Party Time!

IMG_5564There were eggrolls (tons of them) . . . Pad Thai, fried rice, beef sticks, cookies, a pineapple coconut cake, lattes, hot chocolate, hot cider, music and magic.

Pineapple coconut cake from Cafe Pastiche in Kearney Square.

Pineapple coconut cake from Cafe Pastiche in Kearney Square.

Best of all there were hundreds of people who live and/or work in Lowell gathered together talking and laughing; Facebook friends meeting for the first time and old friends reconnecting. The Mayor’s Holiday Reception was a great success thanks to all who attended, the businesses from which we obtained food and the entertainers who volunteered their time and talent. And a VERY special thank you to Comcast for their generous donation that made the party a reality.

John McGovern's musicians from Lowell High School

John McGovern’s musicians from the Lowell High School Fine Arts Department

First — the food. Michael Kit and his staff from the Eggroll Cafe (www.eggrollcafe.com) on University Ave. were terrific and incredibly accommodating to any requests we had. They went above and beyond. We ordered 12 varieties of eggrolls from steak and cheese and crab rangoon to peking and spinach and feta. Something for everyone. Viet Thai (www.vietthailowell.com/) came through at the last minute with a tremendous amount of delicious Pad Thai and fried rice and City Councilor Vesna Nuon, never one to show up to a party empty-handed, brought delicious beef skewers.

IMG_5575The star of the desert table was by far the pineapple coconut cake from Cafe Pastiche (11 Kearney Sq. at the corner of Prescott and East Merrimack Streets). The owners of the cafe, Frank and Val De Assis came through on short notice to fulfill Mayor Murphy’s dream of having a pineapple coconut cake — and they even threw in a big box of cheese bread balls, which are highly addictive.

Lily Page likes desert.

Lily Page likes desert.

Bob Page also likes desert.

Bob Page also likes desert.

And of course, everyone’s favorite barista, Andy Jacobson from Brew’s Awakening Coffeehaus (www.brewdawakening.com/) was on-hand with a latte, hot chocolate and cider bar that added a special festive touch to the evening.

IMG_5649Shop local. Eat local. Lowell not only has every type of cuisine you could ever crave, but the business owners are incredibly nice, accommodating and fun to work and interact with.

More photos from the party:

James Ostis, Greg Page and Sovanna Pouv

James Ostis, Greg Page and Sovanna Pouv

Sovanna Pouv and Jen Myers

Sovanna Pouv and Jen Myers

Mayor Murphy digging into the food

Mayor Murphy digging into the food

Robert Gignac, Bobby Tugbiyele and Shaun McCarthy.  +

Robert Gignac, Bobby Tugbiyele and Shaun McCarthy. 

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Vesna Nuon and former CFO Tom Moses

Vesna Nuon and former CFO Tom Moses

City Manager Bernie Lynch catching cookie thief Rob Mills in the act.

City Manager Bernie Lynch catching cookie thief Rob Mills in the act.

Henri the Magnificent astonishes a young fan

Henri the Magnificent astonishes a young fan

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Dan MacNeil investigates the eggroll situation.

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The room was packed.

The room was packed.

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John Corrigan and Bernie Lynch

John Corrigan and Bernie Lynch

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Remembering Mandela

ss-120601-mandela-tease.photoblog600From the African Cultural Association:

PRESS RELEASE

 CELEBRATING THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF NELSON ‘MADIBA’ MANDELA

 The African Cultural Association of Greater Lowell, Inc. in conjunction with the Lowell Community Charter Public School, will celebrate the life and legacy of a true son of Africa and gift to the world, Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela; apartheid revolutionary, politician, former president and father of democratic South African, philanthropist and Nobel Prize winner on Friday December 13.

“Each time I read or hear the speech he delivered at his trial; ‘During my lifetime, I have dedicated myself to the struggle of the African people; I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideals of a democratic and free society, …it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die’, I marvel at the will of the man”. Said Kathy Egmont, Principal of Lowell Community Charter Public School.

The event is expected to incorporate speeches from local and foreign dignitaries and ordinary citizens whose lives Mandela touched. There will be speeches and video presentations of the life and times of a man who, despite seeing himself as an ordinary man, yet, his people saw as the architect of their freedom and the rest of the world, as an embodiment of peace.

Ben Opara, one of the organizers of the event, as a young college student in his native Nigeria, remembers Nelson Mandela with his fellow freedom fighters, Oliver Tambo and Steve Biko, as the symbols of resistance to oppression and injustice. In his speech at the grand memorial service in Soweto, Tuesday, President Obama reminded the world that it takes the likes of Mandela to free not just himself, the prisoner, but his jailers and prison guards through his unconditional forgiveness. 

This is an open event and all are invited to attend to celebrate the life of an icon and participate in saying a final farewell. It will take place at the Lowell Community Charter Public School, 206 Jackson Street, Lowell, MA 01852, 5 – 7 p.m. on Friday December 13. For more information, please call 1 800 706 7863.

Cafe Pastiche Will Make Your Tastebuds Samba

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It smells like home.

Even if you didn’t grow up in a Brazilian family, this cozy café smells like home. It is warm. The service is gracious. The food is comforting and filling.

Ok – it is way better than home.

Pastiche 017Frank De Assis moved to the U.S. more than 20 years ago and has been working in the restaurant business. Earlier this year he and his wife Val purchased the former Delicias Bakery at 11 Kearney Square downtown and have filled the cases and buffet tables with their scratch-made family recipes.

Pastiche 015Soups, salads and sandwiches, fried sweet corn and cream cheese filled croquettes from heaven, coconut and condensed milk treats, custom-made birthday cakes, sweet breads, Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao De Queijo) , tropical fruit smoothies, cappuccino, and a rich hot chocolate that tastes like love.   

Pastiche 048The café offers a lunch and dinner buffet and offers a 10 percent student discount, free wi-fi and comfortable seating.

Stop by and also “like” their Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cafe-Pastiche/549382365108502

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Theresa Park reads a citation from Mayor Murphy and the City Council to the owners and staff of Cafe Pastiche.

Theresa Park reads a citation from Mayor Murphy and the City Council to the owners and staff of Cafe Pastiche.

CITATION

 Be it hereby known to all that

the City of Lowell in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

hereby welcomes

 CAFÉ PASTICHE

and its owner

 FRANK DE ASSIS

 to its location at 11 Kearney Sq .

 The City is honored that Frank, one of a growing number of immigrant entrepreneurs, has chosen Lowell as the city in which to fulfill his American dream of opening his own restaurant.  

 We wish him many years of delighting the taste buds and filling the stomachs of the

city’s residents and visitors.

 The entire City of Lowell extends its deepest wishes to Frank

and the employees of Café Pastiche for continued success.

 Given this 5th day of December, 2013

Patrick Ó. Murphy

Mayor

 

Joseph Mendonca

Vice Chair

 Rodney M. Elliott

Edward J. Kennedy, Jr.

John J. Leahy

Martin E. Lorrey

William F. Martin, Jr.

Rita M. Mercier

Vesna E. Nuon

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Mayor’s Holiday Reception!

Mayor’s Holiday Reception

HolidayJoin Mayor Patrick Murphy for a fun, festive holiday reception. There will be food, music, magic by Henri the Magnificent and a special guest from somewhere north of Centralville.

When: Wednesday Dec. 11 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: Mayor’s Reception Room, 2nd floor, City Hall.

City of Lights

IMG_5324Saturday evening the city celebrated the beginning of the holiday season with the annual City of Lights parade. Despite the chilly weather, hundreds lined Central and Merrimack Streets to watch the spectacle and cheer on the marching bands and floats.

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Mayor Patrick Murphy led the countdown to flip on the lights at City Hall

Mayor Patrick Murphy led the countdown to flip on the lights at City Hall

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The City of Lowell Has Gone to the Dogs

habitat 111On Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Patrick Murphy, along with officials fromn the city’s Office of Economic Development, Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce, and Merrimack Valley Small Business Center joined sisters Deb Chicarello and Karen Philips at the Grand opening of their pet bakery/boutique Pawsitive Thoughts at the corner of Central and Jackson Streets.

Karen Philips and Deb Chicarello

Karen Philips and Deb Chicarello

This is their second location. The first is on Boston Road in Billerica. They bake homemade dog treats (aka “pawstries”) made from all natural ingredients and loved by their taste testers, Deb’s dog Nike and Karen’s dog Chloe.

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Chloe and Nike

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Treat time!

They also carry a variety of pet food products, toys, and apparel. For more information visit http://www.pawsitive thoughts.com.

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Mayor Patrick Murphy presented the sisters with the following citation:

CITATION

 Be it hereby known to all that

the City of Lowell in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

hereby welcomes

 PAWSITIVE THOUGHTS

and its owners

DEB CHICARELLO AND KAREN PHILIPS (and Nike and Chloe)

 to its location at 219 Central St .

 The City is honored that Deb and Karen have chosen to open a store in Downtown Lowell where all of our furry friends can stop in for toys, apparel, pawstries, or just to chew the elk antlers and make new friends.   

 We wish them many years of helping to keep our canine and feline citizens healthy and happy, while making downtown Lowell a more friendly and fun place to live, work and shop.

 The entire City of Lowell extends its deepest wishes to Pawsitive Thoughts for many years of success.

 Given this 26th day of November, 2013

Patrick Ó. Murphy

Mayor

Joseph Mendonca

Vice Chair

 Rodney M. Elliott

Edward J. Kennedy, Jr.

John J. Leahy

Martin E. Lorrey

William F. Martin, Jr.

Rita M. Mercier

Vesna E. Nuon

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Special order doggie meal for Thanksgiving. They are also offering a Christmas meal.

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Home for the Holidays

Mayor Patrick Murphy congratulates the Medeiros and Pol families as they move into their new homes.

Mayor Patrick Murphy congratulates the Medeiros and Pol families as they move into their new homes.

Last Thanksgiving, Sandra Medeiros was notified that her application was accepted by Habitat for Humanity.

This Thanksgiving, she and her five sons will celebrate in their new home.

They and Lorna Pol and her family were given the keys to the duplex at 49-51 Rock Street in the city’s Acre neighborhood Tuesday afternoon.

habitat 042Last year at this time the lot, donated to Habitat by the city, was just dirt. Since then, 1,100 volunteers, including Sandra Medeiros and Lorna Pol put 9,900 hours of work into building the house. Another duplex is in the process of being built next door.

The Rock Street project furthers the city’s vision for the continued revitalization of the Acre neighborhood, which has been ongoing for 15 years. It is the first project Habitat has done in Lowell since the construction of three duplexes on Harmony Way in the city’s Back Central neighborhood in 2004.

Sandra Medeiros hugs Habitat for Humanity Construction Manager Scott Carpenter.

Sandra Medeiros hugs Habitat for Humanity Construction Manager Scott Carpenter.

The organization has built 24 homes in the region since 1991 in Bedford, Billerica, Reading, Westford and Lowell.

Those chosen to own the homes are not given them for free; they are granted and must pay back a 0% 30-year mortgage. Applicants are vetted to determine they do have a steady income and are required to invest 400 hours of sweat equity in building their home.

Sponsors for the Rock Street project include: Thrivent Financial, Netscout, Cisco, RE/MAX Prestige, Progress Software, Litle & Co.; IBEW 103; and Greater Lowell Technical High School.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell, visit http://lowellhabitat.org/

The groundbreaking for the Rock Street houses on October 25, 2012.

The groundbreaking for the Rock Street houses on October 25, 2012.

Sandra Medeiros helping to lift a wall of her home into place on February 5.

Sandra Medeiros helping to lift a wall of her home into place on February 5.