This Is Framingham

This Is Framingham
Life in the 'ham

A good suggestion but…

January 11th, 2009

This morning we needed some ice melter for the driveway so I walked to CVS and saw a sign outside the Civic League (or what was the Civic League) that read “Shop Downtown”.  I thought that was nice to suggest and I hope people do, but I have to admit, there are only a handful of stores that I go to downtown.  CVS being the main draw (please don’t bail on us CVS!) and also other shops/restaurants I’ve posted about.
Everyone is different but for me, personally, I don’t go to a lot of the stores and services downtown but I wish I did, I just have no use for a lot of them (insurance offices, nail salons, wig shop, health care centers, Brazilian clothing/restaurants, churches, Latino record shop etc..) Nothing against Latino culture but I just don’t use these things.  Just like my sister has no interest in thrift shops and I love them,  or I think sushi is such a great treat and Ethan can’t stand it.  Different things appeal to different people and I’d like to think that’s okay. 
I keep thinking it would be great if downtown were more like Moody Street in Waltham with a great variety of resturants and shops so more people have something they’d like to check out.  I wish I knew how to make that happen but for now, I really do enjoy having the places I do go to near by and I like to support downtown by going to those stores.


  1. Except for your line about the churches (for an obvious reason!) I completely agree with what you’ve written, and I had a similar thought when I saw the “Shop Downtown” sign at the old Civic League complex a few days ago. I also tend to shop at that CVS and hope it stays there. In addition, take out from the Sampan when I can (like last Friday night, for instance). I miss their luncheon specials. For at least two years, they’ve been only open for FOOD for supper- otherwise it’s just a bar and a Keno parlor. There are SO many kinds of stores and restaurants I would love to see in downtown! I very much miss Radio Shack. Yes, let’s at LEAST keep shopping at CVS!

    Comment by Rev. Bob Baril January 11, 2009 @ 4:26 pm

  2. Don’t forget Panza shoes! They have ALL KINDS of variety to choose from and a wide range of prices…

    Comment by Ellyn January 11, 2009 @ 11:24 pm

  3. Yes, I agree. There isn’t anything to interest me to go downtown, and I have a CVS around the corner from my house. I remember growing up in Waltham and Moody Street was a great spot to go anytime. I don’t agree with this statement now. It is only restraunts now, but it used to have great stores such as clothing, records, games etc. Our Downtown should have some of the stores to appeal to everyone, unfortunately with the economy and the shopping mecca on Rt. 9 I dont’ think it will work. I hope it proves me wrong.

    Comment by Carol January 12, 2009 @ 10:07 am

  4. It’s sad there’s very little to shop for if you’re not Brazillian or a Brazillian wannabe. I too shop at CVS and I’ve eaten from some of the pizza joints, and maybe used the Post Office once or twice (if that counts). I do my banking mostly downtown, but that’s it. There’s no Katie Joe’s. There’s no RadioShack (why should I have to struggle through the Natick Blight (read: mall) to get a 1/4″ jack when I used to be able to go downtonwn?). There’s no fabric place.

    “Shop Downtown”. Nice idea. Maybe they should have thought of it fifteen years ago.

    Comment by Jon January 12, 2009 @ 11:51 am

  5. Moody Street, once heralded as a revival from urban blight (the sort Downtown Fram. still suffers), has recently run into its own problems as highlighted in an article from the Boston Globe last April (
    Nevertheless, Waltham did a stand up job in taking many steps forward in turning Moody St. into a viable destination, if only for food, despite a few steps back — perhaps the combined result of having grown too much too quickly plus the recent economic downturn.
    I think Framingham would like to borrow the lessons of a Moody St. if it could, but unfortunately suffers from a physical and social infrastructure that is entrenched in an overabundance of low cost housing and apartment dwelling — an artifact of its industrial heyday — among many other issues, of course.
    I’ve always believed that one of the biggest reasons for Moody Street’s successes, which Framingham can never have, is its 8-mile proximity to Boston.
    I will occasionally shop at Asinayo’s (sp?) asian foods market on Concord St., less often at Panzas on Union, and still enjoy the food at Terra Brasilis, also on Union (where you can bring your own wine!).

    Comment by Matt January 12, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

  6. There’s actually stuff that interests me downtown: Asinayo market, thrift shop, a few restaurants & shops. But driving and parking is just so obnoxious that I don’t do it unless I really need to, ie. I’m out of soba noodles (LOL), my husband needs new event insurance, or something at the rmv that can’t be done online. The total traffic jam that IS downtown to me is too big a headache with 4 kids sitting in back complaining about why the car isn’t moving. Sigh.

    Comment by Krista January 13, 2009 @ 2:14 pm

  7. If we are taking a cue from Moody Street, I think the Landmark (movie) Theater is a huge draw. You can’t even park near Moody Street on a weekend night. A theater across from the fire station would give us a 1-2 punch with Amazing Things and independent film. People expect to drive for that. Then restaurants (variety) could depend on some weekend business.

    Comment by Katie January 15, 2009 @ 8:19 pm

  8. Framingham has to first make downtown more attractive.
    If you have seen the trees ( bushes ) that they put in front of the railraod tracks at Dennsion Crossing that is one example. They need to do that the entire length of the tracks to hide them. Also a parking garage needs to be built right behind the train station where there is currently a paved parking area. Getting rid of billboards should also be a priority. Better lighting and street banners would also make the center more attractive.
    The beautiful train station should be used as just that and not some sleezy restaurant. Make Framingham an attractive, accessible transportation hub with plenty of parking and you will find that pedestrian traffic will also increase.

    Comment by frank January 16, 2009 @ 2:43 pm

  9. OK – so what do we do about this? We have lived in Framingham now for 17 years and since before moving in, we have read about and heard “plans” to revitalize downtown. I agree with prior posters – it could be GREAT! Could be.

    Aside from Asinayo, which we visit at least weekly, we have no reason to go downtown. A disappointment.

    BTW – this is my first post. I think this is one great website. I am a frequent visitor looking for news and reviews, but now I think I will start contributing! Nice job by everyone involved…..

    Comment by Joe January 16, 2009 @ 3:10 pm

  10. Great website indeed…my only complaint is it’s not updated enough:(

    Comment by Back in the Ham January 21, 2009 @ 2:43 pm

  11. Thanks. Belive it or not it’s really hard to keep up with teh blog, finding stuff to write about, finding the time to write. Like this past week I have something I’d love to post about but forgot to take a picture and haven’t been back that way to take a picture and we can’t afford to go out to eat as much so it just takes a while to get a post up sometimes. Thanks for reading!

    Comment by michelle January 21, 2009 @ 3:31 pm

  12. Yes, more updates please!

    Comment by FraminghamMom January 24, 2009 @ 9:32 am

  13. Drove through downtown last night and noticed that the Brazzille restaurant was dark – have they gone under, too, or moved to a new location? Parking was always a nightmare there, but it was a fun place to go.

    Comment by Laraine January 24, 2009 @ 12:07 pm

  14. Right on my man!

    Comment by hotshot bald cop April 25, 2022 @ 12:12 pm

  15. Wonderful views on that!

    Comment by hot shot bald cop May 7, 2022 @ 11:32 am

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