Category Archives: Boston

Boston Pops July 4th celebration

Photo Credit: Kelly Automotive

The Boston Pops annual fireworks show was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the Pops will still offer patriotic music and fireworks during “A Boston Pops Salute to Our Heroes,” a pre-recorded performance airing July 4th.

This year’s program will pay tribute to the front line workers and those who have lost their lives during the COVID-19 public health crisis and will air on Bloomberg Television, Bloomberg Radio, and Boston’s WHDH-TV, on Saturday, July 4, starting at 8 p.m.

Boston sees smallest drop off in hiring in US

LGBT Boston, gay life bostonThe 20 biggest American cities saw significant drop in hiring in April according to LinkedIn. With one exception – Boston. Looking at regional trends, LinkedIn found that all but one of the 20 largest U.S. metropolitan areas showed an April drop of 20% to 40% in their hiring rates, as compared with the previous month. Boston by contrast, saw its hiring decline just 6.8% month-over-month in April.

The industries that have fared best thus far (health care, education and technology) comprise a significant, if not an out-sized, footprint in Boston’s economy and is credited for such a shallow dip in hiring in the region.

20.5 Million Americans lose jobs in April
US  unemployment rate soars to 14.7%

This may be of little comfort to those who have lost their jobs or seen their hours and income reduced, but it hopefully means that Boston remains more resilient and as a region we can emerge from this economic downturn more quickly. You can read the full article on LinkedIn here: April’s U.S. hiring plunged 23.9%, but a few vital sectors kept adding people.

Will Boston’s gay bars survive COVID

Boston, boston cityscapeRecently, Alex Reimer wrote an interesting article asking  the same question about gay bars in the US for Outsports where he is the deputy managing editor. Because he is a Massachusetts native the article references places we are all familiar with if you live in Boston and makes the read all the more personal.

Will gay bars survive the coronavirus shutdown? 

In addition to the lost revenue, in approximately 5 weeks Boston’s gay bars will take another hit when Boston’s Gay Pride Week was suppose to occur. Pride Week brings out people to celebrate and all of Boston’s gay bars see a bump; a bump this year they will not benefit from. I do worry about Boston’s few, remaining gay bars and Provincetown’s highly leveraged bars that make their money from popular theme weeks and summer travelers.

Give Alex’s article a read, because like Alex – these bars are important to me as well and I hope they can emerge from this pandemic. The few bars that remain enrich LGBTQ life here in Bostson and will need your support as well.

Boston Pride postponed to June 2021

Earlier today Boston Pride announced that the 50th annual Boston Pride celebration will be postponed to Saturday, June 12, 2021. For those of you who already registered for the 2020 Festival, Boston Pride organizers have shared the following options listed below.

+ You may transfer your 2020 registration fee to the 2021 festival.  Boston Pride will communicate with you about the new registration process for the 2021 festival that opens on November 15, 2020 and we will apply your payment towards that registration.

+ You may have the fee refunded (minus the processing fee if payment was made with a credit card) and the registration canceled.  If you paid by credit we will make the refund to the card on file unless you tell us otherwise. If you paid by check, please tell us who to make the check to and who to send it to.

+ You may convert all or part of your registration fee into a tax-deductible charitable donation to Boston Pride, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

For more details, visit bostonpride.org/festival.

Scenes from Boston & Provincetown’s Nightlife

“in love in provincetown, 1936” source: woolfandwilde.com

Boston’s History Project is hosting an interesting virtual event this Thursday at 7PM with a good friend of mine that you may find very interesting.

All are welcome to join local author and History Project board member Russ Lopez for a reading from his book The Hub of the Gay Universe: An LGBTQ History of Boston, Provincetown, and Beyond.  Russ will share fun stories about Provincetown and Boston nightlife through the years.

Thursday, April 2nd at 7:00PM
Register on Zoom

This is free but donations are always gratefully accepted. Click here to support The History Project’s mission to document, preserve, and share LGBTQ history.

Boston’s first marijuana dispensary (finally) opens on Monday

Marijuana was made legal after the question was put to voters at the ballot box in 2016. Statewide 53.7% of the vote was in favor of legalization with 46.3% voting against “Question 4” as it came to be known. In the city of Boston even more of the electorate (67%) voted in favor of legalizing marijuana.

The current Mayor of Boston and Governor of Massachusetts did everything they could to slowdown and complicate the process for paving the way for businesses to open. However, on Monday, Boston will FINALLY have its first recreational marijuana shop.

Pure Oasis pot shop is located at 430 Blue Hill Avenue between Jones Hill and Eglston Square. Their daily hours of operation are between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Pure Oasis happens to also be the first applicant under the economic empowerment equity programs created by the commissio, which gives priority to applicants from areas disenfranchised by the war on drugs.

You can read more about Boston’s first marijuana dispensary for recreational use, here.

Median Boston rental prices near MBTA subway stations

boston rent, renthop, rent hopRentHop has shared their annual Boston T Rent Map, which focuses on MBTA subway stations. They have created an interactive version of this map that lets you select individual T stops to show median rents for 1 bedrooms nearby.

Obviously, the downtown neighborhoods are most expensive with most stops in downtown featuring rents in the $3,000 range for a one-bedroom unit, but as you move out of the city center rents drop. Below are some examples noted for each line as uncovered by RentHop.

  • $1,247  btwn Aquarium ($3,397) and Maverick ($2,150) – Blue Line
  • $1,100  btwn Back Bay ($3,600) and Mass Ave ($2,500) – Orange Line
  • $900 btwn Broadway ($3,300) and Andrew ($2,400) – Orange Line
  • $649  btwn Kendall/MIT ($3,149) and Central ($2,500) – Red Line
  • $600  btwn Copley ($3,100) and Hynes ($2,500) – Green Line

Eater Boston’s increasingly narrow view of Boston dining

Augustana BostonDespite the critical headline, I want to be clear that I like the Eater Boston blog. I often Tweet out and share their articles, but the blog, which describes itself as a “Food news and dining guides for Boston” does a terrible job of sharing news about and championing the dining scene of restaurants not in a downtown neighborhood, Cambridge or Somerville – and it appears to be getting worse.

Eater Boston maps illustrate my point

Boston’s ten largest neighborhoods by population are (in order): S. Dorchester, Roxbury, Brighton, Jamaica Plain, East Boston, Mattapan, South Boston, Hyde Park, West Roxbury and the South End. Combined these neighborhoods account for more than 60% of Boston’s total population. However, Eater Boston routinely overlook all but South Boston and the South End. What gives Eater?

Eater Boston needs to step up their game

Is Eater Boston really committed to providing food news and dining guides for Boston when the majority of residents’ neighborhoods are largely ignored? There is no doubt that the downtown neighborhoods have a more active dining scene, but it seems that communities south and west of The Fenway and South End are almost universally overlooked in practically every “map” and blog post. Watertown and Medford based restaurants are more likely to be featured than a restaurant in Dorchester and that’s just plain crazy.

I know Eater Boston can do better and want them to live up to their potential by providing all of Boston a chance to shine.  I’m asking Eater Boston to step up their game; stop fixating on the same 5-6 neighborhoods. Get to know the rest of Boston. Start to feature the dining scene in neighborhoods outside of downtown and encourage your readers to leave these downtown enclaves to visit hidden gems in places like Dorchester, Roxbury, Brighton, East Boston, Mattapan, etc.

Museum of Fine Arts celebrates 150 years

Museum of Fine Arts BostonThe Museum of Fine Arts Boston (MFA) celebrates its 150 anniversary this year and to kick off the year long celebration, tomorrow – Wednesday, February 5th  – admission is free to the public.  Take advantage of this Boston institution and plan a visit to see a current or upcoming exhibit this year. Below are a few exhibitions that caught my eye, but for a complete list, visit MFA exhibitions.

Mural: Jackson Pollock | Katharina Grosse, through February 20, 2020
A pairing of artwork – then and now.

Collecting stories: A mid-century experiment, through March 8, 2020
Which artist will stand the test of time – and who will decide?

Black Histories – Black Futures, January 20 – June 20, 2020
Teen curators take action.

Writing the future Basquiat and Hip Hop Generation April 5 – August 2, 2020
The first major exhibition to contextualize Basquiat’s work in relation to his peers associated with hip-hop culture.

Monet and Boston: A lasting impression, April 18 – August 23, 2020
All of the MFA Monet paintings will be on exhibit for a limited time.

As a special “thank you” to MFA members and as part of the museum’s 150th anniversary celebration, members can bring an additional guest to the museum for FREE throughout 2020. 

If you are not a member, Boston residents can reserve a pass to visit the MFA for free from the Boston Public Library. Additionally, active members of the military and their families, University students, Bank of America customers and K-12 school teachers from New England (just present your current teacher ID) all can visit the museum for free. More about hours and how to visit for free, here.

Founded in 1870, the MFA, first opened its doors to the public on July 4, 1876, the nation’s centennial in Copley Square. It moved to its current location on Huntington Avenue in 1909 to accommodate its growing collection.

Boston Public Library McKim building opened 125 years ago

BPLThe Boston Public Library (BPL) in Copley Square first opened its doors to the public on Sunday, February 3, 1895, and tomorrow marks the 125th anniversary of this iconic building’s opening. While this wasn’t the first home of the library, it is the only home anyone alive today would know.

The BPL is the 3rd largest public library in the United States behind only the U.S. Library of Congress and the New York City Public Library. However, it’s not the amazing amount of research nor its prized collections or priceless artwork  that make this such a beloved institution.

The BPL anchors the west side of Copley Square in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. It is where many important cultural and sporting events take place; such as the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Since 1897, every April (on Patriot’s Day) tens of thousands of runners cross in front of the  Boston Library and every parade of note either lines up alongside or pass by these buildings.

BPL, Todd Van HoosearThe original building (a.k.a. The McKim building) and its gorgeous courtyard that was inspired by Rome’s Palazzo della Cancelleria are sanctuaries I go to often and places I show anyone who visits Boston. Bates Hall (shown below) on the second floor of the McKim Building features 50-foot-high barrel vault ceiling and is a must-see for any architecture enthusiasts. Travel + Leisure agrees with me too – check out their 2016 article about the BPL here.

BPL

UNIVERSALIMAGESGROUP/GETTY IMAGES

Next time you’re in the Back Bay, take a few minutes to pay the BPL a visit and appreciate this cultural gem.

Outdoor ice skating rinks in Boston

The winter is more fun if you take advantage of the colder weather to engage in seasonal activities like ice skating (it doesn’t matter if you’re crap at it). Channel your inner Adam Rippon and make plans to go out and have some fun.

Below are five ice skating rinks that you can enjoy as well as some suggestions on where you can go after to warm up. 

Frog Pond Skating Rink at the Boston Common
$6 Admission || $12 rental fee
Warm up after by ordering a Hot Toddy at Yvonne’s

The Rink at 401 Park in The Fenway 
$10 Admission || $6 rental fee
Warm up after at the bar at TimeOut Boston

Snowport Winter Village in Seaport
$5 Admission || $5 rental fee
Warm up after with a decadent hot chocolate at Flour

Community Ice Skating in Kendall Square
$5 Admission || $8 rental fee
Warm up after with a double espresso at barismo

DCR Kelly Outdoor Rink in JP
Free Admission || $3 rental fee
Warm up after with a decadent hot chocolate at JP Licks

No Pants Subway Ride Boston is this Sunday

No Pants Subway Ride Boston

Boston’s No Pants Subway Ride is this Sunday

Calling all exhibitionists and pranksters: Boston’s 14th annual No Pants Subway Ride (NPSR) is this Sunday, January 12th from 1-3PM.  Details for participating in the No Pants Subway Ride (and the fun no pants after party) are posted here.

Meet at 1 Pemberton Square (near Gov’t Center) by 1:00 PM. Look for someone with an umbrella (and possibly a cape) who will give you instructions on the specific route you’ll be asked to travel. NOTE: Show up fully clothed – you will be instructed (when / where to remove your pants once on the MBTA). After riding the MBTA a pants optional after party will be at McGreevy’s (911 Boylston Street, Boston). Watch this helpful video for more information and tips.

About the Boston NPSR:
Attendees will ride various T lines wearing all of their normal winter clothes with the minor exception of missing pants. Throughout the ride, participants are encouraged to act as if nothing is out of the ordinary. G-strings, jockstraps, etc… are not allowed – the idea is to be cheeky without showing your cheeks if you understand my meaning.

Can Boston get more than just money from the sale of the Hynes

Last weekend I found myself reading Jaclyn Cashman’s article in the Boston Herald, “Sale of Hynes must include commitment to arts center”, and I’d encourage you to do the same.

She asserts that the building should not just go to the highest bidder but to a buyer that will commit serious square footage dedicated to the arts. Boston has spent the better part of the last decade bending over backwards, accommodating developers looking to build luxury residences that do little to enhance the quality of life in Boston and it is now time to make investments that can benefit all.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

robert frost, poem, poetryIn what has become an unintentional tradition, each October I post this poem on my blog. It is one of my favorite poems and happens to be by the famous 20th century American poet, Robert Frost.

Nothing gold can stay was inspired by the fall foliage in New England and was written nearly 100 years ago, back in 1923.

Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Head of the Charles Regatta is this weekend

HOCRThe Head Of The Charles Regatta (HOCR) is a Boston area tradition that dates back to 1965 and has evolved into a massive two-day rowing competition that draws more than 11,000 athletes and 400,000 spectators, making it the largest rowing event in the world.

The 2019 HOCR takes place this Saturday and Sunday. The forecast suggests plenty of sun with Sunday being the warmer of the two days and thankfully for the rowers, very little wind. If you’ve not been to this premiere rowing events, head down to the Charles River to cheer on these amazing athletes.

The organizers have created a great website that includes more information about the races, maps and FAQs. You can learn more by visiting the official HOCR website, www.hocr.org.