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20 Reasons to be Thankful for Life in Newton

20 Reasons to be Thankful for Life in Newton

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. No rush to buy presents. Just time to enjoy family over an amazing feast. Gratitude is the feeling that keeps on giving. Gratitude gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling. Gratitude gives you a positive attitude. I give you my earnest expression of gratitude. Twenty reasons why I am grateful for my life in Newton. Happy Thanksgiving.

  1. Newton Public Schools have a reputation for excellence.  There are 15 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, 2 high schools and 1 alternative high school. The central administration employs curriculum coordinators who guide and support teachers, review programs and practices to achieve consistency and excellence across the district. See www3.newton.k12.ma.us.   Read more stories here.
  2. Newton communities offer the comfort of small neighborhoods with the economic advantages of a large city. The 13 villages of Newton create a diverse tapestry from a variety of shops, restaurants, walking paths, parks, and more. Each neighborhood has its own look and feel. Yet they join together to enjoy many city-wide programs and celebrations.

    Newton MA

    Newtonville

  3. Newton is located in close proximity to Boston Proper and Cambridge.  Location, location, location–The benefits of an easy access to the city include a strong  job market with the many hospitals, colleges, and universities.
  4. Newton has a strong and stable housing market. See above.
  5. Newton has at least 5 good bakeries where you can purchase a fresh loaf of bread hot from the oven. In honor of the holiday, I purchased a loaf of the famous and delicious apple pie bread from Great Harvest. Read about this great bakery in Newtonville.
  6. Newton has an array of great places to eat. Depending on your mood the choices are many from good deli’s, pizza shops, coffee cafe’s, pubs, and fine dining options. Read more food stories here.
  7. Newton has at least 2 excellent family fitness centers. The West Suburban YMCA  located in Newton Corner is a beautiful state-of-the-art fitness center with a range of  programs and events, as well as, summer camps.  Read more about the Y. Located on the other side of Newton on 333 Nahanton Street,  The Levinthal-Sidman Jewish Community Center offers fitness and wellness programs, as well as, cultural and community events. The outdoor swimming pool and a great place for family fun in the the sun. These excellent facilities engage the community in fun and healthy activities.
  8. Newton borders the Charles River. Find endless walking trails and conservation areas to be explored. The Newton Conservators web site is a great gateway to the many and varied outdoor spaces.

    Newton MA

    Charles River Reservation

  9. Newton has an excellent library system. What can I say? When I need a little space, there is nothing better than the Newton Free Library. I go there for research. I go there to browse knitting patterns. Sometimes I reserve books on line from across the MinuteMan Library network. The library offers many educational and community events.

    Newton MA

    Newton Public Library

  10. The history of Newton is part of the grand story of the development of the Greater Boston area. For example, Newton is one of the first commuter destinations due to the development of the railroad system. Historic Newton, the Jackson Homestead and Museum is a continuous reminder of the rich history and compelling stories about Newton.
  11. Every spring, the Newton Cultural Center sponsors the Newton Open Studios.  This year approximately 75 artists displayed their work at 44 different locations across the city. Visit www.newtonopenstudios.org.
  12. The City of Newton sponsors cultural and educational events. The Arts in the Parks program offers classes and events to encourage residents to Discovery Newton Arts. UPCOMING EVENT: On December 2nd at 4 p.m. the Mayor Setti Warren will begin the winter festivities with the Holiday Lighting Ceremony. This year’s festivities will include a Sing-A-Along with Boston’s Nick Page. Nick Page is an internationally known innovative song leader. Download the flyer about this free community event.
  13. Newton knows how to celebrate the 4th of July. If you have lived in the Greater Boston area, you know what it is like to attend the Boston Pop’s 4th of July Celebration. Grand though it is, it is not for the faint of heart. Crowds begin gathering early the night before for this extravaganza event. On the other hand,  The Newton 4th of July Celebration, sponsored by Newton Community Pride, is a great way to celebrate the day family style. Easy living with blankets on the grass, music, and a carnival like atmosphere. Concerts on the Village Green
  14. Newton High School Theatre programs are widely recognized for excellence.  Newton residents are grateful for the dedication, passion, and discipline given to maintain such a great level of achievement.  TheatreInk Newton North High School and SouthStage at Newton South High School.
  15. Newton has great senior programsCity of Newton offers a varity of programs for the over 55 sector. “The Nationally Accredited Newton Senior Center is a vibrant community where people gather in an atmosphere that promotes and utilizes life experiences and skills.” ~ from City of Newton Seniors
  16. Chrystal Lake in Newton is the closest thing you will find to the old time swimming hole. I enjoy biking around the lake but if you are a serious swimmer or even like to splash around, you will probably enjoy the sylvan shores of Chrystal Lake.
  17. Newton supports a diverse community with many houses of worship. You will find many handsome  structures where members join to practice their particular sect. But more than buildings, Newton attracts great talent for leadership.
  18. Newton has great golf courses. Newton CommonwealthBrae Burn, Charles River Country Club, Leo J. Martin Memorial Golf Course and Riverside Park. There are many more courses to explore in neighboring towns.

    Newton MA

    Putterham

  19. Newton residence share an warm and embracing sense of community.No matter what your particular interest may be, PTO’s, gardening, politics, book groups, art, crafts, science, or health and fitness, there is a group, class, or club ready to welcome you.
  20. Newton is where most of my friends live and my friends are the best!

Check out the 112 page Guide to Newton Resources from the City of Newton.

12 Reasons to be Thankful for Life in Newton

12 Reasons to be Thankful for Life in Newton

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful and enjoy spending time with family and friends. Gratitude is one of the highest emotions and I am grateful as I share the 112 reasons why I love life in Newton. Happy Thanksgiving.

Newton has a strong and stable housing market because of the following reasons.

  1. The 13 villages in Newton result in a beautiful tapestry making up 1 community. Each village is unique with a variety of shops, restaurants, walking paths, parks, and more. Newton is the 11th largest city in Massachusetts providing us with economies of scale.The Villages of Newton
  2. Newton Public Schools have a reputation for excellence.  There are 15 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, 2 high schools and 1 alternative high school. The central administration employs curriculum coordinators who guide and support teachers, review programs and practices to achieve consistency and excellence across the district. See www3.newton.k12.ma.usNewton Public Schools
  3. Newton is located in close proximity to Boston Proper and Cambridge.  Boston has one of the strongest job markets in the country thanks to the wealth of colleges, universities, top-notch hospitals, and high tech companies.
  4. Newton borders the Charles River. Find endless walking trails and conservation areas to be explored. The Newton Conservators web site is a great gateway to the many and varied outdoor spaces.
  5. Newton has Culture! The Mayor’s Office for Cultural Affairs runs many exciting programs offered via Newton Community Pride, Newton Theatre Company, and Newton Youth Players. The New Art Center is a hub of creativity with art exhibits, classes, and community events.New Art Center
  6. Newton is an Age-Friendly Community  City of Newton offers a huge variety of 55+ programs and the list is growing.  The Newton Senior Center is a place where seniors can take classes, sign up for game time, or attend an event.

    The Department of Senior Services and the Newton Council on Aging has been leading a comprehensive community process to ensure that as people age and their abilities change they have easy access to services, amenities, and opportunities. ~NewtonSeniors.org

  7. Newton has an excellent library system. The Newton Free Library is part of the Minute Man Library Network. The library also offers a wide variety of events including story times, music performances, and educational speakers. The Waban Library Center is a  volunteer-run public community library.
  8. The history of Newton is part of the grand story of the development of the Greater Boston area. Did you know that Newton became one of the first commuter destinations when the railroad arrived? We are grateful to Historic Newton and their two fabulous museums: The Jackson Homestead House and the Kendrick-Durant House & Grounds. Historic Newton offers many historic, cultural events for adults and children.
  9. The Boston Marathon runs through Newton and it is easy to stay fit in Newton. Newton has 2 major community fitness centers and many other health and fitness organizations too numerous to mention. The West Suburban YMCA  promotes Youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Located in Newton Corner, The Y has a beautiful state-of-the-art fitness center with a range of  programs and events, as well as, summer camps.  Located on the other side of Newton on 333 Nahanton Street,  The Levinthal-Sidman Jewish Community Center offers fitness and wellness programs, as well as, cultural and community events. The outdoor swimming pool and a great place for family fun in the the sun. These excellent facilities engage the community in fun and healthy activities.The West Suburban YMCAhttps://www.bostonjcc.org/
  10. Chrystal Lake in Newton is the closest thing you will find to the old time swimming hole. I enjoy biking around the lake but if you are a serious swimmer or even like to splash around, you will probably enjoy the sylvan shores of Chrystal Lake.
  11. Newton has great golf courses. Newton CommonwealthBrae Burn, Charles River Country Club, Leo J. Martin Memorial Golf Course and Riverside Park. There are many more courses to explore in neighboring towns.
  12. If you are curious about learning more about events in Newton, visit our community network, OURNEWTON.ORG for a community calendar filled with exciting things to do in and around Newton.

OurNewton.org

Newton Artist Dick Simon Finds “a Whole New Dimension” Behind the Camera

Newton Artist Dick Simon Finds “a Whole New Dimension” Behind the Camera

Dick Simon street scene

Newton Artist Dick Simon Finds “a Whole New Dimension” Behind the Camera

Syria: Faces from The Axis of Evil
Photographs by Dick Simon

At Newton Open Studios last month, I took in Dick Simon’s wonderful collection of photographs from his recent trip to Syria. His pictures tell a timely story. They are a study in contrasts, yet they project feelings of warmth, and they are quite beautiful.

My family and I went to Syria to better understand the human story inside this Axis of Evil. The Syria we experienced was not what we expected, the way our media has portrayed it. We found Syria to be a beautiful place with wonderful people.” ~ excerpted from Dick Simon’s artist’s statement

In the photo below, see Patty Simon dressed in red strolling comfortably near women covered in black. In another, the ancient narrow street frames a stylish line of clothing hung on hangers. In yet another, a shop window displays golden mannequins wrapped in chic headscarves. Some of these pictures reminded me of other ancient cities I visited on my trip to Italy in 2005. But this is not romantic Italy. This is Syria, with all the cliches about a country full of terrorists and zealots, a dangerous place according to some press stories. These wonderful images help to extinguish negative associations. They are in themselves a visual exercise in “Understanding Our Differences.”Dick Simon - Photos from Syria

Roger Ebert wrote a blog post, “How Did They Get to Be Like That?” In it he says, “… I saw black people differently–and brown people and Asians as well. I made friends, I dated, I worked with them, I drank with them, we cooked, we partied, we laughed, sometimes we loved. This is as it should have been from the start of my life, but I was born into a different America and was a child of my times until I learned enough to grow up. I do not propose myself as an example, because I was carried along with my society as it awkwardly felt and fought its way out of racism.”

In Dick Simon’s artist’s statement, there is a quote from Mark Twain.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”

Chic Head Scarves

I was fortunate enough to get to know Dick Simon when our children went to the same elementary school. I knew him to be a strong community leader, a successful businessman, and a loving family man. Last year I learned about his fascinating and successful urban farming venture. Dick and his family have multiple organic vegetable flats in their yard next to the inground pool. (Talk about juxtapositions!) During The Newton Open Studios this May, visitors were equally interested in the garden along with the art. Now I see Dick as an artist. He has clear vision and makes brilliant connections. He lives his life doing good work. He is a humanitarian and I feel blessed to have him in my sphere.

Newton Artist Dick Simon in Syria

Clint Eastwood said, “The less secure a.” Dick is secure enough to take risks by venturing into new disciplines. With his art, he is opening dimensions for us all.

man is, the more likely he is to have extreme prejudice

Newton Artist Dick Simon

Download Dick’s Statement Here

 

Lisa Monahan, Architect Turned Artist at Newton Open Studios

Lisa Monahan, Architect Turned Artist at Newton Open Studios

Lisa Monahan, Architect Turned Artist at Newton Open Studios
www.switchgearkit.com
Contact: info@switchgearkit.com

Combination 2Snappy SwitchGear™ Kits are Designed for Endless Possibilities!Lisa Monahan

Lisa Monahan has been working as a metalsmith for the past 15 years. She uses her creative talents tocraft beautiful jewelry andCombination3 sculptured wall art. To many her most interesting work is her line of hoops, loops and necklaces in her patent pending product called SwitchGear™ Kits. Each kit makes 100+ EarringCombinationscombinations and is a gift of creativity that keeps on giving! The earrings are light weight and comfortable and come in a variety of materials from copper, silver, gold, semiprecious stones and vintage pieces. Combinationmore One SwitchGearKitthing we can be sure of in this world is change. These clever little kits are made for todays world. Depending on what you wear or even how youCombination5 feel, you can design your earrings to suit your outfit and your mood. 😉 Snappy SwitchGear™ Kits are designed for endless possibilities.

Like many people, Lisa Monahan, has switched from her former career as architect to become a metalist,  jewelry designer, and entrepreneur.  And Lisa gives back. Every SwitchGear™ Kit sold supports survivors of domestic violence. Lisa is a ‘gem’ in our community!

Creative Energies Shine at Newton Open Studios

Creative Energies Shine at Newton Open Studios

Turquois necklace by June Lion

Last Sunday, craving a dose of culture, I visited The NOS Juried Show at the Newton Culture Center on Nevada Street. I was not disappointed. Not only was the work impressive, I also enjoyed socializing with some old friends and made some new ones. Fascinating to find how many artists are compelled to produce on many different levels.

Newton Actor Creates Museum Quality Jewelry Design

Drawn to the beautiful chunky necklace woven from beads from all over the world, I was delighted to meet the spirited June Lion. The robin’s egg blue stone necklace is made with turquoise from the Sleeping Beauty Mines in Arizona. http://www.sbturquoise.com/. The natural stones in her creations Chunky necklace woven from beadsare a joy to wear. See Kris Schaffer below wearing one of June’s beautiful orange pieces. June came to her arts after a long and successful career as an actor. She has appeared in films such as Jumanju, The Autumn Heart, as well as, in over 40 commercials. June has also performed at the Charles Playhouse. A delightful lady with an abundance of positive energy, you can contact her at junesjewels@verizon.net.

 

Interior Designer Produces Elegant Series of Oil on Canvas Paintings

Kris ShafferKris Shaffer created a series of paintings studying imaginative arrangements of books. For me it was a mini art class to hear her articulate her investigations of certain aspects of the art of painting. She discovered that by arranging books in different compositions offered her the opportunity to explore space, shadows, angles, depth, and volume. In addition, she limited her color palate by often using only the non-spine edge of the books. The Books by Kris Shaffercreation of this series was an exercise in presenting her vision while challenging her as an artist. Needless to say, I was impressed by her expression and found the paintings beautiful and organized in a very comforting manner. Kris brings her talent and vision to her work as an Interior Designer. I have seen her work, in fact, the curtains hanging in my kitchen, often so admired by friends and family, are a product of her creative vision. Contact Krist at krisshaffer@netscape.net.

 

Graphic Designer Expresses Himself Working with Photography and Mixed MediaMixed Media Collage by Paul Regensburg

It’s difficult to capture the highly sophisticated essence of the work of Paul Regensburg. Being a bit of a photography buff, I know enough to be dangerous. Paul is a craftsman and one with the crisp sense of precision required in the study of physics, the mother and science behind photography. Coupled with his skills and experience as a graphic designer, he produces stunning photos and collages of mixed media. Paul is also the President and Creative Director of Raincastle, a strategic marketing and interactive firm. Visit www.raincastle.com and see a beautiful example of a complex web site that communicates with a clean and concise style.

How did they find the time? Talk about living with intention. I am inspired by these people and their work and look forward to the exhibits coming up over the winter. This is just another reason why I love Newton.

Newton Open Studios Juried Craft Show

Juried by Elizabeth Geller, Head of Corporate Program, DeCordova Sculpture Park + Museum.

See 10 of those artists for a 3-week Preview Exhibit
Oct. 16 to Nov. 5 at NewTV Art Gallery

Reception, Thursday Oct. 29, 7-9 pm., at NewTV, with refreshments by Lincoln Street Coffee.
NewTV is located at 23 Needham St.
Gallery Hours: Mon-Thurs 10:30 to 9pm, Fri-Sat 10:30 to 5:30pm, Sun 12:30 to 5:30pm

http://www.newtonopenstudios.com/events.asp