Rachael Solem



Now light holds darkness
Feeds us all, shows us the way
Breathe, and smile brightly


Dear Reader,


Oh, yes!  Summer has arrived!  This is, in many ways, my favorite time of year.  After the students leave for their summer adventures, Cambridge hosts many big and small events that celebrate our rich diversity.  See “Our Fair City” for some of them.

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a show of “The Gaaga” staged in Harvard Square by the Arlekin Players.  This is just the kind of very special event that makes Cambridge a world class city.   This play is a wild satire about dark events set in a dark place.  There are so many complicated themes and characters my mind is still reeling with the richness of the story:  It is set in a bomb shelter, a fantastic telling of Putin on trial for war crimes in Ukraine.  If you ever hear of it coming to a theater near you, take that rare opportunity to see it!

Sadly I note the untimely passing of  Chandler O’Leary whose artwork has long graced our guest rooms.  The Solstice and Equinox banners (see above for her Summer Solstice banner) we have been using since 2020 are also hers, commissioned by me.  She took this project as seriously as she did all of her work.  Each block for each letter illustrates the terrestrial or celestial elements of each season.  She has left a beautiful legacy.

We also note the passing of Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower whose conscientious work against nuclear weapons and misguided wars continued throughout his life.  He was one of my childhood heroes.  He was a guest at Irving House when Harvard University brought him to speak. I was honored to be able to thank him for his very good, important and courageous work.

Near to home, another luminary of Harvard Square has left this planet. Mary Catherine Deibel who for decades  welcomed thousands of happy diners to Upstairs at the Pudding and then Upstairs on the Square with her warm hospitality was a dear friend to many of us.  This article gives some glimpse into her life.

With gratitude for their uplifting legacies and the continuing beauty of the world, I leave you with an image Zoia captured of Old Orchard Beach at sunrise.

Yours sincerely,


Commencement week was calmer this year.
All of the guests were happy to be here, not anxious about dining or getting around town.
This is another step in our getting back to normal.
We offer our warm congratulations to the families who stayed with us at this special time.

Our long term stay house, Turner House now has some new outside seating to greet the summer.

We have some new swag for your sipping and sending pleasure!

coasters & sippy cups
and a new post card so your far flung dears can know just where you are!

All over town there is fun to be had!

Cambridge Carnival is spreading itself over several months in several places.  Even if you cannot make it to their big event in September, you can enjoy pieces of it this summer!

2023 Cambridge Schedule of Events

  • Saturday, June 24, 5 – 8pm – From Log to the Drum Jamboree, Magazine Beach Park Nature Center, Cambridge- Log off your computer and listen to the voices of the trees speaking through the sound of the log drum. Cambridge Carnival  International will bring you the sweet vibe of the log drum. Come out and experience this new musical genre of South Africa called AMAPIANO  (FREE)
  • Sunday, July 23, 2023, 1 – 6pm – Taste of Carnival, The Foundry – Join us for a taste of what to expect at this year’s Cambridge Carnival. You’ll experience, taste and jump up Carnival style in anticipation of an amazing Carnival to come.
  • Wednesday, September 4, 2023 –  Pre-Carnival Jamboree, Lafayette Square, Central Square (FREE)
  • Sunday, September 10, 2023 – 29th Cambridge Carnival International, Central Square (FREE)

If you have a hankering to learn about inventors and inventions, take the Innovation Trail
to see who was making what and when.
For a local explanation, visit Cambridge Day’s article on the Cambridge part of the tour

Follow the Entrepreneurs’ Walk of Fame, see where critical work was done to get us to the moon (Draper Labs), or get us mRNA vaccines (Moderna) or learn about Cambridge contributions instant pictures and candy factories.
And there are good restaurants all along the way…


But if you want to focus on food,  Off the Beaten Path Food Tours can take care of you!
Is it chocolate? Public art and delicious dishes? History and food?  So many yummy options!


Looking for July 4th excitement?
Take a Charles River Boat Cruise for the best view of the fireworks.
This two-hour event will include scenic views of downtown Boston and the best view of the fireworks in the city. Guests can purchase drinks from our full service bar on board.


And as we have noted before, the spiciest offerings are to be found at the Boston Jerk Fest