Johnny's List of Quirky Boston Events: 09/22/05

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I did visit the
Big E, the Eastern States Exposition and it was worth the 2 hour trip west. Parking costs $5 but the show itself is inexpensive and the Circus and Horse Show are free so basically that pays for itself. There are tons of vendors selling every crap "As Seen on TV" product you can imagine, there is a carnival that is only moderately overpriced but a huge slide that is only $1.50. Surprisingly, beyond the horse show, they only had one stable area for sheep and other livestock. I think I was expecting a larger variety of animals. And the show is easily do-able in only 4 hours. I think I would find it hard to spend more than a day there. So while you're out west, combine it with some other Springfield attraction.


This weekend is the Three Apples Storytelling Festival, Sep 24-25 in Harvard, MA. It sounds like it's just for kids, but go Saturday evening and it's quite an experience. I've been and I was really surprised how the storytellers integrated theater and crowd participation to add to their tales. Sunday is just for taking classes, so don't go then.



This weekend is also the
Aviation Heritage Festival, Sep 24-25, in Nashua, NH. I don't know much about this event but it appears to be an airshow, the only one I know of that's semi-local. The last airshow I went to in NY was really interesting, well worth the visit.


My favorite event for the weekend is the
Jamaica Plain Open Studios, Sep 24-25 in Jamaica Plain. Local artists open their homes to the public, so you can wander through and get some local flavor and possibly buy. While you're there, make sure to go to The North American Indian Center of Boston Pow Wow. It's the only pow-wow that's genuinely in the metro area and takes place at a local museum at 105 South Huntington Ave. 617-232-0343.


A similiar event is the
Central Square World's Fair, Sep 25th in Central Square, Cambridge. They do this a few times a year and keep calling it different names. Basically they close off Massachusetts Avenue and you can stroll around seeing various vendors. 12-6pm.


For music lovers, this weekend is also the
Boston Folk Festival, featuring Suzanne Vega on Saturday Night. It takes place at at UMass Boston. I've been to a number of folk festivals, not this one but it appears to be worth the trip. Expect a number of hokey vendors selling food and crafts, and some really good performers that you'll need to plan a little in advance to see.


For serious music lovers, the Boston professional trade show for musicians is happening, called the
NEMO Music Festival, Sep 29-Oct 2. There are two parts to this. First, the industry trade show at Boston Center for the Arts, which won't interest you unless you've got your own band and you're looking for talent scouts. What's more interesting is you buy one $50 wristband and go to various venues around Boston seeing the bands that are playing their heart out hoping to get discovered. Go in a suit and pretend to have "connections" and you might just get laid.


Finally, I have to say that I always ignore food events, but check out the
Phantom Gourmet Food Festival, Sep 24. 11-4pm, Landsdowne St. next to Fenway Park. $25 and sample food from 30 restaurants. I don't normally even read "tastings" ads but the Phantom Gourmet is a good judge, I would try this one. Besides, yum, I'm hungry.


I always try to add a wildcard, and this week it's
Stargazing @ BU Coit Observatory. I went yesterday and it was mildly interesting to see blobs through telescopes and try to pick out constellations through the city glow of Boston's Skyline. The good news is that it happens regularly, every Wednesday 8:30-9:30 Apr-Oct, else 7:30-8:30 winter. So you can go on a night when you've nothing else to do. Make sure to call ahead because they'll close due to cloudy or rainy weather.