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😅⛷️ It’s all downhill from here

Plus: 💏 “Love Island” in Boston

Happy Friday, Boston!

🏝️ Looking for love (or lots of IG followers?) Love Island USA” auditions are casting folks around the country, including Boston! So if you’re a “sexy, relatable, charismatic" single, sign up using this link. The application questions alone are a worthy read. 

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • It’s gonna be cold cold

  • GLX shutdowns on deck 

  • A lactose lawsuit

Up first…


Winter wonderland-ing

Image courtesy of the White Mountain Nordic Association. Illustration by Gia Orsino.

There’s no shortage of wintery things to do in New England … But if you can’t shell out $200 to ski, or drive two hours to the mountains, that list gets a little shorter …

So with a cold, snowy weekend on deck, we assembled some of our favorite winter outings that won’t cost you an arm and a leg (or require a massive car ride).

🏂 If you’re looking to shred the gnar without a car … Wachusett Mountain is the place to be. You can take the commuter rail’s ski train from North Station on weekends and Wednesdays, then hop on the free shuttle that’ll take you to the mountain. SKI Magazine readers consider Wachusett one of the most accessible ski areas in the East (for both getting there and beginner-friendliness). Plus, some daily lift tickets are nearly half the cost compared to larger mountains in the region. 

🛷 If you miss the magic of snow day sledding … Head to a … brewery? Harpoon just launched Slopeside, an artificial three-lane snow tubing hill in the Seaport that looks like the lovechild of your favorite sledding hill and a carnival slide. But if you want the real white stuff, head 50 minutes north to Nashoba Valley’s tubing park in Littleton. Your two-hour snow tubing ticket offers all the thrill of sledding without the pain of lugging yourself back up the hill (the wire lift does that for you). Note: You have to buy your tickets in advance online.

🎿 If you prefer something a little more flat … You can rent both cross country skis and snowshoes at the Weston Ski Track, about 30ish minutes west of Boston. They have green, blue, and black nordic trails on site, as well as snowshoeing trails along the Charles. Have a better trail in mind? You can rent gear and take it off site (peep this list of some of the best snowshoeing spots in the area).

⛸️ If you love the classics … Ice skating at any of the area rinks will certainly do. The Frog Pond is the most obvious and one of the more expensive options (unless you’re a college student). So if money is tight, you can hit the rink in Kendall Square, the Ice Rink at 401 Park (they have free ice yoga!), and the Jack Kirrane Rink in Brookline. Too nippy outdoors? Take advantage of open skates at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton where the Bruins practice, and the DCR rinks around the city.


Quick & dirty headlines

Image: Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

☃️ Winter is wintering. As you might’ve heard, one to two inches of snow is on the menu for Boston this weekend, as well as the season’s most frigid temperatures yet (think single digits and high wind chill). So: If your driveway is moonlighting as a skating rink, here’s a guide to making your very own salt brine to help the process along, and Boston.com put together a guide for snow removal services in Greater Boston.

🚃 The GLX’s next stop? More shutdowns. Don’t shoot the messenger … but from Jan. 20 (tomorrow!) to 21 shuttle buses will totally replace Green Line Extension service between North Station and Medford/Tufts. Then we’ve got another round of weeknight shutdowns from Jan. 22 to 25 after 8:45 p.m. According to the MBTA, Union Square riders should use bus routes 86, 87, or 91 to connect to shuttles or the Orange line. All we have to say is: Keep on keeping on.

💰 Millionaire’s tax money is being put to good use. If you’re wondering where the money from the so-called “millionaires tax” goes (a.k.a. the 2022 The Fair Share Amendment, which increased taxes on incomes over $1 million), it’s going where it’s needed most: The MBTA. The organization, famously strapped for cash, will receive more than $200 million from the millionaires tax money. This is the first allocation from the funds since the amendment passed, and they’re planning to put it toward station improvements, repairs, and even the proposed Red-Blue connector. Thanks, millionaires!

🎥 See Palestinian stories on the big screen. After being postponed amid the Israel-Hamas war, Boston’s Palestine Film Festival is back to showcase a series of three Palestinian films that delve into different parts of Palestinian culture and history. Although the opening night and closing night films are sold out, there are still tickets available for Saturday’s screenings at the MFA, which you can find here.


Weekend plans

🧘 Get zen, get fed, and get networking. Boston’s Young Professionals Association is hosting a yoga and brewery brunch class at Castle Island Brewing on Saturday, and the tickets include yoga, pizza, and a free beverage!

😛 Taste some local NA bevs. Dray Drinks, Boston’s new non-alcoholic bottle shop, is hosting a tasting on Saturday for Simple Sips, the Boston-area brand that makes cocktail mixes. It’s free to attend!

🚆 Take a 24-hour ride on the T. Just kidding. “The 24 Hour T Ride” is actually a play written and rehearsed in just 24 hours. A wild ride nonetheless! Get your (free) tickets for Saturday’s show here.

🀄 Get your Mah Jongg on. Lehrhaus, the Jewish tavern and house of learning in Somerville, is hosting a Mah Jongg meetup on Sunday (with an expert teacher) for all skill levels.

👽 Grab tix to a sci-fi classic. Before you kick off your weekend, grab a ticket to Monday’s first screening of the “Shakespeare Reimagined” series at Coolidge Corner theater. This week: 1956’s Forbidden Planet.

— Written by Claire Nicholas

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

🎭 Experience a coming-of-age dance drama. Alexandria Nunweiler’s “Edge of Aquarius” tackles what it means to be human — the uncensored, beautiful, and ugly of it all. See it this weekend at The Foundry.

🍸 Not your mama’s mocktails. Formaggio Kitchen is teaching a class on mocktails this Saturday. It’s a double-teacher special: mixologists' wisdom and cheese pairings by their cheesemonger.

🗣️ Watch as poets compete with through spoken word. For the second year, Lizard Lounge is hosting an epic slam poetry tournament. This Sunday is the semifinals — six poets will compete to move on to the finals.


☕ Wait! Before you read on, finish this sentence: “I’ll have a coffee/latte with …” 

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A lactose lawsuit 

Image: Bloomberg. Illustration: Gia Orsino.

The question on the table: Should lactose intolerant people have to pay more for their almond milk lattes? 

Although the premise seems silly, it’s a genuine issue, at least according to a lawsuit filed against Dunkin’ by lactose intolerant plaintiffs. Dunkin’ charges about 50 cents more to add plant-based milk to their drinks and the plaintiffs claim that since there’s allegedly no material difference between the costs of plant-based and regular milks, Dunkin’ is unjustly profiting off of their pain. 

But for all of you free plant-based milk hopefuls (like myself), don’t get your hopes up. A similar suit was filed against Starbucks in 2022, and I don’t know about you, but I’m still paying $7 for an oat milk chai. 

— Written by Gia Orsino and Emily Schario

🥛 Thanks for reading! Hot take: The oat milk Dunkin’ uses tastes like water to me anyway, so I see no reason to add that 50 cents. 

👍 The results are in: B-Siders seem to be big fans of Gov. Maura Healey. 66% of you voted that she did a good job in her first year. One reader said: “Considering you could not ever pay me enough to want to do her job, I’m happy with what’s been done this year.”

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