Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 01/04/07

Happy new year!

If you missed the holiday lights, one place is still running them: Lookout Farm. I went there and it was only OK, but worth seeing if you bring kids. 89 Pleasant Street, South Natick, MA. 508-651-1539

It’s the First Friday of the month again, so there are arts socials happening. I went to the SoWA First Friday last month and it was really worth seeing. Basically, all the galleries open up their studios until late and you can walk around chatting with random people and eating free wine and cheese. Serious art people are there, the kind who actually buy $15,000 paintings, but regular people too. 450 Harrison Ave and surrounding area, Boston. 5pm to 9pm. Come and have dinner in the area, too.

Another First Friday is at the MFA. 465 Huntington St, Boston, MA. 617-267-9300. And another is at the BCA, Boston Center for the Arts, 551 Tremont St, Boston. I haven’t been to either of these too but I’ve heard the MFA is partly a singles thing.

Bodyworlds is ending this weekend at the Museum of Science, Boston. That’s the wicked gross exhibit of dead people preserved as statues. But some people think it’s great. So see it now or lose the chance. 🙂

The weird event of the week is an Elvis Presley impersonator. Spirit of the King is playing Jan 6th at the Cutler Majestic Theatre.

Do you like dancing? The other weird event is Dance Across the City, Jan 5 and 6, First, on Friday Jan 5, performance by Boston Ballet, Boston Arts Academy, and Pilobolus. I saw Pilobolus perform and they’re totl’y awesum!! Even better, Jan 6th is a day of free dance classes. There is no pre-registration required so you can just drop in. What’s better than that?

This is a pretty slow time of the year for festivals, so here are some more tips on dancing. They have “barefoot” dances in Cambridge and Watertown. Basically, this is just what you imagine. Lots of new age hippy people dancing without shoes. I’ve heard it’s great fun. Dance Freedom,, is at the Church @ Mason & Garden Streets, Cambridge. 508-405-0908. Every Wednesday 7:30-10:30. Also Dance Friday,, Church @ 111 Mt. Auburn St., Watertown, 617-997-0948. Fridays 8pm-12am. Barefoot, or soft shoes – no street shoes or heavy dance shoes are allowed.

What’s really fun though is breakdancing. There is a breakdancing club at MIT, see They have open practices every Tue, Thu, Fri and Sat. This means you can just show up, even if you’re a little shy, and they’ll teach you some steps!! How awesome is that! Throughout January they are having formal ‘lessons’, Tue 5-6pm, and Fri 4-5pm, Lobby 13 at MIT.

There is also folk dancing, of several varieties. Contra dancing is a kind of traditional UK line dancing, it is social so you get to meet people and it’s sort of like square dancing because someone calls out the steps. You can pick it up without any training and it’s very easygoing — no one’s going to fault your arm position or anything as in ballroom dancing. It happens every Monday and Thursday at the Concord Scout House, 74 Walden St. in Concord. 781-272-0396. Also MIT has a contra group,

There are so many kinds of dance, it would be hard to list them all, but The hoenix does a good job of it. A few others. For international dance, see For renaissance dancing, see And for Salsa dancing, which requires just a short lesson, see and

There are also some people crazy about drumming, who do a Drum and Dance event, the 1st Saturday of the month 8-11:30pm except July. 11 Garden St, Cambridge. And see for “drop-in” drumming. Basically you show up and drum with them. 🙂

Finally, for dance classes, see, and

The museum of the week is the American Sanitary Plumbing Museum. Yes, a museum about toilets. 10am-2pm. September to June only. 39 Piedmont St, Worcester, MA. 508-754-9453.

And I highly recommend the Fuller Museum of Art. It’s one of the few museums in the US dedicated entirely to crafts, and it’s a real gem. I have no idea why they placed it in out-of-the-way Brockton, MA, but I’ve been twice and you need to see it next time you’re in the area. 455 Oak Street, Brockton. 508-588-6000.

Also weird, the Higgins Armory Museum. Basically, 200 suits of armor and other paraphernalia. 100 Barber Ave, Worcester, MA. 508-853-6015. The last time I was there, they were having a fencing competition but the lighting conditions were so poor I think the fencers were really sweating it. Recommended.

Closer to home, try the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. You know those stories about 19th century explorers, the first “white men” to explore darkest Africa? Where do you think their stuff ended up? At Harvard of course! Come check it out. 11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA. (617) 496-1027.