Sunday, November 14, 2010

Friday Nights With Some Of Our Artists

The Fountain Street Studios, one of Framingham's two major artist communities (the other being Saxonville Studios), brings a little bit of a Boston or New York art scene flair to our town with its Fountain Street 2nd Friday Strolls.

Held once a month from 5:30 - 9:00 p.m., these strolls offer a more regular opportunity than annual open studios to mingle, sip, and nosh with your neighbors and local artists. The century-old Bancroft building, at 59 Fountain Street on the south side, a legacy of Framingham's industrial past, houses the eclectic community of artists in a setting that definitely is a window into the town's urban aspects. Like similar buildings in large cities, the large floor space has been segmented into numerous artist studios, each made unique by the artists' own individual decorating and artistic styles.

Most participating artists put out a bottle of wine or two as well as other drinks and snacks, so you can enjoy a happy hour of sorts after the long work week while admiring the art works and chatting up their creators.

See you there on the next second Friday of the month!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Framingham Mogul in the Making is Still in Middle School

On the cover of today's Boston Sunday Globe is an article about Lane Sutton of Framingham, a social media guru and budding entrepreneur. Nothing too amazing about that, right, given our proximity to one of America's technology centers and some of the best universities and business schools in the country?

Then you get to the second paragraph of the article and read that Lane is just 13, an eighth grader at Walsh Middle School.

We've become accustomed to the tales of college dropout tech wunderkind like Bill Gates of Microsoft, Steve Jobs of Apple, and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. But this kid hasn't even started high school yet and he's already working as a consultant to social media companies and has over 2,500 Twitter followers. Of course, many kids his age are on Facebook, but how many 13 year olds do you know with a LinkedIn profile and an already enviable list of work experiences?

A quick Google search reveals that he's already a media veteran, having previously appeared in numerous print articles and videos, including a Boston Herald business piece about Boston area entrepreneurs. He was also profiled in a Forbes article about child entrepreneurs. Locally, he published an article in the Framingham Tab when he was a mere sixth-grader. One of his main online ventures is the web site he runs (complete with ads) at

Whew. Most kids his age are lucky to do their homework and get to soccer practice on time.

You can learn more about this amazing young man and his social network presence at

Monday, September 20, 2010

Framingham Scores High on State's Great Places List

Over the summer the Massachusetts 1,000 Great Places Commission, after eighteen months of research, released its list of yes, one thousand great places in the state.

Not surprisingly, given its size, and to those who know the town well, Framingham had the most entries for anywhere in Metrowest.

Making the cut were the Amazing Things Arts Center, Callahan State Park, the Danforth Museum, and Garden in the Woods. I know all of these places well, and have to agree that each one is worthy of the recognition.

For too many people in the eastern part of the state, Framingham is known mainly for the Route 9 strip-sprawl shopping area, and the state college, which was recently upgraded to a university. Those of us who live here, and some who don't but are in on the secret, know Framingham has some real gems, and despite the more visible heavily-developed areas, also has some beautiful natural settings.

If you're interested in seeing the entire list of great places by town, you can find it here on

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Walk For Your Life

In today's Globe West section of the Boston Globe, an interesting article about obesity in the western suburbs highlights a viewpoint that is near and dear to me. Research indicates a simple fact: people who live in walkable communities tend to be thinner and healthier than those who live in places where the automobile is the main transportation mode.

A bar graph charts the percentage of adults in each town that are obese, and I'm happy to report that Framingham is below the state average of 21%, but just barely, at 20%. The closer you get to Boston, the lower the percentage, with Brookline checking in at the lowest, at just over 10%.

As I've mentioned in a previous posting, Framingham has many walkable neighborhoods, but it seems to me that there are not as many people walking as there could be. Having a safe walking route is definitely important, but often I think people don't consider walking to a destination unless it's really close, say less than half a mile.

My fellow Framingham blogger Sharon has been beating the walkability drum for years on her excellent Planning Livable Communities web site. She's a strong advocate for making our town more accessible for walkers, and recently sent testimony to the state about making Route 9 more pedestrian friendly.

I live a mile from Nobscot village, and I walk there frequently, no matter what the season or weather. In fact, I go out of my way to walk there, combining errands with exercise. Interestingly, some of my neighbors seem to consider this a feat of sorts, if not a bit eccentric. If you're not in shape at first a couple of miles may seem difficult, but I generally walk a few miles a day (at 3-4 miles per hour) and it's definitely improved my fitness level, and a walk of several miles is not at all daunting to me.

If you don't live near destinations like stores or restaurants, remember that there's plenty of open space with walking trails in town as well, so walk to them as well if you can. Why get in the car to drive someplace to walk when you can make getting there part of the walk?

I did this during my years living in Saxonville, and have continued the tradition in Nobscot, with the Nobscot Boy Scout Reservation and adjoining Framingham conservation land being a mere half mile from my door.

So the next time you pick up your car keys for a trip to a nearby destination in town, ask yourself if you could walk instead. You'll get to know your neighborhood and neighbors better, enjoy some fresh air, and contribute to your health!