April is arguably the official start to Outside Season. Even if an icy breath from the west makes its presence known, we’re all so stubborn by this point in the year, so fed up of building our social calendars around what can be done in our homes, that we’re inclined to say “whatever” and step out anyway because we know it will get warmer. So cue the festivals and vibes poétique and indulge your inner comic enthusiast, language artist and crate digger.

Or just get a cocktail. Because you can.


Next Door
Open now
Thursday to Sunday, 5:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
East Boston

Modern speakeasies don’t have to speak as easily as they actually do, with the passage of the 21st Amendment and all. This obligation (or lack thereof) was something Raffaele Scalzi and Mivan Spencer, proprietors of Next Door (and owners of Pazza on Porter) kept in mind when opening their aptly named cocktail bar next door to their first institution. They sustain the outright fun that comes with trying to gain access to the space, while aiming to dispense with the kitsch that so defines modern bars of similar aspiration. There’s food here, in the form of a raw bar, but do not mistake it for a restaurant. A glance at the cocktail menu is all it takes to realize this is a place about craft, damn it; and that, yes, there is a time and place where blowing smoke is not only desirable, but absolutely necessary.

Alondra Bobadilla Poetry Reading

Alondra Bobadilla
Alondra Bobadilla, Boston's First Youth Poet Laureate
City of Boston City of Boston

Wednesday, April 6, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square

Maybe you saw it coming from a mile away, but Boston Public Library is strolling into National Poetry Month with an appointment with Boston's first Youth Poet Laureate, Alondra Bobadilla. The UMass Boston student will be pulling up to the Central Library to read from "With Clipped Wings," her 2021 book of poetry.

Volunteer: Fresh Truck Mobile Market
Wednesdays, April 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th
Shifts are 9:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

There are many problems with food deserts. Chief among them is the fact that oftentimes there is stuff available that is technically food and technically nourishing. But not all calories are created equal, and in these instances, most fresh ingredients are already on the way out, if they’re even there in the first place. The Fresh Truck Mobile Market is a project that tries to change that, by bringing freshness to the communities that Big Grocery so often leaves behind. Volunteers are needed to keep the operation running harmoniously, but the limit is capped at two per weekly shift, so do not tarry here, on this Internet.

Rencontres Poétiques
Wednesday, April 13, at 7 p.m.
$20 advance, $25 day of
Museum of Science, Boston

Science fact: April is National Poetry Month, which is a perfect time to emancipate yourself from the ties that bind you to syntactical convention and unobscured diction, look upon ye mighty and despair. Or, you could just vibe out at the Museum of Science for a Parnassian program featuring composers Mary Bichner and Christina Goh as they present musical settings of poems by esteemed lyrical laureates, including Yves Bonnefoy, Emily Dickinson and Phillis Wheatley.

Record Store Day at Vinyl Index
Saturday, April 23, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Bow Market, Somerville

Technically, you could celebrate the 15th edition of Record Store Day by slinging capital at any independently owned joint that’s serving up piping hot wax in its most limited of editions. But if you manage to get up to Somerville’s Bow Street Market, you can pop into the Vinyl Index — which, for the record, is a joint venture by partners including producer and DJ 7L (of 7L & Esoteric and Czarface) — for a day of limited edition acquisitions, crate digging, themed food and live sets from Soulelujah DJs.

Records and Headphones
Vinyl + Grado Headphones
Mark Solarski, Unsplash Wikimedia Commons

Boston Comics in Color Festival
Saturday, April 23, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, Roxbury Crossing
Free, RSVP required

A few years back, Ta-Nehisi Coates sat on a panel discussion at the French Consulate General House in New York’s Upper East Side. The conversation shifted to illustration and comics. Coates made a salient point: no one dislikes comics; instead they haven’t found a story presented in a format that resonates with them. You could argue that Boston Comics in Color Festival is aiming to push as many resonant stories as possible. The event’s chief objective is to showcase stories and content fashioned by creators of color. This edition of the festival will feature art demos, writing workshops and a space for independent creators to sell their work.

Useful Plants Among Us
Sunday, April 24, 1:30 p.m.
Jamaica Plain
Free Registration

If you (like me) are trying to up your plant-identification game, meet author Pam Kristan at the Franklin Park Valley Gates for a nature walk along the Emerald Necklace, where you'll learn about the most useful of botanicals: Identify edible plants and their purposes, and how to actually use them. And a note from the registration: this is not a foraging tour. You won't be eating anything. This here is for learning, which is perfectly fine.

Plants among us
Wild strawberries
Constance Cervone. The Emerald Necklace Conservancy

Adopt and Adapt
Saturday, April 30, 8 p.m.
Longy School of Music of Bard College, Cambridge
Tickets: $20 general admission, $10 for seniors, $10 for students

As far as the organizers of the New Gallery Concert Series are concerned, music and visual art are meant to be experienced together. In its first exhibit since the start of the pandemic, NewGal invites you to roam new installations at the Longy School of Music. Adopt and Adapt chooses for its theme adoption, and invites the art-hungry minds on a journey of emotions meant to evoke feelings of “resilience, belonging and empathy.” The installation features local artists, including composers Maria Finkelmeier and Jonathan Bailey Holland and visual artist Sharon Berke.