Ah, September in New England: the calm before the storm. It’s not quite time for peak leaf-peepers to swarm the Hub, but the gears are shifting and the warm weather is fading fast. Popular summer havens like Cape Cod and Maine begin to quiet down as the weather cools off a bit--and some would say this is the best time for a coastal New England visit. Prices fall, vacancies rise, and the diminished crowds provide Bostonians with our last chance at an idyllic escape...because meanwhile, back in Boston, the grumbling chorus of curmudgeons, bemoaning the annual Student Invasion, is building to a crescendo. Of course, we want to welcome the world’s best and brightest to our city’s world class institutions of higher learning, with open arms and exaggerated accents...but yes, the traffic is noticeably thicker, our favorite local haunts are filled with new faces, and there’s a bit of a readjustment period for all of us who now call Beantown home. Luckily, September offers a prime introduction to what makes this city such a great place to be: sports fans can watch as another hot Sox season seems destined to head into the playoffs, while a controversial Patriots season begins; music fans have an endless parade of world class acts, and there are even a few colorful cultural festivities in Cambridge and Chinatown showcasing our town’s diverse population. Boston is absolutely chock full of things to do this month, whether you’re a first time visitor or one of us surly, seasoned locals.
One of the perks of being in a college town means there’s always plenty to do when the students come back, as if the city puts on its most cosmopolitan face in September. For music fans, this time of year seems like everyone you’ve ever heard of is hitting a stage in town, and it's true--this college market is never taken for granted by touring musicians. Labor Day weekend kicks off the season with two of pop music’s more enigmatic bad boys: controversy-hog/rapper Kanye West brings his inimitable ego and hip hop swagger to TD Garden on September 3rd, and Aerosmith’s own lead squawker Steven Tyler, will introduce the Hub to his new country-tinged solo career, as he dons some cowboy boots and 10-gallon hat at the Wang Theater on September 4th. Later this month, don’t miss blue-eyed-soul queen Adele as she belts out a cathartic Hello from the TD stage on September 14th.
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name--and when you get there, sometimes you’re disappointed that nobody actually does know your name, and the pub is cramped and criminally overpriced, but hey, at least you’ve got the memories and selfies--until now! This month, get reacquainted with the characters of our favorite Boston-based sitcom, Cheers! as it moves to the stage, in this theater adaptation premiering at the Shubert Theater on September 9th, before it heads out to stages across the US.
Always a site for interesting spectacles, Chinatown will have its last major festival of the year, the 3rd Annual Lantern Festival, taking place on the Rose Kennedy Greenway September 10th, featuring the usual array of folk music and acrobatics performance stages, as well as food vendors--and of course, many lanterns.
Across the river on Sunday September 11th, will be the 14th Annual Cambridge Carnival, a festival celebrating the colorful and vibrant traditions of Afro-Caribbean (and Latin American) traditions, featuring Carnival-esque costume parades, marching bands--and don’t miss the food! Vendors from around the region will be serving up street foods from around the Afro-Caribbean & West Indian world, so come out to Kendall Square with a camera and an appetite!
The weather will still be warm enough to catch a movie under the stars as part of the 2016 Classics on the Commons film series, so you won’t have to come up with any elaborate schemes to ditch class if you want to catch the free showing of 80’s classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on September 16th.
But the silver screen and the stage are not the only place for drama (and perhaps a bit of comedy) this fall, as we see the return of the New England Patriots--well, without their darling, embattled quarterback, Tom Brady, who will watch from the sidelines during his 4-game suspension. Hopefully their home-opener against the Miami Dolphins, with backup Jimmy Garoppolo, won’t leave the denizens at Foxboro Stadium feeling...deflated. [I’m sorry, it had to be said. Again and again.]
A big part of Boston’s post-Big-Dig renaissance was the opening of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a crescent belt of green space that surrounds the downtown area--now the site of outdoor art exhibits, free concerts, and seasonal weekly farmer's markets. September is harvest season, when New England farms kick into high gear--and the best place to celebrate urban renewal as well as sustainable agriculture right here in the city is at the Boston Local Food Festival on September 18th. Part foodie village, part festival, part market, this event has its all--live music, outdoor demonstrations and classes on things like organic farming and cheesemaking--everything will be set up along the greenway, with no admission necessary. Of course, bring some cash, as there will but plenty of delicious produce and homemade treats from around the state for sale.
September is all about the changing of seasons, and welcoming new residents (and tourists), but everyone should be taking advantage of Museum Day on September 24th. In conjunction with the Smithsonian Institute’s annual event, many of Boston’s best museums will open free of charge for one day only--and in a fairly walkable city with so many world class museums, you might not want to sit this event out, especially if you’ve wanted to go on that wild museum bender for the longest time, but didn’t want to wake up the next day with an empty wallet(?) Here’s your chance.
Up next month….the chill in the air means the return of foliage season--check with us for more seasonal news and tips around the area! But don't forget--there's still time for one last escape to the beach!