I have this idea that posting flyers is unique to city living.
It’s not, exactly. As a kid in New Jersey, my family sometimes pinned notices about kittens (FREE!) to the local grocery store bulletin board. Summers, I hand wrote bubble-letter yard sale announcements on bright pink poster paper.
I’d claim flyering in the ‘burbs plays “rarely-visiting distant cousin” to the “endless house guest” of taking to the streets with packing tape, cracked box of pushpins secured with a rubber band, and slowly wrinkling stack of flyers tucked under an arm as one narrow-eyes a telephone pole, wondering how long a notice might stay before someone else covers it up, or rips it down . . .
This weekend, my partner and I flyered for his band’s upcoming show in Somerville. I’ve beat the streets fairly consistently since my days organizing the Boston NOW Feminist Culture Club (defunct) and Boston Knit-Out & Crochet festivals (re-imagined), also frequently flyering for my current job. So I had a few ropes to share with David: do’s and dont’s, whys and hows of this decidedly analog approach to getting out the word.
Phoebe’s flyering dos and don’ts
DO design your flyer to catch the eye and make good use of white space
DO include a call to action (i.e. “COME to our wicked-awesome dance party!”)
DO post wherever you find a dedicated board – check libraries, coffee shops, post offices, supermarkets, thrift stores, ice cream parlors, and realtors – and it’s polite to ask before posting if the pizza guy is staring you down while flipping his dough
DO use flyering as an opportunity to better get to know your neighborhood AND grab a treat while you’re out
DON’T cover up someone else’s flyer, if at all possible (DO exercise your Tetris skills and shift other flyers around -removing any that have expired – until everybody fits)
DON’T flyer near signs that read “post no bills,” especially if the flyer has your name and contact
DON’T flyer at colleges, universities, or city offices unless you’ve secured clearance -they patrol and your flyer might be removed immediately (what we-in-the-business call “wasted effort”)
Our treat, while in Union Square, Somerville, was to finally get a taste of the popular new donuts I’d been hearing so much about. Lucky for us, there were none of the purported lines or long sold out pastries, and all of the clever flavors, cheerful, enthusiastic staff, and fluffy-buttery deliciousness. Yum!
Some stories are so good, a person trips over herself trying to tell them. How to begin?
With my mother and her newly acquired electric keyboard? How she surprised me with an affirmative to my inquiry, asked slightly in jest: hey, Ma, want to do Ladies Rock Camp with me this spring?
With the brief essays we wrote for our applications, mining our memories for favorite musicians and artistic influences (me: Stevie Wonder; mom: Yanni.)
With forty-plus women, in support of girls, signed up for a three-day rock and roll bootcamp? With Girls Rock Campaign Boston, bursting on the scene in 2010, educating girls ages eight to seventeen in the ways of music and self-empowerment.
The story, on paper or on screen, holds more than I can give words to. More nerve. More verve. More vulnerabilities. More inspiration. More risk-taking. More generosity. More skill. More dancing. More surprises. More support.
So I’m not going to attempt to tell this tale linear. Here are some impressions. Here are some photos. Here is a challenge for you to sign yourself up (or your daughter, your sister, your mother, your friend), and find out. Tell your own story.
However this thing begins, you can be sure it ends with gratitude.
Oh. And a video. Rocking out to Maids of Mayhem!
That’s right. I said it: SOUPer bowl. At Roxbury’s very own community-boosting Haley House Bakery and Cafe, the sport isn’t how far you can run with a synthetic pigskin, but how much soup you can spoon before gastrointestinal collapse.
For me, in case you wondered, that’s about six or seven bowls filled to 1/4 full.
An event originally organized by now-retired Boston Localvores, the non-profit Haley House has taken over inviting chefs to create soups using wholesome, locally sourced ingredients to raise funds for its programming that addresses homelessness, joblessness, and hopelessness.
At the first Souper Bowl I attended, (Souper Bowl III, I believe), my companions and I picked up our hand-thrown ceramic bowls by MassArt’s Clay for Change and waded into a full-house of soup-lovers.
For my second Souper Bowl experience, I promised myself to work the room strategically but promptly fell for a soulful seafood chowder that blew me and my companions away. Skipped the bread, was careful with the water, but still my stroll home at the end of the evening looked more a waddle. Souper Bowl V, you won, but there’s always next year!
This winter, I got a little taste of summer, Jersey-style. That is: a crowded room of shouting and running young’uns, calmly strolling middles, and smiling, photo-snapping oldies; the beeping-bloop sounds of electronic toys; and the sweet smell of sugar whipped into a pink, puffy cloud.
Sadly (and thankfully), the Homemade Arcade, created by the talented young-uns and staff of KidsArts! Multicultural Afterschool and Summer Program, did not offer cotton candy. What it lacked in kill-you-quick sugar, though, it more than made up for in creative, homegrown fun.
What to do on a snowy winter’s afternoon? Walk on over to KidsArts for . . .
. . . some Whacky Watermelon Minigolf.
Navigating a field of strawberries . . .
and avocado pits . . .
and a tricky pineapple-windmill.
Play some . . .
Toss a tiny basketball.
Dance, dance, the revolution.
Play Pac-Man . . .
. . . pinball . . .
This arcade really hit all the boardwalk standards, and with none of the wood splinters, dank carpet-smell, or dropped hotdogs. I’d say that’s a win.