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Top cultural picks for July

Posted by Karyn Polewaczyk  July 10, 2013 04:00 PM

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In the midst of crafting an all-encompassing email to my inner circle about cultural goings-on in the city this month, I realized that it was pretty damn good list, and worth sharing. To keep things simple (and at the risk of revealing my preference for juvenile language in casual settings, i.e. “sick,” “dope” and “holla,” as well as being a not-so-secret Francophile), I’ve pasted my email below, replete with accompanying links. You say won’t be here this month because of your summer share on Martha’s Vineyard? Well, good for you. Say hi to the staff at Nancy’s for me. (On second thought, please don’t do that.)

Subject line: Are you around over the next few weeks?
From: Karyn Polewaczyk
To: Undisclosed recipients
Date: July 10, 2013


There's a ton of cultural stuff going on in the city over the next few weeks that I'm particularly excited about—a lot of it is free, to boot—and figured I'd reach out to see who might be interested in joining me. (Pardon the BCC, but I think I did a pretty good job of creating the feeling of a personalized email with that subject line, non?) If you're game, just reply with what looks good to you, and I'll mark it in my calendar. As always, feel free to send this along to anyone who might also be interested in joining.


Shakespeare on the Common, every night through the 26th at 8 PM, Boston Common (free!)

Picture 7.png

Girl, you sassy.

This is one of those things that happens every summer—and yet despite living here for seven years, I've never been. I'm definitely interested in checking it out, though, so holla.

Bastille Day street party, Friday, 6 PM, French Cultural Center ($25)

It's outside, on Marlborough Street—and it's hosted rain or shine. If it's the former, I'll probably pass, because yes, I am a fair-weather partier.

French Film Fest at the MFA, tomorrow through the 28th ($9 to $11)

My picks include "Journal de France," "Just A Sigh," "The Dandelions," and "Therese." For the sake of financial conservancy, I'll probably pick just two (the first two appeal to me most), but I'm flexible. Also, a heads up: I'd book tickets on the earlier side than later, since a few films have already sold out (and most of them do).

Bastille Day street party, Sunday, 5 PM, Harvard Square (free!)


Uh huh. (Credit: Karyn Polewaczyk)

I've been to this before, and it rocks. And, as I've pointed out above, it's free—and the weather is supposed to be magnifique! I've heard rumors that the FCC's rendition blows the Harvard Square version away, but I don't see why anyone would pass up a free street party on a warm summer night. Either way, bring cash for champagne/wine/beer/snacks.

Literary Firsts, Monday, 7 PM, Middlesex Lounge (free!)

This is my friend, Carissa's, reading series, and it's one of the best in the city (and I'm not just saying that because I've read at it twice, cough, pause for shameless self-promotion, cough). I'll definitely be going.

Outside the Box festival, this weekend through the 20th, all over the place (free!)

I read something, somewhere, about how the founder of this fest fronted something like $5 million of his own money to ensure everything would be free/kick-ass. The website is kind of obnoxious in that you have to view events day by day versus over the course of a week, but there's so much stuff going on my mind is boggled, so stay tuned for what I'll want to go to. Augustana, anyone? (Sheepish shrug; slinks away from computer)

Summer Arts Weekend, July 26-28, Copley Square (free!)

Again, there's a ton going on here—and there's time to spare in terms of planning. My experience with things like this is that it seems like a good idea, at first, to plan a full itinerary, but boredom and/or annoyance with tourists can set in and I'll typically wander to a nearby watering hole. Anyway, emphasis on the "free!" part, if you need persuading.

Landmarks Orchestra at the Hatch Shell, July 31, Esplanade (free!)


Enjoy at your own risk. (And yes, that is a snowflake-printed blanket.) (Credit: Karyn Polewaczyk)

I went to this a few years ago with a friend and it was pretty amazing. Granted, we snuck in (canned) champagne, along with cheese and crackers, but it's enjoyable with or without booze. There are other dates available, too—but at this point, I'd have to look toward August, with everything else going on (which is totally fine with me, by the way).

Craving more metropolitan adventures? Follow Karyn on Twitter at @KarynPolewaczyk

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About this blog

Karyn Polewaczyk lives and writes in Boston, and believes that heading out into that good night, like any adventure, begins with the first step. Let's Go Out is a conversation about dating and nightlife in our notoriously chilly city, with first-hand tips from the trenches. Karyn's writing, which focuses largely on women's lifestyle topics, has appeared in the Weekly Dig, Jezebel, xoJane, Northshore Magazine and, among others. Follow her on Twitter at @KarynPolewaczyk.

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