Framingham Blog Posts

February 11, 2020

Golden Triangle

Framingham/Natick Golden Triangle is the largest shopping district in New England. The 3-mile+ area is located between the Natick Mall and Shopper's World.

Golden Triangle2020 Photo
Aerial Photo of the Golden Triangle area - Natick DPW

Five Things to Know

The Golden Triangle was created in 1951 with the opening of Shopper’s World. The Natick Mall opened in 1966.

The Golden Triangle was originally was 3-miles. In 1993, it expanded to include Bjs just north of Shopper's World. In the 2000s it expanded further west to Concord Street, and more north on Speen Street and Old Connecticut Path.

There are eight hotels and two major car dealerships located in the Golden Triangle. TJX and Mathworks headquarters are within the Golden Triangle area.

The Golden Triangle has the fewest number of people within the 1/2 mile radius - yet it has the second-highest median household income. The area has the most employees by area (According to Framingham Study Data)

In 2018 A joint study by Natick and Framingham was done to stop the decline of retail property in the Golden Triangle. The study recommends making the area more open space with a new Greenway to be similar to areas like Assembly Row in Somerville, MA, and Storrs, CT. - Read the Joint Study.

February 4, 2020

AMC Framingham 16 Theater

The only major theater in the Framingham/Natick area is the AMC Framingham-16 theater. It's located at 22 Flutie Pass, Framingham Massachusetts.

A M C Theater Framingham

Interesting Timeline

  • December 16, 1994 - Open as "General Cinemas 14". The movie theater was previously located at Shopper's World as Shoppers World Cinema. It featured 14 theaters. Immortal Beloved, Legends of the Fall and Dumb and Dumber were all released that weekend.
  • March 21, 2000 - General Cinemas Theater upgraded the theater to a Premium Cinema. It also expanded to 16 theaters. The Premium Cinema served food before the show. The dine-in theaters offered alcohol and no one under 21 were allowed
  • April 18, 2015 - Grand reopening with new fully reclining leather seats, dine-in auditoriums and a separate bar and lounge. The over-21 restrictions were removed during this remodeling. This is the first time that Fork and Screen has been introduced.

Things I have Learned

During the first year of the 2000 opening, it was the top-grossing theater for AMC on the East Coast.

The theater was designed by Robert Luchetti Associates. Other designs they worked on include The Basketball Hall of Fame, Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, St. Michaels School and many more.

The premium theater cost more than a regular theater - even if you don't order any food from your seat. In 2003, the premium seats cost $17.50 per person. Today it cost $12.99. (If you order online or via the AMC app there is a $3.79 convenience Fee.)

You can save money by purchasing discounted gift cards at BJs or AAA.

The Dine-In theaters are on the left side of the building, as your driving in. If you are seeing a show in a Dine-In theater you should park on the left side of the building - so that you're not walking that far after the movie gets out.

Most theaters allow people in at least a 1/2 hour before the scheduled showtime.

People that order popcorn in the Dine-In gets a large popcorn tub. Regular concession users will only get popcorn bags.

January 28, 2020

Saxonville Mills Coffee

At the corner of Concord Street and Central Street is a small family-owned coffee shop - Saxonville Mills Coffee. This shop is very popular with locals. It first opened in June of 2018.

You can order ahead via postmates.com

I was in the area recently and decided to pay a visit.

Saxonville Mills Coffee

Six Things I Learned

There is limited parking near the entrance as the parking area is also shared by other businesses in the Mill. There is additional parking directly across Concord Street. Note: It is a bit tricky to pull into the driveway when your heading North on Concord Street - watch for the turning traffic!

There's plenty of breakfast sandwiches and pastries. Lots of good selections. I opted for a croissant and a large coffee. They did have fresh hot oatmeal available - which would be great to enjoy on a snowy morning. The Cheese bread (Pão de Queijo) is not Gluten Free, they did have an egg dish that was gluten-free.

The coffee and croissant were very good. The croissant was nice and fresh!

The coffee cream station was next to the door, which is a bit weird if your eating in - you have to walk far away from the counter to get cream and sugar.

They have plenty of seating - I counted chairs for 25 people - with 2 high tables. Free WiFi is available - login information is available at the Coffee Cream station. I had no issues using Verizon's Data while I was enjoying my coffee.

They were very busy on a Saturday morning, which was surprising as a Dunkin Donut chain was right down the street. Most people ordered their drinks and treat to eat in. Service was a bit slow at times - I think it was they were busy with various coffee orders.

January 21, 2020

Fluff and Fold

Fluff and Fold is a laundry service in Framingham. It's unique because, for a while, they had an active social media account. They currently have a Facebook and Instragram account.

Fluff Fold Laundry

Fun Facts

Opened in 2004

Open everyday from 6am to 10:30pm.

They offer self-service and full-service laundry - including dry cleaning.

You can drop off your dry cleaning and they will deliver your clean clothes to your home.

According to Yelp, Fluff and Fold is rated #1 Best wash and fold in Framingham, MA

Things I Learned

  • $4.50 Regular White Washers
  • $6.75 Large Washers - perfect for doing comforters.
  • It cost $.50 for 10 mins to use the dryer. $2 for the standard 40-minutes dryer.
  • There are 22 Dryers and 16 Washers.
  • There are wheel baskets that you can take out to your car to easily bring in laundry.
  • All the machines have credit card swipes. Make sure to follow the instructions on the dryers: “Press Enter on the Reader to set Dry Time / Price before Making Payment. “
  • Fluff and Fold also accepts Apple Pay.
  • The self laundry can get pretty busy, there are only 3 chairs to sit down. They don't have any TVs (The use to.) However, they do offer free wifi - so you can watch YouTube or learn something on Udemy.
  • There are plenty of tables available to fold laundry. For $.50, you can buy large fabric bags to take your laundry home.

Finding Fluff and Fold

Fluff and Fold is located on 740 Waverly Street, directly across from Monnick Supply Company.

January 14, 2020

B. Sisters Cafe

B. Sisters Cafe is located at 680 Worcester Road in Framingham, in the Ski Market Plaza. The location was once owned by Panache Coffee.

B. Sisters offer Sandwiches and Coffee in a clean quiet setting. It's a perfect place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee and relax from a crazy day ahead.

The nice thing about this place is that it makes you feel at home. While their menu and selection may seem overwhelming, they will help with getting what you want quickly.

B Sisters Cafe Framingham

Five Key Differences over Starbucks

Just across the street is Starbucks. Here are the key reasons why you should go to B. Sisters instead.

Free Wifi with available seats and tables - Working from the Coffee shop? B. Sisters Cafe has plenty of room. The cafe is nice and quiet and you won't smell like a coffee when you leave.

Coffee and Tea - Try something different. Their "ice tea" is just hot tea with ice. They have just as many coffee choices and the prices are similar to Starbucks. They have a nice tea selection - and they will suggest something different to try.

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo) - The Pao de Queijo is a great snack. The best part is they are naturally gluten-free!

Lots of food options! - From fresh Omeletts to Crepes to Mozzarella Panini. If you're working on your laptop for a while, you won't have to leave to get a good bite to eat!

Drive Thru Window - They have a drive-up window where you can get your coffee to go. (The Window isn't open all year round.)

B Sisters Cafe Wide
Lots of room to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.

January 7, 2020

Kanji Wind Chime

If you ever drove down Union Street towards downtown Framingham you might have seen a strange object in front of a house. This might catch your eye, as it did mine, wondering what it is and why it's there.

Is it some important historial marker?

Kanji Wind Chimes

This is a Kanji Wind Chime that was put up by the neighbors who live at this address. It's not a historical marker or some symbol. It has nothing to do with Framingham.

There are four Kanji symbols on the base, I could only transcribe three of them: Cut Grass, Hanging Scroll and 9th Calendar sign. (Thanks to Ben Bullock's Handwritten Kanji Recognition to help transcribe it.)

It is an interesting garden art - I wasn't able to find a copy of the design any place else.

Finding the Wind Chime

The Wind chime is located on 132 Union Ave in Framingham Ma. Google Maps doesn't have a picture of it.

October 20, 2019

Baltimore Riot Unknown Casualty

In the early days of the United States Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln requested volunteer forces to help put down the impending insurrection. On April 15, 1861, the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment answered that call by sending several groups from various towns around Metro Boston. A total of 64 men reported for duty.

Their task was to go to Washington DC, via Railroad, and protect the National Capital.

On April 19th, 1861, they arrived in Baltimore where they encountered supporters for the Confederacy. The crowds got bigger as people learned of the troop's arrival.

The troops had to switch stations in Baltimore, the crowd prevented the train from reaching the switching station - Camden Station. The troops had to march through the town from President Street Station to Camden Station.

Baltimore Riots

As they were marching through the town the crowd became restless and started throwing bricks and stones at the troops. At one point someone in the crowd fired on the troops. The troops returned fire. A riot

Private Luther Ladd, from Lowell, was hit in the head by a piece of scrap iron. Someone stole his musket and shot him in the leg. He did on Pratt Street - becoming the first person to die in the Civil War.

Three other members of the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment died that day Addison Whitney, Sumner Needham, and Charles Taylor. A total of 36 soldiers from the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment were injured.

George Stevens

One of those that was injured was George Stevens who was hit in the head by a brick. His troop took him to a Washington hospital but he wasn't able to recover from his injury. He was sent back to his hometown - Framingham.

On August 29, 1861, he died because of the injuries sustained in Baltimore. He is buried in the Church Hill Cemetery in Framingham Massachusetts.

Gravestone of George Stevens

George W Stevens
His gravestone makes mention of the Baltimore Riots.

Text on Gravestone

GWS
Sixth regWall Vol
ColJones
April 19th 1861 Attack in
Balt by a Mob
The first in defence
of the Capitol

Grand Army of the Republic

George Stevens is a honorary member of the Grand Army of the Republic and has a star next to his gravestone.

Baltimore Riot Deaths

Those that died at in Baltimore are remembered at a memorial in front of Lowell City Hall, where three of the soldiers are now buried.

  1. Addison Whitney - Front of Lowell City Hall
  2. Luther Ladd - Lowell City Hall
  3. Sumner Needham - buried at Bellevue Cemetery in Lawrence, Mass
  4. Charles Taylor - Lowell City Hall
August 11, 2019

Boards & Commissions Workshop

The City of Framingham Massachusetts will have a Boards & Commissions Workshop on Tuesday, August 13, This is a chance for ordinary citizens to learn how to participate in city government.

There are many open positions on different city commissions and committees. This is a chance to learn more about the positions and how to get involved.

Sample Openings

Some sample of Commission openings:

Framingham Meetings

Event Description

The City of Framingham values the input and contributions of its community members. One way the City engages civic participation is through Boards, Commissions, and Committees. Framingham utilizes the strengths of engaged residents in areas of respective passions to provide guidance and input into matters that affect the quality of life for all Framingham residents and visitors.

City of Framingham Boards and Commissions cover topics and issues ranging from agriculture, land use, human services, and so much more, providing an opportunity for civic engagement and a chance to enrich the lives of all community members.

Please join the Office of the Mayor at the Boards, Commissions, and Committees workshop to learn how to how to use your skills to make a difference.

Boards & Commissions Workshop

The Workshop will be on Tuesday, August 13, 6-7 p.m. in the Ablondi Room of Framingham City Hall. Registration is required!

April 7, 2019

Boston Marathon Timeline

Next Monday is Marathon Monday, it’s a pretty big deal for most people in MetroWest. Some people are excited to run the Boston Marathon- while others are excited to spend some time cheering on the runners.

Some people in Framingham like to watch the runners come up the hill near the reservoir in Framingham.

Timeline of Runners

Framingham Winter Street Watch
The "red" timeline indicates when it's difficult to cross Waverly Street.

For additional tips, check out the 2012 blog post: 2012 Boston Marathon

Best Time to Arrive

For the best view in front of the La Catina restaurant, your best to arrive before 8am. Most of the crowds around 9am.

In addition to a good view, you'll get a nice parking spot at Keefe Technical School. It's a short walk over the bridge to Waverly street.

La Catina side of Waverly Street is good because you can leave the marathon whenever you want.

July 11, 2018

Joan Buckminster Marcy

Walking through the Framingham's Church Hill Cemetery, you may encounter many strange old gravestones. However, one stands out a bit more than others - its the gravestone of Joan Buckminster Marcy

Joan Buckminster Marcy

Who was Joan Buckminster Marcy?

There isn't a whole lot of information on her. I did find her obituary in the Buffalo NY Courier Express (Page 7):

Miss Joan Marcy Dies in Vermont

(August 19, 1942) Joan Buckminster Marcy, fourteen, younger daughter of William L. Marcy, Jr. and Mrs. Heinrich F. F. H. Hause of 62 East 78th Street, New York City, died yesterday morning at Guilford, VT., after an Illness of eight months.

Born July 14, 1928, Miss Marcy had made her home with her mother in New York since 1935. She attended school in Darien, Conn.

Funeral services will be held tomorrow at Guilford.

Besides her parents, Miss Marcy is survived by a sister, Constance of New York City.

In addition, someone posted some information in a feedback section on the ThisIsFramingham website, I am not sure it's talking about same person:

Comment by Sarah - October 14, 2008

Someone was interested in Joan Buckminster Marcy, buried in the cemetery at Framingham. She was my great aunt and a great beauty if I do say so myself. I inherited her portrait, done in oil. It's beautiful and hangs in my sister's house in Washington State.

She was married to a Spanish diplomat.

She died in Egypt after an ectopic pregnancy; medical technology was not what it is today, obviously. She was still in her twenties when she died.

I never knew her, but I knew my grandmother, her sister, very well indeed.

Couple of Notes about the above comment:

  • Joan was fourteen when she died, not 20.
  • She didn't die in Egypt but in Guilford, VT.

Why a Turtle Gravestone?

The whimsical bronze turtle does stand out from all the other classic gravestones.

One possible reason for the turtle is its Indian meaning - The turtle symbol signifies good health and long life. The turtle has great longevity living up to 150 years. (Could also be that Joan had a special thing for turtles)

Mystery in the Graveyard?

I am not sure if Sarah comment is correct.

If you have any additional information about Joan Buckminster Marcy, please put it in the comments below. Also, I couldn't find any information on why she was buried in Framingham. Se spent her whole life in Connecticut and New York. Why was she buried in Framingham?