Photo op with Lady Gaga

By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
July 1, 2010

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The “Polaroid at MIT’’ presentation at the MIT Museum in Cambridge yesterday featured music, an old-school Polaroid camera, and, for a lucky few, a glimpse of Polaroid’s new creative director, Lady Gaga. The singer, in town for her concerts at the TD Garden, stopped by the museum early yesterday afternoon for a tour of the archives and a photo session on the third floor with the Polaroid 20-by-24-inch view camera, a one-of-a-kind contraption that requires three people to operate. Polaroid’s newly appointed chairman of the board, Bobby Sager, unveiled the exclusive black-and-white photo of Gaga, which will be added to the 10,000 artifacts from Polaroid’s 73-year history that the company donated to the MIT Museum in May. Museum director of arts initiatives Leila Kinney, curator of science and technology Deborah Douglas, and Polaroid CEO Stephen Miller were also on hand for the presentation. Gaga, meanwhile, slipped out the door around 3 p.m., stopping to sign a few autographs before driving away. Press conferences, it seems, are not in the new creative director’s contract.

Popping in for a pop
MIT wasn’t the only location of a Gaga sighting, however. Lady G and a party of 20 to 30 people — including Semi Precious Weapons, the opening band for her tonight and tomorrow — stopped by Bukowski Tavern in Inman Square Tuesday night. Manager Sarah Hanson said the staff found out Lady G was coming around 8:30 p.m. and that she entered through the back door about an hour later. “It wasn’t an understated event,’’ Hanson said. “It was a moment in here that we won’t forget.’’ Bukowski’s was filled to capacity all night, and Gaga, who was wearing dark glasses and asked Hanson for a Diet Coke, posted a photo of herself at the bar on Twitter with the words: “At Bukowski’s in Cambridge ordering hooker bbq and beer with my best friends SPW. Let’s Rocknroll Boston.’’ Don’t mind if we do.

Read all about it

Tutors, students, would-be volunteers, and an accomplished author gathered at the Jamaica Plain pad of Bob and Laura Peabody Monday to raise awareness — and money — for Literacy Volunteers of Massachusetts, the state’s largest literacy organization. (He is a former deputy US attorney general and she is general counsel for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.) Surrounded by black-and-white pictures of JFK — Bob’s father was Bay State governor Endicott Peabody — the students got a chance to chat with biographer David Michaelis, whose most recent book, “Schulz and Peanuts,’’ is about cartoonist Charles Schulz.

Books bonanza

“Shutter Island’’ scribe Dennis Lehane is among the authors slated to appear at the second annual Boston Book Festival, which is shaping up to be a star-studded event. Joyce Carol Oates, Bill Bryson, Jeff Kinney, and A.M. Homes are also on the list of confirmed guests for the Oct. 16 fest, planned for various locations around Copley Square. . . . Nancy E. Carroll, Campbell Scott, and Brie Larson are among a host of big names who’ll take to the Williamstown Theatre Festival stage this summer in “Our Town,’’ directed by Nicholas Martin.

Doing their part

Red Sox owner John Henry and wife Linda Pizzuti Henry are kicking in $50,000 for Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s free production of “Othello’’ on the Boston Common July 28-Aug. 15. The John Henry Family Foundation will be the lead sponsor of the $500,000 production, which stars Seth Gilliam of “The Wire’’ as Othello and James Waterston, son of “Law & Order’’ star Sam Waterston, as Iago. “CSC is a gift to the City of Boston; it introduces new audiences to live theater and Shakespeare, and best of all, it’s free and open to everyone,’’ Pizzuti Henry said in an announcement. More than half a million people have seen CSC productions on the Common since 1996.

Cruise for a cause

Dana Farber patients and their families took a 45-minute ride on a boat called Codzilla in Boston Harbor yesterday afternoon with cancer survivor and former New England Patriot Joe Andruzzi and his wife, Jen. The couple’s foundation provides financial assistance to patients and their families and funds pediatric brain cancer research.

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Around town

“Today’’ host Matt Lauer and his son (inset) were at Fenway Park for Tuesday night’s game. . . . Ringo Starr, who was in town to play the Bank of America Pavilion the other night (see review below), had a special garlic-free pesto meal at Davio’s with his wife, Barbara Bach. We hear he liked it so much he asked to take some for the road. . . . Boston Marathon legend Bill Rodgers started his 2d annual Run to Tanglewood yesterday. He left from Symphony Hall and should arrive in Western Mass. sometime today.

New era for Aerosmith
“This morning I woke up and I decided to walk up the Champs-Élysées and shop and see the sights, as opposed to everything else around me — these Paris-sites — I decided to see these sights,’’ Steven Tyler said with a chuckle, checking in by phone yesterday from a Paris tour stop with the recently reunited Aerosmith. Meanwhile, guitarist Joe Perry decided to stay in. “I did one of the things that you fantasize about doing in Paris, I had breakfast in bed with my beautiful wife,’’ Perry told us. “We had croissants at 2 in the afternoon and read the paper.’’ Steven Tyler making kooky puns? Joe Perry waxing rhapsodic about his wife? It’s official, Aerosmith is truly back in business. Following a tumultuous year in which Tyler went to rehab for prescription painkiller addiction, Perry released a solo album, and the band considered touring with a replacement singer, the pair swears things are all patched up and the break did the band some good. Fans will judge for themselves when Aerosmith hits Fenway Park Aug. 14 with fellow Boston rock legends the J. Geils Band. “This whole tour is like the best tour of my life, for a lot of reasons; we’re playing together again, we’re taking on solid foods,’’ said Tyler, who was humbled by wild crowds in South America and Europe. “It just gave new meaning to what I do this for.’’ And any bruised feelings are water under the bridge, Perry said. “We’ve known each other for so long, a lot of this stuff we just said, ‘What happened happened, let’s move on. We’re back and let’s rock the world,’ and that was pretty much it.’’

Sarah Rodman, Courtney Hollands, and Doug Most of the Globe staff and Globe correspondents Natalie Southwick and Joel Brown contributed to this report. Read the Names blog at Names can be reached at or at 617-929-8253.