Johnny’s List of Weird Boston Events: 2/09/09

It’s Valentine’s Day on Saturday. Whether you embrace it, or you just want all the happy people to shut up (which is me this year), here are some ideas for fun things to do.

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The Week in Weird
Outdoor Explorations: Valentine’s Day Moonlight Snowshoe Feb 14 Worcester
So you want to do something for Valentine’s Day? You open up the newspaper and all you see is a lot of bars. Here is a hint. It is not romantic to take your sweetie to a bar. A restaurant is a little better, but hardly creative. Why not do one of the regular events on Johnny’s list as a romantic outing? Here is one: nighttime snowshoeing!!! (Maybe this is why I am single now?) 2009: 5-10pm.
Hale Reservation, 80 Carby St., Westwood, MA. more
Love Letters of the Phillips Family Feb 13 North Shore
And here’s something indoorsy. Readings from the love letters of five generations of the Phillips family, at a historic home in Salem.
Philips House, Salem, MA. more
Ippi’s Valentine Ice Derby Feb 15 North Shore
Or ice fishing! Because nothing says Valentine’s Day like ice fishing.
Lynn, MA. more
Newport Winter Festival Feb 13 – Feb 22 Rhode Island
Or check out the ice sculpturing demonstration at the Newport Winter Festival, which they’re calling “New England’s Largest Extravaganza”. They’ll have helicopter rides, a chili cook-off, and plenty of historic mansions to tour.
Newport, RI.401-847-7666. more
Merrimack River Eagle Festival Feb 14 Northern Mass
Perhaps you and your honey would like to see live eagles and take a tour of a national park looking for wild ones. (I actually took a date to train to fly a falcon once. It was scary.).
Main Street, Amesbury, MA.978-388-3178. more
World Championship Sled Dog Racing Feb 13 – Feb 15 New Hampshire
Or go see sled dogs! The bad Valentine’s ideas just keep coming!
Laconia, NH. more
Special Olympics Passion Plunge Feb 14 Boston Metro
I am told that the Passion Plunge does NOT involve mentally challenged kids being encouraged by Greenpeace liberals to dive into freezing water. It’s a charity for the rest of us to help support them. That makes more sense. Also at Lake Quinnsigamond in Shrewsbury.
Nantasket Beach, Hull, MA. more
Lincoln Impersonator, First Unitarian Church, Providence, RI Feb 12 Rhode Island
Because it’s Abe Lincoln’s 200th birthday, there will be a lot of re-enactments this year. Here is one, in Providence.
First Unitarian Church, Providence, RI. more
Presidential Cartoonists Feb 16 Boston Metro
The presidents will be at the JFK Museum in spirit along with some famous political cartoonists, for a talk on Monday, which is Presidents Day.
JFK Library & Museum, Boston, MA. more
Boskone Feb 13 – Feb 15 Boston Metro
But you don’t care, because you’ll be too busy geeking out at Boskone, which is the “other” major science fiction convention in Boston.
Westin Waterfront, Boston, MA. more
Annual Sci-Fi Film Festival @ Somerville Theatre Feb 15 – Feb 16 Boston Metro
Also geeky is an SF film festival in Somerville. I can’t tell from the website if there will be anything interactive, or just the films.
55 Davis Square, Somerville, MA.617-625-5700. more
Harvard Model United Nations Feb 12 – Feb 15 Boston Metro
Equally geeky, but a lot more interesting, is the model UN. These students really take it seriously. And I’m not really sure if you can just stroll in as a member of the public and check it out. I would think so. I get away with a lot just by smiling and looking like I belong.
Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA. more
Lizard Lounge Poetry Jam Celebration Feb 15 Boston Metro
You may get some actual love poetry at the Lizard Lounge’s annual anniversary party.
Lizard Lounge, 1667 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA.617-547-0759. more

Darwin Day
Darwin Day 200 at Harvard: Darwin and Me Symposium Feb 12 – Mar 5 Boston Metro
OK! Now the week really starts heating up, with an array of events to celebration the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday.
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. more
Salem State College Darwin Festival Feb 9 – Feb 13 Boston Metro
Also Salem State College will host a series of lectures and films.
Salem State College, Salem, MA. more
An Afternoon with Charles Darwin Feb 15 Boston Metro
The highlight of Darwin Day will undoubtedly be meeting Darwin himself! Well, played by a re-enactor. 2009: 2pm.
Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA. more
Birthday Party for Darwin Feb 12 Boston Metro
There are two birthday parties. This is the one at Harvard.
Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub, Memorial Hall, Harvard College, 45 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA. more
Darwin Birthday Bash for Kids, Adults, Families and Friends! Feb 15 Rhode Island
And another one which looks more kid-oriented.
Charlie’s Playhouse Studio, 999 Main Street, Unit 708, Pawtucket, RI. more
Origin of Species Readathon Feb 12 Boston Metro
They are doing a reading of the Origin of Species, at spots all over campus, so I guess you have to trail along after them if you want to catch the whole thing.
All around Harvard, Cambridge, MA. more
Darwin at 200: Rethinking the Revolution Feb 12 Boston Metro
Someone very important will give a lecture at Harvard.
Harvard’s Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA. more
Darwin Bicentennial lecture by Daniel Dennett Feb 12 Boston Metro
But even importanter is Daniel Dennett, the famous author of pro-evolution anti-religion books.
Framingham State College, Framingham, MA. more
Darwin Day Celebration Feb 14 Worcester
Possibly even better is a lecture plus lunch plus a garden. But it’s way out near Worcester.
Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Dr, Boylston, MA. more

Also Fun
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, “A Venetian Valentine Feb 14 Boston Metro
I always put the less interesting things at the bottom. If you really need to do a cocktail event for Valentine’s Day, this is the one, at the Gardner Museum.
280 The Fenway, Boston, MA.(617) 566-1401. more
Valentine Day FlirtFest Feb 14 Boston Metro
And if you really have to hit a bar, this is my recommendation. It’s really meant for singles, though.
Vinalia, 34 Summer Street, Boston, MA. more
Academy Award-Winning Short Films Feb 12 – Mar 6 Boston Metro
Although the Academy Awards won’t be handed out until Feb 22, The Institute for Contemporary Art is showing all the short films that were nominated.
ICA, 100 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA.617-478-3100. more
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Presentation Feb 8 Boston Metro
Also the Brattle is doing an awards night (and showing Man On Wire with its producer present!). Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke will stop in via video.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA. more
Boston African Film Festival Feb 6 – Feb 15 Boston Metro
It’s Black History Month and I finally found an appropriate event: a film series at the MFA. Featuring: lots of films. From Africa.
Museum of Fine Ahhhhts, Boston, MA. more
Joe Val Bluegrass Festival Feb 13 – Feb 15 Boston Metro
And this is a great time of the year for a music festival, as long as it’s indoors. I went to a bluegrass festival once and the repetitive chord structure made all the songs sound the same to me. Go figure.
Sheraton Hotel Framingham, Framingham, MA. more
Fetish Fair Fleamarket Feb 13 – Feb 15 Boston Metro
Also at a Sheraton near you is the largest conference of people who like sex. A lot.
Sheraton Ferncroft Hotel, Danvers, MA. more
Bugs Bunny Film Festival Feb 13 – Feb 28 Boston Metro
This is the last time I’m going to list the Brattle’s annual Bugs Bunny film festival. Does anyone really find this stuff funny any more? So much violence and — I assume they don’t show these cartoons — racist stereotypes.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA. more
Forbes House Museum Annual Lincoln Celebration Feb 12 – Feb 19 South Shore
And some lectures at the place I mentioned last week.
Forbes House Museum, 215 Adams Street, Milton, MA. more
Improv Boston’s “Thorns Feb 14 Boston Metro
Finally, if you have your heart broken, ImprovBoston will cheer you up and commiserate at the same time, improv style.
Improv Boston, 40 Prospect St., Cambridge, MA. more

Recurring Events
Hasty Pudding Man/Woman of the Year Awards Feb 5 – Feb 13 Boston Metro
Last year it was the woman. Now it’s the man of the year getting roasted. It’s James Franco. Buy tickets immediately. They always sell out.
Zero Arrow Street Theater, Cambridge, MA.617-495-5205. more
Darwin Day “Assassins” Game @ Harvard Feb 6 – Feb 12 Boston Metro
The weird event of the week is another Darwin Day activity. Darwin Day isn’t actually until February 12. But what better way to demonstrate survival of the fittest than a “circle kill game”, or “assassins” game? These games usually involve a bunch of players armed with spoons who track each other down.
Harvard, Cambridge, MA. more
Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival Feb 6 – Feb 14 North Shore
Salem’s also in the competition. What is it about this particular weekend in February? Anyway, they’ll have ice sculptures dotted all over town. This is basically an excuse to visit Salem and shop.
Salem, MA. more

Dirty Dancing, the Musical Feb 7 – Mar 15 Boston Metro
Dirty Dancing is now a musical. If you liked the movie, give it a shot.
Opera House, Boston, MA. more
Frank Caliendo Feb 14 Boston Metro
Frank Caliendo is a comedian and amazing impressionist I’ve wanted to catch for some time.
Wilbur Theatre, Boston, MA. more


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