Union Square Main Streets Newsletter
July 2010
Disheartening Pause in Chair Project 
For this newsletter we'd hoped to tell how wonderfully well the chairs on Union Square have been received.  
Regrettably, despite provisions for overnight security, all the chairs put into service were stolen within a week.  The photo at right is some of the chairs during their brief life.  They were well used on the plaza -- not even 90 seconds after being put into place folks were settling into them to wait for the bus, to eat their lunch, to people-watch the life in Union Square. 
Sponsored by residents and area businesses, Union Square Main Streets purchased 20 chairs in June and placed them on the Union Square Plaza, Somerville.  The initiative was spearheaded by volunteer Samantha Kattan.   The idea was to provide light-weight, movable chairs that would allow visitors to make themselves comfortable in Union Square - whether that comfort is solo or in a group, under a shady tree or in the sun.  Similar efforts across the country have been well-received, from Portland to Times Square, even as close as Harvard Square.
The Somerville Journal published an article about the theft which has precipitated a lively discussion.  Some call our attempt foolhardy, others are calling for us to regroup.  
Thankfully, seven of the twenty chairs not yet been placed on the plaza were spared.  We're going to take another try at moving these remaining chairs outside in late July. A lot depends on how this second attempt goes.  As of now there are no plans to launch another round of chair-related fundraising.
Our thanks to the generous donors who facilitated this project. 

Ground - sponsored two chairs
Cambridge Naturals - sponsored two chairs
Community Cooks
JJ Sullivan Plumbing & Heating
Shellie and Ryan Kerrigan
Daniel Kamin and Scott Rankin
Ruth Faris and Don Meglio
Ava & Simone Parsons
Katz-Gritz Mishpokhe
Somerville Community Access Television
Naomi & Stephan Slagowski
Masters of DIY
artisan asylum logo
Artisan Asylum is a new creativity center that's opened on the edge of Union Square. They're planning to open a workshop over on Joy Street later this summer in the space that had been home to Willoughby & Baltic.  In the meantime, they're offering an exciting roster of classes from their space on Windsor Street in Boynton Yards - the same building as Taza Chocolate. 
The classes are what you'd find in DIY heaven, with everything from knitting to sewing, basic robotics to advanced photography, welding to precise machining. They're even offering a class on the mechanics and theory of distilling whiskey. 
Dog with biscuit
Business Shifts 
There's some businesses changes in Union Square.
Open Bicycle has moved, shifting a block down Washington Street from the corner of Hawkins to the storefront beside Sherman Café.  It's a great spot for smart and honest bike repairs and cool gear that will give even the most casual urban cyclist or bike commuter a chic courier flair.
Riverdog brings a new look and new management to the 321 Somerville Avenue location known for serving our furry friends. Riverdog provides dog grooming, classes, do-it-yourself doggie wash as well as attentive daycare.
Already up and running and racking up ravingly good reviews, Riverdog is celebrating with a grand opening on July 10 from 9 am to 5 pm.  There will be fun for dogs and their human friends.  Happenings include:

- Lois Cunniff of Artsy Photo Tile will take a photo of your pet and mount it on tiles or coasters.
- Jeanne Lareau, Animal Intuitive  & Communicator, will offer animal communication/intuitive sessions.          
- Make new friends from the Greyhound Rescue of New England
- prizes and freebies throughout the day
Riverdog is encouraging dogs to dress up in their summer best, with prizes for best "summer days" costume. 
rail tracks to Boston
Another Greenline Milestone 
Public Hearing on FEIR Tonight
A milestone in the planning phase of the Greenline has been reached with the completion of the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR).  This document outlines the plans for the light rail public transit from Lechmere through Somerville to Medford and Union Square. You can view a copy of the document here.
A public meeting on the FEIR will be held on Wednesday, June 30th at 6 pm at the Somerville High School Auditorium. The meeting will provide an opportunity for members of the public, agency representatives, and other project stakeholders to learn about changes to the project and ask questions.
Our friends at STEP (Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership) have outlined some of the key issues they've got their eyes on such as maintaining access to the stations from the variety of transportation modes transit users will need.
The comment period for the document will be for 30 days; all comments will be due to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office by July 23, 2010. See the Greenline Extension website for details.


Ask a CPA
The Massachusetts Society of CPAs is holding "Ask a CPA Day" for small business owners and entrepreneurs at its Boston office on July 16 from 9 am to 4 pm. Certified Public Accountants will be available for half hour consulting sessions to assist you with your accounting, tax or business needs.
The event is free and takes place at 105 Chauncy St in Boston. Pre-registration is required.  To reserve your space, complete the on-line form   or call Kara at 617-303-2413.

beets, carrots

Farmers Market Hot this Season  
The Union Square Farmers Market is hopping thanks to an exceptional growing season. Yes, the crops are early and plentiful but that's not the only reason.
There's a whole line up of educational and musical happenings each Saturday at the market.  Check out our webpage to get the calendar.
Customers sometimes scratch their heads at some of the usual vegetables for sale.  To help you explore the gastronomic riches Community Cooks, a group of 80 volunteers who prepare meals for area shelters and service programs, are sharing their skills.  Look for them at markets this summer when they'll be sharing some of their favorite recipes and giving personal advice on your culinary dilemmas.   (Already know lots about cooking?  Community Cooks is looking for volunteers.)
In This Issue
Chair Project
Artisan Asylum
Greenline News
ArtsUnion Calendar

ArtsUnion Festivals and Markets

artsunion robotA
ArtsUnion is spearheaded by the Somerville Arts Council in partnership with numerous community partners and producers with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the City of Somerville.
All events take place on Union Square Plaza in Somerville unless otherwise noted. All are free.

Boston Handmade Marketplace
Sat, July 10, 3-7pm
rain date: Sun, July 11
This outdoor arts market features work by New England artists, artisans and craftspeople associated with the juried artist group, Boston Handmade. Curated by Boston artist Jessica Burko, the Marketplace promotes local, independent businesses producing handmade works in small studio environments. More than 25 exhibitors will be on hand, along with live music by The Grownup Noise and One Happy Island. 
Somerville Rock & Roll Yard Sale
Sat, August 7, 3-7pm
rain date: Sun, August 8
Chris and Jennifer Daltry of What Cheer Antiques + Vintage curate the widely popular Rock & Roll Yard Sale featuring sellers of the bizarre and exotic from across New England. This flea market of treasures includes vinyl records and music memorabilia, vintage eyewear and apparel, homemade crafts, and, of course, vegan cupcakes. 
The Paper Party
Sat., August 14, 3-7pm
rain date: Sun, Aug. 15
Union Square Main Streets will host "The Paper Party" -- a specialty market that showcases paper in its many forms -- you'll find letterpress printers, binders, framers, publishers, origami. Vendors are wanted.  For more information contact Endre  at Union Square Main Streets 

Bazaar Bizarre
Fri, August 21, 3-7pm
rain date: Sat, August 22
Bazaar Bizarre began in 2001 as a hodge-podge of friends and acquaintances cobbling together their handcrafted DIY wares to sell, staging an offbeat entertainment extravaganza. The Bazaar Bizarre joins the SAC to present their first summer fair, curated from 10 years of amazing local art and craft vendors. The fair will feature handmade housewares, jewelry, fine art, toys and ceramics for sale, while visitors to the neighborhood can try their hand at several do-it-yourself workshops and hear local bands perform.
Bloom: Interactive Art by Hannah Verlin
Sat, August 21 & 22, all day
rain dates: August 28 & 29
Location: Prospect Hill Park
Bloom will be set in Prospect Hill Park and will feature 4,500 white paper flowers in a 40-foot circle on the hillside. Each flower will be pierced with a wooden skewer, staked to the ground. The petals will be alternately labeled with "He loves me, "He loves me not," "She loves me," and "She loves me not." A sign will encourage viewers to take the flowers with them, so that the enormous field of flowers will eventually vanish.
Fandango: Celebrating Mexican Son Jarocho Music
Saturday, August 28, 5-9 pm
rain date: Sunday, August 29
Fandangos are community celebrations that feature Son Jarocho music and dance, a genre from Veracruz, Mexico, which combines Afro-Caribbean, Spanish and indigenous traditions. Local band La Tuza will kick off Somerville's first Fandango; next up will be Brooklyn-basedRadio Jarocho (above). There will also be dance lessons and performances, Mexican food, art activities and a short film about the Son Jarocho tradition. The Fandango will end as both bands play together and other local musicians join in. Olé, we say. Produced by SAC.
Utsav! A Festival of Sikh Culture
Friday, September 10, 6-9pm
raindate: Saturday, September 11
Utsav is the Indian word for festival. This event, co-produced by SAC and Somerville Community Access Television (SCAT), will be a celebration of Sikh culture in and around the community. We encourage people to enjoy Indian food from many of the Sikh-owned restaurants in Union Square. Then join us for kitan music, information about the Sikhs in Somerville and a film chosen in collaboration with the Somerville Gurdwara and SCAT. It's dinner and a movie, Sikh style.
Urban Country Fair
Saturday, September 18, 3-7pm
rain date: Sunday, Sept. 19
All things "country" collide with urban space when the Urban Country Fair 2010 hits Union Square and revives the 'ole time country fair with exhibitors, arts and crafts vendors, Boston SkillShare workshops, and countri?ed music and dancing.  The spirit of community, sharing with neighbors, and showing off homemade creations will be alive and well at this festive market produced by Aliza Shapiro of Truth Serum Productions.
Fluff boyWhat the Fluff? A Celebration of Union Square Invention presents "It's the Fifth Fluff Fest: Whoopie (Pie)!"
Saturday, September 25, 3-7pm
rain date: Sunday, Sept. 26
Produced by Union Square Main Streets, "What the Fluff" celebrates the genius of Archibald Query who invented Fluff here in Union Sq. in 1917. This fifth annual event calls upon artist, musical and theatrical performers, inventors, humorists and the general public to celebrate the great American creation. This year we explore the whoopee pie, wondrous in any flavor, extraordinary in classic chocolate with lots of fluffy filling. For more info check out Union Square Main Streets.

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