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"Hosting fine Swing and Lindy Hop Dancing in Boston since 1994"

Eight to the Bar at Swing City this Friday

Dear Swing City Patrons!

Our summer hiatus is over, and we're pleased to have "Eight to the Bar" with us again at the Somerville City Club! Please join us as we launch the Fall season with the region's most popular band.

7:30pm: Beginner and Intermediate Swing Dance Lessons
9:00pm: Band goes on (DJ in the breaks)
until ~12:30am or when people leave

at Somerville City Club
20 InnerBelt Rd.
Somerville, MA directions »

$15 cover ($10 with student ID)
Lesson free with cover
All ages welcome
Cash bar
Free parking

The long and the short of the rest of this email:

A Call To Action!

- We need you and your dancing friends!
- Formation of the Swing City/Somerville City Club Beautification Committee (SCSCCBC...heh)

Update on Venues

As many of you know, we have searched high and low for a suitable new venue, and unfortunately we have turned up nothing new. Here is the latest on some of the contenders:

Courtyard Marriott, Cambridge: Willing to host us but requires temporary floors and space is limited. We are considering SC there approximately once/month here as it is a great location and beautiful venue on all other respects.

The "New" Huron Ave (West Cambridge Youth Center): They will not host Friday events. Fridays are being steadfastly reserved by the City for Parent/Child events, despite Swing City's tremendous efforts several years ago to have them build a dance hall in the new facility. This was to be our saving development, so I can't express how disappointed I am with the City.

Watertown Greek Orthodox Church (former location of the "Swing Dance Depot"): The Church board rejected our proposal to do a few trial nights there. Their experience with the 'Depot last year left them fairly embittered toward this type of event.

Springstep: Will not host a regular weekly dance, and is too expensive.

Somerville Greek Orthodox Church: does not have fire sprinklers as required by Somerville for dancing. $150,000 investment.

All other venues we've checked out fail to meet at least one of several major requirements, such as affordability, wood floor, reasonable accessibility, proper licenses, or they simply aren't interested.


A few other long-shots are still in the lurch, but the bottom line is this folks: there are very few spaces at our disposal in this day and age, and Swing City is hardly the only event in this situation. To that end however, WE HAVE THE CITY CLUB! We, that is YOU, ME, US, need to make this place the place to be!

What does the City Club offer?
- Decent floor
- Superb AC
- Plenty of parking
- Close to the heart of Boston
- Directly off I-93
- MBTA is 3 blocks away and zillion bus lines go right past
- Bar
- All ages
- Very affordable
- Nice lighting

What does it lack?
- a bit of tidiness
- a bit of a makeover
- BIG ONE: the hint of cigarette smoke sometimes exuding from the members lounge.
- not the prettiest neighborhood in town, but it's not bad. We can't move the building obviously.

However, they are willing to solve these problems with us.


Here's why and how:

1) Fixing the HVAC/Smokiness problem is going to take some funding and a little bit of time. Likely, we--Swing City that is--will need to pay for this, either directly or indirectly. We are working up a 1 year budget to do that, and it will likely cost about $10,000, which comes out to $200/week. That is the equivalent of about 15 extra patrons/week. In a way it is a temporary rent increase, but in the long run it will have tremendous impact since it is by far the #1 problem people have at this venue.

2) Tidiness: Due to their own financially strapped situation, the City Club some time ago laid off their janitorial staff. We are presently seeking to hire a new janitor who will immaculately clean our space prior to the event. This is not a big expense, but it is nevertheless _an_ expense.

3) Makeover: this is in two parts: interior and exterior. Exterior first: the landscaping is pretty nice, but needs to be taken care of regularly. We are trying organize some gardening parties, including both Club members and US. We need help with this. Any green thumbs out there? Contact me if you are interested.

Interior: we are looking for new lobby carpets, will be generally tidying up things, and have the ability to drastically change the place if we want. However, for this latter part we need some people who have that interior decorating "feng shui" sense. If interested, please contact me.

In other words, for the above, we can use your help and I would like to form an informal committee to handle these matters. Email me with ideas or to volunteer at

Most importantly, WE NEED YOU AND FRIENDS THERE! Folks, for Swing City to make it, and thus to continue the long tradition of weekly Friday night Swing Dancing in Boston, we need THE COMMUNITY to step up to the plate. We have a very loyal core group of patrons, and we can't thank them enough, but we need everyone there henceforth or SC simply isn't going to be viable much longer. Clearly the venue has been a problem for many, but as I explained, there simply are no better options.

There have been a great many people who have filed complaints, some even said: "City Club is a dingy dump and I will _never_ever_ go there again." Clearly if this is the attitude which enough of the community takes, the future is written.

Similarly, there are a lot of people who complain that the City Club is hard to get to. Really folks, it's easy. Go to I-93, exit 28, and you're there. While it's further distance than some of the old locations, it's certainly not much further time-wise than say getting to Newton or Huron Ave from the Mass Pike. Time and time again people tell me they had a hard time initially, but once they came by highway or figured it out, it was a snap. Seriously folks, this place is very centrally located. (Note: if you're coming from Storrow you have to come by Rt99 or McGrath Highway but that's quick too.)


Swing City Patrons, this is your dance. The more people that come, the more fun it is, and the more we can do to improve the venue. But, it is is YOUR DANCE. The only thing I do is try to successfully manage it. Clearly there have been a lot of unexpected hurdles, and it has been a very expensive undertaking since I got involved about a year and a half ago. However, we have to work with the cards we are dealt, including the venues that fell through, the relentless competition, "Swing Dance Politics" with the history, egos, and personal agendas surrounding that, the economy, and an endless list of other factors. I can no longer count the number of times I've almost called it quits, but I did attend some of the SC events in its heyday and sure would like to see that again. Those were some great parties. I think we can get 90% there quite easily with a bit of communal commitment.

Lastly, I want to shout out to Cynthia Lyon and ETTB for their support of Swing City and their undying enthusiasm for this artform and good times. Thanks guys!

I and the SC staff and entertainers hope to see you this and every Friday!

Kindest regards,




Swing City Productions • 24 Breakwater Dr. Chelsea, MA 02150

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