Mission Hill, May 2014, sports
hoop on mission hill (sonya kovacic)
"People never thought that much of the Boston scene. Boston didn't have that New York reputation, that kind of flavor, and it certainly wasn't touching Philadelphia. So people coming to Boston felt that they were going to be easy picking. Of course, they were mistaken."
— Former Celtics star Tom "Satch" Sanders, the coach of Boston's team for the first annual Boston Shootout basketball tournament. The Shootout was founded in 1972 by Ken Hudson – the first African-American NBA referee – as a chance to showcase Boston's homegrown high school players. Hudson handpicked the "Boston Six" — players from six local high schools who were trained on courts throughout the city — to compete against teams from New York, Washington, and Connecticut. Despite low expectations for the Boston Six, they went on to win the first annual championship by a 1-point margin.
In the following decades, the Boston Shootout became the most prominent showcase for high school basketball talent in the country. Throughout the years, the tournament hosted up-and-coming players like Kobe Byrant, Ron Artest, Grant Hill, Tree Rollins, and Patrick Ewing.
The Mission Hill Projects were one of the highest-crime neighborhoods in Boston for decades, but they were home to some of the most talented basketball players in the city. The Mission, a documentary released this year, tells the story of two brothers: one who ended up in jail, and one who ended up a college champion.
May 2014, South Boston Waterfront, ICA
dancing on the deck at ICA first fridays (sonya kovacic)
Although the unlucky origins of "Friday the Thirteenth" are historically unclear, one historian suggests that the superstition became widespread after a Boston millionaire wrote and published a novel in the early 20th century. The man was Thomas W. Lawson, and he was well-known in Boston as a stockbroker, copper magnate, businessman, and even U.S. Senate candidate. In 1907, he published Friday, the Thirteenth, which tells the story of a stockbroker who uses the day to create a stock market crash. The story was a precautionary tale about stock market manipulation, but it's also one of the earliest instances of the day being considered unlucky.
The story doesn't end there. Lawson was known for several other ventures, including his namesake: the giant seven-masted schooner, named, appropriately, the Thomas W. Lawson. The ship was the largest pure sailing vessel ever built, but ultimately crashed and wrecked in a storm. The date? It was the night of December 13, 1907 (a Friday).
Not unlucky: over sixty Boston-area museums and cultural venues will open their doors for free this summer in a series of "Free Fun Fridays."
Jamaica Plain, Orange Line, May 2014
charlie on the b line (sonya kovacic)
The CharlieCard — which made its debut in 2006 — was named after the main character in "The M.T.A. Song." As the story goes, Charlie can't afford the new exit fare, so he gets stuck on the train forever.
Although the song was popularized by the Kingston Trio in 1959, it was originally a 1949 campaign song for Walter A. O'Brien. O'Brien was running for mayor of Boston with a strong opposition to the public transit fare increase. His campaign couldn't afford radio ads at the time, so he hired folk bands to play his campaign songs (including "The M.T.A. Song") from a touring truck.
The songs didn't exactly work — he was later fined $10 for "disturbing the peace," and ultimately lost the election.
Two undergrads have developed a wearable CharlieCard that is now available for purchase. Meet the Sesame Ring.