The Somerville Gates – Four Years Old

A chance encounter hipped me to the fact that it was four years ago yesterday that Hargo built The Somerville Gates. At which point, the internet went crazy and 4 million people looked at The Somerville Gates’ website in a week. The site had to be taken down to cool the viral internet’s greedy bandwidth needs, but the entire installation is now happily back online where it should be. More coverage from The Boston Globe, Big RED & Shiny, msnbc.com, The New York Times, and of course Boing Boing.

The Feeding Gates
The Feeding Gates
The Somerville Gates – Four Years Old

Fluffernutter Massachusetts’ Official State Sandwich?

The Massachusetts legislature is debating a bill to declare an official sandwich. The bill, (H-2932), submitted by Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein (for the second time, actually) is “An Act designating the fluffernutter as the official sandwich of the commonwealth.” (Full disclosure: As a resident of Union Square, Somerville, where Fluff was invented, and a lifelong Fluff fan, I wholeheartedly support this bill.)

This got me curious about whether there are other Official State Sandwiches out there. Via FoodTimeline.org, I found that 2 states have sandwiches known as “traditional foods” (Iowa’s Loose Meat Sandwich and Nebraska’s Runza Sandwich), but this is obviously not the same thing. Even a state in Mexico has an official sandwich (Vera Cruz’s Pambazo). Someone suggested, as a joke, that the Oreo become the Official State Sandwich COOKIE of Utah (which doesn’t count because it’s a cookie and a joke), and in response to the bill being submitted in MA, a Florida radio duo began lobbying Florida to declare a official state sandwich.

Meanwhile, bloggers in Indiana and New Hampshire have previously begun movements agitating for a state sandwich of their own. Delaware’s might be the Bobby, but there wasn’t anything definitive on the nets, so send me a message if you’re in the know and I’ll add a link. As far as I can tell, though, the only “Official State Sandwich” out there is Carle’s Bratwurst, the Official State Sandwich of Ohio (recognized as such in a 2006 omnibus bill recognizing 64 other people, places and things as official symbols of Ohio).

Finally, I would be remiss if I neglected to link to the official Marshmallow Fluff Homepage, complete with history, recipes, and fun. Obviously the Fluff Festival as well.

(This post was inspired by my friends at Grand, an awesome shop in Union Square that is celebrating their one year anniversary this weekend. (No Fluff was promised to me for this plug.))

Fluffernutter Massachusetts’ Official State Sandwich?

Somerville Snow Emergency Robocaller, Tom Champion, Remixed

Remember last week when I was telling you about how much the people of Somerville loves Tom Champion. And how they love him so much there’s a fan group on Facebook? Cosmo Catalano has remixed the latest snow emergency call into some bumping Tom Champion fanmusic. Just listen to it.

Somerville Snow Emergency Robocaller, Tom Champion, Remixed

City of Somerville Snow Emergency? Not Today!

Somerville is a city that LOVES its snow emergencies. We’ve had a snow emergency for every snow storm this year, during which, you can only park on the odd side of the street. The City LOVES them. Sometimes, they call a snow emergency the morning of the day before a storm. We love our snow emergencies so much, there’s even a Facebook Group in appreciation of Tom Champion, the guy who records the snow emergency phone messages. This past week, we even had a cold emergency. There weren’t any parking restrictions, but Tom Champion didn’t want us going outside unnecessarily.

Except for a couple hours this afternoon, it’s been snowing ALL day, and yet no snow emergency. You’ll get’em next time, eh, Champs?

City of Somerville Snow Emergency? Not Today!

Obey Boston – Shepard Fairey at the ICA

(Edited to add: here’s a review I did of the talk and the exhibit.)

Shepard Fairey is going to be at the ICA in Boston for his first solo museum exhibition from February to August, 2009. To celebrate, he was in Boston today laying some groundwork including the below at Grand in Union Square, Somerville. Right around the corner. I’m going to go check it out when I take out the garbage. Right now.

Day Time by Hargo.

Night Time by me.

Obey Boston – Shepard Fairey at the ICA

Fluff Festival: Union Square, Somerville

Fluff was invented in Union Square, Somerville in 1917. For the last 3 years, Union Square has celebrated by holding a What the Fluff Festival. It’s a lot of fun with lots of activities for young and old alike. This year, there’s even a comic book. FYI, the What the Fluff Festival has changed it’s date from 9/27 to 9/28 from 4 PM to 7 PM. See you there!

Edited 9/27:
This post from Bostonist has more about the whats of this year and the whys of all years.

Fluff Festival: Union Square, Somerville

Crime!!! In Union Sq, Somerville

Wednesday night at 4:00 AM, J woke me up and said, “Someone’s ringing the doorbell.” I was so asleep, I didn’t know what a doorbell was. And when I finally understood what the doorbell was, I remember thinking “that’s strange, we don’t have a doorbell”.

The last couple times our doorbell has rung in the middle of the night, it’s been the cops letting us know we had parked somewhere we shouldn’t have and ‘here’s a $100 ticket.’ Anyway, this time the police were singing a different tune. They said our car had been broken into… I don’t know how to explain what that’s like, going from dead asleep, to wondering what a doorbell was, to thinking we didn’t have one, to hearing our car had been broken into.

I went downstairs to find a cruiser with its headlights pointed at our car and a cop who looked like he was in high school. Right as I got down there, the cop set the alarm off by unlocking the door from the inside and I had to run up to grab the keys I should have brought down originally. Fascinatingly enough, the alarm doesn’t go off when someone throws a double brick through your window, but unlocking the door from the inside is all hands on deck.

Apparently a neighbor (the neighbor, incidentally, whose handicapped spot we and several guests parked in over and over last year because it’s incredibly unwell marked) had heard someone trying to break into his car and woken up. He then saw them throw a brick though our side window and chased them down the street before calling the cops.

Whoever broke in stole the GPS out of the glove compartment. They must have been in a hurry, though, because they left the stand and when they ripped the chord out, half of it stayed in the cigarette lighter.

J called Commerce Insurance (two thumbs up!) in the morning and Giant Glass was there within 3 hours installing a new window. Commerce sent us a check yesterday for the GPS. All in all, not too bad, and obviously it could of been worse.

To the knuckleheads who stole the GPS: “Hey assholes, thanks for throwing a brick through my window. Have fun with the 3 year old GPS featuring outdated maps, no stand, and no charger. See how much you get for it. Idiots.”

Crime!!! In Union Sq, Somerville