• The B-Side
  • Posts
  • This beloved Boston 📚 event is back

This beloved Boston 📚 event is back

Plus: Scary-good Halloweekend plans.

 It's Friday, Boston.

Heads up: If you haven’t registered to vote yet, the deadline is TOMORROW. Get it going here. If you’re already registered, give your politically apathetic friend a nudge. You can tell them we told you to.

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • The MBTA has a new bus map thanks to you

  • Early voting at Fenway kicks off tomorrow

  • Last-minute Boston Halloween costumes

Up first…

COMMUNITY

Your guide to the Boston Book Festival

Photo: Blake Nissen for The Boston Globe, Illustration: Katie Cole

Before your Halloweekend festivities commence, consider spending your Saturday afternoon at the Boston Book Festival in Copley Square. It’s their first in-person festival since the pandemic, and there’s an impressive lineup of best-selling and award-winning authors this year. Plus, it’s free.

If you admittedly haven’t read a book for fun since high school, there’s a street fair, food trucks, and live music at the festival, too.

With over 70 events to choose from, here are three that I think you might enjoy:

💑 If you’re a fan of an enemies-to-lovers plot, the Romance: Serendipity in the Unexpected talk is for you. Authors Lily Chu, Kate Spencer, and Mia O. Manansala will discuss why we’re so obsessed with the “opposites attract” storyline and how the female leads in their novels get swept up by an unexpected love. Novels featured: The Stand-In, Blackmail and Bibingka, In a New York Minute

🤝 If you want to make a difference in your community, you might like the Making Change talk with Erica Chenoweth, Ruha Benjamin, and John Della Volpe. They’ll discuss how we can bring about meaningful change in the world. Books featured: Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs To Know, In Fight: How Gen Z Is Channeling Their Fear and Passion To Save America, Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want

⚡ If brevity is your thing, you’re going to love the Boston in 100 Words: Our City Seen Through Your Eyes session. You’ll hear the winning stories from the “Boston in 100 Words” annual writing contest and learn how to write your own 100-word stories about living in the city. Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, you’ll find that anyone can write a great piece of flash fiction after this talk.

CITY

Quick & Dirty Headlines

Image: MBTA, Illustration: Katie Cole

🚍 The MBTA has a new bus map thanks to you. The latest version of the map reflects feedback from more than 20,000 public comments and, according to MBTA officials, will increase bus service by more than 25% from before the pandemic. Your feedback helped to change 85 of the 133 proposed bus routes that were part of the initial map draft in May. Assuming it’s approved by the MBTA board of directors in December, the new design will be implemented over the next five years.

🏢 Empty office spaces downtown could be repurposed for housing. At least that’s one way Mayor Wu thinks the city can revive Boston's downtown scene — which has lost a lot of its buzz during the pandemic. This was one of several ideas outlined in Wu’s new plan to bring life back to the downtown area. Other ideas include re-imagining Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, and making more streets pedestrian-only.

⚾ Early voting is open at Fenway Park this weekend. If you’re a Boston resident, you’ll be able to cast your ballot from the third base concourse on Saturday, Oct. 29 and Sunday, Oct. 30 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters can access the ballpark using Gate A on Jersey Street and will have a chance to see the field before exiting on Lansdowne Street. As a Watertown resident, I am supremely jealous.

THINGS TO DO

Halloweekend plans

Gif via Giphy, Illustration: Katie Cole

🚲 Pre-game for your Halloween party with a spooky-themed spin class at Rev’d Indoor Cycling. Your first class is free! | Friday, Oct. 28 at 5:30 p.m. | Copley Place

🍻 Dress-up and drink through the city’s bar scene on the Official Halloween Bar Crawl. Tickets start at $15 | Friday, Oct. 28 from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Saturday, Oct. 29 from 3 to 11 p.m.

👻 Go ghost-hunting on a Haunted Harvard Square Ghost Tour, where you’ll learn about the area’s mysterious and gruesome deaths. Tickets start at $25 | Friday, Oct. 28 through Monday, Oct. 31.

🐶 Deck out your dog at the Halloween Pet Parade and Costume Contest ​​in Chuckie Harris Park in Somerville. | Saturday, Oct. 29 from 3 to 6 p.m.

🏃 Run for a scary-good cause at the Boston Road Runners Halloween Charity Dash. Participants pick their own charity to run for and costumes are optional — but highly encouraged. Saturday, Oct. 29 at 9 a.m. | Allbirds, 205 Newbury St.

ONE LAST THING

Last-minute Boston Halloween costumes

Photos: David L Ryan/Globe Staff, Illustration: Katie Cole

If your chronic procrastination has left you costume-less this Halloweekend, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a short list of niche, last-minute Boston costumes that are simple, yet effective.

For the Disgruntled Ben Affleck costume, you’ll need:

  • A Sully’s T-shirt (any Boston T will do, too)

  • Multiple Dunkin’ products, ideally too many to hold

  • A look of despair

For an under-construction Orange Line costume, you’ll need:

  • An orange top (change up the color for other T lines)

  • A print-out of the T logo

  • Caution tape

For a Boston Tea Party costume (this one’s the easiest), you’ll need:

  • A tea cup

  • A birthday party hat

  • Any Boston-themed shirt

🎃 Thanks for reading! You can spot me taking my own advice and dressing up as a disgruntled Ben Affleck this Halloweekend. Last year, I was a “formal apology.”

💃 For more hot takes and late night thoughts, follow me on Twitter and IG @emilyschario. Send comments and suggestions to [email protected].