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Framingham Blog Posts

Framingham is a city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Every Tuesday I'll highlight something special about the city.

Framingham Blog Posts

Framingham is a city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Every Tuesday I'll highlight something special about the city.

A list of all the Blog Posts in this category.

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 then occured.

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 died 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

Sixth regWall Vol
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?

March 18, 2018

Framingham Commuter Rail Tips

Are you new to traveling the Worcester/Framingham Commuter Rail? Here's some advice from a regular commuter

Framingham Commuter Tips

  • Take the Express (if possible) - Framingham is lucky to have regular express trains and you'll arrive into the City of Boston about 25 minutes quicker than a standard train.
  • Arrive at the Station Early - Most Commuters arrive at the station about 5 minutes before the train arrives. Try to get get there 10 mins early for a better parking space. The MBTA has worked hard to keep the trains running on time and they will not wait for you.
  • Infield Lot - Fills up quickly by 7:45. After that your better off parking in the lot that you see when you arrive at the station. (Infield Lot Info)
  • Leaving Downtown Framingham at peak time - There are several trains that arrive in downtown Framingham between 5:30 and 6:15, causing lots of backups at the Concord Street/126 Intersection. Your best bet would be to avoid that intersection at that time.
  • Know Where to Board - The incoming trains usually stop at the track nearest 126 (Opposite the main parking lot.) In the mornings the crowds are always gathering on that side of the track. Keep an eye on the marquee signs as they will indicate the times of the arrival trains.
  • Boarding the Train - Usually the front of the train is best for South Station, middle for Back Bay and the rear for Yawkey.
  • No Credit Cards allowed for on Board Ticket purchases - Use the mTicket application to purchase tickets. Don't wait until you board, do it while waiting for the train. Conductors do not like to wait for you to enter your credit card info in the app.
  • Sign up for MBTA Alerts - Go to MBTA T-Alerts and sign up to get notifications on delays.
  • Monthly Pass Card - if you have a physical monthly pass card guard it as if its money. If you loose it you can't get a free replacement. I usually just hold it in my hands to show the conductor and then put it back in my wallet.
February 7, 2018

Getting to Logan Airport

Framingham residents do have several options for getting to Logan International Airport. Here's a look at the four possible options. I also include the costs and the benefits of each option.

In these options, I am comparing a party of 3, 2-Adults and 1 child on a typical 7-day vacation.

Using Logan Express

Total Airport Trip Cost: $93

You need to get to Logan Express really early to get the bus and make it to the airport. This is very popular during peak travel times. The overflow lot is near Kohls.

The first inbound service is 3 am and the last outbound service is 1:15 am (except Saturdays at 12:15 am). The service runs every half hour on weekdays and Sundays after 1 pm, and every hour on Saturdays and Sunday mornings.

You may be better off catching a taxi to Logan Express to save money.

Cost Breakdown
Cost of Parking at Logan Express:$7 a day
Cost of Bus Trip:$22 Round Trip

Taking the MBTA Commuter Rail

Total Airport Trip Cost: $42.50

While this might be the cheapest option, it involves traveling on multiple public transportation vehicles (Train and Bus). This would not be a good option if you have a lot of luggage or children.

This would be a good option if your traveling for a long period.

Cost Breakdown
Commuter Rail Ticket:$16.50 Round Trip (Children don't need a ticket)
Cost Silver Line:$2.75 (Per Person) to the airport. The trip is Free from Logan to South Station.

Driving and Parking at Logan International Airport

Total Airport Trip Cost: $192.90

This is the most expensive option. However, gives you the most control on getting to/from the airport. The driver can always drop off the passengers and the luggage at curbside and then park the car in the long-term lot.

Always check to see the status of the long-term lot. If there is an overflow lot, it may be closer to the terminals.

Cost Breakdown
Cost of Parking at Logan (Long Term Lot):$26 a day
Cost of Tolls:$3.70 (one-way) $3.50 (Ted Williams Tunnel) $10.90

Taxi to/from Logan International Airport

Total Airport Trip Cost: $126+ Tip

This would be a way to save money over parking at the long-term lot - especially for longer trips. Make sure to call Tommy Taxi Cab in advance so there is a car available for you.

Cost Breakdown (Tommy Taxi)
Cost of Getting to Logan:$62
Cost of to getting to Framingham:$64
January 31, 2018

Over the Air Signal in Framingham

This weekend we have joined the growing trend and cut the cord from Comcast's Xfinity service. We switched over to Fios Internet service without TV service.

We are getting live TV from Over the Air and from Hulu's new live service. Hulu also has some great cable programming that we like to watch.

In-House Antenna

Technology has gotten so advanced that you don't need a large outdoor antenna to get quality over the air TV signals - particularly if you live in Framingham or for that matter much of the MetroWest.

We purchased a Vansky 2018 Newest Indoor Amplified Digital HDTV Antenna It offers a 50 Mile Range, Local Broadcast 4K/HD/VHF/UHF, Signal TV Channels for Smart Television w/ Detachable Amplifier. We purchased it from Amazon. This works perfectly in our house. This is powered by USB, it comes with a wall adapter, but the USB port on the TV works just fine.

We did notice that our 10-year-old TV didn't get as many channels as some newer TV sets.

Over the Air in Framingham

Framingham residences can get access to 38 "Over the Air" channels. Here's the current listing that you should be able to get:

T V Listing Framingham

The quality of the picture is great. This is certainly not the same "Over The Air" picture quality from the 1980s and 1990s. No rabbit ears, just pure digital quality.

Using Hulu Live

It does take time to get used to Hulu interface - particularly after watching Xfinity for a long time. When you turn it on you get a menu on what you want to watch, not live TV right away.

The live functionality isn't available on every platform. Only Samsung TVs has built-in support for Live, on other TVs, you need to use the Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV or Chrome Stick to view Live broadcasts.

We'll still be able to watch popular news channels - Fox News or CNN whenever we want.

What We'll Be Missing

Unfortunately we won't see any of the regular Red Sox, Celtics or Bruins games as they are all on cable channels. Hulu doesn't carry NBCSP and NESN, where most of the games are played.

In some cases, we'll miss Xfinity DVD functionality and the voice remote.

We'll also miss the Xfinity Hotspots, especially along the Framingham/Worcester line.

Cutting the Cable is the Future

More and more people are cutting the cable because people are too busy to watch live TV. They are watching TV on their terms and cable is too expensive.

January 24, 2018

24-Hours Stores in Framingham


Framingham is very fortunate to have many establishments that are open 24-Hours. Here's a list of the various locations and a note about each:

CVS 1280 Worcester Rd (Corner of Temple and Worcester Road)Pharmacy is open 24-hours. Great place to go to get medicine for children that are sick at 3am.
Walgreens 653 Worcester Rd If CVS is out of your item, then try Walgreens. Good location if you live northern Framingham.
iHop 17 Edgell Road New Restaurant that offers breakfast and comfort foods any time of the day.
McDonalds Mass Pike I-90 Service Area Good place if your looking for a quick late night bite this would be a good stop
Dunkin Donuts 692 Cochituate Road (Near the Mass Pike) Looking for coffee before getting on the highway? One of the few Dunkin Donuts that is open 24-Hours. (The Dunkin on the Mass Pike isn't open 24-hours) They do have food services all night. It's great place to get donuts or donut holes for a late night software releases.
Cumberland Farms 730 Cochituate Road Gas Station and Shop is open 24-hours. Great place to stop to fill up before heading to Logan Airport and catching the early morning flight.
Seasons Corner Market 846 Concord St Shell Station that accepts Stop and Shop Fuel Reward Card. Easy access from Route 9 or Route 30.
Tedeschi Food Shop 430 Waverly Street (At the Corner of Concord and Waverly Street) Lots of good snacks for the late night cravings.
VERC Gulf Nobscot 876 Edgell Road Small store, has a lot of the basics. Convenient for those living around Nobscot and Northern Framingham.