Tag Archives: Boston

Wicked Queer Festival will be streamed starting July 24

Boston’s 36th annual Wicked Queer festival, had been scheduled to open in early April, but had to be postponed due to the coronavirus. Fortunately, the organizers were able to reimagine the festival so fans of queer film (no matter where you live) can access and watch this year’s fantastic festival on Xerb TV, from Friday, July 24 – Sunday, August 2.

This year’s festival can be viewed by anyone who loves queer film 

To participate in this year’s festival you can register to watch individual films for $10 or a variety of packages starting at $30.00. This easy-to-follow video shares how to attend this year’s Wicked Queer Film Festival on Xerb TV.

Boston’s Wicked Queer Festival
Friday, July 24 – Sunday, August 2
Xerb TV calendar (includes date & time for each film)

For updates, visit wickedqueer.org.

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’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

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.

Massachusetts RMV recognizes “Gender X”

non binary gender option in MassachusettsMassachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles now provides drivers with a third gender option to choose from. The option, “X,” is available for people to select who don’t identify as male or female.

This past Tuesday, during Transgender Awareness Week, Massachusetts state registry of motor vehicles (RMV) started offering residents a non-binary gender designation option for their driver’s licenses and ID cards. This was done as part of a system upgrade at the RMV and makes Massachusetts one of approximately a dozen states in the United States to recognize a third, non binary gender.

Almost on cue Massachusetts GOP Chairman Jim Lyons called this insane and railed against the change. I can appreciate there are people who’s heads spin at the idea of non-binary, but I don’t understand the need to make sure their point of view supersedes others or how decisions like this by the State of Massachusetts impact Mr. Lyons and those who agree with him. It seems like the same failed logic that was applied to opposing same sex marriages.

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.

Boston Book Festival this weekend

shirtless guy, man with glasses, reading, bookI believe this weekend will be the 11th Annual Boston Book Festival. This free event centered in Copley Square and the Boston Public Library this Saturday and Sunday is a wonderful program worth checking out. The 2019 BBF will include 350+ presenters, 140+ events at 37 venues and is expected to draw 30k people.

The Boston Book Festival celebrates the power of words to stimulate, agitate, unite, delight, and inspire by holding year-round events culminating in an annual, Festival that promotes a culture of reading, ideas and enhances the vibrancy of our city.

The variety of events, topics and discussions are meant to ensure there is something for everyone. If you’re an aspiring (or possibly frustrated) writer, there are many sessions set up all weekend long as well (check’em out here). One program I’m contemplating attending is Saturday’s Poetry & Pints.

This year’s full schedule can be viewed here: BBF Schedule.

Delta announces Boston newest hub

travel, handsome, hunkEarlier this summer Delta Airlines announced Boston would become the airline’s newest hub, putting Jet Blue – Logan Airport’s largest carrier – on notice. Delta plans to ramp up the number of non-stop flights out of the Boston airport and use it as a transatlantic gateway to Europe for flights leaving from the United States. Recently, Delta added nonstop flights to Portugal adding to a growing list of European destinations one can fly non-stop from Boston on Delta.

Currently JetBlue carries nearly double the number of passengers as Delta from Boston with the New York-based airline taking 28% share of Logan’s 39.3 million passengers, while Delta serves slightly less than half with a 17.3% share.

This is great news for travelers coming into and out of Logan Airport. Hopefully Delta’s commitment to the area will result in cheaper fares due to more competition and new non-stop destinations.  You can read more about the announcement made earlier this summer, here.

Making friends: Boston’s LGBTQ social groups

With the influx  of so many new residents at the start of each academic year, I like to update and share this post each September. If you are new to the area or looking to meet more people outside of a bar setting the groups listed below might be a good first step. 

 If you’d like to find some more active options check out my accompanying post Boston’s gay sports clubs / teams.

BAGLY is a youth-led, adult-supported social support organization committed to social justice, and creating, sustaining and advocating for programs and policies for gay youth (volunteers are always welcome).

Boston Gay Men’s Chorus is one of New England’s largest and most successful community-based choruses.  Auditions are being held on Sunday, September 9th

Boston Gay Men’s Books Club is monthly book club on MeetUp featuring literature by and about gay men. This month’s book is Liquor by Poppy Z Bright, and they will next meet on Monday, September 30 at 7PM at Trident Booksellers on Newbury Street in Back Bay.

Boston Prime Timers is a social organization of mature gay and bisexual men and their friends who join together for educational, support, and social activities.

Dignity Boston is a progressive, inclusive community of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics and their allies.

Fenway Health has been serving the local LGBT community for more than 40 years; the Fenway and AAC are always looking for volunteers.

Gay Beer Club is a Boston based organization that produces events and gatherings for members of the gay community.

Gay For Good mobilizes the LGBT community to interact with the greater community by volunteering their time with different monthly activities.

Gays for Patsy is a country western dancing club that holds events each month. Beginners are encouraged to join.

Gold Fruit Gaming is a team of LGBTQ+ [PC] Gamers with a passion for competition, cooperation, and kicking ass. Come here to queue up with others who seek to improve their gameplay.

History Project is a volunteer-driven organization established in 1980 that focuses on preserving the history of Boston’s LGBT community to make it accessible to future generations. Next Thursday join the History Project when David Scondras reads from his memoir Angels, Liars, and Thieves 

Jamaica Plain and Roslindale Men’s Group is a social group for gay men living in, near and around JP & Rozzie that organize dinners and events.

Men of Melanin Magic is a social group in the Boston metropolitan area for those who identify as queer men of color.

Naked Yoga for Men Naked Yoga For Men has been meeting since January 2000. For most of its history it has met twice per week. Our purpose is to improve our health and also to make friends.

Opus Affair is probably best known for their monthly cocktail party hosted at local restaurants  to raise money for local arts organizations.

OUTbreath offers a safe space for those who identify as queer, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning to come together to explore the practice of meditation and support each other in community.

Queer Boston Board Gamers is a friendly LGBTQ meet up group that connects regularly to play board games.

The Welcoming Committee is a young, social group who organize activities to broadening the spectrum of gay life here in Boston and beyond.

Yankee Cruising Club was founded over 25 years ago to bring LGBT boaters together to meet, make friends and most importantly get out on the water.

Apologies if I have overlooked any area gay organizations in the area.  Feel free to add information for any such group in the comments section of my blog.

State patrols on M Street beach are irksome and have little impact

kiki beach bostonDid you see the Boston Globe article, Southie’s line in the sand is at M Street Beach? I regularly go to M Street Beach and the ‘crackdown’ is an accurate description but pointless since its has had (and will continue to have) no impact.

The article says the increased presence of State troopers has come at the request of some Southie residents “who have raised concerns about the number of young people at the beach and the amount of alcohol they consume.” IMHO, this is just code for long time and mostly older residents upset with the changes they see taking place in their neighborhood. This former blue collar bastion of Irish-American families is increasingly a magnet for affluent 20 and 30 somethings. The nostalgic residents conveniently forget that the “good ol’ days” weren’t so great. The beaches in Southie overlooked the dirtiest harbor in the country and the beaches were filled with litter, including used needles and cigarette butts.

Watching the police patrolling M Street, it is hard to tell who is more unhappy; the people on the beach or the police who look uncomfortable wearing their polyester uniforms in the blazing sun. It is worth noting that in the years I’ve gone to M Street beach, I’ve not seen fights or disturbances attributed to drinking so the alarm raised by residents seems more peevish than reality.

So here’s my sincere ask to Mayor Marty Walsh and Governor Charlie Baker, can we please use these public funds more effectively? In lieu of paying for police to patrol our public beaches, acting like resident assistants in a dormitory, can we use those funds more effectively? I’m sure the MBTA could use the money.