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🚗 These Boston streets are going car-free

Plus: 🧐 The story behind the “I Hate Boston” sign

It’s Friday, Boston.

☀️ Welcome to the first weekend in ages without any rain. I mean, look at this forecast (just not today’s). To celebrate, grab a scoop from these local ice cream shops that Boston.com readers are raving about.

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • Boston’s T seat

  • Covid reminder

  • “I Hate Boston” 😳

Up first...


Porches, parties, and public markets


If we’ve learned anything this summer, it’s this: Sun’s out. Get the hell out of the house while it’s there. And this weekend, for once, it’s not going anywhere.

Here’s how to spend your sunshiney Saturday and Sunday:

🥁 Celebrate community talent at JP Porchfest. This festival bringing music and art to JP’s porches is back for its eighth year on Saturday, showcasing local bands, poets, dancers, and more. Bonus: While you’re there, you can take a free yoga class with Blissful Monkey Studio or learn Haitian Folklore dances with Jean Appolon Expressions. You can see the full lineup here.

🚶‍♀️ Put on your walking shoes and hit Open Streets Allston/Brighton. Parts of Rat City and nearby are going car-free on Sunday, making it the perfect place for a hot girl walk, a rollerblade sesh, an afternoon of window shopping, or all of the above. But if you’re a car owner, just a heads up that Brighton Ave. and Harvard Ave. between Cambridge Street and Comm. Ave. will be closed to vehicles from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

🐟 Keep the feast season party going in the North End. Up next: The Fisherman’s Feast, which is based on the devotion of the fishermen from Sciacca to the Madonna del Soccorso. It’s technically the North End's oldest continuously running Italian festival, and it’s laden with Italian goodies. Make sure to catch the grand finale of the Flight of the Angel on Sunday, which Nat Geo called “a spectacle NOT to be missed!"

🎨 Celebrate art and summer at the ICA’s Watershed Block Party. In addition to checking out the museum’s Mariposa Relámpago sculpture exhibit, there’ll be live performances from the Veronica Robles Cultural Center, yoga activations, coffee and sweet treats from travelmug café, games, and tons of art activities. Bonus: It’s free. You just have to get yourself there via water shuttle or public transit.

🛍️ Eat, drink, and shop at an epic bar-market mashup. Boston’s Tall Ship is turning into the Boston Public Market on Sunday. Or at least the pier next to it is. Over 10 of the BPM’s most beloved vendors will be setting up shop next to the ship for a shopping, eating, and drinking-palooza. Plus, there will be live music and food trucks.

🦋 Need something wholesome? Watch a monarch butterfly release in Cambridge. On Sunday, the Cambridge Water Dept. staff will host a public release celebration of the now-endangered species they’ve been raising since July. Before they fly off, you’ll get to meet and greet the monarchs and learn about the department’s raise-and-release project.

Want more weekend recommendations? Refer five friends to unlock weekly bonus items. For those who already have, enjoy below🎉

🎥 Soak in these summer nights at an outdoor movie. Pack your baskets, blankets, and bug spray to catch Jaws at Cambridge’s Summer Shack tonight (which just so happens to be a clambake, too). But if you’re looking for something free, Super Mario Bros. will be playing at the Hatch Shell, and Spiderman: No Way Home will be at the Pru’s South Garden.

🌍 Experience the sights and sounds of Africa. For the 13th year, the African Festival Committee is bringing us the two-day African Festival on the Boston Common. Bostonians are invited to take in the beauty and diversity of the continent through a showcasing of art, culture, and conversation.

🎸 Take in the last of Boston’s free live music events. Just like August, outdoor music season is slowly slipping away into a moment in time, so enjoy it while it’s here. Tonight, Saucy Lady is getting behind the booth at the ICA’s second-to-last Vinyl Nights, and BAGARISHA is performing at Brewer Fountain Plaza. For a little romance, catch Ezekiel’s Wheels Klezmer Band in the BPL courtyard this afternoon.

Claire Nicholas contributed to this story.


Quick & dirty headlines

Image: Carlin Stiehl for The Boston Globe

🚇 Got hot T takes? It’s your time to shine. Now that Boston is finally getting a seat on the MBTA Board of Directors, the city will have a direct role in calling the shots on the region’s public transit system. And Mayor Wu wants to know your thoughts on how we should use the seat (and for you to fill it). If you’ve got some ideas, drop them here. If you’re curious about holding the position, you’ve just got to be a Boston resident, a dedicated T commuter, and attend their monthly meetings. Those interested can learn more here.

🦠 COVID is making a comeback. But this time, it’s different. We’re heading into our fourth fall of COVID, except this time, there aren’t any state or federal rules telling us what we can and can’t do. So the Globe put together a guide to staying safe in 2023, including where to get free at-home tests, when you should put on a mask again, and when you should get a COVID booster. Speaking of, there’s a new variant, E.G.5, swirling around, and some doctors are advising people to hold out for the new booster coming this fall designed to fight it.

🏠 You could soon live in a Bed Bath & Beyond. Around 14% of Greater Boston’s 3,000+ strip malls are either empty or underutilized, so some cities are turning them into housing. The Metropolitan Area Planning Council estimates that Eastern Mass. alone will need roughly 140,000 new multifamily housing units by 2030. And if just 10% of those old malls were rebuilt to add housing, the council reports that 125,000 units could be created. We’re already seeing this play out in Framingham, Hanover, and Woburn, and so far, it’s working.


🚇 What’s the first thing you’d change about the T if you held a Board of Directors seat?

Let us know below!

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“I Hate Boston”

Image: John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

It’s a bird … It’s a plane … It’s a … “I Hate Boston” billboard … in the North End? Yep.

As expected, the billboard has been catching plenty of Bostonians’ attention. And before you ask, New York’s not behind it (at least, not this time).

It’s actually an ad for actress and singer Reneé Rapp’s new album Snow Angel, which drops today. And “I Hate Boston” just happens to be one of the tracks. If you don’t know her music, you might recognize her from her role as Leighton Murray on HBO’s The Sex Lives of College Girls or Regina George in Mean Girls on Broadway.

Luckily, she doesn’t actually hate our city — just a specific Boston man who inspired the song. Something I’m sure plenty of locals can relate to.

👍 Thanks for reading! Now THAT is great marketing.

❤️ The results are in: The majority of respondents from yesterday’s poll are Team Mayo, with another large chunk being OK with it … just not a lot of it. One reader wrote, “hating mayo is soooo 2016.” So like our cold-shoulder tops, let’s leave it there.

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