Forecast: April 2010

The month in preview

| Boston Magazine |

OPENINGS
4/1 CITY GOLF COURSES NO LONGER HANDICAPPED

Here’s an argument for government takeovers: Since the city wrested control of Hyde Park’s George Wright Municipal Golf Course from a private company seven years ago, the links have become one of the best municipal courses around. Last season GolfWeek ranked the Donald Ross layout 14th in the country — one stroke behind PGA tour stop Torrey Pines North. And at just $35 for 18 holes on the weekend, George Wright tee times will fill up fast when city courses open for business today.
cityofboston.gov/golf

POLITICS
4/1 CONSERVATIVES CONTINUE HONEYMOON

New talk station WXKS-AM begins broadcasting today, complete with the triumvirate of Hannity, Limbaugh, and Beck. The timing couldn’t be better: April promises to be an active month in conservative politics, as the region’s righties morph from local laughingstock to national rallying point.
PALIN DROPS IN FOR TEA: The folksy former governor will attend a much-hyped Tea Party rally in Boston on 4/15, where it’ll be interesting to see which local pols hitch their wagons to the movement. You might recall that new U.S. Senator Scott Brown famously pleaded ignorance about the group — even after addressing one of its rallies in Worcester.
THE BROWN EFFECT GETS MEASURED: Quarterly campaign filings come due 4/15, giving the political chattering class its first chance to see whether Scott Brown’s victory has inspired conservative donors to continue giving. Also worth watching is a potential counter-reaction: Has the Brown victory opened the wallets of a long-complacent Democratic base?
THE DEVAL TAKEDOWN ATTEMPT BEGINS: Presuming Charlie Baker dispenses with longtime party agitator Christy Mihos, he’ll be the GOP gubernatorial candidate coming out of the 4/17 party convention in Worcester. More importantly, conservative foot soldiers will get a blueprint for the strategy Baker will employ against Governor Patrick.

MUSEUMS
4/1 MGH CONSIDERS ITS PLACE IN HISTORY

With the appointment today of a museum director, Mass General needs only one more thing: an actual museum. Maybe this move will accelerate plans to build an exhibition space in which to pay homage to the nation’s third-oldest hospital, perhaps most historically famous for hosting the first demonstration of anesthesia in surgery.

TRADITIONS
4/4 OPENING NIGHT SAVES YOUR SICK DAYS

Opening Day for the Red Sox is a misnomer this year: The game begins under the lights at Fenway at 8:05 p.m. The punch in the gut to those traditionalists who count on Opening Day as an understood vacation day can be softened by the fact that the Sox are opening the season against the Yanks.

4/3 Big Apple Circus begins its annual residency on City Hall Plaza. Onlookers seeking to tell the clowns apart from city workers need only look for a smile.

4/11 The Smucker’s Stars on Ice tour visits the TD Garden, featuring gold medal-winning figure skater Evan Lysacek — the most masculine man ever to don a Vera Wang outfit.

SURPRISING REMEDIES: Apple a Day

ICONS
4/5 OUR FAVORITE BIOLOGIST EVOLVES INTO A NOVELIST

It’s easy to think that by the time a guy turns 81 — as the eminent Harvard naturalist E. O. Wilson will this spring — he’s tried pretty much everything he wanted to.
Well, today, Wilson — a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his nonfiction work — becomes a novelist for the first time, as his book The Anthill hits shelves. In it, Wilson tells the story of young Raff Cody, who follows his passion for the environment to Harvard and then to a fight to save a pristine patch of his boyhood home.
Like Wilson, who built his reputation studying the complex world of ants, Cody grows up smitten with the insects. When his mother wonders why, his retort is one that readers can imagine Wilson using himself. "Ants may be small," he says, "people laugh at them and all, but you know, they’re a huge part of the environment. They’re the most social animals in the world. Anybody who knows anything knows we learn a lot about social behavior in people by studying things like that."
To capture what Cody means, Wilson devotes a chunk of the novel to gripping accounts of the ant activity that Cody observes — including a fascinating tale of what happens when a colony’s queen dies at the age of 20. Altogether, the debut novel is as engaging as Wilson himself.

HONORS
4/5 WILL DJ FINALLY GET TO SPRINGFIELD?

The NBA Hall of Fame vote is today, and this should be the year that notoriously underrated playmaker Dennis Johnson finally gets his due. The five-time All-Star, who died three years ago, had his number put in the Garden rafters in 1991. Don’t expect the rumored induction of the 1992 Olympic Dream Team — complete with Larry Legend — to assuage sore Celts fans if DJ gets snubbed again.

COMEDY
4/9 LAUGH FOR A CAUSE

If you like seeing your boldface Bostonians in decidedly unpretentious poses, Urban Improv’s annual Banned in Boston show is for you. Fast becoming one of the cooler fundraisers in town, the spectacle has people like Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino (along with more-musical guests like Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton) embarrassing themselves in song and satire — all for the benefit of kids.
urbanimprov.org

4/13 Primaries are held today in the special election to replace jailed former state Senator Anthony Galluccio. And it’s a race in need of paring, with at least 10 hopefuls squaring off.

4/19 It’s the 235th celebration of the battles at Lexington and Concord. If you love the smell of musket fire at dawn, we’ll see you on the Lexington green at 6 a.m.

BRIGHT IDEAS: Hail, Robots!

ADVICE
4/19 HOW TO SURVIVE THE MARATHON

So you’re running the 114th Boston Marathon? Awesome. Here’s what to remember if you want to finish it:

1. "Drink 16 ounces of water two hours before you start — and don’t drink anything else until the first water stop. You’ll start the race fully hydrated, and probably won’t have to stop at the port-a-potty." — Dahri Myers, Suburban Striders board member
2. "Try not to let the excitement of the marathon make you start too fast." — Mark Coogan, assistant track coach at Tufts; 1996 U.S. Olympic marathon runner
3. "If you get to the halfway mark and it doesn’t still feel easy, you probably went out too hard. Obviously at this point, it’s a little late. If you get to mile five and you think your pace isn’t going to have you relaxed eight miles later, back off a little." — Joe O’Leary, coach of the Somerville Road Runners
4. "The race gets tough after Heartbreak Hill, not on it. The last five miles, while downhill, are possibly the toughest of any major marathon — in part because you beat up the downhill-running muscles for 16 miles before getting to Newton." — Bruce Davie, president of the Greater Boston Track Club
5. "Remember that negative thoughts make your shoes heavy." — Dr. Jeff Brown, psychologist for the Boston Marathon medical team and author of The Winner’s Brain

FANTASIES
4/24 IT’S NOT CHEATING IF YOU DON’T HAVE A CHANCE

The Pats cheerleaders are taking a couple of fans with them on their trip to the Dominican Republic today, part of a special package giving a fawning few access to the photo shoot that will produce the squad’s 2011 swimsuit calendar. Packages start at $1,200, giving meatheads with enough scratch the ability to point to the calendar and say, "She looks even better in person."
tntvacations.com/pats.jsp.

CONFABS
4/30 ALL THE MINGLE LADIES

The annual Simmons College Women’s Leadership Conference takes on a distinctly Hollywood feel this year, featuring marquee names like Mia Farrow and Angela Bassett. Aspiring media mavens may want to hit the lunch session to hear how former Vanity Fair and New Yorker editor Tina Brown made the transition from print to online with her new pacesetting site, The Daily Beast.
simmons.edu/leadership.

4/21 The always-cool Boston Independent Film Festival, now in its eighth year, opens today and runs for the next week.
iffboston.org.

4/30 By this day, Narragansett, that ol’ New England brew, is expected to have sold its millionth case of beer since relaunching in 2005.

EXPERT KNOWLEDGE: Alcott’s Secrets

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