Category Archives: Free Stuff

7th Annual Japan Festival April 28-29

japan festival boston第7回日本ボストン祭

In 2012, the first Japan Festival Boston was hosted, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the friendship gift of cherry blossom trees from Kyoto (the sister city of Boston) to Washington D.C. This year marks the seventh annual Japan Festival in Boston on the Boston Common (April 28-29).

For those of you who enjoy Japanese food note that Saturday (1PM – 6PM) there will be nearly a dozen vendors selling some of the best ramen noodle you can find in Boston. On Sunday (11AM – 5PM), additional booths will be open, workshops will be ongoing as well as stage performances, a cosplay contest and more. For more information about this year’s festival, visit their website,, and if you are fascinated by Japanese culture be sure to check out The Japan Society of Boston.

The History Project presents: Rebuilding the historical closet

gay boston, Out of the ArchivesNext Thursday join The History Project for their latest installment from the Out of the Archives Series. A free series of intimate events featuring focused topics, interesting discussions and selected photos /documents from the History Project Archives. This program features local author, Robert Fieseler (shown above).

RSVP before this event fills to capacity (no cost)

Thursday, May 3rd || 6:00 – 8:00 PM
The History Project at 29 Stanhope St.

While writing Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation, author Robert Fieseler spent much time and effort recreating the context of “the closet” of 1973 – a societal condition that now puzzles LGBTQ+ youth, as well as many allies who prefer to overlook their past attitudes. Fieseler will discuss this part of his writing process, and his research into the fire and its ramifications.

Doors and reception at 6:00PM, talk begins at 6:30, followed by a short Q&A. This talk will be in The Geo. Johnson Room, on the 2nd floor of 29 Stanhope St.

Public art in Boston

boston art, boston sculptures

The Appeal to the Great Spirit dominates the MFA Boston entrance and is one of my favorite pieces of public art in Boston

WBUR recently published The 50 Best Works of Public Art in Greater Boston, ranked. WBUR Arts reporter, Greg Cook, opens the article pointing to past criticisms by other Boston art critics who complain of a lack of imagination and a history of having too many sculptures of sports heroes and old white politicians.

Boston’s public art isn’t what is stodgy as much as it might be those whining art critics who must only walk around Beacon Hill, The Back Bay and Government Center. If they ever visited other neighborhoods they might be surprised by what they see. While I agree that Boston has a ton of art dedicated to athletes and politicians let’s remember this is a sports town of the first order and there was this little thing called the American Revolution which started here so we should have a lot of those statues – it’s what the tourists come here to see.

Bored Panda

Brazilian street artists, Os Gemeos’s, 70′ x 70′ mural in Dewey Square was the first temporary art installation on the Greenway, Aug 1 – Nov 25, 2012

I have to compliment Cook on his list of public art, but in this blog post I’ve added a few favorites of mine which didn’t make his list. Notably I’d like to also share a 2015 article from Boston Magazine, which was dedicated to the amazing street art that dominates much of Allston, Neighborhood Public Art: Allston.

I would also like to give a shout out to the Underground Ink Block park, which opened last year and I think was overlooked. It shares more creative graffiti street art under the I-93 expressway along the South End / Southie border. Below are some examples of what you’ll find in this new park.South End Parkstreet art, graffiti art, south endstreet art, graffiti art, south end


SoWa Open Market opens on May 6th

SoWa Open Market returns on Sunday, May 6, 2018

In four weeks the SoWa Open Market 15th season will open and this year the organizers have announced a new beer hall and taproom, housed in the iconic SoWa Power Station will be a part of the market every Sunday, from May 6 through October 28, 2018. Partnering with the Craft Collective, more than 60 curated “adult beverages” from local breweries will be featured in this year’s “SoWa Beer Barn”. In addition to great beer, there will also be lawn games, live music, yoga classes, and lots of food trucks.

In addition to the new beer hall and food trucks located by the Gaslight parking lot, further up the street the Market will host their weekly farmer’s market as well and continue to feature artisans every Sunday, May 6 – October 28, 2018 from 10 AM – 4 PM.

More information about the SoWa Open Market

Pathways to Freedom: Boston public art project

Julia Vogl, bosarts

Rendering of “Pathways to Freedom” on the Boston Common. From The Jewish Arts Collaborative

The Jewish Arts Collaborative has engaged American sculptor, Julia Vogl, to create a public piece of temporary art on the Boston Common that will be inspired by dialogue about freedom and immigration in Boston. Her artwork will reflect the 2,000 conversations she will have in the coming weeks, asking people from all backgrounds about their journeys to freedom.

Drawing inspiration from these stories, Vogl will create a larger than life visual representation that will be on display to the public from on display from April 25 to May 2 on the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Boston Common.

julia vogl, bosarts, boston

Would you like to be involved in this public art project?
Vogl is inviting the public to meet up with her at scheduled “encounters” around Greater Boston. These encounters started this week and will run through Sunday, April 8. If you decide to participate, you will be asked to answer four multiple-choice questions about freedom and immigration on an iPad and decorate a button that is fashioned after a seder plate.

For more information about this project link here: Pathways to Freedom.

This summer Shakespeare on the Common will present Richard III

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, free shakespeare, shakespeare boston common, bosarts

Photo from

In case you missed it, earlier this month The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) announced that they will return with annual free performances of William Shakespeare on the Boston Common this summer.

This year’s production, Richard III, will run from July 18 – August 5 over by the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common. Performances will be Tuesday through Saturday at 8pm; Sundays at 7pm; with one 3pm matinee performance on Saturday, August 4.

Richard III
Directed by Steven Maler
July 18 – August 5, 2018
FREE and open to the public

Boston’s No Pants Subway Ride is Jan. 7th

Mark your calendars for Boston’s 12th annual No Pants Subway Ride on Sunday, January 7th from 2-5PM.  Details for participating in the No Pants Subway Ride will be posted on the event page here.

If you are still unsure of what this is all about check out my video of all the fun from Boston’s 2013 No Pants Subway Ride.