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Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* are taking the reins & bringing us the good stuff. This week Alli & Sarah checked out Mekong Market.
xoxox,
Apple

I’m not hugely familiar with International markets. As a kid, there was only one grocery store within a 15 mile radius and it was a local Hannaford. Moving to Worcester has allowed me to visit so many places that aren’t available back home. I’ve definitely branched out in terms of food I eat and places I visit. Thankfully, my college experience has allowed me to expand from my limited small-town ways.

Me Kong Market features food and products from places including Japan, Korea, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, and Africa. Upon entry, fresh fruit and vegetables line the wall and there is a huge selection to choose from. Something I was pleasantly surprised with is how inexpensive all of the products are. The next time I am in need of a new box of tea, I will definitely be heading here. They have an extremely large selection and their prices are unbeatable!

One of my favorite parts of the store is the numerous shelves containing tons of ramen. Not only is ramen an affordable college dinner, but it’s delicious too! Sarah was excited to show me her favorite brands and flavors of ramen. I had no idea there were so many different types! For college students who are unfamiliar with this store: it is the perfect place to stock up on your meal essentials.

Me Kong additionally has a fish market in the back, containing an assortment of fish. The smell is strong, but it’s an awesome feature to the market. I’m an avid fish eater, and it’s so nice to know that I can stock up on fish right down the street now.

I had an awesome time visiting Me Kong Market. It’s evident that this is a successful business that employs kind and hardworking people. I also loved how spacious the parking lot is, and how convenient the location is. Also, check out the graffiti decorated building next door! A cool sight to see when leaving the store.
~Alli

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!

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Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* are taking the reins & bringing us the good stuff. This week we all got together in the office kitchen and made chips with pita from Worcester favorite, George’s Bakery.
xoxox,
Apple

Among the mini marts, apartments, and coffee shops located on Grafton Street lies a white and red adorned building exhibiting the name of one of Worcester’s most beloved spots: George’s Bakery. The establishment has been around for 65 years and has been a Worcester favorite for many residents. The bakery has flourished under the ownership of two different Georges since its opening. The store was named after its original owner George, who unfortunately passed away last year. The ownership was then passed down to another George (unrelated to the original one), contributing to the tradition of George owners.

George freshly bakes his bread every morning, one of the reasons why it always tastes so fresh and delicious. He arrives at his store around 1 AM and stays until 6 AM. His days are spent sleeping and preparing for his busy early morning routine.

The store has a super friendly environment, with Mediterranean food lining the walls, and cheese, pies, dips, meats, and bread freshly stocked behind the counter and stacked on the shelves. You can tell that the quality of the food is spot on, and that when you buy anything at George’s it contributes to maintaining the success of the business and its products. The employees are always chatty and kind, always putting customers in a good mood and bringing a smile to their faces. In bold letters on the menu, it even states: “In the place of good food… we shine!” And that it does.

Rabbit Heart is a huge fan of George’s products, hence our recipe** and enthusiasm for the business. We love Worcester businesses that make our city a happy place, and George’s is definitely a contributing place. After stating on Instagram that George’s has the, “best pita bread ever,” a Rabbit Heart follower enthusiastically agreed in the comments.

Let us know if you try out our pita chips recipe, and visit 308 Grafton Street to purchase the famous pita bread and other treats. George’s hours are 5 AM-7:30 PM. And if you go early enough, maybe you’ll even catch a glimpse of George.
~Sarah

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!

** Homemade Pita Chips
Notes: none of the quantities on this are really exact – actually, there are no quantities specified at all. You’ll have to eyeball it, depending on how many pita loaves you use and what kind of seasoning you choose. Also! Watch over the chips in the oven the first few times you make this – we found out our oven has some hot spots and fluctuations in temp, and that it isn’t always clear if our chips need 4 minutes or 5. Also also! If the pita is a little stale, it’s still good for chips =)

You’ll need:
– Loaves of George’s pita bread – we love George’s because they’re thinner than most other brands, and make for a delightfully crisp chip. Also, they’re sugar free! Three bags of the small loaves gave us about two bags of chips (#thrifty!)
– Your favorite olive oil
– Seasoning – we used Old Bay (YUM!) and sesame seeds for the video, but in other batches we’ve also used: garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika and, for a sweeter chip, cinnamon and a light sprinkle of sugar. Also lovely: just a sprinkling of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper. And we’re about to enter pumpkin spice season, too – I bet you could go that direction with some pie spice and a touch of brown sugar (#goals)!
– A big bowl
– Kitchen shears (or, you know, a pair of kitchen-clean Fiskars ~.o)
– A cookie sheet
– Foil (you don’t have to cover the cookie sheet, but it certainly cuts down on cleanup)
– A cooling rack on top of a towel

1. Preheat the oven to 400° with your rack in the middle position. Dress your cookie sheet in foil to get it ready. Set out your cooling rack on a kitchen towel (so that you don’t end up with stray sesame seeds all over your counter – those suckers bounce, y’all).
2. Split the pita loaves into halves by tearing along the crease. Cut them into triangles into the bowl.
3. Once the pita has all been cut and you have a big pile of triangular goodness, scoot them edge up, and drizzle in some oil. It shouldn’t be super  greasy, but you do want all the chips to get oiled so your seasoning sticks. Mix it up! PRO TIP: If you’re doing a big big batch, it might help to dump the contents of the bowl onto your cookie sheet for this part, and then, once it’s all mixed up, put it back in the bowl.
4. Spread some of the greased pita triangles out on the cookie sheet in a single layer. Season them the way you like =)
5. Bake in the oven for ~5 minutes (see notes above) until they’re golden brown. Remove from oven, and transfer chips to cooling rack
6. Repeat steps 4-5 until you’ve baked all your chips. Once cool, they can be stored in a zip bag, or even right back in the pita bag. If they’re protected from humidity, they’re good for 4-5 days.
Enjoy by themselves or with your favorite dip (spinach dip is amazing with these, as is cream cheese. Cottage cheese is pretty great too. Or tuna salad, even).
~Apple

Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* are taking the reins & bringing us the good stuff. This week they got to check out the Worcester Center for Crafts.

xoxox,
Apple

If you’re unfamiliar with Worcester, you’d probably have no idea what magical kingdom exists at 25 Sagamore Road. Worcester Center for Crafts is housed in a lengthy brick building near WPI and is a community that welcomes all artists (both experienced and inexperienced) to practice their craft. The organization welcomes anyone to join their community to learn art skills, refresh their arts background, and unite with a wonderful association of creators.

Sarah and I were thrilled to visit Worcester Center for Crafts, and had a wonderful time meeting Honee Hess – the Executive Director with an inspiring spirit. Honee gave us a tour around the facility and offered us background information about the organization. Worcester Center for Crafts has grown immensely over the past century and a half through its ups and downs. It was first established in 1856 in order to provide learning opportunities in the field of crafts, resulting in more job opportunities to sell and create crafts. Since its origin, Worcester Center for Crafts has relayed the importance of crafts in everyday life – whether it be for personal or professional reasons.

Our tour started off in the Gallery Store, where a multitude of jewelry, paintings, dishware, and other crafts were on display and available for purchase. Sarah and I both admitted that we were tempted to buy basically everything in the store. Most of the crafts for sale had been made in Worcester Center for Craft’s studios. The Gallery Store is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm.

Next, we checked out the Krikorian Gallery, which features beautiful photographs and paintings by local artists. When we visited the gallery was exhibiting art by female artists, which was inspiring and moving to both hear about and see. I would have spent hours admiring the creations in the gallery if I could, but 10 minutes was enough to realize how amazing the works of art are.

The Sagamore Street campus includes Worcester State studios, where Worcester State students take their studio art classes – a successful integration of  two important elements in the community. We were also excited to see the ceramics studio, a spacious spot with tons of natural light where numerous artists were hard at work. The Glass Studio is located across town, so unfortunately we weren’t able to check out the location on the same day. However, if you’re interested in visiting, the Glass Studio is located at 35B New Street in Worcester.

Whether you’re looking to take classes, visit the Gallery Store, see the work exhibited in the  Krikorian Gallery, or pay a visit to a staff of inspirational and moving people, the Worcester Center for Crafts is a great spot. You won’t be disappointed. The administrative hours are Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Stay crafty!
~Alli

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!

Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* are taking the reins & bringing us the good stuff. This week they had a merry romp at the Blackstone Valley Bike Paths.

xoxox,
Apple

Before coming to RHPFF, the Blackstone River Bikeway was this mystery multi-use bike path I had heard people talk about but I had never investigated for myself. I’m not going to lie, I’m not exactly an outdoorsy girl.. I can appreciate the wilderness but I prefer to enjoy it by looking out the window (the second there are bugs flying around my head, I’m out of there). Anyway, Alli and I ended up at the bike path on a day where the weather was awful, raining and crazy gross humidity. BUT, the bike path was honestly so beautiful – we both felt instantly taken out of the hustle and bustle of the city and into a scenic and tranquil place that is not often what people think of Worcester. We only walked a short way but little did we know, the path goes 48 miles from Worcester to Providence. From there, you can ride further into Rhode Island or into my home state of Connecticut! It goes through 14 cities and towns and where it was possible, the path was built along the river so there are lots of plants and animals to be seen as you travel. For those who love to be outside (and even for those like me who don’t) the Blackstone River Bikeway is a delightful thing of Worcester that you don’t want to miss!
~Sarah

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!

Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* are taking the reins & bringing us the good stuff. This week they were treated to a tour of the Worcester Idea Lab

xoxox,
Apple

The Worcester Idea Lab is a communal and collaborative work space created by Action! Worcester. Located at 20 Franklin St in downtown Worcester, the Lab is on the first floor to the right as you walk in. Parking is amazingly easy, there is street parking as well as municipal lots all a short walk away from the building. Fitted with a kitchen space, two small call rooms, a group meeting space, and many comfy places to sit, including a bar/counter for working standing up AND free wifi. I’m telling you, it smells like productivity in there. The Lab is open to the public 8-5pm every Wednesday and if one day per week isn’t enough time to enjoy the space, there are also membership options for individuals, corporations, nonprofits, and universities. Additionally, you can book the space for a variety of things such as lectures, meetings and retreats, events, or workshops.

A big thank you to Josh who took the time to speak to us about all that is happening at the Idea Lab. He and everyone else who works for the Lab show such passion for Worcester and the community that we couldn’t help leaving inspired. If you get a chance to visit Action! Worcester or the Idea Lab and you see him, I highly recommend introducing yourself and chatting a little. You won’t be disappointed.  
~Sarah

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!

Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* are taking the reins & bringing us the good stuff. This week they were treated to a tour of local art staple, Arts Worcester.

xoxox,
Apple

ArtsWorcester is a delicious little art-filled organization, located in the renovated Aurora – a hotel that once existed in the heart of Main Street. The non-profit organization works to showcase the art of locals, and publicize the importance of the arts within the community. Most importantly, they encourage artists of all skills and ages to be a part of the thriving association, which unifies over the enjoyment of art.

On a sunny Thursday afternoon, Sarah and I made our way to 660 Main Street (after taking a few wrong turns). We were welcomed enthusiastically upon our arrival by executive director Juliet Feibel. Juliet took us on an extensive tour of the downstairs gallery, introduced us to the staff (including Scarlett Hoey and Tim Johnson), and gave us a run-through of the history of the organization and building.

ArtsWorcester was founded in 1979 by a group of artists and supporters, who originally named it the Cultural Assembly of Greater Worcester. After changing the home base of the organization multiple times, its headquarters and main galleries now reside in the old Aurora Hotel. ArtsWorcester has always been known for its celebration of the arts, and is eager to promote artists of all sorts. While touring the gallery located in the basement of the building, I was shocked to see the multitude of styles that each exhibiting artist portrayed. There were artfully carved sculptures, water color paintings massive in size, detailed still life paintings, simple drawings, and intricately designed ceramics. After noting each work of art, you can comparatively conclude that no two artists are alike at ArtsWorcester.

The exhibiting artists contribute to a huge part of the success at ArtsWorcester. Worcester artists are constantly seeking to display their work in the accompanying galleries. There are 3 main galleries extended from ArtsWorcester, including The Aurora, The Hanover, and The Hadley. The Aurora is the main gallery, and is located at the main location of ArtsWorcester, at 660 Main Street. The Hadley is right across the street from the Aurora location, at 657 Main Street. And the Hanover is located at the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts.

Becoming a part of ArtsWorcester is a piece of cake (Wayne Thiebaud…anyone?) and a membership makes a variety of artist opportunities possible. With an ArtsWorcester membership, you’ll have the chance to exhibit your art, receive feedback on it, learn from other artist members, and establish lasting relationships with artist in your community. Exhibiting artist memberships are $55, Dual-Artist Household memberships are $90, Student Artist memberships are $20, and memberships for Worcester college students are free! Financial assistance can also be applied to, which helps artists who are in need financial support to afford the membership. A few membership perks include exhibiting work in members-only shows, complimentary entry to Artist Business Skills Workshops, discounts at C.C. Lowell, and 60% commission from personal gallery sales. I’m also happy to say that I requested a membership following our meeting with Juliet, and I’m now a proud member of ArtsWorcester!

To check out the gallery, find out more information about a membership, or visit an awesome spot in Worcester, head to 660 Main Street (or the Hanover/Hadley locations).

  ~Alli

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!

Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* are taking the reins** & bringing us the good stuff. Like goats & sheep and LITTLE TINY HORSES!

xoxox,
Apple

Green Hill Park is one in which Lesley Knope would be extremely proud of. Located at the top of Bell Hill,  it is complete with two ponds, a golf course, restaurant, little league baseball field, petting zoo, gardens, and plenty of area to run around, picnic, or walk your three legged dog. It is the largest park in the city of Worcester and truly is a delightful place to spend your time. For this video, we focused mainly on the petting zoo because, well, it’s a petting zoo – and who doesn’t love giving a good pet to some farm animals? It’s open until 3pm all week long so make sure to stop by in the early afternoon so you don’t run out of time. There are goats, sheep, various types of birds, alpacas, donkeys, AND ponies (PSA: contrary to our singing, that is not Lil’ Sebastian. We’re very sorry if we got your hopes up. They’re still super cute though!) Alli and I had so much fun exploring all the different parts to the park and we hope that you all find as much joy in it as we did.
~Sarah

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!
**There’s an accidental dad joke in there, oops ~.o

Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* are taking the reins & bringing us the good stuff. Like a lovely mid-week extra taste of Caturday!

xoxox,
Apple

Worcester Animal Rescue League (WARL) is the largest animal shelter in Massachusetts, and an amazing non-profit organization that cares for animals in need. This week Rabbit Heart adventured to 139 Holden Street, right by Indian Lake, to hang out with some cuddly creatures and learn more about the program. We met with Allie Tellier, WARL’s executive director, in her office which also houses her adorable office cat, Reece. Allie filled us in on what WARL does, how to get involved, and about the importance of the organization.  

WARL was founded in 1912 and was originally established to take care of farm horses who had been overworked. The organization then grew to care for other animals in need including dogs, cats, and ferrets. The program operates on so many levels to ensure that their animals get the excellent care and treatment they deserve. Whether an animal is brought to WARL in need of surgery, needs a broken bone mended, or requires urgent love and care, WARL does everything possible to give these animals the care they need. Most importantly, WARL gives these animals a voice and spreads the word about adoption, foster care, donations, and volunteering so that the programs can flourish and the animals can find forever homes.

Not only does WARL give animals without homes a place to stay and a chance at adoption, they also offer services to animals who already have homes – the organization conducts spay/neuter clinics and vaccine clinics for animals who are in need of them. They treat the animals with love and care, and don’t overcrowd their space. They only take in animals when enough space is available so that the animals aren’t packed in or overwhelmed.

The ladies of Rabbit Heart spent a beautiful Monday hanging out with the WARL staff, petting some adorable kittens, spending time with the dogs, and learning about what makes WARL special. We were all tempted to adopt an animal right on the spot – and of course we’re urging you to make spot for one in your home ~.o

If you’re in the need of a cuddly companion, have the urge to visit some adorable animals, are interested in fostering a pet, or want to learn more about how to help out cats and dogs in the area, contact WARL today! They are a non-profit that receives no additional funding, so are always in need of donations** and volunteers.

~Alli

ps –
The Bow Wow Luau is coming up on 8/13 from noon to 2 pm. FUN!

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!
**If you’re looking for the perfect (and thrifty) gift for WARL,  non clumping litter like Johnny Cat is always on their wish list.

Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* are taking the reins & bringing us the good stuff. Check out this great little bit from the wilds of Shrewsbury Street, GRIME.

xoxox,
Apple

When driving down Shrewsbury street, you’re met with a variety of delicious eateries, a piercing parlor, dozens of coffee shops, and GRIME: an eclectic clothing store housed in a renovated garage building. GRIME is one of the most notorious Worcester spots, known for its funky array of clothing, vintage accessories, and dozens of newly stocked items to please any fashionista. Although GRIME is like no other clothing store I’ve visited, I’ve concluded that its Worcester home is the most fitting city it could possibly be housed in. Worcester residents are tough cookies with the right amount of spunk and free spirit. What better place to represent Worcester’s array of personalities than a store that caters to every resident in the Heart of the Commonwealth? Whether you’re looking for vintage pieces for a fun night out, a jacket to jazz up your style, some staples to add to your wardrobe, or a funky outfit to push you out of your comfort zone—GRIME has what you’re looking for.

GRIME is a store where the hard work of their employees is evident. Not only is the store beautifully organized  and aesthetically pleasing, but their ever present social media pages urge customers to visit and check out the store (and for college students to present their student ID’s on certain days to get a discount). The employees are always thoughtful and kind, and had no problem snapping a few photos of Sarah and I when we tried on some floral vintage pieces and had a makeshift photoshoot in front of the dressing rooms. And even if you’re not there to shop, browsing around the store is comparable to visiting an art gallery with its artfully placed retro décor, dazzling jewelry displayed at the cash register, chalk paint lined walls embellished with cool lettering and phrases, artful posters decorating the interior, and the wide range of patterns, cuts, and washes that are displayed on clothing racks. Everything found in GRIME makes you feel like you’re in the costume design department for an 80’s movie.

GRIME is one of my favorite places to visit in Worcester, whether it’s to find myself some new attire, or to show a visiting friend one of the hidden gems of our city. I can’t even put into words how fun this little store is, so you’ll have to go check it out for yourself. A plus is that if you purchase an item, you receive a free GRIME sticker to decorate your belongings with! I already have dozens adorning my computer, water bottle, and notebooks. GRIME is located at 356 Shrewsbury Street and is open 11-7 Monday-Saturday and 11-5 on Sundays. More info at http://www.grimeworcester.com

~Alli

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!

Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* are taking the reins & bringing us the good stuff. Check out this great little bit on Clark off-campus staple,  Acoustic Java  (932 Main St # B).

xoxox,
Apple

 

Kelley Square. Wowza! If you’re from the Worcester area you know exactly what I am talking about. If not, chances are your gps will betray you and send you there soon enough. In Kelley Square there are no rules: no road markings, a few yield signs, and a lot of cars.

ANYWAY, lucky for all of us, Kelley Square is also home of the Crompton Place, an old textile mill on Green St that’s been restored and filled with gems. Firstly, Birtchtree Bread Co: you walk into this huge open space filled with the smells of everything from coffee to homemade sandwiches, soups, and pastries. Then, you order the feta toast – life changing – and sit down in one of the cozy booths or communal tables. On Sundays, they have bands play, and it is just the most lovely place to meet a friend, sit and read, or do the work that you’ve been dreading to do (which, of course, you can’t do until you finish your toast ;-)).

Next there’s Seed to Stem – OH HOW I LOVE THIS PLACE! Filled with the most beautifully green plants, sweet smelling candles, and all the cool things you could ever dream of. Literally, I want everything in there. Oh, and they rotate through the greatest set of playlists that I can’t resist singing along to. Badly and loudly I might add.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Crompton Collective. A space where local vendors, craft makers, artists, rent booths and sell their goodies. Once again, the music is always great, and you can easily get lost looking at all the amazing things the craftspeople and collectors of Worcester have to offer.

(Also located in the building is a barber shop and a salon. If I wasn’t bald, I would eagerly get my hair cut at them both.)

In all, as ridiculous as Kelley Square is, there are some fantastic things happening there that you must check out if you haven’t already. Saturday I was at the farmers market in Crystal Park (There is also one held every Saturday in the parking lot of Crompton which is DELIGHTFUL) and I bought honey from a hive located on the rooftop of a building  right in the square. How cool is that?! Kelley Square honey!

~Sarah

 

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!

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