🏁 New to Boston? Start here.

Plus: 🦠 West Nile Virus alert

It’s Wednesday, Boston.

🗳️ Reminder: Rumor has it that if you’re a five, but vote in Boston’s municipal primary, you’re a nine. And if you’re a Boston resident who votes early (which you can do through Friday), you’re a 10. Here’s where to get it done.

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • West Nile Virus alert

  • A view with a deal

  • Sprinkles vs. jimmies

Up first …


A newb’s guide to Boston

Image: John Tlumacki/Globe Staff. Illustration: Emily Schario.

Congrats! You survived Sept. 1 move-in. The Allston Christmas sidewalk junk is receding, you got your parking permit, registered to vote, figured out your new trash day, and loaded your CharlieCard (and if you’ve done none of these, just click the links).

Now it’s time for the fun stuff: Getting to know your new city or neighborhood.

Here’s how to feel like less of a newb without breaking the bank:

🚶🏻 Get your bearings beyond a neighborhood stroll. Walking around will likely lead to you sticking to a narrow two-mile radius. To get a better feel for Boston’s green spaces, try a walk along a 27-mile community-made trail connecting 17 neighborhoods or take a hot girl walk with Boston Girls Who Walk; for $89, you can snag an unlimited paddleboard and kayaking pass with Paddle Boston to see the city by boat (use it just three times to break even); and the Boston Public Library has a free Book It Around Boston tour, where you can run or bike through several neighborhoods and BPL branches.

📚 Speaking of the BPL, get your library card ASAP. It’s one of the best money-saving hacks in town — and I’m not just talking about books. Most libraries offer free or deeply discounted tickets to every major museum in the Boston area (mine subsidized my first date at the Museum of Science with my beau), half off Harbour Island ferry tickets, free parking passes, and more. To get a card, just show up to any BPL branch with a picture ID and proof of Mass. residency (you don’t even need to be a Boston resident to get one).

💸 Yes, Boston is expensive, but your Boston doesn’t have to be. It’s easy to fall into the trap of overspending on the viral (and generally mid) hot spots on your For You page. But this city is laden with cheap and free things to do. There are over 20 free trivia nights at local bars and restaurants seven days a week, free virtual and outdoor workouts classes, $1 oyster deals, and more. We always plug free events in our newsletter, but other local creators like Ayanna Moise are known for sniffing out unique recs that won’t blow your budget. Here’s her recent video on spending a perfect day in Roxbury for under $30.


Calling all art enthusiasts

Courtesy of Celebrity Series

35 or under? Good news! The Celebrity Series of Boston just launched its $35 under 35 program allowing you to access $35 tickets for over 50 thrilling performances this season. And the best part? The program gives you access to two community receptions in the Fall and Spring to connect, share, and meet other art lovers. Ticket sales kick off on September 13, but don't wait — sign up online now to get on the list.


Quick & dirty headlines

Image: NOAA

🌀 Soooo … New England has eyes on a hurricane next week. But tbh, it’s way too early to tell. Social media has been buzzing with meteorologists warning about a major storm slamming the East Coast next week as it currently builds over the Atlantic. Where exactly it lands is going to depend on steering currents, which as of Tuesday morning, indicate it's going to take an early turn to the north and northeast, putting Bermuda more at risk than the U.S. That said, even without any landfall, it’ll definitely stir up some big waves next week.

👀 City Council endorsements are rolling in ahead of a tight race. In light of recent scandals, all eyes will be on incumbent Councilors Ricardo Arroyo and Kendra Lara on Sept. 12 as they attempt to hang on to their seats. In addition to Mayor Wu, former Rep. Joe Kennedy III threw his endorsement behind Arroyo’s challenger, Enrique Pepén, in District 5’s race. And despite Lara’s car crash, the JP Progressives steering committee recommended its members vote for her.

🦠 OK, we’ve got good and bad public health news … Let’s start with the bad: Two people tested positive for West Nile Virus in Mass., the first cases this year. Officials have seen an uptick in mosquitoes that can carry the virus and more positive mosquito samples around Mass. So if you’ve been bitten recently, keep an eye out for these symptoms. The good news? A recent study led by Boston scientists found that the latest COVID-19 variant is less of a threat than we originally thought. But you can still get free testing kits here.

🌃 The best view of Boston just got a little cheaper. Yes, it’s a little touristy, but the new View Boston observation deck at the top of The Pru is a showstopper and totally worth a visit. Starting Sept. 8, every Thursday through Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m., you can visit New England’s highest outdoor rooftop deck for only $19.99 (if you show your student ID, you’ll get an extra 10% off). Enjoy a cocktail at the Stratus lounge, listen to live music, play some lawn games sans the lawn, and take in stunning skyline views (see for yourself).


Weekday checklist

Image: John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

🎨 Embrace your inner artist with The B-Side team! We’ve partnered with Girlfriends Boston to host a Paint & Social Hour at Time Out Market Boston this Sunday — all art supplies are included with your ticket!

🍅 Ring in harvest season at the farmer’s market. So. Many. Veggies. East Boston, Brighton, and Davis Square are on Wednesday and Copley is on Friday. Here’s what’s in season.

🤝 Meet new peeps at a young professionals mixer. Aloft Seaport’s WXYZ Bar is looking like the place to be this Wednesday at 6 p.m. Come for convos and appetizers. Get your tickets!

🧠 Hate small talk? Try big talk. Skip the Small Talk is bringing its speed-dating series with thought-provoking prompts with others to Trident Booksellers on Newbury Street. It’s free for BIPOC attendees!

🥃 Taste some top-notch whiskey. On Thursday, Bully Boy Distillers is sending one of its whiskey experts to Trifecta at Four Seasons One Dalton for a free tasting (and learning) event.

Written by Claire Nicholas.

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

☘️ Check out the green scene. Nantucket’s The Green Lady Dispensary has a new location in Newton. They’re celebrating with a three-day block party — pop-ups, cannoli trucks, charcuterie, the works.


🍦 Before you proceed, answer this: What do you call the pellets that top your ice cream?

Let us know below!

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Sprinkles vs jimmies

If you’re a New Englander over 50, they’re jimmies. If you’re a young out-of-towner, they’re sprinkles. And if you’re me, they’re chocolate jimmies and rainbow sprinkles. I don’t make the rules.

Boston.com’s Wickedpedia did a deep dive on the controversial debate behind where the word “jimmies” came from. And while its origins may be murky and its use is fading, one thing remains true: It’s definitely a New England thing. A University of Wisconsin study showed strong support for “jimmies” in the Northeast.

You can learn more about the theories behind the word here: They range from a Jimmy Fund fundraiser to the 16th century term jim-jam, meaning “knick-knack or trivial item.”

👀 Thanks for reading! Anxiously waiting for readers to come for my throat as to why I’m wrong.

🍕 The results are in: 30% of readers agree that the Barstool/Dragon Pizza debacle was just a Portnoy PR stunt. And another 30% are just rolling their eyes, with one summing it up as “Dumb dumb men.”

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