Best of the New: Diversions
Dining with a flash mob, where to go on Wednesdays, a youth orchestra’s sweet sounds, and a star kangaroo.
This story is from BostonGlobe.com, the only place for complete digital access to the Globe.
Best of the New contributors: Jenn Abelson, Ami Albernaz, Cheryl Alkon, Kara Baskin, Karen Campbell, Matt Casey, Devra First, Tim Flynn, Ethan Gilsdorf, Alice Gregory, Lucia Huntington, Katherine Hysmith, Carolyn Y. Johnson, Susan Johnston, Sheryl Julian, Joseph P. Kahn, Marni Elyse Katz, Scott Kirsner, Ann Trieger Kurland, Dan Morrell, John Powers, Sebastian Smee, Shira Springer, Tina Sutton, Rachel Travers, and Glenn Yoder
> 200 Stuart Street, Boston, 617-482-1800, reverehotel.com
There are all sorts of ways to entertain yourself at Boston’s luxe new Revere Hotel, but one of the best is this culture and style fete held every Wednesday in the Emerald Lounge. Created in partnership with Future Boston Alliance, it offers an eclectic range of artistic exhibitions and shoppable fashion festivities. Past events have been built around local artists of color, the Kush Groove clothing line, and a sneaker museum. When the parties restart after the holidays, House of Findings and HarborArts will be among those featured.
> 617-695-6955, bostonballet.org
Less Disney-esque, more sophisticated: That was Boston Ballet artistic director Mikko Nissinen’s goal in re-imagining The Nutcracker. Mission accomplished. Award-winning set and costume designer Robert Perdziola emulates the elegant Regency period (think Jane Austen) for Act 1, with the cartoonish Drosselmeier now a heartthrob. Act 2 dazzles with lavish colors, sumptuous fabrics, and 200,000 glistening jewels. The new sets are amazing and the freshened choreography charming. Performances run through December 30.
BOSTON FESTIVAL OF INDIE GAMES
The implosion of Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios this year taught us that lavish funding can be detrimental to creating fantastic video games. Luckily, the Boston Festival of Indie Games at MIT helped return game development to its DIY home-grown spirit. In September, some 2,000 participants test-drove garden-fresh video games, as well as board and card games, from nearly 50 local and regional upstarts. Talks, film screenings, and an art show rounded out the festival, which is expected to be even bigger when it returns in 2013.
BOSTON NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK VISITOR CENTER
> Faneuil Hall, Boston, 617-242-5642, nps.gov/boston
Tourists lost in the Revolutionary streets of Boston once stumbled into a dank, outdated National Park visitor center on State Street to find their way. No longer. In May, a fresh, tech-savvy HQ opened in Faneuil Hall, the city’s historical mother ship. Designed and built entirely by local firms, the cheerier digs are chock-full of information kiosks about the Freedom Trail and the Black Heritage Trail, in addition to materials on parks and historic sites throughout Massachusetts. Downloadable smartphone apps and iPad stations let visitors map out custom-designed walking tours, making the center a model for how the Park Service can use technology.
BOSTON PHILHARMONIC YOUTH ORCHESTRA
Benjamin Zander’s controversial departure after more than 45 years at the New England Conservatory didn’t keep the maestro from bouncing back quickly with his next big project. The 117-member Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, with musicians ranging from 12 to 21, debuted just after Thanksgiving at Symphony Hall, drawing rave reviews. Globe correspondent Jeffrey Gantz called the performance “spectacular in every way.”
BOSTON TEA PARTY SHIPS & MUSEUM
> 306 Congress Street Bridge, Boston, 855-832-1773, bostonteapartyship.com
Twelve years after a fire destroyed the original museum, it finally reopened in June at a floating site on the Congress Street Bridge, spitting distance from the site of the actual Boston Tea Party. The fleet of restored ships was expanded to three—although the third won’t arrive until late 2013— and a tearoom was added. Actors dressed in period costume and high-tech interactive exhibits fill in the gaps on the events of December 16, 1773—in fact, a major reenactment is scheduled for today. Perhaps best of all, guests at the museum can stick feathers in their hair and toss replica tea crates into the water. Huzzah!
LE DINER EN BLANC
It’s a flash mob with a French twist. In August, nearly 800 picnickers clad all in white gathered in Harborpark at Moakley Courthouse for Boston’s first-ever Le Diner en Blanc. The pop-up event, where diners bring white chairs, a 30-inch table, decorations, and baskets to a surprise location for dinner, originated in Paris more than 20 years ago and has been spreading around the world. Organizers say Le Diner en Blanc will return to Boston next summer in another secret location. Continued...