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  • 😴 Boston’s nightlife needs a major glow up

😴 Boston’s nightlife needs a major glow up

Plus: 💸 Tax season just got easier

It’s Wednesday, Boston.

🏃 You’ll def recognize this year’s Boston Marathon grand marshal … Make sure to wave to Rob Gronkowski, who’ll be driving (not running!) from Hopkinton to Boston on April 15. And speaking of running events, registration is now open for Boston’s inaugural Run the Fens 5K later this month!

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • Young Bostonians say ta-ta

  • Taxes for dummies

  • Birth on a bridge

Up first…


The city that always sleeps

Image: Josh Reynolds for the Boston Globe. Illustration: Gia Orsino.

It’s been over a year since the City of Boston hired Corean Reynolds as its “nightlife czar.” But has Boston gotten any … funner?

We know young Bostonians have strong opinions about the city’s nightlife (or lack thereof). But how do local nightlife venues think things are trending?

Here’s what they said:

🪩 Unless you’re a major corporation, it’s not easy to get started. “Years ago, regular people had dreams of, ‘Oh, I'd love to open up a bar,’” said Sarah Leib, manager at The Silhouette in Allston, but today, those dreams are just that: dreams. Real estate and liquor license prices are far too high for most individuals to take a chance on opening a place, said Brian Piccini, owner of Dbar in Dorchester, which he thinks has led to a recent infusion of places run by large corporations — just look to the Seaport or Lansdowne, he said — which “lack a local connected soul that is the heartbeat, to me, of what nightlife and entertainment is.”

🕺 But locals want local spots. The places we chatted with partially attributed their successes to the fact that locals crave a more personal and community-oriented nightlife experience. When venues open without connectedness to their neighborhood, it’s harder for patrons to find community in those spaces. “Any bar that meets their neighborhood where they're at is going to be more successful than one who's trying to force a new trend,” Leib said.

🚧 Red tape and restrictions are still a-plenty. Leib gave the example of a capacity limit which was originally implemented after a deadly fire at a nightclub in Rhode Island in 2003. But even after 20+ years without an incident, and despite the Sil not using the pyrotechnic displays which caused that fire, they’ve since been required to either majorly limit the number of people inside the bar or pay a huge chunk of money for a fire suppression system.

🤷 There are still grumbles about no happy hour and late-night T service. More leniency on both would not only help businesses in a practical way, but would also go a long way in changing the nightlife culture around Boston, said Nicholas Chen, owner of Tavern of Tales (both policy changes are, unfortunately, outside of Reynolds’ purview). 

📝 And some of the city’s suggested workarounds might not work for everyone. On the proposal of keeping some spots open later without serving alcohol, in Leib’s case, “it just means that nobody's getting paid and people can just sit there and hang out.”


Quick & dirty headlines

Image: Erin Clark/Globe Staff

👋 A chunk of young Bostonians are ready to hit the road. According to a survey by the Boston Chamber of Commerce Foundation, a whopping 25% of 20-to-30 year olds in Greater Boston are planning on leaving in the next five years, despite being overwhelmingly satisfied with their day-to-day lives here. In a surprise to no one, their choice comes down to job availability, rent prices, wages, and the housing market. For Black women and LGBTQ+ individuals (two groups more likely to be thinking about leaving Greater Boston), cultural and racial diversity was a big factor in their choice. 

🏗️ Allston is one step closer to a major glow up. Mass. just landed a $335 million contribution from the federal government, an essential piece of financing for the nearly $2 billion “Allston Multimodal Project.” This behemoth of a project would bring the eight elevated lanes of I-90 down to ground level next to Soldiers Field Road along the Charles, create a new commuter rail station and bus hub, improve bike and pedestrian access to the Charles, and open up tons of Harvard-owned space for development. Buuuut, we likely won’t see anything start until 2027.

💸 The IRS’s new tax software is a free alternative to Turbotax. Because, frankly, it feels wrong having to pay to do your taxes. The IRS’s Direct File pilot program is officially available to some Mass. residents, and is posited as a cheaper, easier, and quicker alternative to products like Turbotax for those with basic tax needs (think: simple W-2s and claiming the standard deduction). And although the pilot is only available for select people in some states, it plans to grow its scope in the future. So, if you haven’t done your taxes yet, check out your eligibility here.

🚃 Another set of T slow zones bite the dust. Green Liners, it wasn’t all for nothing. The recent gigundo set of GL shutdowns led to the elimination of 11 pesky speed restrictions and the news that a planned C line shutdown this fall will no longer be necessary. And despite last week’s ill-timed Green Line derailment, MBTA general manager Phillip Eng assured riders that the work has been recertified as correctly done. Although this is good news, you may not necessarily feel the difference because faster speeds aren’t as easily noticeable on the Green Line. 


🏘️ Would you consider leaving Greater Boston? 

Let us know below!

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A birth on a bridge 

Image: Lane Turner/Globe Staff. Illustration: Gia Orsino.

Of all the places to bring new life into the world, the Tobin Bridge isn’t our first choice. But when a fetus says it’s go time, it’s go time.

That’s exactly what led to a woman giving birth to her baby boy in a car on the Tobin Bridge Monday morning. Apparently, her husband was driving her to the hospital when the baby decided it couldn’t wait any longer, spending its first minutes of life literally suspended over the Mystic River.

EMTS and police arrived on the scene quickly after and got everyone to the hospital safely, and mom and baby are both reportedly doing well. Looks like none of us are allowed to complain about our Monday morning commutes anymore.

— Written by Gia Orsino and Emily Schario

🌉 Thanks for reading! We need a four-part podcast series on this birth. 

🪑 The results are in: Most B-Siders (43%) actually prefer bar seating, but for many, with the caveat that it’s for a party of two. One reader said “For a date night? Love! More than two people though, I am a table girly all the way.”

💃 Keep up with us @BostonBSide on IG, TikTok, and Twitter. Send comments and suggestions to [email protected] or [email protected].