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🗑️ The best deals in Boston are in the trash

Plus: 🌀 Hurricane impacts ahead

It’s Thursday, Boston.

🗳️ Heads up: If you want to participate in Boston’s spicy City Council election, the deadline to register to vote in the preliminary is Sept. 2. You can register here if you haven’t (or double check here if you don’t remember).

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • GLX shutdown

  • Hurricane impacts

  • Fantasy football loser

Up first …


These streets were made for shoppin’

Image: John Tlumacki/Globe Staff. Illustration: Emily Schario.

Merry Allston Christmas Eve to those who celebrate. Friday, Sept. 1 marks the start of Allston Christmas, marking the turnover of nearly 70% of Boston leases and an unofficial citywide yard sale.

So here’s how to get the best deals and celebrate this beloved Boston holiday like a pro:

👀 Start looking now, and not just in Allston. Residents started dumping their junk on the street weeks ago. And while “Allston” is the official name of the holiday, you can find gems all over the city, particularly in bougier neighborhoods and around college campuses. Boston local Lily Fang shared with Roaming Boston that “Brookline is one of the best places to go dumpster diving, especially toward Summit Ave and Washington Square.”

👀 Free stuff moves just as quickly as Boston’s rental market. So if you see something you really love, get it. During Chelsea Henderson’s first Allston Christmas experience, she almost picked up a dresser she saw on the street. When she returned 20 minutes later, it was gone. This also applies to Facebook and Craigslist. I saw a listing posted six minutes earlier on the Everything Free/Allston-Brighton FB group that already had people claiming items.

🛋️ Think twice before you pick up that street couch. Bed bugs like to hide in crevices and dark corners (couch cushions, book pages, headboards, etc.), and they’re tough to see, so you might be welcoming more to your apartment than just that La-Z-Boy recliner. One B-Side X follower warned to not bring any mystery upholstered furniture (emphasis on upholstered) into your pad unless you know where it came from. “Assume it’s got mold and bed bugs,” he said.

🗑️ If you miss Allston Christmas proper, hit up the next trash day. Some people are taking their junk with them to their new apartment, so keep an eye out for items on the trash days that follow as they start letting go of stuff. Trash days vary between neighborhoods, so look up the city’s trash and recycling schedule here.

🪑 B-Side readers said they’ve scored the biggest on furniture (bed bugs permitting), but some also landed deals on TVs, soda streams, and a fancy rice cooker that sells new over $200.

🤔 Remember: Just because it’s free doesn’t mean you need it. If you think the item will end up on the street again next Sept. 1, you probably don’t.

Happy shopping!


Giveaway alert!

We’re giving away a tote bag full of plant-based goodies from Rooted Living. To be eligible, refer a friend below and have them accept your invite by August 31. If you have already referred a friend to B-Side (and they’ve accepted), you're eligible! Full details below*


Quick & dirty headlines

Image: Vincent Alban For The Boston Globe

🚃 The Green Line extension is closing for realsies this time. Remember when the MBTA postponed their plans to close the Union Square GLX branch? Yeah, that new shutdown date is now official. The updated, 25-day closure of the GLX branch to Union Square is set for Sept. 18. And there won’t be any shuttle buses. You’ll have to take the 86, 87, 91, or CT2 bus routes instead. The Squires Bridge will get some much needed repairs during this time, though it’s unclear why they didn’t repair it before the GLX opening … and here’s how I feel about it.

🌀 The coast is feeling the impacts of Hurricane Franklin. While Hurricane Idalia is taking up most of the weather headlines after pummeling Florida, Hurricane Franklin has been quietly stirring up waters in the Atlantic, creating dangerous rip tides on the Cape and southern Mass. beaches. So be sure to check with local beach patrols before hitting the surf this Labor Day weekend. Luckily, it looks like neither storm will actually make landfall in New England, and the Labor Day weekend weather here is looking exquisite.

🍽️ Bostonians’ dining habits are serving big Puritan energy. Local senior citizens aren’t the only ones snagging a 5 p.m. OpenTable reservation. It’s everyone. The concept of when exactly “dinner time” starts is a little all over the place in our work-from-home world, and local restaurant owners are capitalizing on it by opening on the earlier side (think 3 or 4 p.m.). And by 5 p.m., in some spots, it’s HOPPIN’. But if you prefer eating on Barcelona time, don’t worry, Boston’s director of nightlife economy is working on growing the number of late-night dining options, too.

🏈 Getting to a Pats game to a steal this year. The Commuter Rail announced it’ll be offering special event trains to all Patriots home games for only $10 roundtrip this season (down from $20 in the past). Tickets for the Sept. 10 home opener are officially on sale on the mTicket app; otherwise you can get them at 11 a.m. on Mondays before the game. Speaking of the Pats, it looks like Mac Jones is definitely our starting QB this year after the Pats signed back-up Bailey Zappe to the practice squad.


😋 What time do YOU like to go out to dinner?

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Fantasy football loser

Image courtesy of Sam Coveney

There was an unusual passenger on one of Boston’s duck boats this week: A giant yellow duck.

Or really, it was North End resident Sam Coveney dressed in a giant yellow duck costume, his punishment for choosing the worst fantasy football team among his college buddies.

He had the option of wearing the duck suit in public for 12 hours or riding a duck boat four times in the suit. Coveney obviously opted for the latter, cutting down the amount of public humiliation to about eight hours. But he had to hold a sign that read, “I DUCK AT FANTASY FOOTBALL.”

This was the most public punishment of this crew’s fantasy football squad so far, but past punishments have been equally creative, including forcing the loser to spend 24 hours in a car and 24 hours inside a McDonald’s, shaving off an hour for every McChicken consumed.

But Coveney made the best of it, befriending many middle-aged dads who wanted a picture to send to their buddies.

🍗 Thanks for reading! I would smash that McChicken challenge.

🪧 The results are in: Half of B-Side readers fully support the Tufts RAs strike. One reader wrote, “Some may say bad timing but the administration knew they could have fixed this sooner.” OK, they're not wrong.

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