Sep 032016

A word misspoken. A deed misunderstood. Common enough occurrences in today’s society where social media could quickly shed the light of truth on the situation. But there was a time when the only social media was word of mouth and when hearsay was taken as gospel. So stands the story of Bridget Bishop as presented in the interactive play Cry Innocent which begins its September season in Salem Ma today.

Bridget Bishop“The year is 1692. Bridget Bishop has been accused of witchcraft and YOU are on the Puritan jury. Hear the historical testimonies, cross-examine the witnesses and decide the verdict. Is Bridget Bishop capable of witchcraft? Play your part in history… ”

This traditional “must-see” performance is unique as it begins outside on our Essex Street Pedestrian walkway and then whisks you into the “courthouse” (our Old Town Hall). But not before you see costumed performers walking about, among you, for several minutes. Then conversations begin. Voices become louder. Proclamations! Exclamations!! Accusations!!!

Witchcraft is afoot in Salem and witnesses have seen Bridget Bishop doing and saying suspicious things. She dresses differently. She holds herself up differently. Is she “different?”

Purchase admission to the trial and you sit on the jury listening to testimony and for those brave enough, you can actually ask questions of witnesses and officers of the court. Then you decide, is Bridget Bishop guilty of being a practitioner of the dark arts?

No spoiler here, sometimes she is set free. Sometimes she is not. How say you? See the performance and judge for yourself. Did she commit a crime against society or was she a victim of a criminal abuse of community gossip?

Cry Innocent is a presentation of History Alive, Inc. which is committed to the “production of new plays and theatrical scenarios based on true stories from the past. Emphasis is given to interactive theatre so that actors and audience together, through a playful and dynamic way of engaging with history, might broaden their understanding of the present and gain a fresh sense of purpose within their own era.”

Performances are held weekends in September and October 1st – 31st. Approximate duration of the trial reenactment is 45 minutes.

Ask at the History Alive, Inc. box office cart, located in Derby Square, for directions to the location of Bridget Bishop’s arrest.

For more details on showtimes and ticket prices, check out the Cry Innocent website

For more information on History Alive, Inc. please email:

Aug 122016

StreetFairPostcards 2016 v2

As Salem Heritage Days winds down to its closing events, it does not slow down. This weekend, Saturday, August 13 & Sunday, August 14 from 10am – 6pm you will find the Essex Street Fair along the Pedestrian Mall. Rain or shine. The bargains will be on display!

This two-day festival is where over 40 artisans, craftors, and food vendors from in and around Salem join local merchants to sell their merchandise.

Fun for all ages, this street festival has something for everyone. Crafts, jewelry, paintings, stained glass, and other unique items will be featured along the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall all weekend long.

For more information, contact the Salem Chamber of Commerce at

Jul 272016

pokemon wantedFad or not, the search for Pokemon has quickly (and surprisingly) ingrained itself into the hearts and minds of people of all ages the world wide— and Salem is a perfect example with this Sunday’s (2-8pm) “SalemGo! Catch Em’ All!” city-wide Pokemon Go event that will include a scavenger hunt, a costume contest, various prizes, pizza, and (of course) Pokemon!

John Andrews of Creative Salem, one of the sponsors explains, “The event will be an all-day Poke-walk that will be open to any willing participants. You can casually follow the map with some friends, or you can participate in the Pokemon-Themed scavenger hunt that will take you all around town.”

Chris Ricci, driving force behind the project further explains that “SalemGo! Catch Em’ All!” will be a team event. “There will be a maximum entry of three people per team, so be sure to team up with some pals! Bringing a battery charger would be ideal, and you can get portable ones fairly inexpensively at electronic stores. And be sure to dress well for the weather! This summer has been unpredictable, and it could be a scorcher on Sunday, so dress well and stay hydrated!”

John adds, “So excited to be hosting this amazing Pokemon event this Sunday throughout Salem. Working with our friends at @livelongandpizza and @silvermoonc0mics and more, this is a must attend for Pokemon fans.”

In fact Flying Saucer Pizza Company will be the official Pokemon Center of the evening where you can grab a bite as well as some specialty drinks.

And Silver Moon Comics will be hosting the costume contest; everyone is encouraged to give it a go and have fun with it!

Salem Main Streets caught up with Chris Ricci for some additional insights on “SalemGo! Catch Em’ All!”

Fads come and go. What makes Pokemon Go different?

“Fads are interesting in more recent years as the vast majority of them have been strictly digital. Apps and games have taken the world by storm, and I distinctly remember everyone and their mother playing Angry Birds like there was no tomorrow.

But, now here’s Pokemon Go, which I think is extremely different despite falling in the same category. Pokemon Go combines the nostalgia of the old Pokemon games from the mid-to-late 90s and adds in not only a digital element, but a virtual reality element. The app quite literally forces you to walk around to accomplish anything, which is marvelous because it’s essentially an excuse to go outside.

Poke-walkNaysayers and detractors will say how people shouldn’t rely on an app to go outside, but why not?

People are having an incredible amount of fun playing it, and the game itself is inter-connected with everyone so if you see a Pokemon in your vicinity, other people in the same area can too. We live in an incredible town that has tons of places to not only catch Pokemon, but to earn experience points and to battle, and we also live in a place where people can feel comfortable doing so without the looming fear of something bad happening.

So, yes, this fits the mold for a fad, but the ripple effect that Pokemon Go is having on the city is unlike anything I’ve seen in games.”

According to Salem Patch, here are five of the many Pokéstops in Salem:

  1. Salem Witch House
  2. St. John’s Roman Catholic Church
  3. Essex County Bell
  4. The Lady of Salem
  5. Salem Superior Court Building

Have you found any at your office itself?

“Oh, of course! There’s been a whole bunch in the office and around the office itself. We live in a city that is very busy when it comes to Pokemon, and this was taken into account when it comes to the walk that is scheduled. It’s going to go through various terrain to insure that there are a wide range of different Pokemon to catch!”

And… What teams are you and the other sponsors?

“This is a good question. Personally, I’m on Team Valor (Red) and I know some of our sponsors are on Team Mystic (Blue), but in the end, the teams don’t really matter. Especially for the walk. You can have a team full of Valor members, or you can mix it up and play with your friends that are on other teams. When I designed the walk, I only had one thing in mind: having fun. And it’s much more fun to play with a bunch of friends as opposed to rivals.”

Be sure to check the Facebook page event for more info on “SalemGo! Catch Em’ All!”

And we will see you Sunday!

Jul 212016

Look at what the summer sea breeze just blew across the Essex Street Pedestrian Walkway.

Designed to be complimentary to the popular 3rd Thursday of the month PEM/PM parties at the Peabody Essex Museum (which this evening is coincidentally called Summer Breeze),  The Museum Place Mall is launching what it hopes will be an every 3rd Thursday of the month event when select businesses in the Mall will retain later business hours as well as offer special promotions to all of their customers!

Some of the incentives to be offered include:

  • A free Aromatherapy session with any 10 minute or longer chair massage at A Sacred Place Wellness Center
  • 25% off cash sales of any clock at Bewitched in Salem, with extended hours to 7:30pm
  • A free small iced or hot coffee with any $10 purchase from 6-8pm at Jodi Bee Bakes
  • Refreshments and 10% off all purchases from 6-8pm at Kan.del
  • $10 off any half hour reading at OMEN
  • 10% discount on premium packages at Salem’s Vintage Photography, with extended hours to 7:30pm
  • Pork Rib dinner at Village Tavern! Large Succulent ‘right-out-of-the-smoker’ Pork Ribs served with five side orders! $11.99 (normally $18.99)

And possibly more!!!

Summer BreezeThis is an interesting and quite welcome compliment to the diverse activities that the Peabody Museum presents.  And not to leave out tonight’s PEM/PM activities, you are invited to explore American Impressionist: Childe Hassam and the Isles of Shoals, from 6-9pm.

Taste local seafood, listen to breezy reggae beats by DJ Zeke Stern of the Green Lion Crew, enjoy works by plein-air painting group The Newburyport 10, create rearrangeable poetry and be fascinated by a presentation from staff at the Shoals Marine Lab.

Cash bar will feature Chateau Beaulieu Rose, Provence and Caribbean Rum Punch. And as always, there will be a pecial small plates menu from the Hawthorne Hotel.

It will be an interesting evening. If you have the time, we invite you to follow the breeze.

The Peabody Essex Museum is located at 161 Essex Street.


May 212016

Artists' RowWhat is so unique & challenging about the small stretch of land known as Artists’ Row at 24 New Derby St. is that each of the four creative storefront owners design, make and sell their wares right there. Even before your eyes. That is what makes Artists’ Row so special. And it is now open.

Originally built as a market place, this pedestrian walkway is intersected by Front St. on one side and New Derby St. on the other. It is across from Town Hall.

The Public Art Commission, working with Deborah Greel, the Public Art Planner, have this year invited the following “Creative Entrepreneurs” to create handcrafted items including pottery, fabric arts, glass art, and wood turned products in their retail/maker spaces.

  • Boston Woodturning creates one-of-a-kind handcrafted fine art, as well as usable utilitarian pieces, from a variety of local wood. Discover demonstrations in Woodturning and various workshops throughout the season in the working studio. Learn and observe the process of Woodturning or book a lesson. In the gallery space find practical and sculptural works of art created from wood.
  • Ceramics by Sibel is the working pottery studio & gallery of Sibel Alpaslan. Sibel is a Turkish ceramic artist who loves the organic feeling of clay, knowing that it comes from the earth. Lately, she has been focusing on creating amphora, vases, and covered dishes that are inspired by ancient forms, and then combining them with modern whimsical surprises. Sibel will also host pottery wheel demonstrations and workshops.
  • Grace and Diggs founder Linda Joy Mullen, while an architect, has always loved to sew, knit, draw, and glue things together.  Architecture has been a study in building big things, while Grace and Diggs became an outlet to make little things. From paper-bag hats and burlap wreaths, to aprons and throw-pillows, Grace and Diggs’ workshops and pre-made works invite the public to experiment in design of small things.
  • Kay’s Stained Glass Studio is the locally owned and operated glass studio of Kay and Aleksandra Nowak with a mission to create high quality original glass products. With years of experience in stained glass industry, Kay’s Stained Glass Studio offers unique designs and quality craftsmanship with great attention to details. Their work can be seen in various locations throughout Europe as well as the United States. They also provide many services for their customers including consultation, design, restoration, renovation, repair, and fabrication.

As an added extra, joining Sibel in her stall is Karen Scalia of Salem Food Tours. With a passion for fresh local foods and cooking, and a background in event planning as well as the performing arts Karen knew that sharing Salem’s past with a ‘taste’ of the culinary present was the perfect way to understand and appreciate this much-loved city. Take a tour with Karen and learn more about the local food scene in Salem!

This year the creative entrepreneurs are also participating in “Watch Art Grow on the Row” bringing an educational component to Artists’ Row. The artisans will host classes in ceramics, woodturning, hat and wreath making, demonstrations and fine art classes for adults and children. Please contact the individual artisans for their class, workshop and demonstration schedules.

Artists’ Row is a seasonal program (end of May to beginning of November) that provides space for artisans interested in building their audience through daily engagement with residents and visitors to Salem. Artists’ Row is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday, noon – 6pm and Thursdays, 11am – 7pm.