Archive for the ‘Salem Mysteries: SOLVED!’ Category

Welcome to the Secret Society

May 21, 2010

I had to giggle a bit a while back when I got lumped into Salem’s new creative class, but that got me thinking. An influx of new creative folks into Salem’s affordable, sometimes charming, often grubby Northeast city section? Is there any legitimacy to that?

There is!

I’ve always held that stuff happens in Salem — it’s just laughlingly under-the-radar. Well… something is definitely afoot in the Northeast Salem neighborhoods.

All it took was one party at my friend the poet’s house (also in NE Salem) to determine that there are a lot of us small-housers out here milking the city for its historic properties and living large on a tiny footprint. In addition to me, my sculptor of a husband and my baby Dash, a.k.a. The Next Alexander Calder, we have:

Michael Chasar, a Poet with an Penchant for Pop

Stephanie Lenox, editor of Blood Orange Review, a well-received online literary mag

William Bragg, photographer – or you might know him as a champion for the underpriveleged

Jonathan Bucci, multimedia artist, and his writer wife, Rachel Bucci

Any more you can think of? Whom have I forgotten? Whom haven’t I met yet?

As far as I know, all of the people listed here have been in Salem for five years or less. Yay for new blood — and for E.B. White quotes that can lend themselves to cities other than New York.


Salem Mystery: Solved

June 10, 2009


For months you passed by a red building on Center Avenue and 17th bearing the words “LIQUIDATION” and wondered when Aztec Imports might be going out of business. You never stopped, you just relived the drama of another failed small business again and again on your commute, on your way into town, on your way to Word of Mouth, on your way elsewhere.

And then, one day a few weeks ago, you passed by and saw that the sign was painted over. Secretly you cheered inside, you bubbled all up that the market for imports from Spanish-speaking countries was so large as to warrant an entire shop of them at a strange location next to the Cricket, across from Johnny’s, and caddy-corner from H&R Block. Privately your heart soared as you wondered what exactly — other than Che Guevera merchandise — sat in the showcases of Aztec Imports.

But inwardly you were a little bit sad that Salem has lost its equivalent of the Israeli electronics store, the kind that has a “ONE DAY GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE” every day of the year.

Here’s what actually happened:

Aztec Imports has been having a sale since Christmas and had chosen to announce that sale with the word “Liquidation.” A little bird told me that the city recently asked the store owners to paint over the sign, which they did, leaving a kind of blotchy red on red wall that also features — if you’re looking for it — a little red-on-red heart above where the liquidation sign uses to be.

As for Aztec Imports. The place has some really awesome finger puppets from Peru that I would have bought if I had had some money on me, as well as a much-anticipated shipment of dresses from Thailand in two weeks. If you go in, be sure to engage the owner, who is awesome, the best kind of proprietor. You know, the kind who is so nice he makes you feel bad when you don’t buy anything.

I am all about sleuthing the Salem mysteries in plain sight. Know of any others?