Daily Update 4/10/10: Where to see Magic, Sing Karaoke (privately), and go Kayaking

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Most magic shows are for kids, so watch out for that when looking at listings, and the notable magic shows in the USA are all traveling on different schedules. So it’s hard to predict where they’ll be. However, every Tuesday night at the Hong Kong restaurant in Cambridge, where they have regular comedy shows, is Mystery Lounge @ Hong Kong Comedy Studio, a magic act, and you can (and should) eat dinner there, too. As with comedy, they start with the weakest and build up to the strongest. Another way to phrase that is, the shows start at 8pm but arrive at 9pm. And the biggest New England act that stays local is Le Grand David, up in Beverly, which I’ve always wanted to go see, once a week on Sundays.

I don’t drink, so hanging out in bars has never appealed to me much. It’s interactive — so a step up from going to the movies and ignoring your friend or date in a dark theatre — but bars are often too loud for conversation. As a result, I’ve only tried Karoake once, and it’s a pretty bad concept in my opinion. Drunk people just are not as sexy and talented as they think they are, and if you like to sing, you get to do it maybe once or twice. But then! I discoverd a couple of private karaoke places around town. They don’t serve alcohol — bring your own if you want to — but they give you a private room, like a recording studio, and a karaoke machine with video projector and a huge range of songs. You and your friends can have a more intimate experience and not get hit on by drunk people or (even worse) sung to by them. So far, I’ve only been to Do Re Mi Music Studio in Allston, which is fantastic. Good rates and they leave you alone. But I bet that Limelight Stage & Studios, which is near Boston Common, is just as good, and certainly easier to get to on the subway. If you really have to do it in public, the Midway Café used to have a live band karaoke but I don’t see it on their schedule. Instead they have Lesbian Karaoke. And Charlie’s Kitchen and The Courtside, both in Cambridge, at one point listed off-beat karaoke experiences, which is why I have them in my big database. Keep in mind, if you want to hear people sing and have it be actually good, you could always go to live music or an Open Mic night at a local pub.

Finally, I don’t talk about it much, because they’re not really “events”, but Massachusetts has some of the best public parks in the world. (I may have some local bias on that.) For some ideas, see the Big list of Massachusetts State Parks, which will list which parks have camping, canoe rentals, and so forth. My favorite place to go is Charles River Canoe & Kayak which has locations in Newton and Brighton. They give tours and lessons, but mainly, just go, rent a kayak, and explore the Charles River. Out near Newton there’s actually real wildlife in the Charles! I’ve never been, but I’ve heard that Spot Pond Boating in Stoneham and Community Boating (which has night boating every full moon) in Boston near the Museum of Science are good, too.

But wait, there’s more! The MIT Boathouse claims to have taught more people to sail than any place in the world. Anyone can buy a pass to their athletic center, which comes with free access to sail their boats, as long as you pass their course. Finally, the Boston Sailing Center has regular open houses where you get a free sail around the Boston harbor and a discount on taking a course.

I’m doing my best here to bring you good content. Please take 30 seconds and vote again. As always, the full Johnny’s List of Weird Boston Events is at www.WeirdBostonEvents.org. I’ll give up blogging daily and go back to weekly around May 1st. Thanks!