Ceramics a la Carte's more than 500 unfired bisque pieces invite amateur painters to decorate coffee mugs, serving dishes, and piggy banks with food-safe glazes in a rainbow of shiny colors. Blank ceramic canvases await the kiss of paint applied with the use of a variety of delicate brushes or indelicate trebuchets. Alternatively, patrons can confer with the store’s accomplished staff artists, who enrich ceramics with custom designs that center on children's handprints, wedding and teacher gifts, or paintings of family homes.
Between writing pieces for magazines such as Boston Spirit and Stuff and teaching writing classes at the Boston Center for Adult Education, freelance journalist Sam Baltrusis wrote his book Ghosts of Boston: Haunts of the Hub. In its pages he reveals 300 years of city history and ghost stories. He details unexplained sounds and hovering objects seen inside the Hub’s dorm rooms, apparitions witnessed on the Boston Common, and a colonial British solider glimpsed on the tracks at the Boylston station. His deft pen has also led him to become a regional stringer for The New York Times and his second book, Ghosts of Cambridge: Haunts of Harvard Square and Beyond hits shelves in September 2013.
Not content with relegating his words to the page, Sam also brings them to life through seasonal walking tours. From May 25 to November 3, guides lit by handheld lanterns lead guests through the shadowy streets of Harvard Square. They divulge stories of murder and recall Cambridge's ominous history. They also answer questions such as which Harvard hall is the most haunted, which area church is home to the ghost of a British redcoat soldier, and which famously mustachioed ghosts are just wearing fake mustaches. When he's not guiding in-person guests, Sam doubles as a paranormal expert on the Biography Channel's, "Haunted Encounters" and on Ryan Buell's Paranormal Insider Radio.
Though Westgate Lanes has been open for more than half a century, you’d never know it from just looking at the Brockton institution, which benefited from a pre-Millennium face-lift in 1999. Today, all 62 lanes feature automatic scoring, new furniture, and modern lighting, which casts a celestial aura during prize-packed cosmic bowling on Saturday nights. Open 365 days a year, the facility swings open its doors to challenge sphere-flinging friends, leagues, and parties with frames of tenpin or candlepin, a variation of bowling that uses smaller balls and requires more concentration than teaching a mechanical bull long division. High-definition TVs orbit the center's 13 billiards tables, and, between competitive rounds, players can refuel fatigued fingers at Harry's Pub and Grill.