THE BEACHES OF QUINCY: A FIELD GUIDE
After all the jokes you’ve made about Quincy being Whitey Bulger’s dumping ground for victims and just generally some kind of white trash hellhole full of silly bigots, you’re not exactly worthy of learning the truth that the mighty Q is actually one of the most beautiful (and historically rich) cities in America, with beaches accessible by bicycle, T, or even walking (at least if you start in the Dorchester area) in the summer months.
And let’s face it: At the rate rents all over Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, have continued to climb—and they show no signs of dropping—you’re probably going to wind up living in Quincy eventually anyway, and there’s no place within an hour of Boston that offers more diverse coastline. From secluded rocky nooks to enormous public spaces for long walks and runs, Quincy’s 27 miles of waterfront and roughly nine beaches have a lot to offer. Sure, some of the old jabs still ring true, and a few patches of sand are sometimes closed for reasons we would rather not wade into, but for the sake of summer take advantage of the sunnier stretches listed below, all of which are well worth exploring.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Sightseers, Picnickers. Warning: There are no girls, or boys, gone wild on either of the Squantum Beaches—Orchard, or Nickerson. There’s hardly even any actual beach, though there are spectacular views of the Boston skyline, which the other beaches in Quincy are mostly lacking. It’s not just the water’s edge that’s great about this nook, though. The whole area is worth walking around, complete with hilly streets that reveal spectacular angles of the Hub from afar, and locals who always seem to be watering their lawns and waving with a smile.
AFTER BEACH: Marina Bay. Peer past the fields of frozen hair on the swollen Guidos who frequent the establishments at Marina Bay, and hit up the neighborhood joint Captain Fishbones for libations and laughs. Before you know it you’ll be partying with over-tanned Mustang drivers at any number of the surprisingly rad establishments along the boardwalk.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Readers, Watchers. Make no mistake about it: You’re driving out here. And while you’ll feel like you’ve crossed some kind of border to another region, you’re actually still in Greater Boston. You pretty much need a car to get to the secluded Sandy Beach in Germantown, but while it’s not exactly lovely for sun-tanning, the Snug Harbor side of this inlet is tucked away on the Quincy Town River. Great for those moments of quiet introspection. Or if you just want to get stoned and watch the giant tankers drift into port. For hours.
AFTER BEACH: Punjab Cafe. Something about a hot day on the sand makes certain types crave killer Tandoori Chicken and Tikka Masala, and this our spot. One of the best joints in the region (fun fact: It supplies a lot of the cheese you get at Indian restaurants in downtown Boston), so if you’re already making the haul halfway to Hull, we figure you might as well pop in for some garlic naan.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Swimmers, Walkers. What awaits you as far off of the beaten track as it gets: breathtaking views. Lots of quiet, with folks nice enough that even though they wonder why you’re in their midst, they keep it to themselves (still, they wonder). It’s all good though; there are no less than four strips of beach worth visiting around Hough’s Neck, and we especially love the mellowness of Back Beach off Delano Ave. Caveat: Parking is tough (although Front Beach is not too far away). Suggestions: a bus and then walk. Or hovercraft. Whichever.
AFTER BEACH: Manet Lunch. We won’t lie to you—we didn’t have the balls to walk into this place. And ironically, they allegedly don’t serve lunch either, unless the knuckle sandwiches presumably served on the regular in there count. If you decide to check it out, let us know how that goes. Bring a friend.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Hanging, Gaming, Tanning, Sporting. This is the Big Kahuna, the Quincy beach that many have heard of, or that maybe you’ve been to once, but for some reason have an excuse for not frequenting. Our message: Get over yourselves. It’s Wollaston, man. Some of the swimming holes are muddy, sure, and studies have shown that despite continued efforts to steer human shit farther and farther off the shore, too many people still allow their dogs to poop in the Wollaston sand. That said, one day you’re going to say you’ve been going to this beach for years, so you might as well start now.
AFTER BEACH: The Clam Shack. To mention Wollaston and not pay homage to this Mecca of fried fish is sacrilegious, and around here we’re not prone to blasphemy (depending on who/what we’re blaspheming). Make your way next door to the Beachcomber afterwards for drinks. Warning: You may find yourself cursing God the next morning.
Local acts call out the summer albums and shows they’re most excited about
BY NINA CORCORAN @NINA_CORCORAN
Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz
“Smash It Dead Fest is a hugely important annual music festival and series of workshops benefiting the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. And this year’s lineup is dope-nasty beyond belief, featuring some of my current favorite bands—Ursula, Aye Nako, and Malportado Kids, to name a few. I’ve been counting down for this one since it got announced and can’t believe it’s almost here.”
Ben Semeta of Black Beach
“Not to sound like a douche, but I’m really excited to release this compilation I’ve been working on since December but [I] had to push release dates back. Now it’s here and I really can’t wait to get it out. House of the Rising Fuzz: A Boston Rock ’n’ Roll Compilation. It shares a similar goal as Fuzzstival: to highlight the Boston scene.”
“Chris Ewen’s Heroes’ Night is having its last nights at TT the Bear’s because of the club’s closing. Chris is an awesome guy and I know that the DJ night will probably be moved to somewhere else, but I thought it [was] worth noting the end of this incarnation of it.”
“I’m really looking forward to attending [the] leedz Boston Hip Hop Fest at Middle East on July 11.”
Sami Martasian of Puppy Problems
“I’m extremely excited for Stumpf to be putting out their first set of recordings at the end of the summer. These guys have been playing incredible shows all year, and I’m so stoked for more people to have access to their powerful, beautiful songs.”
Brandon Hagen of Vundabar
“Fuzzstival will be great. Jason is great at what he does and has the right intentions so it should be a good one. The Migs are getting back together for it, which’ll be nostalgic for me; they played the first house show in Boston I went to as a nervous li’l high school kid. Very excited!”
Ellen Kempner of Palehound
“I’m gonna say I’m most excited for TTYL by Fleabite (even though it already came out) because it’s great.”
Catherine Woodcock of W00DY
“Dis_locate by Solid State Entity, which is being released on GROVL Tapes on June 17.”
Carl Shane of Kal Marks
“The new Gnarwhal album!”
COMIN’ IN HOT
Five albums from local acts to obsess over this summer
BY NINA CORCORAN @NINA_CORCORAN
There’s rock, and then there’s helpican’tstoplistening rock. The members of local rock trio Lady Bones have been playing together since they met as high school students in 2011, but their rapid speed and tight riffs speak as if the band is three times its actual age. The last EP had filthy grunge mixed with poppy hooks, so we’re expecting this one to be even more contagious. DROPPING: JUNE 30
After spending the last two summers blasting Vundabar’s jangle-pop tunes, we’re eager to finally get out hands on a new album. Gawk is composed of sun-drenched indie rock melodies akin to Best Coast and The Shins coated in their lo-fi polish. So, yes, there’s no way you can’t like it. DROPPING: JULY 21
HOUSE OF THE RISING FUZZ
Black Beach’s Ben Semeta has been silently curating the best compilation this summer will see. Boston’s beloved garage rock scene is relentlessly motivated (and losing its collective hearing in the process), and, as such, everybody had no problem forking over a new song for his 10-song LP. With The Barbazons, Miami Doritos, and New Highway Hymnal on the list, it’s a shoo-in for album of the year. DROPPING: AUGUST
There’s an innocence to Palehound’s music that makes every song feel confessional, despite the snappy rock riffs that suggest a stiff upper lip. Frontwoman Ellen Kempner’s intricate guitar parts and tempo change-ups keep the listener guessing, while her lyrics stick in your head just as easily as the melodies. As such, Dry Food is a full-length that will grow on you with each listen. We’re smitten already. DROPPING: SUMMER
WHAT A WEIRD DAY
Wit shines even brighter when the mouth it’s leaving is oh-so-young. Michael Christmas started rapping in Cambridge back when he was 16, but the 21-year-old has sharpened his skills enough to perform along the likes of Chance the Rapper and Action Bronson. After the success of “Michael Cera” and “Fuck Wit Me,” we’re prepared for even more contagious hits on What a Weird Day. DROPPING: SUMMER
Get these large-, medium-, and small-venue shows on your radar this summer
BY NINA CORCORAN @NINA_CORCORAN
NOSTALGIA HELPS THE MEDICINE GO DOWN
Austin’s favorite indie rock band is ready to claim their return to fame. Summertime is about taking it easy, and there are no poppy songs quite as chill as “The Underdog,” “The Way We Get By,” or last year’s Popsicle-wielding hit “Do You.” This is the only indoor event where you’ll need your sunglasses. houseofblues.com
ROADTRIP TO RHODE ISLAND
July 24-26 @ Fort Adams State Park, Newport, RI
Grab your lawn chairs, fill the cooler with beers, and truck on down to Rhode Island for this year’s installment of the Newport Folk Festival. The last thing you want is to hear how great Roger Waters and Sufjan Stevens’ sets on the water were when you chose to sit in your cramped Boston apartment instead. newportfolk.org
UP THE PUNXX
June 19-21 @ The Democracy Center and the Cambridge YMCA, Cambridge, MA
When you’ve got a good thing going, you keep it running. Smash It Dead Fest is Boston’s annual punk and hardcore music festival that draws local acts from around the world to perform to help raise money for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. Not only that, but they offer a series of workshops, too. Changing lives for the better has never been more punk. democracycenter.org
’80s COMEBACK KID
July 11 @ Brighton Music Hall, Boston, MA
Seattle’s iconic indie rock staples are still going hard three decades later. Expect lots of extra-dirty, high-distortion, punk-styled songs that went on to inspire grunge acts like Nirvana big time. Just remember to leave to air guitar at home. No one wants to see that (this time, at least). crossroadspresents.com/brighton-music-hall/
August 9 @ Royale Boston, Boston, MA
The xx beat-maker is riding the wave of his debut solo album, and it’s full of gorgeous, shy, colorful ideas all delivered through minimalist means. This is the one show where you will be dancing nonstop thanks to London house music, but can actually feel professional while doing so (twerking not allowed). royaleboston.com
SLOW MOTION LOVE
August 25 @ Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel, Providence, RI
Dream-pop act Beach House are gearing up for a brand new album, but Boston isn’t on the tour list. Providence, however, is. Make a daytrip down to explore the shops and cuddle with your cutie before the house lights drop. It’s time to fall in love all over again. lupos.com
June 23 @ Great Scott, Allston, MA
Celebrate the summer sun with San Francisco’s best rising guitarist. Jessica Pratt plays beautiful classical guitar that falls in line with the classic ’50s folk sound. Live, she hunches over her instrument, mesmerizing the crowd and herself alike. Stay focused though. One song samples Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf,” and the melody is a perfect sing-a-long moment you can’t miss. greatscottboston.com
July 7 @ Great Scott, Allston, MA
We miss Elliott Smith a lot, but artists like Soft Fangs let us pretend he’s still around. Come early for the show’s great openers, stay for the upstairs attic vibes of Soft Fangs, the moment when he whips out his guitar and hits that note that makes you feel something special. greatscottboston.com
EMO WITHOUT THE EYEROLLS
July 18 @ The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA
Philly has the best emo rock scene of the last decade, but the best band to come out of there feels like a New York act. MewithoutYou mixes art with intensity, playful lyrics with dirty bass lines. Its vivid songwriting at its best without any of the whiny, groan-inducing vocals. sinclaircambridge.com
ELECTRONICA FOR ART KIDS
July 22 @ Brighton Music Hall, Boston, MA
Son Lux makes sweeping electronic songs that creep with foreboding gloom only to reveal a colorful, emotional center; his sets almost make you want to paint in the middle of his performances. We didn’t see art supplies on the “Restricted” list for this, so …
August 21 @ Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA
Odd Future is one of the biggest rap collectives in the world. Tyler, the Creator and his gang may be full of idiotic antics and immature pranks, but the rappers know wit better than most. Earl Sweatshirt, however, isn’t afraid to get straight-up honest. This performance is rescheduled date from his spring show, originally cancelled because he was struggling with depression at the time. It’s likely he will only be realer onstage this time around. crossroadspresents.com/paradise-rock-club
The Outside The Box festival returns this July. And it’s bringing a lot.
BY DAN MCCARTHY @ACUTALPROOF
If there’s one thing that brings a smile to your face in the sunny months that bestow pleasant temperatures and instill in you the want to do as much fun stuff outdoors as possible, it’s the knowledge that there’s a massive free music and performing arts festival in town.
And now that millionaire philanthropist Ted Culter and his team have resurrected the Outside the Box festival, which according to him drew over 650,000 visitors during it’s last run in 2013, you definitely have something to smile about this summer.
“2013 was such a big year for us, and learned an awful lot,” says Cutler. “There was a lot of seeing what we did right and wrong, what we could’ve done without. It takes time to do that. We never expected that, and we did a great job with it. The idea is to make it sustainable.”
And this July when the event goes down over six days, there will be over 70 acts and performances running the gamut of music, dance, arts and more. Think: B-boy shows from local spinners Floorlords, an opening ceremony involving 60 dancers from Turkey, Japanese taiko drummers, musical concerts from Guster, New Politics, Atlas Genius, as well as the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, among loads of others.
“This year was about how can we make it better, different, and then sustain it,” says Culter. “Like every other city, Boston is divided [between] haves and have nots, and there are [locals] that attend where this is the first time they have seen a concert. They should be able to see that type of thing.”
With 14 different countries being represented and the spread of performance, music, and even puppeteers, there’s something here for everyone. When asked how Cutler and his team went about selecting the acts given the sheer range of participants, he says “If it’s good it’s good, if it’s bad it stinks. We didn’t want anything that stinks. Want to bring a show Boston hasn’t seen before. And everyone in the city is welcome.”
OUTSIDE THE BOX. JULY 14-19. FREE. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT OTBBOSTON.COM
TRUTH, BE TOLD
Former Slab artist opens first gallery with a distinctive style
BY CHRISTOPHER EHLERS
“Hey, do you want some bourbon?” artist Landon Richmond asked me as we stood chatting at the opening party for Know No Truth, his brand new gallery on Newbury Street, which opened at the end of May.
“Hand me one of those champagne glasses,” he said. He filled the glass and after glancing at the results of his pour, said, “I can’t tell if that’s a lot or not.” We nodded in a sort of silent cheers and drank, me from my glass, and him from an orange straw poking out of his champagne flute.
Seven years ago, Landon began selling his art on what is known as “the Slab,” a large rectangular piece of concrete near the corner of Newbury Street and Mass Avenue. It was there that he cut his teeth and relished the opportunity to engage and connect with different people. There’s one particular day on the slab that sticks out for Landon, though. After a 12-hour day he saw a morose-looking man walk by and he shouted out to him: “Hey, you dropped your smile.” The sad man looked back at Landon, smiled, and struck up a conversation. This man turned out to be Johnny Earle, of Johnny Cupcakes fame, who then, over the next hour, gave Landon some advice. “As we parted ways I knew I wanted a store on Newbury Street,” Landon recounted. “Nowhere else would do. The poetry wouldn’t be there.”
Two nights before the big opening Landon sleepwalked into his bathroom and fell into a shelf, causing his teeth to slice through his bottom lip. He was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance; by 4am he was all stitched up, and by 12:30pm he was back at the gallery finishing up the mural. “I’ll probably be wearing a surgical mask at the reception,” he joked the night before. He didn’t end up wearing the mask, but his accident accounts for the aforementioned orange straw. It’s this kind of dogged determination and razor-sharp focus that has brought Landon to this point.
The art of Landon Richmond is, by his own accounts, confrontational and dark. Often resembling a cross between the creatures of Pan’s Labyrinth and a Marilyn Manson album cover, the images can be disturbing and harsh. Landon encourages the viewer to look beyond superficial first impressions: his work, though dark, is generally thematically poetic, introspective, and haunting. The walls of the gallery, generously adorned with some of his best work, contain a mural of sorts featuring what could be called Landon-esque figures. For sale are a myriad of paintings and prints, some t-shirts and decorative pillows.
His distinctive style is something to be celebrated. Most people can look at a Warhol and will know it’s a Warhol—or at a Dalí and know it’s a Dalí. The same can be said for Landon’s art. His work is fiercely memorable and provocative.
While the poetry of Know No Truth’s location is intact, it does present a unique challenge to Landon: remaining true to himself as an artist while being commercially successful on a street such as Newbury. And that’s a new territory for Landon to conquer, though he’ll likely be just fine. He’s an enigma of artistic sensibility and business savvy.
“It’s a difficult time for small business and I’m on a difficult street, so naturally this is going to be difficult. But whatever, I’m going to work as hard and as smart as I can, and give it a shot,” Landon says. So pay him and his art a visit. If you like what you see, you can even take a piece of it home: A lot of his work is attractively priced, making art ownership exciting and accessible, a rare feat for a gallery on Newbury Street.
“Bad art makes you think about the artist … good art makes you think about yourself,” Landon says.
With such a litmus test, Landon’s art is more than good—it’s superb.
KNOW NO TRUTH GALLERY. NOW OPEN. 228 NEWBURY ST., BOSTON. 857.317.4139. KNOWNOTRUTH.COM
SUMMER ARTS EVENTS
BY CHRISTOPHER EHLERS
May 22 – June 20
The Huntington Theatre Company @ The Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
The world premiere of up-and-coming playwright A. Rey Pamatmat’s newest drama about bullying and second chances, directed by Huntington artistic director Peter Dubois.
June 12 – June 27
Flat Earth Theatre @ The Arsenal Center for the Arts
Aaron Sorkin’s play about the invention of the television. We’ll say it again: Aaron Sorkin, about the invention of TV. Enough said.
June 4 – June 27
Company One @ The Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
A New England premiere, in celebration of A. Rey Pamatmat’s work, in conjunction with the Huntington Theatre Company, which is producing his “After All the Terrible Things I Do.”
July 8 – July 26
ArtsEmerson @ The Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College
Hershey Felder has garnered rave reviews across the country for his performance as Irving Berlin, one of America’s foremost songwriters.
July 9 – August 2
Central Square Theatre
Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie) is making her Boston debut in Marisa Smith’s hilarious new comedy. Jennifer Coolidge reading the phone book would be hilarious, and this should be no exception.
July 17 – August 15
Company One @ The Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Part of a National New Play network rolling world premiere with four other companies across the country. And if that’s not unique enough, Colossal is a play about football that will actually be performed in four quarters, complete with a half-time show.
July 22 – August 9
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company @ The Boston Common
Now in its 20th season doing Free Shakespeare on the Common, CSC will be presenting King Lear for the first time. And if you need a reminder of what King Lear is about, you should just look it up. Or read a little more.
FREE and Open to the Public
August 11 – August 30
Broadway in Boston @ The Boston Opera House
Broadway’s smash hit, six-time Tony-winning musical arrives in Boston. With a score by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Fierstein, you’d be a fool to pass this up.
August 7 – September 20
The American Repertory Theatre @ The Loeb Drama Center at Harvard University
This is major: ART artistic director and Tony award winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland) is at the helm of this world premiere musical with a score by Sara Bareilles. Rumor has it there are already plans for a Broadway transfer. See it in town before anyone else.
August 11 – August 23
North Shore Music Theatre
If you’ve ever wondered how the dulcet sounds of The Bee Gees would fare during a live stage production of Saturday Night Fever, your time has come. The NSMT is presenting a New England Regional Premiere based on the 1970s classic disco film.
June 18 – July 18
Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre
A world premiere of Herman Melville’s classic novel, performed by an ensemble cast of five.
July 23 – August 22
Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre
A recreation of one of Billie Holiday’s last performances. Part concert, part memoir, Lady Day is heartbreaking and unforgettable.
Free. Outdoor. Films. All Summer.
BY JAKE MULLIGAN @_JAKEMULLIGAN
If you’re better suited to walking downtown than you are to driving out of it, then there are other outdoor film screenings—no cars necessary—that you can catch within the city proper. Bonus: They’re free.
The Coolidge Corner Theatre and the Rose Kennedy Greenway have teamed up to present a series of outdoor films at Wharf District Park this summer (located between Milk and India Streets), and they’re showing them the old-fashioned way—from finely textured 35mm prints. The series starts with George Lucas’ tribute to hot roddin’ and hangin’ out, American Graffiti (Tue. 6.13 at sunset), before returning in July and August with movies by two masters of American commercial filmmaking: Hitchcock’s The Birds (Tue. 7.14), and Spielberg’s E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (Tue. 8.4).
At the Boston Harbor Hotel, the Friday night outdoor screenings cut a wide swath, with scheduled ’70s tearjerkers (Kramer v. Kramer, Fri. 6.12), pop-culture classics (Big, Fri. 7.10; The Princess Bride, Fri. 6.26), and even some Humphrey Bogart (The African Queen, Fri. 7.17; The Big Sleep, Fri. 8.7). It’s not a bad way to cap off summer walks along the waterfront.
Likely, most of these are films you’ve seen many times before, which is probably for the best. Like going to a drive-in, watching a movie in a communal outdoor setting is as much about the experience as it is about the film itself. Considering you’re stuck watching movies indoors for the other nine months of the year, watching with a rowdy crowd is a small trade-off for some cheap warm-weather fun. And any opportunity to see The Birds—which remains, in its steadfast refusal to adhere to any conception of logic, the most purely terrifying of all Hitchcock’s films—is one that you should take.
As always: Don’t forget your flask.
DRIVE OUT, DRIVE-IN
Yes, drive-in theaters still exist in Mass
BY JAKE MULLIGAN @_JAKEMULLIGAN
Hollywood saves its biggest, its loudest, and its dumbest for the summer months. But we love moviegoing during this season anyway. One of the reasons why—aside from the special effect that is central air conditioning—is that summer is the best time to leave the city for a night and see these big, loud, dumb movies in a setting other than a corporate multiplex. And considering the Bay State still brandishes a selection of legit drive-in movie theaters, you can screen wide releases old-school style until the winter goosesteps its way back into our lives.
Drive-ins, traditionally, have their downsides as far as purity in presentation and audio goes. But you go to places like these for the experience—the leisurely mood you settle into while watching two movies, the food coma that the over-buttered popcorn sends you into, the feeling that this is as close as you’ll get to time-traveling back to the ’50s—not just to see Mad Max for the fourth time.
So we here at the Dig film department (read: me) plan to spend the next few months running reconnaissance missions on drive-ins throughout New England. One of the stops: Leicester Triple Drive-In (leicesterdrivein.net). Situated in the eponymous town, they’re open on Fridays and Saturdays, and offer double features on their three screens. A visit costs $25 per carload, so be sure to squeeze in friends to split the cost.
On the Cape, the Wellfleet Drive-In (wellfleetcinemas.com) is open seven nights per week, offering double features on a single 100-foot wide screen (currently Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max). If you’ve ever been stuck in Cape traffic and gone, “I wonder how we could have just killed a couple of hours instead of being locked in this mess,” consider blowing off Route 3 for a show.
On the other side of the state is Mendon Twin (mendondrivein.com), a kitschy, retro-style throwback owned by the Andelman brothers of Phantom Gourmet fame. They’ve tricked the place out: There’s a bar garden, a fire pit, a “snack bar,” the works. The place is open seven nights per week, plays double features on two screens (for instance: Spy and Poltergeist), and charges $25 per carload. Again, adding friends = cheap movie night.
What would a summer preview in Boston be without Lobster rolls? We didn’t have an answer to that either, so consider this our obligatory list of the best places in which to eat this New England summertime traditional food.
BY DIG STAFF @DIGBOSTON
Woodman’s of Essex
Considering this is the well-documented birthplace of the “fried clam” you’d think the lobster roll at famous Woodman’s would be an afterthought, but ho no, friends. Theirs is a beauty of buttery toasted bun and hearty meat/mayo mix, which, if you were a lad or lass growing up in this area and didn’t have one anecdote about going here as a kid, well, that’s just a pity.
121 Main St., Essex. woodmans.com
Legendary. Hyped. Beloved. Pricey. Worth it. Words used over the years to describe the North End’s most hallowed ground of Lobster Roll nirvana. You can go hot or cold (meaning butter topped or with mayo, respectively), but no matter what, you’re getting heaps of claw, knuckle, and tail meat on a perfect brioche roll.
63 Salem St., Boston. neptuneoyster.com
James Hook + Co.
Try and talk to any local about lobster rolls in town, and inevitably James Hook is mentioned. For good reason, too. It’s been around long enough that everyone from tourists to transplants to students to politicos has reveled in the affordable celery-laden glory of their meat-stacked (and properly mayo’d) rendition of this warm weather classic. Go ahead. Eat two.
15 Northern Ave., Boston. jameshooklobster.com
Alive and Kicking Lobsters
A touch of mayo, healthy portions of fresh meat, and salt and pepper are the only things Alive and Kicking’s hidden-in-plain-sight lobster sandwich (so, not a roll, still … awesome) boast besides the Scali bread it is served on. Be sure to nosh on the picnic benches in the sunshine for the full experience.
269 Putnam Ave., Cambridge. aliveandkickinglobsters.com
Yankee Lobster Company.
Next time you hear that there’s a concert going on at the Bank of America Pavilion along the Seaport, or you just have a hankering for a lobster roll light on the mayo, spiced, and on a well-grilled hotdog bun, Yankee is your spot. Wash it all down with the near-mandatory pint of beer, or skip the suds at your own peril.
300 Northern Ave., Boston. yankeelobstercompany.com
SUMMER RESTAURANT OPENINGS
Get these on your radar. Your stomach will thank you.
BY DAN MCCARTHY @ACUTALPROOF
Peter Ungar’s long-awaited tasting-menu restaurant is finally about to open. Between the unconventional setup of ticketed dinners with only 20 seatings per service (two seatings nightly), open kitchen with all staff performing cooking and serving duties, the partnership with Aeronaut Brewing for suds (there will be sake and wine as well), and a proprietary chocolate blend created by Somerville Chocolates, this sustainable-practice eatery stands to inject new life into the Somerville dining scene. Fun fact: There will be no tipping here thanks to the liveable wage and collaborative structure set up for staff.
Finally unveiling its look just last week, the new Fan Pier addition from the folks behind Cafeteria on Newbury is bringing some serious Greek-leaning Mediterranean eats to the Seaport. There’s a futuristic “scented cocktails” component at work, which will showcase with the shared-plates approach of the menu devised by web-cooking series host and Greek cookbook author Diane Kochilas. Fan Pier continues to get better season by season.
A sibling spot to MET Back Bay from owner Kathy Sidell, the svelte 30-seat spot will be brandishing seafood and “Barcelona-inspired” tapas-esque cuisine with casual aplomb. Think: a lot of lobster, international spices, and jarred food of various origins, such as Italian tuna and sardines.
After an extended incubation and build-out process, the restaurant-food-truck-coffee-cafe hybrid (featuring an actual working food truck within the space) will turn Southie on its head when it opens around early July. Between the multiple food trucks and 200-plus seating capacity, not to mention the killer roofdeck, owner Travis Talbot is sure to have a winner on his hands, as will you when you finally get in here for a meal.
An imminent opening from O Ya restaurateurs Tim and Nancy Cushman, this dynamite Japanese izakaya gave a peek of what’s to come at the Create Boston art and food event last weekend. The “fun, high energy Japanese izakaya” is coming to the rock-themed Verb Hotel behind Fenway Park, which means your pre- and post-Sox game noshing is about to get a whole lot better.
For a while, Centre St. Sanctuary was open in Jamaica Plain, featuring a mishmash of flavors and a lot of religious pews for seating. But it’s no more. Instead, the Fairsted Kitchen team is bringing a taste of the lowcountry (think: South Carolina) for a lot of good home cookin’, Southern chow, and the flavors of the Caribbean. Expect frogs. Not just because of the name, but because people eat frogs down south.
Rina’s Pizzeria and Cafe
The new pizza joint by Nick Varano—of Strip by Strega, Nico, and Strega Waterfront fame—is less a cathedral to Italian kitch and overindulgence and more a great spot to land a slice in the North End. Considering the recent news that Pizzeria Regina has fiscal problems, and the long lines at Ernesto’s on a Saturday night, it’s nice to know a new spot for killer pizza on Hanover Street will make everyone smile this summer.
Banyan Bar + Refuge
Goodbye legendary South End spot Hamersley’s Bistro, and hello this. The Gallows and Blackbird Doughnuts team are bringing this Asian-tipped gastropub to life with some help from Phillip Tang, who was behind East by Northeast in Cambridge (RIP). Expect an open kitchen and a lot of seafood. There’s no way this will be bad. No way.
A step by step to making a killer epic party sub, courtesy of Moody’s in Waltham
BY DAN MCCARTHY @ACUTALPROOF
This summer, you may find yourself entertaining some friends at your place. Since you’ve got the aquatic activities locked down (kiddie pools, man), the bar stocked (cooler + ice + beer = bar), and the backyard games meticulously prepared and ready to go (cornhole, competitive axe throwing, the usual), it’s time to take stock of your finger food provisions. So let Andrew Nicholls from charcuterie pleasuredome and all-around salted meat heaven, Moody’s Deli in Waltham, guide you as you throw together their sandwich “The Webber”. Something as awesome as it is huge.
Get a baguette. Slice down middle but not all the way through, so you can fold it open like a book.
Lay down provolone cheese in “shingle” formation along the bread. Ever so lightly. Then melt the cheese and toast the bread at the same time, heating at 325 degrees for one or two minutes. Can also use a grill. You’re looking to melt the cheese and crisp up the outside of the bread, keeping the inside chewy.
Add your fresh charcuterie, which you can grab in pre-sliced and assembled portions at Moody’s. Genoa salami, coppa, bologna. Lay those down on the cheese. Andrew says: “It’s important to ask to get it thin-sliced. If it’s thick it’s not only difficult to eat, but a big chunk of meat changes the flavor and experience, too.”
Add a mix of marinated and pickled peppers. Lay those across. Wipe the drool from your bottom lip.
Add the Holy Trinity of Italian sandwich construction: Drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, chosen herbs. Cut the pieces diagonally and to size, depending on how many you’re feeding. The sandwich could feed six or more people depending on the sizes of the cuts. Or just you, you animal.
Drink in the sunshine on these new patios all summer long
BY DAN MCCARTHY @ACUTALPROOF
Matt Jennings promised there would be a 20+ seat outdoor patio at his dynamite new downtown digs for its first summer. And it was so. townsmanboston.com
SELECT Oyster Bar
You’d be hard pressed to find a cooler 22 seat heated floor atrium patio with hanging herb garden in an old Back Bay brownstone while taking down a plate of mollusks. Get there. selectboston.com
A newborn to the Seaport dining scene, Committee is opening strong with an 80-seat patio that you should use to eat all the Greek food there. facebook.com/committeeboston
The Barking Crab
A classic if there ever was one in town, this bastion of lobster rolls and fish and chips has added 40 more seats, which means more room to drink beer and eat shellfish. barkingcrab.com
Charlestown newbie purveyor of killer pizza and solid suds, they’ve kicked off their first summer with a 25-seat patio and will have a local artist create some graffiti art on one of the walls. Tagging makes patios more fun. brewersfork.com
Michael Scelfo’s already popular new Cambridge project with its vibrant outdoor patio has quickly won fans desiring both awesome tacos and sunbathing among tacos. nacocentral.com
Barcelona Wine Bar
Hard to miss when passing by on Tremont street, with 10-12 tables (all four-tops) for great evening al fresco noshing. Stays open till kitchen closes at 1am. barcelonawinebar.com/southend
Lined with sustainably harvested MA lumber, the Cambridge newcomer is hitting this season running with a new 32-seat outdoor space. loyalninecambridge.com
POOLS OF NOTE
Just in case you were wondering, “Hey, where in Boston can I get a little pool action in my life this summer?” here you go.
BY DIG STAFF @DIGBOSTON
Still gleaming from a makeover last season, with sprightly cabanas, outdoor waitstaff for snacks and drinks, and WiFi for those convincing themselves they’re going to get any work done when sitting poolside. colonnadehotel.com/roof-top-pool
Rooftop at Revere
Technically covered by a glass atrium, it’s a rooftop pool nevertheless. Take advantage of it and then hang around for the full bar, DJs spinning, and breezy cabana lounging. reverehotel.com/rooftop
Hidden elevated pool deck on the shared roof of the posh new apartment complex above Whole Foods in the South End. Find your way in here and you may not want to leave, unless you’re being forced out for not being a tenant. inkblockboston.com
Outdoor heated pool in the shadow of Fenway Park. Caveat: It’s for guests only, so consider this spot next time a mid-summer staycation is on the mind. Or just get good at sneaking in for a dip. theverbhotel.com
RISE AND FALL OF (A) MAN
Hurl yourself out of a plane an hour outside of Boston
BY DAN MCCARTHY @ACUTALPROOF
There’s a moment that hits you when you’re seated on a Super Otter airplane climbing past 10,000 feet, strapped to another human being who will be responsible for whether you live or die in a moment, when the novelty of “Wouldn’t it be fun to go skydiving?” wears off. Replacing that thought is something to the effect of: “Oh fuck, I’m about to go skydiving.”
A few minutes later, you’re falling back down to Earth in free-fall, with a tall skydiving instructor clamped to your body, wind and air pressure turning your face into mush and inflating your lungs as you try to yell and scream and squeal as you adjust to the fact that you’re not floating, but falling. Fast.
That’s a good primer to what you’ll experience by taking the hour or so drive from Boston to Lebanon, Maine, where Skydive New England has been a garrison post for skydivers and adrenaline junkies of every stripe for over 30 years. The entire facility sits on 200+ acres of private Maine wooded land, with a huge airstrip of manicured grass and well-defined “no cross” lines in the drop zone where, should you be so bold, you’ll at some point be floating down under the safe deployment of your parachute and skidding to a stop on your butt in the grass. There is a colorful mix of people hanging out there between the jumpers, the instructors, all mingling around the compound which is something of a skydiving hippie-commune replete with barefoot children trotting around free and happy, and staffers living in old public school buses that have been retrofitted into makeshift apartments. You may even notice a group of kids playing with devil sticks, which few (until recently including myself) are aware still exist outside of Burning Man and select Dispatch shows.
And sure, you can head on up with some pals for a daylong excursion, but you’re at the whim of mother nature. Sometimes the winds can be too harsh or the weather can take a turn for the worst, and for the good of all, planes are grounded and jumps called off. But that’s the mark of a responsible skydiving outfit, and Skydive New England not only has the fantastic safety record to back that up, but also ensures that all of their instructors hailing from points worldwide are licensed through the US Parachute Association.
The good news is when your jump is pushed (or if you just want to make a night of it) they also offer simple overnight camping bungalows with communal bathrooms and showers, and they welcome anyone who just want to pitch a tent on the grounds for a stay. At night, the central outdoor cafe turns into a raging party, with a massive bonfire and live music. BYOB.
Note: Going hard on the hooch the night before a jump is not advised.
SKYDIVE NEW ENGLAND. SKYDIVENEWENGLAND.COM.