Soak up the sounds at the JP Music Festival or watch one last movie outdoors this summer

It’s September! The Orange Line no longer exists! What to do? A lot, in fact.

If you don’t have a car or your bus route leaves a lot to be desired (here’s citywide rapid transit), now’s the time to learn how to ride a bike, assuming you can’t. not already. I’m going to make that assumption for at least some of you – for I’m counted in that number, and refuse to believe that I’m the only one in this city of 654,776 who didn’t know how to ride a bike.

Once you have your wheels (stabilized), you can head to Jamaica Plain for historic walking tours or a music festival. You can head to Brighton to watch an outdoor movie (one of the last of the summer) or check out a Grammy-nominated band led by an increasingly famous author.

The thing is, once you can move, the slate of activities never seems to stop. I’m angry that no one told me that riding a bike was that rad. Alas.

Saturday, Sept. 10, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Pinebank Baseball Field

It’s a concert lineup featuring the return of beloved local artists and the introduction of new players. It is also the first time the festival has returned after a two-year hiatus. With the Orange Line shut down and the general lack of parking, you’ll have to hike or bike (or bus or walk) to Pinebank Baseball Field to enjoy seven hours of music, d family activities and food truck tours.

The band members that make up Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys, which has been described as a “Dada-esque circus carnival,” are one of the bands performing at this year’s JP Music Festival.

Jonathan Beckley / Jamaica Simple Music Festival

Monday, Sept. 12, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
First come, first served
The Speedway, 525 Western Ave.
Free admission and popcorn

Here’s another JP, but it has nothing to do with Jamaica Plain (unless you have big ambitions to kiss your paleontologist in Franklin Park). No, we’re defending “Jurassic Park,” Spielberg’s timeless adaptation of Michael Crichton’s 1990 novel. Of course, dinosaurs don’t quite fit our modern understanding of these non-avian reptiles; and yes, it seems society continually ignores Jeff Goldblum/Ian Malcolm’s cynical warnings about tampering with nature. But what’s the fun of dwelling on that?

Different dates, private and group lessons available
Specific teaching location revealed upon confirmation
$40 per group session; $80 per private session (decreasing rate)

The Orange Line has been closed for at least 30 days, which has been a disaster for thousands of residents who rely on this artery for reliable transportation and travel. I am one of them. I don’t own a car either. Also, I can’t ride a bike. (See above.) This is changing, because I need, in fact, to be able to move. If you too are an adult who never learned to ride a bike in those golden days of youthful innocence, then you too can take this opportunity to learn to ride a bike with Susan McLucas in Somerville. She offers group or private coaching.

Five adults smile as they crowd in for a group photo.  All wear bicycle helmets.  They are outdoors, it seems to be late spring or early summer as they are dressed in light clothing.
The students of the Bicycle Riding School pose for a group selfie.

Susan McLucas / Bike Riding School

Sept. 23-Oct. 2
Emerson Colonial Theater
Advanced student tickets $25; student rush $20; $25 EBT discount with code “BLOEBT”

Giacomo Puccini’s “La Bohème” is perhaps his best-known opera – if not one of the best-known operas of the period – if only because of the frequency with which it is performed. He also had a life outside of opera. Della Reese had a hit with an adaptation of “Musetta’s Waltz” and Jonathan Larson had “Rent.” Today, the Boston Lyric Opera offers a new version, a priori simple: “La Bohème” backward. You know how that ends a tragedy about roommates, rent, and TB? This time, that’s how it starts. From tragedy to comedy, in the purest sense of words.

On a theater set, a woman is lying on an orange velvet sofa with two men looking at her body.  To his left, a man has collapsed to the ground in despair and is being tended to by another man and another woman.
Rodolfo (Matthew White) is in despair as Mimi (Lauren Michelle) succumbs to her illness in this scene from the opera ‘La Bohème’.

Photo by Leigh Webber / Lyric Opera of Boston and Spoleto

September 29; doors 7 p.m., show 8 p.m.
Roadrunner (Brighton)
Tickets start at $39.50

2021 memoir of Japanese Breakfast singer Michelle Zauner “Crying in H-Mart” spent a full year on the New York Times bestseller list in July. It is now being adapted into a screenplay, with Zauner handling the adaptation. That she works in this particular visual medium is unsurprising, given that she is the driving force behind many of her band’s visuals. And she’s still on tour, returning to Boston once more (she was at Boston Calling late last spring), to bless our summer-weary shells with the band’s wonderfully cathartic, sleepwalking sound. The fact that Zauner is a fan of Yo La Tengo, the band opening for Japanese Breakfast, doubles the fun.

A close up image of a woman on stage, singing into a microphone.  It is bathed in violet light, the background is blue.
Japanese Breakfast singer Michelle Zauner sings during the Day In Day Out festival in Seattle on August 14, 2022.

David Lee/Wikimedia Commons

Most Saturdays and some Sundays
Tours depart from various locations

There is a special romance in getting to know one’s home through the enthusiasm of others, and more so when such excursions take place outside the anti-aegis of the cruel summer that has scorched us for months. In Jamaica Plain, the neighborhood’s historical society offers tours on Saturdays and Sundays, revealing the history of the streets, structures, and plazas of what was once a former streetcar suburb.

This is a historic black and white photo.  About 40 postal workers are gathered outside a post office on Green Street in Jamaica Plain.  The workers are all men and are dressed in the usual uniform of the time, a shirt, tie, waist shirt and hat with a service badge mounted in the middle of the hat.
Jamaica Plain Post Office workers, 71 Green Street, 1920

Boston Public Library / Boston Public Library

Various days and places

I’m going to be honest with you: the litter box is disgusting. The best way to avoid litter is simply not to throw your litter on the floor or out of your car, lest you be judged by your neighbor (or the housing authority, or the traffic warden, or any mother earth deity that you recognize). The second best way to avoid litter is far more disgusting but infinitely more rewarding: join a team to clean it up. COASTSWEEP organizes teams for coastal cleanup efforts. Membership is free (this is a volunteer opportunity, after all), and teams are spread across the state’s Atlantic coast and its islands.

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