The Weekly Dish 21/08/26

News from the local food scene

A taste of Brazil: Head to Greeley Park (100 Concord St., Nashua) for Brazil Fest, a one-day celebration of Brazilian culture featuring authentic foods, live music, dancing and more happening on Saturday, Aug. 28, from noon to 7 p.m. Since its inaugural event in 2016 as a way for Brazilian people in the area to come together and get to know one another, Brazil Fest has grown into the area’s largest Brazilian cultural festival. Restaurants and community members serve up authentic food options for the duration of the event — past items have included savory thin-crust pies called pastels, as well as Brazilian-style crepes with a variety of fillings; Brazilian-seasoned steak and chicken kebabs; and coxinhas, or fried dough filled with shredded chicken, sauce and vegetables. Admission is free and foods are priced per item. See “BrazilFest 2021” on Facebook for more details.

Island eats: Indonesian Community Connect will host its next Little Indonesian Marketplace at the Little Indonesia Cultural Center (156 High St., Somersworth) on Saturday, Aug. 28, from noon to 6 p.m. Held on the last Saturday of each month, the marketplace acts as a cultural bazaar, featuring traditional Indonesian food, arts and crafts, music, clothes and more, plus a local job fair and a gift shop with Indonesian candies, snacks, handcrafted decorations, souvenirs and more. Popular food options have included nasi uduk, a coconut rice combo served with either meats like fried chicken or vegetables, and tahu goreng (fried tofu). Visit

Smoothie Bus opens third shop: The Smoothie Bus Shoppe opened a new location earlier this month at 102 March Ave. in Manchester, its second spot in the Queen City and third in New Hampshire overall. Originally launched in 2018 as a mobile smoothie bus service only, the company has expanded to multiple brick-and-mortar locations, first in the Brady Sullivan Plaza in Manchester in early 2019 and then at 62 Pleasant St. in Concord last year. The Smoothie Bus Shoppe is now up to more than 40 different smoothies to choose from, as well as smoothie bowls, fresh juices and more. The new shop is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit

Flipping the tables: More than a dozen New Hampshire eateries have begun using Fliptable, a new restaurant staffing app launched earlier this month in the state that offers a free, contactless digital hiring platform for restaurant owners and job seekers. According to an Aug. 9 press release, Fliptable instantly finds and connects job seekers with relevant and open positions in their area. The app officially launched in Burlington, Vermont, earlier this summer, and more than 80 restaurants across the country are now using it. Job seekers can access all job postings for free and can apply to unlimited positions. For restaurants, Fliptable is free to use until the business decides to conduct interviews, which then require a paid subscription. The app is available to download on iPhone and Android devices.

On The Job – Ardith Kirchberger

Ardith Kirchberger

Speech language pathologist

Ardith Kirchberger is the owner of Speak Easy Speech Therapy, a private practice in Nashua where she works as a speech language pathologist.

Explain your job and what it entails.

As a speech language pathologist, I treat a variety of communication disorders … as well as language delay and articulation errors. [The work] is primarily pediatric, but I do have a small caseload of adults.

How long have you had this job?

I started my private practice in 2016.

What led you to this career field and your current job?

I started in this career in the early 2000s as a speech language assistant to get my feet wet and determine if this was something that I really wanted to do. I fell in love with it and decided to … go back to school. When I got out of school, I worked in a variety of different settings … and got to the point where I wanted to start my own private practice.

What kind of education or training did you need?

You need a master’s degree in communication science and disorders.

What is your typical at-work attire?

Since I work with kids, I really like to keep things casual so that I can get messy if I need to, or sit on the floor or climb in a tent or whatever. Today, I’m wearing a pair of yoga pants, sneakers and a Speak Easy T-shirt.

How has your job changed over the course of the pandemic?

Like everyone else, I was sort of panicking about what the next phase of life was going to look like, and the ramifications that Covid would have on my practice. I had to train myself quickly, overnight, how to do telehealth. … As we started learning more about the pandemic and the safety precautions that we could take, I started to gradually reopen my office to kids who perform better in person versus telehealth. Since then, I’ve grown exponentially. I’ve added more space, and I’ve added two employees and am looking to add another.

What do you wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?

I definitely could have started my private practice sooner. I’m grateful for all of the experiences I’ve had that led me here, but now that I’m doing it and it’s working out, I know I could have done it earlier than I did.

What do you wish other people knew about your job?

We don’t treat just articulation errors. … I’m also a certified orofacial myofunctional therapist, so in addition to doing all the typical speech language pathology things, I also work with kids who need to eliminate thumbsucking or pacifier use, kids who have a tongue thrust and kids who are picky eaters.

What was the first job you ever had?

I worked at Dairy Queen, making Blizzards.

What’s the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received?

Everything is figure-out-able.

Five favorites

Favorite book:
Anne of Green Gables
Favorite movie: The Devil Wears Prada
Favorite music: I like an eclectic mix of ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and indie music.
Favorite food: Pierogies
Favorite thing about NH: Mount Kearsarge, where my husband and I had one of our first dates, and Pleasant Lake in New London, where we have our lake house.

Featured photo: Ardith Kirchberger. Courtesy photo.

Kiddie Pool 21/08/26

Family fun for the weekend

Family fun day

Field of Dreams Community Park (48 Geremonty Drive in Salem; will host Family Fun Day 2021 on Saturday, Aug. 28, from noon to 6 p.m. The day will feature a bounce house, a toddler bounce house, a petting zoo, photos with superheroes and princesses, food trucks and ice cream trucks, touch-a-truck, music, prizes and more. A wrist band so kids can have unlimited access to the bounce house, pictures with the characters, the petting zoo and an obstacle course costs $5, according to the website.

Ice cream and first responders

The Derry Fire and Police departments will hold a First Responder Freeze on Saturday, Aug. 28, from noon to 2 p.m., featuring a free kiddie cone ice cream for the first 100 kids under 12, according to a Facebook post about the event. The event will take place at Pete’s Scoop on Route 28 in Derry and will include games, giveaways and more, the post said.

Movie night

This Friday’s “Pics in the Park” film at Greeley Park in Nashua is Aladdin (PG, 2019), which will start screening at dusk on Friday, Aug. 27, at the park’s Bandshell, 100 Concord St. The screening is part of the city’s SummerFun lineup; see

Live on stage

The Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester;, 668-5588) completes its 2021 Bank of New Hampshire Children’s Summer Series with Sleeping Beauty on Thursday, Aug. 26, at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10 per person.

Student performers from the Palace’s summer camp program will also present their final production this weekend: Willy Wonka Kids will be performed Friday, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 28, at 11 a.m. Tickets cost $12 to $15.

Picnic with music

Pack a picnic and enjoy some live music this Sunday, Aug. 29, from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Canterbury Shaker Village (288 Shaker Road in Canterbury;, 783-9511) on the lawn near the Meeting House. The suggested donation is $10 per person. This week’s entertainers are the Mink Hills Band, a five-member New Hampshire-based acoustic band playing bluegrass, swing and folk as well as originals, according to the website. The Music on the Meeting House Green series runs Sundays through September.

Day at the museum

You still have time to make a mid-week visit to the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center (2 Institute Dr. in Concord;, 271-7827). The center is open daily through Sunday, Sept. 5, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 1:30 to 4 p.m. (Starting Sept. 6 and running through holiday vacation, the center is open Fridays through Sundays.) Buy timed tickets prior to your visit online, where you can also buy tickets for planetarium shows. Masks are required for all visitors age 3 and up, the website said. Admission costs $11.50 for adults, $10.50 for students and seniors and $85 for children ages 3 to 12, the website said.

The next few weeks are also a good time to get in a visit to the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire (6 Washington St. in Dover;, 742-2002), which will close for a week Sept. 6 through Sept. 13. The museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays with timed tickets for 9 a.m. to noon or 1 to 4 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to noon. Buy tickets in advance online; masks are required for all visitors over 24 months. Admission costs $11 for everyone over a year of age ($9 for seniors).

The SEE Science Center (200 Bedford St. in Manchester;, 669-0400) is open daily — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Though walk-ins are available (when there is space), pre-registration is recommended, according to the website. Masks are required for ages 2 and up. Admission costs $10 per person ages 3 and up for walk-ins, $9 for people who pre-register.

Treasure Hunt 21/08/26

Dear Donna,

I have an old cupboard with one door on the bottom. It seemed to have two doors on the top. The holes where the hardware used to be are now filled nicely. I’m wondering if this would still have any value?


Dear Dennis,

Your cupboard still has a warm, charming appearance. It is unfortunate that the top doors are missing, though it is not that uncommon to find these that way.

Pieces of furniture were often changed over time to fit different needs. What started off in the late 1800s as a storage cupboard could easily have been made into a display cupboard later on.

Sometimes if you’re lucky and the piece stayed in the same family, the top doors could still be around somewhere. Maybe? As is, though, I think the value has to be for an old useful piece of country furniture now, rather than the antique value. I would say the value is in the $250 range for a nice, still useful country cupboard.

Worth the visit

Delightful surprises at public garden

I recently visited Bedrock Garden in Lee and came away feeling refreshed and enlightened. This 37-acre public garden was created on the premises of a 1700s farm that was purchased in 1980 by artist and garden designer Jill Nooney and her husband, Bob Munger.

Jill Nooney is a talented designer, who has won many awards at the Boston Flower Show. She is a welder who uses her skills to create metal sculptures from small to mammoth, as well as working with other media. Bob is a natural builder and fix-it guy who has enabled Jill to install her art in the landscape, along with water features, walls, paths and much more. They are a couple who really bring out the best in each other.

A steel chiwara or stylized antelope mask in the garden. Courtesy photo.

When I toured the gardens I was lucky to have Jill as one of my guides. Also touring the gardens with me was John Forti, Executive Director and Horticulturist of the nonprofit that manages the gardens. We spent nearly three hours together looking at the gardens and I learned about many plants I had never seen before.

Bedrock Garden is full of surprises that delight, enlighten and inspire visitors. I came away wishing I had a bigger garden space for my own efforts, and with an appreciation for how much Jill and Bob have packed into their gardens.

For years Bedrock Garden was open a few weekends each summer, but five years ago Jill and Bob decided that since they were approaching what some call “retirement age” they needed to look seriously at the future of the gardens. They created a nonprofit, hired John Forti as the director, and figured out how to separate the public and private spaces.

During the pandemic they created a parking lot and visitors center that are accessed away from their home, the old farm house they have lived in for over 40 years. They have created a space that is family-friendly that delights children as much as their parents.

Near the parking lot is a gnome house kids can enter made from a huge hollow sycamore log that Jill capped with a steel roof reminiscent of a mushroom cap. She saw the wonderful hollow log alongside the road and hit her brakes immediately to ask for it. Luckily, she was the first to ask, and got it. (Five others stopped and asked for it that day, she told me, but she was the first).

I consider myself well-exposed to the palette of plants available to gardeners in New Hampshire. Bedrock Garden is in Zone 5b, meaning that most years it does not get colder than minus 25 degrees. But Jill has installed and grown many plants that I have never seen before, including many woody plants normally found in Japan or China.

Jill Nooney has used plants in ways that surprised me. For example, she used Bulls Blood heritage beets in a flower bed for their deep purple leaves. An annual effort, but very striking. When a hollow tree was cut down, she had Bob cut it in two-foot sections and stack the sections between two trees so viewers walking by could see through it like binoculars. One can see where branches had been swallowed by its growth. They call it “Log Jam.”

Jill has used decorative grasses well throughout the garden. Fountain grass is a genus of grass that gets to be more than 6 feet tall and very bushy in full sun, where she grows it in an “allee” arrangement that is gorgeous. But she also uses it in shade. “It’s wispy in the shade,” she said. “I like that.”

This gnome house near the parking area alerts children that they are welcome. Courtesy photo.

Metal sculpture is a key element throughout the garden. Early in our tour I admired a space made by forming ¾-inch steel rebar into a series of 11 arches 13 feet tall and spaced 7 feet apart. “I’m using the sky,” she said. She consciously mimicked the lines of a Gothic cathedral, bending each steel frame to a gracefully pointed Gothic arch. And she is growing European fastigiate beeches to clothe the metal frame as part of the installation: one on each side of the archways and tied to the steel. They will eventually reach the sky, the apex of the arch.

Also in the garden are two iron “Chiwaras” modeled after antelope masks made by the Bambara people of Mali. Many years ago I had told Jill the legend of the antelope in Mali, where I had worked with the Peace Corps. The Bambara people credit the antelope for teaching them to plant millet, their primary grain. The antelope pawed the ground, and dropped a little manure into the soil containing seeds. So they honored the antelope with their stylized masks, which Jill captured beautifully.

So plan a visit to Bedrock Garden if you can. There is a guided tour each day, and two on weekend days. Or just wander around and study the design elements. See how Jill has used plants that awe and inspire, and how she has added whimsy and art that delights and amuses. This is a garden worth visiting even if you don’t have a big space or the energy to develop it the way Jill and Bob have. Bring a lunch and plan on spending the day. You’ll be glad you did. And if you have children in your life, think about attending the Fairy Hobbit House Festival Oct. 9 to Oct. 11. Learn more at

Featured photo: Gardens and sculpture go well together. Courtesy photo.

The Art Roundup 21/08/26

The latest from NH’s theater, arts and literary communities

Manchester maps: Catch the Currier Museum of Art’s (150 Ash St., Manchester) special exhibit, “Critical Cartography: Larissa Fassler in Manchester,” on view now through Monday, Sept. 6. The exhibit features immersive large-scale drawings created by Berlin-based artist Larissa Fassler, who was an artist-in-residence at the Currier Museum in 2019. Stylistically inspired by maps and cartography, the drawings reflect Fassler’s observations of downtown Manchester and explore civic issues like the use of public spaces, the role of community organizations in supporting the needs of citizens, and the effects of poverty on the physical and emotional health of a community. “Larissa’s drawings complicate our expectations of what a map can do,” Samantha Cataldo, curator of contemporary art, said in a press release. “As an artist, her role is to ask questions, rather than offer answers, and she inspires us to think critically about our own perspectives on the concepts present in her work.” Museum hours are Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, $10 for students, $5 for youth ages 13 through 17 and free for children under age 13. Call 669-6144 or visit

Outdoor poetry: In-person author events have returned to MainStreet BookEnds (16 E. Main St., Warner). Next up is a release party for Indebted to Wind, the latest book of poetry from New Hampshire poet L.R. Berger, on Saturday, Aug. 28, at 4 p.m. The event will be held outdoors, on the terrace of the Jim Mitchell Community Park, just outside the library. Call 456-2700 or visit

NH antique art: The New Hampshire Antique Co-op (323 Elm St., Milford) has an exhibit and sale, “Fresh Perspectives,” on view in the Co-op’s Tower Gallery now through Aug. 31. It features works by New Hampshire artists Peter Milton, ​Varujan Boghosian, Robert Hughes, Robert Hauser and others, including paintings, prints, sculptures, assemblages and collages. Visit or call 673-8499.

•​ Life is a cabaret: Don’t miss Cabaret at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre (125 Bow St., Portsmouth), on stage now through Sept. 5, with showtimes on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. The hit Broadway musical is set in 1931 Berlin as Nazis are riding to power and centers on the nightlife at the Kit Kat Klub and the relationship between a young American writer, Cliff Bradshaw, and cabaret performer Sally Bowles. Tickets cost $32 to $50. Call 433-4472 or visit

Call for art: Girls at Work, a Manchester-based nonprofit that empowers girls through woodworking and building, is seeking artists for its inaugural Women’s Artisan Fair scheduled for Friday, Oct. 15, and Saturday, Oct. 16. Women artisans are invited to submit handcrafted fashion pieces, home goods, paintings and other visual arts for consideration, according to a press release. There is an online form to request more information about how to submit artwork. Visit or call 345-0392.

The New Hampshire Art Association is now accepting online submissions of artwork for its 22nd annual Joan L. Dunfey Exhibition, which will be on display at NHAA’s Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery (136 State St., Portsmouth) in November. The juried show is open to all regional artists, both NHAA members and non-members. Works in all media will be considered and should be related to this year’s theme, “Portals.” Artists can submit up to two pieces. The submission deadline is Monday, Sept. 20, by 5 p.m. The exhibit is one of NHAA’s most prestigious exhibits of the year, according to a press release, and is held in honor of Joan L. Dunfey, who was a resident of the New Hampshire Seacoast and a steadfast patron of the arts. Visit or call 431-4230.


Call for Art

WOMEN’S ARTISAN FAIR Girls at Work, a Manchester-based nonprofit that empowers girls through woodworking and building, is seeking artists for this fair, which is set for Oct. 15 and 16. Women artisans are invited to submit handcrafted fashion pieces, home goods, paintings and other visual arts for consideration. Visit or call 345-0392.


SHEAFE WAREHOUSE EXHIBIT AND SALE Featuring works in a variety of media by nearly 40 artists with the New Hampshire Art Association. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, from noon to 7 p.m., now through Aug. 29. Prescott Park, 105-123 Marcy St., Portsmouth. Visit or call 431-4230.

NEW HAMPSHIRE ART ASSOCIATION EXHIBITS Featuring the work of painters Joe Flaherty of Portsmouth and Maryclare Heffernan of Candia during August. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Creative Framing Solutions, 89 Hanover St., Manchester. Visit or call 320-5988.

• “FRESH PERSPECTIVES” Exhibit features works by New Hampshire artists Peter Milton, ​Varujan Boghosian, Robert Hughes and others. New Hampshire Antique Co-op (323 Elm St., Milford). On view in the Co-op’s Tower Gallery now through Aug. 31. Visit

• “FASHION FORWARD: AFRICANA STYLE” Exhibit showcases Black fashion and explores connections between African American and African design aesthetics from past to present. The Seacoast African American Cultural Center (located inside the Portsmouth Historical Society, 10 Middle St., Portsmouth). On view now through Sept. 1. Gallery hours are Monday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; visitors must reserve a 45-minute time slot in advance. Walk-in guests will be accommodated as space permits. Tickets cost $10 for the general public and $5 for Historical Society members and are available through Visit

• “CRITICAL CARTOGRAPHY” Exhibit features immersive large-scale drawings by Larissa Fassler that reflect the Berlin-based artist’s observations of downtown Manchester while she was an artist-in-residence at the Currier Museum in 2019. On view now through Sept. 6. Currier Museum of Art, 150 Ash St., Manchester. Museum admission tickets cost $15, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, and must be booked online. Call 669-6144 or visit

• “DON GORVETT: WORKING WATERFRONTS” Exhibit features more than 60 works by the contemporary Seacoast printmaker. The Portsmouth Historical Society (10 Middle St., Portsmouth). On view now through Sept. 12. Gallery hours are daily, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission costs $7.50 for adults and is free for kids under age 18, seniors age 70 and older and active and retired military. Admission is free for all on the first Friday of every month. Visit

• “THE BODY IN ART: FROM THE SPIRITUAL TO THE SENSUAL” Exhibit provides a look at how artists through the ages have used the human body as a means of creative expression. On view now through Sept. 12. Currier Museum of Art, 150 Ash St., Manchester. Museum admission tickets cost $15, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, and must be booked online. Call 669-6144 or visit

• “TWILIGHT OF AMERICAN IMPRESSIONISM” Exhibit showcases New England painters and masters of impressionism Alice Ruggles Sohier and Frederick A. Bosley. On view now through Sept. 12. Portsmouth Historical Society (10 Middle St., Portsmouth). Gallery hours are daily, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission costs $7.50 for adults and is free for kids under age 18, seniors age 70 and older and active and retired military. Admission is free for all on the first Friday of every month. Visit

• “ROBERTO LUGO: TE TRAIGO MI LE LO LAI – I BRING YOU MY JOY” Philadelphia-based potter reimagines traditional forms and techniques with inspiration from urban graffiti and hip-hop culture, paying homage to his Puerto Rican heritage and exploring his cultural identity and its connection to family, place and legacy. The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester). On view now through Sept. 26. On view now. Currier Museum of Art, 150 Ash St., Manchester. Museum admission tickets cost $15, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, and must be booked online. Call 669-6144 or visit

1,000 CRANES FOR NASHUA Featuring more than 1,000 origami paper cranes created by hundreds of Nashua-area kids, adults and families since April. On display now at The Atrium at St. Joseph Hospital, 172 Kinsley St., Nashua. Visit

GALLERY ART A new collection of art by more than 20 area artists on display now in-person and online. Creative Ventures Gallery (411 Nashua St., Milford). Call 672-2500 or visit

• “TOMIE DEPAOLA AT THE CURRIER” Exhibition celebrates the illustrator’s life and legacy through a collection of his original drawings. On view now. Currier Museum of Art, 150 Ash St., Manchester. Museum admission tickets cost $15, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, and must be booked online. Call 669-6144 or visit

ART ON MAIN The City of Concord and the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce present a year-round outdoor public art exhibit in Concord’s downtown featuring works by professional sculptors. All sculptures will be for sale. Visit, call 224-2508 or email

• “TENSION: PROCESS IN THE MAKING” The Surface Design Association’s (SDA) New Hampshire Group presents an exhibit featuring fiber art and textiles by New Hampshire artists. On view now through Sept. 4. Twiggs Gallery (254 King St., Boscawen). Visit or call 975-0015.

• “SUMMER HAZE” Concord artist and gallery owner Jess Barnet hosts her first group art exhibit. Gallery located in the Patriot Investment building, 4 Park St., Suite 216, Concord. On view now through Sept. 3. Visit

Fairs and Markets

CONCORD ARTS MARKET Outdoor artisan and fine art market. Every third Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Now through October. Rollins Park (33 Bow St., Concord). Visit


NASHUA PUBLIC ART AUDIO TOUR Self-guided audio tours of the sculptures and murals in downtown Nashua, offered via the Distrx app, which uses Bluetooth iBeacon technology to automatically display photos and text and provides audio descriptions at each stop on the tour as tourists approach the works of art. Each tour has 10 to 15 stops. Free and accessible on Android and iOS on demand. Available in English and Spanish. Visit

Workshops and Classes

GENERAL ART CLASSES In-person art classes for all levels and two-dimensional media. held with small groups of two to five students. Private classes are also available. Diane Crespo Fine Art Gallery (32 Hanover St., Manchester). Students are asked to wear masks in the gallery. Tuition costs $20 per group class and $28 per private class, with payment due at the beginning of the class. Call 493-1677 or visit for availability.

DRAWING & PAINTING CLASSES Art House Studios, 66 Hanover St., Suite 202, Manchester. Classes include Drawing Fundamentals, Painting in Acrylic, Drawing: Observation to Abstraction, Exploring Mixed Media, and Figure Drawing. Class sizes are limited to six students. Visit



SLEEPING BEAUTY The 2021 Bank of New Hampshire Children’s Summer Series presents. Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester). Wed., Aug. 25, and Thurs., Aug. 26, 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10. Visit

•​ HOOLIGANS AND CONVICTS The Winnipesaukee Playhouse presents. 33 Footlight Circle, Meredith. Now through Sept. 4, with showtimes Tuesday through Saturday, at 7:30 p.m., plus matinees on Tuesday, Aug. 24, and Thursday, Aug. 26, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $20 to $39. Visit

•​ CABARET The Seacoast Repertory Theatre presents. 125 Bow St., Portsmouth. Now through Sept. 5. Visit or call 433-4472.

•​ IT HAD TO BE YOU The Winnipesaukee Playhouse presents. 33 Footlight Circle, Meredith. Sept. 1 through Sept. 18, with showtimes Tuesday through Saturday at 4 p.m., plus matinees on Saturdays, Sept. 11 and Sept. 18, at 11 a.m. Tickets cost $20 to $37. Visit

As the world ends

GNew novel by Manchester author explores life in 2090

A year and a half after the release of his debut novel, The Light Years, Manchester author Rob Greene is back with his sophomore effort, Twenty-five to Life — though, technically, it’s the novel he wrote first.

“I started writing it 10 years ago as an MFA student at [Southern New Hampshire University],” said Greene, who writes as R.W.W. Greene. “It’s just changed a lot. It had a different name, it was bigger, there were three point-of-view characters. Over the years I just kept picking at it. I unraveled it and stitched it back up again.”

Twenty-five to Life is set in 2090 and follows 23-year-old Julie Riley, who is forced by law to live with her mother until she turns 25. With climate change making it harder and harder for humans to survive on Earth, a humanity-saving mission brings some of the population to Proxima Centauri, but Julie is one of the 9 billion people left behind. Not wanting to be stuck inside with her mother for the next two years, interacting with others mostly through virtual reality, Julie runs away. She joins the Volksgeist, a group of nomads traveling American back roads in converted vans, trucks and buses, and partners up with an older woman named Ranger.

“Most good science fiction is based in reality and it’s kind of a metaphor for something else,” Greene said. “I don’t do a lot of space battles and light sabers.”

In this case, he said, the book delves into what life has been like for the most recent generations.

“The millennials and the Gen Y and Gen Z situation — [this book looks at] what those guys have been going through economically and socially and kind of projects it out to what it might look like in 2090,” Greene said.

Twenty-five to Life is also a work of climate fiction, so Greene focused a lot of his research on climate change.

“This area will have 90 90-degree days a year in 2050,” he said. “Sea levels will have risen. … Fenway Park will be under water. It’s kind of interesting looking at that and figuring out what kind of life [we might be living].”

Greene said the pandemic didn’t influence the plot, though during the editing process he did have to acknowledge it.

“Really I just had to make note of the fact that there was a pandemic and there have been other Covid varieties, that there might be a Covid-79 in 2079,” he said. “Any book that’s going to be set in the near future has to take into account that we had Trump, we had the pandemic.”

Other real elements of the novel are the main character’s name — Julie Riley is the name of a student Greene had when he taught at Nashua High School South — and where she travels during her road trip.

“I got a U.S. map and I kind of plotted out the entire journey and researched where she might stop,” Greene said. “Some of the places I’d actually been to, but most of the places I just did research on.”

Greene is currently working on what might end up being a trilogy; he’s already sold the first two books to his publisher, U.K.-based science-fiction and fantasy publisher Angry Robot Books.

“One is done, one is almost done,” he said. “I hope to start [the third one] in October.”

The books are an alternative history set in the 1970s to 1990s, and aliens have destroyed Cleveland. He expects the first two to be published in May 2022 and May 2023.

Greene’s writing process hasn’t changed too much with the pandemic, though it did throw him off early on.

“The first three or four months I had a hard time getting anything going. I kind of felt creatively empty,” he said. “I played a lot of guitar and finally managed to get my writing going again.”

He also created an ad hoc online writers group after throwing out the idea to a couple of people he met on Twitter. Word spread, and now the group gets together via Google Meet a few times a week, sharing tips and encouragement.

“It’s almost like going to the bar with your friends except there’s no bar,” Greene said, “and for some people it’s 5 o clock at night and some people it’s 10.”

Twenty-five to Life was scheduled to be released Aug. 24, with a U.S. launch at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord. An event at the Bookery in Manchester is scheduled for Aug. 31, and Greene is hoping it will still happen in light of the surge of Covid cases — it might be a replay of 2020’s The Light Years launch.

“We got four live appearances out. The last one was I think March 11 at the Bookery, and then the next day the world shut down,” he said.

Meet Rob Greene

Where: The Bookery, 844 Elm St., Manchester
When: Aug. 31, 5 p.m.
Twenty-five to Life is available for purchase at local bookstores and on Visit

Featured photo: Rob Greene. Courtesy photo.

This Week 21/08/26

Big Events August 26, 2021, and beyond

Thursday, Aug. 26

New Hampshire Fisher Cats continue their run of home games at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (1 Line Drive in downtown Manchester; against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies with games through Sunday, Aug. 29. Games today through Saturday, Aug. 28, are all at 7:05 p.m.; Sunday’s game starts at 1:35 p.m. Special theme days include Alex Trebek Tribute Night on Aug. 26, Wrestling Night (with a Sumo Bobble Belly giveaway) on Aug. 27, post-game fireworks on Aug. 28 and a youth jersey giveaway on Aug. 29. The F-Cats begin another run of home games on Tuesday, Aug. 31, when the Portland Sea Dogs return (that game will feature post-game fireworks).

Friday, Aug. 27

Comedian Juston McKinney begins a four-show run at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord tonight with a show at 8 p.m. Subsequent shows are Saturday, Aug. 28, at 5:30 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $29.50 (plus fees). See

Friday, Aug. 27

Get in your classic red Ferrari (but don’t try to roll back the odometer) to head to Wasserman Park (116 Naticook Road in Merrimack) to see Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (PG-13, 1986) tonight at 7:30 p.m., part of the Merrimack Parks and Recreation’s Summer Movies in the Park series. The screening is free and is open to the public. See Looking for more nostalgia-filled screenings? The Prescott Park Arts Festival’s outdoor movie on Monday, Aug. 30, is Big (PG, 1988). It starts at dusk; see

Friday, Aug. 27

Watch hopefuls compete in the Hampton Beach Talent Competition, running today through Sunday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. at the Seashell Stage on Hampton Beach. Today, the juniors (under 18) compete; tomorrow, Aug. 28, it’s the over 18s, and Sunday is the finals, according to, where you can find more about this and other beach events.

Saturday, Aug 28

It’s another day of Old Home Days.

Plaistow’s Old Home Day today will include a 5K road race (registration starts at 7:30 a.m.), fireworks, food vendors and more, according to

Candia’s Old Home Day will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Moore Park (74 High St.), according to The day will kick off with a parade, followed by crafters, artisans, food, music and exhibits in the park as well as Michael’s Awesome Juggling and Variety Show at 12:30 p.m., the site said.

Gilford’s Old Home Day will kick off with a 5K road race and a free kids fun race (check-in starts at 6:30 a.m.) and a pancake breakfast hosted by the Gilford Rotary (7 a.m.), according to The library will serve pie and ice cream starting at 9 a.m. as long as it lasts or until noon, and a book sale will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the site said. Crafts people and food vendors will open for business at 9 a.m. on the Village Green and a parade steps off at 10 a.m., the site said. The day will also feature kids games and events, demonstrations, live music and fireworks at 9 p.m.; see the website for details.

Save the Date! Tuesday, Sept. 21

The fall season of art classes for children and teens begin on Tuesday, Sept. 21, at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester; Classes in comics, drawing and painting including offerings that are online and classes in person. Adult art classes kick off earlier in September with classes that have one- or two-day sessions as well as weekly classes. Offerings include figure drawing, painting, and an art sampler. See the website for details and to register.

Featured photo: Justin McKinney. Courtesy photo.

Quality of Life 21/08/26

Police beats Fire, CHaD kids win

First responders played a back-and-forth game of baseball on Aug. 20 during the 10th CHaD Battle of the Badges at Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester, but after pulling away in the eighth inning, Team Police beat Team Fire 11-5, making it their fourth straight victory in the series and bringing their all-time record to 7-3 over Fire, according to a press release. And along with all the fun, the event raised more than $111,000 to support patients and critical programs at Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

Score: +1

Comment: Team Police also edged out a fundraising victory, bringing in $2,200 more than Fire, according to the release.

Look out for lanternflies

New Hampshire might have a new invasive species to worry about. According to a report from NHPR, the invasive spotted lanternfly can devastate fruit crops, and while it so far has not spread in New Hampshire, state officials said it will likely return. The spotted lanternfly is currently causing problems in the mid-Atlantic, where in states like New York, officials are telling people to kill any lanternflies they see. They’re about an inch long with black-spotted grey wings and red underwings, the report said, and they weaken plants and trees by sucking out their sap and leaving behind feces that attract other insects and can cause black sooty mold. State entomologist Piera Siegert said the bugs’ favorite host plant is the tree of heaven and is also considered invasive in the U.S. — locally, it grows in Manchester, Nashua and other “disturbed habitat” areas, such as along highways and rail corridors.

Score: -1

Comment: Siegert said in the NHPR report that New Hampshire residents should look out for the bugs and their waxy egg masses and send any sightings or specimens to the state.

A cookie to look forward to

A new brownie-inspired cookie with caramel-flavored crème and a hint of sea salt is being added to the 2022 Girl Scout cookie lineup. According to a press release from the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, Adventurefuls will “take cookie lovers on a delicious taste adventure just like Girl Scouts go on their own amazing adventures through the program.” Such adventures include earning new Cookie Business badges for running their own cookie businesses and selling online via the Digital Cookie platform. The badges range from goal setting and effective sales-pitching to using market research, creating business plans and implementing digital marketing campaigns, the release said.

Score: +1

Comment: New Hampshire’s cookie season kicks off Dec. 29; sign up at to be notified when Adventurefuls, plus favorites like Thin Mints and Samoas, go on sale.

QOL score: 89
Net change: +1
QOL this week: 90

What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire? Let us know at

Why can’t you play two QB’s?

So the “Should it be Cam or Mac?” media soap opera raged on again all last week. It got a weird jolt when both played very well in the Patriots’ 35-0 pre-season rout of the Eagles. Though it should be noted it all came against the second team Philly D.

Depending on which camp the media member was in, the pontificators said the showing was further evidence their choice should be the Week 1 starter. Not that it matters, because with Coach B leaning toward the veteran, I suspect no matter what Mac Jones does, it’s Cam Newton’s job if he keeps playing like he did vs. Philly, when he had more mustard on his throws than he did all last year.

But here’s my question: why can’t the Patriots play both guys based on game circumstances and match-ups? Especially since their distinctly different skills are so complementary?

Say what you will about Cam’s puny eight TD passes last year, but he still ran for nearly 600 yards while scoring a QB team record 12 touchdowns to account for just four fewer touchdowns than Tom Brady threw for in 2019. As for Mac, his game is about quick, accurate, on the money short throws that move the chains and he’s run the no huddle in each game, which is something Newton never did in 2020.

Of course playing two quarterbacks challenges the old axiom that says if you have two quarterbacks you have none. And there’s also the same voices the likes of the Wright Brothers, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs and others heard on their way to changing the world from folks with tiny brains who said, “We can’t do that, because we’ve never done that before.”

Except when it comes to NFL football it has been done already, and quite successfully at that, though admittedly not recently. Here are a few examples.

1950 L.A. Rams: I know this was 1950, but with two Hall of Fame quarterbacks and HoF wideouts in Crazy Legs Hirsch and Tom Fears this team chucked it all over the lot. So much so that their 38.3 points per game season scoring average is still the highest in NFL history. Norm Van Brocklin and Bob Waterfield each started six games and played in all 12 games, as NVB threw 233 passes for 2,061 yards and 18 touchdowns, while Waterfield managed to throw 213 for 1,540 and 11 while being married to ’50s Hollywood starlet Jane Russell. The combined 29 passes would have been a NFL record if done by one guy. They made it to the title game, where they lost to the Browns 30-28.

1956 Giants: Kind of a weird setup where Don Heinrich started all 12 games but Charlie Conerly came off the bench to play more snaps in every game as he threw twice as many passes (170-88) as Heinrich. It worked, though, as the G-Men went 8-3-1 and crushed the Bears 47-7 in the title game.

1970 Raiders:Daryle Lamonica was the starter and backup George Blanda only threw 55 passes. But George, not Lamonica, was the 1970 Player of the Year because over a seven-week period he rallied Oakland from behind to win or tie six games in the final minute by throwing the winning TD pass or moving them in position to where he kicked the winning (or tying) FG.

1972 Washington Football Team: To this day I don’t know why George Allen played the wobble and win ex-halfback Billy Kilmer at QB over the great Sonny Jurgensen. But any time they were down by 10 or so in the second half, in came the relief-pitching Sonny to chuck spirals all over the yard. It was actually a multi-year thing, but in ’72 it took them all the way to the SB before they lost as the Dolphins completed their undefeated season.

Can it work? In a word, yes, but it’s likely up to Cam. QB controversies are most destructive when the locker room gets split over who should play. So if Cam fought it there might be issues. But then again, this is his last chance to show he can still win big as a starter, so if Bill wants the kid to play he may have to go along no matter what.

As for implementation, football is now a game of situational players and player groups. Long yardage, short yardage, red zone packages, down 14 in the fourth quarter, up 14 in the fourth, quarter etc. Just assign the appropriate QB to the appropriate package and their job will be to be ready when the call comes and produce when on the field. What’s the big deal?

How would it work? Given their knack for innovation I’m sure Josh McDaniels and Coach B could come up with plenty of ways to employ their combined skills, like these:

The change of pace:With Mac already showing he can handle the no huddle, they could pick up the pace to start the second half (and derail any adjustments) by running it for three or four series. Then bring Cam back in with a jumbo package to ground and pound a winded defense to control the ball and clock.

The wildcat: If the choice is to start with the pinpoint passer, then make Cam a Wildcat QB like New Orleans successfully did last year with Taysom Hill, who is neither the passer nor the runner Newton is.

Relief pitcher: If Jones turns out to be the more reliable passer, then he plays the Jurgensen/Blanda relief pitcher role if they fall behind and need to pass on most downs.

I’m not sure if Coach B would try this, but I am sure if they did they could pull it off. Plus it would be great to see the naysayers kill it until it worked and then spend the next few years pontificating about how they knew it would work from the start.

Got it.

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