Don’t worry, we aren’t here with jokes about people who sign up for gym passes in January and quit working out after Valentine’s Day. We are they and they are we, and so instead of trying to get ripped next year, we have some far more sensible ideas for how to improve our city, selves, and community while having loads of fun. Here are 10 mandatory items we are scheduling on our 2019 agenda …
First of all, we are going to put more copies of the Dig on the street every week. As well as in your favorite coffee shops and bars and gyms and markets. Not just in the usual cities of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, but also farther into the North Shore, South Shore, and MetroWest markets. If you have a corner or establishment where you would like to see us drop some issues, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will complete at least one of the hikes that Marc Hurwitz has laid out for Dig readers this past year. From his informative Blue Hills meanderings, to instructions on how one can snowshoe through New England, to tips on how to navigate the coastline, we have everything we need except the energy to do the walking.
Speaking of our trusty food and hike finder, we also need to make it out to several of the spots beyond Hub city limits that Hurwitz has recommended—from Brothers in Brookline, to Grape Leaf in Newton, to Italo in Medford, to Chili Square in Quincy, to Bates Bar and Grill in Weymouth Landing, where the Cuban sandwich and elote (grilled corn) alone are worth the commuter rail ride.
We’ll also return to Route 1 on the North Shore, where a herd of us paid homage to some legendary haunts back when the Hilltop Steakhouse served its last steak and potato four years ago. That place has been leveled and replaced by notably less delicious apartments, but there are plenty of other places worth visiting, from Kowloon to wherever readers direct our drunken caravan.
Back in Boston, we pledge to make more pilgrimages to Biddy Early’s. The last of an essentially otherwise deceased breed, the Hub’s best dive bar still faithfully packs heads in daily, and will outlive countless bourgeois drink holes that arise in the immediate area. As long as we can continue to be a part of that, we must. Maybe consider doing the same with a neighborhood joint near you.
Since we’re doing lots of drinking, we’ll have to spend more afternoons and evenings in the Harpoon Beer Hall. Fine, we’ll spend a lot of time in beer halls—from Lamplighter in Cambridge to several others all around New England for our Boston Better Beer Bureau series. Still, it always helps to commit an entire day to visiting the seemingly perpetual festival that rages at Harpoon in South Boston, whether it’s one of their official events or just Wednesday.
This next one may additionally sound like it’s way too much fun to be a resolution, but please let us explain. We resolve to purchase legal cannabis at every recreational dispensary that opens in Mass, and to review it. Not because they need our patronage—they’re doing just fine with the throngs of people waiting outside of their stores. Rather, we will endure this task in service to Dig readers, all in the name of continuing to lead cultural coverage for Commonwealth cannabis consumers. We’re also turning our Talking Joints Memo newsletter into a standalone site, so keep an eye out for that.
We will support community access stations. Which, as award-winning Dig columnist Jason Pramas recently noted, “are the heart and soul of grassroots democratic public broadcasting in the United States,” from the Somerville Media Center, to Cambridge Community Television, to Brookline Interactive Group, to Malden Access Television, and Boston Neighborhood Network.
We will buy books locally, and only locally. We will purchase them at all our favorite independent destinations, from Somerville to JP, as we cherish and adore them all. Of course some greats with daily speakers stand out, like Harvard Book Store and the Brookline Booksmith, but we love the lot and encourage our readers to let us know in advance when they see that their favorite authors are scheduled for upcoming events.
And of course we need to get to all those bookstores, so we pledge to bike a whole lot more (and to write about cycling around here even more than we already do). Want to join us but don’t have wheels yet? Let us recommend a few friends, depending on where you hang your helmet. We dig Bikes Not Bombs and Ferris Wheels in JP, Somervelo (as well as its Allston sister shop), Cambridge Bicycle, and Urban Cycles downtown.
Finally, we will learn how to gamble better before the casino opens, and we will educate our readers so that they can do the same. No one wants to be that jackass at the blackjack table who doesn’t know basic strategy and etiquette. To those ends, as a paper we will visit tournaments and card rooms all around New England in preparation for the mid-year grand opening in Everett, and bring you the gaming coverage you want.
Best of luck in the new year. You’re gonna need it.