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Fall inventory arrives!

It looks like more property will come on the market this fall, but it remains to be seen whether it will be enough to saturate the pent-up demand. It may, at least, be enough to make the market feel a little more balanced between supply and demand.

That’s good news for buyers.

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed loan ticked up above 4% but have drifted downward again in the 3.75% range. Adjustable rates remain lower. Rates keep threatening to rise but there has not been much significant movement yet.

~ Thalia Tringo & Associates Real Estate

Current Listings

31 Kilgore Avenue, Medford $699,900

121 Central Street, Somerville $775,000

Lovingly cared for 3-story, single family home with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and 2-car garage on a +/- 6,388 sq. ft. lot. Minutes from Mystic Lake, river, conservation land, West Medford commuter rail, and four bus lines.

Beautiful, rare brick Mansard Victorian single family has been occupied by one family since 1973. Return this house to its original splendor or bring your unique vision w/ modern updates. Set on a corner lot, the house has 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, fenced yard, and 2-car garage. Walkable area near Magoun Square, bike path, future Green Line, buses, shops, and restaurants.

18 Harding Street, Cambridge $1,250,000

171 Lake View Avenue, Cambridge $1,585,000

Well-maintained, owner-occupied 3-family with yard and parking near Kendall, Inman, and Lechmere. Updated units have 1-2 bedrooms. Walk to great restaurants, MIT, Harvard, Charles River, and Boston.

Delightful Huron Village single family with 4 bedrooms and 1.5 baths, just around the corner from great local shops and restaurants. Walk to Fresh Pond Reservoir; walk or take the bus to Harvard and Porter Squares.


Coming Soon

Thalia Tringo

651 Concord Avenue #1, Cambridge ~ $tba Contemporary 3-level townhouse with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 3 fireplaces, central air, deck, and parking, Renovated kitchen and baths. Across from the Fresh Pond Reservoir. Near Alewife T stop, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, bike path, and more.

President, Realtor ® 617.513.1967 cell/text Thalia@ThaliaTringoRealEstate.com

Todd Zinn

Residential Sales Specialist, Realtor ® 617.852.1839 cell/text Todd@ThaliaTringoRealEstate.com

Niké Damaskos

33 Putnam Avenue #3, Somerville ~ $tba

Updated, top-floor Union Square condo with 2 bedrooms, city views, and skylights. Walk to shops and nightlife of Union Square and future Green Line T stop.

103 Bartlett Street, Somerville ~ $tba

Winter Hill 4-unit multi-family in very good condition with 1 two-bedroom, 2 one-bedrooms, and one studio. Nice yard, driveway parking, city views. Walk to Ball and Magoun Square shops and eateries, Trum Field, community path, and more.

Residential Sales and Commercial Sales and Leasing 617.875.5276 Nike@ThaliaTringoRealEstate.com

Jennifer Rose

Residential Sales Specialist, Realtor ® 617.943.9581 cell/text Jennifer@ThaliaTringoRealEstate.com

Lynn C. Graham

Residential Sales Specialist, Realtor ® 617.216.5244 cell/text Lynn@ThaliaTringoRealEstate.com

Commercial FOR LEASE ~ ASSEMBLY ROW 96 Middlesex Avenue, East Somerville /Assembly Row

Steps from Assembly Row Orange Line T stop and just off I-93. This 4500 sq. ft. space on 2 levels has exposed brick walls and abundant natural light from windows on 3 sides and comes with 12 parking spaces. Lease terms subject to buildout requirements and whether the property is leased wholly or subdivided.

Free Classes

Executive Assistant to the President, Realtor ® 617.308.0064 cell/text Adaria@ThaliaTringoRealEstate.com

for homeowners contemplating a move

6:30-7:45 pm

If the logistics of selling your home and buying a new one makes your head spin, this workshop will help make the process understandable. This workshop, led by our agents and a loan officer from a local bank, will include a 45 minute presentation and 1/2 hour Q&A session. Handouts and refreshments provided.

Is Being a Landlord Right For You?

Wednesday, September 16th  OR Wednesday, September 23th

Residential Sales Specialist, Realtor ® 617.895.6267 cell/text Brendon@ThaliaTringoRealEstate.com

Adaria Brooks

How to Buy and Sell at the Same Time Tuesday, September 15th  OR Thursday, September 24th

Brendon Edwards

6:30-7:45 pm

Have you thought about buying a multi-family but are intimidated by the idea of being a landlord? A local attorney will help you understand your rights and obligations as a small landlord. Get your questions answered in this short, informative session. Handouts and refreshments provided.

To reserve space in a class, please email Adaria@ThaliaTringoRealEstate.com. Admission is free, but we appreciate donations of canned goods for the Somerville Homeless Coalition.

About our company... We are dedicated to representing our buyer and seller clients with integrity and professionalism. We are also commied to giving back to our community. Our agents donate $250 to a non-profit in honor of each transaction and Thalia Tringo & Associates Real Estate Inc. also gives $250 to a pre-selected group of local charities for each transaction. Visit our office, 128 Willow Avenue, on the bike path in Davis Square, Somerville.


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Proud nominee of Scouts Honor Award

617.876.1414 | 19 Arrow Street, Harvard Square | 1693 Massachusetts Avenue, Agassiz | www.robertpaul.com

Successfully Selling Cambridge & Somerville Inspired Marketing and Exceptional Results West Cambridge, $1.15M • SOLD!

East Cambridge, $1.08M • SOLD! Cambridgeport, $999,000 • SOLD!

• Hyper-Local Knowledge • Regional & Global Resources • Luxury Service at Every Price We have developed a collaborative culture of excellence to best serve our discerning clients and create exceptional results.

Teele Square, $740,000 • SOLD!

Union Place, $470,000 • SOLD!

Magoun Square, $690,000 • SOLD!

YOU HAVE A CHOICE CALL US!

Experienced local agents, passionate about their business, supported by an industry vanguard. Robert Paul Properties saw the need for a client-focused, service-centric market alternative, and found just the people to provide it. If you are considering buying or selling, now is the best time, and we will show you why. Just call!

Tara Spitzen 610.745.8536

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Bri Grady 617.312.0764

Ferle Bramson 617.304.1129

September | October 2015 scoutsomerville.com

Ilona Kuphal 617.592.2310

Robin Repucci 617.388.3312

Louise Olson 617.470.5077

Scott Kistenberger 617.733.3633

Susan Wayne 617.899.8800

Susan Schlossberg 617.799.2175

Terrie Hayden 617.283.9823


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Check out the review of Mix-It in the June 2015 issue of Globe Magazine, where we were named as one of the best places to eat in Cambridge.

WE DELIVER

LUNCH&DINNER TEL: (617) 547-0212 | WWW. MIXITRESTAURANT.COM 1678 MASSACHUSETTS AVE, CAMBRIDGE | MIDWAY BETWEEN HARVARD SQ. AND PORTER SQ.

scoutsomerville.com September | October 2015

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SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2015 ::: VOLUME 35 ::: SCOUTSOMERVILLE.COM

contents 8 // EDITOR’S NOTE 10 // WINNERS & LOSERS Will the apocalypse come in the form of snakes, killer robots or a falling sky? 12 // WHAT’S NEW? Friends come through in a pinch, and skaters seek skate spots. 17 // NEWS: WARD 6 RACE GETS INTERESTING For the first time in 30 years, voters won’t have an incumbent to vote for.

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18 // NEWS: UNION UNEASY The first of a two-part take on Union Square development. 20 // SCOUT THIS Win $50. 22 // FEATURE: SCOUT’S HONORED 2015 You voted, we reported. 42 // SCOUT OUT: WHERE THERE’S A WHEEL, THERE’S A WAY Susan McLucas knows it’s never too late to ride. 44 // SCOUT OUT: DIY OR BYE The second part of our look at the changes in Union Square. 48 // CALENDAR & SCOUT PICKS 51 // LOCAL BUSINESS DIRECTORY

44

54 // SCOUT YOU

Photo, top: Business as usual at Somerville’s best café, 3 Little Figs. Photo by Emily Cassel. Photo, bottom: Drum kit at the Paper and Provisions warehouse. Photo by Chrissy Bulakites. On the cover: The O’s: A sea-salted bourbon caramel donut from Union Square Donuts (photo by Sarah Willis) and Painted Burro taco (courtesy of the Burro). Cover design by the Secret Agency.


COME IN AS A CUSTOMER, LEAVE AS A FRIEND

285 Beacon St. | Somerville 617.661.7437 31 Putnam Ave. | Cambridge 617.499.0801 594 Cambridge St. | Cambridge 617.945.5278

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”Compared to other car buying experiences, dealing with John’s was like night and day in terms of quality. The buying experience was incredible from the moment I walked in the door. No matter how many times I went back over the course of a few weeks, everyone who worked there always remembered me and always showed utmost care and respect. I was pleasantly surprised as well when the owner himself offered to personally meet with me and make sure I got the best deal for my budget. John is very down to earth, friendly, engaging, and genuinely concerned for the well-being of his clients. By the time I settled on my purchase, I knew beyond a doubt that I had made the right decision to buy from John’s.” – Rev. Mikel E. Satcher, Ph.D. Director of Student Life Andover Newton Theological School

FINANCING FOR

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SAME QUALITY SERVICE SAME LOCATION

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WE PAY MORE FOR YOUR CAR!

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QUALITY USED CARS BOUGHT AND SOLD FOR 40 YEARS

181 SOMERVILLE AVE (ACROSS FROM TARGET) JOHNSAUTOSALES.COM scoutsomerville.com September | October 2015

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editor’s note Somerville is for Lovers By Emily Hopkins

T

here’s something very special about the businesses in Somerville. How quickly you can go from an unfamiliar face to a regular patron. How you’re always welcome—whether you just moved here or have called this place your home since birth. As I’ve gotten to know many of these businesses, I can see why people are clamoring to move here. There’s Joe at Highland Kitchen, who once led my co-editor and I to two seats at a crowded bar. There’s my go-to flavor at Flatbread (Mopsy’s Kalua Pork Pie, of course). I’ll never forget the first time that I tasted a maple bacon donut from Union Square Donuts or the Flagship IPA from Somerville Brewing. All these people and places, and many more, were recognized by our readers as the absolute tops of Somerville. I don’t envy the voters. I am more than happy to have watched from the sidelines as the votes came in. Some of the contests were close, but none of the winners—or nominees, for that matter— were undeserving. These winners are not all you’ll get in this issue. While the world (read: Somerville) was voting for the best businesses around town, we were once more Scouting Out the neighborhood. You’ll find a two-part feature about development in Union Square (p. 18 & 44), a breakdown of the upcoming aldermanic race (p. 17) and a story about Susan McLucas, a go-getter who teaches adults how to ride bikes so they can more easily navigate this city (p. 42). And don’t miss our What’s New (p. 12) and calendar (p. 48) sections for the latest about what’s up and what’s going down in the ‘Ville. Here at Scout, we’re going through some changes of our own. This will be the last issue of our magazine you receive in the mail without a subscription. After Hopkins (left) and Cassel find yet another friend at thoughtful consideration, we’ve decided Highland Kitchen. Photo by Jason Berry. to move onto a different distribution model. We believe that we can best serve our readers by becoming more visible in the community, and that means that we will be stocking dropboxes and café counters. You’ll be able to pick up an issue on the way to your favorite Somerville haunts, and supplies will be replenished throughout the month. For $24 a year, you can still get Scout delivered to your home. Otherwise, catch our next issue while you’re out and about. We all know there’s nothing better than being out in the neighborhood. And that’s where we want our magazine to be.

PUBLISHER Holli Banks hbanks@scoutmagazines.com MANAGING EDITORS Emily Cassel ecassel@scoutmagazines.com Emily Hopkins ehopkins@scoutmagazines.com DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Jeffrey O’Connor joconnor@scoutmagazines.com OFFICE MANAGER Melinda LaCourse mlacourse@scoutmagazines.com ART DIRECTOR Nicolle Renick design@scoutmagazines.com renickdesign.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Emily Gaudette, Erin Kappeler, JM Lindsay, Bill Shaner, Ellen Thibault, Sam Trevino, Hannah Walters CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Chrissy Bulakites chrissybulakites.com JS O’Connor photoconnor.com COPY EDITOR Mitchell Dewar WEB HOST Truly Good Design trulygooddesign.com IT SUPPORT FirstCall Computers firstcallcomputers.net BANKS PUBLICATIONS c/o Scout Somerville 191 Highland Ave., Ste. 1A Somerville, MA 02143 FIND US ONLINE scoutsomerville.com twitter.com/scoutsomerville www.facebook.com/somervillescout Office Phone: 617-996-2283 For advertising inquiries please contact scout@scoutmagazines.com.

DISTRIBUTION Scout Somerille was direct-mailed bimonthly to every home and business in Somerville. After this issue, readers can grab one of 36,000 free copies in dropboxes around town. Those who wish to continue receiving Scout in their mailboxes can purchase a subscription at scoutsomerville/shop. 8

September | October 2015 scoutsomerville.com


Top

LIFE IS YOGA.

5

START LIVING YOUR PRACTICE.

Spectacular Fall Bloomers 1. Callicarpa 2. Caryopteris “Sunshine Blue” 3. Japanese Anemone “Honorine jobert” 4. Dendranthema “Sheffield pink” 5. Viburnum nudum “Brandywine”

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CONDO OWNERS:

Wholesale • Retail Farmer’s Markets • Factory Shop 15 Garfield Ave., Somerville 617-623-0013 www.DeanosPasta.com

Does your condo association have “all in“ coverage? Let us review your policy before there is a loss. We have great rates for condo associations. WEDGWOOD - CRANE & CONNOLLY INSURANCE AGENCY, INC. 617-625-0781 | www.WCCINS.com 19 College Ave, Somerville (next to Davis Sq T)

HOME • LIFE • BUSINESS • AUTO • RENTERS scoutsomerville.com September | October 2015

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W&L WINNERS

LOSERS

39 HOMELESS YOUNG ADULTS Massachusetts has an ugly truth: There are thousands of young adults experiencing homelessness across the state. Youth Harbors, a resource for homeless high school students, helped a handful of those folks towards a better future this spring as they received their high school diplomas. The 39 students, some hailing from Somerville High, gathered at the Armory in late June to celebrate their achievement. Congratulations and good luck!

DAVIS SQUARE Vendors and attendees at this year’s ArtBeat likely noticed the way the gig was pushed to the northern side of Davis Square. That’s because the facade of the Social Security building at 240 Elm St., which has been slowly collapsing for years, took another step towards total decrepitude in late June. The building has been stabilized, though not fully repaired, and for the time being we’re stuck with that green-covered scaffolding.

SERVERS Servers and other tipped workers are paid well below the standard minimum wage, but in the Commonwealth, that’s beginning to change. In January, the state instituted a $3 minimum wage for tipped workers (up from $2.63), and it should eventually hit $3.75. But Representative Pat Jehlen (D-Somerville) cosponsored a bill that would see tipped minimum wage meet the standard by 2022. If it passes, that means service workers would ultimately make $11 per hour. Now, that is a raise. EMO KIDS This fall, Greg Cook (the man who brought you the Saddest Parade on Earth) will team up with the Somerville Arts Council for one giant Pity Party. The event will be a block party in Union Square on September 17 made up of bands playing sad music, visual artists displaying sad images, performers performing sad stuff… you get it. Emo kids: It’s finally your turn.

MANKIND The robot-fueled apocalypse is nigh. In July, Suidobashi Heavy Industry accepted a challenge by Somervillebased MegaBots Inc., and now their giant robots will face off before likely becoming sentient and taking over the world. Okay, that might be hyperbole, but the fight is sure to elicit some War of the Worlds-like imagery. SSSSNAKES It’s ssssnake sssseason in SSSSomerville! The greenery on which we pride our city has attracted these slithering friends en masse, snacking on our garden bugs and freaking out our neighbors. Officials say there’s nothing to fear, because these snakes won’t bite unless provoked and can’t pierce the skin anyway.

Someone rustle your jimmies or tickle your fancy? Let us know at scoutsomerville.com/contact-us, and we just might crown them a winner or loser. 10

September | October 2015 scoutsomerville.com

SHOUT OUT!

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all is coming, and with it an onslaught of pumpkin spiced everything. We asked the sweets purveyor over at newly opened Sabertooth Vegan Bakery (711 Broadway) what she suggests we grab instead of this ubiquitous fall flavor. Owner Evie Noël says that a good crumble donut (the peach variety is pictured here) always provides a pleasant autumn feel for the senses. And of course there’s nothing wrong with a little nostalgia, which is why Scout’s editors are reaching for the shop’s peanut butter and jelly donut just in time for school to start. Sabertooth opened recently in Ball Square out of the same storefront as Taco Party, which started slinging tacos just as we went to press. Both enterprises are bringing vegan treats, sweet and savory, to Ball Square.


True Home Partners: We Partner With You

LISA J. DRAPKIN

DEBBIE LEWIS

Mobile: 617-930-1288 Lisa.Drapkin@NEMoves.com

Mobile: 617-461-6797 Debbie.Lewis@NEMoves.com

PREMIER ASSOCIATE

“Lisa engenders immediate trust, with a strong knowledge of the real estate market, great ideas for how to prepare for a sale, and an infinite network of connections to help you get the job done.”

NANCY M. DIXON REALTOR®

REALTOR®

LAURIE CRANE REALTOR®

Mobile: 617-866-8865 Laurie.Crane@NEMoves.com

Mobile: 617-721-9755 Nancy.Dixon@NEMoves.com “We were selling our family home after 61 years, and we had much to work through, both emotionally and physically. Nancy had all the resources we needed and was most generous with her time throughout the entire process.”

• A partnership of five full-time Coldwell Banker real estate professionals. • Full-time Executive Assistant. • Combined 55 years of experience.

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• Honed negotiation skills. • Innovative marketing. • Intimate knowledge of current market conditions.

www.TrueHomePartners.com Call us to find out how we can partner to sell your home or find your next one.

25 UNIÓN SQUARE | SOMERVILLE PHONE: 617-623-7972 MACHUCHICKEN.COM

307 SOMERVILLE AVE | SOMERVILLE PHONE: 617-628-7070 MACHUPICCHUBOSTON.COM

scoutsomerville.com September | October 2015

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what’s new?

Photo courtesy of the City of Somerville

UNION SQUARE

CITY’S FIRST PARKLET OPENS

W

e’ve written about tiny homes (November/December ‘14) and little libraries (January/February ‘15), and now we’re pleased to report that petite parks are popping up in the city. The city’s first “parklet” was unveiled in August on Somerville Avenue, in front of Forge Baking Company. The park, which qualifies as Somerville’s smallest park, is about the size of two parking spaces. It

features wooden benches lined with flower boxes and will be packed up and stored during the winter. According to a statement from the city, the parklet is a test drive of a program on innovative ways to expand urban space that the city plans to launch later this year. This program will provide “how-to” resources for businesses who are interested in having their very own little park.

FEELING FAMOUS UNION SQUARE

SCATV WINS NATIONAL AWARD

Congratulations are due to our media friends over at Somerville Community Access Television! In July, they were honored with the 2015 Hometown Award for Overall Excellence from the National Alliance for Community Media, the national trade organization for public access stations. The award is based on a compilation of content produced by entrants in 2014. SCATV will accept their prize at the organization’s national conference in Pasadena, CA.

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September | October 2015 scoutsomerville.com

MAGOUN SQUARE

HOLLYWOOD HITS SOMERVILLE

At the end of June, actors Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson made a stop in Magoun Square to film their upcoming movie Central Intelligence. They filmed three scenes at On the Hill Tavern (499 Broadway), which reportedly include one “barroom brawl.” Johnson and Hart seemed to have fun at the location, signing autographs for fans and at one point posting “dueling” Instagram

videos. Interested parties can look forward to seeing the pair and the neighborhood on screen next June. SPRING HILL

BKB TURNS TWO

It’s a big birthday summer for Tyler Street in Spring Hill; early in the summer, Aeronaut Brewing (14 Tyler St.) celebrated their first year in business, and now their neighbors at Brooklyn Boulders (12A Tyler St.) have entered the terrific twos. Both babes celebrated like stars with beer, Keytar Bear and big bashes. Here’s to the next year!

SPRING HILL

THE ONCE LOUNGE

Named after their dining series “One Night Culinary Events,” the ONCE Lounge at Cuisine en Locale (156 Highland Ave.) welcomes all and yet maintains a speakeasy vibe. There’s a pool table, Ms. Pacman and a bar, and the mirrored walls illuminate the joint with whimsical string lights. Dave Cagle (of Deep Ellum, Lone Star and Green Street, among others) is one of the masterminds COMING behind the reinvention, which SOON bodes well for the new hangout’s cocktail list. Check it out Thursday through Saturday from 5-10 p.m.


MOLE AND MOOS WINTER HILL

MAGOUN SQUARE

You may have seen this out-ofthe-box ice cream at one of the city’s many farmers markets. Now, Tipping Cow is looking to set down roots with a brick-andmortar location in Winter Hill. The summer months will be over when and if it gets off the ground, but in early August the company had started the paperwork process for a spot at 415 Medford St.

This authentic Mexican restaurant (514 Medford St.) is serving up your favorites—from tacos to burritos to enchiladas to tamales. Owner Jose Molina, who spent 10 years living in Somerville while working in Boston, told Wicked Local that it’s been a huge goal of his to open a space in the town he loves.

TIPPING COW ICE CREAM SHOP

MOLINA MEXICAN GRILL

Now open in our new home at 711 Broadway in Ball Square!

Building tacos from the ground up since 2013

COMING SOON

711 Broadway, Somerville

tacopartytruck.com

Bert Holdredge (left) and Jeff Rowe of Winter Hill Brewing Co. Photo by JS O’Connor.

WINTER HILL

INDIGNANT FORCED TO CHANGE NAME

D

on’t worry: Somerville can still expect to add another brewery to its fold, just under a different name. Indignant Brewing was well on its way when a small company from Chicago told the brewers that they already had a beer, produced annually, under the name “Indignant.” In a post on their site, Coowner Jeff Rowe explains, “The current climate of the craft beer industry is such that it has precipitated a corporatist mentality of ownership—even in the smallest reaches of said industry. Meaning: Even the small companies are quickly filing to federally own not just their company name, but also their beers and basic descriptors.” The company isn’t too sore about the name change, though, as it will become the titular brewery of the neighborhood. Rowe continues: “It’s pretty damn appropriate that we call our ourselves Winter Hill Brewing Company. This is exactly where we want to be. We have pride in where we’re building our vision. I live right around the corner and the support from our neighbors has been amazing. That support means the world to us and has helped to validate our concept.” WHBC (328 Broadway) is scheduled to open sometime in October. The company plans to focus on small batches of craft beers brewed in the basement of their restaurant, which will feature a 60-seat dining room and a 40-seat patio. Cheers to the newly named Winter Hill Brewing Company!

BEST DENTIST

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scoutsomerville.com September | October 2015

13


What’s New?

CITYWIDE

SOMERVILLE DIY SEEKS TO BUILD SKATE DOTS

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Photo by Emily Hopkins

he Somerville DIY Skatepark Organization is the brainchild of Maximum Hesh skate shop owner Todd Brugman, who says he’s wanted to start a community-oriented skate advocacy group for years. The group’s current goal is to raise money and work with the city to build legal and safe “skate dots” around town. Rather than building one big skate park that’s only accessible to some residents, these small, singular structures would give any kid a place to skate that’s close to home. Youth engagement is one of the top priorities for Brugman, who says he only got into skateboarding after someone gifted him a full deck. As such, as often as possible, he partners with local organizations to put boards in the hands of kids whose parents cannot afford them. “If I get these kids a complete skateboard, one of them might stick with it. It might change his life, he might fall in love with it,” says Brugman. As of press time, Somerville DIY had raised more than $2,000 through a GoFundMe page to finance neighborhood skate projects. That doesn’t include the cash collected in bins placed at businesses throughout the area. These large orange paint buckets were provided by DLX as part of their nationwide Build Project to help build and maintain skate spots. Additionally, Brugman reports that they’ve just received a mini-ramp as a donation and will be using it as a popup skate spot throughout the city.

I LIKE THE WAY YOU MOVE Dig-like process, but by the beautification of the roadway’s underpass. ESMS has partnered with WalkBoston in an effort to make the space easier on the eyes and a safer pedestrian walkway.

ASSEMBLY SQUARE

A WALKABLE I-93 UNDERPASS

Somerville is a walkable city: It’s condensed and full of people who cherish mobility by foot. But there’s one stretch that’s been a strain on our walkability score, where I-93 separates Assembly Square from the rest of Somerville. East Somerville Main Streets hopes to fix that, not through an extravagant Big

SPRING HILL

TECHNO TUESDAY AT AGUACATE VERDE

This weekly series features sweet spins of local DJs alongside—what else—tacos at

Aguacate Verde (13 Elm St.). Admission is $8, which gets you a “techno taco” and a beer or two tacos and a soda (if booze isn’t really your thing). These shindigs kick off at 7:30 p.m., and “lots of special surprises” are promised. Oh, my! PORTER SQUARE

E-BIKES ARE A HIT

There are some who can conquer the hills of the city with no help

and without breaking a sweat. For the rest of us, there’s another option gaining popularity: electric bikes. That’s why Ace Wheelworks (145 Elm St.) has added 13 different models of e-bikes to its inventory. The shop’s e-bikes manager, Chris Fallon, told Wicked Local earlier this summer that they sell a few e-bike units per week, and the Somerville Police Department is looking into their implementation on the force.

DAVIS SQUARE

JOHNNY D’S TO SUNSET CURRENT OPERATIONS

I

n a startling trend for independent music venues in the Boston area (RIP T.T. the Bear’s), Johnny D’s owner Carla DeLellis announced earlier this summer that the decades-old music mainstay will be closing its doors after this coming January. The venue has been family run for more than 40 years, with Carla as the latest DeLellis to take the wheel since they took the space in 1969. In a statement on Johnny D’s Facebook, DeLellis said that the decision to develop the property came after a long consideration of her future, her children’s security and the market. DeLellis plans to maintain ownership of the building, which will be a mixed use residential and commercial space. What will go into the first floor is still under consideration, but it’s likely to be shuttered during the first half of 2016. In the meantime, DeLellis 14

September | October 2015 scoutsomerville.com

invites fans and regulars to come by, take pictures and reminisce while they still have a chance. The next six months will be full of commemorative shows and events, and folks should also look out for opportunities to snag Johnny D’s memorabilia and other souvenirs. “The hardest part of that decision was taking away the ‘home’ away from home that Johnny D’s has become for so many of us,” she said in the post. “I urge you to please support the great independents that still exist. Think about the businesses you drop money in, because at the end of the day, the fewer independents around, the fewer the choices, the more Anywhere USA, the less the American Dream, and the harder it is for the 99 percent. Embrace the grit and quirkiness and don’t forget, YELP responsibly.”


THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND MAGOUN SQUARE

THURSTON SPA’S FUTURE SAVED

Jerry LaFee, who passed away at the end of June at the age of 63, was the owner and sole employee of the 60-year-old sub shop Thurston Spa (13 Thurston St.). When LaFee, who was born and raised in Somerville according to Wicked Local, was first hospitalized eight weeks prior to his death, friends reportedly came to his aid to keep the counter open while he was away. Now, friends will once again save the day. Pending city approval, Thurston Spa will be taken over by the owner’s long-time friend

John Ferreer, according to the Somerville Journal. The Thurston Spa may live on in memoriam. UNION SQUARE

MIXTURA

Fans of Mixtura (300 Beacon St.) were met with disappointment as the Latin American restaurant shuttered earlier this summer. Angela Cortez, general manager and sister of owner Rosy Cerna, playfully told Eater in July that Mixtura’s owner “got too busy.” It’s easy to see why: Cerna also owns Union Square’s Machu Picchu (307 Somerville Ave.) and Machu Chicken (25 Union Sq.).

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• CURTATONE’S COMPETITION: In our previous issue, we reported that Mayor Curtatone would not be running unopposed in this year’s election. Just after press time, the would-be contender rescinded his candidacy, citing personal reasons and circumstances outside of his control. It seems Joe will once again run unopposed. • TENOCH MEXICAN: This Medford-based operation saw trouble in the permitting process, apparently surrounding their desire for occasional mariachi band performances. Things seem to have smoothed out, though, and Tenoch (382 Highland Ave.) is looking to open imminently. • TACO PARTY ADDS SOME BITE: In our most recent issue, we told you about Taco Party’s brick-and-mortar store opening in Ball Square (711 Broadway). Now, Sabertooth Vegan Bakery, which had been set to provide confections, has gone in on a full-blown collaboration. Both halves of this storefront are now open. • NINE BAR ESPRESSO: The rumors were true! Simon Yu, the owner of Simon’s Coffee Shop in Cambridge, has branched out to Somerville with Nine Espresso Bar (11 Holland St.), a highend, 10-seat caffeine haven. • THUNDER ROAD BLOCK IS NO MORE: After months of setbacks, Thunder Road Club (379 Somerville Ave.) is open! The shows are piling on, so check out their calendar. Protip: Head downstairs to the Walnut Room for a mid-show breather. Spot something new in your neighborhood that we didn’t mention here? Send us a tip: scout@scoutmagazines.com.

M E N TION SCO UT F OR

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2/13/15 6:12 PM


news

The Race is On By Bill Shaner

E

lection season isn’t aways exciting in Somerville—after all, this is a town whose mayor has run uncontested since 2007. But this year, another level of government is about to get interesting. Ward 6 Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz announced late this spring that she will not be seeking reelection for the office she held for a decade, and now four candidates are currently vying for the seat. It’s the first time in more than 30 years that Ward 6 hasn’t had an incumbent to vote for. While the general election is November 3, the bulk of candidates in Ward 6 triggers a peculiarity in the city’s democratic process: a preliminary election. It’s not a primary—the aldermanic race is non-partisan. It’s just that, by law, only two can run for the seat at a time. Voters will be asked to narrow down the field on Thursday, September 17. The Board of Aldermen is often the most direct avenue citizens have to city government. Four serve at-large and seven represent individual wards, bringing issues raised by neighbors to the city and state. As the legislative branch of city government, they set policy and budget priorities, draft ordinances and resolutions, and lobby for state funding. Those decisions and agendas are frequently shaped by conversations aldermen have with their neighbors. The candidates range from young transplant professionals to entrenched, lifelong residents. Their platforms vary from progressive to idealist to pragmatic approach, but they’ve all honed in on a few issues they feel hit Ward 6, a relatively small geographic plot with Davis Square at the center, the hardest. Concerns with the city’s affordable housing, transportation, education and development will likely define the campaign chatter as election day nears.

MEET THE CANDIDATES: DAVIS

If endorsements mean anything, Lance Davis has emerged as a clear front-runner. He’s never held public office but has the strong endorsements of Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Alderman Gewirtz, Alderman at Large Jack Connolly and former Mayor Eugene C. Brune. Davis is a 43-year-old attorney and co-founder of Progress Together for Somerville. “When I found out [Gewirtz] wasn’t running, I thought, ‘I have to make sure someone carries on that strong independent voice,’” Davis says. He wants to make sure Somerville remains an attractive place for families. Affordable housing and a strong school system will ensure that, he says. He also has an aggressive plan for open space in Somerville. He wants to open 125 more acres of parks in the city. “That’s a huge challenge, but we should do everything we can,” he says, adding that pocket parks and parklets, though small, are an effective way to push for that goal.

WEINBLOOM

Another newcomer to politics, Elizabeth Weinbloom, hopes to be the voice for renters and maintain gender balance on the board. She’s lived in Somerville since 2008. A renter, she says she wants to help ensure the city stays viable for the young professionals and families that see annual rent hikes. “It’s becoming much more difficult for young people, graduates, artists, old people, immigrants, to make Somerville the vibrant place it is,” she says.

Photo by Emily Cassel

She says she’ll work with groups like the Sustainable Neighborhoods Committee to expand affordable housing projects and look into what she can do as an alderman to give tax breaks to benevolent landlords. “I think that Somerville, more so than other cities having housing crises like New York, is in a good position to take bold steps should it wish to,” she says. “The city is almost entirely residential.” Young people and renters are often seen as a demographic not likely to vote. Weinbloom says she’s employing social media campaign strategies to connect with the younger audience.

LIEBERMAN

Similar to Weinbloom, David Lieberman is running on a platform of aggressively pursuing affordable housing. “Somerville needs a new generation of leaders,” says the 36-yearold attorney. “Its future is really bright, and I want to be a voice to help shape it.” Lieberman formerly worked as a prosecutor for the State Attorney General’s office, where he dealt with fraud and environmental issues. He carries those threads with him in his private practice. He wants to impose a “flipping tax” on landlords using Somerville to play the real estate game that leads to higher rents and real estate taxes. He thinks the city should penalize landlords who constantly buy and sell property for a profit, and reward landlords who show a commitment to their tenants. “People want to raise a family and live their lives here without being priced out,” he says. He says the city should also impose a “linkage fee” on commercial developments in residential areas and put that money in the affordable housing trust fund.

CHISHOLM

The most experienced candidate, Charles Chisholm, is a lifelong Somerville resident who served as a Ward 1 alderman in the ‘70s. Public safety and efficient snow removal, especially in the wake of last year’s brutal winter, are of paramount importance to him. He says the city could save a lot of money by purchasing a fleet of sidewalk plows instead of contracting out the work to private bidders. He also wants to see a state-wide tax on the rich and use that money to subsidize MBTA fares. If public transportation is less expensive, he says, areas farther outside the city will be more attractive to commuters. Somerville is “close to the work,” he says, which creates a high housing demand. If professionals feel better about moving farther away from Boston, it would put downward pressure on the rents in Somerville. Chisholm has long been active in Somerville politics, something he says is a great strength. “The learning curve for new aldermen is practically vertical,” he says. “My experience allows me to hit the ground running.” scoutsomerville.com September | October 2015

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News

Photo courtesy of Somerville Community Corporation

UNION UNEASY

Community Members Anxious over Development By Emily Hopkins

B

ukhari Brown is only 17 years old, but he already knows what it’s like to be displaced from Somerville. He was born and raised here, for the most part, but spent a couple years of his short life living in Everett because his family could not afford to live in the city. “I have plenty of stories. Friends, and even me, are driven out of Somerville,” he says. Brown is one of the youngest members of Union United, a coalition of community members trying to make themselves heard during the Union Square development process. He found his way there through a number of other volunteer schticks—Somerville Community Corporation and Groundwork Somerville, among others. But there’s something special about Union United for Brown. There’s something about the work that he finds important, personal, relevant. “A lot of other students at Somerville High moved to Everett and Dorchester, many other local places, but still come to Somerville High because they found a lot more satisfaction being in this school system,” he says. “It shows that there is a lot that Somerville does better than other cities around us.” Brown is not alone in his love for Somerville. This city is marked by almost uncanny citizen devotion, like a Pleasantville full of artists and immigrants. But word has spread that this is One Great City, and the ball called gentrification is on a roll. If that alone hadn’t gotten residents (of both the Old and New Somervilles) nervous, the potential market pressures of the Green Line Extension have certainly put many on edge. “Part of what we’re trying to do is raise awareness about how deep the insecurity is,” says Karen Narefsky, a community organizer at the Somerville Community Corporation. She says she recently received a phone call from a member of Union United who lives on Somerville Avenue and who said his landlady was about to raise his rent by $400 in the span of a month. “It seems crazy, but we really get those kinds of calls, we hear [those stories], every day,” she says. Union United formed just over a year ago in May 2014. At that point, it was made up of about 10 residents who were part of the SCC’s land use committee, which focuses on finding solutions to things like vacant lots or food deserts. Since then, Union United has grown to include several dozen community members representing an array of local 18

September | October 2015 scoutsomerville.com

organizations, including the local public workers union, the Somerville Homeless Coalition and SCATV. They’ve spent the past several months identifying seven key areas that they believe should be at the center of the redevelopment conversation, among them affordable housing, local jobs and workers’ rights. “When we say we want a holistic and a livable community, we mean having a good job, having accessible transportation, having affordable housing,” says Mashael Majid, a community planner with SCC. (Majid has since announced that she will be leaving Somerville to live closer to her family in California.) Over the past several months, Majid says that the group kept encountering something called a community benefits agreement, or CBA. A CBA is a contract between community members and one or more developers that binds the latter to a number of amenities—jobs, affordable housing, green space—that alleviate some of the pressures put on communities undergoing development. It can ensure that a community reaps more than the bare minimum of the large amount of profit generated by these kinds of projects. “We need a return on investment for our community, we need those jobs, we need people to build affordable housing so families can stay here and their kids can stay in the school system,” says Majid. ”I think the community benefits model offers a way for multiple entities to gain from the profit of redevelopment, which is not something that’s typically done.”

THE WAY THE OTHER HALF PLANS Last summer, just after Union United formed, Union Square Station Associates (US2) was selected by the Somerville Redevelopment Authority as the master developer of about 15 acres of land related to the planned Green Line station. They’ve had a busy year as well, one spent looking at plans and parcels and starting to sketch the future of the area. “It’s been exciting, because there are so many folks who are very passionate about their neighborhood and very passionate about the future of their neighborhood,” says Greg Karczewski, president of US2. “Usually when you put those different energies in the process,


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Elegant Furniture, which had occupied the space at 31 Union Sq. for two decades, closed late last year after it experienced a drastic rent increase. Area developer Union Square Station Associates has announced that the workspace-sharing company Workbar will fill the space. Photo by Emily Hopkins.

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you end up with a better result than if you have just one perspective driving the process.” US2 has already felt the heat from community members and changed course in at least one instance: the development of D2. According to Karczewski, US2 wanted the D2 parcel, a large area that is right next to where the Green Line station would be, to be operable at the time the station opened in early 2018. Union United, as well as the Board of Aldermen, pushed back against the fast-track development of this site, which would have contained hundreds of residential units and no commercial space. US2 was forced to recalibrate. Karczewski says that US2 is committed to community benefits. He notes that they are typically part of the development contract between the developer and city, meaning negotiations are relegated to municipal government, not grassroots organizations. US2 has held a number of community engagement events, including weekly lunches, in an attempt to demonstrate their interest in community involvement. But despite their best efforts, they haven’t been able to reassure everyone that the Green Line expansion wouldn’t mean unmitigated displacement. “There is a real palpable fear and anxiety that many people feel generally about the transformation of Union Square,” says Majid, “but especially those who are most vulnerable to displacement.” That means largely immigrants, the elderly and the working class, folks who are responsible for building the square so many have fallen in love with. Despite that anxiety, there’s a note of optimism in Majid’s voice as she describes the engagement she has seen from US2, noting that the real estate group seems legitimately interested in community input. Members of Union United have met with US2 three times, and the groups are attempting to set up more regular meetings. They still haven’t gotten to the point where they could discuss their CBA draft. “It shouldn’t just stop at community participation, it really is about community control over development … in a really meaningful way,” says Majid. “The market is so unregulated, so you will get a notice 15 days or a month before that your rent is going up by a substantial amount. It just adds to this psychological trauma that you’re dealing with on multiple levels.”

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scoutsomerville.com September | October 2015

19


News

Scout’s Coming Out!

I

n 2009, our publisher Holli Banks started this crazy adventure, the result of which you hold in your hand. Through the faith of the community—local businesses, city officials and passionate readers like you—Scout Somerville was born, and for six years we’ve been showing up in your mailbox every two months. Things change, and businesses grow, which is part of the reason we’re happy to say that we’ll be updating our distribution model. Rather than arriving in your mailbox each cycle, where the issues can get lost in a shuffle of bills and letters, we’re going to supply a number of pickup points throughout Somerville. We want to be available not only to residents of this great city, but to those who work, eat, play, volunteer and visit here. We’ll still be printing 36,000 copies of each issue, but we think those magazines belong in the neighborhood and in the streets, which is why we’re getting Scout and about (with a little help from our friends at Metro Pedal Power). As we draw closer to the release of our November/December issue, we’ll be updating our website with a map that details the more than 100 drop spots we’ll have across the city and surrounding area. You can still receive Scout in your mailbox. Check out scoutsomerville.com/shop to purchase a subscription. You’ll cover the cost of the mailing, and we’ll send that hyperlocal coverage to your door.

Scout this! Scout This! Winner Brian Burke Where in Somerville

F

or Brian Burke, identifying the Bicycle Belle (368 Beacon St.) logo was a nobrainer. “It’s such a recognizable building. I ride by it constantly,” he told Scout in a phone interview. “I knew it immediately.” Burke, who is pictured here with his bike, said that when he saw the contest in our July/ August issue he decided to bike over check. That single bike ride just made him $50, which he already knows how to spend. “I’m going to buy some plants!” said Burke. He said he grows a guerilla garden off of a local park, and since the summer veggies have run their course, it’s time for some fall foliage.

20 September | October 2015

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DON’T GET STUNG,

GET EVEN Ouch! That’s what you don’t want to say this summer. Being where we are on the calendar, insects like bees, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets have had plenty of time to nest. They want to get outside the roost, too. And they can be pretty rowdy.

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An attack isn’t pleasant on its own right, but allergy problems can render an agitated insect’s sting potentially lethal. It’s just not worth the risk of letting them stick around. You should spend your summer outside laughing in the yard, not holed up inside worrying about that buzzing nest above. If you think you have a stinger problem – or just want the peace of mind that comes with knowing you don’t – make a quick call to Best Pest Control Services. Unlike other companies, Best Pest will treat your home only if it’s necessary. We are a locally owned and family-operated business. We’ve been serving Somerville and greater Boston since 1984 – and not just for roaches. Ants, bedbugs, mice, rats – you name it, we’ll get rid of it. Our rates are reasonable and customer service is our top priority.

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2015

You voted. We reported. Here are your 2015 Scout’s Honored Winners:

S R E N N I W By Emily Cassel, Emily Gaudette, Emily Hopkins, JM Lindsay, Ellen Thibault, Sam Trevino, and Hannah Walters

FOOD & DRINK BEST RESTAURANT, BALL SQUARE

SOUND BITES 704 BROADWAY

Sound Bites is THE place to go for a big, beautiful breakfast or brunch. For 20 years, this local favorite has offered fresh, comfort-food-meets-gourmet cuisine, American style with a Middle Eastern vibe, under the proprietorship of Yasser Mirza. The breakfast mainstay is now serving lunch, dinner and liquor, so there’s even more to love about Sound Bites. Also new: music and dancing.

22

September | October 2015 scoutsomerville.com

BEST THAI RESTAURANT

SWEET GINGER 22 BOW ST.

It may only have a handful of tables, but Union Square’s Sweet Ginger is both affordable and romantic. With all the standard Pad Thai dishes you might want, as well as classic appetizers like spring rolls and crab rangoon, Sweet Ginger is the straightforward, no-frills Thai restaurant of your dreams. The big picture window makes for great people-watching and the flower vases on the tables add just enough formality to an otherwise casual (and delicious) spot.

BEST PUB FOOD

THE INDEPENDENT 75 UNION SQ.

With a sunny patio for the summer and an inviting, softly lit interior ideal for the colder months, the Independent is a steadfast choice to satiate your hankerings for brews and American food with an edge. Tagged “Your Neighborhood bar since ‘01,” this pub has a little something for everyone, like burgers (veggie too), fish and chips and even grits. And their mac and cheese—as if that isn’t exciting in and of itself—is made with chorizo and boursin cheese. Boursin. Cheese.

BEST RESTAURANT IN MAGOUN SQUARE BEST BEER BAR

OLDE MAGOUN’S SALOON 518 MEDFORD ST.

Not only did Magoun’s win best restaurant in Magoun Square, but our readers voted it the Best Beer Bar in Somerville, despite some stiff competition! With 28 local and imported beers on tap, this place satisfies even the most discerning of craft beer enthusiasts. And if you’re not into hops, you can still check out their small batch whiskey or drown yourself in delicious, cheesy nachos.


Photo by Emily Cassel

BEST SWEET TOOTH SATISFIER

UNION SQUARE DONUTS 20 BOW ST.

If you’ve ever sunk your teeth into one of Union Square Donuts’ sugary circles, you might wonder how the shop’s staff could ever improve upon them. But what makes this place so great is that Heather Schmidt and the rest of her team never stop working to turn out the best treats. “I’ve got a million ideas floating in my brain,” she laughs. Even when faced with seemingly impossible tasks (they’re currently working to create the perfect vegan Boston cream donut— and Schmidt seems confident they can do it) these bakers just smile, shrug and get cooking.

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scoutsomerville.com September | October 2015

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Scout’s Honored

BEST PLACE TO PEOPLE WATCH

MIKE’S FOOD AND SPIRITS 9 DAVIS SQ.

Mike’s holds down the almostmidnight-cheese-fries market in Davis Square. In the summer, they open up the windows (making them a prime people watching locale) and serve up pitchers of cold, local beer. In the winter, Mike’s is a glowing, warm reminder that the game’s on TV no matter how cold it gets and that mozzarella sticks fix everything. BEST CHINESE

WANG’S FAST FOOD 509 BROADWAY

Wang’s offers Chinese favorites like scallion pancakes, egg rolls, lo mein and hot and sour soup, but the menu is by no means limited, with a near prodigious amount of beef, chicken and seafood options (including lobster). The choices don’t end there—the vegetarian section is significant, and much of it is under $5. Great food that won’t break the bank? We’ll chow down to that! BEST CHEAP EATS

ANNA’S TAQUERIA 236A ELM ST.

Photo by Emily Cassel

BEST RESTAURANT OVERALL BEST RESTAURANT NOT IN A SQUARE BEST CLASSIC AMERICAN RESTAURANT BEST SERVICES BEST BRUNCH BEST BARTENDER (JOE MCGUIRK)

HIGHLAND KITCHEN 150 HIGHLAND AVE.

It doesn’t matter if it’s Monday or a Friday night: When the staff at Highland Kitchen opens the doors at 5 p.m., there’s a line waiting to get in. Crafted cocktails and beer on tap, a burger to die for and regular live music all await you in this out-ofthe-square joint. And then there’s Joe: More than just a bartender, he’s the master of good vibes. Patrons trip over themselves to tell their story of the time Joe took great care of them. It’s really no wonder that this restaurant takes so many cakes. 24

September | October 2015 scoutsomerville.com

Whether you need a late-night burrito or just some nachos to snack on while you wait for the 87, Anna’s has got you covered. With burritos starting at $5.45 and with all the standard meat, veggie and bean options (plus a couple of extra fixings of their own), nobody ever leaves Anna’s hungry—or broke. BEST TAKEOUT

CITY SLICKER CAFE 588 SOMERVILLE AVE.

Don’t let the unassuming storefront fool you—the food coming out of City Slicker Cafe is anything but ordinary. Offering some seriously good American favorites with a unique twist, City Slicker Cafe is the perfect place to grab some post-work comfort food, whether that means pizza, sandwiches or


Thank you for voting us your favorite in an earth-shattering

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Now officially Somerville’s Best Bartender, Joe McGuirk

BEST CLASSIC AMERICAN BEST BRUNCH BEST SERVICE BEST BARTENDER, JOE McGUIRK BEST RESTAURANT NOT IN A SQUARE

BEST RESTAURANT OVERALL

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25


Scout’s Honored

Alaskan salmon. BEST JAPANESE/SUSHI

EBI SUSHI

290 SOMERVILLE AVE. Ebi Sushi offers a delectable taste of Japanese cuisine in the heart of Union Square. Good for bookings, walk-ins and delivery—finding top grade sushi in Somerville has never been so easy! Ebi Sushi offers an extensive menu of rockin’ rolls and mouthwatering seafood, with beer, wine and sake to boot. Photo courtesy of Painted Burro

BEST RESTAURANT IN DAVIS SQUARE

THE PAINTED BURRO 219 ELM ST.

From the decor—vibrant murals painted by area artists—to the cuisine—authentic Mexican reimagined with locally sourced ingredients—the Burro is combining the beautiful culture of our neighbors to the South with the best Somerville has to offer. In addition to their colorful, flavorful, traditional Mexican meals, this spot also gives foodies a place to have some fun thanks to events like Tex-Mex Mondays, Burro Karaoke on Tuesdays and a game of traditional Lotería each month. All that, and more than 150 tequilas and mezcals? No wonder they’re a local fave. 26

September | October 2015 scoutsomerville.com

BEST RESTAURANT IN EAST SOMERVILLE BEST ITALIAN

VINNY’S

76 BROADWAY Originally a neighborhood grocer, Vinny’s is a seriously great Italian restaurant boasting a Sicilian chef whose signature dishes include osso bucco, antipasto and arancini. At the deli, try the breakfast menu and fresh sandwiches. In the dining room, seven days a week, sit down to dinner for entrees that include gnocchi, pasta al forno, filet mignon and grilled rack of lamb.


BEST PLACE TO PEOPLE WATCH Photo by Emily Cassel

BEST BREWERY/DISTILLERY

SOMERVILLE BREWING COMPANY 15 WARD ST.

Somerville Brewing Company is one of those businesses that keeps popping up in conversations about growth and success in Somerville. This past year has been a busy one, and since last fall the craft beer crew has opened a taproom at Assembly Row and a brewery and taproom at Boynton Yards. “The real work begins now, to expand our product offerings,” says co-owner Caitlin Jewell. Since their Boynton Yards location is tucked away in a less accessible area of the city, Jewell says it’s important that they make it worth the trip. “It is imperative that our locals and travelers have a wonderful time,” she says. BEST MIDDLE EASTERN BEST PLACE TO SPLURGE

SARMA

249 PEARL ST. A passionate blend of fine food, drink and vibrant life helps Sarma bring the flavors and spirit of the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East to Somerville. “There is such talent amongst the team, and I’m so proud of our chefs, beverage leaders and management,” says Chef Ana Sortun. “It’s a close group that takes pride in the day-to-day tasks of their job.”

BEST PIZZA

BEST CHEAP EATS

FLATBREAD 45 DAY ST.

Somerville is home to a lot of great restaurants, but few hit so many notes as Flatbread. Diners can watch as flatbread pizzas are baked in a massive, woodfire earthen stove. The bar goes on for miles and features some of the best brews in the region. With Sacco’s Bowl Haven attached, Flatbread is a great place for a first date, a family visit or a couple of beers with some old friends.

9 DAVIS SQUARE

(617) 628-2379

MIKESONDAVIS.COM

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BEST RESTAURANT IN ASSEMBLY ROW BEST OUTDOOR DINING

RIVER BAR

661 ASSEMBLY ROW River Bar is the Assembly sibling of such Somerville favorites as Brass Union, Foundry on Elm and Saloon— quality sure does run in the family, doesn’t it? Their “elevated street food” is dynamically plated and delicious, whether it’s small plates (zucchini pancakes, cucumber kimchi) or large meals (bluefish and clams, grilled sirloin). River Bar’s outdoor dining area, complete with couches and a fire pit, is the perfect place to enjoy supreme cocktails and fine American food along the Mystic.

BEST MEXICAN

TU Y YO

858 BROADWAY Tu Y Yo may serve up the classics, but this is not your standard Mexican-American restaurant. In fact, many customers show up solely for the promise of crickets and grasshoppers. If you’re not a risk-taker, enjoy the slow-cooked mole Colorado Tlaxcalteca, the bright lights of Powderhouse Circle and the sangria, which is to die for.

3 LITTLE FIGS

The fact that this Spring Hill spot regularly has a line of

Chef Shayne Nunes has become one of the youngest and most

278 HIGHLAND AVE.

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BEST CHEF

SHAYNE NUNES FOUNDRY ON ELM, SALOON

BEST COFFEE SHOP OR CAFÉ

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people extending out the door and onto the sidewalk tells you everything you need to know about their coffee, baked goods and sandwiches—which is to say, they’re incredible. They put their own flavorful twist on otherwise standard items, like their goat cheese breakfast scone or their bacon corn muffin, for food that’s savory and scrumptious. Plus, the staff is as warm and energized as the lattes.

255 ELM ST.


an unassuming alley, the bar’s innovative cocktails await you. Stylish and contemporary but still warm and welcoming, Backbar’s atmosphere is sure to please—as are stellar house drinks that offer a twist on tradition as well as edgy, original concoctions. BEST RESTAURANT IN TEELE SQUARE

RUDY’S CAFE

248 HOLLAND ST. Rudy’s cafe offers up a trifecta of t’s: tasty Tex-Mex in Teele. With outstanding fajitas, nachos, burritos and tacos as well as inventive offerings including taco skins and Mexican pizza, there’s something on the menu to satisfy your cravings for all things spicy, beefy and cheesy. And actually, we should amend that to include a fourth t, because Rudy’s selection of tequila (and mezcal) is out of this world.

Tour the best of the best–all in one place! Join us for a tasting tour of the victorious restaurants in this year’s Scout’s Honored awards! We’ve invited all the big winners from premier eateries across Cambridge and Somerville to showcase the tastiest bites from their award-winning menus. This is your chance to sample mouth-watering morsels from Camberville’s finest, wash them down with suds from Somerville Brewing Company and enjoy beats provided by the DJs at Mmmmaven.

Tuesday, October 20 | 5:30 – 8:30 Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville Tickets just $15 in advance. Quantities are limited, so get your pass today!

tastingtour.eventzilla.net

BEST BREAKFAST

NEIGHBORHOOD RESTAURANT 25 BOW ST.

Photo by Brian Samuels

exciting chefs to hit the Bostonarea restaurant scene. It’s only natural that he’d exhibit his craft and skills in his own home town, managing the kitchens of both Foundry on Elm and Saloon. With a culinary style that riffs on his Portuguese heritage while also incorporating traditional and contemporary techniques, Chef Nunes does Somerville proud. BEST COCKTAIL BAR

BACKBAR

7 SANBORN CT. A speakeasy-style throwback from the minds behind Journeyman, Backbar is a can’tmiss spot in Union Square. On the other side of a curious orange door tucked away in

Set in the heart of Somerville, this restaurant lives up to its name. With its grapevine-covered outdoor patio and extensive menu of Portuguese-American fare, the Neighborhood has come to be a meeting place for ‘Villens looking for a delicious brunch. “It’s a great honor,” says Sheila Borges, the owner. “We’re extremely thrilled to see the fruit of our labor so appreciated.” BEST CATERING BEST GOURMET OR SPECIALTY SHOP

DAVE’S FRESH PASTA 81 HOLLAND ST.

Perusing the homemade food at Dave’s Fresh Pasta makes you feel like you’ve escaped to a loving relative’s home for a couple of hours, except this relative is funny, can teach you how to step your pasta game up a notch and doesn’t want to know why you’re not married yet. That’s likely why the shop is taking home not one, but two, highly coveted Scout’s Honored Awards this year.

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Scout’s Honored

Photo by Eric Wolfinger

BEST RESTAURANT IN UNION SQUARE

BRONWYN

255 WASHINGTON ST. Named for Chef Tim Wichmann’s wife, Bronwyn specializes in German and other Central European cuisine like schnitzel, Riesling sauerkraut, pretzels and other food items that you’ll have endless fun pronouncing to your dinner partners. Inside the building styled after traditional European taverns, you can enjoy “bier” and “wein” specially paired with your meal. (Hint: ask if they have the “bier soup” if you’re into drinking two birds with one spoon, so to speak.) BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT

INDIA PALACE

BEST VEGETARIAN/ VEGAN RESTAURANT

23 UNION SQUARE

BLUE SHIRT CAFÉ

India Palace serves North Indian fare with a Punjabi flare. The staff is warm and knowledgeable and the food is meticulously prepared by the area’s “best, most talented North Indian chef,” says Bobbie Singh. While you can take your food to go, it’s really nice to eat there. “We’re a family business,” says Singh, and “we welcome everyone like family.”

Blue Shirt is an independent purveyor of “healthy, delicious food and drinks at an affordable price,” says café manager Mike Chen. “We have many options (wraps, sandwiches, salads) for vegetarians and vegans,” and most everything is prepared onsite daily. Most popular are the tofu wraps (choice of spinach,

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424 HIGHLAND AVE.

sesame or Thai peanut) made with organic, non-GMO, locally supplied tofu. Smoothies and juices are made fresh. Yum! BEST RESTAURANT IN WINTER HILL

LEONE’S SUB AND PIZZA 292 BROADWAY

Established in 1954, Leone’s boasts “pizza and subs fit for a king.” Among the savory staples offered by this familyowned Winter Hill institution

are the Sicilian-style slices and pies. “I’m very particular,” says co-owner Nicky Ruccolo, who favors a simple menu, fresh ingredients, a seven-day work week and their hearty eggplant and meatball dishes. “Three and four generations are still coming here,” he says. Now that’s a vote of confidence. BEST BURGER

BOSTON BURGER COMPANY 37 DAVIS SQ.

Boston Burger Company has been living up to its considerable hype since 2009, convincing even the most crunchy and skeptical residents of Davis Square to indulge in a juicy, gigantic, hedonistic burger. Come for the “Mac Attack” that our lord and savior Guy Fieri enjoyed on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and stay for the garlic parm fries.


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THE BOSTON TATTOO COMPANY DAVIS SQUARE 260 ELM STREET, #102 (617) 625-8282

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IMPROVBOSTON • 40 PROSPECT ST. CAMBRIDGE - IMPROV, SKETCH & STANDUP COMEDY + BEGINNER AND ADVANCED CLASSES, YOUTH PROGRAMS AND MORE! scoutsomerville.com September | October 2015

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

BEST EVENTS SPACE

THE CENTER FOR ARTS AT THE ARMORY 191 HIGHLAND AVE.

What sets the Armory apart from other spaces its size is the broad array of events that it hosts. There are the big happenings—the Winter Farmers Market, headlining shows with nationally touring bands—but there are also small-scale, local events, whether it’s zumba, dance, a comedy show, a poetry slam or even a real estate seminar.

BEST VISUAL ARTIST

ASHLEY ROSE

Blurring the line between the visual arts and fashion design, Ashley Rose has been working hard for years to make a name for herself in the Boston-area fashion scene—and it’s paying off. Her flowing, fearsome creations evoke the gorgeous horror of Pan’s Labyrinth or, hey, even David Bowie’s Labyrinth, and are truly unforgettable. BEST ART GALLERY

MUSEUM OF BAD ART 55 DAVIS SQ.

What began in a West Roxbury basement in 1994 has become 32

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a longstanding exhibit at the Somerville Theatre, earning national acclaim and nods from institutions like the Wall Street Journal and the BBC. And while it may be called the Museum of Bad Art, executive director Louise Sacco says the gallery is never meant to be meanspirited. “We’re celebrating these pieces,” she says. “If we’re making fun of anyone it’s art writers and art critics!” BEST JEWELRY DESIGN

JADE MORAN JEWELRY 257 HIGHLAND AVE.

Jade Moran not only boasts the most beautiful collection of jewelry in the city, but Moran

herself offers custom engagement rings and beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces for any moment in life. This ain’t your local Etsy seller: Moran’s work is luminous and timeless, making her wares the most striking in town.

for a cash prize. Oh, and the show ends with a beer chugging contest between the bartender and a random audience member. (The bartender has never lost— it’s much more impressive than it sounds.)

BEST COMEDY SHOW BEST LATE NIGHT HAUNT

BEST MUSIC VENUE

THE BURREN 247 ELM ST.

Hosted by comedian (as well as Onion and New York Times contributor) Steve Maccone, the Burren’s Wednesday night comedy show features a mix of drop-in sets from comics with TV credits, as well as a green slate of newcomers competing

JOHNNY D’S

17 HOLLAND ST. Known mostly for jazz acts, Davis Square’s Johnny D’s Restaurant and Music Club has hosted local bands of all genres since opening in 1969. Whether you’re looking to dress up for a fancy dinner date punctuated by a sax solo or just want to take in a quick cocktail and a low-key comedy show on


Photo courtesy of Somerville Beat

BEST NON-SCOUT MEDIA

SOMERVILLE BEAT SOMERVILLBEAT.COM

“I just wanted to write the stuff. I didn’t know if anyone would read it. I didn’t even care if anyone read it at first,” says Elyse Andrews, the woman behind the Somerville Beat. Andrews is shifting her focus to other projects in the ‘Ville, but not before a little commemoration of the blog that kept us on our toes. Andrews started the Beat in 2012 when she saw the need for a community resource where readers could find an events calendar, tips and tricks, brunch recommendations and more. The blog quickly gained popularity amongst everyone from Somerville natives looking for something to do to tourists looking to discover something beyond Boston.

a Monday night, Johnny D’s is a great place to start a night out. BEST EVENT

PORCHFEST CITYWIDE

There’s nothing quite like Porchfest in Somerville. “It’s a citywide street party where art and music and revelry is literally spilling over from houses and porches into the streets,” says

Rachel Strutt, Cultural Director at the Somerville Arts Council. She also says that the DIY aspect of the event is likely why ‘Villens take to it so well. Porchfest “curates itself”: Musical acts put themselves on the bill via the SAC website. It’s not just a Somerville favorite, either. Strutt says that towns from all over call her office for advice on how to start their own.

Thank you for voting us BEST WELLNESS SERVICE! SHERYL C. SAROKAS

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Scout’s Honored

GOODS & SERVICES

BEST WELLNESS SERVICE

UNION SQUARE ACUPUNCTURE 21 BOW ST.

Prana not flowing right? Union Square Acupuncture is a great place to soothe the body, soul and mind. Owner and practitioner Sheryl Sarokas uses an integration of Chinese and Japanese traditional therapies to promote holistic well-being. Union Square Acupuncture offers a variety of therapies, from the well-known acupuncture to lesser-known and non-needle practices like Maxa and Magnet therapy. BEST CLOTHING STORE

BUFFALO EXCHANGE 238 ELM ST. Photo by Emily Cassel

BEST COMMUNITY CLASS

ZUMBA WITH JESS

16 BOW ST. (AT DANCE UNION) “Zumba is a happy medium between exercise and dance,” says Jess Perkins. She leads her class with high energy, “pulsating music and funky dance moves,” promising to “bring it!” At her party, no one should dance alone. “We’re here to get our sweat on and have a good time, baby!” she exclaims. Is that your foot tapping? 34 September | October 2015

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The collection of gently used and repurposed clothing and accessories at Davis Square’s Buffalo Exchange is so eclectic and hip that one wonders why shoppers ever pay full price. The buyers, contrary to rumor (and that one episode of Broad City) are incredibly polite and talkative, and trading an unwanted item of clothing for something new always feels like getting away with the perfect crime.


Scout Readers voted us

#1 Real Estate Agency in Cambridge. Photo by Jess Benjamin

BEST PRINT SHOP/DESIGN

UNION PRESS

440 SOMERVILLE AVE. In 2010, Union Press carved out a home in an old print shop that hadn’t been used in a decade. Since then, the shop’s artisans have done nearly all of their work by hand using antique presses and traditional print methods, and you’ll recognize their bold typefaces and vivid, colorful images from the posters for local events including the Union Square Farmers Market and the Somerville Winter Farmers Market. These artists can also create unique and eye-catching party invites, stationery, business cards and more.

BEST GIFT SHOP

BEST FRAME SHOP

145 ELM ST.

55 BOW ST.

DAVIS SQUARED Owner Melisa Ford Christie is neck-deep in Davis Square pride. “[My husband] Paul and I live in Davis Square, our kids go to school in Davis Square, you know, our whole life is wrapped up in this community. We believe so much in it, and I feel like we project that.” Her gift shop glows with good vibes and smells like the artisanal soaps you can find on the shelves. Soon, the store will be bustling with even more activity as holiday season rolls around.

Our agents are also market experts in Somerville, Arlington and Medford managing hundreds of deals each year. Call us today and see the difference it makes when you work with caring, professional, full-time agents who can offer you creative solutions for your real estate needs. Your local choice is your best choice!

STANHOPE FRAMERS Need that new work of art framed before it adorns your wall with the rest of your collection? How about that cherished family portrait that you’ve been meaning to get hang? Look no further than Stanhope Framers for the best local professional framing job in town. “Thanks for all your support,” says Owner Richard Siegel. “We’re honored to be a part of the Somerville community.”

hammondre.com | 617-497-4400 Somerville, Cambridge, Medford, Arlington scoutsomerville.com September | October 2015

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BEST BEAUTY CARE

SKIN AND BODY WORKS 77 HOLLAND ST.

The staff at Skin and Body Works are experts at making customers feel better about themselves as they walk out the door than they did when they walked in. The waiting room is always filled with happy folks, and the service rooms themselves are dimly lit, calming and private. Who knew a corner between Davis and Teele would be the perfect place to dole out facials? Skin and Body Works’ manager Kathy Thomas did, and her experienced staff knows what they’re doing. BEST FLORIST OR GARDEN SUPPLY

RICKY’S FLOWER MARKET

238 WASHINGTON ST. Whether it’s almost Christmastime or the first day of spring, you can’t miss Ricky’s Flower Market. Located in the heart of Union Square, the outdoor flower market is always a lush oasis in the middle of one of the city’s most persistent traffic jams—so unless you’re picking up an actual tree, walking is your best bet. But no matter your floral needs—a single tulip to declare your newfound love, a clever orchid arrangement for an early retirement or seeds to make a garden of your own—you’ll never run out of ideas walking through Ricky’s. BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT

DAVID BOTTARI Photo by Emily Hopkins

BEST BARBERSHOP

RAZORS

308 HIGHLAND AVE. Razors is designed to be an old-time barbershop with old-time prices: Their most expensive service is a “Classic Special,” a haircut paired with a shave, for $35. Since opening in 2004, owner Anthony Berriola has tried to bring back the tradition of barbershop-as-social-gathering-place. They’re on the move, too, available for “private shaving events” like cleaning up your groomsmen before your wedding or bachelor party.

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This year marks a three-peat for David Bottari, who’s taken home “Best Real Estate Agent” honors every year since 2013. It makes sense—not only has he been in the biz for more than 15 years, but Bottari is also a born-andraised Somervillian who knows the area’s market like the back of his hand. He’s seen the city change fairly rapidly throughout his career, but he still holds onto its core values: being truthful and honest, telling people what they need to hear instead of what they’d like to hear and working hard to ensure he’s providing the best possible service for his clients.


Loads of new equipment to bring you the highest quality • Posters • Banners • Booklets • Brochures • Fliers • Business Cards • Letterhead • Presentation Folders • Term Papers • Photographs

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Best Shipping! 519 Somerville Ave., Somerville 617-591-0199 store4978@theupsstore.com www.theupsstorelocal.com/4978 http://store4978.upsstoreprint.com

Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am – 7:00pm Sat 9:00am – 5:00pm Sun: Closed

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BEST YOGA STUDIO

O2 YOGA

288 HIGHLAND AVE.

Photo by Emily Cassel

BEST DENTIST

SMILES BY ROSIE 6 KENSINGTON AVE.

While many may not revel in a visit to the dentist, Smiles by Rosie is just the place to forget your past, guilt-ridden checkups. Lecture and judgement free, Smiles by Rosie offers dental care for children and adults. Dr. Rosie, who hails from the Berkshires, completed her residency at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, where she gained experienced working with special needs patients. Her waiting room always has water for service animals, the office conducts all paperwork electronically and they offer special accommodations for their deaf and blind patients. BEST GYM

ACHIEVE FITNESS 42 MERRIAM ST.

Owners Jason Pak and Lauren Perreault have done the impossible in Somerville: create a gym that is both challenging and inclusive, one that’s stylish and genuine in practice. The community classes stress positivity and support from fellow athletes, and the techniques are 38 September | October 2015

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boiled down to basic kettlebell and strength training. Pak and Perreault are on a mission to ensure every Somervillian knows what their body is capable of, and you voted them most likely to pull it off. BEST FURNITURE/ HOME DECOR

SUNSHINE FURNITURE 93 HOLLAND ST.

If you’re looking for repurposed and reclaimed furniture, interesting antiques, engaging odds or mysterious ends, look no further than Sunshine Furniture. Formerly Sunshine Lucy’s, their original mission was to save used and antique furniture from landfills by restoring and refinishing them with their own twist of style. Now under a new name, Sunshine Furniture also has their own warehouse space in which to build custom furniture to fit your individual needs and space. BEST SHIPPING

UPS

519 SOMERVILLE AVENUE Don Grout’s UPS offers friendly, quality shipping and business

services in a welcoming, clean, well-lit space. “I’m a stickler for a well-stocked store,” says Don Grout, who offers friendly, quality shipping and business services. “We ship TONS of clothing, books, TVs, stereos, stuffed animals, art collections.” Once, they even shipped a jukebox and a wrought-iron staircase. But it’s not just about boxing and making copies: Grout looks forward to drawing in new clients with highend printing gear. BEST BIKE SHOP

ACE WHEELWORKS 145 ELM ST.

There’s no arguing this point: Somerville’s cyclists are a dedicated bunch. We’ve watched you pedal your hardest in a battle to ascend Winter Hill, we’ve ridden alongside you on the torn-up pavement on Beacon Street and we know that when it comes to fixing your rides, you’re committed to finding the best people and parts for the job. It’s no wonder you recognized the fun and friendly staff at Ace Wheelworks, who are always happy to help—whether you just have a few questions or are ready to buy a brand new ride.

Mimi Loureiro created O2 Yoga in 1998, and the studio has since blossomed into two locations: one with a gorgeous yogi bar and menu, both with creative class options for pregnant women and new mothers. While the sessions aren’t considered “hot yoga,” rest assured it gets warm in the studio. The instructors strike a nice balance between creating a strenuous workout and gently encouraging you to consider your heart chakra.

BEST TATTOO OR PIERCING STUDIO

BOSTON TATTOO COMPANY 260 ELM ST. STE. 102

They may be called Boston Tattoo Company, but this local shop is all Somerville. Located in the heart of Davis Square, BTC has been a favorite since 2010, with owner Jason Zube tracking down and working with some of the best artists in the area. Whether you prefer to choose from one of thousands of flash designs or have an idea for a custom piece, you’ll walk out of this shop sporting a work of art you love. BEST REAL ESTATE AGENCY

CENTURY 21 COMMONWEALTH

205 HOLLAND ST. “We put our clients’ interest before anything,” says owner/ broker Charlie Ball, “and our 40 full-time agents have the best training in the industry.” As part the best-known brand in real estate, Century 21 agents are well supported. At Ball’s agency, his team also benefits from daily collaboration. As a group, they predict and tailor the help agents will need for specific situations.


Follow The Honey Traveling the world to bring raw honeys and bee inspired offerings to you and your sweet ones Sharing the narrative of farmers & hives through unique forage and global terroir

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BEST MASSAGE, SOMERVILLE

MASSAGE THERAPY WORKS 255 ELM ST.

Offering services ranging from acupuncture to manual lymph drainage to “CranioSacral Rebalancing,” Massage Therapy Works is perhaps the most eclectic physical therapy provider in the area. Its staff of over 20 therapists is led by CEO and owner Richard Green, who describes his massages as being “like interpretive dances.” And, in the tradition of experimental theater, they’re open late—until 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 p.m. on Sundays. Photo by Emily Cassel

BEST HAIR SALON

217 HIGHLAND AVE.

You can see that there’s something special about Hair by Christine & Co. just by walking by. Their corner location on Highland Avenue gives you a glimpse into, perhaps, a new Paris, with bright blue walls and Eiffel Towers everywhere. But it’s clear that they’re not just about hair: Hanging in the windows you’ll find a multitude of community fliers. They’re a drop-off spot for Diaper Circle and align themselves as allies to the LGBTQ communities. They say it best: “We just want people to walk in and be themselves and leave a better version of themselves.”

BEST PET SUPPLY SHOP BEST PET CARE

RIVERDOG

321 SOMERVILLE AVE. You’d be hard-pressed to find pet caretakers more dedicated than Peter and Priscilla Lareau, the husband-andwife team behind Riverdog. Peter actually got his start as an ambulance driver for MSPCA Angell in Jamaica Plain, where he spent his time rescuing stray and distressed dogs, and that love for pups of all shapes and sizes is as strong today as it ever was. Somerville’s pet population— from a 2-pound chihuahua to a 145-pound rottweiler—calls Riverdog its home away from home.

Photo by Emily Cassel

scoutsomerville.com

SOMERVILLE CREDIT UNION 236 HOLLAND ST.

HAIR BY CHRISTINE

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BEST BANK OR CREDIT UNION

Offering all the services of a national bank with the good feeling of a local company, Somerville Credit Union is a longtime favorite for banking in the city. Located right on Holland Avenue near Teele Square, they provide financial services as simple as opening a savings account or as complex as applying for a mortgage and everything in between. BEST INSURANCE

H.J. WISEMAN INSURANCE

475 HIGHLAND AVE. H.J. Wiseman Insurance is a familyowned agency that has served the Somerville community for well over 50 years. The agency, located in Davis Square, offers a full range of insurance services and a staff of local professionals who you can count on to recommend the very latest in policies and programs. BEST LIQUOR STORE/ WINE SHOP

BALL SQUARE FINE WINES 716 BROADWAY

Home to the largest and most diverse collection of Greek wines in the state, Ball Square Fine Wines has been a Broadway fixture since 2001. Don’t let the name throw you, though: They


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217 HIGHLAND AVENUE, SOMERVILLE • 617-776-6470 WWW.HAIRBYCHRISTINEANDCO.COM

BEST LANDSCAPING

GREEN CITY GROWERS 600 WINDSOR PLACE

Green City Growers transforms neglected city plots into healthy farms. GCG focuses on quality and adapting their services for various needs and budgets, says Jessie Banhazi, who loves to “convert unused spaces into thriving urban farms.” It’s amazing to see a formerly empty space “suddenly produce hundreds of pounds of food,” she says. Obstacles? Just the veg-loving wildlife—the junkyard raccoons who swipe cilantro and the area bunny who will eat all of your green beans.

have more than just wine. Twentyyear-old Japanese Whiskey? A fresh keg of Everett’s own Night Shift beer? Ball Square has it all. BEST THRIFT/VINTAGE SHOP

GOODWILL 230 ELM ST.

Are you looking for a new pair of jeans—or perhaps your next bold fashion statement—but don’t want to break the bank? Goodwill in Davis Square is at your service. Time to find some fine new-to-you duds at a price that won’t burn a hole in those vintage pockets of yours.

BEST HAIR SALON

RIVERDOG DAYCARE DAYCARE | PET SUPPLIES | TRAINING

BEST GREEN BUSINESS

METRO PEDAL POWER 11 OLIVE SQ.

If you’re trying to “go green,” it doesn’t get much easier than Metro Pedal Power. They simply replace gasoline-powered freight delivery with sustainable “pedal power,” zipping around town on bikes instead of in vehicles. In addition to helping businesses use fossil-free methods to move parcels, they also offer home delivery of local produce. Their motto says it all: “Think outside the box truck.”

BEST PET SUPPLY BEST PET CARE

Thank you for voting us the best Best Pet Supply and Best Pet Care in Somerville! Mention “Scout’s Honored” on your next visit and receive a free bag of cookies* for your furry friend! *Limit 1 per customer, please. While supplies last.

321 Somerville Ave 857-998-3343 riverdogdaycare.com scoutsomerville.com September | October 2015

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Scout Out!

WHERE THERE’S A WHEEL, THERE’S A WAY FIRST-TIME RIDERS HIT THE STREETS

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Words and photos by Emily Cassel

I

“There are so many good things about [cycling], but the empowerment is the thing that’s the most exciting.”

t’s an overcast Saturday morning in July, and a brief summer squall has just blown through the neighborhood, slicking the pavement and leaving puddles throughout the parking lot of the Powder House Community School. It hasn’t, however, dampened the spirits of Susan McLucas, who is clapping, jumping and cheering on a group of first-time cyclists as they roll across the lot’s gentle slope. “Nice!” “Don’t look down—look forward.” “Stay calm and collected.” “You rock!” Cycling may be a healthy, planet-conscious and convenient way to get around town, but for those who didn’t learn to ride as kids, it can be tough to figure out where to start. For more than 25 years, McLucas, “The Bicycle Whisperer,” as her business card identifies her, has been teaching these cycling hopefuls how to get around on two wheels. “People who don’t ride bikes feel so terrible about it,” she says. “They think they’re not quite complete, and some of them make up stories … they don’t admit that they don’t know how.” McLucas was working as a bike mechanic when a few friends approached her to ask if she could teach them how to ride. “I thought, ‘Well, if I know two people in my own circle of friends who don’t know how to ride, there might be others.’” She put up a small flyer at the Broadway Bicycle School in Cambridge, where she says the other mechanics thought the idea was a little silly—after all, wouldn’t everyone coming in to buy parts or learn to fix their bike already be an experienced cyclist? With that one four-by-six card on a single bike shop bulletin board, McLucas was able to connect with 12 aspiring adult riders in her first year. At the Powder House School, McLucas’s students first suit up with the requisite safety gear: knee pads, elbow pads, helmet. She pops the pedals off of each bike, and the soon-tobe cyclists line up at the top of the parking lot’s small hill. Once a student can conquer the slope without teetering, the pedals go back on. From there, they’re quite literally on a roll. Some students take longer to catch on than others, but nearly everyone pedals away from McLucas’s riding school a success. She estimates that she’s taught about 3,000 people to ride, some of whom have travelled from Texas, Vancouver and as far away as Brazil after finding her online, and she says she’s only had six pupils who couldn’t quite grasp it. McLucas has done some traveling herself—since 1997, she’s gone to Mali 12 times with an organization working to end female genital mutilation in the country. Through songs, videos and events, she and her fellow activists have been a force in rallying more than 1,400 villages in the region to stop the practice. No matter where she is, McLucas makes a lasting impact on the lives of the people she works with. Here in Somerville and throughout Greater Boston former students often cycle past her, and they almost always stop to say hello. She’s all smiles when she discusses the lasting impact that learning to ride a bike can have—not just on an individual, but on their community and on the world. “It’s not just the saving of gas, it’s the empowerment and the fun and the health and less pollution,” McLucas says. “There are so many good things about it, but the empowerment is the thing that’s the most exciting.” scoutsomerville.com September | October 2015

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Scout Out

DIY or Bye: Artists, Makers Cling to Their Space

SPACE IR E H T O T G IN L C S R S, MAKE DIY OR BYE: ARTIST By Erin Kappeler Photos by Chrissy Bulakites

Y

ou may have noticed it while fighting for parking at Market Basket. You may even have stepped inside to restock your spice rack at the Little India grocery store. Or you may have missed it altogether. Either way, the Paper and Provisions warehouse on Somerville Avenue has been a vital part of Somerville’s creative scene for decades. Unlike many other artists’ spaces, this warehouse has managed to maintain a uniquely underground atmosphere. There is no front entrance. To get inside, you have to circle around to a back alley and procure a door code. Inside, you’ll find a maze of ad hoc spaces that have housed everything from an egg processing facility to a Pentecostal church. Rooms have been carved out as needed with little more than drywall and desire. There is no master plan—only improvisation. Like the rest of Union Square, the warehouse is on the verge of a drastic change. Somerville secured funding in March to add the warehouse and six surrounding buildings to the National Register of Historic Places. This will provide tax incentives for redevelopment, 44 September | October 2015

scoutsomerville.com

ensuring that the warehouse will soon be unrecognizable. For now, though, it provides a creative haven where rents are cheap and artists of all stripes can flourish. Scout talked to some of the current tenants about what the warehouse space has meant to them and what they hope it might become.

AN INDIE ARTIST’S DREAM Singer-songwriter Audrey Ryan started renting space in the warehouse in 2004 after being given a tour by the building manager, who happened to be a professional clown. “Immediately I knew the other tenants were eccentrics,” Ryan says. “I looked around at the raw space and knew I could do cool things there.” Ryan has indeed been responsible for many warehouse happenings, including her much-loved Loft shows, which have featured countless local bands as well as acts from Nashville, Los Angeles, New Orleans and other far-flung locales.


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Artists who have played at the Loft are effusive about its charms. It’s “the type of space that most indie artists dream about, where people come to listen, not yack,” says poet and songwriter Chris Robley. Jess Baggia of local band Red Right Hand agrees. “Bars expect to make a profit,” she says, “but places like the Loft are all about the music.” The warehouse is also a boon for local bands with small recording budgets. The Napoleon Complex recording studio, like the rest of the warehouse, has been built bit by bit to create something truly unique. “We don’t have a $50,000 mixing console,” audio engineer Shaun Curran says. “All our equipment has been purchased out of pocket. But we try to make up for our lack of sparkle with extra commitment. It’s not unusual for us to record for a solid 14 hours.” Such feats of endurance are possible because the studio feels scoutsomerville.com September | October 2015

45


Scout Out

DIY or Bye: Artists, Makers Cling to Their Space

like a home away from home, according to Curran’s bandmate Dwight Hutchenson, who says, “We definitely couldn’t do what we do without it. Our band Soft Pyramids does everything there—without that space we’d be in trouble.” That sentiment is echoed by Tyler Drabick, who has run the Boss Organ repair shop from the warehouse since 2005. “This building is amazing,” says Drabick. “Nothing I’ve found is quite like it. It’s not just a bunch of boxes cut into a warehouse; each space is unique.” Drabick cites the location and the low rent as crucial for his small business. Being in close proximity to so many other musicians also creates a win-win situation; as Audrey Ryan explains, having Boss Organ nearby has helped keep gear working properly.

UNINTENTIONAL COMMUNITIES It’s not just musicians who find the warehouse inspiring. Since 2010, the Pirateship makerspace has also found a home there. Co-

founder Jeff Warren says that the warehouse’s idiosyncrasies have enabled a freewheeling, non-hierarchical community to develop, which doesn’t always happen in comparable makerspaces like Artisan’s Asylum, located a few blocks away. “The Artisan’s Asylum approach has been to majorly institutionalize, which creates a certain type of community,” Warren explains. “The Pirateship has resisted formalization, and the warehouse is a big part of that. If it were more public facing, the space would have a different tone.” Pirateship president Brett Dikeman notes that the building’s quirks also keep space affordable, adding that, “the amount of space for the price is crucial for our projects.” Warehouse residents hope that the correlation between affordable space and diverse creative pursuits can be maintained in the years to come. As Jenn Harrington puts it, informal spaces

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like the warehouse “make it possible for people to gather in different ways; they allow for something uncommon to thrive.” All of the inhabitants worry that the uncommon creative culture at the warehouse will disappear if redevelopment isn’t handled carefully. “This is a very special place, where artists get to work,” Curran explains. “In this building I can do what I love with bands who are passionate but can’t afford the rates of a professional studio. It’s DIY at its finest.” Somerville has made it clear that it wants artists to have a home here. But the city’s development plans also focus on the creative economy, which often means prioritizing profit-making enterprises

that can squeeze out smallscale artists. A sign of the coming times can be seen in the complex that houses Artisan’s Asylum, where a boutique restaurant (meals start at $150 per plate) just moved in. For now, those $150 dinners exist uneasily side-by-side with the warehouse loading dock where artists gather to talk and consume cheap provisions from Little India. “Somehow we’ve managed to stay here this long,” says Ryan. “But if what has happened to real estate in the last couple years is an indication of what’s to come, we’re in for a battle.”

scoutsomerville.com September | October 2015

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calendar Music

twangin’, foot-stompin’ Americana, led by local Greg Klyma.

September 8

Live Music 8 p.m., $10 Davis Square Theater, 255 Elm St. Ludovico Ensemble performs Salkind-Pearl, as well as works by Vinko Globokar and Fritz Hauser.

Sundays

Live Music 10 p.m., No Cover Highland Kitchen, 150 Highland Ave. There’s never a cover and the musician changes every week, so you can come out and discover your new favorite artist on the cheap.

September 18

WEMF Presents: Neversink and Kat Kennedy 8 p.m. Doors, $7-$10 PA’s Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave. With Abbie Morin and Dan Masterson.

Mondays

Americana Mondays 7:30 p.m., No Cover PA’s Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave. A weekly evening of string-

Scoutpicks

48 September | October 2015

1

scoutsomerville.com

EVENTS | September 19

Oktoberfest Kick-Off Party 9:30 a.m.-close, Menu á la carte Olde Magoun’s Saloon. 518 Medford St. It may still be September, but Oktoberfest actually kicks off this month! This all-day party will revolve around German biers and the Bayern Munich vs. Darmstadt game (that’s soccer, for the uninitiated), which kicks off at 9:30 a.m. sharp. After that, you can watch the official Oktoberfest at noon. The festivities don’t end there: Throughout September and October, Magoun’s will offer a special Oktoberfest menu every Wednesday and a Germaninspired roast on Sundays.

September 25

Brian Carpenter & the Confessions CD Vinyl Release 7 p.m., $10 Cuisine en Locale, 156 Highland Ave. With Adam Glasseye & the Insect Fable, Rabbit Rabbit and Big Lazy.

Film Select Sundays

Silents, Please 2 p.m., $12-$15 Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Sq. This silent film series is back! Fall titles include West of Zanzibar

and The Four Horsemen. Live music provided by Jeff Rapsis.

September 24

This Is East Film Premiere 7 p.m., Free Chuckie Harris Park, 3-17 Cross St. E View a collection of videos taken of East Somerville residents and businesses. Maybe a bit of a #tbt?

September 12

Moonstruck in 35mm 7 p.m., $10 Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Sq. Learn to love the opera like Nicholas Cage’s character in this film: The showing will be preceded

2

FOOD & DRINK | September 29

East Broadway Foodie Crawl 6-8:30 p.m., $20-$25 East Broadway is fluffing its feathers and showing off years of revitalization efforts with this foodie crawl. You’ll have a chance to visit and sample food from more than a dozen restaurants that are now thriving in the neighborhood, and you’ll get to know not only East Somerville but the world, as the restaurants of the area offer everything from El Salvadorian to Ethiopian. Proceeds will benefit East Somerville Main Streets. Rain date is September 30th.


Calendar

by a performance of a portion of Puccini’s La Bohême by the Boston Lyric Opera.

September 26-27

2001: A Space Odyssey in 70mm 3 p.m. & 8 p.m., $12-$15 Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Sq. See this trip of a film in the luxurious format of 70mm.

October 25 & 28

Homebrewed Horror Movie Fest Noon-9 p.m., 7-10 p.m., respectively $12-$15, discount for groups Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave. It’s monster movie madness from the same people who brought you that maddening maze.

Arts September 10

Mindscapes Opening Reception 5:30-8:30 p.m., Free Auditorium Gallery Somerville Public Library, 79 Highland Ave. Check out one of Susan E. Schur’s two local exhibits (the other in Cambridge) of multilayered, mystical oil painting.

Until September 13

Feminist Fiber Art Exhibition Aeronaut Brewery, 14 Tyler St. What was originally supposed to be a small exhibition has grown

Celebrate the High Holidays with Congregation B’nai Brith Visit: www.templebnaibrith.org For complete High Holiday schedule

Free Family and Tot High Holiday services Rosh Hashanah: Sept. 14, Yom Kippur: Sept. 23

Register online now for: Children’s Sunday School Adult Education Congregation B’nai Brith

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EVENTS | September 24-27

The Wake Up to Dying Project Traveling Exhibit Times vary by day, Free Seven Hills Park, Davis Square Spending the weekend thinking about death probably seems like the last thing anyone would want to do. Yet there are questions that surround death in our society that are treated with the same avoidance. With this exhibit, the Wake Up to Dying Project hopes to lift the veil on an all too taboo subject in American culture. A listening tent will pipe out audio stories about death, dying and life, and ‘Villens can contribute items to a large chalk bucket list. They’ve got a lot to offer, so go to wakeuptodyingproject.org for more information.

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scoutsomerville.com September | October 2015

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Calendar

Scout picks 4

into a multisite art crawl. Visit feministfiberart.com for more information.

September 10-27

Somerville Toy Camera Fest Weekends 1-5 p.m., Free Nave Gallery, 155 Powderhouse Blvd. What happens when photographers relax and have a little fun? Find out at this annual exhibition, one of three installments.

October 6

One Man Breaking Bad: The Unauthorized Parody 8 p.m., $21-$51 Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave. All of your favorite characters in one place and also one body.

October 27

Dark Arts Day 7-10 p.m., $12-$15, discount for groups Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave. Dark arts and dark arcade meet at this is event that blends music, artwork and video games.

Food & Drink

The Maze of Horror 7-10 p.m., $12-$15, discount for groups Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave. Last year, longtime resident Matthew Martino turned the 7,000-square-foot Armory event space into a horrific maze with zombies, vampires and evil clowns. The scary mastermind is back in 2015, and says that this year will have “everything that last year delivered and then some.” (A haunted kitchen sink, perhaps?) After being spooked yourself, you can watch others take the frightful plunge from the event hall’s balcony. Swing by on October 23, 24 and 29-31.

cover charge gets you tacos and/ or beer!

September 26

10th Annual Fluff Festival 3-7 p.m., Free Union Square Celebrate the white stuff as well as a decade of Fluff Fests.

September 26

Tasting Tour 5:30-8:30 p.m., $15 Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Get a taste from the winning restaurants of Somerville and Cambridge!

Community First Wednesday of the Month Wiretap Wednesday 7-9:30 p.m., Free Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave. Performers can sign up and share their best work, which will be streamed and archived on the Internet. Hosted by Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein.

Last Wednesday of the Month

Tuesdays

Techno Taco Tuesdays 7:30-10:30 p.m., $8 Aguacate Verde 13 Elm St. Local DJs will spin tunes, and the 50 September | October 2015

EVENTS | Last week of October

scoutsomerville.com

Cryptoparty Potluck 6-9 p.m., Free Parts and Crafts, 577 Somerville Ave. This techno skillshare has gone regular! Stop by and learn how to protect your information.

5

MUSIC | This Fall

Farewell Acts at Johnny D’s Times and prices vary Johnny D’s, 17 Holland St. In about six months, we’ll say goodbye to the Johnny D’s we know and love, but not before some blowout farewell shows. In September, catch a rare acoustic performance by Young Dubliners on the 16th, and check out Bobby Whitlock and Coco Carmel, who have appeared on some of rock’s greatest hits, on the 29th. In October, Johnny D’s will open their doors for a free show full of brass and fun for the opening of HONK! Festival on the 9th and what owner Carla DeLellis calls “Halloween double craziness” with Polyphonic Spree and Disco Band Booty Vortex on the 31st. There’s still more good stuff cooking, so check out johnnyds.com for full, updated listings.

Sundays until October 14

The Somerville Flea 10 a.m.-4 p.m., No Cover Davis Square Corner of Holland and Buena Vista The best flea market around is back for the 2015 season, where vendors including High Energy Vintage, Atomic Flat and the Nevermind Shop will be selling their wares.

September 17

Pity Party 6-8 p.m., Free Union Square Plaza Sad songs, sad art, sad readings: It’s time for a pity party.

October 11

This Is East Festival 2-5 p.m., Free Chuckie Harris Park, 3-17 Cross St. E. East Somerville Library, 115 Broadway Sullivan at Broadway Celebrate three new public murals and enjoy a number of community performances.

October 18

Monster MashedUp 12-4 p.m., Free Union Square to Elm Street SomerStreets comes to an end with this mix of Halloween and Oktoberfest activities.

October 24

Second Annual Fixer Fair 3-7 p.m., Free Union Square Plaza

From bikes to jewelry to computers, participants are invited to hang out and get fixed at this fair.

Kids & Family September 13

Food, Farms and Flowering Bike Tour 2-4:30 p.m., Free Starts at City Hall, 93 Highland Ave. Groundwork Somerville and the Somerville Historic Commission are teaming up to show you the city’s urban agriculture sites by bike. The six-mile ride ends at Aeronaut Brewing Company (14 Tyler St.).

October 4

13th Annual Community Day at Tufts 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Free Academic Quad, Tufts University 419 Boston Ave., Medford Co-sponsored by Somerville and Medford, this event features complimentary lunch and refreshments, pumpkin painting and other crafts, face painting, live performances and more.

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scoutsomerville.com September | October 2015

51


GOODS & SERVICES

LBC BOUTIQUE & LOAN

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Open Space Community Acupuncture 70 Union Square #102 617-627-9700 OpenSpaceAcupuncture.com see ad page 45

Alibrandi’s Barber Shop 194 Holland St 617-628-4282

UNION SQUARE ACUPUNCTURE 21 Bow St 617-718-7555 Unionsquareacupuncture.com see ad page 33 AUTO SALES John’s Auto Sales 181 Somerville Ave 617-628-5511 johnsautosales.com see ad page 7

52

September | October 2015 scoutsomerville.com

CLOSETS/ORGANIZATION Closet Solutions Showroom 46 White St. 617-628-2410 closet-solutions.com see ad page 51

FLOORING Ace Floor Covering 617-628-2514 acefloorcoveringco.com


Pizza and Subs fit for a king!

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scoutsomerville.com September | October 2015

53


Scout You

Photos by JS O’Connor

Rich displays artwork for sale in Davis Square Jimmy from Neighborhood Restaurant shows off tasty brunch dishes

Jackie and Karyn sip some Black Magic coffee at the Union Square Farmers Market 54 September | October 2015

scoutsomerville.com

Thao, Vi and Hunter the minature husky take in some sun near Union Square

Summer campers at the Armory show off their handiwork

Daniel and Maria take a break at Assembly Square


David Bottari has been named Somerville’s Best Real Estate Agent for the third consecutive year by Scout readers! A native of Somerville with almost 15 years of real estate experience, Dave has sold more than $54 million dollars of real estate around Somerville since 2001. Known for his un-matched market knowledge, Dave’s clients love his unending professionalism and his willingness to go above and beyond for each of them!

Century 21 Commonwealth’s Somerville office has been named Somerville’s Best Real Estate Office by Scout readers again in 2015! With over 30 full-time real estate associates, Commonwealth’s results are the best because our agents are the best trained and the service our clients receive is second to none. Century 21 Commonwealth is the #1 Century 21 company in the northeast and #5 in the country again in 2015 and has sold more than $150 million in Somerville real estate since 2007!

REALTOR Cell: 617.201.7257 david.bottari@commonmoves.com


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September | October 2015 Scout Somerville 191 Highland Ave, Suite 1A Somerville, MA 02143

JULY/AUGUST 2015

NO. 34

MAY/JUNE 2015

NO. 33

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DIRT, MOSS AND HIGH FASHION

ier40ce FOVER JJ GONSON, WENDY BLOM AND NINE OTHER LOCAL LEGENDS WHO HAVE BEEN ROCKING FOR DECADES

AN INTERVIEW WITH ASHLEY ROSE

WHAT’S GROWING ON AT HERBSTALK, GREENTOWN LABS, RELISH MANAGEMENT & MORE

A HISTORY OF

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www.scoutsomerville.com For more details on our new distribution model and how to find future editions of Scout see page 20.

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Scout Somerville September/October 2015  

The results of our Scout's Honored Awards, plus a two-part temp check on Union Square gentrification.

Scout Somerville September/October 2015  

The results of our Scout's Honored Awards, plus a two-part temp check on Union Square gentrification.

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