Lowell + Books = Happy City

One of the most popular Lowell Walks this summer and last was Literary Lowell. Led by Sean Thibodeau of the Pollard Memorial Library, the Literary Lowell walk visited downtown places featured in books or relevant to the authors who wrote other books. Some of the most enjoyable events I’ve attended have been book-related such as the Local Author Round-Up at Mill No. 5 last March or the Loom Press Writers Reading event at Hypertext Bookstore Café in July.

From now until Columbus Day, we have some great book-related events coming up in Lowell. Kicking things off is the 2016 Lowell Reads celebration sponsored by the Pollard Memorial Library. This has gone from a one-night book discussion to a month-long celebration of urban living.

Happy City

Things kick-off this Thursday, September 8 at 6:30 pm at the Pollard Library’s meeting room with the Non-Fiction Book Group discussing Happy City by Charles Montgomery. Even if you haven’t heard of the book (never mind read it), be sure to show up to catch the discussion.

Then next Thursday, September 15 at 7 pm again at the library, I will moderate a panel discussion about how the Lowell Walks series and other like events bring people together, create a strong sense of place, and make participants happier. Panelists include Bob Forrant of UMass Lowell, Jane Calvin of Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust, and local realtor Paul Ratha Yem. In actuality, the entire audience will be the panel, so please come prepared to share your thoughts on urban living.

On Tuesday, September 20 at 7 pm in the library meeting room there will be an evening of “PoetryMusic” featuring a world class chamber jazz duo (Chris Lee & Coleen O’Brien) dedicated to performing poetry set to music.

On Monday, September 26 at 7 pm at Luna Theater in Mill No. 5, there will be a screening of the film Urbanized which is a documentary that features some of the world’s foremost architects, planners, policymakers, builders and thinkers talking about urban design.

The biggest event of all will take place on Wednesday, September 28 from 5 pm to 8 pm. It’s a Happy City Block Party that will feature food, fun, and plenty of people. Location to be announced.

PARK(ing) Day 2016

In addition to all the Happy City events noted above, another great activity will take place on Friday, September 16 from 8 am to 6 pm. It’s PARK(ing) Day Lowell. There will be a pop-up park on Merrimack Street from 8 am to 6 pm. The theme is “Words Matter” and books will be available for reading, swapping, and discussing. It will also be a great opportunity to join others in relaxing, talking, playing games, and having fun.

PARK(ing) Day 2016 in sponsored by DIY Lowell and Lowell National Historical Park. “The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to demonstrate the need for urban open space, engage in community conversations around how and where these spaces are created, an improve the quality of human experiences on a block level.”

Lowell Celebrates Kerouac

Then on Columbus Day weekend, we have the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival which runs from October 6 to October 10 with nearly two dozen Kerouac-themed events around the city. Check out the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac website for the full schedule.

Lowell Walks

And don’t forget Lowell Walks. We have walks around the city on most Saturdays this fall. Check out the full Lowell Walks schedule here.