Weaving culture, beauty and business: Fallou’s African Braiding Salon

Growing up in Senegal, Farma Fallou would not have guessed that an everyday activity — braiding hair in the local style — would become the foundation of an American life for herself and the family she would one day have. But since her arrival in the U.S. in 2001, she has built a braiding company that has sent two daughters to college and earned her a respected place in Malden’s business community. Today, the owner of Fallou’s African Braiding Salon in Malden, Massachusetts sees a dozen or more clients each week and employs her daughters, a niece, and other skilled hair braiders part-time. “I am very grateful, and bless God every day,” says Fallou. The salon at 14 Irving Street, just off Main Street in Malden Square, is a long room with four chairs for customers and more for family members and friends to keep customers company. It is common for customers to bring a husband, mother, or friend along, as most braided hair styles take several hours to complete. Every chair has a sight line to the television where, […]


Expert Larry Cultrera discusses Malden-area diners

Larry Cultrera, author of two books on classic diners, said it was love at first sight when it comes to his life-long passion. “The writing was way down the road from my initial interest,” Cultrera told What’s New Malden. “I was interested in diners from the time I was a little kid, probably four or five years old. My dad told me about diners, that they are actually pre-fabricated restaurants. They look somewhat like railroad cars but they’re not railroad cars or converted railroad cars.” Cultrera, who grew up in Medford and is currently living in Saugus,  said he would love to spot diners when his father drove him around the Boston area. “I noticed all of the diners that we had at that time in the ’50s and early ’60s,” he recalled. “And as time went on they started to disappear. By 1980 I was getting into photography and I started photographing diners as a documentation type of a thing.” Over the past 36 years, Cultrera photographed more than 800 diners. The 63-year-old author […]


Farewell to Malden High’s principal Dana Brown

Malden High School’s outgoing principal Dana Brown was selected as the Massachusetts Principal of the Year by the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators Association (MSSAA). Here’s an excerpt from a press release from MSSAA: “This program annually recognizes principals who demonstrate exemplary skills in instructional leadership, supporting a safe learning environment and fostering a collaborative culture of decision making among members of the school community. Mr. Brown will receive the 38th Bertram H. Holland Award at the annual MSSAA Leadership Institute at the Hyannis Resort and Conference Center on July 27, 2016. Mr. Brown has created a collaborative culture at Malden High that bases all decision-making on a simple question; “Is it good for students?” Youngsters come to Malden High with a variety of learning styles. In addition, some come as parents, part-time workers or newly immigrated. Attending to all students takes creativity, hard work and patience.” –MSSAA For just a few moments, I waited in the Malden High School Boyle conference room for Principal Dana Brown to arrive. The stark walls, devoid of distractions, shared […]


“Inside Malden” interviews musician Peter Moore

When asked what a song about Malden would be, singer songwriter, producer, performer Peter Moore gave the perfect answer, “It depends on who asks for it.” Peter Moore is as versatile, creative, edgy, and adaptive as artists get… able to bend styles, experiment with sound, inject quirks, and apply variety to the need. He intrigues listeners whether singing on stage with Blue Man Group or performing with his current rock band Count Zero, producing a kickstarter-funded rock opera, Heterotopia, writing songs that were picked up by video games such as Rock Band 2 or Guitar Hero, or songs like Hire a Bird that rail against the destruction of the earth and reach the Top 500 Songs of All Time on Boston radio station WFNX. There is no doubt, Peter Moore could provide a number of songs for Malden in styles to suit our colorful demographic makeup and sensibilities. His voracious creativity and addiction to keeping himself and the audience curious and intrigued is what keeps him out of any one category. Yes, he writes pop […]


SEBIO featured on “Release The Sounds”

It’s a new month, which means Release the Sounds is featuring a new local band. For May, we have SEBIO in our studio. SEBIO (SEE-be-oh) is a four-piece band that has been together for just over a year but they sound like they’ve been together since high school. Stephan Nordgren is the driving force behind the currently-available EP, In Hardwood Groves, writing and playing the instruments in the recordings. James F. Forbes, the guitarist, met and connected with Stephan in a Craigslist transaction that went very right for once (details in the episode). James brought bassist, Erica Belden, and drummer, Brett Pieper, into the mix to round out the performing lineup. Their atmospheric and driving set takes us on a continuous journey of peaks and valleys which finally concludes with a chugging, anthemic climax. The chemistry of the band is undeniable on stage and off. We find out more about them in a fun curbside interview in the May edition of Release the Sounds. Up next for SEBIO is some quality time writing and recording. […]


Trail of Gears: Winslow’s journey to bike to the sea

The Pacific Ocean loomed just over the Santa Cruz Mountains about thirty miles away in California. Growing up in San Jose, Steve Winslow yearned to ride over the mountains to the coastline, but it never happened.  Later in 1989,  as a married couple, Helen and Steve Winslow moved from the bicycling nirvana of Davis, California to Malden as a most convenient place to commute to work in Boston.  Winslow recalls, “I remember trying to bike up Washington Street to Melrose and it was horrible.” The Winslows were appalled by the local horrendous biking conditions and the resulting lack of cyclists. It was time for change in their new community. Winslow explored the abandoned railroad bed running through Malden.  He followed it to where he could smell the salt marshes of Revere. Winslow reflects,“We are really close to the ocean and wouldn’t it be great to bike to the beach!” This would be such an easy and fun ride with a total elevation of 108 feet. But, the virtual challenging mountains of Malden, Everett, Saugus and […]


Young, a luthier in Malden, creates musical magic

When walking through the front doors of 190 Main Street, one is greeted at the intersection of two worlds: A wall display of shiny guitars in varied sizes and styles and a workbench with tools that mend and build guitars. This is the studio of R. Jeff Young, known as RJ, who is a certified Luthier (maker of string instruments, particularly guitars) as well as a teacher and performer. His music workshop contains a wealth of information and experience. After a tour of his studio, we got to ask a few questions about his career of guitar playing, repair and building. Growing up in New Jersey, Young had an older brother who influenced his interest in learning to play. Young graduated to formal lessons followed by excursions to Spain where he became enamored with flamenco music that he still favors this day. His musical interest has taken him around the world to study and play along well-known musicians. Young is a student disciple of Mario Escudero, a Spanish flamenco guitar virtuoso recognized among the best […]


“Inside Malden” interviews pianist Yelena Beriyeva

Traveling all the way from the Republic of Georgia to Malden, pianist Yelena Beriyeva brings us notes – of all kinds – that are worth listening to. With melodies that glisten and phrasing thoughtfully timed, her playing echoes some hard-learned and practiced principles that resonate and inspire, both on the stage and in conversation. There is a quiet yet deliberate positive vibe and a collaborative spirit you feel in Beriyeva’s presence that is born out of years of tireless work and the string of hardships she and her family endured in the Republic of Georgia after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Beriyeva’s life of music began at age three in Tbilisi, when her mother, a musician, observed both her daughters’ natural musical abilities and began to groom the sisters for lives as professional musicians. Through the upheavals in political and daily life, her family stayed close, and the two Beriyeva sisters, both professional pianists today, played through the turmoil. The family was eventually able to come to the United States, first to […]


Interview with James Labbe, captain of Malden’s Salvation Army

James Labbe, captain of the Salvation Army located at 213 Main St. in Malden, talked with Neighborhood View‘s Richard Umbro on February 12, 2016. Here’s the interview: Our meeting was impromptu and rather brief. His handshake was firm and his demeanor was informal, yet sincere. My first question was a bit clumsy due to my inexperience and limited expertise in this type of venue. However, his presence had a calming quality and effect. UMBRO: The title, “captain,” before your name conjures up a military countenance. How was the name derived? LABBE: The term “captain” originates from the “Army of Salvationists.” It’s not to be construed as militaristic, only symbolic. The purpose and intent of the “army” was and still is the salvation of the poor, the destitute, the homeless, the hungry and those who have chosen the wrong path. The Salvation Army was founded in 1865, in the East End of London, England by an itinerant Methodist minister. He embraced a ministry for the salvation of thieves, gamblers, prostitutes and street people. His name was William […]


Inside Malden: Ideas and Stories That Inspire

Blog, TV show and podcast premieres this month Community resident Ose Schwab aims to “introduce Malden to itself” with a local groundbreaking multi-media program that features in-depth personal stories that inspire. The one-hour interview format show premieres this month on MATV Public Access (Comcast 3, Verizon 28) and online with an accompanying blog on MATV’s citizen journalism site Neighborhood View ( It is also available as a podcast (downloadable or streamed) from the Neighborhood View site. Inside Malden will offer introspective conversations with Malden change-makers, including thought leaders, artists, musicians, scientists, activists, writers, etc. who live or work in Malden. The premiere episode features an interview with Malden resident Souad Akib, who is the founder and Executive Director of the American Association for Arab Women (AAAW). The AAAW is a non-profit organization empowering women from Arab countries to thrive in their new home. By supporting these women, the AAAW helps families to thrive in Malden. Malden benefits by this service as immigrant families become engaged residents. In addition, the AAAW sponsors events that invite all […]