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Vernon Street Studios
6 Vernon St, Somerville, MA 02145
Vernon Street Studios, which opened  in 1973 and was one of the first artists' communities in the Boston More area, is housed in a historic, 19th-century brick building. Owned by the Rogers Foam Corporation, which is still in operation, and with entrances  at both 6 and 20 Vernon Street, the large, brick structure is as colorful as it is teeming with creativity. It is home to more than 100 artists. With 94 large, airy studios and an old-fashioned wooden  staircase that creaks with each step, the center has been participating in Somerville Open Studios every May since 1974.
Alewife Brook Reservation
300 Alewife Brook Pkwy, Somerville, MA 02144

With 120 acres stretching through Somerville, Cambridge and Arlington, this historic park is one of Greater Boston'sMore largest urban wilds—though driving by, you'd never know it.

Beyond the narrow strip of green space visible from Alewife Brook Parkway (Route 16), you'll find acres of wetlands that are home to a surprising array of wildlife such as osprey and great blue herons, as well as toads, turtles, muskrat and fox.

Visitors to the Somerville stretch can peek at Alewife Brook through the trees, but most come to sit, walk or jog, or to use the playground, tennis courts and playing fields. In 2010, expansion of the park's bike path began, which now links the Minuteman Bikeway to the Mystic River Bike Path. Kayakers and canoeists starting in Belmont or Medford can also paddle through the area.

The park is managed by the state's Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Fun fact: Back in the 1890s--when tooling along scenic parkways was a popular past time--landscape architect Charles Eliot (of Charles River Esplanade fame) designed both the Alewife Brook Parkway and the Reservation to provide a pretty route for passing drivers. His pals, the famous Olmstead brothers (think Acadia National Park), helped out.

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