Monday, November 28, 2011

This week in the Arts at Salem State University

There is a vibrant arts schedule at Salem State University, and most programming is open and available to everyone.  Here's what's on tap for this week.

Annual Art + Design Faculty Exhibition, November 14 through December 8. Winfisky Gallery. Ellison Campus Center. 352 Lafayette St., Salem State University.  The Winfisky Gallery concludes the fall semester with this much-anticipated annual event showcasing the work of Salem State University’s esteemed studio art faculty.Visitors to the Winfisky can expect to see examples of the latest work from artists such as Haig Demarjian, Benjamin Gross, Richard Lewis, Mark Malloy, Mary Melilli, Kim Mimnaugh, Ken Reker and John Volpaccio. Admission to the Winfisky Gallery is free. Hours are Monday through Friday from 10-2 or by appointment. Information: 978.542.7890 or


An Evening of Choral Music
, November 30, 7:30 pm. Recital Hall, 71 Loring Ave., Salem State University.
The University Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Gary Wood presents a concert with selections of Baroque music by Buxtehude and Telemann, interspersed with Canadian composer Stephen Chatman's composition "Voice of Earth." Also perfoming on the program will be the Women's Chorale, directed by Lynn Shane. Their program includes works by Debussy, d'Indy and American composer Jim Papoulis. This event is free and open to the public.

Percussion and World Music Ensembles, December 5, 7:30 pm. Recital Hall, 71 Loring Ave. Salem State University. The percussion and world music ensembles perform under the direction of Abe Finch and Dr. Peter Kvetko. This event is free and open to the public.

Chamber Orchestra Recital, December 7, 7:30 pm. Recital Hall, 71 Loring Ave. Salem State University. Dr. Mary-Jo Grenfell leads the chamber orchestra in works by Weinberger, Zuk and Copeland. This event is free and open to the public.


The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, December 1 - 3, 7:30 pm and December 4 at 2:00 pm. Mainstage Theatre, 352 Lafayette St., Salem State University. In The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Brodie is a charismatic teacher with blowtorch passion, whose romanticism and pride break the parochialism of a conservative girls’ school in 1930’s Edinburgh, Scotland. Using methods unsuitable for a conservative school, she encourages students’ sexual experimentation; thus love and sexual triangles yield intriguing conflict. Witness a boxing match between powerhouse women, and experience the battle of characters struggling to discover their identities through others.

The December 1st performance will be immediately followed by a talk-back tea with faculty members Richard Elia, Christopher Mauriello, Amy Smith and Celena April.

Tickets are $15 general and $10 non-Salem State students and seniors. Purchase tickets at: Additional info at: 978.542.7890.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Holiday Happenings

The tree in Lappin Park is lit, but that is just the beginning.  Join us during the holidays and revel in holiday cheer, delight in unique shopping, and linger over a warming drink.  Salem is ready for the holidays! 

Visit for a list of events, including the Salem Open House Shopping Night on December 16.   Happy Holidays!

Click here for the Holiday Happenings brochure.

Friday, November 25, 2011

News from the North Pole!

The holiday spirit is in the air downtown Salem with holiday wreaths, a holiday tree, window decorating contest, fantastic shopping and dining and Santa’s arrival on the roof of the Hawthorne Hotel scheduled for December 2.  We invite all to experience the excitement that fills the crisp, winter air in the historic streets of downtown Salem.  Shop, Dine and enjoy downtown Salem.

Santa Claus will arrive in Salem as he traditionally does on the roof of the Hawthorne Hotel on Friday, December 2 at 5:30 PM. The Salem Fire Company is expected to assist him with their ladder truck. He will proceed from there to the Museum Place Mall to hear the wishes of children. Music will be provided by Salem's own The Dejas.

This is just one of the many Holiday Happenings in Salem.  Visit for more events and holiday inspiration!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

The Holiday Happenings brochure arrived yesterday. We have begun work on the 2012 Salem Guide for publication in February. We survived October's Haunted Happenings, and the wreaths and tree are up for Holiday Happenings. 

Salem is a fantastic little city that just keeps ticking.  A seaport with a rich, unique history and a modern vibrancy that has made it incredibly desirable for both new residents and new businesses.  I'm quite thankful to work here and to have such a rich, dynamic destination to market.

Here are a few other things I am thankful for in this season of gratitude, and year-round:

For the board of directors and marketing committee who provide guidance and insight throughout the year;

For the businesses that work tirelessly to keep the doors open and provide services, goods and entertainment for all of us;

For the organizations with whom we collaborate on promotions and programs that we hope will entertain and entice visitors from near and far, especially those who produce events that make Salem unique;

For the visitors who choose Salem over all of the other destinations - whether it's for a weekend, a day, an evening, a special event or a group tour. I thank all of you for choosing Salem.

And for all of you who read this blog, and allow me to keep you current on what is happening in Salem, I thank you for your time over the past four years.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.  I hope to see you soon in Salem.

~ Kate

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shop different, Shop Salem. Or, For a Unique Gift, Shop in a Unique Place

It's all about shopping.  You may be baking, brining and simmering today, but come Friday it's going to be all about shopping.  I'm not a get-up-at-4am to shop Black Friday kind of person (much less a shop at midnight on Thanksgiving night kind of person).  I much prefer the unique gifts and personal attention one finds in the shops and boutiques of Salem.

Many of our stores are celebrating Black Friday (now also known as Plaid Friday) with discounts and promotions, and several stores are participating in the second annual Small Business Saturday.  Shake off your food coma from Thursday and stroll the historic, cobbled streets of Salem.  Soak in the atmosphere, and check out the promotions at theses stores, and others.

Front Street

Roost / Beehive / Scrub are offering $20 off your purchase of $100 or more (Click here for coupon.)

Boston Bead Company is running a "Buy More / Save More" promotion on Friday and a Small-Business-Saturday Free Gift with Purchase on the 26th. ( for details on both.)

    Essex Street

    Omen Psychic Parlor - Witches, Warlocks and Wine on Friday. After a hard day of shopping and left-over turkey, you'll need wine and Witches! 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm. Click here for calendar.

    Signatures Apparel is having their Holiday Open House on Friday and Saturday, featuring 20% off all full priced clothing all weekend. Complimentary gift wrapping, boxes, and gift bags. They are also collecting donations for Toys for Tots and for St. Joseph's food pantry all season long.Visit them on Facebook.

    Analee at Trolley Depot
    The Trolley Depot is celebrating Black Friday and Small Business Saturday by offering 25% off all Analee on both days.

    Witch City Consignment and Thrift - Black Friday all week long. Click here for coupon.

      Washington Street

      Dine at Green Land Cafe this weekend and save 10% when you mention Black Friday.

        Pickering Wharf and Waterfront District

        The House of the Seven Gables
        The House of the Seven Gables will open The Museum Shop on Friday, Saturday, & Sunday and offer a 10% discount on purchases this weekend. Come down to explore the wonderful range of seasonal gifts and take a stroll along the sea wall and enjoy the great views across Salem harbor.

        Victoria Station will give you $5.00 off your food order when you show a receipt from any Salem business dated Saturday, November 26 on Saturday, November 26. 

        Victoria Station (again!) is featuring all of their Massachusetts Craft Beers (including Notch, Cisco, Wachusett, Harpoon and Sam Adams) for $4 all week long!

          Happy Thanksgiving, and happy shopping!

              Tuesday, November 22, 2011

              Green Land Happytizers

              While recently exploring the Green Land Cafe web site, I noticed the promotion of "Happytizers" - discounted tapas, soups and flat breads from 4-6pm daily.  My office is next door and this is news to me, so it may be news to you, as well.  I can't wait to add Happytizers to my calendar.

              They also have a great music calendar, with local favorites including Julie Dougherty, Tony Gallo, and Erin Brown taking to the microphone. 

              Happytizers.  Who doesn't need a happytizer after a hard day?!  (They also have 23 beers on tap and an incredible cocktail menu, both of which may make any 'tizer happier.)

              Tuesday, November 15, 2011

              Christmas in Salem tickets now on sale

              Sleigh bells ring... are you listening? 

              It may not feel like winter today, but I am assured that winter is coming. Whether or not the weather changes, we are just two weeks away from the annual Christmas in Salem Historic House Tour weekend, which is one of the grandest weekends of the year.

              And tickets are on sale now.

              Christmas in Salem will be held on December 3 & 4, with a preview night on December 2nd (for ticket holders only, so get your tickets!). 

              This year the tour will "Rediscover the McIntire District," which means some of Salem's most distinctive homes will be on the tour. 

              Visit for tickets and more information. 

              Saturday, November 12, 2011

              Adriatic Restaurant does Restaurant Week right

              OK, restaurant reviewer I am not.  I'm much too finicky an eater to be a good restaurant reviewer.  That said, I do love good food, and I am dazzled by the restaurant choices here in Salem.  Each time Restaurant Week comes along, I find myself struggling to decide where to eat - what to eat. We are truly blessed in the culinary department here in Salem.

              I had the chance to eat at Adriatic Restaurant for Restaurant Week, and (oh, my gosh) it was delicious.  It was so good, I ate one of my ravioli before I realized I wanted to take a picture for the blog. 

              Butternut Squash Ravioli. They had me at brown butter.

              Adriatic is offering Three Courses for $25, and they are offering two courses for $15 at lunch, so don't feel you have to wait until dinner time to spoil your palate. 

              For the first course, I had the Butternut Squash Ravioli and my colleague had the Stuffed Portabella Mushroom.  Our plates were cleaned.

              For the second course, I had the Spaghetti Nero de Seppia and my colleague had the Braised Lamb Shanks.  There was an abundance of calories, and it was worth every bite. 

              Spaghetti Nero di Seppia 


               Dessert was unbelievable - the Tiramisu was divine, and we followed it with Cappuccino. 

              Restaurant Week continues on Sunday, and there are more than twenty restaurants participating with fantastic two and three-course menus. This is a tremendous opportunity to check out some of Salem's new restaurants or revisit a favorite spot. 

              Thursday, November 10, 2011

              Rare Objects from 300-Year-Old Museum Library Collection Unveiled at the PEM

              Unbound, Highlights from the Phillips Library at PEM
              November 5, 2011 – November 2012

              Progressive Proofs of Beethoven, 1870, Produced by L. Prang & Co., Lithographs on paper, 23.5” x 19”, Peabody Essex Museum.

              This fall, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) presents over 30 rare and storied objects from the museum’s renowned Phillips Library, including a leaf from the Gutenberg Bible, original transcripts from the Salem witchcraft trials, and the first example of paper currency in the Western world. Boasting 400,000 books collected over three centuries, PEM’s Phillips Library is one of the largest and oldest museum libraries in the country. Through a selection of books, manuscripts, sketchbooks, maps and ephemera, Unbound, Highlights from the Phillips Library at PEM offers a glimpse into historical documents that were acquired for their power to delight the eye and change the world. The exhibition opens to the public on November 12, 2011.

              “Equal parts aesthetically and intellectually engaging, this exhibition offers a unique opportunity to view some of the Phillips Library’s most wonderful objects,” says Sidney Berger, The Ann C. Pingree Director of the Phillips Library and exhibition curator. “From intricate botanical engravings and French lace samples, to a 16th-century Venetian astronomy text, these are the objects that fall into the margins of history. We are bringing them out for a rare moment in the sun.”

              Unbound, Highlights from the Phillips Library at PEM is organized in the following three sections:

              RARELY SEEN
              A selection of rare and delicate objects include a folio of Sukiya ezu, or Japanese pop-up teahouses, created in the early 19th century. These 90 exquisitely detailed and ingeniously constructed manuscripts unfold to reveal pop-up models of historic Japanese teahouses from the 13th to 19th centuries, many of which no longer stand. Each element is hand-drawn and hand-cut to realistically render the teahouses’ architectural elements, from room dividers and windows to doorways and passages.

              POWERFUL STORIES
              A remarkably well-preserved leaf from the Gutenberg Bible (Isaiah XVII-XIX) leads off the next section of the exhibition which features documents that tell powerful stories. Created in 1450-1455, the Gutenberg Bible stands as the first example of a book printed in the West using movable type. The process, invented by Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany, dramatically revolutionized the production and distribution of the printed word. With fewer than 50 copies in existence, the Gutenberg Bible is considered one of the most iconic and studied books in history.

              DELIGHT THE EYE
              The exhibition also includes objects from the Phillips Library whose aesthetic concerns are paramount. Featured are progressive proofs for a chromolithograph portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven created in 1870 by Louis Prang & Co., the premier lithography company of its day. Hauntingly beautiful and richly detailed, this series of progressives show the elaborate and highly intensive printing process that begins with a shadowy outline and, after overprinting 25 colors, ends with a dimensional, fully realized portrait.    

              The Phillips Library is part of the Peabody Essex Museum and is located in two architecturally noted structures, the John Tucker Daland House and Plummer Hall. As one of New England’s oldest libraries, the library has an international reputation as a major resource for maritime history and art, New England life and culture, American decorative arts, Asian art and culture, Native American history and art, and the art and culture of Oceania. The library provides researchers, curators, and the general public access to 400,000 printed volumes, over a mile of manuscript shelves, and an extensive collection of ephemera, broadsides, pamphlets, and a substantial run of periodicals.

              The PEM is open Tuesday–Sunday, 10 am–5 pm. Closed Mondays (except holidays) and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Admission costs adults $15; seniors $13; students $11. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $5. Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang.

              Visit for more information.

              Wednesday, November 9, 2011

              Salem Winter Market opens Thursday

              The Salem Winter Farmers’ Market opens this Thursday, November 10, just in time for the holiday season! Market shoppers will have the opportunity to purchase locally grown produce, delicious baked goods, and other new items for winter.

              The market will be housed in Artists’ Row (between Front Street and New Derby Streets) in the artist stall buildings. The market will feature fresh produce, a variety of baked goods including vegan options, wine, cheeses and meats, handmade soaps, natural and organic skincare and bath and body products, organic teas, gift baskets, fresh lobster, all natural, gluten-free chowders, dips and spreads, homemade, locally-sourced pastas and sauces, pickles, handmade, personalized water color cards, salsas, artisan breads and more.

              The winter market will see the return of 12 of the summer vendors as well as new vendors offering a variety of items such as Shady Hill Organics’ Oyster and Shiitake mushrooms that have been featured in the Boston Globe, and all natural low sugar spreadable fruit and relish by Deborah’s Kitchen as featured in the Lowell Sun and Edible Boston.

              The full market vendor list was officially revealed at the Winter Market Fundraiser on November 7 and includes returning vendors Apothe.caring, Cape Cod Original, First Light Farm, Heaven’s Harvest Farm, Long Hill Orchard, Maitland Farm, Milk and Honey Green Grocer, Salem Soap Works, Soula’s Homemade Salsa, Still River Winery, Wally’s Vegetables and When Pigs Fly. New vendors include A.k.a. Marvelicious, Capt. Pete’s Lobster Trap, Deborah’s Kitchen, Foxboro Cheese and Oak Knoll Ayrshires, Grace Organic, Judith A Fiske Handmade Cards, Seacoast Butters, Shady Oaks Organics, Valicenti Organico and Wunder Budder.

              All items at the market must be grown or produced in New England. The market participates in the SNAP program and will accept the EBT card. 

              Salem Winter Farmers' Market
              Artists' Row between Front Street and New Derby Street
              2:00 - 6:00 PM
              Thursdays, November 10 - December 22 and Tuesday November 22 (instead of Thanksgiving)

              Tuesday, November 8, 2011

              Restaurant Week Menu from Victoria Station

              Salem Restaurant Week menus continue to woo the senses. Make your reservations today!  Restaurant Week continues through Thursday night of this week, and picks up again on Sunday, November 13, through the 17th.

              Victoria Station Restaurant Week

              Starters(Choose One)Butternut Apple Brandy Soup with Cinnamon Crouton
              Autumnal Farro Salad– Cider braised Farro served on baby arugula dressed in a maple vinaigrette  with chopped apples, candied pecans and sliced red onion
              Entrees(Choose One)Sage Seared Pork Loin– Boneless pork loin butter seared with sage and slow roasted served with Celeriac Chips and roasted apples
              Pan Seared Salmon– Pan seared salmon brushed with fresh basil pesto plated on parmesan, pine nut risotto with sundried tomato crisps
              Octoberfest Marinated Skirt Steak– Skirt Steak marinated in   Octoberfest, Garlic and Orange served with Pomme Frites, housemade ketchup and grilled vegetable medley
              Dessert(Choose One)Pumpkin Mousse with  Ginger Snap Dust
              Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream

              Victoria Station is on Pickering Wharf, and you can find more information on the historic restaurant and its spiffy new menu at

              Monday, November 7, 2011

              Restaurant Week Menu from Seaport Cafe

              Restaurant Week at the Seaport Cafe

              Two Courses for $15.00

              Starters Choice of:
              Small Salad 
              Cup of Clam Chowder 
              Cup of Soup Du Jour
              Entrees Choice of:Fish & Chips
              Meatloaf Served with Butternut Squash & Mashed Potato
               Sausage Pasta Florentine

              Three Course for $25.00
              Starters Choice of:Small Salad 
              Cup of Clam Chowder 
              Cup of Soup Du Jour
              Entree Choice of:
              Lobster Mac & Cheese
              Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Jasmine Rice & House Vegetable
              Steak Tip Dinner with Choice of Two Sides
              Dessert:Ask your Server

              The Seaport Cafe is located at the entrance to Pickering Wharf at 215 Derby Street.  One of Salem's newer restaurants, Restaurant Week is the perfect time to check them out - if you haven't yet! Visit for more information.

              Friday, November 4, 2011

              Restaurant Week Menu from Finz

              This just came across my desk, and all I could think was - I'd like the Lobster Rangoons, followed by the Cornmeal Fried Flounder and an Apple Crisp Eggroll.  Please.  
              Restaurant Week may truly be the best thing in Salem since sliced bread.  I'm getting hungry already. 

              Salem Restaurant Week   

              First Course
              (Choose one)

              Lobster Rangoons
              Served with hot mustard and sweet soy drizzle

              Spicy Pickle Calamari
              Salem’s Maitlin Farm spicy pickles tossed with lightly fried calamari

              Poached Pear Salad
              Watercress, pecans, blue cheese and a bacon vinaigrette

              Main Course
              (Choose one)

              Cornmeal Fried Flounder
              Sweet potato mashed, buttered spinach, corn relish and a chipotle tartar

              Haddock Cassoulet
              White beans, chorizo, mussels and spinach with a basil butter and yellow tomato coulis

              Steak and Crab
              Steak tips, artichoke crab and spinach stuffed potato with demi glace, black peppercorn butter and onion strings

              Apple Crisp Egg Roll
              With vanilla ice cream

              Pumpkin Crème Brulee
              $25 per person
              FINZ Seafood and Grill - 76 Wharf Street - Pickering Wharf -

              Restaurant Week runs November 6-10 and 13-17. Reservations are highly recommended, and please mention Restaurant Week when you call. You could mention the Destination Salem blog, too, as long as it didn't get between you and the Pumpkin Creme Brulee. 

              A Girl's Guide to Surviving the Holidays

              Here's an event that is being put together by Rouge Cosmetics, Pamplemousse, Re-Find and Bella Hair Studio.

              This evening of libations, treats, and tips from local experts in hair, make-up and fashion has limited space, so please RSVP to (978) 219-9501.  It sounds like a great way to kick off the holiday season!

              Thursday, November 3, 2011

              "The McIntire District After McIntire" Lecture at the Phillips house

              This sounds really interesting, and I'm happy to pass the calendar listing along verbatim. 

              According local historian Robert Booth, “Foreign trade was the most lucrative business in young America, and no one did it better than Salem, where, in the West End, the wealth of the world was translated into boulevards of mansions.” Historic New England invites you to the Phillips House to discover the 1821 maritime mansion, built by Captain Nathaniel West, and to hear the author discuss and read from his newest work, "Death of an Empire: The Rise and Murderous Fall of America's Richest City."

              This special event will take place on Tuesday, November 15. From 6:00-7:00, visitors can explore the first floor of the Phillips House Museum with a short guided tour. From 7:00-8:00, Mr. Booth will speak with a special focus on connections to the McIntire District and the Chestnut Street neighborhood. Books will be available for purchase and signing after the lecture. This program is co-sponsored with Salem History Society.

              A reservation is not required for this free event, but seating will be limited. Please call 978-744-0440 for more information.

              Wednesday, November 2, 2011

              Upcoming Music on the Salem Theater Company Stage


              On Saturday, November 12, STC features two beloved area singer-songwriters, Mason Daring and Jeanie Stahl. Film composer Mason Daring has explored many paths on the way to his current career - entertainment lawyer, folk singer, cabbie and truck driver, commercial director, and potential rock star among them. But his professional life has always returned to the world of music. He has scored 16 films for director John Sayles and 57 other scores, including the films Eight Men Out, The Opposite of Sex, Earth to the Moon, Music of the Heart, and themes for the PBS programs NOVA and Frontline. Joining Mason is Jeanie Stahl his good friend and collaborator on the Coffeehouse Circuit. Besides collaborating on two albums -- Sweet Melodies in the Night, Heartbreak and The Early Years, Stahl and Daring collaborated vocally on the scores for several of the John Sayles-directed films. The Early Years, released in 1992, samples tracks from their two albums and movie soundtracks. In addition to performing frequently at New England folk music clubs and coffeehouses, the duo periodically joined with Bill Staines, Guy Van Duser and Billy Novick in the folk super-group, The Passim All-Stars. Tickets for Mason Daring & Jeanie Stahl are $25.

              Tickets are available online at or may be reserved for pick-up at the door (cash and checks only at the Box Office) by calling the Salem Theatre Company at 978-790-8546 or e-mailing Online ticketing ends 24 hours in advance of each performance. The STC Box Office is open 30 minutes prior to every performance.

              TRIPPING LILY

              On Friday, November 18 at 7:30, Tripping Lily returns to the STC Theater. Their sold-out STC show in April of this year warranted a quick return by many in the audience that night. With Demetrius Becrelis (guitar/vocals/ukulele), brother Alex Becrelis (mandolin/vocals), Monica Rizzio (fiddle/vocals/ukulele), and Laird Boles (stringed bass), Tripping Lily blends a unique sound of traditional and contemporary genres. A group of musicians who draw their inspiration from within, Tripping Lily has explored songwriting with their personal and professional passion. Touted as fresh, energetic, and alive, Tripping Lily’s pop-rock groundwork is cross-fertilized with folk music and cutting edge vocal harmonies. The band’s unique ability to absorb traditional music while speaking to the here and now is proof of their versatility as contemporary musicians. This young quartet might be described as a string band with pop music sensibilities, or perhaps a cutting edge vocal quartet with acoustic instruments. With two Independent Music Award nominations, being featured on Showtime’s New Hit Series The Big C, and hitting number one for several weeks on Boston’s Folk Station WUMB - it is no wonder why the Boston Globe called the band “…..a genre unto itself.” Tickets for Tripping Lily are $18 in advance and $20 at the door.

              Tickets are available online at or may be reserved for pick-up at the door (cash and checks only at the Box Office) by calling the Salem Theatre Company at 978-790-8546 or e-mailing Online ticketing ends 24 hours in advance of each performance. The STC Box Office is open 30 minutes prior to every performance.