don't wait. Do it first. If you've never been here before, you need the complete tour. You may not know that Salem once had more than 40 wharves extending into its harbor, or that we have two light houses, or that there is an amusement park at Salem Willows, or that Chestnut Street was the first planned street in America, or that Roger Conant, whose statue stands in front of the Salem Witch Museum, is not a witch - he founded Salem, or that the name Salem is from the Hebrew Shalom, and it means peace.

You need to take a trolley tour so you can learn these and other facts about Salem, see all of the attractions, museums and sites, and get the lay of the land.

Best part is, your trolley tickets are good all day, so you can use it as a shuttle from site to site.

3. Buy a combo-pass and save some dough. There are three combo passes in town: The Discover Salem Passport, the Land of Witches & Pirates, and the Salem Wax Museum / Witch Village. Each one will gain you entrance to more than one attraction, and each combo pass is completely different.

Your visit can focus on a few themes: Salem Witch Trials, Maritime Heritage, Art & Culture, Architecture, Literary Salem, or combine a little bit of it all and do a Salem Sampler.
4. You're going to get hungry, so make sure to check out the restaurant options - we have 3 restaurants with water views and outdoor seating, we have lots of al fresca dining inland, cuisine that ranges from creative to casual.

5. After dinner, take in a walking tour. Tour options range from history to haunted, so pick the one that works best for you.

Sleep tight, because you'll be tired after all of that exploring and eating!

6. On day 2, eat a hearty breakfast and head out to the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. See one or both of the films (there is a free 27 minute film, Where Past is Present at the Salem Regional Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty Street, and a 20 minute film, To the Farthest Ports of the Rich East, at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site Orientation Center), tour the Custom House where Nathaniel Hawthorne Worked. Tour the tall ship Friendship (check that she is in port on the web site, because she is traveling a bit this summer).

Chances are you didn't get to all of the museums you wanted to see on day one, so now is the time to finish up that combination pass, and add to it. There is a full list of attractions and museums on

7. And then it's time to shop for the perfect souvenir. If you haven't already filled your bags in the excellent museum shops, head out to window shop along Pickering Wharf, Front Street, Essex Street, and Derby Street. From spells to soaps, malt balls to witches' balls, t-shirts to travel mugs, there is a keepsake for you!

(By the way - The first souvenir spoons were manufactured and sold in Salem by the Daniel Low Company. They had a flying witch on the handle.)

8. If you did fresh seafood for dinner on the first night, take in one of the fabulous ethnic restaurants on night two - Indian, Japanese, Thai, Italian, Mexican, Chinese... there is a lot to choose from! After dinner, check out the live music scene at Gulu Gulu Cafe, Rockafellas, or the Lobster Shanty.

Now that you've spent two days and two nights exploring Salem, you're a pro. On your next visit, plan to spend two nights in Salem and take the Salem Ferry into Boston for a day, drive up the coast to Rockport and Gloucester for a day, or travel due North through farmland to the beaches of Ipswich and shopping in Newburyport.

There's so much to do! Start packin'!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mark your calendars

Salem's stupendous summer programming... mark your calendars and make your hotel reservations now!

Salem Arts Festival
Dates: June 5-7, 2009
Times: 10am – 8pm Saturday, 10am-3pm Sunday
Location: Old Town Hall & Pickering Wharf, Salem, MA 01970
Cost: Everything is free!
For More Information:; 978-744-0004

Celebrate the arts in Salem this June during the first annual Salem Arts Festival. The weekend starts with a celebratory kick-off reception on Friday night at Old Town Hall. Events throughout the weekend will highlight art and artists of all shapes and sounds, including a juried art exhibit, summer theatre performances, artist’s lectures, and family programming.

Highlights include: A photographic exhibit of images from the Inauguration of President Obama; learning to dance Footloose with Salem State College; a talent shows; acoustic rock concert, jazz, and Arts of Gold will present scenes of Salem, an opportunity for participants to paint their own image of Salem. Pickering Wharf will highlight the culinary arts.

This program is presented by Salem Main Streets and supported in part by a a grant from the Salem Cultural Council a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Living Green & Renewable Engergy
Dates: Saturday, June 13, 2009
Times: 10am – 3pm
Location: Old Town Hall
Cost: Free
For More Information:, 978-744-0004

Choose clean energy and put the power in your hands! Come to the 2nd annual Living Green and Renewable Energy Fair and learn from exhibitors how you can save money and the earth. This event will promote products, services, and information that encourage healthier, more sustainable consumption and lifestyles for businesses and families. Presented by the Renewable Energy Task force and the Salem Chamber of Commerce.

Salem Farmers Market
: Thursdays, June 25 – October 29
Times: 4pm – 7pm
Location: Derby Square (between Front Street and Essex Street), Salem
For More Information:

Get a taste of history in Salem this summer! The Salem Farmer’s Market opens on June 25th and will be open on Thursday evenings during the growing season. At least six farms will be selling fresh produce and baked goods. Artists and vendors will be selling unique treasures, soaps, scarves, and more. More than 50 businesses in Salem will be staying open late until 8pm on Thursdays, so plan time for shopping and dining downtown!

Salem Celebrates the Fourth!
Dates: July 4th, 2009
Times: Children’s Events, 4pm; Pops Concert, 7pm; Fireworks over Friendship, 9:30pm

Location: Derby Wharf, Salem, MA 01970
Cost: Free
For More Information:

Celebrate the 4th in Salem with the Dirk Hillyer Festival Orchestra! Bring a picnic and blanket and enjoy the concert, the fireworks, family programming, and an old fashioned New England Independence Day celebration!

Swim & Fin – Race for Salem Sound
Dates: July 25, 2009
Times: Swim Race: 12pm; Kayak Race: 2pm
Location: Forest River Park, 98 West Ave, Salem, MA 01970
Cost: $30 early entry fee / $40 day of event
For More Information:;

Swim or Paddle to benefit Salem Sound Coastwatch. Help preserve our coastal waters for recreation. 500 & 1500 meter swim races by age category, 2.5 and 5 mile paddle courses. Cash prizes and medals. Paddle races are ACA sanctioned.

Salem Maritime Festival
Dates: July 31 - August 1
Times: 9am – 5pm
Location: Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Derby Wharf
For More Information:; 978-740-1650

Join the National Park Service for the 21st year of free family fun! Dance to sea shanties, climb aboard vessels from another era, create crafts that harkens back to long ago. Past Maritime Festivals have included kite making, forging demonstrations, Revolutionary War reenactments, fish print making, and demonstrations from artisans and crafters.

Salem Heritage Days
Dates: August 1-9 For More Information: Celebrate the heritage of Salem! This perennial favorite features Mayor’s Night Out, restaurant sampler, ice Cream festival, pizza contest, Essex Street Fair, the Salem Maritime Festival, a dog show, movies on the Common, kids’ events at the YMCA, music on the Common, the Witch City Triathlon, and a finale of fireworks!

...and that's just the beginning! Check the calendar on frequently because we are always adding events.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Garden Restaurant at the Peabody Essex Museum

I had the most divine lunch at the Garden Restaurant at the Peabody Essex Museum today. Kudos to Chef Brooke (and the weather)!

Truly one of the hardships (or not!) of this job is having to be familiar with the destination. With that in mind, Stacia and I headed out for lunch in the garden at the PEM. It was a perfect day. If you prefer to dine inside, the restaurant does have that option. We sat outside and we felt like we had found a whole new destination within the destination.

And then the food came.

I had a cup of chowder and a raspberry chicken salad. Delicious. Stacia had the Citrus Crab salad, and she said it was the best salad she has ever had. The best. My salad was great, but I can can't wait to go back and have the Citrus Crab.

Oh, and the basil lemonade was the most refreshing lemonade I've ever had. I've no idea how the basil was infused into the lemonade, and that's okay!

The presentation was lovely, as you can see, the food delicious, and the service top notch. It is a fairly formal and quiet spot for lunch - not necessarily appropriate for kids. Perfect for ladies (and gentlemen, although you loose the alliteration) who lunch! It is open daily 11:30 - 2:30 for lunch only.

You can also rent the space for private functions - showers, small weddings, etc. The catering staff is from the Hawthorne Hotel, and some of the menu items are on the menu in the Tavern and Nathaniel's, so if you are only in town for dinner, and I've inspired you, head to the Hawthorne.

And here's an interesting bit of trivia that I did not know until Chef Brooke told me today: The Peabody Essex Museum has five (count'em, 5!) kitchens within its walls. Perfect for special events or grabbing the best salad ever in the garden!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Doing Salem with Kids

I get asked all the time - "What can I do with my kids?" - and there are many, many options!

Here are my recommendations for families coming to Salem with kids who are 11 or younger.

1) Before you do anything, get on a trolley. Take the trolley tour around Salem to get the lay of the land. I recommend a trolley tour to everyone and anyone visiting Salem or any destination for the first time. Learn what's out there - see the landscape - hear the history. And then you are prepared for your day of exploration. Salem has two trolleys - CityView Trolleys of Salem and Salem Trolley. Both provide excellent service and tours, and both offer tickets that are good for the whole day so you can use them for on-and-off shuttle service.

2) Hit the Peabody Essex Museum and plan to spend some time. Upon arrival, purchase tickets to tour Yin Yu Tang, a Chinese House, because the kids will love it, and their perspective will probably be completely different from yours. The galleries at the museum are wonderful. My kids love the Maritime Art, especially the huge model of the Friendship. Check out the PEM's calendar online because they often have special programming for families. Programming or not, visit the Art & Nature exhibit, where the whole family can engage in games and activities that relate to current exhibits.

2) Head down to the Salem Maritime National Historic Site where you can walk out to the lighthouse and tour the tall ship Friendship. Make sure to visit the Scale House and Bonded Warehouse exhibits, both are free and located behind the Custom House. If you visit the Salem Regional Visitor Center (2 New Liberty Street), the kids can color a sheet for the "Fish & Ships" wall. The maritime site also has a Junior Ranger program.

3) Sail the Seven Seas - or at least Salem Harbor - aboard the Schooner Fame (Pickering Wharf). This sail aboard a wooden schooner will give you a taste of the exciting life of the Privateer in 1812. (I might not take kids under 3 on the Schooner - check when you make your reservations.)

4) Eat breakfast at Reds! Reds Sandwich Shop is great for families - kids love the Mickey Mouse pancakes (they are enormous) and parents like the reasonable prices. If you can get a spot at the counter, the kids can watch the cooks work the grill.

5) Stop at Boston Hot Dog, 60 Washington Street, for lunch. The dogs are awesome - and the expansive hot dog menu has something for everyone (my kids like "just ketchup" - I am a huge fan of the California Dog).

6) If you're feeling brave, stop at Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie for a sweet treat. You've heard the phrase, "Kid in a candy shop," right? Then you understand why you have to be brave. The candy is wall-to-wall and as delicious as it is plentiful. Try the malt balls, and don't go home without your own package of Gibralters, which were the first commercially made candy in America.

7) For a bit of ice cream, Ben & Jerry's is next door to Boston Hot Dog, and Maria's Sweet Somethings is at 26 Front Street. Ben & Jerry's is self-explanatory. Maria's carries Richardson's Ice Cream, which is locally made at their dairy in Middleton, MA. The Mint Patty frozen yogurt is particularly refreshing.

8) Finally, hop off the trolley at Salem Willows for an hour, if you have time. At the Willows you will find ice cream, popcorn, taffy, pizza, Chinese food, kiddie land, mini-golf, and an arcade. It's a bit like stepping into the past. The Chop Suey sandwiches are the stuff of legend in Salem. I generally find myself at Hobbes' for popcorn. There are two beaches, lots of grass to run around on, and a fishing pier where you can usually find somebody fishing or crabbing.

Mahi Mahi Cruises runs out of the Willows, too, and they start their season next week.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Gulu Gulu May Events

Mark your calendars - lots of great stuff happening at Gulu Gulu Cafe (247 Essex Street) this month!

Gulu has an amazing amount of live music. Go early, though, because they fill up. The last time I stopped into Gulu Gulu on a Friday night, at around 8pm, the place was standing room only and the band was just warming up!

Don't forget to eat while you're there - I highly recommend the crepes and the bruschetta! For complete info, visit

Go Silent! Buster Keaton Movie Month!
Every Tuesday Night in May @ 8PM
All month the Gulu is featuring the best of Buster Keaton.

The Gulu-Gulu Cafe Open Mic Shindig
Every Wednesday @ 8PM
The Gulu-Gulu Café is hosting an Open Mic for all the wild and crazy musicians out there! Every Wednesday night starting at 8PM. Sign up at 7:30. Hosted by local superstars Jeff Savlon and Brian Donnelly!

Michael Crocket - Art Opening with music by Adam Rich & Friends Indie / Folk / Rock
Thursday May 7, 7PM
Michael Crockett - the Gulu's featured artist and solo acoustic guitar recitalist! Low-FI sound with lots of high hiss, Mid-level mush, and lots of clicky clicks and county counts! To hear some beautiful music check out

DJ Seth - Indie / 80's Pop and Alternative Friday
May 8, 8PM
Seth began DJ'ing in the early 90's on college radio. These days, he finds it novel that he can see his listeners, as they are in the same room with him. Yet sometimes he wishes he could unsee things. He'll expertly program music to accompany people who are trying to look like they're doing something important on their laptops. And, he'll even reserve some choice twee cuts for the notebook doodlers. As the evening evolves, he'll have people wriggling out of their shells to spazz out to the new-wave-synth-pop-punk-indie-garage-type stylings that are all the rage!

2nd Saturday Bluegrass Jam
Saturday May 9, 2:30PM - 5:30PM
Wanna play or just like to listen... Come check out the Second Saturday Bluegrass Open Jam for all levels of pickers. Every month at the Gulu!

Rev. Bob & the Darkness- Roots, Rhythm & Gothic Blues Saturday May 9, 8PM
A special blend of Bluegrass, Blues, R&B and Gospel all on the Rocks, telling stories of love, betrayal, murder, and obsession; Rev. Bob & the Darkness fearlessly wears its roots influences on its sleeve. While the styles vary, the instrumentation defines the band all on its own, including Classical Guitar, Upright Bass, Trumpet and Percussion, Harmonica, and 3-4 part harmony vocals.

Elisa Nicolas - Alternative / Folk Rock / Pop
Thursday May 14, 8PM
Elisa Nicolas writes and sings some of the classiest and breeziest music we have yet to hear... Nicolas sings her lush melodies with a subtle strength and [her songs] hypnotize as they wind as tight as a boa constrictor, to finish off the metaphor, they’ll leave your breathless.
Special guest Molly Winters.

Radio Scotvoid - Alternative / Experimental / Live Electronics
Friday May 15, 8PM
Since 1999 RADIO SCOTVOID has been organizing 'CURIOS' events, writing tunes, remixing and mixes podcasts for He is constantly collecting home-made audio and field-recordings from his travels to Spain, Scotland and US. Scott uses and arranges using minimal computer technology, sample-based software and records with old mics, budget keyboards, limiter/compressor, dual tape deck, a 70's reciever, turntables, bass guitar and is lucky to have access to a variety of talented local session artists/musicians.

Dan Blakeslee as Doctor Gasp!!! - Indie / Rock / Folk
Saturday May 16, 8PM
Dan Blakeslee is appearing as Doctor Gasp for this Halloween in Springtime event called: SPRINGALLOWEEN!!! After attending the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Blakeslee ventured northward to Boston. He toiled with his acoustic in the smoke-laden subways before slowly rolling his influences (Leonard Cohen, Red House Painters, The Smiths, Jeff Buckley, Vic Chestnut, Radiohead, Tom Waits and Johnny Cash) into his own eclectic blend of music with chameleon-like appeal.

The Speakeasys - Rock
Thursday May 21, 8PM
The story of the Speakeasys is the story of their sound: a little improvisation here, a whole pot full of talent there, and you get a stew of heart-pumping sound and melodies. If the band has one very simple mission it’s this: to play their hearts out to as many people as possible. The stage is their bedroom, and we all know that with the right elements, that’s where “the magic happens.” With very special guest Reverend JJ & The Casual Sinners.

Machine 475 (laptop performance) - Electronica / Pop / Rock
Friday May 22, 8PM
Combining electronic and acoustic rhythms with vocals, guitar, harp, sitar, digeridoo and theremin, Machine 475 are well known in the Salem and North Shore region, and are building quite a following in the Boston area.

Standing Wave -Minimalist / Indie / Roots Music
Saturday May 23, 8PM
Founded by the songwriter, drummer and trumpeter from critically acclaimed band The Gulf, Standing Wave continues along a winding musical path that runs across Spanish tinged brass, skewed blues, lap steel guitar, minimalist rhythms, and rich vocal harmonies.

Urban Caravan -Acoustic / Alternative / Indie
Thursday May 28, 8PM
Urban Caravan is a brood of traveling troubadours. A mutual appreciation society, if you will, of musicians, poets, carnival barkers and friends. UC features...Salvatore Baglio, Bird Mancini, Jon Macey & Steve Gilligan, Mr. Curt Ensemble, Sgt. Maxwell along with a revolving list of guest artists such as Ramona Silver, Glenn Williams. All artists perform individual sets as well as interacting with one another when the spirit moves with most evenings ending with EVERYONE on stage!

Electronic Ambient Night - Ambient / Live Electronics
Friday May 29, 8PM
This evening four of the best local electronica artists join forces to bring their beautiful music to downtown Salem. Dr. DK, Moon Climb the Wall, Radio Scotvoid.

Cool Fool - Folk Rock / Blues / Folk
Saturday May 30, 8PM
CD Release Party! Cool Fool is a Boston-based all-original trio performing blues, ballads, and rock with tight three-part harmony. With influences from blues and jazz to 60s psychedelic rock and folk, this eclectic two-guitar band delivers their own brand of songcraft laced with punchy guitar, saxophone, and harmonica solos. Diana, Phil, and Ron alternate singing lead with surprising vocal arrangements throughout the show.

WONDERLAND LGBTeadance featuring DJ Alvis - Electronica / House / New Wave
Sunday May 31, 5pm-11pm
The Wonderland Teadance will take place at the Gulu on the last Sunday of every month and is hosted by Salem's own DJ Alvis. She spins an eclectic blend of electronica, house, top 40, new wave, international, hip hop, pop and dance hits from the 70s, 80s, 90s and today!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Put the Peddle to the Path in Salem

...or something like that. The Salem Bike Path is a great way to spend an afternoon (or a morning, for that matter). We took the kids out for a ride, and it was a great ride. The path starts in Salem near Salem State College, winds through the College Campus, crosses Lafayette Street (please be careful) and heads into Marblehead. Once in Marblehead, you can stop for a breather or a snack and then head back.

Other excellent bike routes in Salem include the new path along the Bridge Street Bypass Road. You can ride this new path from downtown Salem to Beverly and back. The truly adventurous souls can cross over the Veterans Memorial Bridge and head into Beverly - if you do this, I recommend taking the right turn off of Route 1A toward Route 127 North. Route 127 is a gorgeous ride, and not quite as treacherous for cycling as Cabot and Rantoul Streets in Beverly.

There are two other great rides in Salem - you can head out to Salem Willows, where you can promptly reverse all of your healthy exercise by loading up on American Chop Suey sandwiches, taffy, ice cream, popcorn and pizza, all of which you can eat beach side. Salem Willows is a wonderful old amusement park with lots of food, mini-golf, kiddie-land rides, and an arcade. There is also a fishing pier, you can grab a Mahi Mahi harbor cruise, or catch one of the many concerts in the hatch shell. Salem Willows is timeless and a great addition to any visit to Salem.

After the Willows, you can ride over to Winter Island Maritime Park and catch a few rays on Waikiki Beach, take the photo op in front of the Pickering Light, and ride or walk along the trails going back into what was once Fort Pickering. Winter Island is a campground and boat launch with a playground and lots of area for picnicking.

Here's the map for the Salem Bike Path. If you need more cycling information, check out Salem Cycle.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

On this day...

Here's a Mass Moment about Salem and our good friend to the south, Marblehead: 1635, the General Court of Massachusetts Bay established the town of Marblehead on land that belonged to Salem. The move was meant to punish Salem for allowing Roger Williams to express his "dangerous opinions." Marblehead residents, who never saw eye-to-eye with their more devout neighbors, were delighted, but less than a year later, the lawmakers reversed themselves. Marblehead finally became independent of Salem in 1649. The feisty fishermen of Marblehead were not the last to go their own way. Danvers, Peabody, Beverly, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Wenham, and a section of Topsfield were all once part of Salem. One by one, smaller new towns were formed out of one large old one. This pattern was repeated many times over the next 200 years.

Click here for the rest of the story, and for many more Mass Moments!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tulips & Seven Gables

I was at The House of the Seven Gables yesterday for a meeting, and could not resist snapping a picture with my phone of the tulips. They - and the mansion - are stunning!

If you haven't been to the Gables in a while, get ye to Turner Street. In addition to beautiful renovations, restoration and updates to the tour, they have also added the Kid's Cove interactive exhibit for children and adults.

Here is the view of Salem Harbor from Kid's Cove:

I have a meeting at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site today. Who knows what pictures I'll take!

Check out the Amelia Payson's new online look!

The Amelia Payson House is celebrating 25 years with a brand new virtual look! Check out the site at:

While you're there, donate to the "There's Something about Mary" team and the North Shore Cancer Walk and be entered to win an overnight for 2 at the Amelia Payson House. Click here for those details.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Massage for a Cause

Body & Soul is having an open house benefitting the ALS Association in memory of Aracelis N. Olivera on Thursday May 7th 5-8pm.

May is National ALS Awareness Month, and Body & Soul's annual Open House will raise money and awareness for ALS research and to honor the late Aracelis Oliveria - the mother of employee Lisette Olivera - who passed away in 1998.

Attendees of this special event will enjoy a free sampling of services from the licensed massage therapists of Body & Soul Massage and Wellness Center, including hand paraffin, chair massages, hot stone demonstrations, reflexology, and more. Refreshments will also be provided.

A donation of $5 at the door is requested. All donations will benefit the ALS Association. ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and is often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease", a debilitating and progressive neurodegenerative disease that is often fatal.

About ALS:
The ALS Association is the only national not-for-profit health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS. As the preeminent ALS organization, The Association leads the way in research, patient and community services, public education, and advocacy - giving help and hope to those facing the disease. The ALS Association directs the most comprehensive, global ALS research program ever organized and is currently overseeing approximately 100 different research projects into all aspects of ALS. The Association has committed close to $40 million toward ALS research. Each dollar has gone directly to investigators doing the research.For more information visit the ALS Association website:

For more information, contact Body & Soul at 60 Washington Street, Salem - 978-825-0040.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Two More Classic Postcards

Here are two more of the old postcards I have. These are of two buildings that no longer stand.
The Armory was located on Essex Street at Liberty Street. The Salem Regional Visitor Center stands in the back of the former armory, and Armory Park is in the Armory's location. The Armory was destroyed by fire in 1982. For more information on the Armory, visit the Salem Maritime National Historic Site's web site at

This is the old train station, which was located in the area now known as Riley Plaza at the intersection of Washington and Derby Streets. The station connected Salem to both Boston and Maine. Today the trains from Boston go underground, directly beneath Washington Street (if you're dining in a Washington Street restaurant, you can feel the trains pass below) to the Salem depot.
Salem is an easy 5 stops - 30 minutes - north of Boston on the Newburyport and Rockport lines of the MBTA Commuter Rail.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sapphires in Salem

I always knew I loved sapphires - I just didn't realize how much!
Treasures over Time is having a Sapphire event until May 10, and the stones are multi-colored and stunning! Read more from Nes & Sivan:

Stop by Treasures Over Time during our rainbow sapphire extravaganza. We'll be showcasing a special line of spectacular jewelry featuring natural sapphires in all the colors of the rainbow! Did you know that sapphires come in every color of the rainbow? They come in all hues and shades and from many different countries creating a truly exciting look. And, the best part is, our sapphires are set in sterling silver (.925) making them affordable. The designs are simple and fun and you'll find they are a perfect compliment to all the clothes in your wardrobe. We'll let the colors of these sapphires do all the talking. Once you see these colorful pieces you'll know exactly what we mean. The line includes bracelets, earrings and pendants. Simple designs and vibrant colors - a winning combination.

Join us this coming weekend May 2 and 3 or Mother's Day weekend. Enjoy some wonderful sweets both Saturdays from noon - 4 (to keep up your stamina while you try on jewelry) and get entered in a drawing to win a piece of jewelry from this collection.

Click here to preview pieces and click here to see how this jewelry is made.

Keep in mind that we offer free layaway year round.
This is just one of so many great shops and galleries in Salem. If you haven't made Salem your shopping destination in a while, it's time. You won't believe the boutiques and shops!
Salem... shop, dine, explore! And along the way, you are certain to discover some magic.