Arts can create “a sense of place” in Malden

By Robin Inman This is another in a series exploring the future of development in Malden. Read part one, two, three and four here.  Greg Cook, a long-time Malden resident and creator of Wonderland magazine, loves this city. But he fears that – like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz – something is lacking. A heart. “Malden struggles because it doesn’t have a geographic heart. It struggles to have places where people mix and share ideas. Places where people meet, bump into each other and learn new ideas and hear what each other is doing; are inspired or challenged to do even better,” says Cook, who works as publicist for the Cambridge Arts Council, creates festivals with the Somerville Arts Council, and was a reporter and art critic for WBUR’s The ARTery. Having a heart or a sense of place is not just a lofty ideal. This is integral to the concept of Smart Growth, which can guide a city in creating a prosperous and livable community. A key factor in creating a heart or a sense […]


Bring One, Take One: FOOGI hosts 13th annual Plant Swap

By Bonnie Blanchard and Jennifer McClain After such a long sloggy winter, it was delightful to bike to the Malden Community Garden on the Bike Path on Saturday, June 9, for the 13th annual FOOGI (Friends of Oak Grove, Inc) Plant Swap.  Although the season had just kicked off, many in the community garden community had tried and true tested varieties ready to swap. Not only were there the plants themselves but the advice to go with them. And not just plants but bulbs, roots, seeds and more. Many participants were armed with a myriad of plants, books, and miscellaneous garden items. The granite stone wall of the garden was soon lined with all manner of great garden paraphernalia. The signs separating the items for swapping were labeled: Sun, Part Sun, Shade, Veggies and Herb, and Miscellaneous Garden Items. This allowed everyone to pick what they needed based on what they had room and sun for.  The gardens themselves were also open for everyone to get a glimpse. A delightful children’s “Vegetable Soup Garden” was […]


Bike, Zip and More: How Malden can share the road for smarter transportation 

This is another in a series exploring the future of  development in Malden. Read part one, two and three here.  By Karen Buck Can the United States break its addiction to automobiles? Many Americans have, in part by turning to that trusty two-wheel vehicle — the bicycle. The Boston area, in fact, has been in love with biking since 1877 [Lorenz J. Finison, Boston’s Cycling Craze, 1880-1900: A Story of Race, Sport, and Society (2014).] Today, many cities, particularly in Europe, have made a push for bike-friendly communities.  Some areas are turning to bike-sharing programs and some even see this as a great investment opportunity. During the fall of 2017, the City of Malden instituted a pilot bike share program by allowing two bike share companies, LimeBike and Ofo, to trial their bike-system in Malden. Shortly thereafter, our city was punctuated by 200 lime green and 200 yellow bikes. Why a bike share? Many Malden residents don’t own bicycles due to lack of storage or the ability to maintain personal bikes.  Many bike share programs, such as Hubway Bikeshare in […]


Artist, explorer, photographer captures images of a frozen world

By Jennifer McClain This is this is another in the series on “Treasures at the Library.” Please note that direct photographs of artwork at the library is not permitted. Even as William Bradford  was stranded on an ice-locked ship. he kept drawing and photographing. The eerie and desolate view of frozen water everywhere was for him the epitome of magnificence. As one of Bradford’s companions, Alpheus Spring Packard, wrote in his journal: “From the mountains above us we watched, day after day, the ceaseless march of icebergs and cakes, large and small.” Viewing In the Lee of the Iceberg (1883), a painting at the Malden Public Library by Bradford, you can imagine this very scene. The ship is placed just right of a massive mountain of snow and ice that dwarfs the ship before it. The water appears hard and cold with sheets of ice that seem to be moving as you look at them. To emphasize the grandness of the expanse, another tiny ship is placed just to the left of the iceberg. Bradford (1823 […]