- The B-Side
- 😋🛍️🎥 How to celebrate Black History Month
😋🛍️🎥 How to celebrate Black History Month
Plus: 💸 A tax season hack
It’s Thursday, Boston.
⭐ We’re bringing B-Side IRL! That’s right, we’re hosting a charcuterie board-making class on Feb. 10, just in time for your Super Bowl parties! Each ticket gets you a delicious board that feeds four, a drink ticket, and an extremely fun afternoon with fellow B-siders. Grab tickets here!
👀 What’s on tap today:
A new tax hack
Delicious restaurant news
Prime primal scream spots
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Celebrations in your backyard
Image: Steven Senne. Illustration: Gia Orsino.
Happy Black History Month! While celebrating Black history isn’t just reserved for February, here are a few ways to honor the contributions the Black community has made in our own backyard this month:
😋 Complete the Boston Black Restaurant Challenge. This initiative started in 2018 with the goal of celebrating Boston’s diverse food scene and giving local businesses an economic boost. The rules are very simple: Just dine, drink, or order takeout from at least four, local Black-owned restaurants in February (Grace By Nia, Bred Gourmet, and M&M’s BBQ are on our list). And we have to plug Chocolate Therapy for some of the best Valentine’s Day treats in the area. Not sure where to start? Here’s a breakdown of the 70+ Black owned restaurants by neighborhood.
🎥 See the stories of Black icons on the big screen. Showcase Cinemas and the Museum of African American History are partnering up this month to bring moviegoers a curated selection of films featuring the stories of Black Americans who fought for freedom and racial equality (think: “Harriet,” “Loving,” and “Selma”). Plus, several screenings will include post-show discussions with Museum of African American History’s historians in residence to chat more about the film’s significance today. You can find a screening near you here.
📚 Hit up your local BPL branch for author talks, special collections, and more. Seriously, they have over 40 events just for Black History Month. But if you need help narrowing it down, check out the “Black Is …” booklist, a curated collection of 75 titles hand picked by BPL librarians, either written by Black authors or about Black history and culture. There’s also the introduction to African American genealogy class focusing on resources and online tools to help trace family histories and you can test your knowledge of Black history at the Mattapan branch’s Black history trivia.
🛍️ Support Black-owned businesses this Valentine’s Day. Keep the energy from the Black Restaurant Challenge going beyond your dinner plans by stopping by the Black-owned business pop-up at Harvard Square on Feb. 9 and 10 for an array of artisan food, art, fashion and more. Or, you can visit the Bos. Shop gift boutique in the South End to peruse 20+ local, Black-owned brands. More of an online shopper? He’s a list of local Black-owned businesses and their websites.
✊🏿 Pay an IRL visit to the Museum of African American History. Boston is one of the epicenters of American history, and the MAAH is on a mission to elevate the stories of the Black Bostonians who are a cornerstone of that history. The museum has thousands of artifacts and regularly updates its exhibits. Plus, here’s a friendly reminder that the self-guided audio tour of the Black Heritage Trail is always free.
TOGETHER WITH THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE TREASURY
It’s the season of love and discovering lost funds
💘💎 Planning the perfect gift for your special someone this Valentine’s Day? Surprise them with a shopping spree — courtesy of your unclaimed riches in the Massachusetts State Treasury. Whether it’s a long-lost savings account or a refund from an overpaid utility bill, there’s a good chance you have money waiting to be reunited with you. Search your name, file a claim (the process is free and takes less than two minutes), and get ready to splurge on your special someone.
💸 Before you read on: How do you do handle your tax returns?
Let us know below!
Quick & dirty headlines
Image: John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
💻 Still call your dad to file your taxes? We have good news. The IRS is launching their Direct File pilot program in Mass., which will allow people to calculate and submit their returns to the government directly, saving you the expenses that come with tax prep software (and hopefully some headaches). The program, which is aimed at relatively simple tax needs, and marketed as easy-to-use, is currently only available to a small number of people, but it will be expanding to more Mass. taxpayers through February and March.
🚗 Parking in Brookline? It’s gonna cost you. On Tuesday, the town’s Select Board voted unanimously to raise the rates at parking meters to $2 an hour across the board, a relatively big jump from the previous tiered system that had rates ranging from 75 cents up to $2, depending on the street (Boston’s range from $2 to $3.75). The move is expected to generate a ton of extra revenue for the city, plus provide incentive for more customer turnover at local businesses. We really can’t have nice things.
🍪 B-Siders, we hope you’re hungry. Because we’re talking restaurants. First up, The Half Cookie, a local over-the-top cookie spot that gives Crumbl vibes is popping up in the Seaport from now until April; Cambridge’s beloved (especially by B-Side staff) Middle Eastern spot, Sofra Bakery & Cafe, is expanding into a bigger second location in Allston; and finally, your favorite margs might be on the move: Citrus & Salt is leaving its Back Bay home and resettling in Fort Point come March. But thankfully, they’re having a going away party.
🎟️ These local events are looking pretty, pretty, pretty good. In case you didn’t catch our drift, we’re talking Larry David. He’s coming to Boston on April 1 for one of two shows he’s doing in conjunction with “Curb Your Enthusiasm” final season. Tickets go on sale Feb. 2 at 10 a.m. Plus: Newport Folk Festival tickets are going on sale today at 1 p.m., and although their lineup rollout is notoriously slow, if last year’s line up is any indication, it’ll be worth your while.
ONE LAST THING
Prime primal scream spots
Image: Jim Davis/Globe Staff. Illustration: Gia Orsino.
Do you ever get so angry you just want to scream? Does the potential retribution from onlookers, friends, or pedestrians stop you? We have just the cure: A curated list of the best local spots to scream, per write-ins from Boston.com readers.
Their suggestions range from practical — a walk-in fridge, under a bridge when a train is crossing — to the hyper-specific, like Boylston Station as the Green Line rolls in (bonus points for harmonizing). The suggestions also include doing things that actually inspire the screaming itself, like the watching Red Sox … or the Pats.
And there are a lot more where that came from (in fact, almost an alarming amount). Check them out here.
— Written by Gia Orsino and Emily Schario
😠 Thanks for reading! There’s actually a soundproof pod right behind me in the office … I wonder if I should pay it a visit.
💜 Special shoutout to today’s sponsor the Massachusetts State Treasury, for helping residents reclaim what’s rightfully theirs.
🧖 The results are in: Okay, we get it. The majority of you think we’re “out of our mind” for trying the free public sauna, and although we disagree, we kinda get it. One reader said: “I’ve had nightmares like this!”