Worcester Weekly: Helping refugees, Canal District veggies + more, July 23-29

The most fun you’ll have with a calendar of events all week. And you just might learn something, too.

Road trip!

Sunday, July 23 — 2017 DockDogs Day, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Klem’s, 117 W. Main St., Spencer  Tommy used to work on the docks. Guess you could say, he’s been down on his luck — especially since the union went on strike. And without Tommy — or Bon Jovi — around the docks, well, they’ve gone to the dogs. It’s tough.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 178]: In Worcester, everybody’s doing the PawSox dance

Is it just a dream? Could it be real?!

It seems that whenever the prospect of wooing the Red Sox’ top minor-league affiliate to the city resurfaces, business leaders, residents and municipal officials become moths to the proverbial flame.

More Hitch | What if … Worcester | Free to Read

The T&G even gave the speculation-driven story blanket coverage last week with several pieces devoted to the topic.

We don’t think they’ll mind if Hitch cuts in.

Related: Rich Gedman still pitching in for Red Sox at Pawtucket

Worcester Weekly: Canal District Wagon Tours, Bravehearts + more, July 9-15

The most fun you’ll have with a calendar of events all week. And you just might learn something, too.

Sunday, July 9 — Meet the Authors: “Massachusetts Calling” anthology, 1-3 p.m., Annie’s Book Stop, 65 James St.  The Sutton Writing Group is no joke. Many of its members are published authors, including coordinator Lisa Shea, who has published more than 300 novels, novellas, short stories and other works. Shea was the editor of “Massachusetts Calling,” which brings together 15 local writers to share their unique and varied perspectives through poetry, essays, histories, even recipes.

At Annie’s, Shea is expected to be joined by S.M. Nevermore (author of “A Demon’s Game”), Kevin Saleeba (a former Milford Daily News reporter) and Christine Beauchaine (“Lost and Found at the Bowl-O-Drome”). Free and open to the public. All proceeds from sales of “Massachusetts Calling” benefit local shelters and food pantries.

A visionary Worcester under fire

Cranes left dormant for months have come back to life in the city of Worcester, as the thawing weather has once again opened the city’s streets and neighborhoods to the hum of machinery and smell of molten asphalt.

In each vat poured and block stacked, these alterations to the cityscape mark the partial realization of a vision for Worcester, its businesses and its residents. Yet the underpinnings of any vision emerge from a broad pool of opinions, and therefore are subject to debate.

For one Worcester resident, the standard-bearer for Worcester’s future is the city’s Main South neighborhood.

“I mean, you look at it [and] you have a very dense commercial corridor, you have mixed-use buildings that have storefronts and housing,” said Joyce Mandell, noting the mix of churches, schools and residential buildings in Main South. In short, the community exists as its own organism, with workers living within walking distance of their jobs.

The provocative idea to model the city’s future on a symbol of its troubled past often seemingly neglected in the present by the powers-that-be, arises from this resident of Worcester for over two decades, with a doctorate in sociology from Boston College. Mandell sees the city through her lens as a soldier of Jane Jacobs — the 20th-century New York thought-leader on urban development who believed in dense corridors, short blocks and a “power to the people” ethos, and who inspired Mandell on her yearlong blog Jane Jacobs in the Woo and Jane Week series in May.

Mandell is an enthusiastic and engaging individual; the type of person with whom you find yourself unexpectedly speaking for two hours on a Saturday morning, but not feeling like that time has been lost.

It became clear early on that while Mandell enjoys the city, she positions herself an outsider-in-residency working to challenge an establishment that may have new names behind it, but expresses an ideology that has shaped Worcester for the past half-century.

“We’re going against the tide with the powers-that-be,” the former adjunct-professor at Worcester State University said bluntly.

Worcester 2.0: An outsider’s inside look at the city’s developing future

In Istanbul, I was drowned in the city and its events, while in Worcester I have to dig in to reach them. In Istanbul, a machine of 15 million, I always felt disposable and replaceable. In Worcester, I feel more significant. … But where do people of color and/or lower income stand within this revitalizing/renewing Worcester? How much are they incorporated into this transformation? What are their roles?

Mandell: Closing the book on Jane Week in Worcester

“Jane Jacobs offered us a different paradigm of development that is incremental, organic, holistic, small scale, and based on the talents and energy of locals. Some of the best examples of a taste of Jane are right here in the Canal District and in what I saw in full action on a [Jane Week] tour of Main South. Worcester is on the cusp of a true renaissance! Can’t you feel it in the air?”