Sunday, January 29, 2012

"I love Love!"

Salem Theatre Company opened its production of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing on Thursday, and it is one of my favorite productions to take their stage.  Wonderfully cast with Joseph O'Meara playing the romantic Henry and Sarah Carlin playing his second wife, Annie, the play takes us on a journey through fact and fiction, love and divorce, London and Glasgow.

Will Neely as Billy and Sarah Carlin as Annie in The Real Thing

Through two acts of questioning what love is, and why, The Real Thing left me with a smile and a great sense of delight to have a local theater that continues to bring great plays to their intimate stage.

Not being a theater critic by trade, I don't dare delve any deeper, lest I inadvertently provide a spoiler.  I assure you, however, that this poetic, romantic play offers a grand examination of love through beautifully articulated analysis. 

The Real Thing at Salem Theatre Company
Through February 18
Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30 PM
Sundays at 3:00 PM
Adults: $22, Seniors $18, Students $12

Friday, January 27, 2012

Salem is a Best Family Vacation Destination!

Salem has been featured as one of "2012's Best Family Vacation Destinations" by!

Bewitched Statue by Kelly Norcross
 Here's what they say:

5. Salem, MassachusettsHome to the famous Colonial-era witch trials, Salem allows kids to experience New England life with a slightly mysterious aura. Don’t miss:
Salem Harbor: Start here at the site of Salem’s once-bustling seaport.
Derby Wharf: You’ll see the Friendship of Salem, a full-size replica of a ship that made 15 round-the-world voyages.
Waterfront: A great way to get to learn the history of the city is via its long-lasting buildings. You’ll see the Hawkes House, Derby House, and other mansions that were built and lived in by the town’s most notable personalities.
Salem Witch Museum: A 30-minute show dramatizes the Salem witch trials of 1692, and an exhibit details witches through history.
For historic accommodations, including period décor and even rumors of a ghostly presence, check out the Hawthorne Hotel downtown.

Thanks,, for sharing Salem with your readers!

Salem Maritime NHS by Henry Henry Zbyszynski

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! All Princesses are to gather...

It's that time of year again - time for little girls to get out their party dresses and tiaras and head to the Hawthorne Hotel for the annual Princess Tea!

A view from above
Hawthorne Hotel Princess Tea
Saturday, February 25, 2012
12:00pm – 2:00pm
Featuring tea, music and photos with the “Hawthorne Hotel” Princess in the Grand Ballroom!  Hats, white gloves and pink attire are optional and always in good taste.

Hawthorne Hotel Princesses

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wente Wine Dinner at Finz

This is a fantastic reason to go out for dinner on Wednesday night!  

Founded more than 125 years ago, Wente Vineyards is the country’s oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery.  On Wednesday night, Finz will be serving a wine dinner that is perfectly paired with Wente wines. 

Reservations are required for this dinner, which is sure to please the palate.  The meal and wines are $49.00 per person.   Here is the complete menu:

First Course
Venison Tartare
Candied pistachios, savory “Fig Newton”, raspberry gastrique,  proscuitto crisps
Entwine Cabernet Sauvignon
Second CourseSwordfish Prime Rib
Extra virgin olive oil smashed potatoes, apple fennel arugula salad, and a calvados butter sauce
Wente Vineyards Morning Fog Chardonnay
Third CourseShort Rib and ScallopsShort ribs braised in cherry coke, with a cocoa dusted scallop, Vanilla bean polenta, and a chocolate cherry demi glace.
Entwine Merlot
FinaleButterscotch Pecan Bread PuddingSouthern Comfort crème anglaise, grilled peach sherbet, and Orange blossom honey whipped cream
Wente Riverbank Riesling

$49.99 per person, Tax and gratuity not include
To make reservations: (978)744-8485

Monday, January 23, 2012

Local Tap Takeover at Vic's Boathouse!

Vic's Boathouse at Victoria Station is hosting a celebration of the amazing breweries and craft beer that Massachusetts has to offer, and you are invited!

Join the gang at Vic's Boathouse to hear from representatives from some of the best breweries in Massachusetts, who will be pouring samples of their craft creations.  Kyle, Vic's craft beer specialist, will be discussing the state of craft beer in 2012. There will be buffet of classic New England Fare, and ( (But, wait! There's more!) resident Open Mic host Nick Consone will be putting on a special performance with some of the areas most talented musicians!

The featured brews will include:

  • Cambridge Brewing Co. Audacity
  • Wandering Star Berkshire Hills 01201 Saison
  • Cisco Brewery Blonde Lady
  • Fishermans Ale
  • Cody Brewing Honey Ginger Ale
  • Mayflower IPA
  • Notch Cerne Pivo
  • Pretty Things Baby Tree
  • Berkshire Brewing Steel Rail Extra Pail Ale

Craft Beer, Great Food, Live Music - all local - and all for $20.  What's not to love? 

Visit Facebook or to learn more about the event.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chocolate & Wine Tasting tickets are going fast

Tickets for the Tenth Annual (has it been ten years already?!) Chocolate & Wine Tasting at Hamilton Hall are going fast!  They have been on sale for a week, and word on the street is that they are more than half-sold. 

This is an event worth planning for.  Don't wait - there's not going to be a Groupon or another social deal.  This is a once-a-year opportunity to indulge in decadent treats that range from chocolate mousse to chocolate dipped strawberries to chocolate ice cream to chocolate gateau, and every chocolate in between. 

Participating restaurants include:

62 Restaurant and Wine Bar
Adriatic Restaurant & Bar
Ben & Jerry’s
Busa Wine and Spirits
Café Polonia
Caffe Graziani
Capt.’s Premium Steak & Seafood Grill
Captain Dusty’s Ice Cream
Finz Seafood & Grill
The Great Escape
Green Land Café
Gulu-Gulu Cafe
Salem Waterfront Hotel
Sweet Adeline’s
Thai Place
Victoria Station
Ye Olde Pepper Co.

This is the festive kick-off to the annual Salem So Sweet Festival.  Tickets are $25 and can be purchased in advance at the Salem Chamber of Commerce, 265 Essex Street.  This event is produced by the Salem Chamber of commerce and Salem Main Streets.

I highly recommend making dinner reservations for afterward (or, perhaps, before), because the restaurants are always busy on Chocolate & Wine night.

Here are the details, in a nutshell:

10th Annual Chocolate & Wine Tasting
Friday, February 10 from 6:30 - 8:30
Location: Hamilton Hall, 9 Chestnut Street, Salem, MA
Sponsored by the Salem Waterfront Hotel.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Hawthorne Hotel invites all prospective brides to Open House

The Hawthorne Hotel is presenting an an elegant and informative Wedding Open House on January 29, 2012 from 11am-2pm and invites all prospective brides to let the Hawthorne Hotel create your special day!

Planning your wedding?  Helping someone else plan hers? It is great wedding advice to come to the Hawthorne Hotel and check out this elegant venue and make your dreams a reality!  The Hawthorne Hotel Wedding Open House will provide brides with all the information needed to plan the perfect wedding!

At the Open House, brides can:

  • Meet the Hawthorne Hotel’s event planners and hear about a variety of packages, some starting at only $37.00 per person;
  • Sample delicious wedding cake from Montilio’s Baking Company;
  • Enjoy scrumptious hors d’oeuvres and wine in the hotel’s Grand Ballroom with a soaring 19-ft.
  • ceiling, and Palladium windows overlooking Salem’s historic common;
  • See and smell the creative flowers included in the packages and talk to the florist;
  • Take a tour of the historic hotel’s newly-renovated sleeping rooms, perfect for visiting family and friends!

There is no reservation necessary to attend.  The date is January 29, 2012 from 11am-2pm in the Hawthorne Hotel’s Grand Ballroom.  

A Montilio's Cake
You can learn lots more about weddings at the Hawthorne Hotel on the hotel's Weddings Blog.  That's where these photos came from.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Congratulations to the Morning Glory B&B!

Travelers' Choice 2012 - The Best Hotels

Congratulations to the Morning Glory B&B for being recognized as one of TripAdvisor's Travelers Choice 2012 Best Hotels!  We are so excited to be home to one of the inns, chosen from around the United States, that has been recognized with this award!   

The Morning Glory was one of twenty-five Inns and B&Bs recognized as one of the best in the US, based on the reviews of millions of TripAdvisor Travelers.

Click here to visit the Morning Glory online, and click here to see their page on TripAdvisor.

Congratulations, Bob & Marcel!! 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Shapeshifting at the Peabody Essex Museum

This weekend the Peabody Essex Museum opens their new exhibit, Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art.  I got to go to the Press Preview for the exhibit earlier this week, and I can't wait to return and spend more time with the exhibition.

Featuring more than 80 works from around the world, Shapeshifting presents and celebrates both historic and contemporary Native American art and culture.  The exhibit is interactive, with iPads installed throughout the galleries to allow visitors to learn more, and express their thoughts.

This is a mixed-media exploration of Native American Art, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, photography, drawing, film, video, and monumental installations.  The monumental installations are particularly remarkable, both beautiful just to behold, and both with deeper messages for those who want to stop and consider.

Shapeshifting is on view through April 29, 2012.  There will be an Atrium Alive Weekend Festival featuring interactive and engaging programming on February 18 and 19.

If you can attend opening day on January 14, here are some of the planned events:

11:00 am & 1:00 pm 
Meet at information desk. Tickets available on day of tour

11:45 am–12:30 pm 
Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers.
Using instruments and songs passed down for generations, performers from the Wampanoag Nation share the sounds and styles of Northeastern traditional cultures.

1–3 pm 
Art Studios.
Design a drum that represents you or your family.

2:30–3:15 pm
PERFORMANCE | Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers

Using instruments and songs passed down for generations, performers from the Wampanoag Nation share the sounds and styles of Northeastern traditional cultures.

Click here to learn more

Read about the exhibit in the Salem News.

Read about the exhibit in The Boston Globe.

Classic Christine's Yellow Brunch at 62 Restaurant

On Sunday January 15th, 2012 from 11:00AM to 2:00PM, join our friends at 62 Restaurant and Wine Bar for a morning of beauty, food and music as we host “Classical Christine’s Yellow Brunch.” Guests will enjoy a special menu of à la carte brunch items as they listen to Baze perform Bach, Beethoven and other classical favorites, browse Glitterati’s newest yellow fashions, get their makeup done by celebrity make-up artist Debra Macki, and enter to win make-up, accessories and other fun prizes!

62 is hosting this brunch to show support for cervical cancer prevention and the annual week-long event, “Painting Salem Yellow.” From January 8th, 2012 to January 15th, 2012, participating Salem restaurants, businesses, politicians and local celebrities will partner with the “Yellow Umbrella Organization” to empower and educate women about HPV and cervical cancer prevention.

The “Yellow Umbrella Organization” was founded by Salem resident, musician and cervical cancer survivor, Christine Baze, as a means to bring hope and raise awareness for cervical cancer. Since 2002, Christine, with the “Yellow Umbrella Tour” has made over 100 stops across the United States and Canada, and now she’s bringing the cause back home with “Painting Salem Yellow.”

Reservations are recommended by calling 978-744-0062.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Winter Weekends at the Phillips House

Follow the Phillips family on a wintery jaunt around New England. Enjoy hot cocoa and cookies while viewing film clips of the family sledding, skiing, ice skating, and snowshoeing. Following the film, join the museum staff for a special house tour that shows how the family lived in 34 Chestnut Street through the winter months. The program ends with a sneak peek of Phillips family items, such as postcards and photographs, not usually on display.

The first Winter Weekends program is on Saturday, January 14. The movie starts promptly at 3:00 p.m. Registration is required. You may purchase your tickets online, but please call 978-744-0440 to confirm your choice of dates. Tickets are free to Historic New England members and $10.00 for nonmembers.  Winter Weekends at the Phillips House continue through February 25.  

Visit the Phillips House online for more information on the house, its programs, and Historic New England.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 PEM Exhibit Schedule

Christmas solar eclipse in my father's hands, Barbara Bosworth

 2012 Exhibition Schedule at the PEM

Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art 
January 14 - April 29, 2012
Shapeshifting celebrates Native American ideas that have crossed time and space to be continuously refreshed with new concepts and expressions. Experience this vitality through sculpture, paintings, ceramics, textiles, photographs, videos and monumental installations drawn from collections in North America and Europe. Rarely seen historic pieces, shown alongside some of the finest contemporary works, demonstrate the diversity and continuity of Native American art and culture.  
Learn more

The Mind's Eye: 50 Years of Photography by Jerry Uelsmann  
February 11 - May 13, 2012
Surreal, funny and provocative, Jerry Uelsmann's photographs are icons of American photo history. His most famous technique -- seamlessly fabricating photographs from unrelated negatives to create imaginary scenes -- cemented his standing as a leading light of nonliteral photography. The exhibition combines Uelsmann's most celebrated works with many never-before-seen pieces for his first retrospective in 40 years.
Learn more

FreePort [No. 005]: Michael Lin
Opens March 24, 2012
Artist Michael Lin spotlights PEM's renowned collection of Asian export art, particularly Mr. Nobody, one of the first representations of a European gentleman in Chinese porcelain. Animating the history of trade between China and the West, Lin creates a large-scale installation composed of hundreds of Chinese-produced replicas of Mr. Nobody in PEM's Asian Export Art galleries.
Learn More

Natural Histories, Photographs by Barbara Bosworth

Opens April 14, 2012
This intimate exhibition features photographs made over the last 10 years by renowned Boston artist Barbara Bosworth of her family and her childhood home in Novelty, Ohio. Featuring the oldest and youngest members of the family, these touching images explore the joy of youth and the wistfulness of aging, the nature of memory and the passage of time.
Learn more
Ansel Adams: At the Water's Edge
June 9 - October 8, 2012 
Wherever he photographed, Ansel Adams' appreciation for water was never far from the surface. He was drawn to the subject in all its forms, from rain, fog, mist and clouds to ice and snow. He also photographed water's effects in tide pools, weathered buildings and erosion patterns. His fascination with surf and crashing waves fed his interest in waterfalls and rapids in the High Sierra. In Yellowstone, it fueled his photographs of Old Faithful. As in the famous Surf Sequence ca. 1940, Adams often photographed water in ways that embrace seriality, motion and time as meaningful modern themes.  At the Water's Edge combines famous images with extraordinary but lesser-known examples, expanding knowledge of Adams' work and building appreciation for the artist as an important and innovative modernist.
Learn more

Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones
September 8 - December 30, 2012
Revel among more than 250 hats - celebrity toppers, the finest couture, a 12th-century Egyptian fez - in an exhibition that explores the boundaries of millinery design and the universal joy of wearing hats.
Learn more

All dates are subject to change

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Painting Salem Yellow

Join the Yellow Umbrella Organization for Cervical Cancer Prevention Week in Salem next week!

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month, and from January 8th, 2012 to January 15th, 2012 the city of Salem will join together to raise awareness of cervical cancer and its prevention during the annual, “Painting Salem Yellow” event.  Participating Salem restaurants, businesses, politicians and local celebrities will partner with the “Yellow Umbrella Organization” to empower and educate women about HPV and cervical cancer prevention.

The “Yellow Umbrella Organization” was founded by Salem resident, musician and cervical cancer survivor, Christine Baze, as a means to bring hope and raise awareness for cervical cancer. Since 2002, Christine, with the “Yellow Umbrella Tour” has made over 100 stops across the United States and Canada, and now she’s bringing the cause back home with “Painting Salem Yellow.”  

Throughout each performance the message is clear:  cervical cancer is preventable IF we use the tools - the HPV test (women 30+), the Pap test and the HPV vaccine (boys AND girls 9-26).

Once called “The Next Best Thing to Come Out of Boston” by, Baze will be performing eight different shows (with the help of many friends), sharing her music, story and message with all of Salem. The week will be filled with many fun and educational activities, such as Baze's one-woman show One Story, a special Comedy Club, and musical performances by Baze and other local musicians including Qwill, Erinn Brown, Ross Livermore and 80’s cover band, Safety. There will also be “yellow” markings through Salem that will guide you to local retailers who are showing their support for “Yellow Umbrella” and cervical cancer prevention.

Baze will start the week on Sunday, January 8th with a special matinee performance of One Story at the Griffen Theatre - sharing her story in full through classical piano, cover songs, and original Baze tunes.  On January 9th, 2012 “Painting Salem Yellow” will officially kick off with a press conference and luncheon at FINZ Restaurant with a special appearance by Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, who will be reading a Proclamation for Cervical Cancer Awareness Week, with Baze sharing her music and message. In addition to several musical performances throughout the week, the week will close with a very special brunch on Sunday January 15th at the award-winning 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar as they host “Classical Christine's Yellow Brunch”, featuring celebrity make-up artist Debra Macki, and Salem’s unique clothing boutique, Glitterati. Chef Antonio Bettencourt is hosting the brunch to show support for cervical cancer prevention.  While Baze performs Bach, Beethoven and other classical favorites, guests can browse Glitterati’s newest yellow fashions, get their makeup done by celebrity make-up artist Debra Macki, and enter to win make-up, accessories and other fun prizes!
Schedule of Events

Sunday, January 8th, 2012
4:00PM-5:30PM - ONE STORY at The Griffen Theatre
Baze will share her story through classical piano, cover songs, and original tunes.
$20 - ALL proceeds go to The Yellow Umbrella Organization
Call 978.317.1169 for reservations

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
8:00PM-12:00AM Guys for the Hooch! at Seaport Cafe
Qwill, Christopher Keating, Ross Livermore, HDJ, Jeff Buckridge, and David Bailin step up and sing for the cervix

Thursday, January 12th, 2012
9:00PM-11:30PM Girls for the Hooch! at In a Pig's Eye
Sarah Seminski, Erinn Brown, and special guest Jacyn from JADA will join Baze as sirens singing to save the cervix

Friday, January 13th, 2012
9:30PM-12:30AM BAZE BAND at Vic's Boathouse
The BAZE BAND rocks lots of your favorite chick cover songs for the Hooch

Saturday, January 14th, 2012
9:30PM-12:30AM SAFETY, an 80’s cover band will play for Yellow at Rockafellas with special guest Christine Baze

Sunday, January 15th, 2012
11:00AM - 2:00PM Classical Christine's Yellow Brunch at 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar
Hear a one-of-a-kind special performance by Christine Baze as she revisits her classical roots, have your makeup done by celebrity makeup artist Debra Macki and shop the latest fashion from Glitterati

Visit for more information. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Our Blog's Top Ten of 2011

Last year I pulled together a list of my favorite moments in Salem for 2010.  This year I thought I'd let you decide!  Here are the Top 10 blog posts - determined by visits to the blog - of last year.

10. Public art was installed on the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall and Front Street?  Visitors and residents alike loved the new sculptures, which were on display until early November.  We are hoping for more public art projects in 2012!

Photo: Jared Charney

9. Caffe Graziani celebrated their 20th Anniversary!  Twenty years of family-style, delicious Italian cooking.  The good stuff never goes out of style!  See for yourself in person or online at

8. Salem declared that it is Still Making History, unveiling a new logo and campaign that intertwines all aspects of our past, present and future. Click here to go back to February and watch the video!

7.  We saw Salem by Segway - and loved it!  (You can, too, just call Witch City Segway!)

6.  WalkBoston highlighted Salem's walkable downtown when they produced a walking map of Salem.  The WalkBoston map is a great addition to all of the walking tours - guided and self-guided - available to help you explore Salem.  Click here to travel back to July 27, where you will find links to several downloadable walking maps of Salem.

5. We celebrated Trails & Sails in Salem and throughout the Essex National Heritage Area!  Trails & Sails is a two-weekend event held annually in September that invites you to explore the region's natural, cultural and historic resources free of charge.  Visit for more information on Trails & Sails.

Photo: Kevin Letourneau

4.  We rang in the New Year in Salem - from Rockafellas to 62, Vic's Boathouse to the Hawthorne Hotel, and everywhere in between, Salem was a'buzz with revelers wishing 2011 well and welcoming 2012.  What better way to transition than with excellent food, creative cocktails, live music, and dancing!

3.  Coming in at number three, Free Family Fun drew thousands to the annual Salem Maritime Festival wowed children and parents who celebrates ships, sawdust, and song at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. 

2.  The Salem Jazz & Soul Festival rocked Salem Willows in August, and their free concerts entertained locals and guests in Derby Square on the first Saturday of the month from April through August.  If you missed it last year, join us in 2012 for more great music!

1.  And, drum roll please!  The most popular blog post of 2011 announced the winners of Destination Salem's 2011 Photography Contest.  Congratulations to Mark Wade, who won the competition with his stunning image of the Friendship and Pedrick's Store House at Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

Thanks for reading over the past 12 months (and four years). We look forward to a great 2012!