Pie in the Sky

It’s that time of year again… Thanksgiving, which means family, turkey, football, and PIE! And while pie in itself is a wonderful thing, it can be doubly great if your pie comes from Pie in the Sky, Community Servings’ annual Thanksgiving “bake sale” supporting programs that deliver healthy, culturally- and medically-specific meals to over 1,300 of our Massachusetts neighbors battling cancer, HIV/AIDS, MS, Lupus and other acute, life-threatening illnesses.

Last year, my office’s pie selling team sold more than 1000 pies — that’s more than $25,000 raised for Community Servings — and we hope to do it again (or more!) this year. And that’s where you come in…

Buy a Pie from Lara

How It Works

Over 150 of Greater Boston’s best chefs, restaurants, caterers and hotels donate their time & resources to bake up thousands of yummy pies.

A network of ~ 600 pie sellers volunteer their time to market and sell pies to their family, friends, colleagues, clients and neighbors.

Thousands of individuals order our $25 pies (apple, pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato & sugar-free apple) in advance of the holidays, and pick them up on the day before Thanksgiving from one of more than 80 pick-up locations around Greater Boston.

Each $25 pie sold provides a full week’s worth of healthy, delicious meals to a person too ill to shop an cook for themselves.

How You Can Help

Want to be a part of this amazing endeavor? Buy a pie today!

Not going to be around for Thanksgiving? Buy a pie for a Community Servings client, or just donate money to the cause!

Buy a Pie from Lara

superdog

This is no surprise to me, but Somerville Patch just ran coverage of a Men’s Health report ranking Boston at a lowly #89 out of 100 for cities’ dog-friendliness. In my opinion, Cambridge and Somerville are included in that assessment, which is very sad because my dog is how I know all my neighbors and walking him through different parts of town is one of the ways I stay on top of the latest neighborhood happenings.

Dogs are good for community-building.

If you are a dog-owner, keep this in mind when voting for your City Councilors and Aldermen, and please add your voice when off-leash hours and other dog-friendly initiatives are proposed for our local parks.

Thank you in advance :)

Last weekend really felt like summer to me for one key reason, and it wasn’t the weather… it was the abundance of yard sale signs I passed on my morning dog walk. I love a good yard sale, but sadly, many of us city-dwellers don’t have much of a yard on which to display our unwanted treasures. Fortunately, there is a solution…

I recently got the following email from Cambridge’s Recycling Director by way of my neighborhood listserv:

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UNWANTED FURNITURE? OUR SUPER FRIENDS CAN RESCUE IT!

Arrange a free pickup of your good-condition furniture. Moving and can’t take it all with you? Plan a few weeks ahead. Visit CambridgeMA.gov/Furniture for our interactive list of organizations and details on pickup and drop-off options. These groups taking living, dining and bedroom furniture…and put them to good use. Groups with a star (*) also take mattresses in good condition. Plus, they’ll pick up your stuff for free!

For more info, visit: CambridgeMA.gov/Furniture

CALL THEM AT LEAST A WEEK OR TWO AHEAD TO ARRANGE A FREE PICKUP

Waited until the last minute? You can sell or give stuff away through boston.craigslist.org or freecycle.org. Postings are free, most do better with a photo and it’ll be gone in no time. If it’s a ripped, torn, stained, about-to-fall-apart mess…unfortunately it probably is trash! City trash crews will pick up ONE piece of furniture per week from residences served by the Cambridge Department of Public Works. Remember, it’s heading to the landfill or incinerator if you choose this route, so, if it’s usable and is in good condition, please see what you can do to arrange a rescue! For more info, visit: CambridgeMA.gov/Furniture.

CLEANING OUT YOUR CLOSET?

Don’t throw it out. Click here for a Google map of where to donate your stuff in Cambridge with clothing drop boxes, thrift stores, consignment shops and second hand stores! You can donate clothing and textiles that are torn, stained, broken or missing something, to Goodwill, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Got Books/Clothes, and Planet Aid. These groups take clothing, shoes, belts, purses, hats, linens, stuffed animals, and fabric scraps. Just no dirty rags, nothing wet, nothing soiled, no carpets, no rugs, and no mildewed items. If it’s not wearable, damaged clothing is recycled into wiping rags and everything else is processed back into fibers used to make paper, yarn, insulation, carpet padding, and sound proofing.

You can also find more detailed info in the Cambridge Chronicle’s recent write-up of the campaign.

Mayor Curtatone & Me

On Monday I had the amazing opportunity to meet Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, and hear him speak about his vision for the city. He is an eloquent and engaging speaker, and it’s obvious that he genuinely loves his city–not only in the way he talks about it, but from his track record of  accomplishments since he took office in 2004.

It would take way too much time to try to list all the improvements Curtatone has brought to Somerville, and the accolades the city has received during his five terms in office, so instead, I thought I’d highlight just a few things we can look forward to in the near future:

  • Extension of the Community Path–The stretch between Cedar and Lowell Streets has already been funded and is breaking ground this spring.
  • East Broadway Streetscape–Sidewalks are currently being widened, trees being planted, and traffic being reduced to one lane in each direction, creating a more lively and pedestrian-friendly boulevard from McGrath to Sullivan Station.
  • More Restaurants–Ten new eateries are moving in over the next year and a half to two years.
  • The Green Line extension (Yes, it will happen!)–The Union Square leg should be complete and operational by 2017–yay!

All great stuff, right? And as Curtatone repeated several times during his presentation on Monday, “We’re just getting started!”

One of my new favorite local blogs, The Somerville Beat, recently published a guide to Community Supported Agriculture, aka CSAs — those great services that drop off baskets of seasonal fruits and vegetables to your door or offer pick-up sites around town. I’ve yet to do one (mostly because I have no idea what to with some of the more obscure produce) but I think this will be the year. And I’m grateful to have found this great guide, which lists several CSA options, including pricing and pick-up locations. Well worth checking out…

Guide to CSAs in Somerville & Cambridge

 

Seems the ‘Ville is the hot spot of the moment. Read more on Curbed Boston….

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If you live in Cambridgeport, you’re likely aware of the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association’s partnership with the Mass Department of Conservation and Recreation to revitalize Magazine Beach, and specifically, to repair the old powder magazine structure, which is seriously deteriorating and in need of immediate attention.

If you don’t live in Cambridgeport, you’re likely wondering what the heck Magazine Beach even is. Well, if you could call it a park, it would be the city’s second largest. As it is, it’s currently a blah piece of riverfront land at the end of Magazine Street where it hits Memorial Drive — across from the Shell Gas sign. However, 100 years ago, it was a popular spot for bathing and recreation and the powderhouse building served as a bath house.

And if the CNA and DCR have their way, Magazine Beach will be brought back to its former glory (not sure about the swimming in the Charles part), and the powderhouse would be the anchor structure, perhaps serving as a concession stand/kiosk. I think this would be just fab — if you do too, you can help the effort by making a donation to the cause — a capital campaign is currently underway to raise $100k.

Here are some links with more info:

For questions or even more detail, contact Cathie Zusy, CNA Board Member, at 617.868.0489 or visit www.magazinebeach.wordpress.com. The CNA is a 501c3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.

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