Forecast: September 2010

The month in preview.

| Boston Magazine |

CULTURE
NEXT-GENERATION PREP

It’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years since The Official Preppy Handbook turned "summer" into a verb. This month’s sequel, True Prep, catches one up on all that’s changed since the Reagan days. There’s been bad news (the NetJet account got closed) and good (heard of Splenda?), but the best is that prep is no longer exclusively the snobbish domain of wealthy New England WASPs. Now anyone can be a prep, and that, Muffy, is a good thing indeed. We can look forward to the time that this young man polishes his prep cred by getting a socially conscious job and marrying Malia Obama, our pick for Ms. Prep 2030. But first he simply must learn to make a good G&T — after he turns 21, of course. —Francis Storrs

9/8 Thanks to the patriotic rabble-rousing of an Arlington High senior, students at the school today recite the Pledge of Allegiance for the first time in decades.

9/8 Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown. L’shanah tovah!

9/11-9/12 The Life is Good Festival features superstars of the sippy-cup set, including Laurie Berkner, Dan Zanes, and, yes, the Sippy Cups. lifeisgood.com/festivals.

BOSTON MAGAZINE INVESTIGATES! The Education of Bill O’Reilly

ART
THE PEM’S POWER COUPLE

Once dismissed as a vanity project for crusty Brahmins, the Peabody Essex Museum has reinvented itself over two decades as a world-class institution. The latest evidence comes on 9/12, when the museum debuts "The Emperor’s Private Paradise," an exhibit of artifacts from China’s Forbidden City that have never before been publicly displayed — not even in China. The PEM’s rise has been quietly led by two people: curator Nancy Berliner — said to be the sole outsider the Chinese trust with their state treasures — and Fidelity chairman Ned Johnson. After Johnson bought a $7 million Chinese scroll a while back, Berliner built a show around it. And the PEM’s famous 18th-century Chinese house includes a $17 million bauble on loan from Johnson’s art foundation. Of course, publicity-shy Johnson doesn’t attach his name to any of this stuff, and Berliner never drops it. In certain circles, discretion is a very valuable thing. —F.S.

HIGHER ED
CLASS ACTION

When Camille A. Nelson takes up her post as Suffolk Law’s new dean this month, she’ll be facing competition from UMass’s fledgling program, not to mention a terrible job market for new lawyers. "The fact that we have 23,000 alums who are willing to help students distinguishes us [from UMass] right away," Nelson says. "We need to re-engage the alumni base and make those connections more concrete and durable." —Jennifer Schwartz

9/15 Biographer Burton Hersh reads from Edward Kennedy at the Harvard Coop at 7 p.m. There will be a book signing, but no Spanish test.

9/19 Community Rowing celebrates 25 years as a nonprofit with its Rumble on the River event — think Head of the Charles minus the Ralph Lauren. communityrowing.org.