- The B-Side
- 🤫 Mass.’ best kept secret is out
🤫 Mass.’ best kept secret is out
Plus: 💗 Get hitched at City Hall
It’s Monday, Boston.
🚃 You survived, Green Liners. The first round of 2024 shutdowns is O-V-E-R. So for now, enjoy your shuttle-bus free commutes, because it won't last too long.
👀 What’s on tap today:
A terrible commuting week
Get hitched at City Hall
Hasty Pudding Man of the Year
News to ease your winter blues
Image: Jessica Mcgowan/Getty Images. Illustration: Gia Orsino.
There’s no more depressing time in Boston than the end of January … Which also means there’s no better time to revel in some good news.
Here are the feel-good stories you may have missed this month:
🏠 Local home renovators are hitting the big screen. After gaining hundreds of thousands of followers on social media through chronicling the renovation of their Dorchester home, the “Renovation Husbands,” Stephen and David St. Russell, quit their jobs to renovate homes full-time. And it wasn’t long before HGTV came knocking. The local couple is featured in the new show “Battle on the Mountain” where designers compete to renovate a Colorado home. And spoiler, so far, they’re killing it.
🍕 This local pizza spot is no longer a best-kept secret. Against all odds, Barstool’s founder and problematic frat bro king Dave Portnoy had his hand in some good news this month. In-the-know locals are well-aware that Joanie’s in Chelmsford has some of the best pizza around. But after receiving a rave review from Portnoy’s popular pizza ranking YouTube channel, business has almost quadrupled, with some customers waiting hours for a pie since the video dropped.
💸 Some servers in Peabody got the surprise of a lifetime. If you thought the $1,000 tip from October’s good news roundup was generous, wait ‘till you hear about the $7,200 tip that a local Peloton-enthusiast group, Wicked Smaht Zone, left their two servers at Peabody’s Red’s Kitchen and Tavern this month. It’s the latest iteration of the group’s yearly tradition. For their part, the servers were totally shocked and grateful.
⚡An Andover electrician created a life-saving invention. After learning about the crisis of overdoses in Boston homeless shelters, local electrician John King created “safe bathroom” technology, which can alert officials to when there’s no detected movement for several minutes after someone enters a public restroom, allowing intervention in the case of an overdose. The system, which has since been implemented widely across the country, has saved an estimated 3,500 lives.
🧑🎨 A Boston artist is paying homage to Chinatown’s history. Local artist and activist Wen-ti Tsen’s new project, “Chinatown Worker Statues,” featuring four bronze statues representing the “ordinary people” who built Chinatown in the face of racism and strife (a laundryman, a garment worker, a grandmother, and a restaurant worker) was recently awarded $1 million grant from the mayor’s office. Tsen is actively working on the projects, which are available to view in-progress at the Pao Arts Center.
🚇 Vibe check! Red Line riders: How will you be affected by the upcoming shutdowns?
Let us know below!
Quick & dirty headlines
Image: David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
❄️ This week’s commuting weather is looking bleak. We’re due for a second round of Sunday’s rain/snow/sleet combo this morning here in Boston (and if you live in northwestern Mass., it’s full-on snowy) which may make for a slow-moving commute. Plus: Even though the precipitation should wind down by the end of the day, with Tuesday’s freezing temps on deck, the leftover slush is expected to freeze overnight, which might mean a whole lot of slipperiness to navigate. So plan accordingly and stay safe!
💸 An all-too-important support fund just dropped. Mayor Michelle Wu and the Boston Public Health Commission just announced a new fund that will support Boston families who've lost loved ones to opioid overdose in order to lessen their financial burden through the grieving process (think: funeral planning, childcare, therapy, etc.). The $250,000 fund is the first use of cash the city got through settlements with opioid manufacturers and was created based on input from community engagement. It will launch later this year.
💌 City Hall is giving little white chapel energy this V-Day. Great news, love birds. City Hall has opened up booking for Valentine’s Day weddings. So whether you’re already planning a big day and looking for a place to say “I do” or you just find yourself swept up in the season of love, there are still plenty of appointments available for V-day, including a 15-minute ceremony which can accommodate up to 10 guests, and as many pics in City Hall as you want. Book an appointment here.
🍕 This Newbury Street spot is Yelp-approved. Union Park Pizza came in at No. 90 on Yelp's top 100 restaurants in the U.S. (unfortunately, the only Mass. restaurant that made the cut). Yelp uses metrics like the quality, volume, and number of ratings to put together the list, but for their part, Yelpers seem to appreciate Union Park Pizza’s fresh ingredients and specialty pies. Pro tip for if you go: Get the Mag’s Supreme.
THINGS TO DO
Images: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images. Illustration by Gia Orsino.
Pssst! To celebrate Dry January, all our things to do listings this month will be alcohol-free. Cheers!
🎭 Ring in the new … season of “Vanderpump Rules.” If you’re itching to know what happened after “Scandoval,” head over to Castle Island Brewing on Tuesday for a viewing party of the Season 11 premiere.
🐕 Unleash their inner dog-Vinci. Bring your dog to “Lick Painting” night at Barrel House Z on Wednesday evening for a night of extreme cuteness and very serious canine artistic talent.
⛷️ Meditate on the mountain. Kinda — this ski-themed mindfulness and meditation sensory experience is actually indoors on Thursday at Union Square, a relaxing and intimate gathering with snacks and zero-proof bevs.
🏓 Get some dinks with a side of giggles. Head to PKL on Friday at 8 p.m. for a mash-up event featuring six local comedians and, of course, a lot of pickleball.
🧍 Catch a smash-hit one-man show. Jim Ortlieb’s performance of “Stand Up If You’re Here Tonight” has sold out in L.A., Chicago, and Paris, and now the show is at The Huntington ‘till March 23.
— Written by Claire Nicholas
🎉 Want more things to do recommendations? Refer five friends to unlock two bonus items. For those who already have, enjoy below.
🔔 Get saved by the bell. When 5 p.m. hits on Tuesday, the kettlebells come out at Southline Fitness Center for a $7, 45-minute workout fit for everyone.
🤝 Bring your dog on some dates. Park-9 Dog Bar is hosting Skip The Small Talk for a speed dating night this Wednesday — for a small fee, you can bring your dogs so they can meet new friends, too!
ONE LAST THING
Hasty Pudding man of the year
Image: Joe Maher/Getty Images. Illustration: Gia Orsino.
Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals has named its 2024 Man of the Year. This year’s honoree is Barry Keoghan, an Irish actor and recent hot-topic after appearing in films like “Dunkirk,” “Eternals,” and most recently, “Saltburn.”
The festivities, which include his being roasted on stage, paraded around Cambridge, presented with the “pudding pot,” and watching students’ annual theater production, will take place on Feb. 2. As for the Woman of the Year, the honor has yet to be announced, after the original date for the ceremony was postponed due to “unforeseen circumstances.”
Although this award may not be the highlight of Keoghan’s awards season, it will add him to a truly iconic lineup of past honorees (think: Meryl Streep!), which you can check out here.
— Written by Gia Orsino and Emily Schario
⭐ Thanks for reading! I’m sure he’s a really great actor, but TBH, we mainly know him as pop icon Sabrina Carpenter’s (alleged) boyfriend.
🚗 The results are in: Most B-Siders who live in Boston voted that they have cars and couldn’t live without them, with those who don’t have cars and don’t want ‘em taking a respectable second place. One reader said: “I don't need an extra $400 in parking added to my monthly budget!”