Another Lovely Benefit Party @ Riverside

26 Sep

The food was delicious, Best Ever Chicken’s music lively, the venue magical, and sense of community powerful. And let us not forget the inspiring words of Senator Joe Boncore, DCR’s Comm. Leo Roy, Cambridge’s Assistant City Manager for Community Development Iram Farooq and others! The event celebrated partnership and the birth of Magazine Beach Partners, our new non-profit (born August 16, 2017, an outgrowth of the MB Committee of the CNA), dedicated to advocating for the park. We’re named MB Partners because we partner with others to get the job done.


Thank you to to Benefit co-chairs Decia Goodwin and Brian Conway, to the over 30 volunteers who made it happen, and to all who came and contributed! It’s by working together, each of us contributing our talents, time and $$$$, that we’re making progress. We need this green open space!!!!

Before the party, DCR held an Open House of the Powder Magazine and NEW spray deck, open 8am-8pm daily while the weather is warm.


ALSO, BIG NEWS: At last night’s City Council meeting, Councilors approved the CPA Committee’s recommendation to allocate another $25k to Magazine Beach. This time, it’s for the new canoe/kayak launch. Thank you!

Photographs by Michael Schaffer and Jeannie Zusy


Enjoy a Special Evening along the River…

11 Sep

Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 11.27.18 AM

Magazine Beach Park Benefit: Sunday, Sept. 24, 6-8pm–Dinner, Drinks & Live Music!

Celebrate our progress: a new spray deck, and soon, bathrooms at the Powder Magazine and an expanded canoe/kayak launch. And almost 40 park programs this summer—bringing kids outside and moving.

Music by Best Ever Chicken and words by DCR’s Commissioner Leo Roy, Cambridge’s City Manager Louie Depasquale, Mass. Senator Joe Boncore and Representative Jay Livingstone. MC: Rick Jenkins, host of the Comedy Studio. Food and drinks by friends, neighbors and local businesses. And doorprizes!!!!!!

Toast the sunset from the balcony of the Riverside Boat Club (769 Memorial Drive) while raising funds for park improvements. Tickets $75 each or $125 for 2. Note: If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, please pay by check or credit card at the door OR pay on Paypal. If you can’t join us, please consider at tax-deductible donation.


Just Before: Attend the Open House of Powder Magazine & Spray Deck. Very rarely does one have access to this 1818 Powder Magazine/1899 bathhouse. On Sunday, 5:30-6pm, DCR’s Peter Seweryn will be there to share plans for the building. Work there will start work very soon. Bathrooms, lighting and more will be added to the interior.

And Rick Corsi, DCR’s Project Manager for the park, will be at the spray deck to share landscape plans for the spray deck area and beyond. This is just the first of many planned park improvements! Note: Everyone is welcome to the Open Houses. (You don’t need to have a Benefit ticket.)

Spray Deck OPENS Saturday at Magazine Beach. Yes, tomorrow, Saturday, the spray deck officially opens. It will be on from 8am-8pm, daily, while the weather is warm!




Our Fantastic Community Resource: Magazine Beach

23 Aug

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


I’m not a kid person.

Or at least so I thought, before I was humbled by a summer of captivating picture books at Stories & Song, drawing alongside young, imaginative minds during Sketching, and even brought along on the epic search for butterflies among the brush as a Nature Detective. These were just a small portion of the programs I got to oversee this summer as Magazine Beach Program Coordinator, and not only did they bring joy to so many (both young and old), they also found me a mess at the end of the season when I knew I’d have to say goodbye to our regular troupe of 4-5 year olds who had relished our almost daily programs all season.

Of course, the cool breeze off the river on hot summer days was not just enjoyed by little people. Practicing Morning Yoga to start or Zumba to ease out of a long day was a ritual adopted by many who found not just pleasure , but essential relaxation.

Ultimately, some of our best events brought kids, families, and adults together into the wide stretches of shade under the trees that dot the parkland. The season kicked off with 240 people at Make Music Boston, with bluegrass and acoustic tunes wafting over the small hill where picnickers gathered. Then came the Walk/Ride Day Eve Celebration with 100, offering all manner of green transportation education and glamification (the bike decorating station was utilized by many). The night concluded in much the same way, with community members enjoying the music of Trusting Fate and listening to delightful commuter stories. There was a gorgeous sunset. Finally, thanks to the work of Brian O’Donovan of WGBH’s A Celtic Sojourn, 300 people played, danced, and listened along to our Traditional Irish Session. Many left with a deeper appreciation of Irish music and culture, and perhaps a new step or two under their belt thanks to Jackie O’Riley of O’Riley Irish Dance.

As you can see, these moments often transcended their role as ongoing activities or special events, creating community and becoming impactful experiences in people’s lives. Almost 1,700 people attended Magazine Beach programing this summer, and whether it was the little girl who transversed the parkland in record time during Navigation Games, solidifying her love for maps and orienteering, or the amazed adults who just couldn’t figure out how Bonaparte the Magician did it, vowing to figure out for themselves out to make a rabbit disappear in a ball of flame, the park was truly a fun, challenging, and imaginative space for all.

It’s important to note that a steady source of joy was always DCR’s popular FREE pool, open 11:15 – 6:45 daily through TODAY. (Yes, you’ve still got time for a quick dip!)

A massive thank you to all of our performers, cosponsors, and our especially our main sponsors: Sanofi-Genzyme, MIT, Kimco, Forest City and the Charles River Conservancy.

And most importantly, thank YOU for bringing your curiosity, enthusiasm, and laughter to Magazine Beach. We’ll see you next summer! (Or at our Benefit Party–see below.)

Benefit Party at Riverside Boat Club: Join us on Sunday, September 24th, 6-8pm, to celebrate the incredible strides we’ve made. Live music, drinks, hors d’oeuvres. $75 per person or $125 for 2!

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 12.42.32 PMMake checks payable to: Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association, Inc. and send to:

CNA, Magazine Beach, c/o Olivia Fiske, 131 Magazine St. #2, Cambridge, MA 02139 Or use PayPalAnd if you can’t join us, please consider a tax-deductible donation!

— Silas Weiner, Magazine Beach Program Coordinator & Boston University ’19


21 Aug

Looking Up at Magazine BeachScreen Shot 2017-08-21 at 4.39.41 PM

Many gathered there to watch the partial eclipse of the sun today between 1:28 & 3:59pm.

Red-Winged Blackbirds Are Migrating

8 Aug

The giant tree just east of the Riverside Boat Club is filled with the sounds of a flock of red-winged blackbirds stopping by on their migration from northern New England (or Canada) to the southern US. But these aren’t our Magazine Beach red- wings; ours are gone.

Over the past weeks, I have been checking the hedge along the river looking for young fledglings and their parents. But no males position themselves over my head and descend to within a few inches of my scalp while making alarm calls. I think of this display as “dancing on my head” and know when it stops the birds have left for the season.

Red-wing males are the first birds to arrive each year, generally the third week in February. I look for their red epaulets edged in yellow and enjoy watching them assume the role of sentry, warning of the approach of humans, dogs and predators.

The females arrive in April, mate, and choose a spot in the hedge to build a nest. Dark brown with darker brown streaks and a dark eye band with a lighter band above the eye, they are sometimes confused with sparrows. You can sometimes see them feeding in the swales.

By June nesting is underway in the hedge and the males become very protective. Both males and females are seen bringing insects to their young, who hatch in 11-12 days, fledge (leave the nest and fly) 10-14 days later and begin their migration within a couple of weeks later.

Their early departure reminds us to stay alert for the migrating birds that will shortly be passing through.

–By Jeanne Strahan

To learn more about nature around us, visit the Fly, Buzz, and Honk! Festival at Riverside Press Park this Wednesday and Thursday, August 9 and 10, 10am-12noon.

Music, Dance & Community

8 Aug

© Bimal Nepal, BimalPhoto.comMusic, dance and community: that was what our first annual Traditional Irish Session brought to the park Sunday night! Thank you the Druid (at Inman Square) and Jackie O’Reily of O’Reily Irish Dance for co-sponsoring the event and to Brian O’Donovan for inspiring it. About 300 attended. Photos by Cport neighbor Bimal Nepal. Thank you, Bimal!

Our season of part programs will come to a close next week. But first, Zumba tonight at 6pm (courtesy of the Cambridge YMCA), Navigation Games (courtesy of Navigation Games & CSU) Wednesday at 10 and 11:30am, and an amazing Magic Show by John Bonaparte Monday, August 14, at 10am (courtesy of Cambridge Community Schools, Department of Human Services). Thank you partners and sponsors: Sanofi/Genzyme, Kimco, MIT, Forest City and the Charles River Conservancy.

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, Sept. 24, for our Benefit at the Riverside Boat Club. Show your support for continued improvements at the park!



Traditional Irish Session this Sunday!

1 Aug

Sunday, August 6, 5:30-7:30pm (Rain Date: Sunday, August 13). Traditional Irish Session Poster - Low Quality 72 ppi

Calling all Irish instrumentalists, singers, dancers and listeners: join us at Magazine Beach Park this Sunday for a Traditional Irish Session with step dancing! Bring your instruments, your dancing shoes, or just your excitement. All are welcome!

Listen, dance, or play along to some of Boston’s best traditional players including Joey Abarta (Uilleann Pipes), Tina Lech (fiddle) and Ted Davis (banjo/guitar). Jackie O’Riley of O’Riley Irish Dance will be leading free instruction in traditional Irish step on an open dance floor for anyone interested! Performances by some of Jackie’s step dancing students and friends are rumored… And Brian O’Donovan of WGBH’s A Celtic Sojourn will be there! You don’t want to miss this! FREE. 

Bring a picnic or enjoy ice cream from Snowy Joey’s truck. Organized by the Druid at Inman Square and the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association, Inc. Summer program sponsors include: Sanofi/Genzyme, Kimco, MIT, Forest City and the Charles River Conservancy. For more information, see

A Gorgeous Friday Evening…

31 Jul

Walk/Ride Day Eve Celebration: Magazine Beach Cambridge MA

Because of Thursday’s rain, our Walk/Ride Day Celebration was on Friday and it was beautiful. Thanks to all who turned out, all who partnered, all who shared music and stories, all who sponsored the event, and everyone else who helped out. Photos by Bimal Nepal.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

P.S. Sorry about no ice cream truck. Snowy Joey’s truck broke down. But it should be fixed for this Sunday’s upcoming Traditional Irish Session. See you there!

P.S.S. If you’re thinking, those Magazine Beach t-shirts sure look good and I’d like one, email me at and we’ll get one to you. They’re $20 a shirt and they come in S, M, L & XL. Design by Conway Design.



Music! Stories! Big Animal Puppets! And Bicycle Decorating on Friday, July 28

25 Jul

UPDATE: We’re moving to our rain date, Friday, July 28. Sorry to change things, but we don’t want you sitting in the wet. Tomorrow should be beautiful! See you at the park!singing white background horizontal

Come celebrate sustainable and healthy commuting at our Walk/Ride Day Eve Celebration Friday, July 28 at 6-8pm (rain date: Walk/Ride Day, Friday, July 28). Bring a picnic and enjoy treats from ice cream truck!

Boston-based band Trusting Fate will serenade us with “imaginative, unexpected music that combines elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, roots and blues into a fresh, powerful sound.” Katie Liesener from Massmouth will MC commuter-related storytelling. (Have a funny, gripping, or otherwise memorable personal story about urban biking, walking, or transit experience to share in 4-5 minutes?) Gallery 263 will host a bicycle decorating table, so bring your bikes. And be amazed by big animal puppets made by the Cambridge Wildlife Puppetry Project. FREE!

Thanks to our partners: Green Streets Initiative, MassMouth, the Cambridge Wildlife Puppetry Project and Gallery 263; and to our sponsors: Sanofi Genzyme, MIT, Kimco, Forest City and the Charles River Conservancy.

Celebrating Biodiversity

19 Jul


About 20 Cambridge Mayor’s Program teens learned about watersheds, swales, biodiversity and nature in their own backyards today at the park. Mass Audubon educators engaged them with bug nets and binoculars as they examined insects (gathered from the swale) up close and birds and bees at a distance.

Afterwards, Elisabeth Cianciola of the Charles River Watershed Association led the students in removing purple loosestrife from the western swale. (See purple flower above.) While beautiful, this plant is non-native and invasive–it takes over! It has a long flowering season that allows it to produce a vast number of seeds. And it spreads by its roots.

We need biodiversity–which is why we’re making an effort to get rid of the phragmites, which has taken over most of the eastern swale, and the loosestrife, which is colonizing the western one! Vive la difference!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.