We are a culture-rich city — a veritable cauldron of talent and fun, and have been so since Anne Bradstreet inscribed the gates of Harvard. In Boston, the arts never stand still. True, if some rag-tag weekly had conducted a Best Readers’ Poll a century ago, the MFA might have won for Best Museum, as it did in the Phoenix’s 2009 contest. And its rivals would certainly have included the then-six-year-old Gardner (which, though it wasn’t a museum then, placed second this year). But don’t get the wrong idea. While Bostonians sometimes worship the past, we don’t live in it.
Photo by Derek Koyoumjian
Many things we now accept as institutions would not have been 1909 contenders at all — the Boston Ballet, for example, and certainly Babes in Boinkland, the burlesque troupe that beat out the local corps de for this year’s Best Dance Performers honor, was a long time coming. (Although there’s a good chance the house chorines from the Old Howard would at least have been included on the Progressive Era ballot.) We know they had pool halls, but did bars host karaoke or trivia nights 100 years ago?
High-, low-, and middle-brow, Boston has it all — from Titian retrospectives to midnight Sound of Music sing-alongs. Now, as then, there’s simply no excuse for staying home.
Boston's Best Food and Drink 2009, Boston's Best City Life 2009, Books tour, More
- Boston's Best Food and Drink 2009
The danger of doing an annual Best issue is that readers could well screw up the whole thing, especially when it comes to eating out. It would suck if they voted for the too-familiar national-chain eateries. Best Hamburger: McDonalds?!
- Boston's Best City Life 2009
There’s so much to love about Boston, it’s hard sometimes to know where to start. Traffic? Obnoxious Sox fans? Irritating students? Norway rats? Inflated rents? An inferiority complex unlike any on the Eastern seaboard?
- Books tour
While most area colleges continue to offer predictably boring campus tours that amount to wandering through academic ghost towns imagining departed crowds, there are also some alternatives to the standard walk-and-talk routine.
- Health-care's big moneyman in New England
Lifespan CEO George Vecchione's compensation is tops in the region
- Streets of gold
The mustache seems to be making a comeback — in the popular imagination if not on upper lips.
- That dirty water
Much of the heart and soul of historic Boston is in danger of sinking into the marshy ooze on which it was built over the centuries.
- Never mind the Citgo
For all the complaints that Boston is losing its character, there’s still a lot to this old, weird city. It’s just a matter of taking a closer look.
- Tinseltown East
Looking at the photographs now, it’s hard to believe it ever existed.
- Eatin’ good in Boston’s ’hoods
Part of the backbone of any urban neighborhood is its small, independent restaurants.
- Can Sam Yoon win?
Recent elections, as you may have heard, have been about change.
- Time for a big change
Boston's political culture is fossilized, resistant to new ideas.
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