Snow Boundries

Snow Ways

Snow Ways

How does the snow change what you see? What is visible, now? What is invisible now? How do you decide where to stop shoveling? How do you know who can shovel? What does a shoveling style show?


Reality and Imagination at Palmer Street Lot


A great deal of imagination is still needed for the Palmer Street lot as it remains in a legal tangle. Last fall, we gathered over 90 suggestions of what residents hope the Palmer Lot will become in the future. It is still uncertain since its owner is still nowhere to be found, but retains the right to his property since it is current on all taxes, thanks to the mortgage company. Now, it stands, still colorful, with “community” as its tagline, but a bit of a relic before its time. As noted above: imagination is sorely needed! (and perhaps some legal knowledge wouldn’t hurt!)

Recycling Games at the Lot!


On Friday, October 11, the games began on the stumps with some clear rules of Recycling Do*s and Don’t*s. The kids were all ears; t-shirts and blue bins could be won. And Recycling Lore. IMG_6566

The Salem Recycling Committee presented the facts. And then the games began: three groups ran, yelled, and aimed to get the right recycling materials in the proper bins. Action packed.


Can’t quite remember who won the game, but a great deal of knowledge was learned by all. Not to mention the fun had.IMG_6570 IMG_6571 IMG_6572

After the games, many got t-shirts and some won one of six blue bins. As recycling is now mandatory in Salem, and The Point is its most dense neighborhood, this was a good beginning towards a shift away from the throwing away of all things to a more thoughtful approach to waste management. In fact, as the kids learned, one person’s trash is another’s raw material for entirely new creations!IMG_6576 IMG_6579

The players even helped distribute the information in English and Spanish. If you missed it, the main points are posted on the Point Bulletin Board – go have a look.
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ReImagine A Lot! Week 5

I Imagine info poster_Week 05_Page_1

The front of the Community Suggestion Wall is almost complete and asks residents to imagine what this lot could be. The final, essential touch, will be the chalk that will be placed on site as soon as this fall rain passes. The head of the wall will serve as a Community Bulletin board with the bold artwork of the neighborhood helpers.I Imagine info poster_Week 05_Page_2

The back of the wall currently serves for a canvas of unlimited possibilities – join us next week as the mural really begins to take shape.I Imagine info poster_Week 05_Page_3

The eight foot long stencils were not easy to work with, but the kids managed quite well. I Imagine info poster_Week 05_Page_4 I Imagine info poster_Week 05_Page_5 I Imagine info poster_Week 05_Page_6

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden where Ward and Peabody Streets intersect

The Secret Garden where Ward and Peabody Streets intersect

post by Michael Jaros

While walking through the Point neighborhood last weekend, Claudia and I happened upon a unique garden.  I say happened upon, but I actually sought it out, having come across it on another rambling voyage through the streets of the neighborhood some months before, near the beginning of the growing season.  Against a large, brick tenement building, someone has made remarkable use of a long, thin rectangular piece of ground, which sits in the shadow of this larger building.

When we’d visited before, I was amazed by the diversity of plantings and the optimal use of every inch of space between the fence and the wall.  Herbs of all sorts grew abundantly, as well as larger plants that I myself could not identity.  I could not tell whose garden it was, who tended it, or where they came from or went to when not doing so.  There was a nearby porch, as well as a gate.  Did the person hop over the porch into the garden, or come from the outside?  Or was it collectively maintained by a neighborhood group?


This patch of green had massively blossomed and grown when we returned.  Huge melon plants grew into a massive canopy, which a diagonally placed trellis supported, creating a shaded grotto space underneath it, in which smaller plants grew and various soils were perhaps mixed.  It looked like a cool, reflective space of contemplation, despite being cramped, and reminded me of the green spaces I myself had always sought out behind my house to hide in as a child.

The space continued to be optimally used on our return voyage this week…there was almost no empty space, and strange squash with the appearance of melted wax grew healthily in the fence itself, climbing up it towards the massive melon canopy.  Onions grew outside the fence, and remained unmolested.  It was clear this was a special and honored place by the community that both surrounded and maintained it.



This post is part of The Beauty of the Point series.

Soil report at Palmer Street Lot: The Installation

Since the soil report is in, we know there is no lead, but the soil lacks nutrients.

installation view 1

Salem Public Space Project asks: What can grow in this lot? Residents can pull up a chair and read all about it!

Resident sits to read the report!

Resident sits to read the report!