4/1/2017 April Fool’s/Throw Out Your Back Shovelling Day*
Another April here in Boston, and we’re ready to breathe a long collective sigh of relief, once the remainder of those last nor’easters has melted into the grass, and the signs of verdant life return to the--wait, what!? Snow. You can’t be serious, can you? Snow on April Fool’s Day. Sigh. What did we expect? In New England, Mother Nature is just as surly as the rest of us, and she loves a good prank. So...after winter leaves us with a parting shot, a last chance for shovel-related injuries and the raw joy of wading through soupy city streets--yes, April is actually when things start to get consistently fun. This is when the city of Boston comes down with a severe case of spring fever. Sure, we may still have days when the mercury drops back down towards freezing--but that’s not going to stop that guy across the street from leaving the house in his Pats jersey, Sox hat, and cut off shorts, on his quest for a medium iced from Dunkies (with milk and enough Splenda to kill a horse)--that’s just how we do spring here.
Being as devout a sports city as any in the world, Boston’s version of spring fever involves two sacred rituals: opening day for the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, and the legendary Boston Marathon. Opening day at Fenway Park is truly a rite of spring here in New England--regardless of the outcome of any particular precious Red Sox season, there is always an unmistakeable buzz in the air leading up to this date.This year will mark the first year of Boston’s post-Papi era, as the team forges on without one of the most clutch players to swing a bat, and the last remnant of the storied 2004 Bambino-Curse-breaking championship squad. David Ortiz may have begun his retirement after the promising but anti-climactic 2016 season, but one look at this year’s roster and we can be sure we’ll be seeing a fiercely competitive team with good chemistry, for years to come. Even if you’re not in town for all of the fanfare of the home opener, be sure not to miss a home game this year!
Not long after that, we celebrate that other iconic sign of Bostonian spring, the Boston Marathon--an event now synonymous with the city’s perseverance, as well as the elite athletic traditions of the race itself. On the same day, of course, we celebrate Patriot’s Day, which marks the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, seen as the beginning of the war for independence; reenactments of the aforementioned battles as well as Paul Revere’s Ride will take place on Marathon Monday. Can’t get enough of this exciting piece of US history? Well it just so happens that this very company, Gray Line Tours of Boston, operates a pretty swell excursion, the Battle Trail.
But yes, back to sports: April is also when the seasons of our treasured re-emergent Celtics and scrappy rink-brawlers, the Bruins, are either winding down or gearing up for a postseason-- which remains to be seen at the time of writing, so check their schedules in the links above for details!
Boston, of course, is more than just a sports town; with its scores of world-class higher learning institutions, this city remains one of the nation’s capitols of culture, and is a hotbed for musicians and performing artists. Spring once again sees the live music scene swinging into gear--this month, featuring acts such as R&B queen Erykah Badu, blue-eyed soulman Steve Winwood, and many more.
Thanks to the legendary stand-up comedy scene (as well as Emerson College), which gave starts to greats such as Jay Leno, and Louis CK, Boston is still an essential stop on the stand-up circuit, and attracts all kings and queens of comedy; this month we welcome Bob Saget’s riotous, racy, unfit-for-Full House routine, and darkly cynical Doug Stanhope to the Wilbur Theater.
Now, If you’re like us, and not about to sprint across the finish line at Copley Square in any sort of record time, having been cooped up inside a bit later than usual this year--perhaps overdoing it with the comfort food and binge-watching crime dramas--you might want to take advantage of some of this warmer weather and stretch your legs a bit. We’ve thought up a little marathon-like itinerary to help get you active, and take in some of that fresh spring air. What better starting point than the lush Public Gardens? Sure, the weather in Boston should be fine by the time our Swan Boat Rides in the Boston Public Garden re-commence, on April 15th, and it’s a great place for a walk, a run, or a short boat ride. We promise, there won’t be any snow. Probably.
From there, treat yourself to a healthy scenic jaunt up to the North End (not quite “Heartbreak Hill”, but we’re going easy on you), where you can reward your gritty and adventurous spirit by binging on briny oysters from Neptune, crisp and creamy cannoli from Modern Pastry, and other indulgent offerings from the 43 other restaurants who will be represented at the Taste of the North End festival, at the Steriti Skating Rink on April 28th.
The next day, April 29th, you should emerge from your food-coma and assuage your guilt by walking across town to the South End...where you can catch the year’s first SOWA Open Market--a mix of markets, art galleries, vendors, and of course some of the city’s best food trucks. We think you’ll be in fine shape by the time the May flowers start showing up--keep up the hard work!