Park, Beach, And Traffic Alert Due To Weather

Boston Councilor Frank Baker posted the alert below on his Facebook page about park, beach, and road closures given the approaching storm:

“Starting tonight, March 1, 2018, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will close all coastal beach reservations, parks, and parking areas, all campgrounds statewide, all agency operated ice rinks and the Cass Recreation Complex, and several parkways in the Greater Boston area, until further notice. Additionally, parking bans will be implemented on Friday, March 2, 2018, at 8:00 AM at the following locations: Hull Shore Drive and Nantasket Avenue in the Town of Hull, Quincy Shore Drive in the City of Quincy; Revere Beach Boulevard in the City of Revere, and Winthrop Shore Drive in the Town of Winthrop. The upcoming closures are due to a forecasted Nor’easter that is expected to deliver heavy precipitation, potential coastal and inland flooding, and strong wind gusts.

WHERE: All coastal beach reservations, parks, and parking areas statewide at 6:00 PM this evening; all campgrounds statewide at 6:00 PM this evening; and all DCR operated ice rinks and the Cass Recreation Complex at 11:00 PM this evening. The following parkways have been scheduled to close or will close if necessary on Friday, March 2, 2018:

  • Morrissey Boulevard in the City of Boston from Freeport Street to UMASS (9:00AM);
  • Morrissey Boulevard in the City of Boston from Neponset Circle to Freeport Street (if necessary);
  • Nahant Causeway in the Town of Nahant (if necessary);
  • Nahant Road/Lynn Shore Drive rotary in the Town of Nahant (time to be determined);
  • Nantasket Avenue/Hull Shore Drive and extension in the Town of Hull (time to be determined);
  • Quincy Shore Drive in the City of Quincy (9:00AM);
  • Revere Beach Boulevard and Ocean Avenue in the City of Revere (if necessary);
  • William Day Boulevard in the City of Boston (9:00AM);
  • Winthrop Shore Drive in the Town of Winthrop (time to be determined); and,
  • Winthrop Parkway in the Town of Winthrop at Short Beach (5:30AM).

Parking bans on Friday, March 2, 2018 starting at 8:00 AM: Hull Shore Drive and Nantasket Avenue in the Town of Hull, Quincy Shore Drive in the City of Quincy; Revere Beach Boulevard in the City of Revere, and Winthrop Shore Drive in the Town of Winthrop

WHEN: Beginning on Thursday, March 1, 2018, until further notice.”

Oktoberfest Events In And Near Boston

You’ve probably heard about Oktoberfest — the citywide party every year in Munich, Germany. It starts near the end of September and millions attend. Want to join in on the fun, but can’t travel to Germany? No problem. We’ve created a handy list. You can start your celebration at a local bar in Dorchester (there are plenty), and continue at one or more upcoming events in or near Boston.

While the Dorchester Brewing Company (1250 Massachusetts Ave, Dorchester) held its official Oktoberfest celebration on September 23, you can start yours with something healthy: “Yoga With Erin Madore” from 10:15 to 11:30 am on Saturday, September 30th. Hungry after yoga? The brewery will offer the “Munch Mobile Kitchen Popup” from 1:00 to 8:00 pm.

This event, and the ones listed below, are only for persons 21 years of age or older.

In Boston, the Harpoon Brewery (306 Northern Ave) will celebrate with German beers, bratwurst sausages, pretzels, and an Oompah band on Friday, September 29 from 5:30 to 11:30 pm and Saturday, September 30th from 1:00 to 7:00 pm. Tours of the brewery are also available. Tickets should be purchased in advance.

Also in Boston, the City Tap House Boston (10 Boston Wharf Road) bar and restaurant will celebrate with an “Ain’t Firkin Around About Oktoberfest” event all day on Sunday, October 1st.

In Cambridge, the Cambridge 5K Oktoberfest run will start on Sunday October 1st at 9:30 am at the Cambridgeside Galleria. Participating runners will receive a race shirt plus food and beer from Jacob Wirth, swissbäkers, Cambridge Brewing Co, Notch, Slumbrew & Bantam Cider. Advance registration is required for participating runners.

In Somerville, Redbones Restaurant (55 Chester Street, Davis Square) will sponsor a “30th Birthday Oktoberfest” on Sunday, October 1 from Noon to 6:00 pm. The event will include cider, German beers, live music, and items from the restaurant’s famous barbecue menu.

Also in Somerville, the celebration will continue at the Bronwyn Restaurant (255 Washington Street), a popular restaurant which serves authentic German food and beer. It also features an actual outdoor biergarten in the back, which is open weather permitting.

Later in October, the Samuel Adams Octoberfest (World Trade Center Concourse, Boulevard of Flags, One Seaport Lane) will be held on Friday, October 27 starting at 4:00 pm. The event will feature live music, food, beer, a “Hops Slide,” lawn games, and a “Stein Hoisting” competition. Tickets should be purchased in advance.

National Parks: Buy Your Senior Pass Before The Price Increase

National Park Service logoPopular summertime activities include visiting and camping in national parks. The U.S. National Park Service (NPS) operates the nation’s 417 sites. The sites include 129 historical parks or sites, 87 national monuments, 59 national parks, 25 battlefields or military parks, 19 preserves, 18 recreation areas, 10 seashores, four parkways, four lake shores, and two reserves.

The NPS sells lifetime passes for seniors (age 62 or older) which provide access to more than 2,000 parks and recreation sites nationwide.  Six agencies participate in the Interagency Pass Program: National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. So, a senior pass provides reduced-cost access to lots of places.

The senior pass is also a bargain since the pass holder can use it plus accompanying passengers is a single, private, non-commercial vehicle. However, the price of a senior pass will rise on August 28 from $10.00 to $80.00 (plus a $10.00 processing fee). Yes, that is a 700 percent price increase!

U.S. citizens or permanent residents can buy passes. There are three ways to buy senior passes:

Applicants must provide documentation proving citizenship and age. See the Frequently Asked Questions: Recreational Passes page (USGS site) for additional information, including forms of acceptable documentation. Within the parks and recreational sites, there may be additional fees for special services (e.g., camping, swimming, boat launch, specialized interpretive services). The senior pass may provide a 50 percent discount on these fees, but does not cover fees charged by concession stands.

Not a senior? Besides standard annual passes ($80.00 each), the NPS offers a variety of annual passes: free passes for military members and their dependents, passes for 4th grade students, free passes for persons with disabilities, and free passes for volunteers.

For Dorchester residents, there are several nearby parks and recreation sites:

  • Boston National Historical Park, including the 2.5 mile (4 km) Freedom Trail®
  • Boston African American National Historic Site is located in historic Beacon Hill in downtown Boston
  • Boston Harbor Islands includes 34 islands (e.g., Georges, Spectacle, Thompson, Lovells, Peddocks, Bumpkin, etc.) and peninsulas covering more than 50 square miles. Visit historic lighthouses, explore tide pools, hike lush trails, camp under the stars, or enjoy some of the fishing, picnicking, or swimming spots.

To find more sites, use the park search finder. Another nearby site is the Adams National Historic Park in Quincy, Massachusetts. The park includes the birthplaces of two presidents, the “summer White House,” Stone Library, the Adams Carriage House, and 13 acres of a historic landscapes. Guided tours (April 19 – November 10) start at the visitor center (1250 Hancock Street, Quincy, MA), where senior, military, and 4th grade recreational passes can also be purchased in person.

I bought my senior pass at the Adams park in Quincy. It was fast, easy, and convenient — and I avoided the $10.00 processing fee. If you need a pass quickly, buying in person seems best. The visitor center is directly across the street from the Quincy Center station on the Braintree branch of the MBTA Red Line. There is plenty of free parking nearby.

Free Events For Bicycle Riders In Dorchester

Today’s post is 4th in a series about free events.

The Boston Neighborhood Bike Ride Series has two free events coming soon. The Neighborhood Ride Series (#IBikeBoston) welcomes riders (ages 16+, under 16 with parent present) of all abilities for a group ride exploring Dorchester streets and paths. During the rider you will see and learn about cultural and historical sights, plus parks and other favorite destinations.

The next group ride in Dorchester:
When: Saturday, August 5
Where: Starts in front of Ashmont Cycles in Peabody Square (Directions)
When: 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Prizes are available for riders who complete 5 or more group rides. For more information, see the Dorchester event page, join the Boston Neighborhood Bike Ride Series group on Facebook, or follow the group on Twitter.

The next group ride scheduled is September 23 in Mattapan. Group riders in other areas of Boston are also planned.

Through its Boston Bikes program, the City of Boston seeks to “make bicycling fun, safe, and accessible.”

More Free Things To Do In Boston This Summer

Today’s post is the third in a series listing free activities this summer in Dorchester or in nearby parts of Boston. Below are activities sponsored by the Franklin Park Coalition:

Elma Lewis Playhouse in the Park
Tuesday, June 18th:
11:00 am: OrigiNation – interactive dance
6:00 pm: E-Water Band
The playhouse stage is located between the zoo and White Stadium on Pierpont Road. Park rules: no alcohol, no smoking, and no BBQ.

Saturday Mornings
8:00 am: walking group. Meet at the Golf Clubhouse
9:15 am: Yoga with Linda the Wellness Warrior. Meet on Schoolmaster Hill, midway along the park road. Look for signs.

Mondays & Wednesdays
6:30 pm: Line dancing with Mz. Rhythm. Meet at Refectory Hill across from the clubhouse overlooking Blue Hill Ave.

Free Summer Activities Available Locally

Looking for free activities to do this summer? There are several within Boston:

Summer concerts in Franklin Park
The nonprofit Franklin Park Coalition produces free concerts at the Elma Lewis Playhouse from July 11 to August 15. See the website for location, parking, and related information; or to sign up for e-mail updates.

WBZ Free Family Movies
WBZ-TV and the Department of Conservation & Recreation provide free family films throughout the summer at various locations in and near Boston, including Pope John Paul II Park in Dorchester:
August 10: Moana
August 17: Lego Batman
August 24: Doctor Strange
August 31: Star Wars Rogue 1
See the Massachusetts DCR site for the complete schedule (Adobe PDF) for all locations.

Summer In The City events at Rowes Wharf
The Boston Harbor Hotel produces free concerts and films downtown on the waterfront. Events start at 6:00 pm. The lineup includes R&B on Tuesdays, big band/swing on Wednesdays, Blues on Thursdays, and classic movies on Fridays. See the website for additional information and the list of musicians (Adobe PDF). The best transportation option is the MBTA: take any Red Line train to South Station and walk 3 blocks to the hotel. See map.

McConnell Playground Improvements

The City of Boston is considering a comprehensive renovation to the park, playgrounds, fields, and parking at McConnell Playground. To ensure that the improvements meets residents’ needs, the City invited Savin Hill residents to complete an online survey. The deadline for feedback is July 10, 2017.

Links to the online survey and to related documents are at:

Improvements To McConnell Playground