Somerville Massachusetts, a city with a celebration dedicated to Marshmallow Fluff. Population 81,322. Hipster Population? Too goddamn many. Every block in Somerville has its own name so you better start getting acquainted with all of them. Somerville is a city with major quirks. Guerilla Art is nestled into even the tiniest cracks, there’s a mural on every corner, and yetti’s can be found roaming the streets. Davis Square being the second to last stop on the redline tends to have the most action but there’s a lot more to Somerville than a T stop. By the way, it’s the T. Not the subway, the T.
Since you will probably start your exploration of the city in Davis check out the event schedule for the Somerville Theatre. The only rewarding part of being in Somerville during the winter is that it’s time for the anual production of the Slutcracker, a Burlesque show that is not to be missed. Nearby there are dozens of restaurants to choose from. If you’re craving a burger Boston Burger Company has some of the craziest creations in the city. Some are more tame such as the “Vermonster” but the “Kitchen Sink” is not an endeavor to be taken lightly. Diesel Cafe is the meeting place for every okcupid date ever. Their food is good. Their coffee is amazing.
Right smack in between Spring Hill and Winter Hill, Highland Ave is another popular street. Once Ballroom is a Godsend. Hosting events such as Metal Yoga and Heavy Metal Tuesday. It’s pretty metal in there. Catch Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys if you can. Highland Kitchen is relaxed hangout for pre-game drinks or for karaoke on Wednesdays.
As you get closer to Union Square things start to get strange. You might see some clowns over by Esh Circus Arts. Drop by and sign up for a class in aerials, hooping, or juggling. If you want to ruin all the calories you just burned Aeronaut Brewery is a short walk away. Just follow the handlebar mustaches, the aforementioned hipsters will be heading there.
Make sure they don’t follow you to Union Square, where barhopping just means taking a step in any direction. Put something in your stomach at The Independent so your drinks don’t end up on the street. There you’ll find amazing food and a great selection of beer and cocktails. Even weeknights can get pretty packed. It’s pricey neighbor Backbar is for the more bourgy. Good luck finding the door. Sally O’Briens is the loudest since most of the other bars with entertainment have had to shut down due to the rising costs. It’s still hanging on strong with comedy, music, and game nights.
Magoon Square, Ball Square there’s a lot of ground to cover here. East Somerville and Winterhill have retained managed to retain some of the roots of the town but residents there are too busy mourning the loss of Good Times and dealing with the rats from the expansion of Assembly Square ehem Assembly Row. If you’re a tourist you should go there.
So now that you’ve heard about all the fun things to do here’s the bad news. Two decades ago the city was referred to as Slummerville. Many longtime residents that have contributed to the growth of the community have been harmed by their own contributions, abandoning the city in search of lower rent costs. There are no affordable houses for the children of the middle and working class families that grew up there. In fact there really aren’t that many houses anymore period. They’re being remodeled or knocked down by the dozen to be turned into condos. So maybe instead of moving to Somerville you could just.. not.