John Black

John Black

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), announces the inaugural edition of the Boston Festival of Films from Japan, made possible through a 10-year partnership with UNIQLO USA that supports a variety of new programs highlighting Japanese art and culture.

The BFFJ will bring a wide range of the best films from Japan to Boston. The 2018 selections, screening February 1–28, include the live-action manga adaptation Blade of the Immortal (2017), the 100th feature film from provocative director Takashi Miike; the timely documentary Resistance at Tule Lake (2017), which chronicles a 1943 uprising at a Japanese concentration camp in California; and Jellyfish Eyes (2013), the debut film by contemporary artist Takashi Murakami, whose works are on view in the MFA’s exhibition Takashi Murakami: Lineage of Eccentrics, A Collaboration with Nobuo Tsuji and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The festival kicks off February 1 with a free screening of Your Name (2016), an anime feature with gorgeous imagery and deep emotional resonance that quickly became one of the most popular films of all time in Japan. The 7:30 pm screening will be preceded by a celebration in the MFA’s Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art, starting at 6 pm and featuring live music by DJ Ian Condry, art-making activities and Japanese candies and confections at Taste Café. Free tickets for the event can be reserved starting at 10 am on January 30 and will grant attendees free admission to Takashi Murakami: Lineage of Eccentrics before and after the film screening. This Japanese Program at the MFA is generously supported by a 10-year partnership with UNIQLO USA.


With the exception of the opening night screening of Your Name on February 1, tickets for BFFJ films are $9 for MFA members and $11 for nonmembers, and will be available starting January 18. Showtimes will be published on on January 11. 

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What NOT to Wear to the Ball

We have a lot of fun here with out popular Fashion or Flop columns, so in an effort to make you avoid any fashion faceplants at The Resolution Ball or Back Bay Ball (the two most fashionable parties of the year), here are some examples of what NOT to wear on NYE.


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Think Outside the Tux

As we’ve said before, guys going to The Resolution Ball or The Back Bay Ball have a pretty easy time when it comes to picking what to wear to impress their dates” Rent a tux or put on your best suit?

But what if you’ve waited until the last minute and the only tux left to rent is powder blue with a ruffled shirt and black velvet piping? Or if your ‘best suit’ is the one you’ve been wearing to job interviews for the past six months and still haven’t been hired?

You need some helpful hints. Here’s what we’ve found”

Esquire magazine offers a helpful article titled, How to Dress for Any Type of Party, although to be honest we barely even noticed John Legend in the lead photo thanks to the captivating charms of his wife, Chrissy Teigen. When you’ve stopped gawking, read the article nd then ask yourself, are you ready to “Embrace the Turtleneck”?

The Idle Man offers a handy guide to not only help you decide what kind of tux you should rent (James Bond NEVER wore powder blur to a casino), but also how to find a more casual look that fits your style with enough class to get you past the velvet ropes. offer 18 ideas for New Year’s Eve. It’s a pretty good list, but there’s still nothing that will ever convince us that velvet jackets are a good idea…ever.

And finally, if bringing in the New year makes you feel nostalgic for some vintage outfit, check out this fabulous video from from 2015 that celebrates 100 Years of New Years Eve Fashion for men. Just ignore the 1935 guy wearing a velvet jacket.


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What Will You Wear to the Ball?

Let’s face it, guys have it pretty easy when it comes to deciding what to wear to a big event like The Resolution Ball or the Back Bay Ball: They rent a tux or, if they have their own well turned out sense of fashion, wear their best suit.

Ladies can face a much bigger challenge trying to find just the right outfit that will make jaws drop while still be comfortable enough to dance the night away. It’s not an easy balance to strike and untl the day when women wear the tuxes and men have to find the right gown, here are some tips we found to help ladies make the right choice.

We will start with a slideshow we found on which gives some unique options to help you finally forget about that LBD (Little Black Dress) you’ve come to depend on and start the ew year with a totally new look.

A site we found called Man Repeller (?) has a dun story about “Sparkly New Year’s Eve Outfits You Can Buy Super Last-Minute”. It’s not clear how dressing like a human glitter ball repels men, but shiny is always fun on the dance floor.

The Cosmopolitan website offers 50 New Year's Eve dresses you're going to LOVE..although after viewing all the options we can’t help but think that “love” is way to string a word for some of these outfits.

If you already know what dress you will be wearing, then be sure to check out this vogue article on “The 15 Chicest Hair Accessories to Finish Your New Year’s Eve Look” and then ask yourself, are you fashion brave enough to welcome in 2018 wearing a hairband?

And finally, offers an option for those who realize that  the middle of winter is no time to be wearing something sheer and short with “The Anti-Party Dress Guide To Wearing Pants On New Year's Eve”.


One final note: No matter what you wear, just remember that when you go to either The Resolution Ball or the Back Bay Ball the best looking think on you all night will be the smile on your face as you say goodbye to 2017 with your friends.

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In 2018 Learn to Shuck

Pull up a seat at the B&G Oyster bar, roll up your sleeves, and let one of our master shuckers show you how to shuck like a pro.

Lessons for two include:

Two B&G branded oyster knives to use during the lesson and take home

Step-by-step instruction on a few practice oysters

A dozen oysters to shuck and enjoy

Two glasses of Champagne

Oyster shucking classes are offered ay B&G Oyster Monday through Friday, from 2-4 PM. Cost $120 for a lesson for two people (tax excluded)

To reserve, please call 617.423.0550.

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Take a Whiskey Tasting Class

Which two whiskies are luxurious and which two are considered not so luxurious?  See if you can figure it out with this class that features four* whiskies in a blind taste-test at The Smoke Shop.  Tasting and appetizers included, ego boost when you choose the right whiskey free of charge. ?

Classes will accommodate ~15 people in The Smoke Shop’s semi-private dining area and will be taught by resident whiskey expert Jordan McCusker.


The next Smoke Shop BBQ Whiskey Class at The Smoke Shop takes place Tuesday, January 9, at 6 PM. Tickets $48.15, includes tax.



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The Perfect Recovery Brunch

Nothing cures a hangover quite like the hair of the dog! On New Year’s Day, Monday, January 1st, 2018, Pier 6 and ReelHouse, Boston’s waterfront dining destinations, and Ketel One Vodka, team up to bring Bostonian’s the perfect cure for any holiday hangover with New Year’s Day Recovery Brunch.

From 11:00AM to 3:00PM, guests will roll into 2018 and ease the pain from celebrations the night before with Ketel One cocktails mixed by Pier 6 and ReelHouse’s expert bar staff. Build the Bloody Mary, Maria, Manny or whatever name seems suitable from scratch, using nutrients like fresh beet and carrot juice to help revitalize the body and mind. Floss the garnish with sustenance like stuffed jalapenos, fried oysters, shrimp skewers, charcuterie and so much more.  Mimosas can be tailor made to the heart’s content with a variety of fresh pressed juice options, and of course a full bar will be available in addition to pick whichever poisonous pleasure a hangover may need.

Pair the boozy brunch options with Pier 6’s sweet and savory dishes that include French Toast with berry compote, maple syrup and whipped cream ($13), Crab Cake Benedict with hollandaise ($15) and Duck Confit Hash with sweet potatoes, peppers, onions, sunny-side up eggs and bacon ($15). Additional larger plates include Grilled Fish Tacos with mahi mahi, red cabbage salad, chipotle crema and avocado ($15) and Pier 6 Burger with Savenor’s blend, Vermont cheddar, pickle and fries ($15).

Across the harbor at ReelHouse enjoy brunch favorites like BLT Benedict with bacon and hollandaise ($15), ReelHouse Reuben with pearl pastrami, swiss cheese, kimchi and pretzel roll ($14), and Brioche French Toast with fresh berry compote, cinnamon whipped cream and sugar powder ($13). Seasonal starters perfect for sharing include Smoked Trout Toast ($12) and Avocado Edamame Toast ($9 add fried egg for $2).


Make the best of the morning after At Pier 6 or ReelHouse with Ketel One, and ring 2018 with a recovery brunch fit for a true champion. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made at Pier 6 by visiting or calling 617.337.0054, and at ReelHouse by visiting or calling 617.895.4075.


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Biscotti Trays and Truffle Honey To Go

Chef Mario LaPosta and the Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca team are now offering guests to-go biscotti and truffle honey for holiday feasting. Just in time for the holidays, Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca is now offering to-go trays of biscotti and truffle honey- the perfect host gift or sweet way to end a holiday feast.  A biscotti tray for 4-6 people costs $20 and an 8-10 person tray costs $30. Truffle honey costs $35. Orders can be placed in-person or via phone at (617) 421-4466. Now through December 31st


For more information, please visit or contact (617) 421-4466.


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Oskar Wylde Plays the Back Bay Ball

Oskar Wylde is a mix of Berklee grads and Boston's most sought after musicians. Together these talented musicial create a sound fused from Blues, R&B, Rock and Gospel music. Combine this musical experience with an electrifying stage show, and you have none other than Oskar Wylde.


Oskar Wylde plays the fabulous Back Bay Ball on Sunday, December 31st, from 7pm-2am. For tickets and more information, click HERE.

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Spend NYE With the Felix Brown Band

New Year’s Eve is not just the average party night in Boston. It’s a night to live it up with your best friends and have a memorable night to bring in the New Year!

The Resolution Ball Is a 21+ black tie optional event, so wear your best cocktail dress or suit to dance the night away! It will be an unforgettable night of live music from The Felix Brown band and DJ Tommy spinning the hottest hits! Enjoy passed hors d'oeuvres and a to-die-for slider station until 10:30 pm! There will be plenty of cash bars around the room to make sure you’re ready for the countdown to 2018!

So, come party with us until 2am at The Colonnade Hotel, it will for sure be a night to remember! For tickets and infromation, click HERE.