Monday, January 23, 2012

PopUp Cafe Info Session

Pop-up Café
Information Session

Date:              Tuesday February 7th
Time:             9:00 am
Location:       License Commission
                        831 Mass. Ave., Cambridge

Since being introduced in Cambridge (2006), outdoor dining has been successful in increasing street life, creating a vibrant street atmosphere, making the sidewalk more interesting for pedestrians, supporting local businesses and enhancing sidewalk plantings.  Annually 42 establishments participate in the program; 18 serving alcohol.

Pop-up Cafés are an opportunity to build on the success of the outdoor dining program by using on-street parking spaces for additional café space.  This space can be combined with sidewalk seating to provide a larger seating area than previously permitted, or may allow outdoor dining in areas not previously permitted, due to limited sidewalk width.  Pop-up Cafés have been popular in Europe and have recently been established in California, Pennsylvania, Canada and New York City. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

East Cambridge Planning Team meeting at 7pm

Tonight at 7pm the Division of Capital and Asset Management (DCAM) will be at the East Cambridge Planning Team meeting at the East End House.

DCAM will be briefing residents on the process of putting the Edward J. Sullivan Court house out to bid and how the building could be reused.

The future use of the building will certainly have an impact on the neighborhood so do take some time to tell them what you would like to see happen there.

DCAM was very responsive to some ECBA suggestions after our meeting and did respond to the requests to better maintain the vegetation and clean up the trash that seems to collect in the area.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Little Engine That Could! - Cambridge Symphony Orchestra

Cynthia Woods, Music Director



Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 4:00 PM
Somerville Theatre
55 Davis Square
Somerville, MA

Internet Symphony No. 1 (Eroica) ... Tan Dun
The Little Engine that Could ... Allen Feinstein (book by Watty Piper)
Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major ... Joseph Haydn

Tickets are:
Adults: $10 (advance), $15 (door)
Seniors/Students: $8 (advance), $12 (door)
Children Under 12: $5 (all times)

Tickets can be purchased online through

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January Monthly Meeting Update

At the January 3rd ECBA monthly meeting hosted by Vinfen, ECBA members were joined by John Pelletier of the City of Cambridge's CitySmart Program and representatives from the State's Division of Capital and Asset Management (DCAM).

CitySmart is a program designed to encourage the use of more sustainable transportation for all kinds of trips. It was a three year grant funded program and just finished up in East Cambridge. John shared the results of the surveys and the information gathered during his time working within the East Cambridge neighborhood.  This is the third year of the program and by far showed the most successful results.  The survey reached 17% of East Cambridge households and showed that residents are very in tune with the transportation options around us. John will be posting the full report on their web page in the coming days. 

Some interesting information for ECBA to consider is that the most popular events participants would most likely attend in their neighborhood are; themed walks (63%), support local business events (47%), Park/neighborhood cleanups (44%), community meeting on neighborhood improvements (39%) or transportation improvements (38%), and general neighborhood walks or themed bike rides (both 34%).  We have already hosted  many of the mentioned events, so its encouraging to see a strong desire to have the continue and hopefully evolve into larger neighborhood events.

The Division of Capital and Asset Management (DCAM) approached the ECBA in order to reach the business community and solicit feedback on the future of the Sullivan Courthouse.  We were joined by Commissioner Carole Cornelison and Acting Deputy Commissioner Dana Harrell who explained the process currently underway.  Having no interest in reuse of the building in state or local government , DCAM is seeking requests for proposals for the property.  They stated that world wide interest has been shown in the building due to the proximity to Kendall Square. DCAM has hosted three tours of the building and a full list of interested parties having taken a tour is posted on their website.

Many ECBA members expressed concerns about how the building will blend in with the surrounding neighborhood, how parking would be handled by new owners, and overall building appearance.  DCAM felt that an active ground floor use could be achieved through the sale process and by working with the City and city's zoning  process.  It was also noted that a complimentary use to that of the nearby Multicultural Arts Center may be beneficial as well as a desire to see the building's outer skin upgraded to something more attractive.

RFP's are due at the beginning of February and a proposal should be selected some time in June.

ECBA will continue to monitor this project and hopes to communicate concerns and ideas with DCAM.  We encourage you to share your thoughts and comments with us as we can relay them to DCAM for consideration.