Johnny’s List of Weird Boston Events: 2/09/09
It’s Valentine’s Day on Saturday. Whether you embrace it, or you just want all the happy people to shut up (which is me this year), here are some ideas for fun things to do.
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The Week in Weird
|Outdoor Explorations: Valentine’s Day Moonlight Snowshoe||Feb 14||Worcester|
|So you want to do something for Valentine’s Day? You open up the newspaper and all you see is a lot of bars. Here is a hint. It is not romantic to take your sweetie to a bar. A restaurant is a little better, but hardly creative. Why not do one of the regular events on Johnny’s list as a romantic outing? Here is one: nighttime snowshoeing!!! (Maybe this is why I am single now?) 2009: 5-10pm.
Hale Reservation, 80 Carby St., Westwood, MA. more
|Love Letters of the Phillips Family||Feb 13||North Shore|
|And here’s something indoorsy. Readings from the love letters of five generations of the Phillips family, at a historic home in Salem.
Philips House, Salem, MA. more
|Ippi’s Valentine Ice Derby||Feb 15||North Shore|
|Or ice fishing! Because nothing says Valentine’s Day like ice fishing.
Lynn, MA. more
|Newport Winter Festival||Feb 13 – Feb 22||Rhode Island|
|Or check out the ice sculpturing demonstration at the Newport Winter Festival, which they’re calling “New England’s Largest Extravaganza”. They’ll have helicopter rides, a chili cook-off, and plenty of historic mansions to tour.
Newport, RI.401-847-7666. more
|Merrimack River Eagle Festival||Feb 14||Northern Mass|
|Perhaps you and your honey would like to see live eagles and take a tour of a national park looking for wild ones. (I actually took a date to train to fly a falcon once. It was scary.).
Main Street, Amesbury, MA.978-388-3178. more
|World Championship Sled Dog Racing||Feb 13 – Feb 15||New Hampshire|
|Or go see sled dogs! The bad Valentine’s ideas just keep coming!
Laconia, NH. more
|Special Olympics Passion Plunge||Feb 14||Boston Metro|
|I am told that the Passion Plunge does NOT involve mentally challenged kids being encouraged by Greenpeace liberals to dive into freezing water. It’s a charity for the rest of us to help support them. That makes more sense. Also at Lake Quinnsigamond in Shrewsbury.
Nantasket Beach, Hull, MA. more
|Lincoln Impersonator, First Unitarian Church, Providence, RI||Feb 12||Rhode Island|
|Because it’s Abe Lincoln’s 200th birthday, there will be a lot of re-enactments this year. Here is one, in Providence.
First Unitarian Church, Providence, RI. more
|Presidential Cartoonists||Feb 16||Boston Metro|
|The presidents will be at the JFK Museum in spirit along with some famous political cartoonists, for a talk on Monday, which is Presidents Day.
JFK Library & Museum, Boston, MA. more
|Boskone||Feb 13 – Feb 15||Boston Metro|
|But you don’t care, because you’ll be too busy geeking out at Boskone, which is the “other” major science fiction convention in Boston.
Westin Waterfront, Boston, MA. more
|Annual Sci-Fi Film Festival @ Somerville Theatre||Feb 15 – Feb 16||Boston Metro|
|Also geeky is an SF film festival in Somerville. I can’t tell from the website if there will be anything interactive, or just the films.
55 Davis Square, Somerville, MA.617-625-5700. more
|Harvard Model United Nations||Feb 12 – Feb 15||Boston Metro|
|Equally geeky, but a lot more interesting, is the model UN. These students really take it seriously. And I’m not really sure if you can just stroll in as a member of the public and check it out. I would think so. I get away with a lot just by smiling and looking like I belong.
Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA. more
|Lizard Lounge Poetry Jam Celebration||Feb 15||Boston Metro|
|You may get some actual love poetry at the Lizard Lounge’s annual anniversary party.
Lizard Lounge, 1667 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA.617-547-0759. more
|Darwin Day 200 at Harvard: Darwin and Me Symposium||Feb 12 – Mar 5||Boston Metro|
|OK! Now the week really starts heating up, with an array of events to celebration the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday.
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. more
|Salem State College Darwin Festival||Feb 9 – Feb 13||Boston Metro|
|Also Salem State College will host a series of lectures and films.
Salem State College, Salem, MA. more
|An Afternoon with Charles Darwin||Feb 15||Boston Metro|
|The highlight of Darwin Day will undoubtedly be meeting Darwin himself! Well, played by a re-enactor. 2009: 2pm.
Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA. more
|Birthday Party for Darwin||Feb 12||Boston Metro|
|There are two birthday parties. This is the one at Harvard.
Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub, Memorial Hall, Harvard College, 45 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA. more
|Darwin Birthday Bash for Kids, Adults, Families and Friends!||Feb 15||Rhode Island|
|And another one which looks more kid-oriented.
Charlie’s Playhouse Studio, 999 Main Street, Unit 708, Pawtucket, RI. more
|Origin of Species Readathon||Feb 12||Boston Metro|
|They are doing a reading of the Origin of Species, at spots all over campus, so I guess you have to trail along after them if you want to catch the whole thing.
All around Harvard, Cambridge, MA. more
|Darwin at 200: Rethinking the Revolution||Feb 12||Boston Metro|
|Someone very important will give a lecture at Harvard.
Harvard’s Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA. more
|Darwin Bicentennial lecture by Daniel Dennett||Feb 12||Boston Metro|
|But even importanter is Daniel Dennett, the famous author of pro-evolution anti-religion books.
Framingham State College, Framingham, MA. more
|Darwin Day Celebration||Feb 14||Worcester|
|Possibly even better is a lecture plus lunch plus a garden. But it’s way out near Worcester.
Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Dr, Boylston, MA. more
|Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, “A Venetian Valentine||Feb 14||Boston Metro|
|I always put the less interesting things at the bottom. If you really need to do a cocktail event for Valentine’s Day, this is the one, at the Gardner Museum.
280 The Fenway, Boston, MA.(617) 566-1401. more
|Valentine Day FlirtFest||Feb 14||Boston Metro|
|And if you really have to hit a bar, this is my recommendation. It’s really meant for singles, though.
Vinalia, 34 Summer Street, Boston, MA. more
|Academy Award-Winning Short Films||Feb 12 – Mar 6||Boston Metro|
|Although the Academy Awards won’t be handed out until Feb 22, The Institute for Contemporary Art is showing all the short films that were nominated.
ICA, 100 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA.617-478-3100. more
|Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Presentation||Feb 8||Boston Metro|
|Also the Brattle is doing an awards night (and showing Man On Wire with its producer present!). Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke will stop in via video.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA. more
|Boston African Film Festival||Feb 6 – Feb 15||Boston Metro|
|It’s Black History Month and I finally found an appropriate event: a film series at the MFA. Featuring: lots of films. From Africa.
Museum of Fine Ahhhhts, Boston, MA. more
|Joe Val Bluegrass Festival||Feb 13 – Feb 15||Boston Metro|
|And this is a great time of the year for a music festival, as long as it’s indoors. I went to a bluegrass festival once and the repetitive chord structure made all the songs sound the same to me. Go figure.
Sheraton Hotel Framingham, Framingham, MA. more
|Fetish Fair Fleamarket||Feb 13 – Feb 15||Boston Metro|
|Also at a Sheraton near you is the largest conference of people who like sex. A lot.
Sheraton Ferncroft Hotel, Danvers, MA. more
|Bugs Bunny Film Festival||Feb 13 – Feb 28||Boston Metro|
|This is the last time I’m going to list the Brattle’s annual Bugs Bunny film festival. Does anyone really find this stuff funny any more? So much violence and — I assume they don’t show these cartoons — racist stereotypes.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA. more
|Forbes House Museum Annual Lincoln Celebration||Feb 12 – Feb 19||South Shore|
|And some lectures at the place I mentioned last week.
Forbes House Museum, 215 Adams Street, Milton, MA. more
|Improv Boston’s “Thorns||Feb 14||Boston Metro|
|Finally, if you have your heart broken, ImprovBoston will cheer you up and commiserate at the same time, improv style.
Improv Boston, 40 Prospect St., Cambridge, MA. more
|Hasty Pudding Man/Woman of the Year Awards||Feb 5 – Feb 13||Boston Metro|
|Last year it was the woman. Now it’s the man of the year getting roasted. It’s James Franco. Buy tickets immediately. They always sell out.
Zero Arrow Street Theater, Cambridge, MA.617-495-5205. more
|Darwin Day “Assassins” Game @ Harvard||Feb 6 – Feb 12||Boston Metro|
|The weird event of the week is another Darwin Day activity. Darwin Day isn’t actually until February 12. But what better way to demonstrate survival of the fittest than a “circle kill game”, or “assassins” game? These games usually involve a bunch of players armed with spoons who track each other down.
Harvard, Cambridge, MA. more
|Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival||Feb 6 – Feb 14||North Shore|
|Salem’s also in the competition. What is it about this particular weekend in February? Anyway, they’ll have ice sculptures dotted all over town. This is basically an excuse to visit Salem and shop.
Salem, MA. more
|Dirty Dancing, the Musical||Feb 7 – Mar 15||Boston Metro|
|Dirty Dancing is now a musical. If you liked the movie, give it a shot.
Opera House, Boston, MA. more
|Frank Caliendo||Feb 14||Boston Metro|
|Frank Caliendo is a comedian and amazing impressionist I’ve wanted to catch for some time.
Wilbur Theatre, Boston, MA. more