Summertime, Or What’s Left Of It

Every season in Boston is new, different, and exciting.  Each has its charm, and this inevitable variation is in part what attracts many to the city and New England area in general.  Let’s be honest, I moved here from Southern California for a bit of seasonal change, and I can’t be the only one!

What makes summer so special, I think, is the fact that it is so different from the rest of the year–and even the summer has variation!  We’ve had thunderstorms, heat waves, rainy days, perfectly-sunny-not-too-hot days…  basically everything that can happen within a temperature range of 63-100 degrees.  It’s felt like Spring, it’s felt like Fall, and I think it’s just lovely.

We’re now approaching the end of August, and everyone’s worrying about school and fall fashion and moving (Alston Christmas is coming, after all) but let’s enjoy the rest of summer!  Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Free Movie Screenings

Free movies at the Pru!  So many adorable families :)

Free movies at the Pru! So many adorable families 🙂

Different programs in Boston offer free movie screenings–you just have to find them on the right nights.  There are family nights at the Prudential Center every Saturday at sunset, with movies like Disney’s Brave and Hoodwinked.  The Shops offer discounted parking and dining if you go, and the atmosphere is awesome!  I personally got quite nostaligic and missed my parents (who are having fun in California without me).  Christopher Columbus Park also offers free movies, but on Sunday evenings.  August 18th is the last of their summer screenings, with The Great Gatsby (1974); this summer they’ve also shown Edward Scissorhands and The Karate Kid (1984).  And of course on Fridays, you can find free movies at the Hatch Shell, Esplanade, with films such as Oz The Great and Powerful and Madagascar 3.  Don’t you love this city?

Haymarket Farmer’s Market

Haymarket!  So much energy and food and money saving!

Haymarket! So much energy and food and money saving!

While Haymarket is open year-round, everything tastes best in summer. The prices are good, the food is great, and there’s so much energy and culture that I like hanging around even when I’m not shopping! Bring cash, and go for the raspberries and grapefruit; it’s some of the best I’ve ever had. Also, fresh herbs can be found along the North-facing wall, perfect for seasoning all of your [bland because you’re in college and can’t afford seasoning] dishes.

Just a note, I realized recently that I didn’t have anything jelly-wise to put in my Peanut Butter [and Jelly] sandwich… This led to putting fresh raspberries from Haymarket in my sandwich, and then swapping peanut butter for Nutella and it was actually one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. If you want a giant chocolate truffle for lunch, this is the dish for you!

Concerts.  Lots and lots of concerts.

Panic! At The Disco FREE Concert

Panic! At The Disco FREE Concert

I happen to love concerts, and so many of them are cheap and free! While your taste in music does factor into this, keep in mind that there are at least three free concerts in the city every summer (probably more, varying year to year) because this is the season radio stations can put on shows to promote themselves and bands tour around playing outside.

Two weeks ago I saw Panic! At The Disco, which was really an awesome throwback from middle school, for free in Copley Square. Tomorrow I may see Blue Oyster Cult at the Shell by the Esplanade for free. These things pop up, and if you keep your eyes peeled and listen to when your friends mention these things, you’ll definitely find some good fun!

Picnics

Grassy patches with a view!  The Esplanade Gardens are a perfect picnic location.

Grassy patches with a view! The Esplanade Gardens are a perfect picnic location.

The last of the good weather is our last chance to eat outside!! What can I say, I’m an outdoor eating kind of girl. I generally pack a few dishes in some Tupperware and head off to a nearby park. Living in Mission Hill (for the next few weeks, at least), I frequent Fitzgerald Park and the Mission Hill Playground, both of which have nice benches and grassy areas. And shade–that’s important too. Wherever you are, there will be parks; the Commons, Esplanade, Columbus, Jamaica Pond, and Fens are all viable options, and are relatively safe. Just make sure you clean up after yourself! And watch out for birds. They can be nasty.

Festivals!

Boston likes to party, and there’s nothing like a summer block party to get everyone involved! There’s a block party with cheap (sorry, inexpensive) beer and wine in Downtown Crossing every Thursday from 4-7 with live music, and the Fisherman’s Feast is happening this weekend (http://fishermansfeast.com/schedule.html). In addition, Restaurant Week Boston kicks off this weekend and runs for two weeks, offering amazing deals on otherwise quite expensive dining options (http://www.restaurantweekboston.com/ ).  Faneuil Hall is hosting an event called Blink! in which thousands of LED lights are involved.  And music.  (http://www.bostonblinks.com/).  Check it out!

The city will be swarming with college kids and their/our shenanigans pretty soon, but enjoy summer–or what’s left of it–with all this free city stuff!  It’s a magical time and you’ll probably be missing it when the blizzards hit.  Let’s make the most of this warmth and sunshine.

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