- The B-Side
- 🚘 Buckle up for Memorial Day traffic
🚘 Buckle up for Memorial Day traffic
Plus: 💸 Double check your bank account
It’s Thursday, Boston.
🍷 It’s also National Wine Day! And you can conveniently celebrate at The Urban Grape’s free wine tasting in the South End tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. Eater also has a great list of some of Boston’s best wine bars. Cheers!
👀 What’s on tap today:
The almost final voting map
Check your bank account
Get Marcus Smart
How to beat the MDW traffic
Image: Jim Davis/Globe Staff. Illustration: Katie Cole
Holiday traffic from the “before times” appears to be back. AAA Northeast projects that 42.3 million people will travel more than 50 miles from home this weekend, up 7% from 2022. And the absolutely gorgeous weather we’re expected to have definitely won’t help.
So if you’re one of the million or so Massholes getting of town this MDW, here’s what to know:
🚘 Friday traffic is gonna be ugly. Which makes sense given that over 900,000 Mass. residents are expected to travel by car this weekend. But if you have to leave on Friday, the morning and evening after 6 p.m. are preferred, according to INRIX, a traffic data and insights company. Saturday and Sunday should have the lightest traffic overall.
⛔ That said, there shouldn’t be any major roadblocks. MassDOT has suspended roadwork throughout the entire holiday weekend, including on the Sumner Tunnel. And if you’re heading down the Cape, all lanes will be open on both the Bourne and Sagamore Bridge.
✈️ If you’re flying, brace for a historic level of busy. The post-COVID travel bug is real: Nearly 3.4 million U.S. travelers are expected to fly this weekend, up 11% from last year. As they do during most holiday weekends, Massport suggests using the Blue and Silver lines to get to Logan, or the Logan Express.
⏰ Don’t be shocked if the lines at Terminal E seem longer than usual. AAA’s booking data shows that international travel bookings are 250% higher this MDW compared to 2022 (specifically to Europe). So this might be the time to listen to Massport’s advice of getting to Logan three hours before your flight.
🚇 The MBTA will run on a Sunday schedule on Memorial Day. That includes all subways, buses, ferries, and The RIDE services. The Commuter Rail will operate on a weekend schedule. And don’t be surprised to see busier lines at Amtrak and South Station, bus and train travelers are expected to be up over 20% from 2022.
💸 Pro traveler tip: Looking ahead to post-Memorial day plans? To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the CapeFLYER train is offering $10 roundtrip tickets to Hyannis for the entire month of June.
👀 Where are you heading this Memorial Day Weekend?
Let us know below
Quick & dirty headlines
Image: Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff
🗳️ Boston’s City Council *finally* approved a new voting map. And they did it relatively drama-free. The updated map proposed is pretty similar to the one that was blocked, but there are significant shifts in Dorchester, Mattapan, and the South End. Notably, a number of majority-white precincts have shifted back to the Dorchester-based District 3 (an area that originally was moved to District 4 in the blocked map). Remember: Those white precincts being moved to D4 was partly why the federal judge threw out the map in the first place, arguing the council considered race in an improper manner.
😢 Hate crimes are on the rise in Mass. They were up 30% between 2021 and 2022, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League. Mass. logged the sixth highest rate of antisemitic harassment, vandalism, and assault in 2022, the second highest number of white supremacist propaganda incidents (Texas came in first), and was deemed a "hotbed for anti-LBTQ+ extremism.” In response to the study, Gov. Healey said her admin is committed to being a "strong partner" to combat hate. The ADL recommended passing a list of bills to shore up protections.
😬 If you have Harvard Pilgrim health insurance, keep reading … They suffered a cybersecurity breach between March 28 and April 17 that may impact the privacy of current and former members (addresses, social security numbers, medical history, and more). That said, none of it has been used to the company’s knowledge. They’re currently investigating the breach and working to contact those impacted. But if you’re worried, you can give them a buzz yourself. And maybe keep an eye on your bank account, just in case.
🍳 North Enders are obsessed with this new breakfast spot. Sunny Girl has been serving breakfast and lunch sammies in the old Anthony’s Cafe space on Commercial Street since April. And locals have been loving it. TikTok Boston food reviewer Keyonté Henson gave the new spot high marks in a video, calling the breakfast grilled cheese “phenomenal,” and saying that the North End needed a place like Sunny Girl. If you want to try for yourself, the new hotspot is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day.
ONE LAST THING
Get Marcus Smart
Image: Erin Clark/Globe Staff
Before the Celtics take the court for an intense elimination game, Marcus Smart is answering some more low key questions.
Bleacher Report caught up with the Celtics star while he was practicing free throws and gave us a peek into Smart’s life. Smart’s green-dyed hair is iconic on the court, so naturally they asked him what color he’d never dye his hair. The answer? Pink. His favorite singer is Michael Jackson. And if he could only watch one TV show for the rest of his life, he’d pick “Law & Order: SVU.”
And when asked what he’d do if he weren’t a basketball player, Smart said he’d be a gymnast.
😂 Thanks for reading! Now I want to see Smart attempt a vault.
🏙️ The Longfellow Bridge has the best free view of Boston. At least that’s according to 47% of respondents from yesterday’s newsletter poll. One reader added that the view is especially great from the Red line “when it’s working.” Facts.