Monday, March 10, marks a watershed day for air travelers in and around Boston. Starting Monday, we've got a new international airline offering direct flights from Logan Airport, and the Callahan Tunnel re-opens (two days early!).
Emirates Comes to Logan
The new airline on the block is Emirates, which will offer daily flights to Dubai from Boston. Boston is the eighth North American city on Emirates's roster, joining Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington, D.C. The schedule will work as follows: Flights will leave Dubai at 9:45 a.m. local time and arrive in Boston at 3:15 p.m. EST. The return flight from Boston to Dubai will depart daily at 10:55 p.m. EST, arriving back in Dubai at 7:10 p.m. local time.
It's sure to be a festive game and a celebratory homecoming: Fresh off their World Series championship season, the Red Sox return to Fenway Park for their opening game on Friday, April 4, 2014. The game, against the Milwaukee Brewers, gets going at 2:05 p.m.
Now, you know what I'm going to say next: Good luck getting a ticket. It's a Boston--and Major League Baseball--rite of passage to attend Opening Day, and at the game you'll see families with kids playing hooky, professionals taking the day off, and tourists making the pilgrimage just for the occasion.
Gambling, night clubs, restaurants, hotels, concert venues--and everything, the good and bad, to go along with it--Revere voters have approved a new casino complex. The Boston Globe reports 63 percent of voters (out of 44 percent of total city residents voting) have sided in favor of Mohegan Sun's plans to develop a gaming complex on 42 acres on the former Suffolk Downs racetrack site. WBUR reports that Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo is also on board with the Mohegan Sun plan.
The Revere approval sets up a showdown with nearby Everett, which also wants the state's sole Boston-area gambling license for its own destination casino with Wynn Resorts.
Some Bostonians mark spring by seeing birds in and around town, particularly at Mt. Auburn Cemetery, the Boston Common, or the Arnold Arboretum. Others might say spring has arrived in Boston once all the snow has finally melted. For Boston parents, it's the arrival of April school vacation week.
But for those in and around South Boston, spring officially arrived last week, with the re-opening of Sullivan's at Castle Island. And with last weekend's unseasonably warm temperatures, it felt especially appropriate (never mind about the polar vortex returning this week).
A Castle Island/South Boston institution since 1951, Sullivan's features classic New England picnic fare, from burgers and hot dogs to lobster rolls and fried clams. (Early birds, take note: Hot dogs are half price--90 cents--through March 2.) The line out the door looks intimidating, but don't worry, it moves fast; I don't think I've ever waited more than five minutes to order, and typically the food arrives very quickly after that. It's an impressive feat, given that everything is made to order.
Do you know a creative kid who loves to play with LEGOs? Or, need an artistic outlet to occupy your kids with spring fever this March?
In anticipation of the upcoming grand opening of Assembly Square's new LEGOLAND Discovery Center this May, Master Model Builder Ian Coffey is seeking 12 kids to assist as "junior ambassadors" for the center's Junior Construction Panel. (I am way too old to apply, but if I were a kid, I would be all over this! And if I were a parent of a kid of eligible age ... well, let's just say I would be living vicariously.)
Sure, we all grouse about our jobs. But in Boston, this pastime may not be as widespread as in other cities: CareerBliss just announced its top 10 happiest cities for work, and Boston came in at number 7, with an average "bliss score" of 3.8 out of 5.
What's a "bliss score", you might ask - and should we even be associating the term "bliss" with work at all? Well, according to the team at CareerBliss, employees were asked to review their companies on the basis of overall work environment, job resources, relationship with managers, company culture, and daily tasks, among other criteria. Reviews were then given an average score between one and five, with all reviews pooled together from a given city to determine the happiest ranking.
Change isn't just happening at the T in Government Center - the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics is inviting Boston's creative community to submit plans to redesign City Hall, among other public spaces in and around Boston.
City Hall has long been considered an eyesore. Nick Deluca of BostInno calls it an "amorphous concrete abomination" - and that's one of the nicer descriptions I've seen of it. But it doesn't have to be much longer, and this is where we all come in.
The powers that be at the Office of New Urban Mechanics want us to submit design plans to improve City Hall, "rethinking the indoor and outdoor space, signage, improving service delivery, and the user experience." Applications are due by March 28.
If you're a fan of Boston's Restaurant Week, it's no more ... in name, that is. Now branded as Dine Out Boston, the event formerly known as Restaurant Week gets a facelift for 2014, with new pricing, menus, and participating restaurants.
If your new year's resolution was to be healthier -- exercise more, cut out junk food, or quit smoking -- the city of Boston wants to help (well, at least with the third option). In addition to not being able to smoke in restaurants, bars, government buildings, and the like, it is now illegal to smoke in Boston's city parks. Yes, you read that right - it's now illegal to smoke outside - if you're in a Boston park, that is. Penalties could include up to $250 in fines.
I recently outlined a few of my favorite Boston sweet spots, where desserts get the star treatment. You may be looking for something more, though - perhaps something unique to do with visiting out-of-town relatives, or a Valentine's Day gift that's a little out of the ordinary. If so, may I suggest a Boston chocolate tour?