Destination Salem Blog

Easter Bunnies, Easter Witches, Vacation Week, Oh My!

School vacation week in Massachusetts is just around the corner, and there will be plenty to do in Salem from April 18 through April 27.

Easter bunnies at the Hawthorne Hotel

The week begins with Easter, and there is a full list of Easter events, including the Easter Egg Hunt on Pickering Wharf on Saturday, and Easter brunches and dinners for all on Sunday.

Throughout the week, you will find special programs at The House of the Seven Gables and the Salem Wax Museum.

Check out the exhibit about the Swedish Easter Witch (we thought we knew all the witches in Salem, but this is a new one), which is running throughout the month at the Witch House.

Sweedish Easter Witch

Visit the calendar on for a list of all of the programs planned during School Vacation Week in Salem, and while you are on, be sure to explore the attraction and museum pages as well as our tours, shopping, and restaurants. 

And don't miss the Ten Free Things page. It's a perfect addition to any vacation week planning.


Posted by Kate on 04/17 at 02:41 PM Comments (0) Permalink

The Servant of Two Masters at Salem State

The Servant of Two Masters

Take a young couple about to be wed, add two manipulating fathers, a saucy maid, a gourmet innkeeper, a misjudged killer, a woman dressed as a man, awkward porters and rude waiters with a dash of a mischievous servant and you have Carlo Goldoni’s commedia dell’arte masterpiece, The Servant of Two Masters.

At its center is the scheming (and perpetually hungry) servant, Truffaldino, who concocts a zany scheme to double his wages (and his meals) by serving two masters at once. While Goldoni’s Venetian romps was written in the eighteenth century, audience members will recognize timeless comic devices reminiscent of the Marx Brothers, the Three Stooges and Charlie Chaplin’s “The Little Tramp.”

Directed and choreographed by David Allen George with scenic Venice designed by James Fallon and the elaborate costumes and traditional masks of the Venice Carnival designed by Jane Hillier-Walkowiak, this wildly funny and totally enjoyable classic is a guaranteed delight.

  • The Servant of Two Masters
  • Directed by David Allen George
  • April 17-19, April 24-26, 7:30 pm and April 27, 2 pm.
  • Salem State University. Mainstage Theatre, 352 Lafayette St.
  • Tickets are $15 general/$10 students and seniors
  • Purchase online at: or 978.542.6365.

Pre-show talk: What’s So Funny? Universal Humor on April 24 at 6:30 pm.

Posted by Kate on 04/14 at 10:42 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Come enjoy Spring at The Gables

The House of the Seven Gables

During Massachsetts' April Vacation Week, April 19 – 27, The House of the Seven Gables will offer family-themed programming on its historic grounds.  Families are invited to participate in a wealth of hands-on experiences. 

Events include:
•    demonstrations of colonial toys and games
•    yarn-spinning and lace-making demonstrations
•    knot-tying sessions
•    bilingual (English/Spanish) telling of Caribbean Tales
•    arts and crafts projects
•    historic food ways discussions

These events are scheduled throughout the week on the museum grounds and in the Hooper-Hathaway House.  

On Sunday, 4/27, The Gables will also offer health-and-wellness presentations and healthy cooking demonstrations of traditional Latino dishes.

Special Events Admission: “Pay What You Wish” to help support the mission of the Gables.

Regular Admission for House tours:            
Adults: $12.50
Seniors and AAA Members: $11.50
Children ages 5–12: $7.50
Children under 5 years: Free

See spring unfold in their seaside gardens, and let Hawthorne speak to you in the place he called home.

Posted by Kate on 04/11 at 07:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Salem State is building an opera. You know you want to know what that means!


Bring your phone to this interactive concert event where the audience determines the storyline for the opera to be performed that evening! #SSUBuildsAnOpera features the University Chamber Orchestra and music department voice students in this end of semester opera mash-up.

Will the heroine find true love with the hero?  Will they live happily ever after? Will the villain destroy their love? Will the hero save the day? Or, maybe the heroine and the villain will decide they have more in common than they thought? Or???? The plot twists are endless as members of the audience text, tweet and QR scan their suggestions for the storyline throughout the concert. The conductor will see the vote totals and select the music to be performed from the top vote-getters.

This free concert features familiar music from operas by Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Mascagni, Offenbach, Handel, Gounod, and Gilbert and Sullivan. The heroes, heroines and villains from the Salem State Music Department include vocalists: Elizabeth Anderson, Michael Benjamin, Amanda Cooper, Chelsea Flordeliza, Tyler Gioacchini, Bradford Robinson, and Matthew Trainor. The University Chamber Orchestra, made up of SSU students, faculty and staff as well as members of the surrounding communities, is under the direction of Dr. Mary-Jo Grenfell.

The concert takes place at 7:30 pm in the Recital Hall, located on Salem State’s Central Campus, 71 Loring Ave. It is presented in association with the Center for Creative and Performing Arts.


What:  #SSUBuildsAnOpera  with the University Chamber Orchestra and Student Vocalists:
When:  Thursday, April 17 at 7:30 pm
Where: Salem State University, Recital Hall, 71Loring Avenue
Ticket prices: Free

Posted by Kate on 04/10 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Jim McAllister Lecture Series

Jim McAllister’s Spring 2014 Salem Lecture Series has been announced. A wonderful historian and story teller, Jim's lectures are always informative and entertaining.


Wednesday, April 16: Baker’s Island Reverie. A “visit” to Salem’s most inaccessible, mysterious, quirky, historic, and naturally beautiful neighborhood, featuring plenty of photographs, fascinating facts and stories

Wednesday, April 23: When the Going Gets Weird… North Shore tales that just beg to be told, including UFO's, sea serpents, haunted ships and invisible foes, seers and psychics , clever criminals, and even a mysterious moving meal chest.

Wednesday, April  30: The Great Salem Fire: Stories Within the Story. A look at the human side of the great conflagration - tales of  victims, heroes and even a few villains - drawn from personal letters, diaries, newspaper accounts, and official reports.

Wednesday  May 7: The Salem - San Francisco Connections. A tale of two cities, separated by a continent but bound together by a "shared" mayor, a pair of very famous booksellers, the Shreve family, devastating fires, and gold hunters.

Wednesday May 14: Magnificent Men (and Women!) of the McIntire District. Quick sketches of famous opera singers and music men, authors, artists, politicians, and inventors who once lived in this historic district named for an equally famous architect-carver.

The one-hour lectures will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held in the Cleveland Room at the First Church in Salem,  316 Essex Street.  Please use the new entrance to the right and rear of the church. Doors open at 6:30. Admission is $12, cash or checks only please. Series tickets are available at a reduced rate of $48. For more information contact Jim at or 978.979.5907.

Posted by Kate on 04/09 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Salem Chef Takes Second Place in International Pizza Competition

Flying Saucer

Michael Rappa of Flying Saucer Pizza Company Places Top Pizza in Vegas Competition

Flying all the way across the country, two chefs from Salem MA took Vegas by storm in hopes of winning fame and pizza glory.  Hosting “best pizza competitions” every year, the International Pizza Expo, held on March 24-27, 2014, attracts pizza artists from every region and country imaginable. 

Flying Saucer Pizza Company was looking to bring their small-town pizza to the big-leagues, and brought their A-game to do it: a pizza pie entitled Mars Attacks! which includes a secret blend of artisanal cheeses, homemade meatballs, Saucer’s signature red sauce done “Saucer-style” and creamy pats of burratta cheese.

Flying Saucer chose the best of their best, Michael Rappa, 23, Salem resident, to re-create this special pie at the event.  Rappa has been with Flying Saucer since they opened in 2012.  He had to adhere to strict guidelines and procedures to make 2 pizzas to compete against the over 60 contestants in the category of Traditional Pizza.

“Choosing the Traditional category was a strategic choice,” said Nicole Spirito, General Manager of Flying Saucer Pizza Company.  “Being creative with pizza toppings is easy – knowing how to execute the perfect cheese pizza, no fancy footwork, takes some real pizza chops.”

They also brought along Tyler Griffin, a powerhouse staple in the Saucer kitchen for over a year.  Griffin was competing in an event of the World Pizza Games, an Olympic-style competition showcasing various pizza-making skills.  Griffin, known for his fast hands in Salem, competed in the World’s Fastest Dough Stretch event, where competitors have to stretch out 5 dough balls to 12” pizzas in as little time as possible.

“It was pretty overwhelming seeing the people that were there and the level of expertise that each person had,” stated Griffin, who missed making the top 5 finalists by mere seconds.  “It was my first time doing anything like this, and dealing with people of such high caliber was a little intimidating.”

Through the judging categories of taste, creativity, and appearance, Rappa won 2nd place on the Northeast division, besting chefs, from all over the northeastern United States, including New York.

“I was pretty nervous going into this, not really knowing what to expect.  The Northeast division is definitely the toughest category, dealing with all the chefs from New York” said Rappa, shaking his head.  But to him, it was pretty simple.  “I knew what had to be done.  I just had to make my pizza.”

Flying Saucer Pizza Company strives daily to abduct traditional pizza and give it a healthy gourmet spin. Our eclectic pizza menu showcases a variety of fresh and local ingredients. With our designer pizzas inspired by available seasonal ingredients, we are described by the Boston Globe as “funky hipster chic by the way of the USS Enterprise”.  Find out more at

Posted by Kate on 04/07 at 09:27 PM Comments (0) Permalink

Historic Burying Grounds

Charter Street Cemetery. Photo: Jasmine Gordon

Salem has three cemeteries that are significant to the Witch Trials of 1692. The Howard Street Cemetery is said to be where Giles Corey was taken to be pressed to death, a torture chosen because he refused to stand trial. George Corwin, who served as the high sheriff of Essex County in 1692, and his brother Jonathon Corwin, the Salem merchant who lived in the “Witch House” when he served as magistrate during the trials, are both buried in the Broad Street Cemetery. A white obelisk marks their grave.

The Charter Street Cemetery is the final resting place for at least two members of the Court of Oyer and Terminer, including physician Bartholomew Gedney and magistrate John Hathorne, who was the great-great grandfather of writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. Also buried here is Mary Corey, the first wife of Giles Corey, who died in 1684. Giles’ third wife, Martha Corey, was hanged for Witchcraft during the trials.

These three cemeteries, and the Witch Trial Memorial, which is behind the Charter Street Cemetery, are open to the public from dawn to dusk. We ask that visitors treat the graves with respect, and appreciation for their age and solemnity.

Posted by Kate on 04/06 at 11:08 PM Comments (0) Permalink

East meets west at the PEM this weekend

Sensational India!

Sensational India returns to the PEM this weekend with drop-in art activities, lectures, and the incomparable Bollywood Dance Party!  Visit for complete details and the schedule of events, and take a look at their Connected (blog) post about the weekend.

Bollywood Dance Party

Bollywood Dance Party at PEM


Posted by Kate on 04/04 at 10:27 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Turner’s Seafood on Phantom Gourmet

"I want you to feel that you are someplace that's real, that's local, that's authentic..." - Kathy Turner

We are happy to share this segment about Turner's Seafood at Lyceum Hall, which ran on Phantom Gourmet on March 29, 2014. (If you cannot see the video, please click here to go directly to YouTube.)

After watching this, we've developed quite an appetite. Perhaps we'll see you at Turner's!

  • Turner's Seafood at Lyceum Hall
  • 43 Church Street, Salem
  • 978-745-7665 (Reservations are recommended)
Posted by Kate on 04/02 at 02:54 PM Comments (0) Permalink

Salem State University hosts renowned Indian classical vocalist Ashwini Bhide Deshpande

Renowned vocalist Ashwini Bhide Deshpande The Salem State music department presents an evening of vocal music from North India, Monday, April 7 at 7:30 pm in the university’s Recital Hall. Guest artist Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, a remarkable vocalist of the famed Jaipur-Atraul Khayal Gayaki tradition, is one of the top Indian musical artists performing today.

Deshpande enchants audiences all over the world with her voice which is characterized by a blend of tonal sweetness coupled with vitality and emotion. She is known for her unerring grasp of the grammar of the raga and her fluency in Sanskrit. Dr. Deshpande enriches her repertoire by composing her own melodies to sacred texts as she continues to expand the horizon of Hindustani classical music.  

She is also a noted teacher and is considered a master teacher in the guru-disciple relationship that is central to assuring the continuity of the rich traditions of Indian music. Deshpande will be assisted by one of her most distinguished disciples Saili Oak Kalyanpur.

Music professor Dr. Peter Kvetko will present a pre-concert talk, The Guru-Disciple Relationship in Indian Music at 6:30 pm in the Recital Hall.

This unique concert event is presented in association with the New England School of Music and Salem State University’s Center for Creative and Performing Arts.

Guest Artist Ashwini Bhide Deshpande with Saili Oak Kalyanpur: Two Generations of North Indian Vocal Music
Pre-concert talk: The Guru-Disciple Relationship in Indian Music with Dr. Peter Kvetko, Salem State music faculty
Monday, April 7 at 7:30 pm
Salem State University, Recital Hall
, 71Loring Avenue
Ticket prices: $15 general and $10 non-Salem State students and seniors.

Posted by Kate on 03/31 at 07:30 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Congratulations to Laura Lanes Skin Care

Laura Lanes Skin Care Named Bioelements World Class

Bioelements Professional Skin Care, a system of take home and pro-use products used in professional facials for over 20 years, has announced that Laura Lanes Skin Care in Salem has been named a Bioelements World Class Spa for 2014.

Bioelements World Class spas are chosen to represent the country’s best in spa amenities, from products to services, and a dedication to excellence in the spa industry. Laura Lanes Skin Care provides an inviting environment unlike any other where guests can receive custom blended Bioelements treatments and products.

Laura Lanes Skin Care always carries the latest innovative skin care launches from Bioelements – the same products that receive 5-star rave reviews, Readers Choice Awards and wide spread praise from the experts and everyday fans who love what they see in the mirror. Laura Lanes Skin Care’s World Class status is also due to its belief in continual Bioelements education for its entire esthetic staff, to ensure they learn the latest treatments, techniques and product advancements. The spa’s use of Bioelements means that they have access to renowned educators and courses created specifically for the spa professional. Clients can be assured that the estheticians at Laura Lanes Skin Care are among the most knowledgeable in skin care.

LAURA LANES, Owner said, “We are thrilled to be in the prestigious Bioelements World Class category. It shows both us and our valued clients that Laura Lanes Skin Care is truly an elite spa.”

Laura Lanes Skin Care
242 Essex Street, Salem, MA

Laura Lanes Bioelements Spa

Posted by Kate on 03/29 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Sensational India! Festival Returns to the PEM

Sensational India at the PEM



The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) celebrates an unparalleled 200-year legacy of cultural exchange with India with its Sensational India! festival, April 5 and 6. Join us for a vibrant array of dance and music performances, art-making activities and the popular Bollywood Dance Party with DJs from Boston Sound and Light Company.





 Sensational India! Dancers at the PEM


See original works inspired by the Indian art collection at PEM created by fiber art students from Massachusetts College of Art. Engage with these works and explore the range of fiber materials used as different media.
10:30 – 11 AM  | STORYTIME: Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth  | MEET AT INFORMATION DESK
One of the most well-known Indian deities, Ganesha, is taken on a journey led by his love of sweets. Join us for this fun and beautifully illustrated book by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes.

Meet textile artist Suruchi Kabra as she demonstrates some weaving techniques and talks about her work. Her practice focuses on designing fabrics for interiors.

Awarded the title of “Jewel of India” by the Government of Sri Lanka, Rama Vaidyanathan is one of the leading exponents of Bharatanatyam, a popular classical dance. At PEM, she presents a specifically commissioned repertory to highlight the theme of design in Indian classical dance, accompanied by live music.

PEM’s Curator of Indian and South Asian Art Sona Datta discusses the inception of modernism in Indian art, focusing on PEM’s collection and the work of artist Jamini Roy, the subject of her 2010 book Urban Patua.
Join Suruchi Kabra to try your hand at developing your own concepts and turning them into textile designs.

Carnatic musicians present an interactive demonstration to highlight the design, the form and structure of Indian classical music including the use of notes and the genesis of Ragas.

DJ Yogz and DJ D-Xtreme of Boston Sound and Light Company transform PEM’s soaring Atrium into a nightclub by spinning the latest Bollywood, Bhangra and Western remixed music. Cash bar, 21+.  Members $15, nonmembers $20. Advance tickets preferred; limited tickets at door.
Reservations by April 2.

Sensational India at the PEM


See original works inspired by the Indian art collection at PEM created by fiber art students from Massachusetts College of Art. Engage with these works and explore the range of fiber materials used as different media.
10:30 – 11 AM  | STORYTIME: Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth  | MEET AT INFORMATION DESK
One of the most well-known Indian deities, Ganesha, is taken on a journey led by his love of sweets. Join us for this fun and beautifully illustrated book by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes.
Meet textile artist Suruchi Kabra as she demonstrates some weaving techniques and talks about her work. Her practice focuses on designing fabrics for interiors.

Awarded the title of “Jewel of India” by the Government of Sri Lanka, Rama Vaidyanathan is one of the leading exponents of Bharatanatyam, a popular classical dance. At PEM, she presents a specifically commissioned repertory to highlight the theme of design in Indian classical dance, accompanied by live music.

Join Suruchi Kabra to try your hand at developing your own concepts and turning them into textile designs.

Piotr Adamczyk of Google’s Art Project will discuss the extraordinary program that puts the best art collections of the world on the Web. Thanks to this effort, people can now view 30,000 works of art from more than 150 museums, without leaving their house. Adamczyk will specifically focus on work in India, including the recently launched Archaeological Survey of India, which seeks to protect the cultural heritage of the nation. This lecture made possible in part by the George Swinnerton Parker Memorial Lecture Fund.
Carnatic musicians present an interactive demonstration to highlight the design, the form and structure of Indian classical music including the use of notes and the genesis of Ragas.


Sensational India! is made possible in part by Samir and Nilima Desai; The Desai Family Foundation.

Posted by Kate on 03/29 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

There’s an Avanti in the Atrium!

Seriously. How often do we get to say THAT?  And we were curious.  The PEM has released some advanced images and  promotional materials for their new exhibition, California Design 1630-1965: Living in a Modern Way, with cars. Which leads a person to wonder, Are they going to have cars in the museum? Because that would be pretty cool.

And, you know what? They DO. They have a CAR in the Museum.  And it is pretty cool. 

Studebaker Avanti, 1964. From the private collection of Richard Vaux.

And that's just the beginning of California Design.  This is a very fun exhibition of furniture, textiles, fashion, classic vehicles, and more.  It comes to Salem from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) via museums in Tokyo, Aukland, and Brisbane. Salem is the exhibition's final stop, and only stop on the East Coast. 

The modern California design featured in this exhibition changed perceptions and ushered in a new era of innovation in architecture, furniture, fashion, and the way people saw the world. And it is fun. The bathing suits, the teapots, the toys - it is fun to be reminded that Barbie and Spandex were once new, that molded plywood was experimental and game-changing for middle class furniture, and that the Studebaker Avanti was futuristic. 

Charles Eames, Ray Eames. Molded Plywood Division, Evans Products Company (Venice, 1943-47). Elephant, 1945. Eams Collection, LLC. © The Eames Foundation. Courtesy Eames Office LLC (

Women’s Bathing Suit, late 1950s. United States, California. Gift of Esther Ginsberg and Linda Davis in honor of Jennifer Blake Margit Fellegi Estate; Reproduced with permission of the Warnaco Group, Inc. All rights reserved. For Authentic Fitness Corp. Cole of California. Photo © Musuem Associates/LACMA

California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way is on view at the Peabody Essex Museum March 29 - July 6, 2014.  And it is pretty cool.

Posted by Kate on 03/28 at 09:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Throwback Thursday

Okay, we're falling victim to Throwback Thursday, AKA #TBT, with the rest of our friends, fans, and foes on Social Media. Coincidentally, History of Massachusetts (on Facebook and Twitter) has posted a few great, historic, pictures of Salem this month.  We're grabbing them to share here, because we love looking at old pictures of Salem and wondering what it was like to ride a trolley car down Essex Street, visit The House of the Seven Gables, or step into the East Church, which is now the Salem Witch Museum.

Oh, wait. You can still do all of those things today! And in color.  That is the magic of living, working, and playing in a historic community that is still making history. 

Essex Street in Salem, MA, Circa 1910

If you are having trouble getting your bearings in 1910, that is the Daniel Low Building on the right (today it is Rockafellas' restaurant), and we are looking east.

East Church, Salem, MA

The House of the Seven Gables, Circa 1891-1901

Thanks, History of Massachusetts.  This was a fun trip down memory lane (and Essex Street, and Turner Street, and around Salem Common).

Posted by Kate on 03/27 at 09:45 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Life and Labor in the Aftermath of the Great Salem Fire

Salem Maritime National Historic Site and the History Department at Salem State University will co-host a free evening lecture by Dr. Jacob Remes on Thursday, March 27, at the Salem Visitor Center (2 New Liberty Street) from 7:30 PM-9:00 PM. The lecture is free and open to the public. Doors open at 7:00 PM.

Dr. Remes is an assistant professor of public affairs and history at SUNY Empire State College, in the Brooklyn Unit of the Metropolitan Center. His history talk, “Life and Labor in the Aftermath of the Great Salem Fire,” draws from his dissertation examining the overlapping responses to the Salem, Mass., Fire of 1914 and the Halifax, N.S., Explosion of 1917. Currently, Professor Remes is the William Lyon Mackenzie King Research Fellow at Harvard University. Professor Remes studies working-class and labor history with a focus on urban disasters, working-class organizations, and migration.

“We are delighted to host this lecture in recognition of the upcoming 100th Anniversary of the Great Salem Fire,” said Superintendent Michael Quijano-West. “Our collaboration with the History Department at Salem State University provides an opportunity for the community to learn more about their heritage and to enrich our understanding of the past.”

"Dr. Remes's lecture will provide a unique perspective on the social impacts of the Great Salem Fire," said Donna Seger, History Department Chair at Salem State University. "Rather than focusing on the industrial causes or physical destruction of the Great Salem Fire, Dr. Remes’ presentation will examine the human toll, with a particular emphasis on the dislocation of Salem’s immigrant communities. We are also very eager for the public to know that many of Dr. Remes’ sources and images can be found in the SSU Archives at the new Berry Library."

Jacob Remes upcoming book, Disaster Citizenship, based on his dissertation, will be published in 2015.

For more information on this lecture and Salem's commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Great Salem Fire, visit: 

Posted by Kate on 03/24 at 12:05 PM Comments (0) Permalink

Art is Everywhere

In 2011, a group of local art enthusiasts and community leaders came together to spearhead ArtBox, a program to transform the city's utilitarian utility boxes into original works of art. Beyond adding to Salem’s spirit of creativity, sense of place and cultural identity, these boxes are meant to beautify and inspire.  

The City has issued a call for artists to add to the Artbox program in 2014, which was a great reminder to take a stroll around Salem (now that the weather is improving) to see the current collection of Artboxes. 

We'd love to know what you think of the Artboxes. Which is your favorite?  Share your thoughts and photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Be sure to tag #SalemMA and #ArtboxSalem so we find your posts! 

City of Salem Artbox Map

Here is the list of the 2013 Artbox Artists: 

ArtBox 7 on Bridge Street at Bypass Road
Campbell Seamans of Salem, MA
Lighting and Signal control Box abstract. The geometric abstraction is meant to enhance the “visual” of these lighting and signal boxes while acknowledging the engineering that takes place inside of these necessary structures.

ArtBox 8 on Bridge Street at St. Peter Street
Amanda Dunham of Salem, MA

Police Box. Salem is a City bridging old and new, so I thought, “these boxes need a painting and I know what to do!  To inspire passerby to see a different point of view, past and present both combined, as in Doctor Who.”

ArtBox 9 on Bridge Street at ramp to North Street
Adam Harmon of Salem, MA

But at Night it’s a Different World. This piece presents a modern look at Salem’s tourist culture.  Bright modernist style captures the excitement and wonder of an abstracted downtown scene.  

ArtBox 10 on Brown Street at New Liberty (behind the Visitor Center)
Craig Nelson of Salem, MA

The design is my take on Japanese patterns.  Salem has a sister city in Japan – Otaku, Tokyo.  This is my tribute to our history.  “Public art is always awesome! Why wouldn't you want to see something beautiful, thought provoking or just plain silly somewhere that's normally trashy looking and boring?”

ArtBox 11 on Lafayette Street and Harbor Street (Lafayette Park)
Clare AuBuchon of Salem, MA

Doves of DiverCITY. I’m celebrating the diverse population of Salem.  My design presents the diversity in an uplifting and rooted expression.  The doves are colored toward the skin tones of Salem’s citizens.  The rainbow-dove is giving attention to how Salem not only gives acceptance to all races, but to all genders as well.

ArtBox 12 on Lafayette Street and Harbor Street (Lafayette Park)
Carly Menasco of Salem, MA

Song. The artwork features hand holding singing birds, symbolizing Salem’s diverse and lush community.

Click here for a printable PDF of the artist information. 

Posted by Kate on 03/22 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Witch Trials Weekly

If you are interested in the Salem Witch Trials, you  should check out - and subscribe to - the Salem Witch Museum's Witch Trials Weekly.  This weekly video blog uses current scholarship to share chronological updates from 1692 that correlate with where we are in the 2014 calendar. 

Here is Episode 10: March 18th -- March 24th 1692: Martha, Rebecca, and the Little Girl

To see the other episodes of Witch Trials Weekly, visit the Salem Witch Museum channel on YouTube.
For more information on the Salem Witch Museum and/or the Witch Trials, and to purchase your own copy of Marilynne K. Roach's The Salem Witch Trials a Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege please visit
Posted by Kate on 03/21 at 11:30 AM Comments (0) Permalink

GrubStreet “North” coming to Salem


“GrubStreet North” partnership brings North Shore residents high-quality fiction and memoir classes


The Salem Grub Street Athenaeum, one of Massachusettsʼ oldest libraries, and GrubStreet, a non-profit literary arts center based in Boston, have joined forces to expand GrubStreetʼs creative writing classes to the North Shore. “The dynamic partnership of two great organizations dedicated to the literary arts will provide a rich learning experience for North Shore writers,” says Brunonia Barry, Salem Athenaeum Trustee and author of New York Times Bestseller, The Lace Reader.

The first two cSalem Athenaeum ourses begin in late March, and are taught by writing instructors from GrubStreet:

•  Memoir in Progress: Taught by Debbie Hagen, this course is designed for writers who are working on the first draft of their memoirs, and tackles big picture issues in a supportive group setting with peers who are facing similar challenges. The focus of the course is on generating work and getting quick feedback from the group. This class
begins March 25th and runs for ten Tuesdays from 10:30-1:30pm at the Salem Athenaeum.
•  Fiction I: An introductory course in the craft of writing fiction. In this class, taught by Salem native K.L. Pereira, writers learn and practice the tried-and-true elements of fiction—character, plot, dialogue, setting, point of view, and revision—with an emphasis on the short story form. This class begins on Thursday, April 3rd, 6:00-9:00pm at the Salem Athenaeum.

Both classes are ten weeks in length and cost $455 for GrubStreet members, $480 for non-members. Scholarships are available. Learn more and register online at

Located in downtown Boston, GrubStreet is one of the leading nonprofit literary arts centers in the country. GrubStreetʼs mission is to transform lives and build community through the creation, production, and elevation of creative writing.  We accomplish this by offering the highest quality classes and services for writers at all stages of development; by educating writers through the entire writing process from inspiration to publication and promotion; by opening our arms to as many writers as possible through generous scholarships and free outreach programming; by
creating fulfilling work for writers; by connecting people and ideas through writing; and by empowering writers to fully embrace the new opportunities ushered in by the digital age.

The Salem Athenaeum is a contemporary and historic library, dedicated to enriching the lives of its members and its North Shore community by lending, preserving, and adding to its
collection of books and documents, by maintaining and enhancing its historic buildings and grounds, and by offering cultural and educational programs that provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and life-long learning.

Posted by Kate on 03/20 at 08:37 AM Comments (0) Permalink

See them all on Sunday at the 22nd Annual Salem Award Ceremony

2014 Salem Award Ceremony

This Sunday, March 23rd, Brian Concannon and Mario Joseph, founders of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in HaitI (IJDH), will receive the 2014 Salem Award in recognition of their work for justice, democracy and human rights in Haiti. The ceremony takes place at 4 pm in the Hawthorne Hotel ballroom.

These are two very special men, and, accordingly, the ceremony honoring them will be special as well.

  • SSU students Kinnflo Michel and Naomie Pacoulette will speak to the importance of the BAI’s work in Haiti.
  • Mayor Kimberley Driscoll and SSU President, Patricia Maguire Meservey will talk about human rights in Salem and the importance of education in preventing and correcting human rights abuses
  • Jenny Oliver of Jean Appolon Expressions (JAE), will perform “Batey.” JAE is dedicated to advancing Haitian folkloric dance and culture.
  • Brian Concannon and Mario Joseph will tell us about their work.

Join us!. There will be a free cookies and lemonade reception following the ceremony, which is open to the public and free to Salem residents.  Reservations for the 6 pm dinner that follow ($60, includes event and dinner), must be made by Wednesday, March 19th.  Learn more or register at

The mission of the Salem Award Foundation (SAF) is to keep alive the lessons of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and to make known and honor the heroic work of those who speak out and take action to alleviate discrimination, promote tolerance, and achieve justice for contemporary victims of social injustice.

Salem Award Foundation Logo

- Posted by guest blogger Shelby Hypes for the Salem Award Foundation

Posted by Guest on 03/18 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

What’s happening in the Arts at Salem State this week


Student Art Awards: March 24- April 2. Salem State University. Winfisky Gallery, Ellison Campus Center. 352 Lafayette St. This annual exhibition showcases the work of select students in Salem State’s art + design program who have distinguished themselves in their work and have been given awards of excellence.The work on display includes commercially-oriented media, such as graphic design, multimedia design and photography to fine arts media such as sculpture, printmaking, drawing and painting. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 2 pm or by appointment. Information: 978.542.7890 or


Annual Graduate Student Reading, March 27, 7:30 pm. This event will feature readers from courses in travel writing and poetry, as well as students completing their graduate theses. Come hear some of the North Shore’s up-and-coming writers and connect with the North Shore’s literary community. Free.
 Information: 978.542.7890 or


Peter DiMuro and Public Displays of Motion. Salem State University. Multipurpose Gym. O’Keefe Sports Complex.  Canal Street. Choreogrpaher Peter DiMuro and his company, Public Displays of Motion, present excerpts from a new project in development 1000 Rites, 1000 Roses. Free. Information: 978.542.7890 or


MUSIC, April 3, 7:30 pm. Salem State Univeristy. Recital Hall. 71 Loring Ave.
Featuring Salem State faculty members Abe Finch, Nick Giarratani and Mike Testa, presents an evening of original, experimental, multimedia programming meant to amuse, challenge and inspire. Salem State University. Recital Hall. Central Campus. 71 Loring Ave. Suggested donation of $10 at the door to benefit scholarships for music majors. Information: 978.542.7890 or

Two Generations of Vocal Music from North India: Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, April 7, 7:30 pm. Salem State Univeristy. Recital Hall. 71 Loring Ave. Renowned vocalist Ashwini Bhide Deshpande presents a concert of Hindustani classical music. She will be assisted by vocalist Saili Oak Kalyanpur. Pre-concert lecture by Dr. Peter Kvetko: The Guru-Disciple Relationship in Indian Music at 6:30 pm. Tickets: $15 general/$10 students and seniors/Free with Salem State student ID. Purchase tickets at: or 978.542.6365.

Posted by Kate on 03/17 at 07:30 AM Comments (0) Permalink

The wreck of the FAME

Schooner FAME of Salem

Today is the 200th anniversary of the wreck of FAME off Nova Scotia. FAME was a successful privateer during the War of 1812, capturing 21 vessels, but her luck ran out in the spring of 1814. Her crew survived the wreck only to be captured and imprisoned.

A 'Chebacco boat,' the original FAME was commissioned as a privateer when war broke out in the summer of 1812. She was the first American privateer to bring home a prize.

The new FAME is a full-scale replica of this famous schooner. Framed and planked of white oak and trunnel-fastened in the traditional manner, FAME is based at Salem's Pickering Wharf Marina, where she takes the paying public for cruises on historic Salem Sound. Aboard the new FAME, passengers learn about the fishermen, privateers, merchants and men of war who shaped our North Shore.

For more info on FAME, visit  Her 2014 season will begin Memorial Day weekend.

Posted by Kate on 03/15 at 08:42 AM Comments (0) Permalink

PEM/PM: An evening of music, cocktails and conversation

PEM/PM Artopia

On Thursday, March 20, the Peabody Essex Museum is open late for PEM/PM, the monthly evening party series free for members and Salem residents.

This month, in collaboration with Salem Arts Festival and Social Palates, PEM showcases Salem's creative scene as local arts groups "take over" the museum. Inspiring activities include creative art making with hula hoops and a spice painting demonstration with the Salem Arts Festival and crafting zines with PEM’s ArtLink participants. Social Palates will offer a social photography “safari” throughout the museum. On view will be highlights from We_Are_Salem, a community collaborative art project, and the work of students in Beverly High School’s  AP Art Program.

The Atrium will also be filled with the sounds of Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket, a dynamic 10-piece funk band, based in Boston, and fronted by powerhouse vocalist Sarah Seminski and Quill, the musical vehicle of Boston-based singer-songwriter and producer Jesse Ciarmataro, who electronically mixes R&B, soul, rap and melodic vocals.

Members and Salem residents FREE | Nonmembers $10 at the door
Cash bar |Special menu from the Hawthorne Hotel

Posted by Kate on 03/14 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Enjoy the Flavors of Salem – Spring Restaurant Week is Back!

Fried Oysters at Finz Seafood

The Salem Chamber of Commerce is set to celebrate the thriving culinary scene in Salem with Salem Spring Restaurant Week. Spring Restaurant Week gives customers a chance to reconnect with their favorite restaurant or try some place new.  Restaurant Week features 20 of Salem’s best restaurants and draws guests from all over the North Shore. "I think the coolest thing about Restaurant Week is that it stimulates the city and creates exposure for all restaurants, perhaps even to clientele who wouldn't normally give that particular restaurant a try," said Daniel Giddings, General Manager, Opus. "We are really looking forward to being a part of it."

Now in its 8th year, the ten day event will begin on Sunday, March 16th and run through Thursday, March 20th. The event will start again on Sunday, March 23rd and finish on Thursday, March 27th. Participating Salem restaurants will offer either a prix-fixe two-course dinner menu for $18 or a prix-fixe three-course dinner menu for $28. Some restaurants will offer both course options. Prices are per person and exclude beverages, tax, and gratuity.

This year’s participating restaurants include:

62 Restaurant and Wine Bar,

Adriatic Restaurant and Bar,

Bella Verona,

Capt.’s Waterfront Grill & Club,

Finz Seafood Restaurant & Grill,

Flying Saucer Pizza Company,

Grapevine Restaurant,

Longboards Café & Bar,

Nathaniel’s at the Hawthorne Hotel,

Naumkeag Ordinary,

O’Neill’s Pub & Restaurant,


Regatta Pub at the Salem Waterfront Hotel


Salem Beer Works

Tavern in the Square

Thai Place

Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall

Victoria Station

Village Tavern.

For more information and to view individual restaurant menus visit Reservations are strongly encouraged.

Posted by Kate on 03/13 at 11:53 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Winter update from Pioneer Village

Pioneer Village in Winter

We are thrilled to share that we had a most encouraging first season with Salem in 1630: Pioneer Village. The summer moved forward with a schedule of very successful tours which included a daily trip to the village generously provided by Salem Trolley.   An engaging foundation tour was created and tested that shared Salem's very origins.  From it's years as a bustling port teeming with fisherman, fur trappers and pirates to the establishment of the colony that greeted John Winthrop upon his arrival in 1630.  A great deal of time and effort will be put towards understanding and honoring the Massachusett tribe that originally occupied this land.

We have carefully recorded the condition of each structure and prioritized the necessary repairs.  We have tried to make heads or tails out of the clamor and profusion of herbs springing out of the garden beds.  This involved, more often than not, eyeing them with great curiosity, almost complete befuddlement and a sound promise to expand our understanding of colonial botanicals while they are fresh, green and alive and not merely a woodcut in a 17th century book.  By the end of the season many of these reached waist or shoulder height and have now been photographed and well on their way to being identified.

We have witnessed a charming October storytelling season with candlelight pathways leading visitors to darkened cottages where costumed storytellers shared chilling folklore from our past. A tradition we are happy to carry on and even now are beginning to create new stories for.

Gaggles of children and school groups have been hosted.  Guides who have been a part of the village in years past came forward expressing a desire to remain an active part of Pioneer Village.  We are very appreciative of their enthusiasm and talents and thrilled to welcome and keep them in the fold.

And now we find ourselves in the quiet of winter planning the next season.  Hoping to explore a bit more of the potential we all see here.  Making a list of individuals and institutions we hope will help us enhance this amazing place.  Membership drives, events, fundraisers all designed to help people see how important saving this site is.  Really casting a wide net on opportunities we will consider, bake sales, t shirts printed with the slogan " I helped save America's First Living History Museum and all I got was this naffing t-shirt." Or something equally as catchy utilizing 17th century slang for tacky.

Our largest bit of planning energy will be put towards...brace exciting new festival for the fall titled Salem Spice Festival! How amazing is that!?  We will focus on spices, herbs and teas in American history and in the modern period.  Lectures, walks, demonstrations and other entertainment will be offered.

- Submitted by Elizabeth Peterson, Director, The Witch House and Pioneer Village

Posted by Guest on 03/10 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Spring Festivals and Exhibits in Salem

Mark your calendars for Salem's special events, programs, festivals, and exhibits this spring. This is just the tip of the iceberg -  explore the calendar on for more events!

Salem Film Fest

Salem Film Fest
March 6 – 13
Come to Salem, see the world during the largest all-documentary festival in New England.  Film screenings and talk-backs with the directors are the highlights of the weeklong film fest.

 Salem Restaurant Week

Salem Restaurant Week
March 16 - 20, 23 - 27
Salem Restaurant Week is the perfect time to dine out at the dozens of excellent eateries.  There will be a wide variety of delicious foods, including steak, seafood, Italian classics, contemporary cuisine, American favorites and exotic ethnic treats.  Restaurants will offer multiple choices for appetizers, entrees, and desserts.  

Tom Stoppard's Heroes

Tom Stoppard's Heroes
Adapted from Gérald Sibleyras’ Le Vent des Peupliers
March 20 – April 12
Salem Theatre Company presents Heroes. Set in August 1959 in a home somewhere in France for retired military men. The play takes place outside on a terrace in the garden of a convent hospital where Philippe and Henri are hatching a plan to escape.

California Design

California Design


March 29 – July 6
More than 200 examples of mid-century modern design reveal the distinctive role California had in shaping material culture from 1930-1965. Featuring a diverse array of furniture, textiles, fashion, industrial and graphic design, ceramics, jewelry, metalwork, film and architecture, this exhibition celebrates the innovation and pervasiveness of mid-century modern design. The work of legendary designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Richard Neutra, and Greta Magnusson Grossman are explored, as is the sociological and geographical context which gave rise to this unprecedented design movement. Organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), this exhibition is the first major study of California mid-century modern design.

Mass Poetry Festival

Massachusetts Poetry Festival
May 2-4
The sixth Massachusetts Poetry Festival will bring an extraordinary group of poets to Salem, including Kim Addonizio, Lucie Brock-Broido, Rafael Campo, Carol Ann Duffy, Oliver de la Paz, Cornelius Eady, Rhina Espaillat, Forrest Gander, David Ferry, Ilya Kaminsky, Li-Young Lee, Philip Levine, Susan Rich, Marge Piercy, Vivian Shipley, and C.D. Wright.

Venice: The Dogana and San Giorgio Maggiore, 1834

Turner and the Sea
May 31 – September 1
In the first full-scale examination of Joseph Mallord William Turner's lifelong preoccupation with the sea, this exhibition features iconic works spanning the artist's career from his transformative Academy paintings of the late 1790s and early 1800s, to the unfinished, experimental seascapes produced towards the end of his life. At turns dramatic, contemplative, beautiful and sublime, the sea's mercurial properties captivated Turner and his contemporaries who repeatedly returned to the subject. Iconic Turner masterpieces are exhibited alongside works by other major European and American artists, providing a rich artistic context for Turner's groundbreaking maritime vision.

Posted by Kate on 03/07 at 04:11 PM Comments (0) Permalink


They're pronounced "poonch-key!"


It is, once again, my favorite time of year. It is Fat Tuesday. The beginning of Lent, when people around the world are giving things up. Not here, though. We're adding to our diet. We are adding delicious, double-rolled, freshly filled, some with fresh whipped cream, Paczkis. Just delicious.

Paczkis at Coffee Time Bake Shop are only here until Easter, so I recommend stopping by the bakery on Bridge Street for your fresh, hand-rolled treats. Raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, cherry, prune, and glazed pazckis are available without whipped cream, and if you want to really indulge, grab a raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, or cherry real cream paczki.  They're only here for six more weeks!

Real Cream paczkis

Posted by Kate on 03/04 at 12:43 PM Comments (0) Permalink

Do you recognize these guys?

2014 Salem Award Winners Brian Concannon and Marion Joseph

Probably not. The news may frequently focus on the negative, but a lot of people do a lot of good things to make our world a better place. Often, such good deeds go unnoticed. The Salem Award Foundation would like to tell you about two men who have surely earned a crown in heaven. Meet Brian Concannon and Mario Joseph of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux in Haiti (Mario) and its sister organization here in the US, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (Brian).

Both attorneys, they have spent the last 20 years fighting poverty and instability in Haiti by working with grassroots organizations, challenging the legal system to live up to its obligation to hold wrongdoers accountable and provide justice for all Haitians. They use their knowledge of the law in combination with support and advocacy for disenfranchised individuals and groups like these:

  • Victims of rape and women’s groups; 
  • LGBT groups;
  • Wrongfully convicted or detained prisoners; 
  • Those illegally evicted from internal displacement camps following the 2010 earthquake; and
  • Victims of political persecution by past dictatorships and the current government


They challenge

  • The US to implement more just aid, trade and immigration policies towards Haiti;
  • The UN to compensate victims of the 2010 cholera outbreak linked to a sewage leak at a U.N. base housing Nepalese peacekeepers; and
  • Haiti’s law enforcement and judicial systems to eliminate corruption.

Mario, born into poverty in a town with no secondary school and where most people are illiterate is, today, Haiti’s most prominent human rights lawyer. Brian, Boston born, eschewed a lucrative corporate law career to work in Haiti, where he saw the failures own country’s aid, trade and immigration policies and the instability and poverty to which they contributed. Following the overthrow of Haiti’s elected government in 2004, he returned to the US and established the IJDH as a supporting organization for the BAI.

They pay a price. They’re not rich, and the work is endless. Mario faces death threats daily.  But at 4 pm on March 23rd, they will receive the 2014 Salem Award at the Hawthorne Hotel.  Come celebrate and meet these unsung heroes in person—the ceremony is free to Salem residents and SSU students.   

Learn more and register at

Salem Award Logo

Posted by guest blogger Shelby Hypes for the Salem Award Foundation.

Posted by Guest on 03/03 at 11:05 AM Comments (0) Permalink

A sure sign of Spring

The Salem Trolley will begin running Saturdays and Sundays in March starting this Saturday, March 1.  Tours will depart the Salem Visitor Center (corner of Essex and New Liberty Street) on the hour and :40 past the hour beginning at 10:00 AM. The last tour will depart the Visitor Center at 4:00 PM. 

The Salem Trolley

The Salem Trolley is an excellent way to experience Salem - whether it's your first visit or you consider yourself a local. The live, narrated, one-hour tours provide a glimpse into Salem's rich history as well as fun anecdotes as they tour the various neighborhoods and historic districts of Salem.  The tour includes Winter Island, Salem Willows, Chestnut Street, Salem Common, and all spots in between. Tickets are good for on-and-off transportation between sites including the House of the Seven Gables and the Salem Witch Museum. ("In-season," the trolley makes up to 14 stops for on-and-off travel.) 

We're hoping the ringing of the trolley bells will encourage Mother Nature to shift gears and give us a bit of spring weather!  

Posted by Kate on 02/27 at 07:45 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Another Great Documentary Line-up on Tap for Salem Film Fest

BRASSLANDS will make its New England premiere at Salem Film Fest

The 7th annual all-documentary Salem Film Fest will be held March 6 – March 13, 2014, in Salem, MA, with a strong line-up of 37 films from 14 different countries. Twenty-eight of these films will be making their World, North American, US, East Coast, New England or Massachusetts premiere – the most “first looks” ever in the festival’s seven year history – including the World premiere of KASHEER, directed by Salem filmmaker Elayne McCabe who will be at the festival to present.

Spread out over eight days with film screenings at three different venues in downtown Salem, the festival will kick off at CinemaSalem with the New England premiere of A FRAGILE TRUST, which tells the shocking story of Jayson Blair, the most infamous serial plagiarist of our time, and how he unleashed the massive scandal that rocked The New York Times and the entire world of journalism. A Q&A with filmmaker Samantha Grant will follow. Other festival premieres include ELEKTRO MOSKVA, an “electromagnetic fairytale” showcasing Russia’s electronic music history; WEB, a thought-provoking film that explores the human and societal impact of global connectivity; POWERLESS, which examines the class battle over electricity in India; EVERYBODY STREET, about the lives and work of New York’s iconic street photographers; and RICH HILL, which recently won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Filmmakers will be present for over half of this year’s screenings, providing audiences with a unique opportunity to learn more about the documentary filmmaking process. 

All film screenings will be preceded by our homegrown and wildly popular shorts Salem Sketches. Shot, edited and produced by festival organizers Joe Cultrera and Perry Hallinan and a mix of Salem Film Fest alumni filmmakers and filmmakers-in-residence, these short vignettes capture the heart and soul of Salem and bring to light some of the city’s hidden gems. 

“It seems we have discovered a way to add a touch of Salem to our lineup while also creating original content for the festival that was about the city. It's something I don't think any other film festival is doing,” says Cultrera. “I think it's something that will organically grow each year as other filmmakers come here to show their work, enjoy the city and see these Salem Sketches. It's becoming Salem Film Fest's unofficial filmmaker-in-residence program.”

An exciting addition to the festival awards this year will be the presentation of The Michael Sullivan FRONTLINE Award for Journalism in a Documentary Film, a $1,000 cash prize that will be awarded to the filmmaker judged to have presented a tough, controversial story through engaging and fair minded investigative reportage. The award is in honor of the late Michael Sullivan, a guiding figure behind PBS’ FRONTLINE as well as a Salem Film Fest participant and supporter. FRONTLINE Executive Producer David Fanning will be on hand to present. 

"We have a diverse group of films from all over the world screening at this year’s festival, yet there is something in each and every one of these films that anyone can relate to,” says program director Jeff Schmidt. “As one of America’s oldest port cities, there is something special about that notion of the stories from far off lands that were shared in the old trading days that we've been able to recapture with this festival that's a lot of fun in today's instant gratification via the Internet world."

For more information about Salem Film Fest visit, follow Salem Film Fest on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted by Kate on 02/26 at 07:42 AM Comments (0) Permalink

2014 Salem Guide now available!

The 2014 Salem Guide is now available! Guide requests submitted up to this point are being fulfilled this week. If you would like to request a free copy of the Guide, please visit

2014 Salem Guide

Posted by Kate on 02/25 at 10:55 AM Comments (0) Permalink

School Vacation Week

William Wegman. Platform Shoes, 2008

Wondering what to do with the kids while on School Vacation Week? The Salem Maritime National Historic Site and Peabody Essex Museum both have a number of special activities, tours, and programs planned to not only help fill up their days, but educate and excite as well.

At the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, park rangers and staff will be presenting a variety of special tours, access to Friendship of Salem, youth programs and free films throughout the week. The Peabody Essex Museum is offering special Vacation Week children's programs Monday thru Friday centered around the new Art & Nature Center.

Learn more here.

Posted by Kate on 02/19 at 01:42 PM Comments (0) Permalink

Love and Laugh: Valentine’s Improv at the Griffen Theatre

Sweet Lovin Comedy at the Griffen Theatre

For one night only on Valentine's Day, Friday, February 14th at 8pm, the Griffen Theatre will present a hilarious and romantic night of live improv comedy.  

Bring your sweetheart, or the person sitting to your left, or come alone, and fall in love with the comedy improv of Erik Rodenhiser, Bruce Whear, Meghan Donoghue Holtz, Liz Hartford and Dr. Brett Bovio. Complete with champagne and strawberries. Tickets are $18.00 per person.  

Click here to purchase tickets or call 978-317-1169

The Griffen Theater is located at 7 Lynde Street Salem, MA

Find Griffen Theatre on Facebook and keep up with the latest happenings, including shows for all ages! 

Posted by Kate on 02/06 at 10:44 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Salem’s So Sweet… Again!

Salem So Sweet

12th Annual Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival

The Chocolate & Wine Tasting Event is Feb. 7, tickets are for sale NOW!

Salem Main Streets and the Salem Chamber of Commerce, along with local retailers, restaurants and businesses invite you to attend the 12th annual Salem’s So Sweet, Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival.  A decadent tradition of delectable chocolate, sparkling ice sculptures and Valentine’s Day shopping…don't miss Salem's sweetest event of the year! 

The festival officially kicks off with a Chocolate and Wine Tasting, on Friday, February 7th from 6:30 - 8:30 pm, at Colonial Hall at Rockafellas, 227 Essex Street.  This luscious tasting event features wine and chocolate samplings from premier Salem restaurants, stores and sweet shops.  Tickets are $25 and can be purchased in advance starting January 16th.  Tickets can be purchased over the phone by calling 978-744-0004, online at, or in person at the Salem Chamber of Commerce, 265 Essex Street, Suite 101.  This event is the highlight of the season and sells out quickly! 

This year there will be more than 14 large ice sculptures, chocolate samplings and great discounts around downtown Salem the weekend of February 8-9, with some continuing until February 16th in celebration of Valentine’s Day!  The beautiful ice sculptures will grace downtown Salem starting February 8, with themes including a seahorse, a rubber ducky, a sailboat, a film projector, and more!
The Salem Trolley will be offering trolley rides around the festival route weather permitting on February 8 & 9 for a minimal fee.  More information about trolley routes, times, and price will be available closer to the festival.

Many downtown businesses will offer discounts and special offerings during the festival.  With over 60 places to eat downtown Salem is the perfect place to have a romantic dinner or casual lunch.  In celebration of the chocolate festival, many of Salem’s finest restaurants will feature special chocolate offerings on their menus, including desserts, cocktails, and inventive sauces.  Participating Salem retailers will offer in-store promotions, innovative displays and items geared toward chocolate and Valentine’s Day, ranging from a chocolate fondue fountain to discounts on diamond jewelry.  Specific store and restaurant offerings will be available on brochures distributed throughout the downtown or online at 

Once again, Golden Tickets will be available in downtown Salem for a chance to win the Salem’s So Sweet Gift Basket.  Pick up your Golden Ticket at a participating location and have it validated at participating businesses (no purchase necessary) to enter to win a Salem's So Sweet gift basket which features many fine items from area retailers.

Learn More...

Posted by Kate on 01/29 at 07:57 AM Comments (0) Permalink

History Talks at Salem Maritime National Historic Site

History Lecture Series at Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Salem Maritime National Historic Site and the History Department at Salem State University will co-host two separate history talks on Thursday, February 6 and Thursday, March 27, at the Salem Visitor Center (2 New Liberty Street) from 7:30pm-9:00pm. Both talks are free and open to the public. Doors open at 7:00pm.

The first speaker, on Thursday, February 6, is Lincoln Paine, author of five books and more than fifty articles, reviews, and lectures on maritime history. His most recent work published in 2013, The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World, is a retelling of world history through the lens of maritime enterprise.  The area of today’s Salem has always been connected to the larger maritime world, from early Native American travel and trade, to European settlement, shipbuilding, international trade and even present-day pleasure boating.  Mr. Paine offers a look at how goods, languages, religions, and entire cultures spread across and along the world’s waterways.  A limited number of copies of The Sea and Civilization will be available for sale at the event and may be signed by the author.

The second speaker on Thursday, March 27 is Jacob Remes, assistant professor of public affairs and history at SUNY Empire State College, in the Brooklyn Unit of the Metropolitan Center. Currently, he is the William Lyon Mackenzie King Research Fellow at Harvard University.  Professor Remes studies working-class and labor history with a focus on urban disasters, working-class organizations, and migration.  His history talk, “Life and Labor in the Aftermath of the Great Salem Fire,” draws from his dissertation examining the overlapping responses to the Salem, Mass., Fire of 1914 and the Halifax, N.S., Explosion of 1917. Jacob Remes upcoming book, Disaster Citizenship, based on his dissertation, will be published in 2015.  

Posted by Kate on 01/28 at 09:57 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Celebrate the Lunar New Year at the PEM

Join the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) on Saturday, February 1 to celebrate the Lunar New Year and mark the beginning of the Year of the Horse. Enjoy a full day of festivities including  traditional lion dances, a film set in Boston's Chinatown, sword play, traditional crafts and more!

Click here for the complete schedule. 

All programs FREE with museum admission. For reservations, please call: 978-745-9500 x3011

Posted by Kate on 01/25 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

The Arts at Salem State


Turning Process Into Profundity: Printed works by Robert Townsend. January 16-February 12.  Free. Salem State University. Winfisky Gallery, Ellison Campus Center. 352 Lafayette St. Master printer Robert Townsend’s ingenuity and craftsmanship is demonstrated in this unique exhibition which includes works by Jim Dine, Aaron Fink, Don Gorvett, Charles Grigg, and Michael Mazur among others. Robert Townsend gallery talk: Wed. January 29, 10 am. Artist reception: Wed. January 29, 2 pm.  The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 2 pm or by appointment. Information: 978.542.7890 or


Sydney Lea – poet, novelist and essayist. January 30, 7:30 pm. Free. Salem State University. Ellison Campus Center. Martin Luther King Jr. Room. While he is Poet Laureate of Vermont, Lea is widely known for his work in several genres. He founded the literary magazine New England Review in 1977. His poetry collection Pursuit of a Wound was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and his most recent publication is a novel, A North Country Life: Tales of Woodsmen, Waters and Wildlife. Information: 978.542.7890 or


Kafka in Tel Aviv – A new play written and directed by Peter Sampieri. January 25, 7:30 pm. Salem State University. Callan Studio Theatre. 352 Lafayette St. The Salem State theatre department presents a one night benefit performance of this new work which will be presented at the Kennedy Center’s regional College Theatre Festival at the end of the month. Franz Kafka’s papers land in the hands of a Tel Aviva cat-lady who won’t let anyone in to see them. Meanwhile Israel and Germany are locked in a political battle over who owns these priceless lost works. The story leaps back-and-forth in time from Kafka’s Prague to contemporary Tel Aviv, building to the final question: Who owns a work of art, the creator or the viewer? Suggested donation of $15 at the door. All proceeds will support the production’s participation in the regional festival. Reserve seats in advance by calling: 978.542.7890. Seating is limited.

Kafka in Tel Aviv. Photo credit: Mary Shea

Posted by Kate on 01/24 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

The Beverly Seamans’ Sculpture Collection

The Fox by Beverly Seamans

The House of the Seven Gables is pleased to present "Sculpture" by Beverly Benson Seamans, and exhibit open to the public through January 31 during the regular hours at the Gables. 

Enjoy the largest collection of Beverly Seamans' sculpture ever shown. This exhibit includes bronze, clay and travertine pieces.  Also displayed are some of her watercolors, a glimpse of the studio with Seamans' last, unfinished piece, and a childhood portrait of the artist with a black clay horse on her work table. That actual horse sculpture, completed at age 10,  is also on display.  Fascinated with nature and children, the late Mrs. Seamans, always created magical renderings of form and shape.  Whether her subject was poodles or penguins, she had a magical way of capturing the subject and preserving the moment.  The Gables is honored to present this important American artist's work.  

The exhibit is free to members of the House of the Seven Gables and Essex National Heritage Commission. Admission for non-members is included in your tour of the Gables, or can be purchased separately for $7, adults, and $3, children. The House of the Seven Gables is located at 115 Derby Street, Salem, MA.  See for more details.    

Posted by Kate on 01/23 at 08:30 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Treasures from the Pacific at the Phillips House Museum

Treasures from the Pacific: The Oceanic and Polynesian Collections of the Phillips House Museum

The annual winter lecture partnership with the Salem Athenaeum and Historic Salem, Inc. will be taking place on January 29, 2014 from 7:00-8:30 p.m. at the Salem Athenaeum. Each year, the topic highlights a particular aspect of Salem’s rich history. This year, Historic New England will be loaning objects from the Phillips House Museum’s Oceanic and Polynesian collections for a small exhibition. Susan Leavitt, a graduate student with Harvard University's Museum Studies program, will discuss these treasures and others found in the collections as well as share the stories and histories of Pacific islanders. A reception is planned for attendees as well.

The exhibition will remain open at the Salem Athenaeum during regular hours for the month of February. Historic New England will be hosting a special behind the scenes tour focusing on their Oceanic collections on June 28-29, 2014. Many items are also on view during regular tours on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Advance tickets are strongly suggested and can be purchased at The cost is $10.00 for members of Historic New England, Historic Salem, Inc., and Salem Athenaeum members and $15 nonmembers. This lecture is free for students with valid identification. Please call 978-744-2540 for more information.

The Salem Athenaeum is located at 337 Essex Street in Salem, Mass.

Posted by Kate on 01/22 at 12:48 PM Comments (0) Permalink

Human Rights Activists in Haiti to Receive Prestigious Salem Award

Brian Concannon and Mario Joseph

The Salem Award Foundation is honored to announce that Brian Concannon and Mario Joseph will receive the 2014 Salem Award at a ceremony on Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm at the Hawthorne Hotel. The public is welcome.

Concannon and Joseph epitomize the ideal of a human rights champion. Since founding the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in 1995, they have helped victims prosecute human rights cases, trained Haitian lawyers and spoken out on justice issues.  In 2004, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) was established in America to support the work of the BAI.  Working at a grass roots level, these sister organizations combine traditional legal strategies with the empowerment of victims’ organizations and political advocacy. There is almost no area in which they are not actively working with the people of Haiti in their non-violent struggle for the consolidation of constitutional democracy, justice and human rights. 

Meet them in person at the award ceremony, which is free to Salem residents and Salem State University students.  Learn more about their work and register for the event at

- Posted by guest blogger Shelby Hypes for the Salem Award Foundation.

Posted by Guest on 01/14 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Salem Loves Groups!

A group aboard Schooner FAME of Salem

Destination Salem (specifically me, Kate Fox) is in Nashville, Tennessee this week representing Salem at the American Bus Association Marketplace. This annual Marketplace brings group tour operators and tourism professionals from the US and Canada together in a flurry of networking, meetings, educational sessions, and special events. We are here with dozens of delegates from Massachusetts, as well as delegates from the Hawthorne Hotel, Salem Witch Museum, North of Boston Convention & Visitor's Bureau, Discover Gloucester, Wolfe Tours, and Hawthorne Tours.  

A group dines at Finz Seafood

Suffice to say, we love to host groups of all sizes in Salem.  If you are a group planner, be sure to visit for information about our group-friendly attractions, tours, restaurants, and accommodations.  And give us a call at 978-741-3252, or drop me an email, if you have any specific questions about bringing your group to Salem. 

A group visiting the Salem Witch Museum

Posted by Kate on 01/13 at 09:07 AM Comments (0) Permalink

70 finches, 14 guitars, infinite sonic potential

From Here to Ear at the PEM

The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) explores soundscapes and nontraditional forms of music in its newest contemporary art exhibition, FreePort [No. 007]: Céleste Boursier-Mougenot. Created by internationally acclaimed French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, this installation transforms PEM’s Barton Gallery into a spacious aviary in which a flock of 70 zebra finches interface with an array of tuned and amplified guitars. As the birds explore their habitat and respond to museum-goers, they alight on guitar strings to create a constantly changing harmonic environment. From here to ear is the artist’s largest finch installation to date and is on view at PEM from January 18 through April 13, 2014.

Formerly a musician and composer, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot is known for creating installations that translate the visual into the auditory as well as for activating environmental systems that take on a life of their own. Boursier-Mougenot is interested in liberating the rhythms and vibrations of everyday life and believes “music is waiting to be revealed everywhere.” Extending the 20th-century tradition of experimental music in which chance plays a critical role, from here to ear fosters close listening and attunes us to the present moment.

“Boursier-Mougenot invites us into a three-dimensional score where the randomized activities of finches creates a sonic experience that is at turns melodic and ambient,” says exhibition curator and PEM’s Curator of the Present Tense, Trevor Smith. “This boundary breaking installation embraces the element of surprise, while asking us to consider the way we perceive, create and interact with music.


Where do the birds come from? The zebra finches are sourced from a specialty animal casting company whose professional animal handlers and trainers facilitate the installation and removal of the birds as well as certify their health. The birds were raised in captivity by professional breeders and will return to their owners at the exhibition's close.

What is the care and feeding of the finches? Twice daily, the aviary is cleaned and the birds are given fresh food and water. The finches’ health will be checked on a weekly basis by exotic bird specialist Dr. Elizabeth Bradt of All Creatures Veterinary Hospital. Additional “house calls” will be arranged as need be.

How are the birds monitored? Only 20 people are allowed in the exhibition at any one time and a gallery interpreter is on hand at all times to answer questions and ensure animal safety.

Where do the birds sleep? The birds rest in the hanging nest “condos” and special UV lights gradually come up in the morning and down again in the evening, so the birds maintain a healthy circadian rhythm. 

Do the birds ever escape? The aviary has been specially designed to prevent birds from getting loose and everything the birds need is provided in the installation. 


Find more interspecies art on view in the Art & Nature Center’s newest exhibition, Beyond Human: Artist–Animal Collaborations. From bowerbirds that create elaborate displays to Asian elephants that have learned to paint and Weimaraners that patiently pose for photographs, Beyond Human explores the varied ways in which contemporary artists interface with animals to create original and surprising works of art.


Each FreePort exhibition is an invitation to a contemporary artist to establish a unique dialogue with the museum and its audiences. These artists explore the dynamics of cultural change; their creative expressions open conversations across disciplines critical to the evolution of a 21st-century museum.

Learn more about From Here to Ear. 

Posted by Kate on 01/11 at 09:43 AM Comments (0) Permalink

PEM/PM celebrates La Vie Bohème, featuring acclaimed writer Adam Gopnik

Adam Gopnik. Photo by Brigitte Lacombe.On Thursday, January 16, the Peabody Essex Museum is open late for PEM/PM, the monthly evening party series free for members and Salem residents. 
As part of La Vie Bohème, an evening celebrating the café culture of the French Impressionists, PEM and The Tannery Series present Adam Gopnik, beloved voice of The New Yorker and author of Paris to the Moon and The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food. Gopnik’s pen has translated the glamour, beauty and profound achievement of French artistic life for a new generation, fueling the American imagination.  On this evening, he will discuss his years living in Paris, as well as leisure, bohemia and art. 
The smooth sounds of Brooklyn-based French singer-songwriter Marine Futin will fill the Atrium, fusing jazz and blues with folk influences. An absinthe demonstration and brasserie-inspired tastings will round out the evening, along with the opportunity to sketch models dressed for the bohemian life from local vintage shop Modern Millie. 
The night will be complete by taking a French-language tour of Impressionists on the Water. With more than 90 paintings, prints, models and photographs, the exhibition tells the story of how living near France’s waterways and oceans influenced one of the world’s most enduring artistic movements. The sparkle and play of light on water proved irresistible to key Impressionists. Rippling seas, dancing reflections and sailboats propelled by strong winds animate the art of Manet, Monet, Renoir, Caillebotte, Pissarro, Sisley, Seurat, Signac and many others on view at PEM through February 17, 2014. 
Members and Salem residents FREE | Nonmembers $10 at the door | Cash bar
Tickets for the Adam Gopnik lecture in East India Marine Hall are included with PEM/PM admission and available by calling PEM’s reservation line at 978-745-9500, ext. 3011. There will be a limited number of tickets available at the door. 

Posted by Kate on 01/10 at 02:06 PM Comments (0) Permalink

So… How did you meet?

Lightshed Photography Studio is running a very fun social media contest for newly-engaged couples, and one lucky couple will win a free wedding photography package!  Check out the details below.  

Old town Hall. © Lightshed Photography Studio 2013.

When sparks fly, hearts bind, and stories begin.  Was it in line? At work? Were you both reaching for the last package of hot pockets in the frozen food section? Love works in mysterious ways, and in the spirit of Valentines Day, you are encouraged to share that story. 

Between January 10th and February 21st, Lightshed Photography has arranged a social media based contest allowing engaged couples to submit their surprising, unlikely, or simply fantastic stories of romance. Several of the most striking stories will be selected and posted to Facebook. Our happy couple with the most Facebook Likes will be awarded a free wedding photography package valued at $3,000 (contest limited to Essex County). Let the liking begin! 

What makes the cut? Anything ridiculous, moving, chance, and yes, true. Simply type up your story and email to Voting on Facebook will begin February 14th at and continue through February 21st, at which point a winner will be announced via Facebook. So… how did you meet? 

© Lightshed Photography Studio 2013.

Posted by Kate on 01/07 at 02:28 PM Comments (0) Permalink

Gadgets and Gizmos at the Phillips House

Phillips House kitchen

What are those odd-looking gadgets in the kitchen? Who made them? How do you use them? Learn how these tools made kitchen work easier for the domestic staff at Phillips House. This special tour is part of Historic New England’s “Everybody’s History” programming which looks at daily life, work, and heritage around New England.

Gadgets and Gizmos will be taking place on Saturday, January 11, 2014 from 10:00-11:30 a.m. at the Phillips House, located at 34 Chestnut Street. The cost is $15.00 for the public and $10.00 for Historic New England members. Advance registration is suggested due to limited space. Please call 978-744-0440 or visit for more information.

Posted by Kate on 01/04 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Phillips Favorites: Rediscover the stories of 34 Chestnut Street this winter

Stephen Phillips of Phillips House in Salem, Massachusetts, c. 1940

The Phillips House Museum invites visitors to rediscover the stories of the Phillips House during the winter season with the Phillips Favorites series. The tours, programs, and movies are staff picks that highlight what life was like on Chestnut Street in the early twentieth century and go beyond the regular house tour to share an even better story. The programs will take place on Saturdays from 2:00 - 3:00 PM beginning January 18 and concluding on February 22, 2014. 

January 18 . . . The series kicks off with the popular Winter Weekends program, featuring hot cocoa, cookies, and home movies showing the family enjoying ice skating, skiing, tobogganing, and other favorite winter fun. 

January 25 . . . The second Saturday will feature a Winter Wonderland walking tour of historic Chestnut Street. 

February 1 . . . Take a weekend getaway for the first weekend in February with the Travel and the Phillips Family program which tells the story of family travel through photos, journals, and home movies. 

February 8 . . . The Salem-So-Sweet weekend will feature a talk based on Love Letters of the Phillips Family and will look at romance and courtship through the generations. 

February 15 . . . The Phillips’ were lovers of games and February 15 will feature an afternoon of parlor games. 

February 22 . . . The series will end with Celebrations in Salem and spring will be welcomed with home movies that feature local parades, parties, and the famed Chestnut Street Days. 

Interested visitors can come for one or two programs or purchase a series that will allow them admission each weekend for the events. The general public is invited to join the series for $50 or come to individual events for $10 each. Historic New England members will be offered a steep discount for $20 for the series or $5 for individual events. 

For more information about the series, please call 978-744-0440 or visit

Posted by Kate on 01/03 at 08:15 AM Comments (0) Permalink

A year of art at the Peabody Essex Museum

The Peabody Essex Museum has released its schedule of exhibitions for 2014. Mark your calendars! 

2010 Céleste Boursier-Mougenot.

FreePort [No. 007]: Céleste Boursier-Mougenot
January 18, 2014 to April 13, 2014
Céleste Boursier-Mougenot produces music in surprising and unexpected ways through large-scale acoustic environments. Boursier-Mougenot's immersive sonic installation, from here to ear, introduces a flock of 70 brightly plumed Zebra Finches to a gallery-turned-aviary to live among iconic Gibson Les Paul and Thunderbird bass guitars. At turns ambient and melodic, a constantly changing soundscape emerges as the finches explore their environment, eating, nesting and perching on the amplified instruments. This boundary-breaking exhibition asks us to consider the way we perceive, create and interact with music while challenging traditional notions of artistic collaboration. 

Desk and chair, c. 1938

California Design
March 29, 2014 to July 6, 2014
Over 200 examples of mid-century modern design reveal the distinctive role California had in shaping material culture from 1930-1965.  Featuring a diverse array of furniture, textiles, fashion, industrial and graphic design, ceramics, jewelry, metalwork, film and architecture, this exhibition celebrates the innovation and pervasiveness of mid-century modern design. The work of legendary designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Richard Neutra, and Greta Magnusson Grossman are explored, as is the sociological and geographical context which gave rise to this unprecedented design movement. Organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), this exhibition is the first major study of California mid-century modern design.

Venice: The Dogana and San Giorgio Maggiore, 1834. Joseph Mallord William Turner, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Widener Collection, 1942.9.85.

Turner and the Sea
May 31, 2014 to September 1, 2014
In the first full-scale examination of Joseph Mallord William Turner’s lifelong preoccupation with the sea, this exhibition features iconic works spanning the artist’s career from his transformative Academy paintings of the late 1790s and early 1800s, to the unfinished, experimental seascapes produced towards the end of his life. At turns dramatic, contemplative, beautiful and sublime, the sea’s mercurial properties captivated Turner and his contemporaries who repeatedly returned to the subject. Iconic Turner masterpieces are exhibited alongside works by other major European and American artists, providing a rich artistic context for Turner’s groundbreaking maritime vision.  This exhibition is organized by the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, U.K.

Blue Feather, c. 1948

Calder and Abstraction: From Avant-Garde to Iconic Exhibition
September 6, 2014 to January 4, 2015
Alexander Calder’s abstract works revolutionized modern sculpture and made him one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th-century. In collaboration with the Calder Foundation, this exhibition brings together nearly 55 of the artist’s mobiles (kinetic metal works propelled by air) and stabiles (dynamic monumental sculptures) to explore how Alexander Calder introduced the visual vocabulary of the French Surrealists into the American vernacular. This exhibition is organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

 Candice Breitz, Stills from The Interview, 2012

FreePort [No. 008]: Candice Breitz
October 11, 2014 to February 8, 2015
Internationally renowned video artist Candice Breitz explores how we create, define and perform identities in a world of mass media saturation. In her newest work, a trilogy called The Woods, Breitz delves into the cinematic culture of three epicenters of global filmmaking -- Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood -- to reflect the experiences of child actors and actors who perform childhood. With each section, shot in Los Angeles (The Audition), Mumbai (The Rehearsal) and Lagos (The Interview), The Woods cleverly splices together actor interviews to examine the movie industry's nuanced culture of aspiration and emulation. 

 Jo Ractliffe, Deminer near Cuvelai, Angola, 2009

Jo Ractliffe, Borderlands
Fall 2014 –  Spring  2015
Pre-eminent South African photographer Jo Ractliffe (b. 1961) is drawn to borderlands, frontiers and communities living on the fringe. Selected from Ractliffe’s “Border Trilogy,” this exhibition features nearly 30 black-and-white photographs taken in the most remote reaches of Angola and South Africa. The artist underwent extensive survival skills training, including landmine detection classes, before traveling to settlements so off grid as to not be found on a map. Ractliffe’s resulting images – of barren landscapes, abandoned military posts and asbestos factories – simultaneously document and find stark beauty in these war torn, dispossessed and forget regions.

Nathaniel Gould


Hidden in Plain Sight: Revealing the Masterworks of Nathaniel Gould
November 8, 2014 - February 16, 2015
Once an obscure figure in American furniture history, Nathaniel Gould is now recognized as Salem’s premier 18th-century cabinetmaker due to the recent discovery of his detailed account ledgers and day books. New scholarship has led the identification and re-attribution of many pieces of furniture, including monumental desks and bookcases, bombé chests and pie-crust tea tables carved from the finest imported mahogany. Gould’s work is distinguished by its careful attention to graining, distinctive carved ball-and-claw feet, extended knee returns, and superbly carved pinwheels and scallop seashells. Hidden in Plain Sight presents 20 exemplary works of Gould furniture alongside paintings, archival materials, decorative arts and digital media elements which provide insight into the makers and consumers of 18th-century American design and culture.

About the Peabody Essex Museum

Founded in 1799, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) presents outstanding works of artistic and cultural creativity in ways that transform people's lives. The museum's collection is among the finest of its kind, showcasing an unrivaled spectrum of American art and architecture as well as outstanding Asian, Asian export, Native American, African, Oceanic, maritime and photography collections. In addition to its vast holding, the museum offers a vibrant schedule of changing exhibitions and an interactive education center. The museum campus features numerous parks, period gardens and 22 historic properties, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200‐year‐old house that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States. Currently, a comprehensive $650 million Campaign is underway to advance PEM's mission, fortify its endowment, improve infrastructures and build a 175,000-square-foot expansion.

HOURS: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm, and the third Thursday of every month, 10 am-9:30 pm. Closed Mondays (except holidays), Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

ADMISSION: Adults $18; seniors $15; students $10. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $5. Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang.   

INFO: Call 866-745-1876 or visit our Web site at

Posted by Kate on 01/02 at 08:58 AM Comments (0) Permalink

January in Salem

Friendship in Winter by Linda Orlomoski

Brrrrr!  As I'm writing this, it is a not-so-balmy 16 degrees outside, and we are looking at a potential snow-packed nor'easter for the end of the week.  Nothing like winter in New England, right?  But this is what we signed up for when we chose New England as our residence or destination, so we hang on the mantra of, "there is no bad weather, only bad clothing."  

Here are four ways to love winter in Salem this January.  

1. Find a fireplace.  Cozy up with a good meal and your favorite companion(s) at one of the many restaurants in Salem that boast a fireplace. Capt's, Finz, The Tavern at the Hawthorne Hotel, and Turner's Seafood all have cozy corners that boast fire-warming goodness.  Coincidentally, they each have an excellent chowder on the menu, so this could be your own personal chowder-fest month. 

2. Book a room. If you have kids, you may want to book that room at the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Marina. With a restaurant on site and an indoor pool, drop your parkas on the bed (or hang them if they are snow-covered) and drop the kids in the pool for a mid-winter break.  

3. Get lost in the galleries of the Peabody Essex Museum (coat check is complimentary, so you won't be lugging your jackets with you). With Impressionists on the Water and Future Beauty: Avant-Garde Japanese Fashion on display, chances are there is something you haven't seen before.  And don't miss the new installment of Dutch paintings from the Van Otterloo collection. They are stunning.

4. Bundle up. Stop by Pia's (formerly Two Girls), J. Mode, or Avalanche for a cozy sweater, something fleecy, or new hats and mittens. If, when confronted with bad weather, there is only bad clothing, these shops should be on your list for all of the winter warmth they offer. 

Whatever you do, don't hibernate for too long. Salem is awfully pretty in the winter! 

Happy New Year! 

Posted by Kate on 01/01 at 08:06 AM Comments (0) Permalink

The Top 13 of in 2013

It's New Year's Eve, which means it is time for my glance back at the past twelve months of Here are the top 13 of 2013 in the land of Destination Salem.

13.  What's Closed? What's Open? Proving the blog on is as useful as it is inviting, the pre-blizzard post of February 7 got top-clicks, as well.  As the blizzard named Nemo closed in on Salem, and the annual Salem So Sweet festival, postponements were made and hours shifted to ensure public safety for visitors, employees, and residents.  

12..  Holiday Shopping List.  We're pretty sure this list is good for year-round reference, so don't dismiss it now that December is nearly complete. Salem offers unique shopping for everyone in your family, especially fashionistas in need of accessories, clothes, and beauty. With outerwear, children's clothing, gifts, and housewares, shopping Salem is a one-stop experience in a unique, beautiful and historic environment.  

Holiday Shopping list - Rouge Cosmetics

11.  Elephant on Board.  The Crowninshield elephant is the stuff of legend in these parts, and it is one of our favorite stories.  On July 29 we shared the story on the blog, and our readers enjoyed it, as well! 

Crowninshield Elephant


10. Blizzard Photos. Who doesn't love a great snow storm?  The blizzard that came into Salem on February 9 inspired some beautiful photography, and those of us snuggled safe in our living rooms - just beyond walking distance to downtown Salem - were a bit envious of the people who could bundle up and stroll around the beautiful, snow-covered streets of Salem.  Thanks to those brave explorers for sharing their pictures so that we could share them with you! 

9.  Faberge at the PEM. Faberge is a big name, and the Faberge Revealed exhibition at the PEM drew many clicks to and scores more to see the exhibition, which transported visitors to the House of Faberge during the summer of 2013.  Every special exhibit at the PEM seems to outdo the last, and we are looking forward to a splendid, artistic, 2014. 

8.  Salem Ferry Service Resumes... We love our cars, we love the train, but the Salem Ferry is, has been, and will continue to be the best way to travel between Salem and Boston.  We look forward to its return on May 24, 2014 for the new summer season! 

Salem Ferry operated by Boston Harbor Cruises

7.  Celebrate Mother's Day in Salem!  The fact that this post made the top ten made me go, "awww." We love our mom's! And this was a list of ways to celebrate mom in Salem. From shopping to brunches, mothers were well cared for in Salem last year, and every year. 

6.  October.  This was interesting, and this was a first.  2013 was the first year in several that we did not write a Haunted Happenings blog as well as the Salem blog, so October-specific posts were featured on  The result of this change was many readers would click through to read everything posted in October.  From shopping to dining to things to do for families, the posts in October helped visitors and locals to navigate the busy schedule that is Salem Haunted Happenings.  

Salem Haunted Happenings

5. Five things to do in Salem during Labor Day Weekend.  Labor Day weekend is a great time to explore Salem. The weather in September is gorgeous, everything is open, and there is plenty to do. You took note on our blog post of August 29.  What did you do for Labor Day weekend? 

Salem Trolley on Essex Street

4. Madison Avenue. Actually five posts, Madison Avenue was a popular series of posts by our summer intern, Madison Sheffer, on shopping and dining in Salem. Madison took us to Derby Street, Front Street, Washington Street, Essex Street, and Pickering Wharf on excursion after excursion of fashion finds and delicious eats.  

Madison Avenue on Wharf Street

3. Public Lecture to Examine Salem Witch Trials.  This public lecture held at the Salem Regional Visitor Center received the most hits of any of our Salem Witch Trial themed posts, and it is symbolic of the learning that still happens in Salem today.  Being known as the Witch City because of the tragic trials of 1692 has a heavy obligation to teach and inform guests and academics from near and far about what happened in 1692, and what lessons there are to take from 17th century Salem into our lives today.  

2. Welcome A&B Burgers!  Salem welcomed several new restaurants during 2013, including the creative, delicious, energetic A&B Burgers, which moved into the the Old Salem Jail in November. With vegetarian and gluten-free options, this burger joint with adult milk shakes and delicious sweet potato fries is already carving its spot out of the Salem restaurant scene.  (And we're willing to wager the hangover burger will  be most popular on New Year's Day.) 

Welcome A and B Burgers

1.  The most popular post of 2013?  It was the one announcing that the government can't keep Salem down with an ill-timed shutdown that started October 1, the first day of Salem's busiest month of the year.  Volunteers fill in where the Government Shut Down was not only the most popular blog post of the year, but it was also a story that carried Salem across the US, because - to our knowledge - no other community stepped up to fill the gap of services provided at a federally run visitor center. We are forever grateful for the more than 60 Salem residents who donated their time and knowledge, and we had a truly great time visiting with and helping the more than 13,000 visitors who stopped by our temporary information booth between October 1-16.  

Mayor Kim Driscoll volunteering at the temporary information booth during the Government Shutdown.

It's been a great 2013 in Salem, and we look forward to 2014! If you don't already, you can subscribe to our blog on, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Let us know what you think. We'd love to hear from you! 

Posted by Kate on 12/31 at 09:04 AM Comments (0) Permalink

New Year’s Eve: Launch!

Salem Main Streets New Years Eve Launch

Come ring in the New Year at Old Town Hall!  The City of Salem and Salem Main Streets are teaming up to throw a New Year’s Eve party on Tuesday, Dec. 31 from 4 pm to 7 pm at Old Town Hall and Derby Square. 

“This will be the first time in recent memory that the City has held a New Year’s Eve event,” states Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Manager. “We’re calling this year’s event LAUNCH because we hope it will be the start of an annual tradition.”

Attendees can rock the night away with local favorites, including The Dejas, Qwill, the OnPoint Ensemble, and more.  There will be New Year’s Eve related activities and crafts for kids of all ages. This event is free to all and family-friendly. 

There will be an early countdown and balloon drop promptly at 7 pm.

Visit for more information, or join the event on Facebook.

Posted by Kate on 12/27 at 10:37 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Holiday Shopping List for Salem

Time may be running short for Christmas shopping, but it's not over yet!  There are great gifts to be found in Salem for every budget, and a celebratory meal or cocktail is always right around the corner when you shop in Salem!

Here is a holiday shopping list for Salem. It's a long list, but the walk between stores is usually short!


Rouge Cosmetics

For her...

A Beautiful Corset on Derby Square (off Front Street) has corsets, accessories, gifts and the fragrance bar of J'Adore.

Every Occassion Boutique on Pickering Wharf for accessories and apparel (perfect for the woman who has a yen for unique jewelry!)

Flirt on Pickering Wharf for flirty and fabulous clothing and handbags.

J. Mode on Front Street for chic contemporary clothing and accessories.

Pia on Derby Street (formerly Two Girls Shop) for clothing, accessories, and stocking stuffers


Rouge on Derby Street for everything to make her glow! 

Sophia's on Essex Street (near the Hawthorne Hotel) for romantic gifts that have the allure of Paris right here in Salem.

Treasures over Time on Washington Street (around the corner from Front Street) for jewelry, ornaments, scarves.


For him...

Rouge for shaving kits.

Avalanche on Front Street for outdoor apparel, hats, and gloves.

Treasures over Time for Skagen watches, accessories.


For the hostess and the home...

Harbor Sweets on Leavitt Street (also available at the Peabody Essex Museum shop, but they don't offer free samples!) for locally made chocolates.

The House of the Seven Gables Museum Shop on Derby Street has unique gifts from books to jewelry to Salem specialties.

Maria's Sweet Somethings on Front Street to satisfy the sweet tooth on your shopping list.

Peabody Essex Museum Shop on Derby Street has apparel, gifts, books, jewelry, and gifts for everyone on your list.

Roost & Co. on Front Street for home accessories, jewelry, accessories, cards, and comic relief.

Scarlet Letter Press on Pickering Wharf for local art, jewelry, photography, and more.

Milk and Honey Green Grocer

For the Foodie

Milk & Honey Green Grocer on Church Street for cheese, crackers, and prepared foods.

Pamplemousse on Essex Street for wine, housewares, and specialty foods

Salem Spice at the Picklepot on Pickering Wharf for spices, kitchen gadgets, and fine teas.

PEM Shop

For the kids...

Avalanche for outdoor apparel.

Mud Puddle Toys on Essex Street, where you can knock out that list you've already checked twice.

PEM Shop for toys, books, and games.

Penelope's Pet Boutique

For your furry friends...

Penelope's Pet Boutique for bakery treats, collars, pet clothing, and whimsical gifts.


For the person who has everything... Gift Certificates!  Not only can you buy gift certificates to our restaurants and shops, the Salem Chamber of Commerce sells Salem gift certificates that are good for just about everything in Salem!

Happy Holiday Shopping to you and everyone on your list!

Posted by Kate on 12/20 at 11:49 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Holiday Happenings continue through the month

Salem MA Holiday Happenings

Holiday Happenings in Salem continue this week with A Tuna Christmas at Salem Theatre Company, the Winter Artisan's Market at Artist's Row, and the Winter Farmer's Market at Old Town Hall. Don't miss the Christmas Tours at The House of the Seven Gables (six rooms of, "I didn't know that!"), Winter Walk on the Wharf, and A Classic Christmas at The House of the Seven Gables.  

Santa has arrived, and will make several appearances between now and Christmas, the stores have decked their halls, and our restaurants have gift cards for the hard-to-shop-for, and wonderful meals to reward yourself for a hard day of holiday preparation.

Click here to find our complete list of Holiday Happenings in Salem. 

Posted by Kate on 12/09 at 12:50 PM Comments (0) Permalink

Santa arrives in Salem this Friday!

Santa at the Hawthorne Hotel in 2012. Photo Destination Salem.

That most magical of elves dressed in red will arrive in Salem on Friday, December 6 at 6:00 PM.  He will arrive via reindeer, of course, atop the Hawthorne Hotel where the Salem Fire Department will assist his decent by providing a ladder Truck.

After his decent, Santa will stop for cocoa and caroling at the Gazebo on Salem Common before continuing on the Museum Place Mall where he will sit for photographs. 

The Hawthorne Hotel is located at 18 Washington Square, Salem, MA 01970.  Santa will arrive promptly at 6:00 PM.  Santa's visit was coordinated by his elves, Mrs. Claus, and Salem Main Streets.

Posted by Kate on 12/05 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Roost & Company Holiday Rebate Program Returns

Roost & Co. Holiday Image

Roost & Company has launched their 2013-2014 Holiday Rebate Program (shop in December 2013, save in January 2014). I already have my rebate envelope going, do you?

The Rebate Program works in three easy steps:

Step 1

Save your store receipts from all your HOLIDAY 2013 purchases at Roost (November 29 - December 31, 2013) In our handy little envelope.

Step 2

Bring full envelope back in JANUARY to receive STORE CREDIT valued at 10% of your total pre-tax purchases for the entire holiday season.

Step 3

Spend your store credit on anything you like during the month of JANUARY 2014. (Must have receipts to redeem reward.)


Visit Roost on Facebook for holiday shopping inspiration through images. From home goods to jewelry to the perfect silly Yankee Swap gift, Roost & Co. has you covered. (If you are not on their email list, click the image of the buck above to read the Roost Thanksgiving poem. But only if you want to smile.)

Posted by Kate on 12/04 at 08:13 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Second Annual Give Out Loud

Give Out Loud

The holidays need special events that are happy occasions to get together with friends, give back to the community, and celebrate the holiday cheer.  Give Out Loud is setting the stage to be that annual event for scores of people. 

The second annual Give Out Loud event will happen at Victoria Station on Thursday, December 5.  Admission is free when you bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the Salem Food Pantry, or a $10 donation at the door.  With music by DJ Andrea, special guest Gay Jim from Kiss 108, and the second annual Ugly Sweater Contest, Give Out Loud promises a great night of holiday fun for all. 

As if that's not enough, Go Out Loud is donating 50% of all Go Out Loud Discount (GOLD) Card purchases to HAWC (Healing Abuse Working for Change) in Salem. The GOLD Card is that gift for that person who has just about everything. 

RSVP on Facebook, and learn more at

Posted by Kate on 12/03 at 08:59 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Welcome A & B Burgers to the neighborhood!

A&B Burgers opens for business on Monday, December 2 at 5:30 PM, and this is a burger joint worth putting on your restaurant list.

When I wear my "Mom" hat, I'm always looking for restaurants that serve good food quickly, and that can get my family of four in and out for $50.  A&B Burgers fits that bill, which gives it family appeal.  They are awaiting their liquor license, and once that arrives (hopefully on December 2), they will offer adult milk shakes and draft beer, which will give it adult appeal.  They serve good food fast in an historic (and possibly haunted?!) location, which gives it visitor-appeal.  A&B Burgers is poised to be a great addition to the Salem restaurant scene.

A&B Burger Menu Board

We got to stop by for their soft opening, and my family of four indulged and overindulged in the new menu.  The A Burger, B Burger, Hangover Burger, DG Burger, and Hot Dog all met with enthusiastic approval.  The vegetarian Chickpea and Crab Cake Burgers were delicious.  We especially liked the use of Arugula instead of lettuce on the burgers.  The fries and shakes were great, especially the fry sauce that arrived with the sweet potato fries.  

The meat is locally sourced through Northeast Family Farms and the produce is fresh, making this a bit more than your average quick-burger restaurant.  In addition to the burgers we sampled, there is a Tuna Burger, a Wagyu (like Kobe Beef) Burger, Truffle Fries, and more. 

A&B Burgers, the Chickpea, A, and DG Burgers

A&B Burgers is located in the Old Salem Jail, and while they have a few parking spaces adjacent to the restaurant entrance, your best bet is to park at the Church Street lot and take the 2 minute walk to the restaurant (that's the same distance as the South Harbor Garage to Pickering Wharf).  Follow their Facebook page for daily specials and changing information.

The Hangover Burger, Shake and Fries, Welcome Sign

Welcome to the neighborhood, A&B  Burgers! 

Posted by Kate on 12/02 at 10:05 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Holiday Shopping Day and Free Admission at the Phillips House Museum

Historic New England Phillips House on Chestnut Street in Salem MA

Historic New England’s Phillips House Museum will be offering free tour admission to anyone who spends $10.00 in their gift shop on Saturday, December 7, 2013, from 11:00-4:00 p.m. The museum shop has a great selection of ornaments, stocking stuffers, books about Salem history, and other gifts perfect for the history lover on your list.

Free admission will only be good on Saturday, December 7 and the purchases must be made before the tour. Guided tours are 45 minutes in length and depart on the half-hour. Please call 978-744-0440 for more details.

Posted by Kate on 11/30 at 01:18 PM Comments (0) Permalink

Celebrate Holiday Happenings in Salem

Salem Holiday Happenings

Salem, Massachusetts celebrates Holiday Happenings with events for all ages throughout the month of December.  Opening with the traditional tree lighting in Lappin Park on the day after Thanksgiving, the Menorah Lighting on November 30, and the arrival of Santa atop the Hawthorne Hotel on December 6, the schedule of events throughout the month offers events and celebrations both new and old.

Learn the origins and history of New England holiday traditions during the Christmas at the Gables tours, which replace regular house tours in December, and then visit the Gables on weekends to see the theatrical presentation, A Classic Christmas.  Find levity in the holidays with Salem Theatre Company’s hysterical holiday trip to Tuna, Texas in A Tuna Christmas, and travel between Christmases past, present and future with Scrooge aboard the improv-rich performances of The Trolley Christmas Carol.   Don’t miss the beloved annual Christmas in Salem House Tours – the one opportunity each year for the public to tour beautifully decorated homes in Salem’s distinctive neighborhoods.

There are shopping nights, dining specials, Santa appearances, and open houses throughout the month.  Salem also has ample opportunity to relax and unwind from the holiday bustle over a delicious meal prepared for you, not by you, and served fireside, seaside, or to go. 

In addition, all parking in Salem will be free starting Thursday November 28th through and including Sunday December 1st.  Shop local, shop Salem!  

A complete list of Holiday Happenings in Salem can be found at

Posted by Kate on 11/29 at 07:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

What’s on your Thanksgiving table?

Phillips Family Thanksgiving menu from 1942

We hope your Thanksgiving is as delicious as the Phillips family Thanksgiving was in 1942! 

The menu hasn't changed much since the Phillips celebrated on Chestnut Street.  Today our turkeys may still come from Topsfield and the surrounding farms, and our pies come from Coffee Time Bake Shop, our Champagne (or Prosecco) is from Salem Wine Imports, the potatoes and squash came from the Salem Winter Market, salad, fruit, and ice cream is from Milk & Honey Green Grocer, and the spice and seasonings came from Salem Spice at the Picklepot.

Posted by Kate on 11/27 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

The Salem Award Foundation: Thankful… and Mindful

Salem Witch Trials Memorial

On a local level, The Salem Award Foundation is thankful for:

  • The estimated 600,000 visitors who came to Salem and visited the Salem Witch Trials Memorial
  • Those who came to the Salem Award ceremony on March and to other events we sponsored or co-sponsored: Poetry of Resilience (Salem Film Festival), The House I Live In film and discussion, Got Empathy? and the Taking Action Symposium
  • Thomas Doyle and Horace Seldon, our 2013 Salem Award winners, Doyle for speaking out against sex abuse in the Catholic Church, and Seldon for his work in combatting racism. They walk their talk.
  • The City of Salem and the Peabody Essex Museum for their partnership and contributions to maintenance of Salem Witch Trials Memorial
  • Cinema Salem, Gordon College, the House of the Seven Gables, the National Park Service, the  Rebecca Nurse Homestead, the Salem Witch Museum, and the Witch House—our cohorts in telling the story of the Salem Witch Trials
  • The growing number of people learning about the Salem Award Foundation. (Want to join us? Click here!)
  • Last but not least, the many individuals, organizations and corporations that have contributed financially to the all-volunteer SAF

Beyond our own work, we are thankful for 2013’s victories large and small, in the fight for human rights and social justice like:

  • Salem’s new No Place for Hate Committee and the plaque at the corner of Washington and Front Streets
  • The legalization of same-sex marriage in nine more states
  • Recognition and celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation
  • Legislation in Virginia banning the shackling of pregnant prisoners
  • Malala Yousafzai’s courage in advocating for girls’ education in Pakistan
  • The signing of the Arms Trade Treaty
  • Legal validation in Botswana of women’s right to inherit property

And we are mindful of the many violations of rights and miscarriages of justice that continue unchecked, such as:

  • Hundreds of thousands of refugees in such places as Palestine, Syria, Sudan, and the Republic of Congo
  • The many victims of domestic and sexual abuse
  • The treatment of immigrants—legal and illegal—in many nations and efforts to stall immigration reform here in the United States
  • The subjugation of women and girls in fundamentalist Islamic cultures
  • The suppression of voter rights in many countries, including our own

There is much work to be done! Please join with the SAF in 2014 in keeping alive the lessons of the Salem Witch Trials and fulfilling our mission.


- Posted by guest blogger Shelby Hypes for the Salem Award Foundation

Posted by Guest on 11/26 at 01:58 PM Comments (0) Permalink

Holiday Tree Lighting

Samantha and Salem Holiday Tree. Photo John Andrews, Social PalatesJoin Mayor Kimberley Driscoll in lighting Salem’s Holiday Tree on Friday, November 29 at 6:30 p.m. in Lappin Park (next to the Bewitched Statue at the intersection of Essex Street and Washington Street).  Bring the whole family out for carols with the Paul Madore Singers, cocoa, and snacks!

The event is organized by Salem Main Streets and the City of Salem.  This year’s tree comes from Benjamin Nutter Architects in Topsfield, thanks in part to a donation from the Meetinghouse Church.  Decorations and lights are made possible by individual contributions and donations from a number of local businesses.  Salem Main Streets would like to thank North Shore Marine and Bill’s Auto Clinic for their services in delivering the tree.

The tree lighting kicks off more than a month of Holiday Happenings in Salem. Featuring private home tours, theatrical presentations, shopping events, and even a road race or two (to help burn those holiday calories), the holiday season is a wonderful time to explore historic Salem!

Posted by Kate on 11/25 at 02:06 PM Comments (0) Permalink

The 34th Annual Christmas in Salem House Tour

There are few annual events in Salem as beloved, consistent, and wonderful as Christmas in Salem's historic home tours.  It is the one weekend of the year when you can go inside private homes that have been beautifully decorated for the holidays.  You will find interior design inspiration, you may leave with kitchen-envy, and you will certainly encounter a surprise or two ("Did you see the Picasso in that house?" and "Is that a suit of armor in the dining room?" were comments overheard on recent tours.), and your ticket investment will support Salem's historical society, Historic Salem, Inc. 

This is a perfect seasonal celebration of historic, architectural heritage, and Salem.  

Christmas in Salem
Ports of Call in the Historic Derby Waterfront District

 December 6-8, 2013*
Featuring nine historic homes decorated for the holidays, lectures, music, restaurants, wine tastings, and shopping specials.

Candlelight Tour of 4 Homes: (advance ticket holders only)

  • Friday, December 6, 5:30 to 8:30 PM

All houses open:

  • Saturday, December 7, 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Sunday, December 8, 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM  

Free Trolley service available to tour sites and downtown Salem. Advance tickets on sale now until December 4th! $25 for HSI members, $30 for non-members.  Tickets are available online, by calling 978-745-0799, or at Dave Eng Flowers, J. Mode, Laura Lanes Skin Care, the Trolley Depot, or Waters and Brown. Day of Tour tickets can be purchased at the Salem Boys and Girls Club, 13 Hawthorne Blvd., Salem for $35.

*Snow date: Saturday, December 14, 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM  

Posted by Kate on 11/21 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Where Japanese Design and American Pop Culture Meet

PEM PM Manga NationOn Thursday, November 21, the Peabody Essex Museum is open late for PEM/PM, the monthly evening party series that’s free to members and Salem residents.

PEM turns to a night of anime and manga during the new exhibition Future Beauty: Avant-Garde Japanese Fashion. Explore how creative exports of Japanese animation and comic books have taken America by storm. Celebrate with a visual music performance by VJ Beyonder Domela and help create the world's largest manga (or at least try!) with professional graphic artists Andy and Veronica Fish.

Take a stroll through Future Beauty: Avant-Garde Japanese Fashion, an exhibition of nearly 100 dresses, skirts, gowns and suits that celebrate the ingenuity and innovation of contemporary Japanese fashion designers. Since the early 1980s, designers such as Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto have reshaped couture as well as popular fashion and launched a revolution that marks the first time a non-Western culture has significantly transformed the global fashion world. Through innovations in form, technique, material and approach, Japanese designers have challenged conventional ideas of beauty and helped recast fashion as a vital and nuanced art form.

PEM once again partners with The Tannery Series, an organization that brings to the North Shore authors whose writing confronts the world in essential and curious ways. Join an engaging conversation led by Roland Kelts, a lecturer at the University of Tokyo and author of the highly regarded Japanamerica, and Robin Brenner, editor-in-chief of the graphic novel review website No Flying No Tights and the teen librarian at the Brookline Public Library.

Thursday, November 21, 2013 from 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Members and Salem residents FREE | Nonmembers $10 at the door
No reservations required  | Cash bar

Posted by Kate on 11/20 at 04:44 PM Comments (0) Permalink

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to be on stage at Salem State University

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Salem State University

Salem State University’s award-winning theatre department presents Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams, November 21-23 and December 5-7 at 7:30 pm and December 8 at 2 pm. One of Williams's best-known works and his personal favorite, the play earned Williams his second Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is set in the Mississippi Delta plantation home of Big Daddy Pollitt, a wealthy cotton grower. The family has gathered to celebrate Big Daddy’s birthday and his recent diagnosis of good health; but all is not as it seems. Big Daddy’s diagnosis is a lie. He is dying of cancer and it becomes clear that the Pollitt family have other motives for gathering.

This overarching deception is just part of a web of lies that have become part of the Pollitt family dynamic. Williams’s narrative focuses on Big Daddy’s favorite son, Brick, a tortured soul descending into alcoholism following the death of his college friend and his wife Maggie’s struggle to make him the man and husband his father expects him to me so that Brick can take over his dying father’s plantation. Larger than life, Big Daddy wields power over everyone and yet he is powerless to save his son or to defeat death.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof puts “mendacity” squarely in front of the audience. We are asked to face the lies we tell, and we are forced to face emotional truths, such as, ambivalence in sexual orientation, disaffection with our place in the world, and, most importantly, the difficulty of maintaining intimate relationships.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof will be performed November 21-23 and December 5-7 at 7:30 pm and December 8 at 2 pm in the Mainstage Theatre, 352 Lafayette Street. Please note there are no performances Thanksgiving weekend. Tickets are $15 general/$10 students and seniors. Purchase tickets online at:, by phone: 978.542.6365  or at the door the night of the performance. The speech communication program will host a pre-show conversation on Thursday, December 5 at 6:30 pm: Why Do We Lie? Deceit in Big Daddy’s Family.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is produced in conjunction with Salem State’s Center for Creative and Performing Arts.

Posted by Kate on 11/16 at 03:38 PM Comments (0) Permalink

Future Beauty at the PEM

As if Impressionism isn't enough, Future Beauty: Avant-Garde Japanese Fashion opens at the Peabody Essex Museum on Saturday, November 16.  This exhibition will explore how Japanese designers reshaped fashion in the early 1980s and challenged conventional ideas of beauty. Nearly 100 dresses, skirts, gowns and suits are featured, celebrating the ingenuity and innovation of Japanese designers and asking people to reconsider the relationship between art, design and fashion.

Koji Tatsuno, Autumn/Winter 1993

The opening of Future Beauty will be celebrated with a Family Festival on Saturday, November 16.  

Cut, Sew and Create | 10 am-4 pm | Create Space 1 and 2

Design your own T-shirt inspired by Future Beauty. We'll have materials and artists ready to help.

Designs by Zoe Shi | 10 am-4 pm | Atrium

Zoe Shi, an up-and-coming fashion designer and Rhode Island School of Design student, demonstrates the process of sculpting a garment from fabric.

1980s Arcade | 10 am-4 pm | Bartlett Gallery

As Japanese designers were changing the global fashion scene in the 1980s, Japanese video game designers were changing the face of global pop culture with video games. Stop by to play some old favorites like Pac-Man in PEM's pop-up arcade!

11am-1 pm | Future Beauty Gallery

Chat with a museum educator and get hands on with some of the fabrics on view.

Chiptune Artist | 11 am and 2:30 pm | Atrium

Chiptune, or 8-bit music, is synthesized electronic music produced by the sound chips of vintage computers, video game consoles and arcade machines. Artist and composer Glenn Dubois creates his signature sound.

Future Beauty Today | 1 pm | Morse Auditorium
Reservations by November 14

Explore Future Beauty and the impact that Japanese designers such as Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo and Issey Miyake had on the fashion world. Panelists include PEM's Chief Curator Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, the leader of PEM's fashion initiative and curator of the only East Coast presentation of this exhibition. She is joined by Akiko Fukai, Director and Curator of the Kyoto Costume Institute and creative vision behind the exhibition as it travels the world. Rounding out the discussion is Boston's own Alan Bilzerian, owner of the Newbury Street and Newton Centre boutiques bearing his name. Bilzerian was the first North American retailer to carry designs by Yamamoto, Kawakubo and Miyake and continues to lead the way for fashion through his impeccably curated collections. Made possible in part by the Lyceum Lecture Fund.

1-3 pm | meet at information desk
Tours leave every 15 minutes
Suggested for families with children ages 7 and up

Drop by for a fun, family-friendly tour of Future Beauty: Avant-Garde Japanese Fashion, led by our expert docents. Learn about some of their favorite garments and ask questions about some of yours.

Posted by Kate on 11/14 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Salem is smelling better than ever

Rouge Cosmetics has announced their new rouge parfum, which is custom designed by esteemed Boston perfumer Neil Morris.  It is a beautiful scent, with top notes of Black Currant, Peach, and Dewberry. The perfume has Heart Notes of Lily of the Valley, Honeysuckle, Gardenia and White Rose, and Bottom Notes of French Vanilla, Blonde Amber and Sea Musk.

Don't you wish you could smell the blog?!

rouge parfum

rouge parfum costs $95 and is available exclusively at rouge Cosmetics

Perfumer Neil Morris will be at the Holiday Open House on Dec. 6th from 6-9pm to have a champagne toast to officially launch the new parfum. 

Posted by Kate on 11/13 at 08:30 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall sails into Salem

Turners Seafood Logo Salem will welcome Turner's Seafood at Lyceum Hall to our fabulous mix of restaurants later this month.  Recognized throughout New England for their fresh seafood, the Turner family currently operates Turner's Seafood in Melrose and Turner's Seafood Market in Gloucester.  The new location in Salem will feature the Turner's signature seafood cuisine, an oyster bar, and a locally-sourced seafood market. 

Lyceum Hall has a rich history, and the location itself has many fans in Salem and beyond. The Turners plan to be stewards to this history and the architecture of the hall.  You can read a short history of 43 Church Street on the Turner's Blog.

The journey of seafood served in Turner's market and restaurants begins early each morning when Jim Turner and his team inspect and pick the freshest catch possible in Gloucester and Boston.  The fish is then transferred to the Turner seafood plant in Gloucester where it is processed to their demanding quality standards.  Within hours, the fresh seafood is delivered to market and restaurants, ready to impress customers and diners alike. 

The Turner Family's history as New England seafood purveyors dates back to 1920, and we are excited to add them to the restaurant scene in Salem.

Turner's Seafood at Lyceum Hall will open for dinner at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, November 19.  The Market and Oyster Bar will also open on November 19

Posted by Kate on 11/12 at 01:02 PM Comments (0) Permalink

With thanks to our Veterans

National Guard on Salem Common

With gratitude and admiration we acknowledge veterans past and present, in Salem and beyond, on this Veterans Day.

Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.

Posted by Kate on 11/10 at 07:00 PM Comments (0) Permalink

Trolley Christmas Carol tickets going fast!

Trolley Christmas Carol

Don't be scared, tickets aren't sold out yet! But if you wait much longer, you will miss the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, as well as Scrooge's redemption in this most entertaining take on Dickens' A Christmas Carol

Now entering into it's 26th Season, this humorous & whimsical interactive performance reanimates Dickens’ timeless seasonal holiday classic with humor and heart. Ride along with Scrooge on the Salem Trolley as the classic tale is brought to life in a completely unexpected way.

Tour departs from Salemdipity, 86 Wharf Street (Pickering Wharf), Salem.  Please arrive 15 minutes prior to show time.  Show starts inside Salemdipity.

Visit for tickets and information.

Posted by Kate on 11/09 at 12:00 PM Comments (0) Permalink

Monet, Renoir and Matisse paint the life aquatic

Claude Monet, Sailboats on the Seine, 1874

The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) opens an exhibition that demonstrates why Impressionism continues to fascinate and intrigue over a century later. With more than 90 paintings, prints, models and photographs, Impressionists on the Water tells the story of how living near France’s waterways and oceans influenced one of the world’s most enduring artistic movements. The sparkle and play of light on water proved irresistible to key Impressionists. Rippling seas, dancing reflections and sailboats propelled by strong winds animate the art of Manet, Monet, Renoir, Caillebotte, Pissarro, Sisley, Seurat, Signac and many others on view at PEM from November 9, 2013 to February 17, 2014.  

“While the Impressionists have been popularly celebrated for generations, this exhibition introduces aspects of their work not often explored,” said Daniel Finamore, PEM’s Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History. “Rather than viewing Impressionism as a moment of schism and revolution, we see how artists handled maritime subject matter from the birth of the movement, through its creative evolution and the lasting impact of the Impressionists’ vision of the sea in art.”

Through this exhibition, we gain an appreciation for the inherent sensitivity that Impressionist artists showed for both the qualities of water and the appearance of the boats. Not weighed down by history, they painted what they saw and articulated it as a wholly modern subject. The juxtaposition of paintings and models allow us to observe how the artists interpreted forms of specific boats, as well as appreciate how that interpretation varied from more traditional maritime art of the day.  

Gustave Caillebotte, Boating on the Yerres (Périssoires sur L'Yerres)

Artists and sailors
The faithful representation of watercraft – apparent despite the freehandedness of technique –  owes much to the artists’ accomplishments as sailors and yachtsmen spending many hours at sea, on riverboats, leisure craft and floating studios.

Among the most skilled was Gustave Caillebotte. A sailor, boat designer and successful racer, he depicted the watercraft and nautical conditions he experienced at his family’s estate on the banks of the Seine. Caillebotte is considered France’s most successful yachtsman-artist of the 19th century, responsible for the design and creation of nearly 25 boats. He depicted his boating prowess in his 1893 work, Regatta at Argenteuil – himself at the helm, striking a nonchalant pose as he steers the sailboat’s tiller with remarkable ease, using just a fingertip.

Inspired by the example of Charles-François Daubigny’s floating studio, Monet built his own studio boat in the mid-1870s to be ever closer to the water. The vessel, depicted at its mooring in his 1874 painting, gave the artist a near-waterline perspective of the landscape, and the atmospheric conditions of the river environment. That singular perspective – a framing of light, water and sky – is celebrated throughout this exhibition.


Organizing co-curators for Impressionists on the Water are Christopher Lloyd, former Surveyor of Queen Elizabeth II’s collection; Phillip Dennis Cate, former director of the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University; and Daniel Charles, author and historian of marine technology. Daniel Finamore, PEM’s Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History, is coordinating curator.


Impressionists on the Water is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Support provided by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Additional support provided by the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum.

Auguste Renoir, Oarsmen at Chatou

Impressionists on the Water opens at PEM

OPENING FESTIVAL: Sunday, November 10 |  11 am–4:30 pm

GALLERY TALK: Up Close with the Artists | 11 am, meet at information desk
Join Impressionists on the Water co-curator and art historian Christopher Lloyd for a tour of the paintings, prints, models and photographs on view.

PRESENTATION: Making an Impression | 1:30–2:30 pm, Morse Auditorium
Exhibition co-curator Christopher Lloyd explains the vision behind the exhibition and highlights key works. He’s joined for a brief conversation and Q&A by PEM’s Daniel Finamore, The Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History and coordinating curator of Impressionists on the Water.

ART MAKING: Rope Something Together | 1–4 pm, Atrium
Learn some simple knotting techniques and then create your own Turk’s Head bracelet.

FILM: The Impressionists: Painting and Revolution, The Great Outdoors | 3:30–4:30 pm, Morse Auditorium
Art critic, writer and filmmaker Waldemar Januszczak visits the vistas, often along the water’s edge, that inspired Impressionist artists.



Boats Moored at Le Petit-Gennevilliers (traditionally Sailboats on the Seine), 1874, Claude Monet. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Gift of Bruno and Sadie Adriani 1962.23. ©Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. 

Boating on the Yerres (Périssoires sur L'Yerres), Gustave Caillebotte. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of the Milwaukee Journal Company, in honor of Miss Faye McBeath. Photograph by John R. Glembin.

Oarsmen at Chatou, Auguste Renoir. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Gift of Sam A. Lewisohn, Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

Posted by Kate on 11/08 at 10:17 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Salem Winter Market Opens Thursday

The Salem Winter Market kicks off in Old Town Hall this Thursday. “The Winter Market is a fantastic opportunity to support local farms and artisans through the holiday season,” states Kylie Sullivan, manager of Salem Main Streets and organizer of the market. “We’re very excited to showcase so many summer famers’ market favorites as well as some new vendors in this historic space.”  

The Winter Market will include produce from local farms, pasture-fed meat, spices, pickles, soup, baked goods, artisan soap, jewelry, wreaths, and more. All items are grown or produced in New England. The market will run six weeks on Thursdays from 3 – 6 p.m., Nov.7 through Dec. 19.  There will be no market the week of Thanksgiving.

Old Town Hall is adjacent to Derby Square where the summer farmers’ market is held.

Salem MA Winter Market at Old Town Hall

Current vendors at the 2013 Winter Market include:

Farm Vendors (produce): Clark Farm, Grant Family Farm, Long Hill Orchard & Farm, Wally's Vegetables

Non-Farm Vendors (not produce): Big Sky Bakery (bread), Fishwives Specialty Foods/Mandy’s Seafood Chowder (chowder), Piper Ranch (meat), Salem Spice (spices, also selling Maitland Mountain Farm’s pickles), Valicenti Organico (pasta/sauces), Wolf Meadow Farm (cheese)

Artisan Vendors: Salem Soapworks, Shine Jewelry/Heritage Industries

For more information, visit


The market is made possible through the generous support of Mayor Kimberley Driscoll and the City of Salem, the Salem Chamber of Commerce, and Mass in Motion Salem, as well as numerous volunteers.  The market participates in the SNAP program and will accept the EBT card at the market. 

Posted by Kate on 11/04 at 10:31 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Salem Fall Restaurant Week Starts November 3rd!

2013 Fall Salem Restaurant Week

Salem Fall Restaurant Week is set to kickoff on Sunday, November 3, featuring the best local cuisine at value pricing.  For 10 days only, participating Salem  restaurants will offer either a two-course prix-fixe dinner menu for $18, or a three-course prix-fixe dinner menu for $28, or both (note that this price does not include drinks, taxes or gratuities).

Click here for the list of participating restaurants and their menus.  Please contact restaurants directly to make reservations, and be sure to mention "Restaurant Week" when you call!

Posted by Kate on 11/01 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Happy Halloween!

It's Halloween and the Boston Red Sox are World Champions. All seems right, if not a little groggy, in the world. 

If you are planning to celebrate Halloween with us in Salem, please heed our words of wisdom (we've done this before):  Arrive early, do not bring any weapons (real or fake), and understand that the party is over at 10:30 after the fireworks.

Don't drive! Take the MBTA Commuter Rail or the Salem Ferry!  The Commuter Rail has special expanded service tonight to get you in and out of Salem. 

Note that there will be downtown road closures in the late afternoon, they are not planned for earlier than 5:00 PM but roads will be closed for personal safety reasons if pedestrian traffic gets to heavy. 

Halloween Road Closures in Salem MA

Click here for a printable list of events and guidelines for Halloween night, and visit for complete information on Haunted Happenings and Halloween.

Happy Halloween!

Posted by Kate on 10/31 at 09:12 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Dracula’s Guest checks into Salem Theatre Company for Haunted Happenings

Salem Theatre Company, 90 Lafayette Street Salem will present Dracula’s Guest as their entry for the 2013 Haunted Happenings celebration.  Written and directed by Dann Anthony Maurno, the production runs through 31, Tuesday through Sunday at 5:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m., and 8:30 p.m. There will be a final showing on Saturday November 2 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Dracula’s Guest captures the “journey into terror” which is the first 60 pages of Bram Stoker’s classic.  The production features a unique staging; a Victorian-style reading, with visual and sound effects, and a few magical surprises.

The production is suggested for teens and up.

“This is Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” says Maurno. “Hollywood and pop culture have turned the Count into a tragic anti-hero in search of love; the sexy alternative to plodding Victorian men. That’s not what Stoker had in mind. His Dracula is a warlord in search of the mightiest empire available, which at the time was Great Britain.  Stoker’s Dracula didn’t care about love or attraction. He cared about world dominance.”

Maurno believes Dracula is pop culture’s greatest villain. “He’s always on the internet’s Top Ten lists, but deserves top billing. The shark from ‘Jaws’ can tear you limb from limb, Hannibal Lechter can eat your spleen and The Godfather can have you whacked. Only Dracula can damn you to Hell.”

The cast includes Maurno as the Count and Conor Burke as the young Jonathan Harker, both of Salem.  Joining them are Maureen Bucell, Matthew Corbo, Emma Goodman and Natalie Miller.  Set & Sound Design is by John Fogle, Lighting Design by Gregory Mancusi-Ungaro, Magical Effects are by Evan Northrup.

Tickets for Dracula’s Guest are $15 are available online at or by calling Ovation Tix at 866-811-4111. Salem Theatre Company performs at the STC Theatre, 90 Lafayette Street in downtown Salem.

Posted by Kate on 10/29 at 08:40 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Angie Miller and “Exiting the Fall” to Perform on Salem Common on Halloween Night

American Idol finalist Angie Miller will play on Salem Common on Halloween night. She will be joined by her brother's band, “Exiting the Fall.”

Angie Miller to play on Halloween in Salem MA

The concert is free and open to all.

Exiting the Fall, including band members Matt Vacaro, Filipe Inacio, Kevin Klein, Jon Miller, and DJ Williams, will play at 7:00 PM

Angie Miller will perform at 8:00 PM

Everyone is encouraged to celebrate the finale of Salem Haunted Happenings on Washington Street at 10:15 PM.

Exiting the Fall. Photo: Facebook


Posted by Kate on 10/28 at 10:25 AM Comments (0) Permalink

The Marble Faun

Have you visited The Marble Faun at 131 Essex Street? It's a new, literary-inspired gift shop filled with flight, fancy, fun, and fiction.  Since the closing of Cornerstone Books, Salem is in need of another book shop, and The Marble Faun is stocking its shelves with classic romance and mystery.  The works of Hawthorne, Poe, and Austen are prevalent here, as is Steampunk and a bit of Sherlock Holmes.  The gift selection includes soaps, candles, jewelry, t-shirts (and more), all with literary themes or Salem connections. 

The Marble Faun, by the way, is named for the short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne.  This store is steeped in literature and history, and fun.

The Marble Faun Books

Books, paper, quills, journals


The Marble Faun Manliness

A collection of Manliness (side by side with Snake Oil and Rum Cups!)


The Marble Faun Kitty Soaps

Apparently the bad kitty soaps are slightly more popular than the pretty kitty soaps!


Marble Faun Venetian Masks

Venetian masks to transform the most mundane clothes into an elegant Halloween costume.

  • The Marble Faun
  • 131 Essex Street
  • Salem, MA 01970
  • Find them on Facebook
Posted by Kate on 10/26 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

October jewelry at Treasures over Time

If you're looking for a Halloween souvenir that you can wear home, check out Treasures over Time at 139 Washington Street for their unique Salem charms, Halloween themed earrings and pendants and glass pumpkins (which you probably can't wear home, but you'll want to carry them carefully!).  You will find a wonderful assortment of jewelry, coins, art, and accessories at Treasures over Time, but these seasonally-themed items are particularly relevant today!

Salem bead at Treasures over Time

Similar to other popular beaded bracelets, who doesn't want a "I Love Salem" bead?!


Halloween Charms at Treasures over Time

Ghosts, skeletons, pumpkins, spiders, oh my!


Halloween earings at Treasures over Time

Ghosts, skeletons, bats (you guessed it,) Oh My!


Glass Pumpkinsat Treasures over Time

These pumpkins are beautiful, especially their glass stems.  Each one is an original.

Posted by Kate on 10/25 at 09:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

The History of Halloween - in 3D!

The History of Halloween Poster If you are "into" Halloween, you need to get yourself into CinemaSalem this month to see the Hisory of Halloween in 3-D.  This is the fourth in a series of productions by CinemaSalem, directed by Paul Van Ness, that examines the history of Salem and the North Shore.  The predecessors, The True 1692 3-D, The Spirit of Salem, and This Perfect Place are all excellent productions that leave even the most knowledgeable Salemite with a slightly new perspective or a new tidbit of history that we may have not known, or at least we forgot about it for a bit. The History of Halloween is no exception.

A fun, entertaining, and historical jaunt from Celtic times (BC) to present day Salem, The History of Halloween addresses the origins of the holiday, its evolution over centuries and continents, and how it landed in this bewitching seaport of Salem.  Even our friends in Anoka, Minnesota, get a mention as the "other" Halloween capital of the world.  The cast is largely comprised of local professional actors, and it always provides us a chuckle to see our friends on the big screen. 

The film does an especially good job addressing how Salem, the home of the tragic Salem Witch Trials of 1692, became known internationally for its Haunted Happenings festival. 

Show times for this 35-minute film are below. Tickets can be purchased online at Adult tickets cost $9.00, Senior/Child/Student tickets cost $7.50. 

  • Thu, Oct 24:  (9:30 AM), (3:00), (4:00), (5:00), 6:00, 7:00
  • Fri, Oct 25: (3:00), (4:00), (5:00), 6:00, 7:00, 8:00
  • Sat, Oct 26 - Sun, Oct 27: (11:00 AM), (12:00), (1:00), (2:00), (3:00), (4:00), (5:00), 6:00, 7:00, 8:00
  • Mon, Oct 28 - Wed, Oct 30: (3:00), (4:00), (5:00), 6:00, 7:00, 8:00
  • Thu, Oct 31: (11:00 AM), (1:00), (2:00), (3:00), (4:00), (5:00)
Posted by Kate on 10/24 at 01:29 PM Comments (0) Permalink

National Historic Sites in Salem and Saugus Reopen to the Public

Salem Maritime National Historic Site Custom House. Photo: Jared Charney

Salem Maritime and Saugus Iron Works National Historic Sites reopened to the public today.  Visitors can now access the visitor centers, bookstores, restrooms, grounds and historic buildings located at both sites.  Free ranger-led tours for the visiting public and school programs for local students have resumed normal October schedules.  Both Salem Maritime and Saugus Iron Works have been closed since October 1 due to the lapse in Congressional appropriations.

“We are excited happy to be back at work and welcome visitors to both Salem and Saugus,” said Superintendent Michael Quijano-West. “Autumn is a particularly special season to enjoy all that these two parks have to offer.”

Visitors should check the website of both parks to get detailed operating hours and tour information before departing for the park.

Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site

Posted by Kate on 10/17 at 03:45 PM Comments (0) Permalink

Legendary Locals of Salem

Legendary Locals of Salem

Does Salem still have legends?  According to the new book, Legendary Locals of Salem written by Jerome M. Curley, Dorothy V. Malcolm and Nelson L. Dionne, and published by Arcadia Publishers, there are MANY who qualify as Salem's legends! Come celebrate the living legends and honor the historical ones profiled in their book at the Book Launch Party to be held at Hawthorne Hotel Ballroom, 18 Washington Sq., Salem on October 23, 2013 from 6pm-9pm. The event is FREE and open to the public. Entertainment by Salem's own Julie Dougherty and pianist Claude Fournier.  Larry Young and Susanne Powers, the MusicalPASTimes duo, will also perform antique fiddle music dressed in 18th century period dress.  Authors will sign books, which are available for sale.   Artwork by local artists will be on display.   Refreshments and Cash Bar.

Posted by Kate on 10/16 at 08:30 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Longboards Cafe compliments Pickering Wharf

There's a new eatery on Pickering Wharf, and it is a great compliment to the restaurants that have been anchoring the Wharf for years.  Longboards Cafe has take-out and sit down, a full bar, shuffleboard, flat-screen TVs (especially important during October in Red Sox nation), and a fresh, easy-to-navigate menu.

Longboards offers a menu of salads, flatbreads, and sandwiches that  keeps it simple, and keeps it good.  When we went, we shared the Caesar Salad, the Hummus and homemade pita chips, and a few flatbreads.  It was a good amount of food, with a few slices of flatbread leftover for lunch the next day, and for a family of four we were in and out for approximately $50. 

Hummus Plate at Longboards Cafe



You will find Longboards Cafe at 72 Wharf Street on Pickering Wharf. Stop by for lunch or dinner, and tell them Destination Salem sent you! 

Posted by Kate on 10/14 at 11:02 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Goodnight, Captain White – Salem’s Hysterical Maritime Mystery

Good Night Captain White

This October, Rockafellas Restaurant serves up a 5-star event for Haunted Happenings—blending an exquisite maritime meal and a notorious Salem murder imagined by the creators of Cry Innocent.  

It's 1830, and all friends and well-wishers are invited to attend a retirement party thrown by the fabulously wealthy sea captain Joseph White. But enemies and ill-wishers also arrive dressed to kill and bent on revenge. Who delivers the mortal blow? The beleaguered Daniel Webster must figure out who-dunit and how.

High Tea or Plated Dinner seating times. Cash Bar. Tickets are $24-$50. 

REVIEWS of Goodnight, Captain White
“a provocative script…dialogue with the tone of a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta” –Lowell Sun
“an ideal production for a dinner theatre” –Essex County Newspapers
“rich with innuendo… a talented cast… a night of good fun”Destination Salem
“a hysterical interactive whodunit…lots of fun and laughter” –The Salem News
“a spritely murder mystery… dashedly clever” –Georgetown Record
“a zany who-done it… it captivates you” –Eagle Tribune
“a tour de force… a fun worthwhile evening out” –Weekender

October 11 - 13, 18 - 20. High Tea or Plated Dinner seating times. Cash Bar. Tickets are $24-$50. 

Colonial Hall, upstairs at Rockafellas Restaurant

231 Essex Street, Salem MA, 01970.

Tickets are available via Tickets purchased at the door will be show-only (no high tea or plated dinner).  

See Facebook to check the pre-party gossip.

Posted by Guest on 10/05 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Family Friendly Haunted Happenings

The 32nd annual Salem Haunted Happenings kicks off with the Grand Parade on October 3, and continues through the month of October with a schedule rich in programming for all ages.  Bring the family for Free Film Nights on Salem Common, one of the kids’ costume parades, the carnival, or the Big Draw Festival at the Peabody Essex Museum.  Haunted Happenings is sure to be a celebration of Halloween and Fall in New England for all ages.

Yip Yips at Salem Haunted Happenings. Photo: Jared Charney


  • Trick or Treat with the Mayor
  • October 4, 5 :30 pm – 6 :30 pm
  • Join Mayor Driscoll for Trick-or-Treating at the East India Fountain. We will trick-or-Treat along the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall, The Museum Place Mall Shops, and beyond. Trick-or-Treat Bags provided. Costumes encouraged.
  • East India Fountain (Pedestrian Mall) | 978-745-9595 |


  • Wicked Weekends at Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre
  • October 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27; 12 pm - 6 pm
  • Entertainment abounds at Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre, with face painting, and appearances by Hell Boy, Beetlejuice, Zombie George, and more. T-shirt and postcard giveaways to those waiting in line! (character appearances vary, depending on availability) Weather permitting.
  • 7 Lynde St | 978-825-0222 |


  • Caine’s Arcade Global Challenge at the Phoenix School
  • October 5, 9 am – 12 pm
  • A global day of fun as teams create arcade games out of cardboard, recycled materials, tape and imagination. All ages. Register team at Donation of $10 per team.
  • 89 Margin Street | 978-741-0870 |


  • The Big Draw Festival
  • October 4, 5 pm – 8 pm, October 5, 10 am - 4 pm 
  • This year PEM joins the internationally acclaimed campaign, celebrated for its ambitious reach and simple goal: To get everyone drawing. Come create your own sketchbook, discover the meditative benefits of zentangle or leave your mark on the world in sidewalk paint. Grab a crayon and your imagination and please remember everyone can draw if given the chance.
  • Peabody Essex Museum | 978-745-9500 |


  • Salem Chamber of Commerce Haunted Biz Baz Street Fair
  • October 5 & 6, 10 am – 8 pm
  • Shop for uniquely Salem items, be entertained by street performers, and listen to great music. More than 100 venders will be present on the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall.
  • Essex Street Pedestrian Mall |


  • Radio 92.9 Haunted Movies Series
  • Salem October 5, 12, 19, 26; 6:30 pm – 8 pm
  • Bring your blankets and beach chairs for an open-air movie on Salem Common. Hosted by Radio 92.9.
  • Casper the Friendly Ghost – October 5
  • The Haunted Mansion – October 12
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas – October 19
  • Hocus Pocus – October 26
  • Salem Common |


  • Professor Wunders’ School of Magic
  • October 6, 13, 20, 27; 11 am – 12 pm
  • A fantastic event for families, with fun special effects and audience participation! Learn the basics of magic, and cast exciting spells with Professor Wunders. Every child receives a magic glow ring as a gift before the show. Free pictures with the Wizard on stage after the show. $12 per person. This show sells out quickly, so buy tickets online.
  • 7 Lynde St (Gallows Hill Museum Theater) | 978-825-0222 |


  • Story Trails: Maxed Out!
  • October 5, 2 pm – 3 pm
  • Be inspired to draw outside the lines with “Art & Max” by David Wiesner. Made possible by Target. Program is for children 5 to 8 with adult.
  • Peabody Essex Museum | 978-745-9500 |


  • Salem Open Market
  • October 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 31; 11am - 10pm
  • Includes an extensive selection of arts/crafts with a group of indie makers and designers.
  • Derby Square, Essex Street, Hawthorne Boulevard (Halloween Only)


  • Haunted Happenings Carnival
  • October 18 - 31; Sun-Thurs 2-9 pm, Fri-Sat 12:00 - 10:00 pm
  • Step right up to Fiesta Shows while visiting Salem and act your age somewhere else! Games, rides and all the fun rolled up in one!
  • Derby Street


  • Art and Nature Center Re-Opening with “Beyond Human” Exhibition
  • October 19, 10 am – 4 :30 pm
  • Come take a walk on the wild side of art as we celebrate the opening of the redesigned Art & Nature Center! Meet participating artists from “Beyond Human, Artist-Animal Collaborations”, learn to dance like a bird, contribute to our collaborative environmental rangoli and more. Free Admission.
  • Peabody Essex Museum | 978-745-9500 |


  • Providence Grays Baseball Game
  • October 19, 11 am – 2 pm
  • Come see baseball the way it was played during the time of the Civil War. See the Providence Grays take on the Brooklyn Atlantics in two 1864 style vintage base ball games. See how much the game has changed from the time of no gloves, wool uniforms, and heavy wooden bats.
  • Salem Common |


  • Annual Children’s Halloween Parade & Costume Party
  • October 19, 12 pm – 3 pm
  • Children ages 3-10 are invited to Salem Common in custume to parade down Essex Street to a costume competition in Derby Square. Parade Registration at 11:00am, parade begins at noon. Costume party from 1:00pm - 3:00pm at the Phoenix School. Rain location: 89 Margin St. $10 admission for both events.
  • Salem Common & 89 Margin Street |


Salem Haunted Happenings begins on October 3 and continues through Halloween, October 31. For a complete list of events and attractions, visit    

Posted by Kate on 10/04 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

You Got Empathy. Now Take Action!

Taking action against intimidation

If you missed “Got Empathy? Empathy in the World of 1692 and Now,” you missed a conversation people are still talking about.  We’re lucky to live in a city where folks don’t just pay lip service to “understanding our differences” and “standing up for the rights of others.” People think about what happened here, and they act to keep alive the lessons of 1692. Here’s another event that represents Salem at its best. It promises to be another great conversation!

Taking Action Against Intimidation
A forum on abuse of power, bullying, and what we can do about it

Guest Moderator: R.D. Sahl

Anti-Defamation League, Boston Alliance of  Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth,  Essex County District Attorney’s Victim Assistance Office

Healing Abuse, Working for Change (HAWC), the social psychology of bullying, a victim of a hate crime

Saturday, October 5th, 9 AM to 12:30 PM
Veterans Hall, Salem State University
Presented by the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at SSU
Details at


Posted by Shelby Hypes for the Salem Award Foundation

Posted by Guest on 10/03 at 07:20 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Volunteers fill in where government shut down


Everything is open in Salem, and Salem Haunted Happenings is in full swing!  Due to the shutdown, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, including the tall ship Friendship, Custom House, and Derby House, is closed to tours, and the Salem Regional Visitor Center is closed.  This includes the public restrooms at the visitor center and Central Wharf.  The City of Salem has provided extra porta-potties outside of the visitor center, and an information table will be open in front of the Visitor Center daily during the Shutdown from 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM.  Our information table is being staffed by volunteers from the Salem community, so please stop by and say hello, pick up a map and get answers to your Salem questions!

Salem, Massachusetts creates a temporary information booth, provides bathrooms for visitors arriving for October’s Haunted Happenings festival

Haunted Happenings logoDozens of volunteers have come together to staff a temporary visitor information booth outside of the National Park Service Salem Regional Visitor Center in Salem, Massachusetts, during the Government Shutdown.  Coming on the eve of Salem’s busiest month when more than 250,000 visitors are expected to arrive for the 32nd annual Salem Haunted Happenings festival, the closing of the visitor center and its public restrooms has required the City to come together and fill the gap left by the government shutdown.

The National Park Service has two locations in Salem: the Regional Visitor Center (2 New Liberty Street) and the Salem Maritime National Historic Site (160 Derby Street).   Over the course of October, the National Park Service Rangers and volunteers can serve more than 125,000 visitors from around the world in the visitor center alone.   Tourism in Salem is estimated to generate more than $100 million during the course of the year, and approximately 25% of that comes during October and the Salem Haunted Happenings festival.

In an attempt to address visitors’ needs typically served by the National Park Service, the city of Salem has provided portable toilets, and a temporary visitor information booth has been organized by Destination Salem, the Salem Office of Tourism & Cultural Affairs, a public-private partnership.  On the first day of the shutdown, the information booth served more than 375 people from around the world, including Switzerland, Australia, Italy, Israel, the UK, Germany, Canada, and throughout the United States.
“We spend all year recommending people set their GPS for 2 New Liberty Street in Salem, park in the garage, and begin their visit at the NPS visitor center,” says Destination Salem executive director Kate Fox, “It isn’t fair to them for their welcome to be a piece of paper saying the National Park is closed.”

While the government shutdown has closed the two National Park sites in Salem, all of the City’s museums, attractions, tours, activities, restaurants, and shops remain open.  An additional information booth, managed by Salem Main Streets, will be open at the intersection of Washington Street and Essex Street on October 3 and be open on October weekends.  In addition, the Salem Chamber of Commerce offices have been serving as a visitor information center in their Essex Street location, and some attractions, including the Salem Witch Museum, are making their restrooms available to the public, not just their paying customers.  

“The impact of the closure of our National Park Service Regional Visitor Center and the Salem Maritime National Historical site has presented a logistical obstacle as we start our busiest tourist season,” says Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, “Nevertheless, we are resilient and are working through it pro-actively. Salem is open for business and ready to welcome the thousands of costumed revelers who come to our City every day through the month of October.”

Salem Haunted Happenings kicks off with the Grand Parade on October 3 and continues through Halloween night.  Complete festival information can be found at  

Posted by Kate on 10/02 at 06:46 PM Comments (0) Permalink

2nd Annual Salem Costume Swap Day

This was a great event last year - but get there early for the best selection!

Do you have a closet full of costumes that you would never dare be seen in again or some that will never fit your children again? Can’t think of what to be this year? Don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on costumes for the entire family? We have the perfect solution for you...come to the Salem Costume Swap!!

Here’s how it works:  

  • Donate your swap-able costumes at the Salem Senior Center. Empty your closet as a recycle/cleaning house project, you may drop off gently used adult, kid or pet costumes at the Salem Senior Center starting on September 12th during normal hours. We will also accept Halloween accessories.
  • In exchange for each complete, clean, gently worn costume, you will receive 1 swap ticket to claim a new-to-you costume at the 10/12 event.
  • No costume to swap? Still want to shop? No Problem! Stop by the Salem Boys & Girls Club on 10/12 to purchase any costume for $5. Proceeds will benefit Salem youth programs.
  • There will be a kids coloring table at the 10/12 event with lots of cool coloring pages!
  • There will also be light refreshments available.

Did you know?
Swapping the costumes of only half of the children who celebrate Halloween would reduce annual landfill waste by 6,250 tons, equivalent to the weight of 2,500 midsize cars.

Hosted by Salem Park Recreation & Community Services & Supported by Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem
Date: Sat. October 12 (National Costume Swap Day)
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Fee: $5 per costume or swap costumes for free!
Place:  Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem, 13 Hawthorne Boulevard

Posted by Kate on 10/02 at 08:48 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Happy October from Salem Haunted Happenings!

Salem Haunted Happenings Poster

Salem Haunted Happenings steps off with the Grand Parade on Thursday, October 3.  Join us during October for the 32nd annual celebration of Halloween and Fall in New England that we call Salem Haunted Happenings.  You will find a complete listing of events, programs, tours, attractions, psychics, and more at

Happy October!

Posted by Kate on 10/01 at 07:30 AM Comments (0) Permalink

No better setting for The Crucible

Salem Theatre Company presents Arthur Miller's The Crucible

There is no better setting for a performance of Arthur Miller's The Crucible then Salem. This is the setting. This is it.  Arthur Miller's portrayal of the Salem Witch Trials, and of a community gripped by hysteria, is true and relevant to so much that has happened in the world since 1692, and Salem Theatre Company's production of the play is hauntingly effective.

STC has converted  its theatre into a 17th-century woods bathed in blue moonlight, and they further set the scene with an eerie drumbeat that transports the audience back to a time of afflicted girls, family struggles, and personal conviction.  The performances are emotional, especially those of Dave Rich as John Proctor and Linda Goetz as Elizabeth Proctor. 

The story takes us from the Parris household to the Proctor home, to the Meetinghouse, and then Salem Jail.  These characters, and this story are so familiar to those of us immersed in the Salem story every day, and we risk taking their lessons for granted.  This production of The Crucible reminds us that society is fallible and staying true to oneself can be the most difficult thing to do.   

Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
directed by John Fogle

September 26 – October 19
Thursday – Saturday at 7:30 PM / Sunday at 5:00 PM
Buy Tickets

Running Time: 160 minutes

Posted by Kate on 09/30 at 11:54 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Farmers’ Market Goodness

I wish I could say this is my favorite season for the Salem Farmers' Market, but I love every week at the Farmers' Market from June through the end of October.  The fruits of the season include potatoes, beans, pumpkins, tomatoes, flowers... and more. 

Here are a few photos from the September 19 Farmers' Market to inspire you to stop by Derby Square between 3:00 - 7:00 PM on Thursdays between now and October 24.

Beans at the Salem Farmers' Market

Salem Farmers Market - Carrots

Salem Farmers Market - Flowers

Salem Farmers Market Pears

Salem Farmers Market Pumpkins

Salem Farmers' Market is produced by Salem Main Streets.


Posted by Kate on 09/26 at 10:56 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Salem resident aims to break and set new drumming world-record to raise money for Boys & Girls Club

Wynotts Wands for drumming

Salem musician Aaron Z. Katz from the pop-ambient duo The Dejas aims to drum 30 hours straight in an effort to break and set a new world-record for drumming in a retail store while raising money and awareness for the Boys & Girls Club of Salem music program. And in true Salem-fashion, he intends to do it with wands at the new Wynotts Wands shop on Essex Street.

The current record-holder is singer-songwriter and professional party animal, Andrew W.K., set in June 2013 at an Oakley’s New York Times Square flagship retail store who broke and set the previous record with 24 hours of non-stop drumming.

Children, tourists, artists and residents are invited to get involved and bring their own instruments to participate and show solidarity for the music program’s initiative. "Breaking the record is something I wanted to do to bring the community together," Katz said. "These kids [at the Boys & Girls Club] have so much energy and they're drooling for the music, but they're not getting that type of music in school."

"I applaud his goal," said Joanne Scott, executive director at the Boys & Girls Club of Salem. "It's definitely one of the most unique ways that anyone has tried to raise money for the club. I like that he's incorporating a musical challenge in raising money for a musical program."

The fundraising goal for the event is $5,000 and will rely on donations from the community, local businesses and corporate sponsors. People are encouraged to share their music magic stories and media on the campaign’s user-generated tumblr page: . Contributions can be made by visiting For sponsorship opportunities, please email Joanne Scott at

Posted by Kate on 09/24 at 07:26 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Gimme Shelter Birdhouse Auction

Gimme Shelter Birdhouse Auction Poster

A silent auction of birdhouses made by local artists and the community at large will take place in a fun-filled public event on Artists' Row in Salem Massachusetts on Sunday, September 29, 2013 from 1:00 - 3:00.  Live music and food from local restaurants will be provided.

Birdhouses will be on display throughout the each artists' spaces on Artists' Row.  Live music by local favorites, BlackDogBrother.  The public will be invited to help make a popsicle stick birdhouse which will be hung on display on Artists' Row throughout the 2013 season.

The Northeast Animal Shelter, established in 1976, is one of New England's largest nonprofit shelters that does not destroy any of the pets entrusted to its care.  Receiving no local, state or federal funding The Northeast Animal Shelter is entirely dependent on contributions to cover its annual operating budget.  Formerly hosted by Roost Salem, the Gimme Shelter Birdhouse Auction benefiting the shelter has changed hands to Salem Collective of Artists and Musicians and the groups on Artists' Row, around the corner from Roost between Front and New Derby Streets. 

Salem Collective of Artists and Musicians is a non-profit artists' organization producing and selling art in the heart of Salem on Artists' Row.  Other participating art groups include Serendipitish and Social Palates also of Artists' Row.

For more information, visit

Posted by Kate on 09/22 at 08:42 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Take advantage of Trails and Sails this weekend, and next

Trails and Sails

Explore Essex County's cultural, historic and natural sites during two weekends of 150+ FREE events during Trails & Sails: Two Weekends of Walks and Water, September 20-22 & September 27-29, 2013! Enjoy a variety of guided tours, open house visits, hikes, walks, paddles, and other special experiences for all ages, skill levels and interests. All events are located within the 34 cities and towns of Essex County including the communities of Salem, Gloucester, Newburyport, Andover, Saugus and many more.

Below is a list of events planned in Salem. Please visit for complete information, maps, and a customizable itinerary (not to mention the scores of events being hosted in the 33 other communities in Essex County!).

1812 Privateer FAME: Go Sail!
Hosted by Schooner Fame
Cruise the historic waters of Salem Sound aboard a full-scale replica of the 1812 privateer schooner FAME! Aboard the FAME, passengers learn about the fishermen, pirates, privateers, traders and men of war who shaped our North Shore. They learn about the fishing trade that prompted Cape Ann's first European settlements; the brave little schooners of George Washington's fleet; the East India trade that made Salem rich; and, of course, the privateers of the Revolution and the War of 1812.  Event capacity: 32.  Special Instructions: Limited Availability! No reservations. Booth opens at 10:30AM. First come, first served - one ticket per person. 80 Wharf Street, Pickering Wharf Marina.
Sun 09-29 11:00am-12:45pm

A Season in the Gables Garden
Hosted by The House of the Seven Gables
Learn about the challenges, successes and failures of maintaining an historic garden. How are we adapting to a new climate? How are we finding sources for older varieties of plant material? How are we dealing with new plant diseases? These are just a few of the issues we will discuss in this presentation that follows our garden through an entire growing season.  Event capacity: 100.  Special Instructions: Reservations Required: To reserve, please email 115 Derby Street
Sat 09-21 2:00pm-3:30pm

Guided Tour: Faberge Revealed Exhibit
Hosted by Peabody Essex Museum
Guided tour of the Peabody Essex Museum's exhibit, "Faberge Revealed." The name Faberge is synonymous with refined craftsmanship, jeweled luxury and the Russian imperial family. Over 230 singular treasures created by the House of Faberge in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are featured, including enameled clocks, gold cigarette cases, hardstone carvings, ruby encrusted brooches and four signature imperial eggs made for Nicholas II and the Romanov family. This exhibition explores ideas of luxury, innovation, entrepreneurship and imperial patronage while providing insight into Peter Carl Faberge's life, business and legacy.   Event capacity: 30. 161 Essex Street.
Fri 09-20 3:30pm-4:30pm

Marine Lab Exploration
Hosted by Cat Cove Marine Laboratory, Salem State University
The Cat Cove Marine Laboratory is operated by Salem State University to promote the sustainable use of aquatic resources on the North Shore and elsewhere. Instruction, outreach and research activities are pursued by Laboratory staff. Fish, clams and other "critters" are spawned and reared as part of instructional, restoration and enhancement efforts that have involved over 3-dozen MA towns. Participants will observe aquatic life and will learn how these organisms are used to understand and manage aquatic resources.   Event capacity: 20.  Special Instructions: Good family event. 92 Fort Street
Fri 09-20 3:30pm-5:00pm

Salem and the Abolitionist Movement
Hosted by Historic Salem, Inc.
Event Updated! Most current information is shown here. A walking tour examining the history and impact of local and national abolitionists in Salem.   Event capacity: 60.  Special Instructions: This 90 minute tour will be on city sidewalks with indoor stops at the Atheneaum and Hamilton Hall. The tour will end on Church Street. 9 North Street, Nathaniel Bowditch House
Sun 09-29 1:00pm-3:00pm

Salem Witch Trials of 1692 Walking Tour
Hosted by Salem Award Foundation
Enjoy a guided walking tour highlighting several key sites relevant to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, including: Salem Prison (Gaol), Bridget Bishop's property, Court House, Reverend Noyes House, Judge Johnathan Hathorne Home and the Meeting House. Volunteers at each site will provide information and insight about each of these 17th-century landmarks. The tour will start at the Witch Trials Memorial at 10:00 a.m., where you will learn about the Memorial's message and continued efforts of the Salem Award Foundation to preserve the lessons of the 1692 tragedy, which remain very relevant today. Map of walk available online:  Event capacity: 50.  Special Instructions: Guided tour starts at 10am at the Witch Trials Memorial. Please allow 45 minutes for walking. Charter Street
Sat 09-21 10:00am-11:00am

Salt Marsh in the City
Hosted by Salem Sound Coastwatch
Join Salem Sound Coastwatch for a "walk and talk" at Old Creek Marsh, a beautiful and productive salt marsh located at the edge of Salem State University's Central Campus. As we walk around the marsh, we'll talk about the plants, fish, birds, insects and more that live in this marsh, which is part of the Forest River Estuary. We'll explore the role of the salt marsh in our marine ecosystem and the history of this marsh, which has been restored from an industrial dumping ground. Meet behind the Marsh Hall dormitory in the Central Campus (near the Enterprise Center.  Special Instructions: Light walking for approximately 1/2 mile on a paved and hardpacked walking path. Those interested in going onto the marsh should wear closed toed shoes that can get wet or muddy. 121 Loring Ave - SSU Central Campus.
Sat 09-28 9:30am-10:30am

Spiritual Middens
Hosted by Witch House
Enjoy Spiritual Middens: The Archaeology of Folklore - an exhibit and artifacts on display at the Witch House featuring deliberately concealed items designed to protect a home's vulnerable places, the threshold and the hearth.   Event capacity: 40.  Special Instructions: Please note that entrance to the exhibit is free to Trails & Sails event attendees from 1-3pm only. 310 Essex Street
Fri 09-20 1:00pm-3:00pm  Open Door Event.
Sat 09-21 1:00pm-3:00pm  Open Door Event.
Sun 09-22 1:00pm-3:00pm  Open Door Event.
Fri 09-27 1:00pm-3:00pm  Open Door Event.
Sat 09-28 1:00pm-3:00pm  Open Door Event.
Sun 09-29 1:00pm-3:00pm  Open Door Event.

The Lady of Salem: Maritime Art
Hosted by Salem Beautification Committee
Learn about Salem's maritime history and view "Lady of Salem" public art through a guided walking tours of the "Ladies." This festive Beautification Committee public art project features over 15 artistically decorated ship figureheads adorning downtown Salem. Tours will focus on Salem's maritime history, the public art project, and Salem's community involvement in public art. Maps for self-guided tours and Lady of Salem photo opportunities will be available. The project is supported by a Salem Cultural Council grant. Visit our website and 'like' LadyofSalem on facebook.  Special Instructions: Rain Date: Sunday 9/22. Salem Maritime NHS, 160 Derby Street
Sat 09-21 11:00am-4:00pm  Tours start at 11am, 1pm and 3pm on Derby Wharf

Winter Island
Hosted by Friends of Winter Island
Spend a morning on Winter Island exploring the history, coast line, and the park itself. The Friends of Winter Island have a walking tour of Ft. Pickering and a slide presentation of the Winter Island's history. Nelson Dionne, our own historian, will be speaking together with Dr. Dane Morrison, Professor of Early American History at Salem State University and President of the New England Historical Association.  Special Instructions: Very casual walk. 50 Winter Island Road
Sat 09-21 10:00am-11:00am  11:00am-12:00pm

Posted by Kate on 09/20 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Got Empathy?

Got Empathy image

On September 26 at 7:00 PM, The Salem Award Foundation will present a panel discussion called, Got Empathy? Empathy in the World of 1692 and Now at The House of the Seven Gables.
Panelists will include:  

  • Irene Axelrod, PEM archivist  
  • Professor Emerson "Tad" Baker, Salem State University     
  • Lorri Davis
  • Damien Echols   
  • Reverend Jeff Barz-Snell  

And the discussion will be moderated by Christine Sullivan, CEO of the Enterprise Center
This special evening of shared experiences and new perspectives offers us all a chance to discover what lessons we have learned from the Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692. Q & A session to follow.
Suggested donation $10. Free to students.
For more information visit:  

Posted by Kate on 09/19 at 08:58 AM Comments (0) Permalink

80 Days: A Steampunk Celebration

80 Days: A Steampunk Celebration

On Thursday, September 26, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) is open late for its monthly evening party, PEM/PM. This month’s event celebrates time travel and globetrotting through PEM’s extensive collection of art from around the world. Join us for an evening of steampunk, a genre of science fiction that offers a Victorian take of what the future might look like, inspired by authors such as H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. The evening includes cocktails and conversation, art making, games, a chef tasting and demonstration by Brown Butter Bakery in Cambridge and a performance by Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band.  

Emperor Norton‘s Stationary Marching Band combines the rich musical history of the circus with the raw energy of avant-garde jazz, burning heat of funk and irreverent fun of today's vaudeville. The Boston Globe describes the band’s distinctive sound as an “avant-garde dissonance that effectively sets the tone of the show and keeps it rocking."

Wear your favorite steampunk fashion and come, as our featured band requests, “to dance at the edge of reason, sing the song of society's fringe and drum out whatever rhythm you are called to march to.” Then take a Victorian-themed global quest via our galleries to seek answers to art-related trivia questions.

PEM/PM Evening Party
Members and Salem residents (with ID) free, nonmembers $10
Thursday, September 26, 2013 from 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Pay at the door
Location: Atrium

Posted by Kate on 09/18 at 08:30 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Four Salem Museums join Smithsonian’s Museum Day Live!

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live

The Gedney House, the House of the Seven Gables, the Phillips House, and the Salem Witch Museum are each participating in the Ninth Annual Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live!  Each museum will offer free admission on Saturday, September 28 to all participants who have a Museum Day Live! ticket

If you visit the House of the Seven Gables, you will encounter architectural, maritime and literary history during a guided tour of the 350-year-old mansion, which is hailed as An American Masterpiece and a National Historic Landmark. 

The Salem Witch Museum takes a dramatic look at the witch trials of 1692. Their presentations tell the story of accusers, accused, court proceedings and execution of innocent victims. Witches: Evolving Perceptions examines the changing interpretation of the word “witch”.

Salem shipwright Eleazer Gedney built the earliest portion of the Gedney House in 1665. Originally, the house was an asymmetrical composition consisting of two rooms on the first floor, a single chamber above, and an attic with a front-facing gable. Significant renovations to the structure in 1712 and 1800 resulted in dramatic changes to the house's appearance. Gedney House was a single-family home until the Gedney family sold it in 1773 to Benjamin Cox, who used it for the next twenty-five years as an investment property. Around 1800, Cox added two townhouse-style ells to the west elevation of the house, converting it into a multi-family dwelling. During the years that followed, it served as a boarding house and tenement in what was then Salem’s Italian-American neighborhood. In 1967, Historic New England acquired the house as it was being prepared for demolition.

Phillips House is the only home on historic Chestnut Street open to the public, and it provides a glimpse into the private world of the Phillips family during the early decades of the twentieth century. The kitchen, pantry, and a domestic staff bedroom, present a rarely seen picture of how the great houses functioned as new technologies were being introduced

Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day Live represents Smithsonian's commitment to make learning and the spread of knowledge accessible to everyone, giving museums across all 50 states the opportunity to emulate the admission policy of the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. Last year's event drew over 400,000 participants, and this year's event expects record-high participation. 

The Museum Day Live! ticket is available at Visitors who present the Museum Day Live! ticket will gain free entrance for two at participating venues for one day only. One ticket is permitted per household, per email address. For more information about Museum Day Live! 2013 and a list of participating museums and cultural institutions, please visit

Posted by Kate on 09/17 at 08:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Happy Anniversary to rouge Cosmetics!

rouge cosmetics exterior

rouge Cosmetics is celebrating their sixth anniversary by giving gifts to you!

Receive a gift with Purchase from:  

  • Stila - With $75 Stila Purchase
  • Bumble and bumble - With the Purchase of 2 Full-Size Bb Products
  • Darphin - With the Purchase of 2 Full-Size Skincare Products
  • Peter Thomas Roth - With $75 PTR Purchase
  • Mario Badescu - With $50 Mario Purchase
  • bareMinerals - With $50 bareMinerals Purchase
  • Deborah Lippmann - With the Purchase of 2 Lippmann Nail Lacquers

And, check out these anniversary events throughout September:

  • Saturday September 21st - Caudalie Facials
  • Saturday September 21st - Paula Dorf Makeup Lessons
  • Saturday September 28th - Mario Badescu Facials


Special events do fill up, so be sure to make a reservation by calling rouge at 978-740-1044.

While you are celebrating at Rouge, make sure to ask about their loyalty program.

Happy Anniversary, rouge! 

Posted by Kate on 09/16 at 08:58 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Public Lecture Series to Focus on Climate Change in New England

Climate Change Lecture Series

Climate scientists, local residents and national park rangers will come together to discuss the impacts of climate change on New England communities  as part of a free, public lecture series to begin on the evening of September 17th.  Salem Sound Coastwatch and the National Park Service will host five separate lectures on climate change each Tuesday evening at the NPS Regional Visitor Center (2 New Liberty St) from 7:30pm – 9pm,  September 17th – October 15th.

Representatives from Salem Sound Coastwatch, the University of New Hampshire, the U.S. Offshore Wind Collaborative,  the New England Aquarium and the National Park Service will each offer engaging presentations on the current science and observed consequences of climate change on urban communities, protected areas and regional ecosystems in New England.  Each lecture will include a public question & answer session and a discussion of strategies to address the challenge of climate change.

“Responding to climate change is one of the greatest challenge facing the National Park Service today,” said Superintendent Michael Quijano-West.  “Our national parks contain the most treasured landscapes and important historical sites in this country – places that are particularly vulnerable to climate change.  We believe that raising awareness of climate change and educating the public about the impact of these changes on our national parks - and our own backyards – is a vital part of beginning to address this global problem. ”

Dr. Cameron Wake, Research Associate Professor at the University of New Hampshire, will kick off the lecture series on September 17th with his lecture, “Climate Change in Coastal New England:  Past, Present, and Future.”  Dr. Wake also serves as director of the Carbon Solutions New England and helps lead the New Hampshire Energy and Climate Collaborative.

All lectures are free and open to the public.  Click here for more information on the lecture series, including a detailed description of each presentation.

Posted by Kate on 09/15 at 08:05 AM Comments (0) Permalink

A delicious bridal celebration

Salem Food Tours presented a Sasparilla soda toast at the Phillips House.

Salem Food Tours recently shared a special tour they did, and we can't resist passing it on because it's just delicious!  A private Food Tour was booked as a "Bachelorette Celebration" for a bride who is getting married at the Salem Waterfront Hotel.   It was an elegant bachelorette celebration that began at the historic Phillips House Museum on Chestnut Street and wound its way through Salem and the five senses.

Karen Scalia, your host at Salem Food Tours, prepared a special tour that was all about weddings, the history of weddings, and romance in Salem... and food, of course. Each stop and dish was selected especially for the wedding celebration, which demonstrates Karen's attention to detail with both her private and general tours. 

A private spice tasting for the bride to be and her guests at SalemSpice.

Visit to learn more about the tours, and visit Facebook to see the complete gallery of images from this unique tour-celebration. 

Posted by Kate on 09/13 at 08:47 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Oktoberfest is coming!

2013 Oktoberfest Poster

Get out your Lederhosen! Salem's annual Oktoberfest returns to Old Town Hall on September 14.  The German-themed event will feature beer from local breweries as well as traditional fare from Salem businesses including Polonus Deli, the Flying Saucer Pizza Company, Longboards and the Lobster Shanty. A continuous line-up of entertainment includes local acts, The Nick Consone Band, Qwill, and Freevolt.

This year's festivities will be hosted by Olga the Angry Beer Wench (played by The Griffin Theatre's own Erik Rodenhiser), a Bratwurst eating contest, the Apple Challenge, Kazookioki, and the German costume contest with prizes in each category. 

Tickets cost $20 per person and include admission, German hats and kazoos, a souvenir mug. All proceeds will benefit the Salem YMCA. Last year’s event raised over $5,000 to support the Y for All Campaign.

Beer from Blue Hills Brewing, Narragansett, Cody Brewing and Notch will be available for $2 and $3 as well as German wine. A variety of German faire will be available for purchase. Tickets can be purchased at Pamplemousse, Salem Cycle, The YMCA - all located in downtown Salem, and at the door. This event sold out the past two years, so get your tickets early!

This is a 21+ Event.

Oktoberfest is presented by Pamplemousse and Social Palates.

Posted by Kate on 09/12 at 08:47 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Kinross Cashmere Trunk Show this weekend

Kinross Cashmere

J.Mode is having a Kinross Cashmere Trunk Show this weekend - Thursday, September 12 through Sunday, September 15th.  Shop the entire collection (not to mention the other fabulous fashions in J.Mode) throughout the weekend. 

Thursday night will be "Ladies Night" until 8:30 PM, with cookies, cashmere, wine and cheese, and a raffle for a Cashmere scarf. 

J.Mode is located at 17 Front Street. Call (978) 744-7007 for more information.

Posted by Kate on 09/11 at 08:32 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Rum & Revolution aboard the Schooner FAME

Join the crew of the Schooner FAME for a unique look at the connections between Rum and Revolution this fall. 

Rum & Revolution Cruises aboard the Schooner FAME

Rum and sailors have always gotten along like wind and water! Molasses imported from the West Indies was being distilled into rum in New England from the earliest colonial times, and rum was the basis for many of the libations imbibed by the Sons of Liberty as they plotted to push Massachusetts into open rebellion against the Crown.

On this cruise, you will:

  • Set sail on a traditional gaff-rigged wooden schooner
  • See lighthouses, forts, and beautiful waterfront homes
  • Enjoy live performances of 18th-century songs
  • Learn to dance a hornpipe
  • Have the opportunity to purchase revolutionary beverages based on rum and wine

Revolutionary beverages will be available for $5 to those of age. Soda and water will also be available for $2.
During the Revolution and the War of 1812, hundreds of privateers sailed from New England ports to strike a blow for liberty. Come see what all the fuss was about! Sing the songs, drink the drinks, and sail the schooners that helped earn us our independence from Great Britain!

Rum & Revolution Cruises will sail on September 14, October 5, and October 19.  Reserve your tickets now!

Posted by Kate on 09/10 at 08:23 AM Comments (0) Permalink