Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 03/03/08

Greetings,

This is the week in weird! ๐Ÿ™‚

The big event of the week is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade! You’re right that St. Patty’s Day isn’t until Monday, March 17. However, the first parades are March 8 on Cape Cod and March 9 in Worceter, MA and Lawrence, MA. Then a bunch more March 16 and 30. http://www.saintpatricksdayparade.com/boston/boston.htm

Is there anyone who doesn’t like fossils? Besides creationists, I mean? Get out your protest signs and tell ’em God’s just testing us at FossilFest. March 8, at the Harvard Natural History Museum in Cambridge, MA. 11am-5pm. It’s special because not just volunteers but actual paleontologists will be there to chat with. http://www.hmnh.harvard.edu

There’s an Adult Spelling Bee in Brookline. No, not an X-rated one, although I just heard about an event like this at BU I’ll be telling you about later. It’s March 9, 2-6pm and there’s a kid’s bee, also, 12-2pm. Because rote memorization is clearly an important talent. Brookline High School Auditorium. http://www.brooklineeducation.org/events/spelling_bee.html

As I mentioned last week, the Boston Massacre Re-enactment is Mar 5-8 at the Old State House, Boston, MA. Friday 11 & 2, short play. Sat 11:30 & 2:30 Trial of the Century w/ John Adams. Mon 3/5 5:30-7:30 Meet Paul Revere, 8pm re-enactment. Then March 8 a printing demonstration, a kids (11am, 2pm) and an adults (7pm) re-enactment. Lots of death! Come! http://www.bostonhistory.org/?s=osh&p=calendar

TONIGHT! Also mentioned last week, MIT Chorallaries Bad Taste Concert, tonight, 11pm but arrive early! http://web.mit.edu/choral/www/bad_taste

TOMORROW! There’s an entire concert based on bird calls. Strange but who knows if it’ll be any good? Tuesday March 4, 9pm at NEC in Boston. http://concerts.newenglandconservatory.edu/index.php?Date_Year=2008&Date_Month=03&Date_Day=04

Did you miss last week’s flower show? Surprise! This one’s bigger and closer, too. The New England Spring Flower Show is Mar 8-16, at the Bayside Expo Center, in Boston, MA. 617-933-4983. Rt 93 exit 15. All day. I actually went to this one a couple of years ago and it’s quite interesting. Even if you’re not a gardener (and they have tons of vendors) it’s worth it to see all the floral exhibits and competitive dioramas, some of which are room-sized. http://www.masshort.org

There aren’t any burlesque shows this week that I know of. But wait a second, how about sassy babes in fishnet stockings competing in a roller derby? See the Boston Derby Dames March 8 at the Shriners Auditorium in Wilmington, MA. 5pm. With an afterparty. All I can say is, those Shriners really know how to rock. http://www.bostonderbydames.com/index.cfm?cdid=10583&pid=10200

You’ve heard of Jack Kerouac and his book On the Road, which helped define the Beat Generation (I guess generation W came before generation X…) If you want to give up the misery of the Great Depression and celebrate bohemian culture and road tripping, check out the Annual Kerouac Birthday Celebration, Mar 7-12. Lowell, MA. I have to confess that some readings and birthday cake doesn’t sound all too exciting. http://lckorg.tripod.com/

There’s a comedy night in Roxbury that looks unusual enough to drag me out there. Corey Manning from “Laffapalooza” will host. Love & Laughter is March 8 at the Roxbury Center for Arts. http://rcahh.org

Also comedic, is the MIT Annual Latke-Hamentashen Debate. See highly respected professors debate over which Jewish foods are the best. And you get to sample these desserts as well. March 5, 8pm, MIT 26-100. http://web.mit.edu/hillel/www/latke-hamentashen-debate.html

Want to learn some folk dancing? It’s a lot more fun that it sounds. Give it a shot I won’t tell your emo friends who are too good for a little peasant revelry. Also Jewish, visit the Israel Folk Dance Festival of Boston. There’s an “Ice Cream” dance party on March 8 that’s participatory, in Newton. And then a performance, March 9 in Cambridge, MA. They have participatory dances year round. http://www.bostonfestival.org

Also participatory is the Balkan Music Night Annual Concert and Party is March 8. 51 Walden Street, Concord MA. http://www.forsyths.addr.com/bmn/

Here are some more folk dancing opportunities:

— Greek Dancing in Somerville. Thursdays, 7-9 p.m., Church, 29 Central Square, Somerville, MA. http://www.wickedlocal.com/somerville/calendar/8998977540831838207

— Contra Dancing in Concord. Monday, Thursday 7:30-10:30. Contra Dancing, which is a line dance good for meeting new people. I’ve been to this one, it’s my favorite. Anyone can just walk in and pick it up, don’t be afraid! Concord Scott House, 74 Walden St. Concord, MA. 781-272-0396. http://www.neffa.org/invite.shtml

— Swing Dancing in Arlington. Classes Tuesdays at 7pm then party at 9:15pm. http://www.danceboston.com/tuesdays.html

— International Dancing, which is the dance equivalent of mystery meat for lunch, Church, 35 Church St, Watertown, MA. Thursdays and 4th Saturdays. http://www.facone.org

— Lindy Hop in Arlington. Lindy Hop is a fad from the 1920s that just won’t die. Church, 21 Marathon Street, Arlington, MA. First Thursday of the month. 9:30-11pm. http://jera.pair.com/~mjonas/mikes/stomp.html

— Scottish Country Dance in Salem. Church, 211 Bridge St, Salem, MA. Thursdays, lessons 7:30, dance 8. http://calendar.boston.com/events/show/657002

— Swing Dance in Newton at Swing City. I’ve actually been to this and it was so much fun! Lessons first, then party. Bishop MacKenzie, 1337 Centre Street, Newton, MA. 617-566-7111. Fridays. http://www.wannadance.com

— Swing dancing in Newton at Swing 440, which is totally not the same thing as Swing 420. American Legion, 295 California St, Newton, MA. Sundays and other days. And hey, they have hip hop classes, too. http://www.hoptothebeat.com/dances.html#swing_440_dance_club

— Salsa dancing at Havana Club in Cambridge. 114 Mt. Auburn St, Cambridge, MA. 617-312-5550. $12. Fridays 9:30-10:30. Lessons at 9:30pm, dance party starts at 10:30. I’ve been salsa dancing at Ryles and the instructor was awful, so ttry this one instead. http://www.havanaclubsalsa.com/salsa_fridays.shtml

— “Barefoot” dancing in Cambridge. What the hell does that mean? It sounds very Cambridge which has could be either awesome or too trippy. Church @ Mason & Garden Streets, Cambridge, MA. 508-405-0908. $10. Every Wednesday 7:30-10:30. http://www.dancefreedom.com

— And a bunch more at http://www.facone.org/programs/program/thursdaydance.htm and http://www.neffa.org/Top/index.shtml and in every Boston Phoenix (but those can be outdated).

Finally, if you’re just too hip for folk dancing (or don’t realize how fun it is, once you’ve gotten over yourself), learn some Breakdancing. I went once and hey, I’m a geek, but I felt so welcomed and I even learned some moves! It’s hard but so much fun, try it. Open Practices are Tue & Thu 7-9:30, Lobby 13 or or Building 34. MIT, Cambridge. http://www.mit.edu/~imobilare

Sometimes I list business events that just look fun anyway. One I’ve always wondered about is the AAA Travel Marketplace. Sweet deals to places and hotels of unknown quality. Mar 7-9. Gillette Stadium. Foxborough, MA. For AAA members. https://www.aaa.com/aaa/240/sne/travel/travelmarketplace2008/index.html

Boston Restaurant Week is also a marketing gimmick. Mar 9-21, except Saturdays. Various fancy restaurants offer eating discounts. It’s a promotion, not an event, but the winter is sparse, so we’ll take what we can get. Various locations. http://www.restaurantweekboston.com

Gotharama comes to Boston, March 8. Middle East in Cambridge. It’s a night of music and not really a festival. They really have the least interesting Web site possible. I guess they assume the trendy types who will come already know all about it anyway. A lot of good bands will be there. http://www.ri-gotharama.com

Continuing events:

— Julius Caesar, to Mar 16, http://www.amrep.org/caesar/

— The Salem Film Festival, to Mar 6, http://www.cinemasalem.com

Heads up, “Annie” is coming to the CitiWang Theatre, Mar 25-30. You know, the orphan who just can’t stop singing. And They Might Be Giants is coming Mar 28 to http://www.somervilletheatreonline.com/somerville/schedule/events.php

Have fun. You know it’s a good week when I surf boston.com and going.com and don’t find a single quirky thing I’m not already listing.

I triple dare Ron to find a broken link this week. ๐Ÿ™‚

-Johnny