It's Thursday, Boston.
🥳 Happy birthday to reader Jessica Wronski! Reply to this email if you want to be like Jessica and get your own B-Side b-day shout out.
🌯 Speaking of birthdays … to celebrate their seventh trip around the sun, all Saloniki Greek locations will be offering $7 pitas from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m today.
👀 What’s on tap today:
- COVID emergency end date
- Abortion providers are worried
- Boston bars make nat’l headlines
ARTS & CULTURE
The stolen Gardner art, reimagined
Saturday marks the 33rd anniversary of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist. And while the 13 stolen artworks have not been found, a group of artists have managed to bring them back to life — with a twist.
🖼️ Stolen art, reimagined. Ahead of the heist’s anniversary, Boston Globe Media commissioned 13 artists to create digital reinterpretations of the stolen works. And while none of these reinterpretations will ever replace the originals, they offer unique and updated perspectives on the masterpieces from artists around the world.
🖼️ In case you need a refresher … Two men disguised as police officers rolled up to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the early hours of March 18, 1990, requesting to be let in as they were responding to a “disturbance.” Once inside, the men tied up two security guards in the basement and spent the next 81 minutes stealing 13 works of art. Some estimates put their present-day value over $600 million.
🖼️ The search continues. Over 30 years later, it’s still considered the single largest property theft in the world, and the museum continues to offer a $10 million reward for information leading to their return.
🖼️ Modern masterpieces. Here’s how a selection of the reimagined works compare with the originals:
🖼️ London-based artist Ovie Faruq created an animated interpretation of Rembrandt’s “Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee.”
🖼️ Michigan-based digital artist and designer Terrell Jones offers an updated point of view on Manet’s “Chez Tortoni.”
🖼️ Australia-based Aslan Ruby Studios’ version of Rembrandt’s “A Lady And Gentleman In Black” offers a modern and colorful juxtaposition.
🖼️ Want to see the rest? The complete collection of digital reinterpretations side by side with their originals can be found here.
Quick & dirty headlines
🚨 Mass.’ COVID-19 public health emergency is ending May 11. Gov. Healey made the call to align with the end of the federal public health emergency (also May 11). This date will also mark the end of the vaccine mandate for all executive branch employees. However, mandates for staff in certain roles and settings will still be in effect. “We know that we have the tools to manage this virus,” Healey said in a statement, “and we’ve reached the point where we can update our guidance to reflect where we are now.”
🗳️ Wellesley College students vote to admit trans men. But it may not actually happen. Despite students' support for opening admission to nonbinary and transgender applicants (including trans men), the college said “there is no plan” to change its admission policy. Wellesley President Paula Johnson was never in favor of the student ballot, saying that their mission as a women's college remains relevant, even as the school has become more diverse. The college currently admits transgender women and nonbinary persons but said “those assigned female at birth who identify as men are not eligible for admission.”
💊 A Texas lawsuit could impact abortion access in Mass. The lawsuit questions the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, a drug used in combination with another medication in both abortion and early miscarriage care. Abortion will still remain legal in Mass., no matter the ruling. But it could limit access to medication-assisted abortion and ban providers from prescribing mifepristone via telehealth, which would likely mean women seeking an abortion would need costly surgical procedures. For context, nearly half of all abortions performed in Mass. in 2021 were via medication.
🍸 Boston bars get a national shout out! Spots like Hecate, Birds of Paradise, Wig Shop, and Koji Club are reinventing the city’s drink scene, according to Condé Nast Traveler. After clawing back from the pandemic, the magazine described Boston’s bar scene as one that’s having a remarkable comeback led by a “diverse new batch of drinking establishments that are exploding with global flavors and challenging Boston’s parochial reputation.” You can see what other spots got a nod (and where you should definitely go) here.
ONE LAST THING
DMac gives thanks
Devin McCourty’s goodbye tour is going on the road — quite literally.
The retiring Patriots safety bought space on 37 billboards across Mass. to thank fans for supporting him through his 13-year career. The signs read “Thank you NE! You helped a young kid become a man, father, husband and a 3X champ!”
If you’re driving on I-93, I-495, or Route 1, keep an eye out for one of the many messages along your drive.
😭 Thanks for reading! Don’t do this to me, Devin! Driving on 93 is emotional enough.
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