As you may have heard, the hulking Tropical Storm Albert continues to race towards Boston without a care in the world for the fireworks and outdoor cookouts we’ve all planned for America’s birthday. This has led to all city-planned Independence Day events being moved to —gasp — this very night. But fret not! One needs only do a little planning (and a lot of drinking) to fully enjoy the holiday. Here’s our guide on how to work around the snags and celebrate the nation.
|1. Get in on tonight's moved-up festivities
You might not have expected them tonight, but almost all of the incredible events planned for tomorrow are very much still happening... and unmissable. With the Boston Pops fireworks show going live at 10:30 over the Esplanade and The Beach Boys playing a set with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Megan Hilty, and the Boston Children's Chorus
at the Shell from 8 to 11, it might not be July 4, but that is one honey of a patriotic lineup.
There will be traffic restrictions (this article
lists all the streets that will be closed or partially closed tonight) and large crowds all around the metropolitan, so the best approach is to walk or bike (or, if you're lucky enough to have a boat, many boaters dock along the Esplanade and spend the night). Security checkpoints will open at 5 p.m., so get there early to find a good spot — along the right side of the stage is best for fireworks viewing.
If you're not into the crowds on the Esplanade, Boston is full of neat high-up spots to gaze at fireworks and party down for America. For a swanky time, check out the Hyatt Regency overlooking the Charles — it's $43 to get into the party in the viewing area at the top of the hotel, but offers spectacular views. For a cheaper option, try summiting one of the few metropolitan hills of the area. Brookline's Corey Hill on Summit Ave. overlooks most of the city from the southwest, with plenty of sky to enjoy and grass to sit on.
|2. When the storm hits, hunker down in style
Boozy Watermelon (prepare overnight):
1 watermelon, size of your choosing
A few cups of the liquor of your choosing (vodka, tequila, or gin work well, but we like to get fancy and add a little St. Germain or Cointreau to the mix)
Cut a small circle (think the size of your bottle opening) into the watermelon's rind. Use the corkscrew to draw out the core of melon guts; do not discard. Insert the skewer into the hole and poke around a few times, not deep enough to pierce the rind but enough to allow alcohol to pass through the melon. Having done this, slowly pour liquor into the opening, pausing occasionally — some like to stick the whole bottle into the opening but from our experience, it gets a little messy. Once you can't pour any alcohol in anymore, replace the small piece of watermelon you took out and allow the watermelon to sit in the fridge for at least a few hours. Cut and serve.
"Blueberries Gone Wild," recipe contributed by Debbi Peek to foodandwine.com
11 blueberries, 3 skewered on a pick
1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/4 ounce agave nectar
Ice cubes, plus crushed ice
1 1/2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce pomegranate liqueur
1 lemon wheel
Prep: In a cocktail shaker, muddle 8 blueberries with the lemon juice and agave nectar. Add ice cubes and the gin and pomegranate liqueur and shake well. Strain into a crushed ice–filled rocks glass and garnish with the skewered blueberries and the lemon wheel.
|3. Screw rain. Go out anyway.
After going to town on an alcoholic watermelon in a muggy apartment, it may even seem appealing to go out into the storm, and we are all for that. If it's not actively thunder storming (careful, lightning strikes are not fun), why not go outside and play? Ringer Park, Smith Playground, and Amory Park all have wide open fields for mud fights with friends, general frolicking and a nice break from the humidity. If you're feeling ambitious, a stormy ocean scene is sometimes even more beautiful than a perfect beach day — drive out (slowly!) to Nahant or Revere Beach and watch the waves swell.
Once the cloud-covered sun sets, stop by one of the many parties still fully on for the night — for $10, which includes appetizers and three raffle tickets, Central Square's Moksa/Club Naga will be hosting a bash from 4 to 8:30. The Faneuil Hall Pub Crawl, starting at the Stadium at noon but continuing on until midnight, will go on rain or shine.