By Steph Solis, Staff Writer
Take advantage of the free events because they don’t last. Sure, there’s always the occasional promo on campus or National Doughnut Day over the summer, but the deals are less frequent and not as sweet as they are in September.
Here’s a list of some free or low-cost events you’ll want to check out. As an added bonus, I’m going to start the roundup with some early ones.
Downtown Crossing Block Parties (ongoing)
If you didn’t get a chance to check out the Downtown Crossing Block Party, make some time this week. The block parties offer free appetizers and nice selections on beer and wine. Not to mention music.
Hours: Sept. 19, 5-8 p.m.
Location: 32 Sumner St.
Oyster Shucking Lessons (ongoing)
The North End Fish Market offers free oyster shucking lessons every Saturday. The lessons are free, but you have to pay for what you shuck and eat. There’s no need to make reservations for these. They can accommodate groups of up to five people in the market.
Hours: Saturdays, 1-3 p.m.
Location: 99 Salem St. in the North End
Night of Stars
If you’re looking for some classy plans, watch the Boston Ballet’s performance free. The Night of Stars, which is open to the community, includes various pieces that the company will perform for its 50th season. The pieces range from classical ballet to contemporary dance. There’s also a “surprise world premiere piece.”
If it gets rained out, the performance will take place the following evening
Hours: Sept. 21, 7 p.m. (rain date, Sept. 22, 7 p.m.)
Location: Boston Common, at the corner of Beacon and Charles Streets
Allston Village Street Fair
This beloved annual event draws BU students every year. The street fair has family fun activities and all that jazz you’d expect from a fair, but it also features promotional giveaways, local bands and artists and a taste of Allston’s international cuisine.
The street performances include Sidewalk Sam, Fictional Faces Facepainting, the Music Museum of New England and the Boston League of Women Wrestlers, among other groups.
Hours: Sept. 22, 12-6 p.m.
Location: Harvard Avenue, between Cambridge Street and Brighton Avenue in Allston
Admission: Free (food not included)
By Steph Solis, Staff Writer
Healthworks Fitness Center kicked off its self-defense training workshops last week, which are available through to Oct. 24.
The gym organized a series of free workshops after the brutal murder of South Boston resident, Amy Lord, shook the city. Lord was on her way to a Healthworks to workout the morning she was abducted and was subsequently killed.
“We continue to be deeply troubled by the horrific murder of valued Healthworks member Amy Lord on July 23rd and by other recent acts of violence against women in the greater Boston area,” Healthworks’ website states. “As one of the largest communities of women in the city, we believe it is our duty to empower women by providing training and resources to learn how to protect against violence.”
The program includes 19 free self-defense training sessions, most of them in the evenings, open to all women in the area. The curriculum involves 90-minute training sessions that were organized in partnership with Boston Centers for Youth & Families, the Boston Police Department, the Brookline Police Department and IMPACT.
Many of the sessions have filled up, but there’s still time to sign up and join a workshop. Most of the workshops in the Back Bay and Fenway area are full, but there is a chance slots could open up. For now, look through the current availabilities. http://www.healthworksfitness.com/self-defense-training/
Other self-defense opportunities
- Women’s Self Defense Boston holds free self-defense classes as part of their SEPS (Situation Effective Protection System). SEPS training involves martial arts that deal with violent assaults of both armed and unarmed nature, as well as situations with multiple assailants. The classes are offered every Saturday at 10 a.m. at 200 Terminal St. in Charlestown. Women’s Self Defense Boston also has online resources.
- The Boston Martial Arts Center in Allston offers a free introductory self-defense course, as part of a six-month beginner martial arts program. Fill out the registration form, available online and they will save you a spot.
By Noëmie Carrant, Staff Writer
Welcome to Boston. As a seasoned eater at Boston University, let me tell you right now that you will get sick of the fast food places that grace our campus. When you do, I highly suggest leaving Commonwealth Avenue, taking the T and trying to find other places to go to. Fortunately for you, we at the FreeP, make traveling a lot easier by presenting you with a guide of restaurants, markets and cafés to try out.
GSU sushi is nice, but $10 for a couple of maki and sushi can definitely add up. As an alternative, enter a sushi heaven, where for $16, you can eat ALL THE SUSHI IN THE WORLD…at lunch time. Never fear though, there is a dinner special. All-you-can-eat for dinner will cost you from $22 to $24 depending on what day you go.
117 Chiswick Road
Brighton, MA 02135
2. Super 88 Market
Super 88 is not just an Asian grocery but hosts a lot of authentic Asian cuisine (ie. Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian and Korean.) Imagine all the fresh, exotic fruit and frozen and packaged goods – the Korean instant ramen Shin Ramyun is spicy, delicious and is always a classic choice. More than that, the food is both filling and cost-efficient.
1 Brighton Avenue
Allston, MA 02134
The Trident is a wonderful, cozy combination of a bookstore and a café and is a 10 minute walk from Kenmore Square. This bookstore/restaurant is on Newbury Street, one of the most iconic shopping districts in Boston. Trident has some delicious sandwiches (try the Turvacado), an excellent breakfast selection and the Chocolatino, which saves lives in the winter. Really.
338 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02115
Though there’s tea, coffee and cakes, L.A. Burdick is most renowned for its variety of hot chocolate. L.A. Burdick has three flavors: dark, white and milk hot chocolate. Each sip of all the rich and dense liquids is a delight and almost guarantees a higher standard in hot chocolate.
Address: 220 Clarendon Street
Boston, MA 02215
52 Brattle Street – Harvard Square
Cambridge, MA 02138
Boston’s Chinatown is very decent and Gourmet Dumpling Café is one of its landmarks. It’s a busy little place but it’s worth the wait. There are plenty of classic dumplings, dim sum and other Chinese options to choose from.
52 Beach Street
Boston, MA 02111
Flour has four locations all around Boston, because it’s that wonderful. Everything, from the sandwiches (the roasted lamb sandwich is exquisite) to the pastries and cakes (two words: banana bread) is good. Also, they make their own version of pop tarts with puff pastry and raspberry jam that changes lives.There is greatness in every single breadcrumb and chocolate chip. The people bake with love, and as you bite into whatever you order, you can taste it.
131 Clarendon Street (entrance on Stanhope Street)
Boston, MA 02116
1595 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02118
Fort Point Channel
12 Farnsworth Street
Boston, MA 02210
190 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139
This Italian deli is the must-visit of the North End. There’s a vast selection of imported goods and an excellent catering service, where you can grab a sandwich, a salad, some pasta, etc. Try the hearty Big Dip sandwich and be Italia.
42 Cross Street
Boston, MA 02113
You’ll often hear people clashing in heavy debate about which is better, is it Mike’s Pastry or Modern Pastry? Which establishment has the best cannoli? Which establishment has the most variety? Personally, Mike’s Pastry wins my heart, but I’ll let you decide for yourself.
300 Hanover Street
Boston, MA 02113
257 Hanover Street
Boston, MA 02113
Visit this place and get one thing: the lobster roll. It’s $14, but it will be the best lobster roll of your life. Fresh and juicy lobster meat, covered in a celery and mayo dressing, tucked in a doughy bun. Simplistic and classic all in one roll.
15-17 Northern Avenue
Boston, MA 02110
Right next to Harvard Square is a nice little burger joint. The interior is fitted with a retro vibe with dimmed lighting to match. The burgers are gigantic and all have whacky names. Try the fries with the homemade pepper jam.
1246 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
Though if you’re really set on staying within the boundaries of campus and/or have a tight budget, here are a few tips to spare: West Campus has the best pizza, Warren has The Sandwich Guy and The Omelet Lady and Bay State has the best of everything else.
By Nolan Young, Staff Writer
Located along the bustling streets of Allston, @Union is a restaurant as tasty as it is unique.
With its murals, stainless-steel appliances, fresh coffee and delicious food, @Union’s environment is as aesthetically pleasing as the food is appetizing. The menu is diverse, offering a wide array of options for breakfast and lunch that range from creamy scrambled eggs to succulent burgers. The atmosphere is youthful and lively. Music plays overhead, usually to the tune of Mumford and Sons on Pandora. Most notably, the vibrant interior mirrors the eclectic Allston community it serves.
Let’s get back to food though. Two words: eggs benedict. Always perfectly poached, the eggs mix delightfully with the delicious Canadian bacon, hollandaise sauce, and English muffin. The side of home fries is a worthy compliment, the onions and garlic abundant. All for around $10, the dish is easy on the wallet as well. A bit more pricy ($12), the lobster benedict is a great choice for the seafood fan looking for a treat. The lusciousness of the lobster is a sure-fire way to relieve any Sunday morning funk.
In a world filled with Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, it’s always a treat to find a more personalized cup of joe – and as you walk into @Union, the sweet, intoxicating aroma of home-brewed coffee immediately greets you. @Union takes pride in its coffee, brewing their very own dark and medium roast blends in addition to a home brew that is always fresh and adds to the restaurant’s humble, neighborhood character.
It doesn’t stop at coffee though; the restaurant also serves up a large selection of different lattes, cappuccinos, and other caffeine packed drinks that are perfect for jump-starting your day.
And if you’re not a coffee person? The drink menu includes fresh fruit smoothies, juices, Italian sodas, teas and a particularly good hot chocolate.
Although the food is sensational, what makes @Union special is the ambiance. The restaurant is routinely filled with students, Allston residents and a young, enthusiastic wait staff (although service can be a little slow when the restaurant is busy).
What’s more, the crowds mix about in front of a distinctive backdrop: beautiful murals by local artist Taylor M’Leigh that catch your eye as soon as you enter. The artwork’s strong character makes @Union’s atmosphere extremely unique; the murals are as essential to the restaurant as the food and coffee.
@Union does a tremendous job of being an active part of the Allston community. Dozens of local businesses advertise in the restaurant, leaving their business cards and flyers by the exit. Local bands, event holders and venues post there as well. In an attempt to broaden its horizons, @Union has also begun to host live musicians and cater to events and parties. And by offering free Wi-Fi, breakfast all day and Facebook raffles to win free food, the restaurant is clearly in touch with the young, student-oriented neighborhood around it.
It would be hard to find an establishment that embodies its community more than @Union. With its great food, attentive wait staff, and keen ability to produce a vivacious, dynamic atmosphere, @Union is definitely a ‘must visit’ when in Allston.
By Brandon Lewis, Staff Writer
Imagine Allston without rowdy college students and loud, lively parties on the weekends. You probably can’t because Allston is a neighborhood defined by its collegiate party scene. If students want to enjoy themselves on the weekend, Allston is the place to be.
However, regular residents don’t seem to agree. Many non-college residents of Allston-Brighton have been known to contact the the police to voice their annoyance with the excessive noise of the neighborhood. And now, attempts to control noise have been taken a step further. The Daily Free Press reported on a new ordinance Tuesday that has proposed more police patrols of the area along with hefty fines for party hosts and attendees whose noisiness disturbs neighbors.
One resident interviewed even suggested that noise-makers should receive a fine of $500 for a first-time offense and $1,000 for a second-time offense. Don’t you think fining students is a little extreme? Besides, it would be pretty difficult to implement. At a noisy, crowded party, who would be fined? Random guests or the hosts of the party or …?
Let’s face it, we are in Boston, where thousands of students roam the metropolitan area. The Allston-Brighton neighborhood is known for housing many college students, who host many college parties. Residents should anticipate higher noise when choosing to live here. Allston is not the ideal place to raise a family or to live peacefully. Sorry, but that’s a fact. Residents need to know what they’re getting themselves into when moving to Allston. It may be an affordable place to live, but if you don’t like noise, don’t move here. If you have outgrown the party scene, then Allston-Brighton should not be on your prospective neighborhood list.
The residents of Allston-Brighton have to accept the reality that they are living in a neighborhood that will always be plagued by noise and parties as long as Boston remains a college town. If they can’t accept this, then I’m afraid it’s time to find new homes.
By Marie Goldstein, Staff Writer
This weekend, the streets of Allston swarmed with college students dressed in their Halloweekend best. I believe the best costumes are ones that are hilariously clever and have minimal money is spent on them. This weekend they were hard to find, but there were few that stood out. From the classic kitty cat to Mitt Romney, I am constantly amazed by the creativity of students, if only we could channel this in the classroom…
1. Binders full of women
I saw my fair share of Mitt Romney costumes, but this one was unlike any of the others. Others may have been holding a binder full of women, but this guy was physically a binder full of women. He folded a cardboard box around himself that said Romney and Ryan and taped pictures of women on the inside so when you open it, he was binders full of women. I love it because it’s clever, current and hilarious.
2. The NHL lockout
This was definitely one of the easiest and most clever costumes for a guy. All it takes is an NHL jersey and chains to throw around your neck. Although this was a common costume on the street, I still thought it was a great idea. I love costumes based on current events, and like the binders full of women, the NHL lockout is something that years from now we will remember what a joke our society is. Again, this costume passes my standards: clever, current, hilarious and for a guy, effortless!
3. The king of the jungle
Who doesn’t own anything cheetah print? And if you don’t, you are crazy and you should! This was done wearing a cheetah print robe, a cheetah tie, cheetah shorts and a crown. Does it get any easier? It was clever and comfortable to go out. You can likely create this costume without spending a dime.
By Amira Francis, Staff Writer
You and your friends have a sweet tooth. It’s been a long night of studying, and you need something to reward your attempt to be a good student. Delicious and relatively low-calorie, what’s a better answer to your problem than frozen yogurt? When evaluating frozen yogurt, more commonly known as froyo, one might ask, “What exactly makes a high quality froyo shop?” I traveled around Boston University’s campus and beyond to examine and compare three of the major froyo places in the area: Pinkberry, Mixx and Zinga.
I’ll start by talking about my first stop: Pinkberry. When I first heard about the new Pinkberry opening in the George Sherman Union, my immediate feelings were of joy and excitement. When I decided to visit and take a closer look, however, I was surprised. Pinkberry is expensive. It’s $4.15 for a small, $5.40 for a medium and $7.40 for a large (including toppings). And you don’t even put your own yogurt and toppings in the cup! Is it worth it? The short answer is: Yes. Yes, it is.
Although the cup may be small, the staff at Pinkberry manages to fit just the right amount of toppings in with the yogurt. In fact, it might even be better to have them do it for you. I know that when I build my own Frozen Yogurt creation, I always end up getting way too much froyo and then smothering it in way too many toppings. At Pinkberry, you don’t run into that problem.
There is a wide variety of toppings, from kiwi to hazelnut wafers, and the staff is usually pretty generous about actually filling the cup up to the top. Everything is kept fresh. When it comes down to the actual yogurt, you have a very small selection of options.
You could say that Pinkberry values quality over quantity. The consistency of the yogurt is perfect—thick enough that it doesn’t melt right away, yet soft enough that it isn’t difficult to eat—and the taste has a perfect combination of sweet and tangy. All in all, at Pinkberry, you get what you pay for.
Mixx, located in Allston next to Nile Hookah Lounge, is a completely different type of froyo place than Pinkberry. One of the benefits of making the trek to Mixx is that once you enter, you have the opportunity to nestle down and spend an evening chatting with friends in this cozy, window-filled niche. They focus on making the atmosphere welcoming. The decorations are very suave and inviting, and the music is hip and upbeat. At Mixx, they have a different take on froyo. Unlike Pinkberry, they focus on offering a variety of different flavors and toppings, and it’s all self-served. They offer ten flavors of frozen yogurt at one time and have a wall devoted to depicting all 47 different flavors they offer. Lychee, lychee popping boba and mango popping boba are just some of the many toppings that they offer.
Zinga, like both of the previous two froyo places, has its completely own style. Situated in Kenmore Square, this little froyo shop has a more cheerful and lively atmosphere than Mixx. The walls are colored with appealing shades of green and pink. On one wall there are portraits of topping choices, and on another wall there is a collage of different description words in various fonts, including “Fruity,” “Scrumptious” and “Sweet.” The shop offers a variety of different froyo flavors and toppings. They’ve got more than Pinkberry has, but with less variety than Mixx. The flavor is strong and delicious, but the consistency can sometimes be a little questionable, as the frozen yogurt begins to melt as soon as you put it in your cup. Like Mixx, you can decide how much yogurt you want yourself and consequently decide how much you want to pay.
The only way you can really decide which froyo shop is the best, however, is if you try it out yourself. Take a taste of what Boston offers, and have a happy time froyo-ing! (Just please, make nothing that even comes close to this video. Ever. No matter how much you love dat froyo.)
By Sydney Moyer, Music Editor
Artist: Dark Dark Dark
Album: Who Needs Who
Label: Supply & Demand
Release: Oct. 2
The charm of Minneapolis-based quintet Dark Dark Dark lies in their subtle ability to slip several genres of music seamlessly into their haunting ballads and echoing choruses. Folk, jazz, Euro-folk and Americana all weave themselves throughout the band’s latest release, Who Needs Who, and allow the songs to transcend the slow pace and simple melodies and transform into magnificent tapestries of sound.
Instruments featured on Who Needs Who vary from banjo to accordion to clarinet, all grounded in heartbreaking piano and guitar riffs. Lead singer Nona Marie Invie has a wistfully soulful voice balefully belting out standout tracks like the gorgeous “Patsy Cline.”
If there’s one show to skip your night class for this week, it’s the Dark Dark Dark show with Emily Wells at Great Scott on Tuesday. The band’s vocal strength and vast instrumental lineup along with Emily Wells’ propensity to cover Notorious B.I.G. songs with a violin are sure to guarantee a good time.
Standout Tracks on Who Needs Who:
“How It Went Down”
“Meet In The Dark”
“The Great Mistake”
By Ross Owen, Muse Staff Writer
On Feb. 15, I had the pleasure of seeing Yellowbirds perform at the Great Scott in Allston. The show was opened by two local bands, Da Birdz and Quilt. Featuring a guitarist with insanely fast hands, Da Birdz played a mix of psychedelic and hard rock. When he wasn’t overdoing the effects, the lead for Da Birdz displayed high energy and a great ability to rock out. Quilt provided a nice change from Da Birdz, and played more indie rock.