It’s time to break out the nasty, old Christmas sweaters and socialize with all your fellow badly-dressed Bostonians.
With the holiday season quickly approaching, there will be ample opportunities to get use out of your atrocious festive attire. Here’s a list of the top parties in Boston to wear your beloved Ugly Sweater.
Holiday Ugly Sweater 2013- Cosby Strikes Again
December 11, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Daddy Jones Bar, Somerville
This event encourages participants to uglify themselves and meet others dressed in their best holiday sweaters. The night includes photo opportunities, appetizers, prizes, gift cards, games, hot cocoa, and a variety of cocktails made with local spirits. Proceeds for this event go towards the Mass Eye and Ear Team that will be running in the 2014 Boston Marathon. To purchase tickets, visit their event page.
American Marketing Association Boston Ugly Sweater Party
December 11, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Hyatt Regency Boston
Not only are ugly sweaters encouraged at this annual marketing professional network event, but prizes will be awarded to the tackiest attendees. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit their event page.
A Rockin’ Ugly Sweater Party at the Lansdowne Pub
December 12, 9 p.m. to December 13, 1 a.m.
Lansdowne Pub, Boston
The powers of The Lansdowne Pub, Uber, and Sam Adams combine on Thursday night for a festival celebration of hideous sweaters. Join other holiday cheermeisters in singing with Jukebox Heroes at Live Karaoke Band and hope to win Sam Adams ugly sweaters, brewery tours, and other prizes. Enter promo code: BosUglySweater13 to receive a free ride (up to $25) from Uber. 21+, no cover.
Ugly Sweater Midday Cruise
December 12, 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Spirit of Boston
Santa’s transportation of choice may be a sleigh, but everyone knows a cruise ship is the way to go. Join the Spirit of Boston on a holiday cruise with dancing, lunch, and an ugly sweater competition. 21+. To purchase tickets, visit the event’s website.
Crawling with Mrs. Claus
December 14, 12:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Stadium, 148 State Street, Boston
While not strictly adhering to an ugly sweater dress code, this event promises plenty of ridiculous holiday outfits. Break out the sweater yet again to enjoy an afternoon of tasting specialty drinks at Faneuil Hall bars among other naughty or nice pub crawlers. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the event’s website.
Ugly Sweater Party to Benefit the Paraclete Academy
December 14, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Bee’s Knees Supply Company, Boston
Wearing a terribly bad holiday sweater can do some good at this event. Donations will be accepted at the door to benefit the Paraclete Academy, an after school enrichment program for disadvantaged, urban youth. Attendees can also purchase raffle tickets or donate gently used children's clothing, books, or holiday toys to the Paraclete Academy to win awesome prizes. To reserve a space, visit the event’s information page.
7th Annual Ugly Sweater Party Hosted by the b Positive Project
December 14, 8 p.m. to December 15, 2 a.m.
Hard Rock Café, Boston
Break out that ugly sweater for the mother of all ugly sweater parties. The b Positive Project boasts the largest and longest running ugly sweater party, offering music by Classic Yellow, drink specials, and pictures with Santa. All proceeds benefit the Resolution Run 2 Kick Cancer. To purchase tickets, visit the event website.
Ugly Sweater Party at Whole Foods
December 18, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Whole Foods Market Charles River Plaza, Boston
Get your ugly grocery shopping on at Whole Foods’ ugly sweater party. They invite participants to taste yummy treats as they get into the holiday spirit. To reserve a spot, visit their event website.
Howl at the Moon Ugly Sweater
December 20, 4 p.m. to December 21, 2 a.m.
Howl at the Moon, Boston
Listen to dueling pianos and enjoy drink specials while dressed in your holiday worst. Attendees will receive free admission if they arrive before 9 p.m. decked out in an ugly sweater. For more information, visit Howl at the Moon’s website.
Retail survey aims to find out where Waterfront/Innovation District residents and commuters want to shop
The city of Boston and the Boston Redevelopment Authority wants to know what kind of shops and services residents, commuters, and businesses want to see in the Waterfront/Innovation District area of South Boston.
The BRA recently released a retail survey, to help it better understand what is needed in the area so that it can guide future development and connect real estate brokers with the service providers that the community wants.
“There are some signature shops in the area and some great restaurants, but we want to know what are some of the other things people want down there,” explained Randi Lathrop, director of businesses development for the BRA.FULL ENTRY
Starting Wednesday, drivers looking to park around parts of Boston’s Innovation District will be able to use a smartphone app to find the location of the closest available parking spot.
The city of Boston announced it has completed a project to install 330 “Smart Parking Sensors” below curbside spots along Seaport Boulevard, Congress and Summer streets and Boston Wharf Road.
The technology will be available to use starting Wednesday, Transportation Department officials said.
A free mobile app “Parker” developed by the company the sells the sensors – California-based Streetline, Inc. – works in tandem with the sensors to show drivers which parking spaces are not in use, city officials said.
The app is available for iPhone and Android phone users.
The city said it will also unveil newly-installed “Time to Destination Signs” in the Innovation District on Wednesday.
The signs use real-time traffic data from area roads to help motorists find the quickest route out of the district and onto the local highway system, officials said.
The city said it bought the signs from Pennsylvania-based manufacturer All Traffic Solutions, which partners with GPS-maker TomTom to develop the technology.
The signs are located in the following locations: Sleeper Street, just before Seaport Boulevard driving from Northern Avenue; East Service Road, just before Seaport Boulevard driving from Congress Street; and Seaport Boulevard, inbound at Congress Street, officials said.
Boston officials said the new technology will reduce traffic congestion and will make the sometimes-frustrating search for parking easier.
“The Innovation District is the fastest growing area in Boston and it is well-served by public transportation, as well as safe and attractive walking routes, and conveniently located bike lanes,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in a statement. “The installation of this new equipment will now ensure a quicker and more pleasant trip to this neighborhood for those commuters and visitors who choose to drive.”
In April, Menino announced the city’s budget called for allocating $250,000 for a pilot program to pair real-time parking sensor technology and smartphone apps to make finding parking easier.
Officials said the data from the newly-installed sensors can also be accessed and used to create custom maps at parkermap.streetline.com. For details on how to access the application programming interface behind the technology, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
City officials ask that feedback about both initiatives be emailed to email@example.com.
State House visitors may now send messages to the people of South Africa through a condolence book for Nelson Mandela set up outside the House chamber.
Legislative leaders and Gov. Deval Patrick, working with Rep. Byron Rushing and South Africa Partners, are hosting the book, which will be available for signing through Friday and presented at a later date to the Nelson Mandela Foundation in South Africa.
An entry signed by House Majority Whip Byron Rushing expresses gratitude to Mandela, “the African National Congress and to all the South Africans who struggled for liberation during Mandela’s lifetime.”
State House visitors from Ireland and various parts of the state have already signed the book. “Our world has been forever changed because of you, President Mandela. Our deepest condolences and greatest thanks. God bless!” says an entry signed by Rep. Alan Silvia (D-Fall River) and staff.
– M. Norton, M. Deehan/SHNS
The bar at Piattini in Back Bay
Josephine Megwa doesn’t like telling customers, “No.”
“They get mad,” she said of patrons who don’t understand why they can’t order a whiskey on the rocks or a regular gin and tonic at her Newbury Street establishment.
Megwa owns and runs Piattini, an 80-seat Italian wine café tucked beneath a tanning salon in Back Bay. Megwa, the sole proprietor, opened the place in 2001. At the time, she obtained a license from the city of Boston allowing her to put beer and wine on the menu.
Today, her bar list includes cordials, or sweetened spirits. But Megwa can’t afford a full alcohol license; she said the cheapest she can get in the Back Bay is upwards of $400,000. The limitation on her current license means she can’t serve unflavored liquors.
“When you try to explain it (to customers), they think you’re trying to pull a fast one on them,” said Megwa.
Boston’s liquor licensing system has received growing attention over the past year, with a focus on the uneven distribution of licenses throughout the city. Massachusetts legislation designates 650 full alcohol and 320 beer and wine licenses for the city of Boston – and when all those licenses are taken, businesses like Megwa’s are left waiting to try to purchase one from an establishment either going out of business or otherwise willing to sell its license at a high price.
City Councilor Ayanna Pressley has been particularly vocal about the system, saying that businesses in less affluent neighborhoods like Dorchester and Mattapan have almost no chance of obtaining liquor licenses because establishments in wealthier places tend to snatch them up.
“The current law has artificially inflated (license) prices,” said Jessica Taubner, Pressley’s chief of staff. “Because there’s a limited amount, they become a hot commodity.”
Megwa pointed out that small businesses in affluent neighborhoods are also adversely affected by market prices. For instance, the Neighborhood Association of Back Bay has long requested that the Boston Licensing Board prohibit new licenses in the area, making licenses there especially costly.
James Hill, head of the association’s licensing and business use committee, said the group has maintained the request because of concerns that the community might get too congested with establishments that serve liquor. He pointed out that there are already 50 to 55 full alcohol licenses in the Back Bay alone, while other areas have a fraction of that number.
The existing system leaves Megwa few options except to buy a license already existing in Back Bay, instead of bringing one in from, say, East Boston, where a full alcohol license might be more affordable, she said.
The state regulates the number of licenses in cities and towns in Massachusetts, based on population. Boston’s cap of 650 full alcohol licenses has been the same for decades.
According to Nicole Murati Ferrer, chairwoman of the Boston Licensing Board, the city no longer has any full alcohol licenses available. She said all existing licenses are held by business owners, who are legally allowed to sell them at the going rate.
Pressley has been seeking to pass, through the City Council Committee on Government Operations, a home rule petition that would get rid of the state cap and give the city the power to regulate licenses. Once passed, the petition would allow only those who already own transferrable licenses to sell them on the market. Business owners who buy licenses after the date of passage can no longer sell them; they would have to return the licenses to the city.
“Cities and towns, not the state, should have the authority to grant licenses according to their own economic goals,” she wrote in a January 2013 editorial for Commonwealth Magazine.
Taubner said that if passed, the petition would give all of Boston’s neighborhoods an equitable chance of obtaining liquor licenses, allowing small businesses like Megwa’s to have a shot at competing with better-funded establishments.
Meanwhile, Megwa is working with what’s available.
She is applying for a zoning-restricted alcohol license, one of 95 that the state made available in 2006 to establishments located in so-called “main street districts,” urban renewal areas, empowerment zones and municipal harbor plan areas. Those licenses – 60 for full alcohol and 35 for beer and wine – may not be sold by business owners, but must be returned to the city.
Megwa’s frustration comes mainly from the high costs of obtaining a regular full alcohol license, and the lack of reasoning behind it.
“Everyone I have dealt with, (they) have all been very gracious in terms of the process,” she said. But she added, “they can’t tell me why it is what it is.”
She hopes to hear back about her application before the end of the year.
This article was reported and written under the supervision of Northeastern University journalism instructor Lisa Chedekel, as part of a collaboration with The Boston Globe.
A gravelly voice cuts through the cold air each weekday morning at a heavily used cross section of Boston Common, delivering his daily performance from a seat on a stone wall just north of the Boston Common Baseball Field.
Gilbert Farley, the popular, self-proclaimed “Celebrity Beacon Hill Town Crier, the Weatherman” has never been too keen on the idea of begging for a living. So he’s flipped the script, delivering uplifting comments and a slice of the daily news as a service to those walking by.
“Have a great day, have a wonderful morning!” he shouts on a frosty Tuesday as foot travelers converge onto his prime real estate from six different walking paths, originating at Beacon, Boylston, Charles and Tremont streets, and two pedestrian entrances to the Boston Common Garage.
He’s just about impossible to miss, greeting passersby with banter and an accurate account of the day’s weather and the previous night’s sports scores.
“Forty-three degrees this afternoon,” Farley says. “Very, very cold and chilly.”
The 57-year-old, all-sports-and-weather newsman said he hasn’t worked a traditional job since 1980. But after twice reinventing his act, Farley has become something of an institution in the Common – a unique public servant of sorts for Bostonians who walk past.
“I don’t talk about who shot who, who killed who,” Farley said. “I let the original, regular news do that. All I talk about is weather and sports and temperature.”FULL ENTRY
Commuters rushing through South Station to catch their next train or bus home might want to slow down long enough to notice the annual holiday train display there.
“[The model] is Boston and New England through the decades,” said 51-year-old Boston native Mark Carroll, who built the project. “It ranges from the 1940s through the ‘70s and a little bit of the ‘80s.”
While train displays have been a feature of South Station during the holidays over the years, Carroll wanted to create a “New England themed” railroad display for South Station this year.
Last year, Carroll, a former graphic design professor at Bunker Hill Community College, began constructing the 500-foot New England train display with his students. It debuted to much praise.
This year, Carroll, who is no longer teaching, spent extra time to rebuild some of the models himself and add new detailed elements to the display, including snow-covered mountains, an underwater shipwreck, new interactive sounds such as train whistles, and movements that children can activate with the push of a button.
“People love to watch [the model] go up, which I was surprised at, and when it is up we get lots and lots of “thank yous,” he said.
Ted Furst, the project manager who collaborated with Carroll in designing the display, says his inspiration for the project came from identifying what characteristics New Englanders associate with New England.
“What we needed to do is come into the project thinking “New England,” said Furst. “It was taking little pieces of all different areas of New England and bringing them together.”
The model has specific sections, which are connect to that vision, including a Cape Cod waterfront community, a bustling, walkable downtown area similar to Boston, and quiet rural communities that reflect life in western Massachusetts.
The actual construction of the display within South Station takes roughly three days, both men said. Furst, however, said that they usually take their time because people enjoy watching the model being built.
“People enjoy watching Mark work on putting it together because [the construction] is like a performance in itself,” said Furst.
South Station Commuter Amanda Duke, of Upton, Mass., said that the display gives travelers coming into the city a sample of New England life.
“Given that this is South Station and that there is going to be people from around the world coming in here, I think [the display] is a great introduction to Massachusetts and the Boston area.”
In total, the display will have five running trains along 200 feet of track. including replicas of the MBTA trolleys and Commuter Rail trains. There also are 58 model buildings, each constructed by Carroll.
“Everything is so packed with detail and so many things to look at that several people missed trains,” chuckled Carroll. “I felt bad for them, but at the same time it was kind of like a victory for me.”
The display, which will open this weekend, will be in South Station for roughly five to six weeks through the holiday season for travelers to enjoy.
This article is being published under an arrangement between the Boston Globe and Emerson College.
This release was submitted by Rosie's Place:
Rosie’s Place will participate for the first time this year in 31 Nights of Light, a holiday tradition at The Shops at Prudential Center, Boston. Trenni Kusnierek of Comcast SportsNet will join friends and supporters to “flip the switch” December 10 at 5 p.m. to light the top of the Prudential Tower “Rosie’s Place pink.” The lighting is intended to bring awareness to Rosie’s Place’s decades of service to poor and homeless women in Boston.
As part of the event, participants can shop that evening with special discounts and make a $25 holiday donation to Rosie’s Place to receive an exclusive gift bag from Sephora and the organization’s micro-enterprise, the Women’s Craft Cooperative, along with an invitation to a VIP after-party at Lolita Cocina and Tequila Bar.
Ryan Peterson in Boston discusses what life is like living with an 80-pound pig.
BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick and other top state politicians are joining members of the state’s Jewish community to light an 18-foot menorah in the Statehouse to mark Hanukkah.
The menorah scheduled to be lit Monday at The Grand Staircase is so large that a scissor-lift is required to lift Patrick, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Rabbi Rachmiel Liberman to reach it.
The ceremony will include a musical interlude featuring the U.S. Navy Band and vocal presentations by students from the Schechter Day School.
The event is co-sponsored by Congregation Lubavitch Synagogue in Brookline.
The eight-day festival started at sundown last Wednesday.