Saturday, January 30, 2010

I was half-dreaming this morning and I thought of sushi.

That was the epiphany. A sushi place can do well in DTL. I know there are some options on Route 1 and in neighboring towns. Gourmet Garden isn't bad at all, but it's large, and it is many things. It's almost an Asian food theme park.

An intimate place without the lights on torch mode is what I'm thinking of. A little atmosphere can go a long way and it's cheap and easy to install dimmers. I'm thinking about Sugar Cane in Peabody. It's nice in there.

Readers who know me are probably wondering why a guy who doesn't eat fish wants this in the first place. First of all, I'm not just thinking of myself. Plus, I like cucumber rolls, avocado rolls, sweet potato rolls, etc. I also like miso soup (vegan style, without bonito), carrot ginger dressing on my salad, edamame, and I can bring my own wheat-free soy sauce if this imagined new place won't provide it.

It's just an idea. I wouldn't know how to begin luring a sushi restaurant.

Artist: The Lemonheads
Song: It's a Shame About Ray

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lynn Restaurant Assoc. Earthquake Relief Drive

  Sponsored by: The Lynn Restaurant Association
The members of the Lynn Restaurant Association (LRA) have developed a local disaster relief plan to assist the survivors of the Haiti earthquake.
The goods and items we are looking for are the following: can goods; dry food goods; water; medical supplies; and, clothing!
Drop-off Sites:
The Blue Note Bar Lounge
111 Sagamore St., Lynn The Brickyard Bar-grill
163 Blossom St., Lynn  Brava Night Club
130 Union St., Lynn
El Molino Restaurant
937 Western Ave, Lynn Kevin’s Cultural Corner
138 Central Ave, Lynn   Kuki’s Hair Salon
160 Chestnut St., Lynn
The Lazy Dog
328 Broadway St., Lynn  Molly’s Irish Pub
173 Lewis St., Lynn O’Brien’s Pub
829 Boston St., Lynn
Porthole Pub
??? Lynnway, Lynn Raffis Place
408 Summer St., Lynn Sorianos Restaurant
48 Market St., Lynn
714 Washington St., Lynn Frank Place
 776 Washington st , Lynn D`Leomar Restaurant
 230 Union st , Lynn
 Once again, on behalf of the Lynn Restaurant Association and Friends… We thank you for your support!!
Rafael Subero, Rocco DiFillipo,  Mario Corcino, Sergio Concepcion, George Concepcion, Thomas Dill, Patricia Reid, John O’Brien, Robert Gaudet,  Rafael Guzman , Chris Brown, Francisco Soriano, Gary Goorhlal, John Collins,Luis Sanchez *lucho*
 Cristian Amparo , Dennis Liberge, Damon Harrison, Eugene Schneeberg,
 Cef Rosa, William Joseph, Marie Prophet, David Gass

Monday, January 11, 2010

I hope some of you can go to this tomorrow!

Internationally renowned photographer Peter Vanderwarker is scheduled to present at RAW Space in Central Square on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010.

More details on LH

I can't make it because I'm covering City Council tomorrow. I really hope RAW is successful with this series. We can help ensure it.

Artist: Band of Horses
Song: The Great Salt Lake

Friday, January 8, 2010


"Blog" is a made up word, from combining "Web" and "Log." So I don't feel like I'm doing great damage to the English language by combining it with a third word.

And what's happening with blogs in Lynn is remarkable. There several very active bloggers, (I consider myself semi-active) all linked to each other, all experiencing a spike in readership.

Not long before I moved here, there was this. You can see that it hasn't been updated since 2007, but it was still slightly active when I arrived.

I started a blog as a Lynn newbie, mostly because I felt that Lynn had a weak online presence, but also because I wanted a better soapbox to stand on than what the Item provides for article comments. Here is my original blog, with the last post announcing the creation of the one you're reading now. I update in fits and starts, but more frequently when viewers take the time to comment.

Look at some of the blogs linked here on the left, and in the Lynn Blogs updates on (my other project), and you'll see a wonderful spike in activity. It seems we are reaching a critical mass required to boost the level and quality of discussion on local issues. It's something Lynn should be proud of.

Do you have something to say? Do you feel restricted by the limited space and moderation on local newspaper sites? It's easy to start your own blog using Blogger or Wordpress. It can be done with no special knowledge or "coding" skills, and it costs absolutely nothing unless you pay for a custom domain/host.

Please let me know if there's a Lynn Blog left out! I want to add all that I can to the links here.

Artist: The Field Mice
Song: That's All This Is

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Let's Beat 'em With Breakfast

I grew up with diners. I've been going to them since as a baby, a waitress would hold me so my parents would have a chance to eat. But my near-obsession with diners didn't take hold until I moved away from the New York City metro area and came to New England.

And this post should come as no surprise to those who know me, even just a little.

Diners are a New England export, but they have decreased in numbers and reduced their hours here, while New York and New Jersey took them to the next level. Even the idea of running one around the clock for shift workers and other late night hangers-on came from New England. And now my quiet hometown in New Jersey has several twenty-four hour diners with expansive menus and not a single issue or complaint from neighbors - and they have New England to thank for it! They're a vital part of the fabric of the community there, just as they once were up here. (And they are also safe places for young people to go at any hour with little money and still get something to eat).

The first proper diner was said to be in Providence, and its descendant, The Haven Bros. wagon, can still be found parked on the street there all night. But the industry really exploded in places like Worcester and later, New Jersey. I'll spare you a detailed history, but I would like to make sure we all understand what a diner is and where they came from. This is the brief and informative Wiki.

Now that we're on the same page, let me tell you about breakfast today. We had it at two o'clock in the afternoon, but it wasn't brunch. Brunch is fancy. Brunch is served in cafes, bistros and restaurants that normally do not have breakfast on a weekday. Sometimes brunch is advertised to have live jazz that turns out to be lukewarm covers of dreadful adult contemporary hits (ahem - Red Rock). But we had a proper breakfast. There was only one problem, however. We had to have it in Salem.

As a fan of going out for breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays, I've roamed around Lynn and sampled almost all of them. We're lucky to have so many weekend morning breakfast options and I can honestly say I like most of these places. I just have an issue with most of them closing at one in the afternoon.

Sure. It's easy to tell me to just get my lazy ass up earlier. Often, I do. I'm also not a business owner. I'm just a hungry and opinionated patron. But hear me out on this one.

The Salem Diner was only open until 2pm, and we barely squeezed in. It was full of young people, eating breakfast at a time when it's proper for young people to do so. As we were ordering, more large groups of young people were turned away. Eureka! Let's keep breakfast going longer in Lynn! These kids were arriving by car anyway, and if I know teens and twenty-somethings, they'll take no issue with driving a mile or two longer to get breakfast.

Teens are loyal customers and carriers of enormous appetites. I think we're literally turning away from good honest cash by closing down at one in the afternoon Saturdays and Sundays. Advertising would almost take care of itself, as word would spread quickly through texts, Facebook, etc.

Lynn establishments should also pay attention to twenty-thirty-something childless adults, who are also big fans of a late weekend breakfast. That's the group likely to revitalize this city and we may as well start to cater to them with something wholesome. In other neighborhoods with this demographic, such as the diverse Jamaica Plain in Boston, or Somerville, there are many options at least until three in the afternoon (and with better music.)

Plus, I finally have an excuse to ask, why should Salem be the only place to benefit from Salem State, anyway? We're just down the road a bit! College students want, and need breakfast anytime, and they do not want it from an awful and rude Route 1 iHOP or the dirty one on Highland Avenue. Those chains are truly places of last resort or for those who haven't discovered alternatives. We all know Lynn's breakfast places are better than the chains. They're just not open as often, or as late.

But I have to admit, the Salem Diner was friendly and the food was good. Furthermore, they had gluten free bread!! As one of the unfortunate gluten-intolerant, it was a very pleasant surprise. It's also another example of how we're letting other places beat us. We can't afford to lag behind here any longer, so let's beat 'em with breakfast. Okay?

Artist: Tom Waits
Song: Eggs and Sausage