Happy Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year/Freedom Fighters


Shin Nian How.

I think I got that right. It means "Happy New Year" in Mandarin. The Chinese New Year, also known this year as the Year of the Water Dragon, began yesterday with the first new moon following the winter solstice.

My friend Elyn just forwarded me this video Sunday afternoon, taken in the Shanghai high-rise apartment complex where she lives and where I visited her last year. It’s a long video, but I thought you might enjoy seeing how each neighborhood celebrates versus the government-run celebrations of which we see so much.

Today, the second day of the 15-day celebration, is considered the beginning of the year, when Chinese women visit their birth relatives, beggars and unemployed individuals solicit money from those more fortunate, and all dogs have a birthday — so I read on Wikipedia. Happy Birthday to Tillie, Tucker, Bear, Willie, Keeper, Merlin, Rusty, Carr, Misty, Gypsy, Cash and all other canine Concordians and Carlilians.

Thursday Author Series a Success

Concordian filled the Periodical room of the , and then some last Thursday, Jan. 19, as she read from her book,  “Stirring the Nation’s Heart: Eighteen Stories of Prophetic Unitarians and Universalists of the Nineteenth Century.”

Polly also talked about how the book came together. She first pitched the idea of transcribing stories of famous Transcendentalists back in 2007. She heard not one word from publishers until 2009. (Polly has much more patience than I.) She is also far more articulate than I’ll ever be. She inserted not one “you know,” or “um,” in her captivating discussion, which, you know, included a little background on Lydia Maria Child. Lydia Maria (pronounced Mariah) Child was a Wayland writer who risked her reputation, career, and family’s finances back in the 1850s by publishing articles that claimed all people were created equal regardless of skin color. This did not go over so well during the days of the Fugitive Slave Act, but Lydia was more concerned with universal freedom and equality than she was with social status and getting invited to parties. She is remembered for being a brilliant writer, a staunch abolitionist and a tireless activist for women’s rights.

Polly appeared courtesy of the Thursday Author Series, a program of the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library. Her talk also corresponded with the library’s  “Collecting Transcendentalism” exhibition, on view at the main library through Jan. 31. Make a plan to stop by and see it.

Next up for the Thursday Author Series is Carlilian Richard Cobb-Stevens, who will speak Feb. 9 on his book, “James and Husserl: The Foundation of Meaning.” The program begins at 7:30 p.m.


On the subject of published Carlilians and freedom fighters, Jeff Clements is receiving much well-deserved attention for his new book and crusade “Corporations are Not People.”

This nonfiction account, published this month, explains how some of the world’s largest corporations have organized to take over the American government, the U.S. Constitution and disable democracy. Jeff’s passion and campaign are gaining traction. An attorney and co-founder of Free Speech for People, a national, non-partisan campaign to challenge the creation of Constitutional rights for corporations, Jeff filled the house at Boston and Louisiana venues last week, and has been a featured guest on radio and high-profile television news programs. You may purchase “Corporations are not People” at The Concord Bookshop, where he was scheduled to speak at exactly kickoff on Sunday.

If you were not able to make that, you can catch Jeff tonight, Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 7:30 p.m.

“For Sale: Money & Elections after Citizens United,” is free and open to the public at . The League of Women Voters of Sudbury is sponsoring the presentation.

Also, keep up with Jeff on his blog by clicking here: Jeff Clement’s blog. We’ll be hearing more on Jeff and his campaign to restore the United States to the people.

Patch Impact

It’s amazing what a quick entry on Concord Patch can do. Last Thursday, Jan. 19, Stefanie Cloutier updated the status of progress. Tyler, 28, was diagnosed with germ cell cancer this fall. His friends and co-workers are holding drives to help with his living expenses and to collect blood for him and fellow patients at MGH. The column was not posted three hours when three people stopped by the Beede Swim & Fitness Center specifically to donate money — $140 in all — for Tyler. What a wonderful community!   

Little Neighborhood Bistro

I love chatting it up with Marilee Glitzenstein, because like me, she can talk nonstop about food and restaurants. She gets out a little more than me these days, but we find we have similar tastes and expectations when it comes to cuisine. We both love 80 Thoreau and Hammersley’s Bistro.

So, with the ,we were thinking how wonderful it would be if Gordon Hammersley, another of our favorite chefs, brought his culinary mojo to Walden Street. Marilee and I were thinking some sort of bistro, with the same fine food and service that make his South End location such a gem. It all makes perfect sense to us. Excellent foot traffic, plenty of free parking, a community of fine-food-loving Red Sox fans, and location, location, location. Gordon lives right next door in Sudbury. What a commuting convenience for him. Marilee already sent Gordon a personal email to this affect. I followed and you can, too, by clicking here info@hamersleysbistro.com.

Well, that about sums it up for me. I hope you all stay well through Thursday, when Stefanie will be back with her literary mojo.

Do you have something you would like to share? Contact me at mcb23@comcast.net or Stefanie at stefanieac@comcast.net and we will be happy to help you spread the good news. And follow us on Twitter: Stefanie is @stefanie3131 and I am @cosmo1162.

Jesse VandenBergh January 24, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Check out my short video in celebration of the Chinese New Year! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkorPaAdrXE
Maureen C. Belt January 24, 2012 at 10:17 PM
I liked it, Jesse!


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