Cambridge and Somerville Local First - 2011 Coupon Book - Shift Your Shopping to Local First

Somerville Clothing & Coin Drive

Jun 20 1:50 pm


What if the outfit you’re wearing right now was the only clothing you had? And, what if you’d been wearing it for days, or even weeks?

  • You’d have no protection from the sun, rain or cold.
  • You couldn’t go to court to get a restraining order or to fight for custody of your kids.
  • You couldn’t carry yourself with pride to a GED class, a job interview, or even a free meal at the local church.

How would you do laundry? And, how could you possibly think about creating a better situation for yourself, if you had to spend most of your time worrying about how to meet your most basic needs?

Second Chances brings people from our community together to help other community members in need. By using local resources and working through local nonprofits, we can have the greatest benefit and most efficient impact.

I hope you’ll join Second Chances at the Somerville Community Growing Center on Wednesday, June 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. We’ll be having a Clothing and Coin Drive to support people in our community who need your help. Second Chances provides free clothing, shoes, accessories and gift cards to more than 400 people in our community each year.

By donating to Second Chances, you are investing in the future success of hundreds of people in our own community who are experiencing crises or temporary setbacks. You are also offering a second life for gently used clothing, shoes and accessories, conserving valuable natural resources instead of straining our already overflowing landfills.

Have you heard of Second Chances? We’ve been quietly working in Somerville since 2005. Since then we have provided great outfits for more than 1,900 homeless and low-income people in our community and recycled or reused more than 268,000 pounds of clothing, shoes, accessories and more. Second Chances is tiny – it’s just me and a handful of volunteers each year, with donated space and lots of donated time, materials and clothing.

In a little more than five years, Second Chances has built a reputation for efficiently and effectively providing clients with the clothing they need to take the next steps to a better future, but we are still small, and the need for our services has grown every year since we began. Here’s where our community can help!

You can help by donating:

* Clothing – at our conveniently located donation bins or one of our public clothing drives. Details »
* Funding – sponsor Second Chances or make a financial contribution to support our work. Help us online or send a check. Details »
* Time and skills – volunteer with us. Volunteer your time and skills at the clothing drive or any other time. We need help with marketing, events and much more. Details »
* Space – sponsor one of our clothing donation bins at your business, social organization or congregation. Details »


* Coordinate a clothing drive or fundraising event. Details »
* Got an idea? I want to hear it. Contact me »

On Wednesday, June 22nd from 5 to 7 p.m. you can help by donating clothing, shoes, accessories and coins - we certainly won’t turn away your checks or dollar bills either – at our Somerville Clothing and Coin Drive. I really hope to see you there.

- Andrea Shapiro
Founder/CEO and President
Second Chances
Clothing Donation Program
Somerville, Massachusetts
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Second Chances’ blog »
Facebook fan page »

Cheers to everything local! A Journey to the Boston Shaker

Mar 22 11:38 am

By Alison Preston (@themoxstopshere)

Glassware Display

Last month, I began an adventure. The challenge: use the 2011 SLF Coupon book and explore local business. As a new resident to the Boston area with the coupon book as my map, I am sure to discover fun stops around the city while supporting local business.


While turning the pages of my SLF book, I noticed a 20% coupon from The Boston Shaker. As a cocktail enthusiast, I’ll admit my skills lie with drinking more than creating. As my tastes for a Manhattan and an old fashioned have developed, so has my interest to create and understand the ingredients. From recent research I was curious about bitters, and The Boston Shaker in Davis Square was a great place to continue my quest to find out more.

This cocktail supply shop was born as Adam Lantheaume, proprietor, grew tired of not finding all the supplies for a good cocktail in one centralized location. At The Boston Shaker, you can find everything from vintage glassware that Adam discovers, to cocktail creation supplies, books, and professional grade glassware to hold your drinks.

A Variety of Shakers of Course!

I was greeted by Jessica, who was eager to help with my education. After a short introduction to the shop, I had already noted two pluses for a new enthusiast:

The shop layout always has the customer in mind. Items are displayed to be approachable for expert mixers as well as new enthusiasts.
The Boston Shaker is only stocked with items well loved by the employees. In my opinion, when love is a part of the process, you can be certain the quality is exceptional and customers will return for more.

As I stated earlier, my main interest for this trip was bitters - a staple in numerous cocktails. The Boston Shaker provides an eclectic selection of bitters with varying tastes and intentions behind each brand. I learned that bitters not only add something special to a cocktail, but also possess herbal properties and stimulate digestion. To help with my decision, we did a tasting of different products. As I learned from Jessica, bitters aren’t usually enjoyed alone, but mainly in addition to other spirits. To test, we followed these steps:

• Smell the bitters, taking in the scent at the beginning and end of a whiff. This might be the best way to test the flavor.



• For further examination, I touched my finger to a sample cup and put a small drop on my tongue to observe the taste.

Some varieties taste similar to their smell, while others are completely different. My advice when choosing? Before your visit have a particular drink or season in mind, and go from there. I decided to purchase Bitterman’s Boston Bittahs for some warm weather cocktails I plan to concoct.

With friendly faces and encouraging staff who can educate you in cocktail creation, head over to The Boston Shaker - a one of a kind stop in Somerville. With warm weather on its way, stay tuned to see where I end up next!

The Boston Shaker is located at 69 Holland Street in Somerville, MA. Follow them on Twitter for the most up-to-date information on the shop and cocktail tastings.

We’re tracking Alison’s purchsases and savings on her journey,  here’s where she’s at so far.  Two coupons and she’s almost made her investment in the book back!

The Independent: Local money spent w/ coupon: $33 (includes tip) | SLF savings: $6.00
The Boston Shaker: Local money spent w/ coupon: 14.40 | SLF savings: $3.60  | Total savings: $9.60

Word on the Street - Local Shopping Sinking In

Dec 22 10:33 am

by Clay Adamczyk

With only a few short days left before the holiday’s, it’s easy to get stressed out trying to find those last minute gifts for friends and love ones, and it’s just as easy to overlook quality amidst a mild panic. Relax and take a deep breath. As many locals have shown, finding a unique and thoughtful gift is as simple as taking a walk through your friendly neighborhood.

Plaid Friday trending on Twitter

Plaid Friday trending on Twitter was just the beginning

Earlier this week, I took to Davis Sq., to ask shoppers why they’re going local this holiday season.

Alison Gordon is a Weymouth resident, but for on-and-off for the past five years has worked at the one-of-a-kind Magpie, of which she now manages. Gordon has also completed most of her holiday shopping at local craft fairs this year. “I know that handmade items are better and you know the work that goes into it so your fine with paying more and you know that you are directly supporting someone by buying it from a local artists.” Said Gordon. “It’s nice knowing that you’re buying here, and helping someone who is here instead of of another store buying something made by whoever.”

Barbrad Rhodes of Jamaica Plain was also happy to share that she does most of her holiday shopping locally and at crafts fairs as she exited Davis Squared. “I find I get things that are so different and wonderful when I shop at those places.” Rhodes said. She was also happy to show off her new Queen Bee handbag from Magpie: a nice gift to herself this season. Aside from assured quality in handmade products, there is also a sense of assured quality in business practices. “I also feel like this is a little bit of a jab at corporate America.” Rhodes said. “I’m not buying from places I feel are probably harming the nation rather then helping the nation.”

Individuals have been giving gifts to our community and their loved ones this year.

Similar sentiments were expressed by a local Somerville artist and resident of 20+ years, Yani Batteau. “[Buying local] keeps the city economically afloat and–hopefully–makes people want to stay here. Batteau said.

Why change what Michael Kanter already put best? Sticking local is a “community-community’ win. So with time to find those last minute gifts rapidly running out, there’s no need to look further than out community.  A great way to enjoy the holiday season, and spirit.

Back to School, Somerville-style

Aug 24 2:05 pm

by Abbe Cohen Dvornik

I’ve never gotten completely off of the school year cycle - though I admit that now that I’m not personally heading for class, it sometimes takes me by surprise when I leave the house one day each fall and suddenly the crosswalk around the corner is full of Tufts students on their way to their first day of classes.

Still, my Septembers are always full of transitions, much more than any other month of the year. This year, we will tack on a new baby to the mix in September or October. And my daughter will be heading out to her first day of pre-K at the SMILE program at the Capuano School in East Somerville, and just before then I’ll be making a spiritual fresh start with the Jewish New Year. So, I’ve been thinking about how to get ready for the season in Somerville.

School Supplies

I’ve been a bit stymied by taking a strictly Somerville approach to back to school shopping. When I was a kid, in a suburb far from Somerville, I used to savor the annual trip to the stationers to pore over the decorated folders and three ring binders - but at the moment we don’t have a little store much like that in Somerville. (The one from my childhood in New Jersey is gone, too, replaced by a condo development with restaurants on the first floor.) So at the moment, for the paper supplies, I can either stay in Somerville and go to a drugstore chain or one of a few giant retailers that has a branch in Somerville, or we can head to a small independent store in neighboring Cambridge or Arlington. Fortunately, for pre-K, we won’t need much besides a backpack and a lunchbox, more easily found around town.
Editors Note:  Bob Slate in Porter Square and University Stationary in Central Square are good independent options for this stuff in our sister community in Cambridge.  SLF hasn’t found an Indie Somerville locale…have you?

As for what to put in the lunchbox, I’ve already had practice with that from preschool - and for that, Somerville has everything I need! For a fun twist on PB&J, we like to use round bread (such as Lyndell’s English Muffin Bread, or even regular English Muffins). The sandwich fits perfectly in a flat round container (such as the kind your cole slaw from Redbones might have come in - we save them). Those containers are a great size for many lunch items for kids, and hold a round peanut butter sandwich perfectly! We also like to send plain cheese quesadillas inspired by Anna’s Taqueria - made with the same Cinco de Mayo brand corn tortillas we’ve seen them using, which are for sale at Market Basket - and some cheddar cheese. We heat them in a nonstick pan, melt the cheese on one side, and wrap them up in foil just like they do at Anna’s, and then put them in a Thermosjar to stay warm and soft. Leftover pizza - especially our favorite Sicilian from Mike’s - gets cut into strips, warmed up, and put in a Thermos too. And ta-da, even a picky eater has a few options that aren’t identical every day for lunch.

Baby Stuff

As a second time parent, and a packrat, stocking up on baby stuff is a bit easier. But I’m considering cloth diapering this time around, and I plan to learn all about it and find everything I’ll need at Diaper Lab. Davis squared has all kinds of cute baby accessories and clothing in the windows too!

Jewish Holidays

Apples (mainly early-ripening varieties), and even local honey, can be found at either farmers market weekly. For a holiday meal treat, order a locally raised, grass-fed beef brisket and pick it up at the farmer’s market. In Davis Square, River Rock Farm sells beef including brisket when it’s available, and in Union Square, Stillman’s farm should also be able to bring your request to the market. And for a New-Year-inspired dessert, JP Licks has been known to introduce some wacky Jewish-inspired flavors of the month for the Jewish New Year! The Manischevitz sorbet strikes me as a better idea than the noodle kugel ice cream with bits of noodles in the ice cream.

Right in Somerville, there are a few options for religious services as well - Havurat Shalom is a small community that hold services in the living room of a 2 family house near Tufts, and Temple B’nai Brith, where I’m a member, is in a historic building on Winter Hill with traditional services in the main sanctuary, as well as a special short service downstairs for children to attend together with their families. In Somerville, we do things our own way - both communities are unaffiliated with any major branch of Judaism.

Harvest Fest: The Second Glass In The House & Local Designer/DJ to Manage Fashion Performance

Aug 01 2:02 pm

by Joe Grafton

We’re just over two months away from Harvest Fest 2010 and the participant list continues to add some of the best and brightest from Greater Boston.  One thing we’ve learned in our 2+ year history:  The more great people we can surround ourselves with, the more fun and success we have.  Along those lines, we are incredibly excited to announce two new partners for this years festivities.  Note:  We do expect the event to sell out,  and suggest you buy your tickets in advance.

The Second Glass to bring their love of local wine and penchant for partying to Harvest Fest 2010 and their own Wine Riot on October 22nd & 23rd.

The Second Glass is your unpretentious, badass source for baller wine information.”  Sounds like a match made in heaven, and we think it will be.  Tyler and Morgan, the founders of SG were recently featured in Inc Magazine’s 30 under 30, a list of some of the country’s best young entrepreneurs and have lots of local roots and connections.

It is also worth thanking the recent hot and sweltering weather for facilitating this bad-ass partnership.  For were it not for Tyler’s need to get out of his hot apartment and into an air conditioned office, and my response via the social interwebs that he was welcome to chill (pun intended) at the SLF office for the day, we might not be talking about this.  But a short conversation later, Tyler was emailing Morgan about the potential of running the local wine parade at Harvest Fest, and a day later it was official (entrepreneurs, social or otherwise, like to act quickly).

Finally, it’s not just about these guys rocking our wine world.  Remember, Harvest Fest is about local first and foremost.  And Tyler is excited to show our guests just what Massachusetts can do.  In discussing the format, Tyler said “Massachusetts wineries are making GREAT wine right now.  But not enough people know this“.  We have a feeling that at least 700 folks will know a lot more about it after 10/9/10.

Find the Second Glass on the web, on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Fashion Performance Manager Ari Paoletti is the Founder of Deconize Style...

...and a Basstown resident at one of Boston's best dance parites, Make It New

Last year, the fashion show at Harvest Fest featured a TON of stylized and fashion forward looks from some of our favorite local fashion shops and boutiques.  Looks from poor little rich girl, Artifaktori and Black & Blues Boutique filled the Armorywith style and beauty.

The looks were great last year...

And like most things from Harvest Fest 2009, gave the organizers some indegestion as we tried to create something spectacular,  without really knowing what we were doing.  We think the guests probably were more likely to notice the lovely looks parading up and down the runway, but this year we’re bringing in an expert to help us enjoy it too.

...and with Ari's help, they'll be even better at Harvest Fest 2010

As part of my work as Director of Operations for the 1st Annual, Together Music Festival, I got a chance to work with Ari Paoletti, a renowned local fashion designer and DJ (Volvox).  Ari managed the Get Together: a record fair, trade show and, you guessed it, fashion performance.  Watching what she coordinated that day at the Villa Victoria, I knew that we had to find a way for her to work on Harvest Fest.  A few emails and conversations later, we had ourselves a Fashion Show Manager.  With Ari in the fold, not only will the show be visually stunning, but I and the other organziers won’t have to worry about it, and might actually be able to enjoy it from the Super Supporter Box on the Mezzanine.

Note:  You can find Deconize products in our very own Grand in Union Square.

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