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  • 🏈 Your Sunday just got a whole lot busier

🏈 Your Sunday just got a whole lot busier

Plus: 🍁 TikTokers ruin everything

Happy Friday, Boston!

🎶 Don’t mind me: I’ll just be over here binge-listening to Olivia Rodrigo’s new album that just dropped. Vampire has a chokehold on me.

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • Heat emergency

  • T workers didn’t work

  • TikTokers ruin everything

Up first …

SPORTS

Your Pats season primer

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

It may feel like 97 degrees today, but football season is back, baby! The Pats kick off their home opener against the Eagles, the reigning NFC champs and Super Bowl losers, this Sunday.

So whether you’re a superfan or a super bandwagoner, here’s what to know:

💪 The Pats face some stiff competition in the AFC East. After years of being at the top, their days of defying gravity are over. The Pats will be lucky to stay out of their division’s basement this year, as the Bills, Dolphins, and Jets all have solid squads. ESPN’s Football Power Index only gives the Pats a 19.1% chance of making the playoffs and a 6.3% percent chance to win their division. But as any Boston sports fan knows, nothing is impossible. If they want a shot at playing beyond the regular season, these the things that need to go right.

🏈 Mac Jones will be our fearless leader. After a not-so-great sophomore season, Jones is back with a vengeance (and a new offensive coordinator who should hopefully make him look better). Some commentators are confident he’ll bounce back this season, but by how much is TBD. Matt Gaegan of WBZ said: “Mac will have a better year, but only because you can't fall out of a basement window.”

💄 Players aside, Gillette Stadium got a gorgeous makeover. There’s a massive, 218 foot-tall lighthouse with 360-degree views of the Boston and Providence skylines; a grand staircase leading to the stadium; and the pièce de résistance: a record-breaking 22,200 square-foot video board to watch alllll those close replays.

🚂 And getting to the game will be much cheaper this year. The Commuter Rail is offering roundtrip, special event train services to all home games for only $10, with tickets exclusively sold on the mTicket app (there are some available for Sunday’s game!). And parking is free at all general parking lots across the street from the stadium.

❤️ Most importantly, Tom Brady is coming home. After announcing his (second) retirement in February, Brady will be at Sunday’s game and he’ll be honored as part of a special halftime ceremony. The details of what exactly is going to go down are under wraps, but Brady has been a little emo and wistful ahead of the game.

🤔 My Brady ceremony predictions? They’re either going to retire No. 12 or Brady will retire as a Patriot. But my heart won’t be able to handle both.

QUICK QUESTION!

🏈 How far do you think the Pats will go this season?

Let us know below!

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CITY

Quick & dirty headlines

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

🥵 Nothing says “back to school” like a heat emergency. We truly can’t catch a break this year. Mayor Wu declared a heat emergency that runs through today as temps soar into the 90s with a “feels like” temp around 97. The National Weather Service also has a heat advisory in place until 8 p.m. Of course this happens the day some Boston students are heading back to school (and some buildings don't have AC). The heat has been so bad in other Mass. school districts that some have opted to cancel classes or dismiss students early.

🚇 MBTA track workers were really bad at their jobs. Please take three deep breaths before you proceed … A new report found that MBTA workers responsible for checking T infrastructure for issues either didn’t understand their responsibilities, didn’t know what they were doing, or just didn’t do them. As a result, they missed tons of issues, ultimately leading the T to add all those pesky slow zones, making commutes miserable for several months. MBTA GM Phillip Eng said he’s not surprised by the report, and it only validates what he’s seen on the job.

🌀 That tropical depression we mentioned is now definitely a hurricane. Hurricane Lee, to be polite. And the storm has the potential to be the first category 5 hurricane of the season. Whether — and where — it makes landfall is still unclear. A spaghetti model of the storm shows most paths hanging over the Atlantic and missing land altogether, but a few tracks veer to the west along the East Coast and parts of New England. Any regional impacts from the storm are still many days away, so stay tuned for updates.

🎸 The fall lineup at Boston’s small music venues is looking SWEET. If The Garden or Gillette are a little too big for your taste, smaller venues like The Sinclair, Big Night Live, and Paradise Rock Club are gonna be loaded with performances from New England native Lady Lamb to EDM star deadmau5. Boston.com put together a list of 13 must-see shows at Boston’s smaller venues this fall. But if you don’t discriminate when it comes to size, here’s a list of heavy hitters performing at the bigger venues, too.

THINGS TO DO

Weekend plans

🇬🇷 Greek out in Somerville. All weekend long, Dormition of the Virgin Mary will be packed with some of the most authentic Greek flavors, foods, and festivities you can find without your passport.

🎤 See and hear some incredible local talent. Spend your weekend at the Boston Arts Festival, where some of the most impressive local artists and musicians will be showing us what they got (and boy, have they got it).

☕ Caffeinate while you craft-inate. Time Out Market Boston is mashing up two of your favorite things with a pottery class and a coffee tasting at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

📓 Give bullet journaling a try. Self-care Saturday just got a little more interesting. Head to Brighton’s BPL to learn all about this practical and organization-centered ritual.

🌍 Celebrate African culture at a carnival. This Sunday, Central Square will be transformed into a lively festival celebrating the African diaspora with music, food, costumes, and vendors.

🎨 Behold the talent of Cambridge artists. Come to Cambridge Arts Open Studios Saturday and Sunday to get a look at local artists’ stunning paintings, prints, clothing, ceramics, and more.

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.

🍟 Find your favorite burger in Boston. This Saturday, eat your way through a mouthwatering lineup of Boston burgers at Battle of the Burger, held at Encore Boston Harbor. Get your tickets now!

🏘️ Meet your Cambridge neighbors. Time to finally meet your neighbors. It’s a formal invitation from the Cambridge Peace Commission to organize a get together on Sunday with the people in your neighborhood.

ONE LAST THING

TikTokers ruin everything

Image: Allison Richards / flickr

The influencers aren’t gonna like this one. But quite frankly, it’s their fault.

Out-of-town Instagrammers and TikTokers hoping to post an aesthetic video of the iconic Sleepy Hollow Farm in Vermont this fall are SOL.

The farm is one of the most photographed leaf-peeping spots in the state, but due to an unprecedented surge in IG and TikTok tourism, the roads around it will be closed to the public during peak foliage season. Cloudland and surrounding roads reportedly became a nightmare for residents during the fall, with poorly behaved tourists damaging roads, trampling gardens, and even pooping on private property.

That said, there are still a ton of iconic leaf-peeping spots to pick from, but remember: It’s leaf-peeping, not pooping. Keep it together.

🍁 Thanks for reading! Oh god, I hope leaf-pooping doesn’t become a trend now.

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