Articles by Reena Karasin

Crafting A Neighborhood at Assembly Row

“This used to be nothing, back in the day,” says Vanessa Martinez, an assistant marketing manager for Federal Realty Investment Trust, the developer of Assembly Row. “It kind of was a pile of dirt. There was not really much here before we came in.” Assembly Square has come a long way since its days as […]


What’s Happening at East Somerville Main Streets

East Somerville Main Streets is hard at work supporting the neighborhood’s small businesses. The organization is focusing on three big tasks, according to Executive Director Teresa Vazquez-Dodero: making connections that benefit small businesses, helping companies make investments in the neighborhood, and making the Kensington Underpass safer. Making Connections to Support Small Businesses East Somerville Main […]


‘Moon Eaters’ Creates Platform for APIA, Femme Voices

Somerville resident Lily Xie and her fellow creators choose the words of their mission statement with great care, laying out the groundwork of a zine at the intersection of Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) and femme identities. “Moon Eaters is a place for us to talk to each other about representation and cross-diaspora experiences. We […]


The Arts Council’s Rachel Strutt On the Language of Food

Rachel Strutt, program director at the Somerville Arts Council, has always been interested in helping to amplify marginalized voices. She got her master’s degree in medieval art history at Tufts, studying the “people on the margins.” She continued with her passion of promoting people’s stories as a journalist, and eventually carried that drive to the […]


‘We Envision Gas Stations As Hubs of Environmental Advocacy’

You use reusable shopping bags. You recycle, and maybe even compost. You take the T whenever you can. But sometimes, driving is unavoidable—maybe your job is inaccessible by public transit, or maybe the bus never showed. You take your car, even though you cringe when you think of the impact non-electric cars have on the […]


The SheBoom Sisterhood

They have many names for themselves. “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Drums.” “The Rolling Crones.” A “post-menopausal percussion and vocal ensemble.” They are many things—women, activists, mothers. One was a realtor, another’s a former professor, and a third has written five books about Halloween. They came together haphazardly. “It’s a small world in Somerville and […]


Somer Fest Variety Show Heads to ArtFarm

What is Somer Fest? Think of it as a variety show: It’s rap, it’s magic, it’s comedy. Zoë Reiches and Stephond Goler—a married couple and co-curators of Somer Fest—have been putting on their variety shows for years under the moniker “Thorpe Street Presents…” Reiches is a semi-professional, part-time magician, and Goler moonlights as the rapper […]


Ignite! Festival Returns to Union Square

The annual Ignite! Festival will return to Union Square on Saturday for a night of food, cultural exchange, performances, and fire. Designed to “showcase the incredibly delicious and diverse food landscape of Union Square”—according to Rachel Strutt, cultural director for the Somerville Arts Council—the festival weaves together dishes from the fabric of the city. There […]


Mobile Library Pops Up in Union

The public library’s on the go through Aug. 6, bringing a mini version of the library to Bow Market. A collection of about 60 to 100 books—staff favorites from various departments—can be checked out thanks to a computer system that lets librarians check out books and sign people up for library cards. A “DIY corner” […]


Sofar Sounds Brings Hyperlocal, Secret Shows

Sofar Sounds, a network of intimate concerts in more than 400 cities worldwide, is pushing a new type of music experience—one that is personal rather than distant, focused rather than chaotic. “Our founding principle [is] respecting music, listening to musicians, supporting them as much as we can, and giving them the focus and attention that […]


EHChocolatier To Move to Cambridge

Acclaimed chocolate maker EHChocolatier will move out of its Windsor Street home of eight years and into West Cambridge this fall, according to its founders. The new location at 145 Huron Ave. will allow for a better customer shopping experience than the current spot which, co-founder Elaine Hsieh explains, is a bit hidden in an industrial […]