J Squared: As Summer Ends, The Fun Begins

By Jared Bowen, Jan Saragoni

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It's a painful truth. The already-too-small window that is summer here in New England is starting to close. Before the cool nights of autumn get a toe-hold, J Squared offers you everything you need to know to make the most of the precious final weeks of Summer.
Jan's Picks

“Keep your Catch” tour with Boston Lobster Tours
Four 75-minute trips a day with lobsterman (and Everett firefighter) Tony Carli on his boat Fourcast. Tour the harbor on his traditional lobster boat and hear the history of lobstering in the harbor. Six passengers, $180.

Boston: “Gondola di Venezia” – Gondola rides on the Charles

Authentic Venetian Gondolas cruise up and down the Charles for 45 or 60-minute tours Friday – Sunday. Leave from the Hatch Shell.  Who knew? Musicians, food baskets and champagne. Prices range from $99 to $229. Marriage on your mind? More than 1000 proposals since Joseph and Camille Gibbons launched the business 11 years ago and four marriage proposals already this week.
 
Providence:  “La Gondola”
More authentic Venetian gondolas take you excursions along the Woonasquatucket and Providence Rivers, past river walks and waterfront parks. Complimentary basket of cheese and crackers, ice bucket & glasses and Italian music provided. $79 -- $159 dollars for a 40-minute trip. Train leaves from South Station and takes you almost directly to the dock on Citizen’s Plaza. Nearby restaurants Nuovo or New Rivers a good place for a before or after bite to eat.

Gloucester Schooner Festival
The 27th-annual festival takes place from September 2-5. About 50 seaworthy vessels participating. Also Gloucester Maritime Heritage Day hosts its annual celebration on Saturday. Free admission to exhibits and the aquarium all day.  Fireworks over Gloucester Harbor Saturday night following the boat “Parade of Lights.”

Berklee Jazz on Spectacle Island
Sunday, Sept. 4, 1-4pm.   Listen to the school’s Cettina Donato Quartet on the porch at Spectacle Island. Ferries leave from Long Wharf. Sponsored by Boston Harbor Alliance.

Labor Day Weekend Jazz Festival at Tanglewood Music in Lenox

Boston Symphony Orchestra’s  24th annual kicks off Friday, September 2 through Sunday, Sept. 4. Artists include Jimmy Cobb, Gunther Schuller and Mary Stallings, also rising stars like drummer and producer Ulyssess Owens, Jr. and Sara Manning. And for the first time ever, the festival partnered with the Tanglewood Food & Wine Festival.
 
Provincetown Carnival

August 14 – 19, featuring Charo (yes, Charo) as Grand Marshal. The Spanish-American actress, comedienne and flamenco guitarist is known for flashy stage presence and her trademark phrase “cuchi-cuchi.” She just received rave reviews for performances in New York and Palm Springs.  She’ll be combining  techno, salsa, flamenco and no doubt some fabulous costumes. Title of her new single: “Sexy, Sexy.” This Friday, Town Hall, 8:00 p.m.

Tenth Annual Boston Tattoo Convention
Sept. 2 – 5 at Back Bay Sheraton. Features “live” tattooing, exhibitions and parties. Also the Miss Boston Ink Bikini Contest. Grand Prize? A professional photo shoot for Inked Girls Magazine.

“Pack Your Bags” Exhibit
International Poster Gallery, 205 Newbury Street. Through September 5. If you can’t leave town, take a trip to Newbury Street and check out vintage travel posters from around the world.
 
Restaurant week is Aug. 14 –19 and Aug. 21 – 26!
Jared's Picks

Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Built between 1900-1902 as a resort for the well-heeled from Boston, New York and Philadelphia, this old world hotel still transports guests to a different era with its charm, serenity and impeccable service.  History buffs can enjoy a site tour with nuggets like the fact that the World Bank was established here in 1944. The adventurous can take the zip-line canopy tour while those in need of relaxation can avail themselves of the new spa.

Woodstock, Vermont

A quintessential and gorgeous New England town, Woodstock is the perfect weekend escape. Just two hours from Boston it brims with antique stores, galleries, specialty shops and a spectacular landscape. The Woodstock Inn & Resort in the center of town is an icon. Eat at the Simon Pearce restaurant in nearby Quechee. Nature lovers can get their fix with plenty of canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, hiking and hot air balloon rides.

The Berkshires

An astonishingly low number of Massachusetts residents avail themselves of all the Berkshires has to offer. That must change.

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival

This happens in in Beckett and runs June 18-August 28. It features dance companies from all around the world. The programs will leave you breathless.

The Norman Rockwell Museum

Loated in Stockbridge, it's perched on a beautiful overlook. See Rockwell’s studio and a vast array of his own work. This summer also features the 3D Animation Art of Blue Sky Studios which produced the film Ice Age—it’s an interactive exhibit terrific for the kids.

The Williamstown Theatre Festival season runs through August.
  • Ten Cents A Dance - It's a new musical conceived by Doyle, who applies his signature style of engaging a company of actor-musicians to bring to life the extraordinary music of Rodgers and Hart.
  • You Better Sit Down - Crafted from interviews between the cast and their own parents, this is an alternately heartbreaking and hilarious look at the stories behind the statistics of one of the most prominent social phenomena of our time. Shockingly candid, these delicate parent-child conversations, with the actors playing their own parents, yield unique insights into falling in love, falling out of love, and rebuilding a life after the complex experience of dividing a family.
Footloose!
Need I say more? August 16-28 at North Shore Music Theatre.

Porgy & Bess
This opens at the A.R.T. August 17th. Great cast, great controversy.

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