A Cappella Extravaganza: The Dear Abbeys, NOTA, Ball in the House

13 Jul

Boston University has a great performing arts community. The a cappella community is even better.  I became a fan of The Dear Abbeys from the beginning. They are, according to themselves (and most of BU), BU’s premier all-male a cappella group. They are amazing; there is no way around it. They are energetic, funny, fabulous singers and, perhaps most importantly, humble (at least when it comes to the big picture). They repeatedly sell out every show they put on and leave every audience in awe.

Well, they are having a couple summer concerts. One is July 15th at Revere Beach from 5 p.m-8 p.m. I am assuming that one is free, and would be a great excuse to go to the beach and enjoy the evening.

The other one is RIDICULOUSLY amazing! The concert will be July 17th from 3 p.m.-6 p.m at Morse Auditorium (on Boston University’s campus). And it is with NOTA! That’s right, the winners from season one of The Sing-Off will be at Boston University singing with The Dear Abbeys. Ball in the House, another a cappella group in Boston, will be performing as well.

And I promise it will be amazing!

Ticket information has not been released yet, but keep checking the Facebook event page for all information. They are very good about updating.

How to get to this amazing concert: Green Line, B line to Blandford Street (one past Kenmore). The auditorium is right across the street and has a large-ish staircase in front and green dome on top (it used to be a synagogue).

If you can’t make it to this concert (either of them really), try to go to one this fall. The Dear Abbeys really will blow your mind. Or, if you really have something against BU, go to an a cappella show at another school. Tufts is home to The Beelzebubs, the runner-ups to NOTA (though the Bubs are way too cocky and not that good of singers for my taste).

Try a cappella, you’ll love it.

Vote for Boston’s Best and Find Your Next Favorite Place

7 Jul

While we were in college, my best friend and I would wait around for the Improper Bostonian’s Best of Boston Issue every year. We would get the magazine and go through it, cutting out the places that we want to visit. We would then put everything in a photo album and make a plan to visit each one (Outlook calendars were used to their fullest potential!).

Little did I know (up until a few days ago), there was another way to get all that information as well.

Boston.com’s A-List.

This is something Boston.com does every year. It is meant to name the best local businesses of 2011 via popular vote. Over 4,500 businesses are listed on this website, and you can add your own if you think it is worthy of a title.There are dozens and dozens of categories, such as Best Burger, Best Pizza- Slice, Best Sports Venue, Best Bakery, Best 2011 Celtics Player and Best Wedding Photographer (can you tell I like the food?). There is a category for everything.

The A-List is a contest and voting ends July 15th. You can vote in every category once, and when you do, you can earn pins (flashy
stuff that goes on your profile). Every once in a while you can also earn deals, such as 18%  or 50% off your bill at your favorite place. Pretty freakin’ cool, right?

Plus, there is, of course, the social component. You can connect to your friends on the A-List and see what they voted for (maybe you have something in common you never thought of and could go there- first date idea!). You can also share what you voted for on Facebook and Twitter and connect to your friends that way as well.

How would I use this website you ask? (Well, you didn’t really ask but guess what? I am going to tell you anyways, because, well,
honestly, that is the point of this blog.) Vote for what you like, rather, what you love, but also look at the top vote getters of each category. Take note of what they are and keep them in mind for the next time you want to go out, etc. For example, if you love Indian food, go to that category and see what others have voted for. They can also leave comments, so read those as well. If you don’t feel like going through that “hassle”, see who the winners were for 2010 and pick something from there.

Voting ends July 15th, so keep an eye out for the list of winners!

More 4th Activities

29 Jun

I posted the other day about celebrating July 4th in Boston. Well, my best friend (who is currently employed full time-errr) told
me that I should also let my readers known about Boston Harborfest, a festival running from June 29th-July 4th.

Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t include it in the other post. (Well, okay I do. I was wicked tired and was watching one of my guilty pleasure shows. Bad mix.)

Anyways, I am not going to try to tell you everything the Harborfest has to offer. I mean, I can’t do everything for you! Well, I can,
but I won’t. Anyway…the website isn’t that great but it does list a ton of activities and the general location of things. I say that if you are bored just travel downtown and see what is going on. My guess is that something is happening.

Happy Fourth of July!

July 4th with the Boston Pops

28 Jun

Attending BU, I met a lot of people from California. The one thing they all said they loved about Boston is
the history of it, the importance of it in the history of our country. And every July, Boston and its history come together yet again to celebrate the birthday of the United States.

Celebrating the Fourth of July in Boston is amazing. I have only been able to do it once, but it was a great
experience and I had such an amazing time with my friends. This year, I am sure, is no different.

There are a ton of festivities throughout Boston and the area all this week through July 4th and they are all free. However, the main event, or rather the two main events, is this Sunday. On Sunday, July 3rd (it is July 3rd every year), the Boston Pops play a concert at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade. This concert starts at 8:30 p.m. with the National Anthem and a flyover. At 9:30 p.m. the “1812 Overture” is played. Moreover, every year there is a special guest. This year, Lionel Richie will be playing. In addition, Michael Chicklis (“Sons of Anarchy”, “No Ordinary Family”) will be there as well with his band. The concert ends at 10 p.m.

The following day, on the US of A’s birthday, fireworks will go off at 10:30 p.m. over the Charles River. Many people gather to watch them on the Esplanade, and specifically at the Hatch Shell. I recommend finding somewhere else to watch them, or if you truly have nowhere else, somewhere on the Esplanade far away from the Hatch Shell.

All information on these two events can be found on the website July4th.org.

How to get to the Hatch Shell in Boston: Take the Green Line to the Arlington stop. Walk toward the river and cross the bridge 9that goes over Storrow Drive). Honestly, follow everyone else.

Oh, and make sure you get there early to see the concert. I recommend about 5 or 5:30. There is a ton of food trucks and whatnot set up so as long as you eat, you will be kept busy. Bring at least a blanket and a chair if you desire and have your own little (crowded) picnic.

SoWa Open Market is Where It’s At

24 Jun

Just a quick reminder that the SoWa Open Market in the South End is open for the season (has been for about a month, my bad). I have written about it before, but wanted to make sure y’all remembered it so I am slamming it into your head again.

SoWa Market is something you have to experience if you live in Boston. It is on Sundays through October from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. It is a great market on Harrison Avenue that caters to the creative, the indie, the chic and the -wannabes.

Plus there are some amazing food trucks there. I mean let’s be honest, that is why I go. Grilled cheese (with fancy cheese and weird stuff inside) paired with a cupcake? Yeah, pretty amazing.

Honestly there is more to this market than I could ever write about. They have a Facebook page and a Twitter account, so make sure you  like and follow them if you are interested in having a great time in Boston on Sundays.

Bruins Championship Parade this Saturday

16 Jun

Can you believe the Bruins won the Stanley Cup? Rather, can you believe the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in Vancouver? Me either.

The city of Boston has something to celebrate once again, and for the first time in 39 years it is for a hockey championship, not one of the other three sports that rule the city.

And celebrate they will. There will be a parade to honor the Boston Bruins and their championship this Saturday, June 18, 2011 starting at 11 a.m. The parade will go from TD Garden to Copley Square. The exact route is unknown right now, but the Bruins website and Boston.com are bound to post every detail of this parade.

I have said again and again that I did not realize how big of a hockey town Boston was until I went to school at BU (a hockey school). But Boston is a hockey town and I can promise that the celebration is going to be amazing, and probably a little crazy. So enjoy your time in the spotlight, Bruins fans, enjoy.

Boston Pride: Parade and Festival to Celebrate Unity

10 Jun

You are in the middle of Boston Pride week, which you may or may not know. Boston Pride seeks “to achieve inclusivity, equality, respect, and awareness in Greater Boston and beyond. Fostering diversity, unity, visibility, and dignity; we educate, communicate, and advocate by building and strengthening community connections.” (So much easier to copy and paste than try to sounds all
smart and eloquent, at least smarter than the organization. My view: they worked hard on their mission statement, give them some credit.).

The theme this year is EQUALITY. No More. No Less. Boston Pride works to put on a series of events,
culminating in a parade, throughout the week to celebrate diversity and unity. There are an unbelievable number of events that happened this past week (sorry, this post is late) but there are even more this weekend. The parade, which is the focal point of all of this, is Saturday, June 11th. It starts at noon on Tremont Street in the South End. It then winds its way through Boston ending at, where else, Government Center.

Also taking place on Saturday is the Pride Festival, which is at City Hall Plaza from 12-6. As with most festivals, there promises to be food, vendors, music and cocktails. And because it is Boston Pride, probably some half-naked men and a lot of glitter.

I have never been to Pride Boston. I have never been in Boston during it. But some of my very good friends have (gay and straight) and they all love the feeling of unity and diversity. And they love the half-naked men. It sounds like it may be a little uncomfortable for me, but so much fun. It may be worth checking out if you are at all interested, because, well, if nothing else, you will most likely have good stories to tell your friends.

I would also check the website for a full list of events. I obviously did not list them all, just the two main ones this weekend- the
parade and the festival.

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