Wednesday, January 28, 2009

2009 Salem Film Fest

The Salem Film Fest Committee has released the film selections for this year's festival, held at CinemaSalem February 26-March 5.

The festival selection committee has chosen 22 films from nearly 55 entries sent from all over the world. The selections include Boston area, New England and East Coast premieres. Fifteen of the filmmakers from the 22 features have expressed interest in attending, which makes for rich filmmaker discussions and after-party experiences.

"The films we chose for this year's festival are as entertaining and thought provoking as last year, when audiences loved the lineup," said Joe Cultrera, Salem-based award-winning filmmaker who headed up the selection committee.

"It's an eclectic mix – documenting the lives of heavy metal rockers, an oppressed artist, a caring doctor, circus performers, scientists and beauty queens. You can travel a good portion of the planet through these films - to Chile, Australia, the Amazon, the Ukraine, Antarctica, Cairo, China, New Orleans, Argentina, Tibet and more.

They explore the human experience, what we do to the Earth and to one another. We're extremely proud to bring the great work of these filmmakers to Salem and we are lucky that so many of them want to travel here to join us for discussions. It's a great way to show off Salem to them and to bring the lives and stories they have documented to Salem."

Recycling, air pollution and environmental chaos are some of the issues that permeate this year's lineup in a Cairo trash heap, stories about a Middle Eastern cardboard collector, West Virginian mountain top coal mining and hurricane ravaged New Orleans in "Trouble the Water," the Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner of 2008. This year, a few films will run continuously at CinemaSalem's new Little Theatre, a cozy 20-seat screening room, reserved for independent, documentary and foreign films.

Besides the films centered on issues, there are a number of beautifully told stories that are alternately amusing, uplifting and disturbing. For a complete listing of the 2009 films and a festival schedule, check out Highlights of the festival will likely include:

Anvil! The Story of Anvil – A wonderful and often hilarious account of an influential Canadian metal band's last-ditch quest for elusive fame and fortune. Director Sacha Gervasi wrote "The Terminal," starring Tom Hanks and directed by Steven Spielberg. Read more about this award-winning Boston area premiere at

Archeology of Memory: Villa Grimaldi – A beautifully crafted, poignant and important story that explores healing through art, following exiled musician Quique Cruz from the San Francisco Bay Area to Chile and back, as he creates a multimedia installation and musical suite to heal his wounds inflicted by state-sponsored torture of the Pinochet regime. Read more about this East Coast premiere at

In a Dream – Jeremiah Zagar documents the career of his father, artist Isaiah Zagar who spent 30 years covering Philadelphia with grand-scale mosaics. The filmmaker is confronted with an unexpected and harsh reality. Mental illness, infidelity, sexual abuse and addiction are some of the jagged pieces that make up the mosaic of Isaiah Zagar's life. Read more about this Boston area premiere -- on this year's Oscar documentary shortlist – at

Life, Support, Music – The story of one of New York City's most sought-after guitarists after he suffers a brain hemorrhage during a Manhattan concert. Against doctor's predictions, with the help of his family and pregnant wife, Jason Crigler began a long, grueling, implausible and mystifying journey. Read more about this North Shore premiere, featuring the now Cambridge-based musician, at

More about the Salem Film Fest

The Salem Film Fest is presented by the Salem Waterfront Hotel and Suites. Festival organizers are still accepting corporate sponsors to underwrite films. The Festival also seeks to further partner with local arts organizations.

The festival began in 2008 as the dream of Salem native and award-winning filmmaker Joe Cultrera and CinemaSalem owner Paul Van Ness. The organizing committee includes members of the North Shore business and arts community, as well as several educators and those from the film industry.

The quickly organized 2008 festival was well received by audiences and filmmakers alike. Because festival selections are underwritten by corporate sponsors, the Salem Film Fest is able to pay filmmakers. Participating hotels and inns also provide free and discount accommodation.

In it's first year, audiences watched 28 films from around the world, many of them attended by the filmmakers. At the end of the festival, The Salem Film Fest presents an Audience Award and a Jury Prize, voted on by a distinguished panel of judges from the community. Last year's Audience Award winner was the feature-length documentary "Buddha's Lost Children" about a Thai Buddhist monk who - armed only with his faith and skills and master boxer skills - wages an inspirational battle to help orphaned children and preserve a vanishing way of life. The film's Dutch director visited Salem and sent back a video of himself at Logan Airport, receiving news of the award.

The purpose of the Salem Film Fest is to bring entertaining and educational multi-cultural documentary films to the North Shore and promote awareness of pressing global issues.

Off-Season Salem is Special - Northey Street House

A number of the bed & breakfasts in Salem are open through the winter - including the Morning Glory B&B, Inn at Washington Square, and Northey Street B&B (pictured).

The Northey Street B&B is offering a Winter Getaway Stimulus Package: Stay at Northey Street between now and March 31 and get your 2nd night for half price!

This B&B, located at 30 Northey Street, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in c.1809 for cabinetmaker Nathan Appleton and his daughter.

For any other months except October, receive 10% discount if you reserve by January 31st. April 15-May rates start at $125, June-July start at $129.

Northey Street is within walking distance from the Salem train depot and all of downtown museums, attractions, restaurants, and shops.

Salem So Sweet is coming... book a romantic weekend and indulge in chocolate, wine, fine dining and romance in Salem!

Monday, January 26, 2009

David Dorfman Dance will appear at Salem State College on January 12, 2009

"One of the great pleasures of watching dance in New York over the past decade or so has been seeing the growth of David Dorfman from accomplished to inspired modern-dance choreographer." - Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times, 2004
David Dorfman Dance will bring its exuberant, gorgeous and delightfully oddball style to Salem State College on Thursday, January 29 at 7:30 in the Mainstage Theatre, 352 Lafayette Street.

Founded in 1985 the company is noted for its unique voice and creative collaborations with contemporary composers and visual artists. David Dorfman is the recipient of a 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship, four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, an American Choreographer’s Award and the first Paul Taylor Fellowship. The Company is equally honored with eight New York Dance and Performance Awards, "Bessies."

Among the pieces that David Dorfman Dance will perform at Salem State
is Disavowal which premiered in fall 2008. Disavowal, inspired by the
life of abolitionist and (in)famous "race traitor" John Brown, is an examination of white supremacy, racism, alienation and control. Through dance-theater, Dorfman looks at the relationship between militancy and conviction, asking: What will we give up or push away in order to get closer to/fight for something else?

David Dorfman Dance appears with the support of Salem State College’s Center for the Creative and Performing Arts. Tickets: $20 general; $15 seniors and non-SSC students; $10 under 18.
For additional information or to purchase tickets call: 978-542-6290 or visit:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Romance in Salem: Nathaniel & Sophia

Salem is a romantic place. You can walk hand-in-hand to a lighthouse, dine fireside in a cozy corner, choose from a number of romantic accommodations, shop for gifts that demonstrate the depth and glow of your affection.

As we prepare for Valentine's Day next month, I am featuring the editorial about the great romance of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia (So-fye-yah) Peabody that is in the 2008 Salem Visitor & Travel Guide. Feel the love!

Nathaniel & Sophia
"I had a parting glimpse of you, Monday forenoon, at your window–and that image abides by me,” Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote to Sophia Peabody on March 6, 1839, in one of many love letters he would pen to her during their three-year courtship.

The young writer was “handsomer than Lord Byron,”according to Sophia’s sister Elizabeth. He was “brilliant” and “rayonnant,” Sophia, a talented artist,observed. Hawthorne had become part of Elizabeth Peabody’s literary circle of friends, and he and Sophia had collaborated on his recent story,The Gentle Boy. Eventually, the two acknowledged their feelings for each other, and initiated one of the most poignant love stories in American history.
During Nathaniel’s absences they exchanged letters constantly when he “yearned” for her during their initially secret engagement. “And now, goodnight, my beautiful Dove,” he would write to her from Boston. “How did I live before I knew you–before I possessed your affection! I reckon upon your love as something that is to endure when everything that can perish has perished.”

Nathaniel and Sophia were married in 1842, had three children, and loved each other passionately as they lived their lives in New England and Europe. “Thou art literally my All-the-World,” Sophia told him, “because where thou art not there is no world, but a vacuum.”
Nathaniel, who had become one of America’s foremost authors, died at the age of 60 and was buried in Concord, Massachusetts. Sophia died seven years later in London where she was buried, distant from her beloved “king, playmate, lover, subject, knight, or all in one word husband”—words she had written to Nathaniel years earlier. In a poetic tribute to their marriage, descendants had Sophia’s remains returned to Concord in 2006 where the two lovers are now reunited. And it all started in Salem, on Charter Street.

Written for the 2008 Salem Visitor & Travel Guide by
Bonnie Hurd-Smith,
To learn more about Hawthorne in Salem, visit

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Winter Wines at Pamplemousse

Pamplemousse is having a wine tasting this Thursday, January 22nd, from 5 - 7pm at the shop, which is located at 185 Essex Street. There's no snow in the forecast for Thursday, so come out and sample what Pamplemousse has affectionately called their "Recession Wines" - which are all priced at $10/bottle and hail from such exotic locales as California, Chile, South Africa, Italy, and France.
As extra incentive, buy two bottles and get 10% off!

Pair your Pamplemousse excursion with a bite to eat (You're already on Essex Street, so why not, right?!) at Rockafellas, Caffe Graziani, Upper Crust Pizza, Gulu Gulu Cafe, Ristorante Gioia, or Passage to India. They are all located in restaurant row - Washington Street between Derby and Essex Streets.

Fight the cold weather with some new wine and a delicious dinner - great winter blah-busters!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Off Season in Salem featuring the Salem Inn

The "off-season" is a great time to visit Salem - and we have the hotel packages to prove it! Today I am featuring the winter packages offered at The Salem Inn.

The Salem Inn is comprised of three elegantly restored historic homes in downtown Salem. Two of the homes are on Summer Street, and one is on Essex Street. The rooms are lovely and feature jacuzzis, steam showers, fireplaces, and beautifully restored historic details. If you can't get away without working out, The Salem Inn provides passes to the YMCA, which is right around the corner.

This is a great time for bundling up to sight-see, and then snuggling in to relax! Check out The Salem Inn...


Sample some of the great attractions Salem has to offer. Visit the Salem Witch Museum and learn about the infamous witch trials of 1692. Explore the world renowned Peabody Essex Museum and the House of Seven Gables, made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne. In addition to a continental breakfast each morning, you'll also receive passes to all of the above attractions and two souvenir Salem Inn mugs to remind you of your visit. Your two night stay in a spacious guest room complete with working fireplace or whirlpool bath is only $319.

Relax and enjoy two nights nestled in a romantic Honeymoon Suite, complete with working fireplace and double Jacuzzi. Chocolates and champagne with two souvenir Salem Inn flutes await your arrival. This getaway also includes a romantic dinner one night at the intimate Bella Verona Italian restaurant and a continental breakfast each morning. Added to the romantic ambience is a bouquet of colored roses. You'll be Suite Dreaming' for only $399.

Take your family on a winter getaway to historic Salem! Learn about the witchcraft trials of 1692, do some shopping and see the sights. Enjoy two nights in a Spacious Family Suite, complete with fully-equipped kitchenette and private bath. Meal time is made easy with a continental breakfast each morning and a gift certificate to Salem's famous Engine House Pizza. Also included are family passes to the Salem Witch Museum and the House of the Seven Gables. All this fun for only for $379!

Take a quick break to recharge your batteries at the Salem Inn. Spend one night luxuriating in an oversized whirlpool bath and sipping champagne in front of the fire followed by a hearty continental breakfast the following morning. This indulgent package includes champagne and chocolates with two Salem Inn champagne flutes and a "relax and renew" gift basket filled with all kinds of pampering goodies. Relax and Renew for only $219.

Leave the boys at home and escape to the Salem Inn for a girls' night out. This package includes overnight accommodation in a spacious guest room complete with a working fireplace as well as a delicious continental breakfast. Awaiting each lady is a box of handmade chocolates, a welcome gift of body lotion and a $50 gift certificate to Laura Lane's Day Spa. For more "me time" check-out has been extended to 1:00PM. All this for only $235, plus tax.

(February 11, 2009 through February 16, 2009)
Visit for ValentinesFor that romantic getaway you've been thinking of, spend two nights in a spacious guest room with your choice of a working fireplace or a double Jacuzzi. Champagne and chocolates await your arrival along with two souvenir Salem Inn champagne flutes to remind you of your Valentines in Salem. So you don't have to rush back to the real world, check out has been extended to 1:00pm. Visit for Valentines for only $309.00, plus tax.

Go ahead; you deserve it
Why not stay another night for $99....any package, any time!!

THE FINE PRINT: Packages are based on double occupancy ("Family Fun" package includes 2 adults and 2 children). Packages are subject to availability and valid November 4, 2008 through April 15, 2009. Rates are subject to change and do not include 9.7% MA room tax. Gift certificate to Ristorante Gioia Italian restaurant valued at $50. Advance reservations only. No other discounts can be applied. Gift certificate to Upper Crust Pizza valued at $20. Additional night includes room and breakfast only.

Based on availability. Package valid February 11 through February 16, 2009 only. Package valid for new reservations only. Cannot be combined with any other offer.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Get a free MassValuePass and explore Salem for less!

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism has launched the "MassValuePass" to encourage travel this winter. You can download your pass free from, and it is good for overnight stays, dining, and attractions in Salem and across the Commonwealth.
Here are the businesses that are accepting it in Salem:

Hawthorne Hotel - 978-825-4364
25% off winter rates for standard rooms.

The Salem Inn - 800-446-2995
Stay one night, get a second night 50% off.

Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites - 888-337-2536
25% off select suites. Offer valid Sunday-Thursday.

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


Harbor Sweets - 800-234-4860
25% off select items at our Salem retail store.

Historic New England Phillips House - 978-744-0440
50% off two regular adult admission tickets.

The House of the Seven Gables - 978-744-0991
Purchase one adult admission and get one child admission free.

Salem Witch Museum - 800-544-1692
25% off admission.


Nathaniel's Restaurant at the Hawthorne Hotel - 978-825-4364
25% off one dinner entree when two or more are purchased.

MassValuePass offers valid January 14, 2009 to March 31, 2009, based on availability and subject to each participant's blackout dates . Offers may not be combined with other promotions. Advance reservations may be required; MassValuePass must be mentioned at reservation and/or presented at point of purchase. Other restrictions may apply; check with participating lodging, attraction, or restaurant. Discounts do not include applicable tax and gratuities. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism reserves the right to suspend, add or delete terms and conditions or terminate this program and is not liable for any omissions and actions resulting from some or all of the participating establishments and participants. If you are unable to download a MassValuePass, please call 617-973-8515 for assistance.

Brunch under the Yellow Umbrella at Sixty2 on Wharf

Mark your calendars for next Sunday - you can have a delicious brunch and support a good cause!

January is cervical cancer awareness month and Sixty2 on Wharf is spreading the word about cervical cancer prevention to every woman and girl that will listen.

Brunch under The Yellow Umbrella
Sunday January 25, 2009

This is going to be a great event for a great cause. Christine Baze fought her battle against cervical cancer at only 31 years old and won. Christine want's to educate every woman and young girl about the importance of yearly check ups and ways of prevention.
With great food prepared by chef Tony Bettencourt, live music by Qwill and "Baze" and beautiful eye's created by Debra Macki, there's no excuse not to spend your Sunday afternoon with us.
Fun for the ladies!!
Yellow is this years "in" color. So ladies come naked, well, your eyes anyway and Celebrity makeup artist Debra Macki will see what shade of yellow will make your eyes pop.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Feting the Innauguration, Part 2

Here's the skinny on the Rockafella's Inaugural Ball, which I mentioned last week:
The Rockafellas Inaugural Ball will feature an all-you-can-eat appetizer buffet, champagne fountain, and music by The Mike Payette Band from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Raise a glass to the change we can believe in at Rockafellas. Tickets are $15 per person. For additional information or to make reservations, contact us at 978-745-2411 or visit

The Hawthorne Hotel has added a fabulous inaugural event, in two parts, to their calendar. Here's the skinny on that one (note: none of us are going to be too skinny after eating and drinking all day on Tuesday!)
A New Birth of Freedom 2009 Presidential Inauguration Celebration
On January 20, 2009, celebrate a “New Birth of Freedom” with the Hawthorne Hotel by honoring the 200th Anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday and then watching the swearing-in of our most recent Illinois President— ”Yes We Can” President-Elect Barack Obama! Catch all of the inauguration on our flat-screen TV! 11:30am-4pm

Come to the Tavern at the Hawthorne Hotel for the first inaugural luncheon served to President Abraham Lincoln on March 4, 1860 - Mock Turtle Soup, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Parslied Potatoes, Blackberry Pie, Coffee.
Also on the menu: Barack’s Potluck Chili—His very own “Yes We Can” recipe!—$8.95

Don’t forget Nathaniel’s where we have recreated the 2009 Inaugural Menu!
Come in formally-dressed for the Inaugural Ball and get 25% off any entrée!
  • Seafood stew with scallops, shrimp, lobster and potatoes, on puff pastry with a vice-presidential side of vegetables $25
  • Pan-seared duck breast with cherry chutney and molasses-whipped sweet potatoes $25
  • Cinnamon apple Charlotte $7
Finally, for the literally inclined, stop by Gulu Gulu Cafe on January 20th for an Inauguration Day Poetry Reading. The event will be held 7-9 p. m. and open mic sign-up starts at 6:45 p.m. Sign up early! There will be 20 slots; each poet can read for 3 minutes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Winter chill, meet Salem Wine Imports

One of my favorite mailing lists in Salem (of which there are many, as you know) is from Salem Wine Imports. Eric Olson, the proprietor, sends regular updates on what wines are in stock, what is a good accompaniment for an upcoming holiday meal, and what tastings are scheduled. Eric always has wines available for tasting (see the photo to the right - eight wines on tap!), so you know what you are "getting yourself into," as it were.
This week Eric is recommending the following wines:
  • The Heron Merlot, ($10) from So. France has a fairy simple flavor profile it was easy drinking with a medium light body and dry finish.
  • A more extroverted wine is the Vega Sindoa, Tempranillo Merlot mix ($10) from Navarro, Spain. It had a nice cherry and spice nose with a medium body, high acid finish and some elegance that would pair well with richer dishes of red meats, game or cream sauces.
  • The white Viognier "La Maroutte"($12) from So. France is nicely balanced with good grip, clean, lively floral and spice notes and fully bio-dynamic make for a fun, interesting aperitif.
Coming up in the Salem Wine Imports event department, they have an Italian winemaker visit next Wednesday, the 21st at 6:00 til 8:00. Great chance to chat with the real deal from Piedmont and try some exquisite Barberas.

They host Thursday tasting events for $20 per person. We will try wines that rock stars covet. That's at 6:30 pm.

Salem Wine Imports is open 7 days, 12:00 noon until 8:00 PM. (Eric warns that he sometimes finds himself drawn home about 7:50 ish in the evening when things a real slow and the wind chill is minus something -- If you want to come after 7:45 or so, give him a call and I'll he'll be there.)
Make sure to sign up for Eric's email list when you stop in!

32 Church Street, Salem MA 01970 (They validate daytime parking in the Church Street lot)
Tel. 978.741.9463

The Biggest Loser speaks in Salem

Neil Tejwani, who lost hundreds of pounds on NBC's The Biggest Loser, will be speaking at Old Town Hall in Salem tonight - Wednesday, January 14th at 7:00 PM.

Neil Tejwani appeared as a contestant in the fourth season of the NBC reality television series The Biggest Loser. He is 25 years old and hails from Marblehead, MA. Upon earning his

degree and graduating from Northeastern University in Boston, he pursued a career as a chemical engineer. He has been described as eloquently clear with his words, as well as possessing a practical set of worldly smarts and a down-to-earth, straightforwardly honest manner. However, he has suffered from obesity throughout his life, and is now determined to cut down the pounds and become healthier.

Neil, who is 6'2" tall, went from weighing 421 pounds down to
278 pounds when he was eliminated during week 14. At the live finale, he weighed in at 210 pounds, losing a total of 211 pounds and 50.12% of his original weight.

This event is free to the public. It is presented by Salem Park, Recreation & Community Services.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Great Events in Salem

Mark your calendars - there are great events planned in Salem during 2009. Here is a listing of spring and summer events that you may want to put on your calendars.


Exhibit: Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection
February 21 – May 17

February 26 – 28\arts

Salem Film Fest
February 26 – March 5

Joel LaRue Smith – Afro-Cuban Jazz
March 9\arts


Salem Spring Fling
March 21

5k Cross-Country Run at Olde Salem Greens
March 22

Literally Salem
March 27-28

Exhibit: ReVisions: India’s Artists Mine their Traditions
April 4 – April 2010

Spring Restaurant Week
April 5-9

The Pirates of Penzance
April 16-18, 23-25, 26\arts

Walk for HAWC
April 26

Salem Jazz & Soul Summer Series
May 9

Exhibit: Surfland: Photographs by Joni Sternbach
May 16 – October 4

Salem State College Commencement
May 16

Salem Ferry season
May 22 – November 1

Salem State College Alumni Weekend
June 4-7

Salem Arts Festival
June 5-7

Exhibit: The Golden Age of Dutch Seascapes
June 13 – September 7

Salem Jazz & Soul Summer Series
June 13

Friday, January 9, 2009

Innaugural Salem

There's a lot of celebrating around the innauguration of President-Elect Obama planned in Salem this month. Here are a few of your options -

Break out your dancing shoes on January 17th at a benefit for the playground at Forest River Park - This even, "Salem’s Inaugural Ball" will feature an evening of live music, dancing and delicious hors d’oeuvres, on Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. at the Grand Ballroom of the Salem YMCA. (Cash Bar/Black tie optional ) Tickets are $25 per person, $40 per couple in advance and $30 and $50 at the door. For tickets please make checks payable to: Friends of Forest River Park, P.O. Box 1064, Salem, MA 01970 Or tickets may be purchased at Crunchy Granola Baby, 72 Washington Street, Salem, MA.

Celebrate the innauguration itself at Cinema Salem on January 20th, when the ceremony will be shown on the large screen in the theatre. For details and to RSVP, visit

And on the evening of the 20th, head to Rockafellas to celebrate the 44th President at their Innaugural Ball, which will include a wine tasting, appetizers, and entertainment (more info TBA!).

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sailing, swimming, exploring aboard an 1812 privateer!

It's time to start thinking about summer camp - and Schooner Fame offers a great camp program that can enhance your summer visit to Salem, whether you are thinking about your vacation or staycation for 2009.

There will be three sessions of Schooner Camp this year: July 20-24, August 3-7 and August 17-21. Our August 17-21 session is for ages 10-14. All three sessions run from 9:00 AM until 3:30 PM daily, rain or shine.

New for 09, Schooner Fame is offering a three-day, two-night overnight, August 11-12-13, which is separate from any of the other sessions. The overnight session begins at 9 AM Tuesday morning and runs through 3:30 PM Thursday afternoon. There is room for eight campers ages 10-14. The cost is $395.

For more information on our camp programs, visit our website at or call us at 978.729.7600.If your family has other camp plans this year, we do hope you can come aboard for one of our regular cruises.

Whatever your summer plans may be, the captain and crew of FAME wish you…Smooth sailing!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sixty2 does Sundays

Well, this is exciting news - Starting this Sunday, January 11th, Sixty2 on Wharf will be serving dinner on Sunday nights. This means you can now enjoy chef Tony Bettencourt's take on Modern-Italian cuisine six nights a week!

Sixty2 is also a special New Years Menu during January. Every Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday night you can enjoy a special 3-course menu, including an antipasti, entree sized pasta and dessert for just $20.09. (I recommend the warm toffee pudding for dessert.)

And don't forget the Sunday brunch I must admit, I haven't gotten to brunch yet - but the Brioche French toast with vanilla roasted apples sounds incredible.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

January in Salem

It is, I must admit, the off-season in Salem. This makes it a great time to visit and explore without any lines, lower rates at the inns, no wait in the restaurants, and plenty of space for leisurely browsing in the shops. It also means that a number of our museums, attractions, and tours are closing for maintenance or have closed for the season.

Since we don't want you to arrive and find things unwelcoming and, alas, closed, here is a listing of what is open in Salem during the first two weeks of January 2009 (There are links to all of the sites at the bottom of the post.):

January 3-4, Saturday and Sunday:

  • Salem Visitor Center
  • Salem Maritime National Historic Site (NHS) including West India Goods Store
  • Peabody Essex Museum (PEM)
  • Phillips House
  • Salem Witch Museum

January 5, Monday

  • Salem Visitor Center

January 6-9, Tuesday, Friday

  • Salem Visitor Center
  • West India Goods Store
  • PEM

January 10-11, Saturday and Sunday:

  • Salem Visitor Center
  • Salem Maritime NHS including West India Goods Store
  • PEM
  • Phillips House
  • Salem Witch Museum

January 12, Monday

  • Salem Visitor Center ONLY

January 13-15, Tuesday – Thursday

  • Salem Visitor Center
  • West India Goods Store
  • PEM

January 16, Friday

  • Salem Visitor Center
  • West India Goods Store
  • PEM
  • House of Seven Gables

And from January 17 on:

Thanks to the Salem Regional Visitor Center for pulling this list together for us!

Fast Facials at Laura Lanes

Say Happy New Year to your skin at Laura Lanes Skin Care with a free Fast Results Facial this month. Purchase any two full size Bioelements Skin Care products or cosmetics and get a free Fast Results Facial. This is a great way to start a new skin care regimen for the new year! This 1/2 hour facial starts with a gentle cleansing followed by a professional strength enzyme exfoliating mask under steam, then your choice of extractions or facial massage and finished with a serum custom blended for your skin type under a facial mask. Fast results for busy people!

If you want to linger a bit longer - Laura offers a full line of skin care and body treatments. It's a wonderful, soothing environment. For more information, call at 978.741.8777 or drop by the salon at 242 Essex Street and say hello.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Finz Presents a Sam Adams Beer Dinner!

For whatever reason, I got really excited about the idea of the Beer Dinner at Finz. I love experiencing the pairings during each course, but it's usually wine-oriented. This sounds like a great opportunity for great food, good brew, and mid-winter, mid-week fun!

Wednesday February 4th 2009 6:30pm

Here’s the menu, to whet your appetite:

Sam Adams Cream Stout

Bacon Fried Oysters - Served with crisp pork belly and a malt vinegar aioli

Sam Adams Heffeiweizen

Seared Ahi Tuna Sliders - Topped with a cucumber nori salad, wasabi vinaigrette, soy mayo and beer battered onion rings

Sam Adams Boston Lager

Baked Lobster Mac n’ Cheese - Chunks of lobster baked with mini penne pasta in a four cheese cream sauce finished with a buttered lobster tail

Sam Adams Cherry Wheat

Truffled Walnut Butter Stuffed Pork Loin - Served with brie caramel sauce and spiced Bosc pears

Sam Adams Winter Lager

Served with warm apple cornbread topped with candied bacon and maple ice cream

$39.99 per person (tax and gratuity not included)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Salem Common in the Snow

Kris Gurksnis sent these photos in, which I really appreciate because I didn't get out of my house during our New Year's Eve snow storm.

Salem Common is a great spot for cross-country skiing, walking the dog, snow football, and building snowmen. Especially since the fire-warmed tavern at the Hawthorne Hotel is just a hop, skip, and jump away.
Thanks for submitting these images, Kris!