r Letter From Eastie: June 2005
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Collaged view of Boston, from East Boston

Letter From Eastie

News and other items from East Boston, Massachusetts.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

"Average" Eastie Boy Makes Good. . .

It seems that Boston reality TV fans have a new star to follow. Forget Boston Rob--who needs him? We've got Eastie Brian. The Boston Herald reports that Brian Worth, an Eastie native, is now famous for being the runner-up for Average Joe: Hawaii. He returns to the screen in Average Joe 4: The Joe's Strike Back. I say good for Brian. Milk it for al it's worth. However, not being a big fan of reality TV a couple of things struck me when I read this article.

1) We are already on Average Joe 4?? There have actually been 3 previous seasons of this show? Where the hell was I?

2) At first I thought he was runner-up Average guy, so I wondered is that a good thing or a bad thing? Does it mean you're not average enough or too average? Then after reading further in the article, I realized that he lost out to a "pretty boy." So that means Brian was the Numero Uno average guy, so snaps for Brian.

3) People in Sweden are watching this show? This is the representation of our culture to the people of Sweden? Gud förbjude (That's "God forbid" in Swedish.)

Monday, June 27, 2005

Art for Art's Sake.

Gloria Carrigg of the East Boston Artists' Group emailed me about another exhibit, although this time not in Eastie. (Hence my clever title as opposed to "Art for Eastie's Sake." Ok, it's not that clever. Whatever.) Please check it out if you have time and support Boston's wonderful community of artists. Here is the info from the flyer:
Contact: Sabrina Avilés (617) 640-8919

or sabaviles@yahoo.com

Theresa India Young (617) 421-0095

Gallery at the Piano Factory presents

Photographs and etchings by Mariliana Arvelo
Exhibit dates: July 7 – 30, 2005

Organized by Mariliana Arvelo and Sabrina Avilés

Opening Reception: Thursday, July 7, 20056 to 8:30 PM

Gallery at the Piano Factory
791 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02118

Boston, MA – The Gallery at the Piano Factory announces the first solo exhibit of Venezuelan photographer, Mariliana Arvelo. Opening reception takes place on Thursday, July 7 from 6 PM to 8:30 PM at the Piano Factory, 791 Tremont Street, in the South End. Exhibit will run through July 30th. Gallery hours are Fridays, 5 PM to 8 PM, Saturdays and Sundays, 12 PM to 5 PM or by appointment. The exhibit has been made possible in part by a grant from the St. Botolph Club Foundation. For more information, call Sabrina Avilés at (617) 640-8919, or the gallery’s curator, Theresa India-Young at (617) 421-0095.

Mariliana Arvelo’s “Senses” project documents the experience of the deaf/blind community in Boston through a series of photographs and etchings that are intended to be touched. Arvelo explores the interdependence of our senses and the private, intimate and expressive qualities of communicating with sign language.

Mariliana Arvelo was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1979. She graduated in 2002 from the New England School of Photography, specializing in editorial and photojournalism. Her work has appeared in several international publications and was recently awarded juror’s and viewer’s choice awards at a group show at MIT. Arvelo’s work focuses on the beauty, character, and experience of those struggling to cope with adversity. Her work has been shown at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester Massachusetts, the ARC Gallery in Chicago, the Panopticon Gallery of Photography in Boston, and the Danforth Museum of Art, among others.

She was the July 2004 featured artist at Boston University’s Photographic Resource Center. “Senses” is Arvelo’s first solo exhibit.

As Leslie K. Brown, curator of Boston University’s Photgraphic Resource Center states: “Her work transcends traditional realms of commercial and documentary work, uniting social concern with aesthetic mastery. Her beautiful composed, thoughtful images convey meaning though placement, color, and mood.”

About the Gallery at the Piano Factory

The Piano Factory, originally the Jonas Chickering Pianoforte (1853) was the first factory to combine all aspects of the manufacturing of pianos under one roof. Converted to affordable housing for artists in 1974, it is home to the Color Circle Art Publishing Company founded by nationally known artist Paul Goodnight and dedicated to making widely available the imagery of African Diaspora visual art. Some of the many artists who live and work in the Piano Factory include Erich Allen, Howard Armstrong, Barbara Ward Armstrong, Nora Mae Carmichael, and
Milton Derr. For more information, please contact the gallery’s curator, Theresa India-Young at (617) 421-0095.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Note to Congress--The following words should be banned from American political discourse:

Secular Humanist
Founding fathers

Monday, June 20, 2005

Upcoming East Boston Artists' Group Events.

Gloria Carrigg, one of the coordinators of the East Boston Open Studios was nice enough to email me some flyers for upcoming events. If you can, please come out and support these wonderful artists. To quote Gloria in her email, "We want everyone in the community and the surrounded towns to come, enjoy and participate in our events." For more information about the East Boston Artists' Group in general, please visit their web site at
www.eastbostonartistsgroup.org. (I apologize for the formatting weirdness, it's a result of cutting and pasting stuff directly from Word.)

First on June 24th, they will hold the closing ceremonies for the Boston 375 People's Choice awards. I'll just quote from the flyer:
Even if you missed the 5th Annual East Boston Open Studios, there is still time to see this year’s special exhibit to commemorate Boston’s 375th anniversary.

Our exhibiting artists were asked to submit Boston inspired art pieces, and during Open Studios, visitors chose their favorite and elected a
People’s Choice Winner.

Come see if your favorite “People’s Choice” artwork was chosen.

Our Closing Reception will be held

Friday, June 24th 2005

80 Border Street, 2nd Floor
From 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

For directions visit: www.eastbostonartistsgroup.org or call 617-569-4888.

Second, on June 28th they will hold the
4th Tuesday Pot Luck Poetry and Art night. Again, I quote from the flyer:
4th Tuesday Pot Luck Poetry and Art

at 80 Border Street

Tuesday, June 28 – 6:30 pm to whenever

Hosted by Joda and Ejay Khan

Open Mike sign up starts 6:30 pm

Come One, Come All to a Feast for the Body, Mind and Soul

Hear established and up and coming poets, storytellers and musicians

Spit your words or the words of someone you feel

or take the mike to share your special talent

Share some potluck and good vibes (we provide beverages –

bring along a snack or favorite dish to share)

Featured Artist for June is Francisco Garcia – His Exhibit of Exquisite Nudes and Apple Oil Paintings is entitled:

Apples and Eve

Francisco was born in Marinilla, Antioquia, Colombia in 1959. He finished his painting studies at the Institute de Bellas de Medellin, and his sculpture studies at the Antioquia University. Francisco has had numerous national and international exhibitions including San Lucas Gallery in Bogota, the El Castillo Museum in Medellin, Museum of Modern Art in Bogota, Bellas Artes Institute in Medellin, Tufts University, New England Medical Center and Logan Airport in Boston, San Lorenzo Gallery in Italy, to name a few.

3rd Floor, 80 Border Street, East Boston, MA

Free Parking Available and located within walking distance of Blue Line Maverick T Station

Call Khan Studio 617-567-7693 for directions or more info,

Email khanstudio@comcast.net, or visit www.khanstudiointernational.com

Monday, June 13, 2005

Hmmmm. I thought immigrants refused to learn English. . .

From the Boston Globe:
. . .The city of Boston is scrambling to deliver [English classes]. These classes are a common good. Learning English unlocks doors, enabling immigrants to find jobs, join community volunteer efforts, and help their children thrive in school. And there are simpler pleasures to indulge in, like reading and watching movies. Employers can draw on a larger pool of employees, and the city gets dynamic and productive new residents.

But in 2001 there were an estimated 2,400 names on a waiting list for English as a Second Language classes in Boston. So Mayor Menino and his Office of New Bostonians responded with a four-year program to create more classroom spots, expand small programs, and create a directory of classes. For the last four years, the city's efforts have helped an annual average of 30 percent more people than were served by state-funded classes, according to the Rev. Cheng Imm Tan, director of the Office of New Bostonians.

Now the city is launching phase two, a promising three-year effort to increase private support, add more technology, and run experimental pilot programs.
The most common reason people drop out of English classes is a change in work schedules, according to Tan. So the city is setting up a distance learning pilot program, in which students will meet face-to-face with teachers twice a month and do other work using the Internet. Immigrants increasingly have Internet access, Tan says, because they use it to stay in touch with their native countries.

The city is also organizing a pilot program to teach English in the workplace, starting in Boston's Marine Industrial Park, where a survey found 125 potential students. This experiment would be supported by several small businesses.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Two ships in two days.

The U.S.S. Constitution ("Old Ironsides") turning around
in Boston Harbor on Saturday morning.



Police helicopter patrolling Boston Harbor to protect the Old Ironsides

There were all kind of boats out on the water, but the most
striking was this tall ship with the red sails.

Children performing a traditional Columbian dance
during the Seaport Festival at Piers Park on Saturday.


An LNG tanker heading up the Mystic River on Sunday.


The small boats surrounding the tanker are police boats.
There was also a police helicopter patrolling the area. I'm
not sure, but it also looked like they closed the Tobin Bridge
while the ship was passing under it. I wonder how much
it costs the state every time one of these things comes in.

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Friday, June 10, 2005

As long as we're on the subject of beaches. . .

Revere Beach ca. 1925

the Phoenix also had a nice write-up of Revere Beach.
. . .While Revere Beach may be seedier than it once was, it remains a local treasure — and its charms are especially winsome given the current state of Boston. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re well on our way to becoming another Manhattan. Gentrification is running amok: thanks to its inexorable march, we’re swapping gritty idiosyncrasy for a soulless diet of luxury condos, day spas, and yuppified bistros. Somerville, too, is in great danger; if the Green Line extends to Union Square, get ready for Davis Square redux. As for Cambridge, once Harvard Square lost both the Tasty and the Bow and Arrow, the battle was as good as over.

Which brings us back to Revere Beach — which, it should be noted, is the oldest public beach in America. If the boutique-ification of Boston has you craving the chaotic weirdness that should define urban life, get on the Blue Line, exit at Revere Beach or Wonderland, and follow the scent of salt water. . .

It's like deja vu all over again.

Hey, this is an original concept for an article. Oh, but wait. . .it's actually not.

The Boston Phoenix on Constitution Beach. (I don't know when this beach was named Constitution Beach, but it is more commonly known to the locals as "Shades Beach" or "Orient Heights Beach."):
Constitution Beach (Orient Heights, East Boston, 617-626-1250). Like Revere Beach, East Boston’s Constitution Beach is on the Blue Line, though it’s not nearly as well known to city dwellers. That’s too bad, considering that it boasts groomed sand, a newer bathhouse, and a convenient pedestrian overpass across the MBTA tracks.
The beach’s close proximity to Logan Airport also means it’s louder than most swimming holes. But the upside is that it offers plenty of plane-watching as a diversion for sunbathers. If you seek sea breezes but aren’t in the mood for swimming or sunning, you’ll be happy to find a range of other options, including a picnic area, tennis and handball courts, and shade shelters.
There are lifeguards on the premises, as well as a concessions stand. Get here by taking the MBTA Blue Line to Orient Heights, or MBTA bus number 120. The free parking spaces fill up quickly on sunny summer days, so public transportation is recommended.

And ditto from the Boston Herald. (Except for the phone numbers. I don't know which one is right and frankly, I can't be bothered to find out. . .who needs a phone number for a beach??):
Constitution Beach. If the sound of planes taking off and landing doesn't bum you out, this East Boston beach is the one for you. Located across the bay from Logan International Airport, this pleasant half-mile stretch offers picnic areas and a renovated bathhouse. Route: Take the Blue Line to Orient Heights. Call 617-727-8865

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Open Studios Comments

I'm promoting a comment on my original Open Studios post from Sandra Castillo the Coordinator of the East Boston Open Studios:
Thanks so much for letting people know about East Boston Studios and thanks so much if you got a chance to attend. My biggest worry was that no one was going to attend and I really tried hard to get the word out...But to see our own neighbors promote Open Studio means a LOT to me and mean a lot to us Artist. If you missed Open Studios don't fret!! We will be having a closing recepetion for the People's Choice/ 375 annniversery Exhibit at the end of the month and if you get sign our mailing list you can get information about up comming shows. Which if you haven't heard are pretty amazing. If anyone attended let me know what you thought about it...but please be gentle...it was the first time I ever did anything like this.Thanks again!Sandra CastilloEast Boston Open Studio 2005 Coordinator
I went to the Open Studios on Saturday and it was really wonderful. To know that there are so many talented people working right in my backyard is such a pleasure. I felt very welcomed by all the artists whose studios I visited. There were so many pieces that I would have loved to buy. I did leave with two beautiful prints of works by Elizabeth Hathaway. Orange, the group exhibition, was a collection of works all on the theme of "orange." It was very cool to see all the different ways that "orange" could be interpreted. Orange will be up until July 30th, so definitely check it out if you have time. Next weekend is Eastie's Seaport Festival at Piers Park, so you can check out the exhibition and then head over to the park.

Monday, June 06, 2005

They better hurry up before all the grittiness is gone

Per the Herald:
The Departed'' director Martin Scorsese plans to film in seven Boston neighborhoods - South Boston, Beacon Hill, Chinatown, Dorchester, Charlestown, Eastie and the North End - during the film's six weeks of filming. As you are well aware by now, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg and Jack Nicholson are headed to the Hub for three weeks this month to shoot their set-in-Boston mob flick. They will return for three weeks in August. We are breathless with anticipation. . . .

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Saturday afternoon in Eastie.

Eagle Hill Community Garden


These flowers are absolutely gorgeous. I wish I knew what they were called.

Iglesia Jesus Sendas de Fe. (Which I think translates very roughly
as something like Jesus' Footprints Path of Faith Church. I'm sure my
Spanish-speaking friends will correct me if I'm wrong) I never see anyone go
in this door,but then again I'm never around this building on church days.

I love the ivy on this building.

You never know what you will find in a shop window.

Most Holy Redeemer Church. While all those other churches are closing, Holy Redeemer is running 6 masses per weekend. Three in English and three in Spanish.

I was kind of amazed to find the door wide open.
Anyone could go in and say a private prayer.

The sign announcing Open Studios at Atlantic Works.


A window in the gallery space at Atlantic Works.

This is part of an old fence outside of Atlantic Works.
I'm assuming it was the original fence around the factory.

I thought this graffiti was so cute. There are a whole group of
"Dig Safe" markings around this manhole cover, so I wonder
if it was the Dig Safe people that made the happy face.

Friday, June 03, 2005

What Would Che Do?

People-watching on the Blue Line this morning leads me to a philosophical quandary. Can one in fact be a subversive when one is wearing a T-shirt that says "Subversive" and carrying a Louis Vuitton messenger bag? Discuss.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Eastie Open Studios This Weekend.

Always wanted to see what's outside the airport? Maybe you've been dying to try that pizza at Santarpio's? Like art? Well now is your chance. The East Boston Artists Group will hold it's annual open studios June 4th and 5th from noon to 6:00 p.m. I went to this last year and it was so much fun. All of the artists were so nice, there was wine and cheese and other snacks for the visitors, and if you are looking to purchase some art this is a great opportunity to do that. I love the idea of having a studio. I want to have a studio. I'm not an artist, but maybe I could be if I had a studio and a community of artists to work with. Does crochet count?

For more information, check out the Eastie Artists Group web site here.

P.S. If you are going to Santarpio's, keep in mind that they do not take credit cards and they don't serve dessert, so head over to Cafe Italia for dessert. If you don't want pizza here are some other suggestions. (FYI: Angelo & Son's Seafood does not exist anymore, but Boston.com has not caught on yet.)

Update: Another reason to come to the open studios on Saturday. From today's Boston Globe:

Drill will simulate terror attack at Logan

The mayor's Office of Homeland Security and the Massachusetts Port Authority announced that they will conduct a simulated terrorist attack Saturday at Logan International Airport. Code-named Operation Atlas, the full-scale exercise will simulate a terrorist hijacking of an airliner en route from Paris to Chicago. The exercise will help officials assess the ability of first-responders to react to a high-level threat under US Department of Homeland Security guidelines.

Massport's description of the exercise here. I find it amusing that there is a "rain date" scheduled in case of severe weather conditions. This must be because the terrorists are deathly afraid of severe weather. They would never attack unless the weather was fair.
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