Forecast: November

| Boston Magazine |

GASTRONOMY
11/10 THESE GUYS KNOW SEAFOOD, ALL RIGHT
Sure, it has plenty of fish, but when you think of a great seafood dinner, we’re guessing you don’t usually think: the New England Aquarium! Ironic though it may be, the aquarium hosts a three-course feast tonight to raise awareness of sustainable fishing. Tending the kitchen will be Andy Husbands, seafood expert and chef-owner of the South End’s Tremont 647. For further qualifications, just look to his recent stint on Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen, where he displayed not only his culinary chops, but also a way with words that would make a lobsterman proud. neaq.org.

HUMAN RESOURCES
11/01 BUMPY ROAD FOR NEW TRANSIT CHIEF
Any excitement Jeffrey Mullan may have for his new gig—he starts today as head of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation—is sure to be tempered right off the bat. The new agency is taking control of both the Turnpike Authority and the beleaguered MBTA, ensuring that Mullan could be cursed for everything from long lines at the RMV to late trains on the T.

Having the single agency oversee state transportation projects could save up to $6.5 billion over 20 years, but there’s a nice public relations benefit to be realized, too: After a spate of bad press over its budget woes and text-happy conductors, the MBTA gets a new face (which, thanks to Mullan, comes with a no-nonsense mustache).

Today is also the deadline for the review of MBTA finances that Governor Deval Patrick ordered after his ouster of T chief Dan Grabauskas in August. The results could determine whether the agency must plow ahead with the wildly unpopular fare hikes that Patrick shelved this summer.

AUCTION 11/01
Expect to see works by Lichtenstein, above, and other heavy hitters as Lehman Brothers’ shuttered offices—including the Boston branch—begin selling off their art. freemansauction.com.

ELECTION
11/03 MENINO DYNASTY IN THE BALANCE

Bostonians go to the polls today to determine whether Michael Flaherty has galvanized enough Menino Fatigue sufferers to unseat the city’s longest-serving mayor. The electorate in the Hub has been rather uninterested in recent mayoral contests (four years ago, only a third of registered voters showed).

But expect plenty of election excitement today in Revere, where the question of condom availability in schools is on the ballot. And look for Malden’s contentious pay-as-you-throw trash tax to bring out outraged voters in droves.

CONCERT 11/04
Raspy, beardy Maine songwriter Ray LaMontagne plays his sultry lullabies at the Wang Theatre. citicenter.org.

ANNIVERSARY
11/07 THE DAY THAT TED WENT ALL-IN

It was three decades ago today that Ted Kennedy filled Faneuil Hall to announce his candidacy for the White House. Earlier that same day, the New York Times published an op-ed headlined "The Legacy of Chappaquiddick," reviving the scandal that would dog Kennedy during his try for the Democratic nomination.


CONSIDER THIS
Questions you’ll have reason to ask this month.

Can Pixies fans hope for some new tunes?
Twenty years after releasing their biggest-selling album, Doolittle, über-alt rockers the Pixies take the stage 11/27 and 11/28 at the Wang Theatre to run through numbers from the gold record. The tour has sparked rumors of new Pixies material coming sometime next year—wishful thinking perhaps, but what better place to try out something new than back home in Boston?

Will the kids of Cambridge get a representative? Vowing to be a voice for the city’s hordes of students, Leland Cheung, a grad student at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, wraps up his run for a Cambridge City Council seat on 11/3. Buoyed by the strong showing that another MIT student made six years ago, Cheung has spent the fall rallying the excitable college kids—the vast majority of whom, of course, aren’t registered to vote in Cambridge.

Is this the end of tourists asking for directions? Starting as early as this month, Boston’s visitors bureau will roll out iPhone apps that guide the wayward to all manner of touristy destinations and even enable users to get trolley tour tickets, harbor cruise passes, and theater seats. Here’s hoping the plan doesn’t clog the Freedom Trail with about a million out-of-towners staring into their phones.

PHILANTHROPY
11/08 CHARITIES AIM FOR HIP POCKETS

Fundraisers seem to be recognizing there’s gold in them thar skinny jeans, as local nonprofits get a boost from mixing hipster aesthetic with a little creative thinking. See, for instance, today’s Knit-a-Thon for the Pine Street Inn: Last year needle-wielders raised nearly $20,000 for the South End homeless shelter. And youth writing center 826 Boston reached out to the goatee-friendly contingent this past spring, pulling in $10,000 with its Mustache-a-Thon.

CONCERT 11/09
Miley Cyrus invades Boston. It’s your kids’ fleeting affection versus their college fund. tdgarden.com.

READING
11/12 AND YOU THOUGHT ALCOTT WAS A PRUDE

With Little Women, Louisa May Alcott found literary fame in describing the genteel lives of four young Concord sisters. But according to Arlington’s Harriet Reisen, the novelist was less like her characters than generations of acolytes might have assumed. Reading from her new Alcott biography tonight at the Boston Public Library, Reisen paints her as an outspoken feminist who wrote racy pulp fiction under a pen name and harbored burning teenage crushes on her neighbors Emerson and Thoreau. Mercy! bpl.org.

EVENT
11/13–11/15 NO BEACH READS HERE

Not sure if that dusty Dickens in your attic is okay for Goodwill? Ask the expert appraisers at the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair at the Hynes Convention Center, which will also feature piles of first editions and a slew of rarities like the signed yearbook photo of J. D. Salinger from his own Holden Caulfield days. bostonbookfair.com.

DISCUSSION
11/14 TRADING WEST SIDE STORIES
Famed lyricist Stephen Sondheim visits Harvard’s Sanders Theatre for a chat with Frank Rich, formerly the New York Times theater critic. It’s a rare chance to see the spotlight-shy Sondheim, who may be hoping to spy some fellow alums from Williams College’s Class of 1950—they placed him only fourth in their "most likely to succeed" poll. celebrityseries.org.

MY AGENDA
Krzysztof Wodiczko, artist and MIT professor

Renowned for his large-scale, socially conscious works, Wodiczko opens "The Veterans Project," an examination of war’s trauma, at the ICA on 11/4, which begins a very busy month.

On Veterans Day [11/11], I’ll moderate a talk at the ICA with the veterans who participated in the project. The wall that separates those who know war from those who don’t is very thick—my challenge is to make it thinner.

I’ll continue my work on a monument commemorating the abolition of slavery in France, on which I’ve been collaborating with Cambridge architect Julian Bonder. Construction begins this month in Nantes, France.

I’m also working with PBS, MIT, and BU on a series of talks that will focus on my work with groups like the homeless, abused women, and veterans. It’s the least visible who always have the most to say. [11/16, MIT Visual Arts Program Lecture Series]

I grew up in Warsaw, where there are so many coffee shops. To this day, I like to work—and not work—in them. I spend time at Mariposa near MIT. I like to overhear what people say, but I don’t call it eavesdropping! Hearing how people talk helps me to develop my work in a way that I can’t accomplish in the isolation of the studio.
-Illustration by David Johnson

BARGAIN
11/18 THE YEAR’S BEST ART SALE BEGINS
The annual five-day sale starting today at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts is your chance to snap up work by students and alumni like famed photographer Nan Goldin. MFA director Malcolm Rogers could win some friends by showing up with his checkbook: Although he took a pay cut in the wake of museum layoffs last April, he did see his salary jump 23 percent last year. smfa.edu/insideout-sale.

CONTROVERSY
11/23 LAST CHANCE FOR WINDMILL-TILTING
Even though it nixes big commercial wind farms in Buzzards Bay, the state’s proposed Ocean Management Plan is nonetheless stirring emotions over the prospect of offshore windmills. The plan could still allow for small-scale projects, so expect conservationists and capitalists alike to get one last word in before the public comment period ends today, after which the draft plan becomes law.

BUSINESS
11/23 BIOGEN’S FIVE-YEAR HANGOVER
Reacting to the news five years ago today that the FDA had approved Biogen Idec’s breakthrough drug Tysabri, CEO James Mullen predicted it would "revolutionize" the treatment of multiple sclerosis. But things quickly soured for the Cambridge-based biotech: Tysabri was pulled from the market a year later when it was discovered that patients were coming down with a sometimes-fatal brain infection.

Since the drug’s reintroduction in 2006, 13 more cases of infection have been reported. Three of those reports were confirmed this September, resulting in a dip in stock price and a prediction from Barclays that the Tysabri headlines could further hurt Biogen’s Wall Street performance—which could make investor and longtime takeover threat Carl Icahn all the more dangerous.

DEADLINE 11/24
In case he’s got a little late-season drama in mind, today is the last day Curt Schilling (or you!) can file to run for the Bay State’s open Senate seat.

TELEVISION
11/30 NESN’S BLOND AMBITION CONTINUES
Today Newton native Jade McCarthy signs off as a sports reporter at Philadelphia’s NBC affiliate and preps for her next assignment: In January she becomes the latest flaxen-haired NESN reporter, joining the ever-popular Kathryn Tappen and Heidi Watney.

BEST PARTS
The high points of this month’s cultural highlights.

COMEDY With a mix of humor and heart, storytelling standup Mike Birbiglia has conquered This American Life and Comedy Central. Audiences at his 11/6 and 11/7 Wilbur Theatre shows will note that he’s at his sharpest when recalling his days as a goofy kid in Shrewsbury.

CONCERT Recent cool-kid interest in Brian Wilson‘s orchestrated pop harmonies has sent legions of indie youths scurrying to kneel at his throne. For those new disciples unfamiliar with Wilson’s awkward presence, the onstage banter during his show at Lowell Memorial Auditorium on 11/12 can offer a peek into the mind of a haunted genius—especially when delivered in juxtaposition with a happy-go-lucky Beach Boys gem like "Good Vibrations."

DANCE
It’s been almost two decades since then-20-year-old choreographer Trey McIntyre debuted his first work for the Houston Ballet, and, unlike many wunderkinds, he continues to make good on his early promise. When the Trey McIntyre Project appears at the ICA 11/20–11/22, watch for the dramatic The Sun Road, which uses video projections of Montana’s Glacier National Park to underscore the chasm that’s developed between man and nature.

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