Mar 032017
 

Did you notice a larger than usual crowd walking about Salem this evening? It will get even bigger as the 10th annual Salem Film Fest gets underway.

Regarded and highly respected as one of New England’s largest documentary film festivals, it presents a rich and diverse collection of the year’s best work from all over the world.

Film screenings take place March 3-9 at CinemaSalem, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), and the National Park Service Visitor Center. The schedule and full breadth of the week-long events can be viewed at salemfilmfest.com. Attendance at this year’s screening is easily expected to surpass last year’s record setting 6,000+ viewers.

Salem Film Fest concentrates on well-told stories with strong technical elements and interesting visual approaches, letting narratives unfold that wind their way through the human experience in the USA and foreign lands. Many of the films represent a US, East Coast or regional premiere. Filmmakers are expected to be present for more than half of the screenings, giving audiences a unique advantage to learn about the documentary process.

SFF 2017 offers a diverse schedule of feature length and short documentaries, parties, discussions, meet-and-greets, family-friendly screenings, student film showcases, and opportunities to meet visiting filmmakers in intimate settings.

Each film provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the encounters of others in a dramatic and sensory way, embarking upon what is different and recognizing what is common to us all. “The world is an amazing place,” is an oft worn but timely phrase. Salem Film Fest affirms that travel quote for your eyes and ears to behold. And some films may strike that ‘responsive chord’ that can change your life forever.

Again, go to film titles and times for full list of options to see.

Salem Film Fest was founded in 2008 by filmmaker Joe Cultrera (HAND OF GOD), local businessman Paul Van Ness (CinemaSalem, Van Ness Creative), Executive Director of the Salem Chamber of Commerce Rinus Oosthoek and others from the community. Run and operated entirely by volunteers, the week-long festival has become a community-wide event with screenings at CinemaSalem, the Peabody Essex Museum and the National Park Service Salem Visitor Center with filmmaker parties and music events held at venues throughout downtown. Fueled by great films, dedicated volunteers and enthusiastic audiences, festival attendance has grown 15 to 25 percent each year.

Accept our invitation to see the world up close and personal.

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Mar 012017
 

While a dinner date in Salem is always a treat, it is especially a “big deal” during our annual Salem Spring Restaurant Week when local merchants roll out the red carpet to entice the hungry and the curious into our many, many dinning spots.

Salem Spring Restaurant Week, produced by the Salem Chamber of Commerce, kicks off on Sunday, March 12th, featuring the best local cuisine at value pricing. For 10 days only, participating Salem restaurants will offer specially priced menus for Salem Spring Restaurant Week. (Sunday, March 12 – Thursday, March 16 and again Sunday, March 19 – Thursday, March 23).

While not a complete list of participants, this is fairly representative of the wide variety of cuisines you can find within walking distance of each other in Salem.

Adriatic Restaurant and Bar – Offering a $25 per person menu.
155 Washington Street, Salem, MA – (978) 594-1832
Click here to make a reservation.

A warm interior and excellent cuisine—a winning combination that defines the Adriatic Restaurant & Bar. The brick oven pizzas are always a hit, and imaginative libations make customers come back time and again. Excellent market-fresh fish dishes inspired by regions surrounding the Adriatic Sea give this Mediterranean eatery something to boast about. A lengthy wine list featuring imported varietals and blends bring every meal’s flavors to fore and make patrons hunger for more.

Aurora Restaurant & Wine Bar
140 Washington Street, Salem, MA – (617) 510-6116
Click here to make a reservation.

Aurora is a relatively new and unique fixture in downtown Salem. Offering the best Vietnamese cuisine around, Aurora believes in featuring regional Asian dishes with fresh, high quality vegetables, meats, traditional spices, and herbs. Great for lunch or dinner, or simply enjoy their wine bar and sample authentic appetizers with your friends.

Bella Verona
107 Essex Street, Salem, MA – (978) 825-9911

Chef-owner Giorgio Manzana hails from Lake Garda Italy in the Provence of Verona and has a hotel-restaurant background that goes back over 35 years. Bella Verona enjoys catering to their clients, creating new dishes and continuing the simple good and authentic home-style cooking of Manzana’s region as well as other parts of Italy. As an Italian restaurant in the heart of Salem, they will bring you back to Verona, the home of Romeo and Juliet, to lose yourselves in the atmosphere and excellent food. In keeping to their traditional roots they offer creative options with homemade pastas, and great daily specials.

BonChon
299 Essex Street, Salem, MA – (978) 594-8256

“Bonchon” means “my hometown” in Korean. True to their original roots, Bonchon Downtown Salem is a family friendly establishment, offering an affordable casual dining experience along with lively atmosphere.  Enjoy the flavorful chicken wings that are their signature dish and then wash that down with a local Notch brew.

Finz Seafood & Grill – Offering a $25 per person menu.
76 Wharf Street, Salem, MA – (978) 744-0000
Click here to make a reservation.

Innovative and inspired menus, fresh raw bar, and a carefully chosen wine list all lead to an extraordinary dining experience at Finz. Our menu emphasizes creatively prepared fresh seasonal seafood. Our raw bar offers the freshest local oysters, clams, chilled lobster, colossal crab and jumbo shrimp. With indoor and outdoor waterfront dining, Finz is a great place to relax and enjoy outstanding food and drinks. Zagat’s rated Finz Seafood & Grill one of the Top 10 Waterfront restaurants in New England.

Firenze Trattoria
2 Lynde Street, Salem, MA – (978) 219-1188

Firenze Trattoria is chef Zamir Kociaj’s way of sharing his passion for the authentic tastes of Firenze with the historic town of Salem. Merging years of experience with a neighborhood vibe, Firenze Trattoria is the perfect place to celebrate the simple moments with loved ones and friends while dining on delectable Italian fare.

Koto Grill & Sushi
90 Washington Street, Salem, MA – (978) 498-4826

A relatively new addition to the Salem downtown, Koto opened in late 2014.  With traditional Japanese cuisine including sushi, sashimi, hibachi and more, Koto Grill & Sushi is a breath of fresh air in local Asian cuisine scene. Enjoy dinner and a cocktail (or two) at the front window overlooking one of Salem’s main streets.

Life Alive – Offering a $15 per person menu.
281 Essex Street, Salem, MA – (978) 594-4644

A delicious meal, no matter how simple, is the starting point for nurturing the body and soul, and at the same time, the family and even the community at large. We know you no longer want to compromise between fantastic flavor, whole foods goodness, and fast food convenience. Find all this and more at Life Alive!

Nat’s at the Hawthorne Hotel
18 Washington Street, Salem, MA – (978) 825-4300
Click here to make reservations on Yelp.

For an unforgettable fine dining experience in Salem, enjoy the ambiance, warmth and hospitality of award-winning seasonal cuisine from Nathaniel’s restaurant. The menu features contemporary dining in a historic setting, while offering a carefully crafted wine menu and scrumptious desserts that will complete any night out or special occasion.

Opus
87 Washington Street, Salem, MA – (978) 744-9600

With what can only be described as a maverick kitchen, Opus’ cuisine boasts unexpected flavor combinations that simply taste amazing. The restaurant’s dynamic sushi team draws on both east and western influences to create sushi rolls that are truly unique. The upstairs dining room is centered around an oversized, glowing glass bar where guests can meet for a drink or enjoy a three-course meal. Downstairs, in Opus Underground, guests can enjoy nightly entertainment in a Moroccan-inspired space filled with cozy seating and thought-out details. Opus is a go-to destination for live music, dinner, and cocktails seven days a week.

Regatta Pub at the Waterfront Hotel – Offering $15, $25, & $35 per person menus.
225 Derby Street, Salem, MA –  (978) 740-8788

The Regatta offers casual dining with flair. Try their signature “Regatta Blue” martini with your favorite burger or fresh seafood with a glass of chilled wine. The Regatta Pub offers an eclectic choice of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and entrees in a relaxed and nautical inspired atmosphere, or chose to dine outside on their patio, weather permitting.

Rockafellas – Offering a $25 per person menu.
231 Essex Street, Salem, MA – (978) 745-2411

Rockafellas established a new tradition in dining in the center of historic Salem in 2003. As the most delicious occupant of the renowned Daniel Low Building, Rockafellas restaurant follows several other institutions of reputation including a department store, a bank (the vault now stores wines) and one of the first churches in America. Their menu features fresh seafood and Black Angus steaks and offers everything from burgers and salads and tapas to gourmet presentations. The wait staff assures a relaxed atmosphere where everyone feels at home.

Sea Level Oyster Bar – Offering a $25 per person menu.
94 Wharf Street, Salem, MA – (978) 741-0555

Click here to make reservations on Yelp.

Located on Pickering Wharf, Sea Level Oyster Bar boasts two floors of fun while offering comfortable dining and great waterfront views. Sea Level also features a sit down raw bar packed with the freshest shellfish around. With an extensive beer list and creative cocktails that will quench your thirst while the kitchen cooks up fabulous seafood, gourmet pizzas and more, you are guaranteed to leave satisfied! Don’t forget to try their scrumptious desserts stamped in approval.

Thai Place – Offering $15 & $25 per person menus.
Museum Place Mall, Salem, MA – (978) 741-8008

Thai Place Restaurant has been open since 1990. Being the first Thai Restaurant in the North Shore area of Massachusetts, they are proud to be one of the first establishments to present the unique taste, culture and sincerity of Thailand. Thai Place’s dedication to prepare the finest Thai food comes with experience, care for their customers and careful selection of the freshest ingredients.

Trattoria Orsini – Offering a $35 per person menu.
26 Congress Street, Salem, MA – (978) 594-8048

Make a reservation on their website!

Trattoria Orsini is new to Salem, and had their Grand Opening in August of 2016.  They offer modern upscale Italian cuisine with multiple dining rooms, full bar, lounge, and an outdoor patio all accessible by both land and boat on Salem’s Waterfront. The head chef of Trattoria Orsini, Vittorio Ambrogi from Tuscany, Italy, has committed to serving rich and authentic Italian dining.  The venue features a large outdoor patio with scenic views of Salem’s waterfront along with a boat dock, creating their own little Italian canal.

Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall – Offering a $35 per person menu.
43 Church Street, Salem, MA – (978) 745-7665
Click here to make reservations on Open Table.

Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall is an authentic New England seafood house in an iconic 1843 building with noted cultural history, complementing their family’s seafood heritage spanning four generations. This is where they prepare the catch-of-the-day becoming classic appetizers, entrees and creative daily specials. Turner’s shucks and serves the finest local and regional oysters & clams in their classic raw bar. And, their seafood market, Salem’s only, offers fresh, raw and prepared seafood to enjoy at home. It’s important to get to the docks early as good fish go fast but, the best go to Turner’s… then to you….dock to table … same day!

Victoria Station & Vic’s Boathouse
86 Wharf Street, Salem, MA – (978) 745-3400
Click here to make reservations on Open Table.

Overlooking Salem harbor, Victorian Station has established itself as a destination for friends and family for decades and is committed to providing lasting memories for generations to come. Offering a wide variety of fine American cuisine from succulent steaks to the freshest seafood and one of the last remaining “All you can eat” salad bars, there is something for every member of the culinary community.

For more information please call each individual restaurant, as there will be various choices for appetizers, entrees as well as desserts. Reservations are encouraged and please mention “Restaurant Week” when making your reservations.

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Jan 032017
 

Understandably, we’ve taken a little break. It’s been a busy last few months in Salem Ma. Halloween season was filled with creatures and creativity. That was followed by the Winter Holiday season, culminating with our double New Year’s Eve party extravaganza of LAUNCH and LAUNCH… Light It Up! And we could not have done any of these projects without a great showing of community support in the form of volunteers.

In February, it will be Salem’s So Sweet. In March, it will be the Salem Film Fest. In June, it will be the Salem Arts Festival. And so on. Whether these are Salem Main Street events or not, volunteers drive the projects from start to finish.

And that’s not just in Salem.

The annual “Volunteering and Civic Life in America” report, released by the Corporation for National & Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship, substantiates that service to others is a priority for millions of Americans.

In fact for 2013 the report found that 62.6 million adults volunteered through an organization. They put in almost 7.7 billion hours which translated to around $173 billion, based on an estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour.

Time well spent.

And we just wanted to take this moment to thank you all again for giving of your time and experience to projects that benefit the Salem Ma community.

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Dec 262016
 

What is better than one great New Year’s Eve party? Two!!! In conjunction with the City of Salem and Creative Salem that is what you are going to get to bid farewell to 2016 and say a big hello to 2017 with LAUNCH! and LAUNCH… Light It Up!

“When we organized LAUNCH! for the first time a few years ago, it was immediately clear that there was a strong community desire to come together on New Year’s Eve,” states Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets’ Executive Director.

“This event has always been family-focused and kid-friendly, which is fantastic, but there was an opportunity to do more to serve the adults in our community. The City approached Creative Salem to develop a concept, and we’ve been working closely together to program and connect the two events.”

“We were very excited to create a new concept event featuring local creative organizations coming together to create a truly unique and wholly Salem happening that could also support the amazing family event that Kylie and Salem Main Streets have run and we have supported since its inception” states John Andrews, owner of Creative Salem.

Launch!

The early portion of the evening (4-6pm, Old Town Hall) will be the traditional LAUNCH! event. This event is free to all and family-friendly, with a $5 suggested donation to help support Salem Main Streets’ “Holiday Happenings” initiatives, including the Holiday Tree and the wreaths and ribbons around the downtown. Family programming will include hat making, photo booth, kids’ silent disco, interactive art exhibit with Phil Wyman, and more! There will be an early countdown just before 6 pm.

Volunteers are needed for a variety of jobs:

  • Set up (2 to 4pm): Volunteers should ideally be able to lift up to 25 pounds.
  • Greeters (4 to 6 pm): Greet people at the door and collect optional donations.
  • Craft activity support (4 to 6 pm): Help activity leaders as needed.
  • Face painters (4 to 6 pm): We’re not looking for high levels of artistic talent – ability to paint hearts, stars, and “Happy 2017!” is sufficient.  We’ll provide the paint and brushes.
  • Break down (5:45 to 7pm): Volunteers should ideally be able to lift up to 25 pounds.

Launch… Light It Up

Come back at 9 pm for LAUNCH…LIGHT IT UP, new this year, as Creative Salem and Retonica transform Old Town Hall into a Black Light Dance Hall! This 21+ event will be $20 per person with a cash bar, live performance by local group Dandrew, sounds by DJ Seth, arcade games courtesy of Bit Bar, hat making with Grace & Diggs, plus a photo booth, food by Bambolina, interactive pop up art exhibit, and a special countdown at midnight. Tickets are available at https://creative-salem.ticketleap.com/launch-light-it-up-nye-salem/

About Salem Main Streets

Salem Main Streets’ mission is the continued revitalization of downtown Salem as a vibrant, year-round, retail, dining and cultural destination through business retention, recruitment, and the promotion of the downtown district.  SMS produces and supports numerous community events and initiatives throughout the year, including the Salem Farmers’ Market, Salem Arts Festival, Salem’s So Sweet, and the October Information Booth.  SMS operates thanks to the generosity and partnership of the City of Salem and Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Destination Salem, and many other local business sponsors and community volunteers.

About Creative Salem

Creative Salem is an organization of like-minded creative individuals with the mission of ensuring creativity and the arts are a relevant part of daily community and small business life, and operates through the support of its partners and members. Creative Salem celebrates the city of Salem as a hub of creativity, and is dedicated to promoting collaboration, facilitating quality artistic events, and providing contemporary tools for local creative professionals to find and connect with new audiences while encouraging them to apply their skills to help solve challenges facing the community.

For more information about these events, contact Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Executive Director, at (978)744-0004 or kylie@salemmainstreets.org, or visit http://salemmainstreets.org/

 

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Dec 152016
 

Not one, but two winter holiday markets take place this weekend in Salem and they are easily within walking distance of each other so you can see it all and bring home the best in crafts and foods.

Salem Winter Market

Salem Main Streets is pleased to announce the return of the Salem Winter Market!!  A seasonal extension of the Salem Farmers’ Market, this year’s final Salem Winter Market will take place Saturday, December 17th­, from 1-5 pm inside the Museum Place Mall (1 Church Street).

“The Winter Market is a fantastic opportunity to support local farms and artisans through the holiday season, and is a chance to find some truly unique holiday gifts,” states Kylie Sullivan, executive director of Salem Main Streets and organizer of the market.

“We’re also very excited to showcase our vendors in the Museum Place Mall this year, where we can complement and highlight the variety of great year-round tenants in the mall.”

A diversity of local vendors will be present at the Salem Winter Market this season. Patrons can expect to find an assortment of foods and artisan crafts including locally-caught lobster, dried fruit and nuts, chowder, baked goods (including vegan and dairy-free options), wreaths, handmade soaps, spices, honey, pickles, gourmet ravioli, almond butter, eggs, jewelry, and various produce.

In addition, both Santa and The Grinch will be stopping by throughout this Saturday’s event to spread cheer and grumpiness (respectively).

The Salem Farmers’ Market and Winter Market are organized by Salem Main Streets, thanks to the support of the City of Salem and Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Destination Salem, and many other local business sponsors and community volunteers. For further information regarding current vendors and Winter Market updates, refer to the Market’s website, Facebook, and Twitter pages, or contact Kylie Sullivan directly.

Salem Holiday Market

But that’s not all folks. You say you want more? Look no farther than across the road to Old Town Hall. Where you will discover this weekend The Salem Holiday Market! This has become a much-anticipated annual indie craft show, featuring over 90 of the best local and regional designers and artists from all over New England.

The Salem Holiday Market will be presented by New England Open Markets, from noon-6pm on Saturday and Sunday, December 17th and 18th.

For a look at the vendors’ list and pictures of their wares, check out their website.

Kylie adds, “We were so thrilled with the success of our November market where we saw over 1,600 visitors!  Between the diversity of market vendors and the mall tenants, this December’s market will most definitely have something for everyone on your list.”

Then mix in the Salem Holiday Market and no matter the weather this weekend, you have a real good chance at a very rewarding walk or drive to Salem. You definitely will come away with your hands full of good bargains, good food, and good gifts!

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