Connecting Cambridge & Somerville to create a vibrant community.

Around the Block: Magoun Square

This month we venture out to Magoun Square in Somerville. The Square is located at the intersection of Broadway and Medford Street, just east of Ball Square. Fun historical fact – the  Square was named after the family of John Calvin Magoun, who was married into the Tufts family lineage.

Today, Magoun Square is home to a vibrant residential neighborhood, with a growing local business scene. Old favorites, like Modelo Bakery,  On the Hill Tavern, and Olde Magoun’s Saloon are now joined my new neighborhood faves, like Daddy Jones and the upcoming PennyPackers. There is something for everyone in this unique Somerville square. Click here for our photo gallery.

Olde Magoun Saloon
518 Medford Street, Somerville, MA

Anyone who lives or even visits Magoun Square knows the neighborhood hangout, Olde Magoun. The Saloon has over 28 taps of local and imported craft beer and a weekly rotating cask of local ale, each one served in its own distinctive glass. The bar also has a great pub menu featuring traditional and creative burgers, signature sandwiches, and classic pub favorites like nachos and fish & chips. The Saloon is a great spot to meet up with friends, try the newest local ale or play some great trivia on a Tuesday night.

Modelo Butcher Shopmodelobutcher
501 Medford Street, Somerville, MA

This butcher shop is one of the newest spaces in Magoun Square. The shop offers a variety of high-cut meat, chicken wings and more. Most notably, the shop offers a wide range of grocery goods – a great “one stop shop” for dinner. Check it out next time you are in the neighborhood.

Modelo Bakery
508 Medford Street, Somerville, MA

One of the oldest spots in Magoun is the Model Bakery. The bakery offers fresh Brazilian food and a variety of bakery goods, like the famous cheese bread. Breakfast is offered all day long with a free cup of coffee too. Definitely worth a stop while exploring the Square.

K-2 Wine & Beer K2
500 Medford Street, Somerville, MA

K-2 Wine & Beer opened almost a year ago in the Square and has been a hit ever since. The liquor store offers a wide variety of affordable beers and wine, and offers weekly specials. Kegs are available by special order, too. Don’t forget to stop by their Friday night wine tastings from 5-7pm!

Wangs
509 Broadway, Somerville, MA

You know you are really a Somerville resident when you have ordered from Wang’s. The storefront might be small, but the offerings inside are not. Wang’s offers an affordable array of well-made Chinese food.  Wang’s is open late on the weekends and offers both take out and delivery. Call them up at: (617) 623-2982.

Daddy Jones
525 Medford Street, Somerville, MA
daddyjones

Daddy Jones is one of the new neighborhood hangouts to hit the Square. Opened by Somerville resident Dimitra Tsourianis, the restaurant features a variety of all American favorites (our favorite: Mac & Cheese) to traditional Greek-inspired treats from the owner’s family. Cocktails are offered in funky old-school cocktail glasses and the beer menu features some fun, local craft brews. The restaurant features old school 80s shows like Alf and Cosby Show, while also featuring the Red Sox game at the bar. Bonus is that is Dimitra is always around, and is very involved in the local community. A must for those exploring Magoun Square.

 

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Cambriville Connects June Happy Hour

Hi everyone! Cambriville does Union Square!

Here are the details:

Where: The Independent, 75 Union Square, Somerville, MA 02143

When: Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 6:00-8:00pm

Why: To meet great new people and get to know our neighbors!

Independent Bar

Come join us for an evening of chatting with movers and shakers at The Independent. Meet your favorite Somerville/Cantabrigians  for networking with no agenda. Let’s get the creative and innovative juices flowing!

We’re looking forward to seeing you!

RSVP on Google+ or on Facebook!

Around the Block: Porter Square

Did you know? Porter Square was named for the now-vanished Porter’s Hotel, operated by Zachariah B. Porter, who also left his name to the hotel’s specialty, the cut of steak known as porter house. And back in the day, the current shopping plaza was home to the 19th Century Rand Estate. So if you think about it, Porter Square has always been center for commerce. Click here for our photo gallery of Porter Square. 

Cambridge Naturals
23 White Street (Porter Square Shopping Center)cambridge naturals

Cambridge Naturals was founded in 1974 to fulfill a vision of establishing a community natural health store. The mission is to sell nutritional supplements for health and wellness, pure, clean body care products and organic foods. They offer classes, speakers, workshops, and tastings weekly on all subjects from “enhancing brain function” to water filters.

They are a local family-owned store and are members of BOTH Cambridge Local First & Somerville Local First. They are also a Sustainable Business Leader.  Shop there and give back to a truly vibrant organization building a sustainable economy!

Porter Square Books
25 White Street (Porter Square Shopping Center)

With regular book signings and events, a special section dedicated to local authors, all your favorite guilty IMG_1559pleasure books (The Hunger Games, anyone?), AND the option to purchase e-books right from the store, Porter Square Books really is your one-stop-shop for all things reading.  A recent event included a collaboration with the Cambridge Public Library to bring Temple Grandin to town to talk about her experiences, and an evening with Ilan Mochari, Somerville author of the new book Zinsky the Obscure! Porter Square Books is also home to Cafe Zing, a great coffee corner featuring baked goods and Equal Exchange coffee. Porter Square Books is currently looking for a new owner – so if you have ever wanted to own a book shop, this is the perfect one.

TAGS Hardware
29 White Street (Porter Square Shopping Center)

TAGS Hardware is a local, independent family-owned store, operating in Cambridge since 1955. As one of the founders of Cambridge Local First, TAGS participates in a variety of local and global issues and offers a vareity of annual events. TAGS Hardware sells a lots of home goods, kitchenware, paint, nuts a bolts. TAGS is great for seasonal needs (plants, salts, etc.) and energy efficiency products.

Liquor World
13 White Street (Porter Square Shopping Center)

In need of local, delicious and inexpensive treats for the weekend?  Well this is the place to stop by. The proprietors are knowledgeable, the wine plentiful, and there are always deals on a variety of goods. Liquor World also provides the occasional tastings, from boubon to sake.

Yuko Wo Katare
1923 Massachusetts AveIMG_1561

Have you ever walked by when this place was open and NOT seen a line down the block? Neither have we! Yuko Wo Katare is the newest addition to the Cambridge/Boston ramen scene, straight from Japan. The restaurant only serves ramen two ways and is open from 5pm to 11pm Tuesdays-Sundays. They do not do take out, so make sure to get in line early!

Tibet Arts 
Massachusetts Avenue

Walking into this shop brings you into another country – or so it seems. Tibet Arts offers a variety of literature, apparel and jewelery from Tibet. The wares are beautiful, the ambience relaxing, and the smells are amazing.  You can get gorgeous healing bracelets for only $7 and prayer flags. Definitely worth a walk up Mass Ave.

Baptiste Yoga
2000 Massachusetts Avenue

Ready to sweat it out?  Then Baptiste is the place to go  for hot yoga – from beginner to expert. Founded in the 1940’s by Walt Baptiste, it has since been taken over by his son Baron, who has brought the movement to national fame with appearances on MTV and Good Morning America.  Stop over for a great early morning class and get your day started off right.

Christopher’s & Toad
1912 & 1920 Massachusetts Avenue

Also a member of the Sustainable Business Network, Christopher’s has been a Cambridge institution for over 30 years, holding strong as an anchor for Porter Square.  Christopher’s is also connected to Toad, a great neighborhood  venue to see live music any day of the week.  Stop by Christopher’s for a delicious and affordable dinner, and make it a date night by rounding out the evening with some great local and live music at Toad.

Cambridge Clogs
1798 Massachusetts Avenue

Oh clogs, how my feet love thee.  Walk into this quirky store with deliciously comfortable shoes packed into every nook and cranny, and you can almost feel your feet smile.  And the owner and staff are so helpful and make sure to help you find the right fit.  Looking for cute stockings, too? You can get a variety fo knee highs and colorful stockings too. Cambridge Clogs is perfect fit for those looking for a comfortable and unique sense of style.

Joie de vire
1792 Massachusetts Avenuejoie de vire

I think that their website says it best: “Our stock includes wind-up toys, kaleidoscopes, jewelry, flashing rings, clocks, snowglobes, music boxes, books, postcards, rubber ducks, singing animals and all kinds of other things designed to enchant, or give pleasure through the unexpected.”  And that is right – enchant it will!  A great place to stop off and grab a little trinket to supplement that gift for your friends or family, or get that gag gift your office desk. You will definitely find something for anyone, ages 1 to 99.  Check their website regularly for a special monthly item.

Guitar stop
1760 Massachusetts Avenue

A family owned and operated store selling all music-playing needs, Guitar Stop has been open since 1962.  You can get private lessons in guitar, bass, piano, and even ukele! Call or email the store to learn more about lessons.  Guitar Stop also hosts group workshops, including Kid Jam, an 8-week series designed to teach kids to play guitar solo or in a band.

Sudo Shoes
1771 Massachusetts Avenuesudo shoes

Walk with principle, indeed. For those of you who are passionate about animal rights and dislike wearing leather, you must check out Sudo Shoes, Cambridge’s only vegan shoe store. Vegan shoes doesn’t mean you can’t be on trend! Sudo Shoes brings in new styles for men and women every day, every season. Check out their facebook page to find out what’s in the store today!

 Clothware
1773 Massachusetts Avenue

Clothware began as a “womens design collective”, producing an original line of fashion alternatives in Cambridge. Founded in the sevenities in Harvard Square, Clothware remains loyal to the same criteria that accounted for its initial success in the store’s new Porter Square location. Clothware offers a variety of apparel and accessories, women’s sleepware, as well as travel, career and weekend wear. Clothware is one of the founders of Cambridge Local First, so its only fitting that many of the designers at Clothware are local, too! 

Miso Market
1963 Massachusetts Avenuemiso market

Porter Square is home to a variety of Asian restaurants, especially in the Porter Exchange retail area, so it is only fitting that the Square has a great Japanese grocery store. Miso Market is packed with fresh made sushi, Japanese sweets, an aisle dedicated to noodles, packaged ramen and much more. Make sure to stop by and grab a bento box today!

ACE Wheelworks
145 Elm Street (Somerville)

Wheelworks is a wonderful stop on your cycling adventure.  Great for commuters, recreational cyclists, racers, or families out for a weekend jaunt – stop in and say hi!  Whether you need to purchase a new bike, are looking for lights, need specialty gear, or are in need of a tune-up, you can do it there.

Movers and Shakers: Drinks with David Day

What is the definition of a maven? An expert or connoisseur. The word maven comes from Hebrew, via Yiddish, and means one who understands, based on an accumulation of knowledge.

Well that certainly describes David Day, a maven in many respects. We were able to meet up with him at Phoenix Landing in Central Square, Day’s professional home base.  And home base it is – he knows many people around the Square, coordinates frequently with the Central Square Business Association, and is in fact the Mayor of the Landing on Foursquare.  This is again bringing us back to how David is a maven – an expert, one who has gathered knowledge and wants to pass it on.

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David Day is the co-Director and co-Founder of the MMMMaven Agency, featuring MMMMaven Presents (events), The MMMMaven Project (DJ School), and MMMMaven Artists (artist representation). He is also the Creative Director of the Together Festival, now in it’s fourth year.

Day and his co-founder of MMMMaven, Alex Maniatis took the plunge a little over a year ago when David left his position as Editor of the Weekly Dig to follow his dream of creating the MMMMaven Agency.  David and Alex felt that there was a need for teaching people about music, connecting artists together all year round and not just bringing people together once a year at a festival. As he says, “Entrepreneurs can be creative too!” And MMMMaven brings just that together – entrepreneurship and creativity, all in one building on Mass Ave.  Day and his partners used Indiegogo (a crowdsourcing funding mechanism) to raise start-up capital, and away they went.

Day soon realized that there was more than just a need for event production and artist representation. A lot of people wanted to learn how to produce and perform. After getting feedback from clients and the general public, they started DJ classes in September 2012, and are already expanding into a bigger space in Central Square in the Barron Building! When asked why he felt this was an important thing to do in Massachusetts, he responded: “I feel like this is one way to ensure that creative folks can stay and keep the Boston area vibrant (instead of going to Brooklyn!)”  Well put, David. Well put.

And how does this movement grow community? Why does this matter to the Cambridge and Somerville communities? When asked what community means to him, David had an even better answer than before:

“It means falling in love. Awesome people always meet at the [Together] festival, and some have actually fallen in love! Community also means being comfortable with being uncomfortable – that its a place where with an open mind you can put yourself in a new situation and meet new people and new experiences.”  We couldn’t have said it better. Seriously…we still can’t.

togetherboston2013

What is the Together Festival? Established in 2010, this celebration of music, technology and art grew very organically. It started with David sending an email out to every promoter, connector and other artist folk involved in the Boston area music scene. He brought together a strong and dedicated core of volunteers to push the first festival to exceed even the founders’ expectations. In 2010 there were around 50 events, a full event, to be sure.  This year there are currently 120 scheduled, culminating with a large Together Festival/Central Square Business Association collaboration – the Central Square World’s Fair on Saturday, May 18. MassArt and Berkelee College of Music have been involved since the beginning, and this year new partners include MIT and the Museum of Science. The MOS Planetarium will host a big arts spectacle, where 5 local artists will project what ethnicities may look like in the future – according to them, it is going to be psychedelic!

In addition to the festival and the classes, David represents artists, and hosts various events around town. He also hosts a weekly event, bringing together his constituents regularly at the “Make it New” night at the Middlesex Lounge in Central Square every Thursday night.

Leaving on a forward thinking note, we asked David what inspires him.  “A friend from high school once said to me: ‘I don’t read the same books from high school, I don’t watch the same TV from high school, and I’m not going to listen to the same music from high school.’ I find this as a guiding principle to being a maven and bringing people new experiences.” So stop by our next meet up on Wednesday, May 15th at the Together Festival Headquarters and listen to new music, connect with new people and have a new experience. We’ll see you there.

Cambriville Connects May Happy Hour

Hi everyone! Cambriville does Together Festival & Central Square!

togetherboston2013

Here are the details:

Where: Together Festival Headquarters, 328 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA

When: Wednesday, May 15th, 6:00-9:00pm

Why: To meet great people and connect with what’s happening at Together Boston!

Come join us for an evening of chatting with movers and shakers at the Together Festival headquarters, located in Central Square. Together Festival is a week long music, technology and art festival celebrating our great creative community and we will be invading their headquarters so you can learn about the festival, listen to some great music and learn more about events happening throughout the week.

We will also be crossing the street to grab a drink at Miracle of Science, located at 321 Mass Ave.

We’re looking forward to seeing you!

Please RSVP on Facebook & Google+ as this is a special 21+ event.

Movers and Shakers: Brooklyn Boulders – Somerville

Close your eyes. You are sitting at your desk at work. Now imagine climbing a large cliff side…or Prospect Hill…are you seeing it? Good. Because soon you will be able to do just that at the new Brooklyn Boulders – Somerville.

Preview of the new climbing wall

Preview of the new climbing wall

Brooklyn Boulders- Somerville straddles the line of Somerville and Cambridge, based in the old Ames Envelope building on Tyler Street, nestled within the cool and growing community of Artisan’s Asylum, Hemlock Ink, Groundwork Somerville, and Somerville Local First, to name a few. The building will house a 140-foot long, 22-foot tall, free rope bouldering wall (the largest in the country) to a 50-foot tall rock climbing wall that extends to the ceiling. Novice climbers don’t worry – there will be training rooms, in addition to a yoga studio, saunas, cardio equipment and pop ups offering the latest rock climbing gear. (Brooklyn Boulders – Somerville made a conscious decision to include traditional cardio equipment in order for you to use your health insurance credit.)

In addition to rock climbing and workout areas, the space will also have six pop up retail spaces, an espresso bar, rooms for special events (for adults and kids), spaces especially for parents with young children, and co-working space – so you can literally go rock climbing steps from your seat. Brooklyn Boulders – Somerville will have ample car parking and indoor bike parking. Yes – that’s right – we said indoor bike parking! The entrance will be a graffiti-ed hallway filled with space for your bike. The facility also differs from other indoor rock climbing venues by offering day, monthly, quarterly and annual passes, which differences from traditional fitness venues.

Co-Founders Jeremy & Lance

Co-Founders Jeremy & Lance

This innovative approach and spirit can be seen in the founders of Brooklyn Boulders. At Babson, Jeremy Balboni and Lance Pinn created a business plan for a rock gym in Boston out of their passion for the sport and quickly went about moving the plan into reality. In the process, they took a break, gained some professional momentum and found an opportunity in 2008 to open a gym in New York; where it thrived and has grown to be one of the most lauded rock gyms in the country. Now with years of experience at their backs, they have to come back to Somerville to build the one of the biggest rock gyms in the country.

The owners are interested in being a part of the larger Cambriville community and have roots here, too. Jeremy grew up in Greater Boston, and Lance lives in Cambridge – they are truly interested in giving back to their community. They will offer local organizations opportunities to host climb-a-thons, incorporate local businesses in the pop up spaces, host a CSA pickup and more.

Brooklyn Boulders – Somerville plans to open this summer at 12A Tyler Street. Stop by and say hello, climb the wall, innovate with neighbors, and get a workout in. Sounds like a win-win-win-win… (we could keep adding wins, but you get the picture).

Around the Block: Ball Square

Lyndell

This month we visit Ball Square in Somerville. The neighborhood is at the intersections of Boston Ave and Broadway, right up the street from Powderhouse Square and Tufts. Back in the day, Ball Square was home to the Willow Jazz Club that started the career of some contemporary jazz musicians. Today, Ball Square is home to a lot of classic Somerville institutions like Sound Bites, the original Lyndell’s, Pescatore, Blue Cloud Gallery  and Victor’s Deli. Ball Square is also a planned stop on the MBTA Green Line extension.  For our photo gallery of Ball Square, click here.

Angeltronics
735 Broadway, Somerville, MA

Angeltronics is a great little find in the center of the square where you can get your PC or mac fixed right up! He moves quickly and with extreme agility to get you back on track. AND he can oft times retrieve those darned files you forgot to backup when your good ‘ole computer crashed.  Stop in and say hello after you grab a cup of coffee from True Grounds.

Ball Square Fine Wines and Liquor
716 Broadway, Somerville, MA

Winner of “Best Wine Shop” by Boston Magazine in 2011, Ball Square Fine Wines & Liquor is a staple in Ball Square. The shop offers a wide variety of craft beer, wine array of wines and tons of fromage. Ball Square Fine Wines and Liquor also has a tasting room and offers free weekly beer and wine tastings on Fridays.  As you walk in the store, look to your right to see the great wine ideas they have for you at an extra affordable price.  Each crate has an index card with wine and pairing details.  An extra bonus of service – if you join their free club, they provide you with an in-store tracker that allows them to look up your past purchases – something that always comes in handy after drinking a bottle of wine over the Voice.

The Book Shop
694 Broadway, Somerville, MA
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The Book Shop is a new welcomed addition to Ball Square. The store is a family owned and operated business that offers a variety of used  and new release books, CDs and children’s puzzles. This is a great place to stop by if the library is out of your favorite book, or to grab a series of gifts.  The store also has a calendar of author readings, including Dennis Lehane on Wednesday, May 15th at 7:00pm. Stop by and check it out!

Eat at Jumbo’s
668 Broadway, Somerville, MA

Since 2009, Eat at Jumbo’s has been a community asset in Ball Square – not just for providing delicious snacks, but for its support of local community groups and displaying local artists in the cafe’s walls. Eat at Jumbo’s provides free delivery for its affordable and delicious pizzas, wings, sandwiches and much more! Next time you have the boys over to watch the game, make sure to order from Jumbo’s. And an added bonus – the owner is on the Board of Somerville Local First, one of our fav organizations!

Lyndell’s Bakery
720 Broadway, Somerville, MA

A Ball Square staple, the original Lyndell’s has been making Somerville residents happy since 1887 and is on it’s 5th generation of ownership. Lyndell’s offers cakes, bread, cookies, pastries, muffins – you name it! A favorite – their famous black and white icing cookies.

Blue Cloud Gallery
713 Broadway, Somerville, MA

Blue Cloud Gallery is local gift shop that sells local artisan ware. The store has been in the Square for over 12 years and has a great array of woodblock prints, jewelry, pottery and photographs all made right in the area. We think their video says it best!

Blue Cloud Gallery (Commercial) from Benjamin C. Zidel on Vimeo.

Sound Bites
704 Broadway, Somerville, MA

Can you really say you have lived or even visited Somerville without going to Sound Bites? Yeah, we didn’t think so. Sound Bites is a destination diner that has been serving Ball Square for over 20 years. Whether you are waiting in line for Sunday brunch or grabbing a drink at their new bar, Sound Bites has something for everyone. And remember, if you can’t get in on Sunday, Sound Bites is actually open at 6:30 a.m. Monday – Saturday.

True Grounds
717 Broadway, Somerville, MA
8587776824_1578b30064_m
True Grounds is a coffee shop with a mission. They believe that ‘community is at the heart of a good coffee shop,’ and foster that sentiment every day! They host weekly musical events (including one of our favorite kids’ musicians, Jeff Jam), special tastings, art by and for locals, locally-produced products such as Taza Chocolate, and their food is to die for.  They are also certified as a Sustainable Business with SBN, are a member of Somerville Local First, and are just truly awesome people.  Beware, the wi-fi is shut off on Saturday and Sunday mornings!  Stop by and enjoy this comfy, great spot.

Pescatore
158 Boston Ave, Somerville, MA

With an overflowing menu of traditional Italian, and not so traditional dishes, it’s no surprise Pescatore is the 2008 winner of Best of Boston  Best Seafood, Affordable. Just go in for one meal, and it will be easy to taste why.  We were lucky enough to taste the Caprese antipasti – the buffalo mozzerella is delicious!  We followed that up with a huge portion of Chicken Piccata.  Let’s just say that it was a great night. Pescatore is open Tuesday-Saturday from 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., Sundays 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. and closed Mondays. 

Stinky’s Kittens & Doggies Too
110 Bristol Rd, Somerville, MA

Now we can’t forget our four-footed friends?!  Stinky’s has a cute name, yes, but also a wide variety of organic, natural and local foods and treats for your pets.  In addition to treats and toys, they also provide several services for our best friends, including grooming of cats and dogs and pet sitting.  AND they deliver – it doesn’t get much better than that!  Finally, they are community-minded and a proud member of Somerville Local First.