tag: boston news

The 6 Most Unique Libraries in Boston

By: - Saturday, May 20, 2023 - 9:46am

Not to nerd out on you, but we love libraries. Libraries are one of the most important public spaces in any city. They offer opportunities for growth, learning, creativity, and rest, almost always for free. And here in Boston where we take our books very seriously, we have some incredibly unique libraries to visit. These libraries go beyond the stacks of popular fiction to offer experiences and collections you can’t find anywhere else.

The Boston Athenaeum

Where: Downtown

Info: One of the country’s oldest, and perhaps most beautiful libraries, The Boston Athenaeum has a circulating collection of more than half a million books, from works published in the 1800s to contemporary novels, all available for member use. 

Pro Tip: If paying to join the Athenaeum isn’t on your list, you can still visit on a guided tour held multiple times a week.

Boston Public Library (pictured)

Where: Back Bay

Info: The Boston Public Library is an architectural and public service triumph. The beautiful building offers thousands of books and media items to the public, as well as workspace, meeting space, historical collections, business and ESL classes, art exhibitions, and more. Not to mention high tea and a bar with literary themed cocktails

Pro Tip: Don’t miss the John Singer Sargent murals on the third floor of the historic McKim building, they’re some of the most unusual and intricate works of his lifetime. 

The Schlesinger Library

Where: Cambridge

Info: This library is the leading center for scholarship on the history of women in the United States. Here you’ll find an incredible collection of journals, photographs, manuscript collections, and, of course, books, telling the stories of American women. 

Pro Tip: Some of these resources, like the Black Women Oral History Project can be accessed online for days you can’t make it to the library in person. 

Massachusetts Historical Society Library

Where: Fenway

Info: The Massachusetts Historical Society houses more than 14 million pages of manuscripts, 120,000 images, 10,000 broadsides, and many more important books and artifacts documenting the state’s longstanding history. You can utilize the society library for research or personal interest reading, but an appointment is recommended. 

Pro Tip: The historical society also hosts a wide spectrum of events (many of them free) probing our history and its connection to the present day.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

Where: Dorchester

Info: This library is a tribute to JFK, the Brookline native President. Overlooking the ocean and situated on a ten acre park, the beautiful library is part museum, part event space, and part collection of historical documents. You can either visit the museum or arrange to utilize the research room where you can read pieces from the collection firsthand. 

Pro Tip: There’s a cafe located in the building and in nice weather having lunch overlooking the water is a divine way to break up your reading.

Mary Baker Eddy Library

Where: South End

Info: This library is devoted to the life and work of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science belief system, which centers spiritual healing. The collection of documents, art and historic artifacts, photographs, books, and audiovisuals provides a fascinating look at an organization often shrouded in mystery.

Pro Tip: While you’re here be sure to visit the Mapparium, a gorgeous three-story stained glass globe that you can walk through. It’s one of Boston’s best kept secrets.

Boston Buried in Snow

By: - Monday, Feb 16, 2015 - 5:29pm

There’s currently more snow on the ground in Boston than ever before in recorded history. Between a series of four major snowstorms in less than a month — as well as ongoing freezing cold temperatures — the snow is just piling up (and not melting). The sheer volume of snow in Boston right now is unprecedented, and therein lies the biggest problem the City of Boston and its residents are facing: too much snow. Following yesterday’s blizzard, the Blue Hills Observatory in Milton reported 46 inches of snow on the ground, the greatest snow depth in their 130 years of recorded observations…

Since the Valentine’s Weekend Blizzard, Boston’s official “snow depth” has not been recorded at Logan Airport, but based on the below snow depth report (2/16) for the greater Boston area, it’s probably safe to assume there’s at least 40+ inches of snow is on the ground in Boston proper right now…

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MA “snow depth” totals in inches, via NOAA

Suffice to say, Boston is buried in snow right now (to historic proportions), and in light of that, we collected a bunch of social media images of the city following yesterday’s blizzard. Boston is going through tough times right now, and at the same time, there’s a certain harmony amidst the chaos…

ewdasczArtist rendition (exaggeration) of Boston right now
This image was taken (from space) right before “Neptune” by  NASA’s Terry W. Virts
Note to shovelers, via reddit Boston

A photo posted by Instagramers Boston (@igersboston) on

A photo posted by Kristen Bolognese (@kbolognese17) on

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A photo posted by Instagramers Boston (@igersboston) on

A photo posted by Instagramers Boston (@igersboston) on

A photo posted by Ramin Kohanteb (@raminik) on

A photo posted by Ashley Perez (@ashleylaurenperez) on

A photo posted by Ana Victoria (@ana.vga) on

A photo posted by Jenny March10 (@jnyphr) on

A photo posted by Steve Van Vechten (@stevevanv) on

A photo posted by Cameron (@camhabib) on

A photo posted by Michael J. Clarke (@michaeljosephclarke) on

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A photo posted by Michael J. Clarke (@michaeljosephclarke) on

A photo posted by Brendan (@b_to_the_higgins) on

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A photo posted by Steven Courville (@stevencourville) on

A photo posted by Marco Monteiro (@marcohmonteiro) on

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BU Students Aim To Break Guinness World Record For Largest Snowball Fight

By: - Monday, Jan 26, 2015 - 1:43am

UPDATE: The BU Snowbrawl 2015 has been CANCELED

BU Snowbrawl 2013 // Rishi Chakraborty BU CAS 2013

With Winter Storm Juno approaching, thousands of Boston University students are gearing up for the 3rd annual “BU Snowbrawl.” As of 1:30am Monday morning, the Snowbrawl event page on Facebook is up to 2.5K+ RSVPs. On that same event page, someone named Ashray pointed out something interesting: “If you guys hit 5835 you will break the world record…”

From the BU Snowbrawl 2015 Facebook event page

On January 12, 2013, 5,834 people took part in the world’s largest snowball fight as part of Seattle’s “Snow Day,” a record confirmed by Guinness World Records.

With more than a day to go, the Snowbrawl 2015 guest list is almost half way there! The snowball fight is slated to take place on the Charles River Esplanade, which can accommodate well over 25K people. Granted RSVPs “snowball” to >5.9K by Tuesday afternoon, the only question then is how will Guinness World Records confirm this potentially epic feat?

The Boston Calendar reached out to co-organizer Brian Boman to see if the event is open to the public/non-BU students? His response: “Honestly it’s for everyone that can make it out there safely!”

In summary, Seattle currently holds two titles: defending Super Bowl Champs and the world record for largest snowball fight. All that could change by Sunday.


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Image via reddit.com.

The event can be found on TBC here.

Boston 2024 Artist Renderings

By: - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 - 5:24pm

At a press briefing this afternoon, the Boston 2024 planning committee released a set of artistic renderings depcting what the 2024 Summer Olympics might look like. They also posted six .PDF documents revealing details of the bid on their website. Those documents can be found here.

Read more about today’s press briefing via Boston Magazine here.

Follow the conversation on twitter: #Boston2024

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Boston JerkFest: Summer and spice and everything nice

By: - Sunday, Jun 29, 2014 - 2:24pm

ZXDHght(Photo credit: Sean O’Connor)

The Boston Calendar team stopped by yesterday’s Boston JerkFest Caribbean festival on assignment for Boston.com:

Boston’s ties to Jamaica go back lot further back than the Fenway fans who serenaded right fielder Shane Victorino with Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” before every at-bat last fall.

Some historians believe the neighborhood of Jamaica Plain was named after the rum distilled here from Jamaican cane sugar, and the island’s signature jerk seasoning traces its roots to the beach-side pork and chicken stands that sprung up after trade with the Boston Fruit Company sparked an economic boom on Jamaica’s north coast.

So it’s no surprise that the second annual Boston JerkFest brought a diverse crowd to the Franklin Institute of Technology campus to celebrate all things Caribbean, with two sessions featuring food and cocktail demonstrations, spice and craft vendors, live music, and more.

Read the full story: Food, Drinks, and More at the 2nd Annual Boston JerkFest

Boston’s Run to Remember

By: - Monday, Jun 2, 2014 - 11:56am

image (1) - Edited(Photo credit: Georgia Paraskevopoulou)

The Boston Police Department and Boston Police Runner’s Club in cooperation with Boston Athletic Association, organized Boston’s Run To Remember on May 25, 2014 to honor Massachusetts Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty by celebrating their lives and giving back to the community. (more…)

Boston Calling Spring ’14 Festival Recap

By: - Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 1:15am

Bastille(Bastille singer Dan Smith had Sunday’s crowd in the palm of his hand)

I’m not a huge fan of standing. It’s better than walking or running, I guess, but not as good as sitting or lying down. So when I say Boston Calling made spending the better part of three days on my feet enjoyable — amazing, even — just know where I’m coming from.

An estimated 22,000 people per day filled the concrete desert of City Hall Plaza for the biannual music festival’s third installment, and we braved the crowds to bring you the bests and worsts from the three days. Mostly bests, though, because no one likes a Negative Nancy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA (Before and after: City Hall Plaza at 5:30 p.m. Friday, then a few hours later during Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros)


Boston Calling Spring 2014 Preview

By: - Friday, May 23, 2014 - 11:11am

8842150136_87e4c85362_b(Ponchos: Always in style at rainy festivals. Photo credit: Dave Levy/Creative Commons)

Happy Boston Calling day! The biannual — that’s twice a year, every two years would be biennial, see you learned something today —  festival returns to City Hall Plaza with three days of music, food and beer. Festival passes are sold out, but you can still purchase one-day tickets for tonight or VIP tickets for Saturday or Sunday. Or, you know, StubHub or Craigslist. Or just deal with your FOMO and get tickets for the September edition featuring Lorde and The Replacements.

Whether you’re heading to City Hall or just want to sound hip and “in the know” with your friends this weekend, here’s what to expect from this year’s festival:

So who’s playing? 

So many people. It would almost be easier to list who’s NOT playing. Actually it would be easiest to just post a picture of the flyer with all the bands and set times, so let’s go with that:

10152500_522698924519754_9107971614044016950_n(Photo credit: Boston Calling/Facebook)

See, a little something for everyone. There are two stages to minimize set-up time, and set times don’t overlap so it’s possible to see every minute of every song for the entire festival, providing that you have a really, really large bladder.

The first thing you need to know about Friday’s lineup is that Cass McCombs is a dude so calibrate your expectations accordingly. He’ll be followed by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, also a dude but his most famous song, “Home” is sung by a lady. Jack Johnson would rather be surfing and bro-chilling on the beach but he’s a super chill guy so he agreed to come headline.

Not to play favorites but Saturday’s show looks like the best of the bunch, with co-headliners Death Cab for Cutie and the Decemberists. I can’t believe it’s really been ten years since Seth Cohen introduced Death Cab to the world, and the Decemberists boast their own TV cred as one of very few non-period bands to grace the “Mad Men” soundtrack. The Head and the Heart’s “Rivers and Roads” is my pick for song that makes college kids cry because they’re leaving their friends: “A year from now, we’ll all be gone / All our friends will move away…”

Modest Mouse headlines Sunday’s show, and bad news if the only song of their you know is “Float On”: I hear they’re not crazy about playing it live. But that’s OK! Because they have other good songs like “Dashboard” and “Ocean Breathes Salty” that maybe you didn’t know were Modest Mouse but now that you’ve listened it’s so obvious. You might be really, really tired of hearing “Pompeii” and the idea of seeing Bastille live makes you wonder “How am I gonna be an optimist about this? How am I gonna be an optimist ABOUT this?” But I saw them on SNL and they actually put on a good show. And make sure to show up early for local Tigerman WOAH! even if the misspelling in their name kind of bothers you. I bet your grandpa didn’t like that the Beatles spelled their name wrong, either.

What else is there to do besides watch the bands and kind of sway back and forth in lieu of dancing? 

You can drink! Drink until you lose all inhibitions and dance like no one is watching even if everyone is watching and taking pictures and Vines and IG vids and pretty soon you’re showing up on the first page of Google Image results for “drunk bad dancing music festival.”

Or maybe just have one or two? Festival sponsors Samuel Adams Beer and Wicked Wines will be on hand with, why yes, beer and wine, and unlike past festivals you don’t have to hang out in a designated beer garden — after a change in the festival’s liquor license, you can bring your drinks over to the stages. Try not to spill your drink during the inevitable Jack Johnson mosh pit! Just kidding, his fans are super chill.

There’s also food, because a man cannot survive on booze and jams alone. This year’s vendors include Tasty Burger, Chipotle, and… TGI Fridays? Yup, TGI Fridays is in the middle of a brand makeover to capture the social media crowd, and two food trucks will hand out free samples.

I’m one of those annoying people who wears a massive backpack everywhere, even on the T when it’s crowded. Can I bring it? 

Dude, no. Backpacks and bags larger than 12″ by 12″ are prohibited. Where are you supposed to put your stuff, now that your jeans are too tight to make the pockets functional and apparently the “fashionistas” have deemed cargo shorts uncool? You can bring a small, clear plastic bag to carry stuff like sunscreen, keys, ID to buy alcohol, etc. You can also bring in food and one factory-sealed bottle of water.

I have some other questions that haven’t been answered here, but have probably been asked by other people. Frequently asked, even. 

You are going to love this: Boston Calling has a Frequently Asked Questions page right on their Internet site!

All set? Great! Have fun out there, people. Follow The Boston Calendar on Twitter and Instagram for live updates and photos.

@BostonTweet wants us to #DownloadBoston

By: - Thursday, Apr 17, 2014 - 3:05am

DLB_LogoSkyline_LargeWhen you shave with Gillette razors or pick up a Harpoon variety pack on your way to a friend’s place, you’re probably aware that you’re helping out a Boston business. But did you know you’re also supporting a homegrown product anytime you track your pace with RunKeeper, pay for something with LevelUp, or have that Harpoon beer delivered to your front door with Drizly?

Or maybe you’re thinking, “Wait a second — I can have beer delivered to my front door?”

That’s why Tom O’Keefe started #DownloadBoston. (more…)

Meet the man behind Boston’s hottest IG account: @brianmcw

By: - Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014 - 1:20am

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Haven’t we all, from time to time, questioned ourselves whether this is a good picture? Even photographers frequently don’t know how to think about pictures. We tend to say “I like it” and then, when it comes to “why is it nice,” often it goes unanswered. If vision is the ultimate end to end tool, I can’t help but wonder if the way we see, or better yet look at the world, could be frankly very subjective. Having said that, we can not ignore one exception to the rule: Brian!

Brian learned photography in the auto-didactic manner and there isn’t a day that goes by without experimenting on new angles and places or improving the style and texture of a picture. His gallery offers dynamic views of the city, illuminated with lyrical sensitivity. Lucky enough to spend some time with Brian, we are going to unfold the way he shaped his IG account through this last year and discover the aspects that have made him Boston’s favorite “Iger.”

To start, when was your “initiation” to Instagram? Were you into  photography before that?

Not really. I always thought it was weird that people obsessed over those little square photos on their phones. But then I started instagramming my walk to work last April, and now I am as obsessed as anyone.

Acorn Street by @brianmcw

What kind of camera do you use and what is your most used application before uploading a picture? (more…)