Our Most Popular Stories of 2016

Whether you're ready to kiss ’16 goodbye (*raises hand*) or want to look back at some actually good things that happened (yes, they exist!), here are some of our most popular stories of 2016, plus more recommended reading for the holiday break.

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most popular stories boston magazine 2016most popular stories boston magazine 2016most popular stories boston magazine 2016most popular stories boston magazine 2016
most popular stories boston magazine 2016most popular stories boston magazine 2016most popular stories boston magazine 2016most popular stories boston magazine 2016


A Month-by-Month Recap of 2016

Remember these?

The year begins with Seth Meyers’s Boston Accent • The Citgo sign’s future is in jeopardy | This month in Tom Brady Land: Insists he’s never had coffee

The MBTA kills late-night service • Turns out a Smithie bought Julia Child’s kitchen • Matt Damon finally sneaks onto Kimmel’s show • Good luck, Somerville: Boston’s worst landlord has bought 100 units. | This month in Brady LandWrites a thank-you note • Gets booed at the Super Bowl • The Donald Trump friendship saga of 2k16 begins

Mass. helps nominate Trump • Bill Clinton and Mayor Walsh are suspected of interference • Unicorn Kisses • Sad Ben Affleck • A giant lotus blooms • Mitt burns the Donald real bad (see: November). | This month in Brady Land: A perfect spiral at the Easter Bunny’s head

David Ortiz’s daughter performs the national anthem • The 2016 Boston Marathon • A giant fruit tree blossoms • Chris Kimball signs a lease (see: October). | This month in Brady Land: Gisele teaches Jimmy Fallon how to walk

Summer fun this year includes 80 Free Fun Fridays52 awesome outdoor dining options, SoWa versus South End Open Market confusion, and more • A Canadian built a mini replica of Boston in his Toronto basement • That Newton kid’s Columbia dorm room restaurant is shut down • TJ Maxx opens on Newbury • Goats, y’all | This month in Brady Land: A selfie with Vanilla Ice

Beach season • Maine will pay you to move there (see: August) • Matt Damon speaks at MIT’s commencement • A double parking spot on Comm. Ave. starts at $425K • The House Dems host a sit-in (Warren brings the Dunks) | This month in Brady Land: Ben Affleck goes batsh*t over Deflategate

Melania plagiarizes Michelle Obama and it’s nothing like the time Barack Obama borrowed from Deval Patrick, OK? • A Plymouth bakery scandal • Barstool’s female CEO • Pokemon Go • A seagull with boobs divides New Bedford • A dancing toddler at PEM • Mark Cuban insists: THAT IS NOT MY YACHT! | This month in Brady Land: He will accept the four-game Deflategate suspension

Is Maine Governor Paul LePage for real? • Mayor Walsh wears cargo shorts (#ThisIsNews) • Jeb Bush spotted in the Boston wild • Sasha Obama got a summer job in Mass. • Aly Raisman wins in Rio • GE’s HQ renderings are unveiled | This month in Brady LandGisele walks

Overdose stories reach new levels of horror • Free Museum Day • Overnight parties at the MFA • Someone finally made an MBTA Excuse Generator | This month in Brady Land: Win a date with Tom, Matt, and Ben • Sunbathing nude • He’s never had a strawberry??? Oh, and football season starts without him

America’s Test Kitchen sues Chris Kimballlaunching WhyWeAreSuingChristopherKimball.com • The Simpsons go to Boston • Mofongo! Big Papi returns to SNL • The great Orange Line catastrophe of 2016 • Pussygate • A South End water main break ends in tragedy | This month in Brady Land: He’s back • Turned 39 this year but feels 29 • Sasquatch for Halloween

Election Day 2016 plus the subsequent celebrations and backlash • Mitt and the Donald have a lavish meal • Eataly opens • New Orange Line trains are coming | This month in Brady LandTrump says Brady voted for him • Gisele says “NO!”

Boston Winter debuts • Casey Affleck is peak Boston on SNL • Brighton cat cafe approved • New Red Line trains are coming • The Green Line Extension is delayed again • Patriots Day premieres • Polar Seltzebrate is a thing you all want | This month in Brady Land: Hides signed Uggs around Boston • The Pats are 13-2 and first in the AFC East headed into the new year.


Remember, remember, the ninth of November (or not). For long-form features, check out our most popular long reads of the year.


1. Melania Trump Plagiarism vs. Obama-Deval Patrick Plagiarism

2. Meet the 92-Year-Old Who Helped Boston Recognize Edgar Allan Poe

3. Donald Trump’s Massachusetts Victory Will Forever Be Our Great Shame

4. MBTA Board Kills Late-Night Service

5. Massachusetts Votes to Legalize Marijuana

More News »


Where will you dine in 2017?


1. 50 Best Restaurants in Boston

2. 52 of Boston’s Best Outdoor Dining Spots

3. The Best Breakfasts in Boston

4. A Smith College Alumna Bought Julia Child’s Home in France

5. Mamaleh’s Opens in Cambridge

More Restaurants »

Arts & Entertainment

A tour de force of dropped r’s.


1. Free Fun Fridays

2. Boston Winter in City Hall Plaza Is Actually Really Cool

3. Seth Meyers Parodies Your Favorite Movies with Boston Accent

4. Get Gronk’d!

5. 100 Awesome Beaches in Mass.

More Arts & Entertainment »

Health & Wellness

Unicorn seltzer—so fetch.


1. Top Doctors

2. Everything We Know About Obesity and Low-Fat Diets Might Be Wrong

3. 55 Amazing New England Hikes

4. Polar Unveils Unicorn Kisses Seltzer

5. The Interview: Thomas Manning, America’s First Penis Transplant Recipient

More Health & Wellness »

Home & Property

Much ado about tiny houses.


1. Boston Is Getting Really, Really Expensive

2. On the Market: A Gothic Bunker in New Hampshire

3. On the Market: A Tiny House in Cambridge

4. On the Market: A Funky Little Studio in Beacon Hill

5. The Anatomy of a Three-Decker (or Triple-Decker, If You Prefer)

More Home & Property »

Long Reads

Some in-depth features to help get you through the week.

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1. The Sex Machine

How a middle-aged New England plumbing-supplies salesman found the secret to free love, made friends with porn stars and multimillionaires, and became America’s king of swingers.

2. Fat Chance
If this doctor is right, everything we thought we knew about obesity and low-fat diets is wrong.

3. Bogged Down
Can Ocean Spray CEO Randy Papadellis save the cranberry business?

4. Boston Is Getting Really, Really Expensive
You may find yourself with a beautiful house, and a beautiful spouse, and a beautiful kid. And a back-breaking mortgage. How did we get here?

5. Get Gronk’d!
One ocean liner. Seven hundred die-hard Patriots fans. Sixty-five hours of boozing at sea. Welcome aboard the maiden voyage of the SS Gronkowski.

6. Lights! Camera! Newton?
How a tony Boston suburb became one of the most important towns in show biz.

7. What Are the Chances?
It was supposed to be a simple operation at one of Boston’s greatest hospitals. It turned out to be anything but.

8. The Storm Is Coming
Politicians and climate scientists know what needs to be done to save Boston from impending doom. If only they would do it.

9. A Final Appeal
Twenty years ago, an unreliable witness and questionable medical science branded Brian Peixoto a baby killer and sent him to die in prison. He’s still there, but is he innocent?

10. Breakfast Wars in Somerville
For years, a feud has been simmering between neighboring brunch spots Sound Bites and Ball Square Café.

11. Big Love: An Oral History of David Ortiz
An all-star lineup—including Theo Epstein, Alex Rodriguez, and more—tells the inside story of how a one-time baseball reject reinvented himself as Big Papi and became a Boston legend.

12. Bill Weld: Nothing to Lose
A look at our former governor’s last (and wildest) hurrah.


Women Leaders

In the tradition of WCW (women crush Wednesdays), here are 20 names you ought to know.

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1. Aly Raisman
The Needham native dominated at the Rio Olympics. What’s next?

2. The Unstoppable Maura Healey
The AG is going after casinos, overpaid CEOs, and the opiate epidemic.

3. Barbara Lee: Wonder Woman
Behind many other great women stands another. That’s Lee.

4. Ayanna Pressley
The city councilor at large puts people before power.

5. Michelle Wu
Your new city council president has big ideas for Boston. (See more from our Power Lunch series.)

6. Traci Green
She’s saving addicts’ lives by making Narcan more accessible. (See more from our Power of Ideas series.)

7. Daunasia Yancey
Meet the new face of Boston’s civil rights movement.

8. Mindy Kaling: Divine Comedian
She had us at hello.

9. Priyanka Chopra
Namaste, Newton North. You can see the former Miss World in Quantico and Baywatch.

10. Top chefs including but not limited to Jody Adams, Barbara Lynch, Joanne Chang, Tiffani Faison, Kristen Kish, and Karen Akunowicz

11. Marathon pioneers Bobbi Gibb and Kathrine Switzer

12. And these three “Mad Women”



These stories from our archives took on new meanings in 2016 (and some other evergreen reads, just for fun).


1. Bernie Sanders: Cold As Ice
From October 2015, our profile of the Vermont senator who gave Clinton a run for her money.

2. End Game: Curt Schilling and the Destruction of 38 Studios
Hey, remember that time he lost $75 million in taxpayer money? That got settled this year. He also said a lot and got fired from ESPN.

3. The Ballad of Buddy Cianci
The former Providence mayor died in January.

4. The Terrifyingly Nasty, Backstabbing, and Altogether Miserable World of the Suburban Mom
Never a bad time to compare and contrast cul-de-sacs.

5. Anwar Faisal: Lord of the Sties
Our January 2014 profile of Boston’s worst landlord, who bought 100 units in Somerville this year.

6. Good Will Hunting: An Oral History
Because Jason Bourne spoke at MIT’s commencement this past spring.

7. 25 True Tales of Murder and Mayhem
Lizzie Borden, in Fall River, with an ax (allegedly).

8. Now We’re Cooking with Grass
A chase through a secretive, drug-fueled dining subculture, back in 2014 before marijuana was legalized.

9. The Day My Mother Became a Stranger
Ethan Gilsdorf’s piece from our May 2015 issue is a selection in The Best American Essays 2016.

10. Losing Our Religion
From January 2013, Katherine Ozment’s feature on secular parenting. Her new book on the subject, Grace Without God, came out in June.

11. Astral Sojourn
After telling the story of how Van Morrison wrote Astral Weeks, Ryan Hamilton Walsh is now working on the book, out 2018.

12. Why Parking in Boston Should Be More Expensive
Since parking in Back Bay is about to increase from $1.25 to $3.75 an hour (as part of an experimental pilot program), here’s our 2012 take on why it might be a good thing.