Education

Indigenous wisdom, poetry and history guide community event at Malden River

By Anne D’Urso-Rose I know that our ancestors are really happy for the work that we’re doing. It’s been a 400-year fracture – with colonization and assimilation – and it’s really going to take all of us to come together, in ways like this, to bring balance back to the land and to the water. Andre StrongBearHeart Gaines, Jr. – Malden, MA, 9-24-22 As the country recognizes indigenous Peoples Month this November, Neighborhood View reflects on a recent community event that embodied the spirit of remembering, understanding and connecting with Native people, history and culture. “Words on the Water” (morning) and “Project Misik” (afternoon) was a combined day-long event on Sept. 24 in a spot along the banks of the Malden River that is generally hidden from public view. In that space, more than 200 residents, a sampling of Malden’s diverse community, gathered over the course of the day to take part in an Indigenous blessing ceremony, paddle canoes on the waterway, share a meal of Haitian food from “The Island” restaurant, and learn how […]

Featured

Advocate Founder James Mitchell: “A newspaper is something that belongs to the city”

By Shannon A. Garrido Berges Old black and white photographs of bikers soaring over cars and a dramatic shot of the Hindenburg surround me. I sit in an office filed with stacks of  newspapers that read “Advocate’” in bold red letters. The man behind the headlines,  James David Mitchell, sits before me. Mitchell, founder of The Advocate, discusses his journey in approaching the world of local journalism. He details the challenges The Advocate has and continues to face and what that means for the future of local journalism.  His father, James Mitchell Sr.—who sits at the desk parallel from us— started the Chelsea Advocate when Mitchell was a child and worked on many other publications as well. His father’s occupation became a source of interest for Mitchell from a young age  and heavily influenced him to pursue journalism. “When I was a kid, my father used to take me [and my three siblings] to his newspaper office, but I was kind of the only one who was always reading all the time,” said Mitchell. After […]

Arts

ChronoSquad Malden: Exploring History and Identity through Virtual Worlds

By Amanda De Rosa In a cross between Pokémon Go” and a historical tour, a new gaming app lets users both young and old visually travel back in time in Malden to experience the city’s colorful past. ChronoSquad: Malden – a free gaming app available to download via Google Play and Apple Apps stores – follows four detectives, Tam, Su, Francis, and Max, who discover a magic camera that can see through time, called the Chronoscope. The app transforms the user’s mobile phone camera into the Chronoscope, and the app’s integrated map and clues from the ChronoSquad help players discover various portals throughout Malden. When these locations are discovered, the Chronoscope reveals hidden histories using augmented reality. This local history scavenger hunt features five different episodes of play, each focusing on different areas of Malden, and reveals historical stories of immigration, abolition, suffrage, and labor. Celia Pearce, the creative director of the ChronoSquad: Malden, is a game developer and professor of game design at Northeastern University. She and a team of her students worked to […]

Featured

Finding inspiration in Malden’s History: Inna Babitskaya

In May 2020, Malden Reads planned to host the Malden Mass. Memories Road Show (MMRS), a statewide, event-based, participatory digital archiving program that documents people, places, and events in Massachusetts history through family photographs and stories. Due to the pandemic, the in-person event could not be held. So Neighborhood View, in collaboration with Malden Reads, is contributing photographs and stories online as part of the Malden Mass. Memories Stuck-at-Home Show. The following story continues the series of participant profiles, which focus on photographs and what they mean to that resident of Malden. By Joy Pearson  Although we all live in an historical context, our focuses differ. We are shaped by the places and cultures in which we have lived and in which we currently live. But only some of us have eyes that see history everywhere. Inna Babitskaya’s view of life is indelibly guided by historical and cultural lenses. She gravitates to and admires historic buildings. She seeks out biographical facts. When she writes, she writes from an historical point of view. This developed from Inna’s childhood […]

Events

Chamber of Commerce festival brings alive Malden’s business and commerce past

By Sky Malerba On July 24, Malden residents, many dressed in top hats and long dresses, moseyed outside the Converse Memorial Library for a special summer festival. On the shimmering front lawn, a trio of singers sang hymns from their open songbooks. Ginger beer was sold, old friends and strangers alike greeted each other. The scene may have resembled something from 1891 but this particular festival took place in the year 2021 from 3 to 6 in the afternoon, as part of the larger Malden Summer Festival series. The “1891 Night”  festival, in which participants dressed up in period Victorian costumes, marked the 130th anniversary of the Malden Chamber of Commerce. Founded on March 31, 1891, the chamber now has over 300 members. Asked about the event’s theme, Chamber of Commerce President Donna Denoncourt, dressed in an off-the-shoulder white gold dress, said, “We wanted… to recognize the history… and all the chamber does in connecting people.” The Malden resident, who began her career as a financial advisor with Waddell & Reed in 2013, has been […]

Education

Researching Black Lives (Enslaved and Free) in Colonial Malden

By Amanda DeRosa  On the Brooks Estate in Medford, once a part of Malden, there is a brick wall about three feet high, built by an enslaved man named Pomp. Pomp’s Wall serves as a reminder that there were enslavers in New England, just as there were enslavers in the South. “It is important that people understand that Northern slavery was significant and involved tens of thousands of enslaved people,” said Dora St. Martin, director of Malden Public Library, who is leading a long-term research project, titled “Black Lives (Enslaved and Free) in Colonial Malden.”   “This project hopes to provide a view into the lives (of) free and enslaved Blacks in Malden from 1760 to 1800.  The project will allow us to understand the centrality and importance of African Americans in the history of the founding era of Malden,” St. Martin said. St. Martin recently hosted a public Zoom lecture event, detailing updates on the research team’s findings. The lecture was funded in part by Revisiting the Founding Era, a four-year national initiative of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History presented […]

Featured

Community Spotlight: Asian American businesses and organizations make an impact in Malden

A look at Wah Lum Academy, District Kitchen, and the Chinese Culture Connection. By Saliha Bayrak and Kyla Denisevich. Photos by Keren He. What started off as martial arts lessons in the driveway of Mai Du 15 years ago is now the nationally renowned Wah Lum Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy in Malden and Quincy. Lined with a diverse array of businesses and organizations, Malden is a microcosm of a culturally rich world. Many of these locations are owned and operated by Asian Americans — entrepreneurs and community leaders like Du who are shaping the city to reflect their culture. Asians are the second-largest ethnic group in the city, comprising 22.5 percent of the population. Asian Americans have made unmeasurable contributions to the city and played a significant role in the community, which sometimes goes under appreciated. Denzil Mohammed directs the Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute, which works to educate Americans about the contributions of immigrants. “More than 11% of immigrant Asians in the U.S. are self-employed, meaning they’re entrepreneurs, they have some […]

Featured

The Show is Over for Showcase in Revere

By Nicholas Forgione If 2020 were a disaster movie, an obvious cliche would be the end of a long-standing movie-house in America’s Beach City. In fall of 2020, Revere’s Showcase Cinema de Lux —  closed due to pandemic restrictions — announced that its doors would  not reopen and that the property would change hands. While the area has other  movie-houses, (including some owned by Showcase), the end of Revere’s Showcase is the end of an era.  From its location near Revere’s Northgate Shopping Center, on the border of Malden’s Ward 8 along Route 1, Showcase Cinema was the backdrop for, and part of, the stories of area residents for more than five decades.   The  end of the Revere’s Showcase Cinema reflects the conflict between  sentiment and practicality.  Earlier this year, National Amusements Inc., the owner of Showcase Cinemas, reached an agreement with real estate firm NorthBridge Partners for the sale of the theater;  the property will be leased to  Amazon.  Jonathan, a former resident of Malden who worked at Showcase in the 1990s, recalls “lots of fun memories.”  Jonathan concedes to being “saddened” at an emotional level. And, he […]

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Linda Mazonson Zalk: Places we’ll remember all our lives

In May 2020, Malden Reads planned to host the Malden Mass. Memories Road Show (MMRS), a statewide, event-based participatory archiving program that documents people, places, and events in Massachusetts history through family photographs and stories stored in a digital archive at openarchives.umb.edu.  Due to the pandemic, the in-person event could not be held. This summer the MMRS team invited anyone with a connection to Malden to contribute photographs and stories online as part of the Malden Mass. Memories Stuck-at-Home Show. Through January 2021, you can take part in the online version and submit your own photos via this link. This is the fourth profile in the series.  By Marielle A. Gutierrez The physical places in Malden hold so many memories to its residents. However, over time, hometowns evolve—places that Maldonians frequented as a child or as a young adult are no longer there. There is no longer a physical place to attach a memory to. It is important to remember and record what is gone, or else an important piece of history is lost. Linda Zalk (formerly Linda Mazonson) may know this […]

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Malden Memory Makers: Neal Anderson makes politics a family affair

In May 2020, Malden Reads planned to host the Malden Mass. Memories Road Show (MMRS), a statewide, event-based participatory archiving program that documents people, places, and events in Massachusetts history through family photographs and stories stored in a digital archive at openarchives.umb.edu.  Due to the pandemic, the in-person event could not be held. This summer the MMRS team invited anyone with a connection to Malden to contribute photographs and stories online as part of the Malden Mass. Memories Stuck-at-Home Show. Till January 7, you can take part in the online version and submit your own photos via this link. This is the fourth profile in the series.  “Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society.” –John Lewis, congressman and civil rights icon  By Marielle A. Gutierrez The words of the late Rep. John Lewis aptly describe City Councilor Neal Anderson’s motivation for entering a life of public service and his dedication to serving the city of Malden. Anderson has served as Ward 7 City Councilor for  a total of 26 […]