Thursday, June 20, 2024



Aggregation No. 1Gather around the piano (on a city street near you). The “Play Me, I’m Yours” project has placed more than 1,000 art-enhanced pianos on city streets around the world since 2008, and this year the project has come to Monterey, Munich, Geneva, Paris, Cleveland, Omaha and Boston – in fact, somewhere in Greater Boston is the official 1,000th secondhand piano refurbished, decorated and put out to inspire fun and togetherness. There are 75 of them in the area, including at 13 locations in Cambridge and Somerville. Most major squares are included, so you can pretty much count on stumbling across one or following your ears to where one’s already being played. Then sit down and take your turn. Check out the locations here; and read a WBUR article on the project, including a talk with Somerville artist Michael Crockett, here.



Aggregation No. 2Welcome MICE back onto your bookshelf. The Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo keeps growing. This fourth annual event has expanded to two days, with its panels, workshops and exhibitions all free and largely family-friendly. (In fact, Sunday is especially geared toward young readers.) The expo, put on by Lesley University, DigBoston and Million Year Picnic, the Harvard Square comics shop, features more than 150 local comic vendors and creators who have tables in exhibition halls and will be taking part in panel discussions and running workshops for all ages and skill levels. “MICE generates more excitement each year, thanks to the growing number of comics creators and readers in the Boston area,” said Dan Mazur, one of the show’s organizers. “This year we have this amazing line-up of graphic novelists, whose work, as a whole, shows the wide range of tones and topics that comics can deal with.” The expo runs from 10 to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at University Hall, 1815 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square.



Aggregation No. 3Go back to our musical roots. The three-day, fourth annual New England Americana Festival is under way with more than 50 local music acts on stages and venues around Harvard Square – including daytime open-air performances in Winthrop Park and Brattle Square and nighttime shows at Passim, Tommy Doyle’s and Tasty Burger. (Uniquely, there is also a daytime stage in the Goorin Bros. Hat Shop, 43 Brattle St.) New England Americana will be releasing its second “songs in danger of dying” recording project, in which local musicians perform a historical song they worry will be forgotten. Buy a ticket to an evening show, get a copy; all-venue badges are $18. The free, outdoor events run from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; doors for the nighttime shows are at 6 p.m., with music starting an hour later.



Aggregation No. 4Celebrate Somerville’s sweetest invention: Fluff. What the Fluff? A Tribute to Union Square Invention, being essentially about the marshmallowy substance that makes the fluffernutter possible, of course includes 16 food vendors with variations on the sticky, sweet stuff, including Union Square Donuts and its fluff doughnuts and popsicles and the Neighborhood Restaurant with its fluff waffles. (And don’t miss the Fluff cooking contest, with prizes for best original recipe, best traditional recipe, most creative, best youth entry and a grand prize.) But there will also be vendors selling Fluff-inspired crafts; a Shenanigans Games Stage where you can compete in a Fluff Lick-Off, Blind Man’s Fluff,  Fluffernutter Relay, Sticky Musical Chairs and Fluff Jousting; performances by burlesque troupes, a BMX stunt team and bands such as Marc Pinansky & The Bored Of Health and Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library. Finally, someone will be anointed Pharaoh of Fluff, and it could be you. It all takes place from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday in Union Square, Somerville.



Aggregation No. 5Take care of all your fall and winter bicycle needs. The MIT Bike Show and Market is back, offering trophies for those with the sweetest rides; a swap meet market for those needing gear (or entire bicycles) to get ready for the winter; and quick tuneups and classes in how to change a flat tire. Entry is free. The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Building N10, the Annex Parking Lot.