Articles by Tim Gagnon

MEET YOUR WINNERS: Shopping

Bicycle Shop: Ace Wheelworks 145 Elm St., (617) 776-2100 wheelworks.com We’re quick to tell our readers about the heroes and notable folks living in their neighborhood, but Ace Wheelworks might take the cake with its humble brag of having “a former Olympic cyclist, current National Collegiate Champ, and a rock star” on staff. Thankfully, the shop’s […]


The YouTube Icon Next Door

The Creator of ‘Potter Puppet Pals’ Talks About Finding His Voice Online and In Somerville Thirty minutes into our conversation, Neil Cicierega politely suggests that he’s open to talking about his experience of living in Somerville for the past eight years. Between tales of phone calls with the Warner Bros. legal department over unlicensed merch […]


How the Bicycle Committee Is Making Our Streets Safer

A recurring theme in our conversation with Ken Carlson, the chair of the Somerville Bicycle Committee, is the championing of “good frustration.” “People who aren’t used to biking in a place that has decent bike facilities will come and say to me, ‘Wow, I really love biking in Somerville,’” Carlson says. “My response is yeah, […]


Lee Erica Palmer Inspires State Legislation

While most elected officials can vividly recall the blood, sweat, and tear-soaked path to completing their first campaign for office, Lee Erica Palmer couldn’t have been more prepared for her initial run as school committee representative for Ward 3 in 2015. “Unlike a lot of first-time candidates who can be surprised by what it takes […]


Ben Ewen-Campen Helps Usher In a New Era of Local Politics

Progressive candidates backed by the local chapter of Our Revolution ushered the city into a new political era in November, when all nine candidates who were endorsed by the Bernie Sanders-inspired group took seats on the board of aldermen and the school committee. Ben Ewen-Campen brought to the table a platform rooted in creating affordable […]


The City-Wide Waiting Game for Weed

What the Path Forward Looks Like for Hopeful Recreational Marijuana Dispensaries After nearly two years of legislative discussion and preparation, the day that recreational marijuana advocates in Massachusetts have been waiting for … well, sort of arrived. July 1 was the first day that recreational dispensaries could open, but the state didn’t even announce its […]


Artist Spotlight: JJ Gonson

Over JJ Gonson’s shoulder at Diesel Café is a striking photograph she took of a now-deceased friend, Kurt. She first met him in 1989 at Green Street Station, a now-defunct venue steps away from the actual T stop in Jamaica Plain. Kurt and his bandmates crashed at Gonson’s apartment after their set, rolling out foam […]


Artist Spotlight: Rachel Mello

“Most people look at my work and say, ‘Oh god, it’s so obvious you were an architect,” Rachel Mello says. While the business of zoning maps and floor plans can easily overwhelm the blueprint-illiterate, Mello’s house-shaped canvases bearing painted images of nature evoke the ephemeral state of neighborhood development and time’s passage more than anything […]


Artist Spotlight: Jen Epervary

Articulating struggles with mental health through art can seem like a daunting task, but illustrator Jen Epervary broaches the subject with warmth—and occasional references to the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures.” “It’s about this super buff Hot Topic cashier that yells at ghosts, but [it’s] this idea that there is a different world living within our […]


Artist Spotlight: Ian Berg

When you Google Ian Berg, the first video result shows a circle of 20- and 30-somethings gripping Solo cups and cheering loudly over his tap dancing. Berg’s long curly hair bobs seconds after the rest of his body as his feet move at hummingbird speed. I tell him the crowd is so energetic and youthful, […]


From Pouring Pints to Shielding Downpours

Beer taps get a second life, thanks to local craftsman Ben Lewis Upon first glance, Ben Lewis’s apartment doesn’t seem like a mad craftsman’s lair. His cat, Leona, lopes around the brightly lit Somerville space to a looping playlist of Bowie and Modern Lovers songs. A selection of Lewis’s pet projects threaten to overflow the […]


Sign Holders of Somerville

Although Mayor Joseph Curtatone certainly made the rounds to polling locations earlier today as Somerville decided whether to re-elect him or side with challenger Payton Corbett, the hand-shaking and general waving was slightly pared down with a sling around his arm. A fall on the ice at his son’s hockey practice was the cause, but […]