8/6-8/11/17 & 8/13-8/18/17 Dine Out Boston @ *Various locations*
Free Friday Flicks: Dr. Strange, Rogue One
While Boston’s summer starts off with a patriotic bang on July 4th, August heats up with a more cosmopolitan flare--showcasing a whole different side to our beloved city. While the area’s fascinating colonial history brings the tourists, and the gritty glamour of the Irish American crime dramas seem to dominate our Hollywood image, the city also features a long history of diversity--from the humble origins of the Italian American community in the North End, to our outstanding universities and hospitals that have attracted some of the world's greatest minds--people from many walks of life and all parts of the globe have made Boston their home, and have often kept in touch with some of their "old world" traditions--and August happens to be one of the best times for a genuine taste of the sights, sounds, and flavors of these integral parts of our community! And speaking of tastes--August is probably the foodi-est month on the Beantown calendar. With the countless calamari and cannoli stalls at the Fisherman’s Feast (and all of the other weekly Italian feasts, for that matter), to Dine Out Boston’s hot deals, and of course, the Boston Seafood Festival, this is the month to scratch that New England foodie itch! [Unless that itch is a seafood allergy, in which case, we’re really sorry we even brought it up--maybe you should come back in the fall for some pumpkin pie and cider donuts?]
But before we break into the feasts, we have to mention one of this summer’s biggest concert events, Coldplay, bringing their radio-friendly Brit-pop to Gillette Stadium on August 4th--of course, if you’re like us locals, you’re more likely to be counting down to the days when this same Foxboro venue welcomes back the likes of Mr. Brady and his New England Patriots, as they return after another improbable, jaw-dropping Superbowl victory. Get a taste of the next season when the Jacksonville Jaguars come to town on August 10th for a preseason match-up!
And now, let’s talk about food: on August 6th--11th, and again on the 13th--18th, Dine Out Boston (aka Restaurant Week) is back for a second round of beloved dining deals and prix fixe menus; savor the hottest in hot pots, hipster brunch spots, ramshackle lobster rolls, Asian fusion noodle joints, classic French and Italian stalwarts--there’s definitely something for all taste buds and budgets, so don’t miss this event!
Next up--actually, in the midst of all these other festivals--is the 6th annual Boston Seafood Festival, down in the ever-developing Seaport District. Lobster bakes, chowder, chef demos, an oyster shuck-off--this is everything we treasure about a Boston summer, so bring one of those plastic bibs and all of the appetite you can muster, down to the Fish Pier on August 13th! Those of us who grew up in Boston may be well aware of the sizable Dominican community, especially after the city became home to Dominican legend/baseball demi-god David Ortiz; but the community has roots going further back into the 20th century, and the roots of this community can be seen in places like Jamaica Plain (where some of we non-Dominicans enjoy pilgrimages to cafes like Yeli’s, to feast on crispy chicharron, fried plantains, and other delicious, rib-sticking Dominican cuisine). August 14th brings the annual Dominican Festival and Parade, which will feature the usual lineup of lively music, and of course, loads of Dominican and pan-Caribbean food vendors.
After this, you have about 3 days to unclog those arteries, folks, because it’s showtime in the North End. In fact, this whole weekend will be jam-packed with activities, and tons of tasty food, so please, pace yourselves. As earlier stated, the Fisherman’s Feast is one of the North End’s premiere Italian-American festivals, tracing its roots back to the small Sicilian fishing town of Sciacca, and is an exciting spectacle to behold--marching bands, a full on block party with loads of Italian American specialties on offer, and of course, the climactic “Flight of the Angel”, when some lucky(?) young lady, dressed as an angel, is ceremoniously hoisted above the streets of the North End, and lowered to greet the statue of the Madonna del Soccorso. The pageantry and the beautiful setting of Boston’s oldest neighborhood are fantastic, but really, we’re also coming for the cannoli. And the arancini. And the calamari, and pretty much everything else. For more info on this not-to-be-missed festival, coming August 17th through the 20th, check this link. The following weekend comes St. Anthony’s Feast, said to be the largest of it’s kind in the region, from August 25th through August 27th. Have fun, and mangia!
Oh--but the feasting is far from over. In fact, this same weekend, the 17th-20th of August, you’ll have to leave room for two other exciting festivals: Quincy’s August Moon Festival, and the spectacular India Day Celebration down at the Hatch Shell and along the Charles River Esplanade.The August Moon Festival, often called the “Mid Autumn Festival”, is celebrated across the Chinese-speaking world (as well as in neighboring countries like Vietnam)--a time when deliciously sweet or savory mooncakes are traditionally given as gifts, traditionally signifying the coming autumnal harvest moon. Head down to Coddington Street in Quincy for music, lion dances, and other cultural performances...and of course, food vendors!
Perhaps one of the more fascinating cultural festivals we’ve seen--the same weekend, again!I-India Dayon August 20th is a true feast for the senses, featuring traditional dancing from cultures across the Indian subcontinent, and music, including everything from boisterous Bhangra to Bollywood singalongs! And of course...the food. The delicious, spicy, variety of different snacks, like dosa (crispy rice/lentil flour crepes rolled with various fillings), fried chilis, jalebi (sweet saffron or rose water scented fritters), and a cast of chaos, chaats and currys you will not regret lining up for, down at the Hatch Shell!
Also, speaking of the Hatch Shell, you can still catch free films, as part of the Free Friday Flicks program this summer--this month’s line-up featuring action packed blockbusters such as Dr. Strange, and the riveting latest installment in the ever-expanding Star Wars franchise, Rogue One.
Last but certainly not least--summer may be approaching its late phase, but this means baseball season is truly catching fire--and this year is certainly no exception, with the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees currently slugging it out with revamped, post-trade rosters. Don’t miss when the former Bronx Bombers come to town to try to snatch the first place back from the current crown-holders, our beloved BoSox, from August 18th through the 20th. August is shaping up to be a great month to grab a bit, catch some cultural sites, and to play ball!