✈️ Spring break? In THIS economy?

Plus: ​​🥴 Shakespeare, you’re drunk.

It’s Monday, Boston.

🍝 Here’s a cure for your Sunday scaries: Ciao Roma in the North End is back with its three-course date night menu on Mondays, where two people can enjoy an appetizer, two entrees, and a dessert for just $59. Not $59 per person. TOGETHER. Make your res here.

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • Another round of layoffs 

  • Icy sidewalk revenge szn

  • Mass.’ “Reputation” era

Up first…


Don’t (spring) break the budget

Illustration by Gia Orsino.

Spring break? In this economy? Okay, hear us out. Whether you’re jetting off to a beach or taking a day trip, we firmly believe everyone deserves some kind of spring getaway. And conveniently, now is the time to book one, so we chatted with local travel experts to give you their insider tips for booking on a budget.

Here’s what they said: 

🏖️ First off: Let’s set our expectations. Unless you have a serious chunk of change to spare, an international beach vacation probably isn’t realistic for this year, according to AAA travel advisor Christine Mimoso. She estimates folks can spend around $1,500 (at the minimum) for what you might call a “traditional” spring break experience. 

✈️ If you’re planning to jet-set, act now. If your spring break is in March, booking flights in the next week is key, as rates nearly double two to three weeks before take off, said Lindsay Schwimer, consumer travel expert at Hopper. According to Hopper’s data, you still can snag an under $100 round-trip flight from Logan to locations like South Carolina, Nashville, and some spots in Florida. Pro tip: Schwimer says flying out midweek can save you up to 15% compared to weekend flights.

🏨 But for booking hotels, maybe … don’t? If you’re staying in a larger city (and feeling spontaneous), you might want to hold off on booking your room. “Hotels will often drop room rates in days leading up to check-in, Schwimer said, “meaning you can often find some great deals in the days leading up.”

🚗 And don’t rule out a local getaway. The best way to save money on a big trip is to not take one. And if the point of a break is to relax and rejuvenate, who’s to say a day trip to Portland for a brewery crawl, a trip to the Berkshires to go snowshoeing, or poking around shops in a Vermont ski town can’t do that for you? Just ask Lindsey Basara, (a.k.a. @newenglandchickadee) a travel blogger in Western Mass. who specializes in local, accessible getaways. 

🗺️ If you do go local, take advantage of the extra flexibility. When planning her own itinerary, Basara and her friends use Google Maps and Docs to create lists of activities they’re interested in by route or area, and then narrow them down based on budget and time constraints. Her advice? Don’t be afraid to swap out a restaurant for a picnic, or swap a place with an entrance fee for a free hike if it allows you to spend the extra money on things that will make the trip better for you, she said, even if that’s a fancy latte on the drive or train.


💏 We’re doing some research and want to know: Have you tried speed dating before? 

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Quick & dirty headlines

Image: David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

🏥 Mass. General is in full-on crisis mode. Literally. Hundreds of patients are being left without beds as MGH faces what they’re calling an “unprecedented crisis.” And while it’s not exactly new news, as the hospital’s emergency department has been in a “code help” or “capacity disaster” nearly every day for the past 16 months, the situation is especially dire right now, exacerbated by COVID and flu season. The crisis prompted the hospital to issue a press release and create an entire website dedicated to their process of addressing it.

💼 The layoffs just keep on coming. Boston-based furniture company Wayfair recently laid off 13% of its workforce in its third round of layoffs since 2022. According to Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah, after seeing a strong economic performance during COVID, the company went a little “overboard” in hiring, a move they’ve had to majorly remedy in the following years. And while being laid off is never easy, at least these employees can hopefully find work under a boss who doesn’t actively advocate for “blending work and life.” Yeesh.

⛸️ If you’ve been dealing with icy sidewalks, it’s revenge szn. For the past week, ice has been wreaking havoc on Boston, leading to tons (really — upwards of 30,000) formal complaints, an increase in hospital visits, and a whole lot of slow, flat footed shuffling. And if that sounds like you, we have a piece of good news: If your property owner failed to get rid of that ice or snow day-of, a complaint to Boston’s 311 service might just push them in the right direction by way of a daily fine. You’re welcome.

🚘 Out-of-state friends complaining about driving? Show them this. According to a study by WalletHub, on the list of the best states to drive in, Mass. comes in at an abysmal No. 45, a ranking which certainly won’t surprise any Mass. resident. And neither will the reasons why: Traffic and the cost of owning a car. And while this particular ranking has nothing to do with our actual driving, we can imagine that if it were considered, we might be closer to 50. 


Weekday plans

🎨 Get tote-ally crafty. I think we all agree you can never have enough tote bags. Especially hand-painted ones — make your own this Tuesday at Idle Hands in Malden.

🧀 Learn to style a charcuterie board. Let a pro show you how to make a Pinterest-worthy board of meats, cheeses, and accouterments this Wednesday at Founder’s Clubhouse.

🏳️‍🌈 Get a few first dates in. Except it won’t take weeks, just a couple hours, at Skip the Small Talk speed dating for LGBTQIA+ women at Park 9 Dog Bar on Thursday.  

🎭 Watch your fav Shakespeare characters get tipsy. It may be Dry January for you, but it’s not for the cast of Shit-faced Shakespeare, who will perform “The Taming of the Shrew” (tipsy, ofc) this Friday.

🥖 Share a meal with fellow foodies. South End Supper Club, the classiest bowling and billiards food spot you ever saw, is hosting a cozy dinner on Friday for just $25 per ticket.

— Written by Claire Nicholas

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

🧘 Set your 2024 intentions via art. Can’t put words to your New Year's resolutions, just vibes and colors? Worry not: Twilight at Mass Art Museum’s “Refresh, Reset” art workshop on Thursday is your place.

😂 Catch some laughs at Club Cafe. This Thursday, NYC comedian Gus Constantellis will headline at Club Cafe (with Steph Dalwin and Ang Buxton) to deliver his very relatable set.

🎬 Catch an old film. You know where to go: Coolidge Corner Theater is showing some ‘80’s movies this week, including rock-umentary “This is Spinal Tap” and “TerrorVision.


Massholes’ favorite era

Image: Erin Clark/Globe Staff. Illustration: Emily Schario.

Not to judge a book by its (album) cover, but we can pretty much vibe-check a person by their favorite Taylor Swift era. And in our opinion, Massholes passed. 

According to a recent study based on search histories, it looks like Mass.’ favorite album is “Reputation,” which, in our opinion, is a green flag. Our No. 2 spot went to “1989,” followed by “Lover,” “Midnights,” and “Speak Now.” And while we’re not in a position to knock any Swift album (or judge our entire state population) … it’s not exactly how we’d rank them (see below). 

But no matter our disagreements about album rankings, at least our collective watching-Taylor Swift-watch-Travis Kelce era will live to see another week, as the Chiefs defeated the Bills last night. 

— Written by Gia Orsino and Emily Schario

🤩 Thanks for reading! Gia’s top five list of Swift albums are as follows: “Fearless,” “Red,” “Reputation,” “Lover,” and “Taylor Swift,” while Emily’s power rankings are: “1989,” “Reputation,” “Midnights,” “Red,” and “Speak Now.”

🥛 The results are in: It’s official: Hot girls use oat milk. Most B-Siders voted that they take their coffee/lattes with oat, with regular milk coming in a respectable No. 2. One reader said: “That would be an iced coffee (yes, even this week!) from Dunkin’.”

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