Sep 082014

Poe in PersonWhile Nathaniel Hawthorne’s writings were well known to be tied to Salem, literary contemporary Edgar Allan Poe also had a connection. It appears that “A Tell-Tale Heart” might have been based on the grisly murder of Capt. Joseph White in 1830 Salem. And in the midst of our Haunted Halloween Happenings next month there will be interactive events fostered by The Scarlet Letter Press & Gallery  to honor Mr. Poe.

The first is “Spirits of the Dead” an art show “inspired” by Edgar Allan Poe. The store is seeking Poe-inspired artwork for a Sept. 27 – Nov. 2 gallery show. Deadline for submissions is Sept. 12th.

The gallery at The Scarlet Letter Press will be transformed into a somber state of decay as the worn pages of Edgar Allan Poe’s grim stories are represented in visual artwork. A month-long show featuring artists from around the United States will hang in honor of the late horror master. All artwork is for sale including original paintings, assemblage, jewelry, prints, candles, postcards and much more. The ensemble “1476” has written and produced an original score for the art show which will also be available for sale.

According to the Facebook page “We have accepted a lot of 2D artwork, but would love to see items that are 3D, i.e. jewelry, vintage items, books, clothing, etc.”

The Scarlet Letter Press is also participating in a national month of recognition to support the city of Boston’s installation of its life-sized Poe bronze on Oct. 5th. The Edgar Allan Poe Foundation of Boston had sought to honor Poe in the city where he was born on January 19, 1809.
 The installation will be in Poe Square (intersection of Boylston Street and Charles Street South) which was dedicated to the author in 2009.

The store suggests you might absorb some inspiration from the sculpture by Stefanie Rocknak at

But to mis-quote the Raven– there is more. There will be an intimate, one-night only experience Oct. 18th from 7:30 – 9:30 pm at Finz restaurant, with the dearly departed Edgar Allan Poe who returns to Salem for an appearance that should not be missed. Amongst macabre music and exquisite morsels and your choice of tantalizing cocktails, Mr. Poe performs dramatic readings of “The Raven” and the earlier mentioned “A Tell-Tale Heart.”

He will also discuss his life and the lasting impact of his work with audience interaction. Each guest receives an exclusive item commemorating the experience. And—- period costumes are welcome!

Another guest speaker, Victoria Price had been planned for Oct. 20th, but details have not been finalized at this point in the schedule.

Tickets will most likely sell quickly, for more information on any of these events, contact The Scarlet Letter Press at 978 -741-1850.

Aug 112014

PEM PalsNot every tourist destination can offer “kid-friendly” events on a regular basis— but here in Salem, we can. As proof, we present the on-going PEM/PEM Pals. This is a fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers. It is presented Wednesdays from 10:30 to 11:30 am at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Residents and visitors alike are welcome to attend.

For example, last week they read The Deep Blue Sea (which was in keeping with the theme of the current exhibition Turner & The Sea). There was also an adventure & fun with a sea-related craft.

This week the sea theme continues with a reading of Big Al, a book about a really big, but really friendly fish named Al.

The month will round out with special guests.

On Aug. 20 participants will be joined by Mr. Whirly (aka Keith Wasserman). He has some fresh tunes to share from his new cd, so attendees should be ready to dance!

On Aug. 27, you might want to keep your dancing shoes on because Teresa Coelho from Music Together will be available with all her instruments for children to try!

In fact, we suggest you take a look at the entire “Kids & Families” schedule for August at the Peabody Essex.

PEM/PEM Pals operates on Wednesdays  from Sept. 4, 2013 – Dec. 24, 2014. It is made possible with support from Target and American Dental Partners. For additional info call 978-745-9500.

Apr 272014

Yes, almost the same headline as yesterday’s blog, because today, Sunday April 27th offers yet another day of fun-filled community events:

5K Road Race & Fun Walk, 9-10am

Wicked Good Books Giveaway, 10am – 2pm

Y Art show at Gulu Gulu, 4-6pm

A mostly flat and fast course awaits an expected 400 runners and walkers today during the 18th Annual North Shore Wellness Fair 5K Road Race & Fun Walk. The race, hosted by Salem State University, promotes and encourages a healthy lifestyle. Proceeds benefit LifeBridge, the Northeast Animal Shelter and the Wellness Center at Salem State University. Streets along the race route near Canal Street and Lafayette Street will be affected during the race time, which is from approximately 9-10am.

Be there, bring a chair, breathe fresh air.

Free Books Wicked Good BooksAfterwords, you can run or jog over to our brick and cobblestone Pedestrian walkway on Essex Street for Day #2 of the Great Book Giveaway. It’s a BYOB (bring your own box or bag) free book event. Where The Derby Bookstore once stood, soon will be Wicked Good Books, 215 Essex St. Surplus books in the changeover are being made available to the public today as they were yesterday.

What kind of books are there for the taking?

From the Wicked Good Books Facebook page “We have quite a mix left for FREE, including lots of mysteries, gardening, cookbooks, and self-help, and a HUGE assortment of Young Adult. Please share!”

Speaking of sharing, Salem YMCA program participants will offer for your viewing pleasure over 140 pieces of art, courtesy of the Gulu Gulu Cafe. Head to the Y Art Show at the Gulu, 247 Essex St, from 4-6pm, and if you see something you like then bid on it to support the Y! The day will include a silent auction, music, art, and fun! Music by Jeff Savlon & Brian Donnelly.

Co-sponsor, Salem Collective of Artists and Musicians (SCAM), assisted by holding an art workshop with the Y kids and in hanging the artwork!

All proceeds benefit Salem YMCA childcare programs and initiatives.

It will be another great day to visit Salem Ma. We welcome you to our community.

Nov 162013

When exactly are things supposed to slow down in Salem?

We just finished Fall Restaurant Week. Well, actually two weeks of fine dining.

We are in the midst of Winter Market, Thursdays (except Thanksgiving week) from 3-6pm at Old Town Hall.

The soon to be Turner’s Seafood Restaurant will be opening this week (or next, everything needs to be just right). Yes, another different flavor of dining comes to Salem. Described in their own words, “Salem experiences the heritage, dedication & expertise of our family’s four generations… sourcing, preparing & serving the freshest, best tasting seafood at our authentic New England seafood restaurant & market in storied Lyceum Hall.”

Brunonia BarryBrunonia Barry (The Lace Reader and The Map of True Places) noted author from Salem —a New York Times Best-selling author we may add—  Baccante award winner & Strand Fellowship recipient will close out the 2013 “Seven Lectures at Seven Gables” series at (where else) the House of Seven Gables, Wednesday at 7pm.

CinemaSalem is running a special double feature this Thursday on the 8pm premiere of Catching Fire by preceding it with the original Hunger Games movie at 5pm.

Another celebrity comes to town on Thursday, when Jenny Johnson, the Emmy Award Winning producer and television host of TV Diner visits J. Mode for a “Girls Night Event,” 6-8:30pm. The evening’s guests will enjoy wine, small bites and a beautiful spread offered by Pretzel Crisps, plus of course shopping. Space is limited and the first 25 guests will receive a swag bag filled with surprises. Attendees will also be treated to a raffle and the opportunity to earn double points in J. Mode’s customer loyalty program.

But before that you might want to visit the Peabody Essex Museum for Members’ Appreciation Day. This holiday season, the Museum Shop wants to thank members for their support with a special gift and additional discounts. Visit the shop and receive your exclusive PEM swag bag!

Join then from 1-3pm for a book signing with Benneville Strohecker, founder of the Salem-based Harbor Sweets. He’ll sign copies of his new children’s book, The Day the Ocean Changed to Chocolate. Also meet a representative from Tea Forte, and sample delicious teas.

Close out the evening with the latest in the PEM/PM after hours gathering. This month Anime and Manga; these are Japanese comic books and animation that have taken America by storm. Come celebrate this fascinating medium from 6:30-9:30pm with a visual music performance, drawing with professional graphic artists and an engaging conversation organized by the Tannery Series. Members and Salem residents (with ID) free, non-members $10. Cash bar. Refreshments available for purchase in the Atrium Cafe.

And that is just this week.

On Nov. 30 we take part in Small Business Saturday, but that’s another blog.