I can’t tell you for sure what the average Bostonian is doing for fun on a Saturday night. We’re a diverse lot, and I’m not a typical representative; I’ve always been firmly in the nerd camp, holed up with a book on weekends rather than out getting my party on. But I think there are plenty of me’s out there in Boston as well. Being a college town, and an elite college town, we have more than our fair share of nerds, quietly reading or studying or playing video games on Saturdays. But we also know how to have a good time.
Boston has a thriving pub scene, thanks to the influence of Irish culture, and the default location for a good weekend night is one of the hundreds of pubs out there. You can go to sports bars like Sweet Caroline’s or dive bars like The Lower Depths, or classy cocktail joints like the Hub. There are more Irish pubs than I can name, and most of them have good greasy food, cheap beer, and just that right frat-boy atmosphere that you want once in a while. That’s where you’ll find half of Boston after a night baseball game, or spilling out of North Station after the Bruins have played.
Art and Culture
We’re also a very cultured town, of course. We’ve got the MFA, a world-renowned art museum, and other cultural sites. A personal favorite of mine are the numerous readings that circle around the city’s best independent bookstores. You won’t want to miss Harvard Bookstore’s star-studded lineup of readers. Last year I saw Nick Flynn and only just missed Rachel Kushner due to snow; they regularly get the best in readers, in both fiction and non-fiction. If you’re closer to Allston, you won’t want to miss Brookline Booksmith, which also regularly has wonderful author events. I recently saw an old teacher of mine, Edmund White, give a reading from his latest work.
Drama and the Outdoors
We also have a thriving little theater district, of course, with regular Broadway hits making stops here, such as The Book of Mormon, which will be arriving in the month of April, and local Boston favorites such as Blue Man Group. But the extra fun of the theater district is its location; it’s right off of Boston Common, and when the weather is warm, as it’s beginning to be, there’s nothing better than strolling through the beautiful common on a spring night. There’s an old-world magic and mystery under the street lights, with the close, intimate shrug of the small city around you, the Boston Public Garden within reach, and the lovely rolling hills of green all within sight. A good city is often defined by its green spaces, and both New York and Boston share some lovely strips of green.