Thursday, March 12, 2009

Two new Somerville websites

Wow, this is great. Somerville residents are furiously typing all day and night, sharing our experiences with one another on everything from local shopping to city services. All you have to do is poke around the web a bit (or stay tuned here) and you'll find everything you want to know about the City of the Seven Hills.

At somervillefoodscene, anonymous reviews of restaurants plain and fancy, as well as grocery stores, are being posted bi-weekly. The reviews are thoughtful and detail-oriented. In the latest entry, about DeMoula's Market Basket, there are price comparisons with other markets, a little history of the store, and observations about the patrons, in addition to an enumeration of some of the things you'll find on the shelves. The review of Tacos Lupita notes cooking techniques, the "laconic" staff, and the decor. Obviously, "anonymous" loves writing about the food here in Somerville, and I think the bi-weekly idea works well, because it seems to give her (I gather from the entry about Highland Kitchen that "anonymous" is female) time to write informative and thorough reviews. I definitely encourage anyone who eats in Somerville to check it out.

As much as I love to read about delicious things to eat, I think my favorite new discovery is Somerville Parking Problems, a Google Group devoted to, well, Somerville parking problems. Anyone living or parking in Somerville has stories to tell about the outrageous rules, regulations, and restrictions that dog our every search for a spot. Somerville Parking Problems is a much-needed support group that invites us to share stories, situations, and solutions to the insanity. In one post, Joe Beckmann makes the apt comment that "It's not a matter of traffic - they ought to shift the whole department to the assessor's office." If that doesn't make you want to shout "Yeah, brother, testify!" then you've obviously never been charged $50 for leaving your car in a spot in front of your home longer than 48 hours. The real mission of the group is to bring together the voices of Somerville residents and by doing so, influence city officials to adopt more reasonable policies. Let's hope it works!

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