👫 Making friends, made easy

Plus: ☔ Rainy weekends

It’s Thursday, Boston.

📚 Need a book rec? We’ve got 75 of them. The Boston Public Library just dropped its AAPI Heritage Month booklist, highlighting recent titles by and about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Let us just say, the cookbook section is *chef’s kiss*. 

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • Rainy weekends return

  • Deals for summer travel

  • An unreal apartment

Up first…


Friendship, simplified

Illustration: Gia Orsino.

Making friends as an adult ain’t easy. Especially in Boston. Which partly explains why a swath of local Millennials and Gen Zers are considering hitting the road.

But some local community groups are trying to fix that.

😬 The problem is two-pronged. For one, COVID did our social skills dirty, at least according to Maria Colalancia, founder of The Aperitivo Society. She said young people “are really uncomfortable with going up and introducing themselves to somebody in-person” these days. And two, some think Boston sorely lacks free or low-cost spaces where people are open to connecting (a.k.a. “third spaces”).

👀 And those spaces can be trickier to find for young people of color. Seeking out Black spaces in Boston often take “more than just a Google search,” said Aleah Grady, of Boston Young Black Professionals. “You kind of have to know somebody who knows somebody.”

👍 But a few groups are tackling both problems at once. These groups all create spaces, often in the form of activities, events, and group chats, where people in search of community can connect. Group leaders also go the extra mile by encouraging conversation and acting as liaisons. “I think a lot of people think, ‘oh, I'm gonna be the awkward one in the corner.’ We don't let that happen,” Grady said. 

👫 And (surprise!) once the pressure is off … people are good at making friends. When everyone shows up at an event with a common goal of meeting new people, “that nerve-wracking part of, ‘am I here to make a friend?,’ it goes away,” said Ana Baptista, founder of Girlfriends Boston. Marecyneth Chona, of Boston Girls Who Walk, finds that, while many people show up to events “scared to even start a conversation,” by just a few minutes in, “it happens so naturally and so organically that we don't have to [help them].”

🙋🏽‍♀️ That said, you also have to put in some work. These clubs definitely make it easier to meet new people, but the experts agreed that you need to put yourself out there to make the magic happen. Michelle Wax, the founder of Boston Babes Social Club, suggests approaching friendship like a job or romantic relationship by “putting time and effort into doing it.” That means consistently showing up and being open to new people.


📱 We’re working on a story and want to know: how often do you “rot,” i.e., mindlessly scroll on your phone/binge a show for hours at a time?

Let us know below!

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Quick & dirty headlines

Image: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe

☔ Does anyone else feel like last summer’s rainy weekends are back? You’re not imagining it. Fifteen out of eighteen weekends this year (including the last five in a row) have seen measurable precipitation, and this weekend will be no exception. What gives? A combo of bad luck and a few technical weather patterns that have been keeping the gray skies around. For now, you might want to rethink your outdoorsy weekend plans.

⛺ Another set of encampment arrests just went down. About 130 protestors at UMass Amherst’s pro-Palestinian encampment were arrested on Tuesday night, hours after failed negotiations with the university administration. The arrests also came just 12 hours after the encampment had been reestablished by the group. The week prior, it had been taken down  voluntarily after just one day due to threats of arrest from the administration.

🍺 Two exciting openings are coming to Greater Boston. First up, Verveine Cafe opened its doors on Monday, serving award-winning pastries, sandwiches, and drinks in a space with a “boho Parisian vibe.” Plus, Night Shift’s three Boston beer gardens are officially open for the season as of Wednesday, including a new location in Dewey Square. Even better news: All of said beer gardens will see rotating food trucks throughout the season.

🛫 It might be time to book that summer vacay. Why? Boston-based travel app Hopper is giving users up to 50% off of hotels now through Friday as a part of a summer travel sale. All you have to do is book through the app, and you can take advantage of offerings to destinations like Florida and Australia. While we’re talking travel, now’s a good time to mention Delta’s non-stop flights to Costa Rica, which start next year. Bon voyage!


Together with Select Markets

Enter for a chance to win a $100 shopping spree at Select Markets’ upcoming vintage market at the Arts at the Armory in Somerville on Sunday, May 12. To enter, just refer a friend and have them accept your invite by the end of the day on May 9. If you have already referred a friend to B-Side (and they’ve accepted), you're eligible! Full details below*

18+. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Limit one entry per person. See Official Rules & an additional entry option here.


An unreal apartment

Image: Atlantic Visuals. Illustration: Gia Orsino.

At this point, readers might know that here at The B-Side, we like two things: talking about Boston’s absurd rent prices, and looking at really fancy houses. And, true to form, we’re about to do both. 

Enter: this condo in Boston’s Raffles Residences, which is up for rent with a truly unimaginable $35,000 monthly price tag. For everyone wondering, that’s $420,000 a year. 

This place boasts three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and “penthouse finishes,” plus it includes access to a secret garden, library, golf simulator, tasting kitchen and wine lounge, a pet spa, and much, much more.

Take a look inside here.

— Written by Gia Orsino and Emily Schario

💸 Thanks for reading! What even happens in a pet spa? Seriously, we’re asking, it sounds adorable.

🛍️ The results are in: 52% of respondents said they tend to shop at middle-range spots like Abercrombie or Trader Joe’s. One reader said: “I’ve been outfitted by Marshalls and TJ Maxx since birth! Maxxinista born and bred.”

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