- The B-Side
- 🥦 In: Going California sober
🥦 In: Going California sober
Plus: 🥟 Also in: Cheap Chinatown eats
It’s Wednesday, Boston.
🥟 If you’ve been craving authentic Chinese food on a budget … this Reddit thread is a goldmine. A user recently posted an ISO for seriously good Chinatown eats under $12, and Bostonian foodies came through with the recommendations. Check them all out here.
👀 What’s on tap today:
R.I.P. “use yah blinkah”
Pour one out for Drizly
Harvard’s Miss America
A new kind of buzz
Image: Erin Clark/Globe Staff. Illustration: Gia Orsino.
Out: Alcohol. In: THC-infused drinks.
Here’s what to know:
🥦 Gen Zers are reaching for weed over alcohol. A 2022 survey from New Frontier Data found that 69% of 18 to 24 year olds prefer marijuana over traditional liquid courage, which in some ways, isn’t surprising given Gen Zers are the first of age consumers to have widespread access to cannabis. They’re also just drinking less than older generations, too.
📈 That shift in interest + expanding legalization = a business opportunity. Popular beer brands like Pabst Blue Ribbon and Boston Beer Company have already launched THC drinks like High Seltzer and cannabis-infused iced tea, Teapot. Even Medford is getting its first THC beverage dispensary soon. “Almost everybody is trained through alcohol to consume something out of a can and then get a buzz off of it,” said Matt Gamble, the COO of Mass.-based dispensary Native Sun. That makes canned drinks “more approachable for non-cannabis consumers” than smoking or edibles.
🍻 The industry’s pitch? More control and fewer hangovers. “It’s hard to chop up a gummy into five pieces,” Gamble said, arguing that pre-measured drinks allow more consistent dosing (and won’t take hours to hit). Jay O’Malley, VP of marketing and research at Norwood-based MariMed, generally equates the impact of a 5 mg cannabis drink with a 4 or 5% beer. For comparison, “If it was the first beer you ever had, you would definitely feel it,” he said. But for someone like O’Malley who’s used to drinking it, he feels relaxed, but not out of control. That said, the effects of cannabis can vary person to person.
🏃 And cans aren’t the only place cannabis drinks are cropping up. MariMed launched Vibations, a THC-infused electrolyte drink packet that feels reminiscent of Liquid IV. But it’s not just for chilling out — they originally positioned themselves as an exercise brand. “It’s giving you all the hydration, the energy, the refueling … But obviously, with the kick of THC, which does give you the focus [and] runner's high if you’re exercising,” O’Malley said.
✋ Doctor’s advice? Proceed with caution. “While it might be less addictive, it is absolutely an addictive substance,” said MGH psychiatrist Dr. Randi M Schuster. “About one in 10 people with lifetime cannabis use, at some point in their life, will experience symptoms of cannabis addiction” (and that number goes up for young people). Plus, the science isn’t conclusive on the harms of these substances (or lack there of). Her two cents: If your goal of Dry January is to feel healthier and reduce being under the influence, “I would caution people introducing a new substance.”
TOGETHER WITH SAMUELS AND ASSOCIATES
Paint The Fenway 💕✨pink ✨💕
💖⛸️ The Rink 401 Park in Fenway is planning a Barbie party–with bespoke songs and performances–for Valentine’s Day. From Feb. 9 to 14, The Rink transforms into The Pink Rink — a winter wonderland where pink reigns supreme. Glide along the rose-colored ice with your squad or date and don’t miss the highlight of the week, a “Skate Kenway,'' a professional skating performance inspired by ‘Barbie.’ If that’s not kenough, use your ticket for post-skate discounts at The Fenway’s top hotspots and retailers (including Rockwood Music Hall, Tenderoni’s, and more). Grab your Rink tickets online today and skate the night away.
Quick & dirty headlines
Image: Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff
🍼 It’s a good time to be a baby in Mass. If the anxiety of spending nearly $20,000 a year on childcare in Mass. (for just one kid) is outweighing your baby fever, there may be a brightspot: Gov. Maura Healey just proposed a series of sweeping changes to the childcare industry, including a boatload (almost $590 million) of state funding in the next fiscal year, covering everything from creating no or low-cost Pre-Ks to helping fund childcare for families making less than 85% of the state median income. Plus: She also signed an executive order to create widespread access to early education across the state.
🚸 The days of “use yah blinkah” are over. If you’ve ever looked up from a drive on the highway and smiled at one of those silly overhead electric messages (like these), this one’s gonna hurt. In their new regulations, the U.S. Federal Highway Administration deemed silly messages to be “distracting” to drivers. So starting in 2026, all messages on the overhead signs across the U.S. will have to be clear of all humor, pop-culture references, and obscurity, a.k.a., devoid of all joy. In memoriam, check out some of the funniest highway signs here.
🍺 Pour one out for Drizly. The Mass.-founded company that basically invented Doordashing alcohol has officially shut down, courtesy of its parent company, Uber, in order to keep funneling people onto Uber’s app. Uber bought Drizly back in 2021 when the alcohol delivery app saw a pandemic boom in sales, but the company suffered 100 layoffs last year. Drizly was originally invented in a Boston College dorm room by a student who, relatably, just wanted some beer (and didn’t want to move too far). R.I.P.
🌌 You can now explore deep space without leaving the city. A new IMAX film exploring the success and journey of the James Webb Space Telescope project is now playing at the Museum of Science, and based on the trailer, it’ll probably leave you in an epic, existential daze. The 40-minute doc is years in the making, and in it, you’ll learn about all the incredibly long and laborious process that brings us the mind-bending images we’re used to seeing. Bonus: It’s narrated by icon Michelle Williams. Grab your tickets here.
🚦Which of these highway sign jokes is your favorite?
Let us know below!
ONE LAST THING
Harvard’s Miss America
Image: Willie J. Allen Jr./Associated Press. Illustration: Gia Orsino.
Want to feel terrible about yourself? Read on.
Madison Marsh is 22 years old, has graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a degree in physics, has a black belt in taekwondo, and started her own charity that has raised over $250,000. How does that make you feel?
Oh, and did we mention that she’s currently serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force, and is currently pursuing a masters degree in public policy at Harvard? Are you starting to rethink your life choices?
And for the readers who have such a healthy amount of self confidence that they’re still feeling good, may we add: She also just won the Miss America pageant.
It’s okay. We love you anyway.
— Written by Gia Orsino and Emily Schario
👑 Thanks for reading! You are not Miss America. But you are very special to us!
💜Special shoutout to today's sponsor, Samuels and Associates, for supporting local journalism and adding some sparkle to the doldrums of Boston winters.
🏖️ The results are in: The thing most readers are saving for is a good old fashioned vacay. But many of you scoffed at the idea of saving at all. One reader simply said: “Broke. College. Student.”