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, […]


Malden Public Library’s historic gates restored

The Malden Public Library’s historic wrought-iron gates have been restored  to their original condition and returned to the Salem Street entrance where they have enclosed the walled garden, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, at the front entrance, since 1911. They were designed by Ludvig Sandoe Ipsen, purchased in 1910 from a $1,000 donation from Mrs. Lillie A.B. Hill of Malden and produced by W.A. Snow Iron Work, Inc.  L.S. Ipsen, decorative artist, was born in Denmark and a graduate of the Academy of Architecture in Copenhagen.  He arrived in Boston around 1867 and eventually moved to Malden. Expressing himself most famously in the decorative arts and illustration, Ipsen was most noted for his book covers, book titles and book plates according to The American Bookmaker, July, 1886.  His illustrated work of “Sonnets from the Portuguese,” by E.B Browning (Tribner & Co.), was described as having been decorated “with exquisite draughtmanship and engraving and designed with taste and grace such as we rarely find surpassed” by The Athenaeum Journal of Literature, Science, The Fine Arts, Music […]


TV SHOW: “What’s New? Malden” for August

In the August edition of Neighborhood View’s What’s New? Malden: See what’s on tap at Idle Hands Craft Ales,the new brewery and taproom that just opened up on Commercial Street. Travel back in time with “Classic Diners of Massachusetts” author and local expert Larry Cultrera. Learn about about a hair art event by Raw: Boston artist Shannon Leigh slotted for August and go on the hunt for Picachu in Malden thanks to the latest Pokemon Go craze. Co-hosts Sharon Fillyaw  and Sam Baltrusis from MATV’s Neighborhood View talk about hair, diners and Pokemon Go in this monthly TV show. The monthly program airs 6:30 p.m. Fridays, Noon Saturdays and 7 p.m. Sundays on MATV’s Channel 3 on Comcast, 28 (Verizon).  


Interfaith community unites at Ramadan Iftar meal

“We need more of this,” says Imene, from Algeria. “The world needs more of this.” And I agreed. We were sitting at the same table during the Ramadan Iftar celebration at First Parish of Malden, enjoying a meal prepared by the sisters from the Outreach Community & Reform Center (O.C.R.C.), a spiritual home for the local Muslim community in Malden. The Iftar is the evening meal eaten at sundown during Ramadan. It is the first meal eaten since before sunrise that day by practicing Muslims. This special Iftar, held on June 18, about two weeks into this year’s month-long celebration of Ramadan, was a shared meal with non-Muslims in the community, organized jointly between the O.C.R.C. and First Parish. “These are delicious,” I said, biting into what looked like a Chinese spring roll, but was filled with chopped beef and some type of cheese. “Oh, I made them,” said Imene. “I find they are always a crowd pleaser.” We agreed that all the food was delicious, much of it cooked by women from the O.C.R.C., […]


TV SHOW: “What’s New? Malden” for July

In the July 2016 edition of Neighborhood View’s What’s New? Malden: Satiate your sweet tooth with Malden’s newest shop on the block Hoff’s Bakery, stay safe this summer with tips from Malden’s former fire chief Jack Colangeli who will also chat about his Italian eatery Jack’s Ristorante. Did you know that Malden was a major player in the American Revolution? Get the lowdown. Also, Neighborhood View’s Liz Taegel talks about juggling her show “Release The Sounds” with the responsibilities of being a new mom. Co-hosts Sam Baltrusis and Sharon Fillyaw unleash the fireworks with the July 2016 edition of “What’s New? Malden.” The monthly program airs 6:30 p.m. Fridays, Noon Saturdays and 7 p.m. Sundays on MATV’s Channel 3 on Comcast, 28 (Verizon).


Celebrate Fourth of July weekend in Malden

The Malden Public Library will display the original and the newly digitized version of Malden’s town records from the Revolutionary war period. Featured will be the May 27, 1776 document entitled “Instructions of the Inhabitants of Malden, Massachusetts to their Representatives in Congress” unanimously voted on by the townspeople of Malden to be delivered to the Second Continental Congress via their representative Ezra Sargeant. In the 1776 communication, the voting citizens of Malden renounce the Colony’s ties to the Kingdom of Great Britain and set forth their wish to become an independent “American” republic. The document is credited as a precursor to the Declaration of Independence written in July of 1776 when the Continental Congress formally declared their independence from England. The original historical document will remain on display for viewing. On Friday, July 1 at 6 p.m. in the Malden Public Library’s front lawn, local historian and period actor Tom Coots will perform the second annual Reading of the town “Instructions.” Here’s Neighborhood View’s coverage from last year:


Bike to the Sea is still blazing a trail

It’s taken me 24 years to finally get up early on a Sunday morning to join the trailblazing Bike to the Sea folks for their annual 20-mile ride from Everett to Nahant Beach. Twenty-four years—that sounds lame, but it’s true. Finally, on Sunday, June 12, 2016, my husband and I biked down to the Doo Wop Diner in Malden to meet friends, Karen and Scott, for a 7:30 a.m. breakfast, and then on to the starting point for the annual ride. (This article was published in June 2016. We are re-posting in interest of the next Bike to the Sea bike ride to be held Sunday, June 11, 2017.) Every year, I thought about doing the ride. When my kids were young, I envisioned us all doing it together, but I could never seem to garner the forces such as they were. I’m essentially a casual bike rider, often too daunted by the long steep hill I live at the top of, which makes finishing my ride an exhausting feat. I love fresh air and […]


Hoff’s Bakery satiates Malden’s sweet tooth

Have a sweet tooth? Head over to Hoff’s Bakery located at 35 Green Street in Malden. The 110,000 square feet facility features a retail component where residents can purchase desserts during regular business hours. Hoff’s, formerly located in Medford invested nearly $8.3 million in renovating the site of the former Asahi America building in order to triple their size. Hoff’s, a family owned and operated company, takes pride in being a forward thinking company that offers exceptional quality products with a personal touch. Nicole and David Frattura, the brother-and-sister team behind the Malden move, talk to MATV’s Neighborhood View about their gourmet cakes, European style tortes, individual desserts, brownies, mini pastries and more.


First Church in Malden is a historic loss

It’s a sunny Spring morning in 2016, and I’m standing outside the First Church in Malden under the shade of a budding tree. A butterfly flits into the sky toward the soaring steeple of the church, and I notice it’s sadly in need of repair. Looking at the facade, it’s hard for me to believe that this building is one of the last links residents have left to Malden’s founding fathers. The congregation of this church virtually “birthed” our present day Malden government and played a prominent role in the Revolutionary War, leading the colonies in support for America’s Independence from Britain. Harder still for me to believe is that anyone could allow this historic treasure to be destroyed. I’m at the church today to attend an estate sale being held before the building is scheduled for demolition later this year. The eighth “Meeting House” of Malden’s founders, this building is reportedly a replica of an earlier church and it will soon be replaced with apartment and retail/office buildings as part of the downtown revitalization […]


Somerville’s Groundwork spreads its roots in Malden

I dash into the Cha Shu Coffee and Bubble Tea shop on Summer Street to meet Clay Larson of Groundwork Somerville and Lawrence and the Bike to the Sea Organization. Rush is playing in the background. The lyrics of Natural Science spin in my head. Wheels within wheels In a spiral array A pattern so grand And complex Time after time We lose sight of the way Our causes can’t see Their effects We cupped our coffee to warm our hands, kicked back in comfy chairs and talked. The Orange Line brought Clay and his wife, Naomi to Malden in 1997. From this vantage point, they have loved the contrast of venturing in the nearby woods of the Fells to frequent Malden downtown jaunts. Larson smiles, “We liked the downtown area and we wanted a walkable urban environment. We are happy that seventeen years later Malden Center is becoming a destination. And now we have a coffee shop that serves great lattes, just a five minute walk from our house!” Larson reflects, “Changing city hall is […]