Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Christmas in Salem Historic Home Tour is this weekend

For more than 30 years Historic Salem, Inc. has been organizing a holiday-themed tour of historic homes.  The tour moves from neighborhood to neighborhood each year, providing an amazing opportunity for architecture enthusiasts, design buffs, and anyone with a nosey bone in their body to see behind the front doors of some of Salem's most significant and interesting homes.

This weekend, December 3-5, the tour will explore ten homes in Salem's North Fields neighborhood.  Friday night's candlelit tour will coincide with the annual Dearborn Street Illumination, which is wonderful!  Friday night is only open for advance ticket holders, however, so make sure to buy your tickets today! 
North Street with Buffum Street in Background
   & Harness Shop of F. Coombs
Watercolor, Edward Symonds, 1844
Photo courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum
Here are the details on this great event:

Christmas in Salem, presented by Historic Salem, Inc 
December 3rd – 5th, 2010
Tickets are available online until 5:00 PM December 1st ~ HURRY!
$30 for the General Public
$25 for Historic Salem, Inc. members (Join Today!)

Tickets will be available at the event on Saturday and Sunday, December 4th and 5th
$35 at Tabernacle Congregational Church, 50 Washington Street, Salem

For complete information, and to buy tickets, visit ChristmasInSalem.org

Some of the highlights you and your friends can enjoy:

Historic North Fields Area of Salem
  • Ten 18th , 19th , and early 20th century homes, all professionally decorated for the holidays
  • Candlelight tour of three selected houses during the magical Illumination of Dearborn Street on Friday night, December 3rd from 6 PM – 8 PM 
  • Flags marking homes and sites associated with the Salem’s native son, Nathaniel Hawthorne
Other Christmas in Salem Holiday Events

At the Tabernacle Congregational Church:
  • Complimentary Lectures: Tales of the North Fields at 1 PM on December 4th and 5th, told by Historian and Storyteller, Jim McAllister
  • AAA Sponsored Concerts – free with AAA card, $10 for the General Public:
    • Holiday Music at 4 PM on December 4th performed by local pop/folk singer, Julie Dougherty
    • Old World-New World Music at 4 PM on December 5th performed by Savoy String Trio
Around town:
  • Wine Tasting on December 3rd  and 4th ~ Salem Wine Imports
  • Theatrical events by the Salem Theatre Company, The House of the Seven Gables, and the Salem Trolley and the Griffen Theatre
Shop Different, Shop Salem:
Restaurants and retailers from all over Salem invite Christmas in Salem ticket holders to shop and dine by offering great discounts! This is a perfect way to begin your holiday shopping with a delicious bite to eat while you’re at it!  See the full list on our website and take a look at our video while you are online.

And, here's another great event...
Wizard of Oz Complimentary Cocktail Party, Salem YMCA, One Sewall St., Salem, 978-744-0351, NorthShoreYMCA.org. Saturday, Dec. 5th, 5 PM.  Hoist a cup of good cheer as the Y presents a complimentary highlight show from its production of The Wizard of Oz in historic Ames Hall.  Learn how you can help restore the hall as a Creative Arts Center for youth.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Cheer Takes Salem by Storm

Fa la la la la, indeed!

I just put some spit-and-polish on Salem.org/holidays, so please take a look.  It features event highlights, and I'll update those regularly as we march through the month like a bunch of toy soldiers, as well as promotions and a link to the 2011 Holiday Happenings brochure. 

Many thanks to Salem Main Streets and all of the great organizations and businesses that are holding fantastic events for the holidays.  It feels a little like October all over again!  There are dozens of options for entertainment, food and cheer, and unique shopping in our bewitching seaport.

And, have you heard our radio ad?  It's running all month on North Shore 104.9.  If you haven't heard us on the radio, click here to listen now!

Shop Different. Shop Salem.

Mass Poetry Announces Salem as 2011 Massachusetts Poetry Festival Destination

MassPoetry has chosen historic Salem as the location for the third Massachusetts Poetry Festival to be held on May 13 and 14, 2011.  A two day festival that features poetry readings, slams, workshops, a day of poetry for high school students, and a small press fair highlighting published poets, the event is coordinated by founder Michael Ansara, and by a variety of poetry partners, including Salem State University, Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, Destination Salem, local businesses and poetry enthusiasts.  The Massachusetts Poetry Outreach Project, also known as MassPoetry, sponsors this flagship event and also coordinates outreach programs to bring poetry into schools and communities across the Commonwealth.

“The Massachusetts Poetry Festival will bring a blizzard of verbal beauty to Salem, a city with a rich literary history and vibrant writing community.  It will connect generations, and it will give the city and university a leadership role in building culture in the Commonwealth,” said J.D. Scrimgeour, poet and Professor of English at Salem State University. ‘The Poetry Festival is evidence of the vitality of the fundamental, central art of poetry,” said Robert Pinsky, the former Poet Laureate of the U.S. and the Honorary Chair of the Poetry Festival.
Mayor Driscoll enthused, "Salem is proud of its own unique literary tradition and offers many exciting venues for such an event.  We look forward, with great enthusiasm, to hosting a successful Festival in May, 2011."  Provost Kristin Esterberg from Salem State University also commented, “Salem State has been engaged with the Massachusetts Poetry Festival since its beginning.  We're delighted to continue the tradition which began in Lowell, and we welcome the festival to Salem, another proud literary city in Massachusetts.”  Friday, the first day of the festival, is devoted to high school students and teachers with workshops at Salem State University. Among the  featured readers will be Salem State Alumni, poet Tom Sexton, who has published more than 10 books of poetry and has won numerous regional and national awards for his writing. He is the former poet laureate of Alaska, where he spent much of his life since his childhood in Massachusetts.  Day two of the festival will be open to the public and will include readings, workshops, performances, poetry and dance, Shakespearean sonnets, and slam poetry.  These events will be held across downtown Salem’s cafes, restaurants, historic buildings, churches, museums, and Old Town Hall.
"Given its long literary traditions, Salem, the home of Hawthorne, is an appropriate site for the 2011 Poetry Festival," Congressman John Tierney said. "Salem State University's involvement and the Festival's educational focus for young students will continue to foster creativity and energy across our community." The festival brought over 1000 poetry lovers to Lowell in 2009, and the May, 2011  festival is expected to be even larger.
Massachusetts Poetry Festival
May 13, 14, 2011

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday & Small Business Saturday

As we drove through Salem on Thanksgiving, I was delighted to see closed shops, darkened restaurants, and quiet streets (other than people out for post-pig-out walks). It was a serene scene that made me smile, happy to know that the business owners and employees were not at work, and enjoying a day of rest and thanks.

That was yesterday. This is today.

A number of businesses are participating in Small Business Saturday tomorrow, and some of our wonderful small businesses are offering Black Friday specials today.  So, don't get crammed and jammed at the mall. Come to Salem and enjoy our unique boutiques, our small businesses, and our wonderful restaurants and cafes. 


  • 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar is running "Free Spuntini Black Friday"
  • Finz is offering 10% off lunch or dinner with proof of purchase at any shop in Salem on November 26.  Finz Gift certificates are 10% off on November 26 and 27.
  • Green Land Cafe has a special Black Friday Menu, featuring 3 courses for $26.


  • Finz is offering 10% off between 11:30 - 4:30 PM on Saturday with proof of purchase at any shop in Salem on Saturday. AND, Finz gift certificates are 10% off on Friday and Saturday! HipFinz.com
  • Victoria Station will give $5 off your total order on Saturday, October 27, if you bring a receipt showing you spent $25 or more in a Salem small business! (You must have proof of purchase with Saturday's date, valid one day only, not to be combined with any other promotions.) VictoriaStationSalem.com


We kick off our Holiday Happenings today.  Join Mayor Driscoll tonight (Friday) at 6:00 PM at Lappin Park for the annual Tree Lighting, and check out the other wonderful holiday events planned on the Holiday Happenings Brochure.  And visit Salem.org/holidays for updated events, promotions, and coupons throughout the holidays. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Things to be thankful for

There is much to be thankful for in Salem this holiday season, including:

Wonderful cultural sites like the Peabody Essex Museum, which bring the world to Salem.  This weekend, they feature the annual Peabody Essex Museum Antiques Show, which will showcase antiques dealers from around New England and their furniture, paintings, porcelain, jewelry, rugs and decorative accessories. 

New England traditions, like lighting the community Christmas Tree.  Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll will light the Salem tree, in a new location this year at Lappin Park on the corner of Essex and Washington Streets, on Friday, November 27 at 6:00 pm.

New businesses, including the dozens of restaurants and shops that have opened in Salem during the past year.  Make sure to include dining in downtown Salem in your holiday plans, and follow Destination Salem on Facebook because we still have a few more gift certificates to Salem restaurants to give away!

Our longtime partners and friends at the shops and restaurants that have been in Salem, growing with the community, over the past decade(s).  Local favorites like The Trolley Depot, Aroma Sanctum Perfumery, and The House of the Seven Gables shop will be offering Wish Lists this holiday season to help you get what you really want!

Holiday Shopping!  We love shopping for the holidays. Whether you are spending a little or a lot, there are great places to buy unique gifts in Salem.  Roost, The Behive, Urban Elements and others will be staying open late on December 16 as we celebrate Men's Shopping Night in Salem.  Its' the perfect time to come downtown and check out the wish lists that have been created to help you make wise decisions!

Classic Christmas programs like the Trolley Christmas Carol, which is presented every year by The Salem Trolley and Griffen Theatre.  This unique tour of the Dickens classic takes you to the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, and delivers you safely at the end of the evening with a message of hope, generosity and Christmas cheer.

Theater in downtown Salem.  This year the Salem Theatre Company opened its very own space in downtown Salem, and on December 2nd they will open their holiday production, The Long Christmas Ride Home

This dynamic city with so many assets it is difficult to capture them all in one list. From Chestnut Street to the tall ship Friendship, the Witch Dungeon Museum to Winter Island, Salem Common to Pickering Wharf, Roger Conant to Samantha from Bewitched

And, of course, we are thankful for...

Our fantastic visitors and guests. Thanks so much for visiting in 2010, and we hope to see you in the future!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Shop local on Small Business Saturday, and be rewarded with savings at Finz!

Saturday, November 27 has been dubbed Small Business Saturday, and there is a lot of incentive to shop local, shop small after you've blitzed the mall on Friday (so please budget accordingly)!

Here's how Finz will be celebrating (and rewarding) small-business-shoppers:

There are 100 and more reasons to shop small in Salem,and FINZ is supporting all of these unique opportunities,and our friends in the community,by offering 10% discount from 11:30 - 4:00 PM with proof of purchase at any shop in Salem on
November 27, 2010.
And yes, for those of you who might decide some self-indulgence is in order for the day – your manicure is quite valid!
In addition, save 10% off Finz Gift Cards on Friday, November 26 and Saturday, November 27

Finz is located at 76 Wharf Street, Pickering Wharf.  For reservations and information, call 978-744-0000 or visit hipfinz.com.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

An excellent film about the Salem Witch Trials

Last month I was introduced to an excellent new documentary about the Salem Witch Trials, Salem Witch Hunt.  The complete film is 30 minutes long, and available on Explore.org.  Here's the teaser:

This documentary points out some of the facts that are often lost to history, including:
  • Men and women were accused of and condemned for witchcraft;
  • The first people persecuted and killed were elderly (60 and 70 yrs old);
  • Those who confessed were more likely to be spared than those who denied them;
  • The trials were done according to best English principals at the time and the fate of the accused were  decided by land owning men; and 
  • Towards the end the Governor got involved and issued pardons, sparing the lives of a few who had been convicted.
I also want to thank Charlie Annenberg and his team at Explore.org.  In addition to creating this documentary, and collaborating with local historians to do so, Explore.org has given back to the community, including a $25,000 grant to the Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice.  

There are lessons of tolerance to be learned every day from the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.  This film is a very good catalyst for understanding what happened and why.   

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Red Noses on the Mainstage

Another theatrical opportunity in Salem rears its... well, nose... 

Red Noses by Peter Barnes opens on Thursday, November 18 at 7:30 pm at the Salem State University. Mainstage Theatre.  

All about the laughter, Red Noses follows a troupe of comedic players through plague-ridden 14th century Europe and its religious strife, proving that laughter can be just as contagious as the black death!  Written by Peter Barnes, the play is directed by Bill Cunningham. 

WHEN: November 18 - 20 and Dec 2-4, 7:30 pm, Dec 5, 2 pm. 
WHERE: Salem State University Mainstage Theatre, 352 Lafayette Street, Salem, MA 
HOW MUCH: $15 general/$10 students and seniors.  Free with Salem State student ID.   
TIX: Tickets at 978-542-7555 or online at salemstatetickets.com.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Holidays = Scrooge = Salem Trolley

One of my friends pointed out this week that the weekend shows of the Salem Trolley Christmas Carol seem to be selling out, so "we should buy tickets quickly," she said! 

"That sounds like a good blog post," I said.

Erik Rodenheiser as Scrooge 
So, here it is. Your annual reminder to buy tickets for the Salem Trolley's production of the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol.  I've seen this show four times in twelve years, and it just keeps getting better.  The concept of traveling between Christmases past, present, and future via red trolley is a clever one, and the acting uses improvisation, comedy, and drama to not only involve the audience in the show, but to ensure that you leave at the end of the night with the story's moral grasped tightly in the palm of your hand.

Tickets cost $22 each, and shows begin on November 27 and run through December 23. They will sell out, so pick a date and don't miss this unique Salem holiday tradition. Visit SalemTrolley.com or call (978) 744-5469 for complete information.

A One-Woman Show Worth Checking Out!

STC welcomes the irrepressible Zehra Fazal in her one-woman show, Headscarf and the Angry Bitch, for four performances on November 11, 12, and 13 at 7:30pm and November 14 at 3:00pm.

Fazal’s original show is just closing a wildly popular run in New York City, where the New York Times called it “animated” and “engaging.” NYTheatre.com says “Anyone who is a Hyphenated-American will related to it…Fazal is a formidable artist” and Backstage.com raved “Warm, wise, and very funny…delicious theater.”

Fazal’s character, Zed Headscarf, is a “Muslim Weird Al,” who takes the audience on a folk-rock comedy exploration of faith, love, sex, and what it means to grow up Muslim in America. “The future of American-Islamic relations could hinge on this one-woman show,” writes City Paper of Washington, D.C.

Tickets are $20 and are available online at www.salemtheatre.com or at the door.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

With appreciation for those who protect and serve

On this Veteran's Day, we say thanks to all of those who protect and serve our country, their families and friends who support them as they serve, and especially to all of those who are remembering loved ones who have been lost through their service to the United States.

We spend a lot of time celebrating our history in Salem, and there's a lot of military history tucked into the early settlement and maritime chapters.  In addition to acknowledging those stories that formed our past, today we pause to recognize the current events that will be chapters in the history books of tomorrow.

Enjoy this Veteran's Day. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Get your glow on at Rouge

Rouge Cosmetics has a couple of noteworthy events coming up...  

First on the schedule is a day of Mario Badescu Facials on Saturday, November 13th. (Yup, that's this Saturday!). Make an appointment for a half-hour Mario Badescu facial done by Mario Badescu representative Vicki Caira.  She'll get your skin glowing and help you choose the right Mario products for colder weather!

Your facial is complimentary with the purchase of 3 or more Mario Badescu skincare products, and you get a free gift with any Mario purchase of $50 or more!  
If you aren't a Mario girl, but Darphin products call your name, make an appointment for a one-hour Darphin Facial on Thursday, November 20.  Darphin esthetician, and Rouge alumna, Marlo Freedman will make your skin look radiant! The Darphin facials are complimentary with the purchase of two Darphin products at the event. 

Appointments are very limited, so call or email Rouge today to reserve your time for beauty! 978-740-1044 or info@rouge.com 

Rouge is located at 322 Derby Street - just look for the pink glow! The girls have some great new products in for winter, so stop by and say hello! 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Salsa for the Schools at Rockafellas!

Rockafellas is giving back this week!  Take your family to Rockafellas this week, between November 7 and 11, for lunch or dinner, and they will donate 30% of their food sales to the Salem Education Foundation!

But wait! There's more! On Wednesday, November 10th, from 8pm - 11pm, Rockafellas, Mayor Kim Driscoll, and other special guests will Salsa for the schools.  

Your $30 entry fee includes prize giveaways, raffles, Salsa dance lessons, an appetizer buffet and the chance to dance Mayor Driscoll!  Salem students will get free admission.

Make a $20 donation tso dance with Mayor Driscoll for one minute!

Any student who can convince one of their teachers to salsa will earn a $10 donation from Rockafellas!

Get your principal to salsa and they will donate $50! 

All donations will be made to the Salem Education Foundation.