DescriptionRemnants of Somerville's turn-of-the-20th-century industrial heyday include revitalized commercial hubs like the Assembly Square neighborhood, named after the Ford Motor Co. assembly plant that operated there for more than 30 years. Following years of decline after World War II, Davis Square began to experience a renaissance beginning in the 1990s, thanks in part to the increase in telecommunication and biotechnology jobs that became available in neighboring communities.
Today Davis Square is again one of the city's primary business centers, as well as the heart of the city's arts and entertainment scene. Open since 1914, the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Sq., hosts live events and screens new releases and special film series highlighting classic cinema; phone (617) 625-5700.
Another longtime commercial area, Union Square, which was used as a Union Army recruitment and mustering site during the Civil War, is now home to gourmet food producers such as Taza Chocolate. Union Square also is the location of the Fluff Festival , which celebrates the marshmallow-like confection invented by Somerville resident Archibald Query in the early 1900s. Occurring in late September, the quirky event includes a Fluff cooking contest; such games as Fluff Fear Factor and Fluff Jousting; and performances by offbeat local musicians who just so happen to be big Fluffernutter sandwich fans.
Visitor InfoSomerville Chamber of Commerce 2 Alpine St. SOMERVILLE, MA 02144. Phone:(617)776-4100
ShoppingThe retail enterprises clustered around busy Davis Square range from food vendors with names you'll not soon forget ( When Pigs Fly on Highland Avenue) to used clothing shops where the mannequins rock “nerd glasses” and flirty '50s-style dresses ( Buffalo Exchange on Elm Street).
Magpie (416 Highland Ave.) imparts a decidedly hipster vibe; the indie craft store is filled with snarky T-shirts, handmade jewelry and font-tastic stationery. Across the street, Davis Squared (409 Highland Ave.) stocks modern home decor and geeky-cool gifts like origami-inspired light fixtures and iPad kickstands, along with plenty of modish baby gear, including pastel-colored photo frames and plush toys.
June brings The Somerville Flea, which takes place Sundays from 10 to 4 through late October. Vendors at the open-air market at Holland Street and Buena Vista Road (near the Davis Square MBTA station) hawk artwork, vinyl, vintage apparel and trash-turned-treasures galore. Featuring the works of local artists and crafters, SLAM—the Saturday Local Artist Market—takes place at The Burren (247 Elm St.) on select Saturdays year-round.
New to the Somerville area is Assembly Row (340 Canal St.), a 45-acre mixed-use development featuring such retailers as Bed Bath & Beyond, Brooks Brothers and T.J.Maxx and outlet stores like Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH. The urban center also shelters restaurants, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center and a state-of-the-art AMC movie theater.
Things to SeeLEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston